Wednesday, May 13, 2009



In the life of any parish, there will be times when very difficult decisions must be made. Our parish is no different. On 5 April 2009, the membership of Anglican Church of the Resurrection voted overwhelmingly to join the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC).

The REC is an Anglican jurisdiction that broke away from the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States in 1873. The REC currently has about 150 parishes in 7 Dioceses in the United States and Canada. The Free Church of England is the British expression of the REC with 24 parishes in two dioceses. The REC in Germany has 3 parishes with additional missions. There is also additional mission work in Russia, Africa, India, and most recently Nepal.

Historically, the REC was known as a low church jurisdiction., though the REC has become very broad church in the past couple of decades with parishes now representing all forms of churchmanship, including those of us with a more high church expression. The Reformed Episcopal Church can best be identified as being “classical Anglican” with its emphasis on the 39 Articles of Religion, the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church. The theology and praxis of the Reformed Catholicism of the historic Church of England, and orthodox and traditional Anglicanism throughout the world, is that which the REC strives to teach and live.

The REC has 4 seminaries in the United States. Reformed Episcopal Seminary, in Philadelphia, PA, is the oldest of the seminaries. There is also Cramner House in Houston, TX, Cummins Theological Seminary in Sevierville, TN, and Andrewes Hall in Phoenix, AZ.

The REC has a intercommunion agreement with the Anglican Province of America, under Archbishop Walter Grundorf. The REC is also one of the founding jurisdiction of the new Anglican Church in North America, which is the new Anglican Province the orthodox Primates and Bishops of the Anglican Communion are helping North American Anglicans to form in order to re-establish a traditional and orthodox Anglican Province that is fully connected to the Worldwide Anglican Communion. This new province we are now part of has approximately 800 parishes across North America and over 100,000 members. The new Province provides additional resources to parishes for missions and evangelism, collaboration and networking with other local parishes, additional seminaries, scholarships, grants, seminarians, insurance and pension programmes, youth ministries, and a host of other resources.

Deacon Mark I met with Bishops Grote and Sutton in Houston recently and were very blessed by their hospitality. Their genuine love for Jesus, and their desire to share Jesus with everyone who will listen, was apparent. They have asked me to send their welcome, greetings, and blessings to our parish. Deacon Mark and I also met with our new Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Central States, Bishop Daniel Morse. This meeting took place in Nashville. Bishop Morse has his doctorate in Old Testament theology, has taught in several seminaries, and planted and pastored a number of parishes. He also asked me to pass along his welcome and greetings. He plans to make an Episcopal visitation later this year with us.

If you have any questions about the REC, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to have the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. May we continue to be about proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Be blessed in our Lord Jesus!

Fr. Greg



April 2009

Matthew - Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

Mark - Died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

Luke - was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

John - Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

Peter was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

James, Just - The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

James the Great, son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a life time of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew also known as Nathaniel - Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

Andrew - Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: 'I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.' He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

Thomas - Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

Jude - Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.Matthias - The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot was stoned and then beheaded.

Barnabas - One of the group of seventy disciples, wrote the Epistle of Barnabas. He preached throughout Italy and Cyprus . Barnabas was stoned to death at Salonica.

Paul - Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed through out the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles/disciples during their times for the sake of their Faith.

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: But he that endureth to the end shall be saved." Matthew 10:22

Saturday, January 3, 2009

4 January 09

Morning Prayer: Psalm 89:1-30; Isaiah 44:1-8, 21-23; Colossians 2:6-17
Holy Eucharist: Isaiah 61:1-3; St. Matthew 2:19-23
Evening Prayer: Psalm 132; Haggai 2:1-9; Luke 2:34-40
Perhaps, on New Year's Day, some of us are looking out for a good resolution to be acted on, by God's grace, during the next twelve months. Can we do better than resolve to do every day something which we naturally dislike, as an act of love and worship to our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was made to be circumcised and obedient to the Law, for us men? Such a resolution, even tolerably kept, will leave us at the end of the year happier, because more disciplined and freer men than we are now. It will have enabled us to make one good step on the way to our eternal home. To which may He, of His mercy, bring us, Who was born into the world, and died and rose that we might be His in life and in death and in the higher life beyond the grave.
***From H.P. Liddon***
Almighty God, who has poured upon us the new light of thine incarnate Word; Grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

7 December 08




Morning Prayer: Psalm 119:1-16; Isaiah 55; II Timothy 3

Mass: Romans 15:4-13; St. Luke 21:25-33

Evening Prayer: Psalm 67, 111; Isaiah 11:1-10; St. John 5:30-40


FROM the duty of preparation we pass to the means of preparation provided for us by God; and the first of these to be considered is the Bible. We are to think of the Bible as a means rather than an end. The perfection of the Bible lies in its adaptation to human needs. The inspiration of the Bible is to be sought in its power to inspire human hearts, and is not of the letter, but of the spirit. The proof of inspiration given in 2 Tim. iii. 16 is that Holy Scripture is “profitable for instruction in righteousness,” just as the excellence of a teacher does not consist in omniscience but in his power to teach, and the excellence of a physician in his power to cure. The Bible is a practical book written with a practical object, “for our learning,” and if it fulfils this object, and when rightly used “makes us wise unto salvation,” it is the book we need, and it is futile to object that “it is not of such a sort and so promulged as weak men are apt to fancy should have been the case with a book containing a Divine Revelation.” (Butler.)



This is concerned with the Old Testament only, as containing the “things which were written aforetime.” We are to regard the Old Testament as :—
A. A Book of Hope.
Its very object was to kindle hope, and keep it alive. Its cove-nants’ all pointed to a better covenant; its sacrifices, so inadequate in themselves, all pointed to a more availing sacrifice that could take away sin; its prophecies, to a better dispensation surely coming in the dim future. To Christians this record has an abiding value, as the history of men who “trusted in God and were not confounded.” These Old Testament Scriptures were “written for our learning,” and still have a lesson for us.
S. Paul adds that we who have received good hope in Christ must be patient towards others.
B. A Book of Hope for the Jews.
Christ came to fulfil all the hopes of the Jews, and “to confirm the promises made unto the fathers,” and to set His seal on all the promises of the Old Testament. He came as “A Minister of the Circumcision,” i.e., with a special mission to the Jews. Their nation was big with Messianic hope. Christ came to show that this hope was not mistaken, and, as Prophet, Priest, and King, He fulfilled all that God had promised.
C. A Book of Hope for the Gentiles.
Many promises of God to the Gentiles were scattered through the Old Testament. Christ came to fulfil these, and “open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.” Nothing is more remark. able than the presence of these passages so apparently alien to Jewish exclusiveness, yet so necessary to prepare the way for a wider dispensation under the spreading tree that was to spring from the root of Jesse.
D. A Book of Hope for Us.
The Old Testament has still a message, and a message of hope. In our own trials and difficulties we may turn to the example of those who in darker days still kept faithful to the God of Hope, and were not confounded, and may draw lessons of patience and comfort. We have in this passage a most happy Pilgrim’s Progress— first “patience,” then “comfort,” then “hope,” and lastly, something higher still, “joy and peace in believing.”



This contains the New Testament message of Hope, and our great duty of preparation for the final Advent.
A. The World in Despair.
Without Christ the course of this world will be without hope. All will be distress, perplexity, fear, and foreboding, and those who have not learned to love Christ will ever dread His appearing.
B. The Christian Hope.
That which will make others fear will inspire the Christian with eager hope. He will look up and lift up his head as he sees redemption drawing nigh. He will look upon the coming storms as the equinoctial gales that usher in the spring and summertide of God’s Kingdom, and the perfect sunshine of Christ’s presence.
C. The Certainty of the Christian Hope.
It is sure as the sure word of Christ. All else shall pass away, but Christ’s words never, and each generation shall find them true. Science can only tell us that heaven and earth shall pass away, and that the powers of heaven shall be shaken. The Bible is a book of calm confidence. It sees the worst and yet hopes for the best, looking onward to the Kingdom that cannot be shaken, and full of faith in Him Who is “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” Hence, from cover to cover, the Bible is a Book of Hope, and the Book of the God of Hope.


A prayer for the right use of Holy Scripture, especially as a preparation for the Second Advent.
A. The Nature of the Bible.
It is both human and Divine, human because “written by holy men of old,” Divine because they wrote as “moved by the Holy Ghost.” Our Church recognises both elements in the phrase, “‘Who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written.”
The Bible is our lesson-book as “written for our learning.” It is not out of date, for every age may say it was written for our learning. If merely human it would lack authority to teach; if merely Divine we could not attain to its lessons.
B. The Right Use of the Bible.
This is to be a matter for prayer, for He by Whom it was caused to be written can alone cause it to be read with profit. It is not merely to be heard when read by others, but to be read by ourselves, and read with attention—not merely read, but studied andassimilated.
C. The Blessings of such Spiritual Study.
These are threefold—Patience which can endure trials, Comfort that can be happy beneath the rod, Hope that all trial will one day be at an end. Such spiritual study is to be a great means of preparation for the Second Advent as giving hope of everlasting life, to be welcomed with eagerness and retained with perseverance.

***PREPARATION BY THE WORD, by the Rev. Prebendary Melville Scott, D.D., from The Harmony of the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, A Devotional Exposition of the Continuous Teaching of the Church Throughout the Year, S.P.C.K., London, 1902***


Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.


St. Ambrose, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor (340-397)

Ambrose was governor of Northern Italy, with capital at Milan. When the see of Milan fell vacant, it seemed likely that rioting would result, since the city was evenly divided between Arians and Athanasians. (Explanatory Note: Athanasians affirm that the Logos or Word (John 1:1) is fully God in the same sense that the Father is, while Arians affirm that the Logos is a creature, the first being created by the Father. East Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Prebyterians, Reformed, Baptists, Methodists, etc. are Athanasians. The Watchtower Society (J_____h's Witnesses), the Philippine group called the Iglesia ni Christi (spelling?), and some other groups are Arians. The Unitarians started out as Arians, and some of them still hold this position.) Ambrose went to the meeting where the election was to take place, and appealed to the crowd for order and good will on both sides. He ended up being elected bishop with the support of both sides.

He gave away his wealth, and lived in simplicity. By his preaching, he converted the diocese to the Athanasian position, except for the Goths and some members of the Imperial Household. (Note: The Arian emperor Constantius (son of Constantine the Great) had sent missionaries (Arians, of course) to convert the Gothic tribes. The Goths were the chief source of mercenary troops for the Empire. Thus for many years the Army was Arian although a majority of civilians were Athanasian.) On one occasion, the Empress ordered him to turn over a church to the Arians so that her Gothic soldiers could worship in it. Ambrose refused, and he and his people occupied the church. Ambrose composed Latin hymns in the rhythm of "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow," and taught them to the people, who sang them in the church as the soldiers surrounded it. The Goths were unwilling to attack a hymn-singing congregation, and Ambrose won that dispute.

He subsequently won another dispute, when the Emperor, enraged by a crowd who defied him, ordered them all killed by his soldiers. When he next appeared at church, Ambrose met him at the door and said, "You may not come in. There is blood on your hands." The emperor finally agreed to do public penance and to promise that thereafter he would never carry out a sentence of death without a forty-day delay after pronouncing it. Less creditable, to modern Christians, is Ambrose's dispute with the emperor when certain Christians burned a Jewish synagogue, and the emperor commanded them to make restitution. Ambrose maintained that no Christian could be compelled to provide money for the building of a non-Christian house of worship, no matter what the circumstances.

Ambrose was largely responsible for the conversion of St. Augustine. The hymn Te Deum Laudamus ("We praise Thee, O God") was long thought to have been composed by Ambrose in thanksgiving for that conversion. The current opinion is that Ambrose did not write it, but that he may well have written the Creed known as the Athanasian Creed. He is perhaps the first writer of Christian hymns with rhyme and (accentual) meter, and northern Italy still uses his style of plainchant, known as Ambrosian chant, rather than the more widespread Gregorian chant. On the negative side, many Christians will regret his contribution to increased preoccupation with the relics of martyrs. He died 4 April 397, but (because this date so often falls in Holy Week or Easter Week) he is commonly remembered on the anniversary of his consecration as bishop, 7 December.

Ambrose is regarded as one of the Eight Great Doctors (=Teachers) of the Undivided Church. The list includes four Latin (Western) Doctors (Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Pope Gregory the Great), and four Greek (Eastern) Doctors (Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus -- not to be confused with Gregory of Nyssa, the brother of Basil).

***written by James Kiefer,***


O God, by whose providence Saint Ambrose was sent to guide thy people in the way of everlasting salvation : grant, we beseech thee; that as we have learned of him the doctrine of life on earth, so we may be found worthy to have him for our advocate in heaven. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

30 November 08




Morning Prayer: Psalm 46, 97; Isaiah 28:14-22; Hebrews 12:14-end

Mass: Romans 13:8-end; St. Matthew 21:1-13

Evening Prayer: Psalm 18:1-20; Isaiah 13:6-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11


From the first institution of the great Festivals of the Church each of them occupied a central position in a series of days; partly for the sake of Christian discipline. Thus Christmas is preceded by the Sundays and Season of Advent, and following by twelve days of continued Christian joy which end with Epiphany.

Under its present name the season of Advent is not to be traced further back than the seventh century; but Collects, Epistles, and Gospels for five Sundays before the Nativity of our Lord, and for the Wednesdays and Fridays also, are to be found in the ancient Sacramentaries, and in the Comes of St. Jerome. These offer good evidence that the observance of the season was introduced into the Church at the same time with the observance of Christmas: yet there is not, properly speaking, any season of Advent in the Eastern Church, which has always carefully preserved ancient customs intact; though it observes a Lent before Christmas as well as before Easter.

Durandus (a laborious and painstaking writer, always to be respected, though not to be implicitly relied upon) writes that St. Peter instituted three whole weeks to be observed as a special season before Christmas, and so much of the fourth as extended to the Vigil of Christmas, which is not part of Advent. [Durand. vi. 2] This was probably a very ancient opinion, but the earliest extant historical evidence respecting Advent is that mentioned above, as contained in the Lectionary of St. Jerome. Next come two homilies of Maximus, Bishop of Turin, A.D. 450, which are headed De Adventu Domini. In the following century are two other Sermons of Caesarius, Bishop of Arles [501-542] (formerly attributed to St. Augustine, and printed among his works), and in these there are full details respecting the season and its observance. In the latter part of the same century St. Gregory of Tours writes that Perpetuus, one of his predecessors, had ordered the observance of three days as fasts in every week, from the Feast of St. Martin to that of Christmas; and this direction was enforced on the Clergy of France by the Council of Macon, held A.D. 581. In the Ambrosian and Mozarabic liturgies Advent Season commences at the same time: and it has also been sometimes known by the name Quadragesima Sancti Martini: from which it seems probable that the Western Churches of Europe originally kept six Advent Sundays, as the Eastern still keeps a forty days’ fast, beginning on the same day. But the English Church, since the Conquest, at least, has observed four only, although the title of the Sunday preceding the first seems to offer an indication of a fifth in more ancient days.
The rule by which Advent is determined defines the first Sunday as that which comes nearest, whether before or after, to St. Andrew’s Day; which is equivalent to saying that it is the first Sunday after November 26th. December 3rd is consequently the latest day on which it can occur.

In the Latin and English Churches the Christian year commences with the First Sunday in Advent. Such, at least, has been the arrangement of the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels for many centuries, although the ancient Sacramentaries began the year with Christmas Day, and although the Prayer Book (until the change of style in 1752) contained an express “Note, that the Supputation of the year of our Lord in the Church of England beginneth the Five and Twentieth day of March.” By either reckoning it is intended to number the times and seasons of the Church by the Incarnation: and while the computation from the Annunciation is more correct from a theological and a chronological point of view, that from Advent and Christmas fits in far better with the vivid system of the Church by which she represents to us the life of our Lord year by year. Beginning the year with the Annunciation, we should be reminded by the new birth of Nature of the regeneration of Human Nature: beginning it with Advent and Christmas, we have a more keen reminder of that humiliation of God the Son, by which the new birth of the world was accomplished. And as we number our years, not by the age of the world, nor by the time during which any earthly sovereignty has lasted, but by the age of the Christian Church and the time during which the Kingdom of Christ has been established upon earth, calling each “the Year of our Lord,” or “the Year of Grace:” so we begin every year with the season when grace first came by our Lord and King, through His Advent in the humility of His Incarnation.
In very ancient times the season of Advent was observed as one of special prayer and discipline. As already stated, the Council of Macon in its ninth Canon directs the general observance by the Clergy of the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday fast-days, of which traces are found at an earlier period: and the Capitulars of Charlemagne also speak of a forty days’ fast before Christmas. The strict Lenten observance of the season was not, however, general. Amalarius, writing in the ninth century, speaks of it as being kept in that way only by the religious, that is, by those who had adopted an ascetic life in monasteries, or elsewhere: and the principle generally carried out appears to have been that of multiplying solemn services, and of adopting a greater reserve in the use of lawful indulgences. Such an observance of the season still commends itself to us as one that will form a fitting prefix to the joyous time of Christmas: and one that will also be consistent with that contemplation of our Lord’s Second Advent which it is impossible to dissociate from thoughts of His First. In the system of the Church the Advent Season is to the Christmas Season what St. John the Baptist was to the First, and the Christian ministry is to the Second, Coming of our Lord.

***From a Commentary from THE ANNOTATED BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, Edited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT, Rivingtons, London, 1884***


Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.



Saturday, November 8, 2008



Morning Prayer: Psalm 79; Leviticus 26:27-42; Philippians 4

Evening Prayer: Psalm 65 Deuteronomy 19:11-end; St. Matthew 28:11-end


From the Treatise on Mortality by St. Cyprian the Bishop and Martyr

Dearly beloved : We should keep in mind, and ponder well ; that we have made a renunciation of the world, and so are supposed to spend our time here meanwhile as strangers and pilgrims. Let us reflect on that day which can see us each at home in one of the many mansions. That day will see us delivered hence, and disentangled from the nets and snares of things temporal. It will put us back into the true Garden of Eden, that is, the kingdom of heaven. Is there any in a far country that hath opportunity to return to his Fatherland, and maketh not his way thereto with all possible speed? Was ever any in hast to make his voyage homeward, that longed not for a fair wind, that he might the sooner embrace his loved ones?

We reckon a paradise like unto Eden to be our home ; already we begin to know of the Patriarchs as our kinsmen. Why should we not make haste and run, to see our home, and to greet our kinsfolk? A great many of those we love are waiting for us there - father and mother and brothers and children. There in great company they await us, they who are sure now never to die any more, but not yet sure of us. O when we come to see them, and to embrace them, what gladness will it be both for us and for them! O what brightness of life is in that heavenly kingdom, where is no more fear of death, but the certainty of living everlastingly! O what consummated felicity! O what enduring joy!

There is the glorious company of the Apostles. There is the jubilant fellowship of the Prophets. There is the countless army of Martyrs crowned for victory in strife and in suffering. There triumph the Virgins who by noble self-control have tamed the desires of the flesh and of the body. There are repaid with mercy the Merciful, who by feeding and gifting the needy, have wrought righteousness, have kept the compandments of the Lord, and have exchanged heritages upon earth for treasures in heaven. Thitherward, dearly beloved brethren, let us hasten with eager hearts. Let us fain to be with these, so that soon their lot may be ours also, namely to be with Christ.

***From The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., New York, NY, 1998***


O Lord, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.


O Almighty God, who has knit together thine elect in onen communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou has prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


All Anglican Martyrs and Saints

Anglicanism has a rich heritage in those who have been martyrs for the Christ in various ways. Above is an ikon of St. Alban, often thought to be the first Anglican saint. Many others have followed in his footsteps. We simply cannot forget St. Patrick of Ireland, St. David of Wales, St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, St. Columba of Iona, St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, the Venerable St. Bede, St. Bridgit of Kildare, St. Kevin of Glendalough, St. Thomas Cranmer, St. Nicholas Ridley, St. Hugh Latimer, King St. Charles the I of Enland, King St. Edward, St. John Keble, the Anglican Martyrs of Uganda, St. Janani Luwum, and so many more who are not listed here. I commend them to your own reading. May we embrace them as our friends in the journey of faith and discipleship. May we accept their encouragement as we continue our own race to the finish line, so that we may joine them in the eternal embrace of God's love and mercy.
Fr. Greg
We beseech thee, O Lord, to multiply thy grace upon us who commemorate all thy holy Servants, the Anglican Martyrs, Doctors, Missionaries, and other Saints : that, as we rejoice to be their fellow-citizens on earth ; so also we may have fellowship with them in heaven. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, November 7, 2008

7 November 08



Morning Prayer: Psalm 69:1-22, 30-37; Leviticus 26:1-13; Philippians 3

Evening Prayer: Psalm 80; Deuteronomy 18:15-end; Matthew 28:1-10


From a Sermon by St. John Chrysostom

Whosoever wondereth, with reverent love, at the merits of the Saints, or whosoever speaketh, with oft much praise, on the glories of the Just, let him imitate their holy ways and their righteousness. For whoso findeth pleasure in the worthy deeds of any Saint should find pleasure in a like obedience in the service of God. Wherefore, if he praise, let him imitate. If he will not imitate, let him cease from praising. For whoso praiseth another ought to make himself worthy of a like praise. And whoso admireth a Saint ought also to strive for to be admirable for a like holy living. If we love the righteous and faithful because we respect their righteousness and faith, we ought for that very reason to do what they did, in order that we may become what they are.

It is not an hard saying, that we imitate their good deeds. For we now have their examples, whereas they of old times had no foregoing examples ; and so without being imitators of good examples, they nonetheless have become good examples to us. Thus, if we profit by them, others will profit by us, and Christ will ever be glorified, in a succession of servants of his holy Church. Begin at the beginning of the world, and consider these holy examples : Blameless Abel was slain ; Enoch walked with God, and was seen no more, for God took him ; Noah was found righteous ; Abraham was proved faithful ; Moses was the meekest of men ; Joshua was singleminded ; David was mild ; Elijah was taken up ; Daniel was holy ; and the Three Children were conquerors.

The Apostles, being disciples of Christ, are reckoned as the teachers of believers. Taught by them, the valiant Confessors give battle ; the triumphant Martyrs excel in victory ; and all the hosts of Christians, if they arm themselves with God, are ever vanquishing the devil. All these are men of like valour, though dis-similar in warfare, and so obtain glorious victories. Wherefore, O Christian, thou art an effeminate kind of soldier if thou thinkest to conquer without battling, or to triumph without struggling. Put forth thy strength. Contend like a man. Fight fiercely in thy battle. Know the warfare : the oath of loyalty thou hast taken ; the conditions under which thou has been accepted ; and the kind of war for which thou hast enlisted.

***From The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., 1998***

Fr. Greg


O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O Lord, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by ouru frailty we have committed. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.


St. Willibrord, Bishop and Confessor (658-739)

Willibrord was born in Northumberland, being the son of a godly Englishman named Wilgis, who became a monk, and was a most holy man. Before Willibrord was seven years of age, he was taken to the monastery of Ripon, and given in charge to Saint Wilfrid, the founder and ruler thereof, to be trained up in a holy life and learning. There, in a short while, he wonderfully stepped forward, not in knowledge only, but also in grace, and led the life of a monk until the twentieth year of his age. Then he had a desire for a harder life, and with the leave of his Abbot and brethren, went into Ireland to the holy men Egbert and Wigbert, who both had journeyed thither for the love of heavenly things. In their devout companionship and conversation, and amid the most excellent teachers of godliness and sacred learning, with whom the Isle of the Saints then abounded, tihs future teacher of many nations passed twelve years, and himself gained learning and character.
Somewhere around the age of thirty he was ordained priest, and was sent by Egbert to convert the pagans of Friesland, along with eleven companions of his own countryfolk eminent for learning and holiness of life, among whom were Saints Swithbert and Adalbert. He landed at Utrecht, and was welcomed, along with his companions, by Pepin of Heristal, who had brought Southern Friesland under his power, and who mightily helped the preaching of the Gospel, so that in a short while many were turned from theh worshipping of idols unto the Christian Faith. Thereafter Willibrord journeyed to Rome to seek a wider knowledge of missionary work in that great Christian centre, where he was welcomed by Saint Pope Sergius I who sent him back much comforted. Later, when Saint Wilfrid had consecrated holy Swithbert as regionary bishop, Pepin sent Willibrord to Rome to be consecrated Archbishop by the same holy Pope Sergius.
Willibrord returned to Friesland as soon as he could, and established his See at Utrecht. He proclaimed the Word of God with much fruit in Friesland, Holland, Zeeland, and Flanders, (even unto the uttermost tribes of those countries,) brake their idols, destroyed their temples and shrines, dedicated many temples to Christ, and established bishops, priests, and other ministers of the Church, eminent for knowledge and grace. He founded houses of religious of both sexes, among which the principal was that for monks at Echternach, in Luxemburg, the government whereof he himself took, and held until his death. At length, after a life of holy and unwearied apostolic labours, he passed away, to be ever with Christ, on November 7th, 739, and of his own age the eighty-first. He is usually reckoned as the Apostle of the Frisians, for it was through is labours and those of his blessed companions, especially of Saint Swithbert, that this barbarous people were made gentle in Christ. He was buried in the Abbey of Echternach. After his death his apostolic labours were taken up by many other Englishmen, eminent among whom were Saints Willehad, Marcellinus, and Lebwin, all of whom are commemorated in the Martyrology.
O God, who didst vouchsafe to send thy blessed Saint Willibrord to preach thy glory to the Gentiles : we humbly pray thee ; that, by his merits and intercession, we may both see and know the things which we ought to do, and by thy mercy be enabled to perform the same. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.