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Wednesday in Holy Week

posted Mar 31, 2015, 2:17 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church

Wednesday in Holy Week

Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Year (cycle):  B

The Collect: 

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Isaiah 50:4-9a

4 The Lord God has given me
   the tongue of a teacher,*
that I may know how to sustain
   the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
   wakens my ear
   to listen as those who are taught. 
5 The Lord God has opened my ear,
   and I was not rebellious,
   I did not turn backwards. 
6 I gave my back to those who struck me,
   and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
   from insult and spitting. 

7 The Lord God helps me;
   therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
   and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 
8   he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
   Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
   Let them confront me. 
9 It is the Lord God who helps me;
   who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment;
   the moth will eat them up. 

Psalm: 
Psalm 70

To the leader. Of David, for the memorial offering.
1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
   O Lord, make haste to help me! 
2 Let those be put to shame and confusion
   who seek my life.
Let those be turned back and brought to dishonour
   who desire to hurt me. 
3 Let those who say, ‘Aha, Aha!’
   turn back because of their shame. 

4 Let all who seek you
   rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation
   say evermore, ‘God is great!’ 
5 But I am poor and needy;
   hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
   O Lord, do not delay!

Epistle: 
Hebrews 12:1-3
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,* and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of* the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners,*so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.

Gospel: 
John 13:21-32

21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ 26Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’* So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.* 27After he received the piece of bread,*Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ 28Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. 31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him,* God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

Maundy Thursday

posted Mar 31, 2015, 1:51 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Mar 31, 2015, 2:14 PM ]

Maundy Thursday

Thursday, April 02, 2015
Year (cycle): B

 

The Collect: 

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight.7They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Psalm: 
Psalm 116:1, 10-17

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard
   my voice and my supplications. 
10 I kept my faith, even when I said,
   ‘I am greatly afflicted’; 
11 I said in my consternation,
   ‘Everyone is a liar.’ 

12 What shall I return to the Lord
   for all his bounty to me? 
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
   and call on the name of the Lord, 
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
   in the presence of all his people. 
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
   is the death of his faithful ones. 
16 O Lord, I am your servant;
   I am your servant, the child of your serving-maid.
   You have loosed my bonds. 
17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
   and call on the name of the Lord.

Epistle: 
1 Corinthians 11:23-26

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for* you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Gospel: 
John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table,* took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ 7Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ 8Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’9Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ 10Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet,* but is entirely clean. And you* are clean, though not all of you.’ 11For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’

12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am.14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants*are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him,* God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’



Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries) is the Christian holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels.[1] It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.[2]

The date is always between 19 March and 22 April inclusive, but these dates fall on different days depending on whether the Gregorian or Julian calendar is used liturgically. Eastern churches generally use the Julian calendar, and so celebrate this feast throughout the 21st century between 1 April and 5 May in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. The liturgy held on the evening of Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ; this period includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter.[1][3] The Mass or service of worship is normally celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to Jewish tradition, as the Last Supper was held on feast of Passover.[4]

Most scholars agree that the English word Maundy in that name for the day is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" ("A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you"), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet. The phrase is used as the antiphon sung in the Roman Rite during the "Mandatum" ceremony of the washing of the feet, which may be held during Mass or at another time as a separate event, during which a priest or bishop (representing Christ) ceremonially washes the feet of others, typically 12 persons chosen as a cross-section of the community.

Others theorize that the English name "Maundy Thursday" arose from "maundsor baskets" or "maundy purses" of alms which the king of England distributed to certain poor at Whitehall before attending Mass on that day. Thus, "maund" is connected to the Latin mendicare, and French mendier, to beg.[41][42] A source from the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod likewise states that, if the name was derived from the Latin mandatum, we would call the day Mandy Thursday, or Mandate Thursday, or even Mandatum Thursday; and that the term "Maundy" comes in fact from the Latin mendicare, Old French mendier, and English maund, which as a verb means to beg and as a noun refers to a small basket held out by maunders as they maunded.[43]

source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maundy_Thursday

Foot Washing 

The washing of feet was a menial act of hospitality in the OT (see Gn 18:4, 19:2). It was often performed for guests by a servant or the wife of the host. The Gospel of John (13:1-17) records that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. Jesus urged the disciples to follow his example of generous and humble service. They should wash one another's feet, as their feet had been washed by Jesus, their Lord and Teacher. Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet was a lived expression of his teaching that "whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all" (Mk 10:43-44). The foot-washing also expressed Jesus' "new commandment" for his disciples to love one another, as he had loved them (Jn 13:34). The washing of feet continued in the early Christian church. The requirements for enrollment on the list of widows includes the expectation that a widow would have "washed the saints' feet" (1 Tm 4:9-10). The ceremonial washing of feet is mentioned by Augustine of Hippo (354-430). The foot-washing has been associated with the Maundy Thursday liturgy since the seventh century in Spain. The name "Maundy" is from the Latin antiphon that was used on this day, based on Jesus' "new commandment" of love on the Thursday before his death. The foot-washing has also been associated with baptism. In the ancient Gallican rites, the feet of the newly baptized were washed by the ranking prelate after baptism.

The early editions of the Prayer Book did not provide for the foot-washing. The 1979 BCP restored the washing of feet as an option for the Maundy Thursday service. The foot-washing follows the gospel and homily. Representatives of the congregation may be appointed to have their feet washed by the celebrant. The celebrant may be assisted by other ministers or acolytes. The BCP provides anthems that may be sung or said during the ceremony (pp. 274-275). Musical settings for these anthems are available in the Appendix of The Hymnal 1982 Accompaniment Edition, Vol. 1 (S 344-S 347). It is also traditional to use the hymn "Ubi Caritas" at the foot-washing (see Hymns 576, 577, 581, 606). The BOS provides a brief address that may be used by the celebrant to introduce the ceremony of foot-washing. This statement recalls Jesus' teaching that "strength and growth in the life of the Kingdom of God come not by power, authority, or even miracle, but by such lowly service" as the washing of feet.

source:  http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/109399_14377_ENG_HTM.htm

 

Good Friday

posted Mar 31, 2015, 1:47 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated ]

Good Friday

Friday, April 03, 2015
Year (cycle):  B


The Collect: 

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Isaiah 52:13-53:12

13 See, my servant shall prosper;
   he shall be exalted and lifted up,
   and shall be very high. 
14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him*
   —so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
   and his form beyond that of mortals— 
15 so he shall startle* many nations;
   kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
   and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

53 1Who has believed what we have heard?
   And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
   and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 
3 He was despised and rejected by others;
   a man of suffering* and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces*
   he was despised, and we held him of no account. 

4 Surely he has borne our infirmities
   and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
   struck down by God, and afflicted. 
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,
   crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
   and by his bruises we are healed. 
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all. 

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
   and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth. 
8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
   Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
   stricken for the transgression of my people. 
9 They made his grave with the wicked
   and his tomb* with the rich,*
although he had done no violence,
   and there was no deceit in his mouth. 

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.*
When you make his life an offering for sin,*
   he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. 
11   Out of his anguish he shall see light;*
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
   The righteous one,* my servant, shall make many righteous,
   and he shall bear their iniquities. 
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
   and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
   and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
   and made intercession for the transgressors. 

Psalm: 
Psalm 22

To the leader: according to The Deer of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
   Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? 
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
   and by night, but find no rest. 

3 Yet you are holy,
   enthroned on the praises of Israel. 
4 In you our ancestors trusted;
   they trusted, and you delivered them. 
5 To you they cried, and were saved;
   in you they trusted, and were not put to shame. 

6 But I am a worm, and not human;
   scorned by others, and despised by the people. 
7 All who see me mock at me;
   they make mouths at me, they shake their heads; 
8 ‘Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
   let him rescue the one in whom he delights!’ 

9 Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
   you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. 
10 On you I was cast from my birth,
   and since my mother bore me you have been my God. 
11 Do not be far from me,
   for trouble is near
   and there is no one to help. 

12 Many bulls encircle me,
   strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 
13 they open wide their mouths at me,
   like a ravening and roaring lion. 

14 I am poured out like water,
   and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
   it is melted within my breast; 
15 my mouth* is dried up like a potsherd,
   and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
   you lay me in the dust of death. 

16 For dogs are all around me;
   a company of evildoers encircles me.
My hands and feet have shrivelled;* 
17 I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me; 
18 they divide my clothes among themselves,
   and for my clothing they cast lots. 

19 But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
   O my help, come quickly to my aid! 
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
   my life* from the power of the dog! 
21   Save me from the mouth of the lion! 

From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued* me. 
22 I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;*
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
   All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
   stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 
24 For he did not despise or abhor
   the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,*
   but heard when I* cried to him. 

25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
   my vows I will pay before those who fear him. 
26 The poor* shall eat and be satisfied;
   those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
   May your hearts live for ever! 

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
   and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
   shall worship before him.* 
28 For dominion belongs to the Lord,
   and he rules over the nations. 

29 To him,* indeed, shall all who sleep in* the earth bow down;
   before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
   and I shall live for him.* 
30 Posterity will serve him;
   future generations will be told about the Lord, 
31 and* proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
   saying that he has done it.

Epistle: 
Hebrews 10:16-25 or 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Hebrews 10:16-25

16 ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
   and I will write them on their minds’, 
17he also adds, ‘I will remember* their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ 
18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

19 Therefore, my friends,* since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested* as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5 7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus* offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,

Gospel: 
John 18:1-19:42

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ 5They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’* Jesus replied, ‘I am he.’* Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6When Jesus* said to them, ‘I am he’,* they stepped back and fell to the ground. 7Again he asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’* 8Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he.* So if you are looking for me, let these men go.’9This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken, ‘I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.’ 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’

12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. 13First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people. 15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17The woman said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ 18Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing round it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20Jesus answered, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.’ 22When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’ 23Jesus answered, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?’ 24Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. 25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, ‘You are not also one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ 26One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ 27Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters.* It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters,*so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. 29So Pilate went out to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’ 30They answered, ‘If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.’ 31Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.’ The Jews replied, ‘We are not permitted to put anyone to death.’ 32(This was to fulfil what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.) 33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters* again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ 34Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ 35Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ 36Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ 37Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ 38Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’ After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, ‘I find no case against him. 39But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ 40They shouted in reply, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a bandit.

19 1Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. 3They kept coming up to him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and striking him on the face. 4Pilate went out again and said to them, ‘Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.’ 5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!’ 6When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.’ 7The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.’

8 Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. 9He entered his headquarters* again and asked Jesus, ‘Where are you from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. 10Pilate therefore said to him, ‘Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?’ 11Jesus answered him, ‘You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.’ 12From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, ‘If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.’

13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat* on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew*Gabbatha. 14Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, ‘Here is your King!’ 15They cried out, ‘Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but the emperor.’ 16Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus; 17and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew* is called Golgotha.18There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth,* the King of the Jews.’ 20Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew,* in Latin, and in Greek. 21Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews”, but, “This man said, I am King of the Jews.” ’22Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’ 23When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.’ This was to fulfil what the scripture says,
‘They divided my clothes among themselves,
   and for my clothing they cast lots.’ 
25And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ 27Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ 29A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. 32Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35(He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows* that he tells the truth.) 36These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘None of his bones shall be broken.’ 37And again another passage of scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced.’

38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Holy Saturday and the Great Vigil of Easter

posted Mar 31, 2015, 1:31 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Mar 31, 2015, 1:35 PM ]

Holy Saturday

Saturday, April 04, 2015
Year (cycle):  B

The Collect: 

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so may we await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Lesson: 
Job 14:1-14 or Lamentations 3:1-9,19-24
Psalm: 
Psalm 31:1-4,15-16
Epistle: 
1 Peter 4:1-8
Gospel: 
Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42


The Easter Vigil

The liturgy intended as the first (and arguably, the primary) celebration of Easter in the BCP (pp. 284-95). It is also known as the Great Vigil. The service begins in darkness, sometime between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter, and consists of four parts:

  • The Service of Light (kindling of new fire, lighting the Paschal candle, the Exsultet);
  • The Service of Lessons (readings from the Hebrew Scriptures interspersed with psalms, canticles, and prayers);
  • Christian Initiation (Holy Baptism) or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows;
  • and the Eucharist.

Through this liturgy, the BCP recovers an ancient practice of keeping the Easter feast. Believers would gather in the hours of darkness ending at dawn on Easter to hear scripture and offer prayer. This night-long service of prayerful watching anticipated the baptisms that would come at first light and the Easter Eucharist. Easter was the primary baptismal occasion for the early church to the practical exclusion of all others. This practice linked the meanings of Christ's dying and rising to the understanding of baptism.


The following readings and Psalms are provided for use at the Easter Vigil.

A minimum of three Old Testament readings should be chosen. The reading from Exodus 14 should always be used.

Genesis 1:1-2:4a
1:1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.

1:2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

1:3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

1:4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

1:5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

1:6 And God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

1:7 So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so.

1:8 God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

1:9 And God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so.

1:10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

1:11 Then God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it." And it was so.

1:12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good.

1:13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

1:14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years,

1:15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth." And it was so.

1:16 God made the two great lights--the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night--and the stars.

1:17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth,

1:18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

1:19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

1:20 And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky."

1:21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

1:22 God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."

1:23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

1:24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind." And it was so.

1:25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

1:26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."

1:27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

1:28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

1:29 God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.

1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.

1:31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.

2:2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.

2:3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

2:4a These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.



Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26
136:1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

136:2 O give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.

136:3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136:4 who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136:5 who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136:6 who spread out the earth on the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136:7 who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136:8 the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136: 9 the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136:23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136:24 and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever;

136:25 who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever.

136:26 O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.



Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13

7:1 Then the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.

7:2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate;

7:3 and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth.

7:4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground."

7:5 And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.

7:12 The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

7:13 On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons entered the ark,

7:14 they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind--every bird, every winged creature.

7:15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.

7:16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.

7:17 The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.

7:18 The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.

8:6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made

8:7 and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth.

8:8 Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground;

8:9 but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him.

8:10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark;

8:11 and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.

8:12 Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

8:13 In the six hundred first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying.

8:14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

8:15 Then God said to Noah,

8:16 "Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you.

8:17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh--birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth--so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth."

8:18 So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives.

9:8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him,

9:9 "As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you,

9:10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.

9:11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."

9:12 God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:

9:13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.



Psalm 46
46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

46:2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

46:3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

46:4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

46:5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.

46:6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

46:8 Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

46:9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth."

46:11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah



Genesis 22:1-18
22:1 After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

22:2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you."

22:3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him.

22:4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away.

22:5 Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you."

22:6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.

22:7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"

22:8 Abraham said, "God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.

22:9 When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.

22:11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

22:12 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."

22:13 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.

22:14 So Abraham called that place "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."

22:15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,

22:16 and said, "By myself I have sworn, says the LORD: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son,

22:17 I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies,

22:18 and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice."



Psalm 16
16:1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

16:2 I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you."

16:3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.

16:4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.

16:5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.

16:6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.

16:7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

16:8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.

16:10 For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.

16:11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.



Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
14:10 As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the LORD.

14:11 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt?

14:12 Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, 'Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."

14:13 But Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again.

14:14 The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still."

14:15 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.

14:16 But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground.

14:17 Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.

14:18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers."

14:19 The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them.

14:20 It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

14:21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided.

14:22 The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

14:23 The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh's horses, chariots, and chariot drivers.

14:24 At the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic.

14:25 He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the Israelites, for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt."

14:26 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers."

14:27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea.

14:28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained.

14:29 But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

14:30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

14:31 Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

15:20 Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing.

15:21 And Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea."


Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18
15:1b "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.

15:2 The LORD is my strength and my might, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.

15:3 The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

15:4 Pharaoh's chariots and his army he cast into the sea; his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea.

15:5 The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone.

15:6 Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power-- your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy.

15:7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries; you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble.

15:8 At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up, the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.

15:9 The enemy said, 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.'

15:10 You blew with your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

15:11 Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders?

15:12 You stretched out your right hand, the earth swallowed them.

15:13 In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed; you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.

15:17 You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession, the place, O LORD, that you made your abode, the sanctuary, O LORD, that your hands have established.

15:18 The LORD will reign forever and ever."



Isaiah 55:1-11
55:1 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

55:2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

55:3 Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

55:4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.

55:5 See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;

55:7 let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.

55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

55:10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


Isaiah 12:2-6
12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

12:4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.

12:5 Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.

12:6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.



Baruch 3:9-15, 3:32-4:4
3:9 Hear the commandments of life, O Israel; give ear, and learn wisdom!

3:10 Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the land of your enemies, that you are growing old in a foreign country, that you are defiled with the dead,

3:11 that you are counted among those in Hades?

3:12 You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.

3:13 If you had walked in the way of God, you would be dwelling in peace for ever.

3:14 Learn where there is wisdom, where there is strength, where there is understanding, that you may at the same time discern where there is length of days, and life, where there is light for the eyes, and peace.

3:15 Who has found her place? And who has entered her storehouses?

3:32 But the one who knows all things knows her, he found her by his understanding. He who prepared the earth for all time filled it with four-footed creatures;

3:33 the one who sends forth the light, and it goes; he called it, and it obeyed him, trembling;

3:34 the stars shone in their watches, and were glad; he called them, and they said, "Here we are!" They shone with gladness for him who made them.

3:35 This is our God; no other can be compared to him!

3:36 He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved.

3:37 Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived with humankind.

4:1 She is the book of the commandments of God, the law that endures for ever. All who hold her fast will live, and those who forsake her will die.

4:2 Turn, O Jacob, and take her; walk toward the shining of her light.

4:3 Do not give your glory to another, or your advantages to an alien people.

4:4 Happy are we, O Israel, for we know what is pleasing to God.


Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6

8:1 Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?

8:2 On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;

8:3 beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out:

8:4 "To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live.

8:5 O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it.

8:6 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right;

8:7 for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8:8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.

8:19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

8:20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,

8:21 endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

9:4b To those without sense she says,

9:5 "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.

9:6 Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight."



Psalm 19

19:1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

19:2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.

19:3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;

19:4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

19:5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

19:6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.

19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple;

19:8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes;

19:9 the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

19:11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

19:12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.

19:13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.



Ezekiel 36:24-28
36:24 I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.

36:25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

36:26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

36:27 I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.

36:28 Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.


Psalm 42, 43

42:1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.

42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

42:3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, "Where is your God?"

42:4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help

42:6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

42:7 Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me.

42:8 By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

42:9 I say to God, my rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?"

42:10 As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, "Where is your God?"

42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

43:1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me!

43:2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you cast me off? Why must I walk about mournfully because of the oppression of the enemy?

43:3 O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.

43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

43:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.


Ezekiel 37:1-14

37:1 The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.

37:2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.

37:3 He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord GOD, you know."

37:4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

37:5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.

37:6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD."

37:7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.

37:8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.

37:9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live."

37:10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

37:11 Then he said to me, "Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.'

37:12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.

37:13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.

37:14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act," says the LORD.



Psalm 143

143:1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness; answer me in your righteousness.

143:2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.

143:3 For the enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like those long dead.

143:4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.

143:5 I remember the days of old, I think about all your deeds, I meditate on the works of your hands.

143:6 I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

143:7 Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me, or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.

143:8 Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

143:9 Save me, O LORD, from my enemies; I have fled to you for refuge.

143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.

143:11 For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life. In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.

143:12 In your steadfast love cut off my enemies, and destroy all my adversaries, for I am your servant.


Zephaniah 3:14-20

3:14 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!

3:15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.

3:16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak.

3:17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing

3:18 as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it.

3:19 I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.

3:20 At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the LORD.



Psalm 98
98:1 O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.

98:2 The LORD has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.

98:3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

98:4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

98:5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody.

98:6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.

98:7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it.

98:8 Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy

98:9 at the presence of the LORD, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.


Romans 6:3-11

6:3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.

6:7 For whoever has died is freed from sin.

6:8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

6:9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.

6:10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.



Psalm 114

114:1 When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,

114:2 Judah became God's sanctuary, Israel his dominion.

114:3 The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back.

114:4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.

114:5 Why is it, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back?

114:6 O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?

114:7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the God of Jacob,

114:8 who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.



Mark 16:1-8
16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.

16:2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.

16:3 They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"

16:4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.

16:5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

16:6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.

16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you."

16:8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.

Follow the Praying Lent 2015 Series ...

posted Feb 24, 2015, 9:08 AM by joan bonaparte   [ updated Mar 24, 2015, 9:41 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church ]

Praying Lent This Year  

cross windowLent offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our baptism.  In our busy world, Lent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, to pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we've done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need. 

We offer resources here to assist our entry into this wonderful season, from our preparing to begin Lent to our preparing to celebrate the holy three days following Lent.

For centuries, the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist have guided our Lenten reflection.  Inspired by these liturgies, we offer a brief, daily prayer for each day of Lent and the Easter Triduum.  Each day, we share the Opening Prayer text for that day's liturgy.  This prayer is simple and, in many cases, memorable.  It alone could be repeated several times throughout the day. 

We also offer a link to the readings of the day, a brief meditation, a link to the Daily Reflection for that day and Intercessions from the Liturgy of the Hours.  Each daily prayer concludes with a spontaneous prayer we composed, as an example of the type of prayer each of us might pray, in our own words, for that day.  We imagine that some will have the time and desire to use all of the resources here.  Others may only have time for the resources and the Daily Reflections.  Visit the Site Index below to see what is available and what will be added throughout Lent.

May Our Lord grant us all the graces we need and desire. 


Source:  http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/index.html



Family Prayer

One of the real challenges that we too often find in our contemporary, busy lives is finding time to be together as a family.  It is especially difficult to find opportunities to pray together.  And, if prayer, other than going to church on Sunday, hasn't been a family tradition, it can seem very "unnatural" to introduce it as something we might do together as family.   Here are a few possibilities - call them dreams - for ways we might pray as a family, during Lent, or at any time of the year.

Prayer Before Meals

One of the most natural times to pray, is as we sit down to eat.  We can begin, or "break the ice," by simply saying, Let's pray or Let's just pause for a minute to give thanks.  One of the challenges of doing this prayer well, is that we don't want our food to get cold.  This leads us to do the prayer quickly.  Brief prayer doesn't have to be without substance or power.  And, it doesn't always have to be after the food is on the table.  For a change of pattern, we could gather everyone to the table for prayer, and then bring the food to the table.

We begin with a prayer of thanksgiving: 
 

Lord, we thank you for the blessings of this day 
and for this time together as family.

We thank you
for this wonderful meal

and for this hour we can share it.

  We always begin with thanksgiving.  The "reasons" we give for our gratitude can be very specific, and draw us into this prayer from our "real" place we are in this day.  So, we can say that we are grateful for this Lenten journey, which offers us renewal and prepares us to celebrate Easter with greater freedom.  We might say, We thank you for being with us each of us today, while we were apart, and for  being with us tonight.  Perhaps we will thank God for some special grace that has occurred today.  We may want to take time to let each person name one or two things for which he or she is grateful.

We then turn to God and ask for what we need.

Help us to remember those who have so much less than we do.

Bless us as a family.
Help us to grow in love and care for each other.

We ask you to comfort and give strength and peace
to those who are sick or struggling in any way.

  This, too, should be very specific to us as a family.  We all have family and friends who are sick or in need.  Perhaps there is a special challenge or difficulty that one of us is going through.  We can turn to God with our concerns about a crisis that is going on in our city or country or some part of the world.  With practice, this brief moment will help us be mindful of our desire to turn to God in all our needs.  It will help us grow in a sense of compassion and care for so many people.  Again, we may want to take time to let each person name one or two prayers of petition.

We can conclude with, We ask this through Christ our Lord or with a traditional table prayer, which we could say together.

Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts,
which we are about to receive
from your bounty
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.
These options are from the Book of Common Prayer.

Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all thy mercies, 
and make us mindful of the needs of others; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bless, O Lord, thy gifts to our use and us to thy service; 
for Christ's sake. Amen.

Blessed are you, O Lord God, King of the Universe, 
for you give us food to sustain our lives and make our hearts glad;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For these and all his mercies, 
God's holy Name be blessed and praised; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 

Praying at Other Times

There are many other times or occasions when we can develop the habit of praying together.  These examples might inspire our own creative or spontaneous prayer.

In the Morning:
It can be quite transformative of our family bonds, in faith, to pause very briefly to pray together.  This might be a spontaneous prayer, while we are laying in bed with our spouse, Lord, be with us today, or Dear, I ask the Lord to give you strength and peace today at your meeting.  Perhaps we are rushing around each other in the kitchen, grabbing breakfast.  It can be wonderful to pause to pray, simply asking the Lord to be with each of us in what we are about to do.

In the Car:
So many of us spend a fair amount of time in the car, often with other members of our family.  These can be nice times to begin or end the trip, with a very brief prayer.  Bless our shopping tonight.  Help us be grateful for the gifts you give us.  May this food/these clothes help us be mindful of those who have so much less than we do. Or, Bless Ann at practice today.  Give her gratitude and delight in the gifts you give her.  Help her to do her best, to encourage others, and to learn what you offer her today.  Or, Lord, as we go to Bill and Ann's for dinner, we thank you for our friendship with them, and we ask you to bless this night with all the graces you might offer us in the care we have for one another; we ask this in Jesus' name.  Or, Lord, as we drive to church, we thank you for our faith and for this chance to be together with our parish community; please allow us to hear your Word, to give you thanks and praise, and to be nourished for the mission you give us this week.

Over the Weekend:
Often the weekend offers some special moments together that can be wonderful times of prayer.

Other Times:
We can say brief prayers like this at so many special times.  It can be very important to pray together, while cleaning up, in preparation for guests coming for dinner, or an overnight slumber party.  We might share the responsibility for "designing" the family prayer for special occasions:  Birthdays, Anniversaries, the beginning and ending of a school year, when one of us is beginning any new endeavor.  We may want to add some special prayer time if one of us is experiencing a personally anxious time or crisis.  For example, if one of us has to wait for an appointment for a biopsy, and then wait for the results, we might place a special candle on our dining room table, and light it each evening as we remember that person in our prayer. 

Simple Rituals:
It can be so easy to add gestures that bring powerful prayer to our family life.  One of the simplest and most natural is to trace a cross on a loved one's forehead.  It can speak volumes to a young child, if his or her parents were to give them this gesture of love and prayer.  This ritual can be done everyday, when we part for the day, or at bed time, or it can be reserved for special prayers of blessing before a big event.  And, it can be a powerful, faith-filled ritual for a husband and wife, as part of an every day pattern, or at times of great intimacy, to touch each other in blessing.

Any of the "symbols" that we refer to in our page, "Symbols in Our Home" can be a source of family ritual.   Perhaps we have our own family gesture or ritual that speaks of our faith or draws us into prayer.

Praying for Each Other:
The most important part of family prayer is perhaps the easiest to overlook - how we hold each other up to the Lord.  Even when we are not physically together, as a praying family, we want to pray for each other.  In reality this means that I have a pattern of talking with the Lord about the people I love most dearly, each and every day.  They become part of my very relationship with God.  Whether we are a married couple with young children, or I am a single parent, or if my children have grown up and begun lives of their own, this aspect of family prayer is so important.   My spouse and I may not share our faith; perhaps my spouse doesn't pray at all; but I can talk with the Lord about my spouse every day - sometimes asking for help, sometimes just expressing my gratitude, sometimes begging for the gift of faith for my spouse.

May our Lord bless our praying, in the community of our family, these days of Lent.

The Fifth Week of Lent - Hearing the Cry of the Poor

posted Jan 27, 2015, 8:55 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Mar 24, 2015, 9:33 AM ]

Lent As: Hearing the Cry of the Poor

Each year, the Season of Lent is offered to us as a time of renewal. Usually, we take up this Lenten journey as the gift of personal renewal in terms of our relationship with the Lord. Our renewal becomes concrete when it comes down to self-denial which allows us to live our faith more authentically. The alms giving we do helps us express our gratitude and allows us to exercise generosity. However, Lent can also be a time to focus beyond ourselves. It can be a time of renewal that is offered us to hear the cry of the poor and grow in solidarity with them. Ultimately, this is spiritual renewal as well and helps us grow closer to our Lord who tells us that if we wish to love him, we must express that love as love for the least of our brothers and sisters.

How can I make this Lent a time to hear the cry of the poor? It all starts with desire and a few choices. If we recognize a desire to be more attentive to the poor and to grow in affection for and solidarity with them, then it is likely that this is a grace we have received. Many things may have happened to open us to this grace, but it is important to name it and welcome it. Perhaps God has been offering us this grace for some time and preparing us to receive it this Lent. If we don't feel this desire, we can ask for it. We can ask our Lord to help us grow in a desire to hear better the cry of those most in need.

Who are the poor? Who are most in need? Who are most pushed to the margins of neglect and powerlessness? It doesn't take a great social analysis to come up with some immediate answers in my own world and in the global situation today. Listening to the news - locally, nationally, globally - is a beginning. Who appears to be suffering? Who seems to be tremendously burdened? Not all the poor are in the news, but a sensitive scan of the news is a place to start.

The U.S. Jesuit Province Superiors named four major groups that are most deserving of our care in their document, "A Meditation on our Response to the Call of Christ":

"In this light, how can we ignore the fact that those most in need of our solidarity are those who suffer painful hardships? Their misery seems almost inescapable. Many are trapped in poverty. So limited are their opportunities, their poverty has become structurally entrenched. Their lives are severely diminished; their hopes are crushed by a persistent and oppressive poverty that denies to all but the boldest the basics of human dignity and the opportunity to live happy and fulfilled lives. Perhaps the most pressing and painful examples are forced migrants (refugees, migrant workers, the undocumented); inner city populations (racial minorities, the elderly, the homeless, the persistently poor); indigenous peoples at home and abroad; and the globally destitute, more than 800 million people who go to bed hungry each night."

What do I do when I begin to hear the cry of the poor? We tend to not think of the poor very much because to do so can render us sad or feeling "unable to help." But, if we use a time like Lent to try to reflect upon the situation of the poor near us and around the world, then the poor will help us come to know God's special love for them. In this reflection we will discover God's love for us because we will experience a solidarity with the poor. We can become aware of how narrow our concerns are or how self-centered we have become. Reflection upon the situation of the poor will draw us closer to them, helping us understand the mystery of radical dependence on God. Ultimately, our closeness with the poor during Lent will make us more "Christ-like" for he is the one who became completely one with us.

How will my prayer be different during Lent? If we spend Lent reflecting upon the situation of the poor, we will begin to pray differently. We will see not only see their radical dependence upon God but we will find ourselves turning to God on their behalf, before we ask anything of God for ourselves. This kind of prayer purifies our prayer. It helps us pray with a renewed spirit. It frees us from so many of the demands we can place on God, especially for things like comfort or success or just getting things my way. With the poor as our prayer companions, we can surrender more easily and ask God for what really matters - first on their behalf and then for ourselves. Our prayer for ourselves will more freely become a prayer that we might be transformed to be better servants for others, especially conscious of those on the margins of Society. It will ultimately lead us to ask the Lord to help us make our lifestyle more simple. It can lead us to ask to be freed from our dependence upon so many of the benefits of the unjust social structures of our world. Finally, it might lead me to ask for the courage to act against those unjust social structures, even to dismantle them.

Lent spent hearing the cry of the poor starts with awareness, is spent in growing solidarity and leads to deeper compassion and transformative prayer.





A Contemplation on The Raising of Lazarus
The Fifth Sunday of Lent - Year A
John 11: 1-44

From a talk given at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Omaha, NE;
Lent Parish Mission: March, 2011

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
So the sisters sent word to him saying,“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,“This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?”

He said, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him, “Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death, while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly, “Lazarus has died. And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe. Let us go to him.”

So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him.”
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him;
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.

So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.

Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”

"Resurrection of Lazarus" by Leon Bonnat
Resurrection of Lazarus
Leon Bonnat - 1833-1922

The sisters sent word saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.”

"The one you love is ill."  As we have seen, often John does not use a name: The woman at the well. The Man Born Blind. Lazarus is called: 'the one you love.' The one you love is ill and needs healing.

We use the way John writes so that any of us could enter into that experience: asking for the water of life; for sight and healing.  And this week, entering into the experience of Lazarus, knowing that each of us can feel we are the one Jesus loves. We are loved ones who need new life.

John offers us a story with a miracle – what he calls a sign, and as always with John, it is not to dazzle or impress. 
It is for the glory of God, and he is even more explicit in this Gospel – that the Son of God may be glorified through it.

So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was

This isn't what we might expect here. Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, so we want to hear that he went to them right away - but he doesn’t. 
He remained for two days.

As in many of John’s gospels, we can feel this is a teaching moment. This is not what we expect, but we have learned that whatever happens, it will be for the glory of God.

He said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?”

Jesus says “Let us go back to Judea.” He is saying, Let’s go back to Jerusalem.  His passion and death are waiting for him in Jerusalem and he knows it and we are invited to go to Jerusalem with him.

The power of this story is not only that Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead as his final sign.  Lazarus, after all, will die again. The deepest power is that this is just days before Jesus himself will die and be raised from the dead.

We don’t always get the resurrection.  We don’t feel the power of it in our hearts because we have to really embrace death to understand what it means, and we live in a culture that is in denial of death. In previous ages where death was more a part of everyday life, the Good News of the resurrection was tremendous good news. 

We don’t lack a fear of death because we don't believe it, but because we deny it. In fact, it is a great fear inside of us.

When I sat at the side of my friend Dave, and watched the life slip out of him, I grieved for him along with his family and other friends, but I don’t think it made me think of my own death. My death is … out there at some vague time in the future... when I’m really old. 

But now I’m 57.  How much more time do I have? All of us will die.  Everyone in this room will die and we don’t want to really think about that.  We’re going to die this year, or next year, in ten years, twenty-five years.  We don’t know.

The invitation in one of the Eucharistic Prayers is “to be ready to greet him when he comes again in glory,” to be ready to die.

My dad, who died about nine years ago, was always terrified of death.  He dwelled on it a lot because he was so afraid of it. But when I think of his life, he was raised to be terrified of God.  He believed that at the end, he was going to be punished for his bad life by a God who was waiting to judge him.

I thought my father was a hard man, but toward end of his life, I had the grace to see my dad with new eyes – with the compassionate eyes of Jesus. I could see him as a man who lived a good life, who raised six children and did his best.
In his faith life, I could see that he was faithful, and never missed Mass. He read a number of Catholic magazines, lots of books about the Catholic church and he talked to his pastor about church issues.

But maybe he could never move his relationship with God from his head to his heart.  It was rare for him to talk about his relationship with God, but when he did, it was clearly one of fear of the big, judging God. It wasn’t a warm relationship. It was cautious and he was leery. I don't think he ever had the sense that at the end, he would be falling into the arms of a loving God.  He didn’t know he would hear Jesus saying to him, “Cletus, come out! Let yourself free!”

So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him.”

That’s kind of remarkable thing to say, from Thomas, who would be the doubter among them, expressing the doubts we all have.  But Thomas is also the one who says to Jesus, Lord, we don’t know where you are going.  How can we know the way? 

Jesus answers: I am the Way.
So what is the path we are to take? The path of Jesus; we imitate him and follow him. This is the way to eternal life!

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

There’s a little edge in this.  Martha is blaming him for the loss of Lazarus, and she doesn’t really believe it when his next line is “Your brother will rise.”

Right, right, she is probably thinking. In the resurrection on the last day.  Yeah, Martha says, I get it.

But she blames Jesus for not saving him now. Mary does too.
How often do we blame God for the pains and sorrows in our own life and for the deaths of so many things in our lives.
There are real deaths and losses and deaths of relationships.  We also have to face the loss of expectations for ourselves, for others, for our children.  And we ask: Why weren’t you there for me, Lord? We just can’t see, that this is all so that the glory of God can be revealed. So we don’t believe,

This is why deep in our hearts, deep in our souls, we have this longing for a real connection, a friendship with Jesus. We need to get rid of the image of a God who keeps a record of all of our sins, one who can’t wait to punish us.  Jesus is a God who weeps with us in our sorrows, and who loves us endlessly.  Jesus can’t wait to greet us with open arms when we arrive in eternity.

An older Jesuit I know visits people who are dying.  When he stands at the side of a person in his last hours, and their eyes are often closed, he will put his hands on their face or on their hand and say, “When you open your eyes, the next thing you will see is the face of Jesus, delighted that you are with him welcoming you to heaven!” It’s a vision of a God who is delighted!

My mother died two years ago, after a long bout with Alzheimer’s.  Over the years when I would fly out to visit her, her mind slipped. But there was something so joyful about going to see her. I would walk into her room and her face would light up and she would say, “Oh, Maureen! I am so happy you came to see me!”  She was thrilled, ecstatic.

If I left to go down the hall for a minute to get some water, I would return to her room and she would look up and squeal! Oh, Maureen!  What a surprise! You’re here!  I’m so thrilled to see you!” I could leave her sight for 30 seconds and every time I walked back in the room, she was thrilled. 

I think that’s the way God is with us, except we are never out of God’s sight. God remains delighted, thrilled, ecstatic to see us, at every moment in our lives.

A dear Jesuit friend of mine, Fr. Paul Mahowald, died last summer.  Before he died he was calm and peaceful, saying, “I’ve been preparing for this my whole life.” That's the way I want to face my death.  But I can only see it that way when I feel myself wrapped in God’s love.

Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.

It wasn’t just Lazarus who was in that tomb.  Jesus may have been looking in at his own upcoming tomb.  And when we picture Jesus standing in front of that rolled away stone, we can know that we are in the tomb. Each one of us is tied up with things that bind us to a certain way of living, a regular pattern of behaving.  We believe that it will never change. We believe that we simply have to stay tied up for all of our lives in a dark and lonely place.

This Gospel invites us into death – a dying to ourselves, a death to putting ourselves first and our needs before anything else and a new life in thinking of others first.  A good place to take that dying to self is into our marriages. That's a place where we tend to think we can’t break out of the patterns that have been there for years, the  The way we have always been.

I got married in 1975, and I made sure the word OBEY was not in our wedding vows.  No one had it in the mid-70’s and I certainly wasn’t going to be subjected to it!  It was an old-fashioned concept.

But years later I heard a Jesuit philosopher say what a shame it was to have "obey" dropped from the vows.  He said the root of Obey means: To listen to, or to put the needs of another ahead of my own. I was astonished!  Wouldn’t that be a good thing? What if we lived our marriages by putting the needs of the other ahead of our own?  We do it with our young children all the time. But in our marriages? Not so much.

What if during this Lent, we unbind ourselves from the old way we have lived our marriages?  What if we spent the rest of Lent obeying: Putting the needs of our spouse ahead of our own?  There is certainly a dying to ourselves and our own needs when we do that. What if we stopped keeping score?  Stopped saying, “He never asks how my day was!”   or  Why do I always have to apologize to her?

In a profound way we are being called to care for one another in a gospel-like way: to die to our own needs and to love someone else more deeply -- our spouse, our parents, our children. We are being called to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. It’s counter cultural when everything in our lives and world says "it’s all about me. I’m an army of one.  Make sure I get what I need first." Yes, you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you help others. But in our closest relationships, we are invited to cherish each other.

Jesus stands at the end of our tomb and calls to us, Come out!  Be free!  Unbind yourself from score keeping in your marriage. Let yourself be free from focusing only on your own needs and desires. Untie yourself from limiting your love.

If we begin to love our spouse freely, not keeping score, not keeping grudges, it will change our relationship.  Not overnight. But we learn, as we slowly untie the burial bands that have held us so captive, that we can trust that eventually, with our constant love and with Gods’ loving grace, our spouse will notice a difference.  And respond.

This is not something a wife does for her husband, or a husband does for his wife.  This is the way Jesus calls us to a marriage -- or any loving relationship. If we do this over and over, with the utmost patience and courage, we will see a difference.

And we can picture Jesus, standing by the rolled away stone, calling to us by name, Come out! As we stumble out into the light, he says so gently, "Untie him. Untie her - and let them go!"

- Maureen McCann Waldron


Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM)

posted Dec 13, 2012, 2:23 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church


CHARLESTON AREA JUSTICE MINISTRY (CAJM)

The Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) is organized to do powerful justice in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley Counties of South Carolina.  Clergy and laity from the Charleston area formed CAJM.  It is currently composed 22 congregations from the following faith communities: African Methodist Episcopal (AME), Baptist, Congregational, Episcopalian, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Orthodox Union of Judaism, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Union of Reform Judaism, Unitarian, and United Methodist.  

Calvary Episcopal Church’s Mrs. Jennie L. Cooper and Mrs. Elaine Gambrell are two leaders in CAJM.  They are called Justice Ministry “Team Members” and they have organized about 20 people to serve as Justice Ministry “Network Members,” including: Mr. George I. Bush, Jr., Mrs. Arenilla Bush, Mrs. Wilhelmina A. Frasier, Mrs. Andrea J. Magwood, Mrs. Andrea Robinson-Lawrence, Mrs. Veronica C. Sheppard, and Ms. Jewell Dingle.

A CAJM Research Meeting Kick-off was held at New Tabernacle Fourth Baptist Church earlier this month.   The purpose of Research Meetings is to build relationships with community leaders (locally, statewide, and nationwide) who have been involved in justice issues of interest to CAJM.  CAJM Research Committees will work to: (a) understand the relationships between these leaders and the issues and (b) obtain information about how they are helping to resolve—or have resolved—these issues in their communities.  The two Justice Issues that CAJM will research in 2013 are: (1) Education and (2) Crime/Violence. 

The CAJM Education Research Committee consists of 70 people and the CAJM Crime/Violence Research Committee consists of 50 people.  They will conduct research meetings on a regular basis to develop a solid understanding of these two issues and identify winnable solutions to these issues based on the “Issue Criteria” which stipulate that the issue: (1) is Popular, (2) is Unifying (not divisive to CAJM), (3) involves Local decision-makers, (4) is Winnable (because our power as a community is significant to the decision-maker), and (5) is Controversial (it was highlighted during CAJM House Meetings and approved at a CAJM Community Problems Assembly).

Please respond favorably when Calvary’s Justice Ministry Team Members and Network Members invite you to attend several important, upcoming meetings in 2013, including: (1) Team Assembly on March 18th, (2) Rally on April 8th, (3) Nehemiah Action Assembly on April 29th, and (4) Celebration on June 10th.



Deacon Ed Dyckman, Chair, Department of Social Ministries, Diocese of South Carolina




 

Coming Street / St. Philip / Line Street Two-Way Plan ...

posted May 22, 2012, 9:11 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 22, 2012, 11:48 AM ]

COMING ST. PHILIP LINE ST. TWO-WAY PLAN:  

The plan and study is online. The City Dept. of Traffic and Transportation is recommending the adoption of Alternate #2 which converts Coming to two-way from Beaufain St. to Race street, the conversion of St. Philip to two-way from Beaufain to Calhoun and the conversion of Line Street to two-way for Rutledge to King.  The entire study is online at:

http://www.charleston-sc.gov/shared/docs/0/comingstreettwo-wayconversionanalysis%20final022812.pdf  

The Cannonborough/Elliottborough and the Radcliffborough Neighborhood Associations are currently supporting Alternate #2.


One80 Place (formerly Crisis Ministries) Little Red Wagon - Don't forget to bring your donation

posted Feb 24, 2012, 8:02 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Mar 9, 2015, 3:00 PM ]

 
-- Please keep the Little Red Wagon donations “rolling-in” each Second Sunday!  The folks at One80 Place (formerly named Crisis Ministries Homeless Shelter) on Meeting Street are delighted to receive our gifts of: deodorant, sunscreen, new shower shoes (flip flops), new men’s and women’s t-shirts, new men’s and women’s underwear, pasta, coffee, PAM cooking spray, vegetable and olive oil, breakfast cereal, #10 cans (large) of vegetables and fruit, laundry detergent, packaged socks, Dixie paper cups, new reusable water bottles, toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies.  Just a can or box per week from every Calvary family can make a great difference!  Please contact Ms. Marion Holmes, Little Red Wagon Ministry Leader, with questions at 884-0584.


The Little Red Wagon is our collection point on Sunday for food and non-perishable items for donation to Crisis Ministries homeless shelter.  Please place your items in the Little Red Wagon as you enter church each Sunday.  Ms. Marion Holmes, Little Red Wagon Ministry Leader, will ask a volunteer to roll the wagon towards the altar when the ushers bring the collection plates for blessing; and arrange a volunteer to bring the items to Crisis Ministries during the week.  Think of the Little Red Wagon when you shop.

Just a can or box of food or other supplies per week from every Calvary family can make a great difference!  If you would like to learn more about helping with this new ministry, please contact Marion at 884-0584 or holmeslongm60@gmail.com.




THERE IS ALWAYS A NEED FOR FOOD AND SUPPLIES.


Urgently needed items:
- New, white towels and washcloths
– New, white pillowcases
– New pillows
– New, white, twin-size cotton blankets

Ongoing needs:

Food:
- USDA approved bacon, sausage, ham, chicken, and ground beef
– Breakfast Items like eggs, syrup, cereal, breakfast bars, oatmeal, waffles, grits, biscuits
– Orange Juice
– Milk
– Cooking Oils – Vegetable Oil, Pam Spray, Butter
– Fruit
– Coffee

Children’s Needs:
- New single and double baby strollers
– New infant car seats
– Diapers, especially newborn, size 5 and 6, and pull-up diapers
– Shower shoes for kids (flip-flops)

Personal – all items must be new and unused:
- New, packaged undergarments for men, women and children
– Shower shoes for women (flip-flops)
– Soap
– Feminine hygiene products
– Ponchos and umbrellas
– Reading glasses and sunglasses
– Ear plugs

Linens – all items must be new:
- New, white, twin sheet sets
– New pillows
– New, white towels
– New, white, twin blankets

Other:
- Bike locks and bike lights
– Tissues
– Cold medicines


One80 Place recently completed a new homeless services center directly adjacent to our current property in Charleston.

You can now drop off donations at the Bakker Family Donation Center.
 
  Mailing Address:
  PO Box 20038
  Charleston, SC 29413
  Assistance: help@one80place.org
  Email: info@one80place.org
  Phone: (843) 723-9477
WE’RE HERE TO HELP

One-Eighty Place is located at 35 Walnut Street in Charleston. Our doors are open to those in need 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you need shelter, please call us at 843-737-8357. Leave a message and we will return your call. You can also email help@one80place.org.


The staff at One-Eighty Place understands the challenges, causes and obstacles homeless individuals face. Drugs and alcohol, family issues, mental health problems, PTSD, we have seen and dealt with all of it. Helping homeless citizens begin again is all that we do.

We have proven programs in place and a very good success rate for helping people turn their lives around. Our programs are tailored to each individual because we know everyone has their own set of circumstances. The option to stay with us is yours. We will not force you to stay. We are here to help those who want help.

 
CHARLESTON SHELTER

35 Walnut Street
Charleston, SC 29403

view google map


 About the Charleston Shelter:

– Men’s Shelter with 70 beds, 40 transitional housing beds for male Veterans and 10 overflow cots during extreme weather conditions

– Family Center holds 30 beds for women and families and 10 transitional housing beds for female Veterans

 
 SUMMERVILLE SHELTER

 107 Elks Lodge Lane
  Summerville, SC 29483

  view google map


 About the Summerville Shelter:

– Housing for up to 28 women and families

– Established by Dorchester Interfaith Outreach Ministries in 1989 in response to needs arising from Hurricane Hugo

– Became a program of One80 Place in 2012

Our Summerville location, formerly the Palmetto House, allows homeless women and families living in the Summerville area to remain in a familiar location. Those staying at this location have access, including transportation, to all of the available services and programs provided at our downtown location.

If you are a single female or a female with dependent children in need of temporary housing, please call our Housing Assistance Line (843) 737-8357.


OUR DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN.

If you or someone you know is on the brink of, or currently homeless, we invite you to come see what we offer.
CONNECT WITH US


BAKKER FAMILY DONATION CENTER HOURS:
Monday – Friday 8 am – 12 pm and 1 – 5 pm

The Bakker Family Donation Center is open!
Please understand we are not equipped to accept donations outside of our donation hours. If you are unsure if we can accept your donation, please call 843-737-8387 during regular business hours.

Please note: We cannot accept clothing, toys, household items, used baby items or prepared foods from individuals.

To make a donation in Summerville, or if you have a large donation or questions about needed items, please contact our Director of Community Engagement,
Brad Cashman, at 843-737-8369 or bcashman@one80place.org.

Summerville Donation Hours:
Saturday and Sunday 8 am – 4 pm

Thank you for supporting One80 Place!



HALOS - Turning help into hope.

posted Jun 22, 2011, 2:14 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Dec 27, 2011, 7:40 PM ]

Calvary’s HALOS representative is Mrs. Mildred Wise.  She sincerely thanks parishioners and friends for their financial support when called upon and ask for your continued support.  She is still collecting monies for summer camps and you will receive more information for Back to School supplies.


HALOS is the Proud Recipient of the 2011 Erin Hardwick Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management from the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations

Every day, children across South Carolina suffer from abuse and neglect. In 2004, 17 cases on average were confirmed each day in the state. And in Charleston County alone, more than 1,800 children have open cases of abuse or neglect with the Department of Social Services.

At HALOS (Helping And Lending Outreach Support), we provide assistance to abused and neglected children in Charleston County and to their caregivers. Through a variety of programs and initiatives, we help to improve the lives of these children.

However, HALOS is only as strong as our partners, and we need your help to succeed in our mission. With a single donation, you can change the life of a child.

HALOS works hand-in-hand with individuals, businesses, civic groups, clubs, and religious organizations in the Charleston area to help children and their caregivers. Through partnerships with generous individuals and groups, we connect interested parties with children who desperately need their help. Donors can sponsor children for summer camp, supply much-needed back-to-school items, and donate gifts to celebrate birthdays and Christmas. Donors can also provide essential household items to caregivers who need them to keep children out of foster care. And through the Kinship Care program, volunteers can donate their time and expertise to support those caregivers who provide a safety net for abused and neglected children.

Imagine the relief a little boy feels when he is able to stay with his grandparents instead of moving to a foster home. Or the joy a little girl feels after years of neglect when she goes to summer camp for the first time and has a safe place to stay during the summer.

Then imagine how you can make such a difference in the life of a child in your community.

 HALOS WISH LIST

  • New or Gently Used Twin Beds, Bunk Beds, Toddler Beds, and Cribs in good condition and assembled (we CANNOT accept cribs with drop-down sides or missing hardware)
  • Diapers (Newborn through Size 5), Pull-Ups, and Baby Wipes
  • New Car Seats
  • Living/dining room furniture
  • Dressers
  • Household products (dishware, silverware, pots/pans, cleaning supplies, towels)
  • Bedding (sheets/pillowcases, comforters, blankets, etc)
  • Gift Cards to WalMart/Target for Birthdays and holidays
  • Small items for teen gifts (jewelry, picture frames, wallets, caps, etc.)
  • Monetary donations to send children to summer camp
  • Unrestricted monetary donations

 Volunteers for Kinship Care Resource & Support Program:

  • Background-checked volunteers aged 16 and over to provide childcare at monthly support group meetings and respite events
  • Volunteer groups to prepare food for adults and children at monthly support group meetings (average of 25 adults and 45 children per meeting)

There are some items that we cannot accept at HALOS.  Please ask us where you can go to donate the following items that we do not accept here:

  • Used car seats
  • Clothing for children over 24 months of age
  • Used toys
  • Cribs that have drop-down sides


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