Category : Church History

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Carey

Merciful God, who didst call William Carey to missionary work in India and didst endue him with a zeal for thy Word that led him to translate Scripture into many local languages and dialects: Give us a heart for the spreading of thy Gospel and a thirst for justice among all the peoples of the world; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who sheds thy light and peace throughout humanity, and who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, India, Missions, Spirituality/Prayer

(TLS) Paula Fredriksen reviews Kyle Smith’s ‘Cult of the Dead: A brief history of Christianity’

Grisly torments. Hideous dismembering. Extreme self-mortification. Voluntary live entombment. The collection and even the theft of human body parts. The celebration of violent death. Such are some of the themes treated in Cult of the Dead. Yet reading this book conveys the feeling of bouncing over bumps at high speed on a sunny day in an all-terrain sports utility vehicle. How can such lugubrious topics provide so much fun? The tale is animated by the telling. With sly wit, subtle humour, agile prose and empathetic imagination, Kyle Smith narrates the growth of one of Christianity’s defining traditions: its adoration of the martyr.

Smith’s interest in the subject was ignited by chance, when he was introduced to a luridly illustrated catalogue of tortures. Treatise on the Instruments of Martyrdom featured spikes and swords, axes and arrows, weights and wheels. Composed in the sixteenth century and translated into English in 1903, this bibliographic find led Smith to contemplate the ways in which martyr cults affected Christian piety and politics, the economic development of the post-Roman West and the very measurement of time.

“Being killed is an event”, Smith notes, quoting Daniel Boyarin. “Martyrdom is a literary genre.” That genre was already enshrined in Christian scripture, with its narrations of Jesus’s crucifixion in the gospels and of the stoning of Stephen in Acts. By the time that the New Testament was firmly canonized (in the early fourth century, impelled by the newly converted emperor, Constantine), the age of the martyrs was, technically, past: pagans could no longer make martyrs of the faithful. How many actually suffered is unknown and unknowable: as late as the 240s, the great theologian Origen commented that their number could easily be counted (Against Celsus 3.8). Nor do we know much about the legal mechanisms that may have brought people to trial. Nor can we date martyrdoms with much security. What we do know is that stories about martyrs were tremendously popular. With Constantine’s conversion their production bloomed.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Books, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Henry Martyn

O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, India, Missions, Spirituality/Prayer, Turkey

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Luke

Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son: Graciously continue in thy Church the like love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of thy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

(AH) Rodney Hacking–St. Ignatius of Antioch and the Renewal of the Anglican Episcopate

Ignatius offers a fascinating insight into the heart of a true man of God given over to His will. It is tempting to want to leap from his example and vision of episcopacy to its practice within our own Church at this time, but such a leap needs great care. A bishop in the first decade of the second century cannot fairly be compared even to one of 250 years later let alone in the Church of today. The three-fold ministry was still in an early stage of its development. Even though Lightfoot has cogently argued that a case can be made for regarding episcopacy as being of Apostolic direction, and therefore possessing Divine sanction, long years of evolution and growth lay before it. At this stage too the Church across the Roman Empire faced the daily possibility of considerable persecution and martyrdom. That demanded a particular kind of shepherding and witness.

On the other hand a bishop at the beginning of the third millennium might profitably and properly ask (or be asked) whether endless committees and synods are really the way in which their lives are to be laid down for their flock? An institution requires administration, but in the New Testament list of charisms, administrators are quite low in the order of priorities, and of its pastors at this time the Church has other, more pressing, needs. Rather than imposing upon an already disheartened clergy systems of appraisal (mostly copied from secular models of management) it would be good for parish priests to experience bishops as those who were around so much that they could afford regularly to ”˜drop in’ and just be with them. It is hard to expect the parish clergy to make visiting a priority if their fathers in God do not set an example.

In some dioceses the more obviously pastoral role has sometimes been exercised by a suffragan but as more and more diocesan bishops, at least within the Church of England, are being selected from the ranks of the suffragans the temptation is for those who are ambitious to prove their worth more as potential managers than those given to the ‘Word of God and prayer’ (Acts 6.2). If the communities within which the bishops are to exercise their ministry of unity and care are too large for them to do their work has not the time come to press for smaller dioceses and for bishops to strip themselves of the remnants of the grandeur their office once held and be found, above all, with their clergy and amongst the people, drawing them together into the unity for which Christ gave himself?

Read it all.

Posted in Church History

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ignatius of Antioch

Almighty God, we praise thy name for thy bishop and martyr Ignatius of Antioch, who offered himself as grain to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that he might present unto thee the pure bread of sacrifice. Accept, we pray thee, the willing tribute of our lives, and give us a share in the pure and spotless offering of thy Son Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Teresa of Avila

O God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst move Teresa of Avila to manifest to thy Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we beseech thee, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a lively and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky

O God, who in thy providence didst call Joseph Schereschewsky from his home in Eastern Europe to the ministry of this Church, and didst send him as a missionary to China, upholding him in his infirmity, that he might translate the holy Scriptures into languages of that land: Lead us, we pray thee, to commit our lives and talents to thee, in the confidence that when thou givest thy servants any work to do, thou dost also supply the strength to do it; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Edith Cavell

Living God, who art the source of all healing and wholeness: we bless thee for the compassionate witness of thy servant Edith Cavell. Inspire us, we beseech thee, to be agents of peace and reconciliation in a world beset by injustice, poverty, and war. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Spirituality/Prayer

([London Times) Kallistos Ware–Gentle-voiced Oxford don and Greek Orthodox bishop who spread understanding of his faith in the English-speaking worl

The young Ware had entered a world of perpetual controversy, between different nations and ethnicities and between different shades of ideology. The remainder of his life was devoted to wrestling with these contradictions and helping others to do so.

Having won a King’s Scholarship to study classics at Magdalen College, Oxford, he took a double first and wrote a doctoral thesis on St Mark the Ascetic. At the same time he deepened his commitment to Orthodoxy. He loved Russian spirituality but was wary of being embroiled in Russian controversies. His wisest Russian mentors advised moving closer to the religious mainstream and joining the Greek church, into which he was received in 1958, later being elevated to the priesthood, tonsured as a monk and given the name Kallistos in 1966.

By that time he had been guided by Amphilochios Makris, a visionary monastic on Patmos, who said that care for the environment, especially trees, was a Christian duty. It was this monk, canonised in 2018, who advised the young Englishman that his future lay in teaching Orthodox Christianity in the West.

Ware faithfully carried out this mission during three decades as an Oxford lecturer, presenting arcane theological issues with clarity and humour.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Orthodox Church, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Philip the Deacon

Holy God, no one is excluded from thy love; and thy truth transformeth the minds of all who seek thee: As thy servant Philip was led to embrace the fullness of thy salvation and to bring the stranger to Baptism, so grant unto us all the grace to be heralds of the Gospel, proclaiming thy love in Jesus Christ our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

Ripon Cathedral 1350th Anniversary Celebrations are announced

A ledger stone, honouring the cathedral’s founding father St Wilfrid, will be dedicated by Archbishop Stephen at the end of a service that will have celebrated the incredible life and mission of St Wilfrid of Ripon.

Throughout this year, in marking the 1350th anniversary of the dedication of Ripon’s crypt by St Wilfrid, the cathedral community has been telling the story of this remarkable missionary bishop with art installations, son et lumieres, lectures and worship.

Wilfrid, a man of great vision, motivation, courage and faith, not only built up the church and brought countless people to faith but also helped the church on the fringes of Europe become more up to date and better connected. This became symbolized in the way he brought Roman influence to bear on the building of a stunning church in Ripon.

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Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Church Times) Mark Vernon–‘The Medieval Mind of C. S. Lewis: How great books shaped a great mind’ by Jason M. Baxter

At one level, this is an accessible study of the academic obsessions of the famous Christian apologist and author of the Narnia stories. But, at another level, it is something far more radical. Baxter examines how Lewis’s thought and imagination are profoundly shaped by writers from Plato and Boethius to Dante. But, in so doing, he gradually reveals Lewis to be a bold re-interpreter of Christianity, in ways that might even help to remake the Christian vision.

Lewis felt at home in the medieval world, and his scholarship on its literature shows how the world-view between then and now has changed, from the experiencing of the cosmos as a divine theophany to the examination of the cosmos via mechanical abstractions, rendering it ripe for domination. Baxter offers a rich account of the nuance with which Lewis describes this latter-day fall.

But he also reveals some of the far-reaching consequences of Lewis’s analysis. Consider the relationship between reason and myth. Lewis realised that the two weren’t opposites, but merged as reason reached its limits.

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Church History, Poetry & Literature, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg

Loving God, Shepherd of thy people, we offer thanks for the ministry of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who left his native land to care for the German and Scandinavian pioneers in North America; and we pray that, following the teaching and example of his life, we may grow into the full stature of Christ; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale

Almighty God, who didst plant in the heart of thy servants William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and didst endow them with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us, we pray thee, thy saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

(CH magazine) Francis of Assisi’s Obedience

When he had been led before the bishop, Francis neither delayed nor explained himself, but simply stripped off his clothes and threw them aside, giving them back to his father. He did not even keep his trousers, but stood there in front of everyone completely naked. The bishop, sensing his intention and admiring his constancy, rose and wrapped his arms around Francis, covering him with his own robe. He saw clearly that Francis was divinely inspired and that his action contained a mystery. Thus he became Francis’ helper, cherishing and comforting him.

This holy man, having changed his attire and repaired the aforesaid church, went to another place near Assisi and began to rebuild a certain dilapidated and nearly ruined church, ceasing only when the task was finished. Then he went to still another place called the Portiuncula, the site of a church dedicated to the blessed virgin, the mother of God. This church, built long ago, was now deserted and cared for by no one. When the holy man of God saw how destroyed the church was, he was moved with pity and began to spend a great deal of time there, for he burned with devotion toward the mother of all good. It was in the third year of his conversion that he began to repair this church. At that time he wore a sort of hermit’s attire, a leather belt around his waist and a staff in his hands, and he went about wearing shoes. One day, however, when the gospel story of Christ sending his disciples to preach was read in the church, the holy man of God was present and more or less understood the words of the gospel. After mass he humbly asked the priest to explain the gospel to him. He heard that Christ’s disciples were supposed to possess neither gold, nor silver, nor money; were to have neither bread nor staff; were to have neither shoes nor two tunics; but were to preach the kingdom of God and penance.

When the priest had finished, Francis, rejoicing in the spirit of God, said, “This is what I want! This is what I’m looking for! This is what I want to do from the bottom of my heart!”

Read it all.

Posted in Church History

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant unto thy people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of thee delight in thy whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

(CT) Vijayesh Lal–Brother Andrew Changed Me. His Approach Can Change India.

He counseled me to trust God for my provision and that God will take care of the ones he calls. But he also narrated his own life experience, when his wife asked him if the needs of the family were not met, what would he do? He had answered, “I would go back to the factory.” But he encouraged me by letting me know that he never had to do so; God had always provided.

As someone who delivered the precious Word of God to the church that needed it the most, Brother Andrew understood the importance of reading and studying the Bible as well as other books that can educate and disciple the believer. “Go through the Word of God and let the Word of God go through you,” he would tell us. He used to say that every Open Doors base should have a modest library where people can read and learn about ministry and topics in general.

Brother Andrew was very well read and informed. That is what perhaps helped him to focus on areas where many were oblivious. From the Iron Curtain to the “bamboo curtain” of China, from the Communist context to the context of the Muslim world, he always sought to carry Jesus and his gospel to people in need. He believed in the ministry being “lean and mean” and was not afraid to explore new frontiers or to have views that were less popular.

As I look back today, I am thankful to God for Brother Andrew and his life. For his simplicity and his matter-of-fact attitude, but most of all for his example in his obedience to Christ that allowed him to impact millions.

When he was once asked what he would like his epitaph to be, Brother Andrew answered, “He did what he couldn’t.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, India, Missions

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Mott

O God, the shepherd of all, we offer thanks for the lifelong commitment of thy servant John Raleigh Mott to the Christian nurture of students in many parts of the world; and we pray that, after his example, we may strive for the weaving together of all peoples in friendship, fellowship and cooperation, and while life lasts be evangelists for Jesus Christ, in whom alone is our peace; and who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Therese of Lisieux

O Gracious Father, who didst call thy servant Therese to a life of fervent prayer; Give unto us the spirit of prayer and zeal for the ministry of the Gospel, that the love of Christ may be known throughout all the world; through the same, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

Pope Benedict XV on Jerome and Scripture for Jerome’s Feast Day

From there:

“If we ask how we are to explain this power and action of God, the principal cause, on the sacred writers we shall find that St. Jerome in no wise differs from the common teaching of the Catholic Church. For he holds that God, through His grace, illumines the writer’s mind regarding the particular truth which, ‘in the person of God,’ he is to set before men; he holds, moreover, that God moves the writer’s will—nay, even impels it— to write; finally, that God abides with him unceasingly, in unique fashion, until his task is accomplished. Whence the Saint infers the supreme excellence and dignity of Scripture, and declares that knowledge of it is to be likened to the ‘treasure’and the ‘pearl beyond price,’ since in them are to be found the riches of Christ and ‘silver wherewith to adorn God’s house….’

“Delay not, Venerable Brethren [i.e. bishops], to impart to your people and clergy what on the fifteenth centenary of the death of ‘the Greatest Doctor’ we have here set before you. . . . Our one desire for all the Church’s children is that, being saturated with the Bible, they may arrive at the all surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ. In testimony of which desire and of our fatherly feeling for you we impart to you and all your flocks the Apostolic blessing.”

Posted in Church History, Roman Catholic, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Jerome

O Lord, thou God of truth, whose Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path: We give thee thanks for thy servant Jerome, and those who, following in his steps, have labored to render the Holy Scriptures in the language of the people; and we beseech thee that thy Holy Spirit may overshadow us as we read the written Word, and that Christ, the living Word, may transform us according to thy righteous will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Paula and Eustochium

Compel us, O God, to attend diligently to thy Word, as didst thy faithful servants Paula and Eustochium, that, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, we may find it profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness; and that thereby we may be made wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Women

(Church Times) Canon Robin Gill reviews Teresa Morgan’s new book: The New Testament and the Theology of Trust: “This rich trust” (OUP)

This is a very powerful and demanding book that is likely to change your thinking profoundly. Teresa Morgan is an Anglican priest, Professor of Graeco-Roman history at Oxford, and shortly to become Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Yale Divinity School.

Her new book is a follow-up to her widely acclaimed Roman Faith and Christian Faith: Pistis and fides in the early Roman Empire (OUP, 2015). In the latter, she argued that pistis (in Greek) and fides (in Latin), often translated as “faith” or “belief” in the New Testament, in reality usually signified “trust” across Classical, Jewish, and Christian first-century literature. She argued this at length (625 pages), and with impressive scholarship.

The new book repeats and occasionally corrects her earlier claims, and adds an extended theological discussion of them, together with insights about “trust” from recent philosophy and social science. As she has devoted far more than 1000 densely argued pages across the two books to a single issue, it is going to take a formidable (and highly assiduous) scholar to rebut her central thesis successfully.

Has this mammoth task been worth while? My verdict is a very emphatic “Yes”….

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Church History, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas Traherne

Creator of wonder and majesty, who didst inspire thy poet Thomas Traherne with mystical insight to see thy glory in the natural world and in the faces of men and women around us: Help us to know thee in thy creation and in our neighbors, and to understand our obligations to both, that we may ever grow into the people thou hast created us to be; through our Savior Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, in everlasting light. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Lancelot Andrewes sermon for his Feast Day–‘One, that should save His people from their sins; save not their bodies for a time, but their souls for ever’

There is born a Saviour, is the first. The Angel addeth farther, Saviour Which is Christ. For, many saviours had been born, many had God sent them that at divers times had set them free from divers dangers of their enemies; Moses, from the Egyptians; Joshua, from the Canaanites; Gideon, from the Midianites; Jephtha, from the Ammonites; Sampson, from the Philistines. And indeed, the whole story of the Bible is nothing else but a calendar of saviours that God from time to time still stirred them up.

But these all were but petty saviours, there was One yet behind that was worth them all. One, that should save His people from their sins; save not their bodies for a time, but their souls for ever, which none of those saviours could do. One therefore must spoken of, wished for, and waited for, a Saviour Which was Christ. When He came they looked for great matters, as said the woman at the wells side, for He was the most famous and greatest Saviour of all. And this is He, a Saviour Which is Christ. He, of Whom all the promises made mention, and He the performance of them all; of Whom all the types under the Law were shadows, and He the substance of them all; of Whom all the prophecies ran, and He the fulfilling of them all; He, of Whom all those inferior…saviours were the figures and forerunners, and He the acomplishment of all in them was wanting. This is He; Jacob’s Shiloh, Isaiah’s Immanuel, Jeremiah’s Branch, Daniel’s Messias, Zachary’s oriens ab alto, Aggei’s desideratus cunctis gentibus, the desire of all the nations then, and now the joy of all nations, a Saviour Which is Christ.

And what is meant by this term Christ? A Saviour anointed; or, as in another place it is said more agreeable to our phrase of speaking, a Saviour sealed a Saviour under God’s Great Seal. That is, not as those other were, saviours raised up of a sudden upon some occasion, to serve the turn for the present, and never heard of till they came; but a Saviour in God’s fore-counsel resolved on, and given forth from the beginning; promised and foretold, and now signed and sent with absolute commission and fullness of power to be the perfect and complete Saviour of all.

And to be it, ex officio; His office, His very profession, to be one, that all may have right to repair unto Him, and find it at His hands. Not as Saviour incidentally, as it fell out; but one, ex professo, anointed to that end, and by virtue of His anointing appointed, set forth, and sent into the world to exercise this function of a Saviour; not for a time, but for ever; not to the Jews, as did the rest, but even to all the ends of the earth. So runs His bill, Venite ad Me omnes, come all; and, qui ad Me venerit non ejiciam foras, of them that come to Me, I will cast none out.Servator omnium hominum, the Saviour of all men, and as the Samaritans said of Him, Servator mundi, the Saviour of the world, of Samaritans, Jews, Gentiles; of kings, of shepherds, and all.

And there is yet more particularity in this word Christ: three offices did God from the beginning erect to save His people by, and that, by three acts the very heathen took notice of them1. Purgare, 2. Illuminare, 3. Perficere. 1. Priests, to purge or expiate; 2. Prophets, to illuminate or direct them; 3. Kings, to set all right, and to keep all right in that perfection which this world admitteth. And all these three had their several anointings. Aaron the Priest, Elisha the Prophet, Saul the King. In the Saviour Which is Christ, His will was all should meet, that nothing in Him might want to the perfecting of this work. That He might be a [76/77] perfect Saviour of all, He was all. A Priest after the order of Melchizedek; a Prophet to be heard when Moses should show his peace; a King to save His people, Whose name should be Jehova Justitia nostra. David’s Priest, Moses’ Prophet, Jeremy’s King.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Lancelot Andrewes

Almighty God, who gavest thy servant Lancelot Andrewes the gift of thy holy Spirit and made him a man of prayer and a faithful pastor of thy people: Perfect in us what is lacking of thy gifts, of faith, to increase it, of hope, to establish it, of love, to kindle it, that we may live in the life of thy grace and glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

(R U) Terry Mattingly–The Last Rites For Elizabeth II

“Queen Elizabeth was one of those people in this mortal life who always thought ahead,” said David Lyle Jeffrey, distinguished senior fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. When preparing these rites, the queen was “clearly looking for prayers, Scriptures and hymns that made connections she wanted to make for her family, her people and the world. … I think she succeeded brilliantly.”

An Anglican from Canada, Jeffrey said the events closing the queen’s historic 70-year reign were an appropriate time to explore the “essence of her admirable Christian character.” Thus, the retired literature professor wrote a poem after her death — “Regina Exemplaris (An exemplary queen)” — saluting her steady, consistent faith. It ended with these lines:

She who longest wore the heavy crown

Knew but to kneel before the unseen throne

And plead her people’s cause as for her own,

And there to praise the Lord of All, bowed down,

More conscious of his glory than her high acclaim,

Exemplar thus in worship, in praise more worthy of the Name.

After the “Kontakion of the Departed,” Bishop David Conner, the dean of St. George’s Chapel, noted the importance of this sanctuary to Queen Elizabeth. She had worshipped in the Windsor Castle chapel as a girl, sometimes singing in the choir and taking piano lessons with organist Sir William Henry Harris. The queen included some of his music in the committal service.

“We are bound to call to mind,” said Conner, “someone whose uncomplicated, yet profound Christian faith bore so much fruit … in a life of unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world, but also, and especially to be remembered in this place, in kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family, friends and neighbors.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Philander Chase

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith We give thee heartfelt thanks for the pioneering spirit of thy servant Philander Chase, and for his zeal in opening new frontiers for the ministry of thy Church. Grant us grace to minister in Christ’s name in every place, led by bold witnesses to the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, even Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Matthew

We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer