Church of England Daily Prayer - Contemporay - Combined Prayer

Trinity Daily Prayer

A simple Liturgy of the Hours for singing available here.
Resources for the Liturgy stored at: Company of Voices Resources.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Sunday Song

Sorry not a quotation today but a stunning Gospel classic, by the immortal Sam Cooke.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Benedictus Antiphon for S Irenaeus

The glory of God is a human being fully alive.

The Roman Rite has this rather lovely antiphon for the Benedictus for S Irenaeus. A very simple musical setting is available on the Company of Voices resources site here, and below. It could be used for Benedictus and/or Magnificat.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Enriching the Office: First Evensong of Saints Peter and Paul

As mentioned before Sighs of the Spirit  (New Skete, 1997) from the Orthodox community at New Skete contains presidential prayers for use at the Office, they are very suitable for meditation and reflection.
Here are the texts for this feast, they can easily be added to Common Worship Daily Prayer.

The Holy glorious and illustrious princes of the Apostles, Peter and Paul

At Vespers:

Eternal, heavenly God and Father: We come before you this evening to sing the praises of the two princes of the apostles, the holy Peter and Paul. They gave their lives for their beloved master, your only Son, and so, even today, they remain brilliant beacons, reflecting the light of the Lord Jesus on believers down through the ages. For their sake, therefore, we entreat you: Let our lives be enriched by the light of the faith they taught us, that the darkness may never overcome us. And by their prayers, and those of all the apostles, save us for yourself.
Fopr yours is dominion, and yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever, and unto ages of ages.

Gracious Lord and master; the evening has not yet cooled from the heat of the summer sun as we assemble here to celebrate the festival of those princes of the apostles, the holy martyrs Peter and Paul. receive our evening incense, together with the hymns and prayers we offer you in their honour, and grant us  alively faith, hope and love. By the prayers of those two courageous preachers of the good news, heal all our ills, forgive our sins, and let us share in their zeal that we also may partake of their glory.
For you are indeed our God, and we give you glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: now and forever and unto ages of ages.

Heavenly Father; As we stand before you this evening at the close of our vesper hymns in honour of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, let your ineffable mercy embrace us. Grant rest to our weary souls during this coming night, and them tomorrow morning, raise us from bed strengthened by the firm intention of never straying from the teachings of these two martyrs, who were the first to show us how to serve and worship you in Christ. Enable us to reflect on them throughout the coming day, that, learning from their example, we may enjoy a foretaste of the joys of the eternal kingdom:
For you are indeed our God, and we give you glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: now and for ever, and unto ages of ages.

As we bow our heads to you, Lord, we entreat you by the prayers of the holy apostles peter and paul, that these prayers we have offered you this evening may win for us your blessing on the night we are about to begin.
So that ever guarded by your might, we may persevere in glorifying your wondrous and blessed name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: now and forever, and unto ages of ages.

Common Worahip Daily Prayer Lectionary, Thursday 28th June 2012

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary

2 Kings 24.8-17     Psalm 79.1-9, 12     Matthew 7.21-end

Or for the Vigil of Ss Peter and Paul:

Acts 3:1-10  Galatians 1:11-20  John 21: 15-19 (but note that this is the CW EP reading , to verse 22)


Psalm 78.1-39 or the whole psalm if first Evensong of Ss peter and Paul is prayed
The refrain in CW is from Psalm 92:5

"This is the secret of the psalms: they contain in themselves all that matters to a Christian of the history of the world."

"It is in chanting the psalms that we too are leaving Egypt."

Thomas Merton

Judges 11.1-11

Jephthah delivers Israel

Jephtha's Daughter
George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron

Since our Country, our God -- Oh, my Sire!

Demand that thy Daughter expire;
Since thy triumph was brought by thy vow --
Strike the bosom that's bared for thee now!

And the voice of my mourning is o'er,
And the mountains behold me no more:
If the hand that I love lay me low,
There cannot be pain in the blow!

And of this, oh, my Father! be sure --
That the blood of thy child is as pure
As the blessing I beg ere it flow,
And the last thought that soothes me below.

Though the virgins of Salem lament,
Be the judge and the hero unbent!
I have won the great battle for thee,
And my Father and Country are free!

When this blood of thy giving hath gush'd,
When the voice that thou lovest is hush'd,
Let my memory still be thy pride,
And forget not I smiled as I died!

Luke 16.19-end

The rich man and Lazarus

Lady Lazarus

Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.

One year in every ten
I manage it--

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?--

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot--
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash--
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

23-29 October 1962

First Evensong of Ss Peter and Paul

(Common Worship has this as a festival rather than a principal Festival, I suggest keeping this as a Principal Festival with First Evensong, Te Deum, Gloria nd creed at Mass etc) there is also a rather pleasant vigil Mass in the Roman Missal, in which case:
Psalms 66, 67

Ezekiel 3.4-11

Galatians 1.13 - 2.8

Music for the Office Ss Peter and Paul

A musical setting for the Office for the Princes of the Apostles is available at Company of Voices Resources here.

Extra Liturgical texts for Ss Peter and Paul

From the Syro-Malabar rite as restored at Kurisumala Ashram:

Possible alternate opening prayer at Matins: 

Grant us, Lord God, to honour and celebrate with love the glorious and exalted memory of your great apostles peter and Paul, with true faith and sincere thanksgivings, with a noble way of life and with beautiful thoughts. By their prayers may we be worthy of that bliss reserved for them, that in their heavenly abodes we may offer praise and thanksgiving, to You and to Your Father and to the Holy Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever.
Prayer With The Harp of The Spirit, Vol. IV part 3

At Evensong when incense is offered:

By the prayers of your holy apostles Peter and Paul, the architects of your holy Church, we beseech You, Lord God, be reconciled with us. Receive our services and prayers. And may this incense be for Your delight. By its good odour, grant us health of body mind and spirit, and Your help in our services to others, and a good remembrance of those who followed You in Your Passover, that we may always give thanks to You with joy, and to Your Father and to the Holy Spirit.
Prayer With The Harp of The Spirit, Vol. IV part 3

As we offer prayers to the Lord let us give heed to the intercessions and answer all together with joy and reverence:
Hear us, Lord, and be gracious to the whole Creation.

Christ our God, who by your holy apostles Peter and Paul have guided the nations who were groping in the dark so as to bring them to the light of Your knowledge, lead us all to the full light of Your Gospel, we beseech You:

Christ our God, who willed that Your work of salvation entrusted to Your holy apostles Peter and Paul should be carried out by your Churches, never cease to prompt them by Your Holy Spirit, to guide the world into all the truth, we beseech You:

Christ our God, for our fathers in the faith who minister to us with love, {mention of the Pope] for our father N .. our archbishop and metropolitan, N our bishop and the bishops and clergy and people all over the world, we beseech You:

Christ our God we pray for the peace and serenity of all ashrams and monasteries and their services to the people, for the fostering of universal brotherhood among all human beings, beyond distinctions of race, caste and belief, we beseech You:

Christ our God, we pray that justice with love may reign all over the world, and harmony be restored among all nations, and strengthened in this our country [of India] and in the whole creation, we beseech You:
Prayer With The Harp of The Spirit, Vol. IV part 3

Poetry for Ss Peter and Paul

Keble's Christian Year has a poem just for S Peter (as in the Book of Common Prayer):

When Herod would have brought him forth, the same night
Peter was sleeping.  Acts xii. 26.

Thou thrice denied, yet thrice beloved,
   Watch by Thine own forgiven friend;
In sharpest perils faithful proved,
   Let his soul love Thee to the end.

The prayer is heard—else why so deep
   His slumber on the eve of death?
And wherefore smiles he in his sleep
   As one who drew celestial breath?

He loves and is beloved again—
   Can his soul choose but be at rest?
Sorrow hath fled away, and Pain
   Dares not invade the guarded nest.

He dearly loves, and not alone:
   For his winged thoughts are soaring high
Where never yet frail heart was known
   To breathe its vain Affection’s sigh.

He loves and weeps—but more than tears
   Have sealed Thy welcome and his love—
One look lives in him, and endears
   Crosses and wrongs where’er he rove:

That gracious chiding look, Thy call
   To win him to himself and Thee,
Sweetening the sorrow of his fall
   Which else were rued too bitterly.

E’en through the veil of sheep it shines,
   The memory of that kindly glance;—
The Angel watching by, divines
   And spares awhile his blissful trance.

Or haply to his native lake
   His vision wafts him back, to talk
With JESUS, ere His flight He take,
   As in that solemn evening walk,

When to the bosom of His friend,
   The Shepherd, He whose name is Good.
Did His dear lambs and sheep commend,
   Both bought and nourished with His blood:

Then laid on him th’ inverted tree,
   Which firm embraced with heart and arm,
Might cast o’er hope and memory,
   O’er life and death, its awful charm.

With brightening heart he bears it on,
   His passport through this eternal gates,
To his sweet home—so nearly won,
   He seems, as by the door he waits,

The unexpressive notes to hear
   Of angel song and angel motion,
Rising and falling on the ear
   Like waves in Joy’s unbounded ocean.—

His dream is changed—the Tyrant’s voice
   Calls to that last of glorious deeds—
But as he rises to rejoice,
   Not Herod but an Angel leads.

He dreams he sees a lamp flash bright,
   Glancing around his prison room—
But ’tis a gleam of heavenly light
   That fills up all the ample gloom.

The flame, that in a few short years
   Deep through the chambers of the dead
Shall pierce, and dry the fount of tears,
   Is waving o’er his dungeon-bed.

Touched he upstarts—his chains unbind—
   Through darksome vault, up massy stair,
His dizzy, doubting footsteps wind
   To freedom and cool moonlight air.

Then all himself, all joy and calm,
   Though for a while his hand forego,
Just as it touched, the martyr’s palm,
   He turns him to his task below;

The pastoral staff, the keys of Heaven,
   To wield a while in grey-haired might,
Then from his cross to spring forgiven,
   And follow JESUS out of sight.

Common Worship Daily Prayer Lectionary, Wednesday 27th June 2012

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary

2 Kings 22.8-13, 23.1-3     Psalm 119.33-40    Matthew 7.15-20

Morning Prayer


Psalm 77

John Paul II:
By including Psalm 76[77] that we have just proclaimed in the morning Lauds, the liturgy wants to remind us that the beginning of a new day is not always bright. Just as dark days dawn when the sky is covered with clouds threatening a storm, so our life knows days that are filled with sorrows and fears. This is why already at daybreak our prayer becomes a lament, a supplication, a plea for help.

Our Psalm is precisely a plea that rises to God with insistence, deeply motivated by trust, indeed, by the certainty that he will intervene. In fact, for the Psalmist the Lord is not an impassive emperor relegated to his shining heavens and indifferent to our affairs. From this impression that sometimes grips us arise questions so bitter that could bring about a crisis of faith: "Is God denying his love and his election? Has he forgotten the past when he sustained us and made us happy?". As we will see, such questions are swept away by renewed trust in God, our Redeemer and our Saviour.
So let us follow the way this prayer develops as it begins in a dramatic tone, in anguish, and then gradually opens to serenity and hope. First of all, we have before us the lamentation on the sad present and the silence of God (cf. vv. 2-11). A cry for help is raised to a seemingly mute heaven, imploring hands are lifted, the heart misses a beat through sorrow. In the sleepless night of tears and prayers, a song "returns to the heart", as is said in verse 7, a sorrowful refrain continually re-echoes in the depths of the soul.
When pain reaches its limit and one wishes that the cup of suffering be removed (cf. Mt 26,39), words explode and become an agonizing question, as we said earlier (cf. Ps 76[77],8-11). This loud cry questions the mystery of God and of his silence.
The Psalmist wonders why the Lord is ever rejecting him, why he has changed his appearance and action, forgetting his love, his promise of salvation and his tender mercy. "The right hand of the Most High" that accomplished the saving wonders of the Exodus, now seems paralyzed (cf. v. 11). It is a real "torment" that brings into crisis the faith of the person praying.
Were this true, God would be unrecognizable, he would become a cruel being or a presence like that of idols that cannot save because they are incapable of it, indifferent and powerless. These verses of the first part of Psalm 76 [77] contain the whole drama of faith in the time of trial and of God's silence.
But there are reasons for hope. This is what emerges from the second part of the plea (cf. vv. 12-21), similar to a hymn that is intended to propose again the courageous confirmation of faith, even on the dark day of pain. The psalmist sings of the salvation of the past, that had its epiphany of light in the creation and in the liberation from the slavery of Egypt. The bitter present is illuminated by the saving experience of the past, a seed sown in history: it is not dead but only buried, and will spring up again (cf. Jn 12,24).
The Psalmist then has recourse to an important biblical concept, that of the "memorial" which is not merely a vague, consoling memory, but the certainty of divine action that is unfailing: "I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; yes, your wonders of old I will remember" (Ps 76[77],12). To profess faith in the works of salvation of the past leads to faith in what the Lord is constantly doing, hence also in the present: "Your way, O God, is holy.... You are the God who works wonders" (vv. 14-15). Thus the present that seemed without a way out and without light, is illuminated by faith in God and open to hope.
To sustain this faith the Psalmist cites what is probably a more ancient hymn, perhaps chanted in the liturgy of the Temple of Zion (cf. vv. 17-20). It is a deafening theophany in which the Lord bursts into the scene of history, overwhelming nature and in particular, the waters, a symbol of chaos, evil and suffering. Very beautiful is the image of God's path on the waters, sign of his triumph over negative forces: "Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters, yet your footprints were unseen" (v. 20). And we are reminded of Christ walking on the waters, an eloquent symbol of his victory over evil (cf. Jn 6,16-20).
Recalling at the end that God guided his people "like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron" (Ps 76[77],21), the Psalm leads implicitly to a certainty: God will return to lead us to salvation. His powerful and invisible hand will be with us through the visible hand of the pastors and guides he has established. The Psalm, that begins with a cry of distress, ends by awakening sentiments of faith and hope in the great shepherd of our souls (cf. Heb 13,20; I Pt 2,25).

Judges 9.22-end

The Downfall of Abimelech

Luke 16.1-18

The parable of the dishonest manager, law and the kingdom of God, Divorce and re-marriage

John Wesley:
And he said also to his disciples - Not only to the scribes and Pharisees to whom he had hitherto been speaking, but to all the younger as well as the elder brethren: to the returning prodigals who were now his disciples. A certain rich man had a steward - Christ here teaches all that are now in favour with God, particularly pardoned penitents, to behave wisely in what is committed to them.

To beg I am ashamed - But not ashamed to cheat! This was likewise a sense of honour! "By men called honour, but by angels pride."
I know - That is, I am resolved, what to do.
And the lord commended the unjust steward - Namely, in this respect, because he had used timely precaution: so that though the dishonesty of such a servant be detestable, yet his foresight, care, and contrivance, about the interests of this life, deserve our imitation, with regard to the more important affairs of another. The children of this world - Those who seek no other portion than this world: Are wiser - Not absolutely, for they are, one and all, egregious fools; but they are more consistent with themselves; they are truer to their principles; they more steadily pursue their end; they are wiser in their generation - That is, in their own way, than the children of light - The children of God, whose light shines on their hearts.
And I say to you - Be good stewards even of the lowest talents wherewith God hath intrusted you. Mammon means riches or money. It is termed the mammon of unrighteousness, because of the manner wherein it is commonly either procured or employed. Make yourselves friends of this, by doing all possible good, particularly to the children of God: that when ye fail, when your flesh and your heart faileth, when this earthly tabernacle is dissolved, those of them who have gone before may receive, may welcome you into the everlasting habitations.
And whether ye have more or less, see that ye be faithful as well as wise stewards. He that is faithful in what is meanest of all, worldly substance, is also faithful in things of a higher nature; and he that uses these lowest gifts unfaithfully, is likewise unfaithful in spiritual things.

Evening Prayer


Psalm 119.81-104

Fr Jonathan Graham CR
on Mem vv 97-104
Confession: Thy Incomparable Love

Every verse in this stanza starts with one of two quite insignificant little parts of speech,. The first is an exclamation, what! or how! which occurs in verses 97 and 103. the second is a particle or prepositon, meaning the, or from, commonly used to express comparison.
With these two little words the poet conveys a perpetual state of delighted surpriese at the love of God which lies beyond all comparison. This delight is alike the motive and the fruit of confession of sin.
the most famous exposition of the stanza is the hymn based on verse 103;
Jesus the very though is sweet
In that dear name all heart-joys meet:
But O that honey sweeter far
The glimoses of his presence are."

Here is the Knox alphabetic translation somewhat modified (full text available at Company of Voices Resources):

"97 My delight is in your Teaching;

my thoughts return to it always.

98 Musing still on your Commandments,
I have grown more prudent than my enemies.

99 More wisdom I have than all my teachers,
I have pondered your Decrees so well.

100 More learning I have than my elders,
I that hold true to your Precepts.

101 Mindfull of your Word,
I guide my steps clear of every evil path.

102 My way is to keep your Judgements,
since you yourself have taught me.

103 More appetizing is your Word;
than sweetness to my taste.

104 Made wise by your Precepts,
I shun every path of evil¬doing."

Job 29

Job summarises his 'defense'

Romans 12.9-end

Marks of the true Christian
Nicholas King: "In places here one simple has to guess at the grammar, and sometimes at the meaning; but the gist is clear. Paul wants an agreeable and attractive picture of Christianity at work."

Monday, 25 June 2012

Office Hymns for Ss Peter and Paul

The Sisters of the Church at Ham Convent sing the following by Bishop W. Walsham How at Evensong on this feast:

Thou art the Christ, O Lord,
the Son of God most high!
For ever be adored
that Name in earth and sky,
in which, though mortal strength may fail,
the saints of God at last prevail!

O surely he was blest
with blessedness unpriced,
who, taught of God, confessed
the Godhead in the Christ!
For of thy Church, Lord, thou didst own
thy saint a true foundation-stone.

Thrice fallen, thrice restored!
The bitter lesson learned,
that heart for thee, O Lord,
with triple ardour burned.
The cross he took he laid not down
until he grasped the martyr's crown.

O bright triumphant faith,
O courage void of fears!
O love most strong in death,
O penitential tears!
By these, Lord, keep us lest we fall,
and make us go where thou shalt call.

The Benedictines at West Malling observe the 29th June just as S Peter and have this Office hymn:

Peter, pierced before your Lord
In no light white of dawn.
Peter, washed in bitter tears
In chill no fire will warm.

Run, out-run the ache of dawn -
So silent is the tomb -
In, go in, the light has come;
O Lord, my Lord, I now.

here you suffer for his sake
In him be born anew;
there rejoice in love and know
the Holy One of God.

At Crawley Down they sing 3 verses of the following hymn at Vespers:
Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your Armour on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.

Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.

Stand then against your foes, in close and firm array;
Legions of wily fiends oppose throughout the evil day.
But meet the sons of night, and mock their vain design,
Armed in the arms of heavenly light, of righteousness divine.

Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole;
Indissolubly joined, to battle all proceed;
But arm yourselves with all the mind that was in Christ, your Head.

But, above all, lay hold on faith’s victorious shield;
Armed with that adamant and gold, be sure to win the field:
If faith surround your heart, Satan shall be subdued,
Repelled his every fiery dart, and quenched with Jesu’s blood.

Jesus hath died for you! What can His love withstand?
Believe, hold fast your shield, and who shall pluck you from His hand?
Believe that Jesus reigns; all power to Him is giv’n:
Believe, till freed from sin’s remains; believe yourselves to Heav’n.

To keep your Armour bright, attend with constant care,
Still walking in your Captain’s sight, and watching unto prayer.

Ready for all alarms, steadfastly set your face,
And always exercise your arms, and use your every grace.

Pray without ceasing, pray, your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey and call upon the Lord;
To God your every want in instant prayer display,
Pray always; pray and never faint; pray, without ceasing, pray!

In fellowship alone, to God with faith draw near;
Approach His courts, besiege His throne with all the powers of prayer:
Go to His temple, go, nor from His altar move;
Let every house His worship know, and every heart His love.

To God your spirits dart, your souls in words declare,
Or groan, to Him Who reads the heart, the unutterable prayer:
His mercy now implore, and now show forth His praise,
In shouts, or silent awe, adore His miracles of grace.

Pour out your souls to God, and bow them with your knees,
And spread your hearts and hands abroad, and pray for Zion’s peace;
Your guides and brethren bear for ever on your mind;
Extend the arms of mighty prayer, in grasping all mankind.

From strength to strength go on, wrestle and fight and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well fought day.
Still let the Spirit cry in all His soldiers, “Come!”
Till Christ the Lord descends from high and takes the conquerors home.

Charles Wesley

The Methodist Sacramental fellowship suggests another Charles Wesley Hymn:

1 GREAT is our redeeming Lord,

In power, and truth, and grace
Him, by highest heaven adored,
His church on earth doth praise:
In the city of our God,
In his holy mount below,
Publish, spread his name abroad,
And all his greatness show.

2 For thy loving-kindness, Lord,
We in thy temple stay;
Here thy faithful love record,
Thy saving power display:
With thy name thy praise is known,
Glorious thy perfections shine;
Earth's remotest bounds shall own
Thy works are all divine.

3 See the gospel church secure,
And founded on a rock;
All her promises are sure;
Her bulwarks who can shock?
Count her every precious shrine;
Tell, to after-ages tell,
Fortified by power divine,
The church can never fail.

4 Zion's God is all our own,
Who on his love rely;
We his pardoning love have known,
And live to Christ, and die:
To the new Jerusalem
He our faithful guide shall be:
Him we claim, and rest in him,
Through all eternity.

And finally Brother Aelred offers these two:

Two saints, a fisherman and seer,
two worlds we celebrate this feast,
two persons seeming poles apart:
Their Gospel carried west and east!

Paul, poet of God's mysteries,
whose vision deep he freely shared;
such wisdom welled within his heart
that God's own heart by him was bared!

those gifts he taught the Spirit gives
that each another might upbuild
he more than anyone has shared;
God's breath each page of his has filled!

Then Peter, poor in worldly grace,
so quick to speak; so slow to see,
who yet gives courage to our faith
in witnessing our frailty.

He who had only known the sea
Christ named the shepherd of his sheep!
To him who thrice disowned his Lord
Christ gave the churches' care and keep!

To God, the Abba of our hearts
whose Spirit Paul rejoiced to share;
to Christ who cherished Peter's love;
we sing our sacrifice of prayer.

O Peter, crushed like wheat,
and crucified like Christ, your Lord.
You died for him, three times denied,
dar from the Galilean shore.

And Paul, twice slain, becoming blind,
that you might see the brightest sun.
Both far and wide you boldly preached;
"We live 'in Christ', the Risen One!"

You loyal, glor'ious martyrs, both,
protect teh churches in your care:
you gave them birth, now guide them all
and ever hold them in your prayer.

O Christ, who chose these tire'less men,
choose now new witnesses of faith;
that all the world may see and know
you hold the church in your embrace.

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary

2 Kings 19.9b-11, 14-21, 31-36     Psalm 48.1-2, 8-end     Matthew 7.6, 12-14


Psalm 73

"Psalm 73 is perhaps the greatest of the wisdom psalms; indeed, it is one of the most probing pieces of literature in the Hebrew Bible."
Michael Sadgrove

Judges 9.1-21

Abimelech's conspiracy
Unlike his father Abimelech does not reciogbnise the sovereignty of God. "This account of Abimelech's royal ambitions teaches the lesson that the only king of israel is the Lord, opr whomever he anoints."
Navarre Bible

Luke 15.11-end
The parable of the prodigal son


Psalm 74

"The Outward Weakness of the Church in the World"
Fr benson of Cowley
"To the psalmist, what ultimately matters is not that the people should be rescued from disaster but that god's own honour should be vindicated."
Michael Sadgrove

Job 28

Job: where is wisdom?
Saint Augustine:
You are great, Lord, and highly to be praised: great is your power and your wisdom is immeasurable. Man, a little piece of your creation, desires to praise you, a human being bearing his mortality with him, carrying with him the witness of his sin and the witness that you resist the proud. Nevertheless, to praise you is the desire of man, a little piece of your creation. You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.

Grant me Lord to know and understand which comes first, to call upon you or to praise you, and whether knowing you precedes calling upon you. But who calls upon you when he does not know you? For an ignorant person might call upon someone else instead of the right one. But surely you may be called upon in prayer that you may be known. Yet how shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe without a preacher? They will praise the Lord who seek for him.
In seeking him they find him, and in finding they will praise him. Lord, I would seek you, calling upon you—and calling upon you is an act of believing in you. You have been preached to us. My faith, Lord, calls upon you. It is your gift to me. You breathed it into me by the humanity of your Son, by the ministry of your preacher.
How shall I call upon my God, my God and Lord? Surely when I call on him, I am calling on him to come into me. But what place is there in me where my God can enter into me? God made heaven and earth. Where may he come to me? Lord my God, is there any room in me which can contain you? Can heaven and earth, which you have made and in which you have made me, contain you? Without you, whatever exists would not exist. Then can what exists contain you? I also have being. So why do I request you to come to me when, unless you were within me, I would have no being at all? I am not now possessed by Hades; yet even there are you: for even if I were to go down to Hades, you would be present. Accordingly, my God, I would have no being, I would not have any existence, unless you were in me. Or rather, I would have no being if I were not in you of whom are all things, through whom are all things, in whom are all things. Even so, Lord, even so. How can I call on you to come if I am already in you? Or where can you come from so as to be in me? Can I move outside heaven and earth so that my God may come to me from there? For God has said, I fill heaven and earth.
Who will enable me to find rest in you? Who will grant me that you come to my heart and intoxicate it, so that I forget my evils and embrace my one and only good, yourself? What are you to me? Have mercy so that I may find words. Speak to me so that I may hear. See the ears of my heart are before you, Lord. Open them and say to my soul, I am your salvation.
St Augustine, Confessions, 1.1-2.2, 5.5; The Divine Office I.

Romans 12.1-8

General exhortation and the image of the Body
The complex arguments of Romans are now left behind "Notice the great big 'so' with which this new section starts, linking the whole story together" (King)
King points out that some scholars beleive chapters 9-11 were only added (by Paul) at a later stage in which case this first part of 12 may be referring directly to chapter 8, and makes a little more sense.
The next section is directly related to the image of the body in 1 Corinthians, though in a much less developed form.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Common Worship Daily Prayer Lectionary, Monday 25th June, 2012

If the Birthday of John the Baptist is transferred to today see the texts in previous posts.

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary week 12
2 Kings 17.5-8, 13-15, 18     Psalm 60.1-5, 11-end     Matthew 7.1-5

For the Creighton (Jesuit) University reflections on the daily Mass readings see here.

Psalm 71

For those who kept the Birthday of Saint John the Baptist (correctly in my view) as a Principal Festival on Sunday, this psalm was set for First Evensong on Saturday evening. As Canon Wealands Bell tweeted, a most inappropriate psalm for someone who precislet did not achieve old age.
as Father Foster comments in his companion to the old breviary office:
"The Divine Office is a great consolation to us, and especially as we advance in years does it become more and more a part of our very being, drawing us into close union with God and giving us a deep sense of Hid nearness to us and of his loving concern for our well-being."

Judges 8.22-end

Latter days of Gideon and Israel lapses into idolatry

Luke 15.1-10

Two of three parables of God's mercy: the lost sheep; the lost drachma (in response to criticism from the Pharisees)

Saint Ambrose:
In the teaching of our Lord which preceded this Gospel reading you learned that we are to put away all carelessness, to avoid conceit, to begin to be earnest in religion, not to be held fast to the things of this world, not to place fleeting things before those that endure for ever. But though human frailty finds it hard to maintain a firm foothold in this so uncertain world, the Merciful Judge does not withhold the hope of His forgiveness, and has as a Good Physician made known to you the remedies even against going astray. 
And so it was not without design that the holy Luke places in order before us three parables: that of the sheep that strayed and was found, that of the silver piece that was lost and also was found, that of the son who was dead (through sin) and who returned to life; so that sustained by this threefold cure we may seek to cure our own wounds: for a triple rope does not break. 
Who are these three persons: the shepherd, the woman, the father? Is not Christ the Shepherd, the Church the woman, and God the Father? Christ Who took upon Himself your sins bears you upon His own Body; the Church searches for you; the Father receives you back. As a shepherd He brings us back, as a mother He looks for us, as a father He clothes us. First, mercy, second, intercession, third, reconciliation; each to each; the Redeemer comes to our aid, the Church intercedes for us, the Creator restores us to Himself. It is the same divine mercy in each operation; but grace varies according to our merits. 
The sheep that strayed is brought back by the Shepherd. The silver piece that was lost is found. The son turns back fully repentant from his sinful wanderings, and retraces his footsteps to his father. Because of this was it fittingly said: Men and beasts thou wilt preserve, O Lord (Ps. xxxv. 7). Who are those beasts? The prophet tells us: I will sow the house of Israel and the house ofJuda with the seed of men, and with the seed of beasts (Jer. xxxi. 27). And so Isracl is saved as a man; Juda is gathered in as though it were a sheep. I would prefer to be a son than a sheep; for a sheep is brought back by a shepherd, the son is honoured by the Father. 
Let us therefore rejoice because that sheep which had fallen by the way in Adam is uplifted in Christ. The shoulders of Christ are the arms of His Cross. There have I laid down my sins; upon the neck of that sublime yoke of torment have I found rest. This sheep is one in kind, but not one in outward appearance. For we are all one body, but many members; and so it was written: Now you are the body of Christ and members of member (I Cor. xii. 27). So therefore the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. xix. io); that is, all men: for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive (I Cor. xv. 22). 
Rich then is that Shepherd of whose portion all we are but a hundredth part. For He has besides the innumerable flocks of the Archangels, of the Dominations, of the Powers, of the Thrones and all the rest whom He left upon the mountains. And since they are rational flocks, they not unfittingly rejoice because of the redemption of men. Let this also incite us to a just and upright life, that each one shall believe that his own conversion to God is pleasing to the angelic choirs, whose protection he should seek, and whose good will he should fear to lose. Be ye therefore a joy to the angels; let them have cause for rejoicing in your own return. 
Neither is it without significance that the woman rejoices because of the silver piece that was found. For this is no ordinary piece of silver, upon which is the figure of the Prince. And because of this, the Image of the King is the wealth of the Church. We are His sheep; let us pray that He will place us amid the waters of His refreshment (Ps. xxii.2). We are, I say, His sheep; let us seek of Him a place of pasture.  We are pieces of silver; let us jealously cherish our value. We are children; let us hasten to our Father, Who with the Son and Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth world without end.


Psalm 72

Eaton suggests that the idealistic nature of this psalm probably locates it n royal installation ceremnonies. Perhaps as part of autumn festivals possibly centred on Zion.
The refrain in CW is from Psalm 97;1
see especially 2 Sam 7 and 1 Kings 3

Psalm 75

This psalm contains the longest direct speech from God of the whole psalter.

Job 27

Job's speech continues affirming his innocence then Zophar speaks on the fate of the wicked
Note that there are corruptions/problems in the text leading the New Jerusalem Bible to place parts of chapter 24 at the end of chapter 27

Romans 11.25-end

The conversion of the Jews and a hymn to God's mercy and wisdom

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Sunday Quotation

Sanctus Christus de Capel-y-ffin, Source.

The uncompromising specificity of the dogma of the Incarnation and the action of the Mass ... becomes a key to the artist's task: the infinite cannot be directly apprehended, so we must take appearances seriously; it is the infinite that is being apprehended, so we must take appearance seriously enough to read its concealments and stratagems: 'He's tricked me before with his manifold lurking places.' (Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners, p.163).

'The prophet is a realist of distances, and it is this realism that goes into great novels.' (MM p.179) A realist of distances, like David Jones painting objects as dark against a bright sky shining in his face, or making a landscape's contour into a complex surface, creates details, creates figures that seem unreal if we stand too close, yet whose words and acts and interrelations emerge as uncovering, deciphering, the real substructure of the whole human human landscape.

from Grace and Necessity: Reflections on Art and Love, Rowan Williams, Morehouse, 2005

Poetry for the Birthday of John the Baptist

Poet and performer Malcolm Guite has two superb sonnets on his website which could be used in place of Office Hymns at Evensong and Matins for the Birthday of John the Baptist. They are part of a cycle of sonnets for the whole liturgical year which Guite is working on and may be found here.
I especially love the line:
"Again the breath of God is on the waters".
It is a great privilege as a priest to bless the water in the font at the Paschal vigil, to breathe on the water and to dip the Paschal candle into it.

In The Christian Year, Keble offers this for the feast:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming
of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shallturn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heartof the children to their fathers. Malachi iv. 5, 6.

Twice in her season of decay

The fallen Church hath felt Elijah’s eye
Dart from the wild its piercing ray:
Not keener burns, in the chill morning sky,
The herald star,
Whose torch afar
Shadows and boding night-birds fly.

Methinks we need him once again,

That favoured seer—but where shall he be found?
By Cherith’s side we seek in vain,
In vain on Carmel’s green and lonely mound:
Angels no more
From Sinai soar,
On his celestial errands bound.

But wafted to her glorious place

By harmless fire, among the ethereal thrones,
His spirit with a dear embrace
Thee the loved harbinger of Jesus owns,
Well-pleased to view
Her likeness true,
And trace, in thine, her own deep tones.

Deathless himself, he joys with thee

To commune how a faithful martyr dies,
And in the blest could envy be,
He would behold thy wounds with envious eyes,
Star of our morn,
Who yet unborn
Didst guide our hope, where Christ should rise.

Now resting from your jealous care

For sinners, such as Eden cannot know,
Ye pour for us your mingled prayer,
No anxious fear to damp Affection’s glow,
Love draws a cloud
From you to shroud
Rebellion’s mystery here below.

And since we see, and not afar,

The twilight of the great and dreadful day,
Why linger, till Elijah’s car
Stoop from the clouds? Why sheep ye? Rise and pray,
Ye heralds sealed
In camp or field
Your Saviour’s banner to display.

Where is the lore the Baptist taught,

The soul unswerving and the fearless tongue?
The much-enduring wisdom, sought
By lonely prayer the haunted rocks among?
Who counts it gain
His light should wane,
So the whole world to Jesus throng?

Thou Spirit, who the Church didst lend

Her eagle wings, to shelter in the wild,
We pray Thee, ere the Judge descend,
With flames like these, all bright and undefiled,
Her watch-fires light,
To guide aright
Our weary souls by earth beguiled.

So glorious let thy Pastors shine,

That by their speaking lives the world may learn
First filial duty, then divine,
That sons to parents, all to Thee may turn;
And ready prove
In fires of love,
At sight of Thee, for aye to burn.