Kamehameha and Emma, King and Queen of Hawaii, 1864, 1885

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About the Commemoration

Within a year of ascending the throne in 1855, the twenty-year-old King Kamehameha IV and his bride, Emma Rooke, embarked on the path of altruism and unassuming humility for which they have been revered by their people. The year before, Honolulu, and especially its native Hawaiians, had been horribly afflicted by smallpox. The people, accustomed to a royalty which ruled with pomp and power, were confronted instead by a king and queen who went about, “with notebook in hand,” soliciting from rich and poor the funds to build a hospital. Queen’s Hospital, named for Emma, is now the largest civilian hospital in Hawaii.

In 1860, the king and queen petitioned the Bishop of Oxford to send missionaries to establish the Anglican Church in Hawaii. The king’s interest came through a boyhood tour of England where he had seen, in the stately beauty of Anglican liturgy, a quality that seemed attuned to the gentle beauty of the Hawaiian spirit. England responded by sending the Rt. Rev. Thomas N. Staley and two priests. They arrived on October 11, 1862, and the king and queen were confirmed a month later, on November 28, 1862. They then began preparations for a cathedral and school, and the king set about to translate the Book of Common Prayer and much of the Hymnal.

Kamehameha’s life was marred by the tragic death of his four-year-old son and only child, in 1863. He seemed unable to survive his sadness, although a sermon he preached after his son’s death expresses a hope and faith that is eloquent and profound. His own death took place only a year after his son’s, in 1864. Emma declined to rule; instead, she committed her life to good works. She was responsible for schools, churches, and efforts on behalf of the poor and sick. She traveled several times to England and the Continent to raise funds, and became a favorite of Queen Victoria’s. Archbishop Longley of Canterbury, remarked upon her visit to Lambeth: “I was much struck by the cultivation of her mind … But what excited my interest most was her almost saintly piety.”

The Cathedral was completed after Emma died. It was named St. Andrew’s in memory of the king, who died on that saint’s day. Among the Hawaiian people, Emma is still referred to as “our beloved Queen.”

Collects

i O Sovereign God, who raisedst up (King) Kamehameha (IV) and (Queen) Emma to be rulers in Hawaii, and didst inspire and enable them to be diligent in good works for the welfare of their people and the good of thy Church: Receive our thanks for their witness to the Gospel; and grant that we, with them, may attain to the crown of glory that fadeth not away; through Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

ii O Sovereign God, who raised up (King) Kamehameha (IV) and (Queen) Emma to be rulers in Hawaii, and inspired and enabled them to be diligent in good works for the welfare of their people and the good of your Church: Receive our thanks for their witness to the Gospel; and grant that we, with them, may attain to the crown of glory that never fades away; through Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm

97:1–2,7–12

Lesson

Proverbs 21:1–3

Acts 17:22–31

Matthew 25:31–40

Preface of Baptism

 

[Isaac Watts] Hymnwriter, 1748

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About the Commemoration

Isaac Watts is remembered as the father of English hymnody. He was born in Southampton, England, in 1674, the eldest child of a devout Nonconformist family. His academic capabilities and particularly his ability with the English language were recognized at an early age. He was offered the resources to enroll at Oxford or Cambridge and pursue ordination in the Church of England, but Watts remained faithful to his background and in 1690 enrolled in a Nonconformist academy at Stoke Newington. In 1702, Watts was ordained and served the Mark Lane independent congregation in London for a decade before his health made it impossible to continue.

As a hymn writer, Watts wrote more than six hundred hymns, about a quarter of which continue in popular use. Among his works was his Psalms of David, a metrical psalter that versified the psalms in English for hymnic use. Perhaps his most enduring contribution in this genre is O God, our help in ages past, based upon the opening verses of Psalm 90. Watts also wrote a wide variety of other hymns and spiritual songs that are well beloved. The attractiveness of his texts is often said to be reflective of Watts’ own personal faith: gentle, quiet, sturdy, and deeply devout. This can easily be seen in the final stanza of When I survey the wondrous cross:

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were an offering far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all!

 

Among his more enduring hymns are Jesus shall reign, Joy to the world, and I sing the mighty power of God.

Due to ill health, Watts spent the last decades of his life in semiseclusion, rarely preaching, but devoted his time to writing, as he was able. During this period, his writings take a new turn and he completed books on logic, human nature, and the English language, in addition to sermons, devotional literature, works for children, and more poetry and hymns.

Watts died in 1748. He is honored with a memorial in Westminster Abbey.

Collects

i God of truth and grace, who didst give Isaac Watts singular gifts to present thy praise in verse, that he might write psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for thy Church: Give us grace joyfully to sing thy praises now and in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

ii God of truth and grace, you gave Isaac Watts singular gifts to present your praise in verse, that he might write psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for your Church: Give us grace joyfully to sing your praises now and in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 108:1–6 1

Lessons

Chronicles 16:1–6

Colossians 3:12–17

Luke 18:35–43

 

 

Thanksgiving Day

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About the Commemoration

Agricultural festivals are of great antiquity, and common to many religions. Among the Jews, the three pilgrimage feasts, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, each had agricultural significance. Medieval Christianity also developed a number of such observances, none of which, however, were incorporated into the Prayer Book. Our own Thanksgiving Day finds its roots in observances begun by colonists in Massachusetts and Virginia, a tradition later taken up and extended to the whole of the new American nation by action of the Continental Congress.

Collects

i Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

ii Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalm 65

Lessons

Deuteronomy 8:1–3,6–10(17–20)

or 65:9–14 James 1:17–18,21–27

Matthew 6:25–33

Preface of Trinity Sunday

 

James Otis Sargent Huntington, Priest and Monk, 1935

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About the Commemoration

In the Rule for the Order of the Holy Cross, James Huntington wrote: “Holiness is the brightness of divine love, and love is never idle; it must accomplish great things.” Commitment to active ministry rooted in the spiritual life was the guiding principle for the founder of the first permanent Episcopal monastic community for men in the United States. James Otis Sargent Huntington was born in Boston in 1854. After graduation from Harvard, he studied theology at St. Andrew’s Divinity School in Syracuse, New York, and was ordained deacon and priest by his father, the first Bishop of Central New York. In 1880 and 1881 he ministered in a working-class congregation at Calvary Mission, Syracuse.

While attending a retreat at St. Clement’s Church, Philadelphia, Huntington received a call to the religious life. He considered joining the Society of St. John the Evangelist, which had by that time established a province in the United States, but he resolved to found an indigenous American community.

Huntington and two other priests began their common life at Holy Cross Mission on New York’s Lower East Side, ministering with the Sisters of St. John Baptist among poor immigrants. The taxing daily regimen of Eucharist, prayer, and long hours of pastoral work soon forced one priest to leave for reason of health. The other dropped out for lack of a vocation. Huntington went on alone; and on November 25, 1884, his life vow was received by Bishop Potter of New York.

As Huntington continued his work among the immigrants, with emphasis on helping young people, he became increasingly committed to the social witness of the Church. His early involvements in the singletax movement and the labor union movement were instrumental in the eventual commitment of the Episcopal Church to social ministries. The Order attracted vocations, and as it grew in the ensuing years the community moved, first to Maryland, and, in 1902, to West Park, New York, where it established the monastery which is its mother house. Huntington served as Superior on several occasions, continuing his energetic round of preaching, teaching and spiritual counsel until his death on June 28, 1935.

Collects

i O loving God, by thy grace thy servant James Huntington gathered a community dedicated to love and discipline and devotion to the holy Cross of our Savior Jesus Christ: Send thy blessing upon all who proclaim Christ crucified, and move the hearts of many to look unto him and be saved; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

ii O loving God, by your grace your servant James Huntington gathered a community dedicated to love and discipline and devotion to the holy Cross of our Savior Jesus Christ: Send your blessing on all who proclaim Christ crucified, and move the hearts of many to look upon him and be saved; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 119:161–168

Lessons

Nehemiah 5:1–12

Galatians 6:14–18

John 6:34–38

Preface of a Saint (2)

Clement, Bishop of Rome, c. 100

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About the Commemoration

According to early traditions, Clement was a disciple of the Apostles and the third Bishop of Rome. He is generally regarded as the author of a letter written about the year 96 from the Church in Rome to the Church in Corinth, and known as “First Clement” in the collection of early documents called “The Apostolic Fathers.”

The occasion of the letter was the action of a younger group at Corinth who had deposed the elder clergy because of dissatisfaction with their ministrations. The unity of the Church was being jeopardized by a dispute over its ministry. Clement’s letter sets forth a hierarchical view of Church authority. It insists that God requires due order in all things, that the deposed clergy must be reinstated, and that the legitimate superiors must be obeyed.

The letter used the terms “bishop” and “presbyter” interchangeably to describe the higher ranks of clergy, but refers to some of them as “rulers” of the Church. It is they who lead its worship and “offer the gifts” of the Eucharist, just as the duly appointed priests of the Old Testament performed the various sacrifices and liturgies in their time. Many congregations of the early Church read this letter in their worship, and several ancient manuscripts include it in the canonical books of the New Testament, along with a second letter, which is actually an early homily of unknown authorship. The text of First Clement was lost to the western Church in the Middle Ages, and was not rediscovered until 1628.

Clement writes: “The apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus the Christ was sent from God. Thus Christ is from God and the apostles from Christ. In both instances, the orderly procedure depends on God’s will. So thereafter, when the apostles had been given their instructions, and all their doubts had been set at rest by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, they went forth in the confidence of the Holy Spirit to preach the good news of the coming of God’s kingdom. They preached in country and city, and appointed their first converts, after testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers.”

Collects

i Almighty God, who didst choose thy servant Clement of Rome to recall the Church in Corinth to obedience and stability: Grant that thy Church may be grounded and settled in thy truth by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; reveal to it what is not yet known; fill up what is lacking; confirm what hath already been revealed; and keep it blameless in thy service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

ii Almighty God, you chose your servant Clement of Rome to recall the Church in Corinth to obedience and stability: Grant that your Church may be grounded and settled in your truth by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; reveal to it what is not yet known; fill up what is lacking; confirm what has already been revealed; and keep it blameless in your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 78:3–7 1

Lessons

Chronicles 23:28–32

2 Timothy 2:1–7

Luke 6:37–45

Preface of a Saint (2)

 

 

Clive Staples Lewis, Apologist and Spiritual Writer, 1963

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File-C.s.lewis3.JPG.jpg

 

About the Commemoration

“You must make your choice,” C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity. “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up as a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.”

Lewis did not always believe this. Born in Belfast on November 29, 1898, Lewis was raised as an Anglican but rejected Christianity during his adolescent years. After serving in World War I, he started a long academic career as a scholar in medieval and renaissance literature at both Oxford and Cambridge. He also began an inner journey that led him from atheism to agnosticism to theism and finally to faith in Jesus Christ.“Really, a young Atheist cannot guard his faith too carefully,” he later wrote of his conversion to theism in Surprised by Joy. “Dangers lie in wait for him on every side … Amiable agnostics will talk cheerfully about ‘man’s search for God’. To me, as I then was, they might as well have talked about the mouse’s search for the cat. You must picture me all alone in that room at Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” Two years later, his conversion was completed: “I know very well when, but hardly how, the final step was taken. I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out, I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo, I did.”

Lewis’s conversion inaugurated a wonderful outpouring of Christian apologetics in media as varied as popular theology, children’s literature, fantasy and science fiction, and correspondence on spiritual matters with friends and strangers alike. In 1956 Lewis married Joy Davidman, a recent convert to Christianity. Her death four years later led him to a transforming encounter with the Mystery of which he had written so eloquently before. Lewis died at his home in Oxford on November 22, 1963. The inscription on his grave reads: “Men must endure their going hence”.

Collects

i O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give thee thanks for Clive Staples Lewis, whose sanctified imagination lighteth fires of faith in young and old alike. Surprise us also with thy joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

ii O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give you thanks for Clive Staples Lewis, whose sanctified imagination lights fires of faith in young and old alike. Surprise us also with your joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalm

139:1–9

Lessons

Proverbs 23:15–18

1 Peter 1:3–9

John 16:7–15

Preface of a Saint (3)

 

 

[Cecelia] Martyr of Rome, ca. 280

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saint-cecilia-01.jpg

About the Commemoration

Cecilia is the patron saint of singers, organ builders, musicians and poets. She is venerated as a martyr. Many of the details of her life are unknown and much of what we do know comes from later periods. She is among the women named in the Roman Canon of the Mass. According to fifth century sources, Cecilia was of noble birth and was betrothed to a pagan who bore the name Valerian. Cecilia’s witness resulted in the conversion of Valerian and his brother, Tiburtius. Because of their conversion, the brothers were martyred and while Cecilia was burying them, she too was arrested. After several failed attempts to put her to death, she died from injuries sustained by the ordeal. The date of her martyrdom is generally believed to be 230 during the Roman persecution of Christians under Alexander Severus, although some scholars have dated it earlier.

Remembered for the passion with which she sang the praises of God, Cecilia is first depicted in Christian art as a martyr, but since the fourteenth century she is often shown playing the organ, a theme picked up my Raphael in his famous altarpiece for San Giovanniin- Monte, Bologna, painted around 1516. Her story has inspired centuries of artistic representations in paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and stained glass. Composers such as Handel, Purcell, Howells, and Britten have written choral works and mass settings in her honor. Many music schools, choral societies, and concert series bear her name.

In the ninth century, during the pontificate of Pope Paschal I, the remains of Cecilia were uncovered in the catacombs of Callixtus. On orders from the pope, the sarcophagus containing her remains was transferred to the new basilica in the Trastevere region of Rome. Built on what was believed to be the site of Cecilia’s home, a church named in her honor had existed on the site since at least the fifth century, and perhaps as early as the late third century, one of the original churches of the City of Rome.

Collects

i Most gracious God, whose blessed martyr Cecilia didst sing in her heart to strengthen her witness to thee: We thank thee for the makers of music whom thou hast gifted with Pentecostal fire; and we pray that we may join with them in creation’s song of praise until at the last, with Cecelia and all thy saints, we come to share in the song of those redeemed by our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

ii Most gracious God, whose blessed martyr Cecilia sang in her heart to strengthen her witness to you: We give you thanks for the makers of music whom you have gifted with Pentecostal fire; and we pray that we may join with them in creation’s song of praise until at the last, with Cecelia and all your saints, we come to share in the song of those redeemed by our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Psalm 150

Lessons

Azariah 1:28–34,52–59,68

Revelation 15:1–4

Luke 10:38–42

Preface of All Saints