Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Liturgical Suggestions for Pentecost 10 (RCL Proper 21A/21 August 2011)

Please Note that any elements not mentioned in the endnotes are taken from the book of alternative services or evangelical lutheran worship.  If you make use of these suggestions, please make sure that the proper reference is given.

Pentecost 10
21 August 2011

The Gathering of the Community

Processional Hymn
 ‘Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun’  Common Praise #8

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit,
be with you all.
And also with you.

Collect for Purity
Almighty God,
to you all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
though Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hymn of Praise
 ‘Glory, in the Highest Glory’  Common Praise #366

Collect of the Day
God of Miriam and Moses,
you are our help from age to age.
Accept our worship, our living sacrifice,
and transform us by your Spirit,
that, being members of one body,
we may dare to pray together
in the name of Christ the Lord.  Amen.

The Proclamation of the Word

The First Reading
Exodus 1.8-2.10

The Appointed Psalm
Psalm 124 from Songs for the Holy One

The Second Reading
Romans 12.1-8

Gradual Hymn
‘By All Your Saints Still Striving’  Common Praise #283 vv 1, 2b, 3

The Gospel
Matthew 16.13-20

Affirmation of Faith
With Moses, Jesus, Peter and Paul
let us affirm our faith:

Hear, O Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment.
The second is like it:
Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

The Prayers of the Community

The Prayers of the People

Confession and Absolution
Let us remember before God our selfish ways, the things we have done wrong, the sorrows we have caused, the love we have not shown.

Most merciful Father,
forgive our sins against you
and against one another.
Strengthen us to overcome our weaknesses,
that we may live in love
as you would have us live,
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen.

The Exchange of the Peace

The Holy Communion

Offertory Hymn
 ‘Sister, Let Me Be Your Servant’  Common Praise #500

Prayer over the Gifts
O God of our ancestors,
your voice burns in the depths of our being,
draw us into your presence and service.
Receive all we offer you this day
and empower us to proclaim to all the earth
the glory of your name.
We ask this in Christ’s name.  Amen.

The Great Thanksgiving
Eucharistic Prayer 1  BAS pg 193

The Lord’s Prayer

The Breaking of the Bread
We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.
We, being many, are one body,
for we all share in the one bread.

The gifts of God for the People of God.
Thanks be to God.

Hymn after Communion
 ‘As We Gather at Your Table’  Common Praise #61

The Commissioning of the Community

Prayer after Communion
Redeeming Sustainer,
visit your people
and pour out your strength and courage upon us,
that we may hurry to make you welcome
not only in our concern for others, but by serving them
generously and faithfully in your name.  Amen.

Glory to God,
whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever.  Amen.

Recessional Hymn
 ‘Sent forth by God’s Blessing’  Songs for a Gospel People #96



(1)  The Collect of the Day is adapted from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, p. 177.

(2)  The introduction to the Affirmation of Faith was composed by the Rev'd Dr Richard Geoffrey Leggett.

(3)  The Confession is taken from 'Home Prayers' in The Book of Alternative Services, pp. 691-692.

(4)  The Prayer over the Gifts is adapted from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, p. 131.

(5)  The first Prayer after Communion is adapted from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, p. 138.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Someone With Skin On

Feast of Mary the Virgin
14 August 2011
Saint Faith’s Anglican Church
Vancouver BC

+ May our souls magnify the Lord and our spirits rejoice in God our Saviour.  Amen.

1      On a dark and stormy night a young father and his son were home alone.  The boy had gone to bed, but the storm caused him so much fear that the boy called out for his father numerous times.  His father went in to the boy a couple of times but did not stay.  When the boy called out yet again, his father said, “Do not worry; God is with you!”  To this the boy replied, “I know that, but right now I want someone with skin on!”

2      King Ahaz of Judah is also facing a crisis.  His neighbours have tried to involve him in a revolt against Assyria, the region’s dominant superpower.  Ahaz has refused and now his neighbours have united to invade Judah and besiege Jerusalem.  What should Ahaz do?

3      Isaiah the prophet assures Ahaz that the God of Israel will not abandon the descendants of David.  In very poetic language Isaiah tells Ahaz that a son will be born to him and will reign after him.  But Ahaz wants someone with skin on --- right now --- and sends messengers to the king of Assyria requesting military assistance.  Assyrian armies roll in and Ahaz’s neighbours are crushed.

4      There is, however, a price to pay.  Judah becomes an Assyrian vassal state and Hezekiah, Ahaz’s son, born in fulfillment of God’s promise spoken through Isaiah, will reign with an Assyrian cloud forever on his horizon.

5      Throughout human history we have always wanted someone with skin on to bring us safely through our storms.  Like Ahaz we usually want someone who possesses what passes for power in our world:  military force, political authority, expert knowledge.  Whether our crisis is political and social unrest, economic and financial uncertainty nations or war and civil strife, we want power with skin on --- and we want it now.  Divine promises are all well and good, but, when in doubt, bring in the uniforms and the suits and the brains.

6      You and I, however, are witnesses to a different response to human crises.  It’s still a response with skin on, but it’s not about power.  It’s about love made flesh, made concrete in the real places and times in which ordinary people are born, live and die.  Empires rise and fall; markets go bull and bear; institutions wax and wane; love made flesh endures.

7      Mary, the betrothed of Joseph, is facing a crisis.  She has had an extraordinary experience of God’s presence and a choice has been laid before her:  Say ‘yes’ to God and become a scandal or say ‘no’ and live an ordinary life with Joseph, a sure bet with skin on.  She says ‘yes’ to God, becomes a scandal yet discovers God’s two-fold gift:  Joseph, an honourable man who takes a risk and marries her despite the scandal and Jesus, Immanuel, ‘God with skin on’, who changes the course of all human history.

8      Mary pays a price.  Her son will not follow in his step-father’s footsteps and a sword will pierce her heart as he is betrayed and dies on a Roman cross.  But she will also be rewarded with his resurrection and the Christian celebration through two millennia of her ‘yes’ to God’s outrageous request.

9      I left Canterbury at 7.30 on the morning of Sunday, the 7th of August, the day after my conference ended.  My train ride from Canterbury West to Saint Pancras Station in London was comfortable and uneventful.  Although the subway from Saint Pancras to Heathrow was crowded for most of the way, it too went without incident.

10    I had to pay £44 in baggage fees because my one check-in bag, loaded with books acquired at the Consultation, was over-weight.  But despite the levy, I was in a happy mood as I enjoyed breakfast in the main departure lounge.  All was right in my world and I was a happy traveller.

11    At 12.30 I was ushered off with my fellow Air Canada passengers to our departure gate.  It was then that I learned that all was not right with the world, at least in Britain, after a night of rioting.  Grim-faced police, politicians and social scientists appeared, one after another, to speak words of condemnation, defiance and analysis.  All was not well in England’s cities nor, do I suspect, in its green and gentle hills.

12    What is there to be done when thousands of people, especially young people, have given up any hope of a meaningful job or of a change in their social circumstances?  Royal fairy-tale weddings are too fragile to wallpaper over the fissures in a society with deep structural challenges.  Stern parental lectures from politicians from privileged backgrounds are unconvincing to families who no longer believe, if they ever did believe, in a society where everything was possible for those who worked hard.
13    Throughout England there are small communities like Saint Faith’s who are quietly embodying God’s love in troubled neighbourhoods.  Long after the police presence recedes to ‘normal’ levels and political attention turns elsewhere, Christian and non-Christian communities of faith will continue to say ‘yes’ to God’s outrageous appeal and they will birth love, God’s love, into their neighbourhoods.  This love will not produce overnight results and there will be setbacks as well as successes, but lives will be changed and hope will take root.

14    Love made flesh takes many forms.  Yesterday Saint Faith’s joined other community groups in hosting the Kidney Foundation’s first ever ‘Market Fair’.  The goal was to heighten awareness of the continued and growing need for organ donation and donors in British Columbia, a province where 85% of the population think that organ donation is a good thing but only 17% of the population has actually registered.  I can think of no more concrete example of embodied love than the gift of an organ or tissue to one in need, whether such a gift is given in life or after death. 

15    We chose to be involved for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is our commitment to be God’s love with skin on in this place and at this time, to be stewards not only our financial resources but to put our bodies where our words about good stewardship are.  Christians ought to be responsible stewards of the goods of their bodies as well as with the goods of their bank accounts.

16    Although history generally records the deeds of power performed by monarchs and other rulers, we celebrate today a deed done by a young Judean woman who said ‘yes’ to God.  By her ‘yes’ God’s love took flesh and dwelt among us.  By her ‘yes’ an apostolic community came into existence through whom the mission of her son reaches into all the world, whether in the dark corners where poverty and hopelessness abound or in the brighter spaces where prosperity and comforts dull our awareness of the needs, both physical and spiritual, of our sisters and brothers.

17    All around us are voices who cry out, “We want someone with skin on!”  Some are in communities where poverty and hopelessness abound.  Others reside in the comfortable homes that surround this parish.  May God grant us the grace and the courage and the will to respond, “Here we are!”  Amen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Liturgical Suggestions for the Feast of Mary the Virgin (15 August)

Saint Faith's will be anticipating the feast of Mary the Virgin (15 August) on Sunday, 14 August 2011.  Here is the liturgical ordo we shall be observing on that day.

Mary the Virgin
14 August 2011

Saint Faith’s Anglican Church
Vancouver BC

Introductory Responses[i]

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
may all the earth be filled with God’s glory.
Light has sprung up for the righteous,
and joyful gladness for those who are true-hearted.
Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to God’s people on earth.

Collect of the Day[ii]

O God,
you chose the blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of your incarnate Son.
May we who have been redeemed by his blood,
share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


Isaiah 7.10-15
Psalm 132.6-10, 13-14
Galatians 4.4-7
Luke 1.46-55

Affirmation of Faith[iii]

You, O God, are supreme and holy.
You create our world and give us life.
Your purpose overarches everything we do.
You have always been with us.
You are God.

You, O God, are infinitely generous,
good beyond all measure.
You came to us before we came to you.
You have revealed and proved
your love for us in Jesus Christ,
who lives and died and rose again.
You are with us now.
You are God.

You, O God, are Holy Spirit.
You empower us to be your gospel in the world.
You reconcile and heal; you overcome death.

You are our God.  We worship you.

Confession of Sin[iv]

We pray to you for the forgiveness of our sins.

Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
in your compassion, forgive us our sins,
known and unknown,
things done and left undone;
and so uphold us by your Spirit
that we may live and serve you in newness of life,
to the honour and glory of your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

God the Creator brings you new life,
forgives and redeems you.
Take hold of this forgiveness
and live your life in the Spirit of Jesus.  Amen.

The Exchange of the Peace

To Mary the angel of the Lord said,
“God’s peace to you, highly favoured one.”
May that peace be with you all.
And also with you.

Prayer over the Gifts

God of mercy,
receive all we offer you this day.
May we share with the Virgin Mary
the joys of your eternal kingdom,
and live with you in unending love.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Great Thanksgiving[v]

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, gracious God,
creator of heaven and earth;
we give you thanks and praise
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who in the mystery of his incarnation
was made fully human
of the flesh of the Virgin Mary his mother;
in him we have seen a new and radiant vision of your glory.
Therefore with all the angels of heaven,
we lift our voices and sing our joyful hymn of praise
to proclaim the glory of your name.

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

How wonderful the works of your hands, O Lord.
As a mother tenderly gathers her children,
you embraced a people as your own.
When they turned away and rebelled
your love remained steadfast.
From them you raise up Jesus our Saviour, born of Mary,
to be the living bread,
in whom all our hungers are satisfied.
He offered his life for sinners,
and with a love stronger than death
he opened wide his arms on the cross.

On the night before he died,
he came to supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he gave you thanks.
He broke it and gave it to them, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.
At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,
he gave you thanks, and said:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus:
Dying you destroyed our death,
rising you restored our life:
Lord Jesus, come in glory.

God our Abba, we plead with confidence
Christ’s sacrifice made once for all upon the cross;
we remember his dying and rising in glory,
and we rejoice that he intercedes for us at your right hand.
Pour out your Holy Spirit
as we bring before you these gifts of your creation;
may they be fore us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy things in your presence,
form us into the likeness of Christ,
and build us into a living temple to your glory.
Remember, Lord, your Church in every land.
Reveal her unity, guard her faith
and preserve her in peace.
Bring us at the last with ever-blessed Virgin Mary,
blessed Joseph, blessed Faith and all the saints
to the vision of that eternal splendour
for which you have created us;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
by whom, with whom and in whom,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Source of all that is,
in songs of everlasting praise:

Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever.  Amen.

Prayer after Communion

God of grace,
today we raise our voices
to magnify your holy name,
and, in our own generation, to call her blessed
who became the mother of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
May we who have shared this holy food
continue, with her, in your glorious kingdom,
founded and established in Jesus Christ our Lord.
We ask this in his name.  Amen.

Glory to God,
whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever.  Amen.

[i] The Introductory Responses are adapted from the ‘Incarnation’ responses in The Book of Alternative Services (1985), 96.

[ii] The Collect is adapted from the collect for Mary the Virgin in The Book of Alternative Services (1985), 419.

[iii] The Affirmation of Faith is taken from A Prayer Book for New Zealand (1989), 481.

[iv] The Confession of Sin is taken from The Book of Alternative Services (1985), 127.  The Absolution from A Prayer Book for New Zealand (1989), 460.

[v] The Great Thanksgiving is adapted from ‘Eucharistic Prayer G’ in Common Worship (2000), 201-203.

Liturgical Prayers for Proper 20A (14 August 2011)

Here are some suggested liturgical prayers for Sunday, 14 August 2011 (RCL Proper 20A).  All three are adapted from The Consultation on Common Texts, Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 2002), 138, 174.

Collect or Prayer of the Day

Holy One of Israel,
you keep your covenants,
restore what is lost,
heal what is wounded and
gather in those who have been rejected.
Give us the faith
to speak as steadfastly as the Canaanite woman,
that the outcast may be welcomed
and all people blessed;
through Jesus Christ, your beloved,
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, your love,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts or Offertory Prayer

God of mercy and healing,
receive all we offer you this day
that all who are troubled
may know peace, comfort and courage
through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer after Communion

God of the foreigner and the outcast,
you embrace all who call upon you.
Grant us your grace
that we may so love the world
that your name may be known
throughout the earth.
We pray in Christ's name.  Amen.