Archive for the ‘April 11’ Category

Feast of Charles Stedman Newhall (April 11)   1 comment

Charles Stedman Newhall

Above:  Part of an Advertisement from The New York Times, Saturday, April 13, 1901, Page 29

Accessed via



U.S. Naturalist, Hymn Writer, and Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister

The name of Charles Stedman Newhall is not famous in 2016.  That is unfortunate, for he was a holy man, a knowledgeable naturalist, and a skilled writer.

Our saint was a native of Boston, Massachusetts.  He, born on October 4, 1842, was son of Henry A. Stedman and Sarah Luther Stedman.  He studied at Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Massachusetts.  During the Civil War Newhall served in Company K of the 45th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteers, enlisting on September 30, 1862, and mustering out as a Corporal on July 7, 1863.

Newhall studied at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts.  He joined the Psi Upsilon fraternity, won the Athene Prize in 1866 and the Minerology Prize in 1869, served as his class president in 1868 and 1869, and spoke at his commencement (with his A.B. degree) in 1869.

Our saint’s first career was in the ordained ministry.  He studied at Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, from 1869 to 1872, graduating with his B.D. degree.  Ordination followed at Oriskany Falls, New York, on December 11, 1872.  There he served as pastor of the Congregational Church until 1874.  From 1874 to 1879 Newhall was the pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Oceanic, New Jersey.  Our saint traveled in the Middle East in 1879 and 1880.  Then he returned to the United States and became pastor of the Congregational Church at Postville, Iowa, serving until 1882.  Congregational pastorates at Tipton, Iowa (1882-1884), and Plainfield, New Jersey (1884-1885), followed.  From 1885 to 1898 Newhall was a Presbyterian minister, starting at Keeseville, New York.

[Aside:  I located Newhall’s ministerial record from December 1872 to March 1888 in The Tenth General Catalogue of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity (1888), available via Google Books.  I also found Newhall’s name in records of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. into the early twentieth century.  I have not, however, been able to reconstruct his ministerial record from 1888 to 1898.]

From 1898 to 1905 our saint worked for the United States Forestry Service in California.  This made sense, for he had, during his time as a pastor, established himself as an expert on plant life in the Northeast.  He published works in that area of study were:

  1. The Trees of Northeastern America (1890);
  2. The Leaf Collector’s Handbook and Herbarium:  An Aid in the Preservation and in the Classification of Specimen Leaves of the Trees of Northeastern America (1891);
  3. The Shrubs of Northeastern America (1893); and
  4. The Vines of Northeastern America; Fully Illustrated from Original Sketches (1897).

Newhall retired from the Forestry Service in 1905 and spent his final decades in Berkeley, California, where he died on April 11, 1935, aged 92 years.

Our saint also wrote for young people.  Those volumes were:

  1. Joe and the Howards, Armed with Eyes (1869);
  2. Boy in Palestine (year unknown);
  3. Harry’s Trip to the Orient (1885, American Tract Society); and
  4. Ruthie’s Story (1888, Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.), the story of Jesus told by one child to other children.

Newhall was a family man.  In 1881 he married Catherine A. “Kittie” Harvey, about 20 years his junior, of Oceanic, New Jersey.  They remained married for about 54 years, until he died.  The couple had three children:

  1. Charles A. (born circa 1882),
  2. Luther N. (born in 1884 or 1885), and
  3. Katherine (born in 1886 or 1887).

Newhall came to my attention via a hymn, “O Jesus, Master, When Today,” which he wrote in 1913 and published in the January 3, 1914, issue of The Survey then in Social Hymns of Brotherhood and Aspiration (1914).  I found a three-stanza version in The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), but located the complete four-stanza version in Christian Worship:  A Hymnal (1941) and Baptist Hymnal (1956).  Collecting old hymnals has proven to be a rewarding hobby.

The text of that hymn, which has, unfortunately fallen out of favor with hymnal committees in recent decades, indicates that Newhall had internalized the Biblical defense of human dependence upon God.  It is an ethos societies need to have in greater quantity.








God of grace and glory, you create and sustain the universe in majesty and beauty:

we thank you for Charles Stedman Newhall and all in whom you have planted

the desire to know your creation and to explore your work and wisdom.

Lead us, like them, to understand better the wonder and mystery of creation;

through Jesus your eternal Word, through whom all things were created.

Genesis 2:9-20

Psalm 34:8-14

2 Corinthians 13:1-6

John 20:24-27

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 738


Feast of Henry Hallam Tweedy (April 11)   1 comment


Above:  Yale Divinity School, Between 1900 and 1915

Publisher = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-D4-39339



U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer

I launch this, the next wave of new saints, with the Reverend Henry Hallam Tweedy, an impressive person.  He earned his B.A. and M.A. from Yale University and continued his education at Union Theological Seminary and the University of Berlin.  Our saint, ordained in 1898, pastored two Congregational churches–Plymouth Church, Utica, New York (1898-1902), and South Church, Bridgeport, Connecticut (1902-1909).  From 1909 to 1937 he was Professor of Practical Theology at Yale Divinity School.

Tweedy, fascinated by church architecture, was especially interested in matters of liturgy, art, and music–all overlapping pursuits.  His written works reflected the union of the liturgical, artistic, and mundane.  His credits included the following:

Our saint also wrote hymn texts, three of which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  “O Gracious Father of Mankind” (1925) won first place in a hymn competition which the Homiletic Review sponsored.  Tweedy, dissatisfied with barely singable hymns, set out to write a very singable hymn with substance.  He succeeded.  “Eternal God, Whose Power Upholds” (1929), a missionary hymn, won another contest.  And “O Spirit of the Living God”  is another lovely, meaningful text.

The native of Binghamton, New York, died at Brattleburg, Vermont.

In 1942 Albert W. Palmer, President of The Chicago Theological Seminary, wrote the following in the Introduction to The Art of Conducting Public Worship:

The real miracle of worship is the actual spiritual communion with the divine which may take place, the imparting of transforming peace and power to jangled, beaten, discouraged lives.

–page 2

Henry Hallam Tweedy understood this well and wrote accordingly.





Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Henry Hallam Tweedy)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26





Feast of Heinrich Theobald Schenck (April 11)   Leave a comment

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Above:  Saint John on Patmos


German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer

Sometimes, during my voyages of historical discovery through hymnals, I find the name of a hymn writer about which little information is available.  Yet that data does impress me.  Such is the case with Heinrich Theobald Schenck (1656-1727).

Schenck’s life, as best I can determine, was that of a scholar-pastor.  Born near Hesse (in modern-day western Germany) in 1656, Schenck studied at the University of Giessen (also in modern-day western Germany).  In 1676 he joined the faculty of his alma mater as a professor of the classics.  Thirteen years later, Schenck became a pastor at that city.  He tended to his flock for the rest of his life and wrote at least one hymn.

That hymn, which dates to 1719, exists in English translations.  One follows:

Who are these, like stars appearing,

These before God’s throne who stand?

Each a golden crown is wearing:

Who are all this glorious band?

Alleluia! hark they sing,

Praising loud their heavenly King.


Who are these, of dazzling brightness,

These in God’s own truth arrayed,

Clad in robes of purest whiteness,

Robes whose lustre ne’er shall fade,

Ne’er be touched by time’s rude hand–

Whence comes all this glorious band?


These are they who have contended

For their Savior’s honour long,

Wrestling on till life was ended,

Following not the sinful throng;

These, who well the fight sustained,

Triumph through the Lamb have gained.


These are they whose hearts were riven,

Sore with woe and anguish tried,

Who in prayer full oft have striven

With the God they glorified;

Now, their painful conflict o’er,

God has bid them weep no more.


These like priests have watched and waited,

Offering up to Christ their will;

Soul and body consecrated,

Day and night to serve Him still:

Now in God’s most holy place,

Blest they stand before His face.

–Translated by Frances Elizabeth Cox (1812-1897)

I ponder Schenck and recall a portion of Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:

Let us now sing the praises of famous men,

our ancestors in their generations.

The Lord apportioned to them great glory,

his majesty from the beginning.

There were those who…gave counsel because they were intelligent;

those who spoke in prophetic oracles;

those who led the people by their counsels and by their knowledge of the people’s lore;

they were wise in their words in instruction;

those who composed musical tunes,

or put verses into writing….

all of these were honored in their generations,

and were the pride of their times.

Some of them have left behind a name,

so that others declare their praise.

But of others there is no memory;

they have perished as thought they had never existed;

they have become as though they had never been born,

they and their children after them.

But they also were godly men,

whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten….

–Verses 1-10, New Revised Standard Version

Schenck’s name survives, as do a few facts and a hymn.  That is more than I can say or write honestly about most people.   But God knows everything; I am glad that someone does.





Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Heinrich Theobald Schenck

and all those who with words have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted slightly from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

Feast of St. Dionysius of Corinth (April 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Roman Greece


Roman Catholic Bishop of Corinth

His feast transferred from April 8

We know of St. Dionysius mainly via Eusebius of Caesarea, author of the great Ecclesiastical History.  Book 4, Chapter 23 tells us of the saint, Bishop of Corinth circa 170-180.  St. Dionysius wrote many epistles.  One went to his sister, Chrysophora.  Others went to congregations.  Eusebius wrote that the saint argued against the Marcionite heresy, encouraged material and financial aid to the poor, and advocated a strong Christianity neither fixated on unrealistic and burdensome purity codes nor consisting of what Eusebius described as

milky doctrine…under a discipline calculated only for children.

Those are timeless principles.  People continue to impose unrealistic burdens related to moral perfectionism upon each other.  Anti-semitism, a key element of Marcionism, has not gone away entirely.  And, as much as theological standards have always mattered, grace, a wondrous gift from God, remains critical in Christianity.  Grace is also unfortunately lacking in many professing quarters.  Yet it ought not to become an excuse for watered-down sloganeering, never a valid substitute for sound theology.





Good Shepherd, king of love,

accept our thanks and praise

for all the love and care we have received;

and for your servant, Saint Dionysius of Corinth.

May our care for each other grow constantly

more reverent and more discerning.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 15 or 99

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-19

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), pages 681-682

Posted January 25, 2012 by neatnik2009 in April 11

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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for April   Leave a comment


Image Source = WiZZiK

1 (Frederick Denison Maurice, Anglican Priest and Theologian)

  • Giuseppe Girotti, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Ludovico Pavoni, Roman Catholic Priest and Educator
  • Syragius of Autun and Anarcharius of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Bishops, and Valery of Leucone and Eustace of Luxeuit, Roman Catholic Abbots

2 (James Lloyd Breck, “The Apostle of the Wilderness”)

  • Carlo Carretto, Spiritual Writer
  • John Payne and Cuthbert Mayne, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs
  • Joseph Bernardin, Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago

3 (Luther D. Reed, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Liturgist)

  • Burgendofara and Sadalberga, Roman Catholic Abbesses, and Their Relatives
  • Marc Sangnier, Founder of the Sillon Movement
  • Reginald Heber, Anglican Bishop of Calcutta and Hymn Writer

4 (Benedict the African, Franciscan Friar and Hermit)

  • Ernest W. Shurtleff, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • George the Younger, Greek Orthodox Bishop of Mitylene
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader (also January 15)

5 (Emil Brunner, Swiss Reformed Theologian)

  • Mariano de la Mata Aparicio, Roman Catholic Missionary and Educator in Brazil
  • Pauline Sperry, Mathematician, Philanthropist, and Activist; and Her Brother, Willard Learoyd Sperry, Congregationalist Minister, Ethicist, Theologian, and Dean of Harvard Law School
  • William Derham, Anglican Priest and Scientist

6 (Marcellinus of Carthage, Roman Catholic Martyr)

  • Benjamin Hall Kennedy, Greek and Latin Scholar, Bible Translator, and Anglican Priest
  • Milner Ball, Presbyterian Minister, Law Professor, Witness for Civil Rights, Humanitarian
  • Nokter Balbulus, Roman Catholic Monk

7 (Tikhon of  Moscow, Russian Orthodox Patriach)

  • Jay Thomas Stocking, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • John Baptist de La Salle, Founder of the Christian Brothers
  • Montford Scott, Edmund Gennings, Henry Walpole, and Their Fellow Martyrs

8 (Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Patriarch of American Lutheranism; His Great-Grandson, William Augustus Muhlenberg, Episcopal Priest, Hymn Writer, and Liturgical Pioneer; and His Colleague, Anne Ayres, Foundress of the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion)

  • Johann Cruger, German Lutheran Organist, Composer, and Hymnal Editor
  • Julie Billiart, Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame
  • Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury

9 (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Lutheran Martyr

  • Casilda of Toledo, Roman Catholic Anchoress
  • John Samuel Bewley Monsell, Anglican Priest and Poet; and Richard Mant, Anglican Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore
  • Lydia Emilie Gruchy, First Female Minister in the United Church of Canada

10 (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Roman Catholic Priest, Scientist, and Theologian)

  • Henry Van Dyke, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist
  • Howard Thurman, Protestant Theologian
  • Mikael Agricola, Finnish Lutheran Liturgist, Bishop of Turku, and “Father of Finnish Literary Language”

11 (Dionysius of Corinth, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • Charles Stedman Newhall, U.S. Naturalist, Hymn Writer, and Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister
  • Heinrich Theobald Schenck, German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer
  • Henry Hallam Tweedy, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer

12 (Henry Sloane Coffin, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Translator; and His Nephew, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Social Activist)

  • André, Magda, and Daniel Trocmé, Righteous Gentiles
  • David Uribe-Velasco, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Zeno of Verona, Bishop

13 (Joseph Barber Lightfoot, Bishop of Durham)

  • Henri Perrin, Worker Priest
  • Hugh of Rouen, Roman Catholic Bishop, Abbot, and Monk
  • Rolando Rivi, Roman Catholic Seminarian and Martyr

14  (Edward Thomas Demby and Henry Beard Delany, Episcopal Suffragan Bishops for Colored Work)

  • Anthony, John, and Eustathius of Vilnius, Martyrs in Lithuania, 1347
  • Fulbert of Chartres, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Wandregisilus of Normandy, Roman Catholic Abbot, and Lambert of Lyons, Roman Catholic Abbot and Bishop

15 (Olga of Kiev, Regent of Kievan Russia; Adalbert of Magdeburg, Roman Catholic Bishop; Adalbert of Prague, Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr; and Benedict and Gaudentius of Pomerania, Roman Catholic Martyrs)

  • Damien and Marianne of Molokai, Workers Among Lepers
  • Flavia Domitilla, Roman Christian Noblewoman; and Maro, Eutyches, and Victorinus of Rome, Priests
  • George Frederick Handel, Composer

16 (Bernadette of Lourdes, Visionary)

  • Calvin Weiss Laufer, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymnodist
  • Isabella Gilmore, Anglican Deaconess
  • Lucy Larcom, U.S. Academic, Journalist, Poet, Editor, and Hymn Writer

17 (Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

  • Emily Cooper, Episcopal Deaconess
  • Max Josef Metzger, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Wilbur Kenneth Howard, Moderator of The United Church of Canada

18  (Roger Williams, Founder of Rhode Island; and Anne Hutchinson, Rebellious Puritan)

  • Cornelia Connelly, Foundress of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus
  • Maria Anne Blondin, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne
  • Roman Archutowski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1943

19 (Murin of Fahan, Laserian of Leighlin, Goban of Picardie, Foillan of Fosses, and Ultan of Peronne, Abbots; Fursey of Peronne and Blitharius of Seganne, Monks)

  • Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr
  • Emma of Lesum, Benefactor
  • Olavus Petri, Swedish Lutheran Theologian, Historian, Liturgist, Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and “Father of Swedish Literature;” and his brother, Laurentius Petri, Swedish Lutheran Archbishop of Uppsala, Bible Translator, and “Father of Swedish Hymnody”

20 (Johannes Bugenhagen, German Lutheran Theologian, Minister, Liturgist, and “Pastor of the Reformation”)

  • Amator of Auxerre and Germanus of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Bishops; Mamertinus of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Abbot; and Marcian of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Monk
  • Christian X, King of Denmark and Iceland; and His Brother, Haakon VII, King of Norway
  • Marion MacDonald Kelleran, Episcopal Seminary Professor and Lay Leader

21 (Roman Adame Rosales, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1927)

  • Conrad of Parzham, Capuchin Friar
  • Sidonius Apollinaris, Eustace of Lyon, and His Descendants, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • Simeon Barsabae, Bishop, and His Companions, Martyrs

22 (Gene Britton, Episcopal Priest)

  • Donald S. Armentrout, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Scholar
  • Kathe Kollwitz, German Lutheran Artist and Pacifist
  • Vitalis of Gaza, Monk, Hermit, and Martyr

23 (Toyohiko Kagawa, Renewer of Society and Prophetic Witness in Japan)

  • Johann Walter, “First Cantor of the Lutheran Church”
  • Walter Russell Bowie, Episcopal Priest, Seminary Professor, and Hymn Writer

24 (Genocide Remembrance)

  • Egbert of Lindisfarne, Roman Catholic Monk, and Adalbert of Egmont, Roman Catholic Missionary
  • Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Capuchin Friar and Martyr
  • Mellitus, Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury


26 (William Cowper, Anglican Hymn Writer)

  • Robert Hunt, First Anglican Chaplain at Jamestown, Virginia

27 (George Washington Doane, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey; and His Son, William Croswell Doane, Episcopal Bishop of Albany; Hymn Writers)

  • Antony and Theodosius of Kiev, Founders of Russian Orthodox Monasticism; Barlaam of Kiev, Russian Orthodox Abbot; and Stephen of Kiev, Russian Orthodox Abbot and Bishop
  • Christina Rossetti, Poet and Religious Writer
  • Remaclus of Maastricht, Theodore of Maastricht, Lambert of Maastricht, Hubert of Maastricht and Liege, and Floribert of Liege, Roman Catholic Bishops; Landrada of Munsterbilsen, Roman Catholic Abbess; and Otger of Utrecht, Plechelm of Guelderland, and Wiro, Roman Catholic Missionaries

28 (Jaroslav Vajda, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer)

  • Jozef Cebula, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1941
  • Pamphilius of Sulmona, Roman Catholic Bishop and Almsgiver
  • Peter Chanel, Protomartyr of Oceania

29 (Catherine of Siena, Roman Catholic Mystic and Religious)

  • Bosa of York, John of Beverley, Wilfrid the Younger, and Acca of Hexham, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • James Russell Woodford, Anglican Bishop of Ely, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer
  • Timothy Rees, Welsh Anglican Hymn Writer and Bishop of Llandaff

30 (James Montgomery, Anglican and Moravian Hymn Writer)

  • James Edward Walsh, Roman Catholic Missionary Bishop and Political Prisoner in China
  • John Ross MacDuff and George Matheson, Scottish Presbyterian Ministers and Authors
  • Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, Poet, Author, Editor, and Prophetic Witness


  • The Confession of Saint Martha of Bethany (the Sunday immediately prior to Palm Sunday; March 8-April 11)

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.

Holy Saturday   Leave a comment

The Edicule, which surrounds the briefly occupied tomb of Jesus–at the Church of the Holy Sepuchre, Jerusalem, Israel

Image Source = Wayne McLean


April 11, 2020

Collect and lections from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer


Follow the assigned readings with me this Lent….

Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Job 14:1-14 (New Revised Standard Version):

[Job prayed,] “A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble,

c0mes up like a flower and withers,

flees like a shadow and does not last.

Do you fix your eyes on such a one?

Do you bring me into judgment with you?

Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?

No one can.

Since their days are determined,

and the number of their months is known to you,

and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass,

look away from them, and desist,

that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.

For there is hope for a tree,

if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,

and that its shoots will not cease.

Though its root grows old in the earth,

and its stump dies in the ground,

yet at the scent of water it will bud

and put forth branches like a young plant.

But mortals die, and are laid low;

humans expire, and where are they?

As waters fail from a lake,

and a river wastes away and dries up,

so mortals lie down and do not rise again;

until the heavens are no more, they will not awake

or be roused out of their sleep.

O that you would hide me in Sheol,

that you would conceal me until your wrath is past,

that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!

If mortals die, will they live again?

All the days of my service I would wait

until my release should come.

Psalm 130 (New Revised Standard Version):

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.

Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive

to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,

Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with you,

so that you may be revered.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,

and in his word I hope;

my soul waits for the Lord

more than those who watch for the morning,

more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the LORD!

For with the LORD there is steadfast love,

and with him is great power to redeem.

It is he who will redeem Israel

from all its iniquities.


Psalm 31:1-5 (New Revised Standard Version):

In you, O LORD, I seek refuge;

do not let me be put to shame;

in your righteousness deliver me.

Incline your ear to me;

rescue me speedily.

Be a rock of refuge for me,

a strong fortress to save me.

You are indeed my rock and my fortress;

for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,

take me out of the net that is hidden for me,

for you are my refuge.

Into your hand I commit my spirit;

you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

1 Peter 4:1-11 (New Revised Standard Version):

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God.  You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry.  They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme.  But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.  For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.

The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers.  Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Be hospitable to one another without complaining.  Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift you has received.  Whoever speaks must do as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ.  To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever.  Amen.

Matthew 27:57-66 (New Revised Standard Version):

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.  So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock.  He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.  Mary Magadelene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that imposter said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’  Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.”  Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.”  So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.


John 19:38-42 (New Revised Standard Version):

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

The Collect:

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


“He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.”–From the Apostles’ Creed


The Revised English Bible translation rendering of 1 Peter 4:1-8 states that “love cancels out a number of sins.”  This thought is appropriate for Holy Saturday.  Ancient Christian tradition features more than one understanding of how the Atonement works, but almost all of them place some emphasis on the death of Jesus and on his blood.  (The resurrection is crucial to the Atonement, too, but let us not get ahead of the story.)  Regardless of how the Atonement works in reality and how one thinks it functions, divine love is an essential component of it.  So “love cancels out a number of sins,” indeed.

Today, as we ponder these matters, let us permit Jesus to be dead liturgically.  Easter Sunday will arrive soon enough.  Resurrection, although glorious, must follow death.  So let Jesus’ death sink in.


Posted March 26, 2010 by neatnik2009 in April 11

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