Archive for the ‘November 26’ Category

Feast of St. Siricius (November 26)   1 comment

Above:  Pope St. Siricius

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT SIRICIUS (DIED NOVEMBER 26, 399)

Bishop of Rome

St. Siricius of Rome comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

St. Siricius, Bishop of Rome, was a man of whom a range of opinions existed during his lifetime.  St. Paulinus of Nola (c. 354-431) considered St. Siricius haughty.  Yet the querulous St. Jerome (347-419) initially detected no guile in St. Siricius.  Later, when Sts. Jerome and Siricius were on opposite sides of the Origenist dispute, St. Jerome lambasted (with his characteristic invective) Sts. Rufinus of Aquileia (344/345-411) and John II of Jerusalem (c. 356-417).  Yet St. Siricius defended those two saints.  In that context, St. Jerome laid into the Pope, too, in the middle 390s.

St. Siricius, born in Rome, had been a reader under Pope Liberius (reigned May 17, 352-September 24, 366), as well as a deacon under Popes Liberius and St. Damasus I (reigned October 1, 366-December 384).  Antipope Ursinus, who had lost the papal election to St. Damasus I, tried again in December 384.  He lost again.  St. Siricius won the election unanimously.  Emperor Valentinian II (reigned 375-392) approved, too.  He even provided funds for the restoration and enlargement of (old) St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

Above:  The Interior of St. Peter’s Basilica, 300s

Image in the Public Domain

St. Siricius was a consequential Pope.  He was the first one to issue decrees in the style and with the force of imperial decrees.  He also insisted that the Holy See approve of all episcopal consecrations, and that more than consecrator be present.  Our saint flexed his papal muscle by intervening in the schism (381-417) at Antioch.  He respected the counsel of the Council of Caesarea (the one in Palestine) and recognized St. Flavian I (not Evagrius) as the rightful Patriarch of Antioch in 399.

Above:  The Roman Imperial Prefecture of Illyricum, 318-379 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

St. Siricius laid the foundation for the papal vicariate in 385.  He granted the Bishop of Thessalonica the privilege to authorize all episcopal appointments in the Balkans (parts of present-day Greece, North Macedonia, and Albania, as well as what used to be Yugoslavia, to be precise).  As of 378, the Prefecture of Illyricum consisted of the Roman imperial dioceses of Pannonia, Dacia, and Macedonia.  The Diocese of Pannonia became part of the Prefecture of Italy (as the Diocese of Illyricum) in 379.  Dacia (north of Macedonia) and Macedonia were also part of the Prefecture of Italy (384-388, 391-395).  In 395, Thessalonica became the capital of the reconstituted Prefecture of Illyricum, consisting of the Dioceses of Macedonia and Dacia.  In the 390s, Bonosus, Bishop of Naissus (now Niš, Serbia) from c. 380 to c. 391, argued against the perpetual virginity of St. Mary of Nazareth.  St. Siricius condemned that opinion but not the bishop.  He left judgment of the Bishop of Naissus to other bishops in the region.  They deposed him.

St. Siricius was, by the standards of the late fourth century C.E., an orthodox Roman Catholic.  In 392/393, for example, he excommunicated Jovinian, a monk who denounced fasting and celibacy.  The Pope maintained order yet refrained from being harsh.  His treatment of the heresy of Priscillianism and of Priscillian himself was consistent with this summary.

Priscillianism was a form of Gnosticism with a modalistic Trinitarian theology, mixed with vegetarianism.  Priscillian was a Spanish layman.  The heresy may have developed beyond his statements.  Anyhow, Priscillianism was austere (to a point).  According to this heresy:

  1. Satan was an evil principle, not a rebellious angel.
  2. Bodies were creations of Satan, therefore, evil.  (This nixed the Incarnation, therefore the Atonement.)
  3. Human souls were emanations from the Godhead.
  4. The union a soul with a human body was punishment for that soul’s sins.  (One may wonder what sins those were.)
  5. Procreation was a sin.  (After all, the human body was evil.)
  6. Marriage was a sin.
  7. Eating meat was a sin.  (Animal bodies were apparently evil, too.)
  8. Free love was permissible.  (This was not an example of austerity.  It was, however, consistent with Gnostic attitudes about how to treat supposedly evil bodies.)
  9. Fasting on Sundays and during the three weeks prior to the Feast of the Epiphany was standard practice.
  10. Abstaining from attending church during Lent was standard practice.
  11. Christ did not exist prior to the conception and birth of Jesus.

The Synod of Saragossa (380) denounced Priscillianism.  Yet this official condemnation did not prevent Priscillian from briefly serving as the Bishop of Avila after that synod.  Priscillian and his supporters, exiled in 381, wandered in the Roman Empire.  In Italy, they sought audiences with St. Ambrose of Milan (337-397) and St. Damasus I.  Neither bishop gave them so much as the time of day.  After imperial officials revoked the Priscillians’ exile, the heretics returned to Spain.

Yet rival Western Roman Emperor Magnus Maximus (reigned 383-388), an Arian, had a different perspective.  In 386, he had Priscillian and some followers thereof tried, convicted, and executed.  St. Martin of Tours (c. 330-397) had pleaded in vain with Magnus Maximus not to execute them.  St. Siricius condemned these executions, too.

St. Siricius died in Rome on November 26, 399.

Priscillianism thrived as a schismatic sect, complete with its own bishops, in Galicia (north of modern-day Portugal, in Spain) until the Council of Braga (563).

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 26, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM COWPER, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADELARD OF CORBIE, FRANKISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND ABBOT; AND HIS PROTÉGÉ, SAINT PASCHASIUS RADBERTUS, FRANKISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF ROBERT HUNT, FIRST ANGLICAN CHAPLAIN AT JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA

THE FEAST OF RUTH BYLLESBY, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS IN GEORGIA

THE FEAST OF SAINT STANISLAW KUBISTA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1940; AND SAINT WLADYSLAW GORAL, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR, 1945

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O God our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Saint Siricius of Rome

to be a bishop in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all bishops the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants

of Christ and stewards of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 719

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Feast of Sojourner Truth (November 26)   2 comments

Above:  Sojourner Truth

Image in the Public Domain

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SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797-NOVEMBER 26, 1883)

U.S. Abolitionist, Mystic, and Feminist

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If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

–Sojourner Truth, 1851

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Sojourner Truth comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, mainly via The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.  She also comes to my Ecumenical Calendar via Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), and G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).  Truth’s Lutheran feast day, shared with Harriet Tubman, is March 10.  The feast day situation in The Episcopal Church is complicated, though.

The Episcopal calendar of saints used to be a simple matter.  From 1963 or so to 2009, the then-current edition of Lesser Feasts and Fasts defined the church calendar.  From 1988 to 2006, the triennial General Convention approved the new edition of Lesser Feasts and Fasts, with “new” saints added.  The General Convention of 2009 left Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006 (published in 2007) unaltered yet authorized a greatly expanded side calendar, the first guide to which which was Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010).  The General Convention of 2012 left Holy Women, Holy Men (2010) alone, but the General Convention of 2015 authorized a successor, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016).  The General Convention of 2018 authorized the expanded Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, which, as of the date I write this post, is available only as a PDF document.

Truth, therefore, has two feast days in The Episcopal Church.  Her feast day from Holy Women, Holy Men (2010) and A Great Cloud of Witnesses (2016) is July 20.  She shares that feast day with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, and Harriet Tubman.  However, her feast day (by herself) in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 is November 26.

Isabella Baumfree, born in Rifton, New York, in 1797, was a slave.  She, a daughter of James and Elizabeth Baumfree, grew up speaking Dutch, not English.  After our saint learned English, she spoke it with a Dutch accent.  Young Isabella suffered greatly.  She, sold more than once, never knew her siblings; slavery broke her family apart.  She endured beatings, the scars of which her body bore throughout her long life.  When Isabella was 13 years old, her master mated her with Thomas, an older slave.  She and Thomas had five children.  As the government of New York prepared to free all the remaining slaves in that state on July 4, 1827, Isabella’s master reneged on promises to free her prior to that date.  In 1826 she liberated herself and her youngest child, Sophia.

Isabella spent 1826-1843 in New York City and the immediate area.  Elizabeth Baumfree had taught her daughter to trust in God.  Isabella became a Christian under the influence of her new employers (1826-1829), Isaac and Maria Van Wagener, Quakers.  Our saint, their housekeeper, adopted their surname.  In 1828 she successfully sued for the freedom of her son Peter, sold illegally into slavery in Alabama.  He joined her in New York and became Peter Van Wagener.  About that time, Isabella joined a Methodist congregation.

Isabella, who claimed to have conversations with God, was not, unfortunately, the shrewdest of mystics at all times.  From 1829 to 1832 she was housekeeper to Elijah Pierson (1786-1834), a dodgy evangelist who billed himself as “Elijah the Tishbite.”  He was also a friend of her next employer, Robert Matthews (1788-circa 1841), who billed himself as “Matthias the Prophet,” operated a commune from 1832 to 1835, and also turned out to be untrustworthy.

Our saint’s life changed in 1843.  Peter, a crewman aboard a whaling vessel, died.  Isabella, discerning a call from God to become an itinerant evangelist and political activist, renamed herself Sojourner Truth.  She was a feminist, a suffragette, a pacifist, an educator (despite being illiterate), a pacifist, and an advocate of temperance.  Truth also worked with Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison.  The latter man published her dictated autobiography, Narrative of Sojourner Truth, in 1847.

Truth, based at Northampton, Massachusetts, from 1844 to 1857, was usually a Methodist.  She had an association with the Millerites, however.  After William Miller’s predictions of 1843-1844 proved false, she chose to remain separate from that movement, which spawned the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Truth, unlike other abolitionists, understood the principle summarized in intersectionality, a word that did not exist during her lifetime.  Her life played out at the intersection of race, slavery, and gender.  Perhaps Truth’s best, most succinct summary of why freedom for slaves and the equality of men and women must go hand-in-hand was the “Ain’t I a Woman” speech, which she delivered at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851.

Truth, who moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where some of her daughters resided, in 1857, supported the U.S. military during the Civil War and worked for justice for former slaves after that conflict.  She helped to recruit African-American soldiers during the war.  She also met with President Abraham Lincoln in 1864 then remained in the District of Columbia, to minister to slaves in refugee camps.  Then Truth spent seven years unsuccessfully lobbying for federal land grants for former slaves.

Truth remained a radical in her final years.  In 1872 she tried to vote in the presidential election;  she would have voted for President Ulysses Grant, with whom she had met.

Our saint, aged about 86 years, died in Battle Creek, Michigan, on November 26, 1883.  The truths for which she worked and advocated have never died, though.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 7, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DOMITIAN OF HUY, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

THE FEAST OF HARRIET STARR CANNON, FOUNDRESS OF THE COMMUNITY OF SAINT MARY

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH ARMITAGE ROBINSON, ANGLICAN DEAN, SCHOLAR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROSA VENERINI, FOUNDRESS OF THE VENERINI SISTERS; MENTOR OF SAINT LUCIA FILIPPINI, FOUNDRESS OF THE RELIGIOUS TEACHERS FILIPPINI

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Almighty God, who has made the Church to be one body with many members and many gifts:

we thank you for the witness of your daughter, Sojourner Truth,

and for her courage to preach the truth of your liberating love in the face of injustice.

Grant that we, like her, may use our time, talents, and energy to proclaim the coming of your Kingdom,

which is good news to the poor, and in which all the oppressed shall be made free;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Wisdom of Solomon 5:15-20

Psalm 126

Mark 4:21-29

Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

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Feast of H. Baxter Liebler (November 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Episcopal Flag

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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HAROLD BAXTER LIEBER (NOVEMBER 26, 1889-NOVEMBER 21, 1982)

Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Navajo Nation

H. Baxter Liebler comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

The Brooklyn-born Liebler spent nearly half of his long life ministering to members of the Navajo nation in Utah.

Liebler, born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 26, 1889, was a son of Mildred Walther Liebler and theater producer Theodore Liebler.  Our saint became a businessman then a second-career priest.  He married his first wife, Frances F. Marks (d. 1978) in 1913.  Liebler, ordained to the priesthood in 1978, served first as Curate of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, New York, New York.  In 1918 he founded St. Saviour’s Church, Old Greenwich, Connecticut.  In 1942 Liebler was the Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Riverside, Connecticut, when he was on vacation in southwestern Utah.  He noticed the poverty of the Navajo there; they lacked even schools and clinics.  He had had a fascination with Native Americans since childhood.  The combination of factors led to Liebler becoming a missionary.

Liebler did something about that poverty; he returned the following year and remained for the rest of his life.  Our saint founded St. Christopher’s Mission, Bluff, Utah, as well as a school and a clinic.  He respected the Navajo culture, mastered the language, and integrated Navajo prayers and tunes into the liturgy.  He rejected culturally destructive assimilation, by which many folkways and languages have gone extinct, and many indigenous people have fallen into a host of severe woes and ills.  Liebler was glad when the State of Utah assumed responsibility for the school and the clinic, for he preferred to focus on evangelism.  He excelled in that; he baptized about 2,000 Navajos.

Liebler remained active in retirement (1962-1982).  He moved to Oljato and founded the St. Mary-of-the-Moonlight Mission, as well as the Hat Creek Retreat Center.  Our saint, a widower, also remarried.  His second wife was Joan Warburton Eskell (1915-2009).  He died in Oljato on November 21, 1982, five days prior to what would have been his ninety-third birthday.

One legacy of Liebler’s work is The Episcopal Church’s Navajoland Area Mission (a.k.a. the Episcopal Church in Navajoland), carved out of the Dioceses of Arizona, Utah, and the Rio Grande (encompassing New Mexico and much of western Texas) in 1977.  Navajoland has three regions and nine congregations in 2019.  Bishop David Bailey emphasizes ordaining indigenous priests and deacons as the mission area nears the presumptive election of its fourth indigenous bishop.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 23, 2019 COMMON ERA

TUESDAY IN EASTER WEEK

THE FEAST OF TOYOHIKO KAGAWA, RENEWER OF SOCIETY AND PROPHETIC WITNESS IN JAPAN

THE FEAST OF JOHANN WALTER, “FIRST CANTOR OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH”

THE FEAST OF WALTER RUSSELL BOWIE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, SEMINARY PROFESSOR, AND HYMN WRITER

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant H. Baxter Liebler,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the Navajo people.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716

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Feast of Theodore P. Ferris (November 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston, Massachusetts

Image Source = Library of Congress

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THEODORE PARKER FERRIS (DECEMBER 23, 1908-NOVEMBER 26, 1972)

Episcopal Priest and Author

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Preaching on the Ascension encounters certain obstacles which may in turn be used as opportunities.  The first obstacle is the resistance of the average layman to Christian doctrine.  In spite of the rising tide of “neo-orthodoxy” among the clergy, there are still a great many laymen who are interested in Christianity as a way of life, but are not at all interested in its framework of faith.  They believe that they can keep the Christian standards of moral conduct and give up the Christian articles of faith.  The Ascension, being one of those articles, does not concern them.  They want to know the things Jesus said, not the the things that were said about him….

A doctrine begins with a significant event from which people draw a general conclusion.  Just as people cannot escape the impact of events, so they cannot escape drawing conclusions  which attempt to explain the experience, relate it to the rest of experience, and communicate it to future generations by expressing it in an intelligible form.

–Theodore P. Ferris, in The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 9 (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1954), 24-25

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Theodore P. Ferris comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the ninth volume (1954) of The Interpreter’s Bible, for which he wrote the exposition on the Acts of the Apostles.

Ferris, a priest, taught preaching in seminaries.  He, born to Walter Andrew Ferris and Eva Parker (Ferris) in Port Chester, New York, on December 23, 1908, graduated from Harvard University in 1929 then from the General Theological Seminary in 1933.  He became a deacon in 1933 then a priest the following year.  Our saint served in three congregations in thirty-nine years.  He was:

  1. Assistant Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, New York, New York (1933-1937), doubling as a tutor a the General Theological Seminary;
  2. Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland (1937-1942); and
  3. Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston, Massachusetts (1942-1972), doubling as adjunct instructor of homiletics at the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1943-1964).

Ferris, a bachelor, also found time to write.  Aside from his work for The Interpreter’s Bible, his published works included:

  1. This Created World (1944),
  2. When I Became a Man (1957),
  3. The New Life (1961),
  4. Book of Prayer for Every Man (1962),
  5. What Jesus Did (1963), and
  6. The Image of God (1965).

Ferris, a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, left a fine legacy in other ways.  He, a recipient of at least six honorary doctorates, served as a delegate to the first Assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1948.  He also composed the hymn tune “Weymouth” (1941) for The Hymnal 1940 (1943).

Ferris, aged 63 years, died in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 26, 1972.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2019 COMMON ERA

HOLY SATURDAY

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN, MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND “PASTOR OF THE REFORMATION”

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN X, KING OF DENMARK; AND HIS BROTHER, HAAKON VII, KING OF NORWAY

THE FEAST OF MARION MACDONALD KELLERAN, EPISCOPAL SEMINARY PROFESSOR AND LAY LEADER

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Theodore Parker Ferris and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of St. John Berchmans (November 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Logo of the Society of Jesus

SAINT JOHN BERCHMANS (MARCH 13, 1599-AUGUST 13, 1621)

Roman Catholic Seminarian

“If I do not become a saint when I am young, I shall never become one.”–St. John Berchmans

St. John Berchmans grew up in a devout Roman Catholic family in Belgium.  He had four siblings, two of which entered religious life.  The saint’s piety was obvious when he was a boy.  His devotion led him to take his tasks as an altar boy quite seriously.  He was also devoted to his ailing mother, caring for her.  The young man become a Jesuit novitiate in 1616.  He wanted to do great things to God–to become a missionary priest in China and to spend part of his life in Europe, working among migrants from various nations.  So Berchmans took his seminary studies seriously and studied the major languages of Europe.    Seminary brought him to Rome, where he died of natural causes at age twenty-two.

Pope Pius IX beatified Berchmans in 1865; Pope Leo XIII canonized him in 1888.  The saint is the patron of altar servers, oblate novices, and young people.

The universal opinion regarding St. John Berchmans among those who knew him well was that he was a holy young man who cared deeply for others, loved Jesus, had a devotion to Mary, prayed often, and dreamed of bringing others to Christ.  Circumstances cut his life short, but he did the best he could with the time he had.  May we do the same.

I sing a song of the saints of God,

patient and brave and true,

who toiled and fought and lived and died

for the Lord they loved and knew.

–Lesbia Scott

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 15, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALBERT THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF REGENSBURG

THE FEAST OF MARGARET MEAD, ANTHROPOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF PHILIP WILLIAM OTTERBEIN, COFOUNDER OF THE CHURCH OF THE UNITED BRETHREN IN CHRIST

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The Collect and Lections for a Saint I, from The Book of Common Prayer (1979):

Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:  Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Saint John Berchmans, may persevere in running the rage that is set before us, until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

Proper 29, Year A   1 comment

Above:  The Good Shepherd

Image in the Public Domain

The Face of Jesus

The Sunday Closest to November 23

Last Sunday After Pentecost:  Christ the King Sunday

NOVEMBER 26, 2023

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FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #1

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 (New Revised Standard Version):

Thus says the Lord GOD:

I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them:

I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

Psalm 100 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

Be joyful in the LORD, all you lands;

serve the LORD with gladness

and come before his presence with a song.

Know this:  The LORD himself is God;

he himself has made us, and we are his;

we are the sheep of his pasture.

3 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

go into his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and call upon his name.

4 For the LORD is good;

his mercy is everlasting;

and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #2

Ezekiel 34:11-16 (New Revised Standard Version):

Thus says the Lord GOD:

I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

Psalm 95:1-7a (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

Come, let us sing to the LORD;

let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving

and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

3 For the LORD is a great God,

and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth,

and the heights of the hills are his also.

5 The sea is his, for he made it,

and his hands have molded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,

and kneel before the LORD our Maker.

7 For he is our God,

and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

SECOND READING

Ephesians 1:15-23 (New Revised Standard Version):

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

GOSPEL READING

Matthew 25:31-46 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand,

Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.

Then the righteous will answer him,

Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, `Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.

Then he will say to those at his left hand,

You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.

Then they also will answer,

Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?

Then he will answer them,

Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Jesus, the Good Shepherd:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/litany-of-the-good-shepherd/

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/shepherd-of-tender-youth/

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/shepherd-of-souls-by-james-montgomery/

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/the-king-of-love-my-shepherd-is/

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/o-thou-who-art-the-shepherd/

Of Paul, James, Faith, and Justification:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/week-of-proper-23-tuesday-year-1/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/week-of-proper-23-thursday-year-1/

A Foretaste of the Feast of Christ the King:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/week-of-proper-28-wednesday-year-1/

Hope of the World:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/hope-of-the-world/

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Our Lord and Savior commands us to love our neighbors as yourselves.  He also tells us that each person is our neighbor.  We are to love God fully and our neighbors as ourselves, for God dwells within each of us.  Do we seek to recognize the face of Jesus when we look at each other?

Respecting Jesus in each other requires us to seek justice for each other.  The audience of the reading from Ezekiel is the ruling class, but Jesus addresses people in general in the lesson from Matthew.  By serving each other, he tells us, we serve God.  Following Jesus is not an abstraction.  No, there are observable deeds.  When given the opportunity, do we care for others, especially those society has marginalized and/or despised?

Let us be honest.  Who enjoys visiting prisoners?  And do we not prefer not to look upon the homeless?  Furthermore, going to a hospital or a nursing home can be far from a pleasant experience.  Yet God also loves and Jesus died for those who are incarcerated or homeless or in a nursing home or a hospital bed.

Speaking of marginalized people, let us ponder shepherds.  They occupied a lower rung on the socio-economic ladder.   Yet they were essential elements of their society.  God spoke as a shepherd in the reading from Ezekiel and Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd.  King David’s immediate former profession was shepherd.  I interpret this combination of facts to mean that we ought not stand on ceremony and rank, seeking glory for ourselves.   Rather, we should seek to serve.  Furthermore, leadership, especially that of a nation, is properly an opportunity and a responsibility to serve others and work for justice.

There is god news and bad news in this day’s readings.  The good news is grace.  Reread the lesson from Matthew:  Those whom God praised did not know how much good they had done.  Yet there is bad news:  judgment.  Those whom God condemned were unaware of the depth of their sins.  Maybe they even thought they had lived righteously.

I like to listen to radio programs and podcasts from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Among my favorite series is The Late Show, which profiles deceased Canadians who contributed greatly to society, rarely in ways that made headlines.  Here is a link to the episode about Gladys Evelyn Cook.  She worked with prisoners, understanding who they were and what they had done yet not judging them.  Instead, Cook recognized the potential within them.   With her generous spirit and Christian faith she touched the lives of many people for the good, giving away many hugs.  Inspired by her example and the lives of many other Christians in the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant, I pray that, by grace, I will act properly, not merely out of fear of divine wrath, but because I seek to do the right thing.  Gladys Evelyn Cook makes me want to be a better person than I am.  May I, by grace, have a similar effect on others.  May you, O reader, by grace, have a similar effect on others.

KRT

Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on May 29, 2011

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/week-of-proper-29-tuesday-year-1/

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for November   1 comment

Topaz

Image Source = Didier Descouens

1 (ALL SAINTS)

2 (ALL SOULS/COMMEMORATION OF ALL FAITHFUL DEPARTED)

3 (Richard Hooker, Anglican Priest and Theologian)

  • Daniel Payne, African Methodist Episcopal Bishop
  • John Worthington, British Moravian Minister and Composer; John Antes, U.S. Moravian Instrument Maker, Composer, and Missionary; Benjamin Henry LaTrobe, Sr., British Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer; Christian Ignatius LaTrobe, British Moravian Composer; Peter LaTrobe, British Moravian Bishop and Composer; Johann Christopher Pyrlaeus, Moravian Missionary and Musician; and Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg, Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer
  • Pierre-François Néron, French Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Vietnam, 1860

4 (Ludolph Ernst Schlicht, Moravian Minister, Musician, and Hymn Writer; John Gambold, Sr., British Moravian Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns; and John Gambold, Jr., Moravian Composer)

  • Augustus Montague Toplady, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Léon Bloy, French Roman Catholic Novelist and Social Critic; his godson, Jacques Maritain, French Roman Catholic Philosopher; and his wife, Raïssa Maritain, French Roman Catholic Contemplative
  • Theodore Weld, U.S. Congregationalist then Quaker Abolitionist and Educator; his wife, Angelina Grimké, U.S. Presbyterian then Quaker Abolitionist, Educator, and Feminist; her sister, Sarah Grimké, U.S. Episcopalian then Quaker Abolitionist and Feminist; her nephew, Francis Grimké, African-American Presbyterian Minister and Civil Rights Activist; and his wife, Charlotte Grimké, African-American Abolitionist and Educator

5 (Bernard Lichtenberg, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1943)

  • Guido Maria Conforti, Founder of the Xavierian Missionaries
  • Hryhorii Lakota, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1950

6 (Christian Gregor, Father of Moravian Church Music)

  • Arthur Tappan and Lewis Tappan, U.S. Congregationalist Businessmen and Abolitionists; colleagues and financial backers of Samuel Eli Cornish and Theodore S. Wright, African-American Ministers and Abolitionists
  • Giovanni Gabrieli and Hans Leo Hassler, Composers and Organists; and Claudio Monteverdi and Heinrich Schutz, Composers and Musicians
  • Halford E. Luccock, U.S. Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Magdeleine of Jesus, Founder of the Little Sisters of Jesus

7 (Willibrord, Apostle to the Frisians; and Boniface of Mainz, Apostle to the Germans)

  • Benedict Joseph Flaget, Roman Catholic Bishop of Bardstown then of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, and Civil Rights Activist
  • Eugene Carson Blake, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Ecumenist, and Moral Critic
  • John Cawood, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John Christian Frederick Heyer, Lutheran Missionary in the United States and India; Bartholomeaus Ziegenbalg, Jr., Lutheran Minister to the Tamils; and Ludwig Nommensen, Lutheran Missionary to Sumatra and Apostle to the Batak

8 (John Duns Scotus, Scottish Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian)

  • Elizabeth of the Trinity, French Roman Catholic Nun, Mystic, and Religious Writer
  • Johann von Staupitz, Martin Luther’s Spiritual Mentor
  • John Caspar Mattes, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Liturgist
  • Pambo of Nitria, Ammonius of Skete, Palladius of Galatia, Macarius of Egypt, Macarius of Alexandria, and Pishoy, Desert Fathers; Evagrius of Pontus, Monk and Scholar; Melania the Elder, Desert Mother; Rufinus of Aquileia, Monk and Theologian; Didymus the Blind, Biblical Scholar; John II, Bishop of Jerusalem; Melania the Younger, Desert Mother; and her husband, Pinian, Monk

9 (Martin Chemnitz, German Lutheran Theologian, and the “Second Martin”)

  • Andreas Peter Berggreen, Danish Lutheran Musicologist, Organist, Music Educator, and Composer
  • Elijah P. Lovejoy, U.S. Journalist, Abolitionist, Presbyterian Minister, and Martyr, 1837; his brother, Owen Lovejoy, U.S. Abolitionist, Lawmaker, and Congregationalist Minister; and William Wells Brown, African-American Abolitionist, Novelist, Historian, and Physician
  • Johann(es) Matthaus Meyfart, German Lutheran Educator and Devotional Writer
  • Margery Kempe, English Roman Catholic Mystic and Pilgrim
  • William Croswell, Episcopal Priest and Hymn Writer

10 (Leo I “the Great,” Bishop of Rome)

  • Lott Cary, African-American Baptist Minister and Missionary to Liberia; and Melville B. Cox, U.S. Methodist Minister and Missionary to Liberia
  • Odette Prévost, French Roman Catholic Nun, and Martyr in Algeria, 1995

11 (Anne Steele, First Important English Female Hymn Writer)

  • Alijca Maria Jadwiga Kotowska, Polish Roman Catholic Nun and Martyr, 1939
  • Edwin Hatch, Anglican Priest, Scholar, and Hymn Writer
  • Martha Coffin Pelham Wright; her sister, Lucretia Coffin Mott; her husband, James Mott; his sister, Abigail Lydia Mott Moore; and her husband, Lindley Murray Moore; U.S. Quaker Abolitionists and Feminists
  • Peter Taylor Forsyth, Scottish Congregationalist Minister and Theologian

12 (Josaphat Kuntsevych, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Polotsk, and Martyr, 1623)

  • John Tavener, English Presbyterian then Orthodox Composer
  • Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexican Roman Catholic Nun, Composer, Writer, Philosopher, Feminist, and Alleged Heretic
  • Ray Palmer, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • William Arthur Dunkerley, British Novelist, Poet, and Hymn Writer

13 (Henry Martyn Dexter, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Historian)

  • Abbo of Fleury, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Brice of Tours, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Frances Xavier Cabrini, Founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart
  • William Romanis, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

14 (Samuel Seabury, Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, and Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

  • Maria Luiza Merkert, Co-Founder of the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth
  • Nicholas Tavelic and His Companions, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1391
  • Peter Wolle, U.S. Moravian Bishop, Organist, and Composer; Theodore Francis Wolle, U.S. Moravian Organist and Composer; and John Frederick “J. Fred” Wolle, U.S. Moravian Organist, Composer, and Choir Director

15 (John Amos Comenius, Father of Modern Education)

  • Gustaf Aulén and his protégé and colleague, Anders Nygren, Swedish Lutheran Bishops and Theologians
  • Jane Montgomery Campbell, Anglican Hymn Translator and Music Educator
  • Johann Gottlob Klemm, Instrument Maker; David Tannenberg, Sr., German-American Moravian Organ Builder; Johann Philip Bachmann, German-American Moravian Instrument Maker; Joseph Ferdinand Bulitschek, Bohemian-American Organ Builder; and Tobias Friedrich, German Moravian Composer and Musician
  • Johannes Kepler, German Lutheran Astronomer and Mathematician
  • Joseph Pignatelli, Restorer of the Jesuits

16 (Margaret of Scotland, Queen, Humanitarian, and Ecclesiastical Reformer)

  • Giuseppe Moscati, Italian Roman Catholic Physician
  • Ignacio Ellacuria and His Companions, Martyrs in El Salvador, November 15, 1989
  • Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay, 1628

17 (Henriette DeLille, Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family)

  • Hugh of Lincoln, Roman Catholic Bishop and Abbot

18 (Hilda of Whitby, Roman Catholic Abbess)

  • Arthur Tozer Russell, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Isabel Alice Hartley Crawford, Baptist Missionary to the Kiowa Nation
  • Jane Eliza(beth) Leeson, English Hymn Writer

19 (Elizabeth of Hungary, Princess of Hungary, and Humanitarian)

  • Alice Nevin, U.S. German Reformed Liturgist and Composer of Hymn Texts
  • Arthur Henry Mann, Anglican Organist, Choir Director, Hymnodist, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Johann Christian Till, U.S. Moravian Organist, Composer, and Piano Builder; and his son, Jacob Christian Till, U.S. Moravian Piano Builder
  • Johann Hermann Schein, German Lutheran Composer
  • Samuel John Stone, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

20 (F. Bland Tucker, Episcopal Priest and Hymnodist; “The Dean of American Hymn Writers”)

  • Henry Francis Lyte, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of Religious Life in The Church of England
  • Richard Watson Gilder, U.S. Poet, Journalist, and Social Reformer
  • Theodore Claudius Pease, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

21 (Thomas Tallis and his student and colleague, William Byrd, English Composers and Organists; and John Merbecke, English Composer, Organist, and Theologian)

  • Guy Ignatius Chabrat, Roman Catholic Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown then of Louisville, Kentucky; and his cousin, Peter Joseph Lavialle, Roman Catholic Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Henry Purcell and his brother, Daniel Purcell, English Composers
  • Maria Franciszka Siedliska, Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth

22 (Robert Seagrave, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer)

  • Anna Kolesárová, Slovak Roman Catholic Martyr, 1944
  • Ditlef Georgson Ristad, Norwegian-American Lutheran Minister, Hymn Translator, Liturgist, and Educator

23 (Clement I, Bishop of Rome)

  • Caspar Friedrich Nachtenhofer, German Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Columban, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Missionary
  • Enrichetta Alfieri, Italian Roman Catholic Nun and “Angel of San Vittore”
  • John Kenneth Pfohl, Sr., U.S. Moravian Bishop; his wife, Harriet Elizabeth “Bessie” Whittington Pfohl, U.S. Moravian Musician; and their son, James Christian Pfohl, Sr., U.S. Moravian Musician

24 (Andrew Dung-Lac and Peter Thi, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs in Vietnam, 1839)

  • Lucy Menzies, Scottish Presbyterian then Anglican Scholar and Mystic
  • Theophane Venard, Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in Vietnam, 1861
  • Vincent Liem, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Vietnam, 1773

25 (William Hiley Bathurst, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer)

  • Isaac Watts, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • James Otis Sargent Huntington, Founder of the Order of the Holy Cross
  • John LaFarge, Jr., U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Renewer of Society
  • Petrus Nigidius, German Lutheran Educator and Composer; and Georg Nigidius, German Lutheran Composer and Hymn Writer

26 (Siricius, Bishop of Rome)

  • H. Baxter Liebler, Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Navajo Nation
  • John Berchmans, Roman Catholic Seminarian
  • Sojourner Truth, U.S. Abolitionist, Mystic, and Feminist
  • Theodore P. Ferris, Episcopal Priest and Author

27 (James Intercisus, Roman Catholic Martyr)

  • William Cooke and Benjamin Webb, Anglican Priests and Translators of Hymns

28 (Stephen the Younger, Defender of Icons)

  • Albert George Butzer, Sr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Educator
  • Kamehameha IV and Emma Rooke, King and Queen of Hawai’i
  • James Mills Thoburn, Isabella Thoburn, and Clara Swain, U.S. Methodist Missionaries to India
  • Joseph Hofer and Michael Hofer, U.S. Hutterite Conscientious Objectors and Martyrs, 1918

29 (Day of Intercession and Thanksgiving for the Missionary Work of the Church)

  • Frederick Cook Atkinson, Anglican Church Organist and Composer
  • Jennette Threlfall, English Hymn Writer

30 (ANDREW THE APOSTLE, MARTYR)

Floating

  • Thanksgiving Day

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