Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1100s’ Category

Feast of St. Ubaldo Baldassini (May 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Ubaldo Baldassini

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT UBALDO BALDASSINI (CIRCA 1085-MAY 16, 1160)

Bishop of Gubbio

Also known as Saint Ubaldus Baldassini

St. Ubaldo Baldassini, born circa 1085 at Gubbio, near Ancona, Umbria, Italy, came from nobility.  Our saint, related to St. Sperandia (died in 1276; feast day = September 11), an abbess and a mystic, was a son of Rovaldo Baldassini.  Rovaldo died when St. Ubaldo was young.  Our saint’s mother was, unfortunately, an invalid afflicted with a neurological disorder, so an uncle raised him.

St. Ubaldo, educated at the cathedral school at Gubbio, turned to the Church.  He, a monk at the Monastery of St. Secondo, Gubbio, became a priest in 1115.  Later he became the dean of the cathedral.  Our saint began to serve as the Bishop of Gubbio in 1128.  St. Ubaldo, a friend of St. Francis of Assisi, had a reputation for being patient and kind.  Our saint also delivered the city from the wrath of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (reigned 1152-1190), whom he bribed not to sack Gubbio.  St. Ubaldo died of natural causes at Gubbio on May 16, 1160.  He was about 75 years old.

Pope Celestine III canonized our saint in 1192.

St. Ubaldo is the patron saint of autistic people, possessed persons, sick children, obsessive compulsives, and Gubbio and Montovi, Italy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRY CLAY SHUTTLEWORTH, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DANIEL C. ROBERTS, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servant Saint Ubaldo of Baldassini.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Blessed John Cacciafronte (March 16)   Leave a comment

giovanni-de-sordi

Above:  Blessed John Cacciafronte

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED JOHN CACCIAFRONTE (CIRCA 1125-MARCH 16, 1183)

Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, Bishop, and Martyr

Also known as Blessed John de Surdis, John Sordi, and Giovanni de Surdis Cacciafronte

Blessed John Cacciafronte, born circa 1125, was a native of Cremona, Italy.  He spent time as a monk at St. Lawrence Abbey there.  In 1155 he became the abbot.  Cacciafronte sided with Pope Alexander III (1159-1181) in the dispute with Antipope Victor IV (1159-1164).  This fact placed Cacciafronte in conflict with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (reigned 1155-1190), whom Alexander III had excommunicated in 1160 for supporting Victor IV.  Barbarossa exiled our saint, who became a hermit near Sordi.  In 1174 our saint became the Bishop of Mantua, replacing a man removed from office due to transgressions.  Three years later the penitent bishop sought to return to office, so Cacciafronte willingly returned to life as a hermit.  He was a hermit at Vicenza, Italy.  On March 16, 1183, Cacciafronte was rebuking a man who had embezzled church funds.  That man murdered our saint.

The Roman Catholic Church lists our saint as a martyr.

Pope Leo XII beatified him in 1824.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 20, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT FABIAN, BISHOP OF ROME AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DEICOLA AND GALL, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS; AND OTHMAR, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AT SAINT GALLEN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS EUTHYMIUS THE GREAT AND THEOCRISTUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF HARRIET AUBER, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

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Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Blessed John Cacciafronte,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Feast of Sts. Ludmilla of Bohemia, Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, Agnes of Prague, Clare of Assisi, Agnes of Assisi, and Hortulana of Assisi (March 2)   Leave a comment

premyslid-dynasty-coat-of-arms

Above:  Coat of Arms of the Premyslid Dynasty

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT LUDMILLA OF BOHEMIA (CIRCA 860-SEPTEMBER 16, 921)

Duchess of Bohemia and Martyr

Her feast transferred from September 16

grandmother of

SAINT WENCESLAUS I OF BOHEMIA (907-SEPTEMBER 28, 929)

Duke of Bohemia and Martyr

His feast transferred from September 28

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SAINT AGNES OF PRAGUE (1205-MARCH 6, 1282)

Bohemian Princess and Nun

Also known as Saint Agnes of Bohemia

Her feast day = March 2

Alternative feast days = March 6 and June 8

corresponded with

SAINT CLARE OF ASSISI (JULY 16, 1194-AUGUST 11, 1253)

Foundress of the Poor Clares

Her feast transferred from August 11

Alternative feast days = August 12, September 23, and October 3

sister of

SAINT AGNES OF ASSISI (1197-NOVEMBER 16, 1253)

Abbess at Monticelli

Her feast transferred from November 16

daughter of

SAINT HORTULANA OF ASSISI (DIED CIRCA 1238)

Poor Clare Nun

Also known as Saint Ortulana of Assisi

Her feast transferred from January 2

Alternative feast days = January 5 and August 18

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One of my purposes in renovating my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize influences and relationships.  This post, with family functioning as the connective tissue, is consistent with that goal.

St. Methodius (circa 815-885), a great missionary bishop, converted Duke Borivoj I of Bohemia (reigned 867-889) and his wife, St. Ludmilla of Bohemia (circa 860-921) to Christianity.  The sovereigns’ attempts to convert their subjects prompted much opposition, even an exile.  Their oldest son, Spythinev I (reigned 894-915), preceded his younger brother, Vratislaus I (reigned 915-921), who seems to have died during a pagan uprising, in power.  The Dukes of Bohemia at the time had to contend with the domestic policy issue of Christianity vs. paganism and the foreign policy issue of whether to align the duchy with the East or with the West.  These issues created much turmoil in Bohemia.  Vratislaus I’s widow was Drahomira (circa 877 or 890-died after 934), daughter of a pagan chief.  She had made baptismal vows on her wedding day yet did not take them seriously.

Two princes–both of them minors–stood to succeed to the throne.  St. Ludmilla, who supervised the education of St. Wenceslaus I (907-929), her grandson, served as regent for him briefly until Drahomira ordered her assassination and took over as regent.  Drahomira instituted a program of persecuting Christians.  The following year, however, St. Wenceslaus I reached the age of majority, assumed power, exiled his mother, and reversed her policies.  He also allied the Duchy of Bohemia with Germany, which sent enough priests to serve in long-vacant parishes.  Our saint’s reign was brief, for his brother, Boleslav I “the Cruel” (reigned 929-972), ordered and participated in his assassination at a church door in 929.

Centuries later, when the same dynasty still governed Bohemia, another Wenceslaus I (reigned 1230-1253) wielded power as the King (not Duke).  He was a kinsman of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231).  The king had a sister, St. Agnes of Prague (1205-1282), who avoided a series of arranged marriages and became a nun.  She built a Franciscan hospital on land her brother (the King of Bohemia) donated.  St. Agnes also founded the Confraternity of the Crusaders of the Red Star to staff the hospital and its clinics.  In 1234, with the help of St. Clare of Assisi, with whom she corresponded for about 20 years, St. Agnes founded the Convent of St. Saviour, Prague.  (St. Clare sent five nuns.)  St. Agnes became the abbess of that abbey.  The good works to which she devoted herself included cooking for other nuns and mending the clothes of lepers.

St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) also came from a privileged family and devoted her life to serving God in the poor.  She was a daughter of Count Favorino Sciffi of Sasso-Rosso and St. Hortulana of Assisi (died circa 1238) and a sister of St. Agnes of Assisi (1197-1253).  St. Clare also preferred monastic life to an arranged marriage.  In 1212 the 15-year-old saint made her vows before St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1226) and founded the Poor Clares, who lived austerely and helped the poor.  A few weeks later, her younger sister, St. Agnes of Assisi, joined her.  Both monastic vocations prompted strong opposition in certain relatives, who eventually became resigned to the fact of their monastic lives.  St. Clare led the order, partially a family matter, for the rest of her life.  St. Agnes founded Poor Clare communities.  She also became the abbess at Monticelli in 1221.  The widowed St. Hortulana joined the order too.  St. Agnes also tended to the dying St. Clare, whom she followed in death shortly after her older sister’s demise.

Families are, when they function as they ought to do, nurseries of faith and kindness.  One might wonder what kind of man St. Wenceslaus I might have become without the positive influence of his grandmother.  One might also recognize that Sts. Clare and Agnes of Assisi learned their faith at home and in church, and that they influenced their mother in turn.  One might also wonder if St. Agnes of Prague would have been as successful in her vocation without the aid of her brother (the King of Bohemia) and St. Clare of Assisi.

May we support and encourage each other in our vocations from God.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 1, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS

THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:  THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS

WORLD DAY OF PEACE

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Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth:

Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by the fellowship of love and prayer,

and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy.

We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit,

and who lives and reigns for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 2:7-11

Psalm 1

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Matthew 25:1-13

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 726

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Feast of St. Wulfric of Haselbury (February 20)   Leave a comment

st-wulfric

Above:  St. Wulfric of Haselbury

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT WULFRIC OF HASELBURY (1080-FEBRUARY 20, 1154)

Roman Catholic Hermit

Also known as Saint Ulric, Ulrich, and Ulfrick

St. Wulfric of Haselbury, born at Compton Martin, near Bristol, England, in 1080, was one of the saints who changed his ways.  St. Wulfric became a priest at Deverill (near Warminster) yet preferred to go hunting with local nobles to performing his ministerial duties.  However, he repented and became a hermit in 1125.  Our saint resided near the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset, where he remained for the rest of his life.  St. Wulfric’s activities included copying and binding books, as well as making objects for use in the Mass.  Our saint, who never joined any religious order, advised King Henry I (reigned 1100-1135), allegedly predicting the date of his death, and rebuked King Stephen (reigned 1135-1154).  St. Wulfric died on February 20, 1154.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETIUS OF TRIER, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP; AND SAINT AREDIUS OF LIMOGES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM OF KRATIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND HERMIT

THE FEAST OF HENRY USTICK ONDERDONK, EPISCOPAL BISHOP, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF MYRA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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O God, whose blessed son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we,

inspired by the devotion of your servant St. Wulfric of Haselbury,

may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or Luke 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 722

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Posted December 6, 2016 by neatnik2009 in February, Saints of the 1100s

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Feast of St. Sava I (January 14)   Leave a comment

St. Sava I and Relatives

Above:  The Family Tree of St. Sava I

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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SAINT SAVA I (1169/1174-JANUARY 14, 1235/1236)

Founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and First Archbishop of Serbs

A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989) lists our saint as “Sava, Founder and first Archbishop of the Serbian Church.”  I have listed him as St. Sava I, for his nephew, the third Archbishop of Serbs, was St. Sava II.

St. Sava

Above:  St. Sava I

Image in the Public Domain

St. Sava I came from Serbian royalty.  His father was Stephen I, founder of the Nemanja Dynasty (1166-1371) and Grand Prince of Serbia from 1166 to 1196.  Our saint’s mother was Anna, a noblewoman of uncertain origin.  According to one tradition her father was the Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes (reigned 1067-1071), but chronological realities make that parentage impossible.  Our saint’s given name was Rastislav, or Rastko for short.  Prince Rastislav, the youngest of three sons, entered monastic life at Mt. Athos against his parents’ wishes at age 18 and took the name Sava.

There were excellent reasons for members of Serbian royalty to enter monastic life.  Stephen I struggled with the Byzantine Empire, to whose emperor he was a vassal during a portion of his reign.  Stephen I fought Byzantine forces and allied himself with the Second Bulgarian Empire.  He joined his son as a monk at Mt. Athos in 1196, taking the monastic name Simeon.  At the same time St. Sava I’s mother, Anna, entered convent and became Anastasia.  Father and son founded the monastery of Chilandari (or Hilandar) as the center of Serbian Orthodox theological studies.  St. Sava I’s parents died in 1200.  In time the Serbian Orthodox Church canonized both of them.  The former Grand Prince became St. Simeon the Myrrh-Streaming and his consort became St. Anastasia.

St. Sava I returned to Serbia in 1207/1208, repatriated his father’s remains in the process.  The immediate task was to make peace between his quarreling older brothers.  St. Sava I remained in his homeland until 1217, serving as archimandrite, or chief abbot.  Then he returned to Mt. Athos.

Balkans 1200 CE

Above:  The Balkans and Environs after 1204 Common Era

Map Source = Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

St. Sava I founded the independent Serbian Orthodox Church in 1219, after meeting with Byzantine Emperor Theodore I Laskaris (reigned 1208-1221) and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Manuel I Charitopoulos (reigned 1215-1222), then in exile at Nicaea.  Our saint became the first Archbishop of Serbs, a post he held until he retired in 1233.  He appointed bishops, all of whom were alumni of the Chilandari monastery.  He also ended the Serbian Church’s vacillation between allegiance to Rome and allegiance to Constantinople.  St. Sava I also encouraged the spread of education in Serbia and wrote the first original work of Serbian literature–a biography of his father.  Our saint also contended with the Bogomil heresy (900s-1400s), a form of Gnosticism.  Bogomils denied the Incarnation, baptism, the Eucharist, the priesthood, and the structure of the Orthodox Church.

St. Sava I, retired, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  He died during the return trip, at Turnovo, Bulgaria, on January 14, 1235/1236 Old Style.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMILY DE RODAT, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF VILLEFRANCHE

THE FEAST OF EDWARD BOUVERIE PUSEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Almighty God, you have enlightened your Church

by the teaching of your servant St. Sava I;

enrich it evermore with your heavenly grace,

and raise up faithful witnesses, who by their life and teaching

may proclaim to all people the truth of your salvation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:1-10

Psalm 34:11-17

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Matthew 5:13-19

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), page 684

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Revised on November 16, 2016

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Feast of St. Aelred of Hexham (January 12)   1 comment

St. Aelred

Above:  St. Aelred

Image in the Public Domain

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ST. AELRED OF HEXHAM (1109/1110-JANUARY 12, 1167)

Roman Catholic Abbot of Rievaulx

St. Aelred of Hexham became a major figure in the English Roman Catholic Church.  He came from a family in which men served as treasurers of the shrine of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (lived circa 634-687) at Durham.  Our saint’s father was Eliaf, a priest and treasurer of the shrine.  His father, another Eliaf, was also a treasurer of the shrine.  Young St. Aelred served in the court of King St. David I of Scotland (reigned 1124-1153) for up to a decade (perhaps from ages 14 to 24 years), rising to the rank of steward.  Our saint became disillusioned with court politics, so he entered the monastery at Rievaulx at age 24, in 1133 or 1134.

The monastic life was St. Aelred’s vocation.  In 1142 and 1143 he served as the novice master at Rievaulx.  In 1143 he became the first abbot of the new daughterhouse at Revesby, Lincolnshire.  Four years later he became the abbot at Rievaulx, an office he held for the rest of his life.  St. Aelred increased the number of monks at Rievaulx (to about 600 at the time of his death) and the number of daughterhouses.  Toward the end of his life our saint suffered from arthritis and kidney stones.  He died on January 12, 1167.

St. Aelred, a spiritual writer, hagiographer, and historian, became involved in politics, such as a controversy about the appointment of the Archbishop of York, St. William of York (died in 1154), son of the treasurer to King Henry I (reigned 1100-1135).  Our saint also used some of his writings to advise King Henry II (reigned 1133-1189) on how to govern properly.  Some of St. Aelred’s sermons have survived.  His other major works were, in chronological order:

  1. The Mirror of Charity (1142), which he wrote at the request of St. Bernard of Clarivaux (1090-1153);
  2. The Life of David, King of the Scots (1153);
  3. Genealogy of the Kings of the English (1153-1154);
  4. On the Account of the Standard (1153-1154);
  5. The Life of Saint Ninian (1154-1160);
  6. On the Miracles of the Church of Hexham (1155);
  7. A Certain Wonderful Miracle (1160);
  8. Jesus at the Age of Twelve (1160-1162);
  9. The Formation of the Anchoresses (1160-1162);
  10. The Life of Saint Edward, King and Confessor (1161-1163);
  11. Pastoral Prayer (1163-1167);
  12. On the Soul (1164-1167); and
  13. Spiritual Friendship (1164-1167).

St. Aelred understood friendship as a divine gift and a human creation.  Love is a universal gift from God, he wrote, but friendship requires a human effort.  Our saint encouraged expressions of friendship among his monks.  He was correct.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF AARON ROBARTS WOLFE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM MORTON REYNOLDS, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, EDUCATOR, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

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Almighty God, you endowed the abbot Aelred with the gift of Christian friendship

and the wisdom to lead others in the way of holiness:

Grant to your people that same spirit of mutual affection, that, in loving one another,

we may know the love of Christ and rejoice in the gift of your eternal goodness;

through the same Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns

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

Ruth 1:15-18

Psalm 36:5-10

Philippians 2:1-4

Mark 12:28-34a

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 167

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Feast of St. Bernard of Parma (December 3)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Vatican Flag

SAINT BERNARD OF PARMA (DIED 1133)

Roman Catholic Abbot, Cardinal, and Bishop

His feast transferred from December 4

One should not speak casually and therefore inaccurately of government interference with the church.  Facts matter, or at least they should.  The life of St. Bernard of Parma (died 1133) did run afoul of politics in the 1100s and cause two periods of exile.  Those events did constitute unmistakable state interference with the church.

St. Bernard was born to the Uberti family, Florentine nobility.  He became Abbot of San Salvio monastery then general-superior of the Vallombrosans.  Pope Urban II (reigned 1088-1099) elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1097.  Then the saint became Bishop of Parma in 1106.  As bishop he supported the reforms of the late Pope Gregory VII (reigned 1073-1085) and opposed antipope Sylvester IV (reigned 1105-1111).  Partisans of Sylvester IV exiled the saint for this reason.

St. Bernard, back in Parma, resumed his duties.  Years later, in 1127, he went into a second exile.  This time the cause was politics surrounding the German royal succession.  Rome and St. Bernard favored Lothair II (reigned 1125-1127 and 1135-1137).  But there was another claimant, Conrad III (reigned 1127-1135 and 1138-1152).  Fortunately, the saint’s exile ended.  He died at Parma in 1133.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 13, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRICE OF TOURS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABBO OF FLEURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH CARDINAL BERNARDIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS TAVELIC AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church, including Saint Bernard of Parma.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 0r Matthew 24:42-47

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60