Archive for the ‘September 14’ Category

Devotion for the Feast of the Holy Cross (September 14)   3 comments

Above:  The Crucifixion and the Way of the Holy Cross, June 9, 1887

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-00312

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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The Feast of the Holy Cross commemorates two events–The discovery of the supposed true cross by St. Helena on September 14, 320, and the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, on that day in 335, on the anniversary of the dedication of the First Temple in Jerusalem.  In the Eastern Orthodox Church the corresponding commemoration is the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

The Feast of the Holy Cross has had an interesting history.  It existed in Constantinople in the 600s and in Rome in the 800s.  The feast did not transfer into Anglicanism initially.  It did become a lesser feast–a black-letter day–in The Book of Common Prayer in 1561.  In The Church of England The Alternative Service Book (1980) kept Holy Cross Day as a black-letter day, but Common Worship (2000) promoted the commemoration to a major feast–a red-letter day.  The Episcopal Church dropped Holy Cross Day in 1789 but added it–as a red-letter day–during Prayer Book revision in the 1970s.  The feast remained outside the mainstream of U.S. and Canadian Lutheranism until the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) and its variant, Lutheran Worship (1982).

Without getting lost in the narrative weeds (especially in Numbers 21), one needs to know that God chastises Jews and Christians for their sins yet does not destroy them, except when He allegedly sends poisonous snakes to attack them.  Then God provides a healing mechanism.  We should look up toward God, not grumble in a lack of gratitude.  Isaiah 45:21-25, set toward the end of the Babylonian Exile, argues that God is the master of history, and that the vindication of the former Kingdom of Judah will benefit Gentiles also, for Gentiles will receive invitations to worship the one true God.  Many will accept, we read.  In the Gospel of John the exaltation of Jesus is his crucifixion.  That is counter-intuitive; it might even be shocking.    If so, recall 1 Corinthians 1:23–Christ crucified is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.  God frequently works in ways we do not understand.  John 12 mentions some God-fearers, Gentiles who worshiped YHWH.  This reference picks up from Isaiah 45:21-25.  It also fits well with the Pauline mission to Gentiles and emphasis on Christ crucified.

As for God sending poisonous snakes to bite grumbling Israelites, that does not fit into my concept of God.  My God-concept encompasses both judgment and mercy, but not that kind of behavior.

The choice of the cross as the symbol of Christianity is wonderfully ironic.  The cross, an instrument of judicial murder and the creation of fear meant to inspire cowering submission to Roman authority, has become a symbol of divine love, sacrifice, and victory.  A symbol means what people agree it means; that is what makes it a symbol.  Long after the demise of the Roman Empire, the cross remains a transformed symbol.

The Episcopal collect for Holy Cross Day invites us to take up a cross and follow Jesus.  In Cotton Patch Gospel (1982), the play based on Clarence Jordan‘s The Cotton Patch Version of Matthew and John, Jesus, says that a person not willing to accept his or her lynching is unworthy of Him.

That is indeed a high standard.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 1, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA, DISCIPLE OF JESUS

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Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross

that he might draw the whole world to himself:

Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption,

may take up our cross and follow him;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

Isaiah 45:21-25

Psalm 98 or 8:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11 or Galatians 6:14-18

John 12:31-36a

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 581

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Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross

that he might draw the whole world to himself.

To those who look upon the cross, grant your wisdom, healing, and eternal life,

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

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

Numbers 21:4b-9

Psalm 98:1-4 or 78:1-2, 34-38

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

John 3:13-17

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 57

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Numbers 21:4-9

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

John 12:20-33

Lutheran Service Book (2006), xxiii

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/the-exaltation-of-the-holy-cross-part-i/

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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for September   Leave a comment

Forget-Me-Nots

Image Source = Wilder Kaiser

1 (Dionysius Exiguus, Roman Catholic Monk and Reformer of the Calendar)

  • David Pendleton Oakerhater, Cheyenne Warrior, Chief, and Holy Man, and Episcopal Deacon and Missionary in Oklahoma
  • Fiacre, Roman Catholic Hermit
  • François Mauriac, French Roman Catholic Novelist, Christian Humanist, and Social Critic

2 (Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942 and 1943)

  • David Charles, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Dianna Ortiz, U.S. Roman Catholic Nun and Anti-Torture Activist
  • William of Roskilde, English-Danish Roman Catholic Bishop

3 (Jedediah Weiss, U.S. Moravian Craftsman, Merchant, and Musician)

  • Arthur Carl Lichtenberger, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, and Witness for Civil Rights
  • F. Crawford Burkitt, Anglican Scholar, Theologian, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • James Bolan Lawrence, Episcopal Priest and Missionary in Southwestern Georgia, U.S.A.
  • Sundar Singh, Indian Christian Evangelist

4 (Paul Jones, Episcopal Bishop of Utah, and Peace Activist; and his colleague, John Nevin Sayre, Episcopal Priest and Peace Activist)

  • Birinus of Dorchester, Roman Catholic Bishop of Dorchester, and the “Apostle of Wessex”
  • E. F. Schumacher, German-British Economist and Social Critic
  • Gorazd of Prague, Orthodox Bishop of Moravia and Silesia, Metropolitan of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in Czechoslovakia, and Martyr, 1942
  • William McKane, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar

5 (Carl Johannes Sodergren, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Theologian; and his colleague, Claus August Wendell, Swedish-American Lutheran Minister and Theologian)

  • Athol Hill, Australian Baptist Biblical Scholar and Social Prophet
  • Teresa of Calcutta, Founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity
  • William F. Albright and G. Ernest Wright, U.S. Biblical Scholars and Archaeologists
  • William Morton Reynolds, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Episcopal Priest, Educator, and Hymn Translator

6 (Charles Fox, Anglican Missionary in Melanesia)

  • Aaron Robarts Wolfe, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Allen Crite, Artist
  • Hannah More, Anglican Poet, Playwright, Religious Writer, and Philanthropist
  • Joseph Gomer and Mary Gomer, U.S. United Brethren Missionaries in Sierra Leone

7 (Beyers Naudé, South African Dutch Reformed Minister and Anti-Apartheid Activist)

  • Elie Naud, Huguenot Witness to the Faith
  • Jane Laurie Borthwick and Sarah Borthwick Findlater, Scottish Presbyterian Translators of Hymns
  • John Duckett and Ralph Corby, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs in England, 1644
  • Kassiani the Hymnographer, Byzantine Abbess, Poet, Composer, Hymn Writer, and Defender of Icons

8 (Nikolai Grundtvig, Danish Lutheran Minister, Bishop, Historian, Philosopher, Poet, Educator, and Hymn Writer)

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer, German Lutheran Attorney and Hymn Writer; and Frances Elizabeth Cox, English Hymn Writer and Translator
  • Shepherd Knapp, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Søren Kierkegaard, Danish Philosopher and Theologian, and Father of Existentialism
  • Wladyslaw Bladzinski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1944

9 (Martyrs of Memphis, Tennessee, 1878)

  • Francis Borgia, “Second Founder of the Society of Jesus;” Peter Faber, Apostle of Germany, and Co-Founder of the Society of Jesus; Alphonsus Rodriguez, Spanish Jesuit Lay Brother; and Peter Claver, “Apostle to the Negroes”
  • Lucy Jane Rider Meyer, Novelist, Hymn Writer, Medical Doctor, and Founder of the Deaconess Movement in the Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Sarah Mapps Douglass, U.S. African-American Quaker Abolitionist, Writer, Painter, and Lecturer
  • William Chatterton Dix, English Hymn Writer and Hymn Translator

10 (Alexander Crummell, U.S. African-American Episcopal Priest, Missionary, and Moral Philosopher)

  • Lynn Harold Hough, U.S. Methodist Minister, Theologian, and Biblical Scholar
  • Mordecai Johnson, Educator
  • Nemesian of Sigum and His Companions, Roman Catholic Bishops and Martyrs, 257
  • Salvius of Albi, Roman Catholic Bishop

11 (Paphnutius the Great, Roman Catholic Bishop of Upper Thebaid)

  • Anne Houlditch Shepherd, Anglican Novelist and Hymn Writer
  • Jean-Gabriel Perboyre, French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in China, 1840
  • John Stainer and Walter Galpin Alcock, Anglican Church Organists and Composers
  • Patiens of Lyons, Roman Catholic Archbishop

12 (Kaspar Bienemann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Ernest Edwin Ryder, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymnal Editor
  • Franciscus Ch’oe Kyong-Hwan, Korean Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1839; Lawrence Mary Joseph Imbert, Pierre Philibert Maubant, and Jacques Honoré Chastán, French Roman Catholic Priests, Missionaries to Korea, and Martyrs, 1839; Paul Chong Hasang, Korean Roman Catholic Seminarian and Martyr, 1839; and Cecilia Yu Sosa and Jung Hye, Korean Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1839
  • Robert Guy McCutchan, U.S. Methodist Hymnal Editor and Hymn Tune Composer
  • William Josiah Irons, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator; and his daughter, Genevieve Mary Irons, Roman Catholic Hymn Writer

13 (Peter of Chelcic, Bohemian Hussite Reformer; and Gregory the Patriarch, Founder of the Moravian Church)

  • Frederick J. Murphy, U.S. Roman Catholic Biblical Scholar
  • Godfrey Thring, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Jane Crewdson, English Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Narayan Seshadri of Jalna, Indian Presbyterian Evangelist and “Apostle to the Mangs”

14 (HOLY CROSS)

15 (Martyrs of Birmingham, Alabama, September 15, 1963)

  • Charles Edward Oakley, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • George Henry Trabert, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Translator and Author
  • James Chisholm, Episcopal Priest
  • Philibert and Aicardus of Jumieges, Roman Catholic Abbots

16 (Cyprian of Carthage, Bishop and Martyr, 258; and Cornelius, Lucius I, and Stephen I, Bishops of Rome)

  • James Francis Carney, U.S.-Honduran Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, Revolutionary, and Martyr, 1983
  • Martin Behm, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

17 (Jutta of Disibodenberg, Roman Catholic Abbess; and her student, Hildegard of Bingen, Roman Catholic Abbess and Composer)

  • Henry Wellington Greatorex, Anglican and Episcopal Organist, Choirmaster, and Hymnodist
  • Zygmunt Szcesny Felinski, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Warsaw, Titutlar Bishop of Tarsus, and Founder of Recovery for the Poor and the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary
  • Zygmunt Sajna, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1940

18 (Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations)

  • Amos Niven Wilder, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Poet, Literary Critic, and Biblical Scholar
  • Edward Bouverie Pusey, Anglican Priest
  • Henry Lascelles Jenner, Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, New Zealand
  • John Campbell Shairp, Scottish Poet and Educator

19 (Gerard Moultrie, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns)

  • Clarence Alphonsus Walworth, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer; Co-Founder of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle (the Paulist Fathers)
  • Emily de Rodat, Founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Villefranche
  • Walter Chalmers Smith, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • William Dalrymple Maclagan, Archbishop of York and Hymn Writer

20 (Henri Nouwen, Dutch Roman Catholic Priest and Spiritual Writer)

  • Elizabeth Kenny, Australian Nurse and Medical Pioneer
  • John Coleridge Patteson, Anglican Bishop of Melanesia, and His Companions, Martyrs, 1871
  • Marie Therese of Saint Joseph, Founder of the Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus
  • Nelson Wesley Trout, First African-American U.S. Lutheran Bishop

21 (MATTHEW THE EVANGELIST, APOSTLE AND MARTYR)

22 (Philander Chase, Episcopal Bishop of Ohio, and of Illinois; and Presiding Bishop)

  • C. H. Dodd, Welsh Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, and Biblical Scholar
  • Charlotte Elliott, Julia Anne Elliott, and Emily Elliott, Anglican Hymn Writers
  • Justus Falckner, Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer
  • Stephen G. Cary, U.S. Quaker Humanitarian and Antiwar Activist

23 (Francisco de Paula Victor, Brazilian Roman Catholic Priest)

  • Churchill Julius, Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, and Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand
  • Émelie Tavernier Gamelin, Founder of the Sisters of Providence
  • Jozef Stanek, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1944
  • Judith Lomax, Episcopal Mystic and Poet

24 (Anna Ellison Butler Alexander, African-American Episcopal Deaconess in Georgia, and Educator)

  • Henry Hart Milman, Anglican Dean, Translator, Historian, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • Juvenal of Alaska, Russian Orthodox Martyr in Alaska, and First Orthodox Martyr in the Americas, 1796
  • Peter the Aleut, Russian Orthodox Martyr in San Francisco, 1815
  • Silouan of Mount Athos, Eastern Orthodox Monk and Poet

25 (Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany, African-American Educator; her sister, Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany, African-American Dentist; and their brother, Hubert Thomas Delany, African-American Attorney, Judge, and Civil Rights Activist)

  • Bernhard W. Anderson, U.S. United Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Euphrosyne and her father, Paphnutius of Alexandria, Monks
  • Herman of Reichenau, Roman Catholic Monk, Liturgist, Poet, and Scholar
  • Sergius of Radonezh, Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Sergiyev Posad, Russia

26 (Paul VI, Bishop of Rome)

  • Frederick William Faber, English Roman Catholic Hymn Writer
  • John Bright, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • John Byrom, Anglican then Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Lancelot Andrewes, Anglican Bishop of Chichester then of Ely then of Winchester

27 (Francis de Sales, Roman Catholic Bishop of Geneva; Vincent de Paul, “The Apostle of Charity;’ Louise de Marillac, Co-Founder of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul; and Charles Fuge Lowder, Founder of the Society of the Holy Cross)

  • Eliza Scudder, U.S. Unitarian then Episcopalian Hymn Writer
  • Joseph A. Sittler, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Theologian, and Ecumenist
  • Martyrs of Melanesia, 1864-2003
  • Thomas Traherne, Anglican Priest, Poet, and Spiritual Writer

28 (Jehu Jones, Jr., African-American Lutheran Minister)

  • Edward McGlynn, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Social Reformer, and Alleged Heretic
  • Francis Turner Palgrave, Anglican Poet, Art Critic, and Hymn Writer
  • Joseph Hoskins, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Lorenzo Ruiz and His Companions, Roman Catholic Missionaries and Martyrs in Japan, 1637

29 (MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS)

30 (Honorius, Archbishop of Canterbury)

  • Joanna P. Moore, U.S. Baptist Missionary and Educator
  • Mary Ramabai, Prophetic Witness and Evangelist in India
  • Richard Challoner, English Roman Catholic Scholar, Religious Writer, Translator, Controversialist, Priest, and Titular Bishop of Doberus

Floating

  • Labor Day

 

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

Feast of the Holy Cross (September 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Icon of Jesus at Golgotha

The Cross:  From Emblem of Shame to Symbol of Triumph

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The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Isaiah 42:21-25

Psalm 98 or Psalm 98:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11 or Galatians 6:14-18

John 12:31-36a

The Collect:

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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This feast commemorates the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on September 14, 335 C.E., a date designed to align with the anniversary of the dedication of the first Temple by King Solomon.  That is a summary of the history of the feast.  Now for the interesting part.

A symbol carries only the meaning(s) people assign to it.  Consider the cross.  The ruling classes of the Roman Empire used crucifixion as a means of capital punishment reserved for those considered the worst of the worst.  It was public execution meant to make an example of the victims.  And this constituted annihilation of the crucified.  Under normal circumstances the body remained on the cross while animals and decomposition took their tolls.  The ultimate purpose of crucifixion was terrorize would-be rebels and reinforce the power of the Imperium.

Yet the Resurrection turned the original meaning of the cross on its head.  The cross became a symbol of God’s victory over death, evil, and the designs of the Roman Empire and those who collaborated with it.  The cross, once a symbol of fear and terrorism, became an emblem of love.

That “will preach.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 13, 2010

THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

Posted June 13, 2010 by neatnik2009 in September 14

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