Monday, November 30, 2020

#Deliver ~ the #AdventWord of the day

 


#Deliver ~ the #AdventWord of the day

In the midst of the busy-ness of Advent, it is important to remember that God is at work in the

world about us.  God is the one who will, ultimately, deliver us.  It is not our weak and paltry

work that gets us to the land of promise.  God is the one who delivered the Israelites from Egypt,

and God will deliver us.  Of course, we have work to do along the way, to join in the great effort. 

We are reminded that it is God, of course, who is at the center of the work of the Incarnation,

and it is God, in Christ, who is born into this very world, so that we may be delivered from sin,

and death.  




Sunday, November 29, 2020

29 November 2020 Advent I ~ St. Mary's Episcopal Church ~ Service of Morning Prayer and Music

 



#Tender Advent Word for today ~ #AdventWord


#Tender Advent Word for today  


Our God is a tender God.  At times, we may forget this ultimate loving and caring aspect of God. 

Caring for us as a hen covers her young ones.  We are, of course, reminded that God grants us

comfort in those words from Isaiah, which Handel set to such glorious musical notes. 


“Comfort ye

Comfort ye, my people

Comfort ye, 

Comfort ye, my people


Saith your God

Saith your God


Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem


And cry unto her

That her warfare

Her warfare is accomplished. 


That her iniquity is pardoned”

First Sunday in Advent Collect

 


First Sunday of Advent


Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the

works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now

in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ

came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when

he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the

quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through

him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.




St. Mary's ~ Cathedral Road

Online Worship on Sundays at 10am


630 East Cathedral Road Philadelphia, PA 19428

215-482-6300


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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Advent begins tomorrow

 Advent begins tomorrow

It is the last day of the Christian Year today, and the beginning of the Christian Year

begins tomorrow with Advent I, when we begin the season of expectation,

of waiting for Christmas - for the coming of Jesus.  The readings of the next

four weeks will bring us into the heart of the prophetic vision from the

Hebrew Scriptures of awaiting the Messiah and also the stories that preceded

Jesus' Birth.


For us, this season of Advent is all too easily eclipsed by the rush to Christmas

in the culture all around us.  As a child, we would usually buy our Christmas tree

just before Christmas, and we spent time in Advent lighting the four candles of the

Advent Wreath.  As a child, the waiting was, of course, for the gifts and magic of

Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, but the waiting did move us into a

mindset of expectation of the "not yet" of waiting for Jesus' coming.


This mindset of expectation is one that we can cultivate as we move into the

season of Advent.  Considering the figures of Mary, as she lived in the tangible

expectation of a child to be born, and the figure of John the Baptist who lived in

tangible expectation for the Messiah who would baptize with fire, not with water. 

I wish you a "Happy New Years Eve" tonight and a blessed Advent,

may you take the time to consider, ponder, and sit deeply in the mindset of

expectation.


Below you can find links to our Online worship tomorrow, as well as a link to

my Daily Advent Reflections blog, and also ways to worship with the

Diocese in this Advent and Christmas Season.


Advent Blessings to you!



Sunday

29 November 2020 ~ 10am ~ Online

Service of Morning Prayer for Advent 1 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

On our Church’s YouTube channel, click HERE 



The Collect for the First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the

armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ

came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again

in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the

life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Music for Thanksgiving

Our organist, Jonathan Stark, is working to find ways to share music online

from our nave, using our beautiful organ.  He was able to record some outstanding

music for Thanksgiving, which I recommend to you all!  Click on the link below

to enjoy his artistry!  We will be posting Advent and Christmas music in upcoming

weeks.

https://youtu.be/wGXo4-zHR0o




Daily Advent Reflections by The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Click HERE to read scripture for the day, and a brief reflection on the reading

and on our season of Advent.  adventstmarys.blogspot.com




Join the Diocese for Advent and Christmas, from Home


We are bringing Advent and Christmas to you, at home.

 

Advent: Bishop Gutiérrez returns to CBS - KYW for Advent services starting

tomorrow, 11/29. You can watch at 5:30 a.m. online or on your television;

or tune in for the rebroadcast at 9:00 a.m. on our One Love Channel, Facebook

or YouTube channels.


All services are filmed from The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas

and include youth readers and some singers from the church as well.

The first rector of this historic parish, the Rev. Absalom Jones, was also

the first black Episcopal priest in the nation.

 

Christmas Lesson and Carols: On 12/19 at 10 a.m., as part of its covenant

with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, the diocese has organized a live

Christmas Lessons and Carols service broadcast simultaneously from

Philadelphia and Bethlehem on our One Love and YouTube channels.

A joint Episcopal and Lutheran service - officiated by all five Episcopal and

Lutheran bishops in Southeast Pennsylvania and Jerusalem - this simulcast

service connects us to our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land, hearing

familiar carols and readings in both Arabic and English, and with a special

Christmas homily from the Archbishop of Jerusalem. 

 

Christmas Day: On Christmas day, 12/25, our service heads to The

Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, the birthplace of the hymn

"O Little Town of Bethlehem," on the CW-Philly at 6:00 a.m., where their youth

will also lead the readings.


This service is rebroadcast on all of our channels at 8:00 a.m.







The Diocese brings you Advent and Christmas, at home

 The Diocese brings you Advent and Christmas, at home

We are bringing Advent and Christmas to you, at home.

Advent: Bishop Gutiérrez returns to CBS - KYW for Advent services starting tomorrow, 11/29. You can watch at 5:30 a.m. online or on your television; or tune in for the rebroadcast at 9:00 a.m. on our One Love ChannelFacebook or YouTube channels. All services are filmed from The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas and include youth readers and some singers from the church as well. The first rector of this historic parish, the Rev. Absalom Jones, was also the first black Episcopal priest in the nation.

Christmas Lesson and Carols: On 12/19 at 10 a.m., as part of its covenant with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, the diocese has organized a live Christmas Lessons and Carols service broadcast simultaneously from Philadelphia and Bethlehem on our One Love and YouTube channels. A joint Episcopal and Lutheran service - officiated by all five Episcopal and Lutheran bishops in Southeast Pennsylvania and Jerusalem - this simulcast service connects us to our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land, hearing familiar carols and readings in both Arabic and English, and with a special Christmas homily from the Archbishop of Jerusalem. 

Christmas Day: On Christmas day, 12/25, our service heads to The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, the birthplace of the hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem," on the CW-Philly at 6:00 a.m., where their youth will also lead the readings. This service is rebroadcast on all of our channels at 8:00 a.m.
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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving

 




The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Thanksgiving Day



Thanksgiving Day


Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the

fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those

who harvest them.  Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards

of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and

the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A liturgy for celebrating the holidays apart from loved ones

A LITURGY FOR CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS APART FROM LOVED ONES




 From Sojourners and posted at SoJo.net


I remember the day I received my green card in the mail. It was a Monday. I went downstairs to check my mail as soon as I heard it was delivered and immediately booked a flight home for that Thursday. It had been over six years since I had had the ability to leave the United States and visit my home country. I had missed weddings, baptisms, and funerals. I had missed Christmases, New Year's Days, Mother’s Days, Father’s Days, birthdays, and all sorts of joyous and grievous occasions. I had missed my grandfather Salvador’s passing and funeral. I had welcomed nieces and nephews, born while I could not travel home. Spending important days apart from my family was incredibly hard. I think of that when I recognize how difficult this year is for so many.

We have much to lament: the rise of COVID-19 cases and deaths; the ongoing killings of Black and brown people in the U.S. at the hands of the state; the negligence in dealing with the great disparities that make this health crisis particularly acute in Black, Indigenous, and communities of color; the extended election season that was filled with harmful discourse and abusive behavior; careless gathering practices; and the continuous stress of living through a pandemic. We long for a special time of comfort and joy with our loved ones this holiday season — and our nation’s top health officials say that, too, is dangerous. That anticipated separation will have an impact on our souls. Our traditions will need to be mourned and reimagined.

Some have long been familiar with the concept. Many Native American people have been lifting their lament on Thanksgiving Day through a National Day of Mourning, which honors native ancestors and condemns the genocide inflicted upon them, the theft of Native American lands, and the constant erasure and attack on Native American cultures. Their lament begs us to reconsider the history we celebrate, to examine the origin of our traditions, and to reimagine a new way of being together with one another. Some are separated from their families due to immigrant detention. Behind bars and alongside other detained people, many immigrants in detention facilities often lean on prayer and songs and on each other to make it through the holidays. A visit from a family member may be completely out of the question, as they sometimes live in a different country or have not been granted a privileged immigration status and therefore cannot approach a detention facility. In the absence of family, letters and memories shared with others at detention centers sustain the spirit.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend celebrating the holidays only  with the people you live with. In this recommendation, I hear a resigned invitation to make it work with what we have. Let us draw lessons from those who have long had to make it work. And in that, I offer a prayer.

A liturgy as we mourn and reimagine this holiday season   

Leader: God who sees and accompanies, be near to us. The pain of this year is too much, the losses too many to bear. Look upon our broken bodies and our broken world. As we journey through this season more alone than we imagined, help us experience your presence.  

People: God who sees and accompanies, be near to us.  

Leader: God who sees and holds, see the eyes that cry, the arms that long to embrace. See the empty chairs beside us and the table all set. Hear the empty rooms and the quiet place. Fill this empty space with glimpses of you.  

People: God who sees and holds, embrace us.   

Leader: God who sees and cares, see the eyes that fail to see and the hands that steal. See the ways we have created places with no tables and no chairs. See our siblings in immigrant detention who will spend the holidays alone. Free them from this peril. Free us from the greed that motivates our detention system.  

People: God who sees and cares, have mercy on us.  

Leader: God who sees those who resist and values their lives as sacred, show us the ways we have contributed to the stealing of lands, the genocide of Native American people, and the attacks on Native American cultures.  

People: Help us see as you see.  

Leader: God who sees those who resist and values their lives as sacred, show us the ways we have failed to value and protect the lives of our Black, Indigenous, and siblings of color in the systems that administer public safety, health care, education, and the economy. Help us create new bonds of solidarity that will lead to instituting new ways to care for one another that honor the image of God in all and particularly in those in whom it has been denied.

People: Help us see as you see. 

Leader: God who sees and dreams, give us your vision for beloved community where no one lacks, no one fears, and where all creation is satisfied. Give us courage to remain alive and aware to you, to people around us far and near, and to the world in this season, holding the grief of all we see along with the hope for which we wait.  

People: Help us be as you are.  

Leader: God who sees. Watch over this world.  

All: God who sees and accompanies, be near to us.