‘Weekly Post: AD 2018 January 16

Beloved of the Lord:

Today is Tuesday, the Sixteenth of January, in the year of our Lord 2018. This-week’s schedule of Services is as-follows:

  • Monday: 10:00 Am, Mass, S. Paul, the First Hermit.
  • Tuesday: 5:30 PM, Mass, Blessed William Laud, Bishop and Martyr.
    6:30 PM, Sung Evensong.
  • Wednesday: 12:10 PM, Mass, S. Anthony, Abbot.
  • Thursday: 6:30 PM, Mass, S. Prisca, Virgin and Martyr, Soup and Study to follow.
  • Friday: 9:00 AM, Mass, Feria (Mass of the preceding Sunday repeated,
    in this case Epiphany II).
  • Saturday: 5:00 PM, Mass, SS. Fabian & Sebastian, Martyrs.
  • Sunday: 9:00 & 11:00 AM, Epiphany III

This Sunday-past, we held the Annual Parish Meeting. Good food, good humour, and good fellowship were shared by all who attended. It was reported that this-past year we had solid finances, enabling a raise to be given to the resident Clergy. Michael Merz and Joan Griffin were elected to two-year terms on the vestry. Other details will be published in the form of the minutes taken at the meeting by the Parish Clerk, Col. Richard Payne, USA Ret.

We are now well-into Epiphanytide. At the most pragmatic level, Epiphanytide is the liturgical shock-absorber for the Church year. The date of Easter is the lynch-pin for the entire Kalendar of the Church; the dates each year for the ancient, great Feasts of Holy Mother, the Church, are determined by that of Easter ~ so-many days after Easter, etc. There are six Sundays appointed for the Season of Epiphany in the Prayer Book. Where Easter falls on the calendar determines how many of them will be used. Thus, it is a Season of adjustable length, to make the Kalendar of the Church function seamlessly, year-after-year.

The Feast originated in the East, where from earliest times it was associated with the Baptism of our Lord, and it remains so to this day, in those Churches. Introduced into the West in the Fourth century, it quickly lost most of its baptismal character. In the East, the waters of the baptismal font are blessed on this Feast ~ in the West, that blessing takes-place during Holy Week.

Thus, in the West the Feast focusses instead upon the recognition by the Magi of the Christ, they being a type for all gentiles. It should be noted that while Romans and ourselves celebrate the Epiphany, the Season of Epiphanytide is particularly Anglican, Rome referring to these weeks as Ordinary Time. Trintytide is another Anglican feature, for the Church of Rome also styles that period as Ordinary time, using the same liturgical colour ~ green ~ as do we.

Spritually, then, we use this time to acknowledge, and focus-upon, Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, Saviour of the World. On a perhaps more personal, if not deeper level, we should also recognise that to know the Christ, as He is, we must also know ourselves, as we are … truly know, without varnish, without dissimulation. This is, of-course, by design on the part of Holy Church, that we should begin to think-upon these things now, for pre-Lent begins in less than two weeks, with Great Lent soon to follow. These are the true dark nights of the soul, when upon rounding each corner, we meet only ourselves, ’til the great light of the Christ shines-forth, to save us, from sin, Satan and Death … and yes, from ourselves. I remain

in His peace,

The Rev’d Fr. T. L. Crowder

Rector, S. Matthew’s Parish

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Beloved of the Lord:

To-day is Friday, 12 January, in the year of our Lord 2018. This-coming Sunday, 14 January, is the date of our Parish Annual Meeting. The will be ONE MASS, at 10:00 A.M. A pot-luck will follow. Fried chicken will be provided ~ everything else is on us. Please bring a dish, and an appetite to go with it. We shall be brief in the ‘Meeting, God willing. I remain

in His peace,

Fr. Crowder

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‘Weekly Post: AD 2017 December 23

Beloved of the Lord:

Today is Saturday, 23 December, in the year of our Lord 2017. The Church year has already begun ~ Advent I is the first day of the Christian year ~ and the secular world follows close behind. REMINDER! Sunday (tomorrow) is also Christ Mass Eve, this year. There will be ONE morning Mass at 10:00 AM; the Midnight Mass will begin at 11:00 PM. There will also be a Mass on Monday, at the usual time ~ 10:00 AM ~ since it is the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, also known as Christ Mass Day.

  • Sunday (tomorrow): 10:00 AM, Mass, Vigil of the Nativity, Commemorate Advent IV
    11:00 PM, First Mass of Christ Mass
  • Monday: 10:00 AM, Mass, Feast of the Nativity (Christ Mass Day)
  • Tuesday: 6:30 PM, Mass, S. Stephen, Protodeacon, Protomartyr
  • Wednesday: 12:10 PM, Mass, S. John Evangelist
  • Thursday: 6:30 PM, Mass, The Holy Innocents ~ Soup and Study cancelled this week
  • Friday: 9:00 AM, Mass, S. Thomas à Becket, Bishop, Martyr
  • Saturday: 5:00 PM, Mass, Octave of the Nativity
  • Sunday: 9:00 & 11:00 AM, Mass, Christ Mass I

Most of our thoughts and energies during this Season are focussed on giving, though the younger one is the more we tend to think of receiving. The former, of-course, stems from the Christ’s having given to us the gift of everlasting joy ~ salvation ~ through having given His very life for us. He gave us life through His sacrifice; we sacrifice something of our material lives to give to others.

Reconsidering receiving, though, in-terms of openness, takes us to a perhaps more fruitful realm of spiritual reflection. Jesus opened Himself to receive every sin, wickedness and evil that we have ever done or contemplated. How open are we to forgiveness? Do we forgive the offenses of others against us? Do we forgive ourselves, having acknowledged, renounced, and repented of our sins?

Taking the next step, how open are we to others? Do we, like Scrooge, remain within our own, small, self-prescribed orbits, never looking beyond, never opening our lives, much-less our hearts, to those around us, near or far, needy or not? Think upon these things, and come closer to being whole. With all of the joy and light of the approaching Feast, I remain

in His peace,

The Rev’d Fr. T. L. Crowder

Pastor, Saint Matthew’s Parish

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‘Weekly Post: AD 2017 December 17

Beloved of the Lord:

Today is Sunday, 17 December, in the year of our Lord 2017. You are almost out of shopping days for Christmas; now on to the Service schedule for Christ Mass:

  • Monday: Mass, 10:00 AM, Feria.
  • Tuesday: Requiem, 6:30 PM, monthly for the Parish.
  • Wednesday: Mass, 12:10 PM, Ember Wednesday in Advent.
  • Thursday: Mass, 6:30 PM, S. Thomas, Apostle and Martyr,
    followed by Soup and Study.
  • Friday: Mass, 9:00 AM, Ember Friday in Advent.
  • Saturday: Mass, 5:00 PM, Ember Saturday in Advent.
  • Sunday: Mass 10:00 AM, Mass, Vigil of the Nativity (Advent IV).

Giving envelopes are in the Parish Hall. Please select a box, then record your name, and the number on the box, on the sheet provided for that purpose. We have already begun the Christian new year; now the world follows us in doing the same.

Note that there is only one Mass next Sunday morning!!! Christ Mass falls on Monday, this year, so we will say the Mass of the Vigil on Sunday, which is very appropriate ~ the Mass of preparation, of anticipation, on a Sunday during the Season of the same. The first Mass of Christ Mass, the ‘Midnight’, will be said at 11:00 PM that night.

Usually I have this note out on Saturday. However, I spent yesterday doing manual labour at my house. I wanted to finish it then, so that I would not have to work on the Sabbath. So, a late note.

All too often we do not consider the Sabbath, the day of rest. It should be dedicated to our Lord ~ worshipping Him in Church, and then reading spiritual, scriptural or theological texts, or praying to Him at other times throughout the day. He has given us every atom of our lives and possessions. Can we not give Him one day out of our week? I remain

in His peace,

The Rev’d T. L. Crowder,

Pastor, Saint Matthew’s Parish

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