Lent -- Carême

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures for evermore [Psalm 16:11].

"Now, as You have said, Master,
You may dismiss your servant in peace.
For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation
that Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples.
A light for revelation to the Gentiles,
Light of the Glory of Israel, Thy people."

Check out a related page: Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine (The Canticle of Simeon)

« À présent, selon ta parole, Maître,
tu peux congédier ton esclave dans la paix.
Car mes yeux ont vu ta délivrance;
tu l’as préparée à la face de tous les peuples.
Lumière de révélation destinée aux nations,
lumière de la gloire d’Israël, ton peuple ».

Psaume 39 {catholique}:

Tu ne voulais ni offrande ni sacrifice:
tu m'as fait capable d'entendre;
tu n'exigeais ni holocauste ni victime,
alors j'ai dit: « Voici, je viens !

Il est écrit pour moi dans le livre
que je dois faire ta volonté ;
mon Dieu, voilà ce que j'aime :
ta loi me tient aux cœur. »


{Je veux faire ta volonté, mon Dieu !
Et ta loi est au fond de mon cœur
. Psaume 40:9}

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.”

Salmos 40:8 --

Sacrificio y ofrenda no te agrada;
Has abierto mis oídos;
Holocausto y expiación no has demandado.
Entonces dije: "¡ He aquí, vengo !

En el rollo del libro está escrito de mí;
El hacer tu voluntad,
Dios mío, me ha agradado,
Y tu ley está en medio de mi corazón."

{Diciendo primero: Sacrificio y ofrenda
y holocaustos y expiaciones
por el pecado no quisiste, ni te agradaron
(las cuales cosas se ofrecen según la ley)
Heb 10:8}


« grâce et paix »

http://missel.free.fr/calendrier.php?mois=2&annee=2016

Mardi Gras (February 28, 2017): Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday (the first day in Lent) gets its name from the ritual of shriving, when the faithful confessed their sins to the local priest and received forgiveness before the Lenten season began. As far back as 1000 AD, "to shrive" meant to hear confessions. Note: the term survives today in the expression "short shrift" or giving little attention to anyone's explanations or excuses.

Shrove Tuesday also marked the last day before beginning the 40-day Lenten fasting period, when the faithful would not consume meat, butter, eggs or milk. What to do, however, if a family had a store of these foods and they all would go bad by the time the fast ended on Easter Sunday ? An easy solution -- use up the milk, butter and eggs no later than Shrove Tuesday. And so, with the addition of a little flour, the solution quickly became the pancake tradition. Shrove Tuesday pancakes will be consumed throughout Western Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia, but perhaps the tradition is most associated with the UK where it is known best simply as Pancake Day. http://www.chiff.com/a/shrove-tuesday.htm

The word "Lent" comes from two English words -- lengthening days: Le mot "carême" vient du latin quadragesima == quarantième (jour). En ancien français, on écrivait quaresme. Il désigne la période de 40 jours avant Pâques. Un proverbe en ancien français:

Caresme ou jeune n'ennuient pas, Qui fait grand chere a tous repas.

Voi s.v.p. -- http://perso.wanadoo.fr/ch.dedreuille/careme.html -- http://www.lexilogos.com/calendrier_carnaval.htm

Carême: http://missel.free.fr/
Notre âme attend le Seigneur,
il est notre aide et notre protection

Grâce et bonheur me suivront tous les jours de ma vie

Mais toi, Seigneur, ne sois pas loin:
ô ma force, viens vite à mon aide !
Venez, crions de joie pour le Seigneur,
acclamons notre Rocher, notre Salut !
Approchons devant lui en rendant grâce,
par nos chants et nos hymnes, acclamons-le !
{Psaume 94 -- 3e dimanche de Carême}
(Psalm 95:1)
{So let us} come {before the Alter of the Lord},
cry out with joy for the Lord,
hail our Rock, our Salvation !
Approach Him with thanksgiving,
with our songs and hymns, let us hail [extol] Him !
(Psalm 95 (eng))

Pitié pour moi, mon Dieu, dans ton amour,
selon ta grande miséricorde,
efface mon offense.
Lave-moi tout entier de ma faute,
purifie-moi de mon péché.

Oui, je connais mon offense,
ma faute est toujours devant moi.
Contre toi, et toi seul, j'ai péché,
ce qui est mal à tes yeux, je l'ai fait.

Mercredi de Cendres -- Psaume 50
Have mercy on me, O God, for Your love, according to Your great compassion, blot out my offense. Wash me entirely of my fault, cleanse me from my transgression. Yes, I recognize my offense, my fault is always before me. Against Thee, and Thee only, have I trespassed, what is evil in Your eyes, I have done. {from Psalm 51-Ash Wednesday liturgy}

March 01, 2017: Dust or ashes, as sign of penitence and mourning dates to the time of Moses and before in the Old Testament (e.g. Genesis 3:19; 18:27 cf. Job 34:15; Job 13:12 "Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes ...."). In Protestant denominations of the Anglican tradition, a custom continues in the application of blessed ashes to the foreheads of congregants in the sign of the cross, with an intonation remember that you art dust and unto dust you shalt return. This is in imitation of the spiritual mark or seal that is put on a Christian in baptism, when he is delivered from slavery to sin and the devil and made a slave of righteousness and Christ (Rom. 6:3-18). It also presages the mark of those belonging to God during the end-time of Tribulation (Revelation 7:3; 9:4; 14.1). http://web.archive.org/web/20081121160613/http://www.intermirifica.org/lent/ashwednesday.htm

And the LORD said to him [one of the four cherubim], 'Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark [literally the letter tav -- which in ancient script it looked like the Greek letter chi, which happens to be two crossed lines (like the "x" of St Andrew's Cross) and which happens to be the first letter in the word "Christ" in Greek, that is christos] upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.' And to the others he said in my hearing, 'Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.' So they began with the elders who were before the house (Ezekiel 9:4-6).

This passage is also part of the background to the Anglo-Catholic practice of making the sign of the cross, which in the early centuries (as can be documented from the second century on) was practiced by using one's thumb to furrow one's brow with a small sign of the cross, as is done today, for example, at the reading of the Gospel during Mass. Where do the ashes used on Ash Wednesday come from? Traditionally, they are made by burning palm fronds that have been saved from the previous year's Palm Sunday, they are then blessed by a priest -- blessed ashes having been used in God's rituals since the time of Moses (Numbers 19:9-10, 17). from http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/ash_wed.htm


Seigneur, enseigne-moi tes voies,
fais-moi connaître ta route.
Dirige-moi par ta vérité, enseigne-moi,
car tu es le Dieu qui me sauve.

Rappelle-toi, Seigneur, ta tendresse,
ton amour qui est de toujours.
Oublie les révoltes, les péchés de ma jeunesse,
dans ton amour, ne m'oublie pas.

Il est droit, il est bon le Seigneur,
lui qui montre aux pécheurs le chemin.
Sa justice dirige les humbles,
il enseigne aux humbles son chemin [Psaume 24].

Ils te porteront sur leurs mains
pour que ton pied ne heurte les pierres ;
tu marcheras sur la vipère et le scorpion,
tu écraseras le lion et le Dragon.

“Puisqu'il s'attache à moi, je le délivre ;
je le défends, car il connaît mon nom.
Il m'appelle, et moi, je lui réponds ;
je suis avec lui dans son épreuve [Psaume 90].”  

Lord, teach me your paths
let me discover Thy course.
Direct me to Your truth, instruct me,
for Thou art the Lord, who saves.

Remember, Lord, your mercy,
for your love is everlasting.
Forget my rebellion, the faults of my immaturity,
for Your love, forget me not.

He is right, He is good the Lord,
He who reveals to transgressors the way.
His justice guides the humble,
for He teaches the humble His way [Psalm 25].

They shall bear thee up in their hands
so that thou dash not [even] thy foot upon stones;
you shall trample on the viper and the scorpion,
you will overwhelm the lion and the dragon.

"Since [like a little one] he clings to Me, I will deliver him
I protect him, for he knows My name.
He calls Me, and I answer him;
I am with him in his ordeal [Psalm 91]."  

TURN ye even to me with all your heart,
and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
[So] rend your heart, and not your garments,
and turn unto the LORD your God:
for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness ... [Joel 2:12-13].

A scripture, sometimes used the first Sunday in Lent, is from the Romans 5, verses 12-19:

... Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people ...

Saint Paul looks at salvation realized in Jesus Christ and proposed to every man. This text is celebrated for its place in the elaboration of the orthodox doctrine of original sin. The life of God's people, justified by faith and saved in hope (Romans, I-IV), flourishes in the Spirit (Romans, VII). Christ freed them from sin, death and Law (Romans, V-VII) to bring about this result. Salvation's dimensions become perceptible only in the awareness of sin (separation from God) that reigned from the beginning of in the world, from which humanity can not free itself outside of Jesus Christ. The related literature that develops concerns Adam and his transgression. Inheriting the Jewish tradition, Saint Paul can recognize Adam's personal role of great magnitude. The strength of the character comes to him, however, from the comparison (antithetical parallelism) established with Jesus Christ: "Adam prefigured the one who was to come." The report is better captured in certain formulas, "how much more", "it is not the same measure"; in certain parallels, "one / all"; in certain antitheses, "Fault / free gift", "condemnation / justification", "death / life". Thus, if Christ reveals the depth of Adam's sin, this revelation itself demonstrates the universal scope of Redemption.

The premier Sunday in Lent (March 05, 2017): Crée en moi un cœur pur, ô mon Dieu, renouvelle et raffermis au fond de moi mon esprit. http://missel.free.fr/Annee_A/careme/1_ps.html -- Psalm 51:10 -- This lament, the most famous of the seven Penitential Psalms {Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130 & 143 (7th century designation)}, asks for the removal of the personal and social disorders that sin has brought and seeks a transformation to prevent future wanderings of the soul. The text holds one of the most profound analyses of sin and renewal to be found in the Bible.

Many have considered St. John Fisher, martyred by Henry VIII, to be the most holy and learned Bishop in all Christendom during his life. Fisher inspired for fellow martyr, St. Thomas More, who followed Fisher's lead in standing against Henry; and, even a humanist such as Erasmus had the highest regard for Fisher, calling him "the best scholar in his nation, and its most saintly prelate." St. Fisher's commentaries on these psalms, unlike most theological examinations, were not written originally in Latin. They make available powerful as well as inspiring insights in the language of the people. Septem psalmi penitentiales has been translated into Latin and modern English.

The wording of the Psalms by Cranmer differs from and is more poetic than the version that appears in the Authorized version of the Bible {we know it as the King James Bible}. This is the translation of the Bible that the first Georgia Colonists received, along with The Whole Duty of Man, a work by Samuel von Pufendorf, (first published in Latin in 1673) translated into English in 1691 by Andrew Tooke, based on Ecclesiastes.


Week 2 of Lent -- March 12, 2017: Suite du saint Évangile de notre Seigneur -- Jésus-Christ selon Saint Luc (IX, 28-36) -- La première lecture est la leçon évangélique pour la deuxième semaine de Carême. Le dernier paragraphe est un bref exposé sur l'héritage de l'Ancien Testament d'Abraham (the first reading is the gospel lesson for the second week of Lent -- the last paragraph is a brief exposition about the Old Testament legacy of Abraham). from http://missel.free.fr/Annee_C/careme/2_3.html

Jésus prit avec lui Pierre, Jean et Jacques, et il alla sur la montagne pour prier. Pendant qu'il priait, son visage apparut tout autre, ses vêtements devinrent d'une blancheur éclatante. Et deux hommes s'entretenaient avec lui : c'étaient Moïse et Elie, apparus dans la gloire. Ils parlaient de son départ qui allait se réaliser à Jérusalem. Pierre et ses compagnons étaient accablés de sommeil ; mais, se réveillant, ils virent la gloire de Jésus, et les deux hommes à ses côtés. Ces derniers s'en allaient, quand Pierre dit à Jésus : « Maître, il est heureux que nous soyons ici. Dressons trois tentes : une pour toi, une pour Moïse et une pour Elie ». Il ne savait pas ce qu'il disait. Pierre n'avait pas fini de parler, qu'une nuée survint et les couvrit de son ombre; ils furent saisis de frayeur lorsqu'ils y pénétrèrent. Et, de la nuée, une voix se fit entendre : « Celui-ci est mon Fils, celui que j'ai choisi, écoutez-le ». Quand la voix eut retenti, on ne vit plus que Jésus seul. Les disciples gardèrent le silence et, de ce qu'ils avaient vu, ils ne dirent rien à personne à ce moment-là

La première lecture de ce dimanche laisse transparaître deux des préoccupations majeures de ceux qui racontent l'aventure d'Abraham dans le livre de la Genèse : la « descendance » et le « pays ». Comment, en effet, un peuple peut-il vivre en paix s'il ne possède pas de territoire propre et si sa population ne se renouvelle pas. Au long de leur histoire, après l'apothéose du règne de David, combien de fois les fils d'lsraël n'ont-ils pas craint de se voir déposséder de leur terre par les grandes nations voisines et même de disparaître sous l'effet des guerres et des déportations ? Sans « descendance », sans « pays », il n'est pas de peuple possible. Ce n'est pas assez dire. Ceux qui racontent l'aventure d'Abraham sont des croyants qui crient ici leur foi en un Dieu qui s'est engagé envers eux et de façon unilatérale. Ils disent que Dieu ne peut les abandonner. Malgré les circonstances tragiques qui ont jalonné leur histoire, malgré les occupations étangères et les exils, ils gardent la confiance et ils veulent la communiquer à ceux qui désespèrent ou qui doutent. L'histoire d'Abraham sert à redonner courage pour dire au peuple qu'un avenir est possible malgré les apparences contraires. Elle se transforme en exhortation. Que les fils d’Israël prennent modèle sur Abraham, « lui a qui eut foi dans le Seigneur ». L'aventure d'Abraham qui nous est à nouveau contée, s'élargit à la lumière de la Pâque de Jésus ; elle peut exprimer notre foi en Dieu qui s'est engagé envers l'humanité entière et qui est venu la sauver en Jésus. La foi de ceux qui ont écrit les récits sur Abraham n'a pas menti. C'est bien la vie que Dieu veut pour les hommes, cette vie dont le « pays » et la « descendance » ne sont que l'expression.

Giovanni_Bellini._Transfiguration (1490-95)-Musee_National_di_Capodimonte_Naples_Italie
2ème dimanche de Carême


Psaume 26

Le Seigneur est ma lumière et mon salut,
de qui aurais-je crainte ?
Le Seigneur est le rempart de ma vie,
devant qui tremblerais-je ?

Ecoute, Seigneur, je t'appelle !
Pitié ! Réponds-moi !
Mon cœur m'a redit ta parole :
"Cherchez ma face."

C'est ta face, Seigneur, que je cherche :
ne me cache pas ta face.
N'écarte pas ton serviteur avec colère,
tu restes mon secours.

J'en suis sûr, je verrai les bontés du Seigneur
sur la terre des vivants.
"Espère dans le Seigneur, sois fort et prends courage ;
espère le Seigneur."

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-03-12

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
of whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I tremble?

Listen, Lord, I call you!
Have pity! Answer me !
My heart repeats to me what You have said:
"Seek My face."

Your face, Lord, do I seek:
do not hide Your face from me.
Do not dismiss Your servant in anger,
You remain my security.

I am assured, I shall see the bounty of the Lord
in the land of the living.
"Hope in the Lord, be strong and of good courage;
Hope in the Lord."
from Psalm 27

Saint Polycarp, who served as the bishop of the Church at Smyrna (modern day Izmir), is recognized as one of three Church Fathers with a direct tie to an Apostle (in his case as noted above, John). Some assert that Polycarp suffered his martyrdom on the 22nd of February, but it is variously celebrated on the 23rd or in January on the 26th; moreover, the year of death also is a topic of dispute. Polycarp is regarded as a Saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches. Irenæus, who remembered him from his youth, said of him; "a man who was of much greater weight, and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics." This is the same Saint Irenæus, Bishop of Lyon, who received a copy of a letter about Polycarp traced to the Church of Smyrna. One can further trace the cultus of Saint Polycarp to Lyons. It is said, but not proved, that his relics left Smyrna: reliquiæ ejus Lugduni in crypta habentur. Google has an entire book on file on Polycarp's life from 1898 (NY edition of London print) by Rev. Blomfield Jacksn, which contains many well-researched references:

Lucian, the witty litterateur of Samosata, writing circa A.D. 165-170 is one such source. Bishop Lightfoot (Apost. Fathers, II. i. p. 606) enumerates the possible references to the martyrdom of Polycarp in the satire on the "Death of Peregrinus," who committed suicide at the Olympic Games of A.D. 165. Salient points are (i) the lighting of the pyre with torches and fagots, (ii) the stripping off the clothes, (iii) the prayer on the pyre, (iv) the comparison with a baking and, (v) the eagerness of the crowd for his relics. Google Books Link is HERE

The 3rd Sunday in Lent (March 19, 2017): Psalm 103: 1-4, 9-12 (A Psalm of David) -- Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, [bless] His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
He will not always chide:
neither will He keep [his anger] for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins;
nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth,
[so] great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
[so] far hath He removed our transgressions from us.

Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven is a historic hymn filled with reminders (from Psalm 103) of the ways the Lord has blessed us. Hear it here: http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/p/p058.html

Father-like, He tends and spares us; well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands He gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes;
Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, praise Him,
Widely as His mercy goes.

Henry Francis Lyte wrote Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven for his congregation at Lower Brixham in Devon, England. The hymn was first published in 1834, among a collection of three hundred hymns titled "Spirit of the Psalms." from http://web.archive.org/web/20070222132315/http://community.gospelcom.net/Brix?pageID=7558 (link restored) -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d9RJMOP9Tw

Isaiah 55
6 Cherchez l'Eternel pendant qu'il se trouve;
Invoquez-le, tandis qu'il est près.

7 Que le méchant abandonne sa voie,
Et l'homme d'iniquité ses pensées;
Qu'il retourne à l'Eternel, qui aura pitié de lui,
A notre Dieu, qui ne se lasse pas de pardonner.

8 Car mes pensées ne sont pas vos pensées,
Et vos voies ne sont pas mes voies, dit l'Eternel.

9 Autant les cieux sont élevés au-dessus de la terre,
Autant mes voies sont élevées au-dessus de vos voies,
Et mes pensées au-dessus de vos pensées.

10 Comme la pluie et la neige descendent des cieux,
Et n'y retournent pas sans avoir arrosé, fécondé la terre, et fait germer les plantes,
Sans avoir donné de la semence au semeur
Et du pain à celui qui mange,

11 Ainsi en est-il de ma parole, qui sort de ma bouche:
Elle ne retourne point à moi sans effet,
Sans avoir exécuté ma volonté
Et accompli mes desseins.
6 Seek ye the Lord, while He may be found;
Invoke Him, while He is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord Who will have mercy upon him;
[come back] to our God, for He does not weary of pardoning.

8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts elevated above your thoughts.

10 For as the rain and the snow descend from heaven,
and do not return without watering, nourishing the earth
and making plants bud,
Without having given seed for the sower
and furnished bread which is eaten:

11 So shall be my [promised] word, which goes out from My mouth:
it shall never return unto Me without effect,
Without having executed My desires
and having accomplished My plans.


http://missel.free.fr/calendrier.php?mois=3&annee=2017

Readings during the third Week in Lent: -- as we approach the 4th Sunday of Lent (Lætare Sunday)

Day

Time of Day

Psalm

Lessons

Sunday

Morning:

Evening:

Ps. 84; 150

Ps. 42; 32

Jer. 6:9-15

1 Cor. 6:12-20
Mark 5:1-20

You are my shelter; from distress you keep me; with safety you ring me round.

Monday

Morning:
 
 

Evening:

Ps. 119:73-80; 145
 
 

Ps. 121; 6

Jer. 7:1-15
Gen. 44:18-34
Rom. 4:1-12

1 Cor. 7:25-31
John 7:14-36
Mark 5:21-43

You watch over all who love you ... My mouth will speak your praises

Tuesday

Morning:

Evening:

Ps. 34; 146

Ps. 25; 91

Jer. 7:21-34

Rom. 4:13-25
John 7:37-52

The maker of heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, Who keeps faith forever ... through all generations! Hallelujah!

Wednesday

Morning:

Evening:

Ps. 5; 147:1-11

Ps. 27; 51

Jer. 8:4-7, 18-9:6

Rom. 5:1-11
John 8:12-20

Heals the brokenhearted, binds up their wounds ... Who covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth

Thursday

Morning:

Evening:

Ps. 27; 147: 12-20

Ps. 126; 102

Jer. 10:11-24

Rom. 5:12-21
John 8:21-32

Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD !!!

Friday

Morning:

Evening:

Ps. 22; 148

Ps. 105; 130

Jer. 11:1-8, 14-17

Rom. 6:1-11
John 8:33-47

They stare at me and gloat ... they divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots.

Saturday

Morning:

Evening:

Ps. 43; 149

Ps. 31; 143

Jer. 13:1-11

Rom. 6:12-23
John 8:47-59

My times are in your hands; rescue me from my enemies, from the hands of my pursuers.

Send your light and fidelity, that they may be my guide And bring me to your holy mountain, to the place of your dwelling


2 Kings 5:1-15 New International Version (NIV) -- Naaman Healed of Leprosy

Verse 1 Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

2 Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten measures of silver, six thousand shekels (coin) of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

7 As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. 13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. . . .”

March 26, 2017: The music for the fourth Sunday in Lent at St. Barnabas normally underscores the Epistle for the day, which comes from the 4th Chapter of Galatians, centered on verse 26 -- about the heavenly Jerusalem (King James Version) and discusses the promise to Abraham of an heir by Sarah. Paul points out that the interpretation of the passage can be allegorical.

Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar.
For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not:
for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath a husband.

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. [Galations 4:21-28]

Rome observed a mid-lent sabbath with a note of rejoicing and festivity. The ancient custom included the distribution of bread to the poor. The medieval custom included a pilgrimage to the mother church of the diocese. Blessed city, heav'nly Salem is the Sermon hymn (#383 in the 1940 Hymnal), documented to the 9th Century and possibly as old as the 6th. It has been used for the dedication of a Church structure, which is relevant for any current building program.

Blessed city, heavenly Salem,
vision dear of peace and love,
who of living stones art builded
in the height of heaven above,
and, with angel hosts encircled,
as a bride dost earthward move;

Music: Oriel, Urbs beata, St. Audrey, Urbs coelestis
Laud and honor to the Father,
laud and honor to the Son,
laud and honor to the Spirit,
ever Three, and ever One,
consubstantial, coeternal,
while unending ages run.

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/b/b128.html

April 02, 2017: The Collect for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, Commonly Called Passion Sunday, originally, in the Sarum Missal, was retained by Cranmer, appointed for the Fourth Sunday in Easter; but it was moved (1662) to replace a Gregorian Collect about protection that was not well-suited for the Season: Passion Sunday is a name that has been applied both to the fifth Sunday of Lent and the sixth Sunday (commonly called Palm Sunday) -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passion_Sunday.

We beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, world without end. Amen (U.S. Book of common Prayer, p. 132 (1928)) http://cranmercorner.blogspot.com/2006/04/collect-for-fifth-sunday-in-lent.html

Unto Thee {alone} will I cry,
O Lord my Rock {and my Redeemer}

Blessed be the Lord,
because He hath heard the voice of my supplications.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped:
therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth;
and with my song will I praise Him.

The Lord is their strength,
and He is the saving strength of His anointed.

Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance:
feed them also,
and lift them up for ever
[Psalm 28:6-9 (KJV)].
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord,
that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel,
and with the house of Judah,

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers,
when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt,
which covenant they brake,
although I was [like] an husband unto them, saith the Lord.
But this shall be the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel,
After those days, saith the Lord,
I will put my law in their inward parts,
and write it in their hearts,
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people
.

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor,
and every man his brother, saying,
Know the Lord:
for they shall all know me
from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord:
for I will forgive their iniquity,
and will remember their sins no more
.
[Jeremiah 31:31-34 (1599 Geneva Bible)]
Because Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living [Psalm 116:8-9 (1599 Geneva Bible)].
Oui, Tu as délivré mon âme de la mort,
Mes yeux des larmes,
Mes pieds de la chute.
Je marcherai devant l'Éternel,
Sur la terre des vivants
[Psaumes 116:8-9 (Louis Segond)].

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, died as a heretic at Oxford (March 21, 1556). Upon the accession (1553) of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary I, he had been tried for treason, convicted of heresy, and condemned. Before his death he had recanted, however he refused on his day of death to repeat his confession of error. He then proceeded to place the hand that had written it into the fire.

March 16th: The Bible chronicles the life of the young Jewish girl, Hadassah, who goes on to become the Biblical Esther, the Queen of Persia(http://www.biblesearchers.com/hebrews/festivals/purimamalekites.shtml). She, at the risk of her own life, saves the Jewish nation in exile from annihilation at the hands of an enemy, while winning the heart of the fierce King Xerxes. http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3309.htm#26 Interestingly, history records that March 16, 597 BC is the day on which the Babylonian empire completes the capture of Jerusalem. It replaces Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king. Jeconiah, his entire household and three thousand other citizens, were exiled to Babylon. 2 Chronicles 36:9 (KJV) Jeremiah (22:28-30) cursed Jeconiah that none of his descendants would ever sit on the throne of Israel: "Thus says the LORD: 'Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.'" In listing the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Matthew 1:11 records Jeconiah as an ancestor of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Because of the curse upon Jeconiah, recorded in Jeremiah, some Biblical scholars have concluded that Joseph could not be the biological father of Jesus, furnishing further proof for the proposition for the Virgin birth of Jesus. In any event Jeconiah's rule was reckoned as evil before the eyes of the Lord. Zedekiah's rebellion some year's later caused the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Esther's ancestors were among those, exiled and later removed to Persia upon the conquest of Babylon.

And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years. [2 Chron 36:19-21]

March 17, 389 -- La Fheile Phadraig: March 17th is the traditional feast day in celebration of the life of Saint Patrick (d. 461AD), the patron saint of Ireland. Calpurnius, his father, was a deacon and local official, who lost his son to raiders from Ireland when Patrick was 16. Patrick served as a slave in Ireland, but there is more to the story.

The Fifth Century A.D. saw the cultivation of the Celtic Christian rite, memorialized in the life of Saint Patrick   Patrick, born into a Christian patrician's family at the sunset of the Western Roman Empire's control over Britain, kidnapped and enslaved by raiding Irish; toiled in Ireland as a herdsman for six years before having his vision and escaping. Thereafter educated in France, he returned as the Bishop of Ireland. His mission was conversion. He had success, by incorporating pagan motifs (bonfires, the shamrock, the image of the sun imposed on a cross) into the Roman {Catholic} style of worship. On the outpost of "civilization" he would help establish an Ireland that preserved western (greek-based) culture during its most bleak years on the continent. The Celtic Church would accompany the Irish (Scotti or Scots) on their eastern conquests of areas never converted by Rome. So indeed, many would argue, the Celtic Church kept Christianity alive in England. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11554a.htm

So what makes Patrick a mystic? First, as recounted in the Confession, most of the major events in Patrick's life are preceded by a dream or vision. The visions were usually simple—almost self-explanatory—but they were also very vivid and carried enormous emotional impact with Patrick.

The first vision, which he received after six years of servitude in Ireland, came by way of a mysterious voice, heard in his sleep. "Your hungers are rewarded: You are going home," the voice said. "Look, your ship is ready." Indeed, some 200 miles away, there it was. (Patrick was nothing if not tenacious.)

The second vision—the one that came to him after he'd returned home and that called him back to Ireland—was equally straightforward. Victoricus, a man Patrick knew in Ireland, appeared to him in this dream, holding countless letters, one of which he handed to Patrick. The letter was called "The Voice of the Irish." Upon reading just the title, he heard a multitude of voices crying out to him: "Holy boy, we beg you to come and walk among us once more." He was so moved by this that he was unable to read further and woke up.

But the dream recurred again and again. Eventually Patrick tells his dismayed family of his plans to return to evangelize Ireland and soon begins his preparations for the priesthood. What is interesting about this dream calling Patrick to his lifelong mission to the Irish is that it comes not as a directive from God, but as a plea from the Irish.

It is also significant, O'Donoughue says, that "the voices in the dream do not ask for preaching or baptism but only that Patrick as one specially endowed should come back and share their lives, come and walk once more with them." In other words, at least according to his recollections decades later, Patrick wasn't commanded to bring civilization or salvation to the heathens. He was invited to live among them as Christ's witness. http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Mar1997/feature1.asp

You may find St. Patrick's Breastplate, the traditional hymn of confirmation and dedication in the Anglican Tradition at http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/t/stpatric.htm

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.


(hymn sung on picture link) -- said as a prayer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f00VjTg3H8E -- http://www.creeds.net/ancient/patrick.htm

The Orthodox Paschal season starts with The Great Lent, beginning on a Monday (Clean Monday) seven weeks before Paschal Sunday. The Greek Orthodox Faith follows a modified Julian calendar to establish the date of Easter each year, and this date does not always coincide with the date of Easter in the Roman Catholic or Protestant faiths. In the Orthodox Church, Lent is also called the season of Bright Sadness, because it is a time of both celebration and mourning. In year 2014, the Eastern rites observe the outset of the Lenten Season beginning Monday, March 3rd (Paschal Sunday being celebrated on the same day as Easter). see also http://www.aidanorthodox.co.uk/Journeys/journeys.htm The weeks of the Great Lent are named:

1. First Sunday (Sunday of Orthodoxy)
2. Second Sunday (St. Gregory Palamas)

St. Gregory Palamas' Holy Relics are kept in the Cathedral of Thessalonica. Gregory was brought back from exile, cleared of heretical charges and made bishop of Thessalonika (appointed Metropolitan) in 1347. He tended his flock in an apostolic manner for some twelve years, and wrote many books and treatises on the most doctrines of the Orthodox Faith. Having lived for a total of sixty-three years, St. Gregory Palamas reposed in the Lord in 1359. A full service was composed for his feast day by the Patriarch Philotheus in 1368, a date when it was established that his feast be celebrated on the second Sunday in Lent. Because works without right faith avail nothing, by celebrating the Triumph of Orthodoxy the first Sunday of Lent, and the great defender of the teachings of the holy Fathers the next, we set Orthodoxy of Faith as the foundation of all that we accomplish during the Fast of Lent. http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/saints

3. Third Sunday (Adoration of Cross)
4. Fourth Sunday (St. John of Climax)
5. Fifth Sunday (St. Mary of Egypt)
6. Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday and Paschal Sunday (in 2017 the calendar dates for the Western and Orthodox celebrations are the same)
http://greekfood.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/a/greatlent.htm

It would be safe to say that there are somewhere between 2 and 3 million Orthodox Christians in North America in roughly 2,000 parishes. http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=52&SID=3 It is the preparation for the "fulfillment of Pascha, the true Revelation," which we must begin by trying to understand the connection between Lent and Pascha, for it reveals something very essential, very crucial about our Christian faith and life.

Venez, crions de joie pour le Seigneur,
acclamons notre Rocher, notre Salut !
Approchons devant lui en rendant grâce,
par nos chants et nos hymnes, [nous] acclamons-tu !
{Psaume 94 -- 3e dimanche de Carême}
Come cry out with joy for the Lord,
hail our Rock, our Salvation!
Approach Him with great thanksgiving,
by our songs and hymns, we shall acclaim Thee !

April 09, 2017 -- Palm Sunday

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion,
shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem:
BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee,
the just, and brings {your} salvation.
He is poor, and riding upon a donkey,
and upon a colt, {which is} the foal of the donkey
[Zechariah 9:9].
Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King [Psalm 149:2].

See, a king will reign in righteousness,
and rulers will rule with justice [Isaiah 32:1.

I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from Me there is no savior [Isaiah 43:11].

Palm Sunday Liturgy -- fête des Rameaux: Ponce Pilate qui appartenait à l’ordre équestre, fut le sixième procurateur de Judée, de 26 à 36: son pouvoir s’étendait sur la Judée, l’Idumée et la Samarie, avec Césarée pour capitale. Pilate détient en Judée le pouvoir administratif suprême, l'imperium, qui lui laisse une assez large indépendance, et l'investit du droit de condamner à mort, droit qu'il exerce sans partage; un procès juif qui aboutit à la peine capitale n'a de sens que si le gouverneur accepte la condamnation et en permet l’exécution . Dans le procès de Jésus, Pilate ne cède pas à la peur ni ne défend l'accusé, mais se montre tel un gouverneur qui ne veut pas être manœuvré par les gouvernés. Cependant l'accusation est fort habile car, face à une revendication de royauté, le gouverneur ne peut pas se dérober. Pilate entretient des rapports convenables avec les milieux sacerdotaux, singulièrement avec Caïphe, le grand-prêtre, qu’il a le pouvoir destituer mais qu’il maintient en poste tout au long de son préfectorat. Outre que Pilate qui est militaire, n’est pas préparé pour administrer une province remuante, il est totalement insensible au judaïsme; il introduit les effigies de César à Jérusalem (ce que n'avait osé aucun de ses prédécesseurs) et il utilise l'argent du Trésor du Temple pour aménager l'aqueduc qui amène l'eau au Temple depuis le sud de Bethléem. Cependant les trois fois que Pilate bat monnaie, il introduit le simpulum (petite coupe pour les libations) et le lituus (bâton augural), mais il se garde d’y faire frapper des figures humaines, ce qui serait insupportable aux Juifs. La masse juive ne l'intéresse pas, mais provoque chez lui agacement. Quand ses initiatives suscitent de vives réactions parmi les Juifs, il emploie la manière forte. Poussé par un zèle excessif, Pilate devance les manœuvres du prophète samaritain qui invite ses coreligionnaires à gravir le Garizim pour y trouver les vases sacrés enfouis par Moïse; il fait massacrer les Samaritains qui étaient cependant fidèles à Rome. Après le massacre des Samaritains, Vitellius, le gouverneur de Syrie, envoie Pilate s'expliquer auprès de Tibère, mais l’Empereur meurt avant son arrivée. Dès lors, Pilate échappe à l'historien et entre dans la légende. http://missel.free.fr/Annee_A/careme/rameaux_3.html

This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that You have answered me and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
* * *
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and He has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches ....

O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever.

from Psalm 118

The Ottomans built the present walls of Jerusalem in 1540. However, they sealed the Golden gate in 1541 AD in order to prevent the Messiah's entrance, which according to the Jewish tradition will enter this gate. A cemetery was built in front of it, outside the walls, as part of that concept, on the grounds that the Messiah will not pass through a cemetery. Psalms 118 24-26: These are verses that Jesus and his disciples chanted while entering the Outer Courtyard of the Temple thru the Golden Gate. http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/GoldenGate.html But, then again the Trumpet shall sound and all shall be changed; ultimately man can do nothing to hinder or assist God.

The Palm Sunday procession, and the blessing of palms, seems to have originated in the Frankish Kingdom. The earliest mention of these ceremonies is found in the Sacramentary of the Abbey of Bobbio in northern Italy (beginning of the eighth century). The rite was soon accepted in Rome and incorporated into the liturgy. Later in medieval times, following the Roman custom, a procession composed of the clergy and laity carrying palms moved from a chapel or shrine outside of a town, where the palms were blessed, to the cathedral or main church. As the procession approached the city gate, a boys' choir stationed high above the doorway would greet the Lord with the Latin song, Gloria, laus et honor. This hymn, which is still used today in the liturgy of Palm Sunday, was written by the Theodulph (of the Benedictine Order), Bishop of Orléans (821AD) -- as sung today:

All glory, laud and honor.
To you, Redeemer, king,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

The multitude of pilgrims
With palms before You went,
Our praise and prayer and anthems
Before You we present.

The inspiring rites and ceremonies of ancient times have long since disappeared, only the sacred texts of the liturgy are still preserved. Today the blessing of palms and the procession (if any) are performed within the churches preceding the Mass. In America, Catholic and some Anglican churches will distribute palms to all the congregation; but, the festivity soon ceases quickly as the readings move toward the Gospel reading about betrayal, trial and death.

Dieu mon Seigneur m'a donné le langage d'un homme qui se laisse instruire, pour que je sache à mon tour réconforter celui qui n'en peut plus. La Parole me réveille chaque matin, chaque matin elle me réveille pour que j'écoute comme celui qui se laisse instruire. Le Seigneur Dieu m'a ouvert l'oreille, et moi, je ne me suis pas révolté, je ne me suis pas dérobé. J'ai présenté mon dos à ceux qui me frappaient, et mes joues à ceux qui m'arrachaient la barbe. Je n'ai pas protégé mon visage des outrages et des crachats. Le Seigneur Dieu vient à mon secours : c'est pourquoi je ne suis pas atteint par les outrages, c'est pourquoi j'ai rendu mon visage dur comme pierre : je sais que je ne serai pas confondu. Lecture du livre d'Isaïe (L, 4-7)

Ce passage d’Isaïe invite à se tourner vers le Seigneur dans une attitude de disciples. C'est lui qui nous ouvre l'oreille pour que nous puissions l’entendre. Le prophète nous propose le modèle d'un personnage qui accepte souffrances et vexations dans la certitude que Dieu vient à son secours. Ces quelques lignes sont communément attribuées au troisième Chant du Serviteur. Le Serviteur vit pleinement les difficultés de la communauté juive au retour de l'exil. La communauté chrétienne y verra une préparation et une annonce de la figure de Jésus. http://www.christchurchw4.com/talks/series/servantsongs


The LORD is my light and my salvation;
in whom shall I fear ?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid [Psalm 27:1] ?

5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
I have not been rebellious,
I have not turned away.

6 I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.
7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.

8 He who vindicates me is near.
Who then will bring charges against me ?
(Isaiah 50: 5-8)

This passage from Isaiah invites us to turn to the Lord with an attitude of discipleship. It is He who opens our ears so we could hear the Word. The prophet offers us a model character, who accepts suffering and humiliation, with the certainty that God will comes to his rescue. These lines are commonly attributed to the third "Song of the Servant." This suffering servant experiences fully the difficulties of the Jewish community in its return from exile. The Christian community will see this as a figurative passage to be read in the light of a preparation for and an announcement of Jesus.

The various names for the Sunday before Easter derive from the plants used--palms (Palm Sunday) or branches in general (Branch Sunday; Domingo de Ramos; Dimanche des Rameaux). In most countries of Europe fresh palms have been unobtainable through most of history, so in their place people have used many other plants: olive branches (in Italy), box, yew, spruce, willows, and pussy willows. In fact, some plants have come to be called palms because of this usage, as the yew in Ireland, the willow in England (palm-willow) and in Germany (Palmkatzchen). From the use of willow branches Palm Sunday was called Willow Sunday in parts of England and Poland, and in Lithuanian Verbu Sekmadienis (Willow-twig Sunday). The Greek Church uses the names Sunday of the Palm-carrying and Hosanna Sunday. The term Pascua Florida, which in Spain originally meant just Palm Sunday, was later also applied to the whole festival of Easter Week. Thus the State of Florida received its name when, on March 27, 1513 (Easter Sunday), Juan Ponce de Léon first sighted the land and named it in honor of the great feast. http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=105

March 22nd: According to the decision of the Council of Nicea in AD 325, Easter is observed on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox (March 21). This reckoning places Easter between March 22 and April 25 on any given year. Easter was last celebrated on March 22nd in 1818. Easter was not celebrated a single time on March 22nd during the 20th century, nor will it occur again during the 21st century. http://chi.lcms.org/history/tih0322.htm

March 27, 1513 (Easter Sunday as it was in 2016): The term Pascua Florida, which in Spain originally meant just Palm Sunday, was later also applied to the whole festival of Easter Week. Thus, the State of Florida received its name when, on this day, Juan Ponce de Léon first sighted the shore and named the discovery in honor of the great feast. http://web.archive.org/web/20050107161850/http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=105

Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the Lamb for the burnt offering (holocaust), my son." So the two of them walked on together ... Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram amongst the briers sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust, instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh; as it is said at the present day, On the mount of Jehovah will be provided [Genesis 7,8,13,14].

"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh"... which may be rendered either "the Lord hath seen", as in the Septuagint (Greek) translation, or "has provided", the future becoming the past, in answer to what Abraham had said in Genesis 22:8; "God will provide" Now He had provided, and, as a memorial of it, Abraham gives the place this name; or "He will see and/or provide"

Amidst such a conflict of interpretations absolute certainty about the translation is fully not attainable; but the sense of Abraham's proverb been expressed best by understanding it to mean that on the mountain of Abraham's sacrifice the Lord God would afterwards reveal Himself for the salvation of His people, as He had interposed His help for Abraham - a prophecy which was afterwards fulfilled in the manifestations of the Divine Glory given in Solomon's temple and in the incarnation of the Word.

Wednesday-The Holy Week of Lent: Carême: Salva nos, Domine, custodi nos dormientes in Christo, ut requiescamus in pace. On the afternoon or evening of Great and Holy Wednesday, the Sacrament or Mystery of Holy Unction is conducted in Orthodox parishes. The Sacrament of Holy Unction is offered for the healing of soul and body and for forgiveness of sins. At the conclusion of the service of the Sacrament, the body is anointed with oil. The Grace of God, which heals infirmities of soul and body, is called down upon each person. The Sacrament is performed by a gathering of priests, ideally seven in number; however, it may be performed by a lesser number (and even by a single priest). More at: http://lent.goarch.org/holy_wednesday/learn/. Tenebræ: Some denominations conduct a Tenebræ service (one which emphasizes the loss and abandonment at the time of betrayal) on a Wednesday evening after sunset. Technically, the observance may occur on each evening prior to the last three days of Lent (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), always (as the name suggests) done after dark (about the twenty-first hour in the Catholic Church), so that it may be carried out in the shadows -- as if walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It begins with the church in candlelight, as many candles as there are readings. In addition a white candle stands burning to represent the Lord. Readers read assigned selections, and extinguish one of the candles, until only the candle that represents Christ remains. Then someone reads the first part of Psalm 22, which Jesus recited on the Cross (Eli lama sabachthani). The Christ candle is extinguished, leaving the congregation in near total darkness (putting out lights dates from the fifth century), to represent near total devastation.

At this point, the service ends. There is no Benediction and the Congregation leaves in silence. The service appears incomplete, because the Resurrection has not taken place; the tone of the whole Office, which seems hardly to have varied in any respect from that now repeated in modern times, is most noticeably mournful -- the beginning lessons (readings) taken from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, which speaks of desolation and abandonment. In England the Sarum Ordinal (the Salisbury tradition from which the Book of Common Prayer largely was drawn) prescribed twenty-four candles, and this was at first the general number in the Anglican Service, variously explained as symbolizing the twenty-four hours of the day, or the twelve Apostles with the twelve Prophets. A twenty-fifth candle was allowed to remain lighted and hidden, as often may be done today, behind the altar, when all the others had been gradually extinguished.

John 1:4-5 In ipso vita erat, et vita erat lux hominum: Et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebræ eam non comprehenderunt.

In him was life: and the life was the light of men; And, the light shines in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as day; the darkness and light to thee are both alike [Psalms 139:12].

nec tenebræ habent tenebras apud te et nox quasi dies lucet similes sunt tenebræ et lux -- Biblia Sacra Vulgata (Jerome's VULGATE)

Aidez-nous, Seigneur, gardez-nous dormir dans le Christ peut reposer en paix -- Help us, Lord, [if we cannot keep the watch with You] to sleep in the custody of Christ so that we may rest in [Your] peace - Psalm 4:8 -- In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Maundy Thursday -- John 13:1-17, 31b-35 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had arrived ... Holy Thursday is called Maundy Thursday from the old Latin name for the day, "Dies Mandatum," i.e. "the day of the new commandment." 13:34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. Grün is the German name for this time, Gründonnerstag (literally green-Thursday) does not derive from the name of the color but from "greinen" (modern-weinen, to weep).

A popular assumption is that on "green" Thursday people should consume green vegetables on this Fast day, spinach being a favorite. Called "Grien Dunnersdaag" by the traditional-Germans of Pennsylvania, their practice is to eat a big fresh salad. Some insist that Gruendonnerstag has nothing to do with greinen; rather, it is a translation of the Latin dies viridium -- Tag der Gruenen, or in English: day of the green ones. This phrase refers to those who have done forty days of penance and are therefore fresh, innocent or green. One should also remember that new converts were traditionally received into the congregation at this time in the year. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10068a.htm. More about all of this in German is HERE.

In England, the sovereign takes part in the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy, where specially minted Maundy coins are distributed. This ceremony, held at a great cathedral, involves the distribution of Maundy Money to deserving senior citizens (one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign's age), usually chosen for having done service to their community. In the 17th century, and earlier, the King or Queen would wash the feet of the selected poor people as a gesture of humility, and in remembrance of Jesus's washing the feet of the disciples. The last monarch to do this was James the Second. The practice of the monarch giving money on this day dates at least back nearly 700 years to Edward I. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/holyweek_2.shtml

Good Friday
Thou wilt keep him in peace, peace
[intense perfect peace];
whose mind is stayed on Thee;
because he trusteth in Thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever:
for in the Lord is everlasting strength
[the rock of ages]
. . .
Thy dead men shall live,
together with my dead body shall they arise.
Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
http://www.christnotes.org/bible.php?q=Isaiah+26
see also http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/p/p017a.html
(hymn based on Is. 26:3)
Cogitatio fixa, custodies pacem, pacem;
quoniam in te confisum est;
sperate in Iehova in perpetuum;
quia in Iah Iehova fortitudoseculorum
. . .
Vivent mortui tui, cadaver meum resurgent.
Evigilate, et cantate, incolæ pulveris.
Quoniam ros herbarum ros tuus; et terra mortuosejiciet,
(vel, terram Gigantum prosternes;
vel, terra Gigantes cadere faciet).


"As far as the heavens are from the earth,
so far are my thoughts from your thoughts,
O house of Israel." (Isaiah 55:9.)


 
One of the suggested readings for the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter is Psalm 130, one of the seven Penitential Psalms.

O LORD, thou hast searched me out, and known me. 
Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising; 
thou understandest my thoughts long before.

Thou art about my path, and about my bed, 
and art acquainted with all my ways.

For lo, there is not a word in my tongue, 
but thou, O LORD, knowest it altogether.
{cf Matthew 6:8}

Thou hast beset me behind and before, 
and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me; 
I cannot attain unto it. 
{cf Psalm 23 -- Dominus Regit Me}

Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit? 
or whither shall I go then from thy presence?

If I climb up into heaven, thou art there; 
if I go down to hell, thou art there also.

If I take the wings of the morning, 
and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there also shall thy hand lead me, 
and thy right hand shall hold me. 
{cf Psalm 91 -- Qui habitat }

If I say, peradventure the darkness shall cover me, 
then shall my night be turned to day. {cf 1 John 1:5}
Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, 
but the night is as clear as day; 
the darkness and light to thee are both alike.

For you yourself created my inmost parts;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I will thank you because I am marvelously made;
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.

My body was not hidden from you,
while I was being made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book;
they were fashioned day by day,
when as yet there were none of them.
{cf This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: 
I am the Lord who has made all things Isaiah 44:24}

How deep I find your thoughts, O God!
how great is the sum of them!

If I were to count them, 
they would be more in number than the sand;
to count them all, 
my life span would need to be like yours.
             		*   *   *
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;
 try me and know my restless thoughts.

Look well whether there be any wickedness in me
 and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

http://www.missionstclare.com/english/psalm/139.html

But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is as darkness:
they know not at what they stumble

[Proverbs 4:18-19].

Traditional Uses for Psalm 139

Psalm 139			Saturdays, Daily Office, 30th Day Reading
Psalm 139			Office, Philip and James
Psalm 139			Office, Burial
Psalm 139:1-9			Anselm
Psalm 139:1-9			Basil the Great
Psalm 139:1-9			Jeremy Taylor
Psalm 139:1-9			Bernard of Clairvaux
Psalm 139:1-9			At Confirmation
Psalm 139:1-17			Of the Holy Spirit
Psalm 139:1-17			Office, New Ministry
Psalm 139:1-17			3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, Episcopal Church USA
from http://www.pathguy.com/francisc/daily-of.txt


The light pierced the darkness,
but the darkness comprehended it not
--

http://minmaxsunt.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/lux-in-tenebris-lucet/

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia !!!

The Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, serves as the first official mass of the celebration of the Resurrection. Historically, it is during this service that people were baptized and that adult catechumens were received into full communion with the Church. The Easter Vigil includes a blessing of water, which is a sign of purification (and of baptism). Holy water, that is, water that has been ceremonially blessed, is a sacramental, set aside as an outward and visible sign of an inward (and invisible) truth. The Mass begins after the fall of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter -— most commonly in the evening of Holy Saturday. In the Roman Catholic and the Anglican Communions, the Easter Vigil is considered by many as the most important service of the liturgical year, as well as being the first celebration of the Eucharist during the fifty-day long celebration of the Resurrection. This year it occurs Saturday evening April 15th.

Very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared and they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. Luke 24:1, 3 Alleluia, the Lord is risen; the Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia !!!


Mileseva Monastery, Serbia -- ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕСЕ Алилуја! !!!

And they {the angels} say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou ? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou ? Whom seekest thou ? [John 20:13-15a (KJV)] http://www.bartleby.com/108/43/20.html {where you can link also to the Synoptic Gospels' account}

Christus ist auferstanden ! -- Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden !!!

This is the the day the Lord has made -- Let us rejoice and be glad in it: Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Before theologians had explained the death of Jesus in terms of various atonement theories, the early Church saw the resurrection as the central evidence to the final redemptive act of God in history. This event marks the central point of faith in the confession of the early and universal (catholic) Church, and it was the focus of Christian worship. Observed on the first day of each week since the first century (Acts 20:7; Sunday was officially proclaimed the Christian sabbath in AD 321).

If you take away the Resurrection of Jesus {from Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth, Chapter 15}, you make nothing of the faith. [I]f Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain … but in fact Christ was raised from the dead into life ! The best testimony of the Resurrection of Christ is that its effects span last two millenniums, changing the life of the earth. The Resurrection of the Messiah is the grand event of the ages, toward which all previous history moved, and in which all subsequent history finds its meaning.

Is 1 Cor 15:3b-5 -- A Pre-Pauline Pericope or Post-Pauline Interpolation ???
  . . . hoti Christos apethanen huper ton hamartion hemon kata tas graphas,
kai hoti etaphe,
kai hoti egegertai te hemera te trite kata tas graphas,
kai hoti ophthe Kepha, eita tois dodeka.

http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/tomb2.html
That Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
That he was buried;
That he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures;
That he appeared to {his disciples -- the twelve or ??} ....

The connective hoti ("that") introduces each article of the confession of faith: (that which follows I believe ...) http://depts.drew.edu/jhc/rp1cor15.html


Exodus 15 (On the eve of the seventh day after the Exodus)
I will sing to the Lord,
    for He is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
    He has hurled into the sea.

The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    He has become my salvation.

You stretch out Your right hand,
    and the earth swallows Your enemies.
In your unfailing love You will lead
    the people whom You have redeemed.
In strength You will guide them
    to Your Holy dwelling.


Cosimo Rosselli
"Crossing of the Red Sea"
Sistine Chapel, Vatican
You will bring them in and plant them
    on the mountain of Your inheritance—
the place, Lord, You made for Your dwelling,
    the Sanctuary, Lord, Your hands have established.

“The Lord reigns
    for ever and ever.”

Then Miriam a prophet and Aaron’s sister, 
took a timbrel in her hand, 
and all the women followed her, 
with timbrels and dancing. 
Miriam sang to them:

"I will sing to the Lord,
    for He is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
    He has hurled into the sea."

Dominus Meus

Dominus meus et Deus meus,
ego credidi quia Tu es Christus,
Filius Dei vivi;
Qui in hunc mundum venisti.
In manus Tuas Domine commendo spiritum meum.
Redemisti me, Domine, Deus veritatis.

http://www2.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Dominus_Meus_%28Crist%C3%B3bal_de_Morales%29
-- Cristóbal de Morales (1500-1553)

My Lord and my God,
I have believed that thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God;
Who has come into this world.
Into Your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth.

-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yyvo_9aoUoA
(similar music from Cristóbal)


It is also the Second Sunday of Easter,
where we hear:

be not faithless, but believing
-- "Dominus meus, et Deus meus !" from John 20:24-31

Benedictus Dominus Deus meus,
qui docet manus meas ad prælium,
et digitos meos ad bellum
[Psalm 144:1 (Vulgate 143)]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalm_144

9: I will sing a new song unto Thee, O God: 
upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings 
will I sing praises unto Thee.

10: It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: 
who delivereth David his servant 
from the hurtful sword.

Happy is that people, 
that is in such a case: 
yea, happy is that people, 
whose God is the Lord 
[Psalm 144:9, 10, 15]
He is not here, but he has been raised: Now that same day [of Resurrection] two of them were going to a village called Emmaus {Greek: Ἐμμαούς, Latin: Emmaus, Hebrew: חמת‎ Hammat, meaning warm spring}, about seven miles [60 furlongs] from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened [during Passover in Jerusalem]. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him.

Then He said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His Glory ? And, beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures, the things that were concerning Him.

And they said between themselves, Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and when He opened to us the Scriptures ? And they departed the same hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven {disciples} gathered together, and those that were with them; [The disciples greeted them saying], "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon {Peter}." Then the {travelers to Emmaus} told what things were done in the way, and how He was known of them in breaking of bread. from portions of Luke 24:13-35

Beginning at Moses, the first inspired writer of the Old Testament, Jesus expounded to them the things concerning himself. There are many passages throughout all the Old Testament Scriptures that touch upon Christ and Him crucified, that herald the establishment of His Kingdom. We cannot go very far in any part, but we meet with something that has reference to Christ, some prophecy, some promise, some prayer, some type or other. Some portion of the Gospels grace runs through the whole web of these ancient writings. Christ being the best expositor of Scripture, even after the Lord's Resurrection, Jesus led people to know the mystery concerning himself, not by advancing new notions, but by showing the fulfilling of Scripture, and inspiring them to the earnest study of it.

April 16th in 2017 is the Orthodox Celebration of the Resurrection
as is the Western date for the celebration of the Resurrection

April 12, 2015 (continued): Within the Orthodox Church, feast days and fast days are reckoned according to two distinct calendars, the Julian Calendar and the Gregorian Calendar. The first is attributed to the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, whose name it bears. It was later corrected in the sixteenth century by Pope Gregory XIII due to the ever-increasing discrepancy between calendar time and calculated astronomical time. Thus the Gregorian Calendar came into being, but it was not fully accepted by all Orthodox Churches for all events. http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7070.asp So for some Easter was the 27th of March and others May 1st in 2005; In 2007 and 2011, the separately reckoned observances fall on the same day. http://www.transchurch.org/sguide/dates.htm#lent&easter

April 15, 1638: Forces of Imperial Japan (Shogun Tokugawa's army) capture the castle of Hara, on the Japanese island of Amakusa, held by 30,000 Christian troops under Masada Shiro. The defenders set fire to the castle, and all perished in the flames or by the sword. From that day until 1873 (235 years later), Christianity was banned in Japan under penalty of death, yet it did not disappear. More HERE The Japanese kingdom expelled the Portuguese at this time and Japan closed itself to the Western influence. Imagine the world, if the empire had embraced a peaceful solution and achieved true detent with the West. Edicule

Forty Days after the Resurrection: from http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Scotland/Scot_Tables_Rules.htm The Thursday called Ascension Day fell on May 5th in 2016. The next celebration day is Pentecost or Whitsunday, the promise is fulfilled. From the four weeks of preparation before Christmas (Advent) through this time, we have the Life and Death portrayed and remembered week-by-week by the historic Church. So begins the work of the Paraclete: http://www.episcopalian.org/pbs1928/Articles/Ascension2003.htm Other special days include four Rogation days before the Ascension. Rogation Sunday begins the time traditionally set apart for solemn processions to invoke God's mercy, and recognize our dependence upon the land for our food. The Vigil of Pentecost occurs the evening immediately before Whitsunday. The English (Anglican) Book of Common Prayer was approved and required for use beginning Pentecost in 1549; and, it includes a service for the Vigil, the first time in English. Cranmer himself officiated at St. Paul's on June 9th (in London on Pentecost), although his book was used there and elsewhere as early as the start of Lent. http://anglicanhistory.org/essays/wright/1549.pdf Trinity Sunday is eight weeks after Easter (the two days before are "Ember" Friday and Saturday -- Quatuor Tempora).

The LORD says to my lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" [Psalm 110:1].

And the Lord [Jesus], after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven,
and [now] sits on the right hand of God, [His own Father]" [Mark 16:19].

The Ascension is one of the five major milestones in the Gospel narratives of the life of Jesus, the others being His baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, and resurrection.

Ascension Sunday: Ascension Day occurs 40 days after Resurrection Sunday (May 25th in 2017), so it too is a moveable Holy Day. Because it falls on a Thursday, most churches celebrate it on the Sunday following. After the conversion of Constantine, the first church arose on the site of the Ascension about 390 AD tradition says by Poimenia, a pious Roman lady. St. Helena erected over the site a church called the "Eleona Basilica" in 392 (however she died in 330AD). Elaion in Greek means "olive garden" from the word elaia "olive tree" (and has an oft-mentioned similarity to eleos meaning "mercy"). This structure was destroyed by the Sassanid Persians in 614. It was rebuilt in the eighth century, destroyed again, but rebuilt a second time by the Crusaders. Muslim forces destroyed this final church, leaving only an octagonal structure (called a martyrium -- a memorial or "Edicule"). It remains to this day, having received a vast number of visitors for 900 years. The Ascension is understood as a necessary prerequisite for the sending of the Holy Ghost (spiritus sanctus) at Pentecost (John 16:7 (King James Version)). http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/sbf/escurs/Ger/14escursEn.html Chapel of the Ascension, Jerusalem

Pentecost -- 50 days later - June 04, 2017: Pentecôte {Année A} -- http://missel.free.fr/Annee_C/paques/pentecote.html

And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams:
Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days
Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they {all} shall prophesy. Joel 2
http://web.archive.org/web/20070701233614/http://www.orlutheran.com/mlsepent.html

Puisque l'Esprit nous fait vivre, laissons-nous conduire par l'Esprit

from the Psalms of David - 103, 104

Praise the LORD, my soul.
LORD my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty.
-- Psaume 103

Bénis le Seigneur, ô mon âme;
Seigneur mon Dieu, Tu es si grand !


Bless the LORD, O my soul:
and all that is within me,
bless His holy name.
"I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them;
I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh
and give them a heart of flesh,
so that they may follow my statutes
and keep my ordinances
and obey them.
Then they shall be my people,
and I will be their God
from Ezekiel 11:19-20."


When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability from Acts 2.

Return to our Newsletter: the Vanguard

New: February 10, 2005 -- Revised last: February 26, 2017

The Trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised,
Incorruptable;
and, we {who are living} shall be saved.



Dan Gott haft dise Welt so Leef jehaut, daut hee sien eentsje Saen jeef,
daut aula, dee aun am jleewe, nich feloare gone, oba daut eewje Laewe habe.