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Seasonal introduction

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

posted 1 Sept 2014, 05:29 by Mark Broomhead

Take a moment, be still

As we celebrate the adventures that lay before us on this new day,
may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.

William Law

posted 10 Apr 2014, 03:29 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

Almighty God,
who called your servant William Law
to a devout and holy life:
grant that by your spirit of love
and through faithfulness in prayer
we may find the way to divine knowledge
and so come to see the hidden things of God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

posted 9 Apr 2014, 03:29 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com   [ updated 9 Apr 2014, 03:29 ]

Bonhoeffer was a Christian Pastor in Germany before and during the second world war. Before he was killed in a concentration camp he defected from the state church to the 'Confessing Church' and was involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler. Arguably his most popular and well known work 'The Cost of Discipleship' is still held in very high regard as one of the classic and crucial texts on the nature of discipleship today.

'Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.'
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


posted 8 Apr 2014, 01:22 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com   [ updated 8 Apr 2014, 01:23 ]

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


John Donne - A Sheaf of Snakes Used Heretofore To Be My seal, The Crest Of Our Poor Family

posted 31 Mar 2014, 01:46 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

ADOPTED in God's family and so
Our old coat lost, unto new arms I go.
The Cross—my seal at baptism—spread below
Does, by that form, into an Anchor grow.
Crosses grow Anchors ; bear, as thou shouldest do
Thy Cross, and that Cross grows an Anchor too.
But He that makes our Crosses Anchors thus,
Is Christ, who there is crucified for us.
Yet may I, with this, my first serpents hold ;
God gives new blessings, and yet leaves the old.
The serpent may, as wise, my pattern be ;
My poison, as he feeds on dust, that's me.
And, as he rounds the earth to murder sure,
My death he is, but on the Cross, my cure.
Crucify nature then, and then implore
All grace from Him, crucified there before ;
Then all is Cross, and that Cross Anchor grown ;
This seal's a catechism, not a seal alone.
Under that little seal great gifts I send,
Works, and prayers, pawns, and fruits of a friend.
And may that saint which rides in our great seal,
To you who bear his name,* great bounties deal !

Magnificat and Collect

posted 25 Mar 2014, 02:37 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

Eve: Magnificat
    The Holy Spirit will come upon you, Mary,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. [Alleluia.]
    The Word of God, begotten of the Father before time began,
humbled himself for us and was incarnate
      from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. [Alleluia.]
    Mary received the Word of the Lord
and conceived the Word of life. [Alleluia.]
    We beseech you, O Lord,
pour your grace into our hearts,
that as we have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ
      by the message of an angel,
so by his cross and passion
we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thomas Cranmer

posted 24 Mar 2014, 02:55 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

Cranmer was the Archbishop of Canterbury who saw the Church through the reforms. He wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer and developed new doctrinal standards for celibacy, the Eucharist and others. When Queen Mary took the throne and Roman Catholicism returned he purportedly recanted his protestantism. However when it came time for his execution he withdrew them and died a heretic to Rome and a martyr for the principles of the English reformation. The 39 articles are derived from Cranmer's work.

Father of all mercies,
who through the work of your servant Thomas Cranmer
renewed the worship of your Church
and through his death revealed your strength in human weakness:
by your grace strengthen us to worship you
in spirit and in truth
and so to come to the joys of your everlasting kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Mediator and Advocate.

Easter by George Herbert

posted 27 Feb 2014, 02:27 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

Rise, heart, thy lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may'st rise:
That, as his death calcinèd thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and, much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art,
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.
His stretchèd sinews taught all strings what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort, both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long;
Or, since all music is but three parts vied
And multiplied
Oh let thy blessèd Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.


posted 24 Feb 2014, 04:03 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

Almighty God,
who gave to your servant Polycarp
boldness to confess the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ
      before the rulers of this world
and courage to die for his faith:
grant that we also may be ready
to give an answer for the faith that is in us
and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Janani Luwum

posted 17 Feb 2014, 05:03 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

Archbishop Luwum was a leading voice in criticising the excesses of the Idi Amin regime in Uganda that assumed power in 1971. In 1977, Archbishop Luwum delivered a note of protest to dictator Idi Amin against the policies of arbitrary killings and unexplained disappearances. Shortly afterwards the archbishop and other leading churchmen were accused of treason. He was killed in 1977 and is now considered a martyr by the Anglican Communion.

God of truth,
whose servant Janani Luwum walked in the light,
and in his death defied the powers of darkness:
free us from fear of those who kill the body,
that we too may walk as children of light,
through him who overcame darkness by the power of the cross,
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

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