The History of the Advent Collects

Posted on December 22, 2023

The four Advent collects offer both a concise introduction to the season of Advent and a rich overview of the grace God offers to sinners. These collects thereby present, in microcosm, the Anglican Way as a Catholic and Reformed religion. As expressed in these collects, Anglicans hold to the great themes of the historic Christian…

The Liturgical Home: The Feast of St. Thomas

Posted on December 19, 2023

On December 21st, as Christmas Day fast approaches, we celebrate one more commemoration of a saint, the Feast of St. Thomas. We often know St. Thomas, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, as “Doubting Thomas” for questioning Jesus’ resurrection after the other disciples told him about it. Tradition holds that he is the only apostle who…

Today in the Spirit: Advent 4B

Posted on December 17, 2023

The festival day is at hand, yet the Church would have us linger longer in Advent, contemplating all that God the Father has done to foretell and prepare the arrival of “Yeshua” (“the one who delivers”) into the world. In Advent 4, Year B, the assigned Gospel reading from Luke 1:26-38 relates the narrative of…

The Good Grief of Advent: Living in the Longing

Posted on December 15, 2023

“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end…

Today in the Spirit: Advent 3B

Posted on December 10, 2023

It is the Advent 3B selection of readings that really puts the joy in “Joy Sunday.” All four readings include either an explicit exhortation for God’s people to rejoice in the Lord or a testimony of joy from the narrator’s heart. Since all that Mark has to say about John the Baptist before Jesus’ arrival…

The True Story of Santa Claus

Posted on December 6, 2023

Is Santa real? Yes, he is, and his true story involves a 4th-century bishop, a 19th-century Anglican, liturgical vestments, and an altercation with a heretic. The true story is so fabulous, only the kids would believe it! Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus The name Santa Claus is a contraction of the name Saint Nicholas. Nicholas…

Today in the Spirit: Advent 2B

Posted on December 3, 2023

Like many of our favorite movies, Advent 2 takes us, suddenly, to a flashback in time from the noise and upheaval of the Son of Man coming on the clouds to the silence of the Judean wilderness and the sight of a strange man dwelling there. In the Gospel of Mark, though it is shorter…

Today in the Spirit: Advent 1B

Posted on November 26, 2023

Happy New Year, Saints! We return to what the Church calls the Incarnation Cycle in the Sunday lectionary. In Year B of the three-year cycle, we embark this Sunday on the second of three pilgrimages, walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, this time with the Gospel of Mark as our main guide. Having heard…

The Book of Judith, the Jewish People, and the Advent of the Messiah

Posted on November 10, 2023

This is the fourth part of Dr. Noll’s series, “Reading and Enjoying the Apocrypha.” The Daily Office readings for November (BCP page 760) insert ten days of readings from The Book of Judith, from the Apocrypha. This book picks up themes from the Books of Maccabees, which I reviewed earlier, and adds some gender balance…

The O Antiphons (The Liturgical Home)

Posted on December 17, 2022

On the 17th of December we begin the “O Antiphons,” and the whole tone of Advent changes. We are only eight days (known as an Octave) away from Christmas Day, so there is an increase in activity and a renewed sense of expectation. During these last days, our prayers arise with an ever-increasing crescendo. They…