Epiphany, Giotto di Bondone, Adoration of the Magi, Epiphany Proclamation

Epiphany Proclamation of Easter 2016

The Church has a couple of important and meaningful traditions related to The Feast of the Epiphany. First, it is a common practice to bless homes on the Feast of Epiphany and during the following week. One way of doing this is with chalk that has been blessed during the Epiphany Eucharist. Second, the ancient Church had a practice of announcing the dates of Easter … Continue reading Epiphany Proclamation of Easter 2016

Anno Domini 2016, New Year, Prayer, Holy Name

Prayers for the New Year

While the civil calendar marks January 1 as New Year’s Day, the Church celebrates January 1 as the Feast of the Holy Name, Jesus. Although the two might be celebrated in different ways, they are not necessarily in opposition. Behind the celebrations, resolutions, and good wishes associated with the New Year I suspect there are, for many people, hope and a deep longing for a … Continue reading Prayers for the New Year

Here is the Man – A Good Friday Sermon on John 18:1-19:42

“Here is the man.” (From the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John 18:1-19:42) Pilate has spoken a truth beyond the words we hear and beyond the man we see. Who is this man? Who do you see? To whom is Pilate referring? Yes, it is Jesus of Nazareth. He’s wearing a crown of thorns and dressed in a purple robe. He’s … Continue reading Here is the Man – A Good Friday Sermon on John 18:1-19:42

Looking Around and Leaving Nothing Behind – A Palm Sunday Sermon on Mark 11:1-11

Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ (From the Palm Sunday gospel, Mark 11:1-11) Every time I read, hear, or say those words I can’t help but think of a saying you probably know. … Continue reading Looking Around and Leaving Nothing Behind – A Palm Sunday Sermon on Mark 11:1-11

Icon of the Annunciation, Feast of the Annunciation, Luke 1:26-38, Womb, Tomb, Blessed Virgin Mary, Sermon

The Promise of Interruption – A Sermon on the Annunciation, Luke 1:26-38

We call today (March 25) the Feast of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) but I wonder if it might be more accurate to call it the Feast of Interruption. Here’s what I mean by that. We don’t know what Mary was doing when the Angel Gabriel showed up. Holy scripture doesn’t tell us. I’m willing to bet, however, that getting pregnant with and ultimately giving birth … Continue reading The Promise of Interruption – A Sermon on the Annunciation, Luke 1:26-38

Ash Wednesday, Lent, Sermon, Mortality, Immortality, Matthew 6:1-6 16-21

Welcome to the Human Race – An Ash Wednesday Sermon, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

A couple of years ago I was talking with a women who is and has been for many years my therapist, counselor, mentor, and teacher all rolled into one. I told her that I worked really hard to always get it right, to have the answer, to always know what to do, to speak the right words, to be strong and in control, to do … Continue reading Welcome to the Human Race – An Ash Wednesday Sermon, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Blessing Candles on the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas)

Forty days after Christmas the infant Jesus was presented in the temple of Jerusalem and placed in the arms of the old man Simeon (Luke 2:22-40) who declared: Lord, you now have set your servant free  to go in peace as you have promised;  For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior,  whom you have prepared for all the world to see: A Light … Continue reading Blessing Candles on the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas)

Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, The Purification of Mary, The Feast of Meeting, Candlemas, Blessing, Luke 2:22-40

A Blessing Specific to the Feast of the Presentation

The Book of Occasional Services, one of the liturgical books in the Episcopal Church, offers several blessings specific to seasons and feast days. It does not, however, offer a blessing specific to the Feast of the Presentation, a major feast in the liturgical year. The following blessing has been prepared based upon the collects and gospel reading (Luke 2:22-40) for the day: May Almighty God, … Continue reading A Blessing Specific to the Feast of the Presentation

Baptism of Jesus, Mark 1:4-11, Sermon, Baptism, Theophany, Epiphany

Into What Then Were You Baptized? – A Sermon on Mark 4:1-11

I remember someone saying to me many years ago, “I’ve had a bad decade. There are things I wish I could re-do. I’d make different choices. So many words I wish I hadn’t said. Relationships that I’d do differently.” It probably doesn’t take a lot of imagination to know what he means. It may not have been a decade but I suspect all of us … Continue reading Into What Then Were You Baptized? – A Sermon on Mark 4:1-11

Star of Bethlehem, Feast of the Epiphany, Wise Men, Magi, Matthew 2:1-12, Sermon

When a Star Isn’t a Star – An Epiphany Sermon on Matthew 2:1-12

“For we observed his star at its rising.” Wise men from the East have followed this star to Jerusalem. They will follow it to Bethlehem. They will be overwhelmed with joy when it stops over the house where the child is. For they have come to pay homage to this child who has been born king of the Jews. Some people have said that star … Continue reading When a Star Isn’t a Star – An Epiphany Sermon on Matthew 2:1-12