Sunday, April 26, 2015

BCP 2011: Third Sunday After Easter

Book of Common Prayer 2011
First printing of the Book of Common Prayer 2011; we are now on the second printing with red covers. 

As one of the editors of the Book of Common Prayer 2011, I am quite attached to it and have been using it as a private and family devotional even before it was officially in print. Plus, Father Acker (the author/translator of the Book of Common Prayer 2011) and I use it for corporate worship at the Friday Healing Services at Blessed Trinity.

For the past few years, I have been posting the Collect for each week from the Book of Common Prayer 2011 here in the sidebar of my blog and also on the Book of Common Prayer 2011 Facebook page. I thought I'd also take a moment and post each week's prayer here in the blog itself and explain a little about what a Collect is and how it is used in the Anglican tradition.

The History of the BCP
The Book of Common Prayer came out of the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church under King Henry VIII. Many people believe that this separation marks the beginning of the Church of England, but that fact may not be the case.

A number of Anglicans believe that it is quite possible that Joseph of Arimathea, the man who asked Pilate for Jesus' body and buried it in his own tomb, was a merchant who traveled by sea to many ports, including those along the southern coast of England. It is rumored that Joseph shared the Gospel with his trade partners in coastal towns as early as 37 AD, fewer than five years after Christ's death and resurrection, and helped start a few rudimentary churches. If this  story is true (and there seems to be slight proof to support it), then the Gospel reached England and gained a toehold in the British Isles before even the Church in Rome was established. I found a reference in Wikipedia which states, "Alford also asserts that 'It is perfectly certain that, before St Paul had come to Rome, Aristobulus was away in Britain.' This is in accord with the date given by Gildas the Wise (425–512 AD) that the 'Light of Christ' shone in Britain in the last year of Emperor Tiberias (37 AD)."

The English Church, even under the authority of the Catholic Church based in Rome, did its own thing more often than not due to the distance from Rome to Britain. So it was not surprising that the Church of England was established during the Protestant Reformation as the Catholic Church in England was always rather independent of Roman authority.

In 1549, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote the first Book of Common Prayer. As the Preface to the Book of Common Prayer 2011 states, "The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is not jusy a collection of prayers or liturgies but rather represents the life and worship of God's people. Thomas Cranmer crafted the first BCP (1549) as a single volume incorporating not only English Sarum usage but also current reformed, ancient Gallican, and Eastern Rite liturgies. Cranmer simplified, shortened, and used language that was readily understood not only by the clergy but also by the whole fellowship." The Preface continues, "Holy Scripture gives voice to our language of prayer and is integral to the BCP tradition. The texts and rites are intentionally scriptural."

What's a Collect?
The Preface to the BCP 2011 informs us, "Each Sunday in the Christian Year has a theme about living in relationship with a holy God and with one another. This theme is found in the Propers for that Sunday which consist of a prayer [called a Collect] and two or more readings from Scripture....During the week, we continue to pray the prayer and to apply the lessons [the readings from Scripture] from our Sunday gatherings as we go about our daily life. We read additional portions of Scripture in a planned sequence of readings [called the Lectionary] so that we may hear all of God's Word, not just the highlights."

So here is the Collect for this week and the Sunday Bible readings:


ALMIGHTY God, you show the light of your truth to those in error so that they might return to the path of righteousness; May all who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ reject everything contrary to the Faith, and follow everything consistent with the same; Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and rules with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (References: 1 Peter 3.10-11; Ephesians 5.13-15; 2 Peter 1.5-8)

1 Peter 2.11-17; John 16.16-22; Psalm 66.1-8; Acts 3.1-13

I wish you all a blessed week as Eastertide continues until Pentecost, fifty days after Easter.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Good Friday Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross at Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Alpine

I spent Good Friday noon at Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Alpine, gathering with at least a hundred Christians to walk The Ecumenical Biblical Stations of the Cross. This event is hosted by the Alpine Ministerial Association and  involves Catholics and Protestants walking the 14 Stations of the Cross, the pastors of the various churches taking turns at reading the Passion story from the Scriptures as we listen and look out between the ten-foot tall natural wood crosses to see Alpine nestled below us, gauzy in the noon glare.

One of the pastors from Alpine Community Church reads the Scriptures to the assembled "pilgrims"; umbrellas give some of the elderly a break from the heat of the noon sunshine.

As the 100+ pilgrims nudge forward to the next cross, Father Acker of Blessed Trinity, the Anglican Church where I've been attending Friday morning healing services for the past nine years, leads us, playing his acoustic guitar, in a chorus of "Were You There?" that is related to the Scripture just read.

The Biblical Readings: The Way of the Cross:

Opening Prayer: Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross so that He might draw the whole world to Himself. Grant that we, who glory in this death for our salvation, may also glory in His call to take up our crosses and follow Him; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Station 1: Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives -- Matthew 22:39-45
Station 2: Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus -- Matthew 26:47-56
Station 3: Jesus Before the Council -- Mark 14:60-65
Station 4: "My Kingdom Is Not of this World" -- John 18:33-37
Station 5: Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified  -- Mark 15:6-15
Station 6: Jesus Delivered to Be Crucified -- John 19:2-6
Station 7: Jesus Bears the Cross -- John 19:14-17
Station 8: Simon Helps Jesus Carry the Cross -- Mark 15:20-21
Station 9: Jesus Speaks to the Women -- Luke 23:27-31
Station 10: The Crucifixion -- Luke 23:32-38
Station 11: The Criminals Speak to Jesus -- Luke 23:39-43
Station 12: Jesus Speaks to Mary and John --John 19:25-27
Station 13: The Death of Jesus -- John 19:28-34
Station 14: Jesus Is Buried -- John 19:38-42

Guitar in hand, Father Acker of Blessed Trinity reads the Scripture for the Eighth Station: Simon Helps Jesus Carry the Cross (Mark 15:20-21)

Perspiration trickles down the back of my neck, and I try to shade my eyes with my folded program stating the Fourteen Stations and the Scriptures to be read at each Station. As we near the end, a kind woman tilts her umbrella to offer me some shade, a complete stranger serving another in this time of contemplation of Christ's suffering and sacrifice, His passion and death. As the final Scriptures are read, we turn away from the pastors, the view, and the unrelenting sunshine to leave in silence, pondering the magnitude of His sacrifice for each of us.

The Thirteenth Station: The Death of Jesus (John 19:28-34)

Psalm 30:5b: "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning."

Quotation for the week: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people, and hallelujah is our song.”

~Pope John Paul II

With joyous Easter blessings,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Journaling Workshop with Dean Nelson

Dr. Dean Nelson at the Writer's Symposium by the Sea
The Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council (MECAC) Writers' Workshop presents an all-day writing workshop on Saturday, April 18 with Dr. Dean Nelson, founder of the Journalism Department at Point Loma Nazarene University and of the Writer's Symposium by the Sea. Author of eleven books and numerous magazine, journal, and newspaper articles, Dean knows that real, brave writing comes from deep within ourselves. 

With that in mind, we are thrilled to offer an exploratory workshop with Dean that will focus on:

Journaling: A Roadmap into Life

In the rush of busyness inherent in our technology-driven culture, we rarely have time to slow down, ponder, and consider our thoughts in the Light of faith. But when we put pen to paper--or fingers to keyboard--we rediscover our identity as thinking, creative beings. Dean Nelson, journalism professor and author of 11 books, will lead us in exploring a unique pathway to a fuller life which enables us to develop our creative, expressive, and vital selves through guided journaling exercises. Come explore the possibilities with us!  

This all-day workshop will start with registration at 8:30 AM in Expedition Hall at the Pine Valley Bible Conference Center. The workshop will begin at 9:00 AM and will end around 4:00 PM. Lunch will be provided in the dining hall of the conference center. 

Dean is my former creative writing professor and when I was teaching as an adjunct at PLNU, he kindly shared his office with me. Dean has been a mentor and a friend for over 25 years, and this venture will be his third writing workshop that he has done with the MECAC Writers' Workshop.  

The cost for this workshop is $30, including lunch. 

Please register with Susanne Barrett at

For questions and further information, please contact Judith Dupree at or Dianne Holly at

We hope to spend a most wonderful and enlightening day with you and Dean Nelson on Saturday, April 18

Susanne for the MECAC Writers' Workshop


Blog Widget by LinkWithin