Planning Prayers

Although the full text hasn’t been finalized yet, I do have plans for how the Saint Aelfric Customary will recommend the implementation of most of the features in the 2019 Prayer Book.  In short, I can’t tell you why these suggestions are here yet, but if you want to order your prayers accordingly, here is the weekly guide!

Sunday 12/1

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: #1 Magna et mirabilia and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: First Sunday of Advent (Year A)
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and #4 Quaerite Dominum

Monday 12/2

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: #1 Magna et mirabilia and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: First Sunday of Advent (with the traditional readings)
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and #4 Quaerite Dominum

Tuesday 12/3

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: #1 Magna et mirabilia and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: Votive: Ascension Day
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and #4 Quaerite Dominum

Wednesday 12/4

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: #1 Magna et mirabilia and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: St. John of Damascus or Votive*
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and #4 Quaerite Dominum

Thursday 12/5

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: #1 Magna et mirabilia and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: St. Clement of Alexandria
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and #4 Quaerite Dominum

Friday 12/6

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: #1 Magna et mirabilia and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: St. Nicholas
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and #4 Quaerite Dominum

Saturday 12/7

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: #1 Magna et mirabilia and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: St. Ambrose of Milan
  • Evening Prayer: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, Collect for Advent 2

Sunday 12/8

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: #1 Magna et mirabilia and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: Second Sunday of Advent (Year A)
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

* A Votive is a “Various Occasion” (page 733 in the BCP 2019).  The traditional appointments are Holy Trinity on Sunday, Holy Spirit on Monday, Holy Angels on Tuesday, of the Incarnation on Wednesdays, of the Holy Eucharist on Thursdays, the Holy Cross on Fridays, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturdays.

Readings Review

Last week: Ecclus. (Sirach) 2-11, Acts 21-23, Isaiah 37-43, Luke 6:20-9:17
This week: Ecclus. (Sirach) 14,17,18,21,34,38-39, Acts 24-28, Isaiah 44-50, Luke 9:18-12:34

This week, as you can see, is where the “skipping” through the book of Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) really takes off.  Last week it was sort jumping every other chapter some days, but now we really rocket through, just grabbing a few highlight chapters on the way to the ever-popular final quarter of the book which we’ll read in the second week of Advent, for the most part.  If you want to explore what this new daily lectionary has omitted, feel free to make use of this Customary’s supplementary Midday Prayer Lectionary.  It will get you caught up on all the missed chapters of this book just in time for Christmas.

The Gospel of Luke, meanwhile, gives us its middle chapters this week.  And important turning point in the book is shortly after the Transfiguration – in 9:51 Luke narrates:

When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.

This “turning of his face” is just just a symbolic act on Jesus’ part, but also a literary marker: from this point on, we should take extra care to read every story and saying with an eye on the Cross.  Jesus already had predicted his death a couple times before this point, but it is after this point that we should start asking ourselves “what does this parable mean in light of the Cross?” or “how does this event prepare me, the reader, for hearing about the death of Christ?”  Here are a few things coming up in Luke that may find a more clear meaning if you put it next to the Cross:

  • “Do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” (9:54)
  • “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (9:62)
  • “Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” (10:3)
  • The story of Mary and Martha (10:38-42)
  • “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil.” (11:21-22)

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