Friday, November 30, 2018

Bishop’s Note: November 29, 2018 – 2019 BCP Liturgy of the Word & ACNA Lectionary

Bishop Eric Menees

In my pre-Thanksgiving Bishop’s Note, I wrote about the Collect of the Day. I received one note asking if the Collects were just the same as those from the 1979 BCP. The answer is no, they are not. Where the ’79 BCP used the collects of Archbishop Cranmer, they were kept; but where they did not, those original to Cranmer were added. Thus, the order of the Collects is slightly different.

As we continue our examination of the 2019 BCP, we move from the Collect of the Day to the Liturgy of the Word – the reading of the Old Testament lesson, the Psalm, the New Testament Lesson, and the Gospel. There are, of course, similarities and differences between the 1979 & 2019 BCP Lectionary. The Lectionary is the organization of the scriptures into readings for the Weekly Eucharist or the Daily Office.

Rather than me explaining the Lectionary, I thought we’d go to the “horse’s mouth” and I’d share with you an interview of Archbishop Duncan, Chair of the Liturgical Task Force, on the subject as found on the ACNA website –

Q. As the Anglican Church in North America continues to grow, many new members have not used a lectionary before in their daily worship. Can you explain what the Daily Lectionary is and why it is part of the Book of Common Prayer?
A. The Daily Office Lectionary is designed to help Anglicans read through the entire Bible every year. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, in the first Book of Common Prayer, incorporated the daily lectionary in order that “the whole of the Bible or the greatest part thereof” might be read in common in every household and every parish church in the realm.

Q. We often hear the term “Church Year” used. What is the Church Year and how do the readings reflect the different seasons of the year?
A. The seasons of the Christian (or Church) Year enable believers to follow the events of Jesus’ life—Advent to Ascension—and the content of his teaching—the long Pentecost (Trinity) season—in an orderly progression. The Sunday Lectionary is especially designed to do this in a three-year cycle of readings. By spreading lessons over three years, much of Scripture can be read on Sundays.
Following patterns established in the earliest Christian centuries, Old Testament readings on Sundays are chosen for their fore-shadowing of the day’s gospel passage. The Daily Lectionary is less connected to the seasons, allowing for seriatim reading of the books of the Bible. Feasts (“red-letter days”) associated with specific calendar dates, recalling New Testament figures or events, break into both cycles with special readings and prayers relevant to the observance.

Q. The readings in the lectionary are from both the Old and New Testaments, but it also includes some readings from the Apocrypha. What is the Apocrypha and why is it included in the Daily Office Lectionary?
A. Both the Anglican and Lutheran Reformations retained the use of books found in the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint), but not found in the Hebrew Bible. Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles states “the Church doth read [these books] for example of life and instruction of manners, but yet it doth not apply them to establish any doctrine.”  Two of the most common canticles at Morning Prayer—the Benedicite, omnia opera Domine and the Benedictus es, Domine—come from the Apochrypha.

Q. Past lectionaries have been criticized for skipping over some parts of the Bible that some might find uncomfortable. How has the new lectionary addressed these concerns?
A. So-called “uncomfortable passages” eliminated from the Daily Office Lectionary of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer have all been restored.  Furthermore, the most egregious omission of the Sunday lectionary—the second half of Romans, chapter 1—is now assigned to the Third Sunday of Lent (alongside John 4) in Year A.

I pray you all a very blessed week!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Anglican Diocese Of San Joaquin 2018 Fall Clergy Retreat St. Anthony Retreat Center Three Rivers CA

Click On Photos To Enlarge

 Bishop Eric
 Bishop Eric and Fr. Larry Bausch
 View From Campus
 St. Mary Grotto

 Statue Of St. Anthony

 St. Francis (Originally Owned By Franciscans)
 One of the Fourteen Stations Of The Cross
View Of Moro Rock (Center) Alta Peak (Center Right) From Campus

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Bishop’s Note: November 22, 2018 – Thanksgiving

Bishop Eric Menees

Good morning, and a very happy Thanksgiving to you all! This is that day in American culture where we are infamous for waking up and turning on the T.V. to watch the Macy's Day Parade, and then when the Turkey's ready, stuffing ourselves to overflowing and — in a stupor fueled by tryptophan — plopping ourselves in front of the T.V. again to watch the football games. But is that what Thanksgiving Day is really about? No, of course not.

Well then, is it about the Pilgrims and Indians, and those school plays that we used to do until the budget cuts eliminated things like that? I seem to recall being an Indian in the 4th grade, and being very self-conscience as I, dressed in gym shorts with a simulated leather cover and no shirt, came on stage to deliver my one line: "Here," as I handed over a basket of steamed corn on the cob ready to eat. I know, not very historically accurate – but very cute.

I think those school plays were closer to the truth of what Thanksgiving is about.

While books have been written on Thanksgiving, and thousands of sermons have been preached, when I read this morning’s Epistle I was struck with these two verses from the Letter of St. James: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”  (James 1:16-18 ESV)

I believe that Thanksgiving is, indeed, about giving thanks to God for all his wonderful gifts poured out upon us; recognizing that, indeed, “every good gift is from above.” We so often fail to realize that what we have — everything we have — is a gift from God. It is not from our own making; not from our own doing; but from the Lord of heaven and earth. This runs counter culturally to everything that we hear and read in the world around us. We are told that we “deserve” that Mercedes Benz, or we “deserve” to be happy, or wealthy, or thinner, or stronger, etc., etc. A grateful heart recognizes that we do not deserve anything, but because of God’s grace and love, we receive.

My prayer for you this Thanksgiving – and my prayer for me — is that our hearts and souls will have our longings satisfied when we understand that the only true source of that satisfaction is Jesus Christ, and him alone.

I pray you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bishop’s Note: November 15, 2018 – The 2019 BCP Collect of the Day

Bishop Eric Menees

As we continue our examination of the 2019 BCP Eucharistic Rite, I’ve spoken about the liturgy gathering the people together for praising God with our Opening Acclimation, then the Collect for Purity, then the Summary of the Law, followed by the Kyrie and the Gloria. At this point in the service we transition to the Liturgy of the Word with the Collect of the Day.

A “Collect” is a short prayer designed to express a particular theological concept or a particular theme. The structure of a Collect is always to pray to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. The Collect of the Day is a transitional prayer introducing the theme of the Holy Day or the scripture readings. (A complete list of the Collects will be printed in the 2019 BCP, but currently can be found at - Resources Tab - Liturgies Tab)

As we approach the end of the Church Year, the following two Collects will be offered which reflect the theme of the scriptures. For this coming Sunday, the harvest theme is reflected in the scriptures, as is the theme of Christ the King for the last Sunday of November.

Week of the Sunday from Nov 13 to Nov 19
Proper 28
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that bringing forth in abundance the fruit of good works, they may be abundantly rewarded when our Savior Jesus Christ comes to restore all things; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Week of the Sunday from Nov 20 to Nov 26 Christ the King Proper 29
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

I pray you all a very blessed Lord’s Day and Thanksgiving!