Franciscan documents

Franciscan bits & pieces picked up by Ted Witham tssf

Archive for the category “Eucharist”

(Unauthorised) Proper Preface for the Feast of St Clare of Assisi


(Unauthorised) Proper Preface for the Feast of St Clare of Assisi

August 11

 

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

All glory and honour to you, O Christ,
for in your face we see mirrored the Father,
and in your love we are embraced by the Creator of all.
You are the Word sent forth by the Father to make stars and planets,
atoms and diatoms, quokkas and humans,
and all the wonderful diversity of life.

We thank you for Saint Clare who focuses our hearts in quiet gratitude.

We thank you, Christ, for your obedience to the Father, obedience to death, even death on a cross.

In the life of Clare also, we trace the grace of obedience and enduring love.

And so with all the mysterious beings of heaven, with angels and archangels, with saints in heaven and saints on earth,
with Clare and her holy Sisters,
with men and women gathered around your altar with us,
we praise you and we glorify you, saying,
Holy, holy, holy, Lord…


Diatoms – image courtesy Wellcome Library

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For those about to be Professed in the Third Order


SERMON FOR PROFESSIONS, NOVICING AND RENEWAL,

Western Australia Region, AD 2011

by Ted Witham tssf

A wonderful word in the New Testament is ‘homologia’, which means ‘profession’. In Hebrews 10:23, we are urged to ‘hold fast to the profession of our hope without wavering, because the One who promised is faithful.’ Earlier in Hebrews in 4:14, ‘Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our profession.’

Today some of our number come to make Profession, and others of us will renew our Profession. We note that it is Profession of hope, and that Jesus, the Son of God, empowers us to make this Profession.

In the three centuries following the death and resurrection of Jesus, there was an extraordinary process for new believers who wanted to make the great Profession that they had been filled with the resurrection faith. They underwent a two or three year preparation called the catechumenate, which involved learning about the faith, attending the Eucharist up until the Offertory, and being mentored by another Christian into works of charity. When Easter came after two or three years, the catechumens made their great Profession, their ‘homologia’ during their baptism by immersion in a great ceremony. They went down into the font naked (or dressed in a loin cloth) and were robed in white when they came up out of the waters.

I promise you that the Profession you make does not involve immersion baptism or even near nudity. And of course you have made your great Profession in your baptism and confirmation. Profession as a Tertiary does not replace baptism, but in it you effectively renew your baptismal promises. Listen to the words you will say:

I, N., give myself to our Lord Jesus Christ, to serve him for the rest of my life in company with my brothers and sisters in the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis, seeking to spread the knowledge and love of Christ, to promote the spirit of love and harmony as the family of God and to live joyfully a life of simplicity and humble service after the example of Saint Francis.

A big Profession indeed; a public statement of an earnest and passionate response to a call from God.
Don’t under-estimate the power of this renewal. A friend of ours years ago had a charismatic experience, and he asked his fairly conservative parish priest if he could be baptised again. The priest answered, correctly, ‘No.’ And our friend kept asking. The priest could not give any other answer. Then the parish had its first Easter Vigil including the renewal of baptismal vows. Our friend was ecstatic, “It’s happened, it’s happened!” he shouted excitedly, “I’ve been baptised again.”
I hope that your great Profession this morning captures some of that same excitement.
The preparation for your Profession has been similar to the catechumenate. You have met for two or three years with a mentor. The Novice Counsellor has helped you reflect on this Franciscan way. She or he invited you to find ways of expressing Franciscan spirituality in prayer and action.
The catechumenate has a number of other characteristics worth mentioning. One was that if catechumens were martyred before they were baptised, they were considered to have been baptised in their blood. It is my personal belief (not in the statutes at all!) that Novices who die should be considered full Tertiaries, but in any case, the comparison expresses something that your Profession says about the claim that Christ is making on your life and death and beyond.
Catechumens were also kept from the mysteries of the Eucharist, until the night of their baptism, when they received their First Communion. Then in the months after Easter they continued their learning about the Christian faith. Now it was no longer called the catechumenate, but the mystagogy – the teaching about the mysteries.
You who will be make your great Profession in a few moments will also continue to meet with your Novice Counsellor for another 12 months to reflect more deeply on what it is to be a Franciscan Christian. This will be your mystagogy – although I doubt anyone will actually call it that. There are no secrets to learn, as there were for the catechumens in the Early Church – sorry about that – but it is a reminder that the Franciscan Way is not something to be learned in a few months or a couple of short years. You will continue to discover depths in it as you walk in it.
Rae and I were professed 28 years ago. We were seeking an expression of community in our Christian way, and we began as Franciscans by seeking out people. But our mystagogy has included falling in love with Francis and Clare and many other Franciscan saints. For me in particular, as one who enjoys theology, it has been a joy to discover the Franciscan intellectual tradition from Bonaventure to Duns Scotus to Ilia Delio.
But you will discover different things than I have, maybe new depths in social activism; maybe new courage for evangelism; maybe new springs for community – they are all there to discover following the great Profession.
So remember how the writer encouraged the Hebrews:
• Firstly, to make the great Profession in hope, in Christian hope, in the great hope that there always lies before us more joy, more love, more delight in trusting than we have experienced so far; and

• Secondly, that Jesus, the Son of God, our great High Priest is both the energy and the destination of our Christian life.

Your great Profession is that Jesus will always empower you as you seek to serve him in love, humility and joy.

Remembering Brother Douglas


Brother Douglas

BROTHER DOUGLAS DOWNES (“Apostle to the Wayfarers”/First Minister of the Society of St Francis)

1878-1957

September 7

Brother Douglas was a priest and an Oxford economics don. Moved by the plight of homeless men living ‘on the road’ in the depression, he helped set up the community at Hilfield Farm to minister to the wayfarers.

Sentence

Happy are those who consider the poor and helpless;
the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble. (Psalm 41:1)

Collect

God of the poor, you called Brother Douglas to care for the poor and helpless: give us grace to see our brother and sister in every person we meet and to deal generously with those in need following the example of our Brother and Lord, your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Readings

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 68:4-8

2 Corinthians 4:5-15

Matthew 5:1-14

Sentence

All who believed were together and had all things in common. (Acts 2:44)

Source: Third Order, Society of St Francis, Australian Province, Manual. Brother Francis’ memoir of Douglas can be found here.


Fr Algy, Co-Founder of SSF


FATHER ALGY ROBERTSON SSF

1894-1955

Co-founder of the First and Second Orders

November 23

Father Algy brought to the early Society of St Francis a deep knowledge of the religious life and a gift for organization.  Fr Algy is remembered as a warm and caring Father-in-God.  His eccentricities are also remembered with equal clarity as delightful and frustrating!

More information at http://www.gensec-ssf.org/Free/Documents/Documents_index.htm

Sentence

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12.7)

Collect

Creator God, your presence fills us with awe and joy.  Help us, as we remember your servant Father Algy, to see your face in everyone we meet, and share with the community the joy of knowing you, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Readings

Isaiah 6:1-8

Psalm 66:1-12

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 9:30-37

Sentence

You bring forth wine to gladden the human heart and bread to strengthen it.  (See Psalm 104.15)

Father Algy Robertson SSF

Readings for the Feast of St Francis


FRANCIS OF ASSISI, 1181-1226

4 October

Sentence

We brought nothing into the world so we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with these. (1 Timothy 6.7-8)

Collect

God our Father, you always delight to reveal yourself to the childlike and lowly of heart: grant that, following the example of our blessed father, Francis, we may count the wisdom of this world as foolishness and know only Jesus Christ and him crucified; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Readings

Evening Prayer 1 (Transitus)

Psalm 104               Genesis 1.24-31                Luke 12.22-34

Morning Prayer

Psalms 19, 148               Isaiah 52.7-15               1 Corinthians 1.17-31

Eucharist

Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 3.17-23

Psalm 148 or 16

Galatians 6.14-18

Matthew 11.25-30

Evening Prayer 2

Psalms 8, 145               Isaiah 55              Matthew 10.5-22

Proper Preface

And now we give you thanks, because you have raised up our father Francis to bum as a shining light in your church, that, inflamed with love for you and the whole of your creation, and. bearing in his body the marks of your Son’s passion, he might bring to glory many sons and daughters …

Sentence

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5.3)

Franciscan table

Franciscan table

Manual, Third Order, Society of St Francis, Australian Province

Great Thanksgiving for St Francis


Two Thanksgiving Prayers for the Feast of St Francis

  • These are designed to be used in the context of the Eucharist (Second Order) in A Prayer Book for Australia, but they may well be adapted to the Prayer Books of other Anglican/Episcopal churches.
  • In Australia, you may need the permission of a diocesan bishop under Section 4 of the Constitution to use Thanksgiving Prayer 2 in a public setting.

St Francis

St Francis

Thanksgiving Prayer.1

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

All glory and honour be yours always and everywhere,
mighty Creator, everliving God.
We give you thanks and praise for our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who by the power of your Spirit was born of Mary
and lived as one of us.
By his death on the cross
and rising to new life,
he offered the one true sacrifice for sin
and obtained an eternal deliverance for his people.
And now we give you thanks
because you have raised up our father Francis
to burn as a shining light in your church,
that inflamed with love for you and the whole of your creation,
and bearing in his body the marks of your Son’s passion,
he might bring to glory many sons and daughters.

Therefore with angels and archangels,
and with St Clare and St Francis and all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name,
for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Please turn to page 128, A Prayer Book for Australia

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Thanksgiving Prayer.2

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right in every place and in every way to give you thanks,
O Most High Lord God, Creator of the Universe,
for brother son and sister moon,
for brother wind, sister water and sister fire;
for all the goodness of life you bring forth from Mother Earth.

You sent you only Son Jesus Christ among us in great humility,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
and every tongue confess him Lord
in the crucible of his crucifixion and the glory of his resurrection,
and the wonder of his presence with us always.

And so we praise you with all the mysterious beings of heaven,
with Saint Clare, with Saint Francis, and with all your saints,
saying with them the ancient words of praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Please turn to page 137, A Prayer Book for Australia

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