Charles, King and Martyr, 1649

Charles the First

A biographical sketch of Charles the First, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, may be found on the Anglican History Blog. Another sketch may be found at James Kiefer’s Christian Biographies.

Like his Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, who predeceased him on the scaffold, Charles the First is a controversial figure for inclusion in the sanctoral calendar. Considered by some a martyr for the High Church cause, dying for the sake of Crown and Bishops, he is decried by others as a defender of royal absolutism against parliamentary rule and willing (contra the claim of his steadfast defense of episcopacy) to negotiate a settlement with the Scots if they took up arms against the English in order to restore him to the throne that included the temporary establishment of a presbyterian polity for the Church of England. Some of his dealings with Parliament after his capture during the Civil Wars may fairly be characterized as mendacious. His flaws notwithstanding, he attracted the loyalty not only of “old style conformists” to the established order of the Church of England and of avant-garde conformists (Laudians) but also of some presbyterians among the Puritans who, despite their ecclesiastical disagreements with Charles and his advisers, wished to see the monarchy continue. The eminent scholar and Calvinist theologian James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, continued a royalist despite his disagreements with the Laudians with whom Charles surrounded himself, and he fainted when he witnessed Charles’ decollation from a nearby rooftop.

Charles, King and Martyr, was first commemorated in the Book of Common Prayer in 1662, two years after the restoration of monarchy and episcopacy in England, and was thus the only person “canonized” by the reformed Church of England. The commemoration was removed from the calendar in 1859, along with other “state services” like the thanksgiving for deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot, with the support of Queen Victoria. In recent years his commemoration has been restored to the sanctoral calendars of several Anglican Churches, including the Anglican Church in North America.

The Collect

Almighty God, whose faithful servant Charles prayed for his persecutors and died in the living hope of your eternal kingdom: grant us, by your grace, so to follow his example that we may love and bless our enemies, through the intercession of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Lesslie Newbigin, Bishop and Ecumenist, 1998

Lesslie Newbigin

A brief biographical sketch followed by a longer essay on Lesslie Newbigin’s enduring theological influence may be found in the History of Missiology webpages of the School of Theology of Boston University.

The Collect (for Ecumenists)

Almighty God, we give you thanks for the ministry of Lesslie Newbigin, who labored that the Church of Jesus Christ might be one: Grant that we, instructed by his teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Thomas Aquinas, Friar, Presbyter, and Teacher of the Faith, 1274

Thomas Aquinas is the greatest theologian of the high Middle Ages, and, next to Augustine, perhaps the greatest theologian in the history of Western Christianity. Born into a noble Italian family, probably in 1225, he entered the new Order of Preachers founded by Dominic (the Dominicans, or Blackfriars as they were known in England). He soon became an outstanding teacher in an age of intellectual ferment. Because of his size and slowness, Thomas was called “the Ox”. His first master, Albert the Great, is said to have prophesied that although Thomas was called “the dumb ox, his lowing would soon be heard all over the world.”

Perceiving the challenges that the recent rediscovery, through Jewish and Muslim scholars in Spain, of Aristotle’s works might entail for traditional catholic doctrine, especially in its emphasis upon empirical knowledge derived from reason and sense perception, independent of faith and revelation, Thomas asserted that reason and revelation are in basic harmony. “Grace” (revelation), he said, “is not the denial of nature” (reason), “but the perfection of it.” This synthesis Thomas accomplished in his greatest works, the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles, which continue today to exercise profound influence on Christian thought and philosophy. Thomas was considered a bold thinker, even a “radical”, and certain aspects of his thought were condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities. His canonization as a Doctor (Teacher) of the Church on July 18, 1323, vindicated him.

Thomas understood God’s disclosure of his Name, in Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM”, to mean that God is Being, the Ultimate Reality from which everything else derives its being. The difference between God and the world is that God’s essence is to exist, whereas all other beings derive their being from him by the act of creation. Although, for Thomas, God and the world are distinct, there is, nevertheless, an analogy of being between God and the world, since the Creator is reflected in his creation. It is possible, therefore, to have a limited knowledge of God, by analogy from the created world. On this basis, human reason can demonstrate that God exists; that he created the world; and that he contains in himself, as their cause, all the perfections which exist in his creation. The distinctive truths of the Christian faith, however, such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, are known only by revelation.

On December 6, 1272, after being recalled to Naples as regent of studies earlier that year, Thomas experienced a revelation of God, after which he dictated to his scribe no more. He said of the experience that all he had written in comparison to what he had then seen was like so much straw.

Thomas died on the 13th of September in 1274, just under fifty years of age. In 1369, on the 28th of January, his remains were transferred to Toulouse. In addition to his many theological writings, he composed several eucharistic hymns of lasting value, including Adoro te devote (“Humbly I adore thee”) and Pange lingua (“Now, my tongue, the mystery telling”).

adapted from Lesser Feasts and Fasts,
with additions from The Oxford Dictionary of Saints

The Collect

Almighty God, you have enriched your Church with the singular learning and holiness of your servant Thomas Aquinas: Enlighten us more and more, we pray, by the disciplined thinking and teaching of Christian scholars, and deepen our devotion by the example of saintly lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day

While not a commemoration or day of discipline, denial, and special prayer in the calendar of the Anglican Church of North America, it is fitting that the day be remembered in prayer by Anglicans, as suggested by the Irish Anglican priest who blogs at Laudable Practice.

As he suggests, the 1662 Prayer Book’s Commination, as Denouncing of God’s Anger and Judgment against Sinners, would be a suitable liturgy for the day.

A few years ago, the Prayer Book Society of Canada created a collect for Reconciliation with the Jews that is also appropriate, the rationale for which is presented on their website.

A Collect for Reconciliation with the Jews

O GOD, who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance: have mercy upon us and forgive us for violence and wickedness against our brother Jacob; the arrogance of our hearts and minds hath deceived us, and shame hath covered our face. Take away all pride and prejudice in us, and grant that we, together with the people whom thou didst first make thine own, may attain to the fulness of redemption which thou hast promised; to the honour and glory of thy most holy Name. Amen.

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The photograph is of the sculpture Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time, created by Joshua Koffman and erected in front of the chapel at St. Joseph’s University in 2015 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Second Vatican Council’s proclamation, Nostra Aetate.

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Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, Helpers of the Apostles

Lydia was the Apostle Paul’s first convert to faith in Christ in Europe. A native of Thyatira in Asia Minor, in the ancient region known as Lydia, she resided in the city of Philippi in Macedonia. She was a merchant of goods dyed with the purple-red dye known as Tyrian purple, so-called because it was first extracted by the Phoenicians. Tyrian purple was extracted from the Murex sea snail and was highly prized in antiquity because it did not fade but became more vibrant and intense with weathering and exposure to sunlight. The Romans considered the dye a mark of high status: the stripe on the toga of a senator was dyed with Tyrian purple, and its use in the emperor’s toga led to its being known as “imperial purple”. The dye was all the more costly because of the difficulty of extraction. One modern writer has estimated that twelve thousand of the Murex snails yielded little more than a gram of dye, enough to dye only the trim of a single garment. Dealing in purple-dyed goods would require a good deal of capital, so Lydia was likely wealthy. When Saint Paul first met her, she was one of a group of women who met outside the city of Philippi for prayer on the Sabbath, and Saint Luke notes that she was a “worshiper of God” (Acts 16:14), suggesting that she was one of those Gentiles who kept some of the Jewish ethical and liturgical customs (including synagogue worship) without fully entering the Jewish community. According to the Acts of the Apostles, “the Lord opened her heart to pay attention” to Paul’s preaching that Sabbath, and she and her household were baptized. After this she prevailed on Paul and his companions to stay in her house, thus relieving him of the necessity of earning his support, as was his custom elsewhere. Although Lydia does not appear in any of Saint Paul’s extant epistles, his love for the church at Philippi is evident in his letter to that church, a love that doubtless began with Lydia’s hospitality.

Dorcas, or Tabitha (from the word for “gazelle” in Greek and in Aramaic) was a believer who lived in Joppa, and was known there for her good works and acts of charity, including the making of tunics and other garments for the widows of the church. When she died, the members of the church at Joppa sent messengers to the Apostle Peter, asking him to come to them without delay. On his arrival in the upper room where Dorcas had been laid, he “knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise'” (Acts 9:40), whereupon she was restored to life. This was the first such miracle by one of the apostles, and because of it “many believed in the Lord”. In the Acts of the Apostles Dorcas is called a “disciple” in a feminine form of the word that in the New Testament is applied only to her. Dorcas Societies, which provide clothing and other material needs for the poor, are named for her. The original society was founded in Douglas, Isle of Man in 1834 in thanksgiving for deliverance from a cholera outbreak, and to replace the bedding and clothing of the poor that had been destroyed as part of the effort to prevent an epidemic.

Phoebe, whose name means “bright” or “radiant”, was a diakonos of the church at Cenchreae, the eastern seaport of Corinth. The word diakonos may be translated deacon (or in some versions of the Bible, deaconess), though it may also be translated “helper” or “patron”, given that Saint Paul applies the word to himself in 2 Corinthians (11:23) and in Colossians (1:23,25) and does not mean that he is himself a deacon. In his letter to the Romans, Paul commends Phoebe to the church at Rome, that they might “welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many, and of myself as well” (16:1,2). Some consider the application of the word diakonos to Phoebe, along with 1 Timothy 3:11 (which in Greek reads, “and also the women”, rather than “their [deacons’] wives” as in a number of English translations), evidence that the early Church ordained women to the same diaconate to which men were ordained.

Whether or not this be the case, Pliny the Younger attests to the existence of deaconesses in the church in Bithynia in the second century, and documents of the late third and fourth centuries (including the Didascalia and the Apostolic Constitutions) describe the ministry and duties of deaconesses, including assisting at the baptism of women and visiting and ministering to the sick. The ministry disappeared in the West and declined in the East for a number of centuries, but was revived in the Lutheran Church in the nineteenth century, when Pastor Theodor Fliedner opened the first deaconess motherhouse in Kaiserwerth on the Rhine. At the request of a local pastor, Fliedner brought four deaconesses to America in 1849 to work in the Pittsburgh Infirmary. In following decades, other deaconess communities were founded in Lutheran population centers both in America and in Europe. In 1862 Elizabeth Catherine Ferard was licensed as a deaconess by the Bishop of London, thus becoming the first Anglican deaconess. From a deaconess community in London, deaconesses were eventually introduced into many Anglican Churches. The office of deaconess has disappeared in those Anglican Churches that ordain women to the diaconate, but the office has been maintained as a commissioned or consecrated lay ministry for women in a number of traditional Anglican Churches, including the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province in America.

The Collect

Almighty God, you inspired your servants Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe to support and sustain your church by their deeds of generous love: Open our hearts to hear you, conform our will to love you, and strengthen our hands to serve you; for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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The Collect is taken from The New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, Philip H. Pfatteicher.

The icon of Saint Lydia is from the website of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery and is under copyright.

The icon of Saint Tabitha is courtesy of www.eikonografos.com and is used with permission.

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Timothy and Titus, Companions of Saint Paul the Apostle

Timothy was a native of Lystra in Asia Minor, the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother who was a believer. We learn from the Acts of the Apostles that he “was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek” (Acts 16:1-3). In addition to being a devoted companion of Paul, Timothy was entrusted with missions to the Thessalonians, to encourage them under persecution, and to the Corinthians, to strengthen the converts in the faith. Timothy became Paul’s apostolic representative and delegate at Ephesus, and, according to Eusebius, the first bishop of that city. Timothy likely did not hold the title, “bishop”, for that would have referred to the presbyter-bishops of the Church who served with him and under his authority, but this ministry of apostolic delegate almost certainly played a part in the development of the episcopate of the second century and its separation from the presbyterate.

Like Timothy, Titus was a companion of Paul, who calls him “my true child in a common faith” (Titus 1:4). Titus, a Greek, accompanied Paul and Barnabas from Antioch to Jerusalem at the time of the apostolic council. During Paul’s third missionary journey, Titus was sent on urgent missions to Corinth. Paul writes, “And besides our own comfort we rejoice still more at the joy of Titus because his mind has been set at rest by you all…And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of you all and the fear and trembling with which you received him” (2 Corinthians 7:13, 15).

Later, Titus was entrusted with the organization of the Church in Crete. Paul writes, “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint presbyters in every town as I directed you” (Titus 1:5).

As companions of Paul, Timothy and Titus are commemorated together close to the feast of Paul’s conversion. Paul several times mentions their youth, while entrusting them with great responsibilities in pastoral oversight and administration and in the proclaiming of the Gospel, a reminder that not age but faithfulness, pastoral care, and the love of Christ are the important qualities for Christian leadership and Gospel ministry.

adapted from Lesser Feasts and Fasts

The Collect (Lesser Feasts and Fasts)

Almighty God, you called Timothy and Titus to be evangelists and teachers, and made them strong to endure hardship: Strengthen us to stand fast in adversity, and to live godly and righteous lives in this present time, that with sure confidence we may look for our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

The feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle marks the conclusion of the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. Today we remember especially all “non-denominational” and evangelical churches, all united churches, and the Taizé Community and other ecumenical religious communities.

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior.  Amen.

O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace to take to heart the grave dangers we are in through our many divisions. Deliver your Church from all enmity and prejudice, and everything that hinders us from godly union. As there is one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so make us all to be of one heart and of one mind, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and love, that with one voice we may give you praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God in everlasting glory.  Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to you; my own peace I leave with you”: Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and unity of that heavenly city, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever.  Amen.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle

Paul, or Saul as he was known until he became a Christian, was a Roman citizen, born at Tarsus, in present-day Turkey. He was brought up as a devoted Jew, studying in Jerusalem for a time under Gamaliel, the most famous rabbi of the day. Describing himself, he said, “I am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin” (Romans 11:1).

A few years after the death of Jesus, Saul came in contact with the new Christian movement, and became one of the most fanatical of those who were determined to stamp out this “dangerous heresy”. Saul witnessed the stoning of Stephen. He was on the way to Damascus to lead in further persecution of the Christians when his dramatic conversion took place.

From that day, Paul devoted his life completely to Jesus Christ and especially to the conversion of Gentiles. The Acts of the Apostles describes the courage and determination with which he planted Christian congregations over a large area of the land bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

His letters, the earliest of Christian writings, reveal him as the greatest of the interpreters of Christ’s death and resurrection, and as the founder of Christian theology. He writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). His treatment throughout his letters of a theology in which Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the hope of Israel and the climax and fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abraham and renewed at Sinai, and his breathtaking rewriting of Israel’s central confession that the Lord God is One to include Jesus as that one Lord, is nothing less than brilliant.

Paul describes himself as small and insignificant in appearance: “His letters are weighty and strong,” it was said of him, “but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech is of no account” (2 Corinthians 10:10). He writes of having a disability which he had prayed God to remove from him, and quotes the Lord’s reply, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore Paul went on to say, “I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Paul is believed to have been martyred at Rome in the year 64, during the persecution under the emperor Nero. As a Roman citizen, he would have been executed by decapitation.

adapted from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1980)

The Collect

O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, we may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Lesson
Acts 26:9-21

[Paul said to King Agrippa] “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

“In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.”

Psalm 67
Deus misereatur

May God be merciful unto us, and bless us, *
and show us the light of his countenance, and be merciful unto us.

Let your way be known upon earth, *
your saving health among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
indeed, let all the peoples praise you.

O let the nations rejoice and be glad, *
for you shall judge the peoples righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

Then shall the earth bring forth her increase, *
and God, even our own God, shall give us his blessing.

God shall bless us, *
and all the ends of the world shall fear him.

The Epistle
Galatians 1:11-24

For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.

The Gospel
Matthew 10:16-22

[Jesus said to the twelve] “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant[a] above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign[b] those of his household.”

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The texts for the Lesson, the Epistle, and Gospel are taken from the English Standard Version Bible. The Collect and Psalm are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (2019).

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Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

Today we pray especially for Pentecostal, Holiness, and charismatic churches.

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior.  Amen.

O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace to take to heart the grave dangers we are in through our many divisions. Deliver your Church from all enmity and prejudice, and everything that hinders us from godly union. As there is one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so make us all to be of one heart and of one mind, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and love, that with one voice we may give you praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God in everlasting glory.  Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to you; my own peace I leave with you”: Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and unity of that heavenly city, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever.  Amen.

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Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

Today we pray especially for Baptist churches, Restorationist and Christian churches (including the Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ), and Anabaptist churches (including Mennonite, Amish, and Brethren churches).

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior.  Amen.

O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace to take to heart the grave dangers we are in through our many divisions. Deliver your Church from all enmity and prejudice, and everything that hinders us from godly union. As there is one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so make us all to be of one heart and of one mind, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and love, that with one voice we may give you praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God in everlasting glory.  Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to you; my own peace I leave with you”: Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and unity of that heavenly city, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever.  Amen.

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