Monthly Archives: September 2014

Saint Michael and All Angels

The scriptural word “angel” (Greek, angelos) means, literally, a messenger. According to the biblical witness, angels, messengers from God, can be visible or invisible, and may assume human or nonhuman forms. In his Church Dogmatics, the great Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth summarizes the section of the text on angels (“the ambassadors of God”) in this way:

God’s action in Jesus Christ, and therefore his lordship over his creature, is called “the kingdom of heaven” because first and supremely it claims for itself the upper world. From this God selects and sends his messengers, the angels, who precede the revelation and doing of his will on earth as objective and authentic witnesses, who accompany it as faithful servants of God and man, and who victoriously ward off the opposing forms and forces of chaos.

Of the angels who appear in the biblical narrative, only four are given names: Michael (Hebrew, “Who is like God?”) and Gabriel (“God is my strength”) are named in the canonical Scriptures; Raphael (“God heals”) in the deuterocanonical book of Tobit; and Uriel (“God is my light”) in 2 Esdras and in the apocryphal Book of Enoch and the Testament of Solomon. Michael appears in the Book of Daniel as “one of the chief princes” of the heavenly host and as the special guardian or protector of Israel (Daniel 10 and 12). In the Book of Revelation he is the principal warrior of the heavenly host against the dragon, who was “thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12). In the Epistle of Jude, Michael disputes with Satan over the body of Moses and declares, “The Lord rebuke you.” (The epistle may be citing a lost passage in the Assumption of Moses, an apocryphal Jewish book.) The second-century Christian text Shepherd of Hermas depicts Michael as an angel of majestic aspect, who has authority over “this people and governs them, for it was he who gave them the law…and superintends those to whom he gave it to see if they have kept it.” In the second-century Testament of Abraham Michael’s intercession is so powerful that souls can be rescued even from hell, a passage that may have inspired the offertory antiphon in the former Roman Liturgy for the Dead: “May Michael the standard-bearer lead them into the holy light, which you promised of old to Abraham and his seed.”

The formal veneration of Michael began in the Christian East, where he was invoked particularly for the care of the sick. A famous appearance of Michael at Mount Garganus (Monte Gargano) in Italy in the late fifth century was important in the spread of his veneration to the West. The feast of Saint Michael on September 29 commemorates the dedication of his basilica on the Salarian Way near Rome. From early times his veneration was strong in the British Isles, such that by the end of the Middle Ages in England, almost seven hundred churches were dedicated to him. He is the patron of the monastery fortress of Mont-Saint-Michel off the coast of Normandy and of Coventry Cathedral, England’s most famous modern cathedral, which was built out of the ashes of the devastation of that city during the Second World War.

prepared in part from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1980)
and The Oxford Dictionary of Saints

The Collect

Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The First Lesson
Genesis 28:10-17

Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

Psalm 103
Benedic anima mea

Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
and forget not all his benefits.

He forgives all your sins *
and heals all your infirmities;

He redeems your life from the grave *
and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;

He satisfies you with good things, *
and your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.

The LORD executes righteousness *
and judgment for all who are oppressed.

He made his ways known to Moses *
and his works to the children of Israel.

The LORD is full of compassion and mercy, *
slow to anger and of great kindness.

He will not always accuse us, *
nor will he keep his anger for ever.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.

For as the heavens are high above the earth, *
so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, *
so far has he removed our sins from us.

As a father cares for his children, *
so does the LORD care for those who fear him.

For he himself knows whereof we are made; *
he remembers that we are but dust.

Our days are like the grass; *
we flourish like a flower of the field;

When the wind goes over it, it is gone, *
and its place shall know it no more.

But the merciful goodness of the LORD
endures for ever on those who fear him, *
and his righteousness on children’s children;

On those who keep his covenant *
and remember his commandments and do them.

The LORD has set his throne in heaven, *
and his kingship has dominion over all.

Bless the LORD, you angels of his,
you mighty ones who do his bidding, *
and hearken to the voice of his word.

Bless the LORD, all you his hosts, *
you ministers of his who do his will.

Bless the LORD, all you works of his,
in all places of his dominion; *
bless the LORD, O my soul.

The Second Lesson
Revelation 12:7-12

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

The Gospel

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

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Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, 1626

A devoted scholar, hard-working and accurate, and a master of fifteen languages, Lancelot Andrewes was renowned for his learning and for his preaching, and was a seminal influence on the development of a distinctive reformed Catholic theology in the Church of England. Born in the parish of All Hallows, Barking, Andrewes was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School and Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he was elected Fellow in 1576 and Catechist in 1580. In 1589 he became Vicar of St Giles, Cripplegate, and Master of Pembroke Hall. His incumbency at Cripplegate was attached to a prebend at St Paul’s Cathedral, where his remarkable preaching abilities first attracted notice. In 1601 he became Dean of Westminster. Under James the First (reigned 1603-1625), who held Andrewes in high esteem, he was made Bishop of Chichester in 1605, of Ely in 1609, and of Winchester in 1619.

A distinguished biblical scholar proficient in both Hebrew and Greek, in 1604 Andrewes attended the Hampton Court Conference and was appointed one of the translators of the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible. He was largely responsible for the translation of the Pentateuch (the Books of Moses) and the historical Books (including the Chronicles and Kings). Andrewes was involved in vigorous correspondence with Roman Catholic controversialists and critics of the Church of England, including Cardinal Bellarmine, and in this correspondence he gave a robust defense of the catholicity of the Church of England.

Andrewes died at Winchester House, Southwark, in 1626, on either the twenty-fifth or the twenty-sixth of September (the uncertainty of the date accounts for the variance among Anglican Churches in the date of his commemoration). He was buried in the parish church which later became Southwark Cathedral.

Andrewes was one of the principal influences in the formation of a distinctly Reformed Catholic Anglican theology, which in reaction to the rigidity of the Puritanism of his time, he insisted should be moderate in tone and catholic in content and perspective. Convinced that true theology must be built on sound learning, he cultivated the friendship of such divines as Richard Hooker and George Herbert, as well as of scholars from abroad, including the French Reformed pastor-theologians Isaac Casaubon and Pierre du Moulin. His aversion to Calvinism (despite the friendships with French Reformed divines) probably explains his absence from the Church of England’s delegation to the Synod of Dort in 1618. Andrewes held a high doctrine of the Eucharist, emphasizing that in the sacrament we receive the true Body and Blood of Christ, and he consistently used sacrificial language of the rite. He desired the Church of England to express its liturgy in ordered ceremonial and in his own chapel used the mixed chalice (wine and water), incense, and altar-lights (candles).

In his lifetime Andrewes’ fame rested particularly on his preaching. He regularly preached at court on the greater Church festivals, being the favorite preacher of the King. His “Ninety-Six Sermons”, first published in 1629, remain a classic of Anglican homiletical works. The sermons are characterized by sophisticated verbal conceits, a minute (and to modern sensibilities overworked) analysis of the text, and constant Greek and Latin quotations. The noted Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky has written perceptively of the deeply patristic character of Andrewe’s theology in these sermons.

Andrewes was also a deeply devout man, and one of his most admired works is his Preces Privatae (“Private Devotions”), a collection of devotions, mainly in Greek, drawn from the Scriptures and from ancient liturgies, compiled for his personal use. The Preces were translated in partial versions from 1630 onwards, and the first comprehensive edition was published in 1675. The Preces illustrate Andrewes’ piety and throw light on the sources of his theology.

Andrewes was respected by many as the model of a bishop at a time when the episcopate was held in low esteem. His student, John Hacket, later Bishop of Lichfield, wrote of him:

“Indeed he was the most Apostolical and Primitive-like Divine, in my Opinion, that wore a Rochet in his Age; of a most venerable Gravity, and yet most sweet in all Commerce; the most Devout that I ever saw, when he appeared before God; of such a Growth in all kind of Learning that very able Clerks were of a low Stature to him.”

prepared from The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
and Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1980)

The Collect

Lord and Father, our King and God, by your grace the Church was enriched by the great learning and eloquent preaching of your servant Lancelot Andrewes, but even more by his example of biblical and liturgical prayer: Conform our lives, like his, to the image of Christ, that our hearts may love you, our minds serve you, and our lips proclaim the greatness of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The propers for the commemoration of Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, are published on the Lectionary Page website.

A number of Andrewes’ sermons and some other of his writings are published online at Project Canterbury.

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Sergius of Radonezh, Abbot of Holy Trinity, Moscow, 1392

Sergius was born at Rostov about 1314, but civil war in Muscovy forced his family to leave the city and to live by farming at Radonezh, near Moscow. At the age of twenty, he and his older brother Stephen established a hermitage in a nearby forest and built a chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity. When Stephen moved to a monastery, Sergius remained at the hermitage alone until his reputation attracted a community around him. Impressed by his humility, the metropolitan archbishop of Moscow wanted to make Sergius his successor, but Sergius preferred to remain at his hermitage, declining this and any other ecclesiastical advancement, for the rest of his life.

Sergius carried out several peace embassies for the metropolitan, and Prince Dimitri Donskoi consulted him before defeating the Tatars at Kulikovo in 1380. Sergius’ support of the prince helped rally the Russian people to his cause, and the victory against the Tatars laid the foundation for the independent life of the nation of Russia.

Sergius’s was simple and gentle in nature, mystical in temperament, and eager to ensure that his monks should serve the needs of their neighbors. Some thirty-five monasteries were founded by his disciples during his lifetime, and the revitalization of Russian monasticism in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries owes much to his promotion of hesychasm as a way of prayer and mystical encounter with God. Sergius died in 1392, and pilgrims still visit his shrine at the monastery of Zagorsk, which he founded in 1340.

The Russian Church venerates Sergius’ memory on this day. His name is familiar to Anglicans from the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, a society established to promote closer relations between the Anglican and Russian Churches.

adapted from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1980)
and The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity

The Collect

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Sergius of Moscow, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The propers for the commemoration of Sergius, Abbot of Holy Trinity, are published on the Lectionary Page website.

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Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Matthew appears in the Gospels as a tax collector for the Roman government in the city of Capernaum. He was probably born in Galilee of a Jewish family, although the Jews of the day despised tax collectors as traitors and collaborators with the Roman oppressors and generally excluded them from the activities of the Jewish community. Pious Pharisees refused to marry into a family who had a tax collector as a member. Yet in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus notes that it was the tax collector rather than the prideful Pharisee who prayed an acceptable prayer, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner”, and went home justified.

In the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Levi, not Matthew, is called to discipleship, but Matthew always appears in the lists of the twelve disciples. In Mark and Luke, Matthew and Levi do not seem to be regarded as the same person; Origen and others distinguished between them as well. However, it is sometimes suggested the Levi was his original name and that Matthew, which in Hebrew means “gift from God”, was given to him after he joined the followers of Jesus. Mark calls him the son of Alphaeus, a man otherwise unknown and apparently not the Alphaeus who was the father of James the Less.

Since the second century the authorship of the first Gospel has been attributed to Saint Matthew. The name Levi does not appear in this Gospel, and in the list of the twelve disciples the name Matthew, who is identified as “the tax collector” (“publican” in older translations), comes after that of Thomas, which it precedes in the other New Testament lists.

Little is known of Saint Matthew’s life beyond the story of his call, when at the word of Jesus he left his desk and devoted himself to following Jesus. Tradition suggests that he was the oldest of the twelve disciples (and of the later Twelve Apostles). The fourth-century bishop and historian Eusebius writes that after the Ascension Matthew preached for fifteen years in Judaea and then went to foreign nations. Socrates Scholasticus writes that he labored in Ethiopia. Ambrose of Milan sends him to Persia and Isidore of Seville to the Macedonians, while others hold that he preached among the Medes and the Persians. Heracleon writes that Matthew died a natural death, but later tradition makes him a martyr, dramatizing his death by fire or the sword.

prepared from The New Book of Festivals and Commemoration
and Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1980)

The Collect

We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Lesson
Proverbs 3:1-6

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.

So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

The Psalm
Legem pone

Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, *
and I shall keep it to the end.

Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; *
I shall keep it with all my heart.

Make me go in the path of your commandments, *
for that is my desire.

Incline my heart to your decrees *
and not to unjust gain.

Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; *
give me life in your ways.

Fulfill your promise to your servant, *
which you make to those who fear you.

Turn away the reproach which I dread, *
because your judgments are good.

Behold, I long for your commandments; *
in your righteousness preserve my life.

The Epistle
2 Timothy 3:14-17

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom1 you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The Gospel
Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

The icon, Saint Matthew Tenders His Account, was written by Tobias Stanislas Haller, BSG, and is reproduced here with his generous permission.

The feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, is observed on September 22 this year, September 21 having fallen on a Sunday (cf. page 16 in the Book of Common Prayer [1979]).

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John Coleridge Patteson, Bishop of Melanesia, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1871

The death of Bishop Patteson and his companions at the hands of Melanesian islanders, whom Patteson had sought to protect from slave-traders, aroused the British government to take serious measures to prevent piratical man-hunting in the South Seas. Their martyrdom was the seed that produced the strong and vigorous Church which flourishes in Melanesia today.

Patteson was born in London in 1827 of a Devonshire family. He attended Balliol College, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1849. After travel in Europe and a study of languages, at which he was adept, he became a Fellow of Merton College in 1852 and was ordained the following year.

While serving as a curate of Alphington, Devonshire, near his family home, he responded to Bishop George Augustus Selwyn‘s call in 1855 for helpers in New Zealand. He established a school for boys on Norfolk Island to train native Christian workers. It is said that he learned to speak some twenty-three of the languages of the Melanesian people. On February 24, 1861, he was consecrated Bishop of Melanesia.

On a visit to the island of Nakapu, in the Santa Cruz group, Patteson was stabbed five times in the breast, in mistaken retaliation for the brutal outrages committed some time earlier by slave traders (who would sometimes impersonate missionaries in order to kidnap youths). In the attack, which occurred on September 20, 1871, several of Patteson’s company were also killed or wounded. Bishop Selwyn later reconciled the natives of Melanesia to the memory of one who came to help and not to hurt. There is a memorial to Bishop Patteson in the chapel at Merton College.

from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1980), with additions

The Collect

Almighty God, you called your faithful servant John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labors and sufferings raised up a people for your own possession: Pour out your Holy Spirit upon your Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, your holy Name may be glorified and your kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The propers for the commemoration of John Coleridge Patteson, Bishop of Melanesia, and his Companions, Martyrs, are published on the Lectionary Page website.

The homepage of the Church of the Province of Melanesia is here.

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Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690

Theodore was born of Greek parents in 602 in Tarsus, the Apostle Paul’s home city in Cilicia, in Asia Minor. A learned monk of the East, educated in Athens, he was residing in Rome when Pope Vitalian was searching for a candidate for the archbishopric of Canterbury at a time when the English Church, decimated by plague and torn by strife over rival Celtic and Roman customs, was in need of strong leadership. Vitalian ordained Theodore to the episcopate on March 26, 668.

Theodore reached England in 669, having consulted first with Agilbert, bishop of Paris and sometime bishop of Wessex, on the way. On his arrival, he made a visitation of most of the country, filled vacant sees, and established an important school at Canterbury which soon gained a reputation for excellence in all branches of learning, and where many bishops and other leaders of the English and Irish Churches were trained. This school taught not only Latin and Greek (unusual for the time), but also Roman law, the rules of meter, arithmetic, music, and biblical exegesis in the literal school of Antioch. At the Synod of Hertford in 672, whose ten decrees were based on the canons approved by the Council of Chalcedon, Theodore dealt admirably with the legacy of division in the English Church between bishops in the separate Roman and Irish traditions. bringing the two traditions to unity. For example, he recognized Chad‘s worthiness and regularized his episcopal ordination. The synod also dealt with the respective rights of bishops and monasteries.

Theodore gave definitive boundaries to English dioceses, so that their bishops could better give pastoral attention to their people and laid the foundations of the parochial organization that still obtains in the English Church. Theodore’s second synod, at Hatfield, produced a declaration of orthodoxy by the Church in England during the Monothelite controversy. The synods later held at Clovesho were the result of Theodore’s inaugurating the series of synods at Hertford, which decreed that such yearly synods should be held.

According to the Venerable Bede, Theodore was the first archbishop whom all the English willingly obeyed. Possibly to no other leader does English Christianity owe so much. His great achievement was to give unity, organization, and scholarship to a divided Church on the edge of the civilized world at an age when most men had reached retirement or infirmity. Theodore died in his eighty-eighth year, September 19, 690, and was buried, with Augustine and the other early English archbishops, in the monastic Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Canterbury.

prepared from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1980)
and The Oxford Dictionary of Saints

The Collect

Almighty God, you called your servant Theodore of Tarsus from Rome to the see of Canterbury, and gave him gifts of grace and wisdom to establish unity where there had been division, and order where there had been chaos: Create in your Church, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, such godly union and concord that it may proclaim, both by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The icon of Saint Theodore of Tarsus was written by and is © Aidan Hart, and is reproduced here with his generous permission.

The propers for the commemoration of Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, are published on the Lectionary Page website.

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Edward Bouverie Pusey, Presbyter, 1882

Edward Bouverie Pusey 2

Growing out of a revival of High Church teachings and practices in the Church of England, the Oxford Movement found its acknowledged leader in Edward Bouverie Pusey. Born near Oxford, August 22, 1800, Pusey was educated at Christ Church College in that city’s University and was elected a Fellow of Oriel College in 1823. Not long afterwards he studied in Göttingen and Berlin, where he became acquainted with many leading German biblical scholars. During the next years he devoted himself t the study of Hebrew, Arabic, and other Semitic languages both at Oxford and in Germany. In 1828 he was ordained deacon and priest and was also appointed Regius Professor of Hebrew and Canon of Christ Church, offices he held for the rest of his life. At the end of 1833 he joined John Keble and John Henry Newman in producing the Tracts for the Times, which gave the Oxford Movement its popular name of Tractarianism.

His most influential activity, however, was his preaching – catholic in content, evangelical in his zeal for souls. He drew on the Greek Fathers and the Christian mystical tradition, and his sermons, while stressing the heinousness of sin and the nothingness of the world, rise to contemplative rapture in their emphasis on the indwelling of Christ, salvation as participation in God, and the blessedness of heaven. But to many of his more influential contemporaries these teachings seemed dangerously innovative. A sermon preached before the University in 1843 on “The Holy Eucharist, a Comfort to the Penitent” was condemned by the vice-chancellor and six doctors of divinity as teaching error, and Pusey was suspended from his university pulpit for two years, a judgment he bore patiently. However, the condemnation secured a wider publicity for the sermon in printed form and drew attention to the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which Pusey defended with devotion. In another university sermon, preached in 1846 on “The Entire Absolution of the Penitent”, he claimed for the Church of England the power of the keys and the reality of priestly absolution. The sermon encouraged the revival of private confession in modern Anglicanism.

The death of his wife in 1839 left an indelible mark on Pusey, and from that time he practiced many austerities. His foundation of St Saviour’s, Leeds, in memory of his wife and daughter, created a model Tractarian slum parish. In 1845 he assisted in the foundation of the first Anglican sisterhood, and throughout his life he continued to encourage the establishment of Anglican religious foundations, giving generously from his own substantial private income.

When in 1841 Newman withdrew from the Tractarians, leadership of the movement largely devolved on Pusey. As the principal champion of the Anglo-Catholic movement he had frequently to defend its doctrines, e.g. baptismal regeneration in the Gorham Case. When Newman was received into the Church of Rome in 1845, Pusey’s adherence to the Church of England kept many from following, and he defended them in their teachings and practices.

Pusey died on September 16, 1882, at Ascot Priory in Berkshire, the convent of the sisterhood he had helped found. His body was brought back to Christ Church, Oxford, and buried in the nave. Pusey House, a house of studies founded after his death, perpetuates his name at the University he served throughout his life. His own erudition and integrity gave stability to the Oxford Movement that eventually spread throughout the Anglican Churches, and won many to Anglo-Catholic principles.

from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1980) with amendments
and additions from The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

The Collect

Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know your presence and obey your will; that, following the example of your servant Edward Bouverie Pusey, we may with integrity and courage accomplish what you give us to do, and endure what you give us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The propers for the commemoration of Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, are published on the Lectionary Page website.

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