January 1st | Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus

5206cicumcisionmainlargeThis upcoming Friday is the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus Christ or now known as the The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.  On this date, the Church remembers that Jesus was fully human (and lest we forget, fully God) and subject to the Law of Moses as a 1st Century Palestinian Jew.  On this date, we recognize that Jesus would have been circumcised according to the Old Testament law and the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph would have named him– Jesus or Joshua/ Yeshua (as it would’ve been known in Hebrew) which means ‘The Lord is my Salvation.’

This event in the life of Christ can be found in the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 2, verses 15-21 (which is also the Gospel reading for the day):

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Thomas Cranmer, in his Collect for the day, wrote the following:

Almighty God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man: Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Today, traditionally, the Veni Creator Spiritus is sung or said:


Come, Holy Spirit / Veni, Creator Spiritus

English version: Latin version:
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father,
Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o’erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Hostem repellas longius, pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed, of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis surrexit,
ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula. Amen

Feast of S. Matthias


Click the link below to access the PDF of the order of Evening Prayer:

Office of Evening Prayer (S. Matthias)


According to Acts 1:15-26, during the days after the Ascension, Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (about 120 of Jesus’ followers). Now that Judas had betrayed his ministry, it was necessary, Peter said, to fulfill the scriptural recommendation that another should take his office. “Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).

They nominated two men: Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. They prayed and drew lots. The choice fell upon Matthias, who was added to the Eleven.

Matthias is not mentioned by name anywhere else in the New Testament.

An apocryphal story tells us that the Apostle Matthias preached the “Good News” to the inhabitants of Ethiopia and Macedonia.  In Ethiopia the heathen dragged him over the ground, beat him, hung him from a pillar and tore his stomach with an iron blade and burned him with fire.  St. Matthias suffered many trials in the name of Christ.

One of the towns that Matthias preached in was called the “city of the man-eaters.”  This was a town where cannibalism was practiced.  It is recorded in the Anti-Nicene fathers that Matthias was captured by these man-eaters.  When Matthias entered this town, the men of that city took hold of him and thrust out his eyes and made him drink poison and sent him to the prison where he sat for thirty days waiting to be eaten and die.  The Lord appeared to Matthias and said, “Be of good courage, our Matthias, and be not dismayed; for I shall not by any means forsake you.”  The Lord gave Matthias back his eyesight, as well as the other prisoners with him who had suffered the same fate, and promised that He would send the Apostle Andrew to release him and the others.  The Lord wanted Matthias to stay in the prison until the arrival of Andrew so that the other souls would be edified by his preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle Andrew was sent to rescue Matthias, and as Andrew approached the gates of the prison, the doors opened of their own accord.  Matthias and the others were released.

Toward the end of his travels Matthias returned to Galilee to preach to the Jews once again.  The Jews, filled with malice and anger, seized Matthias and presented him to the High Priest, Annas.  The High Priest, Annas, who hated all Christians and was responsible for the death of James, the first bishop of Jerusalem, ordered that Matthias be stoned.  When Matthias was taken to be stoned he said to the Jews,

“You hypocrites, rightly did the Prophet David speak to those like you: ‘they shall hunt down the soul of the righteous man, and the innocent blood shall they condemn'” (Psalm 93:21).

After Matthias spoke these words, two witnesses who claimed that he blasphemed picked up stones to be the first two to stone him.  St. Matthias asked that these stones be buried with him as a testimony of his suffering for the Lord.  They stoned St. Matthias to death, and as an added insult, they also beheaded him to express that he was an enemy of Rome.

Such was the faith and conviction of the Holy Apostle Matthias.


Advent 2014 | our challenge

Pilgrimage of Grace

Advent 2014: Clean Water for Every Community from ARDF on Vimeo.

As a parish, we are going to be taking on the challenge this year of raising money to provide ‘clean water for everyone’ in partnership with the Anglican Relief and Development Fund.  Each child in REZkids will be given an advent calendar, a tip sheet, and a ‘mite box’ to start saving to provide clean water to people around the world in Jesus’ name.

So this Advent, bring your change to church, and we will work to show the love of Jesus through His Church to the world.

View original post

October 5th| Service of Holy Baptism


come join us on October 5th at 10:30am for Holy Baptism at Resurrection Woodstock.  If you are interested in more information on the sacrament of Holy Baptism, please contact Fr. Gene Prince at gene(at)rezwoodstock(dot)org and join us for an informational class on Sunday, September 14th at 9:15am at Resurrection.

For those interested in reading over the liturgy and order for Holy Baptism, you may read it here.