Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Love is of God

We heard a little addendum to the sermon at church yesterday about love and about how we shouldn't judge the way others love. I think that was the point of the addendum, but I can only speculate (and would probably be wrong) as to why it was offered on the Sunday of the Cross, when we are so clearly shown in the liturgy what love is and what it looks like.

But if one cannot deduce from the language of the liturgy for that particular day of the church year what love really is and how we are to love one another, it's also quite clearly outlined here in 1 Corinthians:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This particular passage wasn't cited in the addendum, it (and anything that even sounded remotely like it) was noticeably absent, actually. But I believe that it's still a good gauge for us to use when we contemplate our own actions and relationships with others. And while the point of the addendum was (I think) about how we shouldn't judge the way others love, I think that when it concerns us - how we are to love and how we are loved by others - we need such a gauge if we are to determine whether the love we show others or the love that is shown to us is of God or not.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


It's more about this:

... and less about this:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Prayer for the Blessing of Water

Great art Thou, O Lord, and marvelous are Thy works, and speech sufficeth not to sing the praises of Thy wonders. For Thou, by Thy will, from nothingness hast brought all things into being; by Thy majesty Thou dost uphold all creation, and by Thy providence Thou dost direct the world. When Thou hadst framed the universe out of four elements, Thou didst crown the circle of the year with four seasons. All the reason-endowed powers tremble before Thee. The sun singeth Thy praises, and the moon glorifieth Thee; the stars, also, stand before Thy presence. The light obeyeth Thee. The deeps shudder with awe before Thee; the water-springs do Thy bidding. Thou hast spread out the heavens like a curtain. Thou hast established the earth upon the waters. With sand hast Thou walled in the sea. Thou hast shed abroad the air for breathing. The Angelic powers serve Thee. The Archangelic hosts adore Thee. The many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim, as they stand round about and do fly, veil their faces with awe before Thine unapproachable glory. For Thou, the God which cannot be circumscribed, who art from everlasting and ineffable, didst come down upon earth, taking on the form of a servant and being made in the likeness of men. For Thou couldst not endure, O Master, because of Thy tenderhearted mercy, to behold the children of men tormented by the devil; but Thou didst come, and didst save us. We confess Thy grace; we proclaim Thy mercy; we conceal not Thy gracious deeds. Thou hast set at liberty the generations of our race; by Thy birth Thou hast sanctified a Virgin's womb. All creation singeth praises unto Thee, who didst reveal Thyself; for Thou, our God, didst manifest Thyself upon earth, and didst dwell among men. Thou didst hallow, also, the streams of Jordan, in that Thou didst send down from heaven Thy Holy Spirit, and didst crush the heads of the serpents which lurked there. Wherefore do Thou, O King who lovest mankind, come down now also through the descent of Thy Holy Spirit, and sanctify this water.

Wherefore do Thou, O King Who lovest mankind, come down now also through the descent of Thy Holy Spirit, and sanctify this water.  Thrice.

          And impart unto it the grace of redemption, the blessing of Jordan. Make it a fountain of immortality, a gift of sanctification, the remission of sins, the healing of infirmities, the destruction of the demons, unapproachable by hostile powers, filled with angelic might. And may it be unto all those who shall draw it, and shall partake of it unto the purification of their souls and bodies, unto the healing of their passions, unto the sanctification of their homes, and unto every expedient service.  For Thou art our God, Who through water and the Spirit hast renewed our nature which had fallen into decay through sin.  For Thou art our God, Who with water didst drown sin in the days of Noah.  For Thou art our God, Who by the sea, through Moses, freed the Hebrew people from slavery to Pharaoh.  For Thou art our God, Who smote the rock in the wilderness, so that waters gushed forth, and torrents welled forth, and Who satisfied Thy thirsty people.  For Thou art our God, Who by water and fire, through Elijah, didst set Israel free from the errors of Baal.
          Do Thou Thyself, O Master, sanctify now also this water by Thy Holy Spirit.  Thrice.

          Grant also unto all who shall be sprinkled therewith, and shall partake thereof, and shall anoint themselves therewith, sanctification, blessing, purification and bodily health.
          O Lord, save our civil authorities; have mercy upon the Most Holy Synod, and keep them in peace beneath Thy shelter.  Subdue under them from every enemy and adversary; grant all their petitions which are unto salvation, and life eternal, that with the elements, and men, and Angels, and with all things visible and invisible, they may magnify Thy most holy Name, together with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. 

Choir: Amen.