Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

Prayer and Devotion

Daily Prayers for Ordinary Time – Nebraska Creation Community

Our DioNeb Creation Community has written a set of short prayers for each day of the week, to be used during this season of Ordinary Time. These collects are unique to our Nebraska setting, and would be appropriate for use in both public and private prayer.  May they enrich your prayers in the months to come.

Click here to download the prayers as a PDF document.

 

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The Prayer of St. Patrick

The Prayer of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous people.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts our body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

 

St. Patrick of Ireland, 5th Century

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Five Marks of Love – Free Lenten Offering from SSJE

 

The Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal monastic community, is offering “Five Marks of Love” as a free individual or group Lenten devotional. Below is their invitation, including a link to the materials:

 

This six-week series invites us to observe and reflect on the ways in which the Divine Life expresses itself in and through us; individually and in our faith communities, as well as in the world around us. Week by week we will explore each of the Anglican Communion’s five “Marks of Mission” (Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform, and Treasure) through videos, questions, and exercises designed to help us speak clearly and act truthfully, motivated always by hearts marked by God’s love. We Brothers of SSJE believe that the Marks of Mission are actually “Marks of Love,” signs that God’s love is making its mark on us, and through us, on the world in which we live.

We are eager to share with others our experience that these Marks of Love are not a list of tasks to be checked off; rather they are signs that our life is rooted and grounded in the Being of God. Therefore throughout the series, we will reflect not on what we should do, but on how we should live. We will draw on our own monastic spirituality to suggest how we all can balance action with contemplation, so that our words and deeds proceed from the deepest places of our hearts, where God dwells.

This series is designed for use by individuals and small groups. Small group facilitators are invited to download the series facilitator’s guide to help you encourage participants to discuss and learn together. For individuals, be sure to check out the workbook and online video content, which will guide your own exploration. All materials and videos are free online and as downloads at 5marksoflove.org.

By the series’ end, we hope you will feel ready to offer yourself, body and soul, to God’s Mission, and to live for God’s glory.

Yours in Christ,
David Vryhof, SSJE
Director of Formation and facilitator of “5 Marks of Love”

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Prayers for our nation

For Our Nation:

Almighty God, you have given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

For Social Justice:

Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

 

We pray especially this week for President Donald Trump and all who are entrusted with our national, state, and local government, that they may do justice, and love mercy, and walk in the ways of truth, and we pray for those who are on the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

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Trinity Cathedral Offers Prayer Vigil on Inauguration Day

 

The Prayer Vigil will begin with Morning Prayer at 8:30 AM, and continue throughout the morning, concluding with the Holy Eucharist at 12:00 Noon. From 9:00 until 12:00 will be a time for silent prayer. People of all faiths are invited to stop into Trinity Cathedral for a few minutes, a few hours, or the entire morning to join us in the vigil.

Dean Craig Loya of Trinity Cathedral said that, “This is an opportunity to quiet ourselves and to offer our hearts and minds a chance to rest from the tension and noise of this uniquely difficult time in our nation’s history.” Brother James Dowd, of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, said, “The time we will spend together will be completely non-partisan. Our prayers will be offered for peace and justice in our country and throughout the world. We will simply offer our prayers and engage in meditation.”

Dean Loya went on to say, “The level of conflict and divisiveness we’ve seen this season is really unprecedented in recent memory. As people of faith, we are called to promote peace and reconciliation. We developed this vigil as a follow-up to the one we held on Election Day as a way of offering a sanctuary of peace in the midst of a tense time, and helping us all offer our lives, our leaders, and our nation to God’s care.”

The specific schedule for the day is as follows:

8:30 AM Morning Prayer
9:00 – 12:00 Silent Prayer/Meditation
12:00 Noon Holy Eucharist

 

At all other times there will be at least one person praying in the church. All are welcome to join in the silent meditation, the prayer services, or both. For further information, please contact Brother James Dowd at 402-342-7010.

 

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral • 113 North 18th Street (corner of 18th and Capitol) • 402-342-7010

 

 

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DioNEB Men’s Spirituality Retreat February 17th-19th

The 2017 DioNEB Men’s Spirituality Retreat is at the St. Benedict Center, Schuyler, NE from 5:00 PM Friday, Feb. 17th to 12:00 noon Sunday, Feb. 19th

Join Fr. Randy Goeke and Fr. Jerry Ness as we explore God’s call to deeper relationship with Christ and each other.

Register at

http://mensretreat.episcopal-ne.org/retreat-registration.html

The Cost is $140 for a single and $120 for a double, per person, includes 2 night’s stay and 6 meals.
The Registration Deadline—February 1st, 2017

 

Here is the agenda

FRIDAY EVENING – Feb. 17

5:00 p.m. – Arrival & Check-in
6:15 p.m. – Dinner
7:00 p.m. – Evening Prayer in the Chapel
7:30 p.m. – Introduction to Weekend
Gathering Exercise – Bible Trivia
9:00 p.m. – Compline in the Chapel followed by Meditation & Time for Reflection – Individually, Pairs, or Small Groups

 

SATURDAY – Feb. 18

Quiet time for prayer, walking, rosary, etc.
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Eucharist in the Chapel
10:00-10:15 First Meditation – A New Heart and a New Spirit (Ezekiel 36:24-28)
10:15-11:00 Meditation – Individually, Pairs, or Small Groups*
11:00-11:15 Second Meditation – The Gathering of God’s People  (Zephaniah 3:14-20)
11:15-Noon Meditation – Individually, Pairs, or Small Groups*

12:15 – Lunch

1:00-1:15 – Third Meditation – Newness of Life (Romans 6:3-11)
1:15-2:00 – Meditation – Individually, Pairs, or Small Groups*
2:00-2:15 – Fourth Meditation – The Resurrection (Luke 24:1-12)
2:15-3:00 – Meditation – Individually, Pairs, or Small Groups*
3:00-6:15 – Quiet time*

6:15 p.m. Dinner

7:00-7:30 – Community Conversation
7:30 – Movie, games, quite time*
After Movie Compline in the Chapel

 

SUNDAY – Feb. 19

Quiet time for prayer, walking, rosary, etc.
7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist with healing in the Chapel
Depart

 

 

*During these times of quiet and meditation Fr. Jerry and Fr. Randy will be available for prayer, confession, direction, conversation, etc.

 

 

Here are links to downloadable resources for the retreat

Full-size poster with agenda in pdf format
Half-size poster with agenda  in pdf format
Title image in .png format
Poster page 1 in .png image format
Poster page 2 in .png image format

 

 

 

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Archbishop of Canterbury Offers Free Online Bible Class for Advent

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury is inviting the world to get more out of the Bible at the start of the Christian year by offering a free online course called Getting More Out of the Bible with Justin Welby.

This free online course officially opens for registration today. Click here to register. The class will be open on Nov. 27 and stay open and free all of Advent, Nov 27 – Dec 24.

We are living in divisive and complex times where honing abilities to live peaceful, wholehearted lives is increasingly difficult. The Bible regularly proves to be the inspiration behind lives of kindness, authenticity, and reconciliation. “A key message of the Bible is transformation,” says Welby, “And now more than ever our lives, communities, and society will all benefit from the re-discovery of the Bible as a source of transformation.”

Resources for Congregational use, including downloadable posters, bulletin inserts and a Launch Guide can be found here.

This course is made possible by the generous support of the Office of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Bible in the Life of the Church initiative, and ChurchNext.

May this Advent call us all to a deeper walk with the Lord.

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A Note from Scott Gunn, Executive Director of Forward Movement

Dear friends in Christ,

I write this on Election Day, not knowing yet what the results will be. As you receive this, we know who will be the next President of the United States. We know by now many of the people who will serve in Congress. Local races have been decided, and important issues have been decided in ballot initiatives.

Trinity Cathedral, Omaha (Photo by Dean Loya)

Trinity Cathedral, Omaha (Photo by Dean Loya)

No one needs a news anchor to predict something else. However our presidential campaign has turned out, we know that the United States is deeply divided. During the campaign–and before, to be sure–we have seen increased division along lines of race, economic class, political preference, sexual orientation and identity, religion, and more. That won’t change with the results of this election. In some ways, this election, like all others, is an opportunity to start a new chapter. This is true today perhaps more than any other day in recent memory.

What can we do? It’s an easy question to ask, a difficult one to answer, and a really hard one to live out. We Christians can pray. We can pray for reconciliation, for our enemies, for those who wish us harm, for those we fear, and for all those working for reconciliation. We can form relationships across obvious lines of division. We can make sure our churches are places where the whole community, not just some of the community, is welcome and involved. We can practice empathy by putting ourselves in the shoes of those with whom we disagree and trying to imagine what might bring about a common vision. We can work for justice and peace for all people, even when it is difficult or dangerous for us to do so. We can, above all else, give thanks for the God who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and whose love is stronger than any division on earth, stronger even than death itself.

Thanks be to God it is nearly Advent. We have a whole season ahead of us, a time to devote ourselves to preparing our hearts and our lives to receive the gift of Jesus Christ. We have a whole season to remember the promise of God’s kingdom of justice and righteousness. We have a whole reason to seek mercy and truth.

It’s time for us to stop decrying our division and to start doing something about it. That will take a different form for each person and each community. What will you do? What do you hope others will do? For now, let us pray.

 

O God, give me strength to live another day; let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties; let me not lose faith in other people; keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness; preserve me from minding little stings or giving them; help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity; open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things; grant me this day some new vision of thy truth; inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness; and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls; in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Forward Movement Executive Director

 

 

[Editor’s note:  Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church, grew out of the determination of the General Convention in 1934 to counter a period of anxiety, distrust, and decline in the Episcopal Church with a “forward movement” charged to “reinvigorate the life of the church and to rehabilitate its general, diocesan, and parochial work.” It is best known for the popular daily devotional Forward Day by Day, which provides daily meditations based on scripture readings appointed by the lectionary and Daily Office. Forward Day by Day is published in English, Spanish, large print, audio cassette, and Braille editions, and the daily meditation is available online. Since 1935, Forward Movement has produced pamphlets, booklets, and books on such topics as prayer, liturgy, pastoral concerns, evangelism, stewardship, church history, and introductions to Anglicanism and the Episcopal Church.

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Election Day Prayer Vigil November 8th

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral invites you to join us in prayer and silent meditation on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8th.


peace3bThis is an opportunity to quiet ourselves and to offer our hearts, minds, and tongues a chance to rest from the tension of this uniquely difficult campaign season. The time we spend together will be completely non-partisan—no discussion of candidates, campaigns, or issues will occur. We will simply offer up our prayers and engage in meditation.

On Election Day, Tuesday, November 8th, the Cathedral will offer the Daily Offices and the Holy Eucharist, and will be open for silent meditation and prayer. All day from 8 AM to 8 PM (except during the services), Br. James and clergy from the cathedral and the Omaha area will be available for private conversation in the lobby should you so desire.

In addition, there will be a continuous prayer vigil from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. If you would like to sign up for a 30-minute watch for this vigil, contact Br. James Dowd at jdowd@episcopal-ne.org

 

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral • 109 N 18th Street • Omaha • 402-342-7010

Election Day Schedule – Tuesday Nov 8th In the Cathedral Nave

  • Morning Prayer — 8:00 AM
  • Mid-day Organ Meditation — 11:45 AM
  • Holy Eucharist — 12:00 Noon
  • Evening Prayer — 5:30 PM
  • Compline — 7:45 PM

 

Join us for any part of this path to silence amidst the noise of the campaign season—and please consider inviting friends and family. We hope you will join us in prayer for our sakes and the sake of our nation.

Click here for a pdf poster for this prayer vigil.

 

 

 

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Icon Meditation: Our Lady of Ferguson and All Those Killed by Gun Violence

Our Lady of Ferguson and All Those Killed by Gun Violence

Our Lady of Ferguson and All Those Killed by Gun Violence

This icon was commissioned by the Rev. Dr. Mark Bozzuti-Jones at Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street, and written (icons are not “painted,” but “written” in prayer and as visual prayers) by Mark Dukes, to recognize victims of gun violence. It is on display at Trinity.

This icon combines Mary, a boy caught in the cross-hairs of a gun, the Sacred Heart of Jesus symbolizing His compassion for the whole world, and the Christus Victor mark symbolizing His victory over the powers which hold humankind in bondage: sin, death, and the devil.

Mary, the God-bearer, is always depicted in iconography wearing the blue of humanity closest to her body and the red of divinity over the blue. In this image, Mary holds her arms in the orans position, a position of prayer and supplication. When Christ is shown in Mary’s womb in this style of depiction, it references Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” It is a visual sign to us today of Christ’s continuing presence—of God-with-us. Mary is depicted as an African-American woman, emphasizing her compassion with the Black community; Mary, too, lost her son to a violent death and knew grief, and she comforts all mothers who have suffered the loss of children and all those who are left behind–comforts because death is not the end.

In the middle of the icon, rather than Jesus as we would expect, we see a boy caught in the cross-hairs of a gun—and in the center of his chest we see the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sacred Heart has always been a representation of Christ’s divine love for humanity. The Sacred Heart is surrounded by a crown of thorns, further representing Christ’s suffering and sacrificial love for all. The boy’s hands are also in the orans position. In the victim’s elbows are the letters “C” and “V”—Christus Victor. This is the name for an ancient theory of the Atonement that counterbalances a strict transactional substitution/ransom concept of the Atonement with a less transactional concept in which Christ’s death defeated the powers of evil which held humankind in bondage, sin, and death. Christ entered into human misery and wickedness and redeemed and conquered them. Christ the Victor saves us from the sin in which we are trapped.

There are many fruitful themes for meditation and prayer in this icon, including:

  • God took on flesh as a helpless child.
  • God suffered as a human.
  • Christ suffered as an innocent victim.
  • Christ was unjustly killed by the evil systems that rule the world through the powers of violence, selfishness, and intimidation.
  • Christ overcame the power of violence and the power of evil.
  • Christ conquered the power of death.
  • Christ is the Victor over the sins of us all, individually and collectively.

At first viewing, the icon overtly speaks of death through the image of the gun crosshairs. But through closer examination, prayer, and meditation, it can be seen that it is actually an icon of Hope, specifically of Hope in the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ Jesus the Victor—Hope in Christ’s redeeming and transforming presence in our midst today. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, symbolizing His compassion and love for the whole world—even for His enemies—even for those who killed Him—still beats whole and undimmed. As followers of Christ, we proclaim that evil and death do not have the last word; we are called to action to love God and neighbor, to show the world that “Hope in Christ” is a living power in our lives and a living, redemptive power in our world.

Fr. James Martin, S.J., editor of the national Catholic magazine America, writes this regarding the icon:
Our Lady prays for all who are targeted by gun violence: African-Americans and all others, the poor and marginalized, and police officers.
All are her children.
All are our brothers and sisters.
Let us ask Our Lady to pray for us.

 

[Ed: Much of this material is from the blog http://globalworship.tumblr.com/post/147146113830/our-lady-of-gun-violence-victims-recent-icon]

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