Friday, 22 December 2017

Putting On the Armour of Light: Advent Ember Days of Prayer and Fasting for the Anglican Church—Day Two of Three


Today is the second of the three Advent Ember Days of Solemn prayer and fasting for the Church (See the post on the first day here). 

The rubrics for THE ADVENT EMBER DAYS BEING THE WEDNESDAY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AFTER THE THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT state the following: 

On Ember Days the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, page 210, shall always be used first. (BCP p100)

This is the Collect to which they refer: 

ALMIGHTY God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed divers Orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all those who are to be called to any office and administration in the same; and so replenish them with the truth of thy doctrine, and endue them with innocency of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name, and to the benefit of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p210)

For the purposes of our vigil for the Church, this is an excellent prayer, not only for those “called to any office and administration,” but we can also use it for those who presently hold such offices—our bishops, priests, deacons and lay folk, especially when they are called together as members of synods. Doctrinal truth and innocency of life would be of great help in keeping us safely in God’s will. 

The Collect for Advent (BCP p95, BAS p268) is also a good classic prayer for the Church for such a time as this. We need to be both alert enough to identify the works of darkness which threaten to lead us astray and which need to be cast away, and to be awake enough to recognize the armour of light which is available to us. 

Add to that, the PRAYERS FOR THE CHURCH, number 7, For General, Provincial, or Diocesan Synods (BCP p42—if you don’t have a BCP, you can download it by following the link here: http://www.anglican.ca/about/liturgicaltexts/). 

Assigned readings for these Ember Days can be found here. Note the link to BCP readings also. Pray and not lose heart!(Lk 18.1)

Gene+