FATHER’S TEACHING CORNER: The Collect for Purity (BCP p. 67) is, along with the Lord’s prayer, all that remains in the Prayer Book of the Priest’s preparation before Mass. It serve in the prayer Book as both an introductory invocation to the entire rite and as an immediate preparation for the examination of conscience in the Commandments which follow. In the Sarum Rite from Salisbury, it was combined with the Veni, Creator Spiritus (BCP p. 543) as part of the opening section of the priest’s prayer while he was vesting. It can be found in a votive Mass put together by the Englishman Alcuin who was Charlemagne’s prime minister in the late 8th century and the revisor of the Latin Liturgical Rite. It is not known whether Alcuin composed the Collect or took it from an older service book that no longer exists.
INSTRUCTIONS IN CHURCH TEACHING: There are seven Capital Sins: Pride, Anger, Covetousness, Lust, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony. They have seven opposite Godly Virtues: Humility, Forgiveness, Generosity, Purity, Love, Diligence, and temperance. There are a number of ways of sharing in the sins of others, and the most common are: by evil counsel, by provocation, by concealment, by command, by silence, by flattery, by defence, by praise, and by consent. We fall into sin gradually in seven stages: 1. Suggestion, 2. Pleasure, 3. Consent, 4. Act, 5. Habit, 6. Slavery, and 7. Spiritual blindness. When we do this, we have fallen prey to the world, the flesh, and the devil.
TODAY IS THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRIST+MASS. We do not observe Christmastide in the way the secular world does. Instead of celebrating before Christmas arrives, we celebrate afterward. Christ+Mass Day is the first day of Christ+Mass, not the last. The season lasts twelve days, ending with the Epiphany. Decorations should be left up at least until then or even through the octave of the Epiphany. We still sing Christmas carols in church. One common and ancient celebration is Twelfth Night, the night before the Epiphany, when the final day is celebrated, often with festive gatherings.
WEDNESDAY IS BOTH NEW YEAR’S DAY AND THE FEAST OF THE CIRCUMCISION. While we celebrate the beginning of a new secular year, we also celebrate and observe the Holy Family obeying the law passed by God to Abraham. On this eighth day Mary and Joseph had the rite of circumcision performed on the Baby Jesus. As the Son of God He was exempt from the law, but as a son in a pious Jewish family, he was obligated to be circumcised. We are reminded in this and in every act of His life that Jesus was an observant Jew carrying out the Law which was binding until His Death and Resurrection. This is a day of solemn obligation for all Christians. There will be Mass at 10:00 AM. Please plan to come and begin the New Year in the proper way.