Saint Thomas the Apostle

As Christians, there are situations where doubt creeps in and there is some guilt that comes with it for doubting God. But Scripture shows us that God is patient and gracious in bearing with doubts and He transforms doubt into faith. Let us therefore take heart in remembering St Thomas where God patiently worked through his doubt and strengthened his faith in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.


Classic 1662 CollectB&C P’s modernisation
Almighty and everliving God, who for the more confirmation of the faith didst suffer thy holy Apostle Thomas to be doubtful in thy Son’s resurrection; Grant us so perfectly, and without all doubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus Christ, that our faith in thy sight may never be reproved. Hear us, O Lord, through the same Jesus Christ, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.Almighty and everliving God, who patiently bore with your holy Apostle Thomas’ doubt in your Son’s resurrection in order to further confirm his faith: Grant us so perfectly and without all doubt to believe in your Son Jesus Christ, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight. Hear us, O Lord, through the same Jesus Christ, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

The Epistle

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (ESV)

The Gospel

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 20:24-31 (ESV)

Learning to Pray the Anglican Way with the Psalms in The Daily Office

This post was something that I was thinking of making at the start of this year but I sat on it until a recent Sunday sermon about relying on God in prayer by Pr Dinesh Natorajan and some conversations about prayer following the sermon nudged me to type this out. A couple of things from the sermon stood out in the conversations I had were about not praying enough and not praying in the right way.

The sermon and the conversations brought back some memories back when the pandemic hit in early 2020 and lockdowns were in place. Adjusting to the pandemic was hard, and it came to a point when doing things was hard, including praying. It was then I figured I had to do something or else I will find it difficult to get back to praying. One of the things I tried was doing the 1662 Daily Office in earnest. I soon found myself wearing out pretty fast as doing just one of them (either the 1662 Morning Prayer OR the Evening Prayer) was quite a spiritual workout by itself and I found it hard to do it alone on a daily basis, and I petered out very quickly when I was in a rocky patch in life.

In such cases, I found it helpful to start easy and then slowly build up with the Psalms as suggested here where a psalm and the Lord’s Prayer are prayed daily. It took me some weeks to get used to it but during that, but it eventually led me to build up to doing the 2019 Daily Office with some people on the internet. Early on, it was quite tempting to stick to a particular psalm which I resonated with, but I eventually realised that I had to step out and explore other psalms so that I would grow and experience the whole gamut of human emotions expressed in prayer to God in Psalms such as fear, guilt, outrage, sorrow, thanksgiving and joy. It also prays for a wide range of issues from God’s will to be done on earth, rulers and justice to personal needs.

What helped in exploring the Psalms is that in Anglicanism, all the 150 Psalms are traditionally read in the course of a month where a different set of psalms are read/prayed in the Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, according to a schedule corresponding to the day of the month. This may or may not be rigorous to some people.

The 60 Day Psalter cycle (the psalm reading schedule) suggested in the Saint Aelfric Customary blog post is from the 2019 Book of Common Prayer which is easier, can download from here. Just scroll down to the appropriate month and date to get the corresponding 60 day psalm cycle. The I and II beside the month is to indicate the readings for a particular prayer where I is for Morning Prayer and II is for Evening Prayer.

If you are just starting out, it is best to start with one (either the monthly schedule in I or II) for a time. Once you’re comfortable with the pace, it can be expanded to the Psalms in both Morning and Evening Prayer of the 60 day cycle. The rigour can be increased to the traditional one month cycle which can be found in the same file.

This practice can also be done with another person or in a family setting where the Psalms are prayed responsively (either by alternating the verses or lines).

I pray that the Holy Spirit kindle in you the fire of God’s love and illumine you as you pray and meditate upon God’s Word.

Easter Collects

Christ is risen!

This is a short post to share the collects for Easter Day.

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: We humbly beseech you, that, as your grace goes before us to put good desires into our minds, by your continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

NOTE: The above is a modernised version of the Easter Day collect from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The 1662 BCP appoints the collect above to be used for the week.

Below are other Easter Day collects for the week which have become popular in modern (20th century) prayer books.

O God, who for our redemption gave your only begotten Son to die upon the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the devil and the power of death: Grant us grace to die daily to sin, that we may live with him in the joy of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that we who celebrate with reverence the Paschal feast may be made worthy to attain to everlasting joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in the fullness of his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The First Sunday after the Epiphany

The season of Epiphany or Epiphanytide is one where liturgy has developed quite a bit so I will be presenting the classical 1662 Book of Common Prayer collect and readings before showing the same from the 2019 Book of Common Prayer.

Personally, I think that the classical 1662 collect is a good prayer for the beginning of the year while the 2019 collect highlights the Baptism of our Lord well.

1662 BCP collect and readings

1662B&C P’s rendering in modern English
O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people which call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to receive the prayers of your people who call upon you: and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Epistle reading:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12:1-5 (ESV)

The Gospel reading:

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Luke 2:41-52 (ESV)

2019 BCP collect and readings (Year C)

Eternal Father, at the baptism of Jesus you revealed him to be your Son, and your Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove: Grant that we, who are born again by water and the Spirit, may be faithful as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

2019 BCP, The First Sunday of Epiphany (The Baptism of Our Lord) collect

The Old Testament reading:

Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law.

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Isaiah 42:1-9 (ESV)

The Epistle reading:

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Acts 10:34-38 (ESV)

The Gospel reading:

As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Luke 3:15-22 (ESV)

Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Advent

O Lord, we pray that you raise up your power and come among us, and mightily help us; and, as we are sorely hindered by our sins from running the race that is set before us, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of your Son our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

The above is a collect that B&C P modernised from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for the Fourth Sunday in Advent.

The epistle reading is:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)

The gospel reading is:

Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

John 1:19-28 (ESV)

The Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent

I am going to do something different for this post – a little comparison of the collect for the Third Sunday in Advent of the 1662 Prayer Book, the 2019 Prayer Book and an excerpt of B&C P’s version of the collect (as the rest of it is similar to the 2019) with some reflection before proceeding to the traditional Epistle and Gospel readings for the collect:

Book of Common Prayer 1662

O Lord, Jesu Christ who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee; Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer 2019

O Lord Jesus Christ, you sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise make ready your way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient toward the wisdom of the just, that at your second coming to judge the world, we may be found a people acceptable in your sight; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Excerpt of B&C P’s version

O Lord Jesus Christ, at your first coming you sent your messenger to prepare your way: …

What is interesting is the parts of the collect of the 1662 and the 2019 Prayer Books which I have emphasized. The 1662 collect is in the context of Jesus’ first coming with an implicit reference to John the Baptist as the singular messenger who prepares his way which the rest of the collect then flows smoothly into a prayer for all ministers to follow in John’s example. The 1662 lectionary’s gospel reading helps to clarify who is the messenger in the collect.

Whereas in the 2019, the starting emphasis seems to be on Jesus sending “messengers the prophets” (plural) to prepare the way for our salvation. At first glance, it does not name John the Baptist nor does it implies it. However, my understanding is that if one has Matthew 11:13-14 in mind where John the Baptist is the culmination of the Law and Prophets, it followds that like the Old Testament prophets and John, minsters are to call us to repentance and lead us to God who can only save us.

For B&C P’s version, we decided to maintain the first part of the collect according to the 1662 Prayer Book but in contemporary English. It will be published in a prayer book supplementary which we plan to release soon.

And now, for the readings…

The 1662’s Epistle reading for this collect is:

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 (ESV)

The 1662’s Gospel reading paired with the collect is:

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepersare cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’

Matthew 11:2-10 (ESV)

Have a blessed Sunday. Gaudete!

The Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent

Today marks the Second Sunday in Advent. Below is the classic collect (prayer) from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in modern English to mark this week:

Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This collect is paired with the following Bible lessons: Romans 15:4-13 and Luke 21:25-33.

If you are curious about the collect and the relationship between it and the first lesson, check out this blog post here.