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This topic will be controversial. The Jews for Jesus are/is having a debate on the topic of antisemitism. In particular, the question of whether the Christian Scriptures are, themselves, antisemitic and a source of antisemitism. In fairness, I must put my own bias up front. I am a Jewish Atheist. I have definite thoughts on the history of antisemitism. In terms of scriptural theology, I'm not clear on how much I actually have a dog in this race. I think this topic can fuel interesting conversation. The fuel can also be explosive. This is a time for tactful and cautious restraint. I will be on my good behavior. On balance, I'm optimistic. The board can use some serious conversation. If we have any Messianic Jewish lurkers, perhaps they will come out of hiding. Here goes. https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/why-you-should-support-my-upcoming-debate-with-rabbi-shmuley-boteach/?utm_source=The+Blogs+Weekly+Highlights&utm_campaign=blogs-weekly-highlights-2019-08-01&utm_medium=email
Hello. I am wondering how many here have done a web search for sermons by others of Christianity's Priests, Pastors, Ministers, etc. Have you quoted them? Have you used them to write your own? How long do you keep them (in terms of number of paragraphs)? For those with your own congregations, do have loose copies of your past sermons for parishioners to pick up & take home? Or do you offer to email the sermon(s) to them? Or do you post them on a web page for them to download and/or print out? Thank you for your time and consideration.
The main sacrament of the liturgical year - the event of Easter - is a drama in three acts and is called "Holy Easter Trident" or in Latin - "Triduum Paschale". The "Great Tridenthood" begins with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Great Thursday, and ends with the Second Sunday Night of Easter. The expression "tripeness" indicates, first of all, not a time span of three days, but three successive phases of the Easter sacrament: farewell and, at the same time, prophetic Last Supper, Death on the Cross, stay in the tomb and Resurrection. In the IV century, in the times of Saints Ambrose and Augustine, the sequence was different: suffering, being in the tomb, Resurrection. Augustine called them sacratissimum triduum crucifixi, sepulti et resuscitati (“sacred tripentia of crucifixion, burial, and resurrection”), while the word “Easter” was reserved exclusively for night worship from Saturday to Sunday (Navecheria) and Easter Sunday itself. The Easter Triumph was liturgically formed in the Jerusalem Church. A description of the rites associated with it can be found in Etheria's Memoirs (385). The rites of Trides from Jerusalem were received in the East, and they were introduced to Rome thanks to the Greek-speaking diaspora. The reforms of the Catholic worship in 1959 and 1970 returned to them the form corresponding to the best traditions, and on the other hand, adapted them to modern conditions. If before the reform, the Sacred Triency had the character of preparation for the celebration of Easter - the Resurrection of Christ, then after the reform it is emphasized that the rites of Trigenia already lead us into the mystery of Easter: Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ are inextricably linked with each other and constitute a single act, which the Lord redeems and saves the world. Maundy Thursday From the “Memories” of Etheria, it follows that in the 4th century on Great Thursday two liturgies ruled in Jerusalem. The first — in the middle of the day at the Basilica of the Martyrs — completed Great Lent, the second — in the church at Calvary — was performed in honor of the establishment of the Eucharist. Similarly, in North Africa since St. Augustine served two Masses: one - in the morning, the second - in the evening, in imitation of Christ, who established the Eucharist after the evening meal. In Rome, the VII century, the Pope served only one Mass, but in the parish churches there were three: the first - in connection with the acceptance into communion of deprived sinners, the second - in connection with the consecration of the oil, the third - in honor of the establishment of the Eucharist. Now the Mass of the Last Supper, the main theme of which is the establishment by Christ of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, takes place in the evening. The following rites are associated with the liturgy of Holy Thursday: - Mandatum - "Commandment." It is about the commandments of love (“I give you a new commandment, love each other”), the external expression of which is the ritual of washing the feet of another person. This is an ancient expression of hospitality (cf. Gen. 18.4), a gesture later reproduced by Jesus Christ Himself towards the apostles (Jn 13.1-11). The custom was practiced in monastic communities, and was introduced into liturgy for the first time in Spain (synod in Toledo 649). Before the reform of 1955, this ceremony was reserved exclusively for bishops and abbots, and now it is recommended to perform it in each parish. The ruling bishop or parish priest washes the feet of twelve (by the number of apostles) to priests and (or) laity. - Transfer of the Holy Gifts. This rite took shape in connection with the veneration of the Holy Gifts in the Western Church. Since the Middle Ages, the symbolism of the tomb has developed. However, the renewed liturgy no longer speaks of the tomb, but of the “altar of exposure”. During the procession of transferring the Gifts, the famous hymn of St. Thomas Aquinas Pange lingua, glorifying the Eucharist. There is also the custom of prayerful wakefulness at the “altar of exposure” on the night from Thursday to Friday - in remembrance of the request of Jesus Christ addressed to the apostles: to watch and pray with Him on the night when He was seized. - Denudatio altaris - “exposure of the altar”. Actually, until the VII / VIII centuries, the veil on the altar remained only for the time of the Liturgy, and then removed. However, now the altar is covered constantly, and is exposed only after the transfer of the Gifts on Holy Thursday. It is believed that this should symbolically signify denudatio - the abandonment of Christ by the closest people and His nakedness before the crucifixion. - Crepitacula - avoiding the use of bells, bells and organ music. All musical instruments fall silent after the exultant Gloria hymn at the beginning of the Mass. Only wooden beaters (crepitacula, tabulae) can be used. This custom dates back to the eighth century. It is believed that it symbolizes the humility and humiliation of Christ, and is also a memory of the times when musical instruments were not used in the liturgy, as is the case in the Orthodox Church. Some speak of “fasting the ears,” just as the custom of covering images and crosses, starting from the 5th week of Great Lent, indicates “fasting of sight.” Good Friday of the Passion of Christ The course of the Friday Liturgy in Jerusalem of the fourth century is also described in the Memories of Etheria. They say that the faithful were originally going to give their respects to the place where Jesus was scourged. Then they went to Calvary, where the bishop held a cross, which was honored. The faithful, coming up to the cross, touched him and the inscriptions above him (“This is the King of the Jews”) with his forehead, then with his eyes, and kissed him. The faithful also gathered in the afternoon on Calvary to reflect on the word of God, to hear the description of Christ's Passion, to take part in the singing of psalms and joint prayers. In addition, it is known that on Great Friday and Great Saturday a strict fast was observed. At the same time, his understanding was, rather, not ascetic, but was associated with the absence of the Heavenly Groom (as the Christian author of the late II century Tertullian writes about this). The church fasted and prayed in anticipation of the Lord, and, on the other hand, was consoled by His presence in the Eucharist. Thus, fasting and the Eucharist constituted, as it were, the two poles of the spiritual life of the Church, mutually complemented and conditioned each other, creating the “already” and “not yet” paradox underlying the whole dynamics of church life. Here we should look for the origins of the Eucharistic fast (abstaining from eating before the Communion) as such, which in its idea is nothing more than expectation and spiritual preparation for the coming of Christ in the Eucharist. The offering and worship of the cross from Jerusalem spread to other countries, it was known in Rome from the 7th century, and from the 8th century it entered the papal liturgy. The Mass on Great Friday was never served, but Communion was practiced in Gaul, Germany, and in Roman parish churches, starting from the 8th century, after the consecration of the Holy Gifts after the veneration of the tree of the cross. This practice arose, perhaps, under the influence of the Byzantine liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (Vespers, associated with the Communion, which is served in the Orthodox Church on Wednesdays and Fridays during Great Lent, and on the first three days of Holy Week). The Holy Friday Holy Communion littered only in the XII / XIII century. A small number of communicants in the Middle Ages led to the fact that the Communion was preserved only for the priest. Only the reform of 1955 restored the Communion for all the people. Another element of the liturgy of Good Friday is depositio crucis (sacramenti), i.e. "Demonstration of the Crucifixion (Gifts)". By the 10th century, testimonies of the so-called “tomb of Christ” date back. In England, in the "tomb" next to the altar was placed a cross in a white veil. It is believed that Syria was the birthplace of this custom, from where it was taken over by the Copts, and then it took root in the West. In the 10th century another form of depositio appeared - a room in the “tomb” of the consecrated guest. Often the guest house was placed in the "tomb", and the cross - next to the "tomb". In the Orthodox Church, from the 16th century, the custom of exposing and honoring the Shroud with the image of Christ in the tomb was established. Here the cult of the Shroud is in the center of the rites of Good Friday Night and Great Saturday Matins. The modern Catholic liturgy of Good Friday includes all elements of the ancient tradition and has a transparent, simple and concise structure. It consists of: 1) Liturgy words with the common prayer of the faithful, 2) worship of the cross, 3) Holy Communion and 4) procession to the “tomb” of Jesus. The liturgy illustrates and allows us to relive the mystery of the Crucifixion of Christ as the culmination of the History of Salvation. Christ, who voluntarily gives His life on the cross, is the Youth of the Lord from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (1 st reading: Is 52,13-53,12), fulfilling the will of the Father (2 nd reading: Heb 4,14-16; 5 , 7-9). His humiliation is a pledge of His victory (responsorium: Phil. 2, 8–9), and the description of the Passion according to the Gospel of John emphasizes the royal dignity of the Crucified Lord. The red color of liturgical vestments testifies to the same: at the same time, the color of martyrdom (blood) and the color of the royal purpura. The prayer of the faithful consists of nine petitions and emphasizes the universalism of God’s plan of Salvation. The Church consistently prays for the Pope, the clergy, its faithful children, all Christians, Jews (the Old Testament people of God), all believers in God and, finally, for all people of good will. In honoring the cross, the Easter mystery is revealed in its synthetic unity: the Cross is inseparable from the Resurrection, as expressed in the corresponding antiphons. And the prayer after Communion gives thanks to God for a new life, given through suffering and the Resurrection of Christ. Great Saturday Since ancient times, this day is considered a time of strict fasting. The Eucharist is not performed, and the content of the Liturgy of hours is the “Holy and Great Saturday” (in the sense of “peace”, “repose”) of the Son of God, renewing the work of creation. The faithful mainly give veneration to the Holy Gifts at the “Tomb” in anticipation of the joy of the Resurrection. Catechumens on this day perform the ceremony of giving the Creed. Easter Eve The service of the Holy Night belongs to the primacy both by the time of its appearance, and by its theological and liturgical significance, and by the beauty and solemnity of the rite. In the 4th century, St. Augustine called the service of Easter in the Evening of Easter, mater omnium vigiliarum (“the mother of all vigils”). From ancient times the central place in it was occupied by the Liturgy of the word with a very large number of readings: from 5 in Eastern Syria to 15 in Byzantium. In Rome, the Liturgy of the word had a preserved structure: reading - singing - prayer (after each reading). The rite of lighting the Easter candle (Easter) also has a very ancient origin. It goes back to the natural custom of lighting a lamp at nightfall, which was practiced in every family and was strongly associated with a sense of safety, joy and comfort. In the Jewish world, the celebration of the Sabbath, like the fraternal meals, always began with the lighting of the lamp. Christians, in turn, have since apostolic times considered light to be the symbol of Christ - “Light to the world.” The lighting of Easter eggs could also be associated with other factors, such as the desire to make more concrete symbolism of the transition from darkness to light, the influence of mystery cults of late antiquity, as well as the influence of baptismal symbolism, since for a long time baptized people called photismos "Enlightened". The ceremony of lighting a candle was associated with thanksgiving. Thus arose the hymn Exsultet (“The Proclamation of Easter”). It appeared in Rome in the 7th century, entered the Papal Liturgy in the 11th century, and is now an integral part of the Liturgy of the Holy Night in all the churches of the Latin Rite. According to its content, this hymn expresses the theology of the Passover night. In other liturgical traditions of the Western Church, there were other forms of greeting for the light. Some of them were included in the modern liturgy of Vochecheria (for example, the ascension paschala with the exclamation “The Light of Christ”). Gradually formed the tradition of decorating Easter. From the 12th century, the custom appears to depict the symbol of the cross and two letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha (first) and omega (last), as well as place incense grains in Easter eggs. A later element of the Liturgy of Passover is the custom of the blessing of fire. In Rome, the Passover was lit from the fire, which was specially preserved for this occasion since Good Friday. Starting from the 8th century, they began to bless the “new fire” to light the Paschal. This custom originated in Gaul and Ireland, and its origin is unclear. Perhaps it was about the opposition of the Church to the practice of pagan spring games and the associated custom of making fires. This ceremony finally entered the liturgy at the beginning of the tenth century. Since the eighth century, the blessing of food has been practiced, which was especially common in Gaul and Germany. Another very important element of the Liturgy of Veccheria was the performance of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, which were preceded by a procession to the Baptistery or a water source and the reading of a special prayer for the blessing of waters, which had a thankful character with a dialogue in the form of preference. The consecration of the water was accompanied by the performance of the Sign of the Cross and immersion in the water of the Easter. In its modern version, the Liturgy of Easter Vecheria has the following structure: 1. “The Liturgy of Light” - lucernarium, which includes: the blessing of fire and the preparation of the paschale, a procession with the paschale and praeconium paschale - “The Proclamation of Easter” (Exsultet hymn). 2. Liturgy of the word, having the structure of “reading - singing - prayer” and including 9 readings. 3. The liturgy of baptism: the blessing of the water of baptism, the renewal of baptismal vows by all believers and the performance of the sacraments of baptism and anointing of catechumens. 4. The Eucharistic Liturgy. The liturgy of Easter night is full of unusually rich symbolism. The symbols used in it express the theology of this day and flow from it. Particularly emphasized the dynamics of the transition from darkness to light, from death to life. Christ is Foz and Zoe, "Light" and "Life." The blessing of the new fire indicates the spread of the Atonement, accomplished by Christ, to all created reality. Exsultet — the blessing of light — is a prayer of thanksgiving and glorification for the Resurrection of Christ, which brought us Salvation. Its symbol is light. An Easter candle is brought to God, but also the hearts of all the participants in the divine service, who are now called upon to witness the Resurrection. This is the purpose of the proclamation of Easter. The fact that the numbers of the current year are placed on Paschal from the time of Pius XII reminds us that in antiquity Easter Eve was the beginning of the new year. This symbolizes the real possibility of a new life, a new beginning, a hope that cannot be deceived in Christ. The gift of new life is also in the center of the Liturgy of the word. The readings are selected in such a way as to clearly demonstrate the unity of the creation of the world and its Salvation, the fulfillment of the order of creation in the order of Salvation. The personalities of Abraham and Isaac are shown as types of Christ. The prayers that follow after each reading properly explain its content. Prayer after the seventh reading indicates the Church, as the main work of Christ, the mystery of the Salvation of the whole human race. The sacrament of new life is also reflected in the prayers of the liturgy of Baptism and the Eucharistic Liturgy. Easter Eve is the highest cult expression of the very essence of the Christian faith, and therefore has a evangelistic character. It ends with an exclamation "Christ is risen!" at night or in the morning of Easter Sunday before Mass. Participants of the procession carrying a cross decorated with a red table (a sign of victory) and the figure of the Risen One bypass the church with the Holy Gifts three times, thus emphasizing the eternity and perfection of the new life granted to the Resurrected. It is recommended to start the worship service at midnight from Saturday to Sunday, and to finish at dawn. However, it is allowed to preliminarily commit it, starting at 20 o'clock on Saturday. The congregation of worship and the discipline of the sacraments in Paschalis sollemnitatis (1988) emphasizes the desirability of Communion of all the faithful on Easter night under two kinds. This entire document is a vivid testimony to the concern of the Church that Salvation, which has become our gift in Christ, truly becomes the “heart of the liturgical year.” In the Eastern Church, the service of Pascha begins with the celebration of Matins at midnight, and ends with the Eucharist at dawn. This liturgical order dates back to a very ancient tradition. The festivities open with a procession around the church when the bells are ringing, which symbolizes the procession of the myrrh-bearing women to the Lord’s grave. The symbol of the presence of Christ is the icon of the Resurrection. For the first time before the closed doors of the temple, the singing “Christ is Risen from the Dead ...” is distributed, and the priest opens the church doors with a cross as a sign that Christ on the cross opened the Gates of Life Eternal to us. The text of the Paschal Matins, which is considered the pearl of ecclesiastical literature, is written by St. John of Damascus (676-749). It is based on the Easter sermons of Saints Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa and John Chrysostom. The texts of the Paschal Matins have a deep dogmatic content, their form is highly poetic. The triumphal tone of unearthly and eternal joy, which culminates in Easter poems, dominates everything, of which a mighty hymn is woven to the glory of the Risen Christ. This heavenly joy embraces the human person in all its manifestations. During the entire Easter week, the Royal Doors of the Orthodox Churches are wide open to the sign that Christ opened the doors of the Kingdom of God with our Resurrection. The symbol of the “bread of eternal life” - Jesus Christ, our Lord, is also artos (Greek “bread”) - round bread with the icon of the Resurrection. He is blessed on the day of Easter after the prayer behind the tide, and he lies all week long either on the throne or on the tetrapod. There is also a custom on the Sunday Liturgy to read the Gospel in various languages. Easter sunday The culmination of the celebration of Easter is the Eucharist of Vecheriya or the holy night service. However, since ancient times, the Church had a desire to continue the celebration on all Easter Sunday, the basis of which were biblical stories about the discovery of an empty tomb and the apparitions of the Risen. Another Liturgy appeared in Jerusalem, and then almost everywhere, in the morning or afternoon of Easter Sunday. The texts of such masses have come down to us, starting from the VII century. From the 10th century, the rapid development of church singing occurs, numerous Easter musical variations and sequences arise (the sequence is the “development” and “continuation” of singing Hallelujah before reading the Gospel; originally it was voice modulation, and then texts were written for the sequences). After reducing the number of sequences in the Council of Trent, only one Easter sequence, Victimae paschali laudes (by its author Vipo, who died in 1046), has been preserved in everyday life, it is also used in our time. Another element of Easter Sunday is the Vespers with the participation of the newly-baptized with a procession to the baptistery, which has been known since the beginning of the tenth century. Traditionally, Easter Sunday was a time of blessing food. The most famous custom of the consecration of eggs is known from the XII century. Egg in all cultures was a symbol of life. It is also possible to influence Jewish traditions in Christianity (eggs were used during the Jewish fraternal meals, donated as “an egg from Elijah”). Somewhat later, the custom of decorating eggs (also known in Israel) appeared. It is from the example of the Easter celebrations that one can see how difficult it is to draw a line between the Liturgy and folk customs, how fruitful the connection between Liturgy and life can be. I hope this will help all unknowing to know, and those who know to refresh the memory. With prayer for all of you, rev. J. Kashinskiy