Our Sunday morning Liturgy (Morning Prayer followed by the Holly Eucharist) is live streamed on our parish Facebook page beginning at 9.00 AM each Sunday morning
Until further notice, due to the pandemic, on Sundays Morning Prayer will be read at 9.00 AM, the Holy Eucharist offered at 9.30, and Evening Prayer will be read at 1.00 PM.
On Wednesdays, Thursday, and Fridays, Morning Prayer is read at 11.45 AM, the Holy Eucharist is offered at noon, and Evening Prayer is at 7.00 PM
Our Sunday morning Liturgy (Morning Prayer followed by the Holly Eucharist) is live streamed on our parish Facebook page beginning at 9.00 AM each Sunday morning. www.facebook.com/stjosephsnewbraunfels
Our Schedule (after the Pandemic is over) is:
7.35 AM Morning Prayer
8.00 AM Holy Eucharist (said)
9.15 Bible Class
10.30 AM Holy Eucharist (sung)
11.45 AM Fun, Food and Fellowship
As much fun, food and fellowship as Anglicans allow themselves to have
1.00 PM - Evening Prayer during the summer
4.00 PM - Evening Prayer rest of the year
4.00 PM - Evensong on the Second Sunday of each month
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays
11:45 AM - Morning Prayer
12:00 noon - Mass
7.00 PM - Evening Prayer
Holy Days as above
For each weeks schedule of Saint's Days and Holy Days, see the schedule on our "About Us" page
The calendar of holy days in the Prayer Book (page li) calls the three Rogation Days “Days of Solemn Supplication.” This reaches back to the origin of the Rogation Days to recover their first meaning and intent. They weren’t meant to mark the end of Eastertide or count down to the Feast of the Ascension, but as days of petition, earnest prayer for our needs. For St Mamertus those needs were very specific: the people of his diocese were starving so he prayed for food, for an abundant harvest, for fertile farm animals. People were dying of the plague so he prayed for their health and quietness. Their needs were real and their fears were justified.
Times are different now, but our needs are no less real than theirs and our fears are as justified. It’s as meet and right for us to turn to God with our needs and concerns as it was for Bishop Mamertus to do for his flock. So next week’s Rogation Days, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll be doing just that: at noon each Rogation Day we’ll recite the Prayer Book Litany for the special needs and concerns of each member of the parish. At the conclusion of the Litany, I’ll offer the Mass for your special intentions.
“Ask and ye shall receive,” the Lord says. That’s not a magic formula but an invitation. Inside your bulletin this Sunday you’ll find a sheet and an envelope, each marked “Rogation Intentions.” Write your intentions – the things you really want to ask God about but are reluctant to for one reason or another – on the sheet and seal them in the envelope. Don’t write your name on it. Nobody will open them: Deacon Lee will burn them on Ascension Day, as “burnt offering!” Place your envelopes in the basket you’ll see in the narthex.
The Rogation Days and Ascensiontide
The Prayer Book, following ancient custom, says this Sunday in Eastertide is “commonly called Rogation Sunday.” The Rogation Days are the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday just before the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord (which is always on a Thursday). Unlike many other church customs and observances about which we can only say “they’re very old indeed” we know exactly how, when, and where the Rogation Days came to be.
The year AD 470 was a bad one in southeastern France and especially in the regional capital of Vienne (not Vienna, Austria). Winter earthquakes, the loss of the fall harvest and a springtime outbreak of the plague, had the population on edge. What disasters would summer bring? The saintly bishop of the city, Mamertus, asked his flock to spend the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Ascension Thursday in prayer and fasting. These would be Days of Rogation. Rogare is Latin for “ask,” “petition” or “beg” (our word interrogatecomes from it). These days preceding the feast were marked by processions led by the bishop himself to bless the springs, wells and rivers surrounding the city, as well as the fields just then sprouting the summer crops and the newly-born livestock.
It took: the earth quieted, the crops came in and the plague abated. The next year, Bishop Mamertus’ people asked him to do it again. Within a dozen years the “rogation” processions had spread throughout the churches of southern France; within a hundred years they’d been adopted in Rome and given a fixed place on the Calendar by Pope St Gregory the Great.
The Rogation Prayers and processions proved popular in England and King Alfred the Great ordered their observance throughout the English Church about AD 890. Over time the processions in England developed customs that distinguished them from the observances on the continent. Most notable was the “beating of the bounds.” Parishioners (especially the boisterous choirboys and children) carried sticks during the procession and, when they came to the markers which delineated the boundaries of the parish, hit the posts with their sticks as the priest blessed them (the posts, not the children). Because the posts were usually marked with a cross at the top, one of the names for the Rogation Days in medieval England was the “Cross Days.” At the conclusion of the procession, it was customary for the parish to provide “Rammalation Biscuits and Beer” to those who’d walked the bounds (rammalate is a medieval English word for “wander”).
Ascension Day is the fortieth day after Easter, when the Lord Jesus ascended into Heaven in the sight of His Apostles and many other followers. Ascensiontide is one of the shortest seasons on the Church calendar, lasting only ten days. The most striking feature of the Ascension Day liturgy is the extinguishing of the Paschal Candle (which has burned since Easter) as the words of the Gospel are read: “He was carried up into Heaven…”
Ascension Day is one of the days the Prayer Book requires the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We’ll offer a Mass on Ascension Day, Thursday, May 13, at noon.
Parish Food Closet
We collect non-perishable food items throughout the year and every two months we caravan the donations to the New Braunfels SOS Food Bank.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, due to severe shortages in town, we're collecting food in boxes on the front porch of David Hall for a weekly trip to the New Braunfels SOS Food Bank. Come anytime, day or night, and leave food on the porch.
Options for Life
Throughout Lent we've been raising money for an annual gift to the New Braunfels "Options for Life" Program, supporting young, single mothers struggling to raise their children. The garishly-colored plastic baby bottles lined up on the narthex table are for you to take home and fill up as part of our common parish Lenten Alms program. We also have an OfL Collection Jar in our parish hall for through-the-year donations. We'll being collecting bottles on Easter Day and on Whitsunday present our check to the office of OfL.
On Memorial Day and Veterans' Day we take up special collections to help wounded and disabled veterans. At Christmastime, we lay wreaths at the graves of departed veterans.
Our Texas Freeze Water Bank
Because of our recent "Texas Freeze," public water supplies in the area are contaminated and a "boil order" is in effect. Fortunately, St Joseph''s has a good supply of bottled drinking water. If you are in need, please contact the parish and we can have someone meet you at David Hall and give you a case of "Texas Spring Drinking Water."
Rammalation Biscuits and Beer on Mother’s Day!
An old English custom on Rogation Sunday was to have a procession around the boundaries of the parish and to “bless the bounds,” usually old stone pillars topped with a cross. After the procession everyone returned to the church where tables of biscuits and beer awaited the crowd. Though we don’t process the streets of New Braunfels, we do bless our parish property (and the city) every Rogation Day. Admittedly, the procession – usually just to the outdoor shrine – isn’t exhausting, but we do continue the custom of serving “Rammalation Biscuits and Beer” on the parish porch after the Liturgy. We’ll do so again this year. Since Rogation Sunday coincides with Mother’s Day this year, Deacon Lee and I will also be handing out Mother’s Day flowers and blessings to the Moms of the Parish.
An Old Rogationtide Collect
What follows is “A Prayer for the Rogation Days” found in some late 18th and early 19th century printings of the English Prayer Book. Whoever wrote them intended to make some landlords squirm in their comfortable pews!
“We heartily pray Thee to send Thy Holy Spirit into the hearts of them that possess the grounds and pastures of the earth, that they, remembering themselves to be Thy tenants, may not rack or stretch out the rents of their houses or lands, nor yet take unreasonable fines or moneys after the manner of covetous worldlings, but so let them out that the inhabitants thereof may be able to pay the rents and to live and nourish their families and remember the poor. Give them grace also to consider that they are but strangers and pilgrims in this world, having there no dwelling-place, but seeking one to come; that they, remembering the short continuance of this life, may be content with that which is sufficient, and not join house to house and land to land, to the impoverishment of others, but so behave themselves in letting their tenements, lands and pastures that after this life they may be received into everlasting habitations, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
When you come by the church, take a look at our "new" old bell, a bronze 100 -year-old beauty with a rich tone that carries all the way down to the river when it rings! The stained glass windows in the church are less than 20 years old, but are closely-patterned after stained glass seen throughout the South from about 1870-1920 (St Joseph's boasts the only Men's Room in central Texas with its own stained-glass window). St Joseph’s chalice and paten were originally given as a gift to the first Episcopal Bishop of Quincy, Illinois, the Rt Rev Thomas Burgess, in 1878. As the hallmark under the base of the chalice shows, it was made by the Gorham Manufacturing Company, the leading silversmiths of 19th century America. How St Joseph’s came into the possession of a chalice & paten owned by a former Yankee chaplain in the War Between the States is a tale worth hearing (but at another time and in another place).
Receiving Holy Communion at St Joseph’s
At St Joseph’s, any baptized person is welcome to receive Holy Communion. We have a kneeler in front of the table we are using for an Altar. At communion-time, form a line and approach after the person in front of you has received the Sacrament. If you cannot kneel (or get up easily), please remain standing and receive. The priest will place the Sacrament in your hands (it is customary to support your right hand with the left): simply lift the Sacrament to your mouth. It is the sacramental Body of Christ. Please do not handle the consecrated Bread with your fingers. If you prefer to have him place the Host directly on your tongue, simply open your mouth as you approach and he will place it there. If you would like to have the Host dipped in the chalice rather than drink from it, continue to hold it in your open hand and the priest will take it, dip it into the chalice and then place it directly in your mouth. Please do not dip the host into the chalice yourself.
If you wish to drink from the chalice, the Chalice-bearer will be standing beside you at the kneeler and will help you drink from it directly.
If you do not wish to receive Holy Communion (or are not eligible to because you are not baptized), but would like a blessing, stand in line until your time comes, approach the kneeler and either kneel or stand and the priest will bless you. To let him know you wish to be blessed, cross your arms over your breast when you approach. He will make the sign of the Cross on your forehead as he blesses you.
Any baptized person is welcome to receive Holy Communion, but not everyone always should. If you are in a state of serious sin, it would be best not to present yourself for Holy Communion, here or elsewhere, until you have confessed your sins, resolved “to live a new life,” and received absolution. Anyone, baptized or not, can always come forward to receive a blessing.
– Fr Gregory Wilcox
Sunday, May 2 - the Fifth Sunday after Easter, commonly called Rogation Sunday
9.00 AM - Morning Prayer
9.30 AM - the Rogation Litany and Procession, he Holy Eucharist
10.45 AM - Treats in David Hall
11.00 AM - Discussion on Common and Personal Prayer
1.00 PM - Evening Prayer
Annual Meeting Date Set
At last week's Vestry Meeting the the date of our Annual Parish Meeting was set at Sunday, May 16. That day, following the morning’s Mass, we’ll have a parish brunch with the meeting called to order immediately thereafter. Written notices, as required by our parish By-Laws, were mailed this week, and announcements will be made at Sunday services for the three weeks preceding. At the meeting, two vestry positions will be filled, the recent proposed changes to our parish By-Laws reviewed and a discussion about returning to our pre-covid Sunday schedule (with two celebrations of the Eucharist) will hopefully come to a decision.
New in the Tract Rack
New on the narthex table are copies of Fr Moss's classic booklet "A Summary of the Faith," Fr Dearmer's "Life of St Aidan," a booklet of "Prayers for Eastertide," and "St Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria and Doctor of the Church," a brief biography of the saint.
See this week's Liturgical Schedule on our "About Us" page
May Parish Calendar
Dates to Note in May:
Parish Women’s Luncheon: Saturday, May 8, 12 noon in David Hall
Men’s Breakfast: Saturday, May 15, 10 AM at Casa Garcia’s
May Vestry Meeting: there will be no regular meeting of the Vestry in May. Our long-delayed Annual Meeting, with the election of two new Vestry members, he approval of our revised By-Laws and a discussion about returning to our regular, pre-covid schedule, will be held. As required by our rules, the Vestry will hold a mandatory "organizational" meeting immediately following the annual Meeting. Our next regular meeting will be on June 20, 2021.
Parish Breakfast: in May, a barbecue brisket and chicken brunch, will precede the Annual Meeting on May 16.
Your prayers, support and contributions will help us keep a faithful Anglican presence and traditional Anglican worship alive and kickin' here in the Texas Hill Country. We have a lot to do to bring our parish mission to this part of God's world: to be "Catholic in Tradition, Biblical in Faith and Sacramental in Worship." Your generous (and tax-deductable!) donations will help fund that mission and keep us movin'!
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