Resources for St. Francis Day and Blessing the Animals (Oct 4)

October 1, 2014

Godspace has posted a collection of prayers and resources for use in celebrations of St. Francis’ Feast Day (Oct 4).

There are some good resources there.  As always, I greatly appreciate the various friends and blogs that help us remember and celebrate the church year.  Thanks Christine for your work on this collection!

An Advent Choral Service with the O Antiphons in your own living room

December 17, 2013

For $10 you can download a wonderful Advent recording and enjoy a traditional Advent Choral Service in your own home:

An Advent Procession based on The Great "O" Antiphons

at iTunes

at Amazon (CD and MP3 versions)

This album, An Advent Procession based on the Great O Antiphons, by the Choirs of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, contains recordings of all the O Antiphons, Scripture readings, Collects and a number of traditional Advent hymns as well.

Listening to this is truly beautiful and a wonderful way to be still and meditate on Jesus in this final week before Christmas.  There are 34 total tracks (for about an hour of worship.)  The service is arranged in chronological order for each of the seven O Antiphons, so you could listen to an Antiphon, a Scripture, a Collect and a hymn each day for the next seven days of Advent.


Other recordings containing the O Antiphons include:

Advent Carols from Saint Johns (iTunes)

And Comes the Day: Carols and Antiphons for Advent (Queens College Cambridge)  (iTunes)

100 Songs for Advent! – An Advent Worship playlist (Contemporary – Blended worship)

December 4, 2013

Over the past few years, I’ve worked to expand my digital Christmas music collection and develop various Christmas playlists – 12 in total…  choral music, instrumental, quiet, rocking, CCM originals, Christmas “oldies,” Christmas worship, etc…  But I’ve only had one fairly anemic Advent playlist dominated by a number of different versions of O Come O Come Emmanuel, and a few similar traditional carols.  This year I’m treating myself to a bunch of new Advent songs, and also digging deep into my worship collection and working to develop several different Advent playlists.  There are a number of great new songs and artists I’ve discovered, and it’s been exciting to see the number of Christian artists and worship leaders who are embracing Advent and producing Advent-themed albums.   Later this week I’ll post an entry with 3 – 5 of my favorite Advent albums (traditional and contemporary.)

In the meantime, here is a list of 100 songs (nearly 8 hours of music!) which I’ve included in a Contemporary-Blended style Advent Worship playlist.  The themes include:

  • Light,
  • Hope,
  • Waiting,
  • the Promise of the Messiah’s birth,
  • Expectation of the Second Coming,
  • the Annunciation,
  • Waking from slumber,
  • Christ the Refiner
  • Preparing our Hearts,
  • Inviting Christ to Come
  • Jesus, Emmanuel, God with Us

I’ll be uploading many of  these songs over the coming days and streaming them here at L&B  – especially the 5 or 6 very hard-to-find songs for which I’ve not been able to provide a link for purchasing the songs as individual MP3s.  But in the meantime, I’ve created an Excel spreadsheet file with all 100 songs:  the name of the track, the artist, the album, the year, some comments, and a link where to find the file.  

There are not too many traditional hymns on here. I figure most of L&B’s readers already have access to favorite choral renditions of Advent classics like O Come O Come Emmanuel, Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming, Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending, and Of the Father’s Love Begotten.  But as I’m discovering, there is a much wider range of Advent music available than just those ancient carols.  So, grab your speakers or earphones and enjoy some of the songs listed below!


Here’s the spreadsheet listing all the songs:

ADVENT 2013 – Lent and Beyond – 100 SongPLAYLIST


[Update: You can now listen to 12 of these songs in the Advent Worship Music 2013 Part 1 post.  I'll be posting some of the songs from this playlist for your listening pleasure each week in Advent.]

I hope it inspires many of you to create some great Advent playlists of your own and to enjoy a season of sitting at our Lord’s feet and worshiping Him for the mystery, wonder and miracle of His coming to us!

Also, please share YOUR favorite Advent songs in the comments!  I’d love to discover even more great Advent music.  Thanks

A blessed Advent to all our readers.

- Karen B.

Note:  All Purchase Links are to the iTunes US store, unless otherwise noted.

Advent is coming… A GREAT resource to recommend!

November 12, 2013

This post is sticky. Look below for new entries.

As any regular reader of Lent & Beyond will know, over the years we’ve done a lot of blog entries linking to favorite Advent & Lent devotional resources, and are always particularly excited to find good resources to help families celebrate the Liturgical year in the home.

Jessica Snell’s blog, Homemaking through the Church Year is a site we’ve linked and enthusiastically recommended many times.  Jessica has been the editor for a brand new book compiling resources to help families celebrate Advent.  The book is Let Us Keep the Feast: Christmas and Advent.  It’s available for purchase as a print copy, or as a digital download.

Here’s what Jessica writes about the book:

I’m so excited about this book; it’s the book I wish I had ten years ago, as Adam and I were starting our lives together as adults, setting up the rhythms of our household. Our hope was (and is) to always hold in our hearts and minds the truth that our family’s life is a part of the life of the church, that our worship of God on Sunday should naturally flow into our work-a-day lives, showing itself in our love for each other, for our children, for our neighbors.

That’s why I love the church year: it constantly reminds me of God’s love. Its feasts and fasts keep the gospel story constantly before my eyes. In my cooking and housekeeping, in my reading and my correspondence, in so many small customs and traditions, the church year is always pointing my eyes back towards Jesus.

The authors in this book have done such a splendid job of laying out those customs and traditions – and the reasons behind them – to the reader.

Go check it out! (Also available at Amazon)

Ascension Day – prayers & resources

May 15, 2012

We’re getting quite a few visitors looking for Ascension Day Prayers and resources, especially folks following links from Christine Sine’s blog Godspace. Yesterday, Christine posted a great roundup of links and prayers in her entry  Ascension Day is Coming – Do You Know What it Means.  (I especially like her poem about how Christ’s Ascension ensures His advocacy and intercession for us at the Father’s right hand.)

No time to look for new resources today, but here are a few links to some great resources we’ve posted in previous years (in no particular order, sorry…!):

Church Year.Net has an excellent collection of Collects for Ascension.

Anglican Mainstream: Two Meditations on the Ascension (Meditations from Leo the Great and St. Augustine)

Splendor in the Ordinary: Ascension Hymn

Splendor in the Ordinary: Ascensiontide (ideas for a family celebration)

Fr. Tim Fountain chimes in with some thoughts about Christ’s Ascension here.

Fr. Rob Lord has reflections on a quote from Dallas Willard and Christ’s ministry of intercession for believers — “Christ is Pulling for You” (from the web archive)

Dr. Peter Toon has two posts:
Ascensiontide —a precious season of 10 days before Pentecost
Feast of the Ascension—why a much neglected Festival?

Oswald ChambersHis Ascension and Our Access


Also:  DO NOT FORGET the Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon’s TitusOneNine!

Kendall is known for his news & cultural commentary posts, but TitusOneNine is also an amazing treasure trove of prayers, quotes and theological reflection.  Kendall has an Ascension Day category!   In browsing that category (and doing a word search), I found no less than 21 great prayers, quotes, sermons and other resources about the Ascension!

I’ll post some of the specific links tomorrow…

Praying the Pascha Nostrum through the 50 Days of Easter

April 23, 2012

A great post at the Rector’s Corner blog this morning on praying the Pascha Nostrum throughout the 50 Days of Easter.

Christ our PassoverPascha nostrum

1 Corinthians 5:7‑8; Romans 6:9‑11; 1 Corinthians 15:20‑22
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; *
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, *
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; *
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; *
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, *
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Christ has been raised from the dead, *
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death, *
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, *
so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

The rector who writes the blog, Brandon Filbert, writes:

The point to be remembered is that the Pascha nostrum underscores the power of Christ’s rising as a complete break with the old life…something that each Christian must not only celebrate at Eastertide, but learn to live in the daily life of discipleship.

 Praying these words will, at times, cast the light of the Resurrection on those corners of our life we are still trying to live the old way, with “the leaven of malice and evil.” For that knowledge we need to give thanks: it is the active work of the Spirit in our life as Christians this Eastertide and always.
A great exhortation and reminder.  Amen!

A compilation of Easter Prayers

April 10, 2012

last updated: April 19, 2014

NOTE – This post dates from 2012.  For 2014 and beyond, I’ve created a new Updated Easter Prayer Compilation to expand on this entry.  I will probably still periodically update this entry, but please bookmark the updated version as it will have the most current information.


Here is a compilation of all the Easter Prayers we’ve posted the last few years.  Here’s the link to our Easter Prayer category.

(oldest entries on top, newest entries last)

Daily Prayers and Reflections for Each Day of the Easter Octave

The readings and the collect for Easter Monday

An Easter Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Collects for Tuesday & Wednesday of Easter Week

An Easter Blessing prayer

A Prayer of Adoration for Easter: Te Deum Laudamus

Easter Prayers: Blind us to All But Christ

An Easter Prayer: dying daily to sin that we may live in the joy of Christ’s resurrection

A Wonderful Daily Prayer for the Easter Season

An Easter Prayer by Brother Roger of Taize: If You Were Not Risen

An Easter Prayer: born anew to a living hope

Collect for the Second Week of Easter

Collects & Prayers for the Third Sunday of Easter

Victor Hoagland: The Thomas in All of Us

St. Gregory the Great’s Easter Prayer

An Easter Prayer by Helen Steiner Rice: May this Easter Grandeur Awaken Faded Flowers of Faith

An Easter Praise Litany from New Zealand

Easter Prayer: Vivify, Justify, Save

St. Hippolytus’ Easter Prayer

A prayer for the Second Sunday of Easter

An Easter proclamation of blessing

An Easter Prayer: May Your Resurrection Power Break Forth

Praying the Pascha Nostrum through the 50 Days of Easter

Easter Prayers: Raise us from the death of sin

“Let Him Easter in Us”

Easter Prayers: Make our hearts to burn within us

Jesus, free me from the quicksand of vain regrets…

A prayer of Exultation for the Ascension

How Shall I Sing That Majesty?

An Easter Thanksgiving Prayer


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