We interrupt this Holy Week to talk about the Nunc Dimittis, and interrupt it even more with Britney. You’re welcome.
This week’s text (BCP p. 93):
Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.
Unearthing a gem of a prayer from the seldom used Order of Worship for the Evening.
This week’s prayer (BCP p. 111):
Almighty and most merciful God, kindle within us the fire of love, that by its cleansing flame we may be purged of all our sins and made worthy to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
V. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.
The Acts 8 Movement is once again offering a video Episcopal churches may use for free to advertise their Easter liturgies. Following the success of a Lenten cartoon, this year’s Easter invitation is made in the same style. This Easter video follows on the heels of similar projects released periodically since Advent 2015. You may download the video below to post to your own Facebook page, or just link to one of the YouTube videos found here, or to the Facebook videos posted on the Acts 8 Movement Facebook page.
We encourage you to use this video as if it were your own in sharing the Good News. While those with video editing skill may customize the video, such as adding a photo from your congregation with some information during “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You”, we have discovered that lengthening the video to add service times or additional information leads to viewers tuning out en masse. We recommend putting the real content of the ad in the Facebook post text rather than in the video itself as shown in the post of our Lenten video at right from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.
Animated GIF files for those who want to experiment
This past Christmas, The Diocese of Central New York used the Acts 8 video to invite their neighbors to worship in the churches of the Diocese. You can read about their test and what they learned: How we invited 5,000 Central New Yorkers to Join Us for Christmas. In response to their idea to use a catchy graphic in a side by side test, we are offering a short, animated GIF file, which Facebook permits in its advertising. DO NOT upload the GIF file to Facebook as the image will default to a still frame. Instead, place the file online and point to that file when creating the Facebook ad. This option only works for those advertising on Facebook. Click here for more information: How to Post an Animated GIF on Facebook
Another Video Option in Nine Different Languages
We also still offer the 2016 Easter video which includes the voice of the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in the opening line and is available in nine of the languages in which our church worships: Your FREE Easter Invitation Video.
We wish you a most joyous Easter,
The Acts 8 Movement
A Note About Permissions
You may add your church name and service times without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage. Frank Logue created the animations using the website Animaker in keeping with their business license agreement so that there is no cost to any church. Earnest Graham drew the SuperHero Jesus character especially for this video. Adam Trambley wrote the script with his daughter, Julia, providing the English language voiceover. Sandra Montes recorded the Spanish language voiceover using her brother, Alex Montes-Vela’s Spanish language translation of the text. All of this is our gift to you.
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.
As Lent approaches, we shift into a more penitential gear, looking at the prayer of confession in Morning Prayer, Rite 1. We also fail to act like adults.
This week’s prayer (BCP page 41)
Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep,
we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,
we have offended against thy holy laws,
we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
spare thou those who confess their faults,
restore thou those who are penitent,
according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord;
and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
It’s a double-feature! We pray for courts of justice, for local government, and at long last, we meet George Albert Zabriskie, who achieved the hat trick in collects for the branches of government.
This week’s prayers (BCP p. 821 and 822)
For Courts of Justice
Almighty God, who sittest in the throne judging right: We humbly beseech thee to bless the courts of justice and the magistrates in all this land; and give unto them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth, and impartially administer the law in the fear of thee alone; through him who shall come to be our Judge, thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
For Local Government
Almighty God our heavenly Father, send down upon those who hold office in this State (Commonwealth, City, County, Town, ____________) the spirit of wisdom, charity, and justice; that with steadfast purpose they may faithfully serve in their offices to promote the well-being of all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
With Lent fast approaching, your friends at the Acts 8 Movement are offering two ways to promote this season of preparation. The video above can be used as is or those with the ability to edit the video may download a version with a longer ending suitable for adding your congregation’s name or logo and listing your website address. Use this video to advertise any special Lenten programs. We also still offer last year’s Ash Wednesday video for those who want a means to advertise that liturgy.
Click the link below to download the .mp4 video files so that you can customize or upload as is to your Facebook page or YouTube Channel. The files will be posted here:
We will also have the files at the Acts 8 Movement Facebook Page and you can simply share the video to your Facebook Group.
We wish you a most Holy Lent,
The Acts 8 Movement
A Note About Permissions
You may add your church name and service times without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage. Frank Logue created the animations using the website Animaker in keeping with their licensing agreements so that there is no cost to any church. Acts 8 created the script in English and Dr. Sandra Montes and the Rev. Alex Montes-Vela created the Spanish language version with Alex recording the voiceover. All of this is our gift to you.
Your friends at the Acts 8 Movement want to offer resources to assist your congregation in inviting your neighbors to join you for worship. This year, we are offering a Lenten video to encourage a Lenten Reboot. We are also offering the Episcopal Church the customizable video for congregations to promote their Ash Wednesday liturgies first created for 2016. You may post it as is, or you can download a high resolution video and with some basic video editing skills create a customized video for your congregation.
We also offer an Easter video to customize for free and we hope your posting the Ash Wednesday ad now will raise awareness in advance of the Easter video.
The files you need to create your own video are linked below each video. Simply Right Click the links to save the files.
Customize and Advertise
Want to customize this video and use it to create a Facebook ad? Let Nurya Love Parish show you how: Create your Facebook ad for Ash Wednesday. On her blog, she provides a tutorial for customizing the video using a Mac and a separate tutorial on placing a Facebook ad. She is also planning to survey churches who use the video on Facebook so we can learn more together.
There is no charge for using this video, it is simply our gift to you.
We wish you a most Holy Lent,
The Acts 8 Movement
A Note About Permissions
You may add your church name and service times without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage.
We created this video almost exclusively from original video recorded for this project. Every person shown signed a video release and we have made every effort to allow the people filmed to also see the video in advance of its going live. A purchased clip of the Jordan River is from videoblocks.com with background audio purchased from audioblocks.com and both are used royalty free within those agreements. We filmed the sunrise at Honey Creek Retreat Center in Waverly, Georgia. Adam Trambley wrote the script. The voices in this ad are Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale and Holli Powell in the English language version and the Rev. Alex Montes-Vela and his sister Sandra Montes in the Spanish language version. Frank Logue shot and edited the video. Everyone participating donated their time and work product to the project.
We give thanks to the congregations of St. Matthew’s and St. Paul the Apostle churches in Savannah, Georgia, and Canterbury Conference Center in Orviedo, Florida, where the video of imposing ashes were filmed. We apologize to those among the 19 persons filmed for the ad who were not in the final cut. You looked great, but some technical problems and the need to edit resulted in difficult choices.
America has been in a lot of turmoil before and after the presidential election. Many have questioned the role of the church in times such as these. So we post a simple question with undoubtedly complex answers:
“What does our society need to hear (and see) from the church right now?“
Anyone can participate in the BLOGFORCE! Responses and abstracts are due by 5PM Central Time on Monday, Feburary 20th and the roundup will be posted on the 21st.
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander
How do I participate in the BLOGFORCE?
Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:
1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:
2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org. This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Monday, February 20th . On Tuesday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links. At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.
The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.