Algoma Deanery Week of November 7, 2022

Welcome to a rainy Monday 🙂 (It’s raining where I am anyway). I am struck by the beauty of God’s creation as I look at blowing leaves and looming grey clouds. God is awesome!

Of interest, perhaps: In the entry below about Leo the Great, I mention that he was a defender of orthodoxy. Many people translate this as meaning “true faith” or “true beliefs” rather than its actual meaning of “true worship.”  Worship is incredibly important in forming us in our faith. There is an ancient principle in the Church: “lex orandi, et lex credendi” (“the law of prayer is the law of faith”). The words we pray express what we believe and our prayer shapes how we live out our beliefs. To put it another way: We pray what we believe, we believe what we pray, and through our prayer we become what we pray. So…poorly done worship services therefore, have little effect, no effect, and worse, often a negative effect on our formation and transformation into the likeness of Christ.  

Marking Remembrance Day: As Remembrance Day is nearly upon us, we note that this is a very important and solemn occasion that we should, indeed, mark with ceremony. You can check with your closest Legion Branch to find out the details of the ceremonies taking place on November 11.  What about in our churches? There are a couple of options. Churches could choose to have a Remembrance Day service on November 11 and then process to a war memorial, cenotaph, or graveyard for prayers of remembrance.   The other option is to observe Sunday, November 13 as Remembrance Sunday, using the Propers for All Souls’ Day and naming the parishioners who have died during the past year as well as those who died in the wars. These parishioners could be named during the Prayers of the People or during the Litany for the departed. The Church of England provides one here: The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (1/2 way down the page). If you have already had an All Souls’ Day worship service, you could stick to only naming those who died during wars on this Sunday.  Please note that Remembrance Sunday is not a Remembrance Day service – it is not meant to replace the cenotaph service or Legion Branch service that takes place on November 11.  Remembrance Sunday is the commemoration of the departed within the context of the usual Sunday Feast of our Lord. An Act of Remembrance may take place at the end of the service prior to the blessing and sending of the Church.  

For Your Devotions

Monday, November 7th is the commemoration of Willibrord, the Archbishop of Utrecht, Holland, and missionary who died in 738. We actually don’t know very much about Willibrord but, I find it amazing that way back then someone born in England could study in both France and Ireland when traveling must’ve been difficult, lengthy, and dangerous. Speaking of dangerous, Willibrord began his missionary work in Frisia in 690 and had to leave the region several times because of war. He died a natural death but other missionaries to the area weren’t so lucky (Boniface was martyred in 754).

Thursday, November 10th is the memorial of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, Teacher of the Faith who died in 461.  Leo was the bishop of Rome from 440-461 and is best known for two things. The first is that he was an ardent defender of orthodoxy (i.e. true worship). He wrote against the heresy which said Christ only had one nature because his human nature was completely absorbed into his divine nature. We believe that Christ was fully human and fully divine at the same time which is what Leo wrote in his famous “Tome” used at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 to condemn the heresy. Stemming from this is the second thing for which Leo is known. He vigorously supported “papal supremacy”.  Other bishops who supported this position had his tome declared as “the voice of Peter”.  This was one of the causes of the strain and eventual split between the churches of East and West. For more info:

Friday, November 11th is the memorial of Martin, Bishop of Tours, died 397. Martin, against his will, was a soldier in the Roman army. While a soldier and a catechumen (learning the faith in order to be baptized), legend says Martin tore his cloak in half in order to share with a beggar. Martin dreamed that night that it was Christ who was clothed in the half cloak given to the beggar and, when Martin awoke, his cloak had been restored to wholeness.  Martin petitioned the Roman emperor to leave the army saying that he was Christ’s soldier and not allowed to fight with weapons other than the word of God. He was charged with cowardice but offered to stand at the front of the battle line armed only with the sign of the cross. He was eventually allowed to leave the army. On Remembrance Day, as we remember all those who died or suffered harm during the conflicts of our world, I pray that humanity will embrace the way of God’s kingdom so that all swords will be beaten into plowshares and every spear be made into pruning shears (Is.2:4). More info on p.340

Saturday, November 12th is the commemoration of Charles Simeon, Church of England presbyter who died in 1836. “High Church” and “Evangelical” at the same time? Charles Simeon did it (and was criticized by people at both ends of the spectrum). He was educated at Cambridge and spent his entire ministry there as well. His influence is best summed up by this quotation from the Gregorian website:  The influence of Simeon and his friends was thus described by the historian William Edward Hartpole Lecky: “They gradually changed the whole spirit of the English Church. They infused into it a new fire and passion of devotion, kindled a spirit of fervent philanthropy, raised the standard of clerical duty, and completely altered the whole tone and tendency of the preaching of its ministers.” We need some of all of that these days for sure!  For more information…

In the hope of the risen Lord,


2 thoughts on “Algoma Deanery Week of November 7, 2022

  1. Hi Susan, Remembrance Sunday is always the Sunday before Remembrance Day. Never after. We must cease to wear our poppy after 11am on Remembrance Day. (According to legion regulations) Therefore no Remembrance services after the 11th. Hope this helps. Blessings, Claire

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi, Claire: Actually, that is not correct. Remembrance Sunday this year was November 13. If it is observed (which is not required by our calendar), the observance is held on the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day (whether it comes before or after the 11th), which is always the second Sunday of November. This is true not only in the Canadian Church (see McCausland’s Order of Service, for example), but also in the United Kingdom. If the first Sunday in November is not already All Saints’ Day, the only provision for observing anything other than the normal Propers and readings falling upon this first Sunday is the allowance for marking the Feast of All Saints (though as an addition to, not substitute for its observance on the actual day, November 1). There is no provision for holding Remembrance Sunday on this Sunday.

      Remembrance Sunday is not simply a Remembrance Day ceremony replacing, overshadowing, or taking precedence over the normal rites of the church; it is not a sacralization of what is at heart a civic observance. Any acts of remembrance are incorporated into what already is provided for by the liturgical rite, whether that be the Eucharist, an office such as Morning Prayer, or the Liturgy of the Word. Such acts of remembrance may include a petition or bidding in the Prayers of the People (including naming parishioners who died in wars), a procession to a war memorial or cemetery, and so on. The tone of the liturgy is more akin to that of All Souls’ Day than the civic observation of Remembrance Day. Preaching should in no way even hint of acquiescence to the notion that war or violence secure peace.

      When it comes to wearing the poppy after the 11th, I have found the Legion quite open to doing so within such a ceremony. Whether they are worn or not, however, has no bearing on our liturgical calendar. I note, too, that the poppy is never to be worn on the stole or chasuble, something I have seen some clergy do.

      Anyway, I was just catching up on some of my online reading when I saw this, and I felt it best to make sure folks are clear about the rhythm and observation of the church calendar in regard to a time of year that carries many memories and a load of emotional freight for so many of us.

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