St. Margaret’s Day
Friday, July 20, 2018
We invite you to join us at St. Margaret’s Chapel in Duxbury, MA for our annual celebration of St. Margaret’s Day on July 20th, 2018. Holy Eucharist will be at 11am with a reception to follow in the Convent. Our preacher this year will be the Rev. Dante Tavolaro, a Priest Associate currently serving as Curate at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Greenwich Rhode Island.
The offering collected at St. Margaret’s Day this year is designated for our ongoing efforts to recruit new Sisters and Associates. We are intensifying our vocations program here in Duxbury and will be offering an expanded series of Explore, Connect, Discover events for those interested to come, meet us, and experience our daily life.
As part of our effort to make the society more widely known, we will have a booth at The General Convention of the Episcopal Church to be held in Austin, Texas, in July. Our presence there gives us an unparalleled opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with old friends.
Our Sisters continue to lead days of prayer and retreats, preach, and make presentations at forums and other events at parishes and diocese throughout the Episcopal Church. We appreciate your financial and prayerful support as we work to ensure that the Society can continue a vigorous life of mission and service into the future.
Almighty God, from whom Margaret of Antioch gained courage to claim the name of Christian and to prefer your love to life itself: grant that we who cherish her blessed memory may share her pure and steadfast faith, and win with her the palm of victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A reading from Ecclesiasticus (2: 2-11)
Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of calamity. Cling to him and do not depart, so that your last days may be prosperous. Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient. For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation. Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him. You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not stray, or else you may fall. You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and your reward will not be lost. You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. Consider the generations of old and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed? Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken? Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected? For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of distress.
A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians (1:26-31).
Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Matthew 13: 44-52
‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’
The Prayers of the People
With all who have gone before us in faith, the angels and archangels, holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and all those who have borne witness to the gospel, we bring our prayers and thanksgivings to God saying, Lord hear our prayer.
Gracious God, we pray for the church: grant that all people who proclaim you as Lord do so with hearts full of love and souls filled with the grace of your Holy Spirit. We pray for Justin, the Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael our Presiding Bishop; Alan and Gayle, Bishops of this Diocese; Alan, the Bishop Visitor of this Society, and for this holy gathering, and the people of God in every place. Lord, hear our prayer.
Gracious God, we give thanks as we pray for the Society of St. Margaret: bless and guide the life and ministry of our Society and all religious orders. We pray for all the sisters and associates throughout the world, for all those who work with the sisters, for all guests and benefactors, neighbors and friends, and for our families, companions, and all those we love. Lord, hear our prayer.
Gracious God, we pray for the rulers of the nations: move them to set aside their fear. Inspire them to strive for justice and peace, so that all your children may be free. Lord, hear our prayer.
Gracious God, we pray for the poor and suffering of the world: hear the cries of the hungry and the homeless, the poor and the meek, and all those, near and far, who are persecuted, who suffer unjust imprisonment, who are without a homeland or who live in danger. Lord, hear our prayer.
Gracious God, we pray for the sick and the suffering: look with compassion on all who suffer illness and distress. Support them with your love and lead us to be healers to all we encounter. We remember….. Lord, hear our prayer.
Gracious God, we thank you today for St. Margaret of Antioch, and for our founder, John Mason Neale: as we celebrate their memory, we give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon the Society of St. Margaret. Lord, hear our prayer.
Gracious God, we pray for all those who have died (esp….) : we remember with thanksgiving those saints who bore witness to your light. Give us the grace to persevere in faith, mercy and love, and at the end of our lives to behold your glory. Lord, hear our prayer.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, for the triumph of Christ in the lives of your saints. Receive the prayers we offer this day and help us to run our course with faith that we may swiftly come to your eternal kingdom. Glory to you forever and ever. Amen.
Who was St. Margaret of Antioch?
St. Margaret was born in Antioch in Pisidia in Asia Minor. In one version of the legend, her father was a pagan priest during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian and her mother died soon after her birth. Margaret was brought up by her nurse, a devout woman, from whom she learned Christianity. Later, having embraced Christianity and having consecrated her virginity to God, she was disowned by her father and thrown out of his house.
One day the young and beautiful Margaret was espied by a lecherous Roman prefect named Olybius. Olybius, attracted by her great beauty, ordered his servants to kidnap Margaret. He soon learned that she was a Christian and was repelled. She wanted to convert him but he became angry and had her brought to public trial at Antioch. He asked her to renounce her Christian faith and return to pagan ways. But the holy virgin, though accustomed to wealth, comfort and kindly people, preferred to suffer the agony of the rack and death than to worship the gods of the empire and was imprisoned for refusing to return to her father’s pagan religion.
Her tormentors then attempted to burn her, but the flames, we are told, left her unhurt. They then bound her hand and foot and threw her into a cauldron of boiling water, but at her prayer her bonds were broken and she stood up uninjured. She was then returned to prison and there she prayed to God that her enemy be made visible to her. At this, Satan appeared in the form of a terrifying dragon and attempted to swallow her. She made the sign of the cross and the cross she was carrying grew enormously causing the beast to burst open. It is probably this part of the legend that has caused this virgin to be widely worshipped for many centuries as a special patron of expectant mothers.
Finally, she was beheaded, along with her many converts, by Emperor Diocletian. She was buried at Antioch, but her remains were taken later to Italy where they were divided between shrines in Montefiascone and Venice.
She prayed at her death that women in childbirth would, upon calling on her, be safely delivered of their child as she had been delivered from the belly of the dragon. She is also known as the patron saint of women, nurses, and peasants. She also intercedes for those who call on her from their deathbed.
She became one of the most popular saints in England in the 9th century when her life was first recorded in English. Some two hundred early churches were dedicated to her, even though her legend had been declared apocryphal by the Pope as early as 494. She was one of the saints who spoke to St. Joan of Arc, and she is included in a group of saints known as the Fourteen Holy Helpers, who are revered for their special ability to petition for people.
St. Margaret of Antioch was one of the most popular saints among the laity in medieval England, primarily because of her association with childbirth. St. Margaret is often represented in paintings as a shepherdess, or leading a chained dragon by her girdle, carrying a little cross in her hand, or standing against the large cauldron into which she was plunged. The Greek Church honors her under the name Marina on the 13th July; the Latin Church as Margaret on the 20th July.
From the website of St Margaret’s Church Queens Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire