Within the liturgy for each Lord’s day, we receive the Word of God through uniquely appointed readings, psalms, hymns, and prayers. This week we will pray the Office of Matins (audio of this liturgy.) The following guide will help you to prepare to hear and sing the Propers, i.e. the varied texts and hymns for this week.
Today we confess the Athanasian Creed. Early in the fourth century,
a newteaching appeared which claimed that Jesus was not true God. Arius, the north African priest who first proposed this theory, was extremely persuasive, and soon the controversy was so widespread that a church council was called to settle the matter. Out of that meeting in A.D. 325 came the Nicene Creed, which clearly confesses Jesus to be true God. That creed, which was expanded in A.D. 381 in order to defend the divinity of the Holy Spirit, is still widely used today as a confession of the triune faith.
Despite the clarity of the Nicene Creed, the controversy continued for some time. Toward the end of the fifth century, another creed was written that marveled at the mystery of the Trinity in a way that no creed had ever done. Though attributed to Athanasius, a fourth-century opponent of Arius, this anonymous creed clearly came at a later stage in the debate.
The Athanasian Creed proclaims that its teachings concerning the Holy Trinity and our Lord’s incarnation are the catholic faith. In other words, this is what the true church of all times and all places has confessed. More than 15 centuries later, the church continues to confess this truth, confident that the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has given himself for our salvation.
The Holy Trinity Reveals Himself to Sinners
When Isaiah beheld the glory of the Lord, he cried out “Woe is me!” For the sinner cannot stand in the presence of a holy God and live (Is. 6:1–7). But God the Father lifted up His Son Jesus for us on the cross, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. This eternal life of Christ is given us according to the Holy Spirit’s good pleasure in Baptism. “Unless one is born [again] of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). To sinners in fear of death, the messengers of God place on our lips the living body and blood of Christ and speak His words of absolution, “Your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Is. 6:7). Having received forgiveness and life from the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit, we join with the angels in praising the blessed Trinity, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” (Is. 6:3). “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:33–36).
Collect of the Day: Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Old Testament: Isaiah 6:1-7
Epistle: Rom. 11:33-36
Holy Gospel:John 3:1-15
|604||I bind unto myself today||St. Patrick’s Breastplate||Video||Hymn Study|
|498||Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest||Komm, Gott Schopfer||Video|
|507||Holy, holy, holy!||Nicaea||Video||Hymn Study|
|876||O blessed, holy Trinity||O heilige Dreifaltigkeit (Steht auf, ihr lieben Kinderlein)||Video|