Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Poor St. Thomas

Today is St. Thomas’ Day.  If you forgot that, it’s okay.  I suspect most years I forget also.  Thomas is surely used to the indignity by now anyway.

And placing his day right before Christmas is an invitation to forgetfulness.  What’s worse is the Book of Common Prayer collect.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who for the
more confirmation of the faith didst suffer
thy holy Apostle Thomas to be doubtful in thy
Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly, and
without all doubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus
Christ, that our faith in thy sight may never be
reproved. Hear us, 0 Lord, through the same
Jesus Christ, to whom, with thee and the Holy
Spirit, be all honour and glory, now and for
evermore. Amen.

Nothing about his martyrdom or steadfastness or any “good example” of his.  Just “help us not to be a doubter like ‘thy holy Apostle Thomas’ there . . . the doubter. We really don’t want to embarrass ourselves right in front of thee like he did.”

It’s interesting that Cranmer completely rewrote the collect for the Feast of St. Thomas.  The previous Sarum collect did not mention his doubt at all and even holds forth his faith as an example to follow.  It seems Cranmer had it in for him or was in a mood when he got to that part of the BCP.

Well, by now Thomas is probably a good sport about it all – and that is surely a good example to follow.

Have a good St. Thomas’ Day.

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