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Primus JACOB visits the Oxford Anglican Church

March 17,2013
All Saints at the Upper Room,
Oxford Anglican Church
East Ridge TN

A Call to Love

WE, JACOB, by the Grace of God Patriarch of the Nicene Church,

Presiding Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St Andrew, Nicene Church,

Temple Master of the Templarii Christus Rex,

To All the Faithful;

Greetings and Apostolic Benedictions. 

In recent days, the issue of Civil Rights versus “Right Living” has again risen to the forefront due to the political setting within the U.S., and the amount of anger and ungodly vitriol with which many have responded calls for a response.

My dearest children, let love and mercy ever be our response. How did Christ respond when the woman caught in the act of adultery? It was with of mercy and compassion that He told her that He did not condemn her. 

When He then told her, “Go and sin no more,” do we believe He spoke in the anger and fear that could be inferred by the way so many of us, His followers, treat those around us?  Does that seem more likely than Him speaking in the same love and mercy?

I urge all of us to renew our dedication to our Savior’s mandate to not only love God with our whole being, but to love each other as we love ourselves, and to treat each other as we want to be treated.

May God’s Healing Touch Bless and Keep Us, Everyone.

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen

++ JACOB

All Souls 2012

Primus Jacob, presiding Archbishop of the Nicene Church International and of the Holy Orthodox Catholic College and Temple Master of the  Templarii Christus Rex, to all the Faithful in Christ Jesus,

Greetings and Apostolic Blessings to you all.

This day has been set aside as a Feast Day to remember all those who have gone before.

As you remember your loved ones, I would like the opportunity to remember with you.  If you would like anyone remembered at Mass today, please comment below with their name.

I ask all priests to remember anyone listed here, or in any other way brought to your attention today.

May God Bless and Keep you,

++ JACOB

Priest’s Handbook

 

01.  WHAT IS A PRIEST?

A priest is one who has been called by God to offer sacrifice and to sanctify His people.

02.  CALLING TO THE PRIESTHOOD.

The steps to the priesthood are such that with care and attention, a man is prepared to fill this awesome responsibility.

03.  PREPARATIONS FOR THE PRIESTHOOD.

The first step is an inner calling to those things which pertain to God and ministry to His people.  When this happens, the one called will often look the other way, but God has touched his soul.  Those called will in due time enroll in seminary or a clergy formation course.  In the course of these instructions minor orders are conferred.  These help to spiritually prepare a man for the priesthood.

04.  MINOR ORDERS.

The minor orders are identified as tonsure, porter, lector, exorcist, acolyte, and sub-deacon.  When these minor orders are conferred the candidate receives specific commissions and accepts specific duties in the church.

Those that are conferred the minor order of tonsure, are commissioned to devote their lives to the service of God and to study their religion.

Those that are conferred the minor order of porter, are commissioned and instructed to keep their hearts clean and to open it to all the people of God.

Those that are conferred the minor order of lector, are commissioned and instructed to study the Scriptures and to read the Lessons and Psalms at Masses.

This minor order is specific and takes precedence over the lay lectors in the parish.

Those that receive the minor order of exorcist are commissioned and given authority to exorcise demons in the name of the Jesus, but only after having received a mandate from their ordinary in each individual case.

Those that are conferred the minor order of acolyte are commissioned to carry the candles in procession, to see to it that the candles on the altar are lit before Mass begins, and to assist the priest at the altar by presenting him the wine and water at the Preparation of the Gifts, by assisting him at the Lavabo, by ringing the bell, if one is used at the appropriate time, and to be a light bearer for the church.

He may also be assigned the duty of training altar persons, of assuring that there are parishioners who will bring the gifts forward at the Offertory, and assist the priest in the ablutions after Communion.

As a light bearer for the church he must live a true Christian life and be an example for all to follow.

Those that are conferred the minor order of sub-deacon receive many commissions and responsibilities.  Most of these are truly awesome for a lay person.  Some are intricately involved with the priesthood, and the Great Mystery of Faith.

Among his duties and responsibilities are the laying out of the vestments for the priest, the preparation of the chalice before it is brought to the altar, assisting the priest and other ministers in vesting of the Mass, and to lead the people of God by example.

The sub-deacon must also adopt a daily spiritual exercise or office.  This will be one of the accepted and authorized daily offices of the church.

He also participates at Mass and receive the Great Sacrament of Love daily.

05.  ECCLESIASTICAL DRESS FOR MINOR ORDERS.

When one is tonsured, one is then authorized to wear the alb and cincture, or the cassock, cincture, and surplice, but he is not authorized to wear the “collar”.  These vestments are only worn during the celebration of the Mass or other liturgical functions, they are never worn at any other time.

The same vestments are worn by all those having minor orders.  However, the sub-deacon may wear a small cross or crucifix over his vestments.  The cross should not exceed two and one half inches in length, have no gems, stones, or jewels.  It should be on a cord and not a chain. The Sub-deacon may also wear a clerical shirt with a white tab with a black stripe down the middle (called a broken collar).

06.  DEACON.

The order of deacon is the first of the three major orders.  This is the first ordination of the road to the priesthood.

This ordination is presided over by a bishop.  Unlike the minor orders which may be administered or conferred by a priest with a special license, only a bishop may ordain.

When the ordaining bishop presents the deacon with the Holy Bible, he commissions the deacon to the awesome responsibility to: “Believe what you read, preach what you believe, and live what you preach.”

With the approval of the pastor and ordinary, the deacon may be authorized to officiate at weddings, wake services, commitments services, memorial services, Eucharistic services, and baptisms.

The deacon is further charged to read the Gospel at Mass and (when assigned to by the pastor) to preach. 

The deacon must perform and pray the daily office and can not be excused from this responsibility except by the ordinary.

The deacon, as the word implies, is the servant of the church, serving both the hierarchy as well as the laity.

07.  ECCLESIASTICAL DRESS OF A DEACON

For the celebration of the Mass and at other ecclesiastical functions or services, the deacon is authorized to wear the amice, alb, cincture, deacon’s stole, and dalmatic, or the alb, cincture, and deacon’s stole, or cassock, cincture, surplice and deacon’s stole.

The Deacon is further authorized to wear the “collar” with the cassock and to wear the clergy shirt with the “collar.”

08.  TITLE AND APPELLATION OF A DEACON.

The deacon may be addressed as the Reverend Mister (Mrs.), or Reverend Deacon, or Father Deacon.  The is not entitled to use the word Reverend unless it is accompanied by the word Deacon or Mister (Mrs.).

09.  HIERARCHY.

The deacon is responsible to the pastor and the ordinary for everything that the deacon does.  The deacon may not administer any of the sacraments, or officiate at any service of the church without the expressed permission from the pastor.

10.  TRAINING.

Prior to ordination as a deacon, he/she will have completed a major portion of the Clergy Formation Course (as assigned within the Archdiocese) and will have received a letter from the Office of the Director of Vocations which will state that he/she is now ready to be ordained as a deacon.

The ordinary will verify that the candidate is fully qualified and knows how to officiate at the various church services for which he/she has been authorized.

11.  VESTMENTS REQUIRED.

The deacon will have as minimum the following vestments: alb, cincture, deacon’s stole.

He/she may also have the following optional vestments: amice, cassock, surplice, and dalmatic.

12.  MINISTRY.

A deacon that is not attached to a parish or ministry is expected to start a ministry and to officiate at prayer services and communion services within his/her ministry.

The deacon with intention of becoming a priest will obtain approval from the ordinary prior to starting his ministry.

This ministry is in preparation for the day that he is ordained a priest.

This ministry may be a private ministry with only a few members of his family and some friends participating or a public ministry such as a store front, chapel, or church ministry.

He will obtain consecrated communion elements from his priest or other source that his ordinary directs him to.  He will receive his holy oil from his ordinary.

No deacon may profit from the proceeds of a ministry, nor will he be compensated for his services.  All proceeds and offerings will be used for the ministry only.

13.  CHURCH SUPPORT.

All clergy are expected to support their ministry, the ministry of their ordinary, the archdiocese and the church.  They are expected to tithe.

The financial support that they provide to their ordinary, the archdiocese and the church may be deducted from their tithe.

This support should be in two categories, that is spiritual through the offering of prayers and sacrifice and financial through financial offerings.

Every clergyman should incorporate their ministry as a non-profit organization or in other means and manners as is specified by local laws.  They should also be registered as a tax free organization by the taxing agency in which it is operating.

Every ministry will maintain a set of financial books in which all receipts as well as expenditures will be registered.  All expenditures will be accompanied with a receipt.

14.  MINISTRY REGISTER.

Every ministry or parish will maintain a register in which all masses, services, administration of the sacraments, and ministry activities will be entered.

These entries will consist of date, time, location, presiding minister, type of service, (names of the principals in the case of baptism, marriage, confirmations, wake service, funeral service, memorial service, commitment service), and number of participants.

All ministers are encouraged to submit a monthly activity report to their archdiocese.

15.  CHURCH DOCUMENT REGISTRATION.

The Clergy Formation Centers (at least one CFC per Archdiocese, as directed by the Archbishop) are the main source of blank certificates for the church.  However, your Ordinary may also supply blank certificates if he so desires and has the means to do so.  Certificates for each of the Sacraments are available as well as a variety of other situations and notable occasions.  These certificates are supplied in sets of three, one original and two copies.  They are to be distributed as follows: original to the principal party, a copy for the ministry files and a copy for the Church Archives.

16.  THE SACRAMENTS.

RITES

We recognize that liturgical forms are changeable and that since the early church admitted a variety of liturgical traditions, such a variety is also possible today. Therefore, liturgical rites which are used according to local custom may be submitted to their Archdiocese for approval.
At all official church functions such as clergy weekend, retreats, Episcopal visitations, convocations, synods, et cetera, only the official rites of the church will be used.

BAPTISM

Baptism should be administered following the sermon during the Liturgy, but it can and may be administered at other times or places.

If it is administered during the Liturgy, then the vestments worn are the usual liturgical vestments.  If administered at any other time then the vestments worn will be alb, cincture, stole or cassock, cincture, surplice and stole. The liturgical colors for the administration of the sacrament are gold, or silver, or white.

A priest or authorized deacon will preside at the administration of this sacrament.

In the case where an emergency baptism was administered by a lay person, then the administration of this sacrament will be registered in the ministry register along with all pertinent facts being recorded, a copy of this entry will be made on the reverse side of the certificate before being forwarded to the Church Archives, through the archdiocese.

We do not subscribe to the common practice of conditional administration of this sacrament, unless of course, there are serious doubts as to whether the form and matter were satisfied.  By this we mean that, as the water was being poured over the head of the candidate, the person pouring the water said, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.”

If the parents insist that the child be conditionally baptized, then the formula is, “If you are not baptized, I now baptize you , in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.”  An individual can only be validly baptized once.

In the case of converts, if they have been baptized in their previous affiliation, then this baptism is considered valid unless there exists serious doubts as to the form and matter being satisfied.

CONFIRMATION.

Confirmation under normal circumstances is administered by the ordinary.  In the case that he is unable to preside because of excessive distance, or other reason, then he may authorize the priest to preside in his stead.

This sacrament is always administered following the sermon at a celebration of the Great Mystery of Faith.  It may not be administered at any other time.

Red is the proper liturgical color for the administration of this sacrament. Gold, silver, white or even the seasonal color may also be used.

Only holy oil which has been blessed by the ordinary, the archbishop, or the Primus will be used in the administration of this sacrament.

An individual can only be validly confirmed/chrismated once.

The administration of this sacrament will be recorded in the ministry register and on certificates approved by the church.

The administration of this sacrament by non-apostolic churches will not be considered as valid.

COMMUNION.

The elements for this sacrament will only be consecrated during the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass and at no other times.

The sacrament is whole and complete under either form; therefore, the administration of the cup is highly encouraged, but not mandated.

The priest may commission a deacon or a special Eucharistic minister to distribute this sacrament.

On presenting the Body of Christ to the communicants, the priest will use one of the following formulas to which the communicant will answer, Amen.

A.  This is the Body of Christ.

B.  This is the Body of Christ, the Bread of Salvation.

C.  May the Body of our Lord Jesus + Christ sustain your soul unto eternal life.

On presenting the chalice the priest will use one of the following formulas, to which the communicant will answer: Amen.

A.  This is the Blood of Christ.

B.  This is the Blood of Christ, the Chalice of Salvation.

C. This is the Blood of Christ, which was shed for you and for many.

A separate chalice may be used for the congregation, or non disposable communion cups may also be used, if the priest’s chalice is not used.

Use of individual communion cups is discouraged. In the case of individual communion cups, these will be rinsed in clear water, then this water will either be drunk by the priest or disposed of in a respectful manner, that is in a corner of the lawn or other area where it will not be trod upon.  Following this ablution the communion cups may be washed as per usual.

Both elements of this sacrament may be stored in reserve in an adequate container.  Wine will not be stored in a chalice or open container.

In the case where local laws prohibit the use of wine for any reason, then grape juice in which a drop of wine has been added may be used.  In this case the wine (grape juice) will not be kept in reserve.

For the administration of this sacrament outside the celebration of the Mass the vestments will be clergy shirt and stole.  The preferred liturgical color in this case will be gold or silver or white.

This sacrament may be received more than once daily, but only once at the celebration of one Mass.  This is not meant to include the consumption of the elements remaining after the distribution of communion.

The administration of this sacrament outside the Mass will be entered in the ministry register.

PENANCE.

There are three forms of the administration of this sacrament.  These are: general absolution, individual absolution following private confession, and individual absolution following auricular confession.

General absolution is generally administered during the Penitential Rite of the Great Sacrifice, and also before administering this sacrament outside the Mass.

Individual absolution is given under two specific circumstances.  The first is that the penitent has confessed his sins to God direct.  The priest will ask him if he is sorry for all the sins that he has confessed as well as all the sins of their life, and if they intend to amend their life with the help of God.  After receiving a positive reply the priest will ask them if they now want absolution, and upon receiving a positive reply the priest will absolve the penitent.

The second form of individual absolution is following an auricular confession to the priest direct.  After the auricular confession is completed the priest will ask the penitent if they is sorry for these sins as well as all sins of their life and if they intend to amend their life with the help of God, and if they now desire absolution.  Upon receiving a positive reply the priest will administer absolution.

In both cases of individual absolution, the priest will pray that the penitent makes a good confession.

Nothing that is heard or overheard in confession may be repeated at any time outside of the confessional and no action can ever be taken on anything that was said in the confessional at any time and under any circumstance.

Ecclesiastical vestments for the administration of the sacrament are clergy shirt and stole, or any other normal combination of vestments.

The preferred liturgical color for the administration of absolution outside the celebration of the Mass are gold, or silver or white.  The use of violet or other colors is discouraged.

The formulas for absolution as used by the church are:

A.  May the Almighty and most Merciful God grant you pardon, absolution, and full remission of all your sins, in the Name of the Father, Son +, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

B.  May God, the Father of Mercies, Who through the death and resurrection of his Son reconciled the world to Himself and poured forth the Holy Spirit for the remission of sins, grant you through the ministry of the Church, pardon and peace.  And I absolve you from all your sins in the Name of the Father, Son +, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

C.  I absolve you of all your sins in the Name of the Father, Son +, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

D.  By the power granted me, I absolve you from all your sins, in the name of the Father, Son +, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

E.  Our Lord Jesus + Christ, who offered Himself to be sacrificed for us to the Father, forgives you your sins by the grace of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

F.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, who offered Himself to be sacrificed for us to the Father, and who conferred power on his Church to forgive sins, + absolves you through my ministry by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and restores you to perfect peace with God.  Amen.

G.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given the power to His church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, and in his great mercy forgives you all your offenses; and by His authority committed unto me, I absolve you from all your sins: In the Name of the Father, the Son +, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Only a priest or bishop may hear confessions and/or administer absolution.

This sacrament must be administered in person and not by telephone or in any other manner.

The priest may suggest a prayer or a good work as a form of penance, this, however, is not required.

A priest cannot and may not grant absolution in those cases where he is involved in the sins of the penitent or he is a part of that sin, except in the case of a dire emergency.

ANOINTING OF THE SICK.

This sacrament is also known as extreme unction, unction, the last sacrament, among many other terms.  In this case we will refer to it as unction.

This sacrament is administered to the sick, the dying, the elderly, before surgery, and whenever there is an imminent danger of death.

This sacrament may only be administered by a priest or bishop.

Holy oil is required for the administration of the sacrament.  This oil is blessed by the ordinary on Holy (Maundy) Thursday, but may also be blessed by the priest in an emergency

This oil is scented so as to remind the receiver of the love and mercy of God, and also to impress upon the receiver that God is a loving Father.

This oil is scented olive oil only; no other type of oil may be used.

The formula for the priest to bless this oil is: Eternal Father, Your Son Jesus healed the sick when He was in this world, please hear our prayer and send the Holy Spirit upon this oil as we bless it in the name of the Father, the Son +, and the Holy Spirit, may all who are anointed with this holy oil be freed from pain and illness, and be made whole in body, soul and spirit.  Amen.

The individual is anointed on the forehead and may also be anointed on the palms of his/her hands as the formula is prayed.  If none of these is accessible then any other part of the body may be anointed.

The formulas of anointing are:

A.  Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in His love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.  May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.  Amen.

B.  I anoint you with this holy oil asking our heavenly Father to grant you the inward anointing of the Holy Spirit.  May He forgive you all your sins, release you from suffering, and restore you to wholeness and strength.  May you be delivered from all evil, preserved in all goodness, and may our Lord bring you to eternal life.  Amen.

C.  Through this holy anointing may your sins be forgiven, your health restored, and may you enjoy eternal life a t the end of your days, in the Name of the Father, the + Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Ecclesiastical dress for the administration of this sacrament is clergy shirt and stole.  The liturgical colors are gold or silver or white.

This sacrament may be administered to an unconscious individual.

MARRIAGE.

This sacrament is also known as matrimony (as well as many other terms).

A deacon can officiate at the administration of this sacrament after having received the proper authorization from his /her pastor or ordinary.

The normal minister of this sacrament is a priest or bishop.

This sacrament may be administered following the sermon at the Mass or as an individual ceremony.

This sacrament may be administered in a chapel, church, or such other place as the minister and the bride and groom agree on.

In the case where this sacrament is conferred during the celebration of the Holy Mysteries, then the vestments are the vestments used for that purpose.

If this is a separate ceremony then the vestments are alb, cincture and stole or the cassock, cincture, surplice and stole.  The liturgical colors are gold or silver or white.

The administration of this sacrament will be attested to by the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage, the original to the bride and groom, a copy for the ministry files, and a copy to the archdiocese for transmission to Central Archives.

If this is a con-celebrated ceremony then various parts may by said by each celebrant as they mutually agree.

Local laws will be complied with in the administration of this sacrament.

If the clergy is not licensed to officiate at a marriage ceremony by local laws, then he will bless the union following the civil ceremony.

This sacrament may only be enjoyed and received by two individuals of opposite sex, one being biologically male and the other biologically female.  The church will not bless the marriage or union of individuals of the same sex, nor the individuals who have had a sex change operation.

17.  CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES.

In the religious life, as everywhere else there are certain customs and courtesies that have been developed over time and which are now expected from individuals and groups.

When a cleric comes in contact with his ordinary or any other bishop of the church, he will kiss his pontifical ring, and address him as Your Grace (or Your Excellency for Archbishops).  When he comes in contact with a bishop of another communion, he will not kiss his pontifical ring, but will nevertheless still address him as Your Grace (or Your Excellency for Archbishops). 

When his ordinary comes for the annual Episcopal visitation, he will be greeted at the door by the pastor.  All books and areas of the ministry will be ready for the ordinary’s inspection.

The ministries as such are not under the jurisdiction of the ordinary, but rather under the jurisdiction of the officers and boards as stipulated in the corporation documents.

The files that pertain to the administration of the sacraments and the spiritual life of the ministry are under the direct jurisdiction of the ordinary, the same applies to the Ministry Registers.

All Masses or services that are celebrated during the annual Episcopal visitation will be presided over by the ordinary, unless he chooses to pontificate.

Whenever the ordinary visits a ministry, a throne will be prepared for him and the pastor will sit to the ordinary’s right.

These courtesies will be extended to the ordinary only and not to visiting bishops.

The archbishop of the archdiocese will be accorded the same honors as the ordinary.

At meals the ordinary will sit at the north end of the table, or the place of honor at the table as is the local custom.  The pastor will sit to his right.

The ordinary will be introduced as His Grace, Name, Bishop of the Diocese of…

The ordinary will be informed by the pastor of any bishop that visits the ministry including not only bishops of this church but bishops of other communions also.  These visitations will also be entered in the ministry register.

In all cases where a bishop participates in a con-celebration, the bishop will preside.  The presiding bishop (in the case of multiple bishops concelebrating) will be determined by their position in relationship with the ministry.  The order of precedence is: Primus, archbishop, ordinary, other archbishops, bishops.

The kissing of the pontifical ring is a sign of submission to an office and therefore this is restricted to bishops of this church.

In the case where the clergy visits his ordinary, he will report to him immediately upon arrival.  He will be alone for this initial contact; others that accompany him will be introduced to the ordinary upon invitation.

The same protocol will apply to a clergy that visits another bishop of the church.

When clergy meet, they initially address each other by their proper rank.  They may use more familiar terms if they are both of the same rank.  If they are not of the same rank, then, they may use more familiar names after having received permission of the higher ranking clergy to do so.

In all written correspondence, the forms of the address as listed in the first attachment will be used.

No cleric will address his ordinary or any other bishop by his first name without first having received permission.

All clerics will be invited to receive communion at the altar. They should not be administered the Great Sacrament of Love, but administer it to themselves.  This will be done before communion is administered to the faithful.  This shall apply to priest and bishops.

18.  DUTIES OF THE PRIEST.

The primary responsibility and duty of the priest is to offer the Eternal Sacrifice of God unto God, for the greater praise and glory of God, for the sanctification of the people of God, and for their needs and intentions.  The other primary duty and responsibility of the priest is to sanctify the people of God.  This is done through the administration of the sacraments.

19. THE ALTAR

The Mass will be celebrated on an altar.  The altar may be free standing or facing the wall.  In the case of private home Masses, or Masses that are celebrated outside of the church, chapel, oratory or ministry, then a table or raised platform may be used.

All altars will have a relic which will be covered by the altar cloth or a corporal during the celebration of the Great Mystery of Faith.

The altar will have a cross or crucifix on it, or behind it, or next to it, which will be visible to all participants.

There will be two candles on the altar, or flanking the altar, or in the front of the altar.

The altar will be of such a size that it can easily accommodate the corporal and the sacred vessels as well as the ritual.

The altar cloth, and the corporal will be white in color, or of the same color as the Mass vestments.

Unless a special dispensation is given, the Mass vestments will consist of alb, cincture, stole and chasuble.  The amice and maniple are optional vestments.

In the case where a cleric does not have a complete set of vestments of the four basic liturgical colors (white, green, red, and violet) then he may use a white chasuble with a stole of the proper liturgical color over it.

20.  ECUMENICAL FUNCTIONS.

Clerics are often invited to participate in various ecumenical functions.  Wherever it is possible, these invitations should be accepted, for it is through functions of this type that the unity of the church is expressed and manifested for all to see.

It is at such functions as these, that the things that we have in common become evident for all to see.

The usual dress for these functions, unless determined otherwise by the host, is the alb, cincture, and stole or cassock, cincture, surplice and stole.

At this type of function, all clergy will be addressed by the proper titles.

All participations in any ecumenical function will be entered in the ministry register.

21.  CLERGY DRESS.

All clergy are encouraged to wear a clergy shirt and collar at all times, except when it is inappropriate while working at their civil employment.

Experience has shown that this practice presents many opportunities to minister to the people of God, which otherwise might be lost.

The cassock may also be used as street wear.

22.  CONCELEBRATION.

The priest presides at all Masses, services and administration of the sacraments in his ministry.  At times visiting clergy are invited to concelebrate, and this is truly commendable for it is a public display of the unity of Christian unity.

Clergy from non-apostolic churches may be invited to read the first or second readings or the responsorial psalm.

The clergy of this church may officiate at the services of other apostolic church upon invitation, and the clergy of other apostolic church may officiate at our services upon request.

23.  PERPETUAL ADORATION.

The Blessed Sacrament may be perpetually exposed behind the altar, or in any other prominent place in the church, chapel, or oratory.

It will not be removed or covered during the celebration of the Mass or any other service.

In these ministries where the Blessed Sacrament is perpetually exposed, the bow of veneration that is generally made to the altar or the cross/crucifix will be omitted and this honor will be extended to the Blessed Sacrament only.

24.  FACULTIES.

Faculties are a license from the ordinary, to a priest or deacon, to administer and officiate at the administration of the sacraments in his stead.

The fullness of the priesthood is possessed by the bishop and shared with his clergy, therefore, the clergy acts in the stead of the bishop when he administers the sacraments or celebrate the Eternal Sacrifice of the Altar.

Temporary faculties are those that are issued for a definite period of time, not to exceed ninety days.  Permanent faculties (as the term implies) are issued on a permanent basis and are effective for as long as the clergy is in good standing with the church and remains under the authority of his ordinary.

A Letter of Faculties will be issued whenever a clergy is incardinated, and he will surrender this to his ordinary upon excardination.

The ordinary that issues the Letter of Faculties may recall it for good cause.  In the case where faculties are recalled then the original letter of Faculties will be returned by the clergy to the ordinary.

Faculties will not be withdrawn except for the most serious offense against the faith.

A Letter of Faculties is not a license to administer the sacrament of confirmation.  A special letter from the ordinary authorizing this is required.

Without faculties a priest may not administer any of the sacraments except for baptism.

The ordinary may withhold the administration of any of the sacraments on the Letter of Faculties.

25.  REAL ESTATE AND PROPERTY.

The church is the Body of Christ and consists of all who ever were and are baptized, it is a spiritual entity, and therefore will not and may not own any real estate or property.  These will be owned and managed by the ministry (i.e., the congregation) as specified in the corporate charter, laws and by-laws, complying with all local civil laws.

The ministry therefore is the owner of all real estate and property, and not the church or any of the hierarchy or office of the church.

26.  COLLECTIONS.

Unless otherwise stipulated in the corporation documents, and if not in defiance or against local laws, collections may be taken at all functions, activities, or services of the ministry.

Care will be taken so that those who can not afford to contribute will not be shamed, abased, or otherwise identified as non contributors.

27.  FUND RAISERS.

All fund raisers will be in compliance with local civil law.

No fund or money will be raised through any activity that is linked or associated with the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs.

No funds will be raised through immoral activities.

28.  STIPENDS.

The practice of stipends, stole fees, etc., will not be tolerated in the church or any of its ministries.

A clergy may ask to be reimbursed for his personal out of pocket expenses in the administration of the sacrament.

We do not and will not charge to administer any of the sacraments.

There is and never will be any charges for the celebration of the Great Sacrifice for any special occasion or for the intentions of any individual.  Free will, unsolicited offerings may be accepted.

29.  FUNERALS.

There comes a time when all of us must travel from this life into the next.  This is often very traumatic to those who are left behind, and the church through its ministry must comfort the mourners and give them hope.  It is also responsible to pray for the soul of the departed.

This is done in three different stages.  These stages are identified as the vigil or wake service, the funeral or memorial service, and the final commitment or burial service.

The ecclesiastical dress for the wake and commitment service is clergy shirt and stole, and for the funeral it is white Mass vestments, while for a memorial service it may be clergy shirt and stole, or alb, cincture, and stole, or cassock, cincture, surplice and stole.  In all cases it is a white stole that is used except for these areas that still use violet or black stoles, but the white stole is preferred.

These are brief, low-key, services.  The sermon in all these cases must be encouraging and full of hope, with great care that the wishes of the family are executed.

In many communities it is traditional for some family members or friends to eulogize the dead during the funeral or memorial service.  This custom should not be discouraged.

In the case when the deceased has been cremated, the service will be the same except that the funeral pall will be replaced with a chalice veil.

If the deceased was never baptized, then a funeral Mass will not be celebrated, and will be replaced with a memorial service.  A Mass for the comfort of the mourners may be celebrated.

Normally, if there is a memorial service, then there is no wake service.  If this is the case, then it is permissible to adapt the wake service to a memorial service.  In this case the sermon generally follows the Gospel reading.

If a flag is used to cover the casket, then a funeral pall is not used.

If the deceased belonged to various groups or organizations which have their own funeral service, then the service will take place either before or after the funeral service of the church.

In the case where the deceased is a Christian, and only a memorial service is desired, a private Mass will be celebrated for the repose of his soul and the comfort of the mourners, by the priest either before or after the memorial service.

Absolutely no sacraments will be administered to a cadaver; all of the sacraments are for the living and not for the dead.

30.  BLESSINGS.

A priest is often asked to bless various individuals, places, and things in.  Whenever possible the priest should try to satisfy these requests.

Only a priest or bishop may bless.

Some suggested formulas for blessing are:

PEOPLE:

A.  May Almighty God bless you, the Father, + Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

B.  May Almighty God bless and protect you, in the Name of the Father, + Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

C.  I bless you in the Name of the Father, + Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

PLACES:

A.  Almighty God, we ask you to bless this…, which we bless in the Name of the Father, + Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

B.  Almighty God, we ask you to bless this…, which we bless and consecrate to your holy service, in the Name of the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

THINGS:

A.  I bless this…, in the Name of the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

B.  May God Almighty bless this…, which we dedicate to his service, in the Name of the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

31.  DAILY OFFICE AND DEVOTION.

A cleric is one who has dedicated his life to God and the church, and this should be reflected in his daily prayer (spiritual) life.

All of these in minor orders are encouraged to pray a daily office and to receive communion, as well as to participate in the Sacrifice of the Mass every day.

If there are no ministries in his area, then the individual who confers minor orders on him will provide him with an adequate supply of pre-consecrated elements, or will lead him to a ministry of a foreign apostolic church who will be able to provide him with his spiritual needs.

Those who have attained the order of sub-deacon, deacon, priest and bishop, are obligated to pray a daily office.  They should also participate in the daily celebration of the Mass and receive communion every day.  In the case were daily participation at Mass is not possible, then they will receive communion on a daily basis.  In the case of sub-deacons and deacons, their ordinary will provide them with an adequate supply of pre-consecrated elements if these are not available to them.

Among the most common daily offices we find, the Psalter, Office of the Hours, Book of Christian Prayer, and the Breviary.

All of the offices for the whole day may be prayed at the same time.

All priests and bishops are mandated to celebrate the Great Mystery of Faith on Sundays and the Great Feast Days of the Church.  The Great Feast Days are Christmas, Holy (Maundy) Thursday, and the Ascension.

32.  MASSES.

Except under very unusual circumstances, full Mass vestments will be worn for the celebration of this rite.  Full mass vestments are identified as amice (optional), alb, cincture, maniple (optional), stole and chasuble.

Unusual circumstances are outside Masses, private masses, and Masses in the case of a local emergency which takes place outside of the ministry.

For Masses that are celebrated outdoors in very cold climates or in adverse conditions, the priest may use an alb, cincture and stole only.

The celebration of the Mass when there is no congregation present is authorized, for we must never forget that all the angels and saints participate in every Great Sacrifice of God unto God.

33.  COMMUNION SERVICE.

Communion services are those services at which a deacon officiates.

Only pre-consecrated elements are used for these services.  The use of pre-consecrated wine is encouraged but not mandated.  The use of pre-consecrated hosts is mandated.

When there is an inadequate amount of pre-consecrated hosts available, then the available supply can be broken in order that all participants may receive.

The normal order of service in this case is a short penitential rite without an absolution, reading of the daily readings, the Lord’s Prayer, distribution of communion followed by a post communion prayer.

Hymns may be sung if this is the local custom.

With the permission of the ordinary, an individual in minor orders may officiate at a communion service.

In the case where communion is delivered by a priest to hospitals and nursing homes, then general absolution will be administered before distribution.

The normal ecclesiastical dress for a deacon officiating at a communion service is alb, cincture, deacon’s stole, or cassock, cincture, surplice and deacon’s stole.

In the case of a cleric delivering communion, the ecclesiastical dress is clergy shirt and stole, unless local customs dictate otherwise.

The same dress (except that a deacon’s stole is used) applies to deacons that deliver communion to hospitals and nursing homes.

In the case of one who is in minor orders that performs this duty, he will wear clean and presentable street clothes.

34.  PRAYER SERVICE.

As the term implies, this is limited to prayer and as such the Great Sacrament of Love is not distributed.

A prayer service generally consists of the Daily Readings and prayer.

Such services may be presided over by these in minor orders in the preparation and building up of a ministry.

If any vestments are worn at a prayer services, they will be limited to alb, and cincture, or cassock, cincture and surplice.

35.  VESTMENTS.

The priest is authorized to wear many vestments.  Among these we find:

CASSOCK.  The cassock may be black or white.  There are many styles of black cassock that may be worn, but the white cassock is the Roman style, with button all the way down the front.  This cassock can also be gray in color.  A sash is always worn with cassock.  This is an optional vestment.

SHOULDER CAPE.  This is a short shoulder length cape that is secured at the neck, and of the same color as the cassock.  This is an optional vestment.

STREET WEAR.  The priest may wear the cassock and sash as street wear if this is the normal custom in his area, otherwise a clergy shirt with the “collar” is worn.

BIRETTA.  The biretta is a square hat with three or four flat ridges.  It is never worn during any service, but may be used at the entrance.  It may also be used as street wear with the cassock.  The biretta will be of the same color as the cassock.  This is an optional vestment.

CROSS.  A priest may wear a cross or crucifix of his choice, but it must not exceed three inches in length and must not be adorned with any stones or gems.

SURPLICE.  A surplice is a short alb, generally going down to the knee level.  It is always worn over a cassock.  It is always white but it may be laced.  It may also have an embroidered design or trim of any liturgical color.  The surplice may be worn when assisting another priest with communion, delivering the sermon at a mass that he does not officiate, for various blessings, ecumenical services, prayer or communion services, baptisms and marriages without a mass, benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, grave side services, and other ecclesiastical functions.  It is not used as street wear.  This is an optional vestment that can be replaced by the alb.

COTTA.  A cotta is a European style surplice which is longer and roomier than the American style.  This is an optional vestment.

ALB.  The alb is a long, white, tunic type vestment, of various designs, which cover from the neck to the ankles.  It is worn for the celebration of the Mass and other ecclesiastical functions.  The cincture is always worn with the alb.  This is a mandated vestment.

AMICE.  This is a rectangular cloth type vestment, which is secured by two ribbons or cloth strips that wraps around the shoulders and joins together at the waist to secure it in place.  This is an optional vestment.

STOLE; A stole is a long ribbon like vestment that is worn around the neck and drapes in the front of the wearer.  This vestment may be decorated with crosses or other religious symbols.  This is a mandated vestment and each cleric will have one of each of the four liturgical colors.  These are white, green, red, and violet.  This vestment is worn over the alb, or surplice, or clergy shirt.

MANIPLE.  A short, stole like vestment, of the same color as the chasuble, that is worn over the left forearm.  This is an optional vestment.

CHASUBLE.  A scapular type vestment that is worn over the alb during the celebration of the mass.  This vestment is of the liturgical color of the day.  If a clergy does not have one of each of the liturgical colors, then he will wear a white one with a proper liturgical colored stole over it.  This is a mandated vestment.

COPE.  A full length, cape like vestment that is secured at the neck.  This vestment can be used by bishops when they pontificate and by clerics when they celebrate the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  This vestment will be of the appropriate liturgical color.  This is an optional vestment.

HUMERAL VEIL.  This is a long, wide, band like vestment that is draped around the shoulders and which reaches to the full extent of the arms and hands.  It generally has packets at the ends for the hands.  This is only used to hold the monstrance during the Benediction.  It is of the same color as the cope.  This is an optional vestment.

36.  ECCLESIASTICAL APPOINTMENTS.

Ecclesiastical appointment are the sacred vessels as well as these items which are used on the altar and in the place of worship of a ministry for the celebration of the Mass and other services of the church.

CROSS OR CRUCIFIX.  These are used on the altar, or behind the altar, or alongside of the altar, or other places where it will be visible to all the faithful during the celebration of the Great Mystery of Faith or other services. At least one of these per ministry is mandated.

CANDLESTICKS.  There are three type of candlesticks.  These are the altar candlesticks which are on the altar, or in front of the altar, or flanking the altar, during the celebration of the Divine Mystery and other church services.  Two of these are mandated for every ministry.

The second type is the floor type, which may also be used as altar candlesticks.  This is an optional item.

The third type is the type that is used in processions, that is the entrance and recessional of the Mass or other church services.  This is an optional item.

All candlesticks will be made of a solid, fire proof material.

CANDLE FOLLOWERS.  These are glass or metal caps with a hole in them through which the candle wick is placed.  These are used to give a more even flame and to prevent wax dripping.  These are optional.

PROCESSIONAL CROSS.  This is a cross or crucifix that is on a long rod or pole which is used during the processions.  This is an optional item.

BOBECHE.  These are glass or metal discs through which the base of the candles is inserted.  They catch any wax dripping from the candles.  This is an optional item.

CENSER.  This is a container which holds the charcoal and burning incense which s used by some clerics during various church services.  This is an optional item.

BOAT AND SPOON.  This is a container to hold the incense before it is placed on the charcoal to burn.  The spoon is the vessel with which the incense is transferred.  This is an optional item.

MONSTRANCE.  A decorative container that is made to display the Great Sacrament to the faithful.  A consecrated host is placed in the center.  This is an optional item.

HOLY WATER POT AND SPRINKLER.  This is a container in which holy water is placed, it is dispensed with a sprinkler.  This is an option item.

PYX.  A small container to transport hosts (communion) to the hospital, nursing homes, the elderly, the shut ins, etc…  This container is generally made of metal.  Hosts can also be stored in this container.  This is a mandated item.

CHALICE.  A container that is used during the Mass in which the wine is consecrated.  These my be made of metal, china, porcelain, crystal, glass or other solid substances.  Plastic, Styrofoam, paper, cardboard, and other temporary substances will not be used.  As this container eventually holds the blood of Christ, then this must be reflected in its construction.  This container is not used to store the consecrated elements.  This is a mandated item.

PATEN.  A disc like plate or container on which the host is places during the Mass.  This item generally matches the chalice.  This is a mandated item.

CRUETS.  Two bottle like containers or dispensers, in which water and wine is stored prior to use.  There are generally made of glass or metal.  These are mandated items.

LAVABO BOWL.  A small bowl that is used by the priest in the ceremonial washing of the hands or fingers.  This is a mandated item.

CIBORIUM.  A covered container that is used to store the consecrated host for future use after the Mass.  This container must be made of a permanent material and style that is suitable to hold the Body of Christ.  This is an optional item.

BAPTISMAL BOWL.  A bowl or basin in which the water that is poured on the head of the baptized flows into.  This is an optional item but mandated for Baptism.

BAPTISMAL SHELL.  An open container that is used to pour the water over the head of the candidate during baptism.  This is an optional item but mandated for Baptism.

STOCK.  A covered container in which holy oils are stored.  A different stock is required for each holy oil.  These are chrism, oil of the sick, and oil of catechumens.  This is a mandated item for the ministry.

37.  ECCLESIASTICAL LINENS.

ALTAR CLOTH.  A white cloth that covers the top surface of the altar.  This cloth may also be of the same liturgical color as the vestments.  This is a mandated item for each ministry.

PURIFICATOR.  A white rectangular cloth that is used to wipe the chalice after Communion.  It of a smaller version can also be used to wipe the lip of the chalice after every communicant.  This is mandated item.

FINGER TOWEL or LAVABO TOWEL.  A white rectangular cloth that is used to wipe the hands or ringers of the celebrant after the ceremonial washing of these.  This is a mandated item.

CORPORAL A square or rectangular cloth that is laid under the chalice and paten, and over the altar cloth during the celebration of the Mass.  This item may also be of the liturgical color of the day.  This is a mandated item.

CHALICE VEIL.  A square cloth material of the same color and materials the vestments, it is used to cover the chalice when not in use.  This is an optional item.

PALL.  A square white cloth pocket with a rigid insert that is used to cover the chalice.  This is an optional item.

BURSE.  A square pocket like container in which the corporal is stored when not in use.  It is of the same colors as the vestments.  This is an optional item.

BAPTISMAL TOWEL.  A cloth or towel that is used to wipe the head of the newly baptized during the baptismal rite.  A finger towel or purificator may be used.  This is an optional item but mandated for baptism.

BAPTISMAL GARMENT.  A cloth garment that is used during the administration of the sacrament of baptism.  This is an optional item but mandated for baptism.  Some areas use a special cape for this purpose.

38.  LIBRARY.  All clergy will have a library of church publications.  This should include at least one copy of all church publications.

Every ministry should subscribe to at least one issue of the Sunday propers which are distributed by the Clergy Formation Center.

Every ministry should have the current as well as past copies of From the Mountain, the official newsletter of the church in its library.

39.  THE PRIEST.

The priest is the servant of the people of God and of the bishop.

The priest is directly under the jurisdiction of a bishop, which is called his ordinary.

The priest by definition in both the Old and New Testament is one who serves God in the name of the people and for the people and who offers sacrifices on behalf of the people of God…

The priest is the direct extension of the ministry of the bishop.

The priest generally the administrative contact between the laity and the hierarchy of the church.

A priest may have other priests or deacons under his jurisdiction if this is the desire of his ordinary.  (Example pastor, curate)

All priests will have a ministry, be it public or private.

A public ministry is identified as one that has a public place of worship, and a private ministry is identified as a home ministry.

The priest must be in possession of a Letter of Faculties from his ordinary before administering any of the sacraments, except in the case of a dire emergency.

A Letter of Faculties is generally given upon ordination or incardination.

A priest with a Letter of Faculties from his ordinary may administer all of the sacraments of the church with the exception of holy orders and confirmation, unless otherwise stated in his Letter of Faculties.

A priest or deacon may only be incardinated by a bishop in accordance with the procedures established by the Guidelines.

40.  ORDINATION OF A PRIEST.

A priest must be ordained by a bishop who possesses valid lines of apostolic succession.

All priests for this church will be ordained by our bishops, except in the most unusual circumstances when a foreign bishop is licensed to do so.

As a rule of thumb, the priest is ordained by his own ordinary, but under some circumstances may be ordained by another bishop with a special license from his ordinary.

The ordination of a priest generally takes place at the ordinary’s church or chapel or that of the new priest’s.  At times a church or chapel can be rented for this purpose.

The newly ordained priest will concelebrate at the ordination mass with his ordinary.  This is a sign of the unity of the church as well as submission to his ordinary.

All apostolic clergy present at the ordination will be invited to lay hands on the head of the newly ordained during the ordination ceremony.

Only the approved Ordination Rite of the church will be used for the ordination of a priest.

41.  ECCLESIASTICAL DRESS OF A PRIEST.

The normal street wear for a priest is a clergy shirt, or a cassock and cincture may be used.

The basic dress for the celebration of the mass for a priest is: amice (optional), alb, cincture, stole, maniple (optional), and chasuble.

The basic dress for other services is: amice (optional), alb, cincture, and stole or cassock, cincture, surplice, or cotta and stole.

42.  TITLE AND APPELLATION OF A PRIEST.

The priest is addressed as Reverend, The Reverend Father, Father, Reverend Father, or Padre.

43.  HIERARCHY.

The priest is responsible to his pastor or his ordinary for everything that he does in ministry and the administration of the sacraments.  His ordinary is responsible to his archbishop, who is responsible to the Primus, who is responsible to God and the people of God.

44.  TRAINING.

Prior to ordination, the candidate for the priesthood, must probe or demonstrate to his ordinary that he knows how to preside at mass and to administer all the sacraments of the church with the exception of holy orders and confirmation.

His scholarly training must be approved and certified by one of the Clergy Formation Centers as well as his ordinary.

45.  SEALS, CRESTS and LOGOS.

For the sake of clarity, the word seals in this section are intended to mean and represent no only legal seals but also crests and logos.

These seals are generally used on letter heads, envelopes, certificates, publications, legal documents, signs, etc.

A ministry may have a seal which it may use according to the terms of the incorporation documents, and in accordance with local laws.

A priest may have his own personal seal which only he can use.

A bishop will have his own personal seal which only he can use.

A diocese may have its own diocesan seal which will be used exclusively by the ordinary or other individuals authorized by him.

An archbishop will have his own personal seal which only he may use.

An archdiocese my have its own seal which only the archbishop or individuals authorized by him may use.

The church will have its own crest which only the Primus or individuals authorized by him may use.

No ministry or individual will use any seal except its or his own.

46.  INTER-COMMUNION SERVICES.

When a priest is asked to serve a ministry of another apostolic church, or when he is hired to serve one, he may at the request of the proper authority of that church or ministry, use their rites without seeking permission from his ordinary.

This often happens when a priest is sick or incapacitated or in the absence of a priest.

47.  IDENTIFICATION.

Ministries, chapel, churches, etc., may be identified by their proper designation such as St. John Ministry, St. John Chapel, St. John Church.  They may also incorporate the church name in their designations such as St. Mary Nicene Church , or St. Mary Nicene Chapel, or St. Mary Nicene Ministry.

Ministries may not use such terms as: “A ministry, chapel, church, etc., of the Nicene Church“.

Dioceses and archdioceses will use the name of the church such as, Nicene Church Nigeria, and Nicene Church Africa.

48.  FEMALE CLERGY.

The Nicene Church does not ordain female clergy to the priesthood, and it does not participate in these ordinations.

We do not accept female priests among our ranks nor do we incardinate them.

FORMS OF ADDRESS

Primus
(letter) The Most Reverend (Name), Your Beatitude,
Your Excellency;….Asking your Excellency’s blessing, I am, Yours, Respectfully, (Name)
(Introduction) His Excellency, Primus (Name)
(Conversation) Your Excellency.

ARCHBISHOP
(Letter) The Most Reverend (Name)…Asking your Excellency’s (Grace) blessing, I am, Yours Respectfully, (Name)
(Introduction) His Excellency (Grace), the Most Reverend (Name), Archbishop  of (Jurisdiction).
(Conversation) Your Excellency or Your Grace.

BISHOP
(Letter) The Right  Reverend (Name)…Asking your Grace’s  blessing, I am, Yours Respectfully, (Name)
(Introduction) His Grace, the Right  Reverend (Name), Bishop of (Jurisdiction).
(Conversation) Your Grace.


MONSIGNOR
(Letter) The Very Reverend (Name) or Monsignor (Name)… I am, Yours Respectfully, (Name)
(Introduction) The Very Reverend of Monsignor (Name).
(Conversation) Monsignor.

CANON
(Letter) The Very Reverend (Name) or Canon (Name)… I am, Yours Respectfully, (Name)
(Introduction) The Very Reverend of Canon (Name).
(Conversation) Canon


PRIEST
(Letter) The Reverend, or Reverend, or Reverend Father (Name)… Respectfully Yours, (Name).
(Introduction) The Reverend Father, or Father (Name).
(Conversation) Father.

DEACON
(Letter) Reverend Mister or Father Deacon (Name)
(Reverend Sir or Reverend Deacon (Name)…Respectfully Yours, (Name)
(Introduction) The Reverend Deacon (Name).
(Conversation) Sir.


MINOR ORDERS
(Letter) Brother (Name).
Dear Brother (Name)…Sincerely Yours, (Name).
(Introduction) Brother (Name)
(Conversation) Brother or Sir.

 

About Us

The Council of Nicea was a gathering of bishops from throughout the church that came together for the greater praise and glory of God and to proclaim the beliefs of God’s one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

We of the Nicene Church hold to the Nicene Creed in its original form (without the filioque clause inserted at the Council of Toledo, 589 A.D.), and we hold full affirmation of the catholic orthodox Faith of the Apostles and Church Fathers, the seven Ecumenical Councils.

We believe in all seven Sacraments:

BAPTISM – Through which one receives spiritual life and becomes a member of the living Body of Christ, the Church. [Mt 28:19-20 Mk 16:15-16]

COMMUNION also called EUCHARIST – Through which one receives the actua Body and Blood of our Savior in a tangible form. [Mat 26:26-28 Mk 14:22-25 Lk 22:19-20 Jn 6:15 1 Cor 10:16, and 11:27]

PENANCE sometimes called CONFESSION – Through which one receives absolution (forgiveness) of sins[Jn 20:22-23 Mat 6:14-15 Mk 14:22-25 Lk[Jn 20:22-23 Mat 6:14-15 Mk 14:22-25 Lk 22:19-20]

CONFIRMATION also called CHRISMATION – Through which one receives the Holy Spirit in a very specia manner as well as the gifts and fruits of manner as well as the gifts and fruits of the Spirit

MATRIMONY also called MARRIAGE – Through which a couple (a man and a woman) receive graces to live together as husband and wife and through which this union is blessed. [Mt 19:6 cf. Gen 2:24

ANOINTING OF THE SICK also called UNCTION – It is through this sacrament that one is often healed and also through this sacrament that one is prepared to this sacrament that one is prepared to meet his Lord. [Mk 16:17-18 Mt 10:8 Jas 5:14-15] meet his Lord. [Mk 16:17-18 Mt 10:8 Jas meet his Lord. [Mk 16:17-18 Mt 10:8 Jas 5:14-15]

ORDERS also called ORDINATION – This s the sacrament through which deacons priests and bishops are ordained. It is priests and bishops are ordained. It is through this sacrament that Apostolic Succession* is maintained in the Church

*Apostolic Succession means that our bishops can all trace their lines of Consecration back to the Apostles.

We reject the heresies of the Reformation, including: Calvinism, anti- sacramentalism, iconoclasm and Gnosticism.

We believe in and maintain a male Presbyterate and Episcopacy

When Jesus left this earth He did not leave us without direction, rather He left us with a mission. A mission that we cannot help but strive to accomplish; to do less would be to deny Christ. What was the mission He left us with?

Matthew 28: 18 – 20 (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

So He wants us to not just go around baptizing the nations, but to disciple them, teaching them to observe all things He commanded us to do. What were these commandments?

Matthew 22:37 (NKJV)
37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Mark 12:29-31 (NKJV)
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’[a] This is the first commandment.[b] 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no other commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34(NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 17:20-21 (NKJV)
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

So we know we must love God and our neighbor, but what else must we do?

Luke 21:36 (NKJV)
36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

So as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing,”. Is there anything else?

John 6:51-53 (NKJV)

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.

Mark 14:22-24 (NKJV)

22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.

Did Jesus REALLY mean that His body is given us at communion?

1 Corinthians 11:23-29 (NKJV)

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[d] of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

How will we be judged as to our having kept His commandements?

Matthew 25:31-40 (NKJV)
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

The Lord Is Risen!

Allelujah, Allelujah, The Lord Is Risen!

As I write this, final preparations are being made for the clergy gathering in Nigeria that will mark the official launch of the Nicene Church, Africa.

I thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all He had accomplished for and through you all, and for the privilege He has bestowed upon us to be a part of what He is doing all over Africa and the world.  I am especially grateful for the inspiring decision and efforts of Archbishop-Elect Jones and his people.

Especially in this Easter Season, I feel God is calling us to Love and Serve one another tirelessly, bringing His Light and Mercy to everyone around us, allowing Him to Live His Resurrection in our Hearts, not just in our words, but actions: Actions of Mercy and Compassion; of Hope and Peace.

May we ever allow Him to Live and Love through us daily, spreading His Gospel through our deeds as well as our words!

The Lord Is Risen, Indeed!  Allelujah, Allelujah!

++JACOB

Nicene Church International

The Nicene Church International seeks to advance the kingdom of God though service to His people.  We offer a traditional liturgical worship, hold valid apostolic lines, and seek the moving of the Spirit of God in our lives.

We believe strongly that St. Francis of Assisi was correct when he said we should preach always, using words when necessary.

We seek to serve local churches by providing them with proper ecclesiastical coverage while allowing them to maintain the freedom to follow the leading of God.

Our bishops and priests are men called by God and set aside by His people to serve.  We do not charge for our services in offering the sacraments, and are therefore often bi-vocational (meaning: we have “day jobs”).

If you feel that you have been called by God to serve His people and would like to learn more about the NCI, please feel free to email us: inqueries@nicenechurch.org .

We are proud to be associated with the Holy Orthodox Catholic College