Category : Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Epiphany–Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning [Thrupp]

Words: Bishop Reginald Heber
Tune: ‘Epiphany’ – Joseph Thrupp

Posted in Epiphany, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for Epiphany–The Three Kings – Peter Cornelius

Listen to it all.

Posted in Epiphany, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(C of E) New ‘cathedral’ of digital worshippers emerges from online broadcasts

Members of a new “cathedral” of online worshippers formed since the first lockdown are to play a key role in the Church of England’s 100th national online service to be broadcast this weekend.

Prayers will be read by people who joined a regular digital worshipping community that grew through YouTube and Facebook broadcasts of national online services.

The first national online service was broadcast from the crypt chapel at Lambeth Palace on Mothering Sunday 2020 as the nation went into lockdown. Since then a service has been broadcast every Sunday – with additional services broadcast over Easter, Advent and Christmas.

The broadcast on Sunday, marking the milestone of the 100th service, will led by the Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields Dr Sam Wells, with a sermon from Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley, who oversees the Church of England’s national online services.

Dr Hamley, who took part in the first online service broadcast in March 2020 from the Crypt chapel of Lambeth Palace, will pay tribute to the work of both the national and local churches in providing online services during the pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

Music for Epiphany–Jacob Handl (1550–1591): Omnes de Saba venient

Lyrics:

All they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense;
and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. Alleluia.
The Kings of Tharsis and of the isles shall give Him presents;
the Kings of Arabia and Sheba shall bring gifts. Alleluia.

Posted in Epiphany, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–Cantanta No. 4 From Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

Listen to it all.

The text begins this way:

Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben
Fall with thanks, fall with praise
Vor des Höchsten Gnadenthron!
Before the throne of mercy of the Highest!
Gottes Sohn
The son of God
Will der Erden
Is willing to become
Heiland und Erlöser werden,
The saviour and redeemer of the world,
Gottes Sohn
The son of God
Dämpft der Feinde Wut und Toben.
Subdues as the rage and fury of the enemy.

You can find the rest there.

Posted in Christmas, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Hark the Herald Angels Sing–the Original Lyrics from Charles Wesley

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
“Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
“Christ the Lord is born to-day!”

Christ, by highest heav’n ador’d,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Veil’d in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail th’ incarnate deity!
Pleas’d as man with men t’ appear
Jesus, our Immanuel here!

Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

Mild He lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.

Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp Thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner Man:
O! to all thyself impart,
Form’d in each believing heart.

Posted in Christmas, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Theology

A Charles Wesley Hymn for New Years Day

Found there:

1. All praise to the Lord, Whose trumpet we hear,
Which speaks in his word, The festival year:
The loud proclamation Of freedom from thrall,
And gospel-salvation is publish’d to all.

2. The year of release Even now is begun,
And pardon, and peace, With Jesus sent down;
Eternal redemption Thro’ him we obtain,
And present exemption, From passion and pain.

3 Ye spirits enslav’d Your liberty claim,
Believe, and be sav’d, Thro’ Jesus’s Name;
That infinite Lover Of sinners embrace,
And gladly recover His forfeited grace.

4. With joyfullest news Your prisons resound,
Your fetters are loose, Your souls are unbound:
Resume the possession For which ye were born,
From Satan’s oppression To heaven return.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–Det är en ros utsprungen- Jan Sandström

Michael Praetorius arr. Jan Sandström sung by Siglo de Oro

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night. [based on Isaiah 11:1]

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–Handel: Messiah, For unto us a child is born

Enjoy it all from the London Symphony Orchestra.

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

The Coventry Carol for the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Lyrics:

Lullay, thou little tiny child
Sleep well, lully, lullay
And smile in dreaming, little one
Sleep well, lully, lullay
Oh sisters two, what may we do
To preserve on this day
This poor youngling for whom we sing
Sleep well, lully, lullay
Farewell, lully, lullay
Herod the king in his raging
Set forth upon this day
By his decree, no life spare thee
All children young to slay
All children young to slay
Then woe is me, poor child, for thee
And ever mourn and say
For thy parting, neither say nor sing
Farewell, lully, lullay
Farewell, lully, lullay
And when the stars fill darkened skies
In their far venture, stay
And smile as dreaming, little one
Farewell, lully, lullay
Dream now, lully, lullay

Posted in Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–The Gloucester Cathedral Choir sings In the Bleak Midwinter

Listen to it all.

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–O Magnum Mysterium – Morten Lauridsen

Lyrics:

O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. Alleluia
O great mystery, and wonderful sacrament, that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear Christ the Lord. Alleluia!

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

Ever since I first heard it, my favorite Christmas song–KSH.

Lyrics–The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit, and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

I’m weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be
of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.

Posted in Christmas, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(Eleanor Parker) ‘Farewell, Advent, Christmas is come!’

15. This time of Christ’s feast natal,
We will be merry, great and small,
And thou shalt go out of this hall;
Farewell from us both all and some!

16. Advent is gone, Christmas is come;
Be we merry now, all and some!
He is not wise that will be dumb
In ortu Regis omnium. [At the coming of the King of all things]

Read it all.

Posted in Advent, Christmas, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for Christmas 2021–Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss – The Wexford Carol

Lyrics:

Good people all, this Christmas time
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born
Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God’s angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
‘Prepare and go, ‘ the angels said
‘To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you’ll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus born
With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went, this babe to find
And as God’s angel had foretold
They did our saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side the virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of life
Who came on earth to end all strife
Good people all, this Christmas time
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved Son
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas day
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(CT) We’ve No Less Days to Sing God’s Praise, But New Worship Songs Only Last a Few Years

Worship songs don’t last as long as they used to. The average lifespan of a widely sung worship song is about a third of what it was 30 years ago, according to a study that will be published in the magazineWorship Leader in January.

For the study, Mike Tapper, a religion professor at Southern Wesleyan University, brought together two data analysts and two worship ministers to look at decades of records from Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI). The licensing organization provides copyright coverage for about 160,000 churches in North America and receives rotating reports on the worship music that is sung in those churches, tracking about 10,000 congregations at a time.

Looking at the top songs at those churches from 1988 to 2020, the researchers were able to identify a common life cycle for popular worship music, Tapper told CT. A song typically appears on the charts, rises, peaks, and then fades away as worship teams drop it from their Sunday morning set lists.

But the average arc of a worship song’s popularity has dramatically shortened, from 10 to 12 years to a mere 3 or 4. The researchers don’t know why.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Church of England

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Posted in --Book of Common Prayer, Advent, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Isaac Watts

God of truth and grace, who didst give Isaac Watts singular gifts to present thy praise in verse, that he might write psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for thy Church: Give us grace joyfully to sing thy praises now and in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.God of truth and grace, who didst give Isaac Watts singular gifts to present thy praise in verse, that he might write psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for thy Church: Give us grace joyfully to sing thy praises now and in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

William Temple on Worship for His Feast Day

Both for perplexity and for dulled conscience the remedy is the same; sincere and spiritual worship. For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of the mind with His truth; the purifying of the imagination of His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love, the surrender of the will to his purpose and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin. Yes, worship in spirit and truth is the way to the solution of perplexity and to the liberation from sin.

–William Temple Readings in St. John’s Gospel (Wilton, Connecticut: Morehouse Barlow, 1985 reprint of the 1939 and 1940 original), p.67

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Theology

(C of E) Church sees congregation grow with outdoor prayer meetings

St Mary the Virgin, Fawley, launched the Friday prayer group in the first week of lockdown in March 2020.

Led by a local congregant, Julia Ogilvy, the group has seen around 50 people regularly attend in the churchyard with more than 100 people joining at Christmas.

Julia explained: “The usual congregation for our fortnightly Sunday service is around eight people whereas we have at least 50 regulars who like to attend Friday prayers whenever they can.”

The informal nature of the outdoor setting also helped congregants feel safer during the pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

(CT) Are Empty Pews an American Public Health Crisis?

Glass’s case might be a dramatic one, but it illustrates a documented pattern in our society: People find their social and personal lives improved—sometimes their lives are even physically saved—when they go to church often.

In 2019, Gallup reported that only 36 percent of Americans view organized religion with “a great deal of confidence,” down from 68 percent in 1975. The study’s authors speculate that this trend has been driven in part by the highly publicized moral failures and crimes of religious institutions and leaders.

The decline in confidence in churches has been accompanied by steep recent declines in both church membership and attendance. Barna Group found that 10 years ago, in 2011, 43 percent of Americans said they went to church every week. By February of 2020, that had dropped 14 percentage points to 29 percent.

But when Americans describe the reasons they seldom or never attend church, scandals don’t get top billing. Instead, people who think of themselves as Christians are more likely to say that they practice their faith in other ways (44 percent) or that there’s something they don’t like about the service (38 percent).

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Songs of Praise: Queen congratulates BBC show on 60th anniversary

The Queen has congratulated “all those involved” in BBC One’s Songs of Praise as the show celebrates 60 years on air.

Nearly 3,000 episodes of the world’s longest-running religious TV programme have aired since its first transmission, from Cardiff, in 1961.

In a message to be broadcast on Sunday’s show in Westminster Abbey, the Queen applauded the series for showing Christianity as “a living faith”.

Hosted by Aled Jones, the show will feature ex-presenters and star guests.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Media, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(PD) Joshua Pauling–After Zoom Church: Restoring the Real in Christian Worship

Embodiment’s centrality in the human experience has implications for the Church. Certainly since its earliest days the Church has gathered, whether in secret or public, in catacombs or cathedrals. Perhaps the most frequent rationale for such gathering comes from Hebrews 10:24–25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

What is so vital and unique about gathering for church that God commands it? The answer lies in the historic understanding of Christian worship as sacramental; that is, God communes with man through tangible means that deliver God’s work in Christ to humanity. Gospel. If this is what happens in church, streams or downloads just won’t cut it.

Perhaps then, a faulty understanding of worship lies behind why so many churches rapidly turned to online church and consider it a viable option. And, contrary to what seems a logical assumption, it has not just been low-church Protestant traditions embracing online worship. High-church traditions from Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy to Anglicanism and Lutheranism—even with their elevated view of the ministerial office, the sacraments, and liturgical worship—have not been immune to digitalization. In my denominational home, the LCMS, which takes seriously historic orthodoxy, worship practice, and Christ’s bodily presence in the Eucharist, online communion was endorsed in some quarters, though the Synod officially dismissed the practice.

What this reveals is that experiences of digitality in every other life domain have seeped into worship practices and are superseding longstanding theologies of worship and their doctrinal underpinnings. Couple this with the widespread understanding of humans as “thinking things” or “feeling things,” and no matter one’s denominational affiliation, no longer is worship primarily sacramental and theological; it is individual and anthropological.

Read it all.

Posted in Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

The Canticle of the Sun for Saint Francis of Assisi’s Feast Day

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To You, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(C of E) ‘There is a real, tangible sense of God’s presence’ – the rural parish that has deepened its prayer life through online services

The parish, spread over 20 miles, now runs ‘hybrid’ worship both online and in person, based in one of its five churches every week, along with morning and evening prayer by Zoom.

Up to 700 people are prayed for by name throughout the week. The parish also runs 24-hour prayer on Zoom, often leading up to Sunday worship. The online prayer and Sunday worship began during the first lockdown last year.

Revd Richard Battersby, who has headed the parish for the past five years as part of a ‘Bishop’s Mission Order’, said the parish was growing before the pandemic but the decision to livestream services has increased participation, making it easier for people to join who might previously have had to travel to services.

Around 20 people tune in to morning and evening prayer regularly, he said, while the parish now has a worshipping community of more than 200 members, compared to around 150 before the pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(Church Times) Move to online worship a loss, not a gain, say universities’ researchers

A “deep-seated dissatisfaction” with online worship during the Covid-19 pandemic has been identified by new research published this week.

The key finding of the report British Ritual Innovation under Covid-19, the result of a year-long joint project by the University of Chester and Manchester Metropolitan University, is that, “by almost every metric, the experience of pandemic rituals have been worse than those that came before them. They are perceived as less meaningful, less communal, less spiritual, less effective, and so on.”

The report, published on Wednesday, concludes: “Our research has revealed both considerable innovation in, and deep-seated dissatisfaction with, digital worship during the pandemic. There have been important positive developments and adaptations which will strengthen British religious life in the long term, but for most people, the move to online ritual has been one of loss, not gain.

“Rituals — regular weekly worship, funerals, baptisms, festival celebrations, and the like — have been exceptionally difficult for most participants and leaders during the pandemic.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Globalization, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

Thursday Food for Thought–Aristides on the Early Christians

But the Christians, O King, while they went about and made search, have found the truth; and as we learned from their writings, they have come nearer to truth and genuine knowledge than the rest of the nations. For they know and trust in God, the Creator of heaven and of earth, in whom and from whom are all things, to whom there is no other god as companion, from whom they received commandments which they engraved upon their minds and observe in hope and expectation of the world which is to come. Wherefore they do not commit adultery nor fornication, nor bear false witness, nor embezzle what is held in pledge, nor covet what is not theirs. They honour father and mother, and show kindness to those near to them; and whenever they are judges, they judge uprightly. They do not worship idols (made) in the image of man; and whatsoever they would not that others should do unto them, they do not to others; and of the food which is consecrated to idols they do not eat, for they are pure. And their oppressors they appease (lit: comfort) and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies; and their women, O King, are pure as virgins, and their daughters are modest; and their men keep themselves from every unlawful union and from all uncleanness, in the hope of a recompense to come in the other world.

Further, if one or other of them have bondmen and bondwomen or children, through love towards them they persuade them to become Christians, and when they have done so, they call them brethren without distinction. They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. Falsehood is not found among them; and they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God. And whenever one of their poor passes from the world, each one of them according to his ability gives heed to him and carefully sees to his burial. And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity, and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free. And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food. They observe the precepts of their Messiah with much care, living justly and soberly as the Lord their God commanded them. Every morning and every hour they give thanks and praise to God for His loving-kindnesses toward them; and for their food and their drink they offer thanksgiving to Him. And if any righteous man among them passes from the world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God; and they escort his body as if he were setting out from one place to another near. And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who has passed through the world without sins. And further if they see that any one of them dies in his ungodliness or in his sins, for him they grieve bitterly, and sorrow as for one who goes to meet his doom.

Such, O King, is the commandment of the law of the Christians, and such is their manner of life. As men who know God, they ask from Him petitions which are fitting for Him to grant and for them to receive. And thus they employ their whole lifetime. And since they know the loving-kindnesses of God toward them, behold! for their sake the glorious things which are in the world flow forth to view. And verily, they are those who found the truth when they went about and made search for it; and from what we considered, we learned that they alone come near to a knowledge of the truth. And they do not proclaim in the ears of the multitude the kind deeds they do, but are careful that no one should notice them; and they conceal their giving just as he who finds a treasure and conceals it. And they strive to be righteous as those who expect to behold their Messiah, and to receive from Him with great glory the promises made concerning them. And as for their words and their precepts, O King, and their glorying in their worship, and the hope of earning according to the work of each one of them their recompense which they look for in another world,-you may learn about these from their writings. It is enough for us to have shortly informed your Majesty concerning the conduct and the truth of the Christians. For great indeed, and wonderful is their doctrine to him who will search into it and reflect upon it. And verily, this is a new people, and there is something divine (lit: “a divine admixture”) in the midst of them.

The Apology of Aristides, XV-XVI

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care

(NYT) For a Second Year, Jews Mark the High Holy Days in the Shadow of Covid

The leadership at Central Synagogue in Manhattan had big plans this year for the Jewish High Holy Days: After celebrating via livestream during the pandemic last fall, they rented out Radio City Music Hall for a grand celebration.

But the spread of the Delta variant has upended those plans. Now, they’ll still use the 5,500-seat music hall, but only at 30 percent capacity. And everyone must show proof of vaccination and wear masks.

“In some ways, last year was easier to plan because it was so absolutely clear we would be gathering virtually,” said Angela W. Buchdahl, the synagogue’s senior rabbi. “This year we certainly expected all the way until early July that we would be able to be in person for this year’s High Holy Days.”

Many congregations plan their celebrations for the High Holy Days, which are among the most important dates in the Jewish calendar, months in advance. But the recent surge of coronavirus cases has driven synagogues across the New York region — home to the largest concentration of Jews outside of Israel — and around the country to address safety concerns they had thought had been rendered moot by the arrival of the vaccines.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Judaism, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(CT) Why the UN’s Dire Climate Change Report Is Dedicated to an Evangelical Christian

His concerns about greenhouse gases, rising temperature averages, dying coral reefs, blistering heat waves, and increasingly extreme weather were informed by his training at as atmospheric physicist and his commitment to science. They also come out of his evangelical understanding of God, the biblical accounts of humanity’s relationship to creation, and what it means for a Christian to follow Christ.

“We haven’t lived up to the call to holiness,” Houghton’s granddaughter Hannah Malcolm explained to CT. “We’ve been conformed to the patterns of this world, with the desire for wealth accumulation and the desire to increase our comforts, and that’s not the demand that is placed upon us as followers of Christ.”

Houghton was born in a Baptist family in Wales in 1931. As a young man he realized he needed to make a personal decision for Christ, and he did. To the end of his life, Houghton described it as the most important choice he’d ever made.

His love for God fueled his love for science. He saw it as a way to worship.

“The biggest thing that can ever happen to anybody is to get a relationship with the one who has created the universe,” Houghton told a Welsh newspaper in 2007. “We discover the laws of nature when we do our science. So we discover what’s behind the universe and if there’s an intelligence and a creator behind it. What we’re doing as Christians is exploring our relationship with the person who is the creator of the universe. Now that’s something that is absolutely wonderful.”

Read it all.

Posted in Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(NYT) Houses of Worship Struggle Back, and Tread Lightly on Vaccines

The weekly rhythms of Catholic life have started to return at Our Lady of Lourdes in Harlem. The pews are packed on Sunday mornings, prayer groups meet after work and the collection plate is almost as full as it was before the coronavirus pandemic began.

But parishioners are starting to worry about the virus again.

“For a little while everyone felt more free, not using masks and things like that,” said the Rev. Gilberto Ángel-Neri, the pastor. “But now that we hear all the news about the Delta variant, everyone is using masks again.”

The progress made at Father Ángel-Neri’s church, and at houses of worship across New York City, may be threatened by a rise in virus cases in the past month and by an uneven patchwork of rules governing vaccination that can differ from one place to another.

New rules that have been enacted in recent weeks to curb the spread of the virus’s more contagious Delta variant require New Yorkers to show proof of vaccination to participate in many indoor activities, including sitting inside restaurants or bars, going to a gym or nightclub and visiting a museum or zoo. But they do not apply to religious services.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues