Category : Liturgy, Music, Worship

More GK Chesterton Food for Thought–A Creed is not Credible in one era and the not in another

An imbecile habit has arisen in modern controversy of saying that such and such a creed can be held in one age but cannot be held in another. Some dogma, we are told, was credible in the twelfth century, but is not credible in the twentieth. You might as well say that a certain philosophy can be believed on Mondays, but cannot be believed on Tuesdays. You might as well say of a view of the cosmos that it was suitable to half-past three, but not suitable to half-past four. What a man can believe depends upon his philosophy, not upon the clock or the century.

–GK Chesteron Orthodoxy, Chapter V

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

(David Ould) Melbourne Anglican Church and Clergy take part in Same-Sex Wedding

It is now evident that the wedding was planned in order to avoid breaking the letter of each denomination’s law while clearly violating their spirit. The Baptist Union of Victoria prohibits its ministers from conducting same-sex weddings but has no equivalent prohibition on its buildings. The Anglican Church prohibits both minister and building. Thus we have the use of a baptist building, with Anglican ministers who are not technically officiating at the wedding although they clearly take a significant part in it (Rev. Moore essentially conducted the service). Finally a former baptist signs the paperwork.

It is a clear challenge to the teaching, doctrine and good order of at least 2 major denominations.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the First Book of Common Prayer

Almighty and everliving God, whose servant Thomas Cranmer, with others, did restore the language of the people in the prayers of thy Church: Make us always thankful for this heritage; and help us so to pray in the Spirit and with the understanding, that we may worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in --Book of Common Prayer, Church History

Stephen Noll–The Episcopal Church And Trial [use] Marriage

In the ponderous Blue Book of materials for the Episcopal General Convention in July, the Task Force on the Study of Marriage proposes a Resolution (A085) to revise, for trial use of course, the Prayer Book itself by:

  • defining marriage as a “covenant between a man and a woman two people’
  • amending the Proper Prefaces on Marriage to read: “Because in the love of wife and husband two people in faithful love…
  • amending the Catechism to say: “Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which two people the woman and man enter into a life-long union” and adding an additional section defining the procreative purpose in terms of “the gift and heritage of children…”

They make clear, in addition, that passing these “trial use” changes may count as a “first reading” for a permanent revision of the Prayer Book by 2021.

Not content with rewriting the marriage rite, the Task Force proposes a Resolution (Ao86) to authorize a rite of “Blessing of a Lifelong Relationship,” warning gravely that these rites “shall not be used for mere convenience.” So now a couple can forgo marriage altogether and be blessed. Presumably this new service is catering for the ever-popular cohabiting community.

So under the rubric of “trial use” the Episcopal Church is proposing a wholesale redefinition of Christian marriage.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology

(Christian Today) Bishop Alan Wilson joins 300 Anglicans backing US Church’s plans for gender-neutral wedding service

A prominent bishop and 300 other Anglicans have backed the US Episcopal Church’s stance on same-sex marriage, saying it shows the Church is ‘not as homophobic as it can sometimes appear’.

They have signed an ‘alternative’ letter to one sent by the Church of England’s general secretary, William Nye, that warned American Anglicans could face ‘stringent consequences’ if it went ahead with plans for a gender neutral wedding service. He added such a move would increase pressure for the CofE to ‘disassociate’ itself from its US counterpart.

The Episcopal Church (TEC) in America permits same-sex marriage, unlike the Church of England and most other provinces in the 80 million-strong Anglican Communion around the world.

Nye’s original letter has sparked a fierce backlash from pro-LGBT Anglicans in the UK and more than 300 have signed a different note thanking TEC for ‘leading the way on this important issue’.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(JE) The Episcopal Church (TEC) Prepares to Tighten Screws on Traditional Marriage Proponents

Further evidence this week of the continued longevity of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’ law: “Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.”

Officials in a handful of domestic Episcopal Church dioceses which have opted out of the denomination’s same-sex marriage liturgies are warily eying the denomination’s upcoming General Convention and the changes it may bring.

Bishops and deputies will gather this July in Austin, Texas for the triennial governing convention. A multi-year process of revising the church’s Book of Common Prayer, last revised in 1979, is widely expected to begin at this gathering.

Interestingly, the addition of same-sex marriages conducted within the Episcopal Church has not significantly lessened a decline in the overall number of church weddings, which have dropped by 44 percent in the past decade (14,805 marriages in 2006, compared with only 8,343 in 2016, the most recent reporting year).

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(Eleanor Parker) A medieval song about the Annunciation

Gabriel, from heaven’s king
Sent to the maid sweet,
Brought her blissful tidings,
And fair he did her greet:
“Hail be thou, full of grace aright,
For God’s Son, this heaven’s light,
For man’s love
Will man become
And take
Flesh of thee, maiden bright,
Mankind free for to make
From sin and devil’s might.”

Gently him did answer
The gentle maiden then:
“In what way can I bear
A child without a man?”
The angel said, “Fear thee naught;
Through the Holy Ghost shall be wrought
This same thing
Of which tiding
I bring.
All mankind will be bought [redeemed]
Through thy sweet childing,
And out of torment brought.”

When the maiden understood
And the angel’s words heard,
Gently with a gentle mind
To the angel she answered:
“Our Lord’s serving maiden iwis [indeed]
I am, who here above is.
Concerning me
Fulfilled shall be
Thy saw, [your words]
That I, since his will it is,
A maiden, without law, [i.e. outside the law of nature]
Of mother will have the bliss.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(ENS) The Episcopal Church General Convention will again grapple with same-sex marriage questions

The eight bishops who have prohibited same-gender marriage in their dioceses are Albany Bishop William Love, Central Florida Bishop Greg Brewer, Dallas Bishop George Sumner, Florida Bishop John Howard, North Dakota Bishop Michael Smith, Springfield Bishop Dan Martins, Tennessee’s [John] Bauerschmidt and Virgin Islands Bishop Ambrose Gumbs, according to the task force.

Love, Brewer, Sumner, Martins and Bauerschmidt prohibit clergy canonically resident in those dioceses to use the liturgies inside or outside of the diocese, the report said.

“At this point it’s very unclear whether canonically resident clergy could actually use the liturgies [anywhere] without the permission of their own bishop,” Bauerschmidt told ENS before the report was released “So, that’s not so much my idea, but I think it’s implied by the 2015 resolution.”

Read it all.

Posted in Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

More Music for Easter–The Lord is Risen Indeed! William Billings

Listen to it all and you can read more about it, including finding the lyrics, at Lent and Beyond.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(The Voice) Westminster Abbey Marks 50th Anniversary Of MLK’s Death

[Yesterday]…marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s death. To commemorate this milestone, a ceremony took place at Westminster abbey as HRH The Duke of Kent, the general public and more payed their respects to Dr. King.

At the start of the service, wreaths were laid at the Innocent Victims’ Memorial by Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Chief Executive of Christian Aid, and beneath the statue of Martin Luther King Jr above the Abbey’s Great West Door by Lewis Lukens, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: “We come to give thanks for the life and work of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr, assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, fifty years ago today.”

A statue commemorating Martin Luther King was placed in a niche on the west front of the Abbey in 1998 alongside those of nine other 20th century Christian martyrs.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

Music For Easter–Since By Man Came Death from Handel’s Messiah

Take the time to listen to it all from the Oxford Philomusica.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Easter Song, 2nd Chapter of Acts

Watch and listen to it all from the original writers of the song.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for Easter 2018–Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for Holy Saturday–Spiegel im Spiegel for Cello and Piano (Arvo Pärt)

Posted in Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Hymn for Holy Saturday: O sorrow deep

O sorrow deep!
Who would not weep
with heartfelt pain and sighing!
God the Father’s only Son
in the tomb is lying.

The Paschal Lamb,
like Isaac’s ram,
in blood was offered for us,
pouring out his life
that he might to life restore us.

Blest shall they be
eternally
who ponder in their weeping
that the glorious Prince of Life
should in death be sleeping,

O Jesus blest,
my help and rest,
with tears I pray thee, hear me:
now, and even unto death,
dearest Lord, be near me.

The Words are from Johann Rist, 1641; they are translated by Charles Winfred Douglas, 1940

Posted in Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship