Monthly Archives: May 2021

(CNN) in Pictures–Memorial Day 2021 in the USA

Look through them all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Military / Armed Forces, Photos/Photography

VA Secretary Denis McDonough–We must say the names of the heroes who gave all in defense of freedom

We can’t lose sight of what Memorial Day means for our nation and families who continue to grieve the loss of a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine or Coast Guardsman.

For these Americans, Memorial Day may not be a day of celebration. It may be a deeply personal and somber day. Remember them in your prayers and recognize that we are free because of their sacrifices.

President Biden told me that my job as VA secretary is to “fight like hell” for veterans. He also said that there is no more sacred duty than to care for our nation’s Vets who have given us so much.

As our caring colleagues in the National Cemetery Administration maintain their solemn mission to watch over those no longer with us, we know many more Veterans came home with wounds both visible and invisible. My promise is that all of us in VA will selflessly serve those men and women who served and sacrificed so much for all of us.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Military / Armed Forces

Music for Memorial Day–Eternal Father, Strong to Save (The Navy Hymn)

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Military / Armed Forces

Local Paper Editorial: Memorial Day, deeply rooted in Charleston, unites us as a nation

Memorial Day always presents those of us fortunate enough to live in (or visit) Charleston with a host of great options. Warm weather’s arrival makes beach trips appealing. Spoleto Festival USA cranks up with a host of concerts and shows. And of course, there are too many sales, special events and cookouts to mention.

But amid all the fun, we should remain mindful of this holiday’s somber roots. We should fly our flags — at half staff from dawn to noon, then high until sunset — and pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. to honor the sacrifices of those who have fought and died for the freedoms our nation enjoys.

One special opportunity this year will unfold at Hampton Park. After the 3 p.m. moment of silence, the Memorial Day Band Concert for Piccolo Spoleto will follow. But this Memorial Day event isn’t being held there simply because it’s a spacious, attractive park that can handle a crowd, though it certainly is. The location was chosen to emphasize a long-overlooked but recently resurrected chapter of Charleston’s history.

In essence, the park is arguably where the nation’s first Memorial Day event was held on May 1, 1865, just a few weeks after the grueling, costly American Civil War finally came to an end.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces

More Poetry for Memorial Day: Tomas Tranströmer’s The Half-Finished Heaven

From here:

Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.

The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.

And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.
Everything begins to look around.
We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Each man is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless ground under us.

The water is shining among the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Military / Armed Forces, Poetry & Literature

(Local Paper) South Carolina veterans and families reflect on those who died as America withdraws from Afghanistan

Curt Austin doesn’t like to stay in his hometown on Memorial Day weekend.

It has been eight years since his son, Pfc. Barrett Austin, took his last breath at a hospital in Germany after being wounded by a roadside bomb in the Maidan Wardak Province of Afghanistan.

The 20-year-old was the only soldier in the four-person Army vehicle convoy who died in the attack.

Since his death in 2013, Curt and his wife Yolanda continue to receive an outpouring of support from the community. It’s appreciated, but it’s also what makes Memorial Day difficult each year. It’s that buildup of seemingly constant reminders from the media, politicians, radio ads, furniture stores and even strangers on the street that create a storm of painful memories around the solemn holiday.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, War in Afghanistan

More Poetry for Memorial Day–Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Military / Armed Forces, Poetry & Literature

Exploring the Connection Between the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Memorial Day

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces

In Flanders Fields for Memorial Day 2021

Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

–Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve; KSH.

P.S. The circumstances which led to this remarkable poem are well worth remembering:

It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915 and to the war in general. McCrea had spent seventeen days treating injured men — Canadians, British, French, and Germans in the Ypres salient. McCrae later wrote: “I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days… Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done.” The next day McCrae witnessed the burial of a good friend, Lieut. Alexis Helmer. Later that day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the field dressing station, McCrea composed the poem. A young NCO, delivering mail, watched him write it. When McCrae finished writing, he took his mail from the soldier and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the Sergeant-major. Cyril Allinson was moved by what he read: “The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene.” Colonel McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem, and tossed it away. A fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915. For his contributions as a surgeon, the main street in Wimereaux is named “Rue McCrae”.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Military / Armed Forces, Poetry & Literature

A Prayer for Memorial Day

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead: We give thee thanks for all thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence; and give us such a lively sense of thy righteous will, that the work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of thine incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping thy word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to thy will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Wilfred Hornby

Lord, who didst bid thy seraph purge the prophet’s lips with the fire from off thy altar, so that he might be free to preach thy Word unto the people: Give thy priests and people within the Catholic Church pure and wise hearts, that so they may desire to go whither thou dost send them, and do that which thou dost will, in the power of him through whom we can do all things, even thy blessed Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, ‘Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. “Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'”

–Luke 17:1-10

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Eleanor Parker–‘O three and one without ending’: a wittily clever medieval song to the Holy Trinity

One of the points I like to emphasise on this blog is that (contrary to what many people believe who know nothing about the subject) medieval religious literature is often full of creativity, imagination and joy. Here’s a perfect example: this is a witty, playful, exuberant medieval carol on the subject of – of all things – the Holy Trinity. I’ve heard many a solemn, pained sermon on the Trinity, complaining about how difficult it is for us to understand, how it’s always been a stumbling block for believers and a trial to the unwary preacher. That’s how our age approaches mystery and complexity; but in the fifteenth century, they wrote carols about it. That’s how creative medieval religion could be.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

A Prayer for Trinity Sunday from the Book of Common Order

Almighty God, most blessed and most holy, before the brightness of whose presence the angels veil their faces: With lowly reverence and adoring love we acknowledge thine infinite glory, and worship thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternal Trinity. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto our God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

Blessed Trinity Sunday 2021 to all Blog Readers

Posted in Blogging & the Internet, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

A Trinity Sunday Doxology

To God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts: to the one true God be all love and all glory for time and for eternity.

–Thomas Ken (1637-1711)

Posted in Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Liturgy, Music, Worship, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

From the Morning Bible Readings

And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.

–Ephesians 4:11-16

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Congratulations to Chelsea Football Club, Champions League winners today

Posted in England / UK, Portugal, Sports

(C of E) New Bishops of Birkenhead and Stockport announced

Bishop-designate Julie said…“I am assured that I will receive a warm welcome and I really look forward to getting to know my new colleagues and community.

“Please pray for me as I prepare, just as I will pray for you.”

Bishop-designate Sam said: “It is humbling and so very exciting to have been nominated as the next Bishop of Stockport.

“Any act of discernment is as demanding as it is energising, but I have had a strong sense of God’s leading throughout the appointment process and I am eager to begin getting to know people across the diocese and to learning about the different communities we serve.

“And what a gift to be able to join a new episcopal team at such a key time in the life of the diocese….

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

A Prayer to begin the day from the Scottish Prayer Book

Almighty and everlasting God, who in days of old didst cause thy Word to grow mightily and to prevail: We praise and magnify thy holy name for the manifestation of thy presence in this our day, and we beseech thee to pour out thy Spirit upon the Church, that thy way may be known upon earth and thy saving health among all nations; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Pentecost, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

–2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Quigg Lawrence on the Extraordinary story of Archbp Ben Kwashi’s Healing

During surgery, Dr. Madge Ellis found the cancer had spread to Ben’s liver and he was, shockingly, Stage 4. Ben definitely would have died had the Holy Spirit not rather miraculously told us to invite him to come here for treatment.

7 months and 12 brutal rounds of chemo later, Ben is healthy.

Ben’s levels of CEA (protein “tumor markers”) are within the normal range. In layman’s terms, the chemo was effective and Ben appears posed to have a much longer life!

Annette and I have been honored to share our home and our lives with them. We will never, ever forget them. They are dear to us.

++Ben and Mama taught us many things in the last 7 months. They are beautiful reflections of Jesus, they are wise, they are joyful.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Spirituality/Prayer, Travel

Took a Break to Take a Trip with Wonderful friends from Nigeria this week

Posted in Church of Nigeria, Harmon Family, Photos/Photography, Travel

(Eleanor Parker) St Augustine, Apostle of the English, Britain’s day-star

[On 26 May] the Lord took
into the other light Augustine,
joyful in heart, he who here in Britain
humbly brought men
to the will of God, as the wise one bid him,
Gregory. I never heard of such a man before,
of anyone who ever brought
such splendid teaching across the salt sea,
brilliant bishop! Now he rests in Britain,
in Kent, near the throne,
in the glorious monastery.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, England / UK

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Augustine of Canterbury

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to begin the day from the Liturgy of the Catholic Apostolic Church

O Spirit of the living God, who dwellest in us; who art holy, who art good: Come thou, and fill the hearts of thy faithful people, and kindle within them the fire of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Pentecost, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

When you beget children and children’s children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a graven image in the form of anything, and by doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, so as to provoke him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you are going over the Jordan to possess; you will not live long upon it, but will be utterly destroyed. And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. And there you will serve gods of wood and stone, the work of men’s hands, that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice, for the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not fail you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers which he swore to them.

–Deuteronomy 4:25-31

Posted in Theology: Scripture

South Carolina Anglican Clergy Gather in Person for the Renewal of Vows Service

“The day was bittersweet,” said the Rev. Tripp Jeffords, Rector of St. Paul’s, Summerville, speaking of the Renewal of Vows Service held at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston, May 18, 2021. “Knowing this was the last renewal of vows under the fine leadership of Mark Lawrence brought with it a bit of sadness.”

The service, which is held annually, will be the last one at which Bishop Mark Lawrence, who has served as the Diocesan Bishop since 2008, will preside. He will be retiring early next year.

At the same time, the service was joyful. For many, this was the first-time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in which those vaccinated were able to gather without masks or social distancing.

“It was an amazing day of worship for me,” said Jeffords. “To see fellow clergy and laity all together, singing to the glory of God, gave me chills.”

“It was great to be back together,” adds the Rev. Canon Todd Simonis, Diocesan Canon for Church Planting, and Associate Rector at St. Helena’s, Beaufort. “You get used to seeing people virtually for so long it was great to be able to give them a hug.”

In his sermon, the Bishop reflected on the encounter between Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings 2:1, 6-14 where prior to Elijah being taken up to heaven Elisha asks for a “double-portion” of Elijah’s spirit. During the encounter Elisha picks up the cloak which had fallen from Elijah as he was taken up to heaven.

Read it all and take the time to listen to the sermon audio when you can.

Posted in * South Carolina