Category : Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Isabel Hapgood

Loving God, we offer thanks for the work and witness of Isabel Florence Hapgood, who introduced the Divine Liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church to English-speaking Christians, and encouraged dialogue between Anglicans and Orthodox. Guide us as we build on the foundation that she gave us, that all may be one in Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, unto ages of ages. Amen.

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

Anglican church to be shared by both Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic parishes

Two different Christian denominations will be sharing the same place of worship during the next year in an example of neighbourliness and friendship.

When it was learned that St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan would be closed for a year for essential renovations, their church neighbours, St Maeldoid’s Church of Ireland parish at Muckno, Castleblayney, in Clogher Diocese, offered the use of their beautiful gothic–style building.

This generous gesture by the Select Vestry of St Maeldoid’s along with their rector, the Revd Neal Phair, and approved by the Bishop of Clogher, Right Revd John McDowell, was accepted by the Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Father Pat McHugh and his parishioners and from next Monday, 19th June, St Maeldoid’s Church will be used for both Church of Ireland services and Masses.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Ireland, Ecumenical Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

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

Music for a Friday Morning: Mendelssohn – I waited for the Lord

Académie Vocale de Paris [13-18 year-olds]

I waited for the Lord, he inclined unto me, he heard my complaint.
O bless’d are they that hope and trust in the Lord. [see Psalm 40:1-5]

Posted in Liturgy, Music, Worship

Elenor Parker–A medieval English version of ‘Veni Creator Spiritus’: Com, Shuppere, Holy Gost

Come, Creator, Holy Ghost, search our thoughts;
Fill with grace of heaven the hearts which thou hast wrought.

Thou who art called For-speaker and gift from God sent,
Well of life, fire, charity, and spiritual ointment,

Thou givest the seven gifts, thou finger of God’s hand,
Thou makest tongues of flesh speak languages of every land.

Kindle light in our wits, in our hearts love,
Where our body is weak, give strength from above.

Shield us from the fiend, and give us peace anon,
That we may keep ourselves from sin through the Guardian….

Read it all.

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

(Vatican Radio) Our Lord’s Ascension : a musical meditation

As you can imagine, there’s no shortage of fine choral music to celebrate the feast of Our Lord’s Ascension says music historian Monsignor Philip Whitmore. He suggests we listen is a piece of 20th century organ music written as an extended meditation and an uplifting motet for double choir by English composer Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in Ascension, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Eleanor Parker–An Anglo-Saxon Hymn to St Dunstan

Hail Dunstan, star and shining adornment of bishops, true light of the English nation and leader preceding it on its path to God.

You are the greatest hope of your people, and also an innermost sweetness, breathing the honey-sweet fragrance of life-giving balms.

In you, Father, we trust, we to whom nothing is more pleasing than you are. To you we stretch out our hands, to you we pour out our prayers.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(AM) Transgender liturgies? Why are we even asking the question?

If a destructive, anti-Christian, revolutionary ideology is taking over society and even sections of the church, how should it be effectively countered? Whose responsibility is it to do so? Should Christians address the ideology itself and its dangers to society, or should they focus on its symptoms and effects, as encountered in people in churches? Is it counter productive to talk negatively about cultural trends at all, and should Christians instead seek to simply tell ‘a better story’ in a positive way? Will it be enough in terms of being salt and light in Western culture, for theologians to write books and essays for an audience of educated conservative Christians, by carefully and graciously explaining biblical truth and pointing out error?

Martin Davie has certainly carried out this latter task very well in his latest piece of work, a Latimer Monograph which goes beyond the title’s brief of merely answering the question “Should the Church of England develop liturgical materials to mark gender transition?” to address the subject of transgenderism much more comprehensively. In the book he outlines the arguments of the pro-transgender apologists, refutes them graciously but firmly and in detail, and provides a clear and up to date re-statement of the biblical doctrine of humanity as male and female, grounded in the creation narratives through to the teaching of Jesus and the promise of the new creation. He addresses the question of pastoral care in the church for people who present as transgender, stressing, of course, the need for welcome and compassion to individuals, but also not being afraid to talk about underlying problems connected with the Fall: disorder, sin, rebellion, and the need for repentance, faith and a new start in Christ.

Davie writes with his customary clarity and logic, and does not fall into the trap catching some theologians, of being so keen to be fair to opposing arguments that they end up sitting on the fence or being overly complex and nuanced. As an introduction to the topic, and as a handbook for clergy, those involved in pastoral care and interested lay people, this book has to be highly recommended.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Pastoral Theology, Theology: Scripture

Do not take yourself too seriously Dept–Steve Harvey interviews a 4 year old worship leader

Really, really funny.

Posted in Children, Humor / Trivia, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(Telegraph) Hymns at funerals dying out as ‘celebratory’ pop songs become more popular

Research by insurer SunLife found that 45 per cent of ceremonies now do not include a hymn, and more than half of funeral directors have seen a decrease in religious services.

Younger age groups are more likely to choose secular music, with just 12 per cent of those aged 50 to 54 choosing a hymn, compared to one in four over-65s.

Sandra Millar, head of life events at the Church of England, said: “Perhaps people have a memory of a hymn that feels sad because they have previously sung it at a sad event.

“Because people are also less used to singing nowadays they might also be more likely to have a recording.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Book of Common Prayer 1662

Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification: Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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

(Sun Telegraph) 1/2 of England’s Anglican cathedrals could close amid funding crisis

Anglican cathedrals could be forced to charge for entry or face closure, amid dwindling public funding and expensive running costs.

Financial crisis is threatening the future of half of England’s Anglican cathedrals, the chairman of a new working group has warned.

Currently just nine of the 42 cathedrals charge for entry, but that could change amid severe financial difficulties.

Read it all.

Posted in Architecture, England / UK, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

More Music for Easter 2017:O Radiant Dawn – James MacMillan


O Radiant Dawn – James MacMillan

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Easter Music for 2017–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

(NDTV) Iraqi Christians Hold Easter Celebrations At A Church Damaged By ISIS

Hundreds of Iraqi Christians gathered on Sunday in a church damaged by ISIS north of Mosul, celebrating Easter there for the first time since 2014.

“God willing, the celebration of the resurrection of Christ will also mark the return and rising-up of the Christians in Iraq,” said Kyriacos Isho, 75, who was accompanied by his 12 children and grandchildren at Mar Gewargis (St George) Chaldean Catholic church in Tel Esqof.

Tel Esqof, or Bishop’s Hill in Arabic, did not sustain the same amount of damage as other Christian towns overrun by the terrorists three years ago in the plain of Nineveh.

Read it all.

Posted in Easter, Iraq, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Terrorism