Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tibi, Christe, spledor Patris*
Thee, O Christ, the Father's splendour,
Life and virtue of the heart,
In the presence of the Angels
Sing we now with tuneful art;
Meetly in alternate chorus
Bearing our responsive part.
Thus we praise with veneration
All the armies of the sky;
Chiefly him, the warrior Primate
Of celestial chivalry,
Michael, who in princely virtue
Cast Abaddon from on high.
By whose watchful care repelling,
King of everlasting grace,
Every ghostly adversary,
All things evil, all things base,
Grant us of thine only goodness
In thy paradise a place.
Glory to the Father sing we
with resounding voices sweet,
Glory unto Christ our Saviour,
Glory to the Paraclete:
Standing forth, One God and Trinal,
Ere the ages; as is meet.
*The Monastic Diurnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1963).
A Feast Day Collect
Everlasting God, who have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Click on the link to hear my most recent sermon given at St. Paul's, Chattanooga.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It was nearing the end of my time on placement from The College of the Resurrection at Halifax Parish Church in West Yorkshire. The Parish was celebrating its patronal feast day, that of Saint John the Baptist. It was a truly festive occasion, complete with a rare High mass set of vestments on loan from the Community of the Resurrection. Our guest preacher that evening was Lord David Hope, the former Archbishop of York and Primate of England. Following the peace, the Vicar invited me to stand next to him at the altar before the canon of the mass was to begin. All ready the nerves were starting to kick in. After the fraction and the clergy received the holy sacrament, Hilary—the vicar—handed a chalice of wine to the Archbishop and then turned to me and handed me the patten full of bread! Now, I had several images racing in my head of a certain liturgics professor here having a mild stroke at this proposition, but I had to pull it together as the choir was in place and ready to receive. Perhaps I was safe being a continent away!
During my hour-long bus ride back to Mirfield, I reflected on what had happened in the liturgy. This bread, this bread of sincerity and truth was in our hands so that it could feed our souls. Christ’s body taken, blessed, broken, and given to the world was somehow making me whole, giving me life to pursue the truth. I, like most seminarians I’m sure, daydream of the time when as a celebrate at the table, I can proclaim to the people, “Alleluia, Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us.” And now I find myself in the very midst of unpacking those words. To proclaim those words is to know deeply what Paul is describing in today’s epistle.
The unleavened bread, rises up, just as Our Lord rose from the tomb. We are bound to strip away the old leaven, the leaven of sin that attempts to destroy our lives. Just as the Corinthians read this exhortation from Paul, we hear this today as the invitation to strive for the narrow door, to remove from ourselves those things which pervert the Gospel and obscure the truth. That way, we can say with all sincerity and truth, "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20).
Monday, September 21, 2009
The Brotherhood of Saint Gregory is a Christian Community of the Episcopal Church, whose members follow a common rule and serve the church on parochial, diocesan, and national levels. Members--clergy and lay, without regard to marital status--live individually, in small groups, or with their families. They support themselves and the community through their secular or church-related work, making use of their God-given talents inthe world while not being of the world. The trust that all labor and life can be sanctified is summed up in the community's motto: Soli Deo Gloria, To God Alone the Glory.
The Brotherhood was founded on Holy Cross Day 1969, by Richard Thomas Biernacki, the present Minister General, after consultation with many Episcopal and Roman Catholic religious. Among the latter the Sisters of the Visitation were particularly helpful and encouraging. It was in their Riverdale, New York, monastery chapel that the first members made profession of vows to the Brotherhood's chaplain, the Rev Thomas F Pike.
Later that year, Bishop Horace W B Donegan of New York recognized the Brotherhood as a Religious Community of the Episcopal Church. Upon his retirement, his successor, Bishop Paul Moore jr, became Visitor to the brothers, whom he came to call the "Flexible Friars." He was succeeded by Bishop Walter D. Dennis, Suffragan of New York. The present Visitor is Bishop Rodney R. Michel, Suffragan of Long Island.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
One of the greatest joys of being a father is being able to take your children to the amusement park. Funnel cakes, ice cream, and my personal favorite, cotton candy; the amusement park is one of the great pastimes for any big-kid at heart. It’s a place where you can lay aside any sense of decorum and let the good times roll. It’s a place where the ride takes control of your life, twisting and turning on a path unknown.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tomorrow, live at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time), yours truly will be preaching at my field education parish, Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. You can hear a live stream of the service, which will include five baptisms, via the parish's website or you can go directly to the radio station's site. Both links are posted below.
If you can't spend that much time listening tomorrow, the sermon will be archived in a few days on the parish website, click below to go there now. I'll be posting the text on the blog tomorrow as well.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church website
To listen to the service tomorrow, go directly to Talk Radio 102.3 fm in Chattanooga where the service is broadcast live, simply click on the "Listen Live" button at the top of the webpage.
Friday, September 18, 2009
It doesn't have to be big, in fact sometimes it's the smaller ones that really hit home. Whether it's a friendly smile, a short e-mail from a friend, or even just the ability to breathe a little, I thank God for little eucharists.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
There's no sun, nothing to dry my body,
nor heat to warm my soul.
It just keeps pouring, and flooding,
and driving me away.
I can't even clear my eyes to see!
Help me Lord!
Give me something, some dry land,
some foothold in this world.
Subdue the waters and give me your
Please help me! I fear I can't tread
the waters much longer.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Today, this magnificent work hangs above the fireplace mantle in our living room. It is very, very special to us and represents Julie's gift from God to paint and to express herself through this medium. The camera does not even come close to catching the brilliant colors. The texture of the oils, combined with the illuminating essence of the metaphor is quite striking! I fully expect to see Julie's work progress in the years to come, who knows, she could be the next household name in oil painting. Thank you Julie for this heartfelt gift of joy and wonder!
Monday, September 14, 2009
This is the second icon that I've written of Our Lady of Walsingham. The size is 11.5 in. x 21.5 in., acrylic on wood. It debuted this past Friday at the Sewanee Taize service at St. Luke's Chapel. It adorns my prayer desk and never fails to move me into contemplation. What strikes me are the eyes; a mother looks with tender love into those of her own son, knowing in her heart that his path will take him away from her. The compassion and loving expression gets me, which is why I adore this particular icon of Our Lady.
I begun work at our recent Seminary Quiet day on Saint Edward the Confessor, whose shrine adorns the royal peculiar of Westminster Abbey in London. St. Edward is a continuation of my desire to restore the images of British saints from the past--which now includes icons of Chad of Lichfield, Hugh of Lincoln, and King Charles the Martyr. Future icons in this series will include St. Alban the Protomartyr and Edmund, King and Martyr. This icon is 12 in. x 16 in., acrylic on wood.
In a pleasant break from the norm, I have also begun work on a Coptic-style icon of Christ enthroned. The style is different and I am joyful with my progress so far (in fact, this was all done yesterday!). You can also see the icon on the right which is the model. Size is 10 in. x 17 in., acrylic on wood.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
“Fierce and Friendly Lord, we feel alone, but even here in school and in this class we discover friends we did not know we had. The discovery that we are not alone both gladdens and frightens us. Sharing life threatens loss of self. Give us the grace to learn that we have no life not shared. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, make us in your image that we might be worthy witnesses of the joy that comes from your claiming us as friends. Amen.”
 Stanley Hauerwas, Prayers Plainly Spoken (InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 55.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Last night I ordered an old copy of the Missale Romanum, the Altar Missal for use with the Tridentine Rite Mass. No, I'm not swimming the Tiber--I've already done that and washed back up in the Thames. My fascination with Altar Missals began this summer whilst perusing the bookshops in Walsingham. It was in a smallish, but fantastic theological bookshop, where I came across a magnificent copy of the "Altar Missal," which was published in the late 1800s by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. Complete with old leather tabs and gilded pages, the missal includes the Sarum Rite, the South African Rite, and parts of the Roman Canon. You should have seen how I traveled with it back to the States from England!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
“Prosper them with your blessing…”
From the CR’s Office of Compline
The challenge: in 150 words or less, describe why you chose the Episcopal Church. This was the challenge that The Forward Movement gave to seminarians in anticipation of publishing a new booklet. Below is what I wrote and submitted.