Saturday, March 31, 2007

John Donne - Priest, Poet & Preacher 03/31/1631

John Donne was the most outstanding of the English Metaphysical Poets and a churchman famous for his spellbinding sermons. His poetry is noted for its ingenious fusion of wit and seriousness and represents a shift from classical models toward a more personal style.

Donne was born in London to a prominent Roman Catholic family but converted to Anglicanism during the 1590s. At the age of 11 he entered the University of Oxford, where he studied for three years. According to some accounts, he spent the next three years at the University of Cambridge but took no degree at either university. He began the study of law at Lincoln's Inn, London, in 1592, and he seemed destined for a legal or diplomatic career. In 1596, Donne joined the naval expedition that Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, led against Cádiz, Spain. On his return to England, Donne was appointed private secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton, Keeper of the Great Seal, in 1598. Donne's secret marriage in 1601 to Egerton's niece, Anne More, resulted in his dismissal from this position and in a brief imprisonment. The poet, in a characteristic pun, later summed up the experience: "John Donne, Anne Donne, Undone."

During the next few years Donne made a meager living as a lawyer, serving chiefly as counsel for Thomas Morton, an anti-Roman Catholic pamphleteer. Donne may have collaborated with Morton in writing pamphlets that appeared under Morton's name from 1604 to 1607. Donne's principal literary accomplishments during this period were Divine Poems (1607) and the prose work Biathanatos (c. 1608, posthumously published 1644), a half-serious extenuation of suicides, in which he argued that suicide is not intrinsically sinful. In 1608 a reconciliation was effected between Donne and his father-in-law, and his wife received a much-needed dowry. His next work, Pseudo-Martyr (1610), is a prose treatise maintaining that English Roman Catholics could, without breach of their religious loyalty, pledge an oath of allegiance to James I, king of England. This work won him the favor of the king. Donne became a priest of the Anglican church in 1615 and was appointed royal chaplain later that year. In 1621 was named dean of St. Paul's Cathedral. He attained eminence as a preacher, delivering sermons that are regarded as the most brilliant and eloquent of his time.

Donne's poetry embraces a wide range of secular and religious subjects. He wrote cynical verse about inconstancy (for example, Go and catch a falling star and I can love both fair and brown); poems about true love, such as The Good-Morrow and Sweetest love, I do not go/For weariness of thee; Neoplatonic lyrics on the mystical union of lovers' souls and bodies, such as Air and Angels and The Ecstasy; brilliant satires; hymns and holy sonnets depicting his own spiritual struggles, such as A Hymn to God the Father, Batter my heart, three-personed God, and I am a little world made cunningly, in which he begs God to purge him of sin. The two Anniversaries--An Anatomy of the World (1611) and Of the Progress of the Soul (1612)--are elegies for 15-year-old Elizabeth Drury, whose death epitomized for Donne the decay of the world, physically and morally, and whose entry into heaven heralded its potential regeneration.

It was formerly assumed that Donne's poetry reflected the growth of "Jack Donne" libertine into "Dr. John Donne," the somber dean of St. Paul's; that sensual love poetry typified his youth, while obsessive thoughts of sin and death characterized his later career. Except for the Anniversaries, however, nearly all his poems were published posthumously and cannot be dated. Moreover, whatever the subject, they reveal the same characteristics that typified the work of the metaphysical poets: dazzling wordplay, often explicitly sexual; paradox; subtle argumentation; surprising contrasts; intricate psychological analysis; and striking imagery selected from nontraditional areas such as law, physiology, scholastic philosophy, and mathematics. (A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning contains the famous comparison of lovers' souls to the legs of a compass.) Samuel Johnson disapproved, for "the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together." But T. S. Eliot, who championed the metaphysicals in the 20th century, praised Donne and his followers for achieving a "unification of sensibility."

Donne's prose, almost equally metaphysical, ranks at least as high as his poetry. The Sermons, some 160 in all, are especially memorable for their imaginative explications of biblical passages and for their intense explorations of the themes of divine love and of the decay and resurrection of the body. Paradoxes and Problems (c. 1598) is a collection of playful demonstrations (for example, "A Defence of Women's Inconstancy" and "Why Puritans Make Long Sermons"). In Ignatius His Conclave (c. 1610), satirizing the Jesuits, Loyola is ejected from hell and ordered to colonize the moon, where he will do less harm.

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624) is a powerful series of meditations, expostulations, and prayers in which Donne's serious sickness at the time becomes a microcosm wherein can be observed the stages of the world's spiritual disease. The work includes the celebrated reflection on the meaning of a distant funeral bell:

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; …

any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; and therefore

never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

Donne was fully prepared for his own death. Having left his sickbed to deliver his last sermon, fittingly entitled "Death's Duel," he then returned home to pose for his portrait in a funeral shroud. He died a month later.

Readings : Psalm 27:5-11 or 16:5-1, Wisdom 7:24--8:1, John 5:19-24


Almighty God, the root and fountain of all being: Open our eyes to see, with thy servant John Donne, that whatsoever hath any being is a mirror in which we may behold thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Our Lady of Walsingham

I usually see myself as a Conservative, Broad-Church Anglican at the center of the Cross (as illustrated in a previous post), but every now and then I will go off into one of the other directions.

This post is going to deal with one of my Anglo-Catholic bends, that of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

My wife and I had been hoping to have another child (my son is in desperate need of a sibling) and we where not succeeding, in my daily prayers I had asked for the blessing of another child and still no result. So, I diverted a little west on my Anglican compass and asked for Our Lady to join my prayer and instructed myself to do certain acts of thanksgiving when the prayer was answered.

1) Start a Traditional Anglican Mission Project in my area.

2) Donate to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

3) To buy an Icon of Our Lady of Walsingham.

4) To visit a local shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham at St. James Anglican (ACC) - Cleveland.

Well, Thanks Be to God, my prayers have been answered and #1&2 have been completed, I am shopping for #3 and planning #4.

Anglican Shrine -

Roman Shrine -

Orhtodox Chapel -

Online Shrine -

The Orthodox Christian Society of Our Lady of Walsingham

Friday, March 30, 2007

I have this Great Calendar

I recently received this excellent calendar (Thanks Betty) that I carry with me all the time in my messenger bag, along with a copy of the 1928 BCP, a pocket Bible and whatever the devotional book I am reading at the time (currently The Practice of Religion by A.C. Knowles).

It is a very well made and sturdy calendar, that contains the Liturgical color, A reading from the Gospels on Sunday, the Psalm and Bible readings for Morning and Evening Prayer, The Holy Days are noted and contains very nice reproductions of woodcut Biblical illustrations.

For more info :

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why Do They Flee?

The Anglican blogs are a buzz today over the letter from Bishop Love of the TEC Diocese of Albany about his predecessor leaving Anglicanism for Rome.

When I hear these stories it tears at me, not only about Bishops, Priests and Deacons, but of lay persons as well, I always ask, why do they flee to Rome or Constantinople? Does the thought of going to the Continuum ever enter their discernments? In the case of Bishop Herzog it is a great loss.

You may be wondering why I said that, it is not like he has given up the Christian faith, just moved to a different part. The loss is in the fact that he renounced his orders to be in communion with Rome, and now there is one less ordained Minister of Christ, in the Apostolic line, that could have been an asset to Anglicanism either in the Continuum or in another province of the Communion. This reminds me of a news story from my area a few years ago, an Orthodox TEC Priest retired and became a layman in an Eastern Orthodox parish, with no thoughts of becoming a Minister in his new denomination, all because he could not take the insanity that dominates ECUSA.

What does TEC get from other denominations, especially Rome? The disgruntled, wannabe, social justice is Christianity, I will show you men, Priestess'. Wow, what a deal! The one thing that has surprised me is that a former First "Lady"of my state, that was illegally ordained as a Priestess in the Roman Communion and subsequently excommunicated, has not tried her hand in ECUSA.

John Keble - Churchman - 29 March 1866

John Keble - Churchman - 29 March 1866

John Keble (April 25, 1792 – March 29, 1866) was an English churchman, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, and gave his name to Keble College, Oxford (1870).

John Keble, born 1792, ordained Priest in 1816, tutor at Oxford from 1818 to 1823, published in 1827 a book of poems called The Christian Year, containing poems for the Sundays and Feast Days of the Church Year. The book sold many copies, and was highly effective in spreading Keble's devotional and theological views. His style was more popular then than now, but some of his poems are still in use as hymns, such the three beginning:

New every morning is the love
Our waking and uprising prove,
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life and power and thought.
Sun of my soul, thou Savior dear,
It is not night if thou be near.
Oh, may no earthborn cloud arise
To hide thee from thy servant's eyes.
Blest are the pure in heart,
for they shall see our God.
The secret of the Lord is theirs;
Their soul is Christ's abode.

He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1831 to 1841, and from 1836 until his death thirty years later he was priest of a small parish in the village of Hursley near Winchester.

On 14 July 1833, he preached the Assize Sermon at Oxford. (This sermon marks the opening of a term of the civil and criminal courts, and is officially addressed to the judges and officers of the court, exhorting them to deal justly.) His sermon was called "National Apostasy," and denounced the Nation for turning away from God, and for regarding the Church as a mere institution of society, rather than as the prophetic voice of God, commissioned by Him to warn and instruct the people. The sermon was a nationwide sensation, and is considered to be the beginning of the religious revival known as the Tractarian Movement (so called because of a series of 90 Tracts, or pamphlets addressed to the public, which largely influenced the course of the movement) or as the Oxford Movement (not to be confused with the Oxford Group -- led by Frank Buchman and also called Moral Re-Armament, or MRA -- which came a century later and was quite different). Because the Tractarians emphasized the importance of the ministry and of the sacraments as God-given ordinances, they were suspected by their opponents of Roman Catholic tendencies, and the suspicion was reinforced when some of their leaders (John Henry Newman being the most conspicuous) did in fact become Roman Catholics. But the movement survived, and has profoundly influenced the religious thinking, practice, and worship of large portions of Christendom. Their insistence, for example, that it was the normal practice for all Christians to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion every Sunday has influenced many Christians who would never call themselves Anglicans, let alone Tractarians. Keble translated the works of Irenaeus of Lyons (28 June 202), and produced an edition of the works of Richard Hooker, a distinguished Anglican theologian (3 Nov 1600). He also wrote more books of poems, and numerous hymn lyrics. Three years after his death, his friends and admirers established Keble College at Oxford.

Biographies and Other Information

Readings : Psalm 26:1-8 or 15 Romans 12:9-21 Matthew 5:1-12


Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servant John Keble, we may accomplish with integrity and courage that which thou givest us to do, and endure that which thou givest us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Passiontide Video

Jeremy Camp - This Man

I really like this song; Jeremy camp has a voice that makes you pay attention to the lyrics.

When mixed with images from the movie "The Passion of the Christ", it creates a powerful message during Passiontide

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Charles Henry Brent

Charles Henry Brent - Missionary Bishop (27 March 1929)

During the Spanish-American War (1898), arising from a dispute over Cuba and Puerto Rico, the United States also acquired Guam and the Philippines. (For a brief note on the subsequent history of these territories, see Kamehameha, 28 November.) In 1902, the Episcopal Church appointed Charles Brent (at that time serving as priest in charge of a slum parish in Boston) as Missionary Bishop of the Philippines. He arrived on the same ship with the American Governor, William H. Taft, and carried with him the unofficial but very real prestige of the American establishment.

Brent could easily have confined himself to providing a kind of ecclesiastical "home away from home" for American officials and others stationed in the Islands. Equally, he could have devoted himself chiefly to efforts to convert the Roman Catholics, both of Spanish and of Filipino ancestry, whom the previous government had left behind. Instead, he directed his efforts toward the non-Christians of his diocese: the pagan Igorots of the mountains of Luzon, the Muslims of the southern islands, the Chinese settlements in Manila, all areas in which he made considerable inroads and established thriving Christian communities.

He began a campaign against the opium traffic, and served on several international commissions devoted to stamping out international traffic in narcotics. During World War I, he was the Senior Chaplain for the American Armed Forces in Europe. He declined three elections to bishoprics in the United States in order to continue his work in the Philippines, but in 1918, he accepted the position of Bishop of Western New York. His experiences in the Philippines had aroused in him a strong concern for the cause of visible Christian unity. He wrote:

The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity. The world will go limping until Christ's prayer that all may be one is answered. We must have unity, not at all costs, but at all risks. A unified Church is the only offering we dare present to the coming Christ, for in it alone will He find room to dwell.

He helped to organize the first World Conference on Faith and Order, which met in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1927. He died there in 1929, being 67 years minus 12 days old. The following prayer, written by him, is widely used today:

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst stretch out thine arms of love upon the hard wood of the Cross, that all men everywhere might come within the reach of thy saving embrace: So clothe us with thy Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know thee to the knowledge and love of thee; for the honor of thy Name.

The writer James Thayer Addison called him "a saint of disciplined mental vigor, one whom soldiers were proud to salute and whom children were happy to play with, who could dominate a parliament and minister to an invalid, a priest and bishop who gloried in the heritage of his Church, yet who stood among all Christian brothers as one who served."

by James Kiefer

Readings : Psalm 122 or 133 Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13 Matthew 9:35-38


Heavenly Father, whose Son did pray that we all might be one: deliver us, we beseech thee, from arrogance and prejudice, and give us wisdom and forbearance, that, following thy servant Charles Henry Brent, we may be united in one family with all who confess the Name of thy Son Jesus Christ: who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(transfered from 3/25/07 to 3/26/07)

In the first chapter of Luke we read how the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Christ, and how Mary answered, "Here I am, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me as you have said." It is reasonable to suppose that Our Lord was conceived immediately after this. Accordingly, since we celebrate His birth on 25 December, we celebrate the Annunciation nine months earlier, on 25 March.

For many centuries most European countries took 25 March, not 1 January, as the day when the number of the year changed, so that 24 March 1201 was followed by 25 March 1202. If you had asked a Christian of that time why the calendar year changed so awkwardly partway through a month, he would have answered: "Today we begin a new year of the Christian era, the era which began X years ago today when God was made man, when He took upon Himself a fleshly body and human nature in the womb of the Virgin." by James Kiefer

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Passion Sunday

Passion Sunday

Passion Sunday is a term sometimes used to denote the fifth Sunday of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar; since 1970, when the new church calendar approved by the Second Vatican Council went into effect, the term has more frequently been applied to the following Sunday, until then officially called Palm Sunday.

The new meaning does not appear to have caught on with most laypersons within either polity, however, the majority of whom continue to use Palm Sunday to refer to the Sunday before Easter.

In Traditional Catholic and Prayer Book Anglican circles, Passion Sunday continues to refer to the fifth Sunday in Lent; Passion Sunday is sometimes called 1st Sunday of Passion Time, with the 2nd Sunday being Palm Sunday.

Under the old calendar, Passion Sunday was also known as Judica Sunday, after that day's Introit: "Judica me, Deus" ("Judge me, O Lord") from Psalm 42 (43), and was called Black Sunday in Germany. This alternate name originates from the fact that after Passion Sunday, the Judica Psalm was not said again until Easter; the German title comes from the old practice of veiling the crucifixes and statues in the church on that day. (However, purple veils were used for such covers in the pre-Vatican II rite.)

When the term Passion Sunday is applied to the fifth Sunday of Lent, it marks the start of a two-week sub-season often referred to as Passiontide (and the formal name for it in the Roman Catholic calendar was actually the First Sunday of the Passion, in Latin Tempore Passionis).

In Anglican churches that chose to follow the Sarum Rite, crimson vestments are pressed into service on this day - replacing the Lenten array (unbleached muslin cloth) - and vestments remained crimson through Holy Saturday.

Since Passion Sunday has no longer widely been used to mean the fifth Sunday of Lent, crimson has more often been worn during the last week before Easter only.

The entire week beginning with the fifth Sunday of Lent was often called Passion Week prior to the calendar reform, which officially transferred that term to the following week; yet, as in the case of Palm Sunday, most Roman Catholic and Protestant laity alike continue to refer to the last week before Easter by its original name, that of Holy Week.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A New Home

The Western Reserve Anglican Fellowship is now at it's own domain and is now an affiliate mission project of The United Episcopal Church of North America.

Please come and join us at

For those who are still interested in the articles contained in this blog, the new name is The Ohio

Friday, March 23, 2007

Coming Soon

Coming Soon......

The Western Reserve Anglican Fellowship will be moving to it's own website with some great news on the mission front.

This blog will still be here, with the same content, but it will have a new name.

Thanks All and God Bless

Gregory the Illuminator, Apostle to Armenia

Gregory the Illuminator, Apostle to Armenia 23 March 332

The ancient kingdom of Armenia was the first country to become Christian, and it recognizes Gregory as its apostle. Armenia was a buffer state between the powerful empires of Rome and Parthia (Persia), and both of them sought to control it. Gregory was born about 257.

When he was still an infant, his father assassinated the King of Parthia, and friends of the family carried Gregory away for protection to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he was reared as a Christian.

About 280 he returned to Armenia, where he was at first treated severely, but eventually by his preaching and example brought both King Tiridates and a majority of his people to the Christian faith.

About 300, Gregory was consecrated the first bishop of Armenia. He died about 332. Armenian Christians to this day remember him with honor and gratitude. -- written by James Kieffer

More Info - Here

Readings - Psalm 33:6-11 or 98:1-4 - Acts 17:22-31 - Matthew 5:11-16

Prayer :

Almighty God, who willest to be glorified in thy saints, and didst raise up thy servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray thee, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth thy praise, who hast called us out of darkness into thy marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

James DeKoven

The Rev. Dr. James DeKoven (September 19, 1831 – March 22, 1879) was a priest, an educator, and a leader of the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Episcopal Church.

James DeKoven Educated at Columbia College and General Theological Seminary, he was ordained deacon in 1854 and priest in 1855. He taught at Nashotah House beginning in 1854 and at Racine College beginning in 1859.

At the General Conventions of 1871 and 1874, DeKoven defended the use of candles, incense, and such liturgical gestures as bowing and kneeling. In 1874 he was elected Bishop of Wisconsin, and in 1875 Bishop of Illinois, but because his "ritualist" stance was controversial he did not receive the required consents from other dioceses and never became a bishop.

DeKoven is buried on the grounds of Racine College, now the DeKoven Foundation, in Racine, Wisconsin.

Biographies - Here - Here - Here

Readings - 2 Timothy 2:10-15, 19 - Matthew 13:47-52 - Psalm 103:1-4, 13-18 or Psalm 84:7-12

Basil, Presbyter of the Church in Ankara

Basil, presbyter of the Church in Ankara lived during the time of Julian the apostate and Satorninus governor of Ankara in 362.

Basil was accused and was brought to the governor who questioned him whether he denied Christ. When Julian passed through Ankara, the saint was brought to him shackled.

He was questioned by Julian but did not deny Christ. So, Julian delivered him to count Flaventius who executed him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thomas Ken

Thomas Ken (July 1637 – 19 March 1711), English churchman, was the most eminent of the English non-juring bishops, and one of the fathers of modern English hymnology.

Biographies - Here & Here

The Works of Thomas Ken at Project Canterbury


Psalm 34:1-8 - Philippians 4:4-9 - Luke 6:17-23


Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Thomas Ken grace and courage to bear witness to the truth before rulers and kings: Give us also thy strength that, following his example, we may constantly defend what is right, boldly reprove what is evil, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and ever. Amen.

DC Talk - Jesus Freak

Some people have a problem with Christian music that has an edge or seems too modern.

If you look back through history, Christian music has reflected it's time and place of origin and the way it proclaimed its love of GOD in a way felt by those who wrote it and heard it.

The other point that the song and the imagery of the video makes, that people have been persecuted for their faith even unto ridicule, torture or death. The images shown of persecution are mainly from the Soviet era in Russia, NAZISM in Germany and the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.

I am posting this music video also as a dedication to all those who are persecuted to this day for their Christian faith.

Indonesian militants jailed for beheading schoolgirls -

The Voice of the Martyrs -

Missionary murdered in Dili -,20867,20787693-23109,00.html

Australian missionary beheaded -

Graham Stuart Staines -

Benedict of Nursia

St. Benedict of Nursia

On this date on the Scottish and English Calendars we remember Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino and founder of Benedictine Order.

Saint Benedict of Nursia (c. 480 AD – 543 AD) was born at Nursia (Norcia) Italy to a wealthy Roman family, making him liberiori genere, ‘of good birth.' Tradition gives him a twin sister, Scholastica. St. Benedict’s Italy was an unstable province of a collapsing Roman Empire, and throughout the fifth century, waves of invaders weakened the peninsula. First Goth warriors marched along the Via Flaminia and into Rome, sacking it in 410. Others soon followed. Into this fragile, violent world, Benedict (or ‘Bennet’) was born among the Apennine valleys and mountains of central Italy. St. Benedict was married to a young woman, her name is not available, but she had dark brown hair and black eyes with white skin. St. Benedict was not supposed to be married but was any way in 522.

Benedict founded twelve monasteries, the best known of which was his first monastery at Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. The monastery at Monte Cassino was the first Benedictine monastery (most monasteries of the Middle Ages were of the Benedictine Order). Benedict wrote a set of rules governing his monks, the Rule of Saint Benedict, which was heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian. The Benedictine Rule, one of the more influential documents in Western Civilization, was adopted by most monasteries founded throughout the Middle Ages. Because of this, Benedict is often called "the founder of western Christian monasticism." Benedict was canonized a saint in 1220.

More info here -

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne

St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (ca. 63420 March 687) was an Anglo-Saxon monk and bishop in the Kingdom of Northumbria which at that time included, in modern terms, north east England and south east Scotland as far as the Firth of Forth. Afterwards he became one of the most important medieval saints of England, with widespread recognition in the places he had been in Scotland.

Cuthbert is regarded as the patron saint of Northumbria. His feast day is March 20.

Propers (link)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Joseph, Guardian of Our Lord

St. Joseph, Guardian of Our Lord

All that we know of Joseph we learn from the first two chapters of Matthew and of Luke. Otherwise he is mentioned only in passing in Luke 3:23; John 1:45; John 6:42 as the supposed father of Jesus. (Mark does not mention him at all.)

In the face of circumstances where a man of lesser character might have reacted very differently, Joseph graciously assumed the role of Jesus' father. He is well remembered in Christian tradition for the love he showed to the boy Jesus, and for his tender affection and care for Mary, during the twelve years and more that he was their protector.

In the face of circumstances where a man of lesser character might have reacted very differently, Joseph graciously assumed the role of Jesus' father. He is well remembered in Christian tradition for the love he showed to the boy Jesus, and for his tender affection and care for Mary, during the twelve years and more that he was their protector. - written by James Kiefer

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Prayer Book Society: News: A Sunday with so many Names—March 18, 2007

In 2007 in the Calendar we get two special days next to each other and both have traditionally (where Lent is taken seriously) had relaxed discipline attached to them – St Patrick's Day on the 17th March and Mothering Sunday on the 18th. Let us reflect upon the Sunday, for it is much undervalued and often misunderstood. We shall note that its full meaning is only accessible where there is use or knowledge of the traditional Epistle and Gospel in the Eucharistic Lectionary of the Church in the West and in the Ecclesia Anglicana in particular.


The Prayer Book Society: News: A Sunday with so many Names—March 18, 2007

Edward of Wessex the Martyr

Edward of Wessex

King Edward the Martyr or Eadweard II (c. 962 – March 18, 978/979) succeeded his father Edgar as King of Wessex in 975, but was murdered after a reign of only a few years. As the murder was attributed to "irreligious" opponents, whereas Edward himself was considered a good Christian, he was canonized as Saint Edward the Martyr in 1001.

(no propers as it is pre-empted by Sunday worship)

Cyril of Jerusalem

Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Theologian 18 March 386

Cyril was born in Jerusalem around 315, and became bishop of that city in about 349. The years between the Council of Nicea (325) and the Council of Constantinople (381) were troubled years, in which the Church, having committed itself at Nicea, over the strenuous protests of the Arians, to the proposition that the Son is "one in being" (homo-ousios) with the Father, began to backtrack and consider whether there was some other formula that would adequately express the Lordship of Christ but not be "divisive." Experience with other ways of stating what Christians believed about the Son and his relation to the Father finally led the Church to conclude that the Nicene formulation was the only way of safeguarding the doctrine that Thomas spoke truly (John 20:28) when he said to Jesus, "My Lord and My God!" But this was not obvious from the beginning, and Cyril was among those who looked for a way of expressing the doctrine that would be acceptable to all parties. As a result, he was exiled from his bishopric three times, for a total of sixteen years, once by the Athanasians and twice by the Arians. He eventually came to the conclusion, as did most other Christians of the time, that there was no alternative to the Nicene formula, and in 381 he attended the Council of Constantinople and voted for that position.

Cyril is author of the Catecheses, or Catechetical Lectures on the Christian Faith. These consist of an introductory lecture, then eighteen lectures on the Christian Faith to be delivered during Lent to those about to be baptized at Easter, and then five lectures on the Sacraments to be delivered after Easter to the newly baptized. These have been translated into English (F L Cross, 1951), and are the oldest such lectures surviving. (It is thought that they were used over and over by Cyril and his successors, and that they may have undergone some revision in the process.)

Every year, thousands of Christian pilgrims came to Jerusalem, especially for Holy Week. It is probably Cyril who instituted the liturgical forms for that week as they were observed in Jerusalem at the pilgrimage sites, were spread to other churches by returning pilgrims, and have come down to us today, with the procession with palms on Palm Sunday, and the services for the following days, culminating in the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. We have a detailed account of Holy Week observances in Jerusalem in the fourth century, thanks to a a Spanish nun named Egeria who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and kept a journal which is a historian's delight.

Note: In reading the collect some Christians will wish to substitute the word "pastors" for the word "bishops."

written by James Kiefer

(no propers as it is pre-empted by Sunday worship)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick

Patrick was born about 390, in southwest Britain, somewhere between the Severn and the Clyde rivers, son of a deacon and grandson of a priest. When about sixteen years old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Until this time, he had, by his own account, cared nothing for God, but now he turned to God for help. After six years, he either escaped or was freed, made his way to a port 200 miles away, and there persuaded some sailors to take him onto their ship. He returned to his family much changed, and began to prepare for the priesthood, and to study the Bible.

Around 435, Patrick was commissioned, perhaps by bishops in Gaul and perhaps by the Pope, to go to Ireland as a bishop and missionary. Four years earlier another bishop, Palladius, had gone to Ireland to preach, but he was no longer there. Patrick made his headquarters at Armagh in the North, where he built a school, and had the protection of the local monarch. From this base he made extensive missionary journeys, with considerable success. To say that he single-handedly turned Ireland from a pagan to a Christian country is an exaggeration, but is not far from the truth.

Almost everything we know about him comes from his own writings, available in English in the Ancient Christian Writers series. He has left us an autobiography (called the Confessio), a Letter to Coroticus in which he denounces the slave trade and rebukes the British chieftain Coroticus for taking part in it, and the Lorica (or "Breastplate" a poem of disputed authorship traditionally attributed to Patrick), a work that has been called "part prayer, part anthem, and part incantation." The Lorica is a truly magnificent hymn, found today in many hymnals (usually abridged by the omission of the two stanzas bracketed below). The translation into English as given here is by Cecil Frances Alexander, whose husband was Archbishop of Armagh, and thus the direct successor of Patrick. She published nearly 400 poems and hymns of her own, including the well-known "There is a green hill far away," "Once in royal David's city," "Jesus calls us; o'er the tumult," and "All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small."

The Propers (link)

The Lorica, or, St. Patrick's Breastplate

The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as "St. Patrick's Breast-Plate", is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for a major victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:

I bind to myself today The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:I believe the Trinity in the Unity The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism, The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial, The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension, The virtue of His coming on the Judgment Day.

I bind to myself today The virtue of the love of seraphim,In the obedience of angels,In the hope of resurrection unto reward, In prayers of Patriarchs, In predictions of Prophets, In preaching of Apostles, In faith of Confessors, In purity of holy Virgins, In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today The power of Heaven,The light of the sun,The brightness of the moon,The splendour of fire,The flashing of lightning,The swiftness of wind,The depth of sea,The stability of earth,The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today God's Power to guide me,God's Might to uphold me,God's Wisdom to teach me,God's Eye to watch over me,God's Ear to hear me,God's Word to give me speech,God's Hand to guide me,God's Way to lie before me,God's Shield to shelter me,God's Host to secure me,Against the snares of demons,Against the seductions of vices,Against the lusts of nature,Against everyone who meditates injury to me, Whether far or near, Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues Against every hostile merciless power Which may assail my body and my soul,Against the incantations of false prophets, Against the black laws of heathenism, Against the false laws of heresy, Against the deceits of idolatry, Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids, Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today Against every poison, against burning,Against drowning, against death-wound,That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,Christ behind me, Christ within me,Christ beneath me, Christ above me,Christ at my right, Christ at my left,Christ in the fort,Christ in the chariot seat,Christ in the poop [deck],Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

Friday, March 16, 2007

This is Unreal

One of the wonderful things in the Anglican tradition is the great architecture, from small country parishes to grand cathedrals.

This is good.......

This is nice.......


But in their haste to remake Anglicanism in their image, the revisionists not only have trashed the theology and clerical fashion, they also trashed the architecture.

What the.................?!?!?

The Jesus Film Project

Perfect for this time of year or anytime; this is a full length film (approx. 2 hrs.) that you can watch on your computer and share with others; please, donate or volunteer if you can.

From the Website ----

The JESUS Film Project distributes the film "JESUS," a two-hour docudrama about the life of Christ based on the Gospel of Luke. The film has been seen in every country of the world and translated into hundreds of languages since its initial release in 1979. Our goal is to reach every nation, tribe, people and tongue, helping them see and hear the story of Jesus in a language they can understand. So whether a person speaks Swahili, French, or a language whose name is extremely difficult for most to pronounce, he or she will encounter the life and message of Jesus in a language "of the heart."

Many mission experts have acclaimed the "JESUS" film as one of the greatest evangelistic success stories of all time. The ultimate success of this project won't be measured by how many people have already seen it, but by how many will follow Him after seeing this film.

Through use by The JESUS Film Project, and more than 1,500 Christian agencies, this powerful film has had more than 6 billion viewings worldwide since 1979. On top of that, the great majority of those heard the story of Jesus in a language they easily understand.

As a result, more than 200 million people have indicated decisions to accept Christ as their personal Savior and Lord.

Holy Martyr Sabinus the Egyptian

Sabinus the Egyptian. lived during the reign of Diocletian in 299. He came from the city of Hermoupolis-in-Egypt. While he was hiding with other Christians in a little house outside the city, the idolaters were looking for him, because the Christians honoured him greatly and because he was a nobleman and because he surpassed all the others at the zeal of faith. So, he was brought to Arrhianos, the governor of the city, and confessed his faith in Christ and was executed.

Illonen St. Urho's Paivaa!!!

Due to a lack a time and a lack of creativity on my part I did a quick scan of the feeds and found that today is St. Urho's day (Patron Saint of Finland).

Learn more about St. Urho

Here -


Here -

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Victory in Jesus

How True.....

A great and powerful song by a gifted singer.

A Worthy Cause

In wake of hurricane Katrina in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, there comes a story that everyone should here. A story of hope and of renewal in faith, a true faith in God rooted in the past and moving forward into the future.

The Free Church of the Annunciation is a mission Church of the Parish of All Souls and these two growing, faithful and hardworking congregations are led by men of unique character and background. The amazing work they have done and faith and love for God and each other that they have shown is remarkable and rooted in traditional Anglicanism. And even though they are part of The Episcopal Church (ECUSA), they use the Orthodox Book of Common Prayer (US 1928)

Please, take time to learn more about what is happening and the people of these great congregations and if it is possible make a donation.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Where Does Anglicanism Live?

Opinion - Kevin Curtis
Here is a quick rundown on my perspective of where Anglicanism lives, and what makes it a comfortable expression of Christian faith to me.

We hear the phrase "via media" (the middle way) to describe Anglicanism as the middle road between the Romish and Protestant traditions. I see it more as an intersection, where all the acceptable traditions and practices of Christian belief intersect.

As an illustration, consider the Celtic Cross and the intersection of that Cross and the circle that encompasses that intersection as the place where all the different Christian elements meet to create Anglicanism.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Everyone is Welcome

An idea I would like to get out there is this.....

The WRAF is not just for Anglicans, there are people of other denominations who like to worship in the Anglican way once in a while [especially you closet Prayer Book Baptists, you know who you are :) ]

Everyone is Welcome

Thursday, March 8, 2007


For those who are curious as to what direction the fellowship will follow, "Low Church" or "High Church", the answer is "Broad Church". Not the post-modern version of the term, but the traditional definition...."After the terms High Church and Low Church came to distinguish the tendency toward Ritualism and Anglo-Catholicism on the one hand and Puritanism on the other, those Anglicans tolerant of multiple forms of conformity to ecclesiastical authority came to be referred to as "Broad." As the name implies, parishes associated with this variety of churchmanship will mix High and Low forms, reflective of the often eclectic liturgical and doctrinal preferences of clergy and laity."

There will be no secularism, political activism, Gnosticism or neo-paganism, like what corrupted the Broad Churchmanship in The Episcopal Church (ECUSA). The Western Reserve Anglican Fellowship will embrace a wide range of acceptable and Biblically sound Christian worship, devotions and music. The LORD has given mankind many gifts, creativity being one of the greatest and we can use the inventions of our creativity to help us in showing praise unto the LORD.

In Bluffton, SC there is a Church, on the outside it looks like a modern non-denominational mega-Church, but it is not. This is one of two Church buildings belonging to the same parish the other building was built in the colonial era over 250 years ago. It is The Church of the Cross and it is a very large, healthy and vibrant parish (even though it is still in ECUSA!!) and this parish has two Rectors, one of whom is the Rev. Jay Slocum. Rev. Slocum and The Church of the Cross is a great example of modern Broad Churchmanship and use modern technology to enhance their strong beliefs and worship. (please follow the links and see for yourself)