Monday, April 30, 2007

Masculine Christianity

It doesn’t seem to matter what I am doing lately, or what media I find it in, but for the past few days one subject keeps coming-up, Masculine Christianity.

Now it seems when you use the phrase “masculine Christianity” around some people, it offends them to no end; they start conjuring-up images of horse borne crusaders impaling un-armed non-believers or the Spanish Inquisition.

But then again those are the same people who like an emasculated Church, who feel threatened by strong, secure male types. They prefer the women to wear purple and the men to wear pink.

The moral center of our nation, culture and civilization is corrupt and rotten. We have lost the intestinal fortitude necessary to keep order in our lives; the family and the Church has lost the most vital component, the male persona. A male persona that is willing to speak plainly, love his God, his family and his country, to hug those in need of comfort, but is also ready to stomp-out the evil in the world.

It is a hard sell, especially when you have people who are suppose to be example of strong traditional Christian values, that hide the fact that they are as morally bankrupt as any hedonist on the planet.

Now, before I get flamed for being, un-Christian and casting the first stone, I know that they can be forgiven if they are truly penitent; I am just using examples. There is an expression that Christians are our own worst enemy, when it comes to bringing people into the Church. This goes back to the “do as I say not as I do” syndrome of hypocrisy.

We all remember the ultra judgmental “Church Lady” , well this character is like my paternal great-grandmother (the Über-Methodist) and my maternal great-grandmother (the Über-Baptist), they did more to drive my family away from Church as anything; and there are still many like them continuing the tradition (in all denominations) of driving people away because they don’t meet the strict Church Lady moral code. My point here is that we never hear of the “Church Gent”, well maybe I know of one (an RC who is in touch with his feminine side, he is straight though).

Here are some of the links to material on the internet that spawned this post.

[begin rant] In conclusion, I would like to say that now is the time for Christian men to reassert themselves in the world; to bring the “Good News” to others who have not heard, to be role models for their family, friends and neighbors, to be the moral center of our civilization and our defenders against the forces of evil. To all those who want to paint strong Christian male figures (Pope Benedict, GWB, ++Akinola and most members of the U.S. military) as bloodthirsty, self-righteous, homophobic warmongers, remember this, those same men have done more to protect your rights to bash them than anyone; do you think that your post-modern mindset would be tolerated under the religion of “Peace and Love” or some secular totalitarian regime?[end rant]

St. Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena (March 25, 1347 - April 29, 1380) was a Dominican Tertiary (lay affiliate) of the Dominican Order. Catherine was the 23rd child out of 25 (her twin sister, the 24th, died at birth); her parents were Giacomo di Benincasa, a cloth-dyer, and his wife, Lapa Piagenti, daughter of a local poet.

A native of Siena, Catherine received no formal education. At the age of six, she had a vision of Christ in glory, surrounded by His saints, from that time on, she spent most of her time in prayer and meditation, at the age of seven she consecrated her virginity to Christ, despite the opposition of her parents, who wanted her to be more like the average girl of her social class. Eventually they gave in, and at the age of sixteen she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic (First Order = friars, Second Order = nuns, Third Order = laypersons), where she became a nurse, caring for patients with leprosy and advanced cancer whom other nurses disliked to treat. As a tertiary, Catherine lived at home rather than in a convent, and she practiced acts of mortification there which a prioress would probably not have permitted. She is especially famous for fasting by living for long periods of time on nothing but the Blessed Sacrament.

She began to acquire a reputation as a person of insight and sound judgment, and many persons from all walks of life sought her spiritual advice, both in person and by letter. (We have a book containing about four hundred letters from her to bishops, kings, scholars, merchants, and obscure peasants.) She persuaded many priests who were living in luxury to give away their goods and to live simply.

In about 1366, Catherine experienced what she described in her letters as a 'Mystical Marriage' with Jesus, after which she began to tend the sick and serve the poor. In 1370 she received a series of visions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, after which she heard a command to leave her withdrawn life and enter the public life of the world. She began to write letters to men and women in authority, especially begging for peace between the republics and principalities of Italy and for the return of the Papacy from Avignon to Rome. She carried on a long correspondence with Pope Gregory XI, also asking him to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States.

In June of 1376 Catherine went to Avignon herself as ambassador of Florence to make peace with the Papal States, but was unsuccessful. She impressed the Pope so much, however, that he returned his administration to Rome in January of 1377. During the Western Schism of 1378 she was an adherent of Pope Urban VI, who summoned her to Rome where she lived until her death in 1380.

Catherine's letters are considered one of the great works of early Tuscan literature. More than 300 letters have survived. In her letters to the Pope, she often referred to him affectionately as "Papa" or "Daddy" ("Babbo" in Italian). Her major work is the Dialogue of divine providence.

Catherine is known (1) as a mystic, a contemplative who devoted herself to prayer, (2) as a humanitarian, a nurse who undertook to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the sick; (3) as an activist, a renewer of Church and society, who took a strong stand on the issues affecting society in her day, and who never hesitated (in the old Quaker phrase) "to speak truth to power"; (4) as an adviser and counselor, with a wide range of interests, who always made time for troubled and uncertain persons who told her their problems -- large and trivial, religious and secular.

Pope Pius II canonized Catherine in 1461. Her feast day is April 29 in the new Roman calendar and April 30 in the traditional Roman calendar. This date is observed by various Christians including Anglicans and Lutherans although many refer to such days as commemorations and such. Pope Paul VI bestowed on her in 1970 the title of Doctor of the Church - making her the first woman, along with Saint Teresa of Ávila, ever to receive this honor. In 1999 Pope John Paul II made her one of Europe's patron saints. Saint Catherine is also the patroness of the historically Catholic American sorority, Theta Phi Alpha.

St. Catherine is the patron saint of fire prevention and Italy. Her great learning earned her the title Doctor of the Church and she used her wisdom to challenge the authorities on matters she was passionate about. Her ability to engage important issues with Popes was a highly unusual and controversial role for women of her time.

Propers for Catherine of Sienna

The Collect

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy servant Catherine: Grant to us thy humble servants, the same faith and power of Love; that, as we rejoice in her triumph, we may profit by her example; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2

SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a of cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40

WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the lease of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Cited References

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Sign of The Times?

"Once for all, I must protest against the modern notion, that it does not matter the least what religious opinions a man holds, so long as he is in "earnest" about them, "that one creed is just as good as another," and that all "earnest" men will somehow or other at last find themselves in heaven. I cannot hold such an opinion, so long as I believe that the Bible is a revelation from God. I would extend to every one the widest liberty and toleration. I abhor the idea of persecuting any one for his opinions. I would "think and let think." But so long as I have breath in my body, I shall always contend that there is such a thing as revealed truth, "that men may find out what truth is if they will honestly seek for it," and that mere earnestness and zeal, without Scriptural knowledge, will never give any one comfort in life, peace in death, or boldness in the day of judgment."

Was this quote written in :
A) 1877?
B) 1927?
C) 1977?
D) 2007?

Check back later for the answer.

The answer is A) The following article is taken from 'Knots Untied' by J.C. Ryle (first published in 1877).

St. Mark the Evangelist

St. Mark The Evangelist
The book of Acts mentions a Mark, or John Mark, a kinsman of Barnabas (Col 4:10). The house of his mother Mary was a meeting place for Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). When Paul and Barnabas, who had been in Antioch, came to Jerusalem, they brought Mark back to Antioch with them (12:25), and he accompanied them on their first missionary journey (13:5), but left them prematurely and returned to Jerusalem (13:13). When Paul and Barnabas were about to set out on a second missionary journey, Barnabas proposed to take Mark, but Paul thought him unreliable, so that eventually Barnabas made one journey taking Mark, and Paul another journey taking Silas (15:36-40). Mark is not mentioned again in Acts. However, it appears that he became more reliable, for Paul mentions him as a trusted assistant in Colossians 4:10 and again in 2 Timothy 4:11.

The Apostle Peter had a co-worker whom he refers to as "my son Mark" (1 Peter 5:13). Papias, an early second century writer, in describing the origins of the Gospels, tells us that Mark was the "interpreter" of Peter, and that he wrote down ("but not in order") the stories that he had heard Peter tell in his preaching about the life and teachings of Jesus.

The Gospel of Mark, in describing the arrest of Jesus (14:51f), speaks of a young man who followed the arresting party, wearing only a linen cloth wrapped around his body, whom the arresting party tried to seize, but who left the cloth in their hands and fled naked. It is speculated that this young man was the writer himself, since the detail is hardly worth mentioning if he were not.

Tradition has it that after the death of Peter, Mark left Rome and went to preach in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was eventually martyred.

It is natural to identify the John Mark of Acts with the Gospel-writer and interpreter of Peter, and this identification is standard in liturgical references to Mark. However, "Mark" is the commonest of Latin first names, and they may well have been separate persons.

Mark's symbol in art is a Lion, usually winged. In the book of Revelation, the visionary sees about the throne of God four winged creatures: a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle. (Compare with the cherubs in Ezek 1 and 10.) It has customarily been supposed that these represent the four Gospels, or the four Evangelists (Gospel-writers). One way of matching them is to say that the man stands for Matthew, whose narrative begins with the human genealogy of Jesus; that the lion stands for Mark, whose narrative begins with John the Baptist crying out in the desert (a lion roars in the desert); that the ox, a sacrificial animal, stands for Luke, whose narrative begins in the Temple, and that the eagle stands for John, whose narrative begins in Heaven, with the eternal Word. How old this correspondence is I do not know. I have seen it in an illustrated Gospel-book from the early 800's. An alternative assignment, which I think to be far more recent, calls Matthew the lion (because he portrays Christ as the Messiah, the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy, "the lion of the tribe of Judah"), Mark the ox (because he portrays Christ the servant, constantly doing the work for which he was sent), Luke the man (because he portrays the humanity and compassion of Christ), and John the eagle (because he portrays Christ as the eternal Word, who came down from Heaven).

--- James Kiefer

The Collect

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly
doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace that. being not like
children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established
in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Ephes. iv. 7

UNTO every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we hence-forth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

The Gospel - St. John xv. 1

I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husband-man. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye,
except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them. and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Martyrs of Armenia

We should always remember the past, for if we do not it is bound to repeat itself. In light of the recent attacks on Christians in Turkey we must remember what happened to the Christian-Armenian minority in the last century.


The Martyrs of Armenia 24 April 1915

Armenia is located at the east end of modern Turkey, with some of its traditional territory now in Turkey and some across the border in the former Soviet Union. The Armenians were converted to Christianity around 280 or 290, and are accounted the first country to become predominantly Christian. Their country is located at a spot where empires have clashed for centuries, and they have often been caught in the middle. For centuries they have been dominated by their Muslim neighbors, most recently the Turks of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turks were concerned about the possibility of an Armenian revolt. In 1895 and 1896 the Turkish Army killed about 100,000 Armenian civilians. Then in 1915, early in World War I, with Turkey fighting on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and Russia fighting in alliance with the British and French on the other side, the Turkish government accused the Armenians of plotting with the Russians to assist a Russian invasion of Turkey. That spring, around 600,000 Armenians were killed by the Turkish Army, in an attempt to exterminate the Armenians completely. Much of the slaughter took place on 24 April 1915. The survivors were driven eastward and escaped into Russia. On 29 November 1920, most of Armenia was annexed by the Soviet Union.

It is sometimes said that the issues here were national, political, and ethnic rather than religious, and that the victims therefore do no qualify as martyrs. However, many of the Armenians, when about to be killed, were given the option of saving their lives by converting to Islam. Few did.

---- James Kiefer
O Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyrs of Armenia triumphed over suffering and were faithful even unto death: Grant us, who now remember them with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to thee in this world, that we may receive with them the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 23, 2007

St. George

St. George

Soldier and Martyr - Patron Saint of England

George is a soldier and martyr who suffered around 303 at Lydda (Diospolis) in Palestine. The earliest surviving record of him is a church inscription in Syria, dated about 346. Commemorations of him are numerous, early, and widespread. However, no details of his life are known. In 495 his name appears on a list of "good men, justly remembered, whose good deeds are known only to God." The best-known story about him is that he rescued a beautiful princess in Libya by killing a dragon. It should be noted that this story is unknown before the appearance in 1265 of a romance called the Golden Legend (Legendum Aureum), translated into English in 1483.

When the soldiers of the First Crusade were besieging Antioch in 1098, they had a vision of George and Demetrius (a deacon of Sirmium in Serbia, martyred under Maximian, and referred to as a "soldier of Christ," from which he was often understood to be a literal soldier) encouraging them to maintain the siege, which ultimately proved successful. Richard I ("the Lion-Heart") of England, who fought in the Holy Land in 1191-1192, placed himself and his army under George's protection, and with the return home of the Crusaders, the popularity of George in England increased greatly. Edward III founded the Order of the Garter in 1348 under his patronage, his banner (a red cross on a white field) began to be used as the English national flag in 1284, and in 1415 Henry V spoke of him to rally the troops before the battle of Agincourt ("Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our English dead!" and the English troops are rallied with the cry “God for Harry, England and St George.”), and in the years following George was regarded as the special patron of England, of soldiers, and of the Boy Scouts, as well as of Venice, Genoa, Portugal, and Catalonia. He is also remembered with enthusiasm in many parts of the East Orthodox Church. He is a principal character in Edmund Spenser's allegorical poem The Faerie Queene, written in the late 1500's.

- James Kiefer & Kevin Curtis


The Collect
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr George with the virtue of constancy in faith and truth: Grant us in like manner for love of thee to despise the prosperity of this world, and to fear none of its adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48
I ESDRAS saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marvelled at greatly. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these? He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. Then said I unto the angel. What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands? So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord. Then the angel said unto me, Go thy way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord thy God, thou hast seen.
The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22
BEHOLD, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall he brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

He that hath ears… » My Ordination to the Priesthood

He that hath ears… » My Ordination to the Priesthood

Congratulations to UECNA Web Servant and fellow blogger Don Pendergraft on his Ordination to the Priesthood.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Anselm Of Canterbury

Anselm Of Canterbury

Monk - Archbishop - Theologian - 21 April 1109

Anselm is the most important Christian theologian in the West between Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. His two great accomplishments are his Proslogium (in which he undertakes to show that Reason requires that men should believe in God), and his Cur Deus Homo? (in which he undertakes to show that Divine Love responding to human rebelliousness requires that God should become a man).

He was born in Italy about 1033, and in 1060 he entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy to study under Stephen Lanfranc, whom he succeeded in office, first as prior of Bec, and later as Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1078 he was elected abbot of Bec. The previous year, he completed a work called the Monologium, in which he argues for the existence of God from the existence of degrees of perfection (Aquinas's Fourth Way is a variation of this argument).

In 1087, while still at Bec, he produced his Proslogium, an outline of his "ontological argument" for the existence of God. Taking as his text the opening of Psalm 14 ("The fool hath said in his heart: There is no God."), Anselm undertakes to show that the fool is contradicting himself -- that the concept of God is unique in that anyone who understands what is meant by the question, "Does God exist?" will see that the answer must be "Yes." The argument has received mixed reviews from the start. Almost at once another theologian, Gaunilon, wrote, "A Reply on Behalf of the Fool." Thomas Aquinas rejected Anselm's argument as inconclusive (and is followed in this by most Roman Catholic writers today). Kant practically made his reputation as a philosopher by explaining in detail what he thought was wrong with Anselm's argument. On the other hand, Leibniz and others have thought it valid. My Plato professor (R E Allen), no friend of Christianity, says of the argument: "It is one of the most exasperating arguments in the history of philosophy. Every time that you think you have finally refuted it, you end up finding something wrong with your refutation." Modern defenders of the argument include Goedel (the writer on mathematical consistency and provability), Hartshorne, and C Anthony Anderson of Minnesota, or perhaps by this time of California (last time I saw him, he was considering an offer). (Anderson is an atheist. I asked him how he reconciled his atheism with his defense of Anselm, and he said, "I am an atheist on faith. Surely you have met theists who believed in God on faith, despite knowing arguments on the other side that they could not really answer.") For an introduction, see the book God And Other Minds, by Alvin Plantinga. For Goedel's version of the argument, and a reply pointing out a flaw in the argument, and for Anderson's restatement of the Goedel's argument in terms that avoid the original flaw, see Anderson's article, "Some Emendations of Goedel's Ontological Proof" in the magazine Philosophy And Faith, volume 7, July 1990, pp 291-303. Note that this article and the two earlier ones to which it refers all make extensive use of symbolic logical notation, and will be heavy reading for those not accustomed to said notation.

King William II of England had no fondness for the Church, and at the death of Lanfranc he kept the See of Canterbury vacant until he was gravely ill, whereon he promised to let Anselm be made Archbishop. Anselm was made Archbishop (4 December 1093), the King recovered, and the two began to dispute the extent of the King's right to intervene in Church matters. Anselm went into exile in 1097 and remained in Italy for three years until the King died in 1100.

During that time Anselm was instrumental in settling the doubts of the Greek bishops of southern Italy about the doctrine of the Filioque.

He also devoted the time to writing a book known as Cur Deus Homo? (meaning "Why Did God Become Man?"). In it he puts forward the "satisfaction theory" of the Atonement. Man's offence of rebellion against God is one that demands a payment or satisfaction. Fallen man is incapable of making adequate satisfaction, and so God took human nature upon Him, in order that a perfect man might make perfect satisfaction and so restore the human race. The success of his work may be gauged by the fact that many Christians today not only accept his way of explaining the Atonement, but are simply unaware that there is any other way.

After the death of King William II in 1100, Anselm returned to England at the invitation of the new king Henry I, only to quarrel with Henry about the lawful extent of the king's control over the selection of bishops and abbots (it must be remembered that these officials had civil as well as religious authority). Anselm was again in exile from 1103 to 1106. In 1107 a compromise was reached, and Anselm returned home to Canterbury, where he lived his last few years in peace, dying 21 April 1109.

Typical of Anselm is his reversal of a tendency among English bishops after the Norman Conquest to ignore or downgrade the Anglo-Saxon saints as representatives of the conquered race. Lanfranc had proposed to remove even Dunstan and Alphege from the calendar, the latter on the grounds that he had not died as a martyr for refusing to deny the Christian faith. Anselm argued that, if he was not a martyr to faith, he was a martyr to justice and to charity.

James Kiefer

Propers for ANSELM - Archbishop of CanterburyApril 21st

The Collect

O GOD, who hast enlightened thy Church by the teaching of thy servant Anselm: Enrich us evermore, we beseech thee, with thy heavenly grace, and raise up faithful witnesses who by their life and doctrine will set forth the truth of thy salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Romans 1:16-20

FOR I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are dearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.

The Gospel - St. John 7:16-18; 8:12

JESUS answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lancelot Andrewes - On the Sacrament of Communion

To have a greater appreciation for Anglicanism, one must not only read the history of, but read the works of those figures that shaped the Anglican Tradition. Lancelot Andrewes is one of those who's works should be read and thought upon.

Many post-modern types, who decry the traditional teaching of the Church as blind religious anti-intellectual fundamentalism and hold high the enlightened theology of theirs as brought about by their intellect. Yet they forget, they forget that men like Andrewes where themselves great intellectual powerhouses and that their intellect brought the Church closer to God and not try to remove God from the Church. Alas, the greatness of Andrewes intellect is in it he does not try to prove how great he was for his thoughts, but how great the Lord is. Compare that with those who call themselves theologians now, his work is devoid of the current narcissism and political activism and the propping-up of sin as acceptable Christian behavior.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

All Too Common

A lot of High-Church, Anglo-Catholic stuff here, showing the spectrum of Anglican expression.

Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr

Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury

Martyr (19 April 1012 )

Alphege (Elphege, AElfheah) was born about 953, during the second major period of Viking raids against England. He became first a monk and then a hermit, and then was appointed Abbot of Bath. In 984 he became Bishop of Westminster. In 994 King Ethelred the Unready sent him to parley with the Danish invaders Anlaf and Swein. The Anglo-Saxons paid tribute, but Anlaf became a Christian and swore never to invade England again. He never did. In that same year Alphege brought the newly baptized King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway to a peaceful meeting with King Ethelred, and to his confirmation at Andover. (Remark: "Unready" does not mean that the king was often unprepared; it means that he was headstrong and stubborn, and would not accept "rede," meaning counsel or advice.)

In 1005 Alphege became Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011 the Danes overran much of southern England. The payment of the tribute agreed on (the Danegeld) did not stop them, and in September they captured Canterbury and held Alphege and other prominent persons for ransom. The others were duly paid for and released, but the price demanded for Alphege was a fantastically high 3,000 pounds (worth of course, far more than modern pounds). Alphege, knowing the poverty of his people, refused to pay or let anyone else pay for him. The infuriated Danes, at the end of a drunken feast, brought him out and repeated their demands. When he again refused, they threw various objects at him (large bones from the feast, for example) and finally an axeman delivered the death-blow. Their chief, Thorkell the Tall, tried to save him, offering all his possessions except his ship for the Archbishop's life. By his death Alphege became a national hero.

When the Dane Cnut (Canute) became King of England in 1016, he adopted a policy of conciliation, and in 1023 he brought the body of Alphege from London to Canterbury, where he was long remembered as a martyr, one who died, not precisely for professing the Christian faith, but for exercising the Christian virtue of justice. In art, he is shown with an axe, the instrument of his death, or as a shepherd defending his flock from wolves.

James Kiefer

Propers for ALPHEGE

Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr April 19

O GOD, who dost support and defend us with the glorious witness of thy blessed martyr Alphege: Grant us to go forward in his footsteps, and ever to rejoice in fellowship with him; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Report: Serial Killers Cleared by Iranian Supreme Court as Victims' Activities Were Un-Islamic - Report: Serial Killers Cleared by Iranian Supreme Court as Victims' Activities Were Un-Islamic - International News News of the World Middle East News Europe News

The religion of love and peace strike again.

Maybe these guys will get booked for a speaking engagement at the National Cathedral?

Turkish Officials: 5 More Detained After Attack on Christian Publishing House - Turkish Officials: 5 More Detained After Attack on Christian Publishing House - International News News of the World Middle East News Europe News

Ohh, what a surprise.............................

Local media said five suspects detained Wednesday were college students who were living at a residence that belongs to an Islamic foundation. Some of those suspects told investigators they carried out the killings to protect Islam, a Turkish newspaper reported.

"We didn't do this for ourselves, but for our religion," Hurriyet newspaper quoted one suspect as saying. "Our religion is being destroyed. Let this be a lesson to enemies of our religion."

Some Friendly Advice

For all of those folks who are contemplating leaving ECUSA/TEC.....

Monday, April 16, 2007

Skillet | Rebirthing

Who else needs a Monday morning jump-start?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Patristic Anglican

The Patristic Anglican, here is a very well written blog containing a great deal of information.

....."The intrinsically pastric intent of Anglicanism is so, precisely because at the time of Elizabethan Settlement, the Church of England refused to memorialize a clear and positive Confession of Faith in the fashion of Trent, Ausburg, Wittenburg, or Westminster. Instead, by process of elimination through negative Anglican formularies, that body of teaching of Christian Antiquity already memorialized in the Scriptures, Creeds, General Councils, and writings of Early Fathers, necessarily became the the Church of England's de jure confession of Faith. "

Friday, April 13, 2007

Midwest Conservative Journal

Midwest Conservative Journal WHO'S ON FIRST?

Ah, the Prayer Book revisions comes back to haunt them.

The DeepSouth Anglican

The DeepSouth Anglican: "The DeepSouth Anglican "

Another one of us newbie Anglican Bloggers with some good stuff on it........Thanks A.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Luther at the Movies: The Pope and I Finally Agree

Luther at the Movies: The Pope and I Finally Agree

Wow, I fell better now. Thought it was just me, but now I see that Satan does run TWC and Windstream and The Cleveland Clinic System and Home Depot and Cheesecake Factory and Medical Mutual and All Federal, State, County and Municipal Offices in Ohio.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pennsylvanian Anglican

Pennsylvanian Anglican

There are many people out there in the Anglican blogsphere posting so much good stuff, that I want to give them a link and a feed on mine.

As I add them to my blog there will also be a feature post, and I hope that you give all a try.

Our first will be my neighbor in the Keystone State and GO BROWNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

1979 & 1928 Prayer Books Compared in 20 Statements

It is my firm belief that the abandonment of Orthodox Books of Common Prayer, the adoption of the Other Book (1979) and the new age theology that led to it, are the root cause of all the problems in modern Communion Anglicanism.

Adherence to an Orthodox BCP, especially the 1928 US version in the US is the bedrock of strength and a source of comfort to Continuum Anglicans and those few remaining Orthodox parishes in ECUSA.

While many blogs focus predominantly on the issue of homosexuality, I feel there is more need for discussion on the topic of Prayer Books.

Below is a nice little comparison on the subject from the Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon over at Anglicans At Prayer .

Anglicans at Prayer - Articles - 1979 & 1928 Prayer Books Compared in 20 Statements

Also, over at Episcopalians for Traditional Faith there is a large .pdf file of a pamphlet entitled "What's the Difference?" from Nancy Von Klemperer on comparisons between 1928 and 1979.

I would love to hear everyones take on the subject of Prayer Book revisionism and retention of Orthodox versions.

Monday, April 9, 2007

William Law



William Law, born in 1686, became a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1711, but in 1714, at the death of Queen Anne, he became a non-Juror: that is to say, he found himself unable to take the required oath of allegiance to the Hanoverian dynasty (who had replaced the Stuart dynasty) as the lawful rulers of the United Kingdom, and was accordingly ineligible to serve as a university teacher or parish minister. He became for ten years a private tutor in the family of the historian Edward Gibbon (who, despite his generally cynical attitude toward all things Christian, invariably wrote of Law with respect and admiration), and then retired to his native King's Cliffe. Forbidden the use of the pulpit and the lecture-hall, he preached through his books. These include Christian Perfection, The Spirit of Love, The Spirit of Prayer, and, best-known of all, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, published in 1728. The thesis of this last book is that God does not merely forgive our disobedience, he calls us to obedience, and to a life completely centered in Him. He says: "If you will here stop and ask yourself why you are not as pious as the primitive Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but because you never thoroughly intended it."

The immediate influence of the book was considerable.

Dr. Samuel Johnson said (Boswell's Life of Johnson, ch. 1): "I became a sort of lax talker against religion, for I did not think much against it; and this lasted until I went to Oxford, where it would not be suffered. When at Oxford, I took up Law's Serious Call, expecting to find it a dull book (as such books generally are), and perhaps to laugh at it. But I found Law quite an overmatch for me; and this was the first occasion of my thinking in earnest of religion after I became capable of rational inquiry." Gibbon (as mentioned above) said: "If Mr. Law finds a spark of piety in a reader's mind, he will soon kindle it into a flame."

John Wesley calls it one of three books which accounted for his first "explicit resolve to be all devoted to God." Later, when denying, in response to a question, that Methodism was founded on Law's writings, he added that "Methodists carefully read these books and were greatly profitted by them." In 1744 he published extracts from the Serious Call, thereby introducing it to a wider audience than it already had. About eighteen months before his death, he called it "a treatise which will hardly be excelled, if it be equalled, either for beauty of expression or for depth of thought."

Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Henry Venn, William Wilberforce, and Thomas Scott each described reading the book as a major turning-point in his life. All in all, there were few leaders of the English Evangelical movement on whom it did not have a profound influence.

Some Christians have considered Law's work inadequate, as not sufficiently concerned with Justification by Faith, to which objection Law would doubtless have replied: "But I never offered it as a complete presentation of the Gospel, only as a reminder of the words, 'Go and sin no more,' which are surely a part of the Gospel."

For surely they mistake the whole nature of religion, who can think any part of their life is made more easy, for being free from it. They may well be said to mistake the whole nature of wisdom, who do not think it desirable to be always wise. -- A Serious Call

By James Kiefer

Defence of Church Principles:Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor, 1717-1719

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Sunday

Hallelujah.....................He is Risen!!!

The Gospel St. John xx. 1.

THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

The Gospel St. Mark xvi. 1.

WHEN the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Easter Even (Holy Saturday)

Holy Saturday is the day before Easter in the Christian calendar. It is sometimes called Easter Even, especially by Anglicans, or Low Saturday. Filipinos often call it Black Saturday or Sábado de Gloria, while in the Czech Republic and Slovakia it is called White Saturday, probably because of white garments of the newly baptized. It is the seventh and last day of Holy Week, and part of the second day of the Easter Triduum. Holy Saturday is also often incorrectly called Easter Saturday, a term that properly refers to the following Saturday.

In Roman Catholic Churches, the altar is either stripped completely bare or coloured in violet, while the administration of the sacraments is severely limited. Holy Communion is given only as Viaticum. All Masses are strictly prohibited. No Mass at all appears in the liturgy for this day, nor for the preceding day, Good Friday. Many of the churches of the Anglican Communion observe most of the same traditions, however their altars are usually stripped or coloured in black. See Liturgical colours.

Liturgically speaking, Holy Saturday lasts until dusk, after which the Easter Vigil is celebrated, marking the official start of the Easter season. In the pre-1970 Roman Catholic observance, during the "Gloria in Excelsis" of the Mass (which is the first Mass since that of Holy Thursday), the church statues, which are covered with purple veils during Passiontide, are dramatically unveiled.

In Eastern Orthodoxy this day is also called The Great Sabbath since it is said on this day Christ "rested" in the tomb, in death. But it is also believed that it was on this day he performed in spirit the Harrowing of Hell and raised up to Paradise those held captive there. Therefore, at the main liturgical celebration, a vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, the hangings, altar cloths, and vestments are changed from black to white prior to the epistle reading, and in the Greek tradition the clergy strew laurel leaves and flower petals all over the church to symbolize the shattered gates and broken chains of hell.

Great Lent was originally the period of catechesis for new converts in order to prepare them for baptism and chrismated on Easter. Prior to the composition of the current Paschal Vigil by St. John of Damascus this day's vesperal Liturgy was the main Easter celebration, and the traditional time to receive converts is still immediately prior.

The Propers for Easter Even (Holy Saturday)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

The Collects for the Day
ALMIGHTY God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer be- fore thee for all estates of men in thy holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor desirest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all who know thee not as thou art revealed in the Gospel of thy Son. Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy fold, that they may be made one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle Hebrews x. 1.

THE law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which they offered year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt-offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God: he taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; then saith he, And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

The Gospel St. John xix. 1.

PILATE therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; and went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment-seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King ! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city; and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son ! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Pray - Fast - Give Alms, For our Lord has died on the Cross for our Sins

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

Thursday 04/05/2007

In the Christian calendar, Holy Thursday - also called Maundy Thursday and, in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Great Thursday[1] - is the feast or holy day on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is followed by Good Friday.

On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot.

The evening celebration of these events marks the beginning of what is called the Easter Triduum or Sacred Triduum. The Latin word triduum means a three-day period, and the triduum in question is that of the three days from the death to the resurrection of Jesus. In the time of Jesus, and still today in some cultures, such as the Jewish,[2] the (24-hour) day was reckoned not from midnight, but from sunset. The Last Supper was held at what present-day Western civilization considers to be the evening of Holy Thursday but what was then considered to be the first hours of Friday. Its annual commemoration thus begins the three-day period or triduum of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, days of special devotion that celebrate as a single action the death and resurrection of Christ, the central events of Christianity.

Name in English

"Maundy Thursday" is the traditional name for this day in England. It is therefore the usual name also in English-speaking Protestant Churches that originated in that country and even in some that originated in Scotland, although the Scottish Book of Common Prayer uses the name "Holy Thursday".[3] Other English-speaking Protestant Churches, such as the Lutheran, use both "Maundy Thursday" and "Holy Thursday".[4] Among Roman Catholics, except in England, the usual English name for the day is "Holy Thursday", in line with the name used in languages such as French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.[5]

The word Maundy is derived through Middle English, and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" ( A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John (13:34) by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet. The phrase is used as the antiphon sung during the "Mandatum" ceremony of the washing of the feet, which may be held during Mass or at another time as a separate event, during which a priest or bishop (representing Christ) ceremonially washes the feet of others, typically 12 persons chosen as a cross-section of the community.


Church services held on this day typically include a reading from the Gospel account of the Last Supper, which includes Christ's taking bread and wine and, declaring them to be his body and blood, giving them to the Apostles. This day also stresses Jesus' washing of the feet of the Apostles at the start of the Last Supper, as recounted in the Gospel of John. At services on this day, a minister, priest, or lay leader(s) may wash the feet of some members of the congregation to commemorate Christ's actions and command. The Washing of the Feet is a traditional component of the celebration in many Christian Churches, including the Roman Catholic, Armenian[6], Maronite, Ethiopian, Mennonite, and United Methodist[7] Churches. Feet washing is also increasingly popular as a part of Maundy Thursday liturgies in many Anglican, Lutheran and Protestant churches.

In the Roman Rite liturgy, the Holy Thursday Mass recalling the Last Supper is the last Mass before the Easter Vigil service. It usually includes a reenactment of the Washing of the Feet of the Apostles, and is followed by a procession taking the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose, and then by stripping of all altars except the Altar of Repose.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Ambrose of Milan - Bishop of Milan 04/04/397

Saint Ambrose, (Latin: Sanctus Ambrosius, "Ambrosius episcopus Mediolanensis"; Italian: Sant'Ambrogio; Lombard: Sant'Ambroeus) (c. 3404 April 397), Catholic bishop of Milan (Mediolanum in Latin), was one of the most eminent bishops of the 4th century. Together with Augustine of Hippo, Jerome, and Gregory I, he is counted as one of the four doctors of the West of ancient church history.

No Propers - Superseded by Holy Week

Tuesday, April 3, 2007



The Continuum is pretty much overlooked in this article, except in the posts that followed (Thanks Rev. Sam).

Episcoblog - The Online Journal of Rt. Rev. Leo Michael: "Easter message: Christ did not die for sin" - Is that right?

Episcoblog - The Online Journal of Rt. Rev. Leo Michael: "Easter message: Christ did not die for sin" - Is that right?

Agnus Dei (S. Barber)(MTC)

Agnus Dei is a Latin term meaning "Lamb of God", and was originally used to refer to Jesus Christ in his role of the perfect sacrificial offering that atones for the sins of man in Christian theology, harkening back to ancient Jewish Temple sacrifices.

As we should remember at this time of year.

Also, music is one of the ways that can help us clear our minds and focus on what is important.

I often use this piece to help wind-things-down before prayer on a hectic day.

Monday, April 2, 2007

James Lloyd Breck - Priest, Educator & Missionary (2 April 1876)

James Lloyd Breck
Breck was born 27 June 1818 near Philadelphia, and attended high school at the Flushing Institute, founded by William Augustus Muhlenberg (see 8 April), who inspired him to resolve at the age of sixteen to devote himself to missionary activity. In 1844, by then a priest, he went to Wisconsin (then on the frontier) with two classmates, under the direction of Bishop Kemper, to found Nashotah House, intended as a monastic community, a seminary, and a center for theological work. It continues today as a seminary and representative of one traditional aspect of Anglican thought and practice.

In a letter to a friend, Breck described the seminary in his day as follows:

    The students boarding with us are all theological. They are chiefly young men, sons of the farmers, and all communicants of the Church. Our students, like ourselves, are poor, but not the less worthy for all that. They seek the Ministry, but are unable to attain it without aid. We have a house; for this we pay no rent; it belongs to the Church, and so do we. We have land. They work four hours a day for their board and washing, and we give them their education without cost. Thus their clothing is their only expense, and to enable them to purchase this, we give them six weeks vacation during the harvest, when they can earn the highest wages.

    Brother Adams and myself work four hours, except when we are teaching or doing Missionary labor. We must all work for our board. That is the only way in which they will feel it their duty to labor and to study, and the only way in which our people will feel their duty to the Church, and to ourselves as clergy of the same.

    We rise at 5am, Matins at 6. The Morning Service of the Church at 9. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Litany at 12. On Thursdays, the Holy Eucharist at the same hour of 12. The Evening service of the Church at 3, and Family Prayer or Vespers at 6:30 or 7pm. Our students labor between 7 and 9 in the morning, and 1 and 3 in the afternoon.

In 1850, Breck moved on to Minnesota, where he founded schools for boys and girls, and the Seabury Divinity School at Faribault (now part of Seabury-Western Seminary in Chicago). He also began mission work among the Chippewa Indians, and laid the foundation for work among them by Christian priests from their own people. In 1867 he moved on to California to build another seminary. He died there in 1876.

by James Kiefer
Prayer and Readings Superseded by Holy Week

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Saint Gilbert of Dornoch - 04/01/1245

Gilbert de Moravia

Gilbert de Moravia († 1245), later known as Saint Gilbert of Dornoch, was the most famous Bishop of Caithness and founder of Dornoch Cathedral.

His name may suggest that he came from the semi-Gaelicized family of Flemish origin who were Lords of Duffus, and who during Gilbert's episcopate would create the Earldom of Sutherland under Gilbert's possible cousin, William de Moravia, 1st Earl of Sutherland. It is known that Gilbert was the son of one Muiredach, son of Alexander de Moravia ("of Moray", so not necessarily a family name). If Gilbert was of purely Gaelic origin, his name may be a francization of the Gaelic name Gille Brigte (modern: Gillebrìghde). Gilbert allegedly had a younger brother, Richard de Moravia, who was killed fighting against Scandinavians and whose effigy-sarcophagus currently resides in the cathedral.

Gilbert then very likely came from Moray. He was for a long time the Archdeacon of the Bishopric of Moray. It is probable that Gilbert was elected to the see sometime in the year 1223, in the presence of King Alexander II of Scotland and his army. He was certainly bishop of Caithness by the summer of 1224. King Alexander probably decided that, after the murder of Gilbert's predecessor Adam of Melrose, the bishopric's seat (cathedra) should be moved closer to royal protection. So it was that Gilbert's episcopate saw the move of the bishopric from Halkirk in the far north of the diocese to Dornoch in the far south. It was to the new cathedral that, in 1239, Gilbert would move Bishop Adam's body. Gilbert nevertheless continued to reside for much of his episcopate in the north, and maintained a palace at Scrabster. It was here that he died in 1245, traditionally on April 1. The latter day is his feast day. He was buried at Dornoch. He is the last Scottish saint to appear in the Calendar of Saints, although it is not known if he was ever formally canonized.

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


  • Dowden, John, The Bishops of Scotland, ed. J. Maitland Thomson, (Glasgow, 1912)
  • Ross-Harper, Ian, Notable Bishops and Ministers of Dornoch Cathedral, (Historylinks Museum, Dornoch)

The Continuum: Palm Sunday sermon

The Continuum: Palm Sunday sermon

Palm Sunday - 04/01/2007

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is a moveable feast in the Christian calendar which falls on the Sunday before Easter. In the Western church it must always fall on one of the 35 dates between March
and April 18. In 2007 it will be observed on April 1. It will be on 16 March 2008, and 5 April 2009.

The feast commemorates an event reported by all four Canonical Gospels (:Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19) - the Triumphal Entry of Jesus
into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion.

The difficulty of procuring palms for that day's ceremonies in unfavorable climates for palms led to the substitution of boughs of yew, willow or other native trees. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as Yew Sunday or by the general term Branch Sunday (the only French equivalent is (Dimanche des) Rameaux, 'branches sunday').

In the New Testament

According to the Canonical Gospels, before entering Jerusalem, Jesus was
staying at Bethany and Bethphage, and the Gospel of John adds that he had dinner with Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha. While there, Jesus is described by the Synoptic
as sending two unnamed disciples to the village over against them, in order to retrieve a colt that had been tied up but never been rode, and to say, if questioned, that the colt was needed but will be returned in a short period of time. The Synoptics and John state that Jesus knew people in the area, such as Simon the Leper, and so it could be argued that the presence of the colt had already been organised by Jesus' associates. The Gospel of John, however, merely
says that Jesus found the colt.

Both John and the Synoptics state that Jesus then rode the colt (or in Matthew the colt and its mother) into Jerusalem, with the Synoptics adding that the disciples had first put their cloaks
on it, so as to make it more comfortable. The Gospels go on to describe how Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and how the people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees. The people are also described as singing part of Psalm 118 - ...Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father, David. ... (Psalms 118:25-26).

Where this entry is supposed to have taken place is unspecified; some scholars argue that the
Golden Gate
is the likely location, since that was where it was believed the Jewish
would enter Jerusalem; other scholars think that an entrance to the south, which had stairs leading directly to the Temple, would be more likely (Kilgallen 210).

Propers for The Sunday next before Easter, commonly

Palm Sunday.

The Collect and Lessons

The Collect for the Day

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast
sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to
suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his
great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his
patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This Collect is to be said every day, after the Collect appointed for the day, until Good Friday.

The Epistle

Philippians ii. 5.

LET this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the
form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of
no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the
likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also
hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that
at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in
earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Gospel

St. Matthew xxvii. 1.

WHEN the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of
the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me. And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment-seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And
they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; and set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If
thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the
rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.