Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Queen’s Maundy

I am so glad to see The Queen continues her participation in this wonderful tradition and appears as glorious as ever at 92.

By the way, given her age, she gave the specially minted coins, The Royal Maundy, to 92 Seniors chosen because of their service to church and community.

Plenty of photos, a video, and some history of the Maundy may be found at the Daily Mail.  (Yes, I know some hate the Daily Mail.  But it is hard to beat them when covering royal events.)

May your Triduum and Easter be blessed and glorious as well.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

About the Palm Sunday Hymn “All Glory Laud and Honor”

I love Palm Sunday for a number of reasons, one of which is the processional hymn “All Glory Laud and Honor.”  The church’s love of it goes centuries back.  During the second station of the Palm Sunday Procession in the medieval Sarum Rite, it was to be sung by seven choristers “in a conspicuous place.”

If memory serves me right, some churches were creative as to what “conspicuous place” was chosen.  At least one cathedral placed the choristers by openings high up the West front but shielded by statues of saints.  So when the choristers sang, it seemed to the crowd below that the saints were singing.  (Wells Cathedral comes to mind.  But readers may correct me.  Also I have forgotten the term for those front openings.  Does anyone know it?)

What I most definitely did not know until just now is how ancient this hymn is.  It turns out it was written (in Latin, of course) by Theodulph of Orleans in the early Ninth Century, likely while he was in prison due to the displeasure of Louis I aka Louis the Pious.  The English translation sung today is remarkably faithful to the original.   

You may read some more history of the hymn here.

May your Palm Sunday be genuinely pious, preferably not in prison.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Prologue of the Passion: John 13:1-3

Last night, the second lesson during Evening Prayer was from John 13:1-11.  Once again, I heard a passage that has impressed itself upon me in recent years, the first three verses of that chapter.

I do not know if these three verses are technically a prologue.  I suspect they are not.  They are in a different form than the famous Prologue at the beginning of St. John’s Gospel.  But these two passages do serve a similar purpose.  Both passages are intended to help the reader/hearer to understand the significance of what is to follow, especially to begin to comprehend Jesus in the midst of the events St. John narrates.  So I hope I am not far off the mark in considering John 13:1-3 the Prologue of the Passion.

These verses are St. John’s transition into the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  And he reminds us emphatically that the Jesus who was about to suffer and die was not another mere man, nor another prophet, nor even another martyr.  Nor was he to stumble unawares into what he was about to suffer.  “The Father had given all things into his hands, and … he had come from God and was going back to God,” and Jesus knew it.  He was the very Son of God who was willingly about to suffer and die for us.

How this passage has most impacted me in recent years is how it serves as an introduction to the most immediate event, the foot washing.  Jesus knew he was God, and he knew the agony he was about to suffer.  And, yes, he knew Judas Iscariot would betray him into that.  Yes, Jesus would wash Judas’ feet, too.

I know if knew I was about to be betrayed into great suffering and death by one sitting with me, the last thing I would be thinking about is washing anybody’s feet, much less his.

But Jesus’ love for his disciples was so great – he “loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” – that he performed this task that is both deeply humbling and deeply significant.  The Son of God, who had “all things” in his hands – and was about to take his life into his hands and lay it down for the world – humbled himself to wash the feet of his disciples, even of the one who would betray him.

I think this is one reason St. John is very methodical in describing the foot washing, particularly in verses 4 and 5.  John is letting the gravity of Jesus’ act of love and humility sink in.

But how can we comprehend this?  No matter how much we meditate on these verses and on Jesus Christ Himself so acting as a servant, and that when he was about to suffer, it remains one of those many mysteries of God too wonderful for us to comprehend.

But St. John and the Lord who inspired his words nonetheless desire for us to mediate on this and on the rest of his Passion for our good and for his glory.  Let us do so as we conclude Passion Week and enter Holy Week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

An Update on Life and Blogging

This morning I completed the first draft of my final paper to earn a Certificate of Anglican Studies.  I hope to complete it early next week.

And that means I can then give more attention to the rest of my life, including blogging.  Yes, I expect to be blogging more frequently.  You have been warned.

And not a moment too soon it appears as unity in ACNA may be deteriorating quickly.  An address from the Bishop of the Missionary Diocese of All Saints has brought more attention to that situation.

But I have much more than just Anglican-related news in mind for this blog in the future.  I intend a change in emphasis.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

UPDATED: ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach Signed the World Relief Immigration Letter

I’ve mentioned the latest open letter from World Relief on immigration politics and ACNA Bishop Stewart Ruch’s signing of it with “Anglican Church in North America” attached to his signature.

I have just now discovered that among those who have added their signatures is apparently Archbishop Foley Beach.  If the signature is genuine, he signed as “Archbishop Foley Beach” with “Anglican Church in North America” attached.  It is now on page 17 of the additional signatures, although that will change as people continue to sign.

His Canon “The Venerable Canon Dr. Jack Lumanog” has also signed, also with “Anglican Church in North America” attached.

As for me, I stand by my previous commentary.


UPDATE: I have received confirmation that Archbishop Beach did indeed sign.

UPDATE 2: George Conger has dug a bit more into this matter and received a statement from the Archbishop’s office:

In a statement given to Anglican Ink, the Most Rev. Foley Beach said he had signed the letter in “his capacity as the Archbishop.”
Asked by AI by what authority he could sign the statement as primate of the ACNA, when the ACNA’s college of bishops or councils had not taken a stance on the issue, his spokesman responded:
“At his discretion, the Archbishop may choose to speak into issues facing the culture.”

The note went on to say:

“Statements from the Archbishop may have persuasive authority, but in these instances they do not commit the Church as a whole to a particular position.  The Church's definitive stance on issues facing the culture is found in the Constitution and Canons as passed by the Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly.  To date, the full weight of the Anglican Church in North America's authority has only been articulated on two controversial moral issues facing our nations: the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of life.  On other controversial issues facing our nations it is recognized that faithful Christians may arrive at differing conclusions, and we urge our members to search the scriptures, follow their conscience, and pray for wisdom for our elected leaders.”