The Ornaments Rubric Explained — The Porcine

If you’ve ever done a little research into Anglicanism and vestments, you have encountered the Ornaments Rubric. It sits before Morning Prayer in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the 1559 BCP. It reads as follows: “The Morning and Evening Prayer shall be used in the accustomed Place of the Church, Chapel, or Chancel;…

via The Ornaments Rubric Explained — The Porcine

My take: if the cassock and surplice is good enough for the Red Baron, it should be good enough for us.

My Laboratory Course Introduction, Including Some of My Philosophy of Teaching

COVID-19 has forced many of us in academia to go online (or at least hybrid/blended) in our teaching.  This includes the lab course I teach, and this is the first in a series of videos for that course.

In the process of introducing students to the course, I make some comments on my philosophy of teaching in general and engineering education in particular, which I thought might be of interest to a broader audience.

The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power, 1898-1918 by Sean McMeekin — The Logical Place

Originally posted on Books & Boots: Memorandum on revolutionizing the Islamic territories of our enemies (Title of a paper written in October 1914 by German archaeologist and Orientalist Max von Oppenheim which argued for enlisting the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire to call on the world’s Muslims to engage in a Holy War or jihad against the…

via The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power, 1898-1918 by Sean McMeekin — The Logical Place

I did my own series on the Ottomans a few years back; the first of that series is here, and the sequence follows.

Maybe We Americans Sometimes Need to Pray for the Queen

I was watching this, a recitation of the traditional Morning Prayer service by Len Finn at St. George’s Anglican Church in Burlington, Ontario.

It’s “traditional” because it’s from the Canadian 1962 BCP, their “final true Anglican prayer book” before they went off the deep end like their counterparts south of the border.  (Technically it’s still their official prayer book, but as the UK they have workarounds.)  I’ve not given much attention to this, but I should have: Finn does a nice job on a nice liturgy.  There are certain variations (like the Venite, which the 2019 BCP fixed) but overall it’s closer to what I was raised with than that dreadful 1979 BCP that’s used in places like this.

One thing, however, that is different is this:

Then the Priest standing up shall say:
O Lord, show thy mercy upon us;
People. And grant us thy salvation.
Priest. O Lord, save the Queen;
People. And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.

And there are other prayers of this kind.

When the “Protestant Episcopal Church” was founded, we were celebrating our independence from King George III, and so we changed it to this, as noted in the 1928 BCP:

O Lord, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favour to behold and bless thy servant THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and all others in authority; and so replenish them with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way.

While such prayers are especially important these days, we shouldn’t entirely forget the Queen, who has been head of state through Brexit (which many of us supported) and COVID-19.  We’ve also sent over Megan Markle (complete with Michael Curry sermon) with disastrous results.  So perhaps some prayers from these shores would be appropriate.

At the start of Morning Prayer is the General Confession, complete with the “miserable offenders.”  Maybe while reciting that some penance would be in order…

The Birds are Still Singing

It’s fair to say that it’s been a spring for the record books. COVID-19 has upended our country in general, but for those of us in academia it’s especially bad. For my part the jolting transition to online has been easier on me than my students; I think that the academy has a rough road ahead of it.

Two other events of less general interest have made life difficult. The first was that, Easter Sunday night, a tornado blew through our area. Our own dwelling came through with minor damage but, as you can see, others didn’t. As is the case with every disaster, ministries showed up in a hurry to provide relief, and now the long term recovery is under way. But it was strange to wake up after the night of destruction (there wasn’t much sleep, to be sure) to hear the birds singing outside. How they battened down the hatches during this maelstrom is hard to know, but at least enough did to give us a cheery greeting the next morning.

The second storm (about the same time) came in the Anglican/Episcopal world, where a well known figure departed from a well known program in a way whose tension (or maybe compression) had been building for some time. With some insight on how this came about, I took the trouble to write the one who departed with this insight. He responded in an audio recording, evidently done outside, because in the background I heard the birds happily singing as they had after the physical storm had passed our own house.

It always amazes me that our smug and ostensibly secular opinion leaders display the apocalyptic attitude towards life that they do. Growing up at Bethesda, end times prophecy were not on the radar screen; I had to get off of the island to find out about that. I suspect that a good number of our elites were going the other way, making a “hick moves to town” transition where they simply repurposed the apocalyptic fears of their childhood to the social causes of their careers. Growing up in an ethic where disasters were to be toughed out and problems fixed, I still find the solution-free panic that our elites meet every crisis with hard to take.

But through all of this the birds keep singing and creation moves forward as its Creator intended it to do. A truly Biblical view of the apocalypse doesn’t focus on the disaster but the goal after the disaster. The Bible is premised on the obvious, that difficulties are inevitable in the pursuit of the objective. This grates on prosperity preacher and sybaritic elite alike, but that’s the way it is.

So when things aren’t going your way, stop and listen. You might hear the birds singing.