Anglican Tidbit: Bulletin for the Twenty-Third Sunday After Trinity

Another Anglican Tidbit, in this case the bulletin from Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity, 1968.

Some interesting notes:

  • The liturgy is 1928 BCP/1940 Hymnal, for those of you who are looking for help in using this for current liturgical practice.
  • The two main services are Morning Prayer (they also had Evening Prayer as noted,) the only celebration of the Holy Communion was at 0800. So much for “Communion every Sunday,” at least at this point.
  • The bulletin notes the induction of several acolytes into the Order of St. Peter, whose “manual” is here. For me it was, in some ways, too late in the game: I was regularly at Bethesda for less than a year after the induction before going away to prep school.
  • The emphasis on Jamaica–and the mission thereto–is interesting to me personally because I ended up in a church which is very big in Jamaica, and not only on the island but in immigrant communities in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. How they rolled the Anglican Church of the West Indies would be an interesting study; it’s too bad that my high school chaplain, who spent time in the Caribbean, didn’t give much thought to this.

The Bourgeois Church of Spectators and the Crisis of Morale in the Priesthood

“What does the word bourgeois actually mean? … The word designates a spiritual state, a direction of the soul, a peculiar consciousness of being.” “The bourgeois, even when he is a ‘good Catholic’, believes only in this world, in the expedient and the useful; he is incapable of living by faith in another world and refuses to […]

The Bourgeois Church of Spectators and the Crisis of Morale in the Priesthood

The “bourgeois church” is the #1 reason I am no longer Roman Catholic.

Anglican Tidbit: Music of the Liturgy in English According to the Use of the Episcopal Church

Columbia ML-4528 (1952)

This fascinating record is really two albums in one. The first, directed by Ray F. Brown, is a “Plainsong” rendition of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion and Evening Prayer. The “Plainsong” is what we would generally call Gregorian Chant (or in the style of Gregorian Chant.) It’s well done but how it comes across depends on how well you like Gregorian Chant, which these days is a subject tied up in the Traditional Latin Mass and all of the controversy that swirls around that. Suffice it to say that, if your parish is interested in attracting TLM people who feel they’re being run out of their own Church (and a case can be made that this is the case) then this Mass, properly executed, should go a long way to making TLM exiles happy.

The second, directed by Harold W. Gilbert with Andrew Tietjen at the organ, features Anglican Chant. For me it’s of more personal interest, having been raised in the “Old High Church.” Anglican Chant is polyphonic, as is the case with that of Orthodox churches. It’s well done and brings back many memories. Anglican chant has gotten the short shrift in the liturgical changes of the last half century, but it deserves better.

The song lists below refer to the 1940 Hymnal.

The songs:

SIDE 1: PLAINSONG — Students of the General Theological Seminary
of New York, directed by Ray F. Brown.

THE HOLY COMMUNION

  • Kyrie, from Missa Marialis, Mode I. (Hymnal 719)
  • Christmas Collect
  • Creed, Mode IV (Hymnal 720)
  • Sursum Corda (Hymnal 734)
  • Christmas Preface
  • Sanctus, from Missa Marialis, Mode V. (Hymnal 721)
  • End of Canon • Lord’s Prayer (Hymnal 722)
  • Agnus Dei, from Missa Marialis, Mode V. (Hymnal 723)
  • Gloria, from Missa Marialis, Mode VIII. (Hymnal 724)

EVENING PRAYER

  • Preces • Psalm 15, Tone III A 5. (Plainsong Psalter)
  • Magnificat, Tone VIII 1, solemn form (Hymnal 658)
  • Nunc Dimittis, Tone I 2. (Hymnal 673) • Creed • Lord’s Prayer
    (Monotone) • Suffrages • Collects for Peace and Aid against
    Peril

SIDE 2: ANGLICAN CHANT AND MERBECKE – Mixed Choir directed by Harold W. Gilbert

MORNING PRAYER

  • The Festal Preces (Hymnal 602) • Antiphon and Venite (Tomlinson — Hymnal 607)
  • Te Deum laudamus (Monk-Croft — Hymnal 613-617)
    Benedictus es Domine (Turton — Hymnal 623)
  • Benedictus Dominus (Turtle — Hymnal 634)
  • Jubilate Deo (Elvey — Hymnal 644)
  • Suffrages and Lord’s Prayer (Hymnal 602)

THE HOLY COMMUNION (John Merbecke, 1549)

  • Kyrie Eleison (Hymnal 702)
  • Credo (Hymnal 703)
  • Sanctus (Hymnal 704)
  • The Lord’s Prayer (Hymnal 705)
  • Agnus Del (Hymnal 706)
  • Gloria in Excelsis (Hymnal 707)

Today’s Goat is Tomorrow’s Goat Too

In this case Jon Meacham:

Samford University has uninvited Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham from inauguration ceremonies for the school’s new president after student protest…

However, in a letter Wednesday, Beck Taylor, who became university president in July, wrote that due to objections, including from “elements of Samford’s Student Government Association,” the university had decided to reschedule the talk, as first reported by Baptist News Global.

I’ve written disparagingly about Jon Meacham before, and my opinion has not changed. I’m inclined to think that sleeping through his address would have been the best form of protest, but conservative activists, like their liberal counterparts, thought differently. Obviously the administration thought that a speaker like Meacham would not be a triggering event, but everyone gets triggered these days.

This is where we’re at: the only way conservatives think they can fight back against leftist cancel culture is to do some cancellation themselves. It’s really not a pretty picture, certainly not for free speech, but it’s where we’re at now.

Meacham’s 2010 piece on Easter prompted the following observation:

Pieces like this weren’t so much a challenge to traditionally religious readers as a declaration of war. Why not just put a bullet in the Easter Bunny while you’re at it?

Looks like his opponents have shot back.

A note about the title: today the “GOAT” is the “Greatest of All Time,” but my Arkansas native mother used the term “goat” for someone like the barnyard animal who wasn’t very popular. Meacham can now claim he’s gone from one to the other.

Reinventing the English Reformation

In twenty years’ time, Anglican enthusiasts will mark the bicentennials of three nineteenth-century libraries: the Wycliffe Society Library, the …

Reinventing the English Reformation

In spite of all of the issues that the last century and this one dumped on the Anglican/Episcopal world–WO, the social justice issues, the sexual identity and practice issues, you name it–one that continues to bedevil it like no other is the Evangelical/Anglo-Catholic divide. Even those of us who have tried to take a (somewhat) even-handed approach to this find ourselves in the crosshairs of partisans of one side or the other (in my case, the Evangelical side.)

I think in this case two observations need to be made:

  • The problem of “Evangelical vs. Anglo-Catholic” is to some extent wrapped up in the beginnings of the Church of England itself. It’s probably one of the messiest and least pleasant tales to come out of the Reformation. The English opted to retain the Episcopate (not to the taste of the Calvinists) and the liturgy (not to the taste of the radicals) which led to many conflicts and to some extent the English Civil War itself. Any attempt to claim to be the “sole heir” of this mess requires a great deal of “papering over” and the North American Anglican article on the subject describes some of that.
  • The Anglican/Episcopal world was influenced by those around them, and in some ways imported the divide from outside a strictly Anglican context. The Evangelicals were certainly impressed by the progress the Methodists and Baptists did in getting people saved. (Had they been more receptive to the Wesleyan revival, they might have been the Joneses rather than having to keep up with them!) The Anglo-Catholics were impressed by the continuity and doctrinal clarity (on some issues) that Rome seemingly provided. This turned into a tug of war that has plagued the Anglican/Episcopal world to this day.

If Anglicanism wants to be something else than a way station to somewhere else, it needs to establish its own identity. That may involve altering the Reformation era dialectics (such as the Eucharist) that don’t mean the same thing now as then. This would be a good time to do this, esp. with the current Occupant in Rome. But I’m not holding my breath.

Maybe Our Ministers Are Really a Trade Union After All

In Iceland, this is literally the case:

A proposal to ban clergy from charging or accepting fees for funerals, weddings and baptisms has prompted threats of industrial action by the clergy union of the Church of Iceland (Þjóðkirkjan).

A little while back I lamented the following:

The second is that (with exceptions) our ministers and academics alike have a “trade union” mentality, that thinking and speaking/preaching of the deeper things of God is “bargaining unit” work and that the laity (“scabs” in union terminology) don’t have any business delving into this kind of thing on any level. Sometimes it’s framed as a replication of Roman Catholicism’s view of the priesthood, but that’s too high of a view of what’s going on.

As George Conger points out, the Church of Iceland is a state (Lutheran) church and its ministers employees of the government. They have a trade union with a collective bargaining agreement. One of the things that agreement permits is for same ministers to collect honoraria on things such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc. The church wants to revoke this right unilaterally, thus the threat of the ministers to strike. In the trade union setting I’m familiar with, the union would file a grievance for this kind of thing, but different contracts stipulate different responses.

My experience with ministers in the Church of God tells me that, if our church were to do the same thing, the reaction of the union (er, ministers) would make the threat of a strike look tame. Honoraria are a time-honoured practice from the lowliest exhorter right up to the Executive Committee. Our ministers may have different classifications but they are, ultimately, one bargaining unit.

But I also suspect that the reaction of ministers in the more “refined” churches I routinely cover on this site wouldn’t take such a revocation with more equanimity than their counterparts across the tracks, and the situation in Iceland demonstrates what I’m talking about.

Real Socialists, Fake Socialists and the Virginia Governor’s Race

Earlier today I posted a link to a free Soviet textbook entitled Systems of Linear Equations. It was published in the late 1980’s and is one of a series of Soviet textbooks I’ve highlighted on my websites.

Why, you ask, do I pass along Soviet textbooks? There are two reasons. The first is that I have a long-term commitment to free and low-cost textbooks for students. The second is that the Soviet Union had one of the greatest mathematical and technical academic and institute establishments the planet has ever known, it’s putting things into hardware where it broke down.

Linear algebra has become a favourite subject of mine but late in life; I didn’t take a formal course in it until my PhD pursuits. Because of my specific major, I didn’t have to take linear algebra as an undergraduate back in the Dinosaur Age, although the aerospace engineers, for example, certainly did.

The kicker with this little book is in the description, as follows:

The book is intended for a wide circle of readers, including pupils of senior classes of secondary schools, who are interested in mathematics.

Translation: including high school.

That’s interesting because the Loudoun County School Board, at the instance of the Virginia Department of Education, has proposed to “to eliminate its accelerated math programs below 11th grade, citing “equity” as one of the catalysts for its changes to the mathematics curriculum.” This is the same Loudoun County School Board which allowed two women to be raped in the bathroom without consequence until called out. This is also the same school board that has inspired Virginia gubernatorial candidate and Clintonista Terry McAuliffe to call for the removal of parental involvement in curriculum decisions.

“Equity” is a socialist concept that basically states that everyone should end up with the same result in life. But the real socialists in the Soviet Union knew better than to fudge on scientific education, thus the linear algebra in high school. Today we’re faced with another set of real socialists (I know, they’ve fudged on that in ways that the Soviets wouldn’t bring themselves to do) who also have a massive scientific and educational establishment that launches hypersonic vehicles which no one thought they could.

The socialists we have in this country are and have been for the last fifty years are, to use Marxist terminology, utopian. They have grand dreams for a country where no one really has to do much of anything to succeed as long as they allow their leaders to slouch through their funded bureaucratic positions (like Pete Buttigieg is doing with his paternity leave while the supply chain breaks down.) But their country will fail.

I’m glad that McAuliffe is in a tight space in the race, one which the Loudoun County School Board and his own inept statements have made possible. He deserves to lose. But I think that time is running out too fast on a country which has pushed real achievement, especially in the sciences, into the background.

Some Old/New Advent and Christmas Resources

For many churches, it’s time to think about the Advent/Christmas season. Maybe you’ve already started. Maybe you’re dealing with serious questions, like…should I ask N to light the Advent wreath after he/she almost burned the church down last year? Or perhaps…is there a reason why the congregation mouths the sermons I’m preaching, they are after all the same ones I’ve been doing for the last several years.

Seriously, the Advent/Christmas season is a great season not only to celebrate the incarnation and birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but also to present the Gospel to people who normally don’t darken the doors of your church. But how to do so on a path so well worn and trod?

One way is to use the Biblical story of the coming of Our Lord as a way to illustrate various parts of the Christian life. That was done masterfully by the French bishop Jaques Bénigne Bossuet in his Elevations on the Mysteries. I have spent the last seven years (off and on, mostly off) translating this work into English, and it’s now translated and being posted. The “Advent/Christmas” parts that are completely posted are as follows:

Currently coming out twice a week are the elevations on “The Presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple, and the Purification of the Holy Virgin.” These should be done by Christmas; if you’re interested, you can subscribe to the blog for these and the rest of the elevations that are to be posted.

I trust these are a blessing and useful to you.

That Pesky Johnson Amendment Strikes Again

This time for the Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris’ video for African-American churches:

Democratic leaders have pulled out the stops to try to help Terry McAuliffe in his struggling campaign for governor in Virginia. Figures from Barack Obama to Stacey Abrams have stumped for McAuliffe who is in a tight race with businessman Glenn Youngkin. The key for McAuliffe is black voters, and to spur turnout Vice President Kamala Harris has taped an endorsement of McAuliffe that is reportedly being played at hundreds of African American churches around the state. The problem is the “Johnson Amendment” makes such political pitches in churches a violation of federal law.

I was (and am) unenthusiastic about repealing the Johnson Amendment, as was the hue and cry from many white evangelicals during the Trump years:

I think that political activity needs to be the province of the laity.  And I’ve heard Christian politicians show a stronger grasp on what the Gospel is all about than ministers about political issues.  To put our ministers in the “driver’s seat” of political activity is to cede yet another function of the laity, reducing the latter to passive consumers of the church’s product.  And we have enough of that unBiblical kind of thing going on as it is.

As I said at the start, freedom is something that needs to be used wisely.  If you get it, be careful: you may end up losing it all if you blow it.

Although I am aware of the role that African-American churches have played in the civil rights movement, if things like this make political activity in churches de facto or de jure acceptable, it may have this effect for everyone:

The danger of the right is the same as Harry Reid’s doing away with the super-majority filibuster for nominees: if the political wind reverses, you’ve given yourself the shaft. In both cases the reality of the Gospel is obscured by our desires of the moment.