Sins I’m Giving Up for Lent: None!

February 10, 2016I recently did a “thought experiment” on my Facebook page.  I asked the question (to my 1000+ “friends”), “What sins are you giving up for Lent?” In parentheses I added the qualification, “trick question.” I really did not think that many people would “fall for it,” or “take the bate.” Frankly, I thought that folks would (rightly) object to such a public display of a personal, spiritual matter. Now I won’t list for you the various answers, but suffice to say that folks chimed right in with a battery of sins, some of which you could guess. Think with me,...

Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s “Progressive” Straw Man (Part 1)

January 27, 2016Last week while trolling through Facebook I stumbled on a Patheos blog post by Fr. Dwight Longenecker entitled, “Twelve Reasons Why Progressive Christianity Will Die Out.” After skimming Fr. Longenecker’s 12 reasons, I was baffled how this former fundamentalist/evangelical, turned Anglican priest, turned Roman Catholic priest could not see the obvious holes riddling his 12 points. One would think that a man who has had access to as much of the Christian tradition as he has had would inevitably recognize his category mistakes. Before I address Fr. Longenecker’s 12 reasons point by point, I wanted to first highlight his problematic starting point. His overarching category...
Epiphany 2

The Gospel According to (the Feast of the) Epiphany

January 8, 2015If ever there were a perfect text for the meaning behind the feast of the Epiphany, surely it is the Third Song of Isaiah (Canticle 11, BCP p. 87), taken from Isaiah 60. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you. For behold, darkness covers the land; deep gloom enshrouds the peoples. But over you the Lord will rise,  and his glory will appear upon you. Nations will stream to your light,  and kings to the brightness of your dawning. Your gates will always be open; by day or night they...

Epiphany Reflection: “Outside-in”

January 7, 2015How many of you have felt like an outsider at one point or another? How many of you feel like outsiders even now? My best friend growing up was my next door neighbor. We’ll call him Ernie. Ernie parent’s were from Ghana. Ernie and I had different color skin. One day we both went to the baseball card shop in the shopping plaza near our town home community. Between the two of us we had fourteen dollars. We were determined to spend all of it that day at that store. After parting ways to look around the place for our...

For 2016: Quit Resolutions, Develop a Rule of Life

January 1, 2015So You’ve Never Kept a Single New Year’s Resolution. Why? It began just over a month ago on Thanksgiving in November, the gorging, the loosening of the belt after dinner, the “just one more” mentality. You said to yourself, “On January 1, I’m cutting calories, reducing the number of libations I sip or switching to lite beer and going back to the gym. You said all this knowing that the feasting would continue through the month of December: Christmas parties at the office, at church and at friend’s places. This would obviously continue on Christmas Eve (especially if you’re of Italian...

Candlelight: “O Holy Night”

December 16, 2014The carol that has become the closing highlight of our Candlelight service is “O Holy Night.” This carol was introduced to the United States in 1855 by the Unitarian minister and music critic John Sullivan Dwight. The third verse, which I shall not sing, says, “Truly he taught us to love one another, his law is love and his gospel is peace. Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, and in his name all oppression shall cease.” And in his name all oppression shall cease, not just some, or in certain parts, but all oppression shall cease....
C914C71067CA4750A5B1972C8CDAA855_Advent candle 2

Prepare for the Light!

December 12, 2014I’ve heard it said that Advent is a mini Lent. Many of the readings during this season are dark, penitential, and apocalyptic. Episcopal priest and author Fleming Rutledge writes that the season reminds us that without recognizing the darkness that we are in, there is no need for the Light. Thus, Advent begins in the the dark. But the third Sunday of Advent is different. The third Sunday is a period of respite. This Sunday is “Gaudete Sunday.”  Hence, the rose colored vestments and candle in the Advent wreath as opposed to the violet ones. Gaudete is a Latin word meaning “rejoice.”...
No Xmas Tree

9 Ways to Enrich Your Advent

December 11, 2014Advent signals the season of longing, of expectation, of anticipation, and also signals the beginning of a new liturgical year. In the liturgical cycle, the Church awaits the coming of its King, Jesus. Historically, the season looks in two directions: it replays the original coming of Jesus into the world; and it looks forward to his coming again. Furthermore, Advent is an historic penitential season, a season of contrition. That’s one of the reasons for its original liturgical color, purple, the same as Lent (not blue which represents Mary). Therefore, while Advent awaits, longs for, expects and hopes, it is...

Advent Reflection: Keep Awake (Though You Are Sleeping)

December 5, 2014As Christians, Advent, is not simply the countdown to Christmas, rather it is a very serious season for us, because it enables us to reflect upon the idea of time, and that our lives are lived between two the Advents: Christ’s first Advent, born in the meekness of a manger and death upon the cross, and his second Advent, when he will come again for us in glory to judge both the living and the dead. Our Gospel reading today from Mark 13 is the climax of Jesus speaking in great detail and vividness about the end of time and...

Ingodded through the Sacraments

May 5, 2014“In the West, the theological thought of our day is making a great effort to return to the patristic sources of the first centuries–particularly the Greek Fathers–in order to incorporate them into a catholic synthesis.”[1] These words could not have been truer for the framers of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.[2] The emergence of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer brought with it a desire to include a more ecumenical-historical approach to Christian spirituality and liturgy. The vast array of sources[3] that the Prayer Book tapped into sought to introduce its users to forms of spirituality and liturgical traditions...



Lord's Prayer Old English

Anglo-Saxon “Our Father” (Trans. from Old English)

January 12, 2015Father of humankind, I ask for favor, Holy Chieftain, you, who dwell in Heaven   May it be made holy, firmly set up— Your name, that is, Christ, rescuer— Firmly planted in our soul-locker.   May your kingdom, wielder of might, Come to us people, right-wise Judge, And your love also, in the day of life, And in our selves in deep-dwelling brightness.   And may your will be well-wrought Among us upon earth through earth’s realms, As it is far away in the heaven-glory, Blessed in joys from this world forward.   Give us today, Chieftain among your people,...
John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman (Free eBooks)

December 21, 2014Not many Anglican theologians have left the mega-size footprint on the Church that John Henry Newman has. As one of the founders of the Oxford Movement, Newman helped the Church of England in particular and the Anglican Communion in general uncover and rediscover a deeper catholicity in their doctrine and worship.  A good number of his works (in bBook form) are collected here.

The Un-Moral Life

December 18, 2014By Fr. Stephen Freeman.  Original published on the Ancient Faith blog. In recent articles I have challenged the place of contemporary morality in the Christian life. Some have had difficulty with this, wondering how we should then think about the commandments that are directed towards our behavior. Others have suggested that my challenge is merely semantic. There are certainly semantic distinctions being made here – but the reason for them is important and goes beyond mere words. But if it is not proper to think of ourselves as “moral” beings, how should we think? How do we confess our sins if morality is...
The Way of the Pilgrim

The Way of the Pilgrim

December 9, 2014The Way of the Pilgrim is a 19th century Russian work translated into English. The story is about the journey of a begging wanderer who treks across Russia, and while on that journey, practices the “Jesus Prayer.” This form of prayer is also known as inner prayer or prayer of the heart.  It employs the short, repeated invocation, over and over:  “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of god, have mercy on me, a sinner” (or some variation thereof).  You can find a free eBook here.

Former ABC Rowan Williams on Advent (Video)

December 1, 2014

Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill

April 1, 2014Thomas Merton, Padre Pio and…?  Read a classic work by a great 20th century Anglican mystic: Evelyn Underhill’s, Mysticism.
Stained glass of Lancelot Andrewes & Translators in Sacristy of St. Thomas Church 5th Ave NYC-new

Lancelot Andrewes: Works

March 25, 2014Lancelot Andrewes was a seventeenth century Anglican who not only was involved in the King James translation, but was one of the early post-Reformation mystical-thinking theologians in the tradition.  Here’s volume one of his Works where a good amount of his mystical theology, especially theosis, is thought through.  Lancelot Andrewes, Works: Sermons, Volume 1

Florovsky: Collected Works, Vol. 2

March 18, 2014Here’s volume two of Georges Florovsky’s Collected Works.  This volume is entitled Christianity and Culture.
Holy Women Holy Men

Holy Women, Holy Men

March 16, 2014The Diocese of Bethlehem, Pa. has made available a copy of Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints as an online resource.  When adopted by General Convention, it will replace Lesser Feasts and Fasts, but keep in mind, it is still in trial use.
Altar Rail

Communion without Baptism?

March 14, 2014The "open table" or "communion without baptism" debate has been raging on for a couple of decades in the Episcopal Church. While the Canons of the Episcopal Church (1.17.7) still indicate that “no unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church,” the practice of distributing communion to the unbaptized has gained traction.

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