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Holy Week Reflection: Tuesday

By Matthew Paul Buccheri Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. If there’s one Greek word that English speakers need to understand in order to grasp the profundity of Good Friday, it’s the Greek word…

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Holy Week Reflection: Monday

By Matthew Paul Buccheri 37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives…the whole crowd of disciples…began joyfully…to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38”Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” In the ancient world, especially in Rome, when a king was about to enter the…

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Seven Last Words: Triumph

By Rev. Jacob Smith Throughout the season of Lent we have been walking through the Seven Last Word’s of Christ.  As I have said, the seven last words come from the seven last statements of Jesus found in all four Gospels and function as a thread which weaves the four Gospel accounts together, making the cross story one profound testimony of God’s unquenchable love for humanity, specifically you. Back in 1998, that great radio show, “This American Life” aired a program which revolved around the theme of people’s last words. The host of the show Ira Glass pointed out, in…

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Sins I’m Giving Up for Lent: None

By Fr. Matt Boulter I 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 bait.” 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…

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Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi (Part 5)

By Fr. Robert Solon, Jr. The Church of England’s pertinent canons regarding worship and the Book of Common Prayer are as follows[1]: A 3 Of The Book of Common Prayer 1. The doctrine contained in The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church according to the Use of the Church of England is agreeable to the Word of God. 2. The form of God’s worship contained in the said Book, forasmuch as it is not repugnant to the Word of God, may be used by all members of the Church…

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The Anglican Ascetic (Part 5)

By Matthew Paul Buccheri As I have attempted to lay out, Fagerberg’s program in On Liturgical Asceticism dovetails nicely with the spirituality presented in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.  Since its revision in 1979, the current Prayer Book has sought to include a wider catholic spirituality that (re)introduced our particular strand of catholic Christianity to ascetical spirituality.  Moreover, given the fact that the Episcopal Church is a liturgically minded body, Fagerberg’s agenda seems to help us make more sense of what we are actually praying. If the Church’s mission is to participate in the program of God, the re-humanization…

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Seven Last Words: Distress

Our text today comes from John 19:28, where Jesus says “I thirst,” and the church choose the word distress as the embodiment of this phrase, another uplifting word.  I think another word that can be derived from this passage is desire. Today, I want to talk briefly about this cry from the cross, and I am going to talk about what “I thirst” means for you, what “I thirst” meant for Jesus, and finally where because of his thirst, is our thirst quenched. Out of all the physical abuses of the cross, it is intentional that thirst is the one…

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Virtue, Anglican Style (Part 5)

By Fr. Matt Boulter In showing that worship is humanity’s true end, two voices which Kirk enlists are those of Psalm 24 (“Those with clean hands and a pure heart … will seek the face of the God of Jacob”) and Psalm 27 (“One thing have I asked of the LORD, and that will I seek: to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple”). These two ancient Hebrew poems, separated by only a few strophai in the Hebrew Bible, are among the most provocative of all the voices Kirk brings to bear upon this issue…

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To Love Fred Phelps?

[At the request of Fr. Robert Solon Jr., Emmaus via Canterbury is taking a one week break from providing you the conclusion of his essay “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi” to bring you this short piece on Fred Phelps.] By Fr. Robert Solon, Jr. About two weeks ago the Internet was abuzz with the news that Fred Phelps, the founder of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, had died.  Westboro Baptist is the group that pickets funerals with truly hateful and hate-filled signs.  They picket funerals of gay and lesbian people, and also those of US soldiers, and even often simply picket…

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The Anglican Ascetic (Part 4)

By Matthew Paul Buccheri “The teleological end of liturgical asceticism is to be further conformed to Christ, riding upward on baptism’s artesian fountain.”[1]  Finally we come to the telos of the liturgical-ascetical experience according to Fagerberg: union with God.  This deepest union–described by some as deification, by others as theosis, and still by others as theologia–is the re-likening of humanity; it is the process of becoming truly human…once again. While retaining God’s image, what the fall of Adam and Eve stripped humanity of–the likeness of God–is restored in and through our union with the incarnate-dead-resurrected-and-ascended Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the entire…

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Seven Last Words: Abandonment

By Fr. Jacob Smith The text for today comes from Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, where Jesus from the cross cries out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” With this statement Matthew and Mark are highlighting that Jesus has drank the dregs of despair on the cross, and so the church chose the word abandonment to associate with this phrase. This is rock bottom. It is the Far Rockaways the day after Superstorm Sandy. In a day and age when much of the church would prefer to talk about, glory, strength, our purpose, prosperity – you name…

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Virtue, Anglican Style (Part 4)

By Fr. Matt Boulter We turn now to a consideration of virtue as represented in the Anglican tradition, the representative in this case being Kenneth Kirk, who stands in direct succession with the moral tradition of virtue on at least two of the three features articulated above: the necessity of a pre-theoretical (note Aristotle’s use of theoretikos above) practice and an anthropological commitment to man as teleological by nature. (On the other of my three “marks” of the moral tradition of virtue – the priority of the social – Kirk is silent. We will forgive him for that, however, since…

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Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi (Part 4)

By Fr. Robert Solon, Jr. What arguments have been advanced in support of this contention?  Are they valid? The plethora of authors above have argued over generations that Western Christians and especially Anglicans use lex orandi-lex credendi as an assumption when theologizing.  It can also be shown that the concept itself is deeply embedded in the culture and organization of Anglicanism. Three examples will be shown:  resolutions from the Lambeth Conferences, the canons of the Church of England, and the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. Although the Lambeth Conference was not intended nor does it to this day…