Saturday, January 10, 2009

About this blog (2009)

Last updated January 10, 2009

The goals and orientation of this blog have evolved since the original plan, so here is an updated statement, with links to illustrative postings.

This weblog is offered in humility by a poor miserable sinner, who often errs and strays like a lost sheep. Corrections, comments and suggestions are always welcome.

The blog is about the preservation of Anglo-Catholic liturgical worship — and its associated music — into the 21st century. The main focus is preserving three aspects of worship:
  1. what is best from the past five centuries of Anglicanism (e.g. hymns of Watts, Vaughan Williams);
  2. what we inherited from Catholicism at the time of the split from Rome (e.g. Gregorian chant and other medieval plainsong), and
  3. what we have borrowed and shared with other liturgical Christians during those centuries (e.g. the music of Bach and Wesley).
The main focus is advocating such Anglo-Catholic music, both in its form (the tunes) and in its content (the lyrics).

However, standing for such principles necessarily means drawing a line of separation against others. A major theme is offering a cogent argument in favor of timeless Christian forms of worship and against attempts to modernize the faith to conform to a postmodern culture, whether that be through CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) or politically correct, “inclusive” lyrics.

The author is a layman, choir member and would-be musicologist who was raised an Episcopalian, but has found that the Episcopal church of his childhood has been eradicated from most parishes within PECUSA (which now calls itself TEC). This blog is thus sympathetic to those Continuing Anglicans of North America, whether the Schism I parishes and provinces inspired by the Congress of St. Louis, or the Anglo-Catholic contingent within the Schism II churches that are forming the North American Anglican Province (née Common Cause Partnership).

Although this blog often cites from PECUSA hymnals such as Hymnal 1940 (my favorite) and the decidedly inferior Hymnal 1982, it also draws on the seminal English language hymnals, especially the two great Church of England hymnals: Hymns Ancient & Modern (1861) and The English Hymnal (1906).

One major goal of this blog is thus to air ideas about what should be done for the New Anglican hymnal (date and title undetermined), which the Schism I and/or Schism II churches will someday create to replace Hymnal 1940 and Hymnal 1982.

Another major goal is to share the ongoing musical education of Anglo-Catholic musician, who hopes to learn by reading a wide range of materials, both primary sources (e.g. Hymns A&M) and commentary. The latter includes books on hymnody (e.g. Dr. Ian Bradley’s Book of Hymns), as well as bloggers who write about liturgical music, such as Dr. Catherine Osborne of the CoE and Vicar Josh Osbun of the LCMS.


Vicar Josh Osbun said...

"Corrections, comments and suggestions are always welcome."

This is a simple correction, but one that is necessary to make. I am not a pastor. I am currently in my third year of seminary studies, serving as a vicar (secularly known as an intern) for a parish of the LCMS. In August I will move back to Fort Wayne so that I can complete my fourth and final year of study, and hopefully the following April I will receive a call to serve a parish. So in about a year and a half it is my hope that you can return the title of "pastor" to my name. But for now, "Vicar" or "Seminarist" will suffice.

9.West said...

Vicar Josh,

Sorry for the confusion, it's been corrected.

In the Episcopal Church (and the US Continuing Anglican churches), "Vicar" is a job title — like Rector and Assistant Rector — that refers to a clergyman who’s been called to head a mission, i.e. a parish that is not self-sufficient. The usage is similar (but not quite the same) in the Church of England. Like a Rector, a Vicar is called "Father" and the title "the Rev." also applies.


Vicar Josh Osbun said...

Well, in the Roman Catholic Church the pope is Christ's Vicar on earth, so it has many varying usages.

And actually, there was a day and age in the LCMS when seminarists received the title of "Reverend." In the 1800s my title would be The Rev. Vicar Osbun. Sadly, that trend has gone by the wayside.

Thanks for the correction and, as always, for the kind words and support that you give to me.

The Miller Menagerie said...

Stumbled upon your blog after doing a Google search of "oremus patriotic". What a wonderful blog! As a member of a continuing Anglican church for the last 10 years (first a parish in FL, then one in VA, and now one here in Seattle), it's encouraging to see other folks talking about things I'm interested in (traditional liturgical worship music).