Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Bride of Christ

One of the topics at the recent ICCA was the question of the ordination of women in the Anglican church. It is a topic that largely unites Forward in Faith North America, whose tract on sacraments states:
The sacrament of Holy Orders … is administered to baptized men in whom the Church discerns a special vocation in three successive modes. One is first ordained a deacon, who represents Christ the servant of those in need and assists in public worship. Deacons may be ordained priests to represents Christ in preaching, celebrating, blessing and absolving in the Lord’s name. Priests may be ordained bishops, receiving in episcopal consecration the fullness of the priesthood of Christ with a calling to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church.
However, this is not a position shared by the ACNA, which is divided over women’s ordination — nor by TEC, ELCA and other mainline Protestant that entirely favor it.

The issue of women’s ordination was the subject of several talks at the ICCA, including a Wednesday afternoon keynote by Bp. Michael Nazir-Ali (CoE), a Tuesday lunchtime talk by Nazir-Ali and Abp. Mark Haverland (ACC), and the banquet talk by former ECUSA priest Alice Linsley.

Most (not all) Christians agree that Jesus called men as apostles and that the church had only male pastors for the first 1800+ years. Two of the arguments for changing that policy (to ordain women) are an issue of societal fairness, and the belief that Jesus limited his ministry to men because of the cultural conditions of the day (when Jewish society would not have respected women leaders). In response, Haverland said that Jesus (who worshiped with tax collectors and other sinners) didn’t seem to be constrained by Jewish culture.

All of the speakers noted the obstacle that this change posed to ecumenical cooperation with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, which reject women’s ordination. Of course, seeking to restore the unity of the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church was a major goal of the ICCA and Anglo-Catholics more generally.

On Thursday, Bp. Keith Ackerman (until recently FiFNA president) was interviewed on Issues Etc. about the impact of the CoE ordaining its first six women bishops in the past year. He said that Church of England want to change the terminology of the Trinity from personhood of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to the functionalist view of Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.

The terminology dates at least to the 17th century mathematician and theologian John Wallis (according to a 2008 book by Jason Vickers) and was picked up by John Keble in his 1833 sermon “National Apostasy” that launched the Oxford Movement. It was used as a gender-neutral Trinity by late 20th century Catholic liberals, and in 2008 the Vatican proclaimed it invalid for use in baptism.

Ackerman (like Haverland and Linsley the week before) also noted that ordaining women to the priesthood — by which priests offer the sacrifice in Christ’s stead — does violence to the metaphor of the church as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25, 27; Mark 2:19-20).

Still, for Anglo-Catholics there remains the question of how to affirmatively integrate women into the church’s ministries. Haverland argued against “clericalism” — the view that church ministries are reserved for ordained ministry. Nasir-Ali speculated about the creation of orders for women that include evangelism and intercession. Nazir-Ali also argued that women should be ordained vocational deacons (as some Anglo-Catholic ACNA dioceses and parishes do — but the Continuing churches do not). He argued there were women deacons present in the early Church, and that the Orthodox church had women deacons until the 11th century.

Ackerman noted that the CoE change is a direct consequence of being a state church and having its policies changed through the political process. While it is only one of the 39 provinces of the Anglican Communion — and most provinces do not ordain women priests or bishops— the COE’s historic role and the See of Canterbury mean that it retains an outside role as a voice of Anglicanism in the communion and the world.

Here perhaps is a silver lining for Continuing Anglicans in the US. In the UK, the polity and governance of the CoE are subject to a vote of the parliament and under the heavy influence of the prime minister. In the US, while we lost our buildings and had to start over, we have the option of choosing our own faith and doctrines under the freedom of association guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. The Tractarians of 1833 were right to fight against state control of the church, and it is a lesson that American Christians must remember in the 21st century.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thoughts about ICCA 2015

More than 300 attendees are now home after last week’s International Catholic Congress for Anglicans (ICCA†) sponsored by Forward in Faith North America. Let me see if I can sum up the overall conference. (For those who did not attend, see my other stories, those from the Wannabe Anglican blog and a limited number of tweets).

† Google says there are at least three other ICCA 2015 conferences.


The conference was intended to be an extension of the six Anglo-Catholic Congresses held in London and Oxford in 1920, 1925, 1927, 1933 and 1948. Unlike the 19th century Oxford Movement, I’d never heard of these before and wish I’d read a little about them before coming so I’d understand better the detailed references that some of the speakers made (particularly to the first Congress).

Still, the organizers did a great job of setting a coherent theme, picking speakers and topics to fit that them, and integrating the message together in a logical order. Having been to dozens of conferences in the past 30 years, I know such coherence is rare if not unheard of. The theme of conciliarity with other Christians (especially Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox) was well argued and persuasive.

The caliber of the speakers was impressive. The organizers knew what they were doing in who they let speak. The prominence of Bp. Michael Nazir-Ali was particularly well deserved — given both his intellect and moral clarity — and (alas) shows the loss to the Anglican Communion with Tony Blair’s 2002 decision to reject him in favor of the progressive Rowan Williams, who proved unequal to the task of managing the conflicts between the communion’s affluent liberals and the traditional views of the more numerous Global South.

The formal statement was negotiated, edited, presented (twice) to the attendees and then issued Friday (see FiFNA and Virtue Online editions). It referred to the importance of the Church having a unified (i.e. Catholic) body bound by “both the authority of the Word of God written and the authority of the Church.” It calls attention to the importance of continuity in the faith (as implemented by apostolic succession) and the unfortunate drift within the Anglican Communion away from such faith and authority.

The Congress also marked the passing of the torch from outgoing FiFNA president Bp. Keith Ackerman to its new president, Fr. Larry Bausch, the long-serving rector of San Diego’s most Anglo-Catholic ACNA parish.


With the Internet, virtual reality and the death of distance, there is considerable question as to the future of face-to-face meetings, but there are two benefits we would not have realized if reduced to a mere webinar. Much of the benefit was getting like-minded people under the same roof, particularly those from the 1970s-era continuing churches and the more recent ACNA defectors from ECUSA. I met several dozen new people, and hope some of these contacts will be important to my future understanding and contribution to the church.

Also, not having been to seminary, I underestimated the powerful effect that regular corporate worship has in bringing people together and creating unity: my friends and family didn’t believe me when I said the three daily services were the highlight of my day. Not having participated in regular cathedral-style worship since my childhood, I also learned a lot about the conduct of worship.
Bp. Nazir-Ali processing as celebrant for Tuesday’s communion service
Particularly powerful were the opening evensong and closing communion services, with the procession of bishops and clergy. On Monday I counted 16 bishops processing (three not) which is more bishops than I’ve ever seen (more even than a consecration service). The choir of more than 40 men, women and children filled the hall of St. Andrew’s, the neo-Gothic parish in downtown Ft. Worth that (it turns out) was the childhood parish of several of the priests present.


The Congress was a difficult, time-consuming and expensive event to organize. As in the 1920s, it’s not something that could be done every year. For that matter, as a Anglo-Catholic layman, I’m not sure I can ask the finance committee (i.e. my wife) to approve every year a one-week absence, six nights of hotel, plane ticket, local transportation and registration. Still, it provided an invaluable learning opportunity for Anglicans who are traditional in their faith and worship, and I’m grateful to Fr. Bausch for inviting me to attend.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Media and the Great Commission

At the ICCA, a series of sessions featured examined topics of specific interest to Anglo-Catholics. One is the church planting workshop that I helped support. Another was a session on how traditional Anglican must deal with (confront? ignore? respond to?) the 21st century mass and niche media.

The session featured perhaps the two best-known American Anglican journalists (in the decade since tmatt went Orthodox):
David Virtue
Photo by J. West
I have traded emails with Virtue off and on for the past decade. I had never met Kallsen before, but a friend (from my final TEC days) was a regular correspondent for AnglicanTV before “swimming the Tiber.”

I wasn’t able to attend the entire session because I was on a competing (and very informative) session on church music. However, I caught the end of Kallsen’s talk (and stayed for the Q&A), when he made some provocative points.

One is that churches need to learn from great consumer companies (notably Apple). While packaging counts — such as approachability — it’s also essential to be genuine.

The other was that technology has changed society “and there’s no going back”. He showed the famous photos of the crowd in St. Peter’s square for Benedict (in 2005) and Francis (2013) — in less than 10 years, the idea of a smartphone (with camera) has become ubiquitous. (There were lots of cellphone cameras during the ICCA sessions and services as well).

Conversely, Virtue said that
Technology is a tool — not God. Technology has been give a godlike status. We need to see through the lens of the Gospel.
At the same time, Luther’s success — in disseminating his critique of the Church and launching what became Lutheranism — depending on cutting edge technology: the printing press. (In other words, it’s hard to image his having such an impact if the 95 Theses had to be hand-copied for distribution to the peasants.)  Virtue also reminded everyone of the old saw: “there are no new heresies, just old heresies dressed up in new form.”

The two differ on the core marketing problem facing traditional Anglicans:
  • Kallsen: many frustrated with TEC (and other Protestant revisionists) don’t know about traditional Anglican alternatives and so are going to Rome and the Ordinariate; we need to do a better job of getting our visibility and message out there.
  • Virtue: “People don’t want to know” because they want their existing routines, facilities, the familiar. They are deluding themselves that because their rector is traditional, they won’t be affected by the changes in the national church. (To this I would add that some dioceses — such as Dallas 30 miles east of here — are pretending that they can stand up to the national church while that option became moot almost a decade ago.)
Clearly reaching the Millennials will require using modern technology and messages. But my interpretation of both men (plus my recent travels regarding church planting) suggest it is essential to preserve the substance and sincerity of what we believe and are offering to future (or returning) Christians.

PS: At the Congress I met blogger Mark Marshall, who was also blogging the conference.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The once and future undivided church

One Church, One Faith, One Lord
"Restoring the Conciliar Church and Her Mission"
July 13-July 17, 2015 Fort Worth, Texas
A conciliar gathering of Catholic Anglicans rooted in the past. Ready for the future.

With the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans nearing its completion, I have to say that Forward and Faith and other organizers were wildly successful in addressing their designated theme.

It’s really hard to summarize more than five hours of keynotes on this topic, citing Christian thinkers from the patristic fathers through the Reformation to the 1920s Anglo-Catholic congresses to today. However, these ideas to me seem essential in being able to articulate Anglican (or Anglo-Catholic) distinctives in contrasting one’s local Anglo-Catholic parish to the other Protestant alternatives.

Fortunately, AnglicanTV recorded these keynotes. These include:
The focus of all the speakers was on the original undivided church, from the Apostolic church of the 1st century (as recounted in Acts and the Pauline letters) to the Great Schism of 1054. In the name of conciliarity, I heard a lot more about the seven ecumenical councils of 325-787 — subscribed by FiF, and the Eastern churches — a superset of the four subscribed by some Protestants (including the REC) and a subset of the 21 endorsed by Rome.

Nazir-Ali and Linsley argued that the ECUSA and CoE theological innovations of the past 50 years (notably women’s ordination) have both broken from the original faith of the undivided church, and also impairs the possibility of Anglican reconciliation with either Rome or the East.

Prof. Edith Humphrey
Edith Humphrey

The most through argument came from former Anglican (now Orthodox) seminar professor Edith Humphrey, who presented a historical research paper (posted at Virtue Online). She began by quoting the 1902 observation of Alfred Loisy:
Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom, and what arrived was the Church.
She then laid out a three-fold definition of the one true undivided church:
  1. Apostolic, by reviewing the evidence of the three-fold ministry in first two centuries of the faith, as recounted by Acts and early church leader such as the 2nd century bishops Papias and Irenaeus.
  2. Conciliar, the mutual accountability of the bishops to each other (rather that total independence or control by one supreme pontiff) — as Acts 10-11 and the seven ecumenical councils.
  3. Concrete, the tangible connection of the faithful through baptism, communion and fellowship.
Finally, she quoted the optimistic view of C.S. Lewis in his essay “On the Reading of Old Books”:
We are all rightly distressed, and ashamed also, at the divisions of Christendom. But those who have always lived within the Christian fold may be too easily dispirited by them. They are bad, but such people do not know what it looks like from without. Seen from there, what is left intact despite all the divisions, still appears (as it truly is) an immensely formidable unity. I know, for I saw it; and well our enemies know it.
The True Faith

Linsley quoted from an eclectic mix of Christian thought on the need to repair the divided church. One quote was from Wednesday morning’s hymn — “The Church’s One Foundation” — the 19th century classic by S.J. Stone:
Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping;
Their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.
From Basil the Great in On the Holy Spirit:
Every man is a theologian; it does not matter that his soul is covered with more blemishes than can be counted. The result is that these innovators find an abundance of men to join their factions. So ambitious, self-elected men divide the government of the churches among themselves, and reject the authority of the Holy Spirit. The ordinances of the Gospel have been thrown into confusion everywhere for lack of discipline; the jostling for high positions is incredible, as every ambitious man tries to thrust himself into high office. The result of this lust for power is that wild anarchy prevails among the people; the exhortations of those in authority are rendered utterly void and unprofitable, since every man in his arrogant delusion thinks that it is more his business to give orders to others than to obey anyone himself.
From CS Lewis in God in the Dock:
We are to defend Christianity itself—the faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, enbodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers. This must be clearly distinguished from the whole of what any one of us may think about God and man. Each of us has his individual emphasis: each holds, in addition to the faith, many opinions which seem to him to be consistent with it and true and important. And so perhaps they are. But as apologists it is not our business to defend them. We are defending Christianity; not “my religion.”
She argued the importance of rallying the church and its moral leadership: “We are bombarded by lies daily. The Church is the single institution to identify and speak against them.”

Finally, she quoted from GK Chesterton in The Ball and Chain:
Christianity is always out of fashion because it is always sane; and all fashions are mild insanities. … The Church always seems to be behind the times, when it is really beyond the times; it is waiting till the last fad shall have seen its last summer. It keeps the key of a permanent virtue.
Making Ourselves Obsolete

Perhaps the most fundamental (and even unsettling) argument came when Nazir-Ali argued that Anglicanism is only a temporary religion awaiting the restoration of the undivided church: “Anglicanism stands ready to disappear for the sake of unity of Christ’s Church.”

This reminded me of the 1930s hymn by a devout member of the Church of Christ:
This world is not my home, I'm just a-passing through
My treasures are layed up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beacon me through heavens open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.
Albert E. Brumley (1905-1977) 
Alas, in reality I will probably pass through to the other side before reunification of the Christian churches wipes out denominationalism. Perhaps that means there will be continuing interest in a blog about Anglican liturgy.

Photos by J. West at the 2015 International Catholic Congress of Anglicans

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Liturgical choices for new parishes

In visiting various Schism I and Schism II parishes this year, I have gotten a clearer idea of what the various alternatives are for those planting new Anglican churches. For today’s Anglo-Catholic church planting session at ICCA 2015, I thought I’d write down these alternatives for prospective church planters.

Some important choices are front and center, such as which diocese (or province) to affiliate with, stances on key theological issues (e.g. women’s ordination) and calling your first rector (vicar); these are beyond the scope of today’s effort. Instead, let me lay out a few less obvious ones, particularly those that apply to new Anglo-Catholic leaning parishes.

1. Physical Infrastructure

New churches have to make basic choices related to the physical infrastructure:
  • Permanent or weekly setup. The proverbial school gym is available in any community, but requires weekly setup; an existing church will already be setup, but not available at prime time on Sunday morning (unless you find an abandoned church). Later on, parishes can have permanent setup on Sunday morning if they can afford to build or rent their own dedicated facilities.
  • Altar and linens. Is there an existing altar setup or do you bring your own? Do you have colors to cover all the seasons? Do the color shades match your vestments?
  • Kneeling. Will your service include kneeling — either for every prayer (ala 28 BCP) or at key points (confession, thanksgiving, before communion). If so, will there be permanent kneelers or temporary prayer cushions? (There’s the related issue of pews or chairs, but in my experience this is decided once you choose the site).
  • Public address. Do you want to amplify the spoken liturgy? If so, is there a public address system (e.g. at a school or church) for the clergy or lay readers – with wireless mics – or do you bring your own?
  • Musical infrastructure. Is there a mechanical piano, traditional organ, or electronic piano or organ? How does this tie into the PA? Does its placement allow conducting of (or by) the choir?
  • Liturgy distribution. Prayer book, service booklet, or weekly printed order of service?
  • Music distribution. Similarly is there a printed hymnal, hymns printed in the weekly bulletin, or projected on a screen? (By 2020, I expect some churches will be using real-time transmission to smartphones and tablets).
This does not count the infrastructure for the other six days per week: where do the rector (vicar) and parish staff hang out when there’s no worship service?
2. Liturgical Choices

The other key choices relate to worship and liturgy:
  • Preferred Bible translation. The churches I visit tend towards ESV or RSV, but there may be some KJV, ASV, NIV, NRSV or other translations being used instead. (The CoE has listed 7 translations as being suitable). Are there printed books in the pews? (A good sign) Are they used? Do you need the Apocrypha — if so, it’s not available for the NIV or NKJV.
  • Prayer Book. For US readers, I’m assuming the choices are the 1928 Book of Common Prayer or Rite I of the 1979 prayer book (the latter so flawed it prompted Schism I); to these two I’d add the 2003 REC prayer book which combines elements of the 1662 and US prayer books†. Some may consider the 1662 CoE BCP or — at the other extreme — the recent ACNA trial use liturgy, and some parishes will use a mixture of services.
  • Alternate Variants of Key Prayers. In some liturgies, there are choices to include or omit passages, such as the General Confession vs. Confession Lite. Some congregations insist on reciting “we believe” in the Nicene Creed while others adhere to centuries of tradition and shared theological understanding.
  • Lectionary. ACNA does not yet have its own lectionary, so the most likely choices seem to be Cranmer’s one-year lectionary (as embodied in 1549, 1552, 1559, 1662, 1896 and 1928 BCP), or the three year lectionary of the 1979 prayer book or the RCL.
  • Hymnal. For US Anglicans, the choices seem to be Hymnal 1940, Hymnal 1982 or none. (I have seen parishes that use third party hymnals such as the Celebration Hymnal). The Anglo-Catholic parishes (with 1928 or Rite I) choose H40, while the parishes that split Rite I/Rite II (50/50, 60/40 or 40/60) parishes go with H82, and the rock band churches don’t need one at all.  To date, there is no service music exactly aligned to the ACNA liturgy, although in principle the changes for the contemporary H82 service music should be minor.
  • Chanting (Service Music). Holy Communion potentially includes sung versions of the Kyrie (English or Latin) or Trisagion, Gloria, Psalm, Nicene Creed, Sanctus/Benedictus, Lord’s Prayer and Agnus Dei (not counting the Sursum Corda and other responsorial sentences). Which ones will be spoken, which ones chanted — and for those, what setting do you use? H40 has four (later eight) settings of the Kyrie+Gloria+Sanctus+Agnus Dei while H82 has four for Rite I and many more for Rite II. However, more important than matching the hymnal is having a familiar and stable set of choices (probably no more than 3 different liturgies in 12 months).
Of course, these have implications for the paid and volunteer staffing: priest(s), deacon(s), acolyte(s), lay readers, musicians, and others involved in the liturgy. My experience has been it’s virtually impossible to put on a traditional high mass (sung service) without a pianist or organist. (The Substitute Organ Service is designed for vacation relief and is not cost-effective for weekly use).

Defining Your Vision

When I spoke to veteran Anglo-Catholic church planter Fr. Chris Culpepper, he says he wish he had this list when he started his first parish in January 2008. IMHO, any church founder (lay, clerical) needs to decide personally which of these choices are essential, which are desirable and which are open. For example, in my own mind — and many that whose counsel I respect — the availability and use of kneeling is essential for creating a church that is contemplative, reverent and prayerful.

Once you have your own list, the planting team needs to bring their ideas together to discuss their corresponding hopes and vision. It is impossible to move forward unless this team can come to a common position on the nature of the church they are planting — and not only agree, but fully support the vision rather seek to undermine it or re-open key choices.

In talking with church planters, this part of an articulated vision going forward as the church grows and evolves. (That’s not to say that such choices are the entire vision, only key practicalities of defining what sort of church is being planted — and what will be needed to implement that church.)

At the same time, there is an important constituency not at the table: the future members who make the parish a success. WW II Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple (1881-1944) said: “The Church is the only institution that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.” The vision should allow for flexibility, modification and extension to meet the needs and desires of the future members. For example, a H40 parish will use hymns from H82 (such as Amazing Grace or  Bread of Life) and many 28BCP or Rite I parishes offer a modern language service.


I don’t know that these are all the questions, but this list seems to cover most of the alternatives facing the teams that are launching a new parish from scratch.

The case of new TEC exiles is slightly different. In my travels, it appears that congregations that have lost their building tend to carry over #2 from their TEC days, while making new choices for #1 based on their budget (and sometimes an attempt to re-create what they once had).

† Note: corrected per feedback from Rev. Daniel Sparks.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Worship music at the Anglo-Catholic congress

Updated after attending the services.

At the Forward in Faith sponsored International Catholic Congress of Anglicans in Ft. Worth this week, there will be four choral evensong services (Monday-Thursday) and four noontime communions (Tuesday-Friday), all held at nearby St. Andrew’s.

The liturgy for these services have been posted. Not surprisingly, none use the new ACNA liturgy or Rite II. However, despite the participation of key 1928 BCP clergy and laity — and the use of the 1928 BCP at St. Andrew’s — all eight services use Rite I from the 1979 ECUSA prayer book.


For the evensong, the opening and closing hymns are traditional, while the anthems are more modern. The service music uses the Hymn #601 responses; however, the remaining service music emphasizes work by Chris Hoyt, the conference music director and the music director at REC’s Dallas cathedral (that uses the 1928 BCP).

Day Processional Hymn Anthem Closing Hymn Service Music
Monday Come thou almighty King (H40: 271) Palestrina: Veni Creator Spiritus Come down, O love divine (H40: 376) Psalm, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis: Hoyt
Tuesday Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven (H40: 282) Townend: How Deep the Father's Love for Us Dear Lord and Father of mankind (H40: 435) Psalm: J.W. Meachan adapted by Hoyt; Magnificat: Hoyt; Bendedic: Ouseley
Wednesday Come ye sinners poor and needy Perry: How shall they hear the word of God? How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord (H40: 564) Psalm, Magnificat: Hoyt; Bendedic: Ouseley
Thursday Guide me, O thou great Jehovah (H40: 434) Deep River O day of rest and gladness (H40: 474) Psalm, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis: Hoyt

† From Southern Hymnal (1835), set to tune Restoration with a 2015 arrangement.

It was pretty straightforward to find the “Benedic, anima mea” by English composer Frederick Ouseley (1825-1889) — it’s Hymn #677 in H40. With some digging, I was able to find reference to Jerome Webster Meachen (b. 1930), onetime organist of St. John’s (Waterbury, CT) — but did not find any reference in the four most relevant 20th century hymnals (TEH, H40, H82, NEH).

After Monday’s (lengthy) visit to the 16th century, the evensong anthems the rest of the week take on a decidedly contemporary slant:
Holy Communion

The hymn selection for the mid-day holy communion is more eclectic, with some very familiar hymns from H40 and some brand new ones. Interestingly, three of the four anthem composers — Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924), Herbert Howells (1892-1983) and Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) were English composers active during the same period, while Harold Friedell (1905-1958) was an American 13 years younger than Howells.

DayProcess-ionalGradualAnthemOffer-tory HymnClosing HymnPsalm
Tue.For all the saints (H40: 126)Come all Christians, be committed (2015)Stanford: Ye Choirs of New JersualemO love, how deep (H82: 449)†I bind unto myself today (H40: 268)Jerome Webster Meachen
Wed.The Church's one foundation (H40: 396)Come labor on (2014)Howells: Like as the HartThy hand, O God (TEH: 545)I love thy kingdom, Lord (H40: 388)Chris Hoyt
Thu.Glorious things of thee are spoken (H40: 385)Humbly I adore thee (H40: 204)Friedell: Draw Us in the Spirit's TetherDeck thyself, my soul, with gladness (H40: 210)Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! (H40: 347)Chris Hoyt
Fri.Not by the wisdom of this world (Hoyt, 2012)Faith of our fathers, taught of old (NEH: 479)Vaughan Williams: AntiphonRise up, O men of God! (H40: 535)Lift high the cross (H82: 473)Robert Knox Kennedy

† The tune used was not the familiar Deus Quorum Militium (H40: 344; H82: 448), nor Eisenach (TEH: 459; NEH: 425) nor Cornwall (NEH: 424)

The (uncredited) service music (Kyrie, Gloria, Nicene Creed, Sursum Corda, Sanctus+Benedictus, Lord’s Prayer) is the same for all four days, and appears to correspond to John Merbecke’s 16th century setting (the first ever English language setting).

Update: I left out the 16th century communion hymns (sung by the choir):

  • Tuesday: Palestrina: Ego Sum Panis Vivus
  • Wednesday: Palestrina: Sicut cervus
  • Thursday: Tallis: Verily, Verily, I Say unto You
  • Friday: Byrd: Haec dies
Also, before I got to Ft Worth I did not have the morning prayer book which each day included a daily office hymn
  • Tuesday: Thy Hand, O God, Hast Guided (NEH: 485)
  • Wednesday: Awake, My Soul, and With The Sun (H40: 151)
  • Thursday: New Every Morning (H40: 155)
  • Friday: Father, We Praise The, Now the Night Is Over (H40: 157 2nd)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Anglo-Catholics gathering in Ft. Worth

Next week’s International Catholic Congress of Anglicans bills itself as the first such Anglo-Catholic gathering since the 1920s. Sponsored by Forward in Faith, the (ACNA) Diocese of Ft. Worth, the Reformed Episcopal Church and others, the speakers include Bp. Keith Ackerman, Bp. Ray Sutton (REC), Bp. Mark Harverland (ACC), and Bp. Michael Nazir-Ali, the retired Bishop of Rochester (England) who in 2002 was runner-up for Archbishop of Canterbury.

More than 250 Anglo-Catholic clergy (and a few laity) will gather in Ft. Worth at the downtown Hilton and and for services a few blocks away at St. Andrew’s Episcopal (of the DoFW). The program runs from 5pm Monday until noon Friday, and includes preaching, communion and keynote addresses by a wide range of Continuing Anglican (ACC, APA, DoHC, PNC) and ACNA bishops (including the current and founding ACNA primate). It also includes bishops from Burma, England, Malawi and Tanzania.

The breakout sessions include
  • Sacred and secular views of marriage
  • Media strategies (with Anglican journalist David Virtue)
  • Theological education
  • Anglicans for Life
  • Church music (with contemporary church composer Chris Hoyt)
I am particularly excited about the two sessions on Anglo-Catholic church planting: an organizational meeting I’m helping organize on Monday night, and a presentation by Fr. Chris Culpepper (of Christ the Redeemer Ft. Worth) and Fr. Lee Nelson (of Christ Church Waco) on why Anglo-Catholics should be more in active church planting.

I‘ll be there all week, looking to meet others interested in traditional Anglo-Catholic hymnody (and planting new churches to continue the faith):
J. West
anglicanmusic <()> gmail

Friday, July 10, 2015

Volume II of ACNA liturgy now online

On Wednesday, the ACNA website published the initial chapters of Volume II of its Texts for Common Prayer, available for free download at the ACNA website. These include services for Baptism, Confirmation and Renewal of the Baptismal Vows.

Like a software company, the ACNA is using version numbers and is now publishing a “Change Log” so the public can track the new liturgy versions as they are released.
Change Log

Volume I
  • 11-16-13 Version 1.1 released. This release corrects typos found in the original.
  • 10-17-13 Version 1.0 released.
Holy Eucharist
  • 11-16-13 Version 1.1 released. This release corrects typos found in the original.
  • 10-17-13 Version 1.0 released.
Morning and Evening Prayer
  • 11-16-13 Version 1.1 released. This release corrects typos found in the original.
  • 10-17-13 Version 1.0 released.
The Ordinal
  • 11-16-13 Version 1.1 released. This release corrects typos found in the original.
  • 10-17-13 Version 1.0 released.
Volume II
  • 7-8-15 Version 1.0 released.
  • 7-8-15 Version 1.0 released.
  • 7-8-15 Version 1.0 released.
  • 7-8-15 Version 1.0 released.
I am guessing that (like the NIV) they won’t be making the old version available, but (hopefully) unlike the NIV the revisions won’t contain major theological changes.

The Liturgy and Common Worship Task Force presented a report at last month’s ACNA Provincial Council in Vancouver. (Since the retirement of Bp. Bill Thompson, the TF is chaired by Bp. Bob Duncan, former ACNA primate). The task force has five subcommittees:
  1. Calendar, Collects and Lectionaries is developing a 3-year Sunday lectionary based on Common Lectionary (not RCL) as well as a daily office lectionary and a (reduced) list of saints days.
  2. Episcopal Office is working on services for the consecration of church and for “celebration of new ministry.”
  3. Psalter and Music is producing a new Psalter and an online resource “that would offer hymnody, praise songs, and traditional anthems related to the lectionary of every Sunday and season of the Christian year” as well as service music. It also states explicitly: “There is no plan to produce a hymnal.”
  4. Offices of the Hours and Occasional Rites plans services for noontime and compline prayer services.
  5. Pastoral Offices is working on marriage and baptism services.
The report also says it hopes to finish all “working texts” by 2017 so it can begin to incorporate feedback from the trial use (so keeps those cards and letters coming!)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Too much of a good thing

At a recent service, we sang “I bind unto myself this day,” (H40: 268) the traditional St. Patrick’s Day hymn. The Hymnal 1940 Companion helpfully notes:
[The hymn] is attributed by legend to St. Patrick [and] is first found in two eleventh century mss. ... Whether actually by St. Patrick or not, it has many element of a Druid incantation, superstitions of a sort which have long survived in Ireland and elsewhere.
The translation, or rather metrical paraphrase, was made by Cecil Frances Alexander for use on St. Patrick’s day in 1889. It was printed in leaflet form and sung throughout Ireland on that day. It first appeared in the [US] Hymnal in 1916.
The setting we use combines St. Patrick (or St. Patrick’s Breastplate) as the tune for most of the verses, and Deirdre for the penultimate verse — a combination created by Vaughan Williams for The English Hymnal (#212). H40 and H82 (#370) have the same seven verses, while the New English Hymnal (#359) moves verse 6 to a separate hymn (#278) with a different tune (Gartan).

I like this familiar hymn, but when we were singing the hymn, I must admit I got bored really quickly. Each verse (except #6) is long and slow, and there were six of them (plus the interlude). TEH would have been worse with nine verses.

Fortunately, both H40 and H82 indicate that verses 3, 4 and 5 — after the introduction of the melody and before the interlude — are optional. In most cases (outside Christmas or maybe Easter) I think five verses are enough, and in this case (IMHO) the music director should have omitted the extra verses. I’d especially take the cut in order to add other music (say a 2nd communion hymn) elsewhere in the service.

So with 3 or less verses, there is no need to mark optional verses, but otherwise — or with particularly long verses — they are merciful for both the singers and the congregation. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever serve on a hymnal committee.

Update: An unusual coincidence: this is the closing hymn of the first communion mass (Tuesday at noon) at next week’s International Catholic Congress of Anglicans. So nearly 300 of us will be singing all 7 verses.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Culture wars in perspective

Luke 1:68-73 (ICEL translation), excerpted from the July 2 Morning Prayer (Rite I) in the 1979 prayer book:
16 The Song of Zechariah
Benedictus Dominus Deus
Luke 1: 68-79
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;*
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,*
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
that he would save us from our enemies,*
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,*
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship him without fear,*
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
From an interview with Russian martyr Aleksandr Menn (1935-1990):
No living creature, except for a man, is able to take a risk, and even the risk of death, for the sake of truth. Thousands of martyrs who have lived are a unique phenomenon in the history of all our solar system.