Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Holy Cross Day!

September 14th is the Feast of the Exhaultation of the Holy Cross, set on the date when Ss. Helena and Constantine's Church over Calvary in Jerusalem was dedicated. It is a reminder that through the hard wood of the Cross Jesus has redeemed the world! As the Proper Preface in the American Missal for Passiontide says, "and that he who by a tree once conquered (the devil using the fruit of the forbidden tree in the garden - ed), might also by a tree (the Cross) be overcome.

Here is a portion of my favorite hymn for Passiontidc from Venantius Honorius Fortunatius (d. 569), english version by J.M. Neale

Faithful cross! above all other
One and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be:
Sweetest wood, and sweetest iron!
Sweetest weight is hung on thee.

Bend thy boughs, O tree of glory!
Thy relaxing sinews bend;
For awhile the ancient rigor
That they birth bestowed, suspend;
And the King of heav'nly beauty
On thy bosom gently tend!