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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

When will Al Gore make a 'documentary' on this?

Certainly he can make up some bad science that this is our fault too.....
Otherwise people might start realizing the earth's climate change is a natural and cyclical phenomena as well.

From the London Times on line.
Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.
Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.
Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.

Read it all on the link above, where the writer tries to wriggle away from it being natural like earth's cyclical climate change....

A beautiful Spring day at St. John's

What a beautiful day it was today at St. John's. Not only was it wonderful to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, but the weather was great and all the tulips, trees, etc. are in full bloom.

In a few weeks we will have a planting day to get the flowers in for the summer.

The St. John's garden is a wonderful oasis of green and flowers in the concrete and asphalt of downtown Detroit.

Little League Baseball!

My 'free time' has been pretty occupied lately - in a very good way. Little League baseball is in full swing in Grosse Pointe Park. And in addition to Andrew playing (his third), Sam decided to play for the first time (he is older than Andrew), and it is William's first year eligible. Sam and Andrew are on a Double A team (The Giants) which means they both get a chance to pitch.

Andrew pitched the final two innings of the first game, not allowing a hit, walk, or run. They lost that one 6-2 against the Devil Rays. In the second game (Friday v. the Indians) he pitched the final inning. After hitting the first batter the second batter got on base on an error after the first one had stolen second. He scored on the error. Andrew's ERA is 0.00. He has also been catching and playing the field. He is 2 for 4 batting, plus walks. We beat the Indians 12-2.

Sam is playing Double AA because his birthday is a week after the official Little League birthday cut off. He did get drafted by a Triple A team, but we asked that he be tossed back into the draft for Double A since he had never played organized ball before. PLUS, the thought of being involved in THREE separate teams (practices, games) was too much to fathom!

Sam pitched the 4th inning of the second game and got a 1,2,3 inning (two strike outs and a ground out). His has walked a few times at bat, and got a hit the first game as well.

On Saturday we had our "Opening Day" ceremonies (Parade, etc.) and William had his first game with the Single A Orioles. He had a couple of good plays when in the outfield, and one where were had to remind him to hurry up and throw it instead of running it in! (play stops once a ball hit into the outfield comes in...important to throw it right away). He hit the ball three times but got thrown out at first all three times.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Actually, He IS Lord

Here is an example of wrong-headed misreading of scripture, and trying to accommodate the world, rather than convert it! See article below, or read it in the Arizona paper

Also note that according to ECUSA parish stats, although the parish below might be the largest in Tuscon, it peaked at over 1000 on Sunday 7 years ago... in 2006 it was down to 650 or so. Perhaps when they tossed "Lord" out, he took some people with him.
God has no gender. And the Lord? There's not much Lord in this church service.
At Tucson's largest Episcopal church, St. Philip's in the Hills, the creators of an alternative worship service called Come & See are bucking tradition by rewriting what have become prescribed ways of worship.
For the faithful, that means God isn't referred to as "him," and references to "the Lord" are rare.
"Lord" has become a loaded word conveying hierarchical power over things, "which in what we have recorded in our sacred texts, is not who Jesus understood himself to be," St. Philip's associate rector Susan Anderson-Smith said.
"The way our service reads, the theology is that God is love, period," St. Philip's deacon Thomas Lindell added. "Our service has done everything it can to get rid of power imagery. We do not pray as though we expect the big guy in the sky to come and fix everything."
St. Philip's isn't the only local church to re-examine its language. Other local religious leaders already are eschewing the use of "Lord" for similar reasons.
First Congregational United Church of Christ in Midtown even has a different name for The Lord's Prayer. They call it "The Prayer of Our Creator."
"We do still use the word 'Lord' on occasion, but we are suspicious of it," First Congregational pastor Briget Nicholson said. "Inclusive language is important. Our United Church of Christ hymnal does have hymns that will say 'Father' and 'God.' but the next verse will always then say 'Mother' and 'God.' It's gender-balanced."
In the strictest Christian sense, "Lord" comes from the Greek word kyrios, which Greek culture in the first century understood in much different ways, Anderson-Smith said. Evidence suggests the word was used in talking about Jesus as the fullest embodied revelation of God, but it had a lot less to do with hierarchy than what the word means now, she said.
"Jesus was for an egalitarian community. He did not have room for titles or status. And it is recorded that many of the disciples called him Lord. But they had a different idea about worshipping him," she said. "Jesus was a rabbi and teacher. It was a relationship of mentoring, looking up to him for that kind of companionship."
Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Midtown has kept references to "Lord" minimal for years. Rector Gordon McBride said he personally — in writing, preaching and spontaneous prayer — has not used the word in more than a decade. He associates the word with a God that is powerful, separate, and perhaps brooding over creation.
References to "Lord" became prevalent in singable, rhymed versions of the Psalms translated into English during the 16th century by Myles Coverdale, McBride said. The changes became significant to the Episcopal Church and its larger Anglican Communion because those are the Psalms in the church's Book of Common Prayer. Much of the liturgy is based on the Psalms, a collection of 150 self-contained poems and prayers in the Old Testament.
The most recent version of the Book of Common Prayer, published in 1979, is what's used in American Episcopal churches. But the book was published just prior to a consciousness of patriarchy in linguistics, said McBride, a history professor before he became a cleric.
"There are lots of problems in that prayer book that are just so patriarchal it's laughable — language loaded with 'Lord' and power references that owe their existence to the Coverdale 16th century translation, the time of the Tudors, Henry VIII," McBride said.
And there's no question "Lord" has patriarchal connotations, he noted.
"I'm sorry, but if there is a Lord, by implication there is a Lady," he said.
St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church has been minimizing its use of Lord for two decades, senior pastor David Wilkinson said.
"We usually change 'Lord' to 'love' or 'soul' or 'light,' " Wilkinson said. "It's pretty much a hierarchical, patriarchal image we're getting rid of."
A lifelong Episcopalian, retired middle school teacher Jane Chilcott calls the reduction of "Lord" usage she's heard at the Come & See service "refreshing." She also likes the references to a genderless God, because that's how she's always viewed the divine.
"I'm a great advocate of change, but not just for change's sake," said Chilcott, 78. "A lot of people are turned off by traditional liturgy because it sounds like they have to literally believe these credal statements. I don't think that's necessarily true. Faith is very personal."
The Come & See Sunday night alternate service changes wordings of long-held Episcopal worship traditions, such as when the minister says, "The Lord be with you" and the congregation responds, "And also with you." Instead, Come & See parishioners hear the minister say, "The peace of God be always with you."
Rewriting liturgy is not only about gender and power balance, noted Lindell, the St. Philip's deacon.
"We don't stress the blood and gore of the crucifixion and the so-called sacrifice of the Mass," he said. "I think that calls attention to Jesus' death but it doesn't call attention to why we are Christians. It seems to me, being a Christian isn't just about the birth and death of Jesus. It's about living in the world with his life as an example."
Similarly, McBride stressed that changing liturgy isn't about political correctness, but about conceptualizing God.
"If God is understood and viewed as within creation, acting inside of it, loving, compassionate, hopeful, creative — all of those produce a very different way of imagining the Christian life and living it out," he said. "If you are always calling God 'Lord,' you are sticking him into that outside place. It seems to me, in order to avoid doing that, one of the first things you do is call God something different."
While most Protestant churches still refer to God as "him" and pepper their liturgy with references to Lord, there's been a shift among the mainlines for the past 20 years, said Ruth A. Meyers, academic dean and professor of liturgics at the Seabury-Western Theological School, an Episcopal seminary in Evanston, Ill.
Such changes in liturgy often are called "expansive language" and can be found in supplemental Episcopal Church materials, including one titled "Enriching Our Worship," published in 1997, she said.
"Over the 12 years I've been here, I've noticed students are more and more familiar with those materials. We are seeing it increasingly used," she said.
But the changes are up to individual pastors, and tradition still weighs heavy.
"If we continue to water down and make ourselves politically correct, there won't be anything left. God is the king of the universe. We are to bow before him. He is king, savior, Lord and master. … God is the great patriarch of heaven and Earth," said Mark Roessler, pastor of Catalina Foothills Church, part of the non-mainline conservative Presbyterian Church in America.
"We call him 'Lord' because he is Lord," said the Rev. Joe Bettridge, senior pastor at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church on Tucson's Northwest Side. The church is part of the mainline Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
"If you read the Bible, he — God — created everything from nothing. That's pretty powerful to me."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

You never know who is reading your blog!

I received a phone call tonight from the producer of Dinner:Impossible. He read my blog and called to dispute my account of the Psi U house's condition and how they presented it. He didn't say they didn't add the pizza boxes, but he did say that it certainly wasn't in pristine condition - so please accept my apology for mistating that. I will (have) revised the entry below to be a bit more fair.

But I also think he heard my complaint, as a former fraternity executive, that describing the house on the blog and commercials as an "animal house" was certainly unfair. He admitted that it was the best condition house of the three sites they scouted, and that the men of Psi U were certainly outstanding people (which came across in the show, I do believe).

So, perhaps the kitchen was not pristine, but it was certainly no animal house.

Wow - you never know who reads your blog!

Sold (theirs, not ours)

I drove by the house we wanted on Middlesex on Monday, on the way to pick up the boys from Karate (since it is near the park I go the two block out of the way once or twice a week) and to my sadness a SOLD sign was on the sign out front. It had been on the market for 13 months.

Although there was always hope on Monday that it was just 'pending' and not final, it has now disappeared from the MLS listings on-line, so it looks like it is a done deal.

So, we have to find another house if we sell ours. It is frustrating, but in this market, if we can sell there will be houses around to buy! But we really did have our hearts set on that one.

Meanwhile....if you know anyone who is in need of a nearly 1600 sqft Bungalow in Grosse Pointe Park, send them our way! See it here

UPDATE - it is sold. And that house sold for $155,000 LESS than originally listed in March 2006, $30,000 less than listed at the sale time, and $15,000 less than we were thinking of offering if we had sold our house and could make an offer.

Trip down memory (fraternity) row....

Last night on The Food Network my college fraternity was featured on a show called Dinner: Impossible. The host shows up at a location and has all day whip a 'non-restaurant' into shape with a grand dinner occassion.

My fraternity house was chosen and in last night's episode. Of course, the website blurb and the show both prove the fact that 'reality tv' isn't real. It says...

Robert has just nine hours to prepare a cocktail reception and a five course meal for the president of the University of Pennsylvania and 65 distinguished guests. The only problem is dinner will be held in a filthy fraternity house and the sleeping Psi Upsilon brothers will have to help. Can Robert transform the "animal house" into the presidential palace in time, or will this be Dinner: Impossible?

Sorry, but the Castle (what the house was known as on campus, for obvious reasons), is certainly the farthest thing from "animal house" (which is a reference to the John Belushi movie of the same name). If anything, we might be like the neighboring house (all the guys in jacket and tie), not the animal house in the movie. In fact, the rule at our house in the 1980's (as today too) was jacket and tie for dinner Sunday through Thursday! It may not have been pristine, but filthy is a strong word as well.

I contacted the International Fraternity director, Mark A. Williams, whom I worked for as a field director in 1991. He mentioned this to me in an email...

You probably know that there isn't much "real" in reality tv. We figured we were going to take some cheap shots but knew that in the end the dinner was going to be a success.
Matt Carter, the guy who got the most air time on the show, is as fine a man as you will ever want to meet. He is going to write a behind the scenes story about what really happened. The Castle wasn't dirty enough when the crew showed up so they went out, found some empty pizza boxes and threw them around.

Bravo to the men of the Tau Chapter of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity for hosting a great dinner for the President of the University of Pennsylvania. I think I am going to go find my tape of Psi U Fraternity songs and sing along in the car!

The show replays on The Food Network
April 22, 2007 4:30 PM ET/PT April 22, 2007 11:30 PM ET/PT
April 23, 2007 2:30 AM ET/PT May 26, 2007 2:30 PM ET/PT

"Come brothers of Psi Upsilon, who trod these hall of yore, unbar the ivied gates of years and tread these halls once more. The diamond jewel glitters still, the lingering voices call...."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dr. Reginald Fuller

One of my professors at Nashotah House, Dr. Reginald Fuller, died recently. He taught me two semesters at The House, filling in in a pinch between faculty appointments in the 1990's. What a great gift it was to have him as a professor! It is interesting to note that despite his help in translating the NRSV version of the bible, he had us use the RSV when I was at the House due to some issues he had with parts of the translation that he had no part in. He also wrote one of the chapters of the New Jerome Biblical Commentary, my most frequent one book biblical reference.
Apr 6, 2007
Thousands of Christians worldwide knew the Rev. Reginald H. Fuller, a retired Episcopal priest and internationally known New Testament scholar, for three accomplishments:

Writing one of the most significant and widely used commentaries on the lectionary, the schedule for reading scripture used every Sunday in most mainline Christian churches.
Being an early translatorsof the writings of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a central figure in the Protestant churchs struggle against Nazism during World War II.
Helping translate the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
Mr. Fuller, 92, taught on the Resurrection at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, where he was longtime priest-in-residence, on Sunday, March 25. He fell shortly thereafter, broke his hip and died of ensuing complications Wednesday at his Westminster-Canterbury residence in Richmond.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 1214 Wilmer Ave.
Another memorial service will be held Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the commons at Westminster-Canterbury retirement facility, 1600 Westbrook Ave.
A graveside service will be held April 20 at 11 a.m. at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, where he retired in 1985.
"I have never known a priest who more embraced the faith 24 hours a day," said the Rev. Ray Inscoe, director of pastoral care at Westminster-Canterbury. "It wasn't a role. It was who he was."
For all his training and knowledge of German, Latin, Hebrew, Greek and French, Mr. Fuller "was just as gracious and willing to help a seminary intern with his first sermon," Inscoe said.
"He cared about all people. . . . He was one you could call if last rites were needed in the middle of the night."
Mr. Fuller presided for many years at a weekly Eucharist service at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond.
Much respected in ecumenical circles, "he had such a great sense of the wider church. He could always find a common bond where people could unite," said the Right Rev. Peter James Lee, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
The Horsham, Sussex, England native, who was always inviting new clergy or seminary students for tea, graduated from Peterhouse College at Cambridge University. He studied theology in England and Germany and was ordained a priest in the Church of England.
He came to the United States in 1955 and taught in an Episcopal seminary in Evanston, Ill., and Union Theological Seminary in New York before becoming professor of New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary.
Mr. Fuller and his wife moved to Richmond after he retired to be near family.
Survivors include his wife, Ilse Fuller; two daughters, Caroline Sloat of Pomfret, Conn., and Sally Fuller of Northampton, Mass.; a sister, Jean Hall of South Africa; and four grandchildren and five great-grandsons.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

April 14th - 10:52pm

Snowing again!

This is global warming?

I helped coach a half dozen baseball practices this week (Sam and Andrew are on one team, William on another) and most of them have had snow flurries.

What was Al Gore's movie called?
Oh yeah, I think I saw it...

Chicken Little

(the sky is falling, the sky is falling, er...the earth is warming, the earth is warming).

a groggy day, now a late night

Today was definately a strange way to spend a Friday.

Many don't know that I have had some intestinal problems over the years. I was hospitalized in 1995 and in 2001 with Diverticulitus, an infection in my intestine. Since 2002 I have been pain/infection free until this Lent, when I had a minor flare-up. The timing was aweful since it was a few days before my regular physical. And since I respect my doctor (actually love him and his wife...they are members of the parish as well as wonderful people!) I had to mention it to him. He checked the chart and sure enough, the last time I had an internal exam for this was nearly 5 years ago. So with referral in hand I called the Gastro folks to make an appointment and last night had the uncomfortable preparation for the procedure, and then the procedure itself late this morning (friday).

I asked to be lightly sedated, unlike last time when I was completely knocked out. I was able to watch the exam on the screen, which I found facinating.

After the recovery time (about 30 minutes to let the light sedation wear off), I was escorted to the car with Jennifer, and went home FAMISHED (nothing to eat since late Wednesday PM) and made a quick lunch. I assured Jennifer I was just fine, and I could rent a steam cleaner to do the basement rug this afternoon and maybe even finish the taxes. Jennifer just laughed (apparently I was slurry and not standing so well as I promised this).

About 5 minutes after eating lunch, I thought that maybe I could use a short nap to get some of the cobwebs out of my head from the sedation. At 1pm I went up to bed, and next stirred at 6pm, waking up just in time to pray the Angelus! Wasted an entire afternoon sleeping!

Now it is after 1am and I am WIDE AWAKE! Since everyone went to sleep I've done dishes and two loads of laundry, read a magazine and part of a book, and caught up on some reading on my favourite websites like Titusonenine.classicalanglican.net

So now I am going to try to get some sleep so that my body clock isn't too terribly off tomorrow. I have to help coach two early AM little league baseball practices, and then the boys and I are off to Jackson, MI for the model rocket launch. I guess the taxes and rug can wait......

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Listening to sermons on line....

I like to listen to other's sermons on line because frequently I learn something new, or get a fresh perspective on the readings for Sunday. When I was a curate (priest right out of seminary) it was a great blessing to hear sermons preached by others (the rector of that parish, other assisting priests). Now with the internet I have a few places I particularly like hearing. St. Thomas Fifth Avenue is one of them.

Today I clicked onto a parish webcast (actually a video cast) from Easter Sunday. It was a parish in a large city (not Detroit), with more money than God himself. I watched the service a bit yesterday, and today continued it where I left off, the sermon itself.

Wow. About 12 minutes long, and not one mention of the name of Jesus! He quoted Cicero and Frank Sinatra, and alluded to a line of scripture...and ended it with "Alleluia, Christ is Risen....", but not in any connection to the sermon. The theme was Hope - but no mention that the Hope we have is the hope of eternal life through Jesus and His Resurrection. Instead it was more about Frank Sinatra's "High Hopes" song and several PC claims woven in. He even equates his mothers hopes that he and his siblings would attend "church or a mosque or synagogue" when they grew up...making all three religions all equal. Wow. A packed building and no mention of Jesus in the sermon on Easter Sunday (he actually starts the sermon by saying Easter and Christmas Sermons are not good days for teaching!).

Seems to me more like a missed opportunity to bring people to Jesus. Fr. Mead at St. Thomas even said in the announcements at St. Thomas something to the effect that if you have come primarily for the music, and like what is being proclaimed here, 'we have plenty of water...see me after the service' and we will make you a member of the body of Christ! A great invitation to those coming to Church (especially a tourist destination like his) for one reason to be evangelized!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Jesus Tomb and the "drive-by media"?

A certain radio talk show host likes to refer to the "drive-by" media - which takes a story that discredits someone or something, usually along a more traditional bent, and reports it as "undisputable fact". Then, when the original report is discredited, they give 1/100th (or less) coverage of the correction than they did the original slanderous/libelous story.

The 'documentary' about the finding of Jesus' tomb, which got LOTS of media coverage as Lent began, is now being discredited by those very people who were quoted (or misquoted) in the film.

Below is an article concerning the correction, as covered in The Jerusalem Post - which has no particular desire to hold up Christianity as true, but seeks the truth when historical archeology in the region is concerned.

Now if we could get some reasonable scientific media coverage on "global warming" (is it snowing AGAIN tonight???)


Several prominent scholars who were interviewed in a bitterly contested documentary that suggests that Jesus and his family members were buried in a nondescript ancient Jerusalem burial cave have now revised their conclusions, including the statistician who claimed that the odds were 600:1 in favor of the tomb being the family burial cave of Jesus of Nazareth, a new study on the fallout from the popular documentary shows.
The dramatic clarifications, compiled by epigrapher Stephen Pfann of the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem in a paper titled "Cracks in the Foundation: How the Lost Tomb of Jesus story is losing its scholarly support," come two months after the screening of The Lost Tomb of Christ that attracted widespread public interest, despite the concomitant scholarly ridicule.
The film, made by Oscar-winning director James Cameron and Emmy-winning Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, prompted major criticism from both a leading Israeli archeologist involved in the original dig at the site as well as Christian leaders, who were angered over the documentary's contradictions of main tenets of Christianity.
But now, even some of the scholars who were interviewed for and appeared in the film are questioning some of its basic claims.
The most startling change of opinion featured in the 16-page paper is that of University of Toronto statistician Professor Andrey Feuerverger, who stated those 600 to one odds in the film. Feuerverger now says that these referred to the probability of a cluster of such names appearing together.

For the rest of the article go to

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Photos from Easter

Here are some photos from Easter

1) The new vestments, purchased by the Altar Guild in honor of the long-time membership and dedication to the work of the guild of Barbara Frisby.

2) The Paschal Candle and flower arrangments.
3) Some of the children for the Easter Egg Hunt (held inside due to Snow!
4) Signboard announcing the Resurrection....with snow on the ground.

Perhaps it is just unreasonable expectations on my part!

As many have discerned from my email last week after the Maundy Thursday service, and my post on the blog before the Good Friday service, I was quite disappointed by the attendance at the holy week services. Easter Sunday was better, but not quite as good as last year's attendance.

Perhaps the problem is that I have unrealistic expectations. Since the Sacred Triduum is the keystone of our faith, I think that everyone should be as excited about the opportunity to worship and be a part of the amazing special liturgies for these days! I can't imagine that anyone would let anything get in the way!

I do know that many people were traveling, and some were sick. But I am just surprised that not everyone is as excited about it. For example, the first two photos are of the Church, as seen from the pulpit, on Easter Sunday. In a Church as large as ours, this is a pretty good crowd, especially compared to 3,4, or 5 years ago. Adding up those at the altar (Choir, Acolytes, Clergy) and those away in Children's Chapel at the time of the photo, we had about 325 people at the service (I was surprised to see the usher's count was even lower...but that is something to haggle about later). The lower level seats about 500, and it was certainly more than half full. We also had 25 at the Saturday PM Vigil, and 40 at 7:30/8:00am Morning Prayer and Communion

This last picture is what my expectations would be of a crowd for Easter Sunday....perhaps a little unrealistic.....and please pay no attention to the guy on the left in the picture ;-)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Good Friday article about my successor in Charleroi

From The Valley Independent, about the annual Good Friday breakfast talk by my successor, Fr. Ilgenfritz.

CARROLL TOWNSHIP - "All of us can find times in our lives when we had no control," the Rev. William Ilgenfritz told people attending the 45th annual Mon Valley YMCA Good Friday breakfast.
"But we can find comfort in knowing that God is in control."
Even on Good Friday, when everything seemed out of control and it was hard to find something good about it, Jesus was in control, the pastor of St. Mary Episcopal Church in Charleroi said.
On Good Friday, Ilgenfritz noted, Peter denied Jesus and other apostles ran away when Jesus was arrested. Jesus later was struck by a soldier without provocation, and he is ultimately crucified.
"All of the events take place and they seem far from good," Ilgenfritz said. "We wonder how all of this madness got started."
Ilgenfritz said that while Adam and Eve committed the first sin in the Garden of Eden, Jesus was obedient in the Garden of Gestamine, accepting death on the cross.
"His obedience brought us salvation and that was very good news," Ilgenfritz said.
During his life, Jesus cured the sick, fed the hungry and raised people from the dead.
Although Peter, James and John fell asleep in the Garden of Gestamine and the apostles fled when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Ilgenfritz said don't judge them too harshly. He noted that we often fall short when we sin.
He said the soldiers expected confrontation in the Garden, but were met with calm by Jesus.
Wielding his sword in the Garden of Gestamine, Pete cut off the ear of a servant of a high priest, Ilgenfritz noted.
"I think Peter's sword is a symbol of his rebellion against the will of God," Ilgenfritz said.
Even though Pontius Pilot knew Jesus was innocent, he turned him over to be crucified.
"Pilot was not in control, but evil never is," Ilgenfritz said.
Those who condemned Jesus did not see him as the Son of God.
"Jesus was the Messiah and he was headed toward his final victory on the cross," Ilgenfritz said.
The events of Good Friday ultimately led to those of Easter, Ilgenfritz said. In the Garden of heaven, there is no more death, sorrow or tears, Ilgenfritz said.
"The crucifixion leads us to the resurrection and salvation, Ilgenfritz said. "So today is in fact a very good day for us."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hail thee festival day!

Blest day that art hallowed for ever!
Day whereon Christ AROSE
Breaking the Kingdom of Death!

Jesus Christ is Risen today!.....

Welcome Happy Morning, age to age will say.....

And lots of Alleluias and Rejoicing!!!! Bring on the Brass!!

and please, no singing "I'm dreaming of a white Easter" or "the weather outside is frightful, but the paschal fire is so delightful"

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Easter Vigil

The big service on Saturday takes place in the evening, and everyone is highly encouraged to participate.
And yes, if you come to the Vigil on Saturday at 8pm you can also come to the Sunday 10am Service to be a part of the excitement of the Festivities with the full Choir and Brass Ensemble.

From Holy Week Explained.....
We take for granted coming to Christmas Services on Christmas Eve, but the more ancient practice is to come to Easter Services on Easter Eve! We will celebrate this ancient liturgy in the Chapel.
The liturgy has several parts. The service begins in darkness. Then a fire is lit and the Paschal (large Easter Candle) is blessed and lit, symbolizing Jesus as the Light of the World. Hand-candles are lit for participants. Then is sung the Exsultet, a recounting of the saving acts of God in history.
Next, several Old Testament readings and Psalms makeup the Liturgy of the Word, reminding us of God’s faithful promises to the people of Israel.
Then water and the baptismal font are blessed, and baptisms (if any are scheduled) are done. It is also an opportunity for us to start off the Easter Season right by renewing our own baptismal vows.
After the Litany of the Saints is chanted, the lights are turned on and the Easter Proclamation is announced - “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!” To which all respond - “The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!” The first celebration of the Holy Communion for Easter then commences.
It is a very rich, symbolic ancient liturgy. Since the ancient days of the Church it has been one of the most beloved of liturgies!
Although this service has been attended by a faithful few over the years we have been celebrating it at St. John's, I am sure that if more people participated in it, they would be amazed by the rich liturgical symbolism surrounding the first Communion Service of Easter!

Friday, April 06, 2007

A sneak peak

After the Good Friday Services we set up for the Vigil and Easter Day.
Note not only the Lillies but also the new Altar Hanging!
P.S. - I feel less anxious now that the Good Friday Service is over. As Jennifer noted last night after my email 'reminding' people that God expects to see them in Church for Triduum....I was in quite a mood! (See my entry "Sigh").

Good Friday

From "Holy Week Explained".......

The most sorrowful and solemn day of the year is commemorated with the most beautiful and moving liturgy the Church has to offer!

Made up of 4 distinct parts, this Service begins with the Liturgy of the Word, including the singing of St. John's Passion. This is followed by the ancient prayers for Good Friday, the Solemn Collects.

The third portion is the Veneration of the Cross, an opportunity to thank your Lord for his atoning sacrifice, as the Reproaches are Sung.

Finally, we will have the Mass of the Pre-sanctified, receiving the Holy Sacrament consecrated on Maundy Thursday and Watched in our Garden. Multiple Sermons will also be preached, and you are free to come and go as your work schedule allows


25 minutes until the Good Friday Service begins.

Heavenly Father, help me to be grateful for those who are able to come today, and those who were able to come yesterday and Wednesday, and not build up a resentment for those who have not been here for Holy Week Services....

Give me the wisdom and grace to be a better teacher and motivator so that more and more people will recognize the importance of these Three Holy Days (and coming to Church EVERY Sunday as well), to Worship You, and that we may not be distracted by the cares of the World, the Flesh and the Devil.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Maundy Thursday

With Maundy Thursday, we begin the Sacrum Triduum - the 3 holy (holiest) days. It is hoped that many (many more) people will participate in the fullness of the worship on these holy days!As usual for Thursdays we have 9am Morning Prayer and 5pm Evening Prayer. BUT there is NO 12:15PM Communion Service this day.

The primary service for Maundy Thursday is at 7pm in The Church. We begin this evening with the celebration of the Holy Communion with 3 special meanings.

First, it is where the Maundy, the anglicized version of the Latin Mandatum - is given, that new Commandment that we love one another as Jesus loves us. This is symbolized in the liturgy by The Rector washing the feet of the parishioners, in obedience to our Blessed Lord's command to his Apostles (John 13:14-15).Secondly, it is the this evening at the Apostle's commemoration of the Passover Meal that Jesus institutes the Sacrament of the Holy Communion. Therefore the priest wears white vestments and we sing with gusto this evening since it is a High Feast. Related to this, thirdly, it is also the night that our Lord institutes the Sacred Priesthood to the Apostles to carry on His sacramental ministry.

After the glory of the Liturgy, in commemoration of Jesus' arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane after Supper, and the abandonment by the Apostles, we strip the Sanctuary and Altar bare as we solemnly recite Psalm 22. My God, My God, why hast thou abandoned me...

In about an hour we go from joyous celebration for the Mandatum, Communion, and Priesthood, to shock and horror at our Lord's betrayal, arrest, and impending crucifixion!

This is then followed by THE GARDEN WATCH - 8:30pm to 11pm Thursday or 8:30am to 11:30pm Friday.A great devotional tradition during Holy Week is to spend an hour with Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, in our own Garden of Gethsemane. At the end of the Maundy Thursday Service the Sacrament will be moved in procession to the Chapel.The Chapel Sanctuary will be decorated with plants to recall the Garden, and the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the Altar for you to adore Him and meditate on the Saving Acts that He has endured for our Salvation.
There will be devotional material available to read during this time to focus your mind and your heart, or you can just sit there quietly and gaze with love upon Him.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wednesday in Holy Week - the Journey begins

Tonight's Liturgy, at 7pm, explained by The Anglican Service Book, published by The Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, PA (where I was curate 1994 to 1996).
Tenebrae is a Latin word meaning “darkness,” and is the popular name for the special forms of the Offices of Mattins and Lauds appointed for the last three days in Holy Week (called the Sacred Triduum). Because it is now a nearly universal practice to hold the liturgies for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in the afternoon or evening, it has become customary, in some places, to offer Tenebrae in the evening on Holy Wednesday, at times drawing elements from Tenebrae of Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the service is the gradual extinguishing of the candles until only one is left, which is then concealed for a time until a loud noise is made (signifying the earthquake at the Resurrection), whereupon the hidden candle is restored to its place in anticipation of the Resurrection.

All depart in silence.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Opening Day at St. John's

It is always great fun around St. John's for Tiger Opening Day!

The crowds begin showing up EARLY. When I arrived here at 9:30am the parking lot was already half full, and the crowds were wandering around the neighborhood. The weather is great - sunny and low 60's.
After doing a few things in the office, I went over to Hockeytown Cafe and saw the local sports talk DJ's. I also met a guy I went to Orchard Lake St. Mary's with (a year behind me). I also wandered over by the entrance to see all the vendors, and ran into Ray Sahya from Channel 7, who put me on the air LIVE at the noon newscast as the Pray for the Tigers priest. I then spent some time with the Wayne County Mounted Officers before coming in to the office to listen to the game on the radio while getting some correspondance done.

I am going to go do some visiting now, to get away from here now to avoid the traffic congestion after the game.

This is only the second time in 7 years here at St. John's for opening day that no one has given me a ticket for opening day! But perhaps I will pop in to the games on Weds and Thurs when it is snowing and there are fewer fans there!