Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 50 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 impending hockey arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Rector's Rambling - March 11, 2012

One of the gems of our Anglican Heritage is the Litany. Having fallen into disuse in most places this “general supplication” has roots in the ancient liturgies of the Church (as far back as the 6th century). Archbishop Thomas Cranmer included it in the first Book of Common Prayer, and it has been included in every subsequent edition. However, Archbishop Cranmer removed the first three supplications after the invocation of the Holy Trinity; for St. Mary, the Holy Angels and Archangels, and all the Saints, which were contained in the ancient Western Rite.
The rubrics of the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer (which is still the official prayer book in England) orders that the Litany “ be sung or said after Morning Prayer upon Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and at other times when it shall be commanded by the Ordinary.”
The American Church, until the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, assumed that every Sunday the primary services of the parish church would be Morning Prayer AND the Litany AND the Holy Communion…back-to-back-to-back. Further proof is that nowhere is there a rubric in Morning Prayer for the preaching of a sermon, since the assumption is that the sermon would be included in the Holy Communion service following Morning Prayer and the Litany. The 1928 Prayer Book assumes some separation of the services, instructing that the Litany be used “after the Third Collect at Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer; or before the Holy Communion; or separately.”

Rector's Rambling - March 4, 2012

When the new vestry met on February 15th we began with an ‘ice-breaker’ exercise, to get to know one another better. Each person responded to the questions; How long have you been attending St. John’s? How far do you travel from home to attend? What drew you to St. John’s in the first place? What is the most important aspect that keeps you coming back?
There is one life-long member of St. John’s. The longest tenured parishioner on the Vestry was baptized here in the late 1930’s, the shortest for 4 years. One Vestry member lives on Harsen’s Island and has to take a ferry boat to get to St. John’s. Others travel from Rochester, Sylvan Lake, Plymouth, Grosse Pointe, and points in between.
One vestry member married into the parish, a few found St. John’s via the website or a Google search. One found St. John’s because St. John’s hosted a concert by her daughters symphonette, but the rest were invited by members to come and visit, even if they didn’t take up the invitation right away.
As for what keeps us coming back the assistant secretary of the vestry summed it up in this month’s vestry highlights, “Together we treasure Fr. Kelly’s theological guidance, the liturgy and gospel preaching, high church traditions, extraordinary music and the warmth and commitment of St. John’s people.”
What is it that brought you here and keeps you coming back? This Lent let us rekindle the fire through the rededication of our faith, and share about Jesus and St. John’s with others.