Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 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, April 18, 2013

St. George and Heraldry - Rector's Rambling - April 21, 2013

This week The Church of England celebrates the Feast of St. George, and he has recently been added to our calendar as well.  St. George is the patron saint of England, and more information on him can be found in the Teaching Notes on page 4.
One connection between the Church of England, St. George, and the Episcopal Church has to do with our heraldry.  The flag and shield of the Episcopal Church were designed to incorporate elements of the English and Scottish Churches.
After the American Revolution the Church of England in the United States found itself separated from England, and without bishops.  The clergy and parishes that remained after the war banded together by colony (now states) and formed associations which then met in a national convention to develop a form of governance not dependent upon the English monarchy (who appointed Bishops, and to whom the clergy swore an oath of allegiance at their ordination).
Although connected theologically to the Church of England worship and prayer book, it took some time to convince the Church of England to make bishops for the new church in their former colony.  The Scottish Episcopal Church gave us our first bishop, and then England followed soon after.
The Cross of St. George is the Red Cross found on our flag.  It is the National Flag of England, introduced by Richard I in 1194.
The Scottish Flag has the Cross of St. Andrew, their patron.  This is the blue field on the Episcopal Church flag.  However, a change was made, with the white cross being comprised of nine small crosses, representing each of the original dioceses of the Episcopal Church.
English, Scottish, but more importantly Catholic and Apostolic – your Episcopal Church.