Blessed John, Herald of the Lord's Christ, most-chaste, most-poor, most-obedient, pray to God for us.
Be sure to follow our Moderator at Eccentric Bliss, his personal blog!
Blessed John, Herald of the Lord's Christ, most-chaste, most-poor, most-obedient, pray to God for us.
Collect from the 1929 Scottish Book of Common Prayer:
O GOD, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant Saint Columba didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in these islands: Grant, we beseech thee that, having his life and labours in remembrance, we may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today, June 9, is the feast day of St. Columba of Iona. The following extract is taken from Book III, Chapter XXIII of Saint Adomnán's Vita Columbae.
* * *
And going forth thence, he ascended the little hill that overlooks the monastery, and stood for a little while on the top of it, and, standing with both hands lifted up, he blessed the monastery, saying, 'To this place, small and mean though it be, not only the Scotic kings with their peoples, but also the rulers of strange and foreign nations, with the people subject to them, shall bring great and extraordinary honour; by the Saints also of other churches shall no common reverence be shown.'
After these words, descending from that little hill, and returning to the monastery, he sat in his cell transcribing the Psalter; and coming to that verse of the thirty-third Psalm where it is written, 'But they who seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good,' 'Here,' he says, 'at the end of the page. I must cease. What follows let Baithene write.' The last verse which he had written was very suitable for the Saint at his departure, to whom eternal things that are good shall never be wanting; while the following verse was most suitable for his successor, as a father and teacher of spiritual sons: 'Come, ye children, and hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.' And indeed he, as his predecessor enjoined, succeeded him not only in teaching, but also in transcribing.
After the transcription of the aforesaid verse, at the end of the page, the Saint enters the church for the evening mass of the Lord's day night, and as soon as this is over he returns to his cell, where he had bare rock for his bedding, and a stone for his pillow, which at this day is standing by his grave as a kind of sepulchral monument; and he sits on the bed through the night. And so, there sitting, he gives his last commands to the brethren, in the hearing of his attendant only; saying, 'These last words, O my children, I commend unto you; that ye have mutual and unfeigned charity among yourselves, with peace. And if, according to the example of the holy fathers, ye shall attend to this, God, the Comforter of good men, will help you; and I, abiding with Him, will intercede for you. And not only shall the necessaries of this present life be sufficiently supplied by Him, but He will also bestow those rewards of eternal riches, which are laid up for them that keep His Divine laws.' Thus far we have drawn up, recounted in a short paragraph, the last words of our venerable patron, spoken just as he was passing over from this weary pilgrimage unto the heavenly country.
After which, as his happy last hour gradually approached, the Saint was silent. Then, in the next place, in the middle of the night, at the sound of the ringing of the bell, he rises in haste and goes to the church; and, running more quickly than the rest, he enters alone, and on bended knees falls down in prayer beside the altar. Diormit his attendant, following more slowly, at the same moment sees from a distance that the whole church is filled within, in the direction of the Saint, with angelic light. But when he approaches the door, the same light that he had seen, which was also seen by a few other of the brethren, as they were standing at a distance, quickly disappeared. So Diormit, entering the church, keeps on asking, in a lamentable voice. 'Where art thou, Father?' And, feeling his way through the darkness, the lights of the brethren not yet being brought in, he finds the Saint prostrate before the altar; and, lifting him up a little and sitting beside him, he placed the holy head in his bosom. And meanwhile, the congregation of monks running up with the lights, and seeing their father dying, began to weep. And, as we have learnt from some who were there present, the Saint, his soul not yet departing, with his eyes opened upward, looked about on either hand with a wonderful cheerfulness and joy of countenance; doubtless seeing the holy angels coming to meet him. Then Diormit lifts up the holy right hand of the Saint that he may bless the choir of monks. But also the venerable man himself, so far as he could, at the same time moved his hand, so that, mark you, he might still be seen, while passing away, to bless the brethren by the motion of his hand, though he was not able to do so with his voice. And, after his holy benediction thus expressed, he immediately breathed out his spirit. Which having left the tabernacle of the body, his face remained ruddy, and wonderfully gladdened by an angelic vision; so that it appeared not to be that of one dead, but of one living and sleeping. Meanwhile the whole church resounded with mournful lamentations.
In the Nervous Disorder, depending on where you live, today could have varied just a wee bit from the General Roman Kalendar.
The question was obliquely posed in a recent post by Deborah Gyapong. English had been denounced to her as a "Protestant language." While I wish Dr. Cranmer would have translated all of the Roman Missal's collects, those that he did simply translate, rather than compose anew, elaborate upon, or borrow from some other source, are absolutely perfect, faithful, and sonorous renditions of the originals. Take today's Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Easter, for an example.
Deus, a quo bona cuncta procedunt, largire supplicibus tuis: ut cogitemus, te inspirante, quæ recta sunt; et, te gubernante, eadem faciamus. Per Dominum nostrum, &c.
O LORD, from whom all good things do come; Grant to us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that are good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Who would disdain the latter or claim that the composition is not fit for our humble worship of the Triune God?
Plenaria indulgentia conceditur christifideli qui, in ecclesia vel oratorio, devote interfuerit sollemni cantui vel recitationi hymni Te Deum, ultima anni die, ad gratias Deo referendas pro beneficiis totius anni decursu acceptis.
As we wait in patience and prayer for the formal announcement of the erection of the Anglican Personal Ordinariate in the United States of America, there is much for which to be thankful at the close of this ultima anni die 2011. With the praises of Matins being sung on the morrow, and with God's good grace, will we finally hear of that great and joyous news for which we have longed these many months.
* * *
Te Deum Laudamus.
We praise the, O God, we knowlage thee to be the Lorde.
All the earth doeth wurship thee, the father everlastyng.
To thee al Angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therin.
To thee Cherubin, and Seraphin continually doe crye.
Holy, holy, holy, Lorde God of Sabaoth.
Heaven and earth are replenyshed with the majestie of thy glory,
The gloryous company of the Apostles, praise thee.
The goodly felowshyp of the Prophetes, praise thee.
The noble armie of Martyrs, praise thee.
The holy churche throughout all the worlde doeth knowlage thee.
The father of an infinite majestie.
Thy honourable, true, and onely sonne.
The holy gost also beeying the coumforter.
Thou art the kyng of glory, O Christe.
Thou art the everlastyng sonne of the father.
Whan thou tookest upon thee to delyver manne, thou dyddest not abhorre the virgins wombe.
Whan thou haddest overcomed the sharpenesse of death, thou diddest open the kyngdome of heaven to all belevers.
Thou sittest on the ryght hande of God, in the glory of the father.
We beleve that thou shalt come to be our judge.
We therfore praye thee, helpe thy servauntes, whom thou haste redemed with thy precious bloud.
Make them to be noumbred with thy sainctes, in glory everlastyng.
O Lorde, save thy people: and blesse thyne heritage.
Governe them, and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnifie thee.
And we wurship thy name ever world without ende.
Vouchsafe, O Lorde, to kepe us this daye without synne.
O Lorde, have mercy upon us: have mercy upon us.
O Lorde, let thy mercy lighten upon us: as our trust is in thee.
O Lorde, in thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded.
– Te Deum Laudamus from the 1549 (First) Book of Common Prayer
In the 5199th year of the creation of the world,
from the time when God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth;
the 2957th year after the flood;
the 2015th year from the birth of Abraham;
the 1510th year from Moses, and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
the 1032nd year from the anointing of David King;
in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the 194th Olympiad;
the 752nd year from the foundation of the City of Rome;
the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus, all the earth being at peace, Jesus Christ, the Eternal God, and the Son of the Eternal Father, desirous to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, nine months after his conception was born in Bethlehem of Juda, made Man of the Virgin Mary.
Someone I know was "gotten to". A friend who was in full support of the Ordinariate just a few months ago is now vehemently against it. It is not because of any shocking piece of new information that he discovered while reading through secret Vatican documents (nothing so dramatic as that). Rather, it is because–as he told me–he spoke to a "continuing Anglican" priest who told him that Rome's real motivation is to bring us under their thumb and then play the "old switcheroo" and force us to give up the Anglican liturgy. Once he "realized" that this was "going to" happen, he stepped back and changed his position.
Aside from the fact that this is a grave misunderstanding of the circumstances (Rome has bigger fish to fry than getting former Anglicans to use the Roman Missal), we have to ask ourselves if this is even a properly balanced concern. True, Rome can change the liturgy and make some people upset, but it is not as though the Anglican Churches have never had to worry about this. Episcopalians know very well what happened with the Book of Common Prayer in 1979, but does further division solve this problem? Division breeds division and the rejection of the papacy is now reaping what was sown. If you bake a cake and it comes out tasting like dog food, it will not solve the problem to throw away the cake and use the exact same recipe a second time (or a third, fourth, or fifth time). As one Anglican clergyman said to me just the other day, "communion with Rome is the only faithful response at this time in the history of Anglicanism".
Anglicanism is at a crossroads, and the status quo is not a viable alternative at this time; something must change. To continue on in the same pattern of, "divide, degenerate, debate, divide, degenerate, debate (ad nauseam)", will not solve anything. As Anglicans, many of us realized some time ago (some more than others) that we really need the Catholic Church. Without her we are only going to perpetuate the dysfunctional habits that have become a part of the ecclesiastical descendants of Cranmer. C.S. Lewis once had Aslan the Lion lament, “O, son of Adam, how cleverly you defend yourself against all that will do you good.” Reunion with Holy Mother Church will do us good. It may bring persecution as well, but then faithfulness to God always does. Moving into the unknown is certainly a concern for many, but the Lord never promises that we will be able to stay in our comfort zones.
I know of people who have chosen not to join the Ordinariate because they do not want to have to go through a marriage annulment. Another person I know said outright that he does not want the Ordinariate because he does not want to have to submit to the Pope. One man said that it may be right for me, but it is not right for him (!). Mistaken and confused ideas about who and what the Catholic Church is are not in a shortage right now. Those who decide not to join will have different reasons for doing so, and I am not about to stand in judgment on their inner motivations. Yet, coming into communion with the Catholic Church should not be done because we believe that we are going to get what we want. If one's own selfish desires are first in his thought process, then he is not thinking in a godly manner. I (and others) have said this before, but it appears like it needs to be repeated.
I also know of Anglican clergy whose primary motivation for joining the Ordinariate is so that they can find a place where no one is going to try to ordain women to holy orders. Aside from the importance of this concern, this is not a proper rationale for entering into this process. The wrong expectations will always lead to disappointment. How we approach new ventures in life will greatly determine how we respond to the challenges that those new ventures bring upon us. I fully expect that our entrance into communion with the Holy See is going to be a blessed and joyful event. That does not mean, however, that I think that it will be all "wine and roses". Faithfulness to Christ always entails trials, and persecutions will undoubtedly come upon those who wish to serve God with deep commitment. There were many who joined the Church in the first century, but not all of them remained within her fold when the trials arose.
A Catholic lady said to me a while ago, "I don't care what liturgy you use, or whether you are traditional or not, I'm just happy that you are going to be at the altar with us". Her heart reveals the same humility that should be evident in us: joyful for the blessings of God and not murmuring about anything that disappoints (cf. Philippians 2:14-15). My friend that I mentioned at the beginning was led astray and I pray for him that he will come back to the truth. What becomes more difficult is when someone is led astray and yet is still seeking to join the Ordinariate. We all come with the "baggage" of our sins–I have mine and you have yours–but we should be coming with humble hearts that trust God to give us what we need more than what we want (for they are not always the same thing).
To all my brothers and sisters who are getting ready for the establishment of the Ordinariate here in America, I encourage you during this Advent season to use it as preparatory, not just for the proper celebration of the Christmas season, but also for the proper celebration of our entrance into the Ordinariate. Prepare your hearts for obedience; not just obedience to those things that you like, but also obedience to the things that make you uncomfortable. If we only obey the things that we are comfortable with, then can we say we are truly submitting to our leaders? Jesus likes to force us out of our comfort zones, and if you are coming to the Ordinariate in order to find your comfort zone, then you misunderstand how the Church works. Challenges and sacrifices will be in the future, and we are called to rejoice in the midst of them. Yet, we will not be able to rejoice properly if our hearts are not right, and for that we need preparation. The preparation of Advent (as well as the coming Lenten season) is an ideal time to offer "our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto" God our Father.
Just in case none of our contributors post something new for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I thought some links to past posts might be useful…
I've just heard from yet another former Episcopal priest soon to commit to the Ordinariate and the foundation of a new Anglican Use group here in the United States. Pray for him — and stayed tuned for more news on the subject!