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Saturday, July 30, 2005

+Wright at Ordination July 2005

I saw this at emergent's site. Hat tip to him. I attended the ordination and it was a great service in the cathedral.

A paragraph from Bishop Tom Wright's "charge" to ordination candidates, July 2005:

So as Paul teaches the muddled Corinthians, divided and confused as they were about many things, where they may find the wisdom that upstages the wisdom of the world, he brings them back to the very heart of it all, the centre of all Christian living and hence the centre of all Christian ministry. Being ordained is partly about standing up in public as a sign – God help us! – that there is such a thing as Christian believing and living and that it makes sense; and we who are ‘professionals’ dare not for a second forget that the only way to make sense of ordination is to be ever more deeply rooted and grounded in Jesus the Messiah and him crucified. Listen again to what Paul says: He (that is, God) is the source of your life in the Messiah, Jesus, who became for us the wisdom of God, yes, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, the one who boasts should boast of the Lord. Actually, that first line is even tighter in the Greek: it reads, literally, ‘from him are you in Christ Jesus’. From God in Christ; that is who we are, what we are, where we are and why we are. Everything we shall do today and tomorrow (not least the first eucharist that the new priests will celebrate), and everything we shall do from Monday morning onwards, whether it’s walking down the High Street in a new dog collar, making a funeral visit, or even taking a short break with the family – everything is to be seen in these terms, From God in Christ. An ordained person is, par excellence, what every Christian is: a gift from God, wrapped up in Christ – a gift not just to the church, but to the world. As Paul says later in the letter, you are not your own, you were bought with a price. God went out to buy a present for the world he loves so much; he chose you, wrapped you in the healing and cleansing life and death of his own Son, and now presents you to the world as a gift of his love, his wisdom.

figura et res, veritas et figura

It is no secret that Lancelot Andrewes denied the doctrine of transubstantiation of the Tridentine theology yet he expressed a view of ‘symbol’ that is often not understood by many who read Andrewes. There is often confusion expressed by scholars when reading Andrewes that they are not sure how definable he is in his sacramental theology. In the conclusion of the second chapter of my thesis I write, “Andrewes is not a ‘symbolic instrumentalist’ in the same sense in which Calvin is defined, rather he is what I have coined an ‘effectual instrumentalist’ who defines instrumentality based upon the continuity of the sacrament with the symbol. There is no hiatus, the Eucharist IS the Body and Blood and the Sacrifice offered on behalf of the sins of the whole world. There is no doubt in the mind of Andrewes about the reality of the whole Christ in the Sacrament. The Eucharist contains and communicates the reality of all that Christ is for His people. The Sacrament gives us the knowledge of and participation in the life of Christ.” ©Jeffrey Steel 2005.

I have been trying to put my finger on this concept with more understanding and I remembered Schmemann’s little book, For the Life of the World and his section on Sacrament and Symbol. He said something there that really has caught my attention in trying to nail Andrewes down in sacramental views. It is no secret that Andrewes was steeped in the theology and writings of the patristic Fathers. Schmemann said something that made me stop and consider a possible theory from which to exercise Andrewes's thought on this topic. Speaking of the post-patristic problem of how symbol was understood Schmemann gives his understanding of the problem in sacramental theology.

(I would love to hear from my Catholic friends who read this blog. If you have any insights or thoughts on the view of symbol here, please feel free to comment. Pass on any good books you may have read on symbol as well. I am looking for a copy of Raymond Firth on symbolism to add some more sociological and philosophical thoughts on symbolism.)

For your thoughts, I quote from Schmemann here:

There remained, however, the problem of the signum whose relation to the “res” of the sacrament had to be defined in a new way. For if it is not a symbol what is it? Post-patristic theology answered this question by defining signum as cause and it is here that the notion and probably the experience of the sacrament suffered its deepest transformation. In the early tradition, the causality inherent in the sacrament, the sanctification it procures for those who partake of it, is inseparable from its symbolism for it is rooted init. This in no way limits or contradicts the unique cause of all sacraments—their institution by Christ—for, as we have said already, the institution is precisely the fulfilment of a symbol by Christ and, therefore, its transformation into a sacrament. It is thus an act, not of discontinuity, but of fulfilment and actualization. It is the epiphany—in and through Christ—of the “new creation,” not the creation of something “new.” And if it reveals the “continuity” between creation and Christ, it is because there exists, at first, a continuity between Christ and creation whose logos, is life, and light He is. It is precisely this aspect of both the instution and sacrament that virtually disappear in post-patristic theology. The causality linking the institution to “signum” to “res” is views as extrinsic and formal, not as intrinsic and revealing. Rather than revealing through fulfilment, it guarantees the reality of the sacrament’s effect. Even if, as in the case of the Eucharist, the sign is completely identified with reality, it is experienced in terms of the sign’s annihilation rather than in those of fulfilment. In this sense the doctrine of transubstantiation, in its Tridentine form, is truly the collapse, or rather the suicide, of sacramental theology. If this new understanding of causality—as an extrinsic and formal guarantee—breaks the ontological continuity between the sign and the “res,” it also rejects, de facto, all continuity between “institution” and the normal order of things. It is indeed discontinuity that is now being stressed and affirmed. Considered as the “causa principalis” of the “signum” as “causa secunda,” institution becomes now an absolute starting point of a sacramental system entirely sui generis. And the efforts b some recent theologians to bring back into the notion of “signum” the “richness of traditional symbolism” concern the “accidents,” not the “substance” in the doctrine and understanding of sacraments…

It is when they were exalted and glorified as supreme reality that began the progressive alienation from them of theology, ecclesiology, and eschatology, an alienation which—whether it is understood or not—is at the origin of today’s crisis, the source and the poison of “secularism”…As means of individual piety and sanctification they preserved all their “value.” As catholic acts of the Church fulfilling herself as symbols in “this world” of “the world to come,” of the consummation in God of all things—they were simply forgotten.” Schmemann (144-145).

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bosom Confession

Andrewes restored Auricular Confession to its rightful place in the sacramental life of the English Church. Although sacramental confession was disliked by Puritans, yet confession of sin was not, as their diaries acted as their confessional, evident in these words of the Puritan Richard Rogers. It was "to know mine own heart better, where I know that much is to be gotten in understaunding of it, and to be acquainted with the divers corners of it and what sin I am most in daunger of and what dilig[ence] and means I use against sin and how I go under any affliction." This is what Andrewes sarcastically referred to as "bosom confession".

It would seem from the emphasis that Andrewes gave to sacramental confession in his sermons, lectures and Prayer Book notes that he regarded it as an essential part in the life of a Christian. The importance he attached to it was also evident in his insistence that Hooker's teaching on Auricular Confession be included in the publication of Book Six of Ecclesiastical Polity. Like Andrewes, Hooker was both a penitent and a confessor, evident in those words "such wounds must be searched to the very bottom" in man and revealed to God before his priest. "We labour to instruct men in such sort, that every soul which is wounded with sin may learn the way how to cure itself." However Hooker never insisted that Auricular Confession was absolutely necessary for every one, but it was available for all who needed it. Andrewes did not insist either, but yet there was always a pleading that men should, which is not there in Hooker. This was the reason for his reviving the office of confessor to the prebend stall of St. Pancras at St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1590's. It was also the motive in an Ash Wednesday sermon when he suggested to his contemporaries that they follow the "discipline of repentance" of the early Christians who during Lent were "open penitents in public" but now "in private". The true penitent will "confess humbly his sins before Thee, and ... crave pardon for them" and be thankful that God opened his eyes to sin. He always maintained that "it is a perfect signe of an humble and a good mind, when one can say from his heart, let me bear the shame and punishment of my sinne."

Dr. Marianne Dorman. Read the rest of it Here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Praying for the Church

To read all the news coming out about what is happening in the Church throughout the West is depressing and to try to pretend we do not have these problems and not read the news is irresponsible. Will you join with me today to pray for the Church and keep this prayer within your heart and mind throughout today, and everyday, trusting and believing that Jesus will answer it? If you wish, you can let me know that you are praying with me.

When we pray, let us ask God, in faith, who gives generously, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1.5-8)

Let us pray for the unity of all Christian people..


V. Behold how good and joyful a thing it is, brethren;
R. To dwell together in unity.

O GOD, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace; Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from GODLY Union and Concord: that, as there is but one Body, and one Spirit, and one Hope of our Calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may henceforth be all of one heart, and of one soul, united in one holy bond of Truth and Peace, of Faith and Charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Ss. Anne and Joachim

Collect; Lord God of Israel, who bestowed such grace on Anne and Joachim that their daughter Mary grew up obedient to your word and made ready to be the mother of your Son: help us to commit ourselves in all things to your keeping and grant us the salvation you promised to your people; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:16-17
[Jesus said,] "blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it".

Monday, July 25, 2005

St. James the Greater

At a time when the Church is under so much pressure to conform to the secularism and relativism of our Western culture, we are called today to humble ourselves before God and pray for the Church that she would stand fast as St. James has offered his example to us. May God pour His Spirit upon the Church throughout the world today for His own Glory and give all of us the humble gift of repentance and perfect contrition!

Collect:
Almighty Father,
by the martyrdom of Saint James
you blessed the work of the early Church.
May his profession of faith give us courage
and his prayers bring us strength.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-15
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.


Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:20-28
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."

And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Hopefully getting somewhere

I am absolutely exhausted on this feast day of St. Bridget of Sweden (1373). I have worked all day on what has developed into the second chapter of my thesis. I met with my supervisor yesterday and discussed what I had written and what needs to be done to shape it up a bit. It was a 2 ½ hour meeting!! I have since titled the chapter, Sacrament and Symbol: Lancelot Andrewes and the Instrumental Nature of the Eucharist. This chapter describes Andrewes’s view of Eucharistic instrumentality in conversation with Calvin and modern writers such as Professor Bryan Spinks and B.A. Gerrish. I actually disagree with Spink’s conclusion that Calvin and Andrewes can be put within the same category of instrumentalism primarily based upon what the Eucharist makes effectual for us. Through the theological description of ‘symbolic instrumentalism’ I have attempted to show that Andrewes is not developing his theology of the Eucharist’s instrumentality from Calvin or the Continent for that matter. I have therefore coined the phrase ‘effectual instrumentalist’ for Andrewes. (Though, there are similarities based primarily on what I believe is the result of Calvin and Andrewes who were both well-versed in their knowledge of the Fathers).

Andrewes is not keen on being novel but is seeking to be faithful to the history of what the Church has believed and taught in the first five centuries. What I am showing in this chapter is that the particular purpose and use of instrumentalism in Andrewes’s Eucharistic theology was primarily for the forgiveness of sins. To him this was the whole purpose of Religion and hence the whole purpose of the Sacraments. The chapter has gone well over 20,000 words and I still need to shape it up more and will do so at the beginning of this next week before launching into what is going to become my opening chapter (hopefully to be completed by the end of September). The opening chapter of the thesis will place Andrewes within his historical context and develop how his Eucharistic theology fits within the time of what is going on in the English Church around him.

The difficulty here is that Andrewes does not have a systematic theology like that of Calvin in the Institutes that fully lays out his views within contemporary debates. Then my little grey matter (what little is left) started to exercise a bit. While revising today, this made me ask the question concerning the approach that Andrewes has to Eucharistic theology that marked him out with such a great difference to most in his time. My hunch is that, like the Eastern Fathers, Andrewes always develops and defines his Eucharistic theology within the liturgy of the Church and is not keen to take it out of its [rite]full place in order to dissect it within a Scholastic framework. He simply does not seem to be of that stripe. This is a premature thought and an underdeveloped theory but I want to think about it more and look closer at the way he takes up his Eucharistic teachings to see if this is indeed feasible. My suspicion is that it is based upon his prayers, sermons, and his notes on the Prayer Book that also were expanded and used by John Cosin, Bishop of Durham. More on this later.

I am too tired now to do anymore work today. The only problem is that the question of what could become a chapter called “Eucharist and Liturgy: The Symbol of the Church in Andrewes’s Theology” is burning in my brain. I hope it doesn’t keep me up like some of my thoughts did last night that didn’t end until 3 am or so! Just a thought and a prayer!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Theodoret and Sacramental Symbols

Today I have been reading the dialogue between Cardinal Perron and Lancelot Andrewes on the nature of the symbols of the Eucharist. Cardinal Perron used Theodoret Dia. II to argue for the Adoration of the Sacrament. Theodoret argued for the adoration using the word proskuneitai (bow down) but qualified this and seemed to understand it to speak of it as honouring or reverencing the Sacrament but not offering worship as a divine object. He bases his argument on the nature of Symbols. I was surprised that Perron went to this passage as it shows clearly that Theodoret is not arguing for the common Roman position of Transubstantiation. I offer it here for your reading and comments. Maybe Professor Tighe can comment if he comes by or the Pontificator! :-)

Eran.—One ought “to stir every stone,” as the proverb says,126 to get at the truth; above all when it is a question of divine doctrines.
Orth.—Tell me now; the mystic symbols which are offered to God by them who perform priestly rites, of what are they symbols?
Eran.—Of the body and blood of the Lord.
Orth.—Of the real body or not?
Eran.—The real.
Orth.—Good. For there must be the archetype of the image. So painters imitate nature and paint the images of visible objects.
Eran.—True.
Orth.—If, then, the divine mysteries are antitypes of the real body,127 therefore even now the body of the Lord is a body, not changed into nature of Godhead, but filled with divine glory.
Eran.—You have opportunely introduced the subject of the divine mysteries for from it I shall be able to show you the change of the Lord’s body into another nature. Answer now to my questions.
Orth.—I will answer.
Eran.—What do you call the gift which is offered before the priestly invocation?
Orth.—It were wrong to say openly; perhaps some uninitiated are present.
Eran.—Let your answer be put enigmatically.
Orth.—Food of grain of such a sort.
Eran.—And how name we the other symbol?
Orth.—This name too is common, signifying species of drink.
Eran.—And after the consecration how do you name these?
Orth.—Christ’s body and Christ’s blood.
Eran.—And do yon believe that you partake of Christ’s body and blood?
Orth.—I do.
Eran.—As, then, the symbols of the Lord’s body and blood are one thing before the priestly invocation, and after the invocation are changed and become another thing; so the Lord’s body after the assumption is changed into the divine substance.
Orth.—You are caught in the net you have woven yourself. For even after the consecration the mystic symbols are not deprived of their own nature; they remain in their former substance figure and form; they are visible and tangible as they were before. But they are regarded as what they are become, and believed so to be, and are worshipped128 as being what they are believed to be. Compare then the image with the archetype, and you will see the likeness, for the type must be like the reality. For that body preserves its former form, figure, and limitation and in a word the substance of the body; but after the resurrection it has become immortal and superior to corruption; it has become worthy of a seat on the righthand; it is adored by every creature as being called the natural body of the Lord.
Eran.—Yes; and the mystic symbol changes its former appellation; it is no longer called by the name it went by before, but is styled body. So must the reality be called God, and not body.
Orth.—You seem to me to be ignorant—for He is called not only body but even bread of life. So the Lord Himself used this name’ and that very body we call divine body, and giver of life, and of the Master and of the Lord, teaching that it is not common to every man but belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ Who is God and Man. “For Jesus Christ” is “the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.”

Schaff, P. 1997. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. III. Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, Rufinus: Historial Writings, etc. p. 200.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Chesterton: Tyranny of Toleration

In a world where political correctness rules the day and binds the truth (if that were possible), Chesterton reminds us that tyranny rules when absolute toleration silences the debate about truth. Sadly, we have make laws to protect this tyranny.

Creeds must disagree: it is the whole fun of the thing. If I think the universe is triangular, and you think it is square, there cannot be room for two universes. We may argue politely, we may argue humanely, we may argue with great mutual benefit; but, obviously, we must argue. Modern toleration is really a tyranny. It is a tyranny because it is a silence. To say that I must not deny my opponent's faith is to say I must not discuss it . . . It is absurd to have a discussion on Comparative Religions if you don't compare them.

{"The History of Religions," The Illustrated London News, 10 October 1908}

St Margaret of Antioch

St. Margaret is the patron saint of our parish here in Durham. We celebrate her feast day today.

St. Margaret of Antioch

Virgin Martyr

Margaret of Antioch was a Christian virgin whose tortures and martyrdom became famous in early books of Acts. According to her legend, she was the daughter of a 3rd or 4th century pagan priest of Antioch who either threw her out of the house when she converted to Christianity or who was converted by her nursemaid. She was noticed by the local prefect who wanted to marry her, but she spurned him and vowed to keep her virginity for Christ. He turned her in to the Roman authorities to be persecuted. In prison she was swallowed by Satan in the form of a dragon, but the cross she was carrying irritated his throat, and he spit her out unharmed.

Her persecutors tried to kill her by fire and by drowning, but each time, she survived, converting the growing crowd of onlookers. Finally, she was beheaded, along with her many converts, by Emperor Diocletian. She was buried at Antioch, but her remains were taken later to Italy where they were divided between shrines in Montefiascone and Venice.

Part of her very popular cult was the promise that if you spread her fame and read her story, you would receive a perpetual crown in heaven. She prayed at her death that women in childbirth would, upon calling on her, be safely delivered of the child as she had been delivered from the belly of the dragon. She is also known as the patron saint of women, nurses, and peasants. She also intercedes for those who call on her from their deathbed. She became one of the most popular saints in England in the 9th century when the first of many Lives was written about her in English; over two hundred early churches were dedicated to her there, even though her legend had been declared apocryphal by the Pope as early as 494.

She was one of the saints who spoke to St. Joan of Arc, and she is included in a group of saints known as the Fourteen Holy Helpers, who are venerated for their special ability to intercede for people. (See also St. Catherine and St. Pantaleon, who are also among the Holy Helpers.) St. Margaret's feast day is July 20 in the west and July 13 in the east.

In her window she is shown in victory over the dragon, holding it at bay with a long cross. The coronet she wears features pearls which are a symbol often shown with Margaret because her name in Greek means "pearl." The cross over her head signifies her devout faith. To her left is a shield showing a dragon's head with a sword through its throat.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

G.K. Chesterton: good and spiritual?

THE greatest disaster of the nineteenth century was this: that men began to use the word 'spiritual' as the same as the word 'good.' They thought that to grow in refinement and uncorporeality was to grow in virtue. When scientific evolution was announced, some feared that it would encourage mere animality. It did worse: it encouraged mere spirituality. It taught men to think that so long as they were passing from the ape they were going. But you can pass from the ape and go to the devil.

'Orthodoxy.'

Monday, July 18, 2005

Children and Church

Alexander Schmemann at his best on the whole family of God. You really need to read this!

As a general rule, children like attending Church, and this instinctive attraction to and interest in Church services is the foundation on which we must build our religious education. When parents worry that children will get tired because services are long and are sorry for them, they usually subconsciously express their concern not for their children but for themselves. Children penetrate more easily than do adults into the world of ritual, of liturgical symbolism. They feel and appreciate the atmosphere of our Church services. The experience of Holiness, the sense of encounter with Someone Who is beyond daily life, that mysterium tremendum that is at the root of all religion and is the core of our services is more accessible to our children than it is to us. "Except ye become as little children," these words apply to the receptivity, the open-mindedness, the naturalness, which we lose when we grow out of childhood. How many men have devoted their lives to the service of God and consecrated themselves to the Church because from childhood they have kept their love for the house of worship and the joy of liturgical experience! Therefore, the first duty of parents and educators is to "suffer little children and forbid them not" (Matt. 19:14) to attend Church. It is in Church before every place else that children must hear the word of God. In a classroom the word is difficult to understand, it remains abstract, but in church it is in its own element. In childhood we have the capacity to understand, not intellectually, but with our whole being, that there is no greater joy on earth than to be in Church, to participate in Church services, to breathe the fragrance of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is "the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit."

Church attendance should be complemented from the earliest days of childhood by the home atmosphere, which precedes and prolongs the mood of the Church. Let us take Sunday morning. How can a child sense the holiness of that morning and of that which he will see in Church if the home is full of the blare of radio and TV, the parents are smoking and reading the papers, and there reigns a generally profane atmosphere? Church attendance should be preceded by a sense of being gathered in, a quiet, a certain solemnity. The lighting of vigil lights before the icons, the reading of the Scripture lessons, clean and fresh clothes, the festively tidied-up rooms – so frequently parents do not realize how all these things shape the religious consciousness of the child, make an imprint which no later tribulations will ever efface. On the eve and on the day of Sundays and Church feasts, during Lent, on the days when we prepare ourselves for Confession and Communion, the home must reflect the Church, must be illuminated by the light that we bring back from worship.

And now let us speak of the school. It seems self-evident to me that to organize so-called "Sunday School" lessons during Divine Liturgy is in deep contradiction with the spirit of Orthodoxy. The Sunday Liturgy is a joyful gathering of the Church community, and the child must know and experience this long before he is able to understand the deep meaning of this gathering. It seems to me that the choice of Sunday for church school is not a very good one. Sunday is primarily a liturgical day; therefore, it should be Church-centered and Liturgy-centered. It would be far better to have church school on Saturdays before the Vigil or Vespers service. The argument that parents cannot and will not bring children to church twice a week is merely admitting indolence and sinful negligence of what is important to our children. Saturdayevening is the beginning of Sunday and should be liturgically sanctified just as much as Sunday morning. Why, in all Orthodox churches the world over Vespers or the Vigil is served on the eve of Feasts and Sundays. There is no reason why we too cannot arrange our church life according to principle: School—Vespers—Liturgy, where School would be for children the essential preparation and introduction to the Day of the Lord, His resurrection.

Matthew's tonsil removal

My son Matthew (13) will be having his tonsils removed at Sunderland hospital this morning. Please remember him in your prayers. He has had tonsillitis 9 times this year. We have also had two other cases here at home (Sarah and Joshua) this week and last night Matthew began to complain about his being red. I'm not sure if they'll operate on them if they are infected so please pray that they come out and all goes well. (It has taken us months on a waiting list to get this appointment) Thanks.


Update at 11:45 am. Well, Rhea just called and told me that Matthew is back in his room and recovering. He had a little rougher time than he thought he would but is resting. Rhea said he was having some pain but still going in and out from the anesthesia. I'll give another update later. Thanks for the prayers.


Update 2:00 pm. Matthew is beginning to wake up now and even take down a bit of ice cream! Rhea said he is doing some better but still not fully out of the anesthesia yet. But he is working on swallowing now and that is making things better. He should be home some time tomorrow about mid morning.

Update 7:37: Matthew seems to be improving as the day goes on. He is beginning to eat a little though he is not able to eat much, which is quite understandable. We are looking forward to having him home tomorrow. It looks like he'll be able to come home tommorow am around 10 or so. Thanks again for the prayers.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

+Tom Wright and the wisdom of Snoopy

Bishop Tom explains the result of our Church's digression into the hermeneutic of suspicion and the need for the Church to learn reasoned debate again. We are losing, if we haven't already lost it, the art of true debate. We have made experience and feeling the authority for ecclesial direction and it too, like the Englightenment, will leave us without sufficient answers to our important and dare I say, eternal questions.

Below is a portion of the article. Read the whole thing HERE.

This is necessary in order to build a society - or, indeed, a church - of trust, the precondition of genuine debate. You have to trust your opponents to say what they mean and mean what they say, and you have to earn their trust by doing the same.

Here again, contemporary culture lets us down. The hermeneutic of suspicion has become our default mode, encouraging us to lump issues into bundles and people into camps. It is much easier that way: it stops you having to think, or engage in real debate.

The Church desperately needs to learn once more the gentle art of reasoned discourse, of respectful engagement, of real debate. It is a better way to be Christian; it is a better way to be human. As Snoopy might have said, clarity ain't everything, but unclarity ain't anything.

· The Rt Rev Dr Tom Wright is Bishop of Durham

Friday, July 15, 2005

St. Bonaventure 1274

St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast day-July 15) 1274

St. Bonaventure, known as "the seraphic doctor," was born at Bagnorea in Tuscany, in 1221. He received the name of Bonaventure in consequence of an exclamation of St. Francis of Assisi, when, in response to the pleading of the child's mother, the saint prayed for John's recovery from a dangerous illness, and, foreseeing the future greatness of the little John, cried out "O Buona ventura"-O good fortune!

At the age of twenty-two St. Bonaventure entered the Franciscan Order. Having made his vows, he was sent to Paris to complete his studies under the celebrated doctor Alexander of Hales, an Englishman and a Franciscan. After the latter's death he continued his course under his successor, John of Rochelle. In Paris he became the intimate friend of the great St. Thomas Aquinas. He received the degree of Doctor, together with St. Thomas Aquinas, ceding to his friend against the latter's inclination, the honor of having it first conferred upon him. Like St. Thomas Aquinas, he enjoyed the friendship of the holy King, St. Louis.

At the age of thirty-five he was chosen General of his Order and restored a perfect calm where peace had been disturbed by internal dissensions. He did much for his Order and composed The Life of St. Francis . He also assisted at the translation of the relics of St. Anthony of Padua. He was nominated Archbishop of York by Pope Clement IV, but he begged not to be forced to accept that dignity. Gregory X obliged him to take upon himself a greater one, that of Cardinal and Bishop of Albano, one of the six suffragan Sees of Rome. Before his death he abdicated his office of General of the Franciscan Order. He died while he was assisting at the Second Council of Lyons, on July 15, 1274.

All-powerful Father,
may we who celebrate the feast of Saint Bonaventure
always benefit from his wisdom
and follow the example of his love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Celebrating the Oxford Movement, 14 July

JOHN KEBLE, PRIEST, POET, RENEWER OF THE CHURCH (29 MAR 1866)

John Keble, born 1792, ordained Priest in 1816, tutor at Oxford from 1818 to 1823, published in 1827 a book of poems called THE CHRISTIAN YEAR, containing poems for the Sundays and Feast Days of the Church Year. The book sold many copies, and was highly effective in spreading Keble's devotional and theological views. His style was more popular then than now, but some of his poems are still in use as hymns, such the three beginning:

New every morning is the love Our waking and uprising prove, Through sleep and darkness safely brought, Restored to life and power and thought.

Sun of my soul, thou Savior dear, It is not night if thou be near. Oh, may no earthborn cloud arise To hide thee from thy servant's eyes.

Blest are the pure in heart, for they shall see our God. The secret of the Lord is theirs; Their soul is Christ's abode.

He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1831 to 1841, and from 1836 until his death thirty years later he was priest of a small parish in the village of Hursley near Winchester.

On 14 July 1833, he preached the Assize Sermon at Oxford. (This sermon marks the opening of a term of the civil and criminal courts, and is officially addressed to the judges and officers of the court, exhorting them to deal justly.) His sermon was called "National Apostasy," and denounced the Nation for turning away from God, and for regarding the Church as a mere institution of society, rather than as the prophetic voice of God, commissioned by Him to warn and instruct the people. The sermon was a nationwide sensation, and is considered to be the beginning of the religious revival known as the Tractarian Movement (so called because of a series of 90 Tracts, or pamphlets addressed to the public, which largely influenced the course of the movement) or as the Oxford Movement (not to be confused with the Oxford Group -- led by Frank Buchman and also called Moral Re-Armament, or MRA -- which came a century later and was quite different). Because the Tractarians emphasized the importance of the ministry and of the sacraments as God-given ordinances, they were suspected by their opponents of Roman Catholic tendencies, and the suspicion was reinforced when some of their leaders (John Henry Newman being the most conspicuous) did in fact become Roman Catholics. But the movement survived, and has profoundly influenced the religious thinking, practice, and worship of large portions of Christendom. Their insistence, for example, that it was the normal practice for all Christians to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion every Sunday has influenced many Christians who would never call themselves Anglicans, let alone Tractarians. Keble translated the works of Irenaeus of Lyons (28 June 202), and produced an edition of the works of Richard Hooker, a distinguished Anglican theologian (3 Nov 1600). He also wrote more books of poems, and numerous hymn lyrics. Three years after his death, his friends and admirers established Keble College at Oxford.

Collect:

Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servant John Keble, we may accomplish with integrity and courage that which thou givest us to do, and endure that which thou givest us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 26:1-8 or 15 Romans 12:9-21 Matthew 5:1-12

Here is a portion from the sermon linked above: Do take time to read the entire thing today and pray.

These cautions being duly observed, I do not see how any person can devote himself too entirely to the cause of the Apostolical Church in these realms. There may be, as far as he knows, but a very few to sympathize with him. He may have to wait long, and very likely pass out of this world before he see any abatement in the triumph of disorder and irreligion. But, if he be consistent, he possesses, to the utmost, the personal consolations of a good Christian : and as a true Churchman, he has that encouragement, which no other cause in the world can impart in the same degree:—he is calmly, soberly, demonstrably, SURE, that, sooner or later, HIS WILL BE THE WINNING SIDE, and that the victory will be complete, universal, eternal.

Keble is special to me as a poet, and theologian that I greatly admire and who died on my birthday. May God move our hearts today as he moved Fr. Keble's in his day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Religious Hate Bill Clears Commons

The Religious Hate Bill cleared the House of Commons yesterday and will now be going before the House of Lords where there is not a government majority. Not too sure what all of this means but it does not seem good.

Bishop Wright Wins Ramsey Prize

Bishop Tom has been awarded the Ramsey award for his book on the Resurrection. Congratulations to our good bishop!

Bishop Tom Wright said that the award came as a huge surprise.

“I was convinced it was going to be one of the others,’ he said. ‘There were some wonderful books on the list. I am very proud to be one of Michael Ramsey’s successors here in Durham, and also as a writer on the resurrection, and to win the prize named after him is a great honour.”

Bishop Tom was presented with the prize – an award of £15,000 – at a ceremony at St Williams’ College in York yesterday [Tuesday 12th July 2005].

Why? Carl Braaten and the ELCA

I do not wish to air other's laundry on this blog but I saw this on the Catholic Pontificator's site and find the question "Why?" to be an appropriate one for all of us to be asking. Let's ask the question and answer it honestly.

We're suffering Persecution: St. Basil the Great

I stumbled across this letter this morning at 1:00 am in my reading of St. Basil the Great. These are words that I pray we never utter in the West. They are fearful words. Read them quietly and meditatively and let's pray that this not be our own words as a result of a casting off 'the faith once delivered to the Saints'. This is not intended for despair, of course. The orthodox triumphed in the midst of great persecutions. There is always hope. I have great esteem for what St. Basil was willing to endure to remain faithful to the truth.

Since Becca was looking for the reason behind Basil's writing the letter below, I thought I would add what a dear friend sent to me when she read it. I will not put her name to it as she has not given permission. I'll send what she said with a point of Basil's context.

Basil lived through a very difficult time. Basil was consecrated bishop of Caesarea in 370 whilst the Arian Valens was still emperor. When the emperor passed through Caesarea in 371, he demanded that Basil submit to Arianism, but of course Basil flatly refused. For his defiance, Valens divided the province of Cappadocia into two provinces and appointed an Arian as bishop of Tyana that became the metropolitan see. Basil responded to this by having his brother, Gregory and his friend, Gregory of Nanzianus, appointed to sees, positions that they never wanted, in order to outnumber the Arians. There was a time when the few orthodox bishops in Christendom (Hilary of Poitiers, Dionyius of Milan, Liberius of Rome, Eusebius of Vercellae, Lucifer of Sardinia as well as Athanasius) were exiled by the emperor at the Council of Milan in 355, and replaced by Arian bishops. It was a very hard time for orthodox Christians as Basil paints, but it survived and triumphed eventually.

2. Persecution has come upon us, right honourable brethren, and persecution in the severest form. Shepherds are persecuted that their flocks may be scattered. And the worst of all is that those who are being treated ill cannot accept their sufferings in proof of their testimony, nor can the people reverence the athletes as in the army of martyrs, because the name of Christians is applied to the persecutors. The one charge which is now sure to secure severe punishment is the careful keeping of the traditions of the Fathers. For this the pious are exiled from their homes, and are sent away to dwell in distant regions. No reverence is shown by the judges of iniquity to the hoary head, to practical piety, to the life lived from boyhood to old age according to the Gospel. No malefactor is doomed without proof, but bishops have been convicted on calumny alone, and are consigned to penalties on charges wholly unsupported by evidence. Some have not even known who has accused them, nor been brought before any tribunal, nor even been falsely accused at all. They have been apprehended with violence late at night, have been exiled to distant places, and, through the hardships of these remote wastes, have been given over to death.4 The rest is notorious, though I make no mention of it—the flight of priests; the flight of deacons the foraying of all the clergy. Either the image must be worshipped, or we are delivered to the wicked flame of whips.5 The laity groan; tears are filling without ceasing in public and in private; all are mutually lamenting their woes. No one’s heart is so hard as to lose a father, and bear the bereavement meekly. There is a sound of them that mourn in the city—a sound in the fields, in the roads, in the deserts. But one voice is heard from all that utter sad and piteous words. Joy and spiritual gladness are taken away. Our feasts are turned into mourning.6 Our houses of prayer are shut. The altars of the spiritual service are lying idle. Christians no longer assemble together; teachers no longer preside. The doctrines of salvation are no longer taught. We have no more solemn assemblies, no more evening hymns, no more of that blessed joy of souls which arises in the souls of all that believe in the Lord at communions, and the imparting of spiritual boons.7 We may well say, “Neither is there at this time prince, or prophet, or reader, or offering, or incense, or place to sacrifice before thee, and to find mercy.”8

Schaff, P. 1997. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. VIII. Basil: Letters and Select Works.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

On the English Reformation

Prof. William Tighe has written a short piece on his thoughts of what happened in the English Reformation. This may provoke discussion! I have linked it here for any who may be interested in reading it.

I have not posted very much recently as I am trying to finish a paper on looking at the question of whether or not Lancelot Andrewes can be defined as a 'symbolic instrumentalist' as Calvin is described by B.A. Gerrish in his book Grace & Gratitude. Scholars such as Bryan Spinks in his work Sacraments, Ceremonies and the Stuart Divines seems to think he can. Looking at some sermons that have, for the most part, been neglected of any scholarly attention (save Drs. Marianne Dorman and Peter McCullough of Oxford) in Apospasmatia Sacra, I have found that Andrewes and Calvin are not singing the same tune on instrumentalism.

Here is a small piece of what I have found concerning Andrewes's position.

"It pleased God to take away the Prophets sinnes by touching his lips. And albeit he can take away our sins, without touching of bread or wine, if he will; yet in the councell of his will, he commandeth unto us the sacramental partaking of his body and blood. It is his will, that our sins shall be taken away by the outward act of the sacrament: The reason is, not only in regard of ourselves, which consists of body and soul, and therefore have need both of bodily and Ghostly meanes, to assure us of our Salvation; but in regard of Christ himself, who is the burning Cole."

Interesting words!

Friday, July 08, 2005

London Tragedy brings a friend

Yesterday was obviously a terrible day with the bombings that went on down in London. It is quite scary knowing that I was just there a week ago when I returned from the States and used the very line to King's Cross so that I could take the train north to return to Durham. I am sure many who ride the tube every day feel that tension more than I can imagine and my prayers go out for all.

A friend of mine who now lives in China was over as a promoter of the Live 8 concerts and was in Edinburgh for the show. He was able to meet Bono from U2 and many other famous band members and individuals in the music industry. We were in college together over 10 years ago and haven't seen one another since that time. He has been living in China for seven years. He was leaving Edinburgh on his way down to see me for a few hours and then to carry on to London later that day when the bombs were going off around London. He called me on his mobile to tell me that King's Cross was closed down and his train would not be going into King's Cross and so he was able to stay a night in Durham. It was great to see him, though the circumstances for his stay are horrid. I put him on a train late this afternoon to go down to London's King Cross and I pray that all goes well for his trip and the many who travel on public transportation. He flies back to China on Sunday.

May God heal all who suffer from this tragedy and for the many losses due to the hatred of those who carried this wicked act out! We also need to pray for all of those who are working so hard in difficult circumstances as they clean up the mess from this tragedy and notify family members of those who have lost their lives. It would be a very difficult job to have to do. Lord, Have Mercy!, Christ, Have Mercy!, Lord, Have Mercy! Kyrie Christe.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Why I'm Up So Late

You may be wondering why my last two blogs are entered so late as posts. Well, it is after midnight here in England and I just returned from the University hospital after having my daughter Sarah (here she is holding Abigail our 2-year old) admitted. She is 8-years old and could use your prayers to get well. She has a very high fever, a terrible rash, blood-red tonsils, and has been sick to her stomach on top of that. I came home at about 11:20 pm and Rhea went up to stay the night with her. Matthew who attends St. Leonard's RC school here in Durham is in the choir and had a concert tonight that lasted from 7:30 pm till 10:45 pm. I was quite disappointed to miss it as Matthew has a nice singing voice though since he's turned 13 this year it is getting a bit lower. We pray that Sarah will get to come home tomorrow after 24 hours of IV fluids and the tender care of the nurses at the University hospital.

Is RC Sproul Wrong about Martin Luther

For those of you who love to move in the circles of biblical and historical theology, the article and Justification and Faith and Sproul on Martin Luther would interest you. Thanks to Barb who thanked Kevin B. for the tip.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Sacramental Instrumentality and all of that

I have been very busy this week looking at Andrewes's Apospasmatia Sacra and a number of his sermons, which are clear expositions of the Blessed Sacrament. It has been a fun but also a very trying exercise. I thank my friends Dr. Nick Thompson, Dr. Peter McCullough, Dr. Marianne Dorman and Bishop Kenneth Stevenson for considering my thoughts on Andrewes. The sermon is on Isaiah 6.6 and expounds the text concerning the Coal being taken from the Altar that brought forgiveness of sins to Isaiah. For Andrewes, Christ is that Coal and the Cross is that Altar and we receive our forgiveness of sins after baptism through the instrumental means of the Blessed Eucharist. Andrewes says,

That at the celebration thereof, after the Sacrament was ministered to the people, the Priest stood up and said as the Seraphin doth here, Behold this hath touched your lips, your iniquity shall bee taken away, and your sinne purged. The whole fruit of Religion is, The taking away of sinne, Isaiah the twenty seventh Chapter and the ninth verse, and the specially wayes to take it away, is the Religious use of this Sacrament; which as Christ saith is nothing else, but a seale and signe of his blood that was shed for many for the remission of sinnes, Matthew the twenty sixth Chapter and the twenty eighty verse…

But, this has a two-fold use that is to bring comfort through the word. The analogy of the Altar where the Cole was taken from and the Table of the Lord where the Eucharist is offered and received provides the forgiveness that is sought by the people. As the washing with water is for the taking away of original sin, the receiving of the Eucharist is for the taking away of actual sin. He argues this, not from the doctrines and teachings of the Reformation, but rather from the ancient Church’s teaching on this particular passage that applied this text in this way. Andrewes makes a point to show that the Eucharist and the One Sacrifice of Christ at Calvary are one and the same offering. For he says, “That our sinnes are no lesse taken away by the element of bread and wine, in the Sacrament, then the Prophet’s sinne was by being touched with a Cole.” One would immediately ask whether or not Andrewes is arguing for a sacramental 'causality' with reference to his instrumentality. Andrewes answer to this question is given when he makes it clear that it is NOT the Sacrament that takes away and forgives sin, so that it must be acknowledged that “none can take away sinne but God only, wee must needs confesse that there was in this Cole a divine force and virtue issuing from Christ, who is the only reconciliation for our sins without which it had not beene possible that it could have taken away sin.” Thus Christ is both the Cole and the Altar from which it comes. Once it touches the lips, like the chalice, sin is forgiven. The Altar represents the Cross on which Christ takes away the sin of the world through His sacrifice. Andrewes discusses the possessing of “a perfect sense of this coal”, that is Christ. So, as we eat of the blessed bread and wine corporally we know inwardly or spiritually our sins are forgiven. This means we all share in the blood of Christ and of His body. It is this partaking that enables one to have eternal life. All through this sermon one is conscious of sacramental teaching by Andrewes – God can take anything and use it to be an instrument of whatever he wants, but by His divine counsel and wisdom he has determined the creatures of bread and wine for this task. One is also conscious of Irenaeus’ teaching of the hypostatical union throughout this sermon.

He relates his teaching of the hypostatical union to describe the two natures of the Cole itself. The Cole is a dead thing, yet it has a burning force symbolising the force of the divine nature of Christ. So as the human nature is dead in itself the divine nature, which is inseparably united to it, brings the life-giving force that is needed to fulfil the purposes of God. Andrewes describes this in the following way, “So the element of bread and wine is a dead thing in it selfe, but through the grace of God’s spirit infused into it hath a power to heate our Soules: for the elements in the Supper have an earthly and a heavenly part.” This analogy used by Andrewes leads him to show how the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist differ in the results of their instrumentality.

Concerning Sacrifice he went on to say,
The love which hee shewed unto us in dying for our sinnes is set out unto us most lively in this Sacrament of his Body and Blood, unto which wee must come often, that from the one wee may fetch the purging of our sinnes, as the Apostle speaks, and from the other qualifying power si in luce [if on account of the light] John the first chapter & the seventh verse; wherefore as by the mercy of God we have a fountain of water alwaise flowing, to take away originall sin, so there is in the Church fire always burning to cleanse our actuall transgressions; for if the Cole taken from the Altar, had a power to take away the Prophet’s sinne, much more the body and blood of Christ, which is offered in the Sacrament; If the hem of Christ’s garment can heal, the ninth chapter of Matthew and the twentieth verse, much more the touching of Christ himselfe shall procure health to our soules; here we have not something that hath touched the Sacrifice, but the Sacrifice itself to take away our sins.

This is enough for now and ought to stimulate some discussion. I ask that if you use any of this material, that you credit the source as many of these quotations and thoughts concerning Andrewes will be a part of my dissertation.

©Rev'd Jeffrey H. Steel, University of Durham, 2005

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle



Collect:
Almighty Father,
as we honor Thomas the apostle,
let us always experience the help of his prayers.
May we have eternal life by believing in Jesus,
whom Thomas acknowledged as Lord,
for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: Ephesians 2:19-22
So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.


Gospel Reading: John 20:24-29
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe". Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing". Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Postgrad Tuition Fees

This morning I have been searching the Internet for Theology Scholarships for postgrad students. I looked up the tution cost for this next year and found that it has been raised £400 for the year to £8,550 for overseas students. Looking at the exchange rate today of 1.77 (thanks be to God for it dropping for now!)the total tuition cost in American dollars is $15,133.50 per year. Yikes! If any of the readers know of scholarships/grants for postgrad work in theology, I would really appreciate the tip!

My area of study is the Eucharistic Theology of Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626). This year is the 450th anniversary of his birth and the 400th anniversary of his being consecrated bishop. I am particularly looking at the Eucharist within the context of his discussion with Cardinal Robert Bellarmine. My final chapter is one where I want to focus on Eucharist: "Andrewes as a catalyst for ecumenism." If nothing else, we covet your prayers as we anticipate God providing for all our needs.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Women Bishops and the C of E

In today's C of E News, the headline reads Church urged to refrain from allowing women to be bishops. If you go to the Church Times report of this letter you are provided the opportunity to vote whether or not you believe more debate is needed before the C of E decides on this issue. The only thing about voting in favour of more debate can give the impression that those 'against' or 'for' are somehow now pragmatically undecided on the issue when in fact their minds are made up and to them there is no need for further debate. It is either right or wrong to do it based upon their convictions and consciences. Some would merely see this as stalling.

The C of E report reads: "There is ample evidence from church history, not least, and most recently, in the Anglican Communion, that actions by individual provinces touching the scriptural and traditional faith and order of the Church, actions that inevitably unchurch those who cannot accept such changes, do not serve the unity which Christ asks of his Church.

The letter, which is signed by six diocesan bishops, including one of the highest ranking in the Church, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Tom Wright, says: This matter touches profoundly both the order and identity of the Church of England and its place in the Church as a whole.

The bishops argue that the Bishop of Rochester's report showed that there is still major theological disagreement within the Church of England on the issue. They add that it is also a matter of deep concern to ecumenical partners who share a historic commitment to apostolic order."

On the eve of synod and following all that happened at the ACC with ECUSA and Canadian provinces, it seems wise to not act on this now by going forward with removing the legal impediments that keep women from the episcopate. Personally, I would be afraid of what it would do to us here in England and I pray that the Spirit of God directs us to do what will create and foster unity in a Church that is already so divided on many of these issues. So we pray:

O Gracious Father, we humbly beseech thee for thy holy Catholic Church; that thou wouldst be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, establish it; where it is in in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever liveth to make intercession for us, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

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