Monthly Archives: March 2007

Lent and a Trial Liturgy

I’m not doing much this Lent. My work schedule is so involved and I’m getting so little sleep that I think any sort of physical ascesis might lead to health problems. I’m abstaining from meat on Fridays but that’s about it in that department.

Instead, I’m recommitting to good habits–some that had fallen by the wayside.

First, I recommitted to doing the Office as much as possible including saying Compline with M when my work schedule allows (i.e., the nights when I *don’t* end my shift at midnight).

Second, I recommitted to memorizing and mulling over the weekly collects.

Third, I decided to memorize the seven penitential psalms, taking one a week or so.

Two and three are going well; one is difficult as a function of time with the Office Book. I do have time–it’s during my commute which is more by car these days than mass transit and I’m not going to try and read while I’m driving in this town! While the Brief Devotions in the BCP are ok for bedtime prayers with G and H, I can’t see the morning one as a substitute for MP. Thus, I’ve been trying to work up a fully memorizable Anglican Lauds for the mornings when I can’t get to the prayer book. Here’s the pattern as it currently stands:

Opening Versicles

Ps 51

Little Chapter [Seasonal]

Hymn [Seasonal]


Pater Noster

Collect of the Day

Closing Versicles

Those familiar with the Anglican Breviary will recognize the ordo as a stripped-down version of Lauds 2 straight from there. I invite any interested to give it a try and let me know how it goes. Note that it can be used as a supplement in addition to MP as well as a replacement for it. Let me know what you think…

Thoughts on the Thursday Question

Jim Naughton has been wondering out loud about something I’ve been pondering for a while. Since he brought it up, I’ll extend my thoughts on it a bit…

He suggests that one of the best reasons for TEC to turn down the Communique is the opportunity that such a move might make for evangelism. I don’t think he goes this far–but I will: perhaps turning down the Communique would give TEC an opportunity to evangelize the socially liberal/progressive for whom the “traditional”–read “socially conservative”–moral message with which the Gospel of Jesus is normally associated is a stumbling block. To put it another way, has the Good News of Jesus’ reconciling work through the cross and empty tomb been entrapped by a culturally binding morality which prevents it from being heard?

I don’t say this lightly. After all, I’m more on the socially conservative side myself. I’m not posing this as a rhetorical question that seeks to persuade but as an open question for discussion.

If–IF–this is the case, then perhaps TEC does have a calling separate from the Anglican Communion. As far as I’m concerned, we have a clear picture of what we don’t want–Europe. A continent where, according to all the reports I’ve seen, the Gospel is more often than not regarded as irrelevant for modern humanity. What is to say that will not characterize the US in fifty years?

One of the key issues that gives me pause, though, is this: I can’t think of a single denomination where the majority both embraces a liberal social vision and proclaims orthodox, Nicene, creedally grounded Christianity.

Is that because it hasn’t been done…or because it can’t?