Category Archives: Administrative

Working Out Bugs

Still fussing with some stuff to make sure that everything is fully functional.

Could someone post some comments here? I haven’t seen any yet, and want to make sure that’s working properly. If you’re trying to but are unable, please shoot me a note at haligweorc(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Blog Revamp

After a decade, it’s time to rework the blog and my approach to it.

When I picked the name “haligweorc” it seemed like a good choice—I was hip-deep in my dissertation, working with a lot of Old English, and was writing it semi-anonymously. The name worked perfectly well. Fast-forward ten years, and it’s better known as the blog that nobody can pronounce… So—while I still like haligweorc, I’ve opted for something a little easier to spell and to say!

Welcome to the new St. Bede Blog. Obviously, there’s a clear reference here to the St. Bede’s Breviary, my online Daily Office site. In many ways, that initiative represents one large and important strand of my ministry: presenting digital tools to introduce the contemporary Church to classic Christian liturgical spirituality. Others have appreciated the work of the breviary, and I have built several related web apps using the core code; St. Bede Productions serves as an umbrella for this code-work and for some other projects currently under development.

As I complete the shift to a new domain and build out the site, the St. Bede Productions projects will get more visibility including the top two, the Anglican Breviary Online and the Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary. The Anglican Breviary Online is still very much in progress and there is work going on behind the scenes as the transcription work moves forward. Too, I am hosting the Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary files and have plans to migrate much of this content to a databased/xml format for ease of use down the road. Several mobile app adaptations are also in the works, some in conjunction with Forward Movement.

If programming digital tools is one facet of my ministry, the other is teaching as represented by my writing. The blog will remain a central venue for that. Links to my more formal writing and publications appear on the Publications page.

The format of the site is new; if it looks like others you may have seen that might not entirely be accidental… I have to thank Fr. Scott Gunn for the recommendation of the Hueman theme for WordPress. I’m still playing with the widgets and such. The blogroll is a complete restart and I’ve left off a whole lot of people and will be continue to add to that in the weeks to come; if you’re a regular conversant and I haven’t gotten you on yet, drop me a note to be sure that I do.

I’ll post full links to the expanded site as the domain shifts settle down.

Changes A-Coming

As I noted in one of the posts below, I’m coming up on ten years of blogging. Not all of it has been at this site; I started with Blogger back in the day, then switched over to WordPress when it became clear to me that it would meet my needs better. I think it’s time to shake things up a bit.

When I first started, this was a semi-anonymous blog and served as a sounding board for random stuff, most of which was heading into my dissertation. When I started, “haligweorc” seemed like a great name. It was in Old English, and sounded cool (to me at least…). Not, however, a great choice for branding generally! But—in all fairness—branding was the last thing on my mind when I first started writing here anyway.

I’m working on plans to consolidate all of my projects on another domain. Specifically, that means that this blog and the breviary will be changing addresses. And the blog will be changing its name as well.  Clearly, I’ll have more details on these changes as the new domain comes together. What I can say is that all of the current electronic projects I’m involved in: the St. Bede’s Breviary, the Anglican Breviary Online, the Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary, will be gathered there and have more visibility than some of them currently do.

This will take some time and some expense to do properly; if you enjoy reading the blog or using the breviary and have some spare change to help it happen sooner and better donations to the cause are gladly appreciated!

Shifting Directions

Things Being Wrapped Up

After a very busy season, it’s time for an update…

The revision of my dissertation is done and has been sent off to Liturgical Press. The title I believe we’re going with is Reading Matthew with Monks: Liturgical Interpretation in Anglo-Saxon England. The first part focuses on early medieval monastic biblical interpretation centering on the role of the liturgy. In particular, I’m focusing on the Old English sermons and interpretive materials of Ælfric of Eynsham and his situation in the 10th century English Benedictine Revival. In the second part, I take four passages from Matthew, look at how four modern commentators have treated them, then look at Ælfric’s reading as illuminated by his liturgical context. Often, there is some really interesting interplay between the issues raised by the modern readers and the insights coming from Ælfric’s material. I don’t know exactly when it will be coming out, but I believe they’re looking at a late Spring 2015 release date.

I also just concluded a wonderful parish retreat at St. Andrew’s in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, at the invitation of Fr. Jeff Queen that focused on the background, spirituality, and use of the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book. We had participants from around the Cincinnati metro area (including some readers of the blog!); I had a great time, received a lot of thoughtful questions and feedback, and I think we achieved what we wanted to do. That was capped off by a gracious invitation to preach at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, and got to meet and spend some time with Fr. Manoj Zacharia and Mthr. Sherilyn Pearce.

My work on this presentation is going to largely feed into my part of the address that David Cobb and I will be presenting at the North American Society of Catholic Priests Conference in Toronto in the next couple of weeks.

Of course, I couldn’t be in the area with touching base at Forward Movement, and successfully met the height requirement to enter Scott Gunn’s office, Home of the Golden Halo(TM). Work is ramping up on the manuscript I finished earlier in the year on the spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer; I’ve been assigned editors and we’re currently talking about a possible April 2015 publication date, assuming no substantial delays. I’m very excited to work with both Richelle Thompson and Mthr. Melody Shobe on this project!

Of my major writing obligations for this season, that’s all but one… We’re still hard at work on A Great Cloud of Witnesses and have to get all of the revisions to collects and tags completed by the end of October when the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music will meet to finalize our Blue Book submission. As a subcommittee, we’ve revised 75 collects and I’m still going through more. Once that work is off my plate I’ll be able to breath a big sigh of relief!!

Now—M has informed me that writing a book is like doing a full Ironman triathlon, but not necessarily for the reason you might think. You might think that she’s referring to the fact that’s a long difficult haul that involves a lot of focus and sustained effort in multiple disciplines like research and writing. While that’s true, that’s not what she has in mind. No, she’s thinking of something else… What you may not realize if you don’t participate in these sports is the huge volume of training time necessary just to complete an Ironman, which is compounded if you actually want to be competitive in one. For instance, it’s entirely normal to do a 50-mile bike ride immediately followed by a 10-mile run on a weekend. (And that’s a fairly moderate workout.) Activities like this take a while…  Due to the time and energy demands that this kind of training takes, most Ironman families & spouses insist that their favorite athlete can only compete every two or three years—because family life can’t sustain them more often than that! Thus, I’ve been banned from writing books for the next year or two in the interest of family harmony.

 Things Ramping Up

Instead of writing books, I plan to head back over to the digital side for a while. Over there, we’ve got a couple of big things on the horizon.

  • More Attention to the St. Bede’s Breviary! The SBB has languished a bit while I’ve been doing all of this writing. I’ve been trying to fix the occasional errors as they pop up, but haven’t done a lot of work with it otherwise. I am now in the final stages of a custom edition for the Companions of St. Luke, an Episcopal Benedictine group. Up next is fulfillment of a request from a good friend of the breviary to include the Revised Standard Version of the Scriptures. I also have some ideas around some new visual elements and an overhaul under the hood. (For my fellow coders out there, I’m moving to a fully object-oriented design.)
  • More Energy to the Anglican Breviary! Although I’ve not said much about it, the Anglican Breviary Online site is up and material is slowly being added. I drafted both Lil’ G and H as editorial assistants and put them to work entering psalms. Since our family vacations hit in August and with the commencement of school, this work has been on hold. I’m ready to pick that up again. I’ll be issuing a call for volunteers shortly once I’ve worked out MediaWiki’s edit permissions. Donations towards this work are gratefully accepted, and names will be listed on the Benefactors page. Gifts can be made in honor and memory of loved ones as well.
  • More Items To Be Added to the Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary! David White, the editor and architect of the Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary has completed his corrections to the files. I’ll be uploading these to the yet-rather-rudimentary page soon. I do intend to put them all into a PDF format, but I don’t see that happening until the beginning of 2015.

So—that’s where we stand on things. Lots to do; only 24 hours in a day to get them done! With help and lots of prayer, I’m confident we’ll get there…

Quick Updates

I’ve been away for a while, figuratively and literally, but the Fall and its demands advance with a relentless intensity…

  • Finished up the bulk of two short-term contracting gigs
  • Hard at work on collect revision for “A Great Cloud of Witnesses”
  • the book-length revision of my dissertation is due mid-month
  • At the end of the month, I’ll be doing a weekend at a parish in Kentucky on the roots and spirituality of the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book
  • At the beginning of October, I’ll be presenting on the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book, along with Fr. David Cobb at the North American Society of Catholic Priests meeting in Toronto
  • Towards the end of October, I’ll be meeting with the rest of the Standing Commission on Liturgy & Music to hash out our Blue Book resolutions for General Convention 


  • Nutcracker auditions are tonight at the new ballet studio where the girls will be going
  • and the school year starts tomorrow!

More posts will be coming soon on:

  • Anglo-Saxon Monastic Education & Formation
  • Books of Hours and the Primer tradition
  • Daily Prayer for All Seasons: this is the latest official product of the SCLM that is now in print and is being advertised by Church Publishing. All of the work on it was completed in the previous triennium—I had nothing to do with it. In short, I think I see what they were trying to do, but the lessons of liturgical history suggest that they were going about it the wrong way. A more complete review to follow…

A New Year…

Seems hard to believe the new year is already here!

Even though Epiphany hasn’t quite hit yet, I suppose my holiday hiatus is almost up.

Things are pretty busy on the SCLM front at the moment… We are proposing some changes to Holy Women, Holy Men, and the way we’re going to do it is to float it through a number of channels to see what kind of feedback we receive. If the response is positive, we’ll proceed in that direction. If it’s negative, we’ll regroup. I assume it’ll be mixed. That having been said, I think it’s probably the best solution that we can get most of the Church to agree with.

Apart from that, the Anglican Breviary project proposal should be going live in the next few days. More on that as it develops!

Out the Door

As the last post indicated, that was the final chunk of the Prayer Book Spirituality Project to be written. Late last night I got all of the pieces assembled and sent off to the good folks at Forward Movement. They’re glad to have it; I’m glad to be done with it for a while!

At points here people have suggested things that really needed to be added. Some of these I did add, others I’m on the fence about, others I said, “No, I really don’t have time or space to treat that…” Can I just tell you how hard that last response is for me to give?

As any project manager will tell you, one of the hardest impulses to reign in is “scope creep.” That’s the urge to add that one extra little feature…and the next one…and the next… Part of the discipline of a work like this—intended primarily as an introductory book for laity—is resisting the temptations to chase wild rabbits and, as most regular readers know, that’s really hard for me!

And, I must confess, even with the amount of saying no that I did, my resolve wasn’t quite as firm as it could have been… I originally pitched a paperback book that was about one hundred book pages (not MS Word pages, mind you). Your average regular book-shelf sized book page has roughly 350 words on it. The final tally for this stage was 82,222 words. If you do the math that’s right about 235 pages… Whoops!

As has been noted by Susan and others, though, I am not by nature a concise writer; there’s no telling how many words of solid content that actually represents! Oh well—we’ll see what the count is when the editors get done with it.

Breviary Improvements

Ok—I’ve been letting this one linger for far too long… It’s time to do some serious changes around the breviary, in particular with the way that it handles preferences. Every since I shifted from a Windows server to a Linux server the preferences have been buggy or, perhaps more likely, the shift revealed some underlying flaws. Either way, the time has come to get this fixed once and for all.

One of the reasons this has lingered, of course, is that work that pays takes precedence over breviary tinkering which, though fun and instructive and useful, doesn’t pay the bills. If you use the breviary and feel moved to help, a <a href=”“>modest donation</a> will help defray the functional cost.

So—expect to see some changes! I wouldn’t be surprised if a few bugs don’t pop up as well in the process, and for those I ask your indulgence in advance…

Tech Issues

After many years of faithful service, my venerable desktop finally gave up the ghost.

Needless to say, things have been both hairy and harried around here the past few days…

Some data has been lost but less than I expected; one of the great benefits of social media and the cloud is that all sorts of good stuff is no longer saved locally.

The challenge at the current moment is figuring out how to keep doing all the things I usually do with my mobile devices. Luckily, I got a bluetooth keyboard for my phone right after Christmas. That’s what I’m tapping this out on now. My Kindle Fire is here beside me, allowing me to look things up and serve as a second monitor as I type. So, between the phone and the Fire, I’m trying to figure out the right balance of apps and methods to keep things juggled in the digital realm.

A few glitches have occurred so far. Like–I’d swear I’d put up a great post on the Stations of the Cross with all sorts of cool links and now I can’t find it anywhere on any of my devices… No clue what’s going on there.

I have just now downloaded gReader as a feed-reader so I’m completely out of the blog loop.

While I can currently access the breviary database, I’m having issues getting the right interface to edit files, particularly on my phone where I have the keyboard,  so there will be delays with breviary bug fixes until I get a replacement unit.

Some Semblance of Sanity?

Things may be returning to the usual amount of crazy and email may start getting answered soon with the completion of this weekend…

Liturgically this is the season of Advent but practically, for our household, it’s also Nutcracker season. With two young ballerinas in the house and extra rehearsals every weekend starting back in October, it’s absorbed quite a lot of our time. And, since I was already committed to being at all the Party Scene rehearsals as Lil’ G was in it this year, I volunteered to dance as one of the Party Scene dads when word went out that another guy was needed.

So—between two Nutcracker performances this weekend, the in-laws visiting, Christmas pageant rehearsal at M’s church for the girls, and a subdeacon training session at my church, it’s been an exhausting span of days!

Now that the Nutcracker is over, there’s no more ballet 3 times a week (complete with 30 minute commute each way!) until January. At this point, my priorities are:

  1. Get the St Augustine’s Prayer Book editing finished up
  2. Triage on major breviary glitches
  3. SCLM work largely on the theological underpinnings of HWHM
  4. Answering back email
  5. Posting (which will likely be around SAPB or HWHM material)
  6. Cleaning up breviary typos and minor errors

Of course, all of this is tertiary behind family duties and work duties… Thus, if I haven’t responded to your email yet, please be patient with me!