RBOC: Mostly Ecclesiastical

  • The Episcopal Cafe is reporting that the Bishop-Elect of N. Michigan has received too many “No” votes from Standing Committees to be confirmed. I’ll draw your attention in particualr to Dr. Carroll’s comment: “In this case, I think history will remember this as the point when the Episcopal Church began to show some backbone about basic Christian doctrine. For too long, we have allowed our respect for difference to mean anything goes. There are boundaries. . . . The danger for us has not been witch hunts. It has been an amorphous Christianity that does not adhere to the standards it sets for itself. I could see us tilting too far in the opposite direction, but there is no present danger of that.”
  • Across the Tiber, a beautiful new thing has been born: the Cistercian monastery of Spring Bank has a newly-produced psalter and antiphonary. The news and shots come courtesy of Br. Stephen’s blog which is also well worth following if you’re not already. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: with modern computer technology, there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t have liturgical works that are simultaneously beautiful and functional; this work looks to be a case-in-point. However, as I understand it, there are no plans for mass-production/publication.
  • There are mass schedule changes at Smokey Mary’s. Due to likely upcoming staffing issues (i.e., the anticipated departure of Fr. Mead), daily evening low mass will no longer be offered. I have fond memories of this service; this service (along with preceding EP) was one of the things that helped keep me going when M and Lil’ G were in Philly and I was in NYC.  Even with these reductions, however, a full rota of Morning, Noon, and Evening Prayer and a daily mass will continue to be offered. This is the pattern our prayer book lays down for us; may Smokey Mary’s long be a beacon for catholic liturgy and spirituality in the Episcopal Church.
  • Speaking of solid catholic liturgy and spirituality, I’m still reading Martin Thornton’s Christian Proficiency. I understand less and less why Morehouse (now a division of Church Publishing) who holds the copyright has let this gem go out of print. What a shame.
  • Dissertation feedback is trickling in from my readers. Looks like some minor but no major changes will be required. Fr. Director is talking about a late August/Early September defense date.
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11 Responses to RBOC: Mostly Ecclesiastical

  1. brian m says:

    Congrats on the impending defense. I wonder if Morehouse could be persuaded to let Wipf and Stock do a short run of the Thornton, like their photo reproductions of other classic Anglican texts.

  2. Caelius Spinator says:

    Yay! You’re going to beat me to the Ph.D.

  3. Good for you, Derek! We’ll all want copies. :)

    Vicki+

  4. Scott says:

    Derek, regarding the Spring Bank antiphonary and psalter, well spotted! And what do we notice, in the photos, about the English translation therein? :) Seemed strangely familiar…yep, it’s true!

  5. Scott says:

    Regarding Thornton’s book, I have one only because I happened to see a dusty, damaged copy on the free-books table outside the Seabury-Western seminary’s Bookshelf (the now-defunct bookshop that was a hidden gem in the dormitory basement). I availed myself thereof and devoured most of it in the short train ride home. It deserves wide discovery and re-discovery in our own day. His book English Spirituality is right up there with it; I got that one as a Cowley paperback at some point; it’s easier to find than Christian Proficiency.

  6. Scott says:

    Me again. You’ve posted such a rich set of items here, I can’t resist another comment. On the Spring Bank office books: I hope they consider coming up with some way of publishing these materials for wider use: not for free, of course, and I think a set of their books, even in a smaller format, would merit a fairly high price.

    Prior Peter of Holy Cross Monastery (OSB) here in Chicago (http://www.chicagomonk.org) is working on Englishing the new Antiphonale Monasticum, currently available in Latin in three volumes from Solesmes. German Benedictines have for years published at least two excellent German versions of the Benedictine hours: Monastisches Stundenbuch from St. Ottilien (Schema B in three volumes plus a four-volume Vigils lectionary) and Münsterschwarzach (Schema B in volumes for Vigils/Lauds, Midday, and Vespers/Compline plus a cantor’s book). Ready-to-use English versions of authorized Benedictine liturgies seem not to be available.

    We oblates of Saint Meinrad Archabbey are eagerly awaiting our new oblate breviary, with a four-week psalter. That’s about all I know other than having been told “It’ll be lovely” by the oblate director. :)

  7. brian m says:

    Does the Spring Bank psalter use the ’79 BCP psalms as the English versions?

  8. That’s sure what it looks like to me! Note the use of “through and through” and “For behold” in Ps 51…

  9. I’ve heard that English Spirituality is quite good—and spotted a book of his on prayer in my church library that I plan to check out on Sunday.

  10. Joe Rawls says:

    I highly recommend Thornton’s English Spirituality; I’ve had a copy of Christian Proficiency for years but have never got around to actually reading it. Now you’ve shamed me into doing it.

  11. John-Julian, OJN says:

    Y’all are newcomers.

    Thornton’s book “Christian Proficiency” was originally published in the 50’s under the title: “Pastoral Theology: A Reorientation” when I first read it.

    Maybe the finest pastoral theology book on earth!

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