Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Sanctifying Time" (The 1940 Hymnal, Part 2)

Part 2 of Fr. McGrath's study of the 1940 Hymnal has now been published in the March/April 2006 edition of The Mandate, and is available online here.

I commend it for your reading; there were a number of things I hadn't known! He notes, for example, the additions made in 1976 which I hadn't known about. Almost all our Hymnals are older than that.

He mentions, by the way, the "Parish Prayer Book and Hymnal Club." I don't think I've mentioned it before, but this program was established at St. Bartholomew's a few months back. Parishioners are encouraged to contribute to the purchase of new Hymnals and Prayer Books for the pews, to replace the really old and worn books we use at present, bearing stamps from Episcopal churches long ago. Already a number have been purchased and dedicated.

It will be nice to have new up-to-date Hymnals. Fr. Daniel has been getting us out of the rut of "the same old hymns" we'd fallen into over the years. Last Sunday we sang a couple I do not think I've ever encountered before.

And for some of us it will be nice to have the new Prayer Books with their larger print -- except that they only tend to be used for Morning and Evening Prayer; pretty much everyone knows Holy Communion by heart.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Potpourri II

A few small things to note from today:

Evensong will not be conducted Thursday and Friday evenings this week. This was forgotten in today's announcements.

Fr. Daniel wrapped up his 3-part homily on Faith, Hope and Love today, on love & charity. Very well done! A nice fit with the Epistle too (it's been several years since I listened to, instead of read, that Epistle).

Gordon announced our "Anglican version of Mardi Gras" (Shrove Tuesday) Tuesday, following Evensong at 5 PM. He reported that Gene, "the best pancake flipper in both King and Snohomish counties," has been drafted for the event.

In today's Bible Study Class ("A long time to get through Ephesians"), Fr. Daniel noted that he'd come across a real gem in our library, from Fr. Leen's collection:"The Epistle to the Ephesians: a practical exposition" by Bishop Charles Gore, 1909. This will be added to our class' reference material, "Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture."

And finally, Fr. Daniel announced the resumption of the Wednesday night Rector's Class for the duration of Lent. Each day during Lent and Easter Week we will individually read from "A Time to Turn: Anglican Readings for Lent and Easter Week," compiled by Christopher L. Webber, with a number of Anglican authors including Lancelot Andrewes, Thomas Cranmer, John Donne, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. On wednesdays we will discuss the readings. The class will begin next week, on March 8th (and once again I will be away that day, but "only" to Baltimore).

New link - Lent & Beyond

Per request from a member of St. Bartholomew's, I have added a link to an Anglican prayer blog, Lent & Beyond, over in the right-hand column.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Home again, home again...

I'm back and rather jetlagged after a long (30+ hour?) trip home from India. No news of anything that's transpired at St. Bartholomew's in the interim, though Fr. Daniel has e-mailed the Bible Study class:
Tomorrow we will take up Ephesians 2:17 - 22 (The Church of Christ). You may want to have a look at these verses, and meditate on them beforehand.

Matins 8:30
Bible Class 9:00

Set your alarm clocks, and your auto-timed Coffee Grinder/Percolators!


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Selah II

If this blog looks like it's just had a big burst of activity, there may be a reason...
it has.

Yours truly is about to disappear for a week of travel, featuring limited to no opportunity for Internet access and Way Too Much Sitting In Airplanes.

I will mention briefly the "Ladies' Arts & Crafts Social" which has not made it into the Announcements section of the church web site yet:

On the 3rd Friday evening of each month, some of the ladies of our Church have gathered in the Parish Hall to undertake artwork, crafts or other projects. Each one brings her own project such as scrapbook, embroidery, etc... The evening has turned out to be a very good way of getting together to share ideas and to enjoy one another's company.
See you next week (or whenever I recover sufficiently from the jetlag)...

Plainsong Lullabies!

Fr. Daniel is starting his offspring out young. He reports that Plainsong settings of Evening Canticles and/or Hymns from The Hymnal, 1940 work very well as lullabies for his one-and-a-half-year-old son. He says the features of Plainsong that make it suitable for this purpose are the regular, speech-like rhythm, the gently repetitive melody and, of course, its crystal-clear Trinitarian Theology. Some favorites so far, he reports:
- 162, Nun Sancte,
- 164, Te lucis,
- 746, Magnificat, and
- 673, Nunc dimittis.

You will likely not read about this in his 6-part series on The Hymnal for the bi-monthly magazine of the Prayer Book Society, The Mandate, but you have it here!

More on the library

I had forgotten that Catherine had been appointed the "Church Librarian," and it had somehow escaped me that she volunteers in the King County (Seattle and environs) Library System, which I believe is one of the foremost library systems in the country. This certainly explains the professional presentation.

A major part of the collection came from our Rector of some 19 years, Fr. Daniel Leen (R.I.P.). Some new additions:

Anglican Spirituality, and other works of a more general interest
The Doors of the Sea: Where was God in the Tsunami? by Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart
Same Sex Affection, Holiness, and Ordination: A Response to [ECUSA] Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, by the Rev. Dr. Peter Toon
The Last Word, by the Anglican Bishop of Durham and pre-eminent Scripture scholar, N.T. Wright
Love Came Down: Anglican Readings for Advent & Christmas, edited by Christopher Webber
A Time to Turn: Anglican Readings for Lent and Holy Week, edited by Christopher Webber
Why Study the Past? The Quest for the Historical Church, by Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams

Reference Works
The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Worship (2005, Oxford University Press)
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture - New Testament, VIII: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, edited by Mark J. Edwards (1999, InterVarsity Press)
The Book of Common Prayer (1928, new burgundy hardcover, from OUP)
The Hymnal, 1940 (new, red hardcover, from Church Publishing)

The Book of Common Prayer: Six Commentaries*
The Book of Common Prayer - Its History, Use, and Term
The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (Twelve Expositions)
* on CD in PDF format, from the Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A. 2005

CD Recordings of Anglican Cathedral Choirs or Collegiate Chapel Choirs
Choral Evensong Live from King's College, Cambridge Choir of King's College/Stephen Cleobury, conductor
Elgar Cathedral Music The Worcester Cathedral Choir/Donald Hunt, conductor
Miserere: a collection of Choral Classics, featuring the Winchester Cathedral Choir and the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Passiontide: Music for Solace and Reflection, Manchester Cathedral Choir/Christopher Stokes, conductor

Setting up the library, in earnest this time

Ever since we occupied the church building we've had a library in the Parish Hall but, like churches' libraries often are, it has always been rather ad-hoc. Once, I think back in the '80s, one of our parishioners undertook the task of listing the books in it and creating check-out cards. That list and the cards are long since gone and forgotten.

Sometime a while back somebody undertook the task of organizing the books by topic and labeling the shelves, but it became a mess again. You can see some of it in the background of a couple of photos posted here on our church's website.

The "issue" of organizing the library came up in a recent Vestry meeting and one of the members, Catherine B., volunteered. She has done a wonderful job: it now has the look of being set up by a professional librarian, right down to displaying new books on stands amongst the shelves. Catherine, thank you! (Perhaps on return home from abroad I will take an "after" picture to share.)

New books will be appearing from time to time. We are now subscribed to an Anglican book club and Fr. Daniel occasionally purchases a new book for the library.

And it won't stop with books; Fr. Daniel is establishing what he says every church should have: a collection of Anglican choral music. This being the subject of his thesis for his doctorate in music, I am sure his will be a most excellent collection!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Conference in Seattle

For those who might be interested, there is an upcoming conference being held in Seattle. It looks to be interesting:

Yesterday’s Formulation And Today’s Truth: The Pastoral Dynamics Of The Classic Anglican Formularies – A Theological Conference at St. Luke’s, Seattle - March 2nd to 4th, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006


I was hoping to have something to post today, but didn't expect to have an embarrassment of riches.

First is A long time to get through Ephesians, V (the title is an expression of the detail; I hope Fr. Daniel doesn't take it as a sign of impatience!): We spent today's Bible Study on the topic of "Original Sin" as a result, he said, of some blank faces when this was mentioned in last week's study. It was an interesting whirlwind tour through Article IX, Pelagius, the self-termed "Age of Enlightenment," the Garden of Eden, Romans 5:12, I Cor 15:21-22, the 20th century, Baptism (BCP p.273, p.280), Rom. 6:1-13, and finally a return to Ephesians 2.

Next was when I looked up from my pew to see the hymn board -- starting off with Hymn 783!! Everyone knows the Hymnal (1940) ends with Hymn 600, though there is supplemental material for services following; we have started using some of these for sung Morning Prayer. What I somehow managed to miss (perhaps even fewer Hymnals have this) are some supplementary hymns numbered in the high 700s. And this one I knew: "Cwm Rhonda" seems to be sung at just about every Welsh gathering, and my wife (who sang in the Seattle Welsh Choir) can still sing the first verse in Welsh. I only wish my voice weren't still a bit off from a bug I contracted a little while back.

Next, Fr. Daniel announced that we were in the short three weeks' season of "pre-Lent," starting today with Septuagesima, preparing for Lent itself. And for the season he is preaching three homilies on the "three theological virtues": On Faith, Hope and Love; today's being On Faith. (Sadly I will be away next Sunday, but he promised to e-mail me a copy.)

Fr. Daniel reported that our award-winning Sunday School writers (noted in an earlier post) had received letters of congratulations personally signed by the Archbishop himself (in purple ink, of course!).

And finally, he noted that 14 (brand-)new Books of Common Prayer and 11 new Hymnals had recently been given as part of the Parish Prayer Book Club effort to replace our aging service books, and named the dedications for those books. We use the best of our "collection", but many have seen too many years of use and there is only so much one can do for repairs. The new Prayer Books are in a larger type than I've seen before, which is a help to some members of the parish.

In that light it was amusing to see the one I held today (for reading the Litany) stamped "St. Bartholomew's, Redmond, Wash." It's been almost 20 years since we last met in Redmond, just before occupying our current building just up the road in Woodinville.

We still have a ways to go until we have new service books throughout, but we're making progress.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New folks, new ideas

During the Vestry meeting Sunday in which three new members were welcomed, one of the "new" members (he's served on Vestries before) suggested that we should form a men's group.

He noted that we have the ACW (Anglican Church Women), but we have nothing for the men! The group, he said, could meet once a month, say Saturday morning, for prayer, fellowship and more. The more I thought about this, the more it seemed like a great idea. We are a parish quite widely spread; I think the nearest parishioner to me lives some 10-plus miles away, and I'm not one of the furthest out. Thus Sunday morning tends to be pretty much the only time we ever see each other, and coffee hour the only time we talk. This is not a good way to build a church community, a church family -- even though (I think) we have achieved something of the same here.

He even suggested a name that several others recognized: "The Brotherhood of St. Andrew." I had never heard of it, but a Google search online turned up quite a number of references, such as this one:

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew is named for Saint Andrew, who, according to John's Gospel, after meeting Jesus, went to find his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah." Then he took Simon to Jesus.

Now, in modern times, as the Brotherhood enters its second century of ministry, the men of St. Richard's Chapter of the Brotherhood are bringing their brothers in Christ closer to God through their disciplines of prayer, study, and service.

Every Saturday morning at 8:00 AM we meet in the Narthex of the church for one hour for both fellowship and bible study. Through this regular meeting, we each individually strengthen ourselves to be the spiritual leaders of our families and our households, to better understand our Christian faith, and to become closer to God through Christ and the Holy Spirit.

I discovered too here that it is an established international ministry with a home page here. Affiliation might not be a good idea under our canons, but the concept is nonetheless there and in my opinion an excellent one. Many years ago I met weekly with a small group of Episcopalians --all now either passed on or relocated elsewhere-- it would be nice to have some such at church.

In any case, this was to me an excellent example of why a regular turnover of the Vestry is a good thing. New folks bring in new, or forgotten, or missed ideas to be considered. They keep us from becoming stale.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Congratulations, Ruby, Callum and Rose!

We learned today that three of our Sunday School students won in the Junior Writers Contest. These biannual contests conducted across the entire Anglican Province of Christ the King are open to APCK students age 6 to 14, and come with cash prizes. Entries may be poems, essays or stories, no longer than 1000 words; age is considered in judging, and both clergy and laity are judges.

Congratulations to winners/writers Ruby, Callum and Rose!

(Some entries are posted by the APCK.)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Candlemas and Groundhog Day

An interesting MSN Encarta column about Groundhog Day went around the office a couple of days ago, with a little surprise buried in a sidebar:

The Secret Truth Behind Groundhog Day
by Tamim Ansary

Every February 2, news crews from around the country crowd into Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, for the annual appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous groundhog. [...snip...]

Did You Know?

Groundhog Day started in Europe, but it wasn't called Groundhog Day then. The holiday was Candlemas, a Christian holiday. The legend about the animal and its shadow was part of Candlemas, but the animal in question was the hedgehog. The Pilgrims brought the tradition to America but couldn't find a hedgehog here, so they seized upon the next best thing.

I had not known this.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Last night Fr. Daniel e-mailed the parish with a note about Candlemas tomorrow:
Dear Friends,

This Thursday we celebrate "Candlemas", the feast day in honor of the presentation of the infant Christ in the temple, and also the completion of the days of purification of Saint Mary, his mother. The name "Candlemas" stems from a tradition in which the worshippers carry lighted candles in procession into the Church, while singing the canticle "Nunc dimittis". We will have enough candles on hand to do our own little procession.

Candlemas, February 2
Matins, 8:30am
Evensong, 5:30
Holy Communion, 6:00pm, followed by supper (RSVP if you will stay for supper)

Sadly, I will be traveling again and will miss it.