I meant to write this entry last Friday, but instead got caught with final trip preparations -- I had to fly out Saturday morning for two days of committee meetings in Germany and only got home late last night. And during most of that time I had no time for the Internet. (I'm waiting for the final word, but it is looking like I'll be spending the better part of a week away, somewhere in the world, every month for some time to come, though I may get a break in July and August.)
Unfortunately I forgot to pack the book Abba (noted here). I certainly had plenty of time on airplanes and in airports, particularly yesterday with my 26-hour journey home.
But in any event, Friday I went over to the church to join Father Daniel in saying The Litany. It's now at noon, so I can get there during lunch if I'm not otherwise tied up. I'm sure most of the time he's there reading it alone, but to my ear it really needs the Minister and the People.
In any event it's a good office for an old sinner, beautiful and, in my opinion, too much neglected. It's one of those myriad offices in the Prayer Book that, not being Morning/Evening Prayer and Holy Communion, is rarely if ever read. One of the things I enjoy about having Fr. Daniel as Rector is the (re-)introduction he's brought to the breadth and beauty of the 1928 Prayer Book.
Not to mention all I've learned from him about the 1940 Hymnal, which has taken it from a mere collection of hymns to an, um, additional expression (if that's the right word) of the American Anglican faith. What treasures we have under our very noses, too often unrecognized.
But all that's an aside. While reading the Litany with Fr. Daniel, I came across a slightly odd note. Early on there is a series of:
Good Lord, deliver us
Good Lord, deliver us
And then suddenly:
In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our prosperity; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment,
Good Lord, deliver us.
Whoops! How did that "prosperity" passage end up in there?? That's a good
Okay, maybe it's not. If "prosperity" becomes the goal, the end for which all else is forsaken. (And one sees that often, living here in a most prosperous corner of the country, itself one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. Ummm... how often are we tempted by the same?)
A major lesson slipped into six incronguous words, in an oft-neglected office.
REMEMBER not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; neither take thou vengeance of our sins: Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever.
Spare us, good Lord.
10/12 Update: Tried to get away for the Litany today, but between the need to submit my visa application for next month's trip and a phone call from my new boss (who happens in the U.S. for a few days) I was tied up past noon. Hope it was more than just Fr. Daniel and the squirrels today.
10/13 Update: Received an e-mail saying that the Offices and Litany won't be read the 12th through the 19th because Josephine's away so Fr. Daniel's busy taking care of the children.