Vacation News & Corrected Christmas Book Cover

My wife and I just returned from a very relaxing vacation at our daughter’s rental house in Frisco, N.C. The house is called Sounds Frisky. rented through Surf or Sound Realty. It is the last house on the last street in Frisco before crossing the road along Sandy Bay on NC 12 headed toward Hatteras Village. Above are two views from the 3rd floor deck. The first view sweeps from the view south toward the Atlantic Ocean and runs 180 degrees toward the northward view across Pamlico Sound. Sandy Bay and Hatteras village are straight ahead from the right center. The second view is from the back deck (with a 90 degree turn, showing more of Pamlico Sound starting the with private beach (and private dock) behind the house toward Buxton (site of Hatteras Light) and Avon.

Upon our return I discovered an error in the cover of Christmas: The Nativity of Our Lord in Scripture, Art & Christian Tradition, the newest publication of the AIC Bookstore. The correct cover was used earlier in this blog but the first potential cover, a stained glass window by F. X. Zettler in Stockholm, Sweden, was used in the first edition. The actual cover is a much bigger window, at a location not disclosed by the photographer, showing many more scenes of the Nativity. I have corrected the book, which should be available again in the next couple of days. Apologies for the error.

Finally, I’ve been working on the first homilies in the new series focused on the Psalm reading appointed for Morning Prayer. I hope that I can find an example of historic art to be posted on this blog annoucing each Podcast.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.

New Podcast Homilies for Church Year 2022-2023

A new Church Year begins on First Sunday in Advent, which is always the Sunday closest to Nov. 30th, the Feast of St. Andrew. With the start of the new Church Year, I will introduce a new series of Podcast Homilies for Morning Prayer. Since each of the existing Podcast Homilies on this site includes references to the appointed Epistle or “For the Epistle” reading, these new homilies will be focused on themes found in the appointed Psalm reading for the day in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. In this new series I will explore both the theological and historical importance of each set of Psalm verses, especially looking for verses traditionally considered as evidence of Christ in the Psalms.

These new Podcast Homilies will be produced beginning in early November, but will only appear in conjunction with the appropriate Sunday. My plan is to stay about four weeks ahead of the calendar. Where possible, the homilies will include art work from the many English Psalters of the period around the 10th to the 15th C. This rich treasure of Christian art is rarely seen in the 21st C. Their appearance is made possible by the digitization of the collections of major libraries in England, the United States and continental Europe. I will use illumnations from several of these Psalters in the upcoming AIC Bookstore Publication, Easter: The Resurrection of Our Lord in Scripture, Art & Christian Tradition.

As always, thank you for your interest and support of this online ministry. Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Newest Book Posted to the Welcome page

Last week’s blog post announced the release of the AIC Bookstore’s 18th publication, Christmas: The Nativity of Our Lord in Scripture, Art & Christian Tradition. What I failed to do was to add the book information to the Virtual Bookstore page. I’ll be changing the graphic re the Bookstore to reflect the newest book.

And I am pleased to announce that work is well underway on the volume celebrating Easter. The Easter volume will have about 100 illustrations from the 6th to the 20th C., presented in about 140-150 pages. I will share more about it later this year.

As always, thank you for your interest and support. Glory be to God of all things! Amen!

Great News

The newest AIC Bookstore Publication, Christmas: The Nativity of Our Lord in Scripture, Art & Christian Tradition is now available on my Amazon Author Central page. The book, printed in our 8.5″ x 8.5″ format, has 113 illustrations from 586 A.D. to the 21st C. displayed in 172 pages. With each sale, a royalty of $8.11 will be contributed to the AIC.

I’ve selected images from major collections of Christian art in the United States, England, Wales, Sweden, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Italy, Russia, Austria, and Netherlands. In the book’s preface I thank specific libraries for their assistance in providing high resolution images.

The book is organized into five parts. Part I is focused on St. Luke’s pre-Nativity narrative (Luke 1:1-80). Part II is focused on St. Luke’s Nativity narrative (Luke 2:1-40). Part III is focused on St. Matthew’s Nativity narrative (Matthew 1:1-25; 2:1-12). The focus in Part IV is the Great “O” Antiphons, a 12th C. celebration of the final days of Advent, and the Twelve Days of Christmas, with a key theme word for the twelve days from Christmas Day to Epiphany Eve. Part V includes Christmas traditions from around the world, with special focus on the “Real” St. Nicholas, the influence of Charles Dickens and how the season is celebrated in many countries.

In other Great News, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Bradford Peterson to the Board of Directors of the AIC. He is among the earliest supporters of my online ministry which started with live broadcasting of Holy Communion from my parish in Richmond VA in 2010 and podcasts of homilies. Mr. Peterson is a former prosecutor, public defender and counsel for the Guardian ad Litem program of the Florida Keys. His energies outside the law are devoted to at-risk youth literacy, to homeless outreach, and to the Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt.org online thesis. He is blessed by his wonderful daughter, Iris, and enjoys the natural environs both on land and at sea, not excluding from youth onwards the habitats of Everglades National Park. He resides in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

One final item: a companion book to the Christmas volume is being prepared for Easter 2023.

As always, thank you for your interest and support. Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Trinitytide Is Here Again

Trinitytide, the longest season in the Calendar of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, is about to start again. Trinity Sunday, which is no longer celebrated in many denominations in which all the Sundays numbered after Pentecost/Whitsunday. The authors of the Anglican prayer book intended the season as a recognition of the importance of the concept of the Holy Trinity of God the Father,God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Here at the Anglican Internet Church web site, we’ve created a broad range of teaching resources consistent with Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s original intent. These include:

Trinitytide: the Teaching Season A video series, presented iThen nine episodes, in which the choice and origin of the Collect, Epistle and Gospel readings throughout the season, out to Sunday next before Advent. For those who prefer to LISTEN instead of WATCH, all nine episodes are available in Podcast format.

Podcast Homilies for Trinity Season. For all the Sundays in Trinity season, a podcast homily is available on the Podcast Homilies page. These podcasts were updated in A.D. 2021. The MP3 podcasts can be downloaded for replay on any type of electronic device, including laptops, desktops and telephones. They can be attached to an email and sent to friends and family for their use at any time.

Other AIC Resources. Additional information about many specific historial events during the season or the Gospels readings for Trinitytide can be explored in print format in our AIC Bookstore Publications, which include “annotated & illustrated” editions of all four Gospels plus The Acts of the Apostles. These books are available, with very high quality illustrations, using the Virtual Bookstore links at the bottom of the home page at our web site. Another resource in the same category is The St. Chrysostom Hymnal, which includes music and lyrics for a broad range of themes associates with the Holy Trinity. Hymns 740 to 750 are focused on the Holy Trinity; Hymns 775 to 794 are focused on worship of God the Father; Hymns 800 to 834 are focused on God the Son; and, finally, Hymns 835 to 846 are focused on God the Holy Spirit.

Archbishop Cranmer’s first of two Collects for Trinity Sunday was adapted from the Gelasian Sacramentary of the Roman Catholic tradition as it was used in England in the years just before the formation of the Church of England:

O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end.  Amen. 

Please attend a local Anglican Church for Trinity Sunday on Sunday, June 12th.

Glory be to God for all things! Amen.

Completion of Christmas: the Nativity of Our Lord…

I’m pleased to announce that our newest book, Christmas: The Nativity of Our Lord in Scripture, Art & Christian Tradition, is now complete. The final text has been sent to my proofreader. I’m hopeful that I can get it into print late this Summer, leaving plenty of time to promote it in time for Christmas A.D. 2022. The book will make a great holiday gift and should grace anyone’s bookshelves and coffee table. It is presented in our 8.5″ x 8.5″ paperback format with coated interior paper for enchancement of the many icons, frescos, engravings and color illumination from Gospel books produced in the 9th through 15th Centuries that both illustrate and bring to life the Nativity story. The cover illustration is a Christ Pantokrator mosaic from the Capella Palatina, Palermo, Sicily. The figure at lower left is St Peter, at lower right is St. Paul, at upper left is the Archangel Michael; and at upper right is the Archangel Gabriel. The photograph is by John Schermann, who graciously provided the high-resolution image.

The final version has 172 pages with color cover front and back, with 112 illustrations from the 6th to the 21st C. The book is organize into five parts. Part One is focused on St. Luke’s pre-Nativity narrative. with text and commentary on Luke 1.. in which Zacharias,his wife Elizabeth, their son John the Baptist and the Blessed Virgin Mary are introduced. The focus of Part Two is St Luke’s Nativity story from Luke 2. Part Three is focused on St. Matthew’s Nativity account (Matthew 2).

Part Four is focused first on the Pre-Nativity period in the final seven days of Advent. with text and images from The Great “O” Antiphons, with one antiphon each for Dec. 18th to Dec. 24th. The antiphons are followed by The Twelve Days of Christmas, with a key word or phrase, with pictures, for Dec. 25th through Jan. 6th.

Part Five is focused on traditions of Christmas. with special emphasis on Prayer Book changes for the season; Gift-giving: “The Real St. Nicholas”, that is, the 4th C. saint Nicholas of Myra; followed by discussion on the influence of Charles Dickens after the publication of A Christmas Carol in 1843; the impact of commercial Christmas cards; the introduction of Christmas Trees and ornaments; endng with discussion of seasonal music, foods and beverages with examples from England, Europe, Canada and the United States. As a special treat for readers I have included an image of and the recipe for my maternal grandmother’s recipe for sugar cookies.

Christmas Book in Progress

Stained glass Nativity window. Image: copyright Waamel|Dreamstime.com. Design: copyright Ronald E. Shibley.
  • Coming this Fall is a new publication celebrating the Birth of Jesus to be published in time for the Christmas season’s gift-giving. The goal is a book of about 100 to 125 pages, with more than 100 illustrations from the artistic traditions of both the Western and Eastern Church. The book will be produced in the 8.5″ x 8.5″ format with glossy color cover front and back with color inside pages on white paper stock. The cover design is not final. The subtitle will be: The Nativity of Our Lord in Scripture, Art & Christian Tradition.
  • Here’s a preview of the organization and the progress as of 5/7/2022 A.D.
    • Preface.  Complete but the details will have to be adjusted to final book content.  Illustrations 1 to 14.
    • Part 1. St. Luke’s pre-Nativity narrative (Luke 1)   Complete.  Illustrations  15 to 26.
    • Part 2.  St. Luke’s Nativity narrative (Luke 2).  Complete.  Illustrations 27 to 37 (with one possible addition).
    • Part 3.  St. Matthew’s Nativity narrative (Matthew 1 & 2).  Complete.  Illustrations 38 to 52 (againl with one possible addition).
    • Part 4.  The Pre- and Post-Nativity Traditions: The  Great “O” Antiphons offices for Dec. 18th to Dec. 24th.  Complete.  Illustrations No. 53 to 67.  The Twelve Days of Christmas with focus on Dec. 25th to Jan. 5th, with a key word or phrase for each day.  In progress.  Illustrations 68 to 73 (as of 5/7).
    • Part 5.  Christmas Traditions Around the World.   In progress.   This section will include a history of the ups and downs of Christmas celebrations in the United States and England, the introduction of Christmas trees, the St. Nicholas tradtion with its many variations, the influence of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, seasonal foods, worship traditions, and music.

New AIC Bookstore Preview Videos

Two new videos are now available on the AIC Bookstore page (which is linked from the Virtual Bookstore page). The first is an 8:46 minute preview with an artful title page using Corkie Shibley’s photo of the whole Library of seventeen publications. To save time, each slide includes written details of the book being shown. In the case of the New Testament series, the Old Testament series and Paintings on Light, printed in the large format (8.5″ x 8.5″ with glossy cover and coated white inside pages), images from selected inside pages illustrate how historic Christian art has been integrated into the text and commentary. The video includes a musical opening and closing theme, Along the River, which we licensed from bensound.com.

The next phase in the bookstore’s development is an advertising campaign, also through Amazon.com, whose subsidiary KDP Publishing, actually prints and sells the books. I will share details with readers as the project is developed. Having Amazon/KDP doing all the selling means the AIC does not need to expend valuable resources filing monthly retail sales figures and making tax monthly tax deposits.

The first video was too big a file for the format of my Amazon Author Central page, so I made an iMovie “Trailer,” video with much of the same information. The Trailer format video runs just 1:34 minutes, with quick and lively glimpses of the books and transition text, and a musical theme made by iMovie. In addition to the link on the AIC Bookstore page, the video is linked from my Amazon Author Central page: https://www.Amazon.com/author/ronald-e-shibley.

You can help spread word by sharing the link.

As always, thanks for your interest and support.

An Update for the Week of 2/14/2022 A.D.

I continue to upgrade aspects of the AIC Web Site. I’m still looking for those little “glitches” that can frustrate visitors to the site. If you should find others on the site, please email me at frron.aic@earthlink.net with the details. Here, as noted in earlier Blog postings, the objective is to have the site as easy to use as possible and as free as I can make it of technical jargon. To use the site, go to the appropriate page and click a link to see a video, listen to or download a podcast, or purchase a book from the Bookstore (using my Amazon Author Central page).

Some visitors are not interested in the fine points of running a web site, but for those who want to know, here’s just a few of the changes that have been made during the week beginning with St. Valentine’s Day:

  • An outdated message concerning our change of video site hosts to Vimeo.com has been removed from the Bible Study page. As far as I can tell, every video series on the Digital Library or Bible Study pages is linked to the most recent version.
  • Inaccurate or incomplete links to the Podcast version of AIC Seasonal Videos have been replaced with links to the most recent versions (2018, 2021 or 2022 A.D.). If you’ve visited the Digital Library recently, you’ll want to know that links to Podcast versions of Christmas 1 and Christmas 2, Epiphany 3, “Gesima” 1 & 2, Lent 1, 2 & 3, Easter 1, 2 & 3, and Trinity 1 through Trinity 9 were replaced with 2021-2022 versions. Further, all twelve episoides of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which had been updated in December 2021 A.D., have been given a facelift, with adjustments to the voice track and all slides conformed to the most recent standard size and style. For that series, I have (I hope) also resolved the problem of the music track being louder than the voice track.
  • The appearance of the lower half of the HOME page (linked from the tabs at the top and bottom of each page) has been modified so that all titles and subtitles should now show up in white against the background image (a fresco of saints, St. Tikon Monastery, Russia). The reason for the difficulties is highly-technical but, I hope, has been resolved. The same is true for the revised “Learn Your Way” material that you see when scrolling down from the top portion of the HOME page. There should be white type against the saints images mentioned above, plus an image of the Home page with the WATCH/LISTEN/READ graphic.
  • The WELCOME page includes links to study materials relevent to the current season on the Anglican Church Calendar. The entries currently available are to the episodes of the Seasonal Video series for “Gesima” season. I expect to add an internal link to the Podcast Homilies page so that viewers can easily reach the Podcast Homily for all three Sundays in the season.
  • In last week’s Blog posting concerning the AIC Bookstore I noted that all but one book has been updated to the 2022 A.D. edition. As of yesterday (2/14/2022 A.D.), all 17 books have now been updated to the new versions. Please note that not all books are available in both paperback and Kindle editions. The five newest books, including the four Gospels and The Acts of the Apostles will not be converted into Kindle editions. These five books were prepared with the objective of making high-resolution versions of Christian art from the 5th to the 21st C. available to the public at reasonable cost both to the AIC and to the reader. At the present time, only the print edition satisfies that standard.
  • Finally, I continue working on development of plans for the future of the site. These involve legal, accounting and technical issues that still must be resolved.