Live Service for Easter Day

Easter Broadcast 2020This service offers traditional Anglicans who have not heard a live celebration of Holy Communion access to a live service for Easter Day, based on the 1928 Book of Common Prayer texts.  The 1928 B.C.P. services retains nearly all the original features of Archbishop Cranmer’s adaption of traditional Holy Communion as practised in the English tradition.  His work was also strongly influenced the emerging non-Roman Catholic practices in Europe and, unfortunately not often recognized, the translation into English of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, first published at London in the 1520s.  The 1928 B.C.P. has a different Canon of the Mass and some parts are presented in a different order; nonethless, it remains faithful to Cranmer’s original purpose of a Scripture-based service with a strong sense of spirituality

The service will be read using a temporary altar at my home in Mechanicsville, Va.  My wife and I will be the only persons present.  Having retired from pulpit ministry at Epiphany A.D. 2014, this will be my first live service since then.  I broadcast all my Sunday services live at my former parish beginning in August 2010 A.D.  On most Sundays there were more people watching online than were present in the Chapel.

The illustration is two facing pages from The Gospels of Otto III, widely-regarded as the finest illuminated Bible ever produced.  Many of the images from it are or will be used in the AIC Bookstore Publications on each of the four Gospels.  The Gospel of John: Annotated and Illustrated should be available mid-year.  My goal is to have it in print for Whitsunday.

With patience, faith and Grace, we will get through this current crisis of the body which has deprived us of access to the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Thank you for your interest and support.

May God bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen.

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

AIC Resources for Good Friday & Easter Day

Since August 2010 A.D. the AIC has provided traditional Anglicans with teaching, study and worship materials available in electronic and print media.  In this time of crisis for the Church and the country,  I have decided to come out of retirement from pulpit ministry in order to broadcast live on Easter Day with a Morning Prayer/Holy Communion liturgy.

While I can’t solve the problem of lack of access to the Holy Eucharist, I can offer a live service on Sunday via our YouTube channel.  I will be broadcasting live from a makeshift altar in my sunroom in Mechanicsville, Va.  There are technical issues to overcome, with luck and grace, I hope to be on the air with traditional worship at 10:30 A.M. on Sunday.

I’ve also posted links to our Good Friday and Eastertide video series on the Home Page of this site.  If the broadcast works as planned, I expect to offer a complete Sunday service with music and a homily until this crisis and over and we can all resume normal Sunday worship.

Palm Sunday 2020 A.D.

Collect for Palm Sunday (Sixth Sunday in Lent)

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the Cross, that all mankind should follow the example of His great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his Resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Composed by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
for the 1549 Book of Common Prayer,
based on a collect from the Gregorian Sacramentary
to which he added a closing
phrase of his own composition..

Most Christians won’t be able to properly celebrate Palm Sunday this year because of the rules restricting movement during the Coronavirus situation.  But does not mean the AIC cannot offer viewers and listeners material appropriate for the occasion.  Below are some views of how the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem has been commemorated over the centuries:

Palm_Sunday-Jesus_Enters_Jerusalem_Sicily_12thC-Alt1
Entry into Jerusalem, detail, mosaic, Palace of the Normans, Palermo, Sicily, 12th C.  Public Domain.
Christ-Entry into Jerusalem-Gospels Otto III-Clm 4453-Image 94-96dpi
Entry into Jerusalem, illumination in tempera and gold on parchment, Gospels of Otto III, produced at Reichenau, Germany, circa 996-1002.   Clm 4453, Image 94, Hessische Landesbibliotek, Darmstadt, Germany.   CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

 

Teach the Anglican Calendar – Part 2

After a few week interval during which I’ve been busy with editing a new book, I return to the theme of the necessity for teaching the Anglican calendar.  As far as I know those Anglicans who use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, or the ” last real prayer book” as the late Peter Toon called it, are the only group staying with the one-year reading cycle.  The traditional one-year cycle incorporated into the 1549 Book of Common Prayer by Archbishop Cranmer has the virtue of keeping a congregation’s attention focused on the primary themes of the Gospels.

Christ-in Majesty-with Evangelists-Pericopes of Henry II-72dpi
Christ in Majesty in a mandorla surrounded by the traditional symbols of the four evangelists, miniature illumination in tempera and gold on parchment, Pericopes of Henry II, made in the Scriptorium, Reichenau Monastery, Reichenau, Germany, 1007-1012.  Clm 4452, Bayerische Landesbibliotek, Munich, Germany.  Creative Commons:  CC-by-SA 4.0 International.

I oppose the modern trend toward the three-year cycle because it  diffuses the teaching focus of the Church; and, unfortunately, encourages local clergy to wander off the traditional teaching path and into the grass and the trees along the way.  Even with the one-year cycle in place, clergy feel free to avoid the Gospel lesson and spend twenty, thirty or forty or more minutes on a favored Old Testament theme, or one sentence out of the appointed Epistle reading.

The fact is that people need to continued reminding concerning the Gospel lesson for the 52 Sundays each year.  Following the calendar’s appointed reading does not mean giving the same Homily (or Sermon in the American context) year after year.  No that such a thing does not happen, but it risks a scenario like my days in graduate school when the professor, each and every year, read the same material, including the same jokes built into the lesson plan, even to the extent of laughing at his own jokes, which he had not heard since the previous year.

The ways to avoid that particular problem are several.  The first is by focusing upon the context of the reading, including going either backward or forward from the appointed pericope.  The second is by focusing upon a central theme, or by connecting the Gospel reading backward into the Old Testament lesson for the day, including the Psalm reading, a technique which helps a congregation learn these important cross-connections.   The important point, no matter which approach is taken, is that teaching from the pulpit should reinforce the learning process set in place by Archbishop Cranmer, whose genius is not properly appreciated by today’s clergy.

One of the primary objectives of the Anglican Internet Church is to provide the faithful with access to traditional teaching in the form of Podcast Homilies, Bible Study Videos, Christian Education Videos on topical issues, and through the AIC Bookstore Publications.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  May God bless you in all that you do in His Name!  Amen!  Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

 

 

Teach the Anglican Calendar: Part 1

Regretably, the mistaken quest for political and social  “relevance” plagues even the most traditional denominations, including the Anglican.  While every denomination is under threat from rampant secularism, not to say deliberately destructive attack with the purpose of driving religion from the public sphere, the risk to Anglicanism is much greater, owing to its origins in liturgy-based traditions.

Modern Anglicanism are no longer taught by their clergy to understand the “why” of Archbishop Cranmer’s masterwork, the Book of Common Prayer.  I suspect that Cranmer knew in his heart that future clergy would stray into a wide variety of campaigns against real or perceived social, political or economic theory.  What he left to the Anglican world is an approach to Sunday worship which is set in a framework that was understood by 1st C. Christians as well as those in the 16th C., when the first Book of Common Prayer was used on Whitsunday, 1549 A.D.  He added Advent as the start of each new Church Year and set forth a carefully-structured form of worship that started with the prepatory and penitential purpose of Advent and transitioned into a joyful celebration of the Incarnation.  On his Calendar, Epiphany follows, offering each Sunday for up to six Sundays after Epiphany, a carefully plotted introduction, as the sub=title of the season says, examples of the Manifestations of the Christ to the Gentiles (and not, as in modern abuse of the word “epiphany” some form of sudden realization.).  For the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany the reading gives evidence of Jesus healing a leper and the Centurion’s Servant (Matthew 8:1-13).

Following Epiphany are the three “gesima” Sundays which are a means of transition and preparation for Lent, the greater of the two penitential seasons; moving on to the Crucificion on Good Friday and the Resurrection on Easter Day.  The Sundays after Easter lead to Ascension, Whitsunday/Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday.   Cranmer envisioned a church world in which Anglicans are taught the basics of the Christian faith through celebration/observation of the Gospel lessons about thematic events from First Sunday in Advent to Trinity Sunday.

This carefully structured plan leaves the clergy with the challenge of teaching doctrine during the long weeks of Trinity season and until the calendar transitions again with the Sunday Next before Advent.

He left another, even greater legacy:  a devout and inspiring set of liturgical words which have no parallel in other denominations and which are endlessly inspiring and uplifting, shedding light and hope whenever the Holy Communion liturgy is read.   In my view there is nothing as powerful as the Collect for Purity, attributed to Alcuin of York, spiritual advisor to Charlemagne, which encapsulates the essential Hebrew and Christian understanding of the nature of God and, read properly, set a devout and respectful tone for the entire Holy Communion liturgy..

ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Sadly, these inspiring words are often, at the worst, mumbled or, more often, rushed through, leaving worshipers unsufficient time to absorb or, to use one of Jesus’ favorite phrases, to abide (from the Greek meno) in the hearts of the faithful.

This conversation will be continued in coming weeks.

 

Epiphany Greeting

This year I’m forgoing my usual message about the true meaning of Epiphany – vs. the secular view even among many clergy who should know better.  If you want to hear that message, Go to Episode One in our Seasonal Video series, Epiphany: the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.  Or listen to the Podcast version of the same.

Instead I offer some New Year advice for those concerned about the state of the media, the lack of civility, and the general decline of standards everywhere.  Dealing with it can be stressful, but there is a way to reduce the stress and allow anyone to improve their focus on truly important things.  My advice is summed up in a slogan:

Turn It Off.  Tune It Out!

Instead of allowing the media to set your agenda and affect your blood pressure, just turn it off and tune it out.

  • Turn off the TV and leave it off (except for weather and other emergencies).   We dropped cable and satellite TV over a year ago.
  • Use one of the many music programming services to select what you want to hear.  For example, you can download from Amazon Music and create your own play list that travels with you wherever you have an internet connection.  My wife has made up play lists for various categories and we listen only to them on the car stereo through her iPhone/Amazon Music app.  These categories include Really Old (1940s-1950s Big Band); Seventies; Eighties; Carolinas (for trips to both of them); County and Western (G. Strait, Meryl Haggard, Texas Swing, etc.); Classical; Brokenwood County (for the great music inspired by the New Zealand video series, Brokenwood Mysteries.  The music is often an NZ variant on Patsy Cline.
  • Make up your own Favorites list for iPad, iMac, iPhone or Android devices.  My categories – which I read first thing every morning – are 1) News (Washington Times/Bongino Report/CNS News Service/Local TV for weather & business news).  2) Opinion (The Federalist/American Thinker/NY Sun/American Spectator/Issues & Insights (a new site from the former editors of Investors Business Daily)/Red State/American Greatness/Steyn Online (Corkie and I are charter members of his Mark Steyn Club)/PJ Media/VDH online/Powerline.    These give me access to reliable sources and nearly all have links to the stories on which their links are based.  All without subscriptions, fees and endless and mindless babble that fills up the space between the endless and mindless advertising.
  • Set up your own home movie theater.  All you need is a laptop, an LCD projector and a screen.  We watch a video nightly from our collection of classic movies and programming (Midsomer/Lovejoy/Doc Marin/Inspector Frost/Under the Hammer/Morse and its prequel, Endeavour/Longmire/ and many others including the original Hawai’i 5-0 in its first six or seven season).

Give the idea a try for a few months.  I’ll bet you will have more peace of mind, which will enable you to have more time for family and friends and to practice your religion as you see fit!

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Redux)

Merry Christmas A.D. 2019

Join us for each of the twelve episodes in our Seasonal Video series: The Twelve Days of Christmas.  There is a theological word or phrase for each day, presented with many illustrations and traditional music for each day.

TwelveDays-Master Slides-2015.indd

First Day – Dec. 25th – Love (Nativity of Our Lord)
Second Day – Dec. 26th – Forgiveness (Feast of St. Stephen)
Third Day – Dec. 27th – Peace (Feast of St. John)
Fourth Day – Dec. 28th – Compassion (Feast of the Holy Innocents)
Fifth Day – Dec. 29th – Obedience
Sixth Day – Dec. 30th – Joy
Seventh Day – Dec. 31st – Family
Eighth Day – Jan. 1st – Church (Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord)
Ninth Day – Jan. 2nd – Angels
Tenth Day – Jan. 3rd – Commandments
Eleventh Day – Jan. 4th – Glorifying God
Twelfth Day – Jan. 5th – Grace & Faith (Epiphany Eve)

O Sapientia (Wisdom) – Dec. 18th

O Antiphons-Slide5Today, December 18th, is the first of the final seven days of Advent.  The AIC Seasonal Video series, The Great “O” Antiphons, offers Scripture, commentary, the reading/responses of antiphons and music for the occasion.  The series is based on a 12th C. office in the Roman Catholic tradition.  Here you will find information and links each day until the final episode on Dec. 24th.  The text for the entire series is printed on pages 21-27 in the AIC Bookstore Publication, Occasional Services for Anglican Worship, available using the Virtual Bookstore link at the bottom of the Home page.  The entire series is linked from the Digital Library page with Podcast versions from the Podcast Archive page.

The theme music for the day is On Jordan’s Bank the Baptists’ Cry, performed on his church organ by Jared Haselbarth, from his DVD (available at http://www.NABA.com).   The key phrase is O Sapientia, meaning Wisdom.  In Christian theology, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the wisdom of the Father.

Watch “O Sapientia – Wisdom for Dec. 18th.

Listen to the Podcast version of O Sapientia.

Celebrate Advent the Anglican Way

 

Advent-2018-Mini-TitleAt the AIC we teach the concept of celebrating the Church Calendar.  Each season has its own focus and now that Advent is here, Anglicans should celebrate their heritage.  Here are a couple of suggestions:

The AIC Great “O” Antiphons videos for each of the last seven days in Advent, with prayers, antiphons, illustrations and music. Program length: 10-12 min.   Podcast versions in MP3 format are linked from the Podcast Archive page.

December 18th – O Sapientia

December 19th – O Adonai

December 20th – O Radix Jesse

December 21st – O Clavis David

December 22nd – O Oriens

December 23rd – O Rex Gentium

December 24th-Emmanuel

 

 

 

 

The Gospel of John: Annotated & Illustrated

Gospel of John-Cover-144.jpg

Today I happily make public the status of a new book project: The Gospel of John: Annotated & Illustrated.  The format and size will be the same or similar to that used for Revelation: an Idealist Interpretation and The Writing Prophets of the Old Testaments.    The Gospel text will be the NKJV version, printed in 14 pt type in Adobe Trajan Pro, a easy-to-read digital serif font created for Adobe by Carol Twombly in 1989.  The Annotations will be printed in 12 pt type in Adobe Caslon Pro, a modern serif type based upon a face created in England by William Caslon in the mid-18th C.    Citations from quoted Scripture used within the Annotations will be set in 11 pt. type with deeper inset on both the right and left than the original use.

Gospel of John-First Chapter Proof-p11-96dpi
Illustration: Copyright Duchessart|Alamy Stock Photo, Inc.

The working copy of the first chapter at left gives an indication of the book’s look.  The illustration, for the first page of Chapter 1, is a 13th C. mosaic from the Genesis dome at the Basilica of St. Mark, Venice, Italy.  Depicted are two scenes: left, Separating the Light from the Darkness; right, Setting the Firmament.  The Byzantine-style Basilica was completed in the 9th C., with many additions made in later centuries.

John’s Gospel is a book like no other in the New Testament, offering a first hand account of many events not mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels.  Because it was dictated to a scribe, traditionally said to be Prochorus, later Bishop of Ephesus, when read aloud, it has the cadence of a private lecture offering a glimpse into the tumultous final three years in the earthly life of Jesus Christ.  My objective in designing, researching and producing the book will be to let 21st C. readers have their own copy of a Gospel book with the colorful array of imagery used by Christians since the beginning of the 5th C. to pass along to later generations the stories told in John’s Gospel.  Such an experience was once only possible for the very rich and powerful both inside and outside the Church.

As currently imagined, the finished work will run about 200 plus pages, printed in paperback in full colour.  As currently planned, there will also be a digital version made available in Kindle format.   Although the research is mostly complete, based upon the twenty revised and expanded episodes in the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, there is no timetable for this project.   There are technical and legal issues to resolve, as well as decisions about the format of Chapters 6, 7, and 8.  These chapters are mostly an extended  — and often heated — dialogue between Jesus and the group of Pharisees, Chief Priests and scribes who followed Him wherever He went, hopeful of catching Him out in saying something they could use against Him.  Earlier generations of illustrators suffered from the same problem, with the result that there are almost no images available between the Feeding of the Multitudes/Calming the Seas/Walking on the Sea in the first half of Chapter 6 and the Healing of the Man Born Blind at the start of Chapter 9.  These dialogues include several of the “I Am” declarations (Bread of Life; Living Bread; Light of the World; and Before Abraham Was, I Am), which I discussed in Episodes Twenty-nine to Thirty-five in the New Testament Bible Study series.  I have been searching the archives of known sources of  illuminated Gospels, lectionaries and private devotionals looking for suitable images.

Illustrations will be chosen from the AIC’s investory of public domain images gathered from around the world from public domain sources and royalty-free photographic services.   They will include mosaics, frescoes, icons, engravings, paintings, enamels, watercolors, charcoal sketches, altarpieces and photographs.   The precious resources from which the images were chosen have been digitized and made available to the public for the first time just in the last decade.   The oldest image is a mosaic from the early 5th C.  The “newest” image is a 2nd Qtr 20th C. stained glass window from the AIC Bookstore Publication Paintings on Light: the Stained Glass Windows of St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel.  

In other news, I will be changing my email address.  The new address is frron.aic@earthlink.net.  This completes the final transition away from references to my former parish which is now closed.   The current email address will remain active until late in the 1st Qtr, A.D. 2020.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  May God continue to bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen!

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!