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.

 

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

 

 

 

 

Bible Study Videos: Episode Fourteen

Luke-with Symbol-2nd Version- Gospel of Otto III
Luke the Evangelist with his traditional symbol, the Ox, an illumination strongly influenced by the Byzantine-style, from THE GOSPELS OF OTTO III, made at the Benedictine Monastery on Reichenau Island, Lake Constance, Southern Germany, in the mid-11th C. The original is at the Bavarian State Library, Munich, Germany.  Public Domain (Yorck Project: 10,000 Masterworks).

Episode Fourteen is the 3rd in the New Testament: Gospels Bible Study Video series to be focused on the Gospel of St. Luke.  Topics include more on the Nativity, with special emphasis on the third angelic “annunciation,” this time to the shepherds; the last 2 of 4 unique songs in the Gospel of St. Luke, the Magnificat and the Nunc dimittis; plus the prophecies of Simeon and Anna.  The episode includes 8 illuminations in colors and gold on parchment from the 11th C. and 3 from the 13th C.; 2 frescoes from the 13th C. and one from the 14th C.; a spectacular mosaic of the Holy Family registering according to the decree of Quirinius from the 1st Qtr, 14th C. near Constantinople/Istanbul; 1 enamel from the 15th C.; 1 oil on canvas from the 15th C; and 2 watercolors from the 19th C.  Nearly all of these are not widely-seen.  They were found in recently-digitized collections in England, Germany, Italy, Spain and Asia Minor.  I hope viewers enjoy seeing these inspiring works of faith as much as I have enjoyed searching archives to find appropriate images and help them into public view on the Web.

Watch the Video on our YouTube channel.              Listen to the Podcast hosted on our Podbean channel.

It was difficult to decide which illustration to include in this Blog posting,  The one which really sums up the concept of “behold” as used by St. Luke is from the Gospels of Otto III, one of the Holy Roman Emperors who followed in the line of Charlemagne, crowned HRE at Rome in 800 A.D.  I used it in a blog posting in June A.D. 2018.  The work was painted at the Reichenau monastery, Reichenau, Germany, the same facility where the Bamberg Apocalypse was made between 1000 and 1020 A.D.  Everything the reader/viewer should “behold” flows fantastically above St. Luke’s head in nearly every color imaginable, but especially red and yellow.  The original is at the Bavarian State Library, Munich, Germany.  This image came from the Yorck Project: 10,000 Masterworks, made available on a DVD in the early 21st C.

Meanwhile I have been continuing to work on Episode Thirty-two and Episode Thirty-three, on the Gospel of St. John.  My wife, Corkie, and I did take time off to celebrate our 47th anniversary with a trip to Roanoke and Lexington, VA.  We paid homage to Roanoke’s famed Black Dog Salvage, bringing home two pieces of furniture.  We enjoyed our stay at the Robert E. Lee Hotel and dinner at the Southern Inn Restaurant (directly across Main St. from the hotel).  Corkie drove the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Roanoke and Afton Mountain/Rockfish Gap, west of Charlottesville.  The views from the many lookouts across the Shenadoah Valley were truly spectacular.  I must not leave out our lunch visit to another Roanoke landmark, The New Yorker Delicatessen and Restaurant on Williamson Road where I had a real Reuben and Corkie feasted on a liverwurst (the real thing) on rye.

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As always, may God bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen!  Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Bible Study Videos – Episode Thirteen

Annunciation-Meister_der_Braunschweig-Magdeburger_Schule_1275
THE ANNUNCIATION.  The Archangel Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin presented in tempera and gilt on vellum, circa 1275 A.D., attributed to the Master of the Braunschweig-Magdeburg School, from the Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria, as reproduced in The Yorck Project: 10,000 Masterworks. Public domain.

In what I think is the best episode yet in the revised and expanded version of the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels is now available.  Episode Thirteen features many rarely-seen illustrations from the 11th, 13th, 18th, 19th and 2nd Qtr 20th C. to aid in viewer/listener comprehension of the Gospel of St. Luke.

Watch the Video.          Listen to the Podcast

The focus in Episode Thirteen is on the second and best known of three “annunciations” in the Gospel of St Luke, in this case “The” Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin by the Archangel Gabriel; the first two of 4 songs in the Gospel of St. Luke, the Magnificat and the Benedictus, the latter occasioned by the birth of John the Baptist and the loosening of the tongue of Zacharias.

Personally, I really miss the congregational singing of the Benedictus (as well as the Jubilate Deo and the Te Deum laudamus).  No musical instrument, no matter how well played can equal the emotional feeling of united voices singing the theological songs.

I have completed both the sound and pictures for Episode Fourteen and will complete the video and upload it next week.  I am currently prepared the slides and script for Episode Thirty-two, on the Gospel of St. John.

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!

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Bible Study Videos – Episode Seven

Mark-Writing-Reichenau-11thc-Walters Art Gallery
St. Mark Writing His Gospel, Reichenau Gospels, 11th C, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD. Creative Commons (CC-o license).

Episode Seven in the revised AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, was uploaded to our YouTube channel this morning.  It is the first of five episodes focused on the Gospel of St. Mark.  The remaining four will be uploaded later this month and in early July, with a target of one episode per week

The illustration is superb example of Church art of the late Ottonian period of the revived Holy Roman Empire in western Europe.  It was made at Reichenau Monastery, Reichenau Island, Lake Constance, Germany.  The winged lion at the top is a traditional symbol of St. Mark.

Episode Seven includes a brief historical introduction, with discussion of intended audience, language and major themes, beginning with Jesus as Servant.

These new versions include many new illustrations and more direct Scripture quotations, presented in the same style as the most recent AIC video series.  I have completed the script and slides up to Episode Twenty-four and am closing in on finishing Episode Twenty-five, the last focused on the Gospel of St. Luke.  With the revised Podcast Homilies series for the 2018-2019 A.D. Church Year I can focus on wrapping up the rest of the revisions for Episode Twenty-six through Episode Forty-five.

Watch Episode Seven.   Listen to Episode Seven.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  Please help expand our audience by telling friends and family about this site.  You can subscribe to these Blog entries by clicking the “Follow Anglican Internet Church” in the right side column.

May the Lord bless you in all that you do in His Name!  Amen!  Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

 

New Testament: Gospels – Episode Three

Episode Three in the revised edition of The New Testament: Gospels was uploaded to YouTube earlier this afternoon.  The focus this time is completion of discussion of St. Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, including the four women named, and the start of discussion of his theme of the Life of Christ as fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

Matthew-Writing-LindisfarnePCAThis week’s rarely seen illustration is the illumination of Matthew Writing His Gospel from the Lindisfarne Gospels, produced in England around 750 A.D., with perspective correction adjustments, from the British Library by way of the Yorck Project: 10,000 Masterworks.

Watch the Video

Listen to the Podcast

Next week’s release of Episode Four features more on the fulfillment of prophecy theme.

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

 

New Testament: Gospels – Episode Two

Matthew-Writing-Codex Aureus-Stockholm-c750-Detail1-PCAEpisode Two in the revised edition of the AIC Bible Study Video series, The New Testament:Gospels, is now available in both video and podcast formats.  The episode, an introduction to the Gospel of St. Matthew beginning with its history and the genealogy of Jesus, includes four images of St. Matthew not often seen by the general public. The best of these, at left, is an illumination of St. Matthew from the Codex Aureus of Canterbury, made around 750 A.D. in England in the region of Canterbury.   The Codex Aureus (Golden Gospel) was stolen by Viking raiders in the 9th C. and bought back through a monetary ransom payment later the same century.  Where it resided between then and its movement to Spain in the early 16th C. is unclear.  Two centuries later, in 1690 A.D. it was bought by the King of Sweden and since then has resided at the Konigliga Bibliotek (Royal Library), Stockholm, Sweden. The Codex is also known as the Codex Aureus of Stockholm.  The image is from the Yorck Project’s CD collection, 10,000 Masterworks through Wikipedia Commons.  I adjusted the image using perspective and other correction methods in Photoshop.

The second ancient image is equally magnificent, a page from a Gospel book produced by the Ottonian dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors in the late 9th or early 10th C. from Cotton Ms Tiberius A II, in the collection of the British Library, London, England.   The third, circa 950 A.D., also comes the Ottonian period, from the collection of the New York Public Library.    The fourth is closely-related to the start of the reign of Charlesmagne, the first emperor of the revived Holy Roman Empire in Europe, crowned by the sitting Pope in 800 A.D.  The source is the Harley Golden Gospel, made in Aachen, Germany, around 800 A.D. from Ms. Harley 2788, also in the British Library, London.  Most of us in the Western Church do not give enough credit to Charlesmagne’s commitment to the spread of Christianity into the Germanic territories.  His sponsorship resulted in the creation of some of the finest religious art in the Western Church.

Watch Episode Two.    Listen to Episode Two.

Episode Three, focused on more of the genealogy of Jesus and St. Matthew’s theme of the life of Jesus as fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy,  will be released next week.  The episode features more remarkable images of St. Matthew and other religious art.

As always, may God bless you in all that you do in His Name!  Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

The New Testament: Gospels – Episode One

NT-Gospels-Title1-rev

After repeated delays for technical reasons, Episode One in the revised AIC Bible Study Video series, The New Testament: Gospels, is now available in both video and podcast version.   The new version is the third to be produced.  The first was a series of live videocasts from my former parish.  The second edition was introduced in A.D. 2015 after my retirement from pulpit ministry at Epiphany A.D. 2014.

Version Three includes many improvements, including a revised format more consistent with the style of the more recent AIC videos; many more examples of historic art from the 6th through the 20th C. from archives which have been digitized for wider audiences; and more direct quotations of Scripture, especially in the episodes on the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark, which were the earliest in the series presented in a different format than later episodes.   The series retains the original focus on teaching for the Laity and the informal style of presentation.

Watch the Video of Episode One                   Listen to the Podcast of Episode One

Harley  5785 f 187v
Luke Writing from Ms Harley 5785, Folio 187v, perspective correction applied, British Library, London, England.

Among the examples of historic art included in Episode One is Luke Writing His Gospel, an illumination in tempera and gold on parchment produced in the region of Constantinople in the late 11th to early 12th C.  I applied perspective correction to the original image from Ms Harley 5785, Folio 187v, British Library, London, England.   Our archive now includes nearly a thousand such images from libraries, museums, churches, and government archives in England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Macedonia, Bulgaria and the United States.   These historic images are both beautiful and instructive on the spiritual message in the scenes depicted.  I have included works in nearly every artistic medium, including icons, frescos, mosaics, oil paintings, watercolors, etchings and engravings.  All examples which have been modified for correction of perspective and other flaws with the objective of presenting a finished work more like its original shape are so identified in the credit lines.  Examples from many libraries and other sources can only be used for non-commerical purposes.  I have removed the links to all video and podcast versions of the earlier series.

The text and slides for Episode Two through Episode Sixteen, the latter including material from the opening chapters of the Gospel of St. Luke, have been completed.  Each needs to be converted into video form, which is a multi-step and time-consuming process, but I hope to release one episode per week throughout 2019 A.D. until all 45 episodes in the series are complete.   Things that can upset the schedule include the temptation to go back into finished work to add historic art more recently discovered.

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

The Twelve Days of Christmas – A.D. 2018-2019 Edition

All twelve episodes in the revised and improved AIC Seasonal Video series, The Twelve Days of Christmas, are now online in both video and podcast formats.  The finished works represent the fourth version of this series that I began at Christmas A.D. 2013.  The new versions incorporate many examples of religious art not used in previous versions, most dating from the 10th to 15th C.  The video links are shown below.  Podcast versions are linked from the Podcast Archive page.  Each episode opens with its own version of the title page below.  With the completion of this series I have completed or updated all our Seasonal Video series (listed on the Digital Library page in order of their appearance in the Church Calendar.  The title illustration is a 12th C. fresco of the Visit of the Maji from the Cappadocia region of Turkish Asia Minor.

TwelveDays-2018-Title 1-Episode 1

First Day of Christmas – Dec. 25th – LOVE
Second Day of Christmas – Dec. 26th – FORGIVENESS
Third Day of Christmas – Dec. 27th – PEACE
Fourth Day of Christmas – Dec. 28th – COMPASSION
Fifth Day of Christmas – Dec. 29th – OBEDIENCE
Sixth Day of Christmas – Dec. 30th – JOY
Seventh Day of Christmas – Dec. 31st – FAMILY
Eighth Day of Christmas – Jan. 1st – CHURCH
Ninth Day of Christmas – Jan. 2nd – ANGELS
Tenth Day of Christmas – Jan. 3rd – COMMANDMENTS
Eleventh Day of Christmas – Jan. 4th – GLORIFYING GOD
Twelfth Day of Christmas – Jan. 5th – GRACE & FAITH

Merry Christmas to all from the Anglican Internet Church.

Next year we’ll bring you revised versions of all 45 episodes in our New Testament: Gospels series and more revised versions of the Podcast Homilies  (revisions already complete through Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany).