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:

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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 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.

 

New Testament: Gospels – Episodes 24 and 25

 

Luke-Writing His Gospel-Byzantine-Ms Additional 28815-f76v-BritLibr-PCA
St. Luke Writing His Gospel  Byzantine illumination in tempera and gold on parchment, 10th C. A.D., Constantinople.  From the Yorck Project (10000 Masterworks of Painting).  Original image is Ms. Additional 28815, Folio 76v, British Library, London, England.

Once again this week I have “doubled up” and uploaded two new episodes in the revised and extended version of our Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels.  In Episode Twenty-four and Episode Twenty-five I complete my discussion of the Gospel of St. Luke.  Both episodes are focused on Unique Content in the Gospel of St. Luke.  Episode Twenty-four is focused on the Kingdom Lectures and the Restoration of Zaccheus.  Episode Twenty-five is focused on three topics, Jesus Before Herod, the Prayer Habits of Jesus, and the important roles for women in St. Luke’s Gospel.   The featured image is a 10th C. A.D. Byzantine illumination in tempera and gold on parchment made at Constantinople, showing St. Luke seated in an upholstered chair with a platform for his feet and in front of a large desk writing his Gospel.  The desk is filled with quills and what looks like a paper knife.  There are scrolls and a inkpot at his feet.  This version does not include the traditional image of an ox, the symbol of Luke.  The original is from Ms. Additional 28815, Folio 76v, British Library, London, England.  The British Library has not yet digitized much of the Additional Ms collection, including No. 28815.  This version is sourced from the Yorck Project, a DVD published in 2002 A.D. as 10,000 Masterworks of Painting.  The entire set of more than 10,000 images can be viewed on line.

Watch the Video of Episode 24.        Listen to the Podcast of Episode 24.

Watch the Video of Episode 25.        Listen to the Podcast of Episode 25.

I have recorded the first two of twenty revised and extended versions focused on the Gospel of St. John, these being episodes twenty-six to forty-five.  Episode Twenty-six and Episode Twenty-seven will be released during the week of October 20th. Episode Twenty-five is focused on a general introduction to the Gospel of St. John and a reading of St. John’s unique Prelude in verses 1-5.  Episode Twenty-seven begins with a discussion of John 1:1-5 and moves on to reading and discussion of John 1:5-18.  Later today I will record the next two episodes which will be released during the week of October 27th.   The slides and script for all remaining episodes have been completed but lack sound tracks and picture-to-sound correlation in iMovie.  The final slide in the series, in Episode Forty-five, will be No. 1560 (vs. No. 885 in the original series).  It has been a great and enjoyable adventure finding and editing the great Christian tradition of spiritually-minded images (vs. the modern representational forms in which the meaning often gets lost in the details and backgrounds).  I hope and pray that viewers find them spiritually enriching and helpful in understanding Scripture.

I have started work on a new series of Podcast Homilies based upon the appointed readings from Psalms and Lessons for Morning Prayer in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, using the alternative which includes a Gospel reading for the Second Lesson.  These will be linked from the Podcast Homilies page and posted in the order of the Church Calendar beginning with First Sunday in Advent.  I hope to have the four Advent podcasts complete before the start of the new Church Year 2019-2020 on December 1st.

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!

New Testament: Gospels – Episodes 22 & 23

Episode Twenty-two and Episode Twenty-three in the revised and expanded version of the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, were uploaded to the AIC’s YouTube channel and Podbean channel this morning.

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The Incredulity of Thomas.   Icon in tempera and gilt on panel, 14th C. A.D., Monastery of the Metamorphosis, Meteora, Greece.  The icon was lost for centuries and was rediscovered in the early 1960s A.D.  There are several versions of the same scene currently available but with disputes over dates and location.  Some sources claim this version is a later Russian Orthodox copy.    Public Domain.

In order to finish the revisions in the series before year end, I decided to “double up” and complete two each week.  Both of this week’s premiers are about Unique Content in the Gospel of St. Luke, with Episode Twenty-two on Jesus’ discourses on Spiritual Light and the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Episode Twenty-three on His moral discourses.  The featured illustration is from the latter episode (in the context of “O You of little faith” Luke 12:28b).

Watch Episode Twenty-two.      Listen to Podcast of Episode Twenty-two

Watch Episode Twenty-three.    Listen to Podcast of Episode Twenty-three

The two remaining episodes on the Gospel of St. Luke will be completed and uploaded during the week of October 14th.

The first two episodes on the Gospel of St. John (Episodes Twenty-six and Twenty-seven) are nearly complete and, barring any technical glitches, should be available for upload during the week of October 21st.  I have completed the revisions of all the remaining slides and scripts in the series and hope to release two episodes per week with a goal of getting the whole series uploaded before Christmas.

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!

New Testament: Gospels – Episode Twenty-one

Harley 2799  f 173vI’m pleased to announce the uploading for another revised episode, Episode Twenty-one in the AIC Bible Study Video series, The New Testament: Gospels.  Content is Part 2 of 6 in Unique Content in the Gospel of St. Luke, including Sending the Return of the Seventy and Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha at Bethany.

This week’s featured illustration is a miniature illumination in gold and colored inks on parchment of St. Luke writing his Gospel from the Arnstein Bible, produced at Arnstein, Germany around 1172 A.D. from Ms. Harley 2799, Folio 173bv, British Library, London, England.  The image has to be shown quite small because the original image is also very small.  Any larger and the image would break up and the sheen on the gold would be reduced.  It was originally housed at the Monastery of St. Mary and St. Nicholas and was sold to Edward Harley in 1720/21.  The scribe’s name was Lunandus, a monk at the monastery.

Watch the video.        Listen to the Podcast version.

This uplink brings me very close to completing the rebuild of the episodes on St. Luke’s Gospel.  I have recorded and edited Episode Twenty-two and expect to upload it plus Episode Twenty-three during the week of October 7th, with the final two episodes coming the week of October 14th.  All the slides and text for all the episodes (26 to 45) on the Gospel of St. John are complete, but no episodes have yet been recorded.   These final episodes include many more examples of Church art that are rarely seen in public, including a Gospel book written in Germany between 778 and 820 A.D. at the start of the Carolingian era that began with the coronation at Rome of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor in 800 A.D.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  Please consider subscribing by clicking the Follow Anglican Internet Church legend in the righthand column.  You will receive a link to each new posting.

 

 

Bible Study Videos: Episode Sixteen

Christ-Temptations-All-Echternach-96dpi

Episode Sixteen in the revised and expanded versions of our Bible Study Video series, The New Testament: Gospels, is now available in video and podcast versions.  The topics are St. Luke’s unique reverse order genealogy of Jesus and his account of the Temptations of Christ.   The graphic with this Blog post is a 96 dpi version of the Temptations from the Codex Aureus of Echternach, made at the Abbey of Echternach, Echternach, Luxembourg (then part of Germany) between 1030 and 1050 A.D.  The Codex is one of the marvels of the Ottonian era of the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire revived in 800 A.D. by Charlemagne.  It is just one of three scenes on a single page, with other scenes of the Calling of the first Apostles and Cleansing the Temple.   You can see shine in the gilt in the 300 dpi version in the video.  Other illustrations include work by Ducci di Bouninsegna; an miniature of Christ and Satan from a Psalter from England in the 13th C.; an illumination of Luke writing his Gospel made for Charlemagne in 800 A.D.; two watercolors, one of the Temptation on the pinnacle of the Temple and one of St. Joseph, by James Tissot; an oil on canvas of the Temptations by Vassily Surikov, and a scene from an icon in the Russian Orthodox tradition.

Watch the Video       Listen to the Podcast

I am currently working on Episode Thirty-six on the first “sign” in the Gospel of John, the Wedding at Cana.   I am also working on a plan for advertising on an Anglican site for our Bookstore Publications.

As always, thanks for your interest and support.  With my 77th birthday coming up I need encouragement!  Please consider becoming a follower by clicking the Follow Anglican Internet Church tab in the righthand column or otherwise sharing the site with others.

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 Twelve

Episode Twelve in the revised and expanded version of the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, is now available.  The episode is the first of thirteen episodes focused on the Gospel of St. Luke.  Episode One is a general introduction to St. Luke, including history, language, canonical acceptance, intended audience, major themes, and starts discussion of the text with the first “annunciation,” in this case to Zacharias.  The episode running time is just over 34 minute.

Watch the Video.    Listen to the Podcast.

Luke_St_Augustine's_Gospels_Corpus_Christi_Cambridge_MS_286-PCA-96dpiThe episode is loaded with many of the examples of historic art added to our library in the last year.  Few in the Western Church are aware that St. Luke is credited in the Eastern Church and among many Roman Catholics as the first icon-painter. The episode includes St. Luke Painting the Virgin Mary, a miniature illumination (less than 1″)  in colored inks and gold on parchment with an elaborate floral border from The Gospels of Luke and John, a codex made in England in the 1st Quarter of the 16th C., from Ms. Royal 1 E V, Folio 3, British Library, London, England.  The image is so small that I could not use it here.  Instead, I offer another you, St. Luke Writing His Gospel, an illumination in tempera and gilt on vellum from the St. Augustine Gospels, begun in Italy (presumably Rome) in the 6th C. and completed in England after being given to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, by St. Gregory the Great.  The original is at Cambridge, CCC Library Mss 286, Folio 129v.  This version is in lower resolution for internet use.  The version in the video is 300 dpi.  Both versions have been modified with perspective correction technology.

There are a total of eleven images of St. Luke, three of Zacharias and Elizabeth, one of the Archangel Gabriel, one of the Blessed Virgin and Child, and one of John the Baptist (who will get more coverage in Episode Thirteen),

Episode Thirteen should be available next week.  I am currently working on the script and slides for Episode Thirty-one, focused on the Gospel of St. John.  The episodes on both St. Luke and St. John are the most changed from the original version.  Across the entire series I have added more Scriptural quotations (to help make sure the context is complete), included more examples of Church art, and added internal cross-references to otherl episodes in the same topic is discussed, both in earlier and later episodes of the series.  With rare exceptions, content remains in the same episode as the earlier version.

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As always, thank you 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!