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!



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!