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Archive for the ‘Episcopal Church’ Category

This is today’s annual Easter sunrise service (using the Easter Vigil) of the Episcopal Church of the Servant  at Wrightsville Beach, NC. It began at 6 am with the lighting of fire. There were probably about 75 people in attendance.

Happy Easter, everyone.

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The Sacred Harp community of Cincinnati has lost one of our dearest friends. Christine Cox died last Wednesday at 87, following a serious stroke in March of this year. Singer Eloise Clark was with her when she died, singing some of her favorite hymns. John Bealle has a wonderful tribute to Chris on his website.

The Cincinnati singers will sing at her visitation this Sunday night and her funeral Monday morning. Isaac Watts’ lyrics to “China,” which we will sing, read in part:

Why do we mourn departing friends,
Or shake at death’s alarms?
‘Tis but the voice that Jesus sends,
To call them to His arms.

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from Wikimedia Commons

As usual on Trinity Sunday, we sang “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” at Holy Trinity Oxford today. It’s a terrific hymn, both in words and music.

According to Wikipedia, although the Old Irish poem is traditionally ascribed to Patrick of Ireland (4th century), it probably dates from the 8th century. The English translation by Cecil Frances Alexander powerfully captures the incantatory power of Celtic nature poetry:

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

And the equally great music is by Charles Villiers Stanford, with Ralph Vaughan Willams contributing one stanza.

Old Irish is a quirky language, no doubt about it. I had the privilege of studying it under the great Murray Fowler at Wisconsin. It’s the only language I know where the word for 7 literally means “large 6.”

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TreadmillcraneThe Bishop of Southern Ohio, the Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, is visiting our church today and I’m scheduled to introduce him. He’s a remarkable thinker and communicator in our diocese, the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion.

As I was reading his biography on the Diocese of Southern Ohio website, I noticed a link to the translation engine Babelfish (named, of course, for the universal translator in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in turn named for the Biblical Tower of Babel, pictured).

The Bishop is a indeed great communicator, but I’m not so sure about Babelfish. I decided to translate parts of his biography into French using Babelfish, and then reverse engineer it by rendering the French back into English the same way. The results are rather . . . whimsical, shall I say. To get the full effect, imagine that I am speaking this in a comical French accent somewhere between Pepe LePew and Hercule Poirot. What was:

A noted author, he has written about the issues of same-sex unions

becomes:

A remarkable author, it wrote about the exits of the trade unions even sexes

and:

Ordained to the priesthood in 1982, Bishop Breidenthal brings a strong intellectual and academic background to the diocese

is rendered as:

Ordered to priesthood in 1982, Breidenthal bishop extremely brings a intellectual and school bottom to the diocese

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200px-Gen_james_oglethorpe

J. Oglethorpe

On June 9, 1732, James Oglethorpe was granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia. His colonists began arriving in 1733, establishing Savannah and other cities.

Ah, Savannah. Certainly the most beautiful city in which I’ve ever lived. Jenny and I met there, had our first date at a service in, and later married in, Christ Church (founded by John Wesley, whose tenure in Savannah was a little rocky).

Christ Church, on Johnson Square

Christ Church, on Johnson Square

I was there to help start up WSVH Public Radio, then an independent station and now part of Georgia Public Broadcasting. I lived on Gaston, so technically not a NOG (North of Gaston) but not a SOG either. Bless its ornery little heart.

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Southern Ohio

Southern Ohio

In a previous post I linked to a London Times story on the controversial election of a U. S. Episcopal bishop. In my diocese (Southern Ohio), the Bishop and the Standing Committee took opposite positions in their votes on this election.

BISHOP’S STATEMENT:

A Message From the Bishop’s Office
March 31, 2009

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

I am writing to inform you of my decision not to consent to the consecration of Kevin Thew Forrester as Bishop of Northern Michigan. I did not want to make a public statement before I shared my concerns with the Standing Committee. I was able to do this at their meeting last Friday, March 27.

(more…)

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the Venerable Bede

the Venerable Bede

May 25th is the feast day of the Venerable Bede (aka St. Bede), the only English-born “Doctor of the Church.” Here’s a presentation (11 megs) I put together for the Adult Forum class of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Oxford, OH. And here’s the sermon on Bede I preached that day.

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