Sunday, February 28, 2010

TRM Ordo Summer 2010

2 - Requiem (black)
3 - St Thomas the Apostle (red) (proper p. 413)
5 - Requiem (black)
6 - Octave Day of Ss. Peter & Paul, comm. St Thomas More (red); Royal homecoming: departure
7 - Requiem (black)
8 - Requiem (black)
9 - Requiem (black)
10 - Our Lady on Saturday (white and blue)
11 - TRINITY VI (proper 15) (green)
12 - St Benedict, pray for the Order of St Benedict (white)
13 - St Henry of Finland (white or yellow)
14 - Requiem (black)
15 - Requiem (black)
16 - Requiem (black)
17 - Our Lady on Saturday (white and blue)
18 - TRINITY VII (proper 16) (green)
19 - Requiem (black)
20 - Requiem (black)
21 - Requiem (black)
22 - St Mary Magdalene (red) (proper p. 415)
23 - Requiem (black)
24 - Our Lady on Saturday (white and blue)
25 - ST JAMES THE APOSTLE, Patron of the Diocese of Toronto (proper p. 416), comm. Trinity VIII (proper 17) (red)
26 - St Anne, secondary patron of Canada
27 - 28 in the Octave of St James the Apostle
29 - William Wilberforce (white)
30 - in the Octave of St James the Apostle
31 - Our Lady on Saturday (white and blue)

2 - Of Trinity IX (proper 18) (green)
3 - St Stephen the Protomartyr (red) (proper p. 417)
4 - Requiem (black)
5 - Requiem, I Evensong of the Transfiguration
6 - Transfiguration (white or best) (proper p. 418), comm. for Peace (Sacramentary no. 5250)
7 - John Mason Neale (white)
8 - TRINITY X (proper 19) (green)
9 - St Dominic (white)
10 - St Laurence, Deacon and Martyr (red)
11 - St Clare of Assisi (white)
12 - Consecration of Charles Inglis (white)
13 - Jeremy Taylor (white or yellow)
14 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Maximilien Kolbe, Jonathan Daniels (red) I Evensong of the Assumption
15 - THE FALLING ASLEEP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (white and blue) (proper p. 419)
16 - Holy Women of the Old Testament (white)
17 - John Stuart (white)
18 - of Trinity XI (proper 20) (green)
19 - in the Octave of the Falling Asleep BVM
20 - St Bernard of Clairvaux (white)
21 - Our Lady on Saturday (white and blue)
22 - OCTAVE DAY OF THE DORMITION (proper 21) (white and blue)
23 - Requiem (black)
24 - St Bartholomew the Apostle (red) (proper p. 420)
25 - Requiem (black)
26 - Requiem (black)
27 - St Monica of Hippo (white)
28 - St Augustine of Hippo (white or yellow)
29 - THE BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST, National Patron (red) (proper p. 421)
30 - Robert McDonald (white)
31 - St Aidan of Lindisfarne (white)

1 - of Trinity XIII (proper 22) (green)
2 - Martyrs of New Guinea (red)
3 - St Gregory the Great (white or yellow)
4 - First Anglican Eucharist in Canada (white)
5 - OCTAVE DAY OF THE DECOLLATION (proper 23) (red)
6 - Requiem (black)
7 - Requiem (black) I Evensong of Nativity of BVM
8 - Nativity of the BVM (white and blue) (lections FAtS) Pray for the Sisterhood of St John the Divine

TRM Ordo June 2010

1 - St Justin Martyr (red)
2 - Martyrs of Lyons (red)
3 - Martyrs of Uganda and Janani Luwum (red) or Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion (Sacramentary no. 1708) (best)
4 - Bl. John XXIII (white or yellow)
5 - St Boniface (red)
6 - SUNDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF CORPUS CHRISTI (white) (Early celebration of Trinity I, proper 10, green)
7 - William Grant Broughton (white or yellow)
8 - in the Octave of Corpus Christi (white)
9 - St Columba (white)
10 - Octave Day of Corpus Christi (white)
11 - Divine Compassion (white) (Sacramentary no. 1709) or St Barnabas the Apostle (red) (proper p. 409)
12 - St Barnabas the Apostle (if not kept) or Our Lady on Saturday (white and blue)
13 - TRINITY II (proper 11), comm. of the Octave if desired (green)
14-15 - in the Octave of the Divine Compassion (white) or Requiem (black)
16 - Joseph Butler (white or yellow)
17 - in the Octave of the Divine Compassion (white) or Requiem (black)
18 - Octave Day of the Divine Compassion (white) or Requiem (black)
19 - Bernard Mizeki (red), St Albans Festival Pilgrimage
20 - TRINITY III (proper 12)
21 - Requiem (black)
22 - St Alban the Protomartyr, Secondary Patron of the Diocese of Toronto (red)
23 - Vigil of the Nativity of St John the Baptist (purple) (lessons p. 496 BAS) Blessing of Bonfires
24 - the Nativity of St John the Baptist, National Patron (white or best)
25 - 26 of the Octave (white) (proper p. 410)
27 - TRINITY IV, comm. of the Octave (proper 13) (white)
28 - St Irenaeus (white or yellow), comm. of the Octave; Royal homecoming: arrival
29 - Ss. Peter & Paul (red) (proper p. 411)
30 - in the Octave of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

1 - the Octave Day of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, being Dominion Day (white) (proper p. 412)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

TRM Ordo: Editorial Notes

The basic principle of this kalendar is to reflect traditional Anglo-Catholic practice in conformity to the formularies of the Anglican Church of Canada. Some local, traditional, and American observances are included in italics.

The Ordo assumes the use of the Revised Common Lectionary on Sundays and holy days and the Daily Office Lectionary (or the Weekday Eucharistic Lectionary) on memorials, commemorations, and at daily votive Masses. These lectionaries, together with the major propers for Sundays and holy days, are printed in the Book of Alternative Services. (In communities with a tradition of daily Morning and Evening Prayer, the table of lessons in the Book of Common Prayer is more suited to this purpose, but if the BAS lectionary is preferred, the Weekday Eucharistic Lectionary may be used at Daily Mass). On memorials and commemorations, the collect, secret, and postcommunion are taken from For All the Saints. The minor propers and additional liturgical material, including the propers of Our Lady and of the Departed and proper prayers in traditional language, are always found in the Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary; on days not included in the American kalendar, an appropriate common is used for these. During traditional octaves, a commemoration of the feast is suggested after the orations of the day.

A requiem is assigned on free days. Provision is made for the traditional Saturday votive Mass of Our Lady. The BAS enjoins a distinction between "memorials" (which use the colour of the day and a reading from the Common of Saints) and "commemorations" (which use the colour of the season and the ferial readings). Here the colour of the day and the ferial readings are instead appointed for both.

The colour sequence gives traditional Roman and English options, drawing from Ritual Notes (9) and Western Rite Orthodox sources. I have also consulted the chart at Full Homely Divinity. In parishes of more modest means, purple vestments may take the place of crimson, rose, and/or black. For much of the Church's history, the now oft-lamented "local custom" was the norm rather than an anomaly, and some leeway must be allowed for circumstance.

TRM Ordo Easter 2010

No fasting is undertaken during the Great Fifty Days.

5 - Monday in Easter Week, comm. Emily Ayckbowm
6 - Tuesday in Easter Week
7 - Wednesday in Easter Week
8 - Thursday in Easter Week
9 - Friday in Easter Week, comm. William Law
10 - Saturday in Easter Week
11 - THE OCTAVE DAY OF EASTER (gold or white)
12 - 15 of the Resurrection (white)
16 - Mary Brant (Koñwatsiãtsiaiéñni) (white)
17 - Our Lady in Easter (gold or white and blue)
19 - 20 for the Departed in Easter (purple)
21 - St Anselm (white or yellow)
22 - for the Departed in Easter (purple)
23 - St George (red)
24 - Martyrs of the Twentieth Century (red)
26 - St Mark the Evangelist (red) (proper p. 404); Rogation Mass (Sacramentary no. 5330) (violet)
27 - 28 - for the Departed in Easter (purple)
29 - Catherine of Siena (white)
30 - Marie de l'Incarnation (white)

1 - Our Lady in Eastertide. May Festival Station I at S. Matthias.
3 - Ss. Philip & James (red) (proper p. 405) (Crouchmas in the Order of the Holy Cross and the Society of the Holy Cross) (proper p. 422)
4 - St Athanasius (white or yellow)
5 - 6 for the Departed in Easter (purple)
7 - Julian of Norwich. Pray for the Order of Julian of Norwich
8 - Our Lady in Easter - May Festival Station II at S. Thomas; Whitekirk and Haddington Pilgrimage
9 - ROGATION SUNDAY the beating of bounds (purple/white)
10 - 11 Rogation Days (Sacramentary nn. 5334, 5338) (purple)
12 - Florence Nightingale (white or yellow); Eve of the Ascension
13 - ASCENSION DAY (white or gold or best) (proper p. 342)
14 - S. Matthias the Apostle (red) (proper p. 407)
15 - Our Lady in Easter, May Festival Station III: S. Bartholomew
17 - 18 in the Octave of the Ascension (white)
19 - St Dunstan of Canterbury (white or yellow)
20 - Octave Day of the Ascension (white)
21 - for the Departed in Easter (purple)
22 - Our Lady in Easter (white and blue); Vigil of Pentecost (Sacramentary no. 1657) (purple, white)
23 - WHITSUNDAY (best)
24 - Monday in the Octave of Pentecost
25 - Tuesday in the Octave of Pentecost, comm. St Bede
26 - Ember Wednesday in Pentecost, comm. St Augustine of Canterbury (red) (proper p. 395)
27 - Thursday in the Octave of Pentecost, comm. John Charles Roper
28 - Ember Friday in Pentecost, comm. Roberta Elizabeth Tilton (red) (proper p. 395)
29 - In Toronto, the Visitation: May Festival Station IV at S. Mary Magdalene, elsewhere Ember Saturday in Pentecost (red) (proper p. 395)
30 - TRINITY SUNDAY, Athanasian Creed (best)
31 - Visitation of the BVM (blue and white) (proper p. 408); Anglican National Pilgrimage


Might I ask, in line with policies at a number of other blogs, that anonymous contributors adopt a pseudonym, only for the purpose of mutual distinction?


Unlike some of my fellow parishioners, I don't believe that BCP is necessarily better. I would be quite averse to ordination with the BCP, at least to the priesthood, given the lack of explicit sacrificial intent. The BAS has also given us back rites such as the Imposition of Ashes, Chrismation, the liturgies of Holy Week, the sacrament of reconciliation outwith the context of Extreme Unction, and a daily lectionary for Mass. The various forms of the Canon of the Mass have an explicit epiclesis and oblation. Rubrical provision is made for the minor propers so that the congregation may indeed "sing the Mass" and not just "sing at Mass."

Full communion resources from the Lutherans give us opportunities to use the Asperges and the Litany of the Saints (duly reformed!) and a more breviary-style office for those who prefer it. I once attended Sung Matins in the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary's Keffer Memorial Chapel using the then brand new Evangelical Lutheran Worship (the "cranberry book"). Quite different from the BCP cathedral men and boys experience, but I loved the soaring Venite.

The BCP remains a rich treasury of prayers. The services of Morning and Evening Prayer, the Coverdale Psalter, the collects, and countless prayers for numerous occasions, are all laudably retained. Even its Communion Office has its own internal logic and integrity. So while I admire the convenience of the American prayer book, I remain a fan of our two-book system. I also firmly believe that the slender Canadian Book of Occasional Offices should be preserved, for such oddities as the Admission of Deaconesses and for sundry benedictions, dedications, and civic ceremonies, not to mention the setting apart to the minor ministries. And I still regard the Anglican Gradual and Sacramentary as the best expression of Catholic worship in conformity to the authorized service books of our provinces, although my colour scheme is largely indebted to the Use of Christminster.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


In the same-sex debate currently ongoing in the Anglican Church of Canada, a number of the arguments contra come from individuals who believe homosexuality per se to be immoral and insist that the Church cannot "bless sin." These arguments, however, are out of order, as this private opinion is not the teaching of the Anglican Church of Canada, which "affirms the integrity and sanctity of committed adult same-sex relationships." And so the same-sex debate has to begin with the premise that same-gender unions are holy. Recall that Nuptial Masses for same-gender couples, minus the blessing itself, are already permitted by the House of Bishops, so the question under debate is not "is homosexuality moral?" That question has already been answered by General Synod, and so authors who argue against same-sex unions on the basis of their alleged sinfulness are essentially talking past the voice of the Church and giving an argument that has already been rejected.

And so reasserters must explain why, given the integrity and sanctity of same-sex unions, and their status as a permissible subject of intercession in votive Masses, they should not be blessed. Alas, many have simply been content to cite Scripture (always focusing on smaller, arcane clauses, of course, and ignoring the more broadly sweeping themes of love and justice) and assume, almost autistically, that their interpretation is equally evident to everyone else.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

On Just War

There is, I think, wide misunderstanding about the Christian doctrine of war. It might best be describes as being akin to the issue of homosexuality in Conservative Judaism, which has approved two conflicting rabbinical opinions on the subject for the faithful to choose from. (One continues the traditional position, while another removes all restrictions up to but not including rectal intercourse; a third responsum favouring complete abolition was rejected).

Two traditions can be found regarding war in the history of Christian thought, and so it may be said that a case may be made for both. Pacifism, however, originates with Jesus, and predates the Augustinian distillation of Just War theory. Moreover, the latter is limited in scope. Christians are not free to approve of just any war, if you will. In fact, most modern wars are total wars, which involve risk of loss of life to non-combatants. Right off the bat, they are disqualified from being salvaged by Just War. And so while it may be said that Christians are not bound to pacifism strictly speaking, the range of permissible belief is not so broad as commonly represented. To say that one who is not pacifist may be a Christian is not say that a Christian can support, for example, the ongoing war in Iraq, much less enlist for armed service. The days of the Major the Reverend (who retires, of course, to schoolteaching) are long gone.

On Exegesis

Reading Ephraim Radner's review of Reasonable and Holy and the author's responsa thereto, what struck me was how easy it is to get bogged down in exegesis in the same-sex debate. Conservative arguers spill much ink over St Paul's cognitive state and the precise definition of porneia current during Jesus' earthly ministry, but no one needs to persuade me, at least, that Scripture says what it says.

For like my "reasserter" brethren I believe that all Scripture is given to us by God for our edification. I do not, however, believe that "inspired" necessarily means "literally applicable today." That doesn't mean that I wish to discard parts of the Bible, contrary to a common allegation. It's all there, and it's all good. Even the passages in Leviticus that make me squirm teach us about the relationship between God and his Chosen People throughout history, in slavery, exile, war, and also times of peace and prosperity. They teach us about the Covenant, about the struggle of the Israelites to survive under hostile conditions. I may think that the disappearance of temple prostitution obviates my obligation to distinguish myself from my Pagan neigbhours by eschewing same-gender relations, but I am no less a believer in the much-vaunted authority of Scripture per se. Every verse of the Bible has something to teach us, but many cannot simply be invoked at face value anymore. And who decided which those are? Scripture and Tradition (an artificial distinction for the former is a part of the latter) teach us that it is the Church that has been given power to bind and to loose, and for Anglicans, the Church speaks through its synods.

It won't matter how much or how loudly the "reasserters" call for "the plain meaning of Scripture" to be vindicated, or how many smug statements they issue "affirming" the "traditional doctrine of marriage." Unless and until they give a coherent account of why the Church, in Christian charity, ought not now to exercise its authority to "loose" its gay and lesbian faithful, their complaints will fall on deaf ears. In this respect, the problem is similar to that encountered with the ordination of women, where traditionalists often become complacent with the support the Papacy and 2000 years of Tradition, and neglect to address the serious theological problems raised by a male-only priesthood.

As Derek reminded us in a recent comment, the distinction is not, as Radner and Co. would have us believe, between those who interpret the Bible and those who do not, but between those who admit that they do so, and those who do not.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Rose Maniple Ordo

From here on in I will be featuring my monthly in-house kalendar for your perusal. This will take us to Easter Day.

February 2010
21 - LENT I (purple or grey; off-white paraments)
22 - Lenten feria
23 - Lenten feria, comm. St Polycarp of Smyrna
24 - Ember Wednesday in Lent, comm. Philip Tsen and Paul Sasaki (purple) (proper p. 395)
25 - Lenten feria
26 - Ember Friday in Lent, comm. Florence Li-Tim Oi (purple) (proper p. 395)
27 - Ember Saturday in Lent (purple), comm. George Herbert (pericopes of the feria) (proper p. 395)
28 - LENT II (purple or grey)

March 2010
1 - St David of Wales (white)
2 - St Chad of Mercia (white)
3 - John and Charles Wesley (white)
4 - Lenten feria (purple or grey)
5 - Lenten feria
6 - Our Lady in Lent (white and blue) (pericopes of the feria)
7 - LENT III, comm. St Perpetua (purple or grey)
8 - Edward King (white)
9 - St Gregory of Nyssa (white)
10 - Robert Machray (white)
11 - Lenten Feria
12 - Lenten Feria
13 - Our Lady in Lent (pericopes of the feria)
14 - LENT IV (rose) (flowers are permitted on the altar and the organ may be played as a solo instrument; the Litany in Procession is omitted)
15 - Lenten feria
16 - Lenten feria
17 - St Patrick (white or red) (fasting relaxed in some jurisdictions)
18 - Lenten Feria, comm. St Cyril of Jerusalem
19 - St Joseph (white) (proper p. 402)
20 - Our Lady in Lent, comm. St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (white and blue) (pericopes of the feria)
21 - PASSION SUNDAY, comm. Thomas Cranmer (crimson)
22 - Lenten feria, comm. Thomas Ken
23 - Lenten feria, comm. St Gregory the Illuminator
24 - in the Octave of St Joseph (white), I Evensong of the Annunciation
25 - THE ANNUNCIATION TO THE BVM (white) (not a fast day) (proper p. 403)
26 - Compassion of the BVM (purple or grey), comm. of the Octave
27 - Lenten feria, comm. Charles Henry Brent
28 - PALM SUNDAY (crimson or purple)
29 - Monday in Holy Week (crimson) (proper p. 301)
30 - Tuesday in Holy Week (Chrism Mass in the Diocese of Toronto) (crimson) (proper p. 302)
31 - Wednesday in Holy Week (crimson) (proper p. 303) Tenebrae

April 2010
1 - Maundy Thursday (crimson) (proper p. 304)
2 - Good Friday (black) (proper p. 308)
3 - Great Vigil and First Mass of Easter (purple, best) (proper p. 322)
4 - EASTER DAY, OR PASCH: the Resurrection of Our Saviour Jesus Christ according to the flesh, comm. Reginald Heber (best) (proper p. 355 [day], Sacramentary [dawn])

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Prayer of Humble Access

So-called liberals often have a troubled relationship with the Prayer of Humble Access, while Catholics may resent its temporary ascendancy over the Agnus Dei. It has been derided as the "Prayer of Humble Excess" and the "Humble Crumble Mumble," but Prayer Book champions wear it as a badge of pride.

In the ordo missae on page 230 of the Book of Alternative Services (that is, the Canadian Rite I, if you will) the Prayer is retained in a redacted form. The obvious source of consternation, "we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table", is still there. ("Even though the dogs are!" as one ordinand of my acquaintance remarked). Gone, however, is the less evidently objectionable "that our sinful bodies..." In Rites for a New Age, Michael Ingham suggests that this is to avoid the suggestion that the elements can offer remission of sin. This seems dodgy to me, as I think it perfectly orthodox to understand receiving Holy Communion with faith as being unto forgiveness of sin. As a concession to comprehension of Puritanism, the clause "in these holy mysteries" had of course been given up before the first Canadian revision of the prayer book.

It is this understanding of the sanctifying nature of the Eucharist that causes the "crumbs" passage to grate. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, teaches that venial sin is absolved by reception of the Sacrament. While it is faithful to the Pauline understanding of the Eucharist, I think we have to question how well that tradition squares with that of Jesus himself. Are we to think of Holy Communion as a reward for sanctity or a means thereof? I think that the latter is perhaps a more sensible approach. Since Our Lord commanded us to "do this" it seems disingenuous to plead our unworthiness routinely before going on to fulfil the command.

So there are Catholic grounds for suspicion. There also the "liberal" grounds. They too have a point: it seems liturgically problematic at best to have such an abject prayer after the Confession and Absolution. It might be possible to incorporate such language into the penitential rites if desired, but it seems out of place in the Communion Rite, for how have we made it this far if not having been counted worthy?

Personally, I'm very much a "two book" Anglican. There was a move a few years back to try to get an American-style single book of two rites. I think that both BCP and BAS have their own integrity however. The BCP reminds of the truth of our fallen nature, our inability to save ourselves, and our reliance on God's mercy. The BAS reminds of the truth of redemption by the true Paschal lamb. I wouldn't want us to lose either of these traditions we have inherited. (In some American parishes, Rite I is used in Advent and Lent). The Book of Alternative Services restores practices such as the imposition of ashes, chrismation, Holy Week rites, and an Epiclesis. The rubrics allow for the interpolation of minor propers in the appropriate places. The BCP is dense with wonderful prayers that should be preserved intact.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Radner on Haller

From the Living Church a review by Ephraim Radner of Reasonable and Holy. The review is generally negative, not because Br Tobias does not refute the traditional arguments but because he apparently fails to " overarching vision of Christian marriage..." (I have not read the book in its print form, so I must take Radner at his word, but in my experience Haller's work presents a very clear evangelical paradigm for marriage, albeit one which does not suit Radner).

Radner acknowledges Fr Haller's arguments one by one, but feels that they somehow aren't sufficiently tied together - "discrete" is his word, though how else he would have us respond to the discrete (and in many cases far more questionable) contra arguments isn't clear. Particularly telling, though, is this passage:

Ultimately, the kinds of “objections” to same-sex marriage that Haller is trying to refute emerge from such a larger scriptural vision, and not from their status as discrete arguments. The central element of procreation in marriage, for instance, is bound up with the character of Israel’s calling in fallen (and the Fall has no place in Haller’s scheme) human history — genealogy — and ought not simply to be examined in terms of this or that individual person or couple (a rather modern obsession).

In these remarks, Radner falls victim to a common "reasserter" mistake, the treatment of the subject matter as academic theology. For gay people, the debate is very much about individuals and couples - real people whom the Church at present tells that their relationships are not deserving of recognition. Those who would uphold the law over charity (unlike the Anglican approach to divorce, for example) owe these people a good reason, not a poetic vision. "Marriage has to represent the (male) Christ and the (female) Church" (another common "poetic" argument) is not such a reason, for symbols are meant to assist our devotion and not the other way around. Symbols are helpful as far as they go, but if we become so attached to them that we are willing to give up our fellow Christians as sacrificial lambs to preserve them intact, then we are putting the symbol above the grace which it is meant to convey. If you can't wrap your head around same-sex marriage because it wreaks havoc with the "Bride of Christ" paradigm, then set that paradigm aside, and not same-sex marriage. The lives of gay and lesbian Anglicans are not a kindred matter to the timing of the extinction of the Paschal Candle or the direction of celebrant at Mass. "It throws the symbolism all off!" is just not going to cut it as a reason to bar Christians from two of the sacraments.

Granting that procreation is a common biblical motif, marriage must be reckoned with on theological and not literary grounds. The only question to be asked is, Does God care what gender one's spouse is? I cannot fathom a God who would, and Tobias Haller's writing casts serious on the assumption that there is an intrinsic value in sex difference that renders it necessary for marriage. Yet Radner characterizes his arguments as "familiar," which seems a trifle disingenuous. "Reappraisers" are well aware that our arguments are familiar, but if Radner and his ilk are so "familiar" with them then why have they not bothered to rebut them? Of course, much of the "debate" of the past 30 years has consisted of liberals spilling buckets of ink on the subject, which is then ignored by traditionalists, who insist that a stronger case must be made if blessings are to proceed, but stick their fingers in their ears when it is presented. So Radner is perhaps unwittingly apt here.

The fact is that there is no reason why heterosexuality is essential to the "overarching narrative" of Christianity. Procreation is not "bound up" in the Fall and redemption (although in the western, Augustinian conception it figures prominently), and the recognition of same-gender couples will not constitute a recanting of that narrative. But one of the key reasserter talking points is to portray the gay issue as a more dramatic departure than it is. Gay and lesbian Christians are not trying to overhaul Christian theology (contrary to Radner's assertion, I highly doubt that Haller would have us discard the Fall), and while marriage indeed "touches on" a number of central issues, this doesn't preclude its extension to same-sex couples. There is simply no reason why same-sex marriage must necessarily threaten the "larger scriptural vision" on which the Church is founded, and which gay and lesbian Christians take as seriously as any other.

It is time for the Church to decide whether it will use its power to loose and bind for the welfare of its gay and lesbian faithful.


Anglican Church in North America apologists are keen to assert that the gay debate is merely a "symptom" of a broader rejection of "orthodox Christianity." When pressed as to what other doctrinal revisions have given offence, however, they are quite vague, yet they get huffy at the suggestion that their raison d'etre is homosexuality, almost as if they are sheepish about the unpalatability of their preoccupation with the domestic lives of their fellow Christians.

The most recent change before same-sex blessings was the ordination of women, and that was nearly 40 years ago, with a plethora of Continuing groups catering to the disaffected. When I pointed this out, a moderator at the Essentials blog protested that she wasn't even alive when TAC et. al. were formed! (I wasn't alive in 1534, but I managed to find my way to Anglicanism nonetheless).

Monday, February 8, 2010

A modest proposal

With the Church of Nigeria's decision to walk apart in 2005, we ought to provide missionary bishops for those who remain faithful to the See of Canterbury.

The Accession Service

Choral Evensong today at the Cathedral Church of St James. The Lieutenant Governor and his consort were in attendance, he reading the First Lesson. They attend a nondenominational church in the suburbs east of the city; Her Honour is a Gospel singer of some repute. This must have seemed quite high to them. They were formally seated by the Dean of Toronto, His Honour giving a wave as he passed up the main aisle on his mobility device.

The service was almost entirely choral (but not solemn), including the versicles and responses and royal suffrages (with the 1662 ending to "Give peace in our time, O Lord"). The setting was Stainer in B flat. A few die-hards including myself joined the choir during the psalms, which were entirely singable Anglican chant. The officiant was the Associate Priest; the Dean of Toronto preached. The Royal and National Anthems were sung, along with "I vow to thee, my country."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Candlemas photos

A couple of shots of the from the Sarum Use Procession and Solemn High Mass at St Thomas's, Huron Street. The celebrant, deacon, subdeacon, and in the first photo the clerk, are shown.