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Topics - J. Thomas Shelley

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16
Your Turn / Memorial Day, Then and Now
« on: May 27, 2019, 09:28:16 AM »
http://www.usmemorialday.org/Speeches/Other/shelley1999.htm

On Memorial Day of last year I found myself doing something which I had never done before; indeed, something which at one time I could not even have conceived of doing: conducting a service of worship.

Memorial Day has been largely abandoned to Veteran’s groups conducting military services in a few larger cemeteries. The response of the Church has been either to ignore the day altogether, or to so drape it in red, white, and blue that the nation--and not the Triune God--becomes the object of devotion and worship. It was probably because of the excesses of the latter that I found myself among the former--among those who ignored the day.

But years of passing by a cemetery on the way to worship time and again have had a profound effect upon me. “I believe in...the communion of saints”, always (to use Luther’s phrase) “most certainly true” has become more than just words in a Creed; but a constant, discernible presence of the faithful departed of every age.

So also have years of coming increasingly frequently to the Lord’s table had a profound effect upon me. The communion of saints is not found in a cemetery, but in, with, and under the Presence of the Living Christ; who is Himself present in, with, and under the bread and wine of the Holy Communion. We meet and greet the saints at the table of their Lord.

Yet it was reading a children’s book on the patriotic holidays that stirred me to action; for it was only then that I discovered that in the years just following the Civil War the day was observed by holding church services (which were filled) and not by going to stores (which were closed). Now--as with so many customs of our culture--Memorial Day’s observance has been almost entirely reversed. And in that reversal the day’s original and highest meaning has been lost.

So it was that on Memorial Day of 1998 a small congregation assembled to hear the Word and share the Supper and to enter the hallowed ground of
the cemetery for concluding prayers by a Civil War veteran’s grave.

Much to my surprise, it was one of the most moving services of the year. I was at first struck that the first folks to arrive were some of our oldest and very faithful women, some of whom began to attend to the Altar, even though, for some, it was not “their month.”

The Altar, since the earliest days of Christianity, has most often been constructed to resemble a sarcophagus, that is, an above ground burial vault. In the first centuries, services were held on the vaults of martyrs. The attention given to the Altar seemed very much like the attention given to the Civil War casualties’ graves in Columbus, Mississippi, that began the Memorial Day customs of “decorating” the monuments of the fallen; and, on a yet deeper level, the faithful love shown by the women of the disciples who “came to the tomb early...”

Touching, too, was to see our Bill Clark and his family seated in a front pew. Bill--a Pennsylvania National Guardsman--had come in uniform.

But most touching of all was to watch the Clark family--even long after the service had concluded--visit each monument in both the old and new cemeteries that had been decorated with a miniature flag by the York County Veteran’s Council .

Willie and Jennie Clark will remember that this day is set aside for more than picnicking, fireworks, and shopping at Wal-Mart.

It is so blessed to obey God’s command to teach our children diligently--to instruct them in the meaning of each feast that we keep. For God spoke through Moses concerning the Passover: This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord, throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance forever...And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Lord’s
passover”

And God later spoke through St. Paul concerning the greater Passover and the greater Deliverer:

    Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us.
    Therefore let us keep the feast.


As we keep the memorial of our Passover--our passing from Death to Life through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ--as we keep the feast, we are assured of the Presence of the Risen Christ. And we are doubly assured of His presence as we instruct our children on the feast; for then His final Beatitude is given to us:

    Make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe
    all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you
    always, even to the end of time.


So let us keep the feast--hallow the day-- and share the blessing! This holy Easter day; this holy Eastertide; this Memorial Day.


17
Your Turn / On the eve of the Lenten Fast
« on: March 05, 2019, 09:01:17 PM »
In the Pennsylwania [sic] Dutch country today is Fastnacht Day, ja?

So it is the eve of the Great Lenten Fast...Ash Wednesday will quite literally mark its beginning for many Western Christians. 

In the Orthodox Church we will begin this coming Monday.   As a final preparation, on Sunday we will serve the Vespers of Forgiveness, mutually asking one another for pardon of all offenses so that we may enter into the holy season in peace.

Quote
We are entering the godly contest of the blameless Fast. 
Let us all diligently subdue the flesh through self control. 
Let us seek the Lord with prayers and tears,
and completely deliberate every vice, and shout to Him,
"We have sinned against You.
Save us, as you saved the Ninevites of old, O Christ our King. 
Grant us to share in your heavenly kingdom, O compassionate Lord."

--Stichera from the Vespers of Forgiveness

And in that spirit I ask you: 
Forgive me, brothers and sisters, if in any way I have offended you.

18
Your Turn / Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, A.D. 2019
« on: January 17, 2019, 07:05:29 PM »
Today, the 17th of January, the Commemoration of Anthony the Great, Father of monasiticism, was a pre-Feast, of sorts, for the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.  The Octave itself begins on the 18th with the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter on the Lutheran and Episcopal calendars and closes on the 25th with the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. 

In the Orthodox Church--which is in dire need of prayer for unity within itself, and for which such prayer is offered with every Great Ektania--the week is framed by the Feasts of Sts. Athanasios and Cyril, Patriarchs of Alexandria on the 18th and Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople on the 25th.

Whether the week be bracketed by first-century Apostles or fourth-century Patriarchs, it affords an opportunity to take to heart the petition of the Great Ektania, particularly the opening four petitions which were woven into the fabric of Lutheran worship in North America some 60 years ago with the publication of the Service Book and Hymnal.

How ironic, that during those six decades intra-Lutheran unity made great strides forward, culminating with nearly adopting a single worship book used by all major bodies in the 1970's, only to stumble and fracture two decades later.

And, to be fair and balanced, the Orthodox Church has had its own internal struggles.  The Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem remain out of Communion with each other.  That fracture was one of the factors causing the June 2016 meeting in Crete to be something other than a true Ecumenical Council; the fault lines listing participants and non-participants perhaps a preview of greater divisions which may ensue over the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox.

I became acquainted with the beginning of the Great Ektania in my 16th year when my organ teacher insisted that I learn Setting Two of the Service Book and Hymnal.   So for over four decades these petitions have been an important part of my rule of prayer; and this week will be no exception.

Indeed, with all that surrounds us, they may be offered with greater dynamis:

In peace, let us pray to the Lord....Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord...Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world, for the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord...Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord...Lord, have mercy.

...Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.




19
Your Turn / Weekly Eucharist: A Parable
« on: April 05, 2018, 12:41:24 PM »
A PARABLE

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had a silage feeder.  All kinds of cattle would come to the feeder; happy little heifer calves; and big bad bulls alike .  The farmer only filled the feeder four times a year, but when he did, the cattle gathered around, little and big alike.  It didn’t take long until the feeder was empty; but it would stay empty until the right number of months had passed.

After some years the farmer noticed that the little heifers would scrounge around the feeder hungrily in between feedings, hopeful that a few grains remained.  So the farmer decided to fill the feeder at the beginning of every month.  The cattle herded around it, little and big alike.  The little heifers ate happily, but the big bad bulls began to stomp and snort and snort and stomp.  “We don’t need to be fed so often” they complained.   Since they were bigger--and thought that they were stronger--they felt they could fend for themselves between feedings.  So the big bad bulls didn’t feed quite as often as the little heifers; but it still didn’t take long until the feeder was empty.  The feeder would stay empty until the right number of weeks had passed.

The farmer noticed that still the little heifers would scrounge around the feeder hungrily in between feedings, hoping that a few grains remained.  So the farmer decided to fill the feeder twice each month.  The little heifers herded around and ate happily, but the big bad bulls stomped and snorted and snorted and stomped all the louder.“We don’t need to be fed so often” they complained, “and, what’s more, we don’t think that you need to be fed so often either”.  The little heifers were puzzled.  They were feeling better, and stronger, and healthier.  How could this feed be so bad for them?  And why were the big bad bulls becoming louder and more vicious?  They weren’t eating the feed that they snorted was bad any more frequently--in fact, some were eating less than before.  But the little heifers still fed well, and it didn’t take long until the feeder was empty.  The feeder would stay empty until exactly two  weeks had passed.

After some years the farmer noticed that the little heifers would scrounge around the feeder hungrily in between feedings, hopeful that a few grains remained.  So the farmer decided to fill the feeder at the beginning of every week.   The little heifers herded around and ate happily, but the big bad bulls were enraged and  stomped and snorted and snorted and stomped louder than ever before.“We don’t need to be fed so often” they complained, “and, what’s more, we don’t think that you need to be fed so often either.  What’s good enough for us should be good enough for you”.

The little heifers were afraid of the big bad bulls, but knew that the farmer would continue to provide for them.  But one day as the farmer was filling the feeder, the big bad bulls rushed at him and began butting their heads against him and jabbing their horns at him.  The little heifers watched, helplessly, and very confused.  They couldn’t understand what was going on.  The farmer had fed them well, and they were stronger and healthier than ever before.    Their feed was good.  The farmer was their friend, he was doing what was good for them.    Why were the big bad bulls so vicious? 

“We are content”  said one of the little heifers.  “We don’t have to fend for ourselves anymore between feedings.  Our needs are provided and we are healthier and happier than ever before.  We aren’t making the bulls eat the feed--nobody is forcing them.  Why do they want to take it away from us--and make us go hungry?    Maybe the bulls have been fending for themselves too much for too long.  Maybe they can’t accept being cared for by another.   Maybe that is why they are trying to be rid of the caregiving householder.  Maybe that’s what has made them big and bad”

“Maybe” said another, “they’ve stayed away from the manger too long”

20
Your Turn / The Canon of Lazarus & Triduum
« on: March 30, 2018, 01:13:36 PM »
The grey skies over the northeastern US cast a Good Friday pall over all Christians, even though in the Orthodox Church we are just beginning Holy Week.

The Canon of Lazarus is sung tonight, commencing what Alexander Schme                             mann called "one feast over two days" of Lazarus Saturday/Palm Sunday.   

The Canon is a foreshadowing of the destruction of Hades wrought on Good Friday.

Quote

THE CANON OF THE RAISING OF LAZARUS THE RIGHTEOUS,
CHANTED IN TONE ONE
ODE ONE

Let us all sing a triumphant song unto God, Who has done strange wonders with His mighty arm,
and has saved Israel: for He is glorified.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O my Savior, Thou hast raised Lazarus who was four days dead, and freed him from corruption
by Thy mighty arm; and in Thy strength Thou hast revealed Thy power.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Calling Lazarus from the tomb, immediately Thou hast raised him; but Hell below lamented
bitterly, and groaning, trembled at Thy power, O Savior.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou hast shed tears for Lazarus, O Lord, thus proving that Thou hast truly taken flesh at Thine
Incarnation; and that, being God by nature, Thou hast become by nature a man like us.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou hast made the tears of Martha and Mary to cease, O Lord and Savior, by raising Lazarus
from the dead, and in Thy power Thou hast endued a corpse with the breath of life.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Obedient to the laws of human nature, Thou hast asked, O Master, where Lazarus was laid,
showing to all, O Savior, that at Thine Incarnation Thou hast become true man for our sake.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Calling Lazarus by name, Thou hast broken in pieces the bars of Hell and shaken the power of
the enemy; and before Thy Crucifixion, Thou hast made him tremble because of Thee, O only
Savior.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Master, Thou hast come as God to Lazarus, bound captive by Hell, and Thou hast loosed him
from his fetters, for all things submit to Thy command, O Mighty Lord.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Let us now glorify Father, Son and Holy Spirit, undivided Trinity in Unity of Nature, and with
the angels let us glorify Him as one uncreated God.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O Virgin Mother, still remaining virgin, Thou hast conceived the Creator of the World through
the Holy Spirit, according to the good pleasure of the Father; and without alteration or confusion,
He became what we are.

ODE TWO

Attend, O Heaven, and I shall speak and sing in praise of Christ, the Savior of the world, Who
alone lovest mankind.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Glory to Thee, Who alone hast called a four-day corpse from the tomb, raising Lazarus, Thy
friend.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

A lifeless corpse, he heard Thy voice; and at once he rose from the dead, filled with the breath of
life and glorifying Thee, O Lord.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Lazarus already stank; but, receiving the command of Thy life-giving voice, O my Savior, he
arose from the tomb.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou hast shed tears for Thy friend Lazarus, O my Savior, proving that Thou hast taken on
Thyself our nature, and then Thou hast raised him up.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Hell trembled when it saw him, bound in his grave-clothes yet returning at once to the life of this
world when he heard Thy voice.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

The Jews were amazed when Thou hadst called Lazarus, O Savior, and raised him by Thy word,
though his corpse already stank.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The palaces of Hell were shaken, when in its depths Lazarus began once more to breathe,
straightway restored to life by the sound of Thy voice.

ODE THREE

The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the rock
upon which Christ has established the Church that He has redeemed from among the nations.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O strange and marvelous wonder! Although He knew the answer, yet as if ignorant, the Maker of
All asked: Where does he lie, whom ye lament? Where is Lazarus buried, whom I shall shortly
raise up for your sake, alive from the dead.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Jesus commanded them to take away the stone that they had rolled upon thee when they buried
thee; and immediately He raised thee, calling thee: Lazarus, rise up and come to Me, that Hell
may tremble at My voice.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Shedding tears for Thy friend, O Savior, Thou hast shown the reality of Thine Incarnation: the
flesh that Thou hast taken from us was united to Thee in essence, not in appearance only. And,
since Thou art a God Who lovest mankind, immediately Thou hast called him and raised him up.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Woe is me! Now am I destroyed utterly, Hell cried out, and thus he spoke to Death: See, the man
from Nazareth has shaken the lower world, and cutting open my belly he has called a lifeless
corpse and raised it up.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

What is this madness that has seized you
O ye Jews? Why do ye disbelieve? How long will ye
wander in falsehood? Ye see the dead man leap up when Christ calls him, and do ye still
disbelieve in Christ? Truly ye are all children of darkness.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

I acknowledge Thee as one of the Trinity, even though Thou art incarnate, and I worship Thee as
one single Son, Who hast without seed taken flesh from the Theotokos, yet art glorified with the
Father and the Spirit.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O strange and dread sight, foreseen by the prophets who proclaimed the truth: by divine
providence the Virgin Theotokos conceived without seed and gave birth to God without
corruption, remaining still a virgin after childbirth.

ODE FOUR

The sun’s light was extinguished and the moon was halted in its course; Thou wast lifted, O
Longsuffering Lord, upon the Cross, and with it Thou hast built Thy Church.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Lord, Thou hast shed tears for Lazarus, showing that Thou art man; and Thou hast raised him
from the dead, O Master, showing to the peoples that Thou art the Son of God.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Lifeless, he heard Thy command, O Loving Savior: Lazarus, come forth, and bound with graveclothes
he leapt up at once, bearing witness to Thy power.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Christ our God, Thou hast made the tears of Martha and Mary to cease; calling Lazarus,
through Thine own authority Thou hast raised him by Thy voice, and he worshipped Thee.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

As man, Thou hast shed tears for Lazarus; as God, Thou hast raised him up. Thou hast asked, O
Loving Lord: Where is he buried, dead these four days; thus confirming our faith in Thine
Incarnation.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Wishing in Thy love to reveal the meaning of Thy Passion and Thy Cross, Thou hast broken
open the belly of Hell that never can be satisfied, and as God Thou hast raised up a man four
days dead.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Who has ever known or heard of a man raised from the dead, when his corpse already stank?
Elijah and Elisha raised the dead, yet not from the tomb or four days after death.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Lord, we sing the praises of Thy might; O Christ, we sing the praises of Thy Passion: for
through the one in Thy tender mercy Thou hast worked a miracle; and the other Thou hast as
man accepted willingly for our salvation.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou art God and man, proving by Thine actions the true reality of both Thy natures. In the flesh
Thou hast come to the tomb, O Word, and as God Thou hast raised up the man four days dead.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The Jews were amazed, O Master, when they saw dead Lazarus rising from the tomb at Thy
voice; yet still they believed not in Thy miracles.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Without beginning hast Thou shone forth from Thy Father as one of the Trinity, O Savior; and
within time Thou hast come forth from the Spirit, taking flesh in the Virgin’s womb, O
transcendent God.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The Theotokos conceived without seed and gave birth without suffering corruption. For, bringing
forth these wonders to pass, God emptied Himself that He might be united to us.

ODE FIVE

Give us Thy peace, O Son of God, for we know no other God save Thee. We call upon Thy
Name, for Thou art God of the living and the dead.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Since, O Lord, Thou art Life and true Light, Thou hast called dead Lazarus and raised him up,
for in Thy power Thou hast shown to all that Thou art God of the living and the dead.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Hell, that had received so many, was unable to resist Thy sovereign command, O Jesus; but
trembling, it surrendered Lazarus, four days dead, yet brought up to life by Thy voice.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Hell, that had received so many, was unable to resist Thy sovereign command, O Jesus; but
trembling, it surrendered Lazarus, four days dead, yet brought up to life by Thy voice.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Joining dust to spirit, O Word, by Thy word in the beginning, Thou hast breathed into the clay a
living soul. And now, by Thy word, Thou hast raised up Thy friend from corruption and from the
depths of the earth.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

None can withstand Thy behest, O Lord, for when Thou hast called dead Lazarus, though
lifeless, he arose at once, and though his feet were bound, he walked.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O folly of the Jews! O blindness of the enemy! Who hast ever known a corpse raised from the
grave? Once Elijah raised the dead, yet not from the tomb or four days after death.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

There is none like Thee, O Forbearing Lord. Thou doest all things for our sake as God, and Thou
sufferest as man. Make us all partakers of Thy Kingdom, at the prayers of Lazarus.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O Trinity Who wast before all things began, Father Almighty, Son and Holy Spirit, coeternal and
equal in honor, Holy Unity in three Persons: save us children of Adam who with faith sing Thy
praises.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Thine undefiled womb was sanctified, O pure Virgin, by the transcendent God Who took flesh
from it: He is adorned as one of the Trinity, the Word from the Father, one God with the Spirit.

ODE SIX

Thou hast cast me, O Savior, into the deep waters of the sea; yet Thou hast saved me from the
servitude of death, and loosed the bonds of my transgressions.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou knowest all things, yet hast asked where I was buried. As man by nature, Thou hast wept
for me, O Savior, and Thou hast raised me from the dead by Thy command.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou hast called me from the lowest depths of Hell, O Savior, cried Lazarus to Thee when Thou
hast set him free from Hell; and Thou hast raised me from the dead by Thy command.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou hast clothed me in a body of clay, O Savior, and breathed life into me, and I beheld Thy
light; and Thou hast raised me from the dead by Thy command.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou hast breathed life into my flesh, O Savior, when there was no breath within it; Thou hast
bound it fast with bones and sinews, and Thou hast raised me from the dead by Thy command.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou hast broken open the all-devouring belly of Hell and snatched me out, O Savior, by Thy
power; and Thou hast raised me from the dead by Thy command.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou hast clothed Thyself in all my human nature, O Savior, and hast kept pure in childbirth the
undefiled womb from which Thou camest forth incarnate, being one of the Trinity.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O Holy Trinity, I glorify Thy compassion, and with the angels I sing the thrice-holy hymn: have
mercy on the souls of us who praise Thee.
Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O marvelous wonder! The Word entered Thine undefiled womb, pure Virgin Mother, yet
preserved it virgin after childbirth.

The fire, O Savior, did not touch or trouble Thy children in the furnace. Then with one voice the
three sang Thy praise and blessed Thee, saying: O God of our Fathers, blessed art Thou.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Savior Who lovest mankind, Thou hast wept over the dead, in this way showing to all the
peoples that, being God, Thou hast become man for our sakes; and, shedding tears by Thine own
choice, Thou hast given us proof of Thy heartfelt love.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

When Lazarus, four days dead, heard Thy voice below, O Savior, he rose up and sang Thy
praises, crying aloud joyfully: Thou art my God and Maker; I glorify and worship Thee, for Thou
hast raised me up.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Though I lie in bonds, O Savior, Lazarus cried from below to Thee his Deliverer, yet shall I not
remain forever in the depth of Hell, if Thou wilt only call to me, ‘Lazarus, come out;’ for Thou
art my Light and my Life.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

I implore thee, Lazarus, said Hell, Rise up, depart quickly from my bonds and be gone. It is
better for me to lament bitterly for the loss of one, rather than of all those whom I swallowed in
my hunger.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Why dost thou delay, Lazarus? cried Hell. Thy Friend stands calling to thee: ‘Come out.’ Go,
then, and I too shall feel relief. For since I swallowed thee, all other food is loathsome to me.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Lazarus, why dost thou not rise up swiftly? cried Hell below, lamenting. Why dost thou not
run straightway from this place? Lest Christ take prisoner the others, after raising thee.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou art magnified, O Master Christ, through the many miracles Thou hast performed. For Thou
hast given light to the blind and opened the ears of the deaf by a word; and, calling Thy friend
Lazarus, as God Thou hast raised him from the dead.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Let us sing praises to the Trinity, glorifying the eternal Father, the Son and the Spirit of
righteousness, one single Essence that we magnify in threefold song: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou,
O Trinity.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

We glorify Thee, O Christ, as one of the Trinity. Without changing, Thou wast made flesh from
the Virgin, and hast endured all things as man, O Jesus; but, though united with us, Thou wast
not divided from the Father’s nature.

O heaven of heavens and the waters that are above the heavens, bless and praise the Lord.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The Maker, Who upholds all things, cam
e to Bethany in his compassion, to raise Lazarus.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Four days dead, already stinking, bound in grave-clothes, lacking the breath of life, at Thy call,
O Lord, Lazarus leapt up endued with life.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The Jewish people, seeing the dead man rise at Thy command, O Christ, gnashed their teeth in fury.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Jews, the Light shines round you, but ye still remain in darkness. Why do ye doubt the
resurrection of Lazarus? It is the work of Christ.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Rejoice, Zion, and sing praises to the Giver of Life, who by His word has raised Lazarus from
the tomb.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The heavenly hosts and men on earth sang Thy praises, O my Savior, for Thou hast raised
Lazarus.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

I glorify and praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and with never-silent voice I cry: O Thrice-
Holy, glory to Thee.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

I bless and worship Thee, born from the Virgin, yet never parted from the throne of Thy holy
glory.

ODE NINE

He has showed strength with His arm; He has put down the mighty from their seats and exalted
the humble, for He is the God of Israel. The Dayspring from on High has visited us and guided
us into the way of peace.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Let Bethany sing with us in praise of the miracle, for there the Creator wept for Lazarus in
accordance with the law of nature and the flesh. Then, making Martha’s tears to cease and
changing Mary’s grief to joy, Christ raised him from the dead.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

To confirm men’s faith in Thy Resurrection, O Word, Thou hast called Lazarus from the tomb
and as God hast raised him up, to show the peoples that Thou art both God and man in very truth,
Who dost raise up the temple of Thy body.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Shaking the gates and iron bars, Thou hast made Hell tremble at Thy voice. Hell and Death were
filled with fear, O Savior, seeing Lazarus their prisoner brought to life by Thy word and rising
from the tomb.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

All were dismayed to see Thee, Savior, weeping over dead Lazarus, and in their misery they
said: Behold how He loves him. Then Thou hast straightway called him, and at Thy command
the dead man rose, delivered from corruption.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The gates were shaken and the bars were shattered, and the bonds which held the dead man were
loosed. When Christ spoke in power, Hell groaned bitterly and cried aloud: Woe is me! What
and whence is this voice that brings the dead to life?

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Rise up, obedient to the voice of thy Friend outside, calling thee. This is He Who raised the dead
of old: for when Elijah and Elisha brought the dead to life, He it was that spoke and acted
through them.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Word and Savior, we sing the praises of Thy surpassing power; for, by Thy word, as Creator
of all things, Thou hast raised from the depths dead Lazarus with his bones and sinews, as Thou
hast raised the widow’s son from the bier.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Most Holy Trinity, O God the Eternal Father, O Coeternal Son and Word of God, O Holy Spirit
of God, Loving Comforter; one Light of the Threefold Sun, Consubstantial Essence, one God
and Lord, take pity on the world.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O Jesus, Who hast made all things in wisdom, Thou hast clothed Thyself in my whole nature,
taken from the Virgin, yet forever Thou remainest wholly in the bosom of the Father; and Thou
hast, as God, sent down Thy Holy Spirit on Thy flock: cover us with Thy shadow.


21
Your Turn / Holy Thursday
« on: March 29, 2018, 07:57:23 AM »
Quote

Receive me today, O Son of God
as partaker of Thy Mystical Supper.
For I will not speak of Thy mysteries
to Thine enemies;
Nor give Thee a kiss as did Judas.
But like the thief will I confess Thee:
Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom.


The Orthodox Kontakion of the Mystical Supper is used in place of the Cherubic Hymn at the Great Entrance on Holy Thursday.

At all other Divine Liturgies it is the first hymn sung at the Communion of the faithful.

22
Your Turn / ACNA Bishops's Statement on the Ordination of Women
« on: September 08, 2017, 11:58:25 AM »
Unity without uniformity has been a guiding principle of Anglicanism, once again manifested in this College of Bishops statement adopted yesterday:

Quote

September 7, 2017

PREAMBLE

In an act of mutual submission at the foundation of the Anglican Church in North America, it was agreed that each Diocese and Jurisdiction has the freedom, responsibility, and authority to study Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition of the Church, and to seek the mind of Christ in determining its own convictions and practices concerning the ordination of women to the diaconate and the priesthood. It was also unanimously agreed that women will not be consecrated as bishops in the Anglican Church in North America. These positions are established within our Constitution and Canons and, because we are a conciliar Church, would require the action of both Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly to be changed.


STATEMENT

Having gratefully received and thoroughly considered the five-year study by the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders, we acknowledge that there are differing principles of ecclesiology and hermeneutics that are acceptable within Anglicanism that may lead to divergent conclusions regarding women's ordination to the priesthood. However, we also acknowledge that this practice is a recent innovation to Apostolic Tradition and Catholic Order. We agree that there is insufficient scriptural warrant to accept women's ordination to the priesthood as standard practice throughout the Province. However, we continue to acknowledge that individual dioceses have constitutional authority to ordain women to the priesthood.


COMMITMENTS

As a College of Bishops, we confess that our Province has failed to affirm adequately the ministry of all Christians as the basic agents of the work of the Gospel. We have not effectively discipled and equipped all Christians, male and especially female, lay and ordained, to fulfill their callings and ministries in the work of God's kingdom. We repent of this and commit to work earnestly toward a far greater release of the whole Church to her God-given mission.

Having met in Conclave to pray, worship, study, talk, and listen well to one another, we commit to move forward in unity to carry on the good witness and work that God has given us to do in North America (Ephesians 4:1-6; John 17). We invite and urge all members of the Province to engage with us in this endeavor to grow in understanding the mission and ministry of all God's people.

Adopted unanimously by the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America
The Church of Our Lord, Victoria, BC, Canada

23
Your Turn / Lord, Thee I Love
« on: May 30, 2017, 09:31:07 PM »
Once again I'll say it: we have an obligation to teach our folks hymns like "Lord, Thee I Love." Songs to live and to die by.

Amen!

https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=6605.msg414108#msg414108

24
Your Turn / Christos Anesti!
« on: April 15, 2017, 09:02:22 PM »
The Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived therefor. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second.

You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Savior's death has set us free.

He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.
It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.
It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.
O Death, where is your sting?
O Hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life reigns.
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being risen from the dead,
   is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.

25
Your Turn / Heilige Ny Jaar!
« on: January 01, 2017, 07:43:51 AM »
In the Pennsylwania [sic] Dutch country that is the preferred greeting for the day, literally "Holy New Year".

Anyone can have a "happy" New Year and some might, at this moment, be feeling the ill effects of having been a bit too happy.

The greeting wishing a holy New Year may have its roots in January 1 being the Feast of the Circumcision.

THE OLD YEAR NOW AWAY IS FLED

England, 17th Century

TUNE: Greensleves[p]



The old year now away is fled,

   The new year it is en-ter-ed;

Then let us all our sins down tread,

   And joy-ful-ly all appear.

Let's merry be this day,

   And let us run with sport and play,

Hang sorrow, cast care away

   God send us a merry new year!


Christ's cir-cum-ci-sion this day we keep,

   Who for our sins did often weep;

His hands and feet were wounded deep,

   His bless-ed side with a spear;

His head they crowned with thorn,

   And at him they did laugh and scorn,

Who saving our souls was born.

   God send us a merry new year!




And now with new year's gifts each friend

   Unto each other they do send;

God grant we may our lives amend,

   That truth may now appear.

Snake-like cast off your skin

   Of evil thoughts and wicked sin,

And pure this year begin --

      God send us a merry new year!


26
Your Turn / #FacingLastEnemy
« on: November 25, 2016, 09:49:17 PM »
Published in my former parish's newsletter in August 2006, three weeks after my father's death from metastatic cancer.

Lord, Thee I love with all my heart;
I pray Thee ne'er from me depart,
With tender mercies cheer me.
Earth has no pleasure I would share,
Yea, heaven itself were void and bare
If Thou, Lord, wert not near me.
And should my heart for sorrow break,
My trust in Thee no one could shake.
Thou art the Portion I have sought;
Thy precious blood my soul has bought.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My God and Lord, my God and Lord,
Forsake me not!  I trust Thy Word

In mid March I attended a single day Retreat with the Susquehanna Chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity at St. Peter Lutheran in Middletown, literally in the shadow of the cooling towers of Three Mile Island and, to that island’s west, the island which three 18th and 19th century generations of my Shelley ancestors called home.

The Chapter Dean had asked me to play the organ for the closing Eucharist, which I gladly obliged, although I questioned why so many of the hymns selected were 16th century German chorales spanning two pages of the Lutheran Book of Worship with no fewer than three verses.  The hymn quoted above served as the Post-Communion for the liturgy, the tune allowed me to dust off a Pachelbel prelude that I had not touched for nearly eighteen years.

Later that evening. less than twenty minutes after arriving home, my father called to say that he could not get out of his chair.   Weakness from anemia fueled by the spread of cancer plus out of control congestive heart failure was on the verge of taking a deadly toll.

The hours in an emergency room never pass quickly.  But the time was filled with the music I had practiced repeating in my  mind, especially the final phrase of the verse of the Post-Communion hymn:


Lord Jesus Christ,
My God and Lord, my God and Lord,
Forsake me not!  I trust Thy Word


Just one day before, on the First Sunday in Lent we had prayed to be “[kept] steadfast in your word, and when we fall, raise us again and restore us, through Jesus Christ our Lord...”

Fallen and unable to raise ourselves, we were nevertheless granted a temporary reprieve that night so that the unspoken goal of living to see John finish High School could be achieved.

Yea, Lord, 'twas Thy rich bounty gave
My body, soul, and all I have
In this poor life of labor.
Lord, grant that I in every place
May glorify Thy lavish grace
And serve and help my neighbor.
Let no false doctrine me beguile
And Satan not my soul defile.
Give strength and patience unto me
To bear my cross and follow Thee.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My God and Lord, my God and Lord,
In death Thy comfort still afford.

The weeks and months which followed brought increasing difficulty.  “This poor life of labor” was steadily diminished.  Falls and episodes of severe weakness grew more frequent and need for watchful care became more urgent.  Strength and patience to bear this new cross was never more urgent

Your response to this challenge was to continue to be faithful stewards of God’s “rich bounty”.  You would gladly “serve and help [your] neighbor” in so many wonderful ways: in the steady supply of meals; the kind and wonderful visitors; the round-the-clock nursing car; and the understanding that while emergencies would be met routine business would be set aside.

This wonderful response often caused Dad  to wonder “where are the people from Calvary Church?”    So it was fitting that his very  final moments would be hearing a card and note from an elderly couple from that congregation, assuring him of their love and of their congregation’s prayers.

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

            
--Lutheran Book of Worship # 325

27
Your Turn / In Memorium: Renate Klein
« on: September 18, 2016, 01:45:12 PM »
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/york/obituary.aspx?n=renate-klein&pid=181445310&fhid=7886

Renate Klein
Formerly of York

Renate Ruth Gabriella Klein fell asleep in the Lord in the presence of her parents, Fr. Leonard R. Klein and Dr. Christa R. Klein, on September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

The cancer which took her life was a consequence of her disabling genetic disease, ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), which she had named her evil twin "Anna Theresa." The cancer was "Cruella." She graduated from William Penn High School in York, Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, and she attended classes at Penn State, York. She had a deep love for young children and volunteered in the Christ Lutheran Church Pre-School in York for six years, at St. Thomas the Apostle School and St. Edmond's Academy in Wilmington for a total of six years, and for a time at the Ministry of Caring Guardian Angel Child Care.

In spite of her disability and in some measure because of it she lived a rich and full life and was deeply loved by family and a wide network of friends, many of whom shared the struggle with A-T. She worked at fundraising for the A-T Children's Project, speaking at an annual event in New York City, and working online from her home. She participated in numerous fund-raising events and was named team captain this year for Team 25, organized by the Shjon Podein Foundation of Rochester, MN, to support families and raise funds for the A-T Children's Project.

In addition to her parents, she leaves her older siblings, Maria Hollenbeck and Nicholas Strauss-Klein; their spouses, Joel and Jennifer; and seven cherished nieces and nephews, Madeleine, Aidan, Clara, Henry, Aryeh, Zelda and Eve. Her passing will be a great loss also to her aunts and uncles, to her numerous cousins and their children — especially the extended family connected to Klein Farms Dairy and Creamery in Easton, PA. She leaves also a wide array of friends throughout the region and the country, include Cathie Falkler, her school aid for ten years.

Her parents and family extend their thanks to the many who visited, called, sent cards, and offered prayers and material assistance through the four months of her final illness. They are particularly indebted to her faithful Comfort Keepers, the staff of Heartland Hospice, and the A-T Clinical Center at Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

The viewing will take place at the McCrery and Harra Funeral Home, 3924 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE. on Thursday, September 22, from 5 until 8 p.m. Renate was a faithful member of the Cathedral of St. Peter, 6th and West Streets in Wilmington, DE where the funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 23. There will a period of visitation from 9:30 until 10:45 at the Cathedral. Burial will take place at the Forks Church Cemetery, 4500 Sullivan Trail, Stockertown, PA 18040 on Saturday, September 24, at 1:30 p.m.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Renate Fund at A-T Children's Project, 5300 West Hillsboro Blvd., Coconut Creek, FL 33073 or atcp.org; to Bayard House at Catholic Charities, 2601 W. 4th St., Wilmington, DE 19805; or to the Christ Lutheran Church Pre-School, 29 S. George St., York, PA 17401. For online condolences or to post a photo or kind words on her Vigil Wall visit:
mccreryandharra.com -

See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/york/obituary.aspx?n=renate-klein&pid=181445310&fhid=7886#sthash.neAB3WEK.dpuf

28
Your Turn / Orthodox Good Friday
« on: April 29, 2016, 07:55:02 AM »
Today is Good Friday in the Orthodox Church. 

It seems a bit peculiar to be contemplating Christ's Passion and death in the fifth week of Western Eastertide, and at the time when some in the West prepare hold a Rogate procession to bless the seeds and soil.

Yet it is the paradox of the seed which must break open and die in order to bring forth the Resurrection which ties these times and seasons together.   We will process tonight behind a decorated bier carrying the  epitaphios, the Burial Icon of Christ....the Holy seed of Resurrection and Life.

Quote
Today is hung upon the Tree, He Who did hang the land in the midst of the waters.

A Crown of thorns crowns Him Who is King of Angels.

He is wrapped about with the purple of mockery Who wrapped the Heavens with clouds.

He received buffetings Who freed Adam in Jordan.

He was transfixed with nails Who is the Bridegroom of the Church.

He was pierced with a spear Who is the Son of the Virgin.

We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.

Show also unto us thy glorious Resurrection.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty,
Holy Immortal,
Have mercy on us.

29
Your Turn / As Western Holy Week begins
« on: March 19, 2016, 08:41:38 PM »
ANDREW OF CRETE

Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives. Today he returns from Bethany and proceeds of his own free will toward his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation. He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, we are told in Scripture, above every sovereignty, authority and power, and every other name that can be named, now comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem. He comes without pomp or ostentation. As the psalmist says: He will not dispute or raise his voice to make it heard in the streets. He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.


Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.


In his humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and he is glad that he became so humble for our sake, glad that he came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to himself. And even though we are told that he has now ascended above the highest heavens - the proof, surely, of his power and godhead - his love for man will never rest until he has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory, and made it one with his own in heaven.


So let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.

30
Your Turn / Forgiveness
« on: March 12, 2016, 08:37:23 PM »
Brothers and Sisters on this Forum, if in any way I have offended you:  Forgive me, the sinner.

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