Archive for the 'Modern Worship' Category

Virginia church may look Anglican, but it’s fully Baptist

August 1, 2014

Here is the story of a Baptist church plant that is both liturgical and sacramental. What do you think. Give it a read and make a comment. We’ll rap.

Virginia church may look Anglican, but it’s fully Baptist | Virtueonline – The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism.


Reflections on worship music from “Bill in the Blank”: Why I’ve Stopped Singing in Your Church

December 29, 2012

To be candid, I know how to behave in your church. I’ve been raised in it my entire life. So I know how to fake it when necessary. Lately, it’s been very necessary when the music is playing and we’re supposed to be singing, you know, to God. Frankly, I’m tired of it. Maybe all the “seekers” are enjoying it, but I’m finding it hard to sincerely engage in anything resembling worship.

Instead of feeling the joy of joining with other believers in offering praises to the Almighty, I often feel insulted, bored, and disconnected from 2,000 years of worship history. And just when I think that maybe it’s just me having a selfish and sinful attitude — a very real possibility — a flamboyant electrical guitar solo breaks out. I’m left deciding whether to waive my iPhone and buy the t-shirt or just shut up and go home.


Why I’ve Stopped Singing in Your Church.

The Church Year: Living in Sacred Time

December 23, 2012

During the Advent Season of 2012, it was my privilege to teach a four-week Sunday school class dealing with the church year. The recordings of the classes are available in my Dropbox and I am pleased to share them. Many of you may wonder why we have liturgical seasons and so-called “feast” days. I have taken great pains to answer all of your questions.

But seriously folks, it is a big subject and it is tied to church history, a study of over 2000 years. The lessons are lecture based, which I concede is not the most effective method of education. Under the circumstances of a relatively short time (45 minutes) and a substantial load of information, the ancient method of instruction turns out to be most practical. Except for week three (I messed up the class recording) these are the actual lessons.

Week one is an introduction to liturgical time and the Advent season. The audio file is available here.

Week two presents Lent, Palm Sunday and the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday) The recording is here.

Week three concerns the Great Vigil of Easter, the Rogation Days, Ascension Thursday, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday. The link for week three’s recording is here.

Finally, week four is all about the Easter and Epiphany cycles. The recording is here.

Why I am still an Anglican

September 15, 2012

The summer academic  term is a memory now, and it is a good one. As a student, I participated in an academic class at the Anglican School of Ministry, “BIB 505: Using Exegetical Tools.” It is a new offering at ASM and one of the most difficult and useful classes I have taken. (I am in the new MMin program.)  It is especially appropriate for an adult learner who does not have biblical languages. Anybody handling the scriptures needs to have a knowledge of several academic topics and the use of concordances, lexicons, dictionaries, and so on.

On the other side of the educational world, I conducted a “continuing ed” level course on “Anglicanism>” It was enlightening and frustrating. It is clear that, since the 1500s (actually since about 30 AD) the church has faced the same issues dressed up in period costumes according to historical context. We are troubled by the failings of ego, status seeking, tunnel vision, inflexibility and the ever dominant pride. Did I leave out greed?  If there is any of that in the Anglican experience, I do not find much of it. Maybe I am wrong. Fallen human nature is a unified collection of moral weaknesses.

It is difficult to speak coherently about American Anglicanism because there seems to be very little common ground. The Book of Common Prayer is, in the first place, more typically a pamphlet of common prayer, or the projection screen of common prayer. This is a far journey from a single unifying book of liturgy and doctrine. The modern freedom of word processing permits “cut and paste” worship, and that means that every parish will have a distinctive expression of faith. That may seem benign, but the underlying problem is that the cutting and pasting is often accomplished by people, sometimes educated and  well-intentioned, who are ill-equipped to appreciate the importance of moving or removing a line or two here or there.

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Pat’s covert love affair with the 1928 Book of Common Prayer

January 30, 2012

Before we go any further, I had best get this out in the open. You will sometimes find that I make reference to the 1928 American edition of the Book of Common Prayer. The uninitiated should be careful because there is also a 1928 British edition of the BCP, but it was never approved by Parlement. For the Church of England, the official Prayer Book is the 1662, although almost nobody actually uses it for public worship.

If you’re not confused yet, it may be that I am not doing my job. This kind of thing matters for Anglicans (of which I am one), Catholics, Lutherans, and other religious expressions that use liturgical worship. The Episcopal Church of the United States of America (now known simply as TEC)  has produced new editions of the BCP in 1789, 1892, 1928 and 1979. Therefore, we distinguish one from another by referencing the year of publication.

Traditionalists, of which I include myself, have an instinctive fondness for the 1928. The Elizabethan language is elevating and speaks to the transcendent beauty of the divine realm. As is often the case for human beings and institutions, the 28’s greatest strength is also a principle weakness. The language of the 1500s is far removed from the language of today, and age is not always an assurance of superiority. The inadequacy of the language is especially apparent in the King James Version of the Bible, which is embeded in the text.
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A few thoughts on revising The Book of Common Prayer and the ACNA “Theological Lens”

January 10, 2012

This post is a lot “thicker” than what you will generally read here, so if you are not interested in liturgy or worship, free free to ignore this discussion of something that has been a pending question for Anglicans more than 30 years. What should a modern American edition of the Book of Common Prayer look like?

This little essay does not propose to answer that question, but it is a begging – a discussion starter. As a Lay Catechist in the Anglican Mission, it is certainly not my intention to put my nose someplace it does not belong, but since the  the Anglican Church in North America has taken on the project, it is bound to effect Anglicans all over North America.

This started off as an exam question in my “Anglican Worship” class at the Anglican School of Ministry. What values would you represent if you were involved in producing a new edition? At the same time, I came across the “Theological Lens,” which is the guiding document of the ACNA revisers. Here is a link to that document. If my opinion matters, it appears that, with some reservations, they are headed in the right direction. Of course, your input is welcome. Remember, if you don’t want to read it, nobody is holding a gun to your head

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