Divine Mercy

Our Roman Catholic siblings have added an extra layer to this past Sunday’s liturgy. With us they celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter, replete with white vestments, alleluias, the appearances to the disciples (including Thomas) for the Gospel, and all the accouterments that mark our 50-day focus on the resurrection of Jesus. But a more recent tradition reminds us that we just marked His crucifixion as well; it doesn’t let us scoot by it and on to happier things, as if we could ignore our giant elephant roommate that is the passion and death that led to God’s Easter reply.

Read More

Proclaiming the Resurrection in a Strange Land

For many of us, it feels like the celebration of Our Lord’s resurrection is a distant memory from years past. This weekend just wasn’t the same: it can’t compare to gathering in a packed church, singing hymns, hearing and proclaiming the Word, consecrating and partaking of the Sacrament.

And yet, celebrate we can, because Christ’s rising from the dead is truer than a pandemic, and truer than our isolation. The risen Jesus makes room for our feelings of disorientation and disconnection within His eternal, glorified life.

And so the Monastery that is the Church moves with the patterns of this eternal life, in time with the flow of Christ’s story, even with one eye on the trends and patterns of death and disease in our own cities and communities. The People of God continue to gather and pray, but we’ve moved primarily into digital spaces. We continue to share our lives, invite others into our lives, and hopefully make good on the opportunity to reflect on what is and isn’t meaningful for our human, creaturely existence.

Even in a time of pandemic and physical distancing, we can still journey with Jesus, who carries us “out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.”

Alleluia, Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia.

See original post

Sermon: Maundy Thursday

April 13, 2017   St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux, Toronto

  • Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14
  • Psalm 116:1, 10-17
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
  • John 13:1-17, 31b-35

“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.”

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights, we eat leavened and unleavened bread. Why on this night do we only eat unleavened bread?

Every year growing up, I would ask these questions at our annual Passover Seder. It was the most important night in our family’s year, and it began one of the most important parts of the Passover ritual. The questions would spark an extended retelling of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt—our people’sexodus from slavery—by God’s “mighty hand and outstretched arm.” This retelling would include the account of the first Passover from our first reading this evening.

Read More

Example of His Patience: Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Source: Prayer Book Society of Canada Facebook page. Available here.

One of the most fascinating things about the Book of Common Prayer is that its meaning has changed almost as much as the meaning of Scripture itself. Countless Anglicans across the centuries and now across the world, praying the same text, have bound to imagine different meanings to those same words. A case in point is the way Anglo-Catholics are now the effective guardians of Cranmer’s words, employing the Communion Service in ways that Cranmer the Reformer deliberately protested.

Read More

Governed and preserved evermore: Passion Sunday (Lent V)

WE beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Passion Sunday, BCP

Oh, theodicy.

We need narratives to make sense of our lives. Just because they’re narratives doesn’t make them untrue or unwise. “Narrative” simply names the task of gathering experiences into a coherent whole, with the goal of explaining why we are where we are. Those experiences can be real, and our current experience can be real; it’s the connection between them that beckons our creativity. When we’re facing a large-scale disaster like a pandemic, a narrative that people of faith often turn to is Divine will and judgement. This can be legitimate, or it can be disastrous.

Read More