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.

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Put upon us…

An almost imperceptible difference between contemporary versions of the Advent Collect and its original comes very near the beginning. It may just be a difference in emphasis, but it’s one I’ve needed to sit with these past four Sundays. Contemporary versions read like this: “give us grace that *we may…put on* the armour of light.” God gives grace, but we’re the ones putting on the armour. This reading has passed into the customary public prayer of the original: our inflection and emphasis still sounds like we’re the subject of the action, that the mood is the same subjunctive as the first request, “that we may cast away the works of darkness.”

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O Sapientia

O Sapientia,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom,
coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

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