The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you Peace. (Numbers 6: 24-26)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anglicanism 101 and Beyond

For the past several weeks, out Wednesday Night Bible Study hour has been devoted to a study of our Anglican heritage, traditions and beliefs.  We have studied out liturgy, the seven Sacraments, the Book of Common Prayer and, next week, we will finish the series with a discussion of the history of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America and the Anglican Communion.

During the discussion of the BCP last week, the class requested if it would be possible to celebrate Holy Eucharist according to the 1928 Prayer Book, a liturgy which some in the group remembered fondly and which others had never experienced.  After obtaining permission from Bishop MacPherson, last night, I celebrated the Mass according the '28 "Order for The Administration of the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion".  The chapel was nearly full, and during a discussion of the service during dinner, it was decided, again unanimously, that I would request permission from the Bishop to continue to use the '28 liturgy for our Wednesday night Eucharist.  Happily, the Bishop responded to me this morning granting me permission to do just that.

Therefore, beginning next Wednesday and for each Wednesday during Lent, we will worship according to the 1928 prayer book.  Because of the changes in the lectionary over the years, I will be using the readings from the Lesser Feasts and Fasts, but the service itself will be done according to the rubrics in the '28 book.

I also take this opportunity to remind and invite everyone to our Wednesday night program during Lent.  Amy will continue to provide our meals for us, but in keeping with the penitential nature of Lent, we will be scaling back slightly by serving a selection of soups and bread each Wednesday night.  We will also observe the Stations of the Cross each Wednesday following the Mass; therefore, the service will be held in the Church during Lent instead of in the Chapel.

For Bible Study during Lent, we will return to the Old Testament with a study of Exodus, the second book of the Pentateuch.  I hope that this will be a rich opportunity to reflect on God's redemption of His Chosen People from the bonds of slavery in Egypt in the light of His redemption of the whole world through His Son, Jesus Christ.
O Almighty Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that, through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Fr. Michael+

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