Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hark What A Sound - An Advent Hymn

I was just typing out in large print the text of a beloved Advent hymn for one of my sisters, and I thought I'd share it with you. Not much out there with the tune I love (Highwood), but I did find something on YouTube for you as well. Blessings on the rest of your (very short!) Advent as we look forward to celebrating the Incarnation of Our Lord in a few days. 

1.  Hark what a sound, and too divine for hearing,
stirs on the earth and trembles in the air!
Is it the thunder of the Lord's appearing?
Is it the music of his people's prayer?

2.  Surely he cometh, and a thousand voices
shout to the saints, and to the deaf are dumb;
surely he cometh, and the earth rejoices,
glad in his coming who hath sworn: I come!

3.  This hath he done, and shall we not adore him?
This shall he do, and can we still despair?
Come, let us quickly fling ourselves before him,
cast at his feet the burden of our care.

4.  Through life and death, through sorrow and through sinning,
he shall suffice me, for he hath sufficed:
Christ is the end, for Christ was the beginning,
Christ the beginning, for the end is Christ.

composer: Richard Runciman Terry (1865-1938)
author of text: Frederic William Henry Myers (1843-1901)

Text typed out thanks to a fabulous source:

Saturday, December 2, 2017

called out upon the waters

Tomorrow I go on my annual 8-day retreat - silence to spend time in prayer and resting in the Lord and his beauty. Someone played this song reflecting on Peter's stepping out of the boat. Now I'm bringing it with me: on this retreat, I seek to grow deeper in trust of God so as to say YES more fully, more promptly, and in Christ's peace. I am so grateful.

Early in the morning Jesus came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

-- Matthew 14:25-31

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

Hillsong United

Friday, November 3, 2017


Steam coming out of my ears. In whose universe are things going well enough in Haiti that temporary protected status needs to be rescinded?

Cholera (which didn't exist in Haiti before the earthquake brought UN troops carrying it). Hurricanes. The Dominican Republic rescinding full citizenship for people who couldn't prove their grandparents had papers - so many people with possible Haitian ancestry who had never lived in Haiti and sometimes didn't even speak Creole got dumped over the border into Haiti. And so on.

Want specific stories? Here are some I just read: ‘How would I survive going back there?’

This has approximately the same odor as the toilet I plunged earlier this evening. That, however, in contrast, was much more temporary even than this temporary protected status.

I'm sure things are pretty bad in Central America; I can't speak to that, so I'll stick to fuming about Haiti tonight and do more research later.

Here's the article I've come across tonight:

I would love to write more, but the Great Silence approaches, and I want to post tonight and call attention to this as soon as possible. That and prayer are all I can do for the moment.  More tomorrow, perhaps.  I'm off to speak to the Lord about this in no uncertain terms. 'Night, all.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

"Goodnight Moon" as read by LeVar Burton to Neil deGrasse Tyson

"Many moons ago, in a far off place..."

OK, I'll stop before I get too far singing from Once Upon a Mattress, the Princess and the Pea musical.

Many moons ago, one of my younger sisters founded the Moon Club (I kid you not). Around the same general time, she had a school friend who owed her so many favors that she made him call her every night to read her a bedtime story.

I wonder if one of them was Goodnight Moon.

Now, I will never catch up on favors after all she has done, especially in the last five years. However, I promise I will never again draw a line up the middle of a room we share or charge her rent if she borrows my clothing. Unless she throws it on the floor again, but I digress... :-D

Better yet, I have a bedtime story for her.

Liz, this one's for you. ❤

Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere.

— Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon

Time for the Great Silence. Everyone sleep well.

morning blessings

from this morning:

We're not that long out of silence, and already this day is full of blessings. Thought I'd share them with you.

My day opened with Morning Prayer, of course (after a nice, strong cup of coffee, which is its own blessing). Today we remember St. Simon & St. Jude, and the reading for the day from Ephesians particularly struck me as wonderful and appropriate for prayer. Imagine if we were all to pray with this daily.

Ephesians 2:13-22

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

(You can see the rest of the daily office readings here and the Eucharistic lessons here.)

As I returned from setting up the oratory for the Eucharist, I was greeted with a stunning view out the hall window as the reds of dawn began to lighten the sky and reflect off the bay. I wish I had a picture to share.  I did, however, take my folding chair down to the end of the road for a time of contemplation before the Eucharist, and I took a few photos.

Another gift of this morning was celebrating the Eucharist. I have always loved communion services, and now being able to preside gives me an extra joy on those days I am assigned. And we sang a favorite hymn of mind reminding me of the greatest gift we've been given: Jesus Christ, our sure foundation and sign of God's love, embodied.

Who knows what the rest of the day will bring? We are hosting two church groups, and I hope their time with us will be a gift and blessing to them. Perhaps their day will be as good as mine has begun to be. I'll pray that this be so - and that yours be a good one as well.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

hymn for the beloved physician

I'm working on my sermon for tonight's Eucharist and contemplating the words of this hymn alongside scripture and commentary.  Thought I'd share it for your prayer as well.

From thee all skill and science flow,
all pity, care, and love,
all calm and courage, faith and hope:
O pour them from above!
Impart them, Lord, to each and all,
as each and all shall need,
to rise, like incense, each to thee,
in noble thought and deed.

And hasten, Lord, that perfect day
when pain and death shall cease,
and thy just rule shall fill the earth
with health and light and peace;
when ever-blue the sky shall gleam,
and ever green the sod,
and our rude work deface no more
the handiwork of God.

--Charles Kingsley, 1819-1875
The Hymnal 1982 #566

Readings for the Eucharist on the Feast of St. Luke:
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 38:1-4,6-10,12-14
Psalm 147 or 147:1-7
2 Timothy 4:5-13
Luke 4:14-21

The Collect

Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Monday, October 2, 2017

not again

Went walking late this afternoon. Have some lovely photos. May share them later.

On my way to the car, I noticed the flag was at half staff. Hadn't seen it before.  I wondered which of the latest disasters it was for... so many lately. Thought of all the people dealing with the aftermath of the hurricanes and earthquakes.

I hadn't read the news - yesterday was so very full. 

I read it a while ago. Started to post something on Facebook, but what is there left to say. Why? I've asked that. No good answers. Contributing issues, naturally. But after all is said and done, I'm left with grief for all those people and their families and loved ones. I'd like to ask when it will stop. Never? But what little we can do, we must. Meanwhile, we grieve and we pray - and we seek wisdom.

considering the lilies

The reading for Evening Prayer tonight is one of my favorites, one I've gone back to over the years.

Someday I'll have to tell the story of its impact on me during my junior year abroad; it's too long for today. Suffice to say that I had been coming upon that passage with its "do not be anxious" (RSV translation) to the point that I was asking God, "Are you trying to tell me something?" Apparently so, and when I suddenly needed it, it was there. And right. So when I came upon it while praying Morning Prayer today, I just kept on reading into the Evening Prayer passage in advance.

It's our sabbath day - which is to say, our day of rest, our day "off," so to speak, so I will go out soon to consider the lilies and the birds of the air. Quite literally. Walking outside can be really good prayer time for me, and just being among green living things renews my spirit. I am profoundly grateful to be able to do so and to have a lovely afternoon in which to do it. I'll come back to this passage tonight, giving thanks and asking to hear it even more deeply. 

May the Lord help me - and all of us - to grow in trust and thanksgiving for that promise of steadfast presence, no matter what.

Matthew 6:25-34

 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

(Thanks to for the text!)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

this is how you do it - Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria's full speech about racism

I wish all our leaders - no, make that all of us - could be that clear. Racism is pervasive. And it's not all right. It's not just an opinion. It's evil.

Episcopalians: This is from our baptismal covenant. It goes well with the General's speech.  I've probably posted it before, but I'm posting it again because I think we need to go back to it (and the rest of our promises) on a regular basis.

CelebrantWill you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving
your neighbor as yourself?
PeopleI will, with God's help.
CelebrantWill you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human
PeopleI will, with God's help.

It will be a long, long time, unfortunately, before we're rid of this scourge. Those of us who are white especially bear the responsibility here. It's seeped into our pores through the images we've ingested since birth, and we're all just going to have to do a lot of work on ourselves and our world over the long haul. As with most everything in life, and especially in our life in Christ, we need to be persistent.

There's one more thing from the baptismal service that is particularly apt for this.

CelebrantWill you persevere in resisting evil, and , whenever
you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
PeopleI will, with God's help.

May God give us courage, wisdom, insight, energy, and love to move forward together.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

a nerd alert at morning prayer

I should do some more work on my sermon this evening, but as my brain cells seem to have taken an early night, I am going to share with you a bit of nun nerd-dom instead.

This morning's first reading at Morning Prayer was 2 Kings 6:1-23.

There is a point at which the king of Aram and his army, hunting for the prophet Elisha, surround the city in which he is staying while everyone is asleep.

When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, "Alas, master! What shall we do?" He replied, "Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them." Then Elisha prayed: "O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. When the Arameans came down against him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, "Strike this people, please, with blindness." So he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." 

And all I could think of was this:

These aren't the droids you're looking for.

Just now I was hunting for a picture of Elisha and the Arameans, and I came across this blog entry: Obi-Wan Elisha. Apparently I am not alone. 

Off to set the lights for Compline momentarily. I don't think I'll run into any stormtroopers in the process, but you never know.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

prayer for sheltering

Over the past weeks with their hurricanes - and now an earthquake - I have been praying with a line from a hymn: Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...

My first day of my novitiate field education placement at Common Art, St. John's, Bowdoin Street, on September 12, 2001. Liz, the priest in charge, is an artist. Two blocks from the State House, the anxiety was almost palpable. Following our service, Liz had us all draw prayer mandalas as we held this disaster in our hearts. I can still envision mine. So much to pray for. So many lives impacted. And I learned there that art, no matter the purely artistic quality thereof, can express prayers of the heart when words will not suffice. It complements the prayer of silence.

And so I made another. Great art it is not. But it is prayer. It is prayer I can come back to.

Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...

Around those in immediate danger.
Around those preparing to face it.
Around those numb with shock.
Around those wild with grief and loss.
Around those frantic to find missing loved ones.
Around those who have found them injured or dead.
Around those standing in the wreckage looking for hope.
Around those working to heal, to repair, to comfort.
Around those seeking a way forward for themselves or for their communities.

Lord, shelter them in the midst of the storm.
Let them know your presence, so very near even now.

Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

haiku against horror

More bad news today.
Kyrie eleison.
I have had enough.

Wind, flood, fire, fury;
Catastrophic potential.
Death rides a pale horse.

Storm-tossed, not sinking;
weather-beaten, we still trust.
You are our anchor.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

prayer hymn for the storm

Almighty Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Christ, the Lord of hill and plain
O'er which our traffic runs amain
By mountain pass or valley low;
Wherever, Lord, thy brethren go,
Protect them by thy guarding hand
From every peril on the land.

O Spirit, whom the Father sent
To spread abroad the firmament;
O Wind of heaven, by thy might
Save all who dare the eagle's flight,
And keep them by thy watchful care
From every peril in the air.

O Trinity of love and power,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them whereso'er they go,
Thus evermore shall rise to thee
Glad praise from air and land and sea.

Hymn 513, 1940 Hymnal
(text via Wikipedia)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

a prayer for evening: Abide with Me

1 Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
when other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.

2 Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

3 I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

4 I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

5 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #10

Thursday, September 7, 2017

sideswipe? maybe? #IrmaHaiti

Just a quick note - things are looking better than expected, though of course it's not over till it's over.

We went from this:
(which is to say, no power, no food in the shelters)

to this:

Power's back on in Cap Haitien!

Given that when I lived in Haiti it was much more often off than on, this astonishes and delights me, assuming it's true. All of which is to say a cautious "yea!-ish?"  Could be worse (eg Tortola, Barbuda... awful... pray for them, too).

Haven't heard much about the flooding situation yet, which is what most concerns me. There are reports of it. We'll know more in the morning.

The only article-based report I've found online so far is this:

It's not over yet.,-65.566,5

I just keep praying that it goes north (and preferably right between the coast and Bermuda where it will impact the fewest people), slows down, and then retires completely.


I'm waiting for word from Haiti, which will take a while, given that Irma is there right now.  I have just found articles, however, as well as a few Twitter threads. Thought I'd share with those of you who may also be waiting for news.

Hurricane Irma: Panic sets in as Haiti braces for storm | Miami Herald

Haiti has already been devastated by natural disasters. Now it’s bracing for Irma. - The Washington Post

Meanwhile, I'm praying for my friends there, especially my godson and his family who are up north. Praying, too, for all those who are reeling from the storm or in its path. Please pray with me.

Haïti confronté à l’ouragan Irma, moins d’un an après le drame de Matthew

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

leave us not

Today was our monthly commemoration of the Holy Name of Jesus, one of our two special devotions in the Society of St. Margaret. We have particular readings and hymns for the day, and our non-scriptural noon reading is also chosen accordingly.

This week it is my turn to do the noon reading, so for today I found a portion of a sermon on the Holy Name written by our founder, John Mason Neale, in the 19th century.  I thought I might share this with you, as this is a prayer for us all.

Jesus icon in St Margaret's Chapel, Duxbury, MA, for All Saints Evensong 2013

Sermons on the Apocalypse, the Holy Name, and the Proverbs
by John Mason Neale
Preached August 7th, 1856.

"Thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by Thy Name; leave us not."--JER. xiv. 9.

You heard last night what S. Bernard said in his own religious house, then in the first fervour of its devotion. And I thought, as we were then hearing those words of his, on fire as they are with love, how true it is that JESUS CHRIST is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. Is there anything that was said by that great Saint to those servants of CHRIST seven hundred years ago, that I might not say to you now? Have I any new motives to give you? Have I any less strength to offer you? Have I any less dear hope to set before you? No. It is the same prayer: they used it, and so must we: "Thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us: and we are called by Thy Name: leave us not." Thou art in the midst of us. I cannot but feel that it is so of a truth. I must not doubt GOD'S love and mercy, I must not dishonour this day by forgetting the Almightiness of the Name it bears, because I know--O how much!--my own unworthiness, and because, my dear Sisters, I know your sins and weaknesses. I could not but feel this morning as to one after another I gave the Living Bread that cometh down from heaven, and the Wine that blossoms into purity, that the text was true. I might have said then: "Thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us. By my hands, albeit altogether miserable and unworthy, Thou hast vouchsafed to come among us. Thou seest each of these Thy children kneeling before Thee. Thou knowest their wants: Thou pitiest their weaknesses. Give to her that grace which Thou seest her so much to need: give to her strength against that temptation by which Thou knowest her to be so much assailed: enable her to strive with all her might to keep that resolution which Thou knowest her so earnestly to have made. Thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us: Thou hast begun the good work, Thou must perform it. Thou hast loved all these with an everlasting love, Thou must give them more and more love. Thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by Thy Name. It is the Name we take on our lips oftener than any other: it is the Name we desire to bear in our hearts beyond all other: it is the Name to which we keep this day holy, and to which we desire to be ourselves holy: we are called by Thy Name: leave us not." 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Swahili 101

Jambo! Habari! Hujambo! Hamjambo! Shikamoo!
Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello!
Or so I gather.

And Mambo = What's up?

Guess who's going to Tanzania???!!!!! To the Diocese of Tanga, to be precise.
Ahem. Not at all excited. Of course not. See me being blasée.

At least until I do a jig and ruin the effect.

So amid considering Deet and Permethrin sprays, doing an expedited passport renewal, getting my inoculations and antimalarial drugs, I am attempting to learn a few phrases in Swahili. Clearly it's the polite thing to do, but who wouldn't want to pick up another language, however small an amount of it?

Truly, if I hope to participate in the renewal of a diocesan partnership, language learning is more than a gesture.

I have, therefore, renewed my friendship with my Duolingo app, which seems to have forgiven me for letting my Spanish slide (temporarily). A free app to teach you Swahili is not a small thing, even when you have turned off the audio so as not to break the Great Silence inadvertantly or disturb the sister in the next room. God bless the creators of this app.

Tonight I have added YouTube (with sound, safely in my office), so I thought I'd share.

More later...

Kwa heri, usiku mwema, na lala salama (Goodbye, goodnight, and sleep peacefully*).


Friday, April 28, 2017

This Joyful Eastertide - King's College Cambridge

192 This joyful Eastertide

1. This joyful Eastertide,
away with care and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
hath sprung to life this morrow.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne'er burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now is Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen, arisen.

2. Death's flood hath lost its chill,
since Jesus crossed the river:
Lord of all life, from ill
my passing soul deliver. (Refrain)

3. My flesh in hope shall rest,
and for a season slumber,
till trump from east to west
shall wake the dead in number. (Refrain)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday

But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
 -  Lamentations 3:21-24

Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
 - John 19:40-42

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

What is truth?

Nikolai GeChrist and Pilate ("What is truth?"), 1890.

A Joint Holy Week and Easter Message from the Archbishops of Armagh

The Most Revd Richard Clarke & The Most Revd Eamon Martin

“The truth will set you free.”  John 8:32
At the core of the trial of Jesus, Pontius Pilate asks a question, self–servingly and flippantly, “What is truth?” Pilate scoffs at Jesus’ idea of bearing witness to the truth. From Pilate’s position of power, truth is optional, inconsequential even; truth can be defined how one wants.
In many ways it seems as though the same attitude to truth prevails in the world of today. People talk of being “economical” with the truth, of “mis–speaking” instead of “lying”, and of “fake news” as the news that is inconvenient. The truth, the whole truth about the past can be covered up, manipulated, revised and presented to suit the agendas of the powerful today. But truth matters infinitely. Christians must not be content to keep silent in a world where truth has almost become a disposable commodity – occasionally of value, but capable of being twisted or discarded when awkward, disturbing or embarrassing.
Humanity searches for answers to the truth about our identity and purpose – who are we, where do we come from, how should I live, what is right, what is wrong, what happens when this life is over? For Christian disciples the answers to these questions are ultimately to be found in the dramatic events of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ. It is Truth that is at the heart of the story of Holy Week and Easter. Jesus Christ goes to the Cross because he is the embodiment of Truth, betrayed by grubby ambition and squalid self–interest. The Resurrection is the ultimate vindication of the Truth that the God who is Love will in the end prevail over darkness, hatred and suffering.
The great German theologian and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, preaching in Berlin as Hitler was coming to power, reflected on Pontius Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” He said that although we may ask for the truth, there is also a Truth that is asking for us, seeking us out. We may live in a miasma of half–truths and untruths, but the Truth that is Christ himself is challenging us, on a daily basis, to take our place at his side in the name of unconditional truth and of absolute integrity.
In these weeks, we have an opportunity to delve deeper into the mystery of the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord and allow ourselves to be taken over by the Truth who seeks us out. In opening ourselves up to Jesus who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, we can courageously face the truth of our own lives, and become people who live by, and bear witness to the Truth.
May God in Christ bless you all.
+Richard                                                              +Eamon
Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh           Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holy Week & Easter schedule at the convent

These services will be in our new chapel.

The Holy Saturday Liturgy will be at noon in the convent oratory next door. We also have several daily office services on a special schedule - call or email if you're interested in the times.

For Maundy Thursday this year, we will be going out to various parish liturgies in the area.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Song Is Love Unknown - music for Holy Week

1 My song is love unknown,
my Savior’s love to me,
love to the loveless shown
that they might lovely be.
O who am I, 
that for my sake
my Lord should take 
frail flesh, and die?

2 He came from his blest throne
salvation to bestow,
but men made strange, and none
the longed-for Christ would know. 
But O my friend, 
my friend indeed,
who at my need 
his life did spend.

3 Sometimes they strew his way,
and his strong praises sing,
resounding all the day
hosannas to their King.
Then “Crucify!” 
is all their breath,
and for his death 
they thirst and cry.

4 Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and splite?
He made the lame to run,
he gave the blind their sight.
Sweet injuries! 
Ye they at these
themselves displease, 
and 'gainst him rise.

5 They rise, and needs will have
my dear Lord made away;
a murderer they save,
the Prince of Life they slay.
Yet steadfast he 
to suffering goes,
that he his foes 
from thence might free.

6 In life no house, no home
my Lord on earth might have;
in death no friendly tomb
but what a stranger gave.
What may I say? 
Heaven was his home;
but mine the tomb 
wherein he lay.

7 Here might I stay and sing,
no story so divine;
never was love, dear King!
never was grief like thine.
This is my friend, 
in whose sweet praise
I all my days 
could gladly spend.

Hymn #458  Hymnal 1982


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Psalm 51 meditation: Allegri's Miserere

Psalm 51:1-18    Miserere mei, Deus

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your
                            loving-kindness; *
    in your great compassion blot out my offenses.

2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
    and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions, *
    and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you only have I sinned *
    and done what is evil in your sight.

5 And so you are justified when you speak *
    and upright in your judgment.

6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
    a sinner from my mother's womb.

7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
    and will make me understand wisdom secretly

8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
    wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.

9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
    that the body you have broken may rejoice.

10 Hide your face from my sins *
    and blot out all my iniquities.

11Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
    and renew a right spirit within me.

12 Cast me not away from your presence *
    and take not your holy Spirit from me.

13 Give me the joy of your saving help again *
    and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.

14 I shall teach your ways to the wicked, *
    and sinners shall return to you.

15 Deliver me from death, O God, *
    and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness,
    O God of my salvation.

16 Open my lips, O Lord, *
    and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

17 Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, *
    but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.

18 The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

(Thankful to for making the psalm text available online.)

To read more on the Allegri Miserere or to read the Latin text of the psalm, you can go to the site where I first listened to this particular recording of the setting:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

sermonating with bug eyes

Another sermon, more intense prayer required. The news and the texts alongside each other are just wild. Is the news a distraction? A must-deal-with item? Do I laugh or cry? How do I preach without getting political? Where do I even start among so much?

Here are some excerpts from the texts for this coming Sunday:

Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,
“He catches the wise in their craftiness,”
and again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are futile.”
So let no one boast about human leaders.  (1 Cor 3) 

(Yes, this is church leadership, but still...)

Do not resist an evildoer.
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  (Matt 5)

The Leviticus passage, too, offers a wealth of possibilities.

Now this Russia business - a year's worth of contact, a Russian sub hanging out off our shores, and more.


As I was celebrating the Eucharist this morning, I suddenly heard the words of Eucharistic Prayer B anew and had a sudden wash of peace even in the midst of the turbulence echoing in the back of my mind from the waves of bad news coming out of DC.

We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.  (BCP p. 368

Anamnesis... None of this is new to God. We didn't make ourselves worthy first in order for him to come to us. The Incarnation didn't happen in the midst of all being well. Corruption? Treason? God knows about it. God can work despite it, and has, and will. And so we can have real hope. Not cheery optimism. Hope.  As it says in Hebrews, "For we have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul."

And so, in peace, let us pray to the Lord, saying, "Lord, have mercy."