photo: chris loh
photo: dallas bittle
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Love the Angelus | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
or some it is idolatrous. For others, it is at best an expression of sentimentalism about Mary and at worst a relic from a bygone Christian world – the Angelus. The Angelus is a feast of Scripture and Tradition. When prayed regularly, it can provide any Christian with an opportunity to meditate upon the mystery of ‘God with us.’ In short, the devotion is a celebration of the Incarnation and the communion of the saints. But it is more than this. The Angelus is a gift to us; it invites us to recall the cooperation (or synergia, to the early Greek-speaking Christians) between God and humanity. Thereby, it can assist each of us in growing in our baptismal vocations. When committed to memory and understood in this sense, the Angelus devotion - through the recollection of scripture and prayer to the saints - enables us to be more open to the mystery of grace. In fact, this practice of prayer not only recalls the mystery of the Incarnation, but it also provides us the means to participate in the mystery of the Incarnation! This mystery is the triumph of grace, co-operation, and desire. “The Angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary / And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.” The first versicle is a summary of Luke 1.26-38, which describes the encounter between the angel Gabriel and Mary. In this interaction, Gabriel coveys the will and purposes of God. Thus, it is an encounter and engagement between the will of God and the (free) will of Mary. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord / Let it be to me according to your word.” The second versicle is Mary’s final response to the angel (Luke 1.28). Mary has made a choice with the whole of her being. These words are the culmination of an active affirmation of the purposes and promises of God. Mary’s desire to serve God answers the desire and longing of her people for a messiah. “The Word was made flesh / And dwelt among us.” The third versicle (John 1.13a) affirms the same mystery described in the Nicene Creed as ‘he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.’ In these three versicles, the generosity of God unfolds toward humanity through the generous response by Mary to the divine
invitation. This mutual generosity is marked by grace, cooperation, and desire. A ‘Hail Mary’ follows each versicle. This prayer begins with God’s greeting to Mary through the intermediary of an angel: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1.28b). In response to being greeted by Mary, Elizabeth, moved by the stirrings of her unborn child and the Holy Spirit, exclaims “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Luke 1.42b). So the first part of the prayer, “Hail Mary,” is a resounding affirmation of the origin of grace. The wellspring of all grace is divine initiative and human response. The second part of the ‘Hail Mary’ takes us to the Cross: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” From the Cross, Jesus commended Mary to the care of the beloved disciple (John 19.25-27). In that moment, Mary became the Mother of us all. Her singular desire is that we come to love and serve her Son as did she. In recognition of this, the Tradition invites us to pray to, and with, Mary. Her constant prayer for us all is for our conversion to Christ. This is true of all the saints, among whom she is chief. So when we pray this part of the ‘Hail Mary,’ we are in fact praying to, and with, all the communion of saints for our conversion to Christ. I hope we can now see the potential for praying the Angelus. The three versicles of this devotion take us from the world and draw us into another world of generosity, grace, divine-human co-operation, and purified desire. Whilst the ‘Hail Mary’ reminds us of the origins of grace and that grace is sustained through our communion with the saints, the concluding versicle and collect keep our focus on God’s promises in Christ. We are called to live by grace, in hope of the resurrection. The Incarnation and the Passion are one in the same mystery because the Cross also is a sign of mutual generosity through which divine initiative and human response may triumph by grace, cooperation and desire. I invite you to learn the Angelus by heart. I invite you to take up the habit of praying it morning, noon, and night. If you love Christmas, love the Angelus.
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If I Had Known | Sharon Taylor The day the angel came, and asked if I would do Godâ€™s will, I said yes. And was filled. I wonder now, if I had known all that I know now, would I have said yes? The day I stood on the mountainside as the wind played through my hair, and I felt you dance inside me for the first time, I felt joy. I wonder now, if I had thought then that you had danced at the beginning of time, your first partners the suns and the planets, would I have said yes? The day I walked to Bethlehem, the weight of you heavy in my belly, until I could walk no more and struggled to keep my seat on a donkey, if I had thought then how long the road ahead would be, and how heavy the weight of grief I would carry would be, would I have said yes? The day the angels sang, proclaiming the birth of the Son of Heaven, and I felt the skies open, and I felt the glory of God reach through me once again, and I looked down into your wise and knowing eyes, if I had known then that you would never grow old, never hold your own child in your arms, would I have said yes? The day the wise men came to lay gifts at the feet of a king, only to find a newborn babe squalling in a cave, surrounded by the stink and warmth of the animals whose feed became your bed, had I known then that the gold for your crown would be replaced by thorns, had I known then that the myrrh would anoint your broken body, had I known then that the frankincense would perfume your corpse, when they asked if this was the babe they were told about in a dream, would I have said yes?
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The day I returned to the temple, frantic, searching for my lost child, only to find you preaching to the elders, explaining to them stories you could not understand, telling them things you could not know, if I had known then how little I would know you, how little I would understand of what you said, when you asked to stay a little longer in your Father’s house, would I have said yes? The day I came to you when your earthly father died, weeping with sorrow and desperate for comfort, if I had had the courage to ask, if you had offered to bring him back to me as you did Lazarus for his sisters, would I have said yes? If I had known, so long ago, what I know now; if I had known that you would set fire to the world with your words; if I had known you could heal the sick and raise the dead; if I had known you could change the hearts of men with nothing but your presence; if I had known that your very grace and power would be the reason for your torture and death; if I had only known then what I know now ... Then when the angel told me, a virgin as yet untouched, that God had chosen me to bear the Son of the Most High, the Son of God, would I still say, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be unto me as you have said.”?
If I had known your birth would foretell your death, and that I would stand at the foot of this cross and look into your eyes, so full of wisdom and knowledge and a pain that will cross the ages, would I have said yes? Would I have said - Yes? photo: dallas bittle
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“God Is With Us”: A Christmas Proclamation | Gerald Harder God is with us. Hear ye people, even to the uttermost end of the earth. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. The people that dwell in the shadow of death, upon them the light has shined. For unto us a child is born! For unto us a son is given! And the government shall be upon his shoulder; And his name shall be called Wonderful! Counsellor! The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace. Hear ye people, even to the uttermost end of the earth. God is with us. Christ is born! (Adapted from the Orthodox Great Compline for Christmas Eve)
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he choral music of John Tavener (b. 1944) became increasingly well known during the last decade of the twentieth century. The spread was aided in part by a renewed interest in Eastern Orthodox mysticism, of which his later works are representative, as well as by the advantageous performance of one of his finer small pieces (“Song for Athene,” 1993) at the close of the 1997 funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales. In the 1970s, Tavener attempted to reconcile his natural inclination toward mysticism with what he regarded as the pervasive humanism of Western art. His earlier works were influenced by Stravinsky, Messiaen, Penderecki, and others; after 1977, Tavener’s writing came to rely heavily on Byzantine drones, Orthodox liturgical chant, and other Eastern influences. In many of Tavener’s works, form and content aspire to a kind of ineffable nonlinearity, a musical state in which time is suspended; however, some of Tavener’s works are not spiritual explorations, but rather spiritual affirmations. At their core, these pieces are not about mystery; music and text are resolute articles of faith and witnesses
they are resolute articles of faith and witnesses of belief. of belief. It is into this latter category that “God Is With Us” falls. One of our communion motets for Midnight Mass this year, the work was composed in 1987. An adaptation of the text from the Orthodox service of the Great Compline, Tavener describes “God Is With Us” as “A Christmas Proclamation.” The piece’s eponymous first line sets a chant-like melody against a subterranean drone; this breaks into the exclamatory second line, “Hear ye people, even to the uttermost ends of the Earth,” which is set with lush parallel thirds and sixths covering a spacious pitch range across the choir. This moving passage is repeated three times with trinitarian symbolism, after which a baritone sings an unaccompanied solo. Again, the contour of the line
is suggestive of Eastern plainsong, with gracefully lilting ornaments and poignant turns. The solo ends in the famous messianic text from Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” This is underscored with additional exclamations of “God is with us!” John Tavener is credited with having said that the gospel of St. John resonates the most significantly for hymns among biblical passages; he sees this book as the most extraordinary, the most mysterious, the most mystical. We see this gospel’s powerful description of the Incarnation – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – at a particularly striking moment near the end of Tavener’s piece, when the organ interrupts the previously a cappella texture with a bold, harmonically startling chord; the previously stable tonality is suddenly sent on an upward trajectory in a brilliant flash, which is surely a musical depiction of the moment God in Christ came to be fully among us.
photo: chris loh
At their core, these pieces are not about mystery, music and text;
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Lancelot Andrewes: An English Father of the Church | Pau
he Orthodox Church,” writes Timothy Ware, has never attempted to define exactly who the Fathers are,” nor to define them by degree of importance. While “the Three Great Hierarchs” are particularly revered—Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and John Chrysostom—the age of the Fathers did not end in the fifth century. “To say that there can be no more Fathers is to suggest that the Holy Spirit has deserted the Church” (Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, 1963 rev. 1997). What especially characterizes these great figures is their sense of the mystery of the relation of God to humanity in the Incarnation, continuously expressed through the Holy Trinity for all times and ages. The English Church can count two great hierarchs: Richard Hooker (1554–1600) and Lancelot Andrewes (1555–1626). Both helped to construct the special ecclesiology that defines Anglicanism within historic Christianity and, like the great hierarchs of the early church, both urged a Christology that emphasises the fullness of the Incarnation—the understanding that Christ is at once both God and man. Discussion of Hooker must wait for another time; now my focus is upon his contemporary, Andrewes, whose significance may be less familiar to many Anglicans today. Born in the time of Queen Mary, Andrewes’ life extended through both Tudor and Stuart reigns. His family were prosperous merchants, but Andrewes was to become one of Elizabeth’s favourite chaplains; a brilliantly successful court preacher; and a theologian and divine to James I and his son, Charles. A precocious student at Merchant Taylors’ School, he matriculated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, at the age of 16, having obtained a newly endowed Greek scholarship there. Andrewes was to remain centered at Cambridge for the next thirty-four years, his interests being principally academic. His later years, from 1605 until his death, were concerned with ever more responsible ecclesiastical administration—successively as bishop of Chichester (1605–09), Ely (1609–19), and Winchester (1619–26). He also served as a principal translator of the King James, or “Authorized Version,” of the Bible (1611) and was always in demand as a polemicist and preacher. 7 | PAX: CHRISTMAS 2010
Throughout the years of the sixteenth century, Andrewes diligently studied numerous ancient and modern languages. He demonstrated such facility and thoroughness that a younger contemporary remarked that Andrewes “could serve as Interpreter General at the confusion of Tongues.” His study of systematic theology was profound and he was especially remarkable for bringing patristic teaching, of both the Greek and Latin Fathers,
into the English church. Andrewes’ sermons employ all of this learning as well as his “high church” concern for ritual; ceremonies; the episcopacy; frequent communion (preceded by prayer, fasting, and repentance); and sacramental confession. In everything, he regularly shows his love for “the mystery of godliness,” notable in his best remembered Preces Privatae, or Private Prayers, which he gathered over many years from various ancient sources and organized according to seasons and liturgical times. These prayers show his deep devotion to the Fathers, from whom he gleaned many phrases and ideas (J. H. Newman translated them in his Tracts for the Times, no. 88, 1840). Three years after his death, ninety-six of Andrewes’ sermons were published through the support of William Laud and others. They are grouped, for the most part, according to liturgical seasons: Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Of these, the seventeen sermons “Of the Nativity” have received the most attention, and particularly the one on Matthew 2: 1–2: “Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in
God has become man, that man might become God. the east, and are come to worship him.’” One passage of this sermon is well-known because T. S. Eliot quoted it in his “Journey of the Magi:” “a cold coming they had of it.” Eliot wrote the poem in the year of his conversion to the Church of England (1927), which he followed in the next year with the publication of For Lancelot Andrewes, in which he celebrates “the first great preacher of the English Catholic Church.” There is in Andrewes’ sermons, and certainly those on the Nativity, an intensity and a felt immediacy of experience. Consider this portion of his sermon on Matthew 2, in which Andrewes plays on the terms of the text—seeing and coming: Vidimus and Venimus: their seeing preceded and caused their coming: Their Vidimus begat Venimus; their seeing made them come; come a great journey. . . . But, many a wide and weary step they made before they could come to say Venimus. . . . For, over the rocks and crags of both Arabies (specially Petraea) their journey lay. . . . Consider the time of their coming, the season of the year. It was no summer progresse. A cold coming they had of it, at this time of the year; just the worst time of the year, to take a journey, and specially a long journey, in. The wayes deep, the weather sharp, the dayes short, the sun farthest off in solstitio brumali, the very dead of Winter, Venimus. We are come, if that be one; Venimus, We are (now) come, come at this time, that (sure) is another. Then Andrewes asks whether his congregation would have been willing to make such a journey and answers that, rather, they would have preferred an easier one, with warmer weather. “Our fashion is, to see and see again, before we stirre a foot. . . . Our Epiphany would sure have fallen in Easter-week at the soonest.” Andrewes typically evokes the mystery of the Incarnation through personal engagement. He would have us incarnate the Incarnation in our own life; his aim, indeed, is to reformulate and expound the familiar patristic adage: “God has become man, that man might become God.”
His Nativity sermon on John 1: 14 is particularly expressive of this understanding: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” The Word and the Flesh, in their separateness, join together. On Christmas day in 1606, as Andrewes preached to the King and Court at Whitehall, the message was unmistakeable: The Word it self doth well; and, of the twain, the Word hath less cause to complain. . . . Now, we are not to content our selves with one alone; but, since He offereth to communicate Himself both waies, never restrain Him to one. The word we hear, is the abstract of Verbum: The Sacrament, is the antitype to Caro, His flesh. What better way, than where these are actually joyned, actually to partake them both? Not, either alone, the word or flesh: but, the word and flesh both, for they are both. . . . He abides in me, and I in Him. If it be grace and truth we respect; how may we better establish our hearts with grace, or settle our minds in the truth of His Promise, than by partaking these the Conduit pipes of His grace, and seals of His Truth unto us, Grace and Truth (now) proceeding, not from the word alone, but even from the flesh thereto united; the fountain of the word flowing into the cistern of His flesh, and from thence deriving down, to us, this Grace and Truth, to them that partake Him aright. Nicholas Lossky has rightly written that each one of Andrewes’ sermons “has recourse to the incomprehensible mystery of the ‘emptying’ (kenosis) of the second Person of the Trinity, of the taking hold of time by the eternal, of space by the incommensurable” (Lancelot Andrewes, The Preacher: The Origins of the Mystical Theology of the Church of England, 1991). Lancelot Andrewes speaks from a depth of holy understanding, of a profoundly informed sensibility—indeed, of a father of the church.
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St. James’ Practices Q & A| Submitted by Alex Currie
or many people - even Anglicans - the form of worship at St. James’ will be unfamiliar, perhaps even strange. Fr. Michael will lead formation sessions on January 16 and 23, 2011 exploring “holy hardware,” vestments, and their use, meaning, and history. Until then, and in addition, we offer this small set of questions and answers (originally prepared by the Church of the Advent in Boston, Massachusets, with permission to reprint). Where do our customs come from? St. James’ worship reflects the catholicity of Anglicanism in general, and our parish in particular. Our Parish practices are largely influenced by a world-changing movement called the “Oxford Movement.” About 170 years ago, several Church of England clergy, reacting to what they saw as spiritual laxity in the Church of their day, began a renewal. It became known as the Oxford Movement (most of its founders were associated with Oxford University). They advocated a restoration of Catholic worship and devotion that had been part of Christian worship and spirituality from the first centuries, but was largely lost during the Reformation. Lost, but - as a result of the Oxford Movement - gradually restored were luminous liturgies, private confession, devotions addressed through the Blessed Virgin Mary, monastic orders, and an emphasis on holiness. The revival of worship and spirituality brought by the Oxford Movement not only fed a deep spiritual hunger but was associated with a concern for the poor and ordinary working people that continues today.
Why do we call ourselves “Anglo-Catholic?” Catholic, a Greek word meaning “universal,” is one of four adjectives often used to describe the Church (along with one, holy, and apostolic). This word describes the universality of the church, which means that the Church is not limited by race, sex, time, death, nor geography. In this sense, catholic does not refer to the church in Rome, under the Pope. The term, “Anglo-Catholic,” then, describes Anglicans who seek to participate in truly Catholic worship.
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Can I receive Communion here? All baptized Christians (baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and who believe that the Lord is truly present in the bread and wine are welcome to receive the Sacrament. Additionally, everyone is most welcome to come and receive a blessing at the altar rail. Do I have to genuflect and make the “Sign of the Cross?” No; make such gestures only if you want to. The “sign of the cross” and other gestures are outward signs of reverence; expressions of deeply personal belief and practice. They are not requirements of our liturgy nor “tests” for membership. If you feel comfortable with them, by all means, use them. If you choose not to, no one will be offended or even take note. If you have questions, one of the clergy would be happy to explain these customs to you.
Why incense? The tradition of using incense in the liturgy dates back to ancient Hebrew worship, as recorded in the Psalms: “Let my prayer be set forth in Thy sight as the incense” (Psalm 141:2). As this verse suggests, incense symbolizes the prayers of the faithful rising up to heaven as the smoke rises to the rafters. Incense also appears in the Bible in association with visions of the Divine, most notably in the books of Isaiah and the Revelation to St. John. The smoke itself is associated with purification and sanctification; thus, we cense the consecrated elements of the Eucharist to show that they are set apart. When we cense people, we are not only symbolically “purifying” them but also acknowledging that they are set apart by their baptism. Another concept associated with incense is martyrdom, recalling that the early Christians were martyred for refusing to burn incense for the emperor.,They refused because incense is a sign of divinity, of God’s presence, and therefore is only appropriately burned for him.. Thus, the Magi offered Frankincense to Jesus Christ at his birth.
Book Notes from the Holy Faith Library | Tim Firth
s central as it is to our faith, the Incarnation has been the subject of countless articles and booklength treatments. The following are a few examples of such accounts and therefore they are not meant to be a definitive nor in-depth interpretation of the subject. The varying views presented are merely intended as possible departure points. Marcus J. Borg and N.T. Wright have generated a lively and thought-provoking conversation in their book, The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions. They seek to “model a way of conducting public Christian disagreement over serious and central issues” with one of the main goals being to focus on “how different views of Jesus relate to different visions of the Christian life.”
In True to Experience: an Anthology of the Words and Teaching of H.A. Williams C.R. (edited by Eileen Mable), chapter two (“Experience Transformed”) is devoted to the Incarnation. In it, Williams calls the Incarnation and the Atonement “models for a divine activity which is going on all the time and is coterminous with the historical order itself.” He develops this idea as he seeks to lead readers “toward an understanding of the relation between man and God.” When George Carey was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1991, a collection of his addresses, I Believe, was published to familiarize the public with his views on a variety of religious matters. In Part Four, he undertakes an examination of what he calls the “elements of incarnational theology” and how they have bearing on the challenge of ministry. This section formed the basis of three talks he gave at a training conference for clergy in 1989. All of these books may be borrowed from the library.
In the Incarnation of God, there is no lowering of the deity; but the nature of man, we believe to be exalted. St. Anselm of Canterbury,
Cur Deus Homo , Book I, Chapter VIII
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The Image of God | St. James’ Sunday School (overheard by Ruth Greenaway-Robb
uring October and November, the Sunday School at St. James’ has spent some time refining the children’s skills as contemplatives. The group, ranging in age from six weeks to sixteen years, took some time out to contemplate using biblical text, writings of great Christian mystics and varieties of music. Our last two sessions were on the image of God. The children began each contemplation on warm blankets on the floor in the Bishops’ Room. Some chose prayer positions lying on the floor; others sat cross-legged; one pair of friends sat head-on-head holding hands. They soon settled as we listened to our breathing, in and out, just as God created us to do, and the beating of our hearts, just as God had created them to beat. We felt the stillness around us and allowed our bodies to sink into the floor, preparing our minds, hearts and souls for the words, sounds, images and joys from God to flow into us.
I asked our group of children about the symbols we use in church and how they might define our image of God. I asked the children about the symbols we use in church and how they might define our image of God. I can assure you, they have the Catholic faith firmly in their hearts. Here are some of their imaginings: “Incense … it’s God in the air.” “The singing: maybe God sounds like that.” “We taste God when we have communion.” “I like the prettiness of all the things … is that like God?” “We have lots of pictures everywhere … maybe they are like God;” countered by another child, “But, not all of those pictures are right … are they?” “The candles are like the light of God in the Bible.” 11 | PAX: CHRISTMAS 2010
So I asked, “What about the images of God in the Bible?” Two children said, “The dove,” one noting that “maybe it was the Holy Spirit.” The first dove was from Genesis in the story of Noah, and the second was from Jesus’ baptism. “The lamb” was an idea from another child; “the rainbow” which Noah saw was yet another suggestion. This began
Is the rainbow a God sign? an in-depth conversation about the beautiful double rainbow seen the previous night over Vancouver. “Is a rainbow a God sign?” asked a very young member. I led them to the well-known biblical text from Genesis: “On the last day of creation, God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). I asked them to look at one another. “You are made in the image of God. As you look at one another you are looking at God.” As they looked at one another, lights on faces lit up. We settled into our contemplative positions and listened to John Rutter’s musical arrangement of Clare Benediction: May the Lord show His mercy upon you; May the light of His presence be your guide: May He guard you and uphold you; May His Spirit be ever by your side. When you sleep, may His angels watch over you; When you wake, may He fill you with His grace: May you love Him and serve Him all your days. Then in heaven may you see His face. The final line was not lost on the children. We prayed as we left to return to Mass, turning to one another and saying over and over, “We are so precious and loved by God that we are made in his image.” In our next session, we returned to “our” images of God. We prayed in silence, drawing up in our minds what we had shared in the last time together and remembering that no image is wrong, no image is right, and no human
“God can have any face, so I put the peace sign in his, because he wants the world to be peaceful.” - Satya Maya Walker “He is like the wind, he has no face but he can take the shape of anybody, and as the wind he can go anywhere.” - Sage Vincent “God is like an Alien.” - Simeon Greenaway-Robbins Looking at a beautiful blue feminine image of God,
Nikki Hadidi described God’s actions, “She is making the water clean so poor people can drink it.” “My image of God is a baby, for a baby is innocent and pure.” - Mercy Walker Describing a picture of a smiling yellow orb, Chloe Vincent calls God “Star.” “God is Love; God makes the people that see him happy.” - Kael Vincent “God is like water going down the lane and he has happy eyes.” - Anastasia Greenaway-Robbins These children astounded me with their interior knowledge and their ability to quietly receive and explain God. Prayer; explaining and visualizing the internal world; using silence; and an ability to be comfortable in mystery within contemplation – these were not lost on these children. In fact, they were masters. What many children need (including my own) is time to be still and know that they are with God. If we give them the opportunity, they speak more wisely than many fine authors and theologians. What a blessing we have!
drawing: kael vincet
has seen the face of God; but for some of us, imagining it can help us draw closer. After they had spent some time in silence, I asked them if they would be willing to share their images of God in writing or by drawing. Some chose not to – it is of course, to some, a private image. But many children shared generously, and – curiously – most drew pictures in order to convey their images. With the children’s permission, I will share a few images and words they wrote about their images with you (most of the images can be seen on the back cover of this issue of PAX).
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Christian Spirituality and the Incarnation | Betty Vogel
garded Our Lord as only a human being – not God – made belief in the Trinity impossible. God was no longer warm and intimate, being one with His Son’s humanity and with the Holy Spirit, but remote and impersonal. I could not get close to Him. I felt lost in the vastness of a barren and unfeeling universe. Eventually, I knew I had to return to orthodox Christianity. Compounding this was a deep sense of need. People don’t like to talk about “sin” any longer. Yet I have always felt acutely uncomfortable within myself, knowing my sinfulness; and so I knew instinctively that only the blood of Christ could heal me and bring me peace. Finally, I returned to church. This time I did not find corporate worship boring. I needed to immerse myself in the atmosphere that arises when a group of people worships God together. This atmosphere was very comforting and, after attending services two or three times every week, I soon found my old faith and love for God returning. When you are old, you especially need the communion – and indeed the community - of other Christians to preserve your faith.
photo: chris loh
n my second year of university (1950), when I first came to St. James’ and was suddenly immersed in the glory of Anglo-Catholicism, I had a very intense private prayer life. I was attracted not so much by the beauty of the liturgy as by the holiness of the clergy and the love of private holy hours in the chapel, meditating on the words of St. Paul. However, as the years passed by and the initial ecstasy of my conversion diminished, so did my inner prayer life. I still went to Mass every Sunday, but it all became very routine. In 1977, my mother died; I was devastated. I could no longer pray and the liturgy became boring to me. As an antidote to this, I became interested in reading the new books about the faith that began to be published at this time. They were fascinating to read and very convincing. Although this “modern” theology was not new, but had its roots in the heresies of the early church, I became very excited about it. I read everything I could by Karen Armstrong, Marcus Borg, and others. But when I tried to apply these new teachings to my prayer life, it was disastrous. The fact that these authors re-
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Christmas I. ALL after pleasures as I rid one day, My horse and I, both tir’d, bodie and minde, With full crie of affections, quite astray ; I took up in the next inne I could finde. There when I came, whom found I but my deare, My dearest Lord, expecting till the grief Of pleasures brought me to him, readie there To be all passengers most sweet relief? O Thou, whose glorious, yet contracted light, Wrapt in night’s mantle, stole into a manger ; Since my dark soul and brutish is thy right, To Man of all beasts be not thou a stranger : Furnish and deck my soul, that thou mayst have A better lodging, than a rack, or grave. II. THE shepherds sing ; and shall I silent be? My God, no hymne for thee? My soul ’s a shepherd too : a flock it feeds Of thoughts, and words, and deeds. The pasture is thy word ; the streams, thy grace Enriching all the place. Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers Out-sing the day-light houres. Then we will chide the sunne for letting night Take up his place and right : We sing one common Lord ; wherefore he should Himself the candle hold. I will go searching, till I finde a sunne Shall stay, till we have done ; A willing shiner, that shall shine as gladly, As frost-nipt sunnes look sadly. Then we will sing, and shine all our own day, And one another pay : His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine, Till ev’n his beams sing, and my musick shine. George Herbert
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, I enjoy singing the Angelus at the end of High Mass on Sundays but I know very little about this devotion. Can you help? - Name withheld The devotion, as it exists today, came into general use in the seventeenth century, but its origins are obscure. The name derives from the Latin phrase, Angelus Domini (‘Angel of the Lord’), which introduces the devotion: ‘The Angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary…’. It has been over a year since we began praying the Angelus after the dismissal at High Mass on a Sunday. Since that time, a number of parishioners have expressed to me their appreciation at having an opportunity to pray and sing the Angelus. Some have expressed their initial reluctance to ‘pray to Mary’ and have found themselves surprised that with time this devotion has become central in their life of prayer! Some office books, such as that of the Order of the Society of Saint Francis in the UK, for example, describe this devotion as the ‘Memorial of the Incarnation.’ The practice at St. James’, in keeping with the Western Church, has been to pray this devotion three times a day (early morning, noon, and evening). In recent years, we have developed the custom of praying the Angelus publicly at the beginning of Morning Prayer, at noon, and at the beginning of Evening Prayer. A bell is rung three times for each versicle and then nine times for the collect. As a Parish Family, we commemorate the mystery of the Incarnation three times every day, except during the Easter season when it is customary to recite the devotion Regina coeli (‘Queen of heaven’). — Bear Bear is the first resident canine at St. James’ Rectory. As a member of the Greenaway-Robbins and parish family, he is privy to many and varied meetings, conversations, and gatherings. Though usually silent, in this column he offers his perspective on parish life.
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Arianism Q & A | Benjamin Amundgaard
any in the Church are somewhat confused about “Arianism,” the 4th century doctrine attributed to Arius (d. 336) that concerns the simultaneous humanity and divinity of Jesus. Some discussion of this crucial issue continues to be necessary in our own time.
The Arians don’t claim that Jesus was “just a man,” but that he was the highest of all creatures. So, couldn’t it be argued that He, being the highest of all creatures, was orchestrated by the Father in order to reconcile humanity to God? Part of the answer to this question lies in the understanding of how salvation is procured and its necessary conditions. As Arius’s principal opponent, Athanasius taught the necessity of the full humanity of Christ as a precondition for salvation. Christ had to be fully human - and therefore “just a man.” If he were not fully a human being, if he were a creature of some other sort - even the highest of creatures - he would not be able to save humankind, for he would not truly have been one of us. At the same time, he also had to be fully God, for only God could accomplish this act. But these substances could not mix - otherwise he would be a sort of hybrid, neither truly divine nor truly human. Christ is both God and a human; he is not half God, half a human, or some kind of blend of God and a human. If you were using colours to demonstrate this, you might say that blue represents a human and red represents God. Christ remains blue and red; he is not purple. As the Athanasian Creed says, Christ is “God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of his Mother, born in the world ... Who, although he be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ ... One altogether, not by confusion of the substance, but by unity of person.”
Why is it so important for Jesus to be of the same substance as the Father? This concern follows from attempts to define the Trinity. God is one substance and three persons, “neither confusing the Persons, nor dividing the Sub15 | PAX: CHRISTMAS 2010
stance.” Let us build on this article of the Athanasian Creed, and on the answer to the first question. If Christ were not of the same substance as the Father, the implication would be that there were more than one God. Yet, the first commandment; the Shema; and pretty much the whole of Judeo-Christian theology up to the early centuries proclaim that there is only one God. Note that early theologians wrestled with how to follow the first commandment (not to worship other gods) and yet to account for the fact that Christ was clearly worshiped in the New Testament.
If He is of the same substance as the Father, how does that contribute to His work as the saviour of humanity, and could the same work be accomplished if he were not of the same substance? The answer would be no; salvation could not have been accomplished by anyone with less than, or other than, the (same) substance of the Father. St. Anselm (d. 1109) deals quite well with this issue in Cur Deus Homo (1098); below is a small excerpt. As Anselm is one of the great pastor-theologians of the Church, I recommend reading the entire work. His sophisticated theological discussions are always couched in a prayerful, reverent mood that is both spiritually and intellectually satisfying. Anselm asks the following question and then proceeds to discuss the answer in a fictional dialogue. “By what logic or necessity did God become man, and by his death, as we believe and profess, restore life to the world, when he could have done this through the agency of some other person, angelic or human, or simply by willing it?” ... “Do you not understand that, supposing any other person were to rescue man from eternal death, man would rightly be judged his bondslave? If he were this, he would in no way have been restored to that dignity which he would have had in the future, if he had not sinned. For man, who had the prospect of being the bondsman of no one except God and the equal of the good angels in all respects, would be the bondslave of someone who was not God and to whom the angels were not in bondage.”
Philippians 2:5-8 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.
s we are nearing financial equilibrium, my Christmas wishes are coming true – both in the sense of ‘the First Day’ and being deficit free, and also the days that show the ways in which the St. James’ Parish Foundation have taken on these duties to the betterment of the church. On the first day of Christmas, our Parish gave to me First:
A budget that is deficit-free
Two bags of gold And a budget that is deficit-free
Three Wardens smiling Two …
Four Planning Givers
Five Golden Geese
Six Trustees Applauding
Seven Funds Enhancing
Eight Bonds Maturing
Nine Stocks A-Growing
Ten Counters Counting
Eleven Donors Pledging
Twelve Years of Surplus
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photo: chris loh; the st. james music academy christmas recital
Dollars and $ense | Angela Van Luven
Saying “thank you” to the Greenaway-Robbins family for their commitment to St. James’. October 10, 2010. Photo by Rocky Rocksborough-Smith
Maggi, David, and Mary Isobel Creese at Coffee Hour in the
Fun at the Christmas party the Wardens gave for the clergy and
Bishops’ Room. October 10, 2010. Photo by Tanya Northcott
staff. December, 6, 2010. Photo by Rocky Rocksborough-Smith
The Women’s Guild Bargain Sale.
Pamela Jeacocke and John Conway wearing their medals from the Order
November 29, 2010. Photo by Elaine Jan
of the Diocese of New Westminster. November 7, 2010. Photo by Elaine Jan
Allan Duncan leads a tour for “Heart of the City.” November 30, 2010. Photo by Elaine “Jan
17 | PAX: CHRISTMAS 2010
The St. James’ Music Academy’s Christmas Recital. December 10, 2010. Photo by Chris Loh
Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ Blessings to you all as we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ! As we give thanks for the Holy Family, we can look back over the past few months in the life of our Parish family and see that it has been blessed in so many ways. NEW BABIES Welcome to Matthias, son of Karen Bastow and Tommy Ngi, and Henry, son of Rachel Craggs and Hugh McLean. Along with Liam Walker, Madeleine SchaapWhite, Mary Isobel Creese, and Remington Wilson (who visits from Sacramento), they constitute a 2010 ‘baby boom’ at St. James’! LITURGICAL GIFTS St. James’ was honoured with many lovely gifts from donors, both known and anonymous. Ellen Todd donated a new purple chasuble and stole in memory of her husband, Robert Campbell Todd, on the 15th anniversary of his death. Anonymous donors provided new candleholders used at the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and new Missal covers in the liturgical colours of white, green, red and violet. A donor provided $8,000 in support of the Music Ministry for 2011, in memory of parishioner Margery Brown. Our thanks for all these generous hearts! CELEBRATORY EVENTS Heart of the City Festival St. James’ hosted several events as part of the Heart of the City Festival. Art Historian Dr. Barry Magrill gave a presentation on the architecture of St. James’ Church. It was followed by a guided tour led by parishioner Allan Duncan. Gerald Harder, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins and guest soprano Patricia Alessi performed ‘Songs & Arias for a Fall Afternoon’ to conclude the day. Canadian National Biennial Mothers’ Union Conference In November, the Canadian M.U. Council hosted a successful national conference at Rosemary Heights Retreat Center in Surrey. Celia Dodds, Linda
Adams, Cynthia Green and Mary Hamilton of St. James’ are all members of the National Executive of the Canadian Mothers’ Union. Women’s Guild Bargain Sale and the Advent Boutique Our thanks to the Women’s Guild and their many volunteers for hosting these two annual, much-anticipated events. Advent Quiet Day We thank Br. John Blyth for leading a day-long retreat titled “Growing in Years with the Lord”. Participants had a valuable opportunity to consider Christ’s presence manifested in their lives over the years. Advent Lessons & Carols Service This beautiful service of lessons and carols blessed our entry into the season of Advent. Our appreciation to all who took part. EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Over the last few months a number of our parishioners stepped forward to lead the 9:30 am Sunday Education & Formation Sessions. Those in attendance learned about the work of John Donne, John Keble, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Cranmer, George Herbert and Karl Rahner. Through a variety of milieu, participants explored the Advent theme of the Four Last Things – death, judgement, heaven and hell. Our knowledge has been enriched by all our presenters. GOOD WORKS Through a bequest from a departed friend of St. James’, Joan Roberts, the Outreach Committee has been able to support work at home and in many parts of the world. See the upcoming 2011 Annual Report book for details. St. James’ also raised funds for The Council of the North to support pastoral and sacramental ministry in the many remote and isolated communities of our vast nation. HONOURS Congratulations to Dr. John Conway and Pamela Jeacocke who, in November, were awarded the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster.
NEW RESPONSIBILITIES A new addition to those licensed by the Bishop as lay administrators of Holy Communion is Brian Rocksborough-Smith. Brian will be joining the Pastoral Care Team in providing home Communion to the ill and shut-in. NEW BOOKS Two new books of interest to the Parish are now available: “From Lost to Found – The May Gutteridge Story” is available through Mary Brown at a price of $15.95. “Vancouver Exposed – A History in Photographs”, which includes a section on St. James’ prepared by Allan Duncan and Jane Turner, is available through the Church Office for $30, with $6 going to the Holy Faith Library. PAINTING RESTORATION The image on the cover of this issue, of the Virgin and Child, is by Pietro Perugino (1446-1524). An anonymous donor recently made it possible to restore our full size copy (48” x 25.5”), framed, oil on canvas, by Angiolio Cherici. NEW APPOINTMENT TO THE DIOCESE For the information of our long-time parishioners, the Reverend Douglas Fenton, Assistant Priest at St. James’ from 1998 to 2002, has been appointed Director of Ministry and Mission Development for the Diocese of New Westminster. Welcome back! WITH DEEP GRATITUDE The Editorial Board of PAX is grateful for the artistic leadership and photographic brillance of Fr. Shane Bengry, one of the founders of PAX. Fr. Shane is now the rector of a three point parish in Brandon, Manitoba and is responsible for their diocesan publication. PAX is also grateful to an anonymous donor who has committed to funding the printing of this longer, colourful version of PAX for the coming year!
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Simeon Greenaway-Robbins Chloe Vincent
Sage Vincent Satya Maya Walker
303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.stjames.bc.ca Our vision: Discovering the beauty of holiness in our lives and neighbourhood, by living a Christ-centred sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition.
Desiree Vincent Nikki Hadidi
PAX no. 9 © 2010 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Jen Amundgaard, Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Mo. Jessica Schaap (on leave) Designer & Art Director: Jen Amundgaard Writers: Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins, Sharon Taylor, Gerald Harder, Paul Stanwood. Tim Firth, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins, Betty Vogel, Bear, Benjamin Amundgaard, Angela Van Luven Photography: Jen Amundgaard, Dallas Bittle, Chris Loh, Tanya Northcott, Rocky Rocksborough-Smith, Elaine Jan. Distribution: Mary Brown Archivist: Jane Turner PAX is free, but voluntary subscriptions of $10/year are welcome. PAX aims to be financially self-sustaining and therefore donations to support this ministry are greatly appreciated, and may be offered through your envelope (clearly marked PAX), mailed to the church office, or submitted on the church website with a credit card. The material printed in PAX is produced by members and friends of St. James’ Church in Vancouver, Canada. A theme-based call for submissions is issued two to six weeks prior to each edition in the Sunday church bulletins. All submissions to PAX will receive acknowledgement of reception and be reviewed and edited by an editorial panel made up of the managing editor of PAX, a Warden, a member of the clergy, and one additional parishioner. Submissions are reviewed to the extent that they fit the mandate of PAX. All submissions may be edited for length, the maximum being 500 words unless otherwise specified.
PAX is the quarterly newsletter of St. James' Church in Vancouver, BC. The material printed is produced by members and friends of St. James’...
Published on Dec 24, 2010
PAX is the quarterly newsletter of St. James' Church in Vancouver, BC. The material printed is produced by members and friends of St. James’...