In Radiant Light: Alleluia!

Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts, in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people.. -T he Exsultet , The Great Vigil of Easter, The Book of Common Prayer, page 286 The Exsultet (Latin,  Praeconium Paschale, “Easter Proclamation”) is the ancient prayer that begins the Great Vigil of Easter. After the kindling of the new fire (regeneration, rebirth, resurrection) and the lighting of the Paschal Candle (“the pillar of cloud by... Read More
Posted by Cara Modisett at Monday, March 30, 2015

Palm Sunday to the Passion: The Week Begins

The reenactment of Jesus’ last days on earth began yesterday (Mar. 29), known in our Book of Common Prayer as the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday. The liturgy began with the Liturgy of the Palms, in which we recreate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The opening joyful acclamations of “Hosanna to the King” stand in stark contrast to the cries of “Crucify him” in the Passion Gospel narrative later in the liturgy. To mark the beginning of Holy Week, the departing procession... Read More
Posted by Cara Modisett at Monday, March 30, 2015

Psalm and Penitence

[youtube] In preparation for Our Lord’s passion next week, the lectionary readings today (Mar. 22) include a portion of that great penitential psalm, Psalm 51, which is also the specially appointed psalm for Ash Wednesday each year. This psalm is often called the Miserere, referring to its first line in Latin, Miserere mei, Deus ("Have mercy on me, O God"). Not surprisingly, composers throughout the ages have latched onto this most... Read More
Posted by Cara Modisett at Thursday, March 19, 2015

For God So Loved the World

Part of today’s Gospel reading, John 3:16 is most certainly the best known verse of scripture from the Holy Bible. In addition to children memorizing this verse in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, John 3:16 is found today even in popular culture. Businesses print the scripture citation on the bottoms of shopping bags, shipping boxes and other product packaging. One California-based hamburger restaurant chain even prints "John 3:16" in small red print on the inside rims of the... Read More
Posted by Cara Modisett at Thursday, March 12, 2015

May the words of our mouths...

[youtube] The last verse of March 8’s psalm is beloved favorite and heard often, if not weekly, in Jewish and Christian worship. In the Anglican tradition, many preachers begin each sermon with “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts…” In temples and synagogues this psalm prayer is heard weekly in the Shabbat (“Sabbath”) Evening Service as part of the  Amidah  (“The Standing Prayer”), a series of prayers that close the... Read More
Posted by Cara Modisett at Sunday, March 8, 2015

Crux fidelis

Today Gospel reading (Mar. 1) includes an image and commandment of Jesus that is actually found verbatim in three of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke): "Take up your cross and follow me." Of sung texts that extol the cross, none is better than the ancient verse Crux fidelis ("Faithful cross above all other"), a portion of St. Fortunatus’ (c. 530-c. 609) larger hymn Pange lingua ("Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle.") This magnificent text is found in its entirety at Hymn 166 in... Read More
Posted by Cara Modisett at Sunday, March 1, 2015

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