Happy New Year! Well, Happy New Lectionary Year!

This Sunday, November 30, is “New Year’s Day” in the Christian liturgical calendar, as the First Sunday of Advent begins the new lectionary cycle of readings each year. Having just completed Year A, this particular liturgical year is Year B, the list of readings for which begins on page 901 of The Book of Common Prayer. However, as the Episcopal Church now has the option of following the New Revised Common Lectionary (NRCL), which we use in this parish, our Sunday morning readings may vary ... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kings and Coronations

The Feast of Christ the King references a title for Jesus found in numerous passages of scripture and is traditionally observed on the Last Sunday of Pentecost, the Sunday immediately before the First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the new liturgical year cycle. (Lectionary Year A ends on Nov. 23, and Lectionary Year B will begin next Sunday, Nov. 30.) The Roman Catholic Church and many Protestant traditions (Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, et. al.) observe Christ the Ki... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Friday, November 21, 2014

Twentieth-Century Music, Fifth-Century Hymn

When the text source of one of the selected Communion hymns for yesterday (Sunday, Nov. 16) is “Syriac Liturgy of Malabar,” I think any Episcopalian should want to dig deeper. The Syro-Malabar Christian Church, one of the 21 Eastern Catholic Churches, dates back to the third century in Edessa, Mesopotamia (modern-day Turkey). The term Syro-Malabar refers to the Syriac language (an Aramaic dialect, the language that Jesus spoke) and the Malabar region, now known as Kerala, on the southwest c... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, November 17, 2014

Old Words, New Settings

The old and the new collide this Sunday, Nov. 9, in the anthem, “As the bridegroom to his chosen,” the text of which is an avalanche of analogies. While many hymn and anthem texts that we sing are quite ancient, this text of German mystic Johannes Tauler (c. 1300-1361) is a very old one as well. Tauler was a Dominican priest, a disciple of German theologian “Meister Eckhart” (c. 1260-c. 1328), and affiliated with a group of clergy and laity called the “Friends of God” (Gottesfreunde). Exiled ... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Household of God

Why do we celebrate Holy Baptism on All Saints’? The Book of Common Prayer historically suggests four feast days on which Baptism is appropriate: Baptism of Christ (First Sunday after the Epiphany), Great Vigil of Easter (Easter Eve), Day of Pentecost and All Saints’ Day (or the Sunday after). For the first three feasts, the associations are easy (Jesus’ baptism, the Resurrection, and the gift of the Holy Spirit). But what about All Saints’? When we are baptized, we are, indeed, entering i... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Sunday, November 2, 2014