On the Fourth Day of Christmas

December 28 is actually day four of our 12-day celebration of Christmastide, and the liturgies in this parish on this day are wonderfully distinctive. Our 8 a.m. liturgy is Morning Prayer and the Holy Eucharist (Rite One), where the beautiful canticles Venite, Magnificat (Song of Mary), and Benedictus Dominus Deus (Song of Zechariah) will be used. Our 10:30 a.m. service is a Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols with Holy Eucharist, where once again the miraculous story of Jesus’ birth w... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Magnificats at the Close of Advent

Our Advent celebration comes to a close on Sunday, Dec. 21 with Luke’s Gospel account of the Annunciation. After the annunciation by the angel Gabriel, Mary proclaims her song of praise, the Magnificat canticle, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,” which is actually found a few verses past today’s Gospel citation. Marian hymns are, thus, appropriate for today. During Communion this morning, we sang David Hurd’s tune Julion with the text “Ye who claim the faith of Jesus.” Hurd bea... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rejoice in the Lord Always!

The Third Sunday of Advent (Dec. 14) is also known as Gaudete Sunday, which is a reference to the proper Introit verse for the day, Gaudete in Domino semper ("Rejoice in the Lord always") from Philippians 4. In the Roman rite, where purple is traditionally used for Advent and Lent, pink was a lightened hue of purple, symbolic of "lifting the veil" on the penitence and fasting to prepare for Christmas and Easter. Gaudete Sunday is a counterpart to Laetare Sunday, the Fourth Sunday in Lent, a... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Sunday, December 14, 2014

Memphis (Advent) Blues

Why do we use Sarum Blue for Advent? Before the Protestant Reformation and the publication of the original 1549 Book of Common Prayer, the Roman rite was obviously the only rite used in the Church throughout the world. However, as early as the 11th century, St. Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, had established a variation of the rite for use in Salisbury Cathedral and in that diocese. In this Sarum Rite ("Sarum" being the Latin word for "Salisbury"), blue was used for the season of Advent. Blue ... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Friday, December 5, 2014