A few neat Anglican links…

Thanks to my friend Donnie for pointing me to these:

The Byzantine Anglo-Catholic — a blog about “the interplay between Benedictine spirituality, high-church Anglicanism, and the hesychast tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy.”

Yes, Young People Do Like Traditional Liturgy by Luiz Coelho — an interesting essay by a young Latino Anglican on the importance of preserving liturgical tradition.

Here’s what Donnie had to say when he pointed me to these links:

I have often felt that the most radical thing that the Church could do, far more radical than any “contemporary” or even post-modern emergent style worship, while those may have their place, is to hold fast to and to uphold our traditional liturgies rooted in our ancient Faith. More than any current trend or post-modern deconstruction the most counter culturally thing we could do is to be more liturgical and “high church”, I reasoned to myself. This might appeal even more to the young of today in our increasingly rootless (ruthless?) society.

I’m with you, my friend.

Mysticism and the Divine Feminine: An Interview with Mirabai Starr
Preliminary Practices for Christian Contemplatives
In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech
Pentecost and Ecstasy
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • zoecarnate

    Hmm. I’m of two minds regarding that quote – perhaps three. :)

    My first mind is a good Protestant reaction – just because something’s old doesn’t make it good. Most old things evolved; that is, they had their origins in a particular time and place for particular reasons, to serve some greater theocentric or anthropocentric good. If you had the luxury to evolve a set of practices 1500 years ago, then by all means, give the faithful today the same grace.

    My second mind is more conciliatory – just because something’s new doesn’t make it good. For sure! And the older I get, the less I want to do new things ‘just because.’ Novelty’s not the end-all be-all. Because I’m something of a history geek, I like the idea of ties to the past and ‘showing one’s work.’

    My third mind is perhaps what holds these two in creative tension. My reading of the New Testament (again, I realize that even that snippet of a sentence is kind’ve Protestant of me – though I hope also can jibe with a post-Vatican II Catholic) holds Jesus’ prophetic liberation & re-making of earth, as it is in heaven, as the central message. And my reading sees Paul’s metaphors of church as Body, church as Family, church as Relationship as one practical social out-working of God’s reign. I think that liturgy can be beautifully subversive, or it can reinforce ‘the powers’ and the status quo, as it did during so much of Christendom, when – ahem – many Catholics (and magisterial Reformers) were bringing the sword to my radical-reformation, low-church sisters and brothers like the Anabaptists and Quakers. With this said, the part of me that’s ‘emergent’ and ‘postmodern’ wants to move past blame-casting and ‘the paralysis of analysis.’ I’ve been drawn to liturgy these past few years, though my actual experience of it has been mixed. My times with you, Carl, at the Monastery & your church have been enjoyable – though I wonder what I would have done without you there as a guide. Times when I’ve wandered into Episcopal churches I feel rather lost – there’s some beauty there but I don’t fully understand it, and I can’t help but think that the priests & congregation feel bored. The only time I thoroughly enjoyed liturgy without having a savvy friend right beside me is when Sara Miles and Paul Fromberg came to Atlanta and took us all through their ‘lightweight’ liturgy. I call it lightweight because it felt light & breezy, not because it was insubstantial. Heavens no! It was amazing, because a.) They explained everything step-by-step (in a way that didn’t feel clunky), and b.) As they noted, it was a mix between Anglo-Catholic, Byzantine, Quaker & Shaker styles of worship – with some light interfaith accents, even. I think liturgy is best when its allowed to breathe the air of its spiritual neighbors and – dare I say it? – the culture at large.

  • http://n/a Rozel Pharazyn

    I have granddaughter who at seven years old decided after accompanying me to church regularly for some time, that she’d like to be baptised. She would sit beside me in our little Victorian Gothic wooden church in our village, and soak in the Spirit. Once she did a beautiful drawing of the rainbow of colours that reflects throughout the 100 year old oiled wood interior, on which she wrote “Being at church is cool”.Her baptism was a solemn and joyful occasion and she continues to worship, independent of parental influence. She attends more modern services with her other grandparents from time to time , and has expressed a distinct preference for the more classic liturgy she started off in.
    I think it’s not stylistic content of a service that really matters, but the Spiritual content.