In Defense of “We Just” Prayers…Partially

We’ve all done it. At one point or another we have each lamented, either privately or via Facebook, about the use of “we just” prayers in the church. For those who have never heard of such a thing, I can remember being in high school and hearing people make fun of the theological shallowness of others who would pray, “God, we just pray that you would…” Clearly it has become such commonplace that the Babylon Bee put out a piece of satire in its honor. As I was working on my “10 Signs You’re a Litu … [Read more...]

10 Signs You’re A Low Liturgy Snob

There’s no good way of classifying those who are liturgical snobs by virtue of being low liturgy or low(er) church. I do not have in view those belonging to churches who lack a historical liturgy or connectivity. This is not an anti-liturgy, contra-liturgy, or alternative-liturgy list (that might be another blog post for another time). I know a significant number of people who are Low Liturgy and who deeply appreciate the liturgical tradition of the Church even if they hold said tradition in a l … [Read more...]

10 Signs You’re A Liturgical Snob

Here is a bit of levity for you on Friday. Snobbery can affect any category of people: food snobs, wine snobs, sports snobs, shoe snobs, book snobs, etc. etc. ad infinitum. One group of people not often mentioned but highly afflicted is that of the Liturgical Snob. Liturgical snobbery is not necessarily a bad thing. As you’ll see from my list, most points are actually good and well-informed. It becomes an issue, however, based on how you use your snobbery. Snobbery for snobbery’s sake is ann … [Read more...]

Race Horses and Plow Horses

I’m currently reading At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon for the first time and am loving the experience. The novel is charming, the town idyllic, and the character of Father Tim lovable. I have found, as I often do with stories that invite my attention, that there are nuggets of truth within the casing of whimsical story. I stumbled upon one such truth today: “There are race horses and there are plow horses, and the pulpit can make good use of both kinds.”Father Tim goes on to state that he is … [Read more...]

There Are No Liturgical Islands

Growing up, I was drawn to the musical and harmonically-inclined geniuses Simon and Garfunkel. I particularly enjoyed their lyrics and found them to be philosophically rich and deep. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a hammer rather than a nail? Ok, a bit of tongue-in-cheek, but I digress. The did commit one line to heart and soul and have been struggling to undo it every since: “I am a rock, I am an island.”Here’s the deal: I’m selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-deluded. Aren’t we … [Read more...]

When We Create Elephants

Our church hosts a monthly Writer's Guild where individuals can come together, share their piece based on a given writing prompt, receive feedback and critique, and then go and strive to polish and hone their talents. I am so grateful for this group! We met this past Saturday and the prompt was "Elephant in the room"; this is my flash essay response. An alternative title might be "An Ode to Narcissism."The mood in the living room has changed substantially over the last few seconds. A … [Read more...]

On Being An Alcoholic

I have been engaged in a new liturgy recently. This liturgy has changed me profoundly.I arrive a few minutes early to each gathering and sit in a room amongst like-minded people. We definitely do not look the same, each coming from different walks of life, but we are all committed to the same principles, traditions, and concepts.The one presiding over the meeting will call the gathering to order, read some opening acclamations about the purpose of our time together, make some … [Read more...]

On Writing in Books

I remember it like it was yesterday: I was sitting in my freshman history class at George Mason High School and my teacher, Mr. Peloquin, was giving us a homework assignment. The assignment was simple. Actually, at the time I thought the assignment was stupid. We were to read through old political articles from the 1960’s and 70’s and make comments in the margins. That was it. We were supposed to write questions, comments, and other commentary on the pages provided us.Now, I was neither the m … [Read more...]

Rite of Passage: A Sonnet

This is a sonnet I penned for the Writer's Guild at our church. The prompt was "Rite of Passage" and my mind immediately turned toward baptism. Enjoy!Rite of Passage: A SonnetA journey through water and into lightThe response of faith to the beckoning callA night brighter than any day or nightThe riteful passage offered one and allDeath and life, descent and ascentThe grace of our Lord ne’er will relent Draw near the font, feel the water cover youInto … [Read more...]

The Work of Research: Inconvenient Truths

As I continue my doctoral journey it seems most natural for me to periodically offer up reflections or updates on both the process and my discoveries, personal and academic. This is currently taking the form of a pseudo-series entitled, "The Work of Research." The actual insights and learnings may be categorized as "insider baseball" for those who are liturgically inclined, but the more general principles can be universally applied and/or appreciated. I hope you enjoy the trek as much as I … [Read more...]