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...]

Uncertainty and the Work of Research

The subtitle of this post may well be: "Learning to Embrace (Academic) Uncertainty" or "The Possibility of Being Wrong." You will find very little--if anything--in this post on the nature of liturgical theology or the content of my dissertation. Instead, this is a short reflection a lesson I have learned from the work I have been attempting over the last year.I knew that I wanted to pursue a PhD in liturgical theology after reading two things: the works of Alexander Schmemann and a two-part e … [Read more...]

Sent Out in Love – Pentecost 7 Sermon

I have included both the transcript to my sermon and the audio link below. They are somewhat different. Cheers!AUDIO LINKFor the 103rd time yesterday, a group of 197 riders were sent out from Mont Saint Michel along the coast of France. Each rider bears the name of his institution along his back, representing his people (both nationally and locally) along the way. These riders, these pilgrims if you’ll allow me the metaphor, were sent out with a common goal along a common route toward a c … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Ressourcement and Renewal

This is a guest post from Dr. Eugene Schlesinger, a Rev. John P. Raynor, SJ Fellow at Marquette University from 2015-2016, and author of the forthcoming book, Missa Est! A Missional Liturgical Ecclesiology with Fortress Press. Ressourcement or Reinventing the Wheel  Perhaps the most significant event in my theological development was getting fired from the church I’d helped plant, whose culture I’d helped to shape, and to which I’d devoted three years of my life.[1] For the five years … [Read more...]

A Few Thoughts on Eucharistic Orientation

 You can easily begin a deep theological and liturgical debate across ecumenical lines with one simple question: how should the Celebrant be oriented in the Eucharist? Maybe it’s based on the fact that I am an Anglican, but this simple question has churned up many strong feelings and convictions.My main goal, here, is to provide some fodder for thinking about our Eucharistic orientation. Perhaps we (those who are the inheritors of the Reformation(s)) have gotten it wrong...For t … [Read more...]

The Need for Creed

A friend recently shared that a young woman in his parish explained that she hates the Creed. He subsequently requested that something be written about the importance of teaching the Creed(s) to young people. There are likely to be many, many articles, books, and blog posts on the topic but here’s my attempt at an answer:As part of the liturgy every Sunday, the assembled Church proclaims the words of the Nicene Creed (or Apostles' Creed if connected with the Sacrament of Baptism). I have o … [Read more...]