Monday, July 28, 2008

Lambeth Bridge is....

Actually, it is still standing.

According to Wikipedia The earliest printed English version of "London Bridge" is in "Tommy Thumb´s Pretty Song Book" (1744) (link to the 1815 book is here)the verses from Wikipedia are as follows,

London Bridge Is Broken down
Dance over my Lady Lee
London Bridge Is Broken down
With a gay Lady

How shall we build It up again,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Build it up with Gravel, and Stone,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Gravel, and Stone Will wash away,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Build it up with Iron, and Steel,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Iron, and Steel, Will bend, and Bow,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Build it up with Silver, and Gold,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Silver, and Gold Will be stolen away,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc

Then we’ll set A man to Watch,
Dance over my Lady Lee.
Then we’ll set A man to Watch
With a gay Lady

Just substitute "Lambeth bridge" for "London bridge" and you get the message.

Lambeth 2008 is about building bridges, but once it is built, be careful of the Man you've set to watch with the gay Lady.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mr. Churchman, What's Your Heading?

Many people ask where the Church is headed. This video (lyrics below) provides the answer to the where and how.

One Hundred years our church has stood
A pristine temple built of wood
Abandoned we fear losing it
To safety we are moving it

Refrain: Here it comes….

John Deere is helping us steer
Around tight corners in a higher gear
The heavy load of the church tower
Just won’t move without tractor power


Climbing hills and crossing fields
Into town on sixty wheels
On it’s perch for all to see
Safe and sound for Eternity



The analogy I would like to draw is one that applies to the Episcopal Church (of course, or should that be "off" course?). What if we substituted the Belarus Tractors currently pulling the Church for John Deeres?
This video and music might also be a helpful illustration for parishes setting sail from the Episcopal Church and settling into a new port, "safe and sound for Eternity."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Women Bishops in England!

And I aways thought the English loved tradition. Of course the current steps that may pave the way for women Bishops in the CoE is a natural progression since the ordination of women priests in 1992. Where this next step will lead is a polarizing question. I agree with the Pewster (see below) that one need only look across the pond at TEC to see where CoE is headed. Perhaps the Pewster will be proven wrong, after all, there might be the equivalent of Margaret Thatcher coming along in the ranks of the English Clergy who could become the Archbishop some day.

Among the great comments at StandFirm on the Church of England's decision is this from Rudy+,

"As you can gather from my #30 above, I support the ordination of women. I got in my car and drove to seminary 2 days after the vote of General Convention in 1976.

Of course, as any and every priest who has been ordained for any length of time knows, you frequently get in trouble in ministry not for what you do but how you do it.
And what really bugs me now is how I thought we were making an accomodation to allow women to minister in TEC as it was in 1976. I never dreamed that we’d be faced with feminist theology, and I never dreamed that Integrity would become so strong. I never dreamed that what was liberal in 1976 is now conservative (forget being moderate—it’s gone!). I never dreamed that the majority of bishops of TEC would vote in the most liberal candidate to become the XXVI Presiding Bishop. (The most liberal candidate for PB was elected neither in 1985 nor in 1997.) So I think we should definitely look at the question of what those who support women’s ordination want to bring in with it if and when that door is opened. In other words, not just what we have seen through the portholes so far, but in which direction the ship is pointed."

[48] Posted by Rudy on 07-07-2008 at 07:17 PM

I see ice bergs from my porthole view.

And this intriguing one from the Underground Pewster,

"At last! We can test the hypothesis that W.O. sinks churches. Every experiment needs corroberation by an independant investigator. All we needed for the experiment was the Church of England to try to reproduce the successful first test as performed in TEC. Too bad that the experiment takes 25 years of follow up to determine the results. The ethical problem with trying to duplicate a negative result and using humans as subjects should be apparant to most scientists, but of course, theology is not a science. What I am saying is the people of England should protest to their human rights commission as the Declaration of Helsinki is about to be tossed out the window. Perhaps we would be better off if the “wise and prudent” (Matthew 11:25) quit experimenting on us simple pew people."

[40] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 07-07-2008 at 07:02 PM

I hope and pray that the experiment fails to validate the hypothesis. Margaret Thatcher where are you?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Scarred, Mangled Banner

You call it our "National Anthem." My Church calls it a "National Song."

1. O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

2. On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

3. And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

4. O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

--Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)

The scarring and mangling began with the deletion of three fourths of the poem in becoming what most people outside of the Episcopal Church recognize as the National Anthem. Now what is so wrong with verses 2-3 that they are not included in the Episcopal Hymnal of 1982? When did all this begin? This week, I have seen where it will all end as a singer switched the words and used this in Denver Colorado.
Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise,
High as the list'ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast'ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee,
Shadowed beneath thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

According to Wikipedia, usually only the first verse is sung which makes for another editorial question. Do you find anything offensive in verses 2 or 3?

My next question is this. When will "Lift Every Voice and Sing" make it into the Episcopal Hymnal, and where will it be placed in respect to the other National "Songs?"

Maybe we should just go back to the 1826 Hymnal and stop arguing.