The Liturgical Christianity Portal

Bringing liturgical Christians together

Yes, the Baptismal Covenant Is More Than Words

7 Mark’s Gospel B. the prelude image 3 of 4. Christ baptized. Ryley

In many Episcopal parishes today, members renewed the covenant they made with God at baptism. Our Catholic and Lutheran friends, among others, also use the baptismal covenant. Though the exact wording may vary, the basic structure is the same: a question-and-answer format where we renounce evil and vow to walk with Jesus.

On this Sunday, liturgical churches celebrate the Baptism of Christ, helping to remind us of that promise made. It’s also a time when many will make those promises for the first time, either for themselves or on behalf of a child they’re sponsoring in baptism.

In Christ, we join the ranks of God’s beloved. Because we have the Spirit of God in us, we are part of Christ’s mission of reconciliation and justice.

There is a lot of talk of opening the eyes of the blind, releasing prisoners from dungeons, and bringing those in darkness out of prison in the Isaiah 42:1-9. Even though this brings a lot of vivid images of physical blindness and literal prisons to mind, I think Isaiah was looking at a bigger picture here.

There are many who have become spiritually blind or prisoners through sin, human malice, or even emotional brokeness like depression, PTSD, or substance abuse. It often seems like the world’s brokeness rules the day, but the good news is that God’s redemption through Christ is there to bring us through it.

By choosing to live in companionship with Christ, we can experience healing and reconciliation, as well as help bring both to others. We should let the words of the baptismal covenant remind us of both this promise and our responsibility.

January 8, 2017 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

A Community Evensong Outline

I hope you’re all enjoying the Fourth, and can recognize this as an opportunity to celebrate the religious we so often take for granted. As part of our religious freedom, let’s remember the fact that Christians throughout the ages have often been persecuted, even by other Christians, for how they worship.

I posted about the concept of a community evensong service on CelticAnglican’s Ramblings, and hope this will be a resource that many of you will use. We enjoy the freedom to worship as we please, especially in the company of fellow Christians of other denominations.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your bulletin, if used, clearly denotes which parts of the service are said/sung by all and which are said or sung specifically by the choir/liturgical leaders with bolding or italics
  • Some attendees from non-liturgical traditions may not understand or be comfortable with the congregation reading in unison or responsively, phrasing should indicate they may or are welcome to take part in the bold or italicized readings
  • If the congregation will sing the Psalm(s) in unison, consider using a plainsong chant setting or a hymn that is a metrical version of the psalm

A prelude featuring church musicians may be used

The Service of Light on p. 109 to 112 of the Book of Common Prayer can be a good way to start this service if you have candles to hand out to attendees

Sentences of Scripture appropriate to evening worship or the Church season

A versicle and response, such as that on p.117 of the Book of Common Prayer

O Gracious Light or an appropriate evening hymn (Examples: The Day Thou Gavest, Abide with Me, Day is Done, For the Beauty of the Earth, Lord of All Hopefulness are just some examples)

Psalm or Psalms

First Scripture reading

The Magnificat/Song of Mary

Second Scripture reading

Nunc Dimittis/Song of Simeon

Homily

Apostles’ Creed

Lord’s Prayer with Versicle & Response p. 121 Book of Common Prayer

Suffrages p. 121 Book of Common Prayer

Collect of the Day & Other Appropriate Collects

Hymn or anthem

General intercessions & prayers for mission

General Thanksgiving and/or Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

Closing Versaicle & Response, with optional closing Scripture verses

July 4, 2016 Posted by | Liturgy/Worship, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Better Together: CelticAnglican’s Ramblings and Liturgical Christianity as One

This blog will soon be combined with my primary CelticAnglican’s Ramblings blog. The original Liturgical Christianity site was part of a revenue-share program that unfortunately didn’t work out. However, authors had the chance to keep the domain and content.

However, balancing posting to two blogs that often have overlapping content, as well as a personal and a few business blogs, presents a challenge to my job schedule. Often, it comes down to choosing between posting to one blog or the other, or posting content that is not up to par with my preferred quality. Neither are a good situation for a blogger.

I’ll be working on exporting most of the current content to the other blog, as well as providing redirection links for posts that have been moved. For those who follow the blogs on Facebook, I’ll still maintain a separate page for the liturgical Christianity-at-large content.

Blessings to all!

June 7, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

We Remember: The Maryrs of Lyons

Learn more about Blandina and Her Companions, The Martyrs of Lyons

Martyrdom is never nice to hear about, but Jesus never promised a trouble-free life. While most of us will not have to pay the ultimate price for our beliefs, following Christ isn’t always easy today, either. Our world sees a lot of conflict, unrest and violence that makes peace seem like a far-off dream. We would do well to remember that we are always called to be witnesses. When we stop caring about the world’s troubles and fail to speak out in the name of Christ, our witness suffers. Let’s always remember the courage of our ancestors in the faith.

Almighty God, who gave your servants Blandina and her companions boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in
us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saint-Martin Ainay Crypte

June 2, 2016 Posted by | Saints and Feasts, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

No, These Weren’t Yours to Begin With

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem2982

One of the more interesting exchanges I had on my other blog started off innocently enough with me stating why I didn’t believe God sanctioned polygamy for Christians. Online discussions being what they are, it soon devolved into my being accused of being “no student of Scripture” for not agreeing with one commentator about their assertion that Christians were to follow the Levitical law.

In short, I had pointed out that polygamy was something that the Bible did not specifically condemn because of the cultural context, but was not sanctioned as an example to follow either, and pointed out a couple of examples of other practices that are no longer accepted within Christianity. The commentator took exception to this, asserting that Christians were still to follow the Law.

I think it’s easy for some to get caught up on Jesus’ statement that he did not intend the abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17-20), without considering his fulfillment and what it meant. What does that really mean for us?

  • Jesus did not invalidate the Law during his earthly ministry, however, he did institute a covenant of grace (Romans 6:13-14)
  • Jewish teachers in both Biblical times and today never saw the Law as being for Gentiles. In fact, many believe that only the laws given to Noah are applicable for non-Jews. (Gen. 9:8-17)
  • Early Christians leaders did not impose the Law on Christians (Acts 15)

We are under the law of grace – thanks be to God!

April 20, 2016 Posted by | Apologetics, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

A Good Place to Start

Maerten van Heemskerck - Christ Appearing to St Peter on the Sea of Tiberias (Bowes Museum)

How often do stories include a line about starting at the beginning? How often do hit TV shows open with a character presumably going back to the beginning?

Starting at the beginning, or getting back to the basics, is a theme that also crops up in the Bible. Jesus’ appearance in John 21:9, though it is post-Resurrection, ironically starts where he first called the disciples.

Going back to where you were before God called you at the point you are in your life can be a very scary thing. Although remembering where we were when we decided to heed Jesus’ call makes us grateful for what we turned away from, remembering the past can give us a clearer picture of the future.

Christianity has taken so many twists and turns over the centuries that it often seems as though common ground is difficult to find. Ages-old controversies about the nature of the Godhead now take their place alongside controversies over worship styles and the use of sacraments in an increasingly digitized world.

One thing to bear in mind: many of today’s controversies likely would have befuddled Jesus’ earliest followers. Your mileage may vary, but I think they would have rejected anything that eclipsed Jesus as Lord, reduced honored traditions as stale, rigid laws, denied the importance of those who had gone before, or that tought any group of people was unworthy of ministering to.

Creedal Christianity, at its best, gets back to basics while providing adaptability for a world that constantly changes. What more could we ask for today?

April 10, 2016 Posted by | Christian Living, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

So Many Tempations, So Little Time

February 18, 2016 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

In Honor of Upcoming Shrove Tuesday…

The author of this is totally unknown to me, but provides a bit of levity before we launch into Lent (which is early this year:

All God’s Children are shriven toda-ay
A-A-A-A-A-le-i-loo-oo-yah!
No more Shroves for days and da-ays
A-A-A-A-A-le-i-loo-oo-yah!
Forty days is not so long
A-A-A-A-A-le-i-loo-oo-yah!
Burn your Shroves, you can’t go wrong
A-A-A-A-A-le-i-loo-oo-yah!

February 4, 2016 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

A Testimony to Remember

This week, we remember the conversion of St. Paul. His conversion story is one to end all others, that’s for certain!

Acts 26:9-21 and Galatians 1:11-24 recount Paul’s dramatic conversion. Seeing the transformation from a persecuter to an eventual martyr is a thrilling turn of events.

It’s easy to think that these Road to Damascus stories only happened a long time ago. However, these types of conversions have happened throughout Christian history, right up to today.

From early converts from paganism to followers of modern religions who convert, complete changes of heart make up a large part of the history of Christianity. This important work of transformation still continues today.

The Church has had several Road to Damascus moments ever since the time of the Apostles. From Jewish believers who accepted the Gentiles to Christians of today who embrace outcasts, these conversion stories continue to shape our experiences as Christians.

January 25, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Bless This House…Literally

On the Feast of Epiphany for some Christians and during the week following for others, it is traditional to bless the house in some way. Although we have already celebrated the Feast of Epiphany, I think this tradition is worth mentioning in its broader context.

Catholics have a tradition of asking God’s blessing on their homes, as well as anyone who will visit their home. This tradition is an open invitation to make Jesus a daily part of life.

Chalking the door with the letters C, M, B and the year. The initials stand for Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, the three traditional wise men, or the initials for the Latin translation of “May Christ bless this house”. Traditional prayers follow.

In Episcopal churches, parishioners may ask their priest to bless their homes on Epiphany or in the week after. During the blessing, a special prayer is said for each room. Consider making one of these traditions part of your Christian life, and you’ll be glad you did.

 

January 18, 2016 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment