CELEBRATION, MEANING AND HISTORY OF ALL SOULS DAY IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - DR. GIL HAAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Christian calendar is highlighted by multiple feast days each honoring an individual saint. All Saints’ Day (November 1) was placed on the Church’s calendar as early as 373 AD to celebrate notable saints who lived a godly life but did not have a feast day assigned to them. In 998 AD, November 2 was designated by the monastic, Odilo of Cluny, as All Souls’ Day to commemorate the souls of all the faithfully departed. In our Book of Common Prayer (p 29) this day is designated “Commemoration of All Faithful Departed” to honor all those Christian individuals who are unknown in the wider fellowship of the church, especially family members and friends. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is the first American Prayer Book in which this feast is listed on the calendar. The commemoration on this day is of those Christians who were neither martyrs nor confessors - people not especially distinguished by their death or by their way of life. During World War I, Pope Benedict XV allowed priests to celebrate the Eucharist three times on All Souls’ Day. He felt that the “useless slaughter” of the war warranted a special commemoration for all those persons who had lost their lives.
~ Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
A novena is an ancient tradition o f nine days of devotional prayers, often with a specific intention. Will you join us as we move toward the election o f leaders for the United States? May we all join in a season of prayer, committing to offer to God our fears and frustrations, our hopes and dreams.
All prayers are taken from The Book of Common Prayer. A ministry of the Episcopal Church, Forward Movement inspires disciples and empowers evangelists. Visit us at www.ForwardMovement.org.
FOR SOUND GOVERNMENT For this season, we encourage you to pray this litany every day. You might also consider praying the Great Litany, beginning on page 148 of The Book of Common Prayer. O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care. To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties. Give grace to your servants, O Lord. To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations. Give grace to your servants, O Lord. To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served. Give grace to your servants, O Lord. And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.
OCT 27 - Pray for the nation Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
OCT 28 - Pray for guidance O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
OCT 29 - Pray for the unity of the Church in this time of division Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples that they might be one, as you and he are one: Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you, may be united in one body by the one Spirit, that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
OCT 30 - Pray for direction from God Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
OCT 31 - Pray for joy in God’s creation O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
NOV 1 - Pray for our own work for the common good Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
NOV 2 - Pray for discernment O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
NOV 3 - Pray for our hearts to be fixed on true joy Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
NOV 4 - Pray for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit Almighty and most merciful God, grant that by the indwelling of your Holy Spirit we may be enlightened and strengthened for your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
NOV 5 - Pray for deliverance from faithless fear and worldly anxiety Most loving Father, whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you who care for us: Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifested to us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST COMMANDEMENT? SERMON ON MATTHEW 23:34-46 AND LEVITICUS 19:1-2 - FR. JOSEPH ALSAY, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Excerpts of a Sermon Delivered on Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
October 25, 2020
The Reverend Joseph C. Alsay, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18 & Matthew 23:34-46
“What is the Greatest Commandment?”
In today's lesson from Matthew, an authority on the Law of Moses gives Jesus a pop quiz: "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind." Jesus is here quoting the Shemah, the scripture which was to be recited daily by all Jewish people in Jesus' day. We know it from the book of Deuteronomy: “Hear, O, Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one.”
Then Jesus goes on to offer the Pharisee a second, similar commandment. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Truth be told, our first attempts at loving are awkward and clumsy. Loving our neighbor is not something that comes naturally for us especially if they don’t look like, talk like, act like, vote like or believe like we do.
What do you mean?
Last week marked another “bomb shell” announcement that Pope Francis made. “Homosexuals are children of God and have a right to be a part of the family,” “What we have to create is a civil union law.” Francis simply makes clear his carefully considered wisdom that the commandment that matters most is to love thy neighbor as thyself.
The love Jesus is talking about here cost him his life, so this is love beyond mere sentimentality or emotion. Jesus teaches about the form of love that in Greek is called agape. This is a self-giving love, which is more concerned about the other person than oneself.
In a sermon delivered by the Reverend Jacqueline Lewis, Senior Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church, she talked about, what it means to love your neighbor. And she told a story that a rabbi had told her about how loving your neighbor means loving your neighbor’s cow. The rabbi said loving your neighbor is when you see your neighbor Sam’s cow out, you don’t say, “Ooh, Sam’s cow got out. That’s too bad.”
You don’t go, “Hmm. That might not even be Sam’s cow at all.”
You also don’t say, “Sam should have known better than to let his cow get out.” To love your neighbor means to love your neighbor enough, to go out and get the cow out of trouble, to bring it back where it belongs.
As Christians, are called by this commandment to love God, to love our neighbor and to love ourselves. And to love our neighbor means being willing to be inconvenienced, to love our neighbor means being willing to go the extra mile.It means placing the good of others before ourselves, which is at the heart of the Christian understanding of relationship.
This Sunday the Presiding Bishop calls upon us to well informed about the issues and the candidates who will lead our nation Today is “Vote Faithfully Sunday” in the Episcopal Church. “It is a Christian obligation to vote, and more than that, it is the church’s responsibility to help get souls to the polls.”
Nine days from today, the people of the United States will elect a president and many others to public office. This election occurs in a time of global pandemic, a time when there is hardship, sickness, suffering and death. But this election also occurs in a time of great divisions. Divisions that are deep, dangerous, and potentially injurious to democracy.
So what is the role of the church in the context of an election being held in a time such as this?
The task of the church in the first century or 21st century is to live by the precedent, to bear witness to the precedent and lift up the values of the precedent of Jesus in our time. What is the precedent Jesus calls us to live into?
We are to never forget those who have been made in the image and likeness of God. Especially those who are marginalized, ostracized, racialized. We are to make sure that those people are never minimalized.
Have the courage to not simply talk of love, but to put love into action. The love God has for you is patient and kind and will never fail. Choose to share that same amazing love with the people in your life. Amen.
The maniple is a vestment of embroidered silk or similar fabric that when worn, hangs from the left forearm. It is only used during a Mass, and it is of the same liturgical color as the other vestments. When used, maniples can be worn by the celebrant, deacon, and subdeacon, but only when these clergy are vested in a chasuble, dalmatic, and tunicle, respectively, during the celebration of the Mass. Following the reforms of Vatican II, the maniple was made optional for Catholic clergy. In the 6th century, the maniple was a piece of cloth which clerics used to wipe their faces and hands, and some pundits have described it as being akin to a handkerchief. Some liturgists refer to the maniple’s likeness to the ropes by which Christ was led. It is also associated with tears of penance. Pre-Medieval writings describe the maniple being used to wipe away the almost continual tears that flowed from the eyes of the grieving priest during Mass.
~ Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
We hear in today’s Gospel one of Jesus’ wisdom sayings: “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Jesus makes this remark, of course, in reply to those who came to trick Jesus into making statements against the government; an entrapment to get him imprisoned and killed. The disciples of the Pharisees were cunning in this attempt. They butter up Jesus, calling Jesus “Teacher.” They say they know he is sincere, that he teaches the way of God in accordance with truth. They acknowledge that Jesus shows deference to no one, is partial to no one.
Then they spring this well-baited trap. “Tell us, then, what you think.” Behind this benign invitation, you can almost hear the jaws of the trap groaning to be flung free on its victim. “Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” …just asking… A less astute teacher might find the opportunity to malign an oppressive Roman rule as he or she enlightens others on a different order of living. A less astute teacher could seize the opportunity to speak not of Caesar’s earth-bound kingdom, but to expound from their passion on the Kingdom of God. “The government…” a less inspired and more fed-up teacher might begin, as an unfortunate corner is quickly turned to unleash their pent-up anger. “The government…what a pile of sewer trash that is when compared to the Kingdom of God! Of course, you shouldn’t pay taxes to this corrupt and oppressive mess!” Trap sprung!, Game, set, match! Gotcha!
But, as we know, rather than fall into this trap, Jesus wisely and simply asks to see a coin. And when one is quickly produced, Jesus then asks, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” This wisdom saying, condensed to, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s,” works like a koan—you know, one of those almost impossible Zen Buddhist puzzles created by the master to lead the student to enlightenment. The student works on the koan, the puzzle, tirelessly, thinking it through over and over again until the koan seems to take on a life of its own, The koan then begins to work tirelessly on the student—until enlightenment is provoked. At first glance, Jesus’ statement seems to only be an equally tricky response to a tricky question, a tricky way for Jesus to remain free of the Pharisees’ trap. “Give to Caesar and give to God.” –not either/or, but instead, both/and! Trap avoided! No one is offended, no kingdom maligned. Death sentence avoided… for now.
But then, maybe on second glance, it is simply a logical statement: “Give to the government which supports and protects your life—provides water, roadways, military,” etc. It is a moral duty as well as civil one to contribute to the common good with the payment of taxes. There is no reason that justifies tax evasion or theft of state assets—then or now. A disciple of Christ is called to be an honest and exemplary citizen.
And, on third glance… we must consider that Jesus’ answer, is not limited only to a statement of the duty to contribute to the common good. He adds: “Give to God what is God’s.” It is worth noting that the verb Jesus uses here more precisely means “to return.” “Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and return to God what is God’s.” This consideration causes us to ask: and what is God’s?
It’s easy enough to reckon that—as Jesus’ followers--we are God’s, but then, aren’t the Pharisees and their followers God’s too, since God created them? Isn’t Caesar, himself, God’s? And, Caesar’s coin… doesn’t everything belong to God because God brought all things into being? All belong to God, whether everyone realizes this or not. Jesus’ wisdom saying is deeper and broader than initially conceived. Caesar’s kingdom—and all of our governments today—require something of us, but God’s Kingdom is everything to us! God’s Kingdom requires all that we are and do and think, because, after all, we are of God. If the coin had to be “returned” to Caesar because it was stamped with Caesar’s face, the person must be “returned” to God because the face of God is imprinted on us all!
So, how do I give myself to God? How do I give all that I am and all that I do, to God? Knowing that we already are God’s, then using Jesus’ word “return”, how do I return myself to God? One way is to reconnect, to remember that we are made in God’s own image. We can remember that some—not all, of course—but some of the attributes that define us, we share in common with God. This is how God created us—to reflect God. We reflect the image of God when, like God, we have relationships and friendships; We reflect the image of God when we love and show all those attributes of love explained in the 1Corrinthinans passage—when we are patient, kind, encourage others, when we are humble, put others first, when we hope and persevere, when we rejoice in the truth. We reflect the image of God when we show compassion; when we forgive; when we’re creative; when we’re rational. It’s a good spiritual practice to take time to identify these kinds of qualities that God exhibits through our reading of the Holy Scripture and through our own experience of God, and then humbly identify where we align with those same qualities.
Another way to return myself to God is to remember our role as stewards of all of the gifts God has entrusted to our care, as we steward the earth, its plants and animals, its climate; as we steward our homes, our relationships; our own talents, abilities, and attitudes; our financial gifts; our senses of humor and appreciation; situations in which we find ourselves; etc. We can return all these gifts to God through our honor and care; through our nurture, and by being intentional about doing this.
I can return to God in my prayer life, thanking God for my bounty; asking God’s favor on those in need—working on their behalf and offering some of what I have to them. in my prayers, I can ask forgiveness and reconciliation when I see myself better than others whose values, thoughts, attitudes, ethnicity, politics, religions, differ from my own. I can ask God’s help in opening my eyes to see all others as God’s creation, and ask for help in separating their being from their behavior.
I can return to God by vowing to display the peace of God, inwardly to myself as well as outwardly to others, through kindness, compassion and forgiveness—and then to move beyond “vowing”, to actually taking these actions of kindness and forgiveness--even at times when I’m feeling “ruffled!”
If you have been caught up lately in how irrational things seem, how the world seems to be swirling only into darkness, it’s good to remember that we are of God, that we can reflect God in this bizarre world and in these strange times. We must bring God’s light to the world. Recently, I’ve been reading about the faith of Fred Rogers, “Mr. Rogers”—a Presbyterian minister whose pulpit was a children’s show. Reflecting on Mr. Roger’s faith, I have recalled God’s values of simple kindness, calm, patience and slowness. Even after his death, he still brings God’s light to the world. What a good example of returning to God what is God’s. What a good example Fred is to me.
These things I’ve named are a good place to start! And, I’ll bet that you have or can come up with your own unique way of returning to God what is God’s. If any one of the things just named resonates with you or has stuck in your mind, maybe that’s the place for you to start this week. And, if the task seems daunting, remember that you don’t have to take it all on at once—or to be perfect! Try increasing that action or attribute by only a little, and then continue working on it—maybe like a koan asking: In what way can I be somewhat kinder with all others I meet? A koan that you work and work and work on, until the thought begins to work and work and work on you… With God’s help, we can live this creatively and courageously!
When we turn to fear, live in fear, is when everything gets torn down, and this is when we worry. This is when our worry actually becomes our prayer. In essence, we are praying for what we don’t want to come about. In fear, we shrink and tremble; we name ourselves as helpless victims: The world’s gone mad; everything is terrible; it’s not safe; I can trust no one. With God’s help, we can clearly see that the world is more or less as troubled now as it ever has been. Maybe it’s only become more personal now. With God’s help, we can maintain our connection to being brought into this world in God’s image with specific work to do for God’s honor. With God’s help we need fear no one. We stand under the banner of Jesus and see others—all others—as God’s own children, also, doing the best they can, given the gifts and the limitations they know.
And, as you go about your days this week, I hope you take this sentence from the Offertory of the Rite I Eucharist with you, and ponder it in your heart, “All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.” … “All things come from You, my God, and from all the gifts You have blessed me with, I return this to You.”
~Fr. Tony Moon, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
 Fernando Armellini. Celebrating the Word of God: Engaged in the world, but not of the world. https://sundaycommentaries.wordpress.com/2020/09/28/twenty-ninth-sunday-in-ordinary-time-18-october-2020/Commentary on the Readings.
In the MIddle Ages, many clergy wore a vestment called an “amice” (Latin - “to cover”. An amice is a square piece of cloth that is placed like a woman’s scarf over the wearer’s head. The amice was worn over a black cassock but underneath other vestments, such as an alb. There are two small ribbons of cloth attached to two of the amice’s corners that are wrapped around the wearer’s chest and ultimately tied in front at the wearer’s waist. The wearer than dons an alb, and the top front of the amice is pushed backwards from around the wearer’s forehead to a position around the wearer’s neck to form a cowl-like collar over the alb. When the wearer leaves the sanctuary, the amice can be pulled back up over the head to serve as a head-covering in lieu of a birretta. The prayer that the clergy was instructed to speak while donning an amice was “place upon me, O Lord, the helmet of salvation, that I may overcome the assaults of the devil”.
~Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
INVITATIONS - A SERMON ON ISAIAH 25:1-9 AND MATTHEW 22:1-14 - FR. JOSEPH ALSAY, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Excerpts of a Sermon Delivered on the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost October 11, 2020
Isaiah 25:1-9 & Matthew 22:1-14
The Rev. Joseph C. Alsay
To me, there is nothing more exciting than receiving an invitation to a good party. Especially, when there is plentiful food and drink, and I rarely turn down an invitation to gather with friends when there is something to celebrate.
Now, there are quick, hip and green way to send out invitations: E-invite. Do it all online. Accept, decline or post a maybe. See the guest list. Read the reasons and excuses that people decline the invitation. We will be at the opera. . . . Our family is getting together to celebrate my niece’s birthday. . . . . I have to rotate my tires. . . . I have to balance my checkbook that day. . . . .I have to remove a hangnail that evening. .
Occasionally the no is clear but the reason is vague or not given. Sorry to miss such a wonderful event for a wonderful guy.
I also know how disappointing it can be to know there is a party going on, but I wasn’t invited. I might end up feeling ignored or forgotten, not valued or included in the inner circle.
Jesus tells a parable where a king throws an extravagant party and the initial invitations are rejected.
Can you imagine saying “no” to a royal invitation? A second invitation sweetens the deal with descriptions of elaborate preparations- it’s going to be delicious! But those invited are unimpressed and go back to business as usual. The invitation goes out again, and this time everyone is invited- the good, bad and ugly- people who aren’t usually invited to royal celebrations.
Maybe the point is, that in Jesus, God flings wide the doors and everyone is an invited guest to a royal party. It’s not just something we say, it’s something we strive to live into here at St. Augustine’s, “We are an enthusiastically welcoming and inviting Christian community.”
God’s invitation for all is into fullness of life. God’s got a party going on right now, here on earth and we are invited to throw on our party clothes and get on the dance floor.
But, sometimes life doesn’t feel like much of a party. Pity party, maybe; but no celebration.
There’s so much to anxious about – too many people losing their homes and livelihoods due to fires, hurricanes sickness, and war, literally dying while the party’s going on.
There is no question that anxiety levels are high as election day approaches. Not to mention the stress and challenges that folks are facing in their marriages or relationships, in their jobs, in their health. Sometimes it seems too much to deal with and folks turn to anti-anxiety medication to take off the edge and give some calm.
But, in the midst of it all, the Lord prepares a table (a party) for us in the presence of our enemies and everyone is invited. Everyone!
But today, just as in the past people made light of it. They had other things to do, places to go to, people to see. They had plenty of reasons to decline. Matthew is making a strong but sad point. Everyone doesn’t respond to the invitation. Then and now.
Where does that leave us?
What is the spiritual invitation to us today?
The invitation is to all of us, to everyone.
Even when there is panic and fear and anxiety around and within we are invited to this feast. As much as we are concerned about the future we are brought back to this moment, to this community, to the gifts set before us this day.
To a bountiful feast beyond our imagination or understanding.
Will you accept the invitation to a fuller, richer, deeper life?
There isn’t an online RSVP for this. It is simpler than that. Open your hands and receive something that money cannot buy. Together we open our lives and hearts to the mysterious kingdom of God.
~ Fr. Joseph Alsay, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
BAPTISM REQUIREMENTS FOR RECEIVING COMMUNION (EUCHARIST) IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - DR. GIL HAAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Although in most of the Anglican Communion confirmation is a prerequisite for Eucharist, our 1970 General Convention resolved that “children might be admitted to communion before confirmation”. Despite many Episcopal churches dropping the requirement of baptism to receive the Eucharist, our General Convention in 2012 failed to pass a resolution to “invite all, regardless of age, denomination, or baptism to the altar for Holy Communion”. A resolution to study this issue was also rejected. Instead, the Convention resolved that “baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples.” Recognizing that unbaptized persons were already receiving communion in many Episcopalian churches, the House of Deputies further resolved that: “We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.” However, this sentence was deleted by the House of Bishops. This left in force the canon stating “no unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church.” Many times someone's baptismal status is unknown, but St. Augustine’s offers Eucharist to anyone who outstretches their hands to receive it. It is important that neither an adult’s nor a child's memory of church should include denial.
~ Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
BREAKING DOWN THE WORDS OF THE NICENE CREED - DR. GIL HAAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
In the third portion of the Nicene Creed, the Holy Spirit is said to “proceed” from the Father and the Son (the phrase, “and the Son”, or filioque, in Latin, was not a part of the original Nicene Creed but was added by Pope Leo III without assembling another Council to ratify his decision. Inclusion of the filioque phrase in the Creed was one reason for the Great Schism which wrenched Eastern and Western churches apart. The Episcopal Church has voted in its Convention to drop “and the Son” when the next Book of Common Prayer is published.). Jesus is eternally begotten (“be the father of” ) by the Father, while the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds (“out of”) from the Father. God the Father is the ultimate source of the Son and the Spirit, though the three coexist eternally. However, the Western Church has additionally understood “procession” to mean that the Divine Spirit’s Essence proceeds from the Father through the Son to the Holy Spirit and avoiding the Son was heresy. The Eastern Church believed that to have the Spirit come from both the Father and the Son heretically made the Spirit a subordinate member of the Trinity.
~ Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
ALBS AND CASSOCKS IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - DR. GIL HAAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
White albs (Latin - white; a liturgical symbol of purity) are worn by our clergy and lay ministers. The alb is typically held in place with a rope-like “girdle”. A less used vestment is a cassock (Latin for “ankle-length garment”) which is usually black. It was once routinely worn underneath albs. Dissimilar to the single breasted Catholic cassock, many Anglican cassocks are often double breasted, and this style can be called a “sarum”. There are traditionally thirty-nine buttons on single breasted Anglican cassocks which may be a tribute to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion (Book of Common Prayer, pp 867-876) - or some might say, “Forty stripes save one”. Catholic cassocks often have thirty-three buttons standing for the thirty-three years of Jesus’ earthly life. Canons often wear a black cassock with red piping, while deans wear a black cassock with purple piping; bishops wear purple cassocks. Scarlet cassocks are worn by the Queen’s Chaplains and in some Cambridge College chapels. Cassocks are usually worn with a cincture belt which is a ribbon-like sash worn around the waist which is knotted and its two ends hang down the left side.
~ Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.