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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Apostolic Succession & Me

Several months ago I led a Bible study of 1 Peter 1.  It starts out "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ."  1 Peter is an encyclical. circulating through the churches of Asia Minor.  No doubt, those churches had established leaders -- episkopoi (bishops), presbuteroi (priests) and/or diakonoi (deacons) -- but certainly no apostolos (apostles).  Getting a letter from an apostle would have been a big deal for those churches.

This led to a good discussion about apostolic succession -- the theory and practice of the consecration of bishops and ordination of priests and deacons done by the laying on of hands by bishops who trace an unbroken lineage through like bishops back to "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ."

It's a good theory but we all know how that turned out.  There were times of a papacy divided between France and Rome, and further times when there were apostate bishops.However, in theory I appreciate the concept.  Really I do.

Imagine the early church founded on Jesus Christ, who sends out his apostles to make disciples and where disciples are made churches are formed.  Those apostles full of the Holy Spirit, pray and fast, and then lay hands on other leaders. In theory, the church is protected from heresy.

Yet somehow I was ordained. Twice. So much for heresy being protected. :)

I did find my apostolic succession lineage below.  Bishop Doc Loomis laid hands on me. He was had hands laid on him by Archbishops Yong and Kolini along with Bishop Chuck Murphy.  The chart linked below traces Archbishop Yong Ping Chung's apostolic succession.

This was a great find.  It's a like a spiritual genealogy.  Now I feel like I'm related to St. Anselm. Thomas Cramner, St. Nicholas and a host of others. Now I will begin working on connecting my apostolic succession with my actually genealogy and look for an intersection.

The Apostolic Succession of The Anglican Mission in America

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What I Learned in Planning 2016 Ash Wednesday services

I am publishing my Ash Wednesday liturgy for the benefit of a couple of my friends who wanted to see what we had done this year at St. Andrew's.

Over the past year we have been using the BCP2011 (aka BCP ESV) and slowly adopting it as our prayer book. For a couple of reasons I did not use it fully for this Ash Wednesday but plan to in the future. Partially it was because I was editing the bulletin at the last minute and did not have enough time, and partially, I really liked the 1979 BCP Ash Wednesday liturgy. However, the BCP2011 Ash Wednesday devotion can easily be used with it's Penitential Service and Litany and that is probably what we will do next year.

At another church today, I used the American Anglican Missal. It's not my favorite but the Mass can be worshipful for me. The Great Litany was wonderfully sung. However, the Ash Wednesday liturgy was uninspiring with 4 laborious prayers, of which, the first two were odd in that they both blessed the ashes; a few antiphons and responses, the imposition of ashes and a closing prayer.

Here is St. Andrew's liturgy for today. A couple of notes: Psalm 103 is in the lectionary today so I decided to use it in the place of the Comfortable Words after the Absolution. The Eucharistic Prayer is from the BCP2011 but edited for brevity. The goal was to keep the service under an hour.



This is love, not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son.
He is the sacrifice for our sins,
that we might live through him.
If God loves us so much,
we ought to love one another.
If we love one another,
God lives in us.
Blessed be the Lord who forgives all our sins.
His mercy endures forever.
Holy God, Holy and Mighty
Holy Immortal One
Have Mercy upon us


The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
Let us pray.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Please be seated.

THE FIRST LESSON Joel 2:1-2; 12-17
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

THE SECOND LESSON 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Please stand for the reading of the Gospel facing the Deacon.

THE HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 6:1-6; 16-21
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to St. Matthew.
Glory to You, Lord Christ.

Read Matthew 6:1-6; 16-21

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, Lord Christ.

THE CALL TO KEEP A HOLY LENT (Read from BCP plus a short devotional)

Please be seated or kneel. Silence is kept.

Dear friends in Christ, I invite you to receive these ashes as a sign of the spirit of penitence with which we shall keep this season of Lent. Let us pray. God our Father, you create us from the dust of the earth: grant that these ashes may be for us a sign of our penitence and a symbol of our mortality; for it is by your grace alone that we receive eternal life in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Congregation comes forward and receive the mark of the Cross in ashes on their foreheads.
At the imposition the minister says to each person. 

Remember, O Man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.

After ashes are imposed, the congregation may be seated or kneel.

THE PSALM Psalm 57 (unison)
1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.*
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
2 I cry out to God Most High,*
to God, who vindicates me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me*
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
4 I am in the midst of lions;
I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts*
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;*
let your glory be over all the earth.
6 They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress. *
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves.
7 My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast;*
I will sing and make music.
8 Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre!*
I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;*
I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;*
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;*
let your glory be over all the earth.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:*
as it was in the beginning , is now
and will be for ever. Amen.


The Celebrant and People together, all kneeling.

Most holy and merciful Father: We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind,
and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served
us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have
grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the
pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation
of other people,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those
more fortunate than ourselves,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and
our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to
commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have
done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and
our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward
our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward
those who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack
of concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.

Holy God, Holy and Mighty
Holy Immortal One
Have Mercy upon us

The Celebrant continues.

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desires not the death of sinners, but rather that they may turn from their wickedness and live, has given power and commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins. He pardons and absolves all those who truly repent, and with sincere hearts believe his holy Gospel. Therefore we beseech him to grant us true repentance and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him which we do on this day, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray.

God our Father, the strength of all who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers; and because, in our weakness, we can do nothing good without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Minister alone stands and says:

The Lord enrich you with his grace, and nourish you with his blessing; the Lord defend you in trouble and keep you from all evil; the Lord accept your prayers, and absolve you from your offences, removing them from you as far as the East is from the West, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

THE PSALM Psalm 103
1 Praise the LORD, my soul;*
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,*
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins*
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit*
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things*
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The LORD works righteousness*
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,*
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,*
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,*
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve*
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,*
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,*
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,*
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,*
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,*
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,*
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting*
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children
18 with those who keep his covenant*
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,*
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,*
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,*
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion.*
Praise the LORD, my soul.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:*
as it was in the beginning , is now
and will be for ever. Amen.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And with your spirit.

THE OFFERTORY HYMN "My Jesus, I Love Thee"

Please stand for the Doxology.


The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to our Lord God.
It is fitting and right to do so.

IT is very fitting, right, and our duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to you, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God.

BECAUSE you gave us the spirit of discipline, so that, through Jesus Christ our Lord, we may triumph over evil and grow in grace, as we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery with renewed hearts and minds.

THEREFORE, with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim and magnify your glorious Name; Forever praising you and saying:

THE SANCTUS (spoken)
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts;
Heaven and earth are full of your glory;
Glory to you, O Lord Most High.
Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Please be seated or kneel.

FOR in the night in which he was betrayed, he took Bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me.”

LIKEWISE, after supper, he took the Cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink this, all of you; For this is my Blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

MERCIFUL Father, we humbly ask you to hear us, and of your almighty goodness to bless and sanctify, with your Word and Holy Spirit, these your gifts and creatures of bread and wine; That we, receiving them according to your Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

AND here we offer and present to you, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice to you; Humbly asking you, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ, be filled with your grace and heavenly benediction, and made one Body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him.

BY whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, are given all honor and glory, O Father Almighty, now and always. Amen.


BEHOLD, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Blessed are they who are called to the supper of the Lamb.

The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on Him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.


COMMUNION HYMN "The Wonderful Cross"

Silence is kept

Let us pray
ALMIGHTY and ever-living God, from our hearts we thank you for feeding us in these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ; Thereby assuring us of your favor and love, and that we are living members of the mystical Body of your Son, the blessed fellowship of all faithful people; And that, in the sacrifice and death of your Son, we are heirs through hope of your eternal kingdom. Heavenly Father, we ask you to assist us with the help of your grace, so that we may continue in your holy fellowship, And walk in every good work which you have prepared for us; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, are given all honor and glory, for-ever and ever. Amen.

Please stand.

Christ give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.


Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God