As I am writing this I am at Toronto Pearson waiting to board my flight home to Edmonton. During this trip I got to do a number of things. I got to go to Communion at St. James’ Cathedral. Twice. The ad orientum Altar of the Lady Chapel was used both times. I had been to east facing services before however both involved the 1962 Book of Common Prayer; both services used the Book of Alternative Services (page 230 and page 185 services). It was also the first time I had seen a female priest celebrate an east-facing service.
I did get the chance to go to St. Thomas’ Church near the University of Toronto, but sadly no didn’t attend any services there.
I didn’t get the chance to go up the CN tower as it was snowing when I had free time. 🙁 Oh, well. Better luck next trip.
I also missed out the chance to meet the Rev’d Daniel Brereton. His mother is presently in Hospital and is not in good condition. I would ask that you all pray for him, his family and his mother at this time.
However, I did get to do one thing. In 2011 a friend and colleague of mine, Danny Siklos, died suddenly. I was unable to make his funeral. That hurt. We had worked together for three summers in New Brunswick and agreed that if I ever made it to Toronto we would definitely get together for a beer or two. That never happened. Two and a half-years later I finally got a chance to come by and say hi.
Last July I got a promotion a work. Since then I have only met one person on my new team as the rest of my team is either in the Vancouver area or in the Toronto area. I haven’t actually even met my manager yet. However, things change today.
I will be flying out of Edmonton today into Toronto and then going to Cambridge (don’t ask why on that part) so to finally meet five of my other team members. On Wednesday I get back into town while I have more meetings and a few Thursday morning. It should be an interesting experience as I have a few things planned, such as:
Going to the CN Tower
Going to an early morning Communion service at St. James Cathedral on Thursday
Meeting up with the Rev’d Daniel Brereton (and possibly others), and
Visiting the grave of a Jewish friend of mine who passed away in September 2011 and whose funeral I sadly missed.
In all I am really hoping everything goes well.
PS – If anyone reads this and lives in and/or Toronto and is willing to give me a ride out to Vaughn on Friday morning before taking me to Pearson to fly back home I would be eternally greatfull.
Until the introduction of the Book of Alternative Services in 1985 today was Septuagesima Sunday. The change was part of a shift in our Calendar structure as Anglicans that was a result of the Ecumenical movement in the 1960s, and the change to the Calendar used by the Roman-Rite of the Catholic Church. This ended the Pre-Lenten Season, sometimes known as Shrove-tide, which tried to prepare the faithful for the Season of Lent.
The traditional Collect used for today from the Book of Common Prayer is:
O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
I will admit that a first glance this Collect isn’t very settling. However, it is something that does invite us into repentance. Back last year I release this video:
This year, like any other year, I strongly encourage you to think about what you want to do for Lent.
Once in a while I observe something that is just really, really funny. I have pointed this out before but I think it is only appropriate to do it again.
This is a logo used for the group called Forward in Faith. They primarily represent traditionalist Anglo-Catholics. And they get a bit of a rap for being, well, backwards. You will notice however that the globe in their logo is spinning the wrong way; It is spinning backwards.
I am going to begin this post, as with many to say this very strongly: I am not anti-Roman Catholic. I have many good friends that are Roman Catholic and I view them to be fellow brothers and sisters in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. While I may respectfully disagree with them on matters of the Church I in no way view what I, as an Anglican, that the errors in their discipline and doctrine have somehow brought them out of the love of Christ.
In the modern Church in Western Christianity there is a agreed upon view that of ordained ministers, that is Ministers who are in Holy Orders, there are three: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. This has been the Anglican view since the Elizabethan settlement in 1559. It has also been the largely settled view in in the Roman Church since the 1970s that there are three orders as well. However, this was not always the case, especially at the time of the Reformation.
If one goes back to the Reformation, and back to the 13th Century under St. Thomas Aquinas, we see that the view in the Latin Church of the time was there were Seven orders, that is:
The orders we split as well into the Major Orders (Priest, Deacon and Subdeacon) and the Minor Orders (Acolyte, Exorcist, Lector and Porter). You might have noticed that the Order of Bishop is missing altogether. That is because it was viewed that the Priesthood was actually consisted of two classes: the Presbyterate and the Episcopate. One relic we find in English is that the term Consecrate is used for the Ordination services of a Bishop. This is in part because of the Theology of Aquinas which pinned his view on Orders of Ministers to their function in the Eucharist and not the overall function of the Church. I would strongly encourage all to read Aquinas on the matter in Supplementum Tertiæ Partis, Question 37, Article 2 in his Summa Theologica.
The Priesthood and Diaconate were Sacramental Orders in that the act of Ordination involved the laying on of hands and gave a Sacramental Character. The ordination of a Subdeacon, nor of the minor orders, did not impart the Sacramental Character.
In 1972 Pope Paul VI issued Ministeria quaedam, which utterly changed the practice the Roman Rite used Orders: The Subdiaconate was removed, and the minor Orders were turned into “Ministries”. Conversely, the doctrine surrounding the Episcopate shifted to its present form with it being a separate order from the Priesthood rather than a different class in the same order.
So, how many orders are there: Seven or Three? I would categorically say Three as would Roman Catholic doctrine of today. The only persons who would strongly defend the notation of their being Seven orders would be traditionalist Roman-Rite Catholics, some of whom view the Second Vatican Council and the present Papacy as illegitimate and heretical.
The point I am trying to make in this post is not that the post-Vatican II Church is illegitimate; the point I am trying to make is that between the English Reformation and now the Roman view on Holy Orders has shifted fairly significantly but not necessarily very massively. However, it is significant enough in my view that to point out a potential hypocrisy when criticism is leveed from the holder of the “Chair of St. Peter” about those who changed the nature of orders only to have one of his successors change them as well.
Lent Madness, the online Lenten devotion created by the Rev’d Tim Schenck of Massachusetts, is now less then a month away. An offering of Forward Movement it’s purpose is to educate people on the lives of the Saints of the Church while also striving to bring out a bit of competitiveness in us. 32 Saints are set up in a tournament. 32 become 16, 16 become 8, etc until the last two compete for the Golden Halo.
This will be the 5th season for Lent Madness. Tim ran the first two seasons on his blog in 2010 and 2011. In 2012 he teamed up with Forward Movement which was when I go involved. Last year I was asked to help produce some videos, the majority of which involved the cooperation of a pair of deceased Archbishops in Heaven giving commentary on the matter.
Since coming back to Christ in 2008 I have truly come to view Lent as exceptionally important to Christian witness: We abstain, we fast, we confess our sins more, we humble ourselves, we repent. It is, after all, a time to prepare ourselves for celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord, God and Saviour.
This year I am lucky, no I am privileged, to be part of the Team supporting Lent Madness. Granted a lot of what I do is to support the Archbishops John and Thomas but you would be surprised hard working with the dead can be.
My mother bugs me occasionally about my social media usage and challenged me to give up on Facebook, Twitter et al this coming Lent. However, if I did that I would have to give up not just on Lent Madness but also on trying to spread the Gospel through social media in what is the most appropriate time of the year to do so.
Lent is sometime more than just challenging yourself to give something up; it is also sometimes a challenge to yourself to add something. Extra to your lives. That is why I encourage people to partake in Lent Madness because, all the competition besides, it allows you to learn about those who have walked the path before us. It is impossible for us, as the Church, to know where we are going without looking back on where we have been.