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The St. Bede’s Breviary can be found at the following links:


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Philly Anglo-Catholic News

Word on the street is that the diocese is beginning action against Good Shepherd, Rosemont.

Personally, I’m ambivalent about this. M began attending midnight mass there with her father when home from college and I begam making that pilgrimage too when I starting going home with her. Our last visit was shortly before Fr. Moyer’s consecration as a Continuum Bishop. It is what we look for in a church: Catholic in liturgy and practice, Evangelical in preaching. Clearly, we don’t agree with their stance on the ordination of women, though… I’m sorry it has come to this. But both Fr. Moyer and the vestry have been on thin ice for sometime and the fissures are now opening.

For those unfamiliar with the parish or just know about Fr. Moyer’s longstanding feud with his bishop, some may be interested to learn that Fr. Andrew Mead–now of St Thomas Fifth Ave–was rector there before Fr. Moyer’s tenure (and thus it helped form his son, now at Smokey Mary’s…).

There will be more about all this later, I’m sure, as things develop.

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Where Is It!?!

It’s now over a month since we moved–and I still can’t find my favorite cookbook. I’m getting highly annoyed. There are at least three dishes I want to cook but they’re all in there:
* oven-dried sun-dried tomatos for our famous pizza,
* a great bacon, onion, and black bean concoction with a great use ob balsamic vinegar and
* an ancho chile mole

Guess what I’ll be doing today…

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Proclamation from the NY Bishops’ Summit

A copper kettle is a must. Not just because it has an old-fashion flair and because it’s really expensive–the thermal conduction and chemical composition do actually help.

Fresh cream is essential. Can’t start without a good base.

And don’t get lazy either, lobbing in big chunks of chocolate. Take the time to shave it with a serrated knife. That way the chocolate incorporates much faster and cleaner.

Worldwide Christianity sometimes wonders if we Anglican types have anything to contribute beyond the best two-office synthesis of the monastic hours and the retention of snooty vergers with pinching undergarments. They forget that we have a long, proud tradition of making really, really, good fudge.

I’m proud of the bishops for upholding this fine tradition…

Read it here from the daily episcopalian.

Update: …and the ABC demonstrates that the Old-World tradition is still alive and well, too.

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On the Anglican Breviary (and Others)

The Anglican Breviary (AB) is a wonderful resource. I heartily encourage all liturgy geeks and those with a curiosity about the Roman roots of the current hours of prayer to get this book. It is a showcase demonstrating that liturgical worship of God at its best is the disciplined encounter with Scripture in cycles of psalmody, Scripture readings, and patristic interpretation. That having been said, I cannot commend its daily use; to truly profit from it, you must be able to live in the entirity of its cycles and–for most uncloistered Christians–I do not see how this can be acheived with consistency. However, it is a rich resource for adding orthodox material to the hours that you already say as well as for general edification.

Paranthetical Rambling Warning
As I wrote out my thoughts on the Anglican Breviary, I saw them turning into not just a book review but some general thoughts on learning the Offices and Office Books in general. So–don’t expect anything concise or coherent in this post; it rambles a bit. (But it’s my blog, so there! :-D)

The Book Itself
The first things that you will notice about the AB is that it has some heft to it and that it is finely crafted. Church Publishing take notice!! This is the way you put a book together that you intend people to use over the course of decades. While I’m no bookbinder and can’t tell you the technical details, my 2-volume Daily Office Book suffers in comparison. The Daily Office Book has nowhere near the life of the breviary; you can tell the AB is a book intended for constant use.

Using the Book
First off, this is not an intuitive book by any means (nor is it intended to be…). A quick list of suggestions:
1. If you’ve never said a form of the Daily Office or Morning and Evening Prayer before, don’t start here! Even if you’re dead set on using this book, apprentice yourself to a simpler form and work your way up to it.
2. Familiarize yourself with the mechanics of sectional prayerbooks. Most of the breviaries out there have sections in one form or another. That is, one part of the book has the basic flow of the prayer service (the ordo) that is used daily (the Ordinary). Another part will have the Psalms; another will have the readings; if there are Propers–things done on certain days or seasons–they may be grouped elsewhere.
3. Flowing out of #2–learn how to deploy your ribbons. My general rule of thumb is that one ribbon goes in each section to measure your progress as you move through the day/week.
4. When you sit down with this book (or any other for that matter) never try to pray with it right off–study it first. It’s not very prayerful if you’re trying to figure out where to go and what to do next. Map it out before-hand, even drawing up an ordo sheet and writing in some of the shorter repeating Ordinary texts if that’ll help you. For the AB in particular, I sat down and just flipped pages for two or three hours, then read through most of these excellect lessons. (Just ask M–I sat on the floor flipping pages muttering “where’s the freakin’ [Matins] hymn?” for about twenty minutes; I found it in the weekly Psalter.) Only then (the next morning) did I try to pray with it.
5. In any prayerbook based on the monastic way of life (as the AB is despite it being a secular use–insert long aside on Chrodegang and the evolution of secular offices here) there is a cycle and rhythm and it’s usually connected to the psalms. You’ve got to figure out the key units of time–or at least the key units for your use. For instance, the way I read the BCP’s Daily Office, the basic unit is the month because that’s how long it takes to get through the Psalter. With this book, it’s the week. Once you know that, you know to look for clues that relate to days of the week.
6. Start simple, move to the complex. I’ve had my breviary for about a week now and I’m still ignoring the sanctoral cycle. It’s not because I don’t love the saints or don’t feel I need their intercession–it’s because piling everything on at once would simply be too much at one time. I’m still living into the flow of the book and the proper of the season. Once that’s second nature, I’ll add in the saints.

The Upshot
I’ve prayed Matins, Laus, Vespers, and Compline with the AB; I’ve studied the Little Offices. Of the Offices, I’ve been saying Matins more or less regularly. I’d love to be able to use this as my chief prayer book–but I never will. Why? Because I’d never be able to honor the cycle. In proper fashion, the psalms are repeated every week. Ergo, to read them all, you have to say every office of every day for the week. In between doing laundry, cooking meals, driving the girls to day care, working full-time, catching trains, every once in a while saying hello to my wife, working on my dissertation, etc., it ain’t gonna happen. While I could probably do some of the Offices every day, I know I wouldn’t be able to do them all. I need all of the psalms and knowing that I’m missing a section of them every week would drive me absolutely crazy. It would be like working out every day but only doing the upper body…

Furthermore, I am, at heart, a BCP kinda guy. That’s why I switched to the Episcopal Church, after all. This is a beautiful liturgy–and I’m eager to incorporate parts of it into my BCP Offices(For suggestions on incorporating AB elements into the BCP, look here…)–but the rhythm that works for me in my life–and that I can pray with my wife and children–are the BCP Rite I offices. I love dipping into the Breviary because of what it teaches me about how my offices came about; I also love it for what doing Matins teaches me about my dissertation topic; but the discipline I need and the pattern that my family has chosen is not this. I will probably say Matins from the AB in parallel with the BCP Office for a while but it will–for this time of my life–be for edification rather than my chief spiritual discipline.

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Blogger Meet-up

Well, the downstairs of our house looks better than it has in a while. G’s room, on the other hand… It looks like a natural disaster occurred there. Which is incorrect, actually–two natural disasters occurred yesterday–my own Lil’ G and Anastasia’s Kizzy. They had a grand time running around the house, pushing each other, and generally wreaking much fin-filled havoc. And the four of us adults had a great time too…

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That Convert Zeal…

I loved this! And it goes for more than just Catholics (and Orthodox) as well in my experience… 😉

HT to A conservative blog for peace.

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So I’m slowly getting back into the groove of things. M is firmly ensconced in her parish and is working greatly doing all sorts of good things. The girls are in day care, with G going to pre-school at the church in the morning, then heading to where H is for the afternoon. She adores it especially because she has lots of kids to play with and gets to do ballet (of sorts).

Daycare is already working its charm on us too–we’ve all got colds and H has an ear infection. Hey–the kids will pick up the bugs sometime, this just means we get them now instead of when they start to school.

I’m doing Matins and Vespers from the Anglican Breviary and I’m finding it very helpful. I’ve already had a number of ah-ha moments of the “oh, that’s why we do it that way…” and “that’s why that book separates those canticles that way…” variety. The AB is not the medieval Office cycle. (As any medievalist or liturgist will tell you, there never virtually nothing that is *THE* medieval anything–there are only medieval uses of certain times and places.) But, it’s the closest I’ve ever done and I’m tickled to be doing Matins in a form that much more closely approximates an early medieval use. I know the liturgies and how they work in the period I’m writing on for the diss but actually using something so close to them opens a whole new experiential dimension.

I’m hoping to actually do some writing and cleanup on ch 2 today. We’ll see if that happens.

The job starts Monday–I’m still figuring out transportation. I went down for the first class yesterday and that involved dragging the entire household out of bed at an ungodly hour to drop me off at the train station and that’s just not gonna work…

In terms of the class… *sigh* Good to know somethings don’t change… We were doing expansive metaphors for God. But let me fill you in on a secret: Creator/Redeemer/Sanctifier are *NOT* metaphors!! Imagination and creativity are very important in constructing and composing liturgy–but so are boundaries and the best boundaries are years and years of living in historic liturgies.

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Back Online…

My connection was finally restored today.

And my Anglican Breviary arrived today too… 😀

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Daily Office Cheat Sheet

In doing some internet searching for class prep I ran across a handy outline for the Rite II offices. I posted this over on OTOL so I’ll direct you there.

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