Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Historic and True Anglicanism

The Rev'd Dr. Percy Dearmer
“The English Church happens to base herself in a special manner upon history–she appeals to the Scriptures and primitive antiquity for her theology, [* Articles VI., VIII., etc.] to the ancient Fathers for her ritual, [* The Preface Concerning the Service of the Church, Article XXIV., etc.] to Catholic tradition for her ceremonial; [* The Preface Of Ceremonies, Canon 30 (1603), Canon & (1640), etc.] she refers us to the second year of Edward VI for her ornaments, [* The Ornaments Rubric] and to the later middle ages for the arrangement of her chancels. [* "And the chancels shall remain as they have done in times past." (First inserted in 1552.)] [24/25] Her formularies, therefore, cannot be understood without a good deal of historical knowledge. Some people may object to this, and may ask–Why should they be bound by documents that are two or three hundred years old? But the fact remains that they are so bound, whether they like it or not; and that the whole intention of the Reformers, as shown from end to end of the Prayer Book, Articles, and Canons, was to bind them to principles that are nearer two thousand than two hundred years of age. Nor will they be released from this bondage to historic continuity till the same authority that imposed it shall have removed it,–which will not be for a long time to come. The attempts that have been hitherto made at throwing off this light yoke have not been so conspicuously successful in their results as to encourage us to proceed. Therefore I ask Churchmen to renounce those futile experiments of private judgment, and to throw themselves into the task of realising in its entirety that sound Catholic ideal which the defenders of the English Church preserved for us through the most troublous period of her history."
– The Rev'd Dr. Percy Dearmer
Loyalty to the Prayer Book

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Today is the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

The Church celebrates only three birthdays: our Lord’s, our Lady’s, and St. John the Baptist’s. The other saints’ days are heavenly birthdays, when the saint died or was martyred and went to Heaven. John fulfills the prophecy of Malachi, “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” (Malachi 3:1) John was a steward of the mysteries of God.
Every feast has a steward. Every large airplane, every passenger ship, has stewards and stewardesses. An umpire at a baseball game is a steward of the game. John was a steward of the mysteries of God. He was a watershed figure in the Bible. He is the crown of the Old Testament prophets, the last of the Old Testament watchmen, and the first of the New Testament witnesses, witnesses to Jesus. John the Baptist was like the best man at a wedding. Jesus is the Bridegroom, the Church is the Bride, and John the Baptist is the best man. He prepares the way for the Bridegroom, by preaching repentance, and a baptism of repentance.
The Benedictus we say in every Morning Prayer is the Song of Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father. Zechariah is married to Elisabeth, Mary’s cousin. They are far too old to have children, so John’s conception is extraordinary. As soon as he names his son John, Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit and blesses the God of Israel. He prophesies that John will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways. The name John means “gift of God.” John’s gift will be the dangerous work of being the Forerunner, the one who prepares the way, the ultimate recon mission. He grows up in the desert so he can hear God’s voice and be tough as nails. He eats what is there, locusts and wild honey, and he wears animal skins. He will be a trailblazer, a pioneer and the divine herald of the coming Messiah. The mighty salvation of the world has a forerunner.
John was a man of the desert. He called the shots as God instructed him, and called the best men of the day a “brood of vipers.” John is like a surgeon clearing a clogged heart valve or a pioneer hacking a road through the wilderness or a dentist drilling out a cavity. He is like a man with an air hammer breaking through old pavement, to prepare a new road surface. The hearts of men must be broken and prepared in repentance for the coming of the Anointed One. Not surprisingly, John ends up in prison, where Herod Antipas will eventually have him beheaded. Jesus will say of John that he is even more than a prophet. John fulfills the prophesy of Malachi, “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face…”
The Church’s vocation, like that of John the Baptist’s, is to point to Jesus. As John prepares to baptize Jesus he says of his cousin what we say at every Mass, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1: 29) The ministers of Christ are stewards of the mysteries of God, to prepare His way before Him. We may ask today whether there is a John the Baptist of our own times. It is entirely possible that few, if any, filled this role like Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, perhaps the greatest prophetic voice of the 20th century. Solzhenitsyn, after WWII, was interred in a gulag for ten years for a slight criticism of an army officer. In the gulag, he came to repentance and conversion. He realized that the dividing line between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness, ran right through his own heart. He realized that the race of man, and he himself, could not redeem breakdown and disintegration. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Solzhenitsyn put his trust in the incarnate Son of God, the Lamb who is the Shepherd. He went on, as a literary genius and now a Christian, to expose the central flaw of our times, for both East and West, made clear to us in the peasant proverb, “Men have forgotten God.” In his masterpiece, August 1914: the Red Wheel, he brings us all up short with the devastating revelation that the end of the Christian West took place in August of the year 1914, in a war inspired by the demons, in which traditional, conservative, believing Christians, all related to each other in their various royal families, would have at each other for four years of mass slaughter, and rip apart the consensus of the Christian West and tear apart beyond all recognition the cultural and social fabric put in place by centuries of Christian sacrifice. Solzhenitsyn sees the two world wars as one thirty year civil war of Europe tearing itself apart. World War I gave us communist Russia, and World War II gave us Communist China, huge segments of the human race spinning off into a new gnosticism which then devolved further into the gnostic feminism which has torn apart what was left. But Solzhenitsyn ministers to us in great works like his Harvard Commencement Address, in June, 1978, offering us a way forward in a new synthesis transcending materialism, in which Christian theology engages with physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and the social sciences, in a new dynamic, to create a new synthesis. This great Address is our agenda as believing Christians for the entire 21st century. And today there is a revolution taking place in physics, biology and chemistry, and in the social sciences too, for those brave enough to cast aside the pathetic burned out shackles of secular humanism, gnosticism and nihilism.
There are other great prophetic figures of the previous century, too many to name here. But we could cite, in the same breath as Solzhenitsyn, a contemporary of great stature. Archbishop Arthur Michael Ramsey writes that “It was in reaction from liberal theology that Karl Barth and his school uttered afresh the message of God’s otherness and sovereignty and His mighty act in the Resurrection, as the war of 1914-1918 was drawing to its close. The Resurrection was the central message of Barth; and he recalled Christians who minds were full of man’s religion, man’s experiences and man’s progress, to the Act of the living God which confronts a race helpless to save itself. Jesus Christ is Lord. This is the Gospel and the meaning of history…(Barth) stirred Christians in every land and tradition to face once more the transcendental and catastrophic themes of the New Testament.” (The Resurrection of Christ, p. 119)
Let us today thank God for St. John the Baptist and to those multitudes who, like Solzhenitsyn and Barth, follow in his footsteps as stewards of the mysteries of God, to prepare the way of the Lord, so that the “day-spring from on high” may visit us, and appear in our minds, our hearts and our service to one another.
“Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour by preaching repentance; Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake, through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCP p. 242)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Michaelmas is here!

If you'd like to celebrate this feast, come to St. Timothy's Anglican Church in Elizabethtown, KY on Sunday, 9/29! We will celebrate Holy Communion together, and then partake of a brief desert reception before our Christian Education time
On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God's loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God's creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.
The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth. We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk 15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt 18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)
In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is occasionally reported that someone saw a man who spoke to him with authority, and who he then realized was no mere man, but a messenger of God. Thus we have a belief in super-human rational created beings, either resembling men in appearance or taking human appearance when they are to communicate with us. They are referred to as "messengers of God," or simply as "messengers." The word for a messenger in Hebrew is MALACH, in Greek, ANGELOS, from which we get our word "angel" [ Digression: ANGELION means "message, news" and EUANGELION means "good news = goodspell = gospel," from which we get our word "evangelist" used to mean a preacher of the Good News of salvation, and, more narrowly, one of the four Gospel-writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.]
By the time of Christ, Jewish popular belief included many specifics about angels, with names for many of them. There were thought to be four archangels, named Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. An alternative tradition has seven archangels (see Tobit 12:15 and 1 Enoch 20). Sometimes each archangel is associated with one of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic system (the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Michael is associated with Saturn and Uriel with the Sun. The other pairings I forget, but I believe that you will find a list in the long narrative poem called "The Golden Legend," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (I believe that a pairing is also offered in the opening chapters of the Proof of The Apostolic Preaching, by Irenaeus of Lyons, but I have not the work at hand.)
Michael (the name means "Who is like God?") is said to be the captain of the heavenly armies. He is mentioned in the Scriptures in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon). In iconography, he is generally pictured in full armor, carrying a lance, and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. Oftentimes, his lance pierces the mouth of the serpent, as this demonstrates the power of truth to conquer the Father of Lies. (Pictures of the Martyr George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)
Gabriel (the name means "God is my champion") is thought of as the special bearer of messages from God to men. He appears in Daniel 8:16; 9:21 as an explainer of some of Daniel's visions. According to the first chapter of Luke, he announced the forthcoming births of John the Baptist and of our Lord to Zachariah and the Virgin Mary respectively.
Raphael (the name means "God heals") is mentioned in the Apocrypha, in the book of Tobit, where, disguised as a man, he accompanies the young man Tobias on a quest, enables him to accomplish it, and gives him a remedy for the blindness of his aged father.
Uriel (the name means "God is my light" -- compare with "Uriah", which means "the LORD is my light") is mentioned in 4 Esdras.
It is thought by many scholars that the seven lamps of Revelation 4:5 are an image suggested by (among many other things) the idea of seven archangels.

What is the value to us of remembering the Holy Angels? Well, since they appear to excel us in both knowledge and power, they remind us that, even among created things, we humans are not the top of the heap. Since it is the common belief that demons are angels who have chosen to disobey God and to be His enemies rather than His willing servants, they remind us that the higher we are the lower we can fall. The greater our natural gifts and talents, the greater the damage if we turn them to bad ends. The more we have been given, the more will be expected of us. And, in the picture of God sending His angels to help and defend us, we are reminded that apparently God, instead of doing good things directly, often prefers to do them through His willing servants, enabling those who have accepted His love to show their love for one another.
Coelites Plaudant - 5 verses, C
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Friday, September 14, 2012

Feast of the Holy Cross

There's no better way to start off this day than with the greatest processional / recessional of all time, Lift High the Cross!
Lift High the Cross

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Readings for the Feast of the Holy Cross are found here.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.

The word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: Jesus has many who love His Kingdom in Heaven, but few who bear His Cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share His feast, but few His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few are willing to suffer for His sake.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: Why do you fear to take up the Cross, which is the road to the Kingdom? In the Cross is salvation and life, protection against our enemies, infusion of Heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind,joy of spirit, excellence of virtue, perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: Take up the Cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and go forward into eternal life. Christ has gone before you, bearing His Cross;He died for you on the Cross, that you also may bear your cross,and desire to die on the Cross with Him. For if you die with Him,you will also live with Him. And if you share His sufferings, you will also share His glory.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: See how in the Cross all things consist, and in dying on it all things depend. There is no other way to life and to true inner peace, than the way of the Cross.Go where you will, seek what you will; you will find no higher way above nor safer way below than the road of the Holy Cross.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: The Cross always stands ready, and everywhere awaits you. You cannot escape it, wherever you flee; for wherever you go,you bear yourself, and always find yourself. Look up or down, without you or within, and everywhere you will find the Cross. And everywhere you must have patience, if you wish to attain inner peace, and win an eternal crown.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us to follow Thee not only to the Breaking of Bread but also to the drinking of the Cup of Thy Passion. Help us to love Thee for Thine own sake and not for the sake of comfort for ourselves. Make us worthy to suffer for Thy name, Jesus, our Crucified and Risen Lord and Savior, now and forever. Amen.

If you haven't taught your children to remember their salvation using the sign of the cross (a duty Martin Luther put especially on fathers), why not today? For further reflection, I recommend ECatBedside's reflection piece.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gingerbread Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

(inspired by Kerbey Lane in Austin, but it’s been so long since I’ve eaten there, I can’t verify the authenticity)

Cream together:
6 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar

Add, then mix well:
1 cup buttermilk*
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup coffee (brewed)
2 tsp vanilla

In a seperate bowl, combine dry ingredients:
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 Tbs. cloves
2 Tbs. cinnamon
2 Tbs. ginger
1.5 Tbs. nutmeg

Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing gently. When combined, mix in:
1 stick of butter, melted

This makes about 7-8 thick, plate sized pancakes. SUPER thick. Cut back a tsp of baking soda or so if you prefer less cake-y pancakes.

* buttermilk is easy to make: 1 c. milk + 1 Tbs. lemon juice or vinegar, I let it stand for a half hour or so, but you could probably push it to even 5 or 10 minutes in a pinch.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Installation at Holy Apostles in Elizabethtown

Sorry it's taken so long to post the video.

Installation of Fr. Chris Larimer from Fr. Chris Larimer on Vimeo.

This is my installation as rector of Holy Apostles Anglican Church in Elizabethtown, KY. The officiant was the Right Reverend John A. M. Guernsey, Bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit (Anglican Church in North America).

Unfortunately, we ran out of memory just after the Gospel, so you missed out on his sermon. But you don't have to miss out on anything else! Worship with us at 10AM on the Public Square.

Learn more at our website.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Installation at Holy Apostles in Elizabethtown

Sunday, January 30, 2011
10:00am – 11:30am
Holy Apostles Anglican Church
56 Public Square
Elizabethtown, KY

The Rt. Rev’d. John A. M. Guernsey, bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit, will preach, celebrate the Eucharist, and install the Rev’d. Chris Larimer as rector of Holy Apostles Anglican Church. The service will begin at 10 AM. Holy Communion is available to all baptized Christians. Afterward, light refreshments will be served and there will be a meet-and-greet with the bishop.

Childcare will be available. Children are welcome in the service. Parking is available around the square and behind the church in Strawberry Alley.

For details, contact the church (270-769-1170) or the rector (

Visiting clergy are welcome to process (red stoles, please).

There's also an interview at the Western Kentucky Anglican's blog!

PS - I have it on good authority that Art Going, an AMiA church planter beginning work in Louisville, will be there. Come meet him, too!