Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Great Vigil and First Mass of Easter

The Lighting of the Paschal Candle

The Procession

The Exsultet
Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels, and let your trumpets shout Salvation for the victory of our mighty King.

Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts, in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people.

All you who stand near this marvelous and holy flame, pray with me to God the Almighty for the grace to sing the worthy praise of this great light; through Jesus Christ his Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right and good, always and everywhere, with our whole heart and mind and voice, to praise you, the invisible, the almighty, and eternal God, and your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; for he is the true Paschal Lamb, who at the feast of the Passover paid for us the debt of Adam's sin, and by his blood delivered your faithful people.

This is the night, when you brought our fathers, the children of Israel, out of bondage in Egypt, and led them through the Red Sea on dry land.

This is the night, when all who believe in Christ are delivered from the doom of sin, and are restored to grace and holiness of life.

This is the night, when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell, and rose victorious from the grave.

How wonderful and beyond our knowing, O God, is your mercy and loving-kindness to us, that to redeem a slave, you gave a Son.

How holy is this night, when wickedness is put to flight, and sin is washed away. It restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to those who mourn. It casts out pride and hatred, and brings peace and concord.

Holy blessed is this night, when earth and heaven are joined and man is reconciled to God. Holy Father, accept our evening sacrifice, the offering of this candle in your honor. May it shine continually to drive away all darkness. May Christ, the Morning Star who knows no setting, find it ever burning -- he who gives his light to all creation, and who lives and reigns, forever and ever. Amen.
The Liturgy of the Word

The story of Creation. Genesis 1: 1-2: 2
A Song to the Lamb - Dignus es

The Flood Genesis 7: 1-5, 11-18; 8: 6-18; 9: 8-13
Psalm 46 Plainsong

Israel's Deliverance at the Red Sea. Exodus 14: 10-15; 15: 1
Hymn "Let my people go" Go Down Moses

Salvation Offered Freely to All. Isaiah 55:1-11
Hymn "Surely it is God" Thomas Merton

The Valley of the Dry Bones. Ezekiel 37: 1-14
Psalm 30:16, 12-13 C. Daw & K. Hackett based on Adoro devote

Procession to the Font

Thanksgiving over the Water

The Baptismal Covenant

Hymn "All who believe and are baptized" Mitt Frueden zart

The Litany of the Saints

Mass of the Resurrection

Gloria in excelsis - Mathias
The Epistle. Romans 6:3-11
The Great Alleluia
The Holy Gospel
The Sermon
The Prayers of the People
The Peace

The Celebration of the Holy Communion

Offertory Anthem. "Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem" C.V. Stanford
Offertory Hymn "The Day of Resurrection" Ellacombe
Prayers over the Gifts

The Great Thanksgiving (Eucharistic Prayer A)
Sursum Corda
Sanctus and Benedictus
Canon of the Mass
Memorial Acclamation
Great Amen
The Lord's Prayer

The Breaking of the Bread
Christ our Passover

+ The Communion of the Faithful+
Communion Anthem "Easter Carol" R. Proulx
Communion Hymn "Come, ye faithful, raise the strain" St. Kevin
Post Communion Collect

The Blessing and Dismissal

Hymn "The strife is o'er" Victory , arr. W.H.Monk

Good Friday

Opening Acclamation


First Lesson: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 22:1-11 Plainsong
Second Lesson: Hebrews 10:16-25
Psalm 69: 1-23

+ The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Saint John +

Hymn 471 "We Sing Praise of Him who Died" Breslau


Hymn 160 "Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow" Cross of Jesus


[The People kneel: A wooden crucifix is carried in procession to the altar. Three times the procession stops, as the Celebrant sings:]

Celebrant: This is the Wood of the cross on which hung the Savior of the world.
Celebrant: Come let us worship.
All: Holy is God, holy and strong, holy and living forever.

The Reproaches
We Worship you, Lord we venerate your cross,
we praise your resurrection.
Through the cross you brought joy to the worlds.

May God be gracious and bless us;
and let his face shed its light upon us.

We worship you, Lord, we venerate your cross,
we praise your resurrection.
Through the cross you brought joy to the world.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom,
but you led your Savior to the cross.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!

For forty years I led you safely through the desert.
I fed you with manna from heaven and brought you to a land of plenty;
but you led your Savior to the cross.

Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!

What more could I have done for you? I planted you as my fairest vine, but you yielded only bitterness; when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink, and you pierced your Savior's side with a lance.

Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us!

For your sake I scourged your captors and their first-born sons,
but you brought scourges down on me.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you from slavery to freedom and drowned your captors in the sea,
but you handed me over to your high priests.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I opened the sea before you,
but you opened my side with a spear.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud,
but you led me to Pilate's court.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I bore you up with manna in the desert,
but you struck me down and scourged me.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I gave you saving water from the rock,
but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

For you I struck down the kings of Canaan,
but you struck my head with a reed.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I gave you a royal scepter,
but you gave me a crown of thorns.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I raised you to the height of majesty,
but you raised me high on a cross.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!
Hymn 166 "Sing my Tongue, the Glorious Battle" Pange lingua


Confession of Sin
The Lord's Prayer
The Fraction

+The Communion of the Faithful+

Communion Anthem "Ave verum corpus" E. Elgar

Solo "Were You There?" McKinley Collins, soloist , C.F. Manney

Maundy Thursday


Hymn 307 "Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor" Bryn Calfaria

This is the night that Jesus the Lamb of God
gave himself into the hands of those who would slay him.
This is the night that Jesus took a towel and washed the disciples' feet,
giving us an example that we should do to others.
This is the night that Jesus Christ our Lord and our God gave us this holy fest,
that we who eat this bread and drink this cup
may here proclaim His Holy Sacrifice and be partakers of his resurrection,
and at the last day may reign with him in heaven.
Opening Acclamation
Scripture Sentences
Prayer of Confession
Kyrie Eleison (S86)
The Absolution
The Collect of the Day


First Lesson: Exodus 12: 1-14a
Psalm 116: 1, 10-17
Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Sequence Hymn 576 "God is Love, and Where true Love Is" Mandatum
The Holy Gospel: St. John 13: 1-17, 31b-35
The Prayers of the People
The Peace


Offertory Anthem "Ubi caritas et amor" M. Duruflé
Offertory Hymn 322 "When Jesus Died to Save Us" Tucker
Prayer over the Gifts

THE GREAT THANKGIVING (Eucharistic Prayer C)
Sursum Corda (S120)
Sanctus and Benedictus (S124)
The Lords Prayer
The Breaking of the Bread
Christ Our Passover (S154)

+The Communion of the Faithful+

Communion Anthem "Legend" P.I. Tschaikovsky

The Post Communion Prayer
The Post Communion Collect


Hymn 311 "O Saving Victim" Verbum supernum prodiens
Hymn 330 "Therefore We, before Him Bending" Tantum ergo Sacramentum
The Collect


Hymn 171 "Go to Dark Gethsemane" Petra


Psalm 142
Psalm 143 Plainsong
Psalm 22: 1-21

St. Matthew 26:36-46

Hymn "Stay with me" Taizé

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama, at last

Well, you Obama fans everywhere -- Clumber, Dennis, and johnieb (the wannabe fan) -- I surrender. As much as I hate risking disappointment, after yesterday's speech ("A More Perfect Union"), I cannot escape the fact the Barack Obama offers something much more than any candidate we've seen in a very long time, something that the U.S. cannot afford to pass up.

I realize there are a whole lot of people in the press, on t.v., and all over the internet talking about it and spinning it in at least a dozen different reactions. Oh well. It should be talked about. I just despair of remarks like this:
"Today, Barack Obama gave a brilliant, inspiring, intellectually supple speech--but one that may have done little to solve his festering problem with working class white Americans."
from Michael Crowley at The New Republic. Talk about elitism (wondering if our paper editions of The New Republic should start hitting the dustbin early with The Living (so to speak) Church -- neither of which I choose to subscribe to).

Anyway, in honor of my belated endorsement of Obama's candidacy (and despite my trying to come to terms with my Crusader Rabbit dark side), I'm going to be especially lazy and post below some comments I made at Mad Priest's, off the top of my head, prompted by his comments about how what Obama said should mean that people should stop talking about him as possibly the first Black President of the U.S. rather than as non-race-identified person. I don't contend that they were really responsive to MP's point, but for whatever they're worth, here were my thoughts:


[The speech] was very much about race in the United States, which has a much different context than the mixed cultures and races of peoples found in parts of some European countries. There no doubt will always be a black America because the history and culture of the U.S. is inextricably tied to that of the Africans who, however involuntarily, "settled" the country along with the European whites. Those slaves were infamously part of our Constitution as a fraction of being human and were at the heart of the conflict that erupted as the Civil War, which left us with deep divisions in terms of race, region, class, and economics. From the earliest colonial times through the present, white and black America have been intertwined such that America [i.e. the U.S.], almost by definition, is black and white.

Yes, Obama is trying to bridge white and black America, but he has done so by accepting that dichotomy as reality, recognizing that the anger and suspicion on both sides are based as much on real, objective concerns as hateful imaginings, and to get past the latter one must face the former in broad daylight.

The reality in the U.S. is that the "melting" pot does not really exist when it comes to race - not just because of the cultural differences that mark the many discrete groups of people in our society, from older immigrant groups, such as Italians, Portugese, Germans, Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, Poles, Irish, Chinese, and Mexicans, to more recent groups, such Indians, Pakistani, Vietnamese, and the latest refugees from Russia, Bosnia, Sudan, and Thailand -- but because black and white continue to be something that is something much deeper than culture, why a black person will be stopped for traffic violations or suspected as criminal, why many more blacks are in U.S. prisons and are executed than whites, why so many more blacks are born outside of marriage and raised in single-parent households, why education, employment, and housing are still quite different, despite the great advances since the Civil Rights movement, why the level of poverty in many places -- right here in my own city and my hometown halfway across the country, not just the big urban centers -- is dramatically greater among blacks.

In this context, consciousness of color or race is only part of the problem or its origins and purporting to put that consciousness aside is no longer terribly helpful how that the vast majority of whites have come to believe that blacks are not genetically inferior. What white America needs most is to see and understand that being black in America is NOT simply a cultural choice and that any pretension to colorblindness or hopes of achieving it only adds to the anger and resentment on both sides, because it usually means that whites don't get that race problems did not end with the Civil Rights movement, the end of de jure segregation, and the whites learning politically correct ways of talking about race.

What Obama addressed was the need for white America to acknowledge and accept black America as, yes, a separate America, one with present-day grievances and deep problems, and a real, objective basis for smouldering anger and resentment, and, at the same time, he asked black America to acknowledge and accept how whites perceive black claims and language, and how both sides need to lower the tone of their rhetoric and work together, not as blended, indistinguishable human beings, but as two distinct groups working cooperatively on common problems of poverty, education, civil rights, and justice.

* * * *

I should have added that I loved Obama's speech too (what I meant to say at the beginning, but was not clear).

I still think that for at least the last couple generations, most blacks in America have embraced being black, yes, due to the fact that most cannot escape the distinction from white America, even if they tried, but also because many want to identify first and foremost as being black, whatever that may mean to themselves and others. I think that in part Obama found his black American identity in Rev. Wright's church, perhaps not as a political banner or rallying cry, but as an integral part of who and what he is (along with his other identities from his family and friends). And that aspect of Obama, while not as in your face as someone like Jesse Jackson or even Farakhan, is critical in terms of his candidacy and his potential as a leader in this country. Obama is NOT watering down blackness or asking anyone to put race aside as identity or social reality. And I think that is a good thing -- that he dares to try to do that while, at the same time, speaks clearly and honestly about the harm that some of the rhetoric on both sides can cause. The tremendous thing about the speech is that he did not distance himself from Rev. Wright for the purposes of political expediency. Instead, he embraced the man, understood and acknowledged where the rhetoric came from, and went on to speak of how he, Obama, in his own voice, with his own mind and heart, saw race relations in this country.

It just seems to me that to say that there is no race or that he propounds such a notion is glaringly inaccurate, however well-intentioned -- inaccurate not in terms of biological origins or genetic makeup, but rather in terms of how most people in the U.S. perceive themselves, blacks probably much more so than whites. It is the luxury of whites to imagine the insignificance of color and that, in fact, is one of the things Obama talked about in his speech -- the fact that Caucasian whites generally don't think of themselves in terms of skin color or other physical features traditionally associated with notions of race and do not think of their distinctiveness as conferring any advantages in their lives when, in fact, it does. Every time a white says that race doesn't exist and color doesn't matter, a whole lot of black people get hopping mad because they know better, knowing a reality that has existed for centuries and one that will likely be with us for many more.

In the end, however, it probably does not matter who is right or wrong about what race "really" is or is not, whether and how humans ever can or should ignore cultural differences and personal identities associated with the physical features and family origins that have been classified as race. What I hear Obama saying is that however we conceive of and experience race, "we," as black and white Americans, need to start by working together and even before that imagining being able to work together so "we" can "both" bring about a more Perfect Union -- Union being the key word, two parts working together to better the whole, not dissolution of the parts, just as the Union hard fought in the Civil War was intended to unite states and regions, not obliterate their boundaries or distinctive identities.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

War Against Women

War Against Women, 60 Minutes, January 13, 2008

"Why would somebody do that? Why would somebody shoot a woman inside?" Cooper asks.

"In the beginning I was asking myself the same question. This is a show of force, of power, it's done to destroy the person," Dr. Mukwege says. "Sex is being used to commit evil. People flee. They become refugees. They can't get help, they become malnourished and it's disease which finishes them off."

Women for Women, an organization helping women who survive to rebuild their lives.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I crucified thee

Verspottung Christi by Mathis Gothart Grünewald

Ah, holy Jesus

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered.
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
God interceded.

For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.

Johann Heermann, 1585-1647; trans. by Robert S. Bridges, 1844-1930