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Gregory Dix still speaks July 27, 2016

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After the appalling murder of Jacques Hamel at Mass in Rouen, I am reminded again of these famous words of Gregory Dix, foremost liturgical scholar of his generation and whose work shapes all western liturgical revision since the 1940’s.

“Was ever another command so obeyed?  For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacles of earthly greatness to the refuges of fugitives in caves and the dens of the earth.  Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; for a village headman much tempted to return to fetish because the yams have failed; because the Turk was at the gates of Vienna; for the repentance of Margaret; for the settlement of a strike; for a son for a barren woman; for Captain so-and-so, wounded and prisoner of war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; while the hiss of scythes in the thick June grass came faintly through the windows of the church; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk; gorgeously, for the canonisation of S. Joan of Arc – one could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundred part of them.  And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei – the holy common people of God.”

(Dix, Dom Gregory, 1945, The Shape of the Liturgy, London: Dacre, p.744.)

(NB The picture of Dix, above, is a common one and I don’t know where it is originally from, but I got his version from this site:  https://sedangli.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/dix-on-the-eucharist/)

 

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A day in the desert July 24, 2015

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desert highway Morengo Valley

On a dark desert highway…

Well it is a wine growing region! Morongo Valley vineyard.

Well it is a wine growing region! Morongo Valley vineyard.

 

I could not pass up the chance to see a real (American) desert so I did a desert road trip today. From LA, I drove to Twentynine Palms and then back with a detour to Palm Springs. Just like in the movies!

The edge of town - Twentynine Palms, a desert town. These houses face across the road into the Mojave desert.

The edge of town – Twentynine Palms, a desert town. These houses face across the road into the Mojave desert.

The view from the houses (1)

The view from the houses (1)

The view from the houses (2)

The view from the houses (2)

29 Palms baptist29 Palms mural

An urban myth found in reality! And one of the many murals in Twentynine Palms.

Adobe Rd 3 Adobe liqor store

The main road through Twentynine Palms (off the freeway) is Adobe Road – it leads to the US marine base.

 

The town has several barber shops, all offering marine hair cuts

The town has several barber shops, all offering marine hair cuts

Joshua Tree at the town of Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree at the town of Joshua Tree

Palm Springs shopping center / centre

Palm Springs shopping center / centre

Palm Springs (2)

Palm Springs (2)

Actually, the above was Rancho Mirage, home to Patrick Macnee, Bob Hope, Gerald Ford, Frank Sinatra….

Men, women and God December 5, 2014

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The announcement of a post for a bishop who holds a ‘headship’ view regarding the ministry of women has generated some comments on Thinking Anglicans.

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/

This opens up discussions of gender and the Trinity. I will (I hope) write about this here, but meanwhile, here is a review I wrote of a helpful book by Alan Padgett. The review appeared on Outlook (the WATCH magazine) in 2013. It delineates two types of submission – this distinction seems to me to be key in this debate.

Alan Padgett As Christ Submits to the Church

August 15, 2013

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Image

Well I have been lousy at blogging but I’ve just had a run of conferences to attend and have moved offices and changed jobs – and am about to go on summer school – so it is the start of the academic year again.

We had a brilliant Congress in Wurzburg for Societas Liturgica. I had only been to Germany before for the evening many years ago (!) and although I’ve fgot A Level German, that was even longer ago. However, I was surprised how much came back to me. Above is the view from near my hotel. Wurzburg is a big wine producing place and is surrounded by these impressive terraces of vines. Yes, we did sample the local produce.

This picture below is of the Augustinenkirche where we had the Saturday morning worship and lectures. The hanging is called New Heaven and New Earth.

Image

 

Grand Tour (1) Mirfield July 24, 2012

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I recently made a grand tour of the north of England (including Hertfordshire). I’ll try to give an account of it all here….

On Thursday July 5th I was in Mirfield at the College of the Resurrection for a meeting with representatives of the University of Durham. Durham is going to be the Church of England’s university partner for validating our training courses. The press release for this is here:

http://www.churchofengland.org/media/1481328/pr69.12.doc

Very impressed with Durham’s attitude and offer! (And  not just because I taught there from 1999 till 2006). They seem genuinely to want to support colleges and courses. They are going to create two academic staff post, several admin posts and create web resources to support us and are also going to run staff conferences and student summer schools (optional – some of us run these anyway).

So although there is much still to do and details to emerge, I am quite enthusiastic about the future with this partnership!

Norwich says ‘yes’ October 21, 2011

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And now, live from Norwich, it’s the quiz of the week…
Well actually it’s not, but I drive past the Anglia TV studios every day and can’t help thinking of that iconic intro to The Sale of the Century! The real news from Norwich is that Norwich diocese voted in favour of the women bishops legislation and against a following motion at diocesan synod last week. The figures were:
Bishops: 3 in favour, none against and no abstentions
Clergy: 33 for, 12 against and 2 abstentions
Laity: 31 for, 11 against – no abstentions

So like most dioceses we are in favour by huge majorities. However, the following motion voting was closer:
Bishops: none in dfavour, 1 against and 2 abstaining
Clergy: 21 for, 22 against and 3 abstaining
Laity: 17 for, 24 against and 1 abstention

Most dioceses which voted on this (and not all have done in the process so far) have rejected it by bigger margins. Why is Norwich different?

Someone told me afterwards that they thought we had a lot of conservative evangelicals on our synod, which may be true. However, I wonder if something else is not at play here? We are a very happy and harmonious diocese and only have 2 parishes with Extended Episcopal Oversight (Resolution C / PEV / ‘flying bishops’), so I wonder if people were sympathetic to the idea of “more provision for those opposed” because thay have not seen how damaging and divisive such things can be? In the north, I have seen some clear examples of people using the PEV / Act of Synod provision to pretend to be a church within a church. We have not had that here. I am opoosed to the following motion because it would lead to greater division (and make women bishops and male bishops who ordain women) into second class bishops. The Code of Practice provision is as far as I can in conscience go.

Christians for Biblical Equality August 1, 2011

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We’ve had a brilliant CBE conference. So tired each day I’ve been unable to comment here. so I’ll have to summarise and expand later:

1. Lots of interest in inclusive language in worship as well as in Bible translation

2. Patriarchy affects different cultures around the world – I had not quite seen the diversity of this till now.

3. Some excellent Biblical input from John Kohlenberger III, Jerry ? and Philip Payne. Philip’s website has lots of useful resources.

And I have had some interesting ‘Anglican’ conversations – of which more later!

I will have to see if I can blog further from an airport lounge!

Washington State July 28, 2011

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Could not get Amanda Park picture on

Amanda Park

the other post so here it is!

Seattle (1) July 28, 2011

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River Chicago in, er... Chicago

After a very long  journey with more time spent in airports than in planes, I got here! (Managed a quick trip into Chicago too as I had to wait 8 hours between planes there.)

Went to the Pacific Coast yesterday – seemed sad to come all this way and not go there. The logging industry is very big here – and forestry is managed carefully – they are very proud of this here.

The forest  / mountains to the west of Seattle are spectacular – stopped at the small town of Amanda Park (I think I taught her brothers Chris and John).

Putting the baptism clock back July 19, 2011

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One thing that nearly got Synod excited last week was the Bradford diocese motion on admitting people to communion without their being confirmed.

We already do this as regards children (in many dioceses) and the Bradford motion was not necessarily as helpful as it might have been (in terms of how it was phrased and what it asked for).

However, it elicited a response from the Faith and Order Commission which was frankly bizarre. This in turm was connected to a book on initiation which FAOC has just published. I wrote a review of this for the Church Times (which thay had not asked for and which they did not publish) – it is posted here instead. Basically, FAOC want to overturn the consensus that baptism is full Christian sacramental initiation and go back to a time when we thought confirmation (by a bishop) was essential too.

Journey of Christian Initiation book review