Sunday, November 15, 2020

Until

 Sermon preached via Zoom at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Bath on the 24th Sunday after Pentecost:  Psalm 123, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

You can listen to this sermon here.

          Sometimes when you read or listen to Scripture, a single word will pop out and strike you.  Often it fades quickly, but sometimes it attaches itself to you and becomes like an itch that no amount of scratching will get rid of.

           So, then you must pay attention and wonder, “What is going on here?  What does God wish to say in this word?”

           This happened to me a couple weeks ago when I first read through the readings for this morning.  The word was in the psalm for today, and the word was “until.”

           Psalm 123 is a prayer:



To you I lift up my eyes,
    to you enthroned in the heavens.

As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
    and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
    until he show us his mercy.

           “Until God shows us mercy.”

           “Until.”  It is a word about waiting, about anticipation and wonder.  It can have many different emotions attached to it:  longing, eagerness, urgency, anxiety, fear, exasperation, impatience.  There is often attached to it one of the most human of questions, “How long?  How long, O Lord, how long?”

           The longing of the writer of the prayer that is Psalm 123 is the longing for mercy, a longing for God to forgive and to act to make things right.


Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich,
    and of the derision of the proud.

           The writer of the prayer certainly knows the fundamental truth—so basic to the Old Testament—that Israel’s God is a God of mercy.  It is creedal in the Old Testament:

 The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.  (Exodus 34:6; also Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 145:8, Jonah 4:2)

           The writer knows the promise of God’s mercy, but also knows the “until,” the waiting, the longing that sometimes breaks out into lament. “Why, O Lord, do you not act?”

           The writer is in the time of “until,” waiting for a time of equal and life-giving relationships. He or she is tired—as we often are in the time of “until”—tired of the contempt of those who live an easy life, who, unlike God, know nothing of mercy, because they think they have no need of it.

           We are living in a time of “until.”  There has been the “until” an election that has brought most of us into high anxiety has been settled.  More then that, we are living in the “until” of the COVID-19 virus and the grip it has on our lives.  One of the psalmists knew this “until” also, in the first verse of Psalm 57, which has come to be important to me over the past six months.


Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
    for I have taken refuge in you;
in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge,
    until this time of trouble has gone by.

           The Bible does not have an antidote to the experience of “until.”  It does not have a formula we can follow to avoid the “until.”  There is no avoiding the “until.”  There is no escaping the “until.”

           We only have a promise and a Companion.  The promise is that God will have his way with the until and our task is to remember that promise and hold onto it with all our strength.  Alone we often would not have the strength to do this, but we have a Companion whose strength we can rely on—the God of promise, who we know in our brother Jesus, who shares with us the Holy Spirit, the great companion and encourager.

           And remembering the promise and living with the encourager, we can have hope, and hope is above all what we need during the “until.”

           Now a further thing needs to be said, because there is much confusion about “hope.”  Hope is not passive.  It is not simply patience, although patience is often required of us.  Hope is active.  Hope is not waiting for life to change, it is about living that change.

           Neither is hope a cheap optimism, a cheery, “Oh, everything will work out for the best.”  Hope does not need optimism, because it has faith, and it has love.  Paul proclaims this truth in metaphor:

 Since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

           Faith, love, and hope protect us during the “until.”  The Thessalonians are anxious and impatience because Jesus has not returned as he seemed to have promised.  They do not like living in the “until.”  Paul’s reply is something like this:

 Hey, I hear you, but what can I do.  What we long for is not predictable.  It cannot be managed by the likes of us.  It’s going to be a surprise.  All that we can do is wait and stay ready, live in hope, because whatever happens and whenever it happens,

 God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

          As I said before, we can live in the until because we have the promise and we have a Companion, and furthermore, in that Companion, we have companions, fellow encouragers, because Christ’s body on earth is us, which means we are all in this together, all in the time of “until.”

          The Catechism in the Prayer Book says the primary mission of the church is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” (p. 855)  I wish there was another clause that said, “and then to encourage one another to live in faith, hope and love until the day of peace, the day when God fulfills God’s promises.”

          Until that day comes when all is put right under the merciful and gracious will of God, let us do nothing but encourage one another to live in love, to live in faith, and to live in hope.

          The question is always not, “How can I get through this until?” but, “How can we get through this until together as the people of God?”


Saturday, November 07, 2020

Lincoln And Biden: Coming Home

 It just happened that two events of importance to our household happened today.  Joe Biden was elected


President, and a dog named Lincoln arrived to join our household.

I know that some members of my family and fellow church members are hurt today by the Biden news.  We don't agree, but I do get your disorientation and, perhaps, anger.  I have been in your position before, on the losing side when I thought the loss was going to be too much to bear, a great mistake and a great injustice.  Let's agree, as much as humanly possible, to be fellow Americans and, if it applies, fellow Christians.  Let us love our country and our God, and disagree on some of how we want to make things happen, and what those things are, together.

To introduce you to Lincoln--what a distinguished name he was given by his previous people!--he is a beagle-mix, four to five years old. His people moved away and couldn't take him with them.  He is definitely a people dog and seems so excited to be here with us.  He has lots of energy, but right now he's taking a break on one of the dog beds.  The cats are fine. We're hoping eventually Julius the kitten will have found a playmate.  They're leery of each other now, no fisticuffs.  Tica, our older cat, will weather the new addition. She has seen them come and go and continues the undisputed ruler of all she surveys.

As to the election, we are greatly relieved.  It's not so much about the politics as it is about the atmosphere.  We long to get beyond the meanness and division.  We're not so naive to think that it will all go away just because we have a new President.  But we hope and pray that we will have someone as our leader who desires with all his heart for us to be one, and there, indeed, to be justice for all.

In the meantime it is a joy to have the presence again of a dog.  He just got up and barked at something he is hearing from outside.  I almost cried.  For the second time today.

Monday, October 12, 2020

For Belle: Our Life Was Sweeter

 For Belle: Our Life was Sweeter

Just over two years ago I watched love happen before my eyes.  John and I were at a fundraiser at the Finger Lakes SPCA, and one of the staff was walking an elderly beagle who had been at the Shelter for some time.  The dog stopped at John and he squatted to greet her.  I knew instantly that we were getting another dog.  Within a week Belle had joined our household.

Belle had been an honest to goodness hunting dog, and, even in retirement, she kept her skills sharp.  When she sensed something or someone walking by the house, from her perch on the couch in the front room, she would let lose with a bay that would rattle the windows.  Walking with her was an adventure. She never stopped sniffing the ground and wanting to veer off the sidewalk or trail to follow a scent.  She also had a sneaky side, an uncanny ability to grab something gross and hide in her mouth or swallow it before you had any idea what was happening.

In the end, this may have been her downfall, as she died yesterday at the good old age of 12 of what appeared to be an intestinal blockage.  Something went down there and got stuck.  Perhaps something she snuck outside or possibly one of the toys we recently got for our new kitten.

Belle appreciated a good rub down from me, but John was the love of her life these past two years.  I had never before imagined him in the role of “a boy with his dog,” but he was all that.  And Belle was most definitely a dog with her boy, all forty pounds of her on his side of the bed every night.

Belle had come to the Shelter after her previous human companion died far too young.  It happened that he was someone my siblings and I knew from our school days and around our hometown.  All accounts were that he adored Belle and she gave him several litters of beagle pups.  I hope that there has been a reunion between Steve and Belle, but I also know Belle will keep a place in her heart for John.

Our life was sweeter—even if for too short a time—with one of the sweetest dogs God ever made.


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Is Your Eye Evil?


 Sermon preached at St. Thomas' Church, Bath, New York on September 20, 2020, Proper 21A;  Matthew 20:1-16.

Listen here.

          I have three small books on my shelf at home that I often reach for when I’m look for inspiration concerning one of the parables.  They’re all written by an Episcopal priest named Robert Capon:  the Parables of the Kingdom, the Parables of Grace, and the Parables of Judgment.

          This week, having this parable about the Laborers in the Vineyard to ponder, I reached for the Parables of Grace.  It seemed like the obvious place to look.  Curiously, it was not there.

          Next, I reached for the Parables of the Kingdom, saying to myself, “OK, Jesus does say ‘The Kingdom of God is like . . .’  Nope, not there either.

          I picked back up the Parables of Grace.  I must have missed it.  I searched until my eyes hurt.  Definitely not there.

          Now I was puzzled.  Saying to myself, “It couldn’t be,” I reached for the Parables of Judgment.  Much to my surprise, there it was in the Table of Contents:  “the Laborers in the Vineyard.”

          So there goes my stock sermon about the amazing, all-inclusive grace of God, I said to myself.

          But, of course, this parable is about the amazing, all-inclusive grace of God.  But it is more than that; it is about our objection to it, how much our human heart recoils at it, how simply downright unfair it seems to us.

          And the note of judgment comes at its end, strong and clear, in the form of a question:  “Are you envious because I am generous?”  “Envious” or “jealous” is a fair translation, but it misses the image that is in the Greek.  The landowner asks if the complaining workers have an ophthalmós ponērós.  “Do you have an evil eye?”

          It’s a great image and most of us have a sense of what it means.  It’s that look, of course, famous to mommas, schoolteachers, and preachers.  Sometimes we call it just “the look.”

          When we get “the look” we know we are in trouble.  Judgment has been passed and there ain’t no turnin’ back.  Guilty until proven innocent, and don’t be plannin’ on that anytime soon.

          In this case, “the evil eye” is that feeling of unfairness we can get when we ponder the radical grace, the unconditional love, of God.

          I don’t think I have ever taught a class or preached a sermon about God’s complete and total grace when somebody has not said to me afterwards something like, “So that means we can just get away with anything?  God will always take us back?”  There’s that evil eye.

          Now do not feel bad if you have said something like that before because you are not alone, plenty of us have said it, and I suspect those of us who have said it out loud are only the tip of the iceberg of those who have thought it and felt it.

          So our answer to the question—“Is your eye evil because I am generous?”—is, let us be perfectly honest, “Yes,” or perhaps an even more emphatic, “You bet I am.”

          Let us rehearse just what this good news is and why it is so offensive to us ala the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard.  The employer in the parable makes no distinction when it comes time to pay the laborers between those who have worked all day and those who have worked only an hour.  It is as if he forgot to write down who was who.  He is, in short, a bad bookkeeper, but he is also so fair-minded that, since he has not been keeping track of who was who on the time scale, he pays everybody alike.

          Jesus is saying to us, “That is God my friends.”  God is a lousy bookkeeper, but nothing if not fair-minded.  And heaven does not have executive suites for those who have been about the goodness routine for a long time.  Or if it does and we get one, we might be surprised to find that irritating jerk of a neighbor of ours back on earth whom we neither ever remember going to church nor doing a decent thing in his life has the next suite over. We are neighbors still.  He seems to have gotten off scot-free.

          It reminds of my friend Verna Dozier’s answer to the question I heard someone ask her one day, “Do you believe in a literal hell and that some people are going there?”

          “Actually not,” she said, “I think everybody goes to whatever we mean by heaven.  But some people are not going to like it there.”

          “So who is that,” I later asked, “who will not like it there?”  I thought I knew the answer, but I wanted to hear her say it.  “People like me,” she said. “People like me who have an investment in some people not being there.  And there they will be.  God will have gotten his way in the end and I wonder sometimes if I am going to be able to tolerate it.”

          A lot of people’s questioning or even negative, reaction to a God of radical grace comes from the fact that this is not the God we have been brought up to believe in.

          The God we were sold, often as children, definitely did keep track.  He was in fact “the Great Bookkeeper in the Sky.”  He knows if we’ve been bad or good, and forms his opinion about us based on that knowledge.  And ultimately he has the greatest reward/punishment system of all—an eternal life of bliss in heaven or an eternal life of pain in hell.

          I dare say that is what a majority of people believe is Christian teaching about salvation.

          The trouble is, if you actually read the whole of the New Testament, that image is rejected.  God as the great, judgmental bookkeeper in the sky ends up having far more to do with our need to control other people’s behavior than God’s actual plan of salvation.

          If God ever was the Great Bookkeeper in the Sky the Jesus story is all about how God changed his line of work, threw out the books altogether, except one, the Book of Life, in which she is pleased, nay, delighted to write the name of anyone who asks her to, who hears her say, “I love you,” and says, “Yes,” in return.

          That’s it.

          Our job is not to get ourselves accepted by God, but simply to accept our acceptance.

          It ought to be easy, but it is not, of course, because there is something about us that wants there to be a Great Bookkeeper in the Sky.  We are slaves to this world of success, of reward and punishment, of you get what you deserve, of the myth that all you have to do is work hard and fly right to get ahead in this life and the losers are those unwilling to work hard and fly right enough.  That is how the world works.

          But then comes God.  Sits down at this Table with us and eats.  Says pull up a chair and have a bite with me.  No examination, no credentials required except that we do pull up a chair and hold out a hand.

          The good news this morning is that God does not have an evil eye and is a lousy bookkeeper.  The hard part about faith in God is not working hard and flying right.  The hard part about faith in God is accepting his acceptance, not only of us, but of those who do not deserve it, who may have caught our evil eye.  The trick is not letting our evil eye distort how we see the world and our neighbor.

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Measure You Give; the Measure You Get: Remembering Alexander Crummel

 Homily preached on the feast of The Rev. Alexander Crummell, Thursday, September 10, 2020 at St.


Thomas' Church, Bath, NY.

Jesus said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand?  For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light.  Let anyone with ears to hear listen!" And he said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.  For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away."

            It is good to have on our calendar today the remembrance of the Rev’d Alexander Crummell.  Crummell was born free in New York City in 1819.  He was ordained a priest in 1844 in the Diocese of Massachusetts, but decided to study further in England because, among other things, he was excluded from participating in any diocesan functions.

            Crummell was an intellectual at heart and he thrived at Cambridge. Once he earned his degree he went to teach at Liberia College in the relatively new settlement of former American slaves.  After the Civil War, he returned to the United States.  He was the founder and first rector of St. Luke’s Church in Washington, DC for many years and was one of the founders of the organization that eventually became the Union of Black Episcopalians.  He founded it to fight against the creation of a separate missionary diocese for Black parishes across the country.  He won that fight.

            He is most well known outside church circles as the organizer of an intellectual society called the American Negro Academy. one of his protégés in that society was W.E.B. Dubois.

            DuBois devoted one of the chapters of his famous work, The Souls of Black Folk, to Alexander Crummell.  It is largely the story of his difficult road to ordination and then the even more difficult road to practice his ministry.  DuBois begins the chapter,

 This is the history of a human heart—the tale of a black boy who many long years ago began to struggle with life that he might know the world and know himself.

            I find Dubois’ description of Crummell’s seeking ordination to be especially moving. Here’s part of it:

 A voice and a vision called him to be a priest—a seer to lead the uncalled out of the house of bondage [but] there swept across the vision the temptation to despair.

 They were not wicked men—the problem is not the problem of the wicked—they were calm, good men, Bishops of the Apostolic Church of God, and strove toward righteousness. They said slowly, “It is all very natural—it is even commendable; but the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church cannot admit a Negro.”  And when [he] still haunted their doors, they put their hands kindly, half sorrowfully, on his shoulders, and said, “ Now—of course, we—we know how you feel about it; but you see it is impossible—that is—well—it is premature. Sometime, we trust—sincerely trust—all such distinctions will fade away; but now the world is as it is.

            More than a hundred years later, religious leaders—including two Episcopal bishops—would say essentially the same thing to Martin Luther King.  The world is as it is; you must slow down.  His response was the well-known Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

            And in all that time the Church was not listening to its Lord, who said now is the time.  There is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret except to come to light.

            Racism lurks throughout our history both as a nation and as a Church. It is something we white folk would rather stay hidden and secret because we are afraid of what a public accounting might mean for us.  But Jesus said be brave, have courage. Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given. Do the hard work and reap the reward. If you choose not to, of you choose to do nothing, nothing is what you will get.

  Coda

            I also heard those words—”some day…premature…the world is as it is—in my own ordination process as an openly gay man.  I took comfort and strength from Jesus words:  nothing is hidden that will not become known.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

For Lucy: A Complete Acquisition

August 8, 2020

 

It is not so much that I acquire dogs, it’s that dogs acquire me.

E. B. White

 

              On a warmish January day in 2011, I met a dachshund at the Verona Street Animal Shelter in Rochester, New York, where I was a two or three times a week dog walker.  I had never been drawn to small dogs, but I dutifully walked them at the Shelter.  The dachshund immediately caught my eye when I entered the small dogs room because she was not yapping like all the others, demanding my quick attention.  She was curled up in the corner of her little “room” trembling.

               After I walked a couple of the other dogs, I decided to approach her. I stepped over the barrier into her room and sat down beside her.  Her trembling only increased.  I went out to the front desk for information about her.  She had come in after an eviction. Her family had to leave her behind, although they would have two weeks during which to claim her.  No, they didn’t think that she had been abused.

               She’d lost her people, her pack, and she was petrified.  They’d be thrilled if I could get her outside for a walk because no one else had been able to.  I determined I was just going to sit beside her and see if she would calm down.  Ever so often, I would hold my hand palm up toward her nose.  It only increased the trembling.  Then after about forty minutes she finally stretched her neck forward a bit and sniffed my hand.  Another half hour and she let me slip the lead over her head, and a few minutes later we took that walk.

               I was smitten.  In about three weeks we brought her home. Her name was given as Lacey, which we promptly changed to Lucy.  She made herself at home very quickly, and anointed herself head of the pack.  Our couch-potato of a greyhound, Festus, went along with it easily.  They were a sight walking down the street together: Eighty pounds of tall-legged greyhound, and fifteen pounds of “weiner dog.”  To make the picture perfectly absurd, they were exactly the same color, fawn.

               John had indulged my desire for this addition to the household, but from experience growing up, he warned me about the stubbornness of dachsunds, and the racket they could make.  She’d been home with us twenty-four hours or so when I first heard her bark.  The sheer volume was something.  If anyone came any where near her space, she would sound off and no amount of insisting would calm her down until she wanted to calm down.

               E. B. White (1899—1985), best known as the author of Charlotte’s Web, but also a long-time essayist for The New Yorker, was an avid companion of dogs, several of which in his life were dachsunds.  “You have to watch out about dachshunds,” he once wrote, “some of which are as delicately balanced as a watch.”  Of his dachshund Fred, he said that “he saw in every bird, every squirrel, every housefly . . . a security risk and a present danger to the republic.”  Lucy was certainly made in that mold.  And stubborn?  White captured this perfectly also.

 Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get the chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can’t be trained and shouldn’t be. . . . Of all the dogs whom I have served I’ve never known one who understood so much of what I say or held it in such contempt.  When I address Fred I never have to raise my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something that he wants to do.

               Yes. Precisely.

              Yet Lucy also lived up to her name—which means “light.”  She was a light in my life, third only to Jesus and my husband, a ranking of which she did not approve.  She was my companion through some extraordinarily difficult times in my life.  All the things White has to say about his Fred were true of our Lucy, but she also never wanted to leave my side. The cliché in her case was true—she would have followed me to the gates of hell, and, truth be told, we were almost there a couple of times in our nine years together.

               I have loved all our animals fiercely, but my bond with Lucy was complete. Or perhaps I should say her acquisition of me was complete.  Her death has been shattering.  We first knew all was not well when she stopped the guard dog barking.  Over a period of six months she had several seizures and became cognitively impaired. I resisted euthanizing her until she woke me up in the middle of the night, looking like she did not know me and trembling in fear.

               My favorite remembrance of Lucy was an afternoon she and I spent on the grounds of the Cobbs Hill Reservoir in Rochester, probably four or five years ago.  It was fall, and the leaves were deep, eye-level or more for her.  She delighted in them and ran and ran and ran, plowing through them as her eyes sparkled with happiness.  I vividly remember that joy, which is even now keeping me from falling apart at her death.  What an extraordinary gift she was.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Why I Need to See

The 2nd Sunday of Easter, April 19, 2020

It is the Second Sunday of Easter: Thomas Sunday, some call it, because on this day every year we read the story of the disciple Thomas.  Thomas was not present when Jesus first appeared to his disciples after the resurrection.  When he heard of the appearance, he said, “Unless I see the marks on his hands and put my finger into the wound in his side, I will not believe.”

              I must say that I am a Thomas fan.  First of all, he was obviously a gutsy guy.  He was not behind locked doors as were the other disciples.  Apparently, he was getting on with his life, or, perhaps, his grief was such that he needed to be alone with it.  I get that.  Second of all, his relationship with Jesus was so strong, such a personal experience, that he had to have that experience for himself truly to join the others in rejoicing that “the Lord is risen indeed.”  It’s important to note that he simply wanted what the other disciples already had.

              I don’t see Thomas as a “doubter.”  I see him as an insistently faithful person who simply needed to experience, “see,” for himself.  That is simply human.  On St. Thomas’ Day (December 21) The Book of Common Prayer has us pray that “we might perfectly and without doubt believe.”  What hogwash.  If there is to be revision of the Prayer Book, that prayer is on my list as the first to go.  Doubt—the need to see—is an important part of faith, not its opposite.  How about:  “Help us see through our doubts and fears the risen Christ present with us always.”

              What Thomas is saying to me in this time of COVID quarantine is that it is all right for me to long to see.  In particular, it is all right for me to long to see Christ’s presence in the sacrament of his presence.  For me Communion is not only about physically receiving, although I will gladly take that any day.  It is about presence.

              I am reminded of a quote from James De Koven (1831-1879), who was one of the leaders of the liturgical revival in The Episcopal Church in the 19th century.  De Koven was elected bishop of Illinois in 1875, but was refused consent by the larger church because of his “extreme” views on liturgical practice, or, what in his day was called “ritualism.”  His theological and experiential standard was the objective Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated elements of Holy Communion.[1]

              De Koven said, in a speech to the General Convention of 1874, that the various ritual practices which were so controversial at the time (all of which are now commonplace in The Episcopal Church) were of utter indifference to him.  What was essential was this:  To adore Christ’s person in His Sacrament is the inalienable privilege of every Christian and Catholic heart.”

              What De Koven was pleading for was the right to see the presence of Christ, and to respond with praise and thanksgiving.

              This was the tradition in which I was raised in the church and it is the experience of my faith, which in that presence, as St. Paul says, I find “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” (2 Cor. 13:13)

              Some will say—and I do not argue that they must understand this as I do—that this objective presence cannot be transferred via electronic means, over distance.  I might have argued the same at one time.  But now in this present-day circumstance in which we are cut off from physical reception of the Sacrament, I find the watching of a full service of The Eucharist to be life-giving.

              Succinctly put, I need to see.

              My bishop has called our diocese to a “holy fast” from Communion during this time of “stay-at-home” orders.  I am obeying him.  I am worshiping with my parish without communion (we do a prayer for “spiritual communion”).  I am a priest, but I am deliberately not celebrating the Eucharist at home because of my bishop’s call.  But I am also participating in an on-line Eucharist from Washington Cathedral.  For those who cannot physically receive there is also a prayer for spiritual communion.  I find the spiritual communion with my parish to be just so many words.  That of the Cathedral fills my heart because I have celebrated in that Presence and can see it.

              This is not meant as criticism of anyone, just as De Koven’s speech was not critical of liturgical practices other than his own.  He was stating what he experienced, and I am doing the same.

              Again, I need to see.



[1] De Koven’s speech was during consideration of a change to the canons which would have had the effect of banning the use of incense, the display of any crucifix, the elevation of the consecrated elements of Holy Communion in such a way as might encourage adoration of them, and bowing, genuflecting, or any other gesture of adoration to those elements.  All are now commonplace in Episcopal churches.  De Koven is now on The Episcopal Church’s calendar of lesser feasts, on March 22.