Angelology Amidst the Brambles

St. Michael and All Angels

Blackberries-chester-thornlessAccording to the folklore of Celtic Christianity, blackberries should not be picked after the Feast of Michaelmas. This because, as the stories go, Satan was banished from heaven on this day, fell into a blackberry bramble and either cursed it, spat on it, or—in my favorite version—urinated on it.

I find these apocryphal tales to … Read the rest

Fear of Feeding

 

 Proper 13A

taco bellAllow me the liberty of beginning with a disclaimer. I’ve been a priest for all of six weeks now, and every Sunday it still feels brand new. Which means you may have to bear with my learning, but you also get the benefit of my complete and shameless joy in the new job. And, lest you’ve never … Read the rest

Mustard and Marginality

Proper 12A

Just how much mustard do we need, really?

mustardI know its an odd question, but since we just heard the famous parable of the mustard seed I want to reflect a bit on my relationship to its condiment cousin. I don’t know about you, but I have lots of mustard in my refrigerator. There are all these odd … Read the rest

When my son Amos—who is now a strapping 23-year-old—was about 10, he developed this annoying habit of following us from room to room and turning out any lights we had left on. Probably it was something he learned in school. He was right, of course: we should all turn out all the lights we aren’t using. And limit our water … Read the rest

Eleí̱mo̱n o Christós

 

keep-calm-and-kyrie-eleisonIn Eucharistic worship, where the unspeakable gets spoken and where this new priest sings the Lord’s song as for the first time, every time, we—priest and people—bid each other to prayer with the ancient kyrie eléi̱son. In English,

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

Eléi̱son is a Greek aorist imperative verb tense (which is saying a … Read the rest

The Monday after I was made a priest, just about three weeks ago, I started an intensive summer class in liturgical leadership. That’s the class that teaches us how to do the things like baptism, Eucharist and marriage. The kinds of things a priest might be expected to do. I figured that two days after my ordination might be a … Read the rest