Rector’s Blog2020-05-04T12:19:23+00:00

Clergy’s Blog

INTERCESSORY PRAYER: A Way of Life at St. Mary’s Parish

The 17th Chapter of the Gospel according to St. John contains what is generally referred to as The Great Intercessory Prayer of Jesus wherein among several petitions he intercedes on behalf of his disciples. To quote: “I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours…but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.

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TRINITY SUNDAY: Pondering the Impenetrable

This Sunday we observe the feast of the Trinity, the only major Christian festival that features a doctrine of our faith rather than an event in its sacred history. It has been a feast day in the Western Church since the ninth century and it celebrates the central mystery of our faith because the doctrine of the Trinity alone informs us who God is. To quote one source: “It is the mystery of God in


PENTECOST: The Birth of the Church

In the Gospel according to St. Matthew (28:19) we read: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit….” This is known as the Great Commission. But how was it to be inaugurated and accomplished? In biblical times there were several pilgrimage festivals a year in the Jewish tradition; the first of which was Passover, followed fifty days later


THE ASCENSION: The Exaltation of Christ

From the Gospel according to St. John (Chapter 16:7) we read: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”  With these words, spoken to his disciples, Jesus foretells of two post resurrection events that they will eventually experience: his ascension into Heaven


ST. MARY: Guiding Spirit for St. Mary’s Parish Past, Present, and Future

This Sunday is the Nation’s observance of Mother’s Day, and therefore it is perhaps fitting and timely to look to our patron saint, Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, for guidance and inspiration now that we are about to enter a new era under the leadership of a new rector. In the course of Church history much has grown up around the persona of Mary theologically, dogmatically, and in terms of veneration. The New



The celebration of Easter, either at the Great Vigil or Easter Day Sunday, can often limit our vision to perceiving this momentous event of the Paschal Mystery as being the culmination of the “story”. Consequently the season of Eastertide seemingly does not get the spiritually festive and profoundly significant attention it deserves; during which time, for example, the Bible records thirteen post-resurrection appearances by Christ; which are as follows: * His Appearance to Mary Magdalene


THE LITURGICAL MOVEMENT III: Baptism and the 1979 Book of Common Prayer

In a previous Insight Into Liturgy it was observed by one of the primary liturgists for the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (BCP), the Rev. Dr. Massey Shepherd Jr., that the time had come to move beyond Cranmer and the Tudor God of the 1549 Book of Common prayer and the subsequent American editions and, in essence, utilize the emerging theology of the Liturgical Movement as well as the more contemporary dimensions of a changing



“…that Cranmer’s work was no longer adequate. We were going to have to start from the beginning…the shift in liturgical renewal in the Episcopal Church [was] coming at this time away from Cranmer and the Tudor deity…should not be then at all surprising.” (The Rev. Massey Shepard Jr., Ph.D.) These somewhat provocative words from Fr. Massey Shepard Jr., perhaps the foremost liturgist involved with the 1979 revision of the Book of Common prayer, reflect, in


THE LITURGICAL MOVEMENT I: Dom Odo Casel, Monk of Mystery

In the fifth century, Pope Leo the Great observed in a sermon about Christ’s Ascension (and later famously cited by the Benedictine monk Dom Odo Casel): “What is visible in our Redeemer has now passed over into the mysteries.” In a sense, the Liturgical Movement, which began in the 19th-century, is like one of those cultural phenomena which go on around us, but unless we are of a certain generation, or have a particular interest


EASTERTIDE: The Christian Season

Our liturgical celebration of Christ’s resurrection beginning with the Easter Vigil and also on Easter Sunday inaugurates the start of Eastertide, a unique 50 day season of the church calendar ending with Pentecost. It is a festive continuation and observance of Christ’s victory over sin, darkness, and death through his resurrection. It is true, of course, we celebrate Christ’s resurrection each weekend throughout the year at St. Mary’s with the Liturgy of the Eucharist, but

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