Monday, February 28, 2011

On the use of "alleluias"

I've been asked several times about why we don't use Alleluia's at the dismissal. So I thought I'd give an answer here as well.

There are two different rubrics (or rules) that govern the use of Alleluia in worship. One set of rubrics govern the use of Alleluia in music and in all of the liturgy except for the dismissal. This rule says that we use Alleluia all the time except during the season of Lent.

The other set of rubrics covers just the dismissal and it says that we only use Alleluia in the dismissal during the period from Easter Sunday through Pentecost, but not at any other time.

Why the difference? I honestly don't know - but that's what the rules say - :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Getting Ready for Lent

Lent is approaching - in many ways it felt like it wasn't coming this year - but it actually is - it starts on Wednesday March 8 - that is about two wweks from now. So, it's time to start thinking about Lenten fasts.

Most of us "give up" something like chocolate or coffee or some such indulgence. That can be a good Lenten discipline - to fast from things that are luxuries - it is made even more meaningful if you take what you would have spent on that indulgence and give it away. So if you get a latte three times a week - that's about $10 or $60 during the Lenten season that could go to Habitat for Humanity or Episcopal Community Services or Heifer Project or whatever is on your heart.

Another way to fast for Lent is to give up meat - try eating a vegetarian diet a couple of days a week - or removing red meat from your diet. Again - donate the differenc ein your grocery bill to those who have less.

You also might try - instead of or in addition to - one of these practices, fasting from an hour of T.V. a couple of days a week and devote that time to prayer or spiritual reaidng or attending a Lenten event at church (hint, hint).

In any case - please pray about your Lenten practices and let me know if you want some suggestions.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thoughts on troubled times

As you can probably tell I've been doing some reading in early Church writers recently. I found this in the Sayings of Syncletica, Mother of the Egyptian Desert - who is one of the earliest Christian women whose writings we have. This was written in the late 4th century - that is the late 300's but I think it still resounds today:

"Sailors beginning a voyage set the sails and look for a favorable wind, and later they meet a contyrary wind. Just because the wind has turned they do not throw the cargo overboard or abandon ship. They wait a little and battle against the storm until they can again set a direct course. And when we run into headwinds, let us put up the cross for our sail, and we shall voyage through the world in safety."