yrieithydd: (Cross)
Yesterday, I read the following exchange on a a thread about bringing back the prayer book Angloid wrote:
1662 (Communion, I'm not discussing M or EP) is not 'traditional liturgy' but a bit of reformation propaganda masquerading as liturgy.

to which Callan responded:
Presumably the Tridentine Mass is Counter-Reformation propaganda masquerading as liturgy, the liturgy of St John Chysostom is Byzantine propaganda masquerading as liturgy and Common Worship is middle class English pelagian propaganda masquerading as liturgy?

and followed the link [livejournal.com profile] curig had posted to the Churches together in Britain and Ireland material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and in the evening attended the the Goth Eucharist. As I lay awake trying to sleep these things prompted some thoughts about liturgy and propaganda and why I dislike much modern liturgical stuff.

There is a sense in which liturgy is propaganda; liturgy forms what we believe, lex orandi, lex credendi, and so the aim of liturgists is to set out right doctrine in the liturgy. However, I still felt that Callan's response was unfair and that there was a sense in which the BCP 1662 Communion service was far more propagandist than his other examples.* With the BCP, you have a big change of structure from the tradition and it is that which makes it more like propaganda. It is not a gradual development to that structure and a process of refining but it is a deliberate break with what had gone before and an attempt to inculcate a particular set of Reformation beliefs.

This led me on to reflecting why it was that I dislike many modern services (such as the CTBI material) but found that I did not have a bad reaction to the Goth Eucharist. It comes go to the obviousness of the agenda. So much of the modern stuff has a fluffy modern agenda and it is obvious. I felt that the Goth Eucharist avoided that, well an obvious agenda -- I doubt it would be fluffy! -- although it was aimed at a particular sub-culture. It drew on previous liturgies and on the concerns of the sub-culture and did not feel too forced.

*Oh, and I'm not sure why CW is described as pelagian!

Fig Trees

Nov. 22nd, 2005 01:41 pm
yrieithydd: (Visitation)
For [livejournal.com profile] atreic

I've just noticed a thread about the cursing of the fig-tree I was particularly interested in Ken's comments about the length of time that figs take to mature and thus the fact that even out of season it is possible to see whether there would be figs.
Imagine someone gives you a piano for Christmas. Do you leave it in corner looking pretty (and being a useful surface to dump stuff on) or do you sit down at it regularly and practise and even have some lessons from someone who knows more about playing the piano than you do?

I suspect the giver would be far happier with you doing the second. After all, one imagines they gave you the piano because they wanted you to become a better piano player. I don't think either that they would think that your practise only counted if you were doing it because you were grateful for their gift, rather than because you felt that you had a duty to make use of the gift. They might prefer the former, but the latter, especially if it gets you through a phase where you're feeling `there's no point practising because I'm not getting any better and scales & exercises are dull and what's the point of them anyway?' Giving up in those times and not practising is not likely to make you any better, whereas if you persevere one day, it will hopefully all click into place and you find that those blasted scales & exercises have paid off and now you can actually play some interesting music quite well.

It strikes me that discipline in prayer is similar to discipline in piano practise. Yes, we are saved by God's grace; he gives us that gift -- to be like Christ. But having received it, we can't just leave it in the corner (either looking pretty or being a useful surface!) but need to sit down and work at it. Making time to pray and be with God in order to be better at being like Christ. It might be useful to visit someone who's been at this game longer than us to visit regularly to help us see what we're doing right and what's still not quite right as a pianist would go to a teacher. And there will be times when it feels just as though we're doing it out of duty, but as C.S. Lewis says, those trough times an actually be more fruitful than the peaks even though we cannot see it at the time. Actually that ties in with what the person quoted by a Westcott ordinand last night said that it's only after praying the office for 7 years that you start benefitting. I do not entirely agree. I think that over the past 3 years I have benefitted from saying the office, but I can certainly imagine that in a few more years there'll be even greater benefits. It's a long term solution not a quick fix.

Background )

Shipmeets

Oct. 24th, 2005 09:33 pm
yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
Mmmm, those of my friends who are also shipmates (and in Cambridge) might be interested in the fact I've just posted a Cam meet thread in All Saints.
yrieithydd: (Cross)
As some of you know, I am involved with the bulletin boards at Ship of Fools. Well, we'd decided to have our 5th Annual Punt of Fools meet today!

Great plan! When we meet at one, it was sopping, so we adjourned to the grad pad, but then it brightened up so we decided to risk it. It started raining just after we started and finished just as we returned to moor! I'm drenched! [livejournal.com profile] mr_ricarno abandoned ship halfway (at Magdalene) and nearly put the punter overboard!

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