Saturday, 29 November 2014

A Reasonable Prayer and Observation - Olde Episcopal - Anglican Style


    This is a poem by a master of the language from the XVIth Century and a bit later.   There is a bit of a key at the end to remind us of a bit of variation of precise meanings of certain words, but it is generally understandable by all.   My first priest, the Rev. Rollo K. Rilling was a jolly old soul, looking as he did there very embodiment of Santa Clause's younger brother.   He was quite a student of the language, being an expert from the period of the changes from English Gaelic dialects as they melded their tongues around the Norman French.  He taught us catechism classes with a profound seriousness and he also lectured us on the formative English language periods and influences.

The Venerable Bede translates John 1902.jpg
Saint Bede the Venerable
673 - 725 A.D.
Doctor of the Church, Monk
Preacher, Historian
Wrote the first ecclesiastical
history of the English people
and is called the Father of
English History and literature

     Many Episcopalians were devastated when the Protestant Episcopal Church of America threw out the Book of Common Prayer that essentially dated back to the mid - 1500s.  It contained intricately precise verbiage and eloquence and comfortable instruction never equalled since.   It was the same as the Romans throwing the Latin out....something they should have at a minimum alternated with the local vernacular.   Still to this day, when the Tridentine Roman Mass is celebrated at the Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Roble in downtown Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico soldiers and police must be called in to control traffick and pedestrian crowds....even of young people.   The last time the date was named, three Masses had to be expanded to nine....and we are talking about a Basilica that can hold 5,000 communicants.
     The loss of the "Old Book" for the Americans led to the evacuation of the Episcopal Church of the most loyal.   The emphasis upon advancing respect and honours to homosexuals above all else, instead of worrying about the souls of all of the Nazarene's brethren also has driven a stake into the Episcopal Church's vital organs.   As socialism translates into the notion that the property of everyone soon becomes the rusted, broken, weedy, and littered property of no one, so too does a church that seeks relevance and congruity with the mode du jour soon becomes irrelevant to those in need of repair or maintenance of soul.


A Thanksgiving to God, for His House

Lord, Thou hast given me a cell
Wherein to dwell,
A little house, whose humble roof
Is weather-proof:
Under the spars of which I lie
Both soft, and dry;
Where Thou my chamber for to ward
Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
Me, while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate,
Both void of state;
And yet the threshold of my door
Is worn by th' poor,
Who thither come and freely get
Good words, or meat.
Like as my parlour, so my hall
And kitchen's small;
A little buttery, and therein
A little bin,
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
Unchipp'd, unflead;*
Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar
Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,
And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine,
The pulse§ is Thine,
And all those other bits, that be
There plac'd by Thee;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
Of water-cress,
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent;
And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,
To be more sweet.
'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth;
And giv'st me wassail-bowls to drink,
Spic'd to the brink.
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land;
And giv'st me, for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one;
Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay
Her egg each day;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear
Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
Run cream, for wine.
All these, and better, Thou dost send
Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
A thankful heart,
Which, fir'd with incense, I resign,
As wholly Thine;
But the acceptance, that must be,
My Christ, by Thee.

--Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
 *Unchipp'd = "intact", i.e., no part of the loaf broken or 
crumbled off; unflead = "unflayed", i.e., no crust peeled
        off or inner part laid bare. pulse = beans, peas, etc.;
        worts = root vegetables or herbs. 
This contribution is taken by force from the blog of a gentleman who has become a guide, advisor, and advocate for many of us who are Orthodox and
Traditionalists.  He is the attorney Alex Haley (click here -
 Anglican Curmudgeon-A Thanksgiving to God, for His House ),
truly a knight without armour,
fighting the dragons of secular humanism and artificial social democracy. He is among the five most intelligent and knowledgeable men with whom El Gringo Viejo has interacted during his nearly four score and ten.
Thanks, as always for your time and attention.
El Gringo Viejo