Monday, May 31, 2010

Ayer en Parroquia San Cristóbal

Yesterday was Trinity Sunday, and at the Choral Eucharist at 7:30 am we sang many of the popular Trinitarian hymns, but not St. Patrick's Breastplate. Unity Lodge 1084 of the Independent Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World worshipped with us. I, of course, preached about the Trinity and denounced the heresies of the Arians, Monarchians, Montanists, Adoptianists, Modalists, Patripassians, Sabellians, Noetists, Subordinationists, the errors of Paul of Samosata, the GAFCON bishops, and the Jesus-Only Pentecostalists of our own day and age. Then I woke everyone up and we said the Nicene Creed.

Just before the Eighth Sacrament of the Episcopal Church (Coffee Hour), we blessed our new Parish Hall. We plan to do a big ol' ribbon-cutting thang in July when the Bishop is here for his Episcopal Visitation, but we just received the final permiso on Friday, which means we can use the place, so I decided it was time to splash some water around.

Sunday was also Día Etnia Negra (Black Ethnicity Day) en Panamá, so some folks were dressed in African-inspired clothing. Here are photos of folks at Coffee Hour.

We also had a Basket Raffle as a fund raiser for the new Parish Hall. $1.00 tickets were sold and one had the opportunity to win one of three baskets: Canasta Basica, which is a basket of all kinds of food; Canasta de Dulces, which is a basket of sweets such as cakes, cookies, and candies; and a Basket of Spirits, mostly wine. As you can see, the baskets were quite large and worth way more than a dollah! Members of the various guilds donate the items for the baskets.

Since we are across the street from Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal, and since our Assistant Rector, Revdo. Canonigo Luis Cáceres is chaplain at the school, we invite each class and their parents to worship with us on certain Sundays. We will have families of the school visiting every other Sunday through to August. Yesterday was the start, and the Pre-Kinder students and their parents worshipped with us. After the Peace and just before the Offertory, the lil' darlings recited a Bible verse and sang a song (with hand motions, of course!) and were very very cute and everyone had to come forward and take photos with their cameras and cell phones.

They all came up to the altar rail at Communion and received a blessing.

The band played Arriba los Corazones after Communion, and we had so much bump that the little girls were dancing in the aisle. They were waving their skirts and swaying, just like Típico dancers.

All in all a very nice Sunday!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trinity Sunday

Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" And his disciples answered and said, "Some say you are John the Baptist returned from the dead; others say Elias, or other of the old prophets." And Jesus answered and said, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "You are the Logos, existing in the Father as His rationality and then, by an act of His will, being generated, in consideration of the various functions by which God is related to his creation, but only on the fact that Scripture speaks of a Father, and a Son, and a Holy Spirit, each member of the Trinity being coequal with every other member, and each acting inseparably with
and interpenetrating every other member, with only an economic subordination within God, but causing no division which would make the substance no longer simple." And Jesus answering, said, "What?"
Nicked from someone on the HOB/HOD list serve

Friday, May 28, 2010

In Which Mad Priest Explains the ABC's Latest Decision, Plus Some Good Advice

And NOW, some Good Advice

Friday Random Top Ten

Ya pushes "shuffle" and ya takes yer chances. . .

1. Cowgirl in the Sand Neil Young
2. We Got The Beat The Go Go's
3. Descarga Tentación Bolita Y Su Tentación
4. U Arrested Development
5. Starry Eyes Rocky Erikson
6. Love For Tender No. 2 Elvis Costello and the Attractions
7. Ave Verum Corpus (Byrd) Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford
8. Locomotion Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark
9. I'll Shoot The Moon Tom Waits
10. Baby Don't You Do It The Who

Geez, the shuffle was all over the place today! Another one of those nothing-from-the-present-century days, although we do have something from the late sixteenth - early seventeenth century, which is kinda cool, although the video is of the Tallis Scholars, not Christ Church Cathedral Choir. Also, we gots some Panamanian Latin Jazz from the 1970's, which is extra cool but too bad for you since it didn't show up on the yootoobes. We do have Roky, which is great. The version of We Got The Beat is the version from the Stiff 45, which is a bit more intense and less cute than the version from the A&M album. The Love For Tender video isn't the version of the song which my shuffle chose, but it's difficult to get an Elvis video as it is.

Wadda ya listenin' to?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Miss Bebé, The World's Most Beautiful Granchile™ Blogging

Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest and Monk of Jarrow

Heavenly Father, you called your servant Bede, while still a child, to devote his life to your service in the disciplines of religion and scholarship: Grant that as he labored in the Spirit to bring the riches of your truth to his generation, so we, in our various vocations, may strive to make you known in all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Bede, or Baeda, was probably born in the year 673, the year of the Council of Hertford, the council in which the Bishops of England agreed to respect each others' diocesan boundaries and the date for Easter was settled. He was born on lands which were given to Benedict Biscop's new monastery, St. Peter's of Wearmouth. At the age of seven years, his parents placed him in the care of Abbot Benedict for his education and upbringing. The next year he was tranferred to the monastery in Jarrow, under the care of Abbot Ceolfrid, and he remained there for the rest of his life. Abbot Ceolfrid was a holy man and a a scholar, and young Bede was greatly influenced by his love of learning. Years later, Bede wrote a biography of Ceolfrid, which contains an incident which probably refers to Bede's boyhood. It tells of how, in the year 686, the plague attacked Ceolfrid's monastery, killinig all the choir monks capable of maintaining the regular services of the Church, with the exception Bede writes, of the Abbot himself and one boy reared and educated by him, who is now a priest of the same monastery and commends the Abbot's admirable doings both verbally and in writing to all who desire to learn them. Greatly distressed by this catastrophe, the Abbot decided to discontinue their usual practice, and to recite and sing all the psalms without antiphons except at Vespers and Matins. But when they had done this for a week with great sorrow and regret, he could bear it no longer and directed that the psalms and their antiphons were to be restored in their appointed course. So with the help of all survivors, he and the aforesaid boy carried his decision with no little trouble until such time as he could either train or procure from elsewhere sufficient numbers to assist at the Divine Office.

Ceolfrid's training and encouragement of the young Bede filled him with a love for the Divine Hours and the Church's services, and it was said that he believed that the angels attended all the Daily Offices and would not miss a service because "the angels would ask 'Were is Bede? Why does he not attend the appointed devotions with his brethren?'" Bede was ordained a deacon at the age of nineteen, which is really something since canon law set the normal age for ordination to the deaconate at age twenty-five. His scholarship and devotion must have been recognized as exceptional for him to be ordained so young. He was ordained a priest eleven years later, and he spent the next fifty-nine years writing commentaries on the scriptures and writing histories. He is called the Father of English History because of his classic work A History of the English Church and People which covers the years from 597 to 731, the period in which Anglo-Saxon culture developed and Christianity became the religion of the British Isles. His History is considered a prime source for historians studying early English history because of the care he took collecting information from those most likely to know, his meticulous listing of his authorities and his separation of historical fact from hearsay and tradition. His descriptions are very vivid and bring the story alive to the reader, which is another element of good historical writing in our own era, too. His biblical commentaries were highly appreciated by his contemporaries, because he would use the Vulgate Bible, old Latin texts, and the Greek texts in his studies, and would use the writings of St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, and St. Gregory combined with his own insights. He wrote some twenty-four commentaries, several histories, a book of Hymns, a book of Epigrams, a Martyrology, a book on the Art of Poetry, a book on Tropes and Figures, and a book entitled On the Nature of Things. There was no printing press, so these books were all handwritten and then copied by others, so the production of so many books is really quite amazing!

What made Bede so prolific? Why did he write so much? He was a monk, a very dedicated monk, and a scholar. Bede experienced God through the use of his mind, through study and research and contemplation and writing. He ended his History of the English Church and People with this little prayer: I prayer you, noble Jesu, that as You have graciously granted me joyfully to imbibe the words of Your knowledge, so You will also of Your bounty grant me to come at length to Yourself, the Fount of all wisdom, and to dwell in Your presence for ever.

Bede was a scholar right up to the end, dying after dictating an English-language translation of the Gospel of John. He died on May 25, the Eve of the Ascension, in the year 735. One of his scholars, Cuthbert, who later became the Abbot of Jarrow, wrote an account of Bede's death, telling how he continued to work for several days even though he was short of breath. On Tuesday before the Feast of the Ascension, he was dictating and teaching but was having a difficult time breathing. He said to his students, "Learn quickly! I do knot know how ling I can continue, for my Lord may call me in a short while." That night, instead of sleeping, he spent the night giving thanks to God. That morning he continued to dictate the last chapter of his work on John's gospel. At three o'clock that afternoon, he said to Cuthbert "I have a few valuables in my chest, some pepper, and napkins, and some incense. Run quickly and fetch the priests of our monastery, so that I may share among them these little presents God has given me." Cuthbert fetched the priests, and Bede spoke with each one and gave him a present. They were all crying, and Bede said, "If it so pleases my Maker, the time has come for me to be released from this body, and to return to the One who formed me out of nothing. I have lived a long time, and the righteous Judge has provided for me well throughout my life. The time for my departure is near, and I long to be dissolved and be with Christ. My soul longs to see Christ my King in all his beauty." Cuthbert says that Bede spent the rest of the day in gladness until the evening. Wilberht, the boy who was taking dictation, said, "Dear master, there is still one sentence that we have not yet written down." Bede said, "Then write it down quickly. " When the boy was finished, he said, "There! It is written!" Bede said, "Good! It is finished; you have spoken the truth. Hold my head in your hands. I would please me much if I could sit opposite the holy place where I used to pray, so that I may call upon my Father sitting up." Bede sat on the floor of his cell, his head held by Wilberht. He said the Gloria Patri and breathed his last. He was buried in the chapel of the monastery of Jarrow, but his remains were moved to Durham and placed in the nave of the Lady Chapel of the Galilee Cathedral, in the year 1020. He received the title "Venerable" about a hundred years after his death. There is a legend which says that the monk carving the inscription on Bede's tomb was at a loss for a word to fill out the couplet Hac sunt in fossa Bedae -blank- ossa (This grave contains the -blank- Bede's remains). That night an angel came and filled in the blank with the word Venerabilis.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dance Party Album Review

Back in the early 1970's I had a friend named Mike Evans. He was from Austin but he and his wife, Paula, were living in San Francisco. I met them though my friend Larry Brown, who met Mike when he was going through a psychological evaluation to leave the Coast Guard (one hella long story). We used to go to Mike and Paula's and, er, ingest stuff. Two things always happened while we were at their typical SF apartment: late at night, while things were really spinning, we would watch Creature Features on Channel 2 (and it always seemed to be showing Godzilla VS the Smog Monster) and we would listen to THE album by the Thirteen Floor Elevators and listen to Mike's rant about how they were the greatest band that ever existed. The thing is, I agree: the Thirteen Floor Elevators is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Roky Erickson is one of my heroes, right up there with David Bowie, Andy Partridge, and James Brown. I mean, how can you NOT love a band with a crazy singer/guitarist/harmonica player and a jug player? I'm sorry, you can't. If you don't like the Thirteen Floor Elevators, you don't like psychedelic rock.

Over the years, my love for Roky's music grew. During the Punk/New Wave days he released Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer), which has remained one of my all-time favorite songs.

So the other day I was listening to my favorite radio station in the world, KFJC-FM, when the DJ, Holly Golilghtly, played some Roky. But I'd never heard this rocky before. It was brand new stuff! I was very pleased to learn that Roky had released a new album, entitled True Love Casts Out All Evil. I was also shocked that, instead of singing about demons and zombies and aliens and two-headed dogs in the Kremlin and stuff, he was singing about God! YOW!

So I went to the iTunes and downloaded the album. It is a great album; he has really matured as a song-writer and, it appears, as a human being. Roky took a lot of acid back in the old days and was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, and has also spent time in Mental Hospitals, and much of his music reflects this aspect of his life (I DO like them crazy musicians; sometimes I think Jack White in headed in that direction). But this stuff is really well produced and pleasant. There is the stuff which reminds one of the old Roky, especially John Lawman: "I kill people all day long, I sing my song, 'cuz I'm John, John Lawman!"

The Lovely Mona, who is also a fan, joins me in recommending this album to everyone who loves Roky and some cool music. Padre dice: "Check it out!"

Dang It!

This is what our car looked like when we first purchased it, oh so many years ago! Well, except for that weird plaqua.

Our car is in the shop. It died on Friday on the way home from work. It blew a rod. Thursday, on the way home, it just went dead at the corner of Cinquentenario and Vía España. Friday, on the way home, it started making strange noises at the corner of Cinquentenario and Vía España, but it kept going. But once we turned on to our street, Los Pinos, it made a big bang noise and then the rattley noise started. On Thursday the oil light went on, but when we checked the oil it was fine. Apparently the oil pressure switch went on the fritz, so even though there was plenty of oil it wasn't doing the proper oil thang that an internal-combusion engine needs. Dang ten-year-old car!

So now we're wandering about Panamá on diablo rojos and taxis. Well, I'm walking to and from the church.

I hates cars.

UPDATE Boy, it just gets worse! Keith and I were gonna tow the car over to the mechanic's taller this morning, but now the Transito has passed a law which requires one to use a tow bar when towing cars. A TOW BAR! What is this world coming to when one can't use the time-honored Panamanian tradition of towing one's car using nylon rope or a chain? Now I gotta call the Tow Truck (which only costs $25.00 here, not $75.00 or more like in the Bay Area)! This new government sure comes up with a lotta laws.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fiesta de Pentecostés en la Parroquia San Cristóbal

Yay! Pentecost! Birthday of the Church!

The Altar Guild decorated the church for Pentecost, with red and gold balloons and ribbons. We had lovely red and white roses at the altar, too!

Guillermo Johnson was the cantor for the Psalm. We sang Lord, Send Out Your Spirit And Renew The Face Of The Earth! Yeah, it's one of them old Mid-western Jesuit songs you suffered through at the Newman Center back in the late 1970's, but since we do them without guitars and painfully earnest singing, it's quite pleasant. Plus Guillermo has a great voice.

The Choir sang Send Your Holy Spirit for the Gradual

We have special blessings for Birthdays, Travelers, and Anniversaries after the Peace but before the Offertory. Ronaldo and Martha Olton celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary. We're all laughing because after the blessing I said "You may kiss the Bride" and they had quite a smooch!

Then the Lovely Mona played Andante Espressivo by Mendelssohn for the Offertory Anthem. It was lovely, like her.

Today we sent out our Lay Eucharistic Visitors for the very first time. We've been working on this for ages, but today they went out, bringing the Reserved Sacrament to our sick and shut-in. Padre is commissioning them in this photo.

It's Pentecost! Many of us were wearing red!

En la Misa a las 10:30 am, we welcomed little Anthony into the Family of God by baptizing him with water en el nombre del Padre, el Hijo, y el Espíritu Santo.

El Señor sea con ustedes

All in all, a wonderful day!

I See You!

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