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Should We Still Sing This?

Posted by Jason, November 4, 2015

It recently was revealed that a deceased Bishop in the Church of the England had committed a terrible offense during his time as Bishop. He was much beloved by many and quite popular at the time of his death. In fact, he has the equivalent of a Feast Day in the Church of England. The latest news is likely to result in the removal of his Feast Day.

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God of our silent tears

Posted by Jason, June 24, 2015

Last week, I attended the annual convention of the Association of Anglican Musicians. As many of you know, this is one of my favorite weeks of the year – getting new ideas from my colleagues and friends and experiencing truly transformational worship. The singing is always unlike anything I’ve ever heard anywhere. On Thursday, the mood was a bit subdued as we were all shocked and horrified at the events that took place in Charleston on Wednesday evening. In the quiet before our closing Eucharist, I opened the hymnal and read the marvelous words to hymn #599 with fresh eyes.

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For the means of grace, and for the hope of glory

Posted by Jason, March 4, 2015

One of my favorite prayers found in The Book of Common Prayer is one that we pray at Evensong. It is known as The General Thanksgiving. The poetic language moves me at each recitation.

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Striving for Excellence

Posted by Jason, January 21, 2015

I have just returned from Chicago where I attended a conference hosted at St. James' Cathedral. The title of the conference was "Cultivating Excellence in Liturgy, Music, and Preaching: A Conference for Musicians and Clergy." This concept came from an inspiring sermon delivered by The Rt. Rev. Eugene Sutton, Bishop of Maryland, last summer as part of the annual conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians. Bishop Sutton spoke of the need for the Episcopal Church to return to its identity of being known for its excellence at worship. He urged us to create a new three-legged stool for our church based on liturgy, music, and preaching. Strength in all three of these, not just one or two, but in all three, he believes, will stop our membership decline and help us reach more people with the great news of the Gospel of Jesus.

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Sing to the Lord a new song!

Posted by Jason, October 15, 2014

This past Sunday, we sang two hymns by Richard Dirksen who for many years served as Canon Precentor at Washington National Cathedral. Even though the hymns are in The Hymnal 1982 and have been around for nearly 40 years, I suspect most people would still consider them to be “new.” Although, I’m 40 and people long ago stopped referring to me as “new.”

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Death do us part

Posted by Jason, September 17, 2014

Over the past several months, I’ve played for a number of non-Episcopal funerals at off-site locations. I’m always willing to play for these extra services, and my student loan debt appreciates the help. At the most recent one, I seemed to have been the only one involved with the service who had any concern for order and planning. At times, I wanted to just yell out, “Let’s just get out the Book of Common Prayer and go with it!”

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We Will!

Posted by Heather, June 4, 2014

It was a rock concert Sunday! Last Sunday was our annual visit from the Bishop, which this time was our diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston. Bishops are expected to do many things on their annual visitations to churches: in worship to baptize, confirm, receive into the Anglican Communion, reaffirm, and celebrate the Eucharist, as well as connect with vestries, clergy, and the whole congregation. Bishop Shannon did a wonderful job of being very present and available for all of Christ Church and I am thankful to God for his ministry and the gifts that he shared with us.

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The Power of Communion

Posted by Heather, February 19, 2014

We have been using Eucharistic prayer C during the season after the Epiphany this year at our 9:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 5:00 p.m. services. This Eucharistic prayer is different from the others in the Book of Common Prayer in a variety of ways, including the amount of praying out loud that the congregation does in the celebrating of the Eucharist.

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Papa don’t preach?

Posted by Jason, February 5, 2014

I play two services each week at Virginia Theological Seminary. I enjoy this opportunity; there’s always something I learn from each service whether it’s something musical, from the sermon or from the liturgy itself. 

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What is your favorite part of the Book of Common Prayer?

Posted by Heather, January 15, 2014

I was visiting the Sunday school classrooms this past Sunday. It was the first Sunday in a new unit for the first through fifth graders. The topic of this unit is the Book of Common Prayer. Some classes wrote a collect. Some classes matched music to different sections of the BCP. And in the art class I was asked a tricky question: What is my favorite part of the Book of Common Prayer?

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