Liturgical Fabulosity: I (Heart) Episcopalians

Just a little mid-week happy to put a smile on your face (hopefully.)
Sure did it for me. With thanks to Jen Grant.


Sung to the tune of “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”

By Jule Styne (words) and Leo Robin (music)

from Gentelmen Prefer Blondes (1953) starring Marilyn Monroe

“Prayer Book” lyrics written and performed
by Suzanne Guthrie

Christians are glad to die for faith

Delighting in debate and doom

But I prefer a church that Lives

And Gives me wriggle room.

The Ninty-five Theses

Was Quite Continental

But the Prayerbook is a girl’s best friend

The Council of Dort

Would be elemental with its weighty tome

To a sense of home

Outside of Rome.

I can’t take the strain

Of so much on my brain

And we all get senile in the end

Psalm shape or collect shape

These prayers don’t lose their shape

The prayerbook is a girl’s best friend.

[The Litany!…The Eucharist! ]

Protestant thought

Can get complicated

So the Prayerbook is a girl’s best friend.

Some Catholics get fraught

Popes get agitated

When you don’t obey – for Anglicans

That’s not okay!

But a brainy mistake

Won’t send ME to the stake

And on doctrine I’m willing to bend,

“Scripture, Reason, Tradition”

You won’t get ME for sedition

The prayerbook is a girl’s best friend.

[Queen Bess! Gimme some of that Via Media!…Talk to me Tom Cramner!]

There may come a time

When church politics get dire

Then the prayerbook is a girl’s best friend.

There may come a time when

The Diocese requires

You to take a stand

And bravely raise your little hand –

It’ll all be polite –

No need to fist fight

But you’ll want your opinion to blend

I’ll know what to say

When I hear myself pray *

* (spoken) Lex orandi, lex credandi

The prayerbook…The prayerbook

Cramner’s Little Just DO IT, I DARE YA book

The prayerbook – is a girl’s best friend!


Calling all Gracespotters: Thursday night in Chicago (4/29/2010)

Please join me TOMORROW NIGHT, THURSDAY APRIL 29, for a reception beginning at 5:15 p.m. and a discussion about GRACE at 6 p.m. at St. James Cathedral, Huron and Wabash in Chicago.

I’ll be speaking about grace – my favorite subject – from 6 to 6:30 and then I’ll subject myself (willingly) to a thorough grilling by “The Seeker” herself – Chicago Tribune Religion Writer Manya Brachear, from 6:30 to 7 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. If you’re a Facebooker, you can RSVP by clicking on THIS LINK.

Hope to see you there!

Bishop Robinson on “The Daily Show”: Priceless!

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Into the fire …

President Obama, the First Lady and the Bidens began inauguration day at St. John’s Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Square from the White House (and literally across the street from the Hay Adams hotel where the Obama family stayed for a time in run-up to the inauguration before moving into Blair House.)

During the 70-minute service, Bishop TD Jakes preached on a passage from the Book of Daniel:

“Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.”

It’s the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego — three righteous Hebrew young men who angered the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar by refusing to worship a golden image he had created. So he tossed them in the fire – a really really hot fire. But God preserved them.

An interesting choice of scripture for the incoming president to hear before taking his oath of office.

Here’s what the official pool report from inside St. John’s had to say about the worship service at what has become known as “Church of the Presidents” since President James Madison first attended (the 54th pew is reserved for the president):

After a brief reading from Rabbi David N. Saperstein and a solo singing performance by Yolanda Adams, the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell – Pres. George Bush’s spiritual advisor – introduced the speaker: Bishop T.D. Jakes

Jakes read from Daniel 3:19 and used the scripture to offer Obama a series of four lessons for his administration.

1 – “In time of crisis, good men must stand up. God always sends the best men into the worst times.”

2 – “You cannot change what you will not confront. This is a moment of confrontation in this country. There’s no way around it…This is not a time for politeness or correctness, this is a time for people to confront issues and bring about change.”

3 – “You cannot enjoy the light without enduring the heat. The reality is the more brilliant, the more glorious, the more essential the light, the more intense the heat. We cannot separate one from the other.”

4 – “Extraordinary times require extraordinary methods. This is a historical moment for us and our nation and our country, and though we enjoy it and are inspired by it and motivated by it.”

After his four lessons, Jakes turned from the crowd and looked directly at Obama.

“The problems are mighty and the solutions are not simple,” Jakes said, “and everywhere you turn there will be a critic waiting to attack every decision that you make. But you are all fired up, Sir, and you are ready to go. And this nation goes with you. God goes with you.

“I say to you as my son who is here today, my 14-year-old son – he probably would not quote scripture. He probably would use Star Trek instead, and so I say, ‘May the force be with you.”

Monsignor William A. Kerr delivered a brief prayer for Biden and then the Rev. Otis Moss Jr. delivered a blessing for Obama.

Moss Jr. [whose son, Otis Moss III, is pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Obama’s former church home] said: “Give to president Obama a double measure of faith and hope, and the strength to do justice…Give him the sight to see all that needs to be seen and the insight to look beyond the clouds and chaos of the moment and see great joys and possibilities. Let the house where he lives and serves be a house of hope for the nation, a house of joy and affection for his family, and the house of friendship for all nations. We thank you eternal god, for our new president, president elect Obama.”