By Fr. Sean McDermott
To start off this week, I thought it would be helpful to share some things to read, listen, watch for this fifth in Lent. First off, here are some sermons from Passion Sunday.
From Fr. Glenn at All Saints in Charlottesville, VA:
From Bishop Chad at St. Barnabas in Dunwoody, GA:
In addition, click here for Fr. Oldfield's sermon and here for Fr. Wesley Walker's. And if those were not edifying enough, you can always head over to Lectionary Central and see what the Church Fathers and many others said about this past Sunday's readings.
Now that we have entered Passiontide, there is an evident change both musically and liturgically that we are sadly missing. I would advise that you go over to Cantica Sacra and read Ken Myers' overview of the music from this past Sunday, Passion Sunday. In that piece, he shares a wonderful LP that has a variety of music from Passiontide. Hope you enjoy:
For this week, Keble wrote a wonderful poem that focuses on the Morning Prayer readings through Exodus. Enjoy:
And Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned. Exodus iii.3.
TH' historic Muse, from age to age, Thro' many a waste heart-sickening page Hath trac'd the works of Man: But a celestial call to-day Stays her, like Moses, on her way, The works of GOD to scan.
Far seen across the sandy wild, Where, like a solitary child, He thoughtless roam'd and free, One towering thorn was wrapt in flame; Bright without blaze it went and came: Who would not turn and see?
Along the mountain ledges green The scatter'd sheep at will may glean The Desert's spicy stores: The while, with undivided heart, The shepherd talks with God apart, And, as he talks, adores.
Ye too, who tend Christ's wildering flock, Well may ye gather round the rock That once was Sion's hill; To watch the fire upon the mount Still blazing, like the solar fount, Yet unconsuming still.
Caught from that blaze by wrath divine, Lost branches of the once-lov'd vine, Now wither'd, spent, and sear, See Israel's sons, like glowing brands, Tost wildly o'er a thousand lands For twice a thousand year.
God will not quench nor slay them quite, But lifts them like a beacon light Th'apostate Church to scare: Or like pale ghosts that darkling roam, Hovering around their ancient home, But find no refuge there.
Ye blessed Angels! if of you There be, who love the ways to view Of Kings and Kingdoms here; (And sure, 'tis worth an Angel's gaze, To see, throughout that dreary maze, God teaching love and fear:)
Oh say, in all the bleak expanse, Is there a spot to win your glance, So bright, so dark as this? A hopeless faith, a homeless race, Yet seeking the most holy place, And owning the true bliss?
Salted with fire they seem, to shew How spirits lost in endless woe May undecaying live. Oh sickening thought! yet hold it fast Long as this glittering world shall last, Or sin at heart survive.
And hark! amid the flashing fire, Mingling with tones of fear and ire, Soft Mercy's undersong, 'Tis Abraham's God who speaks so loud, His people's cries have pierc'd the cloud, He sees, He sees their wrong;
He is come down to break their chain; Though never more on Sion's fane His visible ensign wave; 'Tis Sion, wheresoe'er they dwell, Who, with His own true Israel, Shall own Him strong to save.
He shall redeem them one by one, Where'er the world-encircling sun Shall see them meekly kneel: All that He asks on Israel's part, Is only, that the captive heart Its woe and burthen feel.
Gentiles! with fix'd yet awful eye Turn ye this page of mystery, Nor slight the warning sound: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet‹ "The place where man his God shall meet, "Be sure, is holy ground."
Fr. Sean McDermott is Curate at All Saints Anglican in Charlottesville, VA and Editor in Chief of Earth & Altar.