Season after Pentecost, 2023
On Saturday I attended an ordination service at the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington, D.C. As I sat in the immense gothic building I found myself meditating on the name of the cathedral, it's architecture, and our purpose there that day.
I love ordinations for the same reason that I love volcanos: they're glowing bright red with the hotness of newly created, creative substance. If you've ever seen a lava flow that moves into the ocean, you know the hiss of bright white steam as the lava quickly cools and hardens into land. The same effect, I imagine, is present with the Holy Spirit when we ordain deacons, priests, and bishops. There's a brightness, a transformation, and then there's something new.
And contemplating this during the service I realized that this kind of energy is not temporary. It is the ongoing and holy work of God's people.
The Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul has two massive towers, one named for Peter and one named for Paul.
Tangent: The one named for Paul has ties to my former employer, Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, having been given by Eli Lilly, a former vestryman of that parish, and one who ensured its future. But that's another story.
The two towers of the saints -- one who confessed Jesus, and one who was converted by Jesus -- flank the entrance.
And the Church itself springs out of this ongoing tension between those who confess and those who ask. It surely exists for both.
Liturgical Kalendar Tangent: Incidentally, it's no coincidence that these two Epiphanies, Peter's confession and Paul's conversion, fall one week apart on the calendar, and both occur during the Epiphany season. And the ecumenical observance of the octave is known as The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. A further suggestion that these two poles offer something definitive about the nature of the church.
In her sermon on Saturday, Bishop Marian Budde charged the ordinands to devote some of their time to the "new". A corrective to the Episcopal tradition which can easily be faulted for leaning more toward Peter than toward Paul.
If we do that, we fall down.
So I don't mean getting all wishy-washy and hippy-dippy and saying "Jesus is whoever you want him to be, man", but really living in that tension between our Creed and our Catechism.
Who do we believe that Jesus is? And what answer do we give to those who ask?
More importantly, as charged by Bishop Budde, how do we hear the questions being asked beyond our church walls?
If my architectural reading of the cathedral in Washington is any model for ministry, then we must continually form that sacred space that consists of those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and those who ask the question, "who are you?"
The page you're reading is part of Sinden.org
©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet
Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?
Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption
Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida
The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.
Questions? Problems? email the sexton.
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Zachary Wadsworth | composer
Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the Green (New Haven CT)
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.