New Tolkien Book

So, there is a new book by J. R. R. Tolkien, an apparently unfinished poem about King Arthur.

Amazon’s review:

The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur, king of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skillful achievement in the use of Old English alliterative meter, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, of the great sea battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle.

Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that Tolkien abandoned. He evidently began it in the 1930s, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him, “You simply must finish it!” But in vain: he abandoned it at some unknown date, though there is evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that he “hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur,” but that day never came. ….

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Mass Settings: Missa Marialis

This week’s Mass Settings column features the Missa Marialis, one of my all time favorite Mass Settings. Though I don’t think it was intended this way, I have almost always seen this setting used as a penitential setting for Advent and Lent. For this reason, I don’t think I have ever heard the Gloria piece of this setting sung. (And why it’s not linked below.) It is the Fourth Communion Service for the 1940 Hymnal. The Creed and Lord’s Prayer are omitted from the 1982 Hymnal. (Hymnal citations refer to the 1940 Hymnal, those in parentheses refer to the 1982 Hymnal.)

Kyrie-719 (S 92)

Gloria- 724 (S 203)

Creed- 720

Sanctus/Benedictus- 721 (S 115)

Lord’s Prayer-722

Angus Dei-723 (S 159)

“The love of the Liturgy and the Love of the Least of These”

There’s an interesting article over at The AngloCatholic: The Anglican Patrimony: The Love of the Liturgy and the Love of the Least of These

But I say to you, and I say it to you with all the earnestness that I have, that if you are prepared to fight for the right of adoring Jesus in his Blessed Sacrament, then you have got to come out from before your Tabernacle and walk, with Christ  mystically present in you, out into the streets of this country, and find the same Jesus in the people of your cities and your villages. You cannot claim to worship Jesus in the Tabernacle, if you do not pity Jesus in the slum.

We have to allow ourselves to be transformed by God’s grace. If we go to mass Sunday after Sunday and we aren’t transformed, then we have missed the point. I’m not by any means embracing the “social gospel”, but I think that being part of the Christian Community entails loving and caring for one’s neighbor.

“Welby’s Doomsday warning to feuding church”

The Archbishop of Canterbury has compared the Communion to a drunk man, walking near the edge of a cliff. Courtesy of the Telegraph:

“In his most stark comments yet about divisions over issues such as homosexuality, the Most Rev Justin Welby said the Church is coming perilously close to plunging into a “ravine of intolerance”.

He even drew parallels between the crisis afflicting the 77 million-strong network of Anglican churches and the atmosphere during the English Civil War. [I can see that.]

And he likened the collective behaviour of the church to a “drunk man” staggering ever closer to edge of a cliff.

Yet he added that many of the issues over which different factions in the church are fighting are simply “incomprehensible” to people outside it. [Possibly because we’ve done a poor job catechizing those in our parishes, much less those outside. But also, our values aren’t supposed to be the values of the world. Conflicts over women’s ordination and same sex marriage don’t make sense if sacraments and scriptures aren’t part of your metanarrative.]

His comments came during a recent sermon in Monterrey, Mexico, which he was visited as part of a plan to travel to every province of the Anglican Communion at the start of his ministry.”

Read the rest here.

Do you think his comparison is overly dramatic? Or, are there indeed similarities between the Pre-Civil War church and the modern church?

Church Websites

Church websites are an interesting thing. Some churches don’t see the need for them. Others put a great deal of effort (and sometimes money) into their site. Take for example, Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Il or St. Peter’s Tallahassee, FL. I’m not going to say that having a website is a magical key to parish growth- it, like any tool, has to be used wisely. But, I think they help. I know that when we moved to Wisconsin, the way we looked for a church was by searching “anglican” in Google maps for this area. We then looked at the websites and made a choice about visiting based on that.

One of the tasks I was given as part of my field assignment was the redesign on Holy Apostle’s website. It’s given me an appreciation for the development of website content and how a church’s website helps to determine the “brand”, so to speak, of a particular parish. This is the website I have built: Holy Apostles Anglican Church

I will be adding more content as it is developed. Any comments? Ideas? Criticisms?

Singing Nuns

There have been a couple of successful albums featuring nuns recently. As you can imagine, I like this very much.


First was the album, Advent at Ephesus, recorded by the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of Apostles:



These same sisters then released Angels and Saints at Ephesus:



Now, the Domincan Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist have released Mater Eucharistiae. The album debuted at #2 on the iTunes classical chart, and reached #3 overall in Amazon’s music sales on the second day. You can watch a video about these nuns and their music below.