Ascensiontide hymns #1 and #2

The first in a series of seven (would be eight, but it’s seven since it’s the day after Ascension) posts on Ascensiontide music.


My favorite Ascentiontide hymn is Hail The Day That Sees Him Rise. I discovered yesterday as we were processing in for Mass that there is a second tune. Having searched on youtube, I realized that one tune is used far more often than the other. I must admit that the tune Ascension is growing on me, though I think for ease of singing I would probably use Llanfair as the default tune. (You can buy the Llanfair version in The Complete New English Hymnal. has the following note:

Considered to be the most popular of all Ascension texts in English-language worship, “Hail the Day” was written by Charles Wesley (PHH 267) in ten stanzas and published in his Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739). Thomas Cotterill (b. Cannock, Staffordshire, England, 1779; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1823) altered the text and published his version in Selection of Psalms and Hymns (1820); the “alleluias” were added in George White’s Hymns and Introits (1852). Included here with further alterations are original stanzas 1, 2, 4, 6, and 10.

“Hail the Day” sings out its “alleluias” for Christ’s triumphal entry into glory after he accomplished his saving work on earth (st. 1-2) and for Christ’s work of interceding and preparing a place for his people (st. 3-4). The text concludes by hailing the great day when we shall rule with Christ (st. 5).





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Friday Link Salad

Things are still getting back on track, schedule wise. So, here’s another Friday Link Salad that’s a little short. I’ve got some regular posts back on for next week.

Blog Recap


Holy Orders Task Force Report

Update and Thoughts


Theological/Philosophical/and the like links


Perversion As Progress

Abolish Ordinary Time


Random News Articles I think are interesting 


Fed up with Penn Station? Build a transit hub in Queens

A Canadian Town Wanted a Transit System. It Hired Uber.


Books and things

York: The Shadow Cipher

Leaving Berlin: A Novel

Confessions of a New York Taxi Driver


Disclaimer: Amazon links are Amazon Associate links. 





Holy Orders Task Force Report

The ACNA Holy Orders Task Force has completed its study and issued its final report. The Announcement may be read here, along with an admonition from their Archbishop:

As your Archbishop, I ask the following from you:

1) Don’t comment on the report until you have read it all.
2) Don’t comment on the report until you can fairly articulate the opposite point of view.
3) Remember that no decisions have been made at this time to pursue changing our
4) Remember that we are all followers of Jesus Christ on mission together, holding those
with the opposite point of view in Christian love and charity.
5) Lastly, sincerely pray for your bishops as we seek to serve Jesus Christ in this matter.


I think the Archbishop’s requests are reasonable. Though I’m not subject to his jurisdiction, I will go along and not comment here on this report until I’ve had a chance to read through it, though I won’t avoid the issue if it comes up.


Update and Thoughts

I haven’t put anything up on the blog this week. It’s not that I have nothing to say, indeed I have a lot to say (or rather, write). My grandmother died on Friday night. I’m doing the funeral and I’ve been focusing on that mostly, and family logistics, outside of my regular pastoral duties.

So, coming down the pipeline, I have some theological posts, one on the question of whether or not the ACNA Texts for Common Prayer is a successor to the 1979 Prayer Book or not, and another on The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

I’ve also got a book review coming for June, this one on The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. Not theological, but that’s part of the charm of this blog. 🙂

For now, I’ve put together a graveside funeral service, and I’m writing a homily. That’s the interesting part of it. Some, perhaps many, of those attending will be Pentecostal Holiness. The last funeral I preached, I made reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to John Chrysostom (specifically his Paschal homily), and to the sacraments. In this particular case, my challenge has been to stay true to my own convictions and catholic theology while at the same time making the sermon understandable and not off putting to those in attendance. In other words, how can I best preach to reach those present with the gospel? This might itself deserve a blog post.


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Friday Link Salad

This blog has gone up later than expected. I have a private prayer intention; if you would please remember it in your own prayers.


Blog Recap

Thoughts on “Third places”

This school is trashing all its textbooks

May Book Review: De Incarnatione


Theological/Philosophical/and the like links

When I presented Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI with his 90th Birthday Di Clara vestments.

I teach philosophy at Columbia. But some of my best students are inmates.


Random News Articles I think are interesting 

Genoa Isn’t Rome or Florence. That’s Part of Its Charm.

Drinking Four Cups of Coffee Is Probably Safe (They’ve not been at Nashotah House)

What Anthony Bourdain Can’t Travel Without    (Hey, he likes Moleskines! I approve.)


Books and things

Leaving Berlin: A Novel

Confessions of a New York Taxi Driver


Disclaimer: Amazon links are Amazon Associate links. 

Thoughts on “Third places”

So, this morning I have a meeting which is across town, so I’m sitting at a Panera Bread Bakery with my laptop and a cup of coffee.


Coffee shops are an interesting type of “third place“. In a way, they’re all very similar, perhaps even copies of each other, and in some ways they’re unique places. Actually, I don’t think that the coffee shops themselves provide much of the difference; rather, that comes, I think, from the people who are there. Sure, one starbucks is much like another Starbucks, and the same goes for Panera Bread (my coffee shop of choice, at least where I am now). Some of the indie shops have some character. But I do think on some level, the environment in any given coffee shop is greatly affected by the people there as much as the branding of the shop.

So, for example, the Panera location that I normally use is located close to Fort Jackson, and it is often very quiet (and conducive to getting work done) until around lunch time, when Army and Navy personnel flood in. The one that I’m working at today is close to downtown, state government offices, and the University of South Carolina. As a result, there’s a lot more foot traffic, and a more diverse crowd.

I tend to use Panera for working on things like my parish newsletter, Sunday bulletins, and sometimes sermons. Those can be a little more difficult to do away from my office because I don’t usually carry a library with me. I could go digital all the way with the kindle, but even then sometimes I use things that either aren’t on kindle or are just easier  to use in a paper book format. Plus I underline. A lot. So, for example, when I was using Athanasius’ On the Incarnation for my Annunciation sermon, I could easily have had the text in a digital format without even taking my kindle, since it is online. However, I like to underline and take marginal notes. So, I do sometimes find myself at a table with a small stack of books.

Just my thoughts for the day. If you like what you read, share this post and let others like it too, and leave comments below.


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This school is trashing all its textbooks

See article here: This school is trashing all its textbooks


Courtesy, New York Post 

Apparently there is a school in New York City which is embracing a brave new world, one which I’m not sure I would want to embrace myself. To quote the New York Post:

In a scene out of “Fahrenheit 451,” administrators at Life Sciences Secondary School have ordered all textbooks rounded up and removed — calling them “antiquated,” sources say.

Principal Kim Swanson and Assistant Principal Derek Premo, who launched the ban, “really frown upon the use of books,” an insider told The Post.

I’m all about tech. Really, I am. I do not own a phone book. I literally throw them away the moment they arrive at my house. They are more trouble than they are worth. My television is piped in over the internet, mostly through Netflix. My watch, phone, and laptop all talk to each other. Ironically enough, I own and use a kindle. I, like many others my age and younger, exist in a digital world.

And yet, there is something about physical books that is important that I think we shouldn’t be willing to lose. Aside from the question of staring at an iPad screen for hours on end (this is obviously negated with e-ink screens, such a those on a kindle), there are questions of content which hasn’t been digitized, browsing methods (you cant stroll through digital stacks nearly as easily as you can a physical library), preservation of the material (which is really a toss up, given that there are pros and cons both ways), and availability of the text.

In this particular situation, it seems that there was some poor planning.

While the administrators tout “modern technology” over books, they have failed to provide the necessary equipment, the staffer said.

“Most classrooms have only two computers, and not all are hooked up to the Internet. Our hands are tied, and not having books has not helped the cause.”

You can’t take the books away and replace them with hopes for a modern world. It’s a huge disservice to the children and the families of those children. That said, there is apparently disagreement about the actual execution of this changeover.

Principal Swanson did not return messages. Department of Education spokesman Michael Aciman said the chucked volumes were “outdated and no longer aligned to the school’s current curriculum or New York State Learning Standards,” adding that students “have access to current, updated” books.

A school staffer called the DOE’s statement “a blatant lie.”

Ultimately, I think probably the best way for schools and libraries to approach this is not to fully embrace the e-reader/tablet wave (ebook sales are falling, after all) nor to throw the books out. Can’t you have both? Sometimes an ebook is better and sometimes a physical book is more appropriate. Why make it an either/or situation?