Hymn Guide: God Be Merciful To Me

Posted on February 29, 2024
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“God be merciful to me” is a setting of Psalm 51, David’s great hymn of repentance, forgiveness, and faith. More than most hymns and worship songs, it sets forth the stark reality of human sin and turns to God as our only hope for salvation and spiritual renewal. Composed anonymously for the 1912 Psalter, it…

The History of the Lent Collects

Posted on February 20, 2024
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The theme of the Lent collects is human sinfulness and our need for God. We “acknowledge our wretchedness.” We are “tempted,” and our resistance is “weak.” We have “no power in ourselves to help ourselves.” We have “disordered affections” and “unruly wills.” And so, what we need above all is “new and contrite hearts,” for…

Blessed Be the Lord: A Commentary on the Benedictus

Posted on February 15, 2024
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The Daily Office of the Anglican tradition is known for many things. It has elements of rhythmic consistency and lines of beautiful prose. Part of this extraordinary heritage is the use of canticles/songs. These are either said or chanted at different times in Morning and Evening Prayer; many of them come from the very words…

The Collect For Purity: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Posted on February 5, 2024
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The Collect for Purity is one of the gems of Anglican liturgy. It is a prayer both appealing at first glance and also one that invites a depth of reflection: on preparing the heart for worship, on the Trinity, and on the Catholic and Reformed aspects of Anglicanism. It is good we have so much…

Sitting with the Unrepentant Heart

Posted on January 23, 2024
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Morning prayer complete. Emails checked. A cup of hot tea steeps nearby. Outside, snow falls, and the weak winter Alaska sun tries valiantly to peek over the horizon and the puffy, icy clouds—just a hint of gray, a portent that day is almost here. It’s a holiday. Nothing to do. There are no agenda items….

The Good Grief of Advent: Living in the Longing

Posted on December 15, 2023
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“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end…

Psalms and Prayers for Times of War

Posted on October 11, 2023
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How can we pray in times of war? Sadly, this question is always relevant because, on this side of eternity, war is always with us. Jesus himself reminds us that, before his second coming, there will be “wars and rumors of wars” and that “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 25:6-7),…

The Prayer of Humble Access: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Posted on October 14, 2019
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The Prayer of Humble Access is a traditional part of the Anglican service of Holy Communion. I recently learned how beloved the Prayer of Humble Access was to so many Anglicans when I posted about it on Twitter. I posted what I thought was a slightly humorous tweet poll that indicated some questions I have…