Friday, March 24, 2006

solemn evensong and benediction

I just returned from Solemn Evensong and Benediction. "First Vespers" of the Annunciation. Hoozah. What a glorious thing is Solemn Evensong. Definitely one of the things (along with the tippet) worth salvaging from Anglicanism if / when she goes definitively down. And Benediction... glorious, as usual.

Anyhow... ruminating, as I often do, on the condition of the Church, and of the theological innovations being promulgated, the second verse of Hymn 278 was striking. It is striking apart from such ruminations, so that all may appreciate it. Here are the first two verses:

Sing we of the blessed Mother
Who received the angel's word,
And obedient to the summons,
Bore in love the infant Lord;
Sing we of the joys of Mary
At whose breast the child was fed
Who is Son of God eternal
And the everlasting Bread.

Sing we, too, of Mary's sorrows,
Of the sword that pierced her through,
When beneath the cross of Jesus
She his weight of suffering knew,
Looked upon her Son and Savior
reigning from the awful tree,
Saw the price of our redemption
Paid to set the sinner free.

Meditate on that: the Blessed Mother standing at the foot of the cross on which her Son and Savior was struggling for air, so that we could be freed from the penalty of our sin. What sorrow! Do we not scorn the agony of that Son, and the fathomless sorrow of that Mother, do we not deny the desperate necessity of that agony and that sorrow, by denying the mortal reality of our sins? By refusing to admit the applicability of that precious death and that holy sorrow to certain corners of our lives?

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