Virtual worship

This past Sunday (22 March 2020) was my first experiment at virtual worship. As the leader, it felt odd to stand in an empty church, and read all the words. I don’t know what the experience was like on the other end (and I haven’t got the courage to go watch myself!). Preaching was a very different experience. Usually, it feels like a dialog, as I follow the reactions on the faces of the people present. Without that, I was much more dependent on my manuscript.

Continue reading “Virtual worship”

Drive-by communion

In this weird time, I’ve heard people asking about the possibility of drive-by communion, ya know, like Ashes to Go. Theologically, I have some real issues with the idea.

In the tenth century, a major shift took place in Latin Christendom. A ‘debate’ took place between Paschasius Radbertus and Ratramnus of Corbie. Up until that debate the phrase ‘corpus verum’ (the real body) referred to the Church, and the phrase ‘corpus mysticum’ (the mystical body) referred to the bread and wine of the eucharist. After that debate, those referents of those phrases switched: corpus verum began to refer to the bread of the eucharist (cf. the hymn ‘Ave verum corpus’ – a twelfth century hymn), and ‘corpus mysticum’ began to refer to the Church.

Continue reading “Drive-by communion”


Bishop Duncan-Probe of the Diocese of Central New York has asked us to suspend in-person worship after services yesterday (March 15, Third Sunday in Lent). As I stood at the altar giving voice to the eucharistic prayers of our little congregation, I caught my breath a couple of times, thinking this would be the last time we would break bread together for who knows how long.

Continue reading “COVID-19”

Jesus Christ, Superstar

Being prevented by a kidney stone from presiding (let alone attending) the Good Friday Proper Liturgy with the reading of St. John’s Passion, the Solemn Collects and the Veneration of the Cross, I decided to listen to Jesus Christ, Superstar. I remember our Nazarene pastor scandalizing the congregation by listening to this with the youth group — you know, rock and roll came pretty close to being the devil’s music back then. And while I still enjoy the music, and find that it holds up pretty well as a rock opera (may have to listen to Tommy next), I find I’m no longer impressed by the theology.

Firstly, it is colored Continue reading “Jesus Christ, Superstar”