Theology on Tap

Theology on Tap _Page_1“Theology on Tap” is meeting every Wednesday from 6-8 pm at Grand Trunk Pub on Woodward near Congress in Detroit.  Our current discussions are centered around theologians like Dietrich Bonhoffer and Francis of Assissi and many others.  We share our thoughts on such questions as “When do we pray and to whom,  (God, Christ)?”

Please join us.

Bishop Sutton to Guest Preach at Mariners’

On September 21, 2014 we’ll be welcoming Bishop Ray Sutton as a guest preacher at Mariners’ Church.

The Right Reverend Ray R. Sutton currently serves as Bishop Coadjutor in the Diocese of Mid America of the Reformed Episcopal Church and is Rector of the Church of the Holy Communion in Dallas, Texas. Bishop Sutton is also a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America.

We are very grateful that Bishop Sutton has agreed to preach at both the 8:30 and 11:00am services on Sunday, September 21.

Bible Study

Adult Bible Study

IMG_8753Mariners’ Church Adult Bible Study group meets every Sunday from 10:00 to 10:45 am in the Julia Anderson Room. Discussion is led by participants and moderated by Fr. Bill Fleming. Discover a greater depth and meaning to bible passages than you had imagined. Everyone is welcome; simply bring a King James Version (KJV) Bible for reference. (If you forget, a Bible can be provided.)


St. Patrick

Bishop and Missionary of Ireland
Feast Day, March 17

For all of the green and orange that will be worn, and for all the media coverage, very, very little will be presented about the faith and essential person of Sucat (Welsh for “War-like”), a Romano-Britisher, who became St. Patrick, the courageous missionary to the Irish.

Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland and after whom the Anglican Cathedral in Dublin is named, was born on the northwest coast of Britain in about 390. Patrick’s father, Calpornius, was a Deacon in the Church and an official in the late Roman imperial government of Britain. His paternal grandfather was a priest.

When he was sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by an invading force of pirating Irish slave-traders who had gone on an economic rampage to seek cheap labor and to effect an immediate redistribution of wealth. For six years, Patrick was a slave tending sheep in Ireland.

He tells us that at the time of his captivity, he “knew not the true God.” He had a rebellious heart toward the things of the Holy Spirit. But amid the hardships and solitude of his lot, his faith in our Lord came alive. The Holy teachings that he knew as a boy took flesh and spirit within him. He wrote, “The love of God and His reverence increased more and more, and my faith grew and my spirit was stirred up…”

Patrick experienced the love of God: in those painful, evil, sad, and lonely days of slavery, he found love and redemption. In the face of hell, he received grace to be tough and resilient in that love. After six years, he heard a voice in his sleep that aroused his hopes of seeing his family and which encouraged him to escape. His two-hundred mile circuitous and secretive march to the sea was successful, and he finally returned to his family.

In 432, after study and preparation, Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary.

About his ministry in Ireland, Patrick wrote, “Daily I expect either a violent death… or to be reduced to slavery… But, I have cast myself int the hand of the Almighty God… as the Prophet saith, ‘Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He Himself will sustain thee.’”

Patrick has never been canonized. He is accepted as a calendar saint in our “Lesser Feasts and Fasts,” because of his popular esteem by all Christians.

Regardless of partisan attempts to claim him, Patrick does not belong exclusively to any one part of the “One, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church” of the Creeds.

Throughout 1600 years, the Christian community originally gathered by St. Patrick has persisted, and Irish Anglicans, who belong to one of the oldest national churches in the world, will be found worshiping in ancient buildings a thousand years old or in modern churches completed no more than a few years ago.

Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant Patrick to be the apostle to the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of thee: Grant us so to walk in that light that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

- Lesser Feasts and Fasts

DAC Feature Article on Mariners’ Church

Joseph Cabadas of the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) wrote a wonderful four page feature article on  Mariners’ Church. With information and pictures provided by Fr. Rich, Mr. Cabadas was able to expertly summarize a bit of Mariners’ history along with member connections to the DAC, including Ivan Ludington, who for many years presented the Captain Lewis Ludington Award at Mariners’ Blessing of the Fleet services.

DAC Feature Article

Musical Offerings In Holy Week Services

The careful observance of Holy Week rituals, from Palm Sunday through Easter, is one of the beautiful experiences offered by Mariners’ Church to our regular worshippers, to our many visitors, and to the life of the greater Detroit metropolitan area. I was asked to prepare this brief description of the four principal days on which we have musical services in Holy Week.

The Palm Sunday Liturgy begins with the organ sounding forth Bach’s Fantasia on All glory, laud and honour. The Choir sings Thomas Weelkes’ (1576-1623) six-part anthem, Hosanna to the Son of David. The Palms are blessed, the Gospel account of the Triumphal Entry is read, and the Processional Hymn, All glory, laud and honor is sung by all. Clergy, Acolytes, Choir and Church School Students circle the Nave of the Church, carrying their palm branches as they sing.

Our attention then moves to the coming events of Holy Week, with the reading of the Prayer Book’s Propers of the Day (pp. 134-137). The Gospel lesson, the Passion of our Lord According to St. Matthew, is read responsively by clergy and people. At the Offertory, the Choir sings Kenneth Leighton’s (1929-1988) deeply moving anthem, Solus ad victimam, the 11 century text of which is a meditation on the journey upon which the Saviour is about to embark, “alone to sacrifice thou goest, Lord, giving thyself to death, whom thou hast slain….”

As the assembled worshippers receive Holy Communion, the Choir sings a motet by Felice Anerio (1560-1614), a setting of a portion of the Epistle of the Day, “Christ…humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross….” The service concludes with the singing of the hymn, Ride on, ride on in majesty, and the organ plays the first movement of Vierne’s First Symphony, a fittingly somber prelude to the continued contemplations of the events of Holy Week.

On Maundy Thursday, before and after the Liturgy which commemorates the Institution of the Holy Communion, the organ plays chorale preludes by Bach and Brahms, based upon the Eucharistic hymn, Deck thy self, my soul, with gladness, Hymnal no. 210. A member of the choir sings settings of poetic meditations on the Lord’s sacrifice. The Epistle of the Day recalls the Lord’s Institution of the Sacrament, and the Gospel recounts his assuming the role of the Servant in the Washing of the Disciples’ Feet.

The Three Hour Service on Good Friday is a truly moving “waiting and watching with our Lord” during the time he hung and suffered on the Cross. At the stroke of Noon, the Choir chants Psalm 51, “Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness….” Prayers are said before the bare Altar, and the Seven Last Words of our Saviour are recounted and Psalms are read in the light of those Words. Hymns interspersed with the readings include In the Cross of Christ I glory, There is a green hill far away, and The King of Love my Shepherd is. The Choir sings Antonio Lotti’s (1667-1740) 8-part setting of the phrase from the Creed, “He was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried.” Further prayers conclude this portion of the service.

The ancient form of disciplined meditation known as the Stations of the Cross follows . The hymn, When I survey the wondrous cross, is followed by the ancient plainsong hymn, Stabat mater. Choir, Clergy and Acolytes make the journey to each station, led by the Crucifix veiled in black. Prayers, scripture quotations, brief meditations and a sung response, “Holy God….have mercy upon us,” take place at each of the Fourteen Stations which surround the Nave. After the Seventh Station, the hymn, Ah, Holy Jesus is sung (Hymnal no. 71). After the Fourteenth Station, the ancient Act of Contrition is recited, and the Choir sings words from the Book of Common Prayer, “O Saviour of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us; Save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord,” to music which I composed in 1991 for this service. The hymn, We sing the praise of him who died, concludes this portion of the service.

The organ sounds forth Bach’s Chorale Prelude on O Sacred Head, sore wounded, and the Good Friday Communion Liturgy follows. For the Epistle, a passage from the prophet Isaiah is read, in which the suffering of the Saviour is foretold. The Choir sings Tomas Victoria’s (1548-1611) beautiful setting of words from the book of Lamentations, “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there by any sorrow like unto my sorrow.” The Passion of our Lord according to St. J ohn is read responsively by clergy and people. The hymn, Were you there when they crucified my Lord, is sung as the Cross is brought into the Sanctuary and displayed near the Altar. The Choir sings the ancient Reproaches, (“O my people, what have I done unto you?”) as the clergy and people venerate the Cross, culminating in the singing of the plainsong hymn, Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle.

The Prayer for the Whole State of Christ’s church follows, and the Confession is followed by the Absolution, as in all services of Holy Communion. According to ancient tradition, the sacred Bread and Wine are from the Reserved Sacrament, thus the Consecration is omitted on Good Friday. As the people receive the Sacrament at the altar rails, the Choir sings Leighton’s setting of Phineas Fletcher’s 1633 hymn, Drop, drop, slow tears.

After the Communion, Psalm 22 is read in unison; the first verse of this Psalm was quoted by Christ from the Cross, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? The Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion is recited by all. The Passion Chorale, O sacred head, sore wounded, is sung by all, including a powerful stanza expressing gratitude to Christ for His dying sorrow, pledging our undying love as our grateful response to his Great Gift. Concluding prayers are recited in unison, and the service concludes as it began, with the words of Psalm 51, set to music by William Byrd (1543-1623). As the worshippers remain to meditate and pray in silence, the Bell tolls 33 times, concluding at exactly Three O’clock.

On Easter Day, the Liturgy celebrating our Lord’s Resurrection opens with Buxtehude’s jubilant Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne. The great Easter Hymn, Jesus Christ is risen today, is sung in procession, with a festive descant on the final stanza. Before the reading of Gospel account of the Resurrection from St. John’s 20th chapter, the great hymn of Christ’s triumph over death, Jesus lives! Thy terrors now Can no more O death enthrall us, is sung, again with a rousing descant. After the Creed is recited, an ancient response is proclaimed by the Choir, “Alleluia! The Lord is Risen. He is risen indeed, Alleluia!”

At the Offertory, the Choir sings Samuel Sebastian Wesley’s (1810-1876) extended setting of words from St. Peter’s First Epistle: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

After the Consecration of the sacred Elements of the Communion, the Choir chants selected verses from St. Paul’s Epistles collectively known as The Easter Anthems: “Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the Feast….” As the congregation receives the Sacrament, the Choir sings John Taverner’s (1490-1545) setting of words from St. Mark’s account of the Resurrection, Dum transisset Sabbatum, with its thrice-repeated Alleluia! Hallelujah, from Handel’s Messiah, follows the Prayer of Thanksgiving, and Arthur Sullivan’s great hymn-tune for “Welcome, happy morning” is our collective joyous response to the Easter Liturgy. The justly famous Toccata from Widor’s Fifth Symphony, with its joyous bell-like cascading arpeggios, is played on the Organ as we go out to spread the joyful news of the Lord’s triumph to the world so very much in need of this saving Word.