Author Archives: Fr. Rich Ingalls

wreath“O Most merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (Thanksgiving Collect from the 1928 BCP, p. 265)

Please note that the church office will be closed this Thursday and Friday, and that there will be no 12:10 pm service on Thursday.

Lifting Up Detroit in Prayer

June 1, 2011

The Honorable Dave Bing
Mayor of the City of Detroit
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
2 Woodward Ave., Ste. 1126
Detroit, MI  48226

Re:  Lifting Up Detroit in Prayer

Dear Mayor Bing,

It has been several months since you met Fr. Paul Innes at the Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church Men’s Breakfast.  At that time, he informed you that we at Mariners’ Church were praying for you and the Council to restore Detroit to its former greatness.  We have prayed fervently that divine guidance will be provided to inspire that restoration.With that in mind, we look to scripture for inspiration:  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).

This verse is emblazoned on the Great Symbol Wall behind the statue of The Spirit of Detroit and it illustrates the intent and symbolism of the art commissioned in 1955 during the great renewal of Detroit.  This was from a time when men did not speak only what is politically correct or expedient for public approval. This was a time when men recognized the need for moral decency, integrity, honesty, and a relationship with God.

There is a unique link and bond between The Spirit of Detroit and Mariners’ Church.  When the statue was commissioned, in 1955, it was also a year of significant change for Mariners’ Church.  Rather than impede Detroit’s Civic Center renewal, Mariners’ was lifted and moved to make way for the construction of the Veterans Memorial Building and Hart Plaza. When all other structures in the vicinity were razed, Mariners’ was saved from the wrecking ball by a community of believers, a family led by the Spirit of God; that same Spirit symbolized by The Spirit of Detroit.

Mayor Bing, we at Mariners’ recognize the crisis you and the Council face and it was through prayerful reflection we determined that there is a need for confirming action that demonstrates our commitment to God’s intervention and support of your office and the Council. Therefore, it is in the spirit of hope and grace that a daily prayer vigil will be undertaken throughout June 2011 at the City County Building. There will be a priest of Mariners’ praying at The Spirit of Detroit at some point every day this month.

We mourn the loss of financial freedom and the City’s decline which was triggered by corruption and evil intent.  It is our desire that the Spirit of God will bind up and remove any forces of evil that remain.  We look with hope to the future, entrusting all things to God, and praying for our elected leaders.

Following this month-long daily vigil, our congregation will process, on July 3rd following our 11a.m. worship service, to the plaza in front of The Spirit of Detroit and offer prayers and hymns to the Glory of God as an offering reclaiming Detroit.  It is also the beginning of a year-long prayer devotion that will be offered for the City and its elected officials each week during our regular Sunday worship.  We will also be partnering with other Detroit churches as they publicly lift up Detroit in prayer.  For example, we will be joining Pastor Edward Branch’s congregation, from Third New Hope Baptist Church, as they worship on Hart Plaza on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

Mayor Bing, the days of deceit, immorality and corruption are over, and we support you and your Council’s new agenda, but you cannot do it alone. We are partnering with the City, petitioning God for the Lord’s intervention and support of your work in achieving the promise of prosperity and a better future for Detroit.


Fr. Richard W. Ingalls, Jr., Rector of Mariners’ Church
Fr. Paul A. Innes, Assisting Priest

Mariners’ Church of Detroit Hosts the 36th Annual Navy League Sunday

An anticipated 80 uniformed teenage Sea Cadets will be at the helm and onboard two Navy Sea Cadet Corps training ships, the Grayfox and the Pride of Michigan, as they sail into Detroit Sunday (May 1) for the 36th annual Navy League Sunday at Mariners’ Church of Detroit. The annual event, organized in conjunction with the Detroit Women’s Council of the Navy League of the United States, honors the youth in the Sea Cadet Corps, and is sponsored by several Navy League Councils of both the U.S. and Canada.

The Sea Cadet program teaches young men and women everything from scrubbing the decks to repairing the engines of the former navy ships on which they train. The military-style training and discipline give the Cadets added purpose in their lives. More than two-thirds of Sea Cadet graduates have moved on to higher levels of training and education. In addition the enrolling in ROTC programs at colleges and universities, former Sea Cadets have gone on to graduate from the Naval and Coast Guard Academies. Others have enlisted directly into the Navy, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps.

“The Navy League celebration is a real highlight of the Mariners’ Church year,” said Rev. Richard W. Ingalls, Jr., Rector of the church and Chaplain of both the Grayfox and the Pride of Michigan. “It’s fun to see these young men and women in their dress blues, standing at attention on the deck with the flags blowing in the breeze. And it’s especially worthwhile because many of these kids are from at-risk backgrounds and the Sea Cadet program gives them a new sense of purpose and hope and pride.”

The Pride of Michigan will leave its berth on the Clinton River, and the Grayfox will steam out of Port Huron, early Sunday morning, arriving at Hart Plaza at approximately 9:30 a.m. The church service will begin at 11 a.m. Commander Peter Egeli, USN, Commanding Officer of the Michigan Navy Recruiting District, will speak during the service and the cadets will conduct tours of the vessels following the service. The public is invited to attend both the church service and the tours.

Mariners’ Church is a state and national historic landmark, and is the oldest structure on the Detroit riverfront. The church is located at 170 E. Jefferson Avenue at the entrance to the Windsor Tunnel. Free parking is available in the Ford Auditorium Underground Garage. Entrance to the Garage is in the median strip of Jefferson Avenue, at Woodward Avenue.

The “Gesima” Sundays

Every year, at some point roughly midway between Christmas and Easter, we find the Sundays in our Book of Common Prayer designated by those big “Gesima” words — Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima. Originally there was also a Quadragesima Sunday but that is now called the First Sunday in Lent.

Those designations are quite different in character from the names of most special Holy Days. Christmas, Good Friday, Ascension, and Transfiguration — all these have reference to some special religious event. Beginning with Septuagesima Sunday, they mark the Sundays which are seventy, sixty, and fifty, days before Easter. Quinquagesima Sunday is exactly fifty days before Easter; all the others are approximations, actually a few days off by the secular calendar.

So, why are these days important? They are important because they remind us that Easter approaches and that the Lenten Season of penitence, review and preparation for the Resurrection, the event that marks the gift of eternal life, are close upon us. The “Gesima” Sundays mark a kind of Pre-Lenten season, a forward extension of Lent itself. These Sundays mark a divide between the joys and thankfulness of Christmas and Epiphany and the introspection of Lent, to be followed by the greatest joy of all at Easter.

Beginning with Septuagesima Sunday, we are reminded that the joy of our Lord’s birth at Christmas and His being shown forth to the Gentiles at Epiphany is beginning to wind down, to be put behind us, as we contemplate the sorrows of our Lord’s coming Passion and Crucifixion and as we try to prepare ourselves for the greatest gift and miracle of the Resurrection, the conquest of death. It is in this sense of subdued preparation for self-examination during Lent, that the “Gesima” Sundays are traditionally marked in Anglicanism by the omission of the glad phrases and strains of the Gloria in Excelsis. The origin of the observance of these Sundays is somewhat obscure, but is at least as ancient as the latter part of the seventh century.

The Collects for Septuagesima and Sexagesima are the ancient ones, slightly modified. They are somber Collects, with references to punishment for our sins and petitions for merciful deliverance from adversity. These Collects seem to reflect in part the temper of the times in which they were originally composed, times of barbarian invasion, of famine, war and pestilence. After thirteen hundred years, these dangers, or kindred ones, are very much present with us, weighing upon our spirits.

Self-examination, repentance, turning to God for forgiveness and salvation — these are the meanings of the three “Gesima” Sundays preceding Lent. Seventy, sixty, and fifty, days until Man’s Salvation conquers death and rises into life everlasting. —The Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen

Saint Matthias The Apostle

Liturgical Day:  February 24

In the nine days of waiting between Jesus’ Ascension and the Day of Pentecost, the disciples remained together in prayer.  During this time, Peter reminded them that the defection and death of Judas had left the fellowship of the Twelve with a vacancy.

The Acts of the Apostles records Peter’s proposal that “of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us, one of them must be ordained to be a witness with us to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).  Two men were nominated, Joseph called Barsabas who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  After prayer, the disciples cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias, who was then enrolled with the eleven.

Nothing further is told of Matthias after his selection.  According to tradition he was an exemplary Apostle, but we know nothing more.  Matthias seems an appropriate example to Christians of one whose faithful companionship with Jesus qualifies him to be a suitable witness to the resurrection, and whose service is unheralded and unsung. –Lesser Feasts and Fasts

O Almighty God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles; Grant that thy Church, being always preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen. –The Collect for St. Matthias the Apostle (Book of Common Prayer, page 233)

First Official Book of Common Prayer is Celebrated on January 21st

Like the King James Version of the Bible, Today’s 1928 Prayer Book Sets the Standard

1928 Book of Common PrayerFor more than four-and-a-half centuries, the traditional Book of Common Prayer (BCP) has been the standard of worship for Anglicans worldwide. One by one, ill-conceived revisions of this great text have been measured against it and have come up short. In England, and elsewhere throughout the Anglican Communion, the 1662 BCP is the traditional edition, as is our similar 1928 BCP in America.

This Friday, January 21, we celebrate the day that Parliament enacted the Act of Uniformity of Edward VI, making Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer the official order of worship in the Church of England.

Over the centuries, minor revisions have been made, but the language has varied only slightly; the core doctrine not at all. The most recent of the scripture-based classic Prayer Books, the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, stands alone in the American church as the true descendant of Cranmer’s original book. There is no comparison between the elegant, reverent, cadenced language of the 1928 BCP and the dissonant, weakened language of the imitations. With each change, truth and doctrine, along with the beauty of the English language at its best, erode incrementally.

We at Mariners’ Church of Detroit, with members of many different Christian faiths, continue to use the 1928 BCP – and the King James Version of the Holy Bible – exclusively in our worship.

Come and join us this Sunday morning as we worship the Lord “in the beauty of holiness.”

Festival of Lessons and Carols, Epiphany

Please join us this Sunday morning, January 2nd, at 11 o’clock, as we continue our Christmas celebration with the “Festival Service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas.” This beautiful service includes the celebration of Holy Communion where all baptized adult Christians are welcome to receive the holy elements in our beloved “House of Prayer for All People.”

Next Sunday, January 9th, we will be observing The Epiphany, the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.

O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Thanksgiving

wreath“O Most merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (Thanksgiving Collect from the 1928 BCP, p. 265)

Please note that the church office will be closed this Thursday and Friday, and that there will be no 12:10 pm service on Thursday.

Advent and Christmas Holidays at Mariners’

Mark your calendars!

Sunday, November 28, Advent Sunday:
8:30 a.m. — The Holy Communion.
11:00 a.m. —The Festival Service of Lessons and Music for Advent with The Holy Communion.

Thursday, December 2, 9 and 16Thursdays in Advent:
12:10 p.m. — The Holy Communion.
12:35 p.m. — Advent Recitals.

Friday, December 24, Eve of Christmas:  7:30 and 11:00 p.m.
The Festival Choral Eucharist at both services.

Sunday, December 26, St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr:
One only service, 11:00 a.m.
The Holy Communion.

Sunday, January 2, The Second Sunday after Christmas:
8:30 a.m. — The Holy Communion.
11:00 a.m.— The Festival Service of Lessons and
Carols for Christmastide with The Holy Communion.

A printable copy is also available.