Category Archives: General

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

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.

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

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)

Grace Before a Meal

Looking for grace to say before a meal? How about one of these short prayers from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer…

BLESS, O Father, thy gifts to our use and us to thy service; for Christ’s sake. Amen.

– or –

GIVE us grateful hearts, our Father, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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.”

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.


Welcome to the first-ever Mariners’ Church of Detroit Blog.  After much discussion with our Board and other key members of the parish we brainstormed on how to become more socially active with our members and with the metro Detroit community.  We came up with some good ideas…some bad ideas… and eventually landed on a Blog. We want Mariners’ to move into the 21st century in our communications outreach and we want to do whatever we can to bring the outside in.

We want to let you know about what’s going on in the church on a more regular basis, invoke discussions, showcase Mariners’ strong suits and work on its weaknesses, offer thought filled sermons, honor historic memories and encourage the community to embrace the church and all of its members.

We hope you’ll join us on our social media journey and welcome your friends to read along with us.  We’ll be in touch soon, and we hope you’ll be in touch with us.


Fr. Rich Ingalls