Sunday Morning at St. Hugh's in Idyllwild, California
Category: General Interest
Items of General Interest about liturgy, the liturgical calendar, church customs and culture, our unique “Episcopal vocabulary,” the intersection of faith and culture, and all other items not fitting into the other categories (or fitting into multiple categories).
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Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program connects, equips and inspires leaders of US dioceses in The Episcopal Church to prepare for hazards that might affect their communities, to mitigate the impact of disasters and to help vulnerable people make a full and sustained recovery.
The US Disaster Program works with diocesan and congregational leadership in areas that have been affected by disasters. We partner with diocesan leaders by providing technical resources and connections to others around the country who have faced similar challenges, as well as access to the Ready to Serve volunteer database. …
ROME (RNS) Ancient frescoes have been rediscovered inside the 1,600-year-old Domitilla catacombs after Italian art experts used laser technology to remove centuries of grit and grime.
The catacombs, or underground cemeteries, are named after a Roman noble family and are considered the most extensive in the Italian capital, drawing thousands of tourists.
The painstaking seven-year restoration, backed by the Vatican, focused on two burial chambers commissioned by successful bakers working in ancient Rome in the fourth century.
The restoration revealed spectacular frescoes showing how wealthy Roman aristocrats abandoned their pagan mythology to embrace Christianity.
Archaeologist Fabrizio Bisconti, head of the Vatican body responsible for ancient archaeology, said many frescoes had been discovered in Rome’s catacombs over the past 25 years.
But he said the latest revelation is significant, as the rooms had been completely covered in a black patina and graffiti.
“With the use of laser, the decorative work of the two chambers is shown in all its splendor, offering us a real discovery, even though the two chambers have been known about for many centuries,” he said.
The Domitilla catacombs are close to the ancient Appian Way and contain an underground basilica and four levels of corridors, chambers and crypts where 150,000 Christians and martyrs were buried. They span more than 10 miles.
The frescoes that were brought to light had been hidden under layers of dirt, algae and smoke left behind by oil lamps.
Using lasers, restorers discovered frescoes of pagan figures as well as biblical figures such as Moses and Noah on the chambers’ surface.
One ceiling fresco features an image of Jesus on a throne and two men, believed to be saints or Christian martyrs, seated beside him.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, said the catacombs were a reminder of “the passage of conversion to the new faith” and the importance of Domitilla as a Christian burial site.
“Between the third and fourth centuries they welcomed both the common faithful and the martyrs,” Ravasi said in a statement.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, many of the catacombs were forgotten and later raided for their art treasures. They were rediscovered in the 16th century by Antonio Bosio, an archaeologist who loved to leave his name scribbled on the frescoes in charcoal.
A new museum featuring sarcophagi, busts and epitaphs is expected to open at the catacombs this month.
Remembering. Then acting to build a more just future for all.
This day is set aside in the calendar of the church to hold in remembrance those who have died and those whose lives have been severely damaged as a result of acts of genocide: the systematic and intentional destruction of a people by death, by the imposition of severe mental or physical abuse, by the forced displacement of children, or by other atrocities designed to destroy the lives and human dignity of large groups of people.
This day is chosen for the commemoration because the international community recognizes April 24 as a day of remembrance for the Armenian Genocide, the systematic annihilation of the Armenian people during and just after World War I. On April 24, 1915, more than 250 Armenian notables—civic and political leaders, teachers, writers, and members of the clergy—were rounded up, imprisoned, tortured, and killed. Before the cessation of conflict, it is estimated that as many as one-and-a-half million Armenians perished,… Read more from the Episcopal Church website
Ecce Ancilla Domini! (Behold the Lord’s Servant) Painting, 1849-1850 Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882
Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, 240
As this Collect makes clear: it’s all connected. In the life of Jesus—and ours—their is birth, the cross and passion, death, and “the glory of … resurrection.” Let us live life fully. ~Fr. Dan
The Annunciation (pp. 188 and 240)
In the Gregorian sacramentary this collect is used as a postcommunion prayer for the feast of the Annunciation [….] Cranmer translated it:
We beseech thee, Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known Christ thy Son’s incarnation by the message of an angel; so by his cross and passion we may be brought into the glory of his resurrection; Through the same Christ our Lord
Both the 1662 revision and this  Book made changes for the sake of clarification, though the substance of the original remains. In an admirable way the collect links the Annunciation and the Incarnation with the themes associated with the time of the year [Lent] in which the feast occurs.
Marion J. Hatchett, Commentary on the American Prayer Book, (New York: The Seabury Press, 1981), p. 200
The childhood home of Jesus may have been found underneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Nazareth, Israel, according to archaeologist Ken Dark.
The excavation site located beneath the convent has been known since 1880, but it was never professionally excavated until the Nazareth Archaeological Project began its work in 2006. In “Has Jesus’ Nazareth House Been Found?” in the March/April 2015 issue of BAR, Ken Dark, the director of the Nazareth Archaeological Project, not only describes the remains of the home itself, but explores the evidence that suggests that this is the place where Jesus spent his formative years—or at least the place regarded in the Byzantine period as the childhood home of Jesus.
The excavation revealed a first-century “courtyard house” that was partially hewn from naturally occurring rock and partially constructed with rock-built walls. Many of the home’s original features are still intact, including doors and windows. Also found at the site were tombs, a cistern and, later, a Byzantine church.
The remains combined with the description found in the seventh-century pilgrim account De Locus Sanctis point to the courtyard house found beneath the convent as what may have been regarded as Jesus’ home in Nazareth. Archaeological and geographical evidence from the Church of the Annunciation, the International Marion Center and Mary’s Well come together to suggest that this location may be where Jesus transitioned from boy to man.
Ken Dark also discusses the relationship between the childhood home of Jesus, Nazareth and the important site of Sepphoris. It has been thought that Sepphoris would have provided Joseph with work and Jesus many important cultural experiences. However, Ken Dark believes that Nazareth was a larger town than traditionally understood and was particularly Jewish in its identity—as opposed to the Roman-influenced Sepphoris. This is partially based on the result of his survey of the Nahal Zippori region that separates Sepphoris and Nazareth geographically.
Image: Bible History Daily. Description: “This very well could be the childhood home of Jesus. It doesn’t look inviting, but this rock-hewn courtyard house was quite likely Jesus’ home in Nazareth. The recent excavation by Ken Dark and the Nazareth Archaeological Project revealed evidence suggesting this is where Jesus was raised—or at the least the place venerated as such by the Byzantine period. Photo: Ken Dark.”
“Jesus said, ‘ the water that I shall give will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life” John 4:14
Broadbent, Stephen, 1961-
The Water of Life
Sculpture, freestanding, metal
Click image for more information.
A short introduction to John 4:5-42, the Gospel Lesson appointed for Lent 3A in the Revised Common Lectionary:
Our gospel tells the story of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well. The narrative is rich with themes. Jesus is willing to break with custom in order to talk with one who is both a woman and a foreigner. True worship of God is tied to no particular place. He himself offers living water which wells up to eternal life. The woman learns that Jesus is the expected Messiah, and later others from the town come to believe that he is the world’s Savior. During an interval in the story, Jesus speaks with his disciples concerning his true food and drink, and tells them that the time of harvesting for eternal life is at hand. Introducing the Lessons of the Church Year
Please follow the Case Study link (below) to learn more about this sculpture in the Garden of the Chester Cathedral. ~Fr. Dan