27 February 2006

Speaking of homilies...

...I listened to this one today and was quite edified by it. I wonder what others think of it? It is by His Grace, Bishop Basil of Wichita and was delivered Good Friday last year. If you don't want to listen to the chanting of the Epistle and Gospel, I think the sermon begins about half-way through the download:

http://www.stgeorgecathedral.net/audio/04-29-05-F.wma

7 comments:

Ronnie said...

Rev. Weedon,

Regarding the calling of a clergy person by the title His Grace; these titles are to be welcomed and would that the American Lutheran churches begin using proper titles as such, and what-not, and there-by.

William Weedon said...

Ronnie,

I think it is important that persons be given the proper titles that they hold in their own tradition. It's a matter of respect and courtesy. In the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, the District President holds no special title beyond that and is usually just addressed as "President X" or "Pastor X."

Ronnie said...

Rev. Weedon,

(speaking of titles, she I/we call you Rev?)

How did the use of "president" become a clerical title in the Lutheran Church? I think its ossociations in the president day would render that term useless and perhaps confusing at best. Surely there are better titles with more historical precedent to use.

These are just my opinions.

Anonymous said...

"President" is a term that you find in ancient Christian literature for he who presides over the Eucharist, or over a community of monks. The use and connotations of this term in the LCMS may come from American civil precedent, but it is present in the history of the Church.

For example, St. Basil the Great's letter "To the President" (Letter LXXXIV), and Clement's various letters refer to the bishop as "president" (see http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-08/anf08-43.htm) and the Venerable Bede, in Ch. XVII.of his "Ecclesiastical History of England", which is entitles 'Of the Synod held in the plain of Haethfelth, Archbishop Theodore being president. [680 A.D.]'. See also Schaff's n. 419 to Eusebius's Ch. 17 on "Philo’s Account of the Ascetics of Egypt":

"Ibid.§§8–10. The author of the D. V. C. mentions young men that serve at table (διακονοῦντες) and a president (πρόεδρος) who leads in the exposition of the Scriptures. Eusebius is quite right in finding in these persons deacons and bishops."

A cursory search of CCEL.org's "Early Church Fathers" for 'president' and/or 'monks, monasteries" will show this title in translation in many places, especially regarding councils and diocese.

William Weedon said...

The irony, of course, is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the "President" is precisely one who HAS no altar at which to preside, and no pulpit from which to preach. In other words, the very criticism that the Reformers leveled against titular Roman bishops has come home to roost.

William Weedon said...

Ronnie,

If a title is used, I prefer Pastor. But you may certainly call me William; that's the name I was baptized with and there is no title higher than that of being a child of the heavenly Father! Glory to God for that!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'd recommend you call him "Father" -- but then I'm older! :)

Ezekiel+