The Angelus

Volume 17, Number 34



Last weekend I went looking for a half-remembered phrase. I found it—almost as I remembered it—in the second of two “Offices of Instruction” in the 1928 Prayer Book. The Offices were new to the 1928 book. Massey Shepherd (1913–1990) wrote, “The 1928 revision revamped the Catechism into the present form of a general service of worship, designed not only for those preparing for Confirmation, but also for all ‘the people’ ” (The Oxford American Prayer Book Commentary [1950], 283).


Question: What is your bounden duty as a member of the Church?

Answer: My bounden duty is to follow Christ, to worship God every Sunday in his Church; and to work and pray and give for the spread of his kingdom

(BCP [1928], 292).


My late stepfather’s 1949 Webster’s New International Dictionary describes “bounden” as an “old past participle form of ‘bind.’ ” It has two definitions: the first, “being under obligation, as for a favor”; the second, “made obligatory; binding; as our bounden duty.” My 1967 Random House Dictionary only adds one word to this definition: compulsory.


The phrase “bounden duty and service” is Thomas Cranmer’s (1489–1556). It still appears in the 1979 Prayer Book in the first, but not the second, Eucharistic Prayer in Rite I. It’s the penultimate paragraph (just before, “By whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end.”)


And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offenses, through Jesus Christ our Lord . . . (BCP [1979], 336).


The Prayer Book that I used in liturgics with the Reverend Dr. Louis Weil has this note in the margin of this paragraph, “Roman Rite.” When Cranmer was drafting the first Book of Common Prayer (1549), the final paragraphs of what we call the Eucharistic Prayer in both the missal of Salisbury Cathedral (known as the Sarum Rite) and of the church in Rome were similar. Here is an English translation of the Latin paragraph in the Sarum Rite:


To us also, sinners, thy servants, hoping from the multitude of thy mercies, vouchsafe to grant some part and fellowship with thy holy Apostles and Martyrs; with John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cæcilia, Anastasia, with all thy saints; into whose fellowship admit us, we beseech thee, not as the weigher of our merit but as the bestower of pardon. Through Christ our Lord (Blakeney, Book of Common Prayer in its History and Interpretations [1866], 400).


Our newer rites in our present Prayer Book represent another venerable strain of Christian sacramental theology. This is from Eucharistic Prayer B, which we use at Solemn Masses from the First Sunday of Advent through the Last Sunday after the Epiphany. In my notes from Father Weil’s class it’s labeled, “Post-Sanctus”:


For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life (BCP [1979], 368).


The same theological shift between Rite I and Rite II is present in the absolution prayed after the confession of sin. In Rite I, the priest prays that the God may “bring you to everlasting life” (page 332); in Rite II, the priest prays that God may “keep you in eternal life” (page 360).


I’m sure some really conservative evangelical Anglicans (ones who actually use the Prayer Book—not all of them do) would have a problem living with both perspectives, but I don’t. Quite honestly, at this point in my life I prefer that stance of Rite II—again, entirely defensible in Christian tradition. I believe God truly wants our hope and faith in him to be greater than our fear of him. On the cross, the words of the criminal who spoke to Jesus and Jesus’ response give me hope. He said, “ ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise’ ” (Luke 23:42–43).


That said, I think you and I should not let that question and answer from the 1928 Prayer Book pass out of our awareness—even if the idea of “bounden duty and service” seems to have diminished in the consciousness of church and society. Jesus likes to see you and me at his table on Sunday. Jesus likes to help us in our working, praying, and giving for the increase of his kingdom. —Stephen Gerth


YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Mary, Kenneth, Yves, Rosa, Heidi, Nancy, Rasheed, Dorothy, Toussaint, Linda, Renee, John, Steve, Thomas, Judi, Sam, Victoria, Catherine, Mazdak, Trevor, David, Abalda, Takeem, Arpene, Christopher, religious, Deborah Francis, religious, Pamela, religious, Rebecca, deacon, Paulette, priest, and Harry, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . July 19: 1891 Louis Edward Bieral; 1897 Francis Austen; 1898 Ethel Norman Chambers; 1899 Frank John Schoen; 1903 Jacob Eiler; 1932 Jeanette Trimarco.


THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Wednesday, July 22, Saint Mary Magdalene: Sung Mass 12:10 PM; Mass 6:20 PM . . . Saturday, July 25, Saint James the Apostle: Mass 12:10 PM . . . The church and the parish offices are open on the regular schedule . . . On Saturday, July 18, confessions will be heard by Father Stephen Gerth. On Saturday, July 25, confessions will be heard by Father James Pace.


STAFF TRANSITION . . . As announced in last week’s Angelus, Business Manager Aaron Koch will be leaving Saint Mary’s in August to take a position at another parish here in the city. His last day with us will be Friday, August 7. The job announcement and position description have been posted on the parish webpage here. Please let any one you know who may be interested in this position know about the job opening. Thank you. —S.G.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . As we go to press, we are hopeful Mary Robison will be released from the hospital today following an emergency appendectomy. She’s doing well. Please keep her in your prayers . . . Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B., will return to the parish on Wednesday, July 22 . . . Father Smith is on vacation. He returns to the parish on Sunday, August 2 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 185.


SAINT MARY’S AIDS WALK TEAM SAYS THANK YOU . . . We have good news to report about one of Saint Mary’s major outreach efforts. Thanks to parishioners and friends, the 2015 Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk team was more successful than ever in fundraising this year, our tenth year of walking. Our 18 members raised an amazing $56,813 and ranked No. 7 of all teams walking, up from No. 11 last year, No. 13 in 2013 and No. 32 in 2012. The Walk raised more than $4.88 million. We can’t thank you enough. Our team received 398 contributions from parishioners, family, and friends and from people all over the country. AIDS Walk 2016 will be on Sunday, May 15, Pentecost Sunday. We will be there, and we invite you to join us. —MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell, co-coordinators


MUSIC THIS WEEK . . . Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) was born near Prague, then part of Bohemia in the Austrian Empire. Dvořák was the first of fourteen children, eight of whom survived infancy. Dvořák learned to play the violin at an early age and showed great talent and skill, playing in a village band and in church. Dvořák took organ, piano and violin lessons from his German-language teacher Anton Liehmann, who also taught him music theory and introduced him to the composers of the time. After leaving for Prague in September 1857, Dvořák entered the city’s organ school, yet oddly wrote nothing for that instrument. Dvořák traveled a great deal, making a total of nine trips to England, and several to the United States. Primarily an orchestral composer, Dvořák was inspired by the great choral tradition of England to write his only choral works, beginning with a well-known Stabat Mater, followed by a Requiem, and concluding with his only setting of the Mass ordinary, Mass in D Major. On a later trip to England, he was encouraged to teach but complained in letters home that his teaching duties interfered with his composing. He did, however, manage to complete a number of major works during this trip, including the Biblical Songs, Opus 99, from which we hear on Sunday a setting of Psalm 23, sung by tenor Chris Howatt, who is also our cantor at Solemn Mass. —Mark Peterson


OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Need help finding food or know someone who does? Call 1-800-5-HUNGRY (Why Hunger Hotline, Monday–Friday 9:00 AM–6:00 PM EST) or 1-866-3-HUNGRY (USDA National Hunger Hotline, 8:00 AM–8:00 PM EST) . . . We continue to collect nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, the Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s Church, 423 West Forty-sixth Street . . . If you would like to find out more about the work of Saint Vincent’s School for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, please speak to Father Gerth.