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Re: [liturgy-l] Infant Presentation rites

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  • Michael Joe Thannisch
    ... From: asteresplanetai To: Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 1:50 AM Subject: Re: [liturgy-l]
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "asteresplanetai" <asteresplanetai@...>
      To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 1:50 AM
      Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Infant Presentation rites


      >
      > +++
      >
      >> From: Nathan Nettleton <nathan@...>
      >
      >> A RITE FOR THE PRESENTATION OF A CHILD
      >>
      >> (This rite commences after the sermon in the Sunday service.)
      >
      > i think normally the time for the induction of catechumens would be
      > just before the service.

      In the west after the sermon seems to be the traditional spot for many
      activities in the newer rites including induction of catechumens.
      >
      >> WHO MOTHERS US AND FATHERS US,
      >> PROTECTING, NURTURING,
      >> AND CHERISHING US.
      >
      > this is nice, but vague, abstract, and has nothing to do with the
      > incarnation, upon which all our language of gender in the bible
      > depends. it's just sort of a general idea of god as kind parent.
      >
      > But did Jesus ever address God as his 'mother'? Or was that position
      > ("mother") not already filled by someone else, someone very concrete
      > and specific-- Mary? Were Mary and the Father interchangeable?
      >
      I think too, that it confuses traditional images, God is our Father, the
      church is our mother.

      Shalom B'Yeshua HaMoshiach

      Michael Joe Thannisch
      mjthan@...

      The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord.
    • episcopusseliensis
      I would say that new creeds should be totally avoided. I wonder why - in your case as a Westerner - the Apostles Creed could not be used? This has a looong
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
        I would say that new creeds should be totally avoided. I wonder why -
        in your case as a Westerner - the Apostles' Creed could not be used?
        This has a looong and overwhelming tradition in Western cathecumenate
        and baptismal rite.

        --- In liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com, Nathan Nettleton <nathan@l...>
        wrote:
        > WE BELIEVE IN GOD,
        > THE CREATOR AND GIVER OF LIFE,
        > WHO BROUGHT ALL CREATION TO BIRTH,
        > WHO MOTHERS US AND FATHERS US,
        > PROTECTING, NURTURING,
        > AND CHERISHING US.

        I observe the political correct language, and would like to state
        that this is in some way opposite to Scriptural revelation.

        > WE BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST:
        > GOD BORN AMONG US AS A FRAGILE BABY,
        > EMBODYING BOTH LOVE AND THE NEED FOR LOVE,
        > AND CALLING US TO REST IN GOD
        > AS TRUSTINGLY AS A TINY CHILD.

        This article stops with the "bambino" and says nothing about Christ
        as Saviour and Pantokrator.

        > WE BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT,
        > BREATHED INTO US AT OUR BIRTH,
        > ALWAYS DRAWING US ON TO BE BORN AGAIN,
        > ENCOURAGING, EXHORTING, COMFORTING,
        > NOURISHING OUR GROWTH
        > AND INSPIRING OUR LIVING.

        This article says nothing about the effects of The Holy Spirit:
        Church, communion of saints,forgiveness of sins and life
        everlasting.

        > AND WE BELIEVE THAT EACH NEW CHILD
        > IS A GLIMPSE OF THE FACE OF GOD,
        > A SIGN OF THE LIFE TO COME,
        > AND A CALL TO LIVE IN PEACE
        > AND CELEBRATE LIVING TOGETHER.
        > AMEN.

        This article tries to express something positively about human being
        created in God's image and likeness, but nothing of what the central
        point of Christian belief is : the need for redemption and salvation.

        > Jesus said:
        > "Let the children come to me,
        > do not try to stop them,
        > for the kingdom of heaven
        > belongs to such as these."

        It might be unconveniant - or experienced as most unpolite - to say
        this to a Baptist, but this is a scriptural passage used in many
        rites of children's baptism, most dear to us who baptize children as
        a fundament to do so.


        > DEDICATION OF PARENTS
        >
        > [Name(s) of Parent(s)], would you come forward
        > and present your child to us.
        >
        > How have you named this child?
        > Parent: [Name] (adding a reason if appropriate)
        >
        > What do you seek for her/him?
        > Parent(s): FAITH AND FULLNESS OF LIFE.

        A similar comment could be used for this statement. Fullness of life
        is through the full inclusion into the communion of Church, i.e. Holy
        Baptism.

        > [Name of child],
        > these are your friends and family.
        > You are a gift and a sign to them
        > of the God whose presence
        > is as vulnerable
        > and easily disregarded as a little child.
        > Come and meet them,
        > that they may honour God in you.

        I would say that the image and likeness of God cannot be honoured
        fully in a specific Christian sense before the candidate is baptized.
        I will not by this urge the tragic-dramatic view of inherited sin in
        a Reformed way - but before baptism the image of God is as a broken
        mirror. St. Paul urges us not to adore creation, but the Creator.

        > (As we sing the Canticle of Simeon below, everyone is invited to bow
        > before, or reach out to bless, the child as it is processed around
        the
        > congregation.)
        >
        > LORD, LET YOUR SERVANT
        > NOW REST IN PEACE,
        > FOR YOU KEPT YOUR PROMISE.
        > WITH MY OWN EYES I SEE THE SALVATION
        > YOU PREPARED FOR ALL PEOPLES:
        > A LIGHT OF REVELATION FOR THE GENTILES
        > AND GLORY TO YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL.

        This canticle cannot properly be applied to the candidate before
        he/she is what Church fathers call "enlighted" - i.e. instructed,
        baptized and confirmed.

        > ENROLMENT IN THE CATECHUMENATE


        I in some way appreciate this attempt to make a ceremony of
        cathecumen oil, even with anointment of such oil.
        I will however conclude that the rite is too similar to a real
        baptismal rite, the creedal standards however is in my opinion far
        too weak and unclear. I have a great understanding for the point that
        your Church wishes to wait with baptism till the candidate may
        profess the faith himself/herself, this is a central part of Baptist
        theology, even if I for myself dont agree with you.
        I would recommend further reading of the Mystagogical Cathekeses of
        Church fathers, as well as Tertullians' description on the Karthago
        cathecumenate.

        Well, my friend, you asked for comments. You may have thought that
        even this might come up on a list like ours.

        In Christ
        +Johannes Ephrem
      • Nathan Nettleton
        Whoops! I shouldn t send stuff to this list when I m in a hurry. I am usually careful not to include any of our alternative affirmations of faith in stuff I
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
          Whoops! I shouldn't send stuff to this list when I'm in a hurry. I am
          usually careful not to include any of our alternative affirmations of
          faith in stuff I send to this list, because I know that it always causes
          consternation. Also, the affirmation was not part of what I've been
          recently working on. It is an older one which we have long used on such
          occasions. So I apologise for muddying the waters by forgetting to
          remove it before posting!

          John Burnett wrote:

          >Has the Church ever said that God 'brought all creation to birth'?
          >
          I realise that playful ambiguity is usually frowned on in statements of
          faith, but it is in operation here. The wording allows both images of
          God giving birth, or of God as a midwife or obstetrician. The same sort
          of ambiguity seems to be at work in the birthing imagery of Isaiah 66,
          although I'm sure others will have interpretations which remove the play.

          >>As a church,
          >>we welcome this child into our shared life,
          >>
          >
          >what does it mean, "welcome"?
          >
          >I mean, the specific theological meaning-- if this is not a baptism,
          >what is it?
          >
          It means the same as we would mean when we welcome adult catechumens
          into the compass of our care, fellowship and nurture. It is saying that
          they are to be treated as beloved participants in the life of the
          congregational family, even though they are not yet baptised members of it.

          >---so: does this mean we do not ask for women to have the faith of
          >abraham, moses, etc? Or for men to have the faith of the theotokos etc?
          >
          I guess it means we are not giving voice to such requests, but no I
          would not be precluding such prayer.

          >>For you, deep stillness of the silent inland;
          >>for you, deep blue of the desert skies;
          >>for you, flame red of the rocks and stones;
          >>for you, sweet water from the hidden springs.
          >>
          >
          >it would be nice to know the precise theological content of each of
          >these images. Can you give a reference from the scriptures, or are they
          >just sentimental imagery?
          >
          Sentimental imagery may be a fair criticism of them, but I'm not sure.
          Many of the more scriptural options work by drawing on the imagery and
          associations of the local land. This sung blessing is becoming quite
          popular in Australia, but I wouldn't expect it to work anywhere else. If
          I had to define what each line meant, I probably couldn't do it, but it
          evokes images and associations which strike deep chords and which I
          believe to be valid expressions of the incarnating or inculturation of
          the gospel in the Australian experience.

          Johannes Ephrem wrote:

          >Jesus said:
          >> "Let the children come to me,
          >> do not try to stop them,
          >> for the kingdom of heaven
          >> belongs to such as these."
          >
          >
          >It might be unconveniant - or experienced as most unpolite - to say
          >this to a Baptist, but this is a scriptural passage used in many
          >rites of children's baptism, most dear to us who baptize children as
          >a fundament to do so.
          >
          That is true, but given the context from which the quote is drawn, it
          would seem that it is the paedo-baptisers who need to defend their use
          of it, not the baptists. Jesus was offering a blessing to the children,
          as is occurring in the infant presentation rite.

          >>> What do you seek for her/him?
          >>> Parent(s): FAITH AND FULLNESS OF LIFE.
          >>
          >
          >A similar comment could be used for this statement. Fullness of life
          >is through the full inclusion into the communion of Church, i.e. Holy
          >Baptism.
          >
          True, and that is what is intended here. The parent is expressing the
          hope that the child will come to faith and fullness of life through
          inclusion in the communion of the church through baptism. That journey
          begins with admission to the catechumenate.

          >I would say that the image and likeness of God cannot be honoured
          >fully in a specific Christian sense before the candidate is baptized.
          >I will not by this urge the tragic-dramatic view of inherited sin in
          >a Reformed way - but before baptism the image of God is as a broken
          >mirror. St. Paul urges us not to adore creation, but the Creator.
          >
          In my experience, the image of God is still as a broken mirror after
          baptism too. I know it is in me! We probably have to just agree to
          differ here, because I think that all of God's creatures can serves as
          icons - some better and some lesser. I understand Jesus' call to receive
          the kingdom as a little child in these terms. I don't think he is so
          much saying that we have to receive it the way a child receives, but
          that it comes to us like a child to be received. He may have been being
          deliberately ambiguous in order to say both, too. Maybe we are not
          differing much - you say the likeness of God cannot be honoured
          "fully"..., and I would say "yes, but it can be honoured to whatever
          extent it can be discerned, which is never fully."

          >I have a great understanding for the point that
          >your Church wishes to wait with baptism till the candidate may
          >profess the faith himself/herself, this is a central part of Baptist
          >theology, even if I for myself dont agree with you.
          >
          I certainly don't expect many on this list to agree with it, but it is
          the context in which I operate, and it is my own conviction. For me, the
          emphasis is not so much on the candidate's ability to profess the faith
          for themselves, but on whether it is appropriate for anyone to commit
          someone else to Christian discipleship. I have a six year old daughter.
          I can pray for her, expose her to the life and faith of the Christian
          community, model discipleship for her, teach her, and encourage her to
          seek God in Christ. But I don't believe that I can decide for her that
          she will renounce the devil and all his works, put her faith in Christ,
          and serve him faithfully throughout her life. I understand the arguments
          about God's grace and about the action of God in baptism, but there are
          still vows to be made in response to God's grace, and I can't understand
          how an anticipatory making of someone else's baptismal vows (without
          their express consent) is any different in principle from an
          anticipatory making of someone else's marriage or ordination vows.

          This Infant Presentation Rite seeks to operate within this framework of
          understanding, and thus take seriously the process of the catechumenate
          and the church's role in welcoming, caring for, nurturing and forming
          the faith and discipleship of its children.

          Thanks for the feedback, and apologies again for accidentally including
          the contentious statement of faith.

          Peace and hope,

          Nathan

          _____________________________________
          Nathan Nettleton
          Pastor, South Yarra Community Baptist Church
          Melbourne, Australia
          nathan@...
          _____________________________________




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • asteresplanetai
          ... Isaiah 66:7 Before she goes into labor, she gives birth! Before her contractions begin, she delivers a boy! 66:8 Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who
          Message 4 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
            +++

            > From: Nathan Nettleton <nathan@...>

            >> Has the Church ever said that God 'brought all creation to birth'?
            >>
            > I realise that playful ambiguity is usually frowned on in statements of
            > faith, but it is in operation here. The wording allows both images of
            > God giving birth, or of God as a midwife or obstetrician. The same sort
            > of ambiguity seems to be at work in the birthing imagery of Isaiah 66,
            > although I'm sure others will have interpretations which remove the
            > play.

            Isaiah 66:7 Before she goes into labor, she gives birth!
            Before her contractions begin, she delivers a boy!
            66:8 Who has ever heard of such a thing?
            Who has ever seen this?
            Can a country be brought forth in one day?
            Can a nation be born in a single moment?
            Yet as soon as Zion goes into labor she gives birth to sons!
            66:9 “Do I bring a baby to the birth opening and then not deliver it?”
            asks the Lord.
            “Or do I bring a baby to the point of delivery and then hold it back?”
            asks your God.

            ----mm, ok, i see where you're coming from. I read it as god-as-mother,
            and you were thinking god-as-midwife-or-obstetrician, a la isaiah.
            well, that ambiguity would be a serious problem if misunderstood, and
            obviously i misunderstood what you meant, so others might as well. So
            i think it's fair to say the church prefers not to use language like
            this, except in a way that's absolutely unambiguous, as in isaiah.

            our basic language about God is deeply, profoundly, trinitarian-- but
            that means not that we just fling around the terms 'father', 'son' and
            'holy spirit' or whatever substitutes for these terms strike our fancy
            at the moment. Rather, our way of talking about God actually is deeply
            structured by and within the experience and linguistic expression of
            the incarnate Son. We are taught by HIM to call God, 'Father'. We refer
            to Father and Spirit only in the way that HE refers to his Father and
            to his Father's Spirit. We do not know any kind of general 'fatherness'
            which may or may not be interchangeable with 'motherness'.

            forgive me if i hammer at this again and again: the gender of our
            trinitarian language is based on the specifics of the actual
            incarnation of the non-gendered Word. That incarnation took place in
            space and time and therefore in gender. And thus and only thus did the
            "only-begotten Son", "born of a woman, born under the Law" establish
            the whole gender structure of our trinitarian language.

            Well, it would be too much to go into this any further here, but i
            suspect it's a fair guess that you probably didn't have the Son's
            relation to the Father or any of the rest of that in mind when you
            composed the prayer. i suspect you were thinking of God and nature and
            childbirth, and, well, this is a cool way to open up the gender issue
            and make our god-language more "inclusive". But then, "inclusivity"
            becomes the guiding factor, not the Church's (or rather, which is the
            same thing, the incarnate Son's) experience of the Trinity, and God
            thus has sort of ceased being "God, the Father of our Lord Jesus
            Christ" and has become a sort of god-in-general, a nature-god, one
            about whom it is really possible only to be vague and ambiguous.

            >> ---so: does this mean we do not ask for women to have the faith of
            >> abraham, moses, etc? Or for men to have the faith of the theotokos
            >> etc?
            >>
            > I guess it means we are not giving voice to such requests, but no I
            > would not be precluding such prayer.

            i really find it sexist and objectionable that mary and rebecca's faith
            is assigned to girls, and moses and abraham's to boys. I think this
            conveys totally the wrong idea about what faith is, and about the roles
            that these 'heros of faith' play, and the effort to be inclusive has
            actually ended up inappropriately strengthening exclusivity, and
            utterly gratuitously affirming traditional gender roles. Don't do it!

            >>> For you, deep stillness of the silent inland;
            >>> for you, deep blue of the desert skies;
            >>> for you, flame red of the rocks and stones;
            >>> for you, sweet water from the hidden springs.
            >>
            >> it would be nice to know the precise theological content of each of
            >> these images. Can you give a reference from the scriptures, or are
            >> they
            >> just sentimental imagery?
            >>
            > Sentimental imagery may be a fair criticism of them, but I'm not sure.
            > Many of the more scriptural options work by drawing on the imagery and
            > associations of the local land.

            that's true, but as a christian pastor, you're not writing scripture,
            you're writing (or you should be writing) FROM scripture, and it's
            actually hard to find any actual resonance of anything scriptural in
            these words. It's really a kind of 'nature mysticism', no? At least,
            that's how it strikes me.

            > I had to define what each line meant, I probably couldn't do it, but it
            > evokes images and associations which strike deep chords and which I
            > believe to be valid expressions of the incarnating or inculturation of
            > the gospel in the Australian experience.

            we have to be very clear about what every word of our public prayers
            mean. If we can't be, then we shouldn't say them. Otherwise, the deep
            chords they strike are more than likely to be the wrong ones.

            i know it's a big topic, but i have trouble with this idea of
            inculturation altogether, in any case. Yes, i understand that people
            need to understand things in their own language-- 'language' in the
            broadest possible sense. After all, I spent 12 years in an all-slavonic
            parish, and in two weeks will be living in uganda, learning to speak
            luganda. But 'inculturation', as you seem to mean it, seems to imply
            that, well, people don't really relate to the bible as a source of
            imagery; they're really more familiar with their own experience, so we
            should just skip the bible and use imagery from people's experience.

            This is opposite the ancient experience of the Church. There, it was
            the *people* who became assimilated to the gospel, not the other way
            around; though of course every people assimilates in its own way. But
            the key point is that the bible-- not australia-- really is the
            thought-world of the gospels, and if we want to penetrate the gospels,
            we really have to work FROM the bible and make IT our own
            thought-world. We will do so in our own ways, but our first task is
            actually to assimilate!

            So your challenge might be to find actual biblical imagery, turns of
            phrase, etc, which resonate with the australian experience, rather than
            just to describe the australian experience of nature, assuming that,
            because the bible uses nature imagery too, somehow enough has been done
            and communicated.

            regards,

            john burnett.
          • Michael Joe Thannisch
            ... From: asteresplanetai ... I think it is rather natural to assign roles such as this. This goes as far back as the Jewish
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 2, 2005
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "asteresplanetai" <asteresplanetai@...>
              >>> ---so: does this mean we do not ask for women to have the faith of
              >>> abraham, moses, etc? Or for men to have the faith of the theotokos
              >>> etc?
              >>>
              >> I guess it means we are not giving voice to such requests, but no I
              >> would not be precluding such prayer.
              >
              > i really find it sexist and objectionable that mary and rebecca's faith
              > is assigned to girls, and moses and abraham's to boys. I think this
              > conveys totally the wrong idea about what faith is, and about the roles
              > that these 'heros of faith' play, and the effort to be inclusive has
              > actually ended up inappropriately strengthening exclusivity, and
              > utterly gratuitously affirming traditional gender roles. Don't do it!

              I think it is rather natural to assign roles such as this. This goes as far
              back as the Jewish children's blessings, and recognises gender differences.
              Let's not go in the path where we do everything gendern neutral. Men have a
              role and so do women.

              > i know it's a big topic, but i have trouble with this idea of
              > inculturation altogether, in any case. Yes, i understand that people
              > need to understand things in their own language-- 'language' in the
              > broadest possible sense. After all, I spent 12 years in an all-slavonic
              > parish, and in two weeks will be living in uganda, learning to speak
              > luganda. But 'inculturation', as you seem to mean it, seems to imply
              > that, well, people don't really relate to the bible as a source of
              > imagery; they're really more familiar with their own experience, so we
              > should just skip the bible and use imagery from people's experience.

              I must agree with John, many people love the Anglican BCP of Australia and
              New Zealand, but I think they are too culture bound, and therfore lose a lot
              of theology.

              Shalom B'Yeshua HaMoshiach

              Michael Joe Thannisch
              mjthan@...

              The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord.
            • James Morgan
              Dear John: This discussion reminds me of the ECUSA Consecration Prayer C in Rite II In the 1977 American BCP: At your command all thingts came to be: the
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 3, 2005
                Dear John:

                This discussion reminds me of the ECUSA Consecration Prayer C in Rite II
                In the 1977 American BCP: "At your command all thingts came to be: the vast
                expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses,
                and theis fragile earth, our island home." (Tahiti, Hawaii, the Bahamas?!)
                It goes on... This 'canon' was alledgedly written by the Rev. Boone Porter,
                who may have known better having grown up in a more traditional clime. I
                don't think that this prayer has been used as much as the alternatives, one
                of which is based on St. Basil's liturgy.

                Rdr. James Morgan
                Olympia, WA

                -----Original Message-----
                From: asteresplanetai [mailto:asteresplanetai@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 11:19 PM
                To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Infant Presentation rites

                +++
                > From: Nathan Nettleton <nathan@...>

                (I snipped the rest of the post just for brevity)
              • Ormonde Plater
                ... Eucharistic Prayer C was written by Howard E. Galley, a layman who worked for the liturgical office of the Episcopal Church and was deeply involved in
                Message 7 of 23 , Feb 3, 2005
                  > This discussion reminds me of the ECUSA Consecration Prayer C in Rite II
                  > In the 1977 American BCP: "At your command all thingts came to be: the
                  > vast
                  > expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their
                  > courses,
                  > and theis fragile earth, our island home." (Tahiti, Hawaii, the Bahamas?!)
                  > It goes on... This 'canon' was alledgedly written by the Rev. Boone
                  > Porter,
                  > who may have known better having grown up in a more traditional clime. I
                  > don't think that this prayer has been used as much as the alternatives,
                  > one
                  > of which is based on St. Basil's liturgy.

                  Eucharistic Prayer C was written by Howard E. Galley, a layman who worked
                  for the liturgical office of the Episcopal Church and was deeply involved in
                  editing the 1979 BCP. It may not have aged well, with all that star stuff,
                  but one interesting aspect is that the poem introduced the Roman or
                  Alexandrian model (with epiclesis before the Words of Institution) into the
                  Episcopal Church, which previously had followed exclusively the West Syrian
                  model (via the Scottish liturgy).

                  Ormonde Plater
                  oplater@...
                • James Morgan
                  Thanks, Ormonde, for correcting me. As for me and my house, we will stick to St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil! But in the interests of ecumenical liturgical
                  Message 8 of 23 , Feb 3, 2005
                    Thanks, Ormonde, for correcting me.
                    As for me and my house, we will stick to St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil!
                    But in the interests of ecumenical liturgical antiquarianism, why change
                    something that works already, just because someone else did something
                    different. In ECUSA circles, the 1928 BCP canon seemed to do nicely, even
                    with an explicite epiplecis added.

                    Rdr. James
                    Olympia, WA

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Ormonde Plater [mailto:oplater@...]
                    Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 5:46 PM
                    To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Infant Presentation rites

                    > This discussion reminds me of the ECUSA Consecration Prayer C in Rite II
                    > In the 1977 American BCP: "At your command all thingts came to be: the
                    > vast > expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their

                    > courses, and theis fragile earth, our island home." (Tahiti, Hawaii, the
                    Bahamas?!)
                    > It goes on... This 'canon' was alledgedly written by the Rev. Boone
                    > Porter, who may have known better having grown up in a more traditional
                    clime. I
                    > don't think that this prayer has been used as much as the alternatives,
                    > one of which is based on St. Basil's liturgy.

                    Eucharistic Prayer C was written by Howard E. Galley, a layman who worked
                    for the liturgical office of the Episcopal Church and was deeply involved in

                    editing the 1979 BCP. It may not have aged well, with all that star stuff,
                    but one interesting aspect is that the poem introduced the Roman or
                    Alexandrian model (with epiclesis before the Words of Institution) into the
                    Episcopal Church, which previously had followed exclusively the West Syrian
                    model (via the Scottish liturgy).

                    Ormonde Plater
                    oplater@...
                  • asteresplanetai
                    ... I **strongly** disagree. first of all, jewish children s blessings may have this form, but christian (pre-)baptismal blessings do not. And the antecedents
                    Message 9 of 23 , Feb 3, 2005
                      +++

                      > From: "Michael Joe Thannisch" <mjthan@...>

                      >>>> ---so: does this mean we do not ask for women to have the faith of
                      >>>> abraham, moses, etc? Or for men to have the faith of the theotokos
                      >>>> etc?
                      >>>>
                      >>> I guess it means we are not giving voice to such requests, but no I
                      >>> would not be precluding such prayer.
                      >>
                      >> i really find it sexist and objectionable that mary and rebecca's
                      >> faith
                      >> is assigned to girls, and moses and abraham's to boys. I think this
                      >> conveys totally the wrong idea about what faith is, and about the
                      >> roles
                      >> that these 'heros of faith' play, and the effort to be inclusive has
                      >> actually ended up inappropriately strengthening exclusivity, and
                      >> utterly gratuitously affirming traditional gender roles. Don't do it!
                      >
                      > I think it is rather natural to assign roles such as this. This goes
                      > as far
                      > back as the Jewish children's blessings, and recognises gender
                      > differences.
                      > Let's not go in the path where we do everything gendern neutral. Men
                      > have a
                      > role and so do women.

                      I **strongly** disagree.

                      first of all, jewish children's blessings may have this form, but
                      christian (pre-)baptismal blessings do not. And the antecedents of our
                      prayers should not be post-christian jewish forms concerned with other,
                      more general matters, but christian and scriptural forms concerned with
                      or directly applicable to the matter at hand-- reception into the
                      community of faith.

                      Regarding that, St Paul does not set forth the faith of Sarah as an
                      example for women, and that of Abraham for men, but Abraham's faith is
                      the paradigm for all. I don't see St Paul's understanding pointed to
                      here--- and in fact when Abraham believed, "Sarah laughed", suggesting
                      that whereas Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as
                      righteousness", Sarah wasn't quite on the same page at that moment.

                      Gender differences-- or more properly, sex differences (gender being
                      socially defined, sex being biologically defined)-- are fine, and
                      anyone who knows me knows i think they're important--- in accordance
                      with the orthodox tradition, I do not, for instance, think that women
                      even *can* be ordained as Christian priests (ministers is another
                      matter), because sex is inherently part of the incarnation, and the
                      maleness of Christ both is necessitated by the order of creation and
                      establishes the symbolism of the priesthood. (that's a lot to say in 27
                      words!)

                      BUT-- i don't think baptism, pre-baptism, induction into the
                      catechumenate, or any other such rite of reception into the community
                      of faith has ***anything at all*** to do with biological sex or social
                      gender.

                      Precisely in connection with baptism, st paul says, "in Christ there is
                      neither male nor female" (Ga 3.28).

                      regards,

                      john burnett.
                    • Noel Stoutenburg
                      ... prompting me to enquire how sex can be inherently part of the incarnation, while race is not? Many insist that, as John writes, the maleness of Christ is
                      Message 10 of 23 , Feb 4, 2005
                        John wrote, in part:

                        >I do not, for instance, think that women
                        >even *can* be ordained as Christian priests (ministers is another
                        >matter), because sex is inherently part of the incarnation, and the
                        >maleness of Christ both is necessitated by the order of creation and
                        >establishes the symbolism of the priesthood.
                        >
                        prompting me to enquire how sex can be inherently part of the
                        incarnation, while race is not? Many insist that, as John writes, the
                        maleness of Christ is necessitated by the order of creation, and
                        establishes the symbolism of the priesthood. How is it, then, that this
                        same logic does not demand that the Jewishness of Christ also is
                        necessitated by the order of creation, and likewise, establish a
                        symbolism of the priesthood?

                        Or, more succinctly, how do we demand on the basis of Christ's
                        incarnation that a priest be male, without also demanding that he be
                        Jewish by birth?

                        To those who would rejoin that Paul the Apostle instructs the Galatians
                        that there is neither Jew nor Greek, and therefore it is not necessary
                        that a Priest be of Jewish birth, I would note that but in the second
                        phrase following, this, Paul also writes that there is neither male nore
                        female.

                        ns
                      • Thomas R. Jackson
                        ... Interesting rhetorical point, but there is really a simple answer to the question: There isn t any such thing as race. Not really, and not as an order
                        Message 11 of 23 , Feb 4, 2005
                          >prompting me to enquire how sex can be inherently part of the
                          >incarnation, while race is not? Many insist that, as John writes, the
                          >maleness of Christ is necessitated by the order of creation, and
                          >establishes the symbolism of the priesthood. How is it, then, that this
                          >same logic does not demand that the Jewishness of Christ also is
                          >necessitated by the order of creation, and likewise, establish a
                          >symbolism of the priesthood?

                          Interesting rhetorical point, but there is really a simple answer to the
                          question: There isn't any such thing as race. Not really, and not as an
                          "order of creation". Race is a human construct, which is applied rather
                          arbitrarily, with differing definitions over history. Nineteenth and
                          twentieth century racism, especially as expressed by such "scientific"
                          language as the eugenics movement is not the same as race in a prior age,
                          and has been discredited both socially and scientifically (though not as
                          completely as one might wish). We can see this historically even with
                          ancient Jews, who had established procedures for non Jews entering the
                          community. We can also see this today, as so many Jewish populations
                          around the world really have very little ethnic connection with each other,
                          and not even a lot of distinctive genetic markers in common. But don't
                          pick on the Jews, the same is true for any racial or ethnic group. Laws
                          and rules establishing racial distinction are always arbitrary and show
                          underlying prejudices. Who is black, and who is white, or Asian, or
                          whatever? What race is Tiger Woods?

                          On the other hand, maleness and femaleness are biological, and almost
                          always very distinct. Differences are multiple, significant, measurable,
                          and reproducible across all populations. Genetically, there is a greater
                          difference between men and women than there are between humans and some
                          other primates.

                          All this doesn't settle the ordination issue, of course, and your race
                          example may help highlight the question. However, from a merely objective,
                          empirical view point, it isn't a valid comparison.

                          thomas
                        • Noel Stoutenburg
                          ... Whether or not Jesus was a member of the Jewish Race , he was, as Holy Writ tells us, of the house and Lineage of David , the Wise Men from the east,
                          Message 12 of 23 , Feb 4, 2005
                            Thomas R. Jackson wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            >>prompting me to enquire how sex can be inherently part of the
                            >>incarnation, while race is not? Many insist that, as John writes, the
                            >>maleness of Christ is necessitated by the order of creation, and
                            >>establishes the symbolism of the priesthood. How is it, then, that this
                            >>same logic does not demand that the Jewishness of Christ also is
                            >>necessitated by the order of creation, and likewise, establish a
                            >>symbolism of the priesthood?
                            >>
                            >>
                            >
                            >Interesting rhetorical point, but there is really a simple answer to the
                            >question: There isn't any such thing as race. Not really, and not as an
                            >"order of creation".
                            >
                            Whether or not Jesus was a member of the Jewish "Race", he was, as Holy
                            Writ tells us, "of the house and Lineage of David", the Wise Men from
                            the east, came seeking "him who had been born King of the Jews". At the
                            time of his arrest and trial, Jesus was first tried by the Sanhedrin,
                            and Pilate sent him to Herod, because he was Jew. The issue remains,
                            even without the issue of "race"; if the maleness of Christ is
                            necessitated by the order of creation, so is his ancestry--of the house
                            and lineage of David. How do we assert that his sex establishes the
                            symbolism of the priesthood, and at the same time, ignore his
                            parentage? If it is not required that a priest be of the house and
                            lineage of David, King of Israel, how then, how is it we demand that a
                            priest be male? How does his maleness have a different quality than his
                            parentage?

                            ns
                          • Thomas R. Jackson
                            ... Again, I am not arguing one way or another about the issue of ordination, but this is still a different category. Moving from race to lineage does bring
                            Message 13 of 23 , Feb 4, 2005
                              >Whether or not Jesus was a member of the Jewish "Race", he was, as Holy
                              >Writ tells us, "of the house and Lineage of David", the Wise Men from
                              >the east, came seeking "him who had been born King of the Jews". At the
                              >time of his arrest and trial, Jesus was first tried by the Sanhedrin,
                              >and Pilate sent him to Herod, because he was Jew. The issue remains,
                              >even without the issue of "race"; if the maleness of Christ is
                              >necessitated by the order of creation, so is his ancestry--of the house
                              >and lineage of David. How do we assert that his sex establishes the
                              >symbolism of the priesthood, and at the same time, ignore his
                              >parentage? If it is not required that a priest be of the house and
                              >lineage of David, King of Israel, how then, how is it we demand that a
                              >priest be male? How does his maleness have a different quality than his
                              >parentage?

                              Again, I am not arguing one way or another about the issue of ordination,
                              but this is still a different category. Moving from race to lineage does
                              bring things back to something more objective, at least sort of. According
                              to the Gospels, his claim to a Davidic lineage was through Joseph, who,
                              according to the same Gospels, was not his father. This contradiction
                              doesn't seem to bother anyone, at least none of the NT writers. Although
                              we do see lineage in more objective, scientific, and genetic terms, lineage
                              in that culture very much a social construct, and an adoptive father is as
                              good as a "real" father (and it doesn't matter if one doesn't buy the
                              virgin birth as the issue is how the authors saw things). So, the question
                              is not biology, but "lineage" as a social and theological construct. If, as
                              Paul tells us, we are his adopted sons through Jesus Christ, then you
                              probably have the answer.

                              Of course you can also argue that Paul's words apply equally to women, and
                              this really doesn't answer your question about how maleness is
                              _theologically_ different than lineage. I won't get into that, but it does
                              become a matter of theological consideration, not biology. That was the
                              only reason I jumped in on the matter at all. We just shouldn't confuse
                              the two.

                              thomas.

                              thomas.
                            • readeraaron
                              Thomas: According to the Gospels, his claim to a Davidic lineage was through Joseph, who, according to the same Gospels, was not his father. This
                              Message 14 of 23 , Feb 4, 2005
                                Thomas: According to the Gospels, his claim to a Davidic lineage
                                was through Joseph, who, according to the same Gospels, was not his
                                father. This contradiction doesn't seem to bother anyone, at least
                                none of the NT writers.

                                Aaron: As an interesting side note, I thought I would include St.
                                John of Damascus' explanation in 'The Exact Exposition of the
                                Orthodox Faith':

                                "One ought to remember that it was not the custom of the Hebrews nor
                                of the divine Scripture to give genealogies of women; and the law
                                was to prevent one tribe seeking wives from another. And so since
                                Joseph was descended from the tribe of David and was a just man (for
                                this the divine Gospel testifies), he would not have espoused the
                                holy Virgin contrary to the law; he would not have taken her unless
                                she had been of the same tribe. It was sufficient, therefore, to
                                demonstrate the descent of Joseph."

                                Aaron
                              • The Gonnermans
                                If it is not required that a priest be of the house and lineage of David, King of Israel, how then, how is it we demand that a priest be male? I am by no
                                Message 15 of 23 , Feb 4, 2005
                                  "If it is not required that a priest be of the house and
                                  lineage of David, King of Israel, how then, how is it we demand that a
                                  priest be male?"

                                  I am by no means an expert in such matters, being not even fully received
                                  into the Roman Catholic Church yet, so understand this is in no ways a
                                  professional (or probably even intelligent) answer. However, lineage and
                                  sex seem to me to be two things which one cannot really compare. From the
                                  beginning God created them Male and Female; yet the differentiation between
                                  Jew and Greek, King and Commoner, Line of David and Line of Caesar is
                                  something which was added later. Masculinity and femininity is absolutely
                                  essential to a person, and has been since the beginning of the human race;
                                  one's sex determines (at least in part) and always has determined one's
                                  genetics, one's temperament, and even one's outward physical
                                  characteristics. There are few things which are more essential and
                                  intimately interwoven into a person than gender. Such other considerations
                                  as race or lineage are not in any way, shape or form nearly so important as
                                  this; they are at best minor details, and could even be called artificial
                                  differentiations, whereas the difference between Male and Female is, quite
                                  plainly, there for us to see. 0:-)

                                  Grace and agape,
                                  Joshua
                                • Frank Senn
                                  I don t think arguments for a male presbyterate in the Church have anything to do with the Davidic line. The arguments I ve heard have to do with the all-male
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Feb 5, 2005
                                    I don't think arguments for a male presbyterate in the Church have anything to do with the Davidic line. The arguments I've heard have to do with the all-male apostolate (Roman Catholics) or the orders of creation (Orthodox, Lutheran). The "orders of creation" argument is reflected in certain deutero-Pauline passages which differentiate male and female roles in church and society. Missouri Synod Lutherans argue that a male pastoral office is specifically prohibited in the New Testament. Call it is sola Scriptura argument. It is also the argument used by conservative Evangelicals.

                                    Frank C. Senn

                                    The Gonnermans <kingskid@...> wrote:

                                    "If it is not required that a priest be of the house and
                                    lineage of David, King of Israel, how then, how is it we demand that a
                                    priest be male?"

                                    I am by no means an expert in such matters, being not even fully received
                                    into the Roman Catholic Church yet, so understand this is in no ways a
                                    professional (or probably even intelligent) answer. However, lineage and
                                    sex seem to me to be two things which one cannot really compare. From the
                                    beginning God created them Male and Female; yet the differentiation between
                                    Jew and Greek, King and Commoner, Line of David and Line of Caesar is
                                    something which was added later. Masculinity and femininity is absolutely
                                    essential to a person, and has been since the beginning of the human race;
                                    one's sex determines (at least in part) and always has determined one's
                                    genetics, one's temperament, and even one's outward physical
                                    characteristics. There are few things which are more essential and
                                    intimately interwoven into a person than gender. Such other considerations
                                    as race or lineage are not in any way, shape or form nearly so important as
                                    this; they are at best minor details, and could even be called artificial
                                    differentiations, whereas the difference between Male and Female is, quite
                                    plainly, there for us to see. 0:-)

                                    Grace and agape,
                                    Joshua




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                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Theodore R. Lorah, Jr.
                                    ... Of course the answer is that the early Church did ordain women, and it was later that the Church decided males only. This is really a third-fourth
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Feb 5, 2005
                                      Noel Stoutenburg wrote:

                                      >How do we assert that his sex establishes the
                                      >symbolism of the priesthood, and at the same time, ignore his
                                      >parentage?
                                      >
                                      Of course the answer is that the early Church did ordain women, and it
                                      was later that the Church decided "males only." This is really a
                                      third-fourth century issue. Galatians 3:27 does answer that, does it
                                      not? (cf. Krister Stendahls small book on the subject.)

                                      Ted Lorah
                                    • Michael Joe Thannisch
                                      I rather suspect that Galatians 3:27 refers to salvation and membership in the church as opposed to leadership roles in the church. Shalom B Yeshua HaMoshiach
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Feb 5, 2005
                                        I rather suspect that Galatians 3:27 refers to salvation and membership in
                                        the church as opposed to leadership roles in the church.

                                        Shalom B'Yeshua HaMoshiach

                                        Michael Joe Thannisch
                                        mjthan@...

                                        The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord.

                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "Theodore R. Lorah, Jr." <lorah@...>
                                        To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2005 5:53 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Infant Presentation rites


                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Noel Stoutenburg wrote:
                                        >
                                        >>How do we assert that his sex establishes the
                                        >>symbolism of the priesthood, and at the same time, ignore his
                                        >>parentage?
                                        >>
                                        > Of course the answer is that the early Church did ordain women, and it
                                        > was later that the Church decided "males only." This is really a
                                        > third-fourth century issue. Galatians 3:27 does answer that, does it
                                        > not? (cf. Krister Stendahls small book on the subject.)
                                        >
                                        > Ted Lorah
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                                        > write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                                        > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.comTo write to the owners/moderators, please
                                        > send an email to:
                                        > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
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                                      • The Gonnermans
                                        I was referring to the post by Noel, comparing requiring all priests to be men to requiring all priests to be of the Davidic line. A male pastoral office is
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Feb 6, 2005
                                          I was referring to the post by Noel, comparing requiring all priests to be
                                          men to requiring all priests to be of the Davidic line.

                                          A male pastoral office is prohibited in the New Testament? Where is that?

                                          Grace and agape,
                                          Joshua

                                          Who needs drugs when you have a spinning chair?

                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "Frank Senn" <fcsenn@...>
                                          To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2005 11:19 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Infant Presentation rites


                                          >
                                          > I don't think arguments for a male presbyterate in the Church have
                                          anything to do with the Davidic line. The arguments I've heard have to do
                                          with the all-male apostolate (Roman Catholics) or the orders of creation
                                          (Orthodox, Lutheran). The "orders of creation" argument is reflected in
                                          certain deutero-Pauline passages which differentiate male and female roles
                                          in church and society. Missouri Synod Lutherans argue that a male pastoral
                                          office is specifically prohibited in the New Testament. Call it is sola
                                          Scriptura argument. It is also the argument used by conservative
                                          Evangelicals.
                                          >
                                          > Frank C. Senn
                                          >
                                          > The Gonnermans <kingskid@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > "If it is not required that a priest be of the house and
                                          > lineage of David, King of Israel, how then, how is it we demand that a
                                          > priest be male?"
                                          >
                                          > I am by no means an expert in such matters, being not even fully received
                                          > into the Roman Catholic Church yet, so understand this is in no ways a
                                          > professional (or probably even intelligent) answer. However, lineage and
                                          > sex seem to me to be two things which one cannot really compare. From the
                                          > beginning God created them Male and Female; yet the differentiation
                                          between
                                          > Jew and Greek, King and Commoner, Line of David and Line of Caesar is
                                          > something which was added later. Masculinity and femininity is absolutely
                                          > essential to a person, and has been since the beginning of the human race;
                                          > one's sex determines (at least in part) and always has determined one's
                                          > genetics, one's temperament, and even one's outward physical
                                          > characteristics. There are few things which are more essential and
                                          > intimately interwoven into a person than gender. Such other considerations
                                          > as race or lineage are not in any way, shape or form nearly so important
                                          as
                                          > this; they are at best minor details, and could even be called artificial
                                          > differentiations, whereas the difference between Male and Female is, quite
                                          > plainly, there for us to see. 0:-)
                                          >
                                          > Grace and agape,
                                          > Joshua
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                                          write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
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                                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                                          write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
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                                        • The Gonnermans
                                          Ah, back to your friendly neighbourhood male-dominated-oppressive-church, eh? ;-) *tongue-in-cheek* Seriously, though, Galatians 3:27 says (KJV) For as many
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Feb 6, 2005
                                            Ah, back to your friendly neighbourhood male-dominated-oppressive-church,
                                            eh? ;-) *tongue-in-cheek*

                                            Seriously, though, Galatians 3:27 says (KJV) "For as many of you as have
                                            been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Perhaps you refer to
                                            Galatians 3:28, which says (KJV) "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is
                                            neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one
                                            in Christ Jesus." But anyway, I think the former indicates that the latter
                                            refers, as Mr. Thannisch says, to salvation, and membership in the Church
                                            rather than to ordained ministry; the point of reference is Baptism, not
                                            imposition of hands.

                                            Grace and agape,
                                            Joshua

                                            Who needs drugs when you have a spinning chair?

                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: "Theodore R. Lorah, Jr." <lorah@...>
                                            To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 2:53 AM
                                            Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Infant Presentation rites


                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Noel Stoutenburg wrote:
                                            >
                                            > >How do we assert that his sex establishes the
                                            > >symbolism of the priesthood, and at the same time, ignore his
                                            > >parentage?
                                            > >
                                            > Of course the answer is that the early Church did ordain women, and it
                                            > was later that the Church decided "males only." This is really a
                                            > third-fourth century issue. Galatians 3:27 does answer that, does it
                                            > not? (cf. Krister Stendahls small book on the subject.)
                                            >
                                            > Ted Lorah
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                                            write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
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                                            send an email to:
                                            > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
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                                            >
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                                          • readeraaron
                                            Ted: Of course the answer is that the early Church did ordain women, and it was later that the Church decided males only. Aaron: The early church ordained
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Feb 6, 2005
                                              Ted: Of course the answer is that the early Church did ordain women,
                                              and it was later that the Church decided "males only."

                                              Aaron: The early church ordained females to the diaconate, but not
                                              the priesthood. Moreover, the ordination of a female to the
                                              diaconate had more to do with social service than public liturgical
                                              worship. The Orthodox Church of Greece has actually revived the
                                              practice on a small scale of ordaining women to the diaconate.

                                              Aaron
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