Sunday, October 18, 2009

In the footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton

The audio from the recently completed conference at Nashotah House is now available from Ancient Faith Radio. Have a listen.

A wonderful hymn resource

Check out! It is a wonderful resource for church hymns. They have organ and piano mp3s for download as well as voice recordings and sheet music. A few classical numbers are included for preludes as well as the Healy Willan service music. Most of the offerings are public domain, but there are a few copyrighted tunes for purchase as well. The organ sounds great, by the way. Here are a few of my favorites:

The creator of the site is Clyde McLennan, a pastor and software designer in Perth, Australia. He has served in a number of small churches. The stated purpose of the site is to "make good quality accompaniments for congregational singing available at no cost (or minimal cost in the case of copyrighted music).

The gravitational force of logic

In response to the recent papers on the ordination of women at Christ Church in Plano, Texas and Father John Hollister's analysis of of, Father Robert Hart has made an interesting observation.

Hart writes: "The 'conservatives' among the Anglicans have failed to understand the gravity of logic. It works the same way as this illustration. If I stand at the top of a thirty-foot hill with a big round rubber ball, and decide to roll the ball only ten feet down the hill and no farther, like it or not, the ball will roll the entire thirty feet to the bottom before it stops after rolling even farther still. It does not matter that I intended only to roll it ten feet. Once I let go, gravity will take the ball the whole way.

"This is how a premise works in relation to logic. Once you let go of the ball, that is, once you state or merely accept a premise, the gravity of logic will take over. Perhaps you only meant to let women be priests, but not to let the premise take its own logical course to the final end. However, the premise itself is subject to the gravity of logic, and must keep rolling until you are 'blessing' Adam and Steve in the imitation sacrament of Unholy Unmatrimony. Those who want to argue that this was not inevitable have two problems facing them: First, we predicted this would happen, and second, it has.

. . . The logic of their position requires that we reject the clear meaning and teaching of Scripture, as understood everywhere and always by the Church, provided only that we may use some concocted theory about priorities as an excuse. They have released this premise, and cannot stop it from rolling the whole way to the bottom."

I thought Hart put it extremely well. I remember Fr Gary Kriss (Dean of Nashotah when I was a student there) making the point in a letter to the Living Church after the election of Gene Robinson that two General Conventions in Minneapolis made the same decision about the sacraments. If male or female doesn't matter in one sacrament (orders), why should it make any difference for another sacrament (matrimony)?

I used to cringe every time I would hear Fr. David Roseberry talk about how we shouldn't tamper with the truth of God's Word or how to understand the Bible, we must "stand under" its authority (knowing that Roseberry had a big asterisk attached to these statements).

What was even more strange is this statement on their website: "In the Anglican tradition, the priesthood is open to men and women, married or single, who have earned the Master of Divinity degree, completed a series of courses for ordinands, and gone through the discernment process."

"In the Anglican tradition"? talk about an overstatement. To be more accurate they should say, "In some Anglican provinces in the last few decades." And to be even more accurate, they should add, "but not in our jurisdiction." When Christ Church left the Diocese of Dallas a few years ago, they first went to the Diocese of Peru (Southern Cone) where women are not ordained priests. Then they joined the Anglican Mission in America, which after careful consideration decided not to ordained women to the priesthood. Since the leadership is arguing for it, does that mean they are looking to change jurisdictions again? And where will this process end up? Or, to put it another way, will gravity take over?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Going to the bull sale

Today is the Dudley Bros. Annual Bull Sale in Comanche. The Dudleys are members of St. Matthew's. Maddy and I went to have a look. There were plenty of bulls to see (and a few horses). To get an idea of what an auction is like, see the videos below.

Here are the videos:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New acolyte in Dublin

Austin DeLavergne served as an acolyte for the first time tonight, the Feast of King Edward the Confessor, and did a great job.

Christ the King

Here are a few pictures of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Fort Worth. The rector is Father Jon Jenkins.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Have a seat at the console

. . . of the largest pipe organ in the world. Thanks to the magic of computer technology, you can click the picture above and get a personal view of what it looks like to sit at the console of the municipal organ of the Atlantic City Convention Hall.

The organ's console is the biggest in the world. It has 1,235 stop tabs controlling 587 flue stops, 265 reed stops, 35 melodic percussions, 46 non-melodic percussions, 164 couplers, 18 tremolos, and 120 swell pedal selectors for the 7 swell pedals controlling 15 swell boxes. Officially, that comes to 33,114 pipes. The console is also the only one in the world with 7 manuals, of which the lower ones have been extended to 6 and even 7 octaves, opposed to the normal 5.

The Main Auditorium is a truly vast space (488 feet long, 288 feet wide, and 137 feet high, which comes to over 15 million cubic feet of space). To fill the place with sound, Emerson Richards designed an organ with some mind-boggling and previously unheard of specifications. These include ten 32-foot stops, a 64-foot stop (one of only two in the world), 10 stops on 50-inch wind pressure (most organ pipes are about 10-inch wind pressure) and four on 100 inches (a pressure not employed in any other organ).

The 100-inch stops are: Grand Ophicleide 16-8; Tuba Imperial 8, Tuba Maxima 8-4; Trumpet Mirabilis 16-8-4. They had to be specially designed so as to not turn into projectiles when played. The loudest of these, the Ophicleide produces 130 dB at 1 metre distance. Needless to say, it is recognized by Guiness as the loudest organ stop in the world.

An experiment was carried out in the 1950s when most of the organ was working. Everything was coupled to the Great, and when played, the ice cracked in the hockey floor of the hall and the organ could be heard (and felt) outside along the boardwalk nearly 1000 feet away from the organ console.

Unfortunately, the organ has fallen into a state of disrepair over recent decades, leaving it only partially playable. The Atlantic City Convention Hall Organ Society is working hard to preserve and restore this historic instrument. Have a look at their video below.