Posted by: celticanglican | March 31, 2016

No, He’s Not Here!

Antiveduto Gramatica - Mary Magdalene at the Tomb - WGA10352

When we hear the Gospel reading from Luke 24:1-12, we hear one of the phrases in Scripture that is so important, yet so overlooked: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” There is so much faith and hope in these words!

These words are true not only for Jesus, but for us. Yet, why do we, in so many cases, keep looking for those whom God has called into God’s nearer presence, as though the grave/columbarium/wherever is the end of the story? For all those who have been baptized into, lived and died in God’s fellowship, it’s not the end by a long shot.

It’s often said that death brings out the worst in people. Things often change for the worse in a family after losing one of their members, and some of the turmoil is caused by common beliefs that aren’t truly Scriptural, but people insist on clinging to just the same.

Grief is difficult, and often compounded by guilt and mourning what could have been. When family members somehow feel as though following every final wish to the letter is absolutely sacrosanct, the focus shifts away from the Christian hope and onto death.

Maybe if we were to focus on what God did for us through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we could allow ourselves to step away from the tomb and into a fuller, more abundant life. Here are a couple of thoughts for your consideration:

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there; I did not die. – Mary Frye

From the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, re: the Burial Office

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all meaning in the
resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be

The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that
“neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else
in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ
Jesus our Lord.”

This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love
we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted
by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we
rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord,
we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

Posted by: celticanglican | March 14, 2016

5 Lent Prayer Requests

Kit, requires a family caregiver but landlady won’t let her daughter move in

Gary, in ICU after a motorcycle accident Reply to his dad

Please pray for wanda steel dhe has a mass on her brain and the family has to make a decision to have sergery or not. Please call out her name when you pray for her and the family. She is at metro in cleaveland.
Pleade pray for the Ramos family as the youngest daughter glotia found her mother dead. The parents were divorce and the mother was a drug addict.
Thsnk God for your prayers for paul, they seems to be working, his attude is different yesterday and today. keep pray for his salvation. From
Please pray for Jen she is feeling pains in her hands please pray for complete healing and restoration of all nerves.
Please pray for healing for dave and daryl
Pleease pray for healing hip replacement.
Please pray for justin to stay sober, he has been sober for 8 months.from prayer link

This week, we pray for Tom, an employee at a corrections facility:
“I am just asking for prayer for myself. I am a officer at a state prison and want to help these people learn and get back on their feet. But, like many other prisons, we don’t have the support of management when it comes to enforcing rules. As much as I want to help them learn, they do need to be held accountable for their actions. It has been a struggle recently in how I have treated them based on my frustrations with management.
“I just need prayer that I keep treating the inmates fairly and not let my frustration with management affect my days.”


Huan Lu, healing

Posted by: celticanglican | February 15, 2016

Last Rites a No-Go for Lapsed Member?

Joseph T. O'Callahan gives last rites to an injured crewman aboard USS Franklin (CV-13), 19 March 1945

I haven’t posted any answered FAQs in awhile, and have an unaddressed one that I think is worth sharing.

Q. I know of a Catholic family that recently lost a lapsed Episcopalian family member and did not call for an Episcopal priest to do last rites so far as I know. This has caused some friction with another family member who felt that they intentionally denied their loved one last rites because they were more concerned about keeping their relative’s spirits up and seemed to think a pastoral visit would needlessly depress them. Even though the deceased Episcopalian was not devout, did their relatives have the right to refuse to call a priest, if that is in fact what they did?

A. In short – no, the only person that would have had the right to refuse the sacrament of healing (which is what the service commonly known as last rites is) was the deceased themselves. Even if they were lapsed, they would still have access to the sacraments as a baptized member. There are a lot of misconceptions about “last rites” as performed in the TEC, namely that it is drawn-out, requires a last confession, has to be done only when death is imminent, or can be done after death – none of which are true.

It’s entirely possible that the family, because of the difference in denominations, did not see the sacrament of healing, as performed in the Episcopal Church, as being as valid as or similar to their own.  I’ve provided some general info below that anyone can use as a helpful reference that hopefully answers questions.

The healing service only takes a few minutes, and any family members present are welcome to join in the prayers. Although the church member MAY make a confession, it is not required and, indeed, in our church, the general confession is sufficient. The sick or dying person receives the laying on of hands and anointing with oil, and may receive communion if they are able to, as can baptized family members or friends present who want to. Should a priest arrive after death, a different set of prayers for the person’s soul and comfort of the family is performed.  Rather than dragging a person down and depressing them, it can serve to give a person hope and somewhat of a sense of refreshment. If this family did deny their loved one this sacrament, they all missed out on a true gift and blessing from God.

Posted by: celticanglican | February 1, 2016

Forgiveness: Revisited

I’m straying from the usual lectionary reading or TEC-based post to revisit one of my topics that generated some good discussion: does forgiveness mean just forgetting about what someone did to you and acting like it never happened?

In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter addresses Jesus, essentially asking how many times he must forgive someone who’s sinned against him. Jesus’ response is figurative, but clear: we are to forgive, just as God has forgiven us.

Forgiveness is often misunderstand, as it is often tied in with the old cliche about forgiving and forgetting. In many peoples’ minds, true forgiveness means forgetting about what happened.

This isn’t true, however. We can forgive someone for having wronged us, without forgetting what happened or allowing them to hurt us again.

Forgiveness isn’t for the benefit of the person who wronged you – it’s for your good. Forgiveness frees you from the resentment their behavior may have caused, letting you maintain your relationship with God and live the abundant life that God promised.

One of the tricky things about forgiving others is the fact that sometimes it seems like you won’t get there. I learned this the hard way recently, and it is very difficult.

Sometimes you need to forgive someone who sinned against who has since died and can’t demonstrate repentance. You may even have to forgive others who have wronged you because of what someone else did.

We must always remember it’s not about an arbitrary number of times you must forgive or demanding proof of the other’s repentance. It’s about freeing ourselves from others’ hurtful, inconsiderate and sometimes hateful influence and living in the light.


Posted by: celticanglican | January 24, 2016

5 Things We Must All Get Past for Real Unity

As the liturgical churches move past this year’s celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we see how much of a move there is for Christianity unity on a global scale. However, it’s easy to overlook that fact that a lot of efforts at unity start at a more localized level, even in our individual parishes/congregations and families.

There are many ways in which we can start achieving greater understanding among groups that aren’t dependent upon actions by larger ecumenical bodies. After reading the suggestions below, please feel free to add your own:

  1. Be Less of a Denominational Apologist – Although there are many important doctrines commonly taught in most groups, placing too much focus on doctrine specific to one denomination is more divisive than unifying. Instead, putting more emphasis on what we have in common goes a longer way.
  2. Think Globally, But Act Locally – There are many opportunities on a local level, such as Lenten programs run by local ministerial groups or community Bible studies, that bring together Christians of various stripes. If such opportunities don’t exist in your area, consider joining forces with others to start them.
  3. Never Assume Two Groups Treat Doctrines Exactly the Same Way – It’s very easy to think, for example, that all groups that teach some sort of baptismal regeneration believe the unbaptized are automatically damned or that groups that believe in a communion of saints all have the same views about saintly intercession. Instead, it’s more helpful to approach all of these doctrinal positions on their own terms, as each group understands them.
  4. Don’t Overlook Others’ Spiritual Experiences – It’s unfortunately easy to dismiss the spiritual experiences that others may have because they are different. Always treat the beliefs of others with the same respect you expect of yours.
  5. Avoid Presumptions About Others’ Beliefs – Some might feel inclined to laugh at an evangelical who attends an Episcopal church and assumes an usher is a deacon or a Catholic relative who assumes that non-Catholic clergy are “preachers” with no sacramental authority. However, bear in mind the fact that many people have little knowledge of denominations other than theirs, and this is a good starting-off point to discuss your similarities and differences.

What small steps do you think Christians can take to increase their understanding of each other?

Posted by: celticanglican | January 24, 2016

Prayer Requests

Hello All – God Bless You from Ontario, Canada
I am asking for immediate and urgent prayer for my marriage.
We have been together over 30 years and married for 28.
Satan is attempting to destroy our union. There is another woman in another country. He has been cursed and the devil is using this woman and her spells to destroy our union.
I stand against satan and ask you join me in prayer and do so also.
Please pray for this so-called relationship to be absolved immediately, totally and completely and that my husband is returned to me heart, mind, body soul and spirit.
Please pray for my anger, pain and frustration. Pray for us to each forgive one another for the issues that brought us here.
Please pray that Frank, my husband, see the error of his ways and seek mental health and spiritual help, bringing him back to God, to me and our girls with total forgiveness and complete commitment.
Please pray that this curse be lifted and his mind healed. Please pray that he continues to heal physically.
I will not survive this pain without you prayers and support and God’s merciful grace and intercession.
I believe that God does not believe in divorce and that His will for us is to be rejoined in the same matrimonial commitment and bliss that we shared on February 20, 1988, when we were first married. Pray this happens immediately.
May God Bless You All for your faithfulness. I need you now, more than ever, please, please, please pray.

Teresa A. D’Agostino

Thank you so much for your prayers over our family’s financial situation. Appreciate your continued prayers for provision and security over our income/salary and benefits protection. We’ve heard nothing more from the company. So we are being proactive in checking on the situation. Please pray for God’s great favor. Also, Galen has a couple interviews during lunches which are good possibilities. Particularly, please pray for a job with Compassion International that is said to open in July-that it may come available sooner. Meanwhile, he continues to work hard as ever on his current job and do the best he can.
I have applied for several writing jobs in hopes something may come through. The book will not be published until the fall. So, we need something going to help us through. Thank you for praying boldly. We love you so much!
Many Blessings in Christ,
Teresa J. Herbic

Posted by: celticanglican | January 18, 2016

Prayer Requests

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light
of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word
and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s
glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the
ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with
you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and
for ever. Amen.

Good evening, warriors,
I received a request earlier this evening for woman diagnosed with stage 4+ breast cancer. Thank you for holding Karen, her family and the doctors up in prayer. God has got this and I praise him for the outcome.

Pastor Dan Carter
Battle Buddy Ministries

Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your sick servant Karen, and give your power of healing to those who minister to her needs, that she may be strengthened in her weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Please pray that God will give me the Godly and Christ like Prophetic interpretations (Genesis 40:8) to the dreams and visions HE gives me. I really need for you to press in for this. Like wise, all that I have sent this prayer request to, I will be in intercessory warfare for you all personally and all that you do as I’m led by HIM! Luby

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us and especially Luby, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see
light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted by: celticanglican | January 18, 2016

If We Stop Caring, We’re All Doomed

As the US gears up to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s birthday, one of his most famous quotes seems particularly timely: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

This country, and the Church as a whole, have come a long way since the start of the Civil Rights Movement. However, I think we still have a ways to go, with many deep rifts in this country that have yet to be mended.

The increasingly belligerant tone of the Presidential race, the discord over the Confederate flag in the wake of a tragic shooting, and violence throughout the country are examples of how much division still exists. The Church, as represented by her various denominations, faces constant struggles over sexuality, mission in a world where persecution is increasing and other issues, is faring little better.

The easy thing to do is to just ignore it all, and decide not to get involved. Choosing what is right vs. the easy route is often a choice that many prefer not to make.

However, I don’t think being a faithful member of the Jesus Movement leaves us with the option of the easy route. Jesus never promised a trouble-free life where we can safely sit on the sidelines and passively await something better.

We shall overcome, as Rosa Parks and the popular song have said. However, we need to stop remaining silent and get into action.

Posted by: celticanglican | January 5, 2016

Yes, It’s Time

Most of the Christmas lights and decorations are now down around town, and the majority of stores are now focused on the holidays that come  after Christmas. We’re at a stage in the Church year when our focus shifts away from Christ’s birth to a visit from the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12).

Many Christians who follow the traditional Church year take down their Christmas tree and other decorations at Epiphany. While it’s always a little sad to see the tree come down, maybe it helps to look at it as being symbolic of looking forward to the next great things God will do for us.

Some of us have made resolutions that we may or may not keep (I know I could use some help in that department). Just as we remember the past year but look to the promises of the new year, we should also look to the new promises God promises to all.

It’s easy to get to caught up in the story of Christmas and not give a thought to the (coming early this year) Lenten and Holy Week observances. After all, a baby Jesus is safer for some to remember than a betrayed, crucified Savior.

However, let’s make a resolution not to get stuck in neutral where the Gospel is concerned. God is continually doing too many new things for us to keep things under wraps.

Posted by: celticanglican | December 15, 2015

Smile! We’ve Just Passed Pink Sunday

Even though we remember St. John of the Cross in the lectionary today, I felt one of the readings from this past Sunday was a good place to start from. After having had one of the worst events of my life occur within the past few weeks, the signifigance of the Bible readings are all the more important.

I have a friend who’s been through many trials in life that has come through them with grace. One aspect of her positive attitude that gave me a fresh perspective on the Philippians reading is remembering a time when she greeted a co-worker at a busy hospital who was frazzled on a Sunday.

My friend’s great, joyful response was this – “Smile, it’s the Lord’s day!” May we all strive to have this level of joy to express to those around us.

It’s interesting that the lectionary readings get to Philippians 4:4-7 during a time when the secular, retail version of the Christmas season is in full swing. After all, it can be hard to look at the joy of the season when there are inconsiderate drivers on the road, rude shoppers in the stores, and a slew of bad memories for many people at this time.

While it’s a happy coincidence that this “joyful Sunday” comes after the things that irritate many about the holidays have been going on for a few weeks, we can draw comfort from Paul’s words. The earliest generation of Christians maybe didn’t have to deal with a stressful, shopping-influenced holiday season, but they did have more than their share of troubles.

What we can take away from this lesson: be happy. Let your light shine for all to see. Don’t give up on prayer. Most importantly, trust the One who is best able to guard your heart and mind.

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