Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hail Thee Festival Day (updated)

Today is Pentecost. I myself don't really have anything to say about it, but I would feel remiss if I did not at least acknowledge it in my Episcopal blog.

Father Henry sure was fired up in church today, raising his voice quite frequently, demanding that we be a Pentecostal church, opening our doors and windows to everybody, speaking not in foreign languages (toungues) but in the language of the poor. What was special about the Apostles, he said, was not that they spoke in foreign toungues, but that those toungues were understood by the audience. It's communication the Holy Spirit demands of us, not freakish syllables. Fr. Henry also made it clear that he's very angry at the Archbishop of Canterbury for not inviting the homosexual Bishop Gene Robinson to the 2008 Lambeth Conference (remember, this is New Hampshire, Bishop Robinson's diocese), and for thus implying that the Holy Spirit does not also move among our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. I wonder if he's angry the Archbishop didn't invite "Bishops" Martyn Minns or Charles Murphy, either? I mean, let's be honest, i, St. Thomas Hanover, Christianity, Zimbabwe, Lambeth Conference, nclusion is inclusion. If the Holy Spirit moves among all God's children, it moves among the conservative browbeaters who violate territorial jurisdiction. (Read Bishop Robinson's statement on the matter, a bulletin insert, here.)

(Sunday evening update: I asked Fr. Henry what he thought of Bishop Minns not being invited to Lambeth, and he pointed out that Minns is not a diocesan bishop like Gene Robinson. The Lambeth Conference has traditionally been open only to diocesan bishops, so it's not a big deal for Minns to miss it. Nigeria has Archbishop Akinola and his other bishops to represent it at the Conference, but who does New Hampshire (or the LBGT community) have? Fr. Henry said he knew of no other time a diocesan bishop has been declined an invitation. I pointed out that another diocesan bishop, the Bishop of Harare (Zimbabwe), may be left out due to his support for Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugage. Fr. Henry didn't reply, but given Mugabe's crimes against humanity, he didn't really need to.)

Hail Thee, Festival day!

Hail thee, festival day!
Blessed day to be hallowed forever;
Day when the Holy Ghost
Shone in the world full of grace.

Bright and in the likeness of fire,
On those who await your appearing,
You Whom the Lord had foretold
Suddenly, swiftly descend.


Forth from the Father You come
With sevenfold mystical offering,
Pouring on all human souls
Infinite riches of God.


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