Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


SAINT JAMES

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Question of the Week

Rev. Rachael Parker

 

2012

DEC | 02 | 09 | 16 |

NOV | 04 | 18 | 25 |

OCT | 07 | 14 | 21 | 28 |

SEP | 16 | 23 | 30 |

 

(2012-12-16)

Why do we have three different colours on the Advent wreath: purple, pink and white?

Traditionally, the colour of Advent has been purple, which symbolizes repentance and fasting.  It is also the colour of royalty, demonstrating the anticipation and reception of the second coming of Christ as King, which we prepare for in Advent.  Today, however, many churches have begun to use blue instead of purple, as a means of distinguishing the season of Advent from the season of Lent.

Pink (rose) is also one of the colours of Advent used during the third Sunday of Advent.  It represents joy or rejoicing and reveals a shift in the season away from repentance and toward celebration.

White is the colour of the Advent candle, representing purity.  Christ is sinless, spotless, pure Saviour.  It also reminds us that those who receive Christ as their Saviour are washed clean of their sins and are made white than snow.

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(2012-12-09)

What is Advent and why do we have a wreath?

Answer

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(2012-12-02)

Paul tells us that "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26)

Does this not mean that our prayers should not be a copious flow of words; but that we should remain silent, and instead surrender to God who prays to himself through us by wordless expression??

Answer

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(2012-11-25)

Nicene Creed versus Apostles' Creed: When were each written?  What happened that caused two similar principles of belief to be developed?

Answer

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(2012-11-18)

Could you talk about the Anglican understanding of how Christ is present in the Eucharist and what receiving the Eucharist does for a person's spiritual life?  For example, does receiving Eucharist impart Graces to a person to help strengthen them to live out their Christian walk?

Answer

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(2012-11-04)

Was there ever any forgiveness or redemption for Judas?

This question is excellent and calls out for a 2-fold answer: (1) he was not forgiven or redeemed; and (2) we cannot know the mind or actions of God.

At no point does Scripture assure us that Judas was forgiven. Matt. 27:3 (NRSV) states that when Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he (Judas) repented and brought back the 30 pieces of silver.  Luke 22:3 states that Satan entered into Judas, and John 13:2 speaks of the move to betray Jesus being put into Judas' heart by the devil.  Judas' role in the bringing about of the sacrifice Jesus made is referred to as a fulfillment of Scriptures (Acts 1:16).

Scripture does not state that Judas was ever forgiven, regardless of how we interpret his repentance.  Indications are made that his lot in life is to be pitied.

The person and act of Judas leave us with one of the greatest Christian conundrums: If Judas had used his free will to not betray Jesus, where would we be now? Since Judas did betray Jesus, where is he now?

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(2012-10-28)

ls the width of the "white" part of the clerical collar significant?  It seems to vary a lot in the Anglican Churches I have attended over the years.

Another good question!  There are some rumours around the Church about the width of the white collar indicating the clerical style of the priest: high, low or broad church.  However, I have been unable to find a definitive answer to these ideas.

I did find out a bit of the history of this specific clerical dress.  It would seem that, contrary to commonly held beliefs, the clerical collar was a Protestant invention, rather than a Roman Catholic one.  The Revd. Dr. D. McLeod (Church of England of Church of Scotland) invented what is referred to as the neckband shirt style.

 The neckband is a collar that wraps completely around the priest's neck. It started out as a piece of starched linen and then became a piece of cotton laminated between layers of acetate.  Most common these days is the use of flexible polyethylene.  The collar is attached to the clergy shirt using a metal or plastic "button" in button holes in the front and back or the neck.

"Tabs" are also very popular.  A tab is a piece of plastic about 4 to 6 inches long that tucks into the stitched-down collar of a clergy shirt.  As the "tab" shirts are most popular among Roman Catholic priests, they are often referred to as "Roman" collars.

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(2012-10-21)

Up till last year, the congregation was invited to sing the communion hymn. Why is it not offered this year?

That is an excellent question and the simple answer is this has been an oversight by your new Rector!  In planning worship with the organist, there has been a steep learning curve for both musician and liturgist as we "learn" each other and as the Rector learns the patterns of this place.  Keep your eye open for Congregational Communion Hymns in the future.  It won't happen every week and it might not start again for a couple of weeks, due to liturgies planned a few weeks ahead but it will be reinstituted!

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(2012-10-14)

Why are there only 11 disciples displayed in the stain glass window?

The window above the Sanctuary depicts the Ascension/Commissioning of the Disciples - Matthew 28:1620 and Mark 16:1920; Luke 24:50-53.  At the point of the Ascension, Judas had already betrayed Jesus and the choosing of the new "12"" had not yet occurred.  According to Matthew's Gospel there were only 11 disciples present at the Ascension of Christ. The disciples are depicted as follows: section 3: Peter; section 4: Andrew; section 5: Bartholomew and Matthew; section 6: John; section 7: Jesus; section 8: James the Less and Philip; section 9: James the Great and Jude; section 10: Simon and Thomas.

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(2012-10-07)

I am puzzled about Christ's words on the Cross to the repentant thief and the unrepentant thief - was this a last act of mercy - is that why it is recorded in detail?

He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)

This is a good  question as it is only Luke's Gospel which includes an interchange between Jesus and the criminals.  In Mark and John's Gospels, it is simply noted that the two were present and also shared in Jesus' fate.  In Matthew's Gospel, both men mocked Jesus.

It seems here that Luke's intent was to show the consistency of Jesus' intentions and ministry right up until the end of his earthly life.  "Here Jesus does save someone, and that the one saved is a dying criminal is totally congenial to the types of persons blessed by Jesus throughout his ministry.  In his own dying hour, Jesus continues his ministry."*

The language used here is also of note, as "Paradise" is a Persian word indicating a "walled garden," or a place where companions would walk with the King.  "It was more than immortality that Jesus promised the penitent thief.  He promised him the honoured place of a companion of the garden in the courts of heaven."**

* Craddock, Fred B. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching - Luke.  Louisville, Kentucky. John Knox Press, 1990, p274.

** Barclay, William. The Gospel of Luke: Revised Edition. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press, 1975, p287.

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(2012-09-30)

The 19th Article of Religion (Book of Common Prayer p706) indicates that the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Rome have erred in matters of faith.  What are these errors?

The 19th Article of Religion speaks of "The Church'" as it is presented in the New Testament: a body, a living growing organic unity of members, which is the "new creation" of God in Christ. It is important to note that people arc called into the Church. which pre-exists their entrance. People do not make the Church, or what defines the Church, by joining it. They are called to participate in the Church which already exists.

The named church communities were considered to have "erred" by the ways in which their specific polities had been allowed to influence the practices of the Church.  In some cares, superstitious practices in devotion and rituals had been added to the life of the Church and were changing the people's understanding of Church and the doctrine of Faith. Some of these ''errors'' are as follows: Papal Supremacy, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the lnfallibility of the Pope.
Source: Anglican Teaching: "An Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles" by W.G. Wilson and J.H. Templeton. Association for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1962

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(2012-09-23)

What is that Iight/candle hanging in the sanctuary?

A Sanctuary lamp is kept burning continuously to indicate the presence of tbe Blessed Sacrament used in communicating (or taking communion to) the sick or people who are unable to leave their homes to come to Church. The continuous light reminds us that we are in the presence of Christ in the Sacrament and reverence should be observed.

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(2012-09-16)

What is the "narthex"?

The narthex is a porch, vestibule, or entrance hall attached to the west end of the nave. Usually the main outside door of a church leads into a narthex. Symbolically it is a room providing for a transition from the outside world into the church proper.

(Lang, Paul H.D., What An Altar Guild Should Know. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1968, page 47.)

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