Church Stuff-More or less

Does the church make sense or do we make it too hard for people to come in? I think yes and yes and the task then is to make it easier. Maybe for someone out there, this will be the case. I write as a Lutheran (or, perhaps a Lutherpalian) although I might seem out of the mainstream from time to time. That's okay, isn't it? Let's blog on.

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Contrary to what Google will tell you, I have been blogging for several year, right here. Look for Churchstuff-moreorless. life was a hell of a lot easier when you could talk to someone to get help. Now, you can't do it on the telephone, you can't do it on the internet. Life was easier and made more sense because people actually cared. Now they will screw you as quickly as they will help you. Unfuck the world.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Eucharistic Prayer for the Commemoration of James Hannington and his companions, Martyrs (October 29)

 It is truly right and a good and joyful thing 
that we should at all times and in all places, 
offer our thanks and praise to you, Holy God through Christ our Lord.
You send disciples into all the world, promising to be with them in death as in life.
And so with the Church on earth, with James, Bishop Hannington,
his companions, 
and all the hosts of heaven, 
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
The Sanctus is said or sung.
 
You are indeed holy, O God, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ. 
He purchased the road to you with his blood. 
By the baptism of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection, 
you gave birth to your church, 
delivered us from slavery to sin and death, 
and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

On the night before he suffered death, our Lord Jesus gathered his friends around the table and as he took bread, he offered thanks to you; breaking it, and giving it to all of them, saying: 
“Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” 

After all of them had eaten, he again took the cup and offered thanks to you, and gave it for all to drink, saying: 
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.” 

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, 
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, 
in union with Christ’s offering for us, 
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.  
Christ has died. 
Christ has risen.
Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here and on these gifts of bread and wine. 
As they are the body and blood of Christ for us, 
so may we be for the world the body of Christ,
redeemed by his blood. 
Enable us to lead lives worthy of those who have gone before us and given their lives as a testimony of your love.
By your Spirit bind us to Christ,
one to another, 
together in ministry to all the world, 
until Christ comes in final victory and we
feast at the heavenly banquet. 
Through your son Jesus Christ, 
with the Holy Spirit in your holy church, 
all honor and glory is yours, Almighty God,
now and forever.  
Amen
And now, as God’s confident children, we boldly pray:  
Our Father in heaven...

Note: James Hannington was sent to Eastern Equatorial Africa early in his ministry in 1884 to
continue the evangelism work that began in the 1870’s with the favor of King Mutesa, who died in 1884. However, his son and successor, King Mwanga, opposed all foreign presence, including the missions.
In 1885, Bishop Hannington and his entourage made a tragic error by entering Uganda from the east. As he was travelling toward Uganda, he was apprehended by emissaries of King Mwanga. He and his companions were brutally treated and, a week later, 29 October 1885, most of them were put to death. Hannington's last words were: "Go tell your master that I have purchased the road to Uganda with my blood."
The first native martyr was the Roman Catholic priest Joseph Mkasa Balikuddembe, who was beheaded after having rebuked the king for his debauchery and for the murder of Bishop Hannington. On 3 June 1886, a group of 32 men and boys, 22 Roman Catholic and 10 Anglican, were burned at the stake. Most of them were young pages in Mwanga's household, from their head-man, Charles Lwanga, to the thirteen-year-old Kizito, who went to his death "laughing and chattering." These and many other Ugandan Christians suffered for their faith then and in the next few years.
In 1977, the Anglican Archbishop Janani Luwum and many other Christians suffered death for their faith under the tyrant Idi Amin.

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