We at St. Mark’s have been blessed with some beautiful new paraments for the altar. The problem with new articles made “for holy use” is that there are old articles made for the same purpose. You are caught in the bind of thinking a) we didn’t find them “good enough” for our use so why would we expect someone else to use them and b) they don’t really belong in places of common use after being on the altar for decades. So what happens is that you store them waiting for that opportunity to use them or gift them. That opportunity came along for us.
One of the sons of a family at St. Mark’s is part of an Anglican Ordinariate church just getting started. While we would have been very happy to have his family here at St. Mark’s, we are a Lutheran Church that believes, teaches and confesses according to the Book of Concord. That was not where this son was at. One of the to-do’s about starting a “high church” congregation is dressing the altar. Knowing that we had some in reserve so to speak, his mom asked if they might be available. The rest is history. Here are some pictures of St. Mark’s old paraments being put to holy use in a new home.
Now, I’d like to share a different picture. This the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Probably the former church home of many of those now part of the ordinariate. This is the woman at the head of the church pursuing a “scorched earth policy” against any Anglicans/Episcopalians who disagree with the new theology adopted and seek to separate from the communion (news stories one, two) Which pictures better represent a the humble piety called for from the “poor who have the good news proclaimed to them (Luke 4:18)?”
Here is something that I’ve found to be true of any orthodox body I’ve ever been around. First, they are not shy about saying what they actually believe. They believe it because they have received it as from the Lord. Second, they will invite your to “come and see” or journey along to see that truth. They do that largely because they themselves are on such a journey. We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. Third, because they know who they are, they are able to truly interact in love with others. It is not a false love that is constantly just desiring approval from the other, but a love that bears all things (1 Cor 13:7). Even a separation when there is no longer a true communion. Eventually we will be able to see clearly.