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This page last updated 12 February 2007
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to English orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

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Letters from 5 February to 11 February 2007

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

To share the joy

Still on a high from attending a wonderful ordination service on Saturday, I thought I'd write to you so others may share the joy! No less than 45 men and women were made deacons at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney last Saturday 3 February. What an encouragement! Some have just finished their studies at Moore Theological College and others had been working as lay stipendiary workers for a number of years.

Our Diocese is working towards the establishment of an authentic permanent diaconate which I'm certain will prove a great blessing. You can read a report on the ordination here and see some photos here.

Please join us in prayer for the Lord's great blessing on the ministies of these men and women.

Mark Calder
St Andrew's Roseville
Sydney, Australia
5 February 2007

Cantate Domino canticum novum

We hear arguments that 'In the past we did it this way' ...We've found that if we dive into a discussion with someone who wants 'to do things as they've always been done', and press for details about what they really mean, that 'always been' refers to that person's childhood, or memories of childhood...We suspect that this is why someone pushing to return to the past in church is rarely interested in winding time backwards past his own childhood. Pushing for 'the old hymns' never means 'the really really old hymns', it means 'the hymns I sang when I was a child'.

Yeah, yeah--patronize and dismiss us. I jolly well do mean the old hymns, like Prudentius' and Fortunatus'. I didn't sing these hymns or any others as a child because I was brought up as an atheist. I joined the Church in part because I liked singing these hymns, because I liked singing church music in Latin, and because I liked the old Prayer Book. I don't like this stuff because it conjures up some "reptilian memory" or because I think it's somehow more theologically correct that what the church is currently offering or because I think the Church should do what it has done in the past. I just LIKE this stuff. And, yeah, I do think disagreement about these matters is worth losing friends and alienating others about. Silly me: I think getting a window into the other world, getting some sense of transcendence is important but I'm not sufficiently diligent, patient or clever to get it through meditation, which bores me and makes me angry. The only way I can get a window into that other world is through those old hymns, Latin liturgical music, Anglican chant and THE OLD PRAYER BOOK dammit!!! That's worth fighting for though I realized a few years ago that it was hopeless. Okey doke. I give up. I and others who feel as I do aren't gonna get the liturgy that speaks to our souls no way no how. At least don't dismiss and patronize us.

H. E. Baber
University of San Diego
San Diego
6 February 2007

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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


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