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This page last updated 9 November 2009
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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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 Canadian 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.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 2 November to 8 November 2009

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.

Fierce wild priest?

I have sung in our cathedral choir since 1993. One year, our choir director, Canon David Link, chose not to include " I sing a song of the saints of God.." and got such flack as only choir directors receive, after having stepped on the toes of sanctity.

Music is a balm for the soul as well as a fuel for the fire. I always think, after singing this hymn, about those 'fierce wild priests!"

And I wonder if the lyrics had been set to music by someone else, perhaps Arvo Part, that the general feeling about the words might be vastly different. Words are vastly important, but so is music, and sometimes these are two very different things.

Michelle Jackson, ObJN
Trinity Cathedral
Sacramento California, USA
2 November 2009

Praying with the body?

Hullo, Hallo, Hello and Howdy Y’all. THANK YOU for proclaiming the value of “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”! I have loved this hymn since I was a child, have learned to appreciate its invitation, and was relieved that the compilers of the American hymnal kept it in our collection. You said it far better than I ever could. Keep up the excellent work. Anglicans On-Line is my first stop on Monday mornings; a wonderful way to begin the work-week. You always give me something well worth thinking about.

On an entirely different subject I am exploring methods of praying with the body. Of course Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Orthodox do processions and liturgy and all kinds of movement in our worship. Some even risk liturgical dance. I’m talking more about the use of the body in private prayer. More than bows and genuflections and signs of the Cross, valuable as they are.

Just about everything I’ve found has been about adaptations of Yoga, Tai Chi, etc. Does anyone out there know of any Christian traditions of praying with the body? My current theory is beginning to evolve in the direction of thinking that perhaps early dualistic influences made body prayer an unlikely development among our ancestors in the faith, but should be delighted to be proven wrong.

Any and all sources, ideas, suggestions received with the deepest gratitude. Thank you to Anglicans Online for providing world-wide Anglican connections.

Sister Diana Doncaster
Christ Episcopal Church, Eureka
Eureka, California, USA
2 November 2009

Christian soldiers

It was fun to see that one of the hymns selected for All Saints in our Army chapel was the subject of your opening letter this week. While the title of the hymnbook is actually Book of Worship for United States Forces (at least that has been its title since 1974) rather than Hymnbook for the Armed Forces, the hymn is indeed contained within. The letter was also quite informative as I knew nothing of the history for the hymn prior.

"I Sing a Song of the Saints of God" is in our regular rotation mainly for the line: “And one was a soldier, and one was a priest.” While I have no Sergeants Major in the congregation, there are hundreds of Soldiers-in-Training learning what it means to be an United States soldier. I would like to think this hymn, along with the chapel service as whole, helps them keep in mind the task of a Christian soldier.

CH (CPT) Steven G Rindahl
Chapel of Christ the King (Memorial Chapel), Ft Jackson
Fort Jackson, South Carolina, USA
4 November 2009

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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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