My heart goes out to all those of you who suffered through worship of Leviathan instead of the Lord today.
I am blessed to attend a Reformed Episcopal Church (which is distinct from the mainline Episcopal Church; the REC split from the latter in the 1870’s because it was already too heretical. If you’re dissatisfied with your current church, I strongly urge you to hunt an REC. Its liturgy protects parishioners from anything blasphemous or “contemporary.”). And our congregation patiently tolerates my amateur attempts on piano while our organist, a professional who plays venues around the country, vacations. She specified the hymns for this morning before she left; the closest we came to anything “patriotic” was “God of Our Fathers.” It includes that magnificent line, “From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence, Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense…” Prior to that we sang “Blest Be the Tie” and “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past.”
Thank Heaven, there was no pledge of any kind, though the rector teased me after the service by slapping his forehead and exclaiming, “Oh, I forgot! The Pledge! We were supposed to recite it while parading a flag around the sanctuary, weren’t we?”
I chose the music that would open and close the service. My prelude was Mark Hayes’s arrangement of “Oh, Worship the King” — yep, I’m subtle about reminding Christians where our loyalty lies. And as a postlude, I selected another of Hayes’s masterpieces, “Once to Every Man and Nation,” about whose lyrics I’ve blogged before. If you’ve never read them, I encourage you to do so: they’re a profound antidote to the statism suffocating so much of Christ’s Body.