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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Do this in remembrance of me


For those who do not understand, this is why it matters to believers.


WARNING: This video shows harrowing images of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus 

44 comments:

  1. This video is so painfully beautiful. At the moment, it feels as if being present at Mass will never be the same again. The small 'Gethsemanes' we are asked to walk through in our own lives seem as a stroll in an unkempt garden,when we compare in our minds the extreme torment of Jesus. God gave us His Son and in the Eucharist we offer to God our poor selves together with the only thing good enough to offer to God ,and that is His Son.

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  2. But see Article XXXI - what happens in Church is strictly a commemoration. The only Sacrifice is the one which was offered on the Cross. It is not repeated (as if it could be) by the Church, no matter how elaborate the ritual or the music.

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  3. To Anglicanus

    Interesting argument - wish you had given more here - this is a great topic for debate.

    How would you respond to the following argument?

    "When we realise the very special kind of memorial which the Passover was for the Jews, we can see more clearly how the Apostles would have understood our Lord at the Last Supper when he said, 'Do this in memory of me.' Our Lord also has events which he wants us to recall and relive in our liturgy, namely his own death and resurrection…If the sacrifice of the cross is Christ's 'exodus', the Mass is his 'Passover'. His words, 'Do this in memory of me,' take effect down through the centuries. The Eucharist is the memorial of his death and resurrection, but it is no empty memorial. Like the Passover of the Jews it is a living memorial containing the reality of the events it commemorates. The Eucharist, then, is no mere passion play, no empty drama. It is a sacramental mystery in which the death and resurrection of Christ become actual in the midst of the celebrating community. It is, we have always said, the sacrifice of the cross, for it is the Paschal mystery of Christ becoming alive for the people of God in our time." (Moloney, 2003, pp. 75-76).

    Also bear in mind that the notion of memory and sacrifice are intimately bound through liturgical action within Judaism. Lord Sachs explicates this succinctly as follows: "The Passover Sacrifice is no mere recitation of events that happened long ago and far away. We do not so much tell the story as re-enact it." (ibid.)

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  4. Doulos

    The problem is that in much devotional material as well as in formal theology, the Lord's Supper is effectively treated as a new offering of sacrifice, or a repetition of that which took place on Calvary. Particularly when it is "offered" for a particular purpose or intention, it suggests that this is not a Passover re-enactment (it happens every day in some churches and cathedrals) but a sacrificial offering made to the Deity in order to secure a special blessing or favour.

    Cranmer's words for the Prayer of Consecration admirably explain what is happening: " (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world"..." The Atonement is completed on the Cross. What Jesus commands us to do is to "continue a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again". Nothing we do can add to it or repeat it.

    And if we are tempted to refer to what you call liturgical action within Judaism, Hebrews teaches us, even before the destruction of the Temple took place, that the offerings of the priests in that place are futile, repeated over and again without effect or meaning. But the sacrifice offered by Christ is effective in washing away our sins, and therefore we have no need of any further offering or purification by blood.

    Our commemoration of the body and blood of Christ, unlike the Passover supper, is unbloody.There is no lamb to be killed and consumed, no blood for the doorposts and lintels, or for sprinkling on the altars and on the people. The simple gifts of bread and wine are our communion with the body and blood of Christ, offered once and for all time. It is faith which makes this possible: not the presence of a priest, or a particular form of words, or type of liturgy, or special robes and music.





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    1. @ Anglicanus. Many thanks for triggering a moment of great revelation for me! All that stuff we do on a Sunday morning is a load of complete and utter tosh. The sacrifice was offered once and for all two thousands years ago. There’s no need to drag it up all over again. We don’t need deacons, priests or bishops to re-enact it today, so we can save some cash by sacking them. We don’t need liturgy, music, vestments or buildings to play out the grand opera of the sacrifice; so we can get rid of them as well. In which case there’s not much point putting cash in the plate on a Sunday to pay for it, so that will save some money as well. In actual fact, there’s now not much point in going to church on a Sunday anymore. So I’m going to give it all up and do something else with my Sunday morning. Let’s face it, that’s what 99% of Wales does anyway!

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    2. Anglicanus

      Thank you for your respectful and well articulated argument - I enjoyed reading it. Perhaps, the following arguments may ameliorate some of your concerns raised above - and I shall use a synthesis of Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic sources:

      1. Argument by Raymond Moloney SJ (1995, pp.212-213)
      "The doctrine of the Eucharist as sacrifice…takes its stand on Calvary. It is the sacramental renewal, not of Calvary's brutality and blood-letting, but of loving surrender with which those realities were borne and offered. Consequently it is not a crude blood-ritual nor the placating of an angry God, but the embodiment of that plenitude of religious values which Christ achieved on the cross. Christ's self-surrender on Calvary was in fact the highest instance known to us of the human sacrificial attitude, so that in this indirect way the traditional ends of sacrifice associated with that attitude - thanksgiving, propitiation, petition and praise - find their way back into our understanding of the sacramental sacrifice of the Mass."

      2. Argument by Bishop Kallistos Ware (1997, pp.286-287)
      The Eucharist is not a bare commemoration nor an imaginary representation of Christ's sacrifice, but the true sacrifice itself; yet on the other hand it is not a new sacrifice, nor a repetition of the sacrifice on Calvary, since the Lamb was sacrificed 'once only, for all time'. The events of Christ's sacrifice - the Incarnation, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension - are not repeated in the Eucharist, but they are made present. During the Liturgy, through its divine power, we are projected to the point where eternity cuts across time, and at this point we become true contemporaries with the events which we commemorate. All the holy suppers of the Church are nothing else than one eternal and unique Supper, that of Christ in the Upper Room. The same divine act both takes place at a specific moment in history, and is offered always in the sacrament."

      Both the Roman and Eastern views do not take a unidimensional view of Sacrifice - this is clearly evident in both arguments given above. I am not convinced that Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Theology lend credence to your critique above. Their arguments seem to refute many of the criticisms that your argument levels against them. Schmemann (1987) warns theologians exploring the Eucharist against reductionism - and this can be true of some Protestant arguments levelled against the notion of sacrifice (I must stress that this is not a pejorative observation - I fully respect Protestant Theology).

      Once again, thank you for your response.

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  5. Sue de Knim

    However... Jesus did say, "Do this in remembrance of me".

    He didn't say, you will need a Tridentine liturgy, with priest, deacon and subdeacon, silk vestments, birettas, a £1m organ, etc etc etc.

    What you need is faith, a minister to lead the worship - and the congregation of the faithful.

    See Article XIX.

    There is no opt-out from the commandment, to "do this in remembrance of me".



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    1. @ Anglicanus. Why do we need a minister to lead worship? Are we not all a priesthood of believers?

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    2. We are indeed a priesthood of all believers. We do not need an intermediary or a priest so that we can approach the Father - we can pray for ourselves and for others.

      When it comes to leading worship, which in the Anglican tradition is a ministry of Word and Sacrament, we do need a minister who can teach the Word faithfully, according to the tradition which we have received from the time of the Apostles, and celebrate the Sacraments in a godly fashion in company with the congregation when it gathers for worship.

      Ordination forms part of the living tradition of the Church because it ensures that only those who truly believe and teach the Christian faith as it has been handed on can minister to the people of God. At least, that's the theory - in the ingenuity of our human disobedience there have always been men and women who have sought to teach their own versions of the Gospel, often with disastrous effects, as we are seeing in today's Church in Wales, and elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, such as TEC, or the Anglican Church in Canada, where the authority of holy scripture has been jettisoned and replaced by the spirit of the age.

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    3. @ Anglicanus. The quality of worship and preaching in the Anglican Church in Wales is generally pretty poor. Anyway thanks to you and your ‘dissing’ of our style of worship my family and I are looking forward to our first church-free Sunday in years. The cash we would have put in the plate is going to be blown on a magnum of claret and a cracking pheasant pie. B*llocks to Anglicanism, and thanks for showing us the light!

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    4. I hope you and the family have a pleasant lunch. It will be far more constructive than attending worship you really don't believe in.

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  6. What’s all this reliance of the Articles? Where did Jesus give us the Thirty Nine Articles?

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    1. The Thirty Nine Articles are part of our inheritance as Anglicans - the Christian faith as understood since the Reformation in these islands. They are formulated to express the mind and teaching of holy scripture. They are not binding on other Christians, but if you reject the Articles, then you reject Anglicanism.

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    2. But WHERE did Jesus give us the Thirty Nine Articles?

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    3. "If you reject the (thirty nine) Articles ,then you reject Anglicanism": so Anglicanus says.
      I wonder how many Anglicans subscribe to this medieval list?
      The Oxford Movement -which is part of the Anglican Church - certainly dismissed most of what is written, and you cannot say that the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church is not Anglican!

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    4. The Oxford Movement claimed to uphold the 39 Articles (see for example Newman's Tract 90). In practice it was in many ways deeply disloyal to the Articles, and still is. It is one of the reasons why Anglicanism in Wales has become a house divided against itself, devoting more of its energies to internal conflicts than to external engagement with evangelism. It is not the worst offender in this regard, now that the liberal cuckoo is busy throwing everyone else out of the nest.

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    5. "What do you think of the show so far...?"
      Most people know the answer.

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    6. It is not only the Anglican Church in Wales that is divided against itself - it is the worldwide Anglican Communion!
      The Archbishop of Uganda says that the Church in North America and Canada should not be invited to the 2018 Lambeth Confetence over the issue of gay ordination and same sex blessing of unions. The same African Bishop has recently been very upset by a letter from ++Welby telling him, and the Anglican leaders worldwide to show the love of Christ to same sex couples.
      Archbishop Welby said .." Homosexual people are children of God,loved and valued by Him..."
      Both Anglican primates in Nigeria and Uganda condemn homosexuality (many years in prison).
      So, the Anglican Church does not agree on female ordination,same sex relationships,let alone how many Sacraments there are,depending on whether or not you accept the medieval Thirty Nine Articles.
      "Pardon ?"

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    7. Sounds like pick and mix religion!

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    8. Hmmm, Simple Soul, it would help if you were to read the Articles:

      http://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/book-of-common-prayer/articles-of-religion.aspx

      For example, Article 7 says "... no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral". If those who claim the name of Anglican were to abide by this one statement of faith, Anglicanism would be considerably less divided.



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    9. You still haven’t shown us where Jesus gave us the 39 Articles. They are a human invention, a political manifesto used as propaganda to justify the establishment of the Church of England.

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    10. Percy - yes, in the Anglican Church you may believe as you wish ,but the crunch is this : one's belief or understanding should not step on the toes of your neighbour ! We have this enormous problem because decisions which may have profound theological implication are taken by an elected body ( Governing Body or Synod) by persons who may not have had any theological training or any other appropriate training,and I refer to the influence of the House of Laity.
      With regard to one's understanding of the Sacraments, I believe we should subscribe to the teaching of the One Holy Catholic Church to which we say we belong.
      This brings us back to the beginning of this blog and the beautiful meditation video on the Holy Eucharistic celebration.
      The entry in the 'thirty nine articles' on 'Communion' is totally at variance ,with the understanding which I have been given by many Anglican priests over the decades,and to which I subscribe.

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  7. The answer Anonymous is that it must be written in Wikipedia!!

    More seriously ,Ancient Briton adds to his blog to show us the beauty and mystery of our Faith,and I for one, appreciate the time he gives to this, I shall not be disillusioned by the anarchists who contribute.
    If we do something for God ,then we do it in the best way possible . The vestments,the liturgy all have a meaning.The beauty of the music assists our worship.
    If we 'love' then we want to 'give' and we offer back to God all we have that is good enough to give ,and that is in the Holy Eucharist.

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  8. Readers may find this article from the New Liturgical Movement blog of interest, not in support of a particular view, but one explanation of why people try to offer God their very best.
    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2014/02/why-offer-god-finest-of-human-artistry.html#.UvAU3T1_u0Y

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    1. When I read the article from the New Liturgical Movement, the Benedictine Rule of Hospitality came to mind, which says the guests and others coming into the lives of Benedictines ,should be treated and welcomed as Christ Himself .We should ensure the same welcome to Christ at the Eucharist and thus ,as the article explains, conduct the liturgy and make ourselves and our surroundings the best we can.

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    2. Compare and contrast the simplicity of the Last Supper with the astonishingly arcane ritual of the Latin Mass in the video clip. There is no reason to suppose that Jesus envisaged anything so utterly removed from the scriptures or that it is any more welcome to him than the ritual which formerly took place in the Temple, before it was destroyed in AD 70. BTW, Christ welcomes us in the Eucharist - we are His guests - not vice versa.

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    3. In Love Christ gave Himself and in Love Christ instituted the Eucharistic celebration. He welcomes us to this celebration and we reciprocate His welcome and greet our Lord in the Eucharist. If ,in fact, we do not welcome Christ into our lives at the Eucharist, then why are we there?
      In a relationship ( and in Christ we seek a relationship) both parties contribute and the love we try to reciprocate is a 'welcome'.

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  9. The mass in "masquerade" that's what I think of when I watch that video. We have made the mass into something it was never intended to be with ritual and rules that are so far removed from the simple event of the upper room. Shame on us.

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    1. Anon – this is a common misunderstanding. The Mass is NOT a re-enactment of the Last Supper. The Dominical words of institution were given at the Last Supper, but the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary, hence the words of the Anamnesis in the Prayer of Consecration, ‘making the memorial of the blessed passion, mighty Resurrection, and glorious Ascension, of thy dearly beloved Son’.

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    2. This is just casuistry. And it is wrong. The Eucharist was instituted at the Last Supper, which thereby became the Passover meal for the Church. And if you want to press the logic, what correlation is there between the unspeakable events on Calvary, and the ritualized performance depicted in the video clip? There are no priests in the NT, or sub-deacons for that matter. There were no church buildings before the time of Constantine. Church music as we know it is a later development. I don't recognise the Prayer of Consecration which you quote. It is certainly not Cranmer's. We can not re-present the sacrifice of Calvary. It is complete in itself, "a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world". If you insist on "re-presenting" it then you place yourself with the Levitical priests in the Temple, whose offerings had to be repeated day after day.

      Do you not see that you have committed yourself to a tradition or culture which is entirely invented, far removed from the Scriptural witness and teaching?

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    3. Anglicanus – ‘I don’t recognise the Prayer of Consecration which you quote.’ I will help you out, the Book of Common Prayer, Church in Wales, 1984. I don’t think you can get anymore Anglican than that!

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    4. Anglicanus – look at the chronology of the Passion events in St John’s Gospel. It is clear there that the Last Supper was not the Passover but rather a fellowship gathering. John’s account stages the Crucifixion at the time the Passover lambs were being slaughter in the Temple. Read the text carefully and you will see that in his account the Passover is celebrated on the Friday evening. It is because the Last Supper was not the Passover meal that those of the Byzantine Rites celebrate the Divine Liturgy with leavened bread and not the unleavened bread of the Passover.

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    5. I only use 1662 - which is certainly more Anglican than that. And I doubt whether the word "Mass" appears in the 1984 book...

      The NT is not precise in the information it gives about the timing of the Last Supper. It is very clear however what it was. It was the Passover celebration which Jesus ate with his disciples, at which all of the requirements of the Law were first observed, linking him with the liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt, with the Passover lamb, and more importantly with the sacrifice offered by Abraham in place of his son. At this point, Old Testament and Old Covenant become New Testament and New Covenant, as Jesus becomes the Lamb of God, whose body and blood are shared in communion with the disciples and the Church, in anticipation of the atonement which he is to offer on the Cross, substituting himself for us, bearing the burden and cost of our sins, shedding his blood for our purification. As the hymn memorably puts it, "Types and shadows [of the OT] have their ending, for the newer rite is here." There are no more bloody sacrifices offered day by day in the Temple, no more Passover lamb to be slaughtered. Jesus has concluded once and for all the rituals of the OT, and in their place commands us to share bread and wine, recalling the Passover but substituting salvation by faith rather than by consuming a sacrificial offering.



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    6. Anglicanus – ‘I don’t recognise the Prayer of Consecration which you quote.’ Those words appeared in the ‘First Prayer-Book of King Edward VI’ in 1549.
      Also, ‘And I doubt whether the word "Mass" appears in the 1984 book...’ How about Christmas, Candlemas and Michaelmas,? They all appear in the 1984 Prayer Book.

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    7. The first Prayer Book published by Cranmer in 1549 was rapidly replaced in 1552 because it was found to be unsatisfactory. I do not think it or the 1552 Book are authorised for worship anywhere in the Anglican Communion.

      The titles, Christmas, Candlemas and Michaelmas are names rather than descriptions of the order of service and have significantly been amended to distinguish them from Roman Catholic doctrine concerning Holy Communion.

      If you wish to be a Roman Catholic, then you are free to do so. Virtually all of the restrictions imposed on that Church by Parliament have now been eased, although the Pope continues to claim to have the power to depose the Queen and to appoint her replacement. Regnans in Excelsis 1570 is still on Rome's statute book. Rome remains unreformed.

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    8. Henry Benedict Stuart4 February 2014 at 19:59

      ‘God save the King over the Water! King Francis II’

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    9. Since when has the Anglican Church worried about what rites are authorised for use? You should have seen some of the beanbag and pebble-loving Earth Mother liturgies we made up at St Michael’s College whilst dishing out the lucky Jesus biscuits.

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  10. As a courtesy to other readers 'Anon' and 'Anonymous, please use a pseudonym if you comment again and wish to see your comment published.

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  11. Now that an appointment has been made to the vacant Llandaf Deanery - not so much a spring chicken but a capon, no less - we can be assured that this kind of worship will never happen at the High Altar (because His Darkness has declared the High Altar out of bounds for one thing) as Byzantine Barry put his chaplain in to ensure his word remains law and the place descends into even greater disarray. What are Capon's qualifications for this post? Was it advertised? Are we seriously to believe he was the best candidate? Just another final desperate act by a desperate dictator attempting to impose his will on a dying church. Kyrie eleison.

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    1. As far as I know the Archbishop has always scrutinised and vetted all C in W appointments, however to appoint without advertising is a brazen act.

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  12. Senior Pelican. The young lad 'Capon' is from the 'Dark Island of Anglesey'. His father, one of sound theology, is an ordained Welsh Methodist who turned to teaching and is a well known fiery preacher in North Wales. If only God would have made him an Anglican we might have had a godly bishop of sound mind - for a change.

    As for young Capon's qualifications , I can tell you, that if it were a matter of 'like father like son', then the appointment would have been linked to the 18th hole. Do I make sense, Ancient Briton?

    Pardon me for commenting in code. I am told that breach of the 'D' notice carries a heavy penalty.

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    1. Oh! No Enforcer ! You don't want to end up in Russia with Edward Snowden.

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  13. I have been following this stream with no little interest. As someone without a fixed idea about what is actually happening at the 'Mass' - I'll leave that to God, I have been fascinated by the twists and turns in this on line debate. The debate - as far as I can see - has been balanced, and in large part friendly. For my part I have found it extremely informative.

    Then out of the blue - and in a completely contrived way (in my opinion) somebody lobs in an off hand comment about the latest appointment at Llandaff cathedral.

    Please don't let this herald a fresh load of invective - it demeans the Christian Church. People looking in - and there are plenty looking for the worst in us, will find their prejudice against the Church confirmed by the protracted unpleasantness that seems to accompany the problems at Llandaff cathedral.

    Those who find the worst in us will point to the unpleasantness surrounding Llandaff cathedral as evidence that the Church is no better than the secular world. Indeed our critics very often choose to ignore the wonderful work being done by Christian priests/ministers and laity (in parishes, hospitals, prisons - supporting the bereaved, manning Church community shops, supporting charities etc. etc. - preferring to highlight our failures.

    Although not all Christians may agree with one another about what actually happens on a Communion table/altar many - as is evidenced by your correspondence - seem respect one other's understanding of the rite.

    Let's use this blog for measured debate - to inform and educate. And for the love of God let's not spend time sniping at people we disagree with. It sends out a very poor message.

    On a lighter note - some of my best friends are Tories! I don't agree with them but I still socialise with them and no doubt sit next to them in church! I don't ladle invective on their heads - pointless - it usually makes them even more right wing! By the same token - trading insults and innuendo adds nothing to ecclesiastical debate and often makes people less willing to listen. I'm loathe to quote the Man - but didn't he instruct us; 'To love one another'.

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    1. Yet another anonymous comment. Why are people deaf to my pleas?

      I let this anonymous comment through out of general interest and because of the reference to 'off topic' comments on Llandaff Cathedral and the appointment of the new Dean. These would be better placed under the previous entry
      http://ancientbritonpetros.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/church-in-wales-code-of-practice-stage.html

      Llandaf Pelican's comment fairly linked the appointment with use of the High Altar but further comments under this entry should be strictly on topic please.

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