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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Of Burning Bushes and Hittites.

Tomorrow's lectionary provides the Hebrew Scripture story of Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-15).

I'm told by Prior Aelred, one of my favorite monks in the church who sent me this icon, that there is a great theological monastic tradition the "fire that burned yet did not consume" was a sign of the virginal conception of our Lord!

Musta been the Theotokos speaking from the burning bush.

Ya gotta love the Church Fathers, right? They're so, well, orthodox!

Another favorite story, no doubt apocryphal, is that the seminarians at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS, aka "THE Seminary of the South"), are warned about training the lectors in the parish with this very text and this story:

A woman (of course, it was a very proper Southern belle), came rushing into 8 AM Mass one Sunday, obviously unprepared to read the text.

When she got to Exodus 3:8, where God names the tribes who will be brought up to the 'land of milk and honey,' she read about the "Ca'nan-AHTS, the HIGH-titties, the AMOR'-ites . . ." but no one heard the rest for the giggling and the chortling.

VTS Seminarians were thusly exhorted, I am told (for I went to the Episcopal Divinity School, where, as anyone at The Episcopal Church of St. Paul can tell you, Jesus graduated), to always, always, always train their lectors.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Be strong, next Sunday is "Rose" Sunday or "Refreshment" or "Mothering" Sunday. We're almost half way through Lent.

1 comment:

Chris said...

When I was at Dunwoodie Seminary, two funny lector occasions happened.

First, in a seminary chapel full of chaste seminarians and celibate priests, I was required to read the lesson from Paul which begins: "It is better to marry than to burn with desire." The thought was that I would then burst into a fit of giggles and set the entire chapel ablaze with laughter.

Seeing as I truly believe in that principle, I read the entire passage deadpan with my usual fervour and disappointed the head lector in the extreme.

Second was the lector who read a passage which contained the words "burning braziers" as "burning brassieres". This succeeded in reducing the entire chapel into a fit of giggling worthy of a schoolful of St. Trinian students.