Comments: opinion

Why is Clayboy so pompous about and trying to be so controlling ? Why attack the quiet (gedit) 'piety' of others ?

But then if the Chief Rabbi is not immune to his strictures - and they are strictures - what chance do the rest of us have with our poor scholarship, ignorance and lack of understanding of 'the issues' ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 11:21am BST

“The robust and unsentimental realism of the BCP funeral service is better than modern sanitised sentimentality.”

That must be why this service is NEVER used these days. Even the most died in the wool BCP advocates do not use it, without a great deal of adding and subtracting, thus changing it.

It is inadequate to the spirituality, needs, feelings and hopes of people when bereaved. This is true both of regular and occasional church-goers.

Bishops, royalty and other keen christians do not themselves us it.

About time to begin thinking about these issues in earnest. Even the ecumenical relatively recent 'green book' at crematoria and cemeteries is pretty inadequate to the needs of those conducting and attending funerals now. That goes for the Free Church and RC offerings too. Few ministers can use even these services as they stand - the assumptions, language and imagery are irrelevant to most people, and even keen church-goers want a big emphasis on their late loved one, and slides, candle lightings, popular verses, CDs of classical, pop or war-time songs, no judgmentalism and most of all for the service to reflect their wishes, values and feelings.

Inappropriate G-d talk at best goes over people's heads and at worse is meaningless or blocks the work of the spirit among us. Silences would often be more helpful - people can be touched by G-d in silence. Meaningless jargon blocks this. But may call for more faith from the minister (than reading from a book).

Most families still want to say the Lord's Prayer together, it is one of few national shared texts (as long as not 'modernised'). It can be a vehicle for profound prayer if allowed to be. People may want to hold hands for it; and realising that it draws together our thoughts, prayers and feelings at the funeral.

Similarly if people are invited to come up to the coffin with a night-light or flower (or just themselves) it can be very special and beautiful. I mention these things to hint at what is possible outwith the BCP service, if ministers will only listen and open their hearts to those now grieving.

Our time will come ( for grieving).

It is inadequate to the spirituality, needs, feelings and aspirations of bereaved people

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 11:44am BST

RE: G-d

Jewish authorities differ, but mainstream practice is to only avoid writing the Tetragrammaton on something disposable or potentially irreverent. Some authorities insist that vernacular names for God also not be written in full. Many Jews who don't have a problem with spelling out "God" write "G-d" in order to respect the opinion of their more stringent confreres.

I think that Christians who tend to use are simply trying to comply with what they mistakenly think is standard Jewish practice in an effort not to offend.

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 12:23pm BST

I loved Doug Chaplin's "G-d orthography" article.
As a Jew, I understand the long (2 millenia) custom of Jews not pronouncing God's Hebrew name in the Tetragrammaton. The word is considered so holy that we mere mortals, with our frailties and sinfulness, are considered to profane God through its mere utterance by our lips. Furthermore, even the High Priest may have spoken it only within the Holy of Holies during Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
But, the English word "God" is simply a special case of "god". There is no holiness attached to the word in and of itself, unlike whatever the original pronunciation of YHVH was. And however the Tetragrammaton was pronounced, I guarantee you it wasn't "God"!
And I'm glad to see in his article a confirmation of my suspicion that "Jehovah" is an amalgamation of the consonants from the Hebrew YHVH with vowel markings for "Adonai", usually translated as "Lord".
Regarding "Lord" as a translation of "Adonai", I don't begin to know enough of Hebrew to know whether "Adonai" connotes the feudal relationship between superior and subject that is, in my opinion, implied by the word "Lord".

Posted by peterpi at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 7:33pm BST

" the Second Vatican Council itself reflected his experience, exploring what it means for the Church to be holy, though always in need of reform – sancta, sed semper reformanda."

- Roderick Strange, in the 'Tablet' -

Sadly, it didn't explore enough - or for long enough. The Curial officials saw to that. Despite the best efforts of some pretty far-seeing and competent theologians - Kung, Ratzinger, Alfrink, etc., Ottiavani and his fellow Roman Inquisition members saw to it that Pope Paul VI toed their line, of least resistance to Vatican I and the primacy of Curia over the Bishops Concilium.

Yes. Ratzinger was once a radical pro-reform theologixcal thinker - before his elevation to working in the Vatican. Once a fellow thinker with Hans Kung - just look at him now! The Roman Curia always has the last word - forget the Pope.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 10:34am BST


BBC Radio Scotland Mon 20/9 11:30am, Sat 25/09 06:00am Duration 30mins.

Also avaialable via iPlayer.

The Faithful Remnant
In 2010 we mark the 450th anniversary of the Reformation, an event which left an indelible legacy in Scottish society. In this major seven part series, Billy Kay tells the story of the great ecclesiastical traditions which have shaped the history of Christianity in this country.

In the third programme, The Faithful Remnant, we explore the history of Episcopalianism since the Reformation, and in particular its association with the Jacobite cause in the Risings of 1715 and 1745. It is ironic that a church often referred to erroneously as the English Church, was a target for the Duke of Cumberland's forces after Culloden, who burned Episcopal chapels to the ground on their road south.

Posted by Kennedy Fraser at Monday, 20 September 2010 at 10:42am BST

Boris gets to the heart of the matter.

Posted by junius at Monday, 20 September 2010 at 3:02pm BST

Well the heady rush to canonize Newman, along with the general impact of the pope's visit, seem in the main a delayed but self-regarding campaign to claim Newman as just that sort of thinking convert who eventually saw that he needed to turn off his mind so that he could find God via a retrospectively perceived/constructed holy obedience. This closed but typical Vatican narrative is still emerging, dodgy to the facts as its conversation story may indeed be?

The new/current pope is anything but willing, when it comes to a great many minds (and hearts) seeking truth and love together in complete intellectual or human freedom. Surely the going point these days in many faith communities is that thinking, freedom, and human rights are inferior-paltry-petty (secularized?) things; compared to the great everlasting doctrines of church? For both Rome and Canterbury?

I do disagree with Andrew Brown, however: the underpinnings are theocratical, just to the extent that the revelation is so objective it cannot and should not and need never, change one whit. Like Rowan, I think Benny would like to maintain appearances - all sweet and mild and friendly and democratical in dress up; all force and inquisition and power-mad, underneath. People who will not conform/sujbmit must always and ever, after all, face hard consequences. Else, why have a Vatican or a Canterbury?

Right and might go hand in hand, and not necessarily in the nicest manner;no matter what the (spin) doctors are busy repeating to us all.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 20 September 2010 at 6:39pm BST
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