Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Glorious Hope" Has Risen Today

From the March 22 edition of The Globe and Mail:

That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah, this morning will rock the walls of Toronto's West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian churches across the country.

But at West Hill on the faith's holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”

Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity's central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.

Sounds like a good reason to roll back over in bed and sleep in on Sunday mornings to me.

Read it all.


tenn55 said...

No joke--not just on Easter. That Ms. Vosper has written a book entitled "With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe" I guess tells us why they edited the hymn!
I believe the idea is that grace begets works.

Bryan+ said...

In my reading of the New Testament, the notion that grace begets (or empowers) works is central. What Ms. Vosper is up to, however, throws the baby out with the bathwater.

That's why I don't buy the false opposition of 'living versus believing' in the subtitle of her book. What we believe shapes how we live. And how we live provides evidence of what we truly believe.

Greg Griffith said...


What was that your dean's aunt said about the Eucharist being a symbol?


Bryan+ said...

Happy Easter Greg!

Please say more about the comment you're referencing. I'm in the dark on this one ...

Greg Griffith said...

As you know, Ed O'Connor's aunt was the writer Flannery O'Connor. About the Eucharist, she once described this encounter:

"I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. (She just wrote that book, A Charmed Life.) She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn't opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say.... Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them.

Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.

That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable."

Bryan+ said...

Ah, yes, I've seen that quote from Flannery O'Connor before, but it's been a very long time. Does she hit the nail on the head or what?!

Minor factual correction: she's Edward's father's first cousin, not his aunt.