Holy (week) Light

P1030342revisiting this gift, and the quiet strength of indoor, natural light in a holy week

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WHO on “Having Faith during COVID-19”

Page 2 of the World Health Organization’s April 9 daily “situation report” on the pandemic offers encouragement and specific suggestions to support faith communities as they work to shape effective responses:

Learn more at the WHO Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) and download

“Practical considerations and recommendations for religious leaders and faith-based communities in the context of COVID-19”

Posted in Educational resource, News, Overheard, Web resource

Medieval advice on handwashing

If you want to be healthy, wash your hands often.

-Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum 4,
written in the 11th or 12th century,
translated into modern English by
Patricia Willet Cummins (Chapel Hill:
North Carolina Studies in the
Romance Languages and
Literatures, 1976),
online here.

(click on the photo above for an ironic reminder of why this message is not always easy to follow even in 21st century North America)

Posted in Educational resource, Overheard, Reflection, Web resource

Tears and Mourning: 17th Century Sermons on Plague & Loss

John Featley (d. 1666) was an Anglican priest and chaplain to the English kings, Charles I and Charles II. During his lifetime, Featley published a number of sermons on tears and mourning in situations of loss and difficulty. These included occasions such as plague, civil war, marriage, old age, etc. His 1665 sermon, “Tears in Time of Pestilence, or A Spiritual Antidote against the Plague,” (where his name is spelled “Featly”) is now available in a modern transcript in two formats:

Featley’s Plague Sermon: html
Featley’s Plague Sermon: pdf

A 649-page book of the entire collection of Featley’s texts, first published in 1646 and then again posthumously in 1683, A Fountain of Tears, is available as a Google book online. The plague sermon is on pp. 291-377 in that text. Below is the text of Featley’s biography from the online Dictionary of National Biography:

FEATLEY or FAIRCLOUGH, JOHN (1605?–1666), divine, son of John Fairclough, the elder brother of Daniel Featley [q. v.], was born in Northamptonshire in or about 1605. He was admitted either clerk or chorister at All Souls’ College, Oxford, and took his B.A. degree on 25 Feb. 1624 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 414). After being ordained he proceeded, as he tells us, to ‘Saint Christophers in the Western Indies, where I had the honor to be the first preacher of the Gospel in the infancy of that Mother-Colony in the year 1626’ (Featlæi Παλιγγενεσία, pt. ii. p. 38). During 1635 and 1636 he was curate to his uncle at Lambeth, and probably at Acton. In 1639 he was made chaplain to Charles I, ‘at Hurtly Fields in the first Scottish expedition’ (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660–1, p. 226). When the king’s cause had declined he was persuaded by his uncle to again withdraw to St. Christopher’s, for which he sailed with his wife, children, and servants from Tilbury Hope on 24 June 1643 (Featlæi Παλιγγενεσία, pt. ii. p. 39). On 17 April 1646 he writes from his house at Flushing, Holland. After the Restoration he was appointed on 29 June 1660 chaplain extraordinary to the king, who presented him on 13 Aug. to the precentorship of Lincoln (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, ii. 86), and in September following to the prebend of Melton Ross with Scamlesby in the same cathedral (ib. ii. 204). In 1661 he appears as rector of Langar, Nottinghamshire, having in the previous year petitioned for the rectory of Beckingham, Lincolnshire (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660–1, pp. 226, 601). By the dean and chapter of Lincoln he was afterwards instituted to the vicarage of Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire. On 7 June 1661 he was created by royal mandamus D.D. at Oxford (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 256). He died at Lincoln in 1666, and was buried in a chapel in the cathedral. He published two if not more of his uncle’s tracts, together with his life, and was himself author of: 1. ‘Sermon to the West India Company [on Joshua i. 9],’ 4to, London, 1629. 2. ‘Obedience and Submission. A Sermon [on Heb. xiii. 17] preached … 8 Dec. 1635,’ 4to, London, 1636. 3. ‘A Fountain of Teares emptying itselfe into three rivelets, viz., of (1) Compunction. (2) Compassion. (3) Devotion,’ 12mo, Amsterdam, 1646; another edition, 12mo, London, 1683. His portrait, a small head, appears on the engraved title of the first edition of this manual.

[Wood’s Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 729–31; Cox’s Magna Britannia, iii. 587; Nichols’s Bibliotheca, vol. x. No. 5, p. 337 n. (Denne’s Addenda); Chalmers’s Biog. Dict. xiv. 168; Granger’s Biog. Hist. of England, 2nd ed. ii. 190.]

Posted in Booknote, Educational resource, Web resource

I Must Go Down to the Beach(es) Again…

Holy Isle, early morning

Gini Andrews on a January walk on the beach dunes of Plum Island.

If you’ve ever been there, you will know exactly where this is…

On a bluff above a beach at a Wisconsin lake

Lindisfarne dock at dawn

burr on Lindisfarne

My grandfather took this photo on a Boston beach in 1903; I found the negative among his things. This is an adjusted scan of the inverse.


Sheltering in place (from the midges) by a remote Scottish highland loch

Norway beach in late October

Berwick-upon-Tweed (ok, not quite a beach, but the sea is just over the horizon)

Green man gazing out on the Bay of Fundy, near Moncton, New Brunswick

(the title of this post is of course a variant on a famous poem by John Masefield, one recited to me repeatedly throughout my childhood, by a beloved bard for whom it was, far more than a poem, a lifelong calling of the heart)



Posted in Photo essay, Reflection

Laughing with Julian of Norwich

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Posted in Booknote, Educational resource, Overheard, Web resource

“I am at the house of God. But the angels are holding their breath.”

Yes, half of the time he is on the other side of the world; and yes, I’ve seen him maybe once in the past 3 years – but this emergency medicine physician is still my friend, and neighbour, here speaking to (and perhaps for) us all:

click image above or here to read Satchit’s post.


Posted in Educational resource, Overheard, Reflection, Web resource