31 July 2013

"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it."

- Colossians 2:6-15 NRSV


The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

30 July 2013

An Order for the Renewing of the Baptismal Covenant within a Service of the Word [and Sacrament]

For use outside of Lent and Easter. The proper liturgy for persons reaffirming baptismal vows may be found on page 413 of the US Book of Common Prayer 1979, or page 139 of the US Book of Occasional Services 2003. You may purchase the US Book of Occasional Services at this page.

Instead of devising a completely new rite, I have used collects and prayers from the US Book of Common Prayer 1979. The Prayerbook is a rich resource that can be creatively used or adapted for many occasions.

The collect is from the Easter Vigil. The first introduction to the Baptismal Covenant is based on the Prayerbook catechism, and the second introduction is from the Easter Vigil. The communal prayers after the renewal of the baptismal vows are respectively found in the Prayers and Thanksgivings and in the Confirmation rite. The ending collect is a reworking of the collect at Confirmation. The post-communion thanksgiving is based on forms found on pages 402-405 of the
US Book of Common Prayer 1979.

This rite is especially appropriate when a congregation or worshipping community desires to renew their Baptismal Covenant and rededicate themselves to the mission of the Church, outside of the rites of Holy Baptism, Confirmation, and Reaffirmation.


All stand. A hymn may be sung.

The Celebrant says

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

There is one Body and one Spirit;
There is one hope in God's call to us;

One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;
One God and Father of all.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.


Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who are reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The people sit. Any of the readings appointed for Baptism, Confirmation, or the Easter Vigil may be used.



The people stand. The Celebrant introduces the renewal of the Baptismal Covenant with these or similar words.

Beloved in the Lord: Our Saviour Christ said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Christ also gave us the New Commandment that we love one another as he loved us.

In our Baptismal Covenant, Christ commands us to believe in him and to keep his commandments. Our love for the Triune God is our creed, and our love of neighbour is what we promise. This New Covenant, sealed with blood on the Cross, is the new relationship with God given by Jesus Christ, the Messiah, to the apostles; and, through them, to all who believe in him.

Christ promised to bring us into the kingdom of God and give life in all its fullness. Let us respond to God in faith, and renew our Baptismal Covenant.

or this

Through the Paschal mystery, dear friends, we are buried with Christ by Baptism into his death, and raised with him to newness of life. I call upon you, therefore, to renew the solemn promises and vows of Holy Baptism, by which we renounced Satan and all his works, and promised to serve God faithfully in his holy Catholic Church.

or this

Dear friends in Christ, let us renew our Baptismal Covenant.

Do you believe in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.


Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
I will, with God's help.

Will you persevere in resisting evil,
and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
I will, with God's help.

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
I will, with God's help.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons,
loving your neighbour as yourself?
I will, with God's help.

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God's help.

Canadian Anglicans may add Resolution C001 to the Baptismal Covenant, found here.


The Celebrant sprinkles the people with an aspergil or a sprig. A psalm or canticle is said with the antiphon and the
Gloria Patri.

Antiphon: Vidi aquam
(This is a placeholder; the authorized text for the Vidi aquam is found on page 47 of the US Book of Occasional Services.)

I saw water flowing from the temple, on the right side, alleluia:
And all to whom that water came have been saved, and they will say, alleluia.

Psalm: 51, 114, or 118.

Canticle: The Song of Moses, the First Song of Isaiah, the Second Song of Isaiah, the Third Song of Isaiah, the Song of Mary, the Song of Zachariah, a Song to the Lamb, or the Song of the Redeemed.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; *
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Celebrant says

Let us pray together.

Almighty and eternal God,
so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds,
so fill our imaginations, so control our wills,
that we may be wholly yours,
utterly dedicated to you;
and then use us, we pray, as you will,
and always to your glory and the welfare of your people;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Or this

Sustain us, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit.
Give us inquiring and discerning hearts,
the courage to will and to persevere,
a spirit to know and to love you,
and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.

The Celebrant concludes

May Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and bestowed upon us the forgiveness of sins, keep us in eternal life by his grace, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.


(Found in the US Book of Occasional Services on pages 246-248 or 214-216. Once again, you must purchase the book at this site.)

If no Eucharist follows, the Lord’s Prayer is said here.

(Any of the collects and prayers found on pages 249-250 of the US Book of Occasional Services may be used instead.)

Almighty God, we thank you that by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus you have overcome sin and brought us to yourself, and that by the sealing of your Holy Spirit you have bound us in your service. Renew in us the covenant you made with us at our Baptism. Send us in the power of that Spirit to perform the service you set before us; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

If there is a Eucharist, the Peace is exchanged here.  If no Eucharist follows, end with the blessing or the Grace.


The Celebrant takes the offerings of the People, saying

All things come from you, O Lord;
And of your own we give you.

Almighty God, you have placed in the skies the sign of your covenant with all living things: Grant that we, who are saved through water and the Spirit, may worthily offer to you our sacrifice of thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Liturgy continues with the Liturgy of the Eucharist.



All stand. 

Let us pray.

Gracious God, we thank you for feeding us
with the Sacrament of the Body and Blood
of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and for ratifying the Covenant we renew today.
Gather us by this Holy Communion
into one body, a sacrifice of praise in Christ;
and grant that we who have eaten this bread
and drunk of this cup
may be filled with your life and goodness,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant: Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always. Amen.


The Deacon, or the Celebrant, dismisses them with these words

Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

or this

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

or this

Let us go forth into the world,
rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.
Thanks be to God.

A hymn may be sung.

Joshua Ligan 2013.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. You are free to share, copy, distribute, display, and perform the work; or to make derivative works, provided that you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

Desert places: On being in the Philippines

Last March, I left a job I worked at for four years. I got a new job with the promise of becoming an apprentice for a coveted position, but I also left that job also in July of that same year.

I became very ill, and doctors weren’t sure what it was. I left the place I rented and temporarily stayed with an uncle and aunt. I was stressed, uncertain about the future and felt as if everything had been taken out from underneath me.

My parents reacquired their Philippine citizenship a few years back and returned to their homeland. I thought I could stay with them for a few months to reflect on my life, despite the humiliation of becoming a "boomeranger". It was blow to my confidence and self-esteem.

So last October, I left the United States to “repair unto” the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England. After several days there, I spent time with family in London, and then made the long journey to the Philippines via Mumbai and Hong Kong.

I spoke with one of the spiritual directors at Walsingham. He was indeed quite helpful with his reassurance, but he didn’t give me the direction and counsel I wanted.

I also prayed before the Shrine of St. Edward the Confessor at Westminster Abbey, and even there, I received no answer.

Whilst in England, I expected thunderbolts from heaven and a dazzling array of signs, or perhaps a miracle ex nihilo. Trumpet blasts, rose petals falling, or perhaps crying statues.

Needless to say, it didn't quite happen that way. And I didn't really expect some sort of supernatural manifestation or a spectacular display of divine power. I wanted revelation in the midst of my uncertainties. I wanted love, healing, and a future. Instead, I got a process.

Upon the leaving the hospitality of the United Kingdom, I would begin a painful process of learning and reconciling. A purifying fire, so to speak.

I'm still in the process of discovering that God is also a potter who beats a lump of clay to make it pliable for use. God is also a God who sometimes dashes our porcelain cup on the ground, then binds the pieces together to mend it.

I had left the United States, where I was born and brought up, to slowly dismantle my comfort zone. To be frank, I left my own country to go crazy and let myself go.

Here in provincial Cebu, I feel terribly foreign.  Although my parents live on the main thoroughfare, we are stuck in the back of beyond, surrounded by mountains, the shore, rice paddies, and lots of goats, chickens, and stray dogs. I grew up in the suburbs and lived in San Francisco for a few years, so this is very different indeed.

Yet in this place I've begun defining who I am. I've also begun to cherish and appreciate things I took for granted. English programming on TV and English-language radio have become very precious to me.  I haven’t been to an Anglican Eucharist since last October, and so the Anglican liturgy has also become very precious. The nearest Episcopal church is two hours and thirty minutes away.

The scary thing is that when I do go to the city, I find that so-called “civilization” feels so unreal now. It is terribly disconcerting. I might find it a bit savage.

I’d like to believe this is all for a reason. Perhaps it is. Perhaps this is just the universe working itself out. I’m not entirely sure. I can only trust somehow that I am being held by love even as I am so far from home... wherever home is now. 

During droughts, we begin to ask ourselves why we didn’t appreciate these things before. When we had it all, why we didn’t we grasp the opportunity to live life, and to share light and love with others? What was there to complain, whine, and mope about when life wasn’t like what it is now?

I’ve realized, like many people who come from the First World, that I am a spoiled brat.

This drought, although it is something I resented at first, is something I need. We all need these Lenten moments, even toward the end of July. It is a desert we go through to understand where the Spirit is calling us. This process renews our minds, and helps us to live into the answers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not particularly pleased about being here. But I know this is changing me for the better.

I don’t think we understand what Good News is until we find ourselves deep in the mire that we have accumulated over the years. It’s not until we sink in quicksand that we realize the value of a helping hand.

The Psalmist writes:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
   he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
   out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
   making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
   and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3 NRSV*)
This journey of discovery as an American, as an Episcopalian, as a gay man, and as someone of mixed-race Filipino ancestry is not over.  I’m finding out truths about myself I hadn’t discovered before.

John Henry Newman wrote this hymn:
Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me. 
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years! 
So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on.
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile! 
Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.
And so it is. Living our Baptismal Covenant also requires us to leave our secure castles and to seek God in the wilderness, sometimes in search of a guiding star. In life, we will face these dry seasons. These moments circumcise our hearts with such authenticity and integrity. The wounds, the nails, the spear, the whip, and the gall become real. It hurts, it's painful, and it wrings us out. Oh, do those moments shake us up! It’s a process of becoming real and being genuine. It is Confirmation. These are confirming moments heavily laden with such powerful imagery - rebirth, death, earthquakes, mountains, fire, water, wind, Lent, Advent, the Crucifixion, the Incarnation, the Hypostatic Union, Easter, the Transfiguration, and the Epiphany.

At Baptism, God calls us from death into life, and we respond in faith. At Confirmation, God invites us to journey with him, to follow Jesus. The epiklesis of Baptism becomes at Confirmation an invitation to be broken and poured out for the life of the world. We who are Christ's Body are invited to share Christ's Blood: To give and share of ourselves.

It is the Holy Spirit who awaits us in the desert places. It is there that she relentlessly pursues us.

And she who is God tenderly asks those questions again:
Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers? 
Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord? 
Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ? 
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbour as yourself? 
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
And all she needs is your “yes”, your fiat, and your “amen”.

And the Spirit will renew that sevenfold gift within you.

For myself, I pray:

“Behold the servant of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word.”

Yes, fiat, and amen.

Triune God, I trust in your gracious love. Reconcile me to yourself and make all things new. Saranam.


*The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition)
, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

29 July 2013


Corrinne May singing her song Pinocchio. Lyrics may be found here.

 Dear God, please find me. Amen.
Almighty and most merciful father,
we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep,
we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,
we have offended against thy holy laws,
we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
and we have done those things which we ought not to have done,
and there is no health in us.
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
miserable offenders.
Spare thou those who confess their faults,
restore thou those who are penitent,
according to thy promises declared unto mankind
in Christ Jesus our Lord;
and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen. 
-The Book of Common Prayer according to the use of the Episcopal Church, 1928

27 July 2013

Petites prières

I repent! I totally take back what I said in my previous blog post. I'm going to continue posting. It's my blog.

Word of caution: My views are personal. They do not represent the Episcopal Church in any official capacity, nor do all Episcopalians and Anglicans agree with me. 

That said, here's a few free-form "little prayers" I've been dabbling with over the past two days.

Help me, gracious Redeemer, to trust you
when I am lost to fear and uncertainty,
when I am too keen to fight back,
and when my cup shatters into pieces:
Find me where I am, and uplift me by your Spirit,
that I may know the strength of your presence,
and dwell within your  peace.
Gather my broken pieces, and make me new,
filling my heart with a lasting joy.
Mother Jesus, hear me as I wait.
Amen. Saranam.

Gentle Spirit, brooding over the Creation,
whisper to the wild waters of my soul.
Grant me the ears to listen to your prompting.
May my heart welcome what you say
and receive the grace I need.
By the prayers of Our Lady of Walsingham,
work out your purpose in my life,
and let there be light.

Parent God, I call you by many names
as I see you in the face of every human person:
I invoke your light and love
that dwells in every human heart
to come forth and create
a new world into being.
Work within us more than we can ask or imagine
through Christ in humankind.
Umntu ngumntu ngabantu.

Where there are desert spaces,
when I am in distant places,
may I know Christ’s Spirit is there.

Triune God,
you surround me in the wonder and beauty
of the universe, and in its intricate order.
When the waters of my soul are stirred,
and chaos gurgles on the face of the deep,
draw me into the centre of your being,
and enfold me in your grace.
In moments like these,
creating God, inspire me.

When I am tired and close my eyes,
hold me to yourself, darling lover.
Let me rest and listen to your heart.
Keep me warm and safe.
And when I awaken
to experience the new mercies
of another day,
I know I shall see God in you.

Grandmothers and grandfathers of my heart,
the ancient ones, my forebears,
watch over me, your child.
Enrich me, sustain me, and protect me.
Stand by me, and speak to me of the God
who is our refuge
throughout the generations
and in whom you dwell eternally in peace.

Neighbour next door,
neighbour across the street,
neighbour on the street,
neighbour to the back of my home,
be all of you blessed this day.
If we might see each other
and say “hello” or “good day”
please introduce me to Jesus in you.

Stray dog and stray cat,
let me help find who loves you,
and if need be,
let me help you find love.

Twitter and Facebook,
Google Mail and LinkedIn,
Yahoo! and Youtube,
Blogspot and Tumblr,
Wordpress and MySpace,
and news outlets I read,
feed me with what nurtures my soul
and engages my mind
to seek justice and peace.
Awaken compassion within me.

Copyright © 2013 Joshua Ligan.

20 July 2013

Effectively silenced

At first I wanted to sort this blog out and begin anew. But what's the point if I lack the knowledge, the intelligence, and the skills?

I've decided to stop writing or speaking my mind. What else is there to say when others have me figured out? How can anyone take me seriously? I really have nothing to offer any of my readers but lies, false assertions, and fallacies. Some are out of ignorance, some are thoughtless or inconsiderate. Some are hastily said.

My words are literally dissected and torn apart. Other times, I find myself beaten by a grammatical yardstick. (Mind you, English is my native language.)  How some people speak, write, and reason with such exemplary grammar, logic, and rhetoric amaze me. I think I find myself more astonished not at the ability of others to reason well, but at my own stupidity, foolishness, and ignorance.

I find myself somehow always on the wrong page, prone to failure, or saying the wrong thing. It makes me question if I even deserve that freedom to speak when I'm still sorting my thoughts out.

I don't "know my shit". I don't have it all together. I can't cook or write to save my life, and I find that any attempt at doing so is meagre and lacklustre. I have no talent in doing so.

So what now? I've been on this vacation so long without any clear direction in my life. Any confidence I once had in myself has been lost. I'm not good for anything or for people. With what can I rebuild my life when I have nothing I can do well?

I can learn, but even with an education, I find myself too ready to disappoint. That is the truth. I apologize that I have proven myself unworthy of any task.

18 July 2013

Ecclesia semper reformanda est

Over the next few days, Quaerite Dominum will be undergoing a major revamp. It's time. Some of my posts seem rather childish. With experience and further knowledge, our views change.

Selected material will be transferred from my other blogs as well for the sake of consolidation.

Thank you for your patience.

16 July 2013

An Order for the Granting of Sanctuary or Refuge

This rite needs to be developed. Please contact me at chutneyoverrice@gmail.com for suggestions, feedback, and input. The concluding blessing is adapted from The Book of Common Prayer 1979

The bishop and the chancellor of the diocese are to be informed of all grants of sanctuary or refuge. In accordance with ancient tradition, the candidate must be unarmed, surrendering all weapons before entrance into the church.

It is preferable that the granting of sanctuary or refuge be witnessed by a representative of the congregation. It is also preferred that the celebrant be the vicar, rector, or priest-in-charge of the congregation, the dean of the cathedral, or the bishop of the diocese.

The celebrant is vested with a stole. Psalms 46, 31, or 91 may be said with the accompanying antiphon and the Gloria Patri.


The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.

Kneeling within the altar space or at the altar rails, the candidate requests sanctuary or refuge saying

My name is N., and I, for the love of God, seek sanctuary (refuge) within the safety of this church.

The candidate may say the Lord’s Prayer.

The celebrant places the ends of the stole over the candidate’s shoulders, saying

N., I welcome you to the safety of this holy place, and I declare you to be under its protection, dignity, and peace; pledging to you the prayers, love, and support of the clergy and congregation of (name of church), in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A simple cross may be hung over the neck of the person receiving sanctuary or refuge, or a cross may be traced on the person’s forehead as a mark that the person is now under the protection of the church, the celebrant saying

Receive the cross of Christ’s mighty protection, and take refuge in him who is the lover and friend of souls. Amen.

The celebrant concludes

The Almighty Lord,
who is a strong tower to all
who put their trust in him,
to whom all things in heaven,
on earth, and under the earth bow and obey:
Be now and evermore your defence,
and make you know and feel
that the only Name under heaven
given for life, health, refuge, and salvation
is the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Peace may be exchanged, or the Grace may be said.

Joshua Ligan 2013.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. You are free to share, copy, distribute, display, and perform the work; or to make derivative works, provided that you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.