Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vita Sancti Eromatici

Apparently the Presiding Individual of the Episcopal Church, faced with the awesome responsibility of spiritually edifying her flock with a noble message on one of the greatest feasts of the Christian year -- Easter: the day we commemorate our Lord's triumph over death; the reversal of the curse of Adam; the fulfilling of the Law of the Old Covenant and the triumphal invitation of the people of God, the Church, Bride of Christ and one Flesh with Him, into the New Covenant of Grace -- sat down at her computer and decided that the most important thing about which to preach to the Episcopal church was (and I'm not making this up).... Cow Farts.

Thus, in celebration of Dr. Schori's so-called "Easter Message 2008" -- and in the spirit of the "Propers for St. Viagra (the Upright)" -- I bring you the Life and Propers for St. Eromatic, the Flatulant... patron saint of Greenhouse Emissions and Episcopal Preaching.

Let my prayer be counted as incense before thee.


St. Eromaticus is believed to have been born in the small village of Kopros along the Nile river. As a young man he came under the influence of the elderly St. Anthony, and he converted to the life of monasticism. He stayed among the great man's disciples for only a very brief time -- it appears that it was in this period that he was first given the sobriquet "the Flatulant Postulant" -- before he adopted the life of a travelling ascetic. He wandered throughout Asia Minor, living on a strict diet of beans, onions and garlic, and studied (briefly) with many of the major Christian ascetics and teachers of the time in Ennema, Rhoeia, and Pettus. Eventually he settled in Syria, where he founded a loose community of hermits - notable both for its adoption of his unique diet and the unusual practice of meeting for corporate worship only on the Church's greatest feast days. Toward the end of his life he came to be reveared as a great saint by the local villagers, who would gather (upwind) to hear his preaching... from which sermons, scolars believe, he earned the nickname of "the Breath of God". His brand of "stoolite" asceticism did not survive his death.

PROPERS for the feastday of St. Eromaticus the Flatulant

710 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord

INTROIT (Eccl 1:14,17 - RSV)
I have seen everything that is done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind... And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

PSALM (78:39)
He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.

Almighty God, who didst give man breath, And who hast wiped away the pollution of our sin, Help us remember that our life is but a wind that passeth, And that all worldly glory but a straining after wind. Help us to follow the example of Thy servant, Saint Eromatic, who, even when shunned by his brothers, raised his voice to Thee day and night, So that we, like him, might ever lift our, um, _h_earts up unto Thee, and make a joyful noise to Thy glory, AMEN.

GRADUAL (Isiah 26:17-8)
Like a woman with child, who writhes and cries out in her pangs, when she is near her time, so were we because of thee, O LORD; we were with child, we writhed, we have as it were brought forth wind.

ALLELUIA (Mark 4:39)
V. And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

TRACT (Lentan alternate. Job 6:26, 15:2)
Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind? Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge, and fill himself with the east wind?

545 Lo, what a cloud

OFFERTORY (Num 22:28; 2 Pet 2:16)
Then the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she spake.... He was rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

572 Weary of all trumpeting

COMMUNION (Job 21:18, 27:21, 30:22)
They are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away... The east wind lifts him up and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place.... Thou liftest me up on the wind, thou makest me ride on it, and thou tossest me about in the roar of the storm.

314 Humbly I adore thee, verity unseen
424 For the fruits of his creation

590 O Jesus Christ, may grateful hymns be rising
677 God moves in a mysterious way

The following reading may be substituted for the Old Testament lesson, should the Feast of St. Eromatic not fall upon a Sunday or other feast day:

Ezekiel 4:9,13,15,17 Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt, and put them into a single vessel, and make bread of them. During the number of days that you lie upon your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it... And the LORD said, "Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations whither I will drive them... See, I will let you have cow's dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread... I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and waste away under their punishment."

(First posted on various blogs during Holy Week, 2008)