Friday, August 27, 2004

Eastern churches and Anglican–related history
Isabel Florence Hapgood
Lifelong Anglican and a friend of the Russian Orthodox Church all her adult life — hers was one of the (if not the) first translations of their services into English, still used by many Orthodox today, and how felicitous that somebody from the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer and King James Bible did the job! (Many Orthodox when using English use an Elizabethan-sounding style, with all its deferential Godwardness, to this day... thanks to her?)

She reminds me of Canon Edward West a few decades later, from the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine in New York, a lifelong friend of the Serbian Orthodox in his city, who helped them get a redundant Episcopal church in town that's now St Sava's Cathedral. Seems he held the Catholic faith - now and then, in tribute and emulation and not to deceive anybody, he'd suit up in Byzantine Rite vestments and celebrate the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in his cathedral.

I haven't got Hapgood in my library but do have a wonderful 100-year-old paperback with the same kind of beautiful period drawings as her book of all the vestments and other hardware for the Orthodox services, along with outlines and explanations in English of the services, from St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in New York. Somebody was going to throw them away but a priest saved them and gave them away.

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