Archive for February, 2011

On Septuagesima Sunday, February 20th, Saint Alban’s hosted the Association of Jamaicans in Richmond for a Mass to mark the beginning of the term of the Association’s new president, Richard Thompson.  Saint Alban’s associate priest Fr. Carleton Clarke, a native of Spanishtown, Jamaica, celebrated and preached at the 11:00 a.m. and Canon Nalls delivered the apostolic greeting to the group from the Rt. Rev. William McLean.  In addition to members of the Board and from the society at large, The Hon. Beryl Walter-Riley, Honorary Jamaican Consul, and the Honorable Patsy Pink, former member of the Jamaican parliament.  The Association is a group dedicated to extending the Jamaican culture in our Richmond communities.  Saint Alban’s is proud to host the meetings of the Association’s board, and sends its prayers to all for a successful year.

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A reminder to all that Saint Alban’s and its Music Director Mr. Bernard Riley will host a singing workshop for DMAS and all interested ACC clergy, deacons, Scott school students, cantors or other prospective gentlemen singers this coming Saturday February 19th from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at St. Albans. The workshop will treat of liturgical singing emphasizing the Mass and also the offices with regards to the questions “if?” , “when?”, “why?” and “how?  The choir of St. ALban’s will be providing lunch, so please phone in your attendance to 804-262-6100 so that we can have an accurate count.

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Following our usual weekday Matins at 7:30, Saint Alban’s “little chapter” of those who gather for the office had a Benedictine breakfast with readings to commemorate Saint Benedict Biscop.  This holy abbot founded monasteries in Weremouth (AD 674)  and in Jarrow (AD 681).  These monasteries of St. Peter and Paul, respectively, followed the Rule of St. Benedict and were extraordinary centers of learning, the Venerable Bede being foremost among the scholars frome Weremouth.

One of Bede’s works was ‘The Lives of The Holy Abbots of Weremouth and Jarrow’, a self-explanatory account which begins thus:

The pious servant of Christ, Biscop, called Benedict, with the assistance of the Divine grace, built a monastery in honour of the most holy of the apostles, St. Peter, near the mouth of the river Were, on the north side. The venerable and devout king of that nation, Egfrid, contributed the land; and Biscop, for the space of sixteen years, amid innumerable perils in journeying and in illness, ruled this monastery with the same piety which stirred him up to build it. If I may use the words of the blessed Pope Gregory, in which he glorifies the life of the abbot of the same name, he was a man of a venerable life, blessed (Benedictus) both in grace and in name; having the mind of an adult even from his childhood, surpassing his age by his manners, and with a soul addicted to no false pleasures. He was descended from a noble lineage of the Angles, and by corresponding dignity of mind worthy to be exalted into the company of the angels. Lastly, he was the minister of King Oswy, and by his gift enjoyed an estate suitable to his rank; but at the age of twenty five years he despised a transitory wealth, that he might obtain that which is eternal. He made light of a temporal warfare with a donative that will decay, that he might serve under the true King, and earn an everlasting kingdom in the heavenly city. He left his home, his kinsmen and country, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel, that he might receive a hundredfold and enjoy everlasting life…

The hearty souls up at such an early hour kept silence during a plain meal of hot homemade oat porridge, bread, fruit and tea, while listening to readings from the life of Saint Benedict Biscop, the Monastic Breviary and the portion of the Rule of Saint Benedict (the great) appointed for the day.  We hope that this event will repeat-with advance notice-following Matins on days on or near the Benedictine commemorations throughout the year.


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This was just sent in by an attendee at the event which took place Wednesday, December 1, 2010

By James Cullum

Reverend Canon Charles H. Nalls gives the sermon. (Photo: James Cullum) Reverend Canon Charles H. Nalls gives the sermon. (Photo: James Cullum)

For many years, Alexandrians have celebrated their Scottish heritage during the first week in December. Those celebrations began last night at The Church of St. Andrew and St. Margaret of Scotland on E. Monroe Avenue.

More than 100 people attended the service. The Rev. Canon Charles H. Nalls, rector of St. Alban’s Anglican Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, delivered the homily.

“Whenever we come around to St. Andrew’s Day in the calendar, I am reminded of my mother…who took great delight in letting everyone know about her Scottishness, particularly my father, of the plight of the poor Englishman – whose national costume is a worn raincoat patented by one Charles MacIntosh, a Glaswegian. She would remind my dad that the Englishman drives a car fitted with tires invented by John Boyd Dunlap of Dreghorn, Scotland

“At the office he received his mail with adhesive stamps, which although they bore the Queen of England’s head, were invented by John Chambers of Dundee, Scotland. The Englishman might have occasion to use the telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell of Edinburgh, which is of course, in Scotland

“At home in the evening the English squire watches the news on a telly, which was invented by John Logie Baird of Helensburough, Scotland, and here’s an item about the U. S. Navy founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland. Now having been reminded too much of Scotland, in desperation, the gent picks up the Bible only to find that the first man mentioned in the foreword of the good book is a Scott – King James VI – who authorized its translation.

“Nowhere can an Englishman turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots. He could take to drink but the Scots make the finest in the world. He might think of taking up a rifle and ending it all only to find that his breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick Ferguson of Pitfours, Scotland. So he goes back to the previous step, sipping single malt and contemplating his fortune, safe in the Bank of England, which was founded by William Patterson of Dumfries, Scotland.

The congregation of St. Andrew and St. Margaret of Scotland celebrated St. Andrew. (Photo: James Cullum) The congregation of St. Andrew and St. Margaret of Scotland celebrated St. Andrew. (Photo: James Cullum)

“Ingenious and omnipresent, these Scots seem to travel everywhere. And they have been a faithful people, for there is a long history of Scottish missionary zeal throughout the world.

“And so we turn to St. Andrew whom we commemorate this day – one of the patron saints of this parish. St. Andrew’s life teaches us so much about Christian discipleship and the need for missionary zeal, and gives us a great example as we have just begun this holy season of Advent.

“God may need us to be the instrument, or the fishing hook even to bring future deacons, priests, bishops, religious, or even great saints to Him. Likewise, little did St. Andrew know that bringing the simple boy with fish and bread to the Lord would lead to one of the greatest miracles Jesus performed, or that his introducing some Greeks, some non-believers to Christ, would inaugurate a new stage in the spreading of the Good News. Here is a key lesson for those of us who are traditional Anglicans: after the years in the wilderness, we may have grown comfortable in our parishes, perhaps even complacent in our lives. How easy it is to look inward… to the things that make life comfortable. The inward gaze, to run home to evaluate or question the call to follow and fish, that will be the end for us. We shall become a footnote in ecclesiastical history.

“So, let us redouble our efforts this Advent and, in memory of St. Andrew, bring each other into a closer relationship with Christ and to bring others to Him. It is our mission,” Nalls said.

The blessing of the tartans. (Photo: James Cullum) The blessing of the tartans. (Photo: James Cullum)

At the end of the service, men of Scottish ancestry brought their clan tartans forward to be blessed.

St. Andrew’s Day in Alexandria

According to the program describing the service: “Tonight’s ceremonies have both parochial and civil meaning, dating back to 18th century Alexandria. The election and installation of City officials on St. Andrew’s Day, 1761, is described in an issue of the Maryland Gazette of that year: ‘Mr. William Ramsay, first projector and founder of this promising city, was invested with a gold chain and medal….The election being ended, the Lord Mayor and Common Council, proceeded by officers of State, sword and mace bearers, and accompanied by many gentlemen of the town and country, made a grand procession to different quarters of the city, with drums, trumpets, a band of music and colors flying….

‘The shipping in the harbor displayed their flags and streamers, continuing firing guns the whole afternoon. A very elegant entertainment was prepared at the Coffee House where the Lord Mayor, aldermen and Common Council dined. In the evening, a ball was given by the Scots gentlemen, at which numerous and brilliant company of ladies danced. The night concluded with bonfires, illuminations and other demonstrations.’

“These Scottish beginnings were reinforced in 1780 with the founding of the St. Andrews Society of Alexandria, a charitable and social organization of men of Scottish birth and ancestry and the forerunner of the St. Andrews Society of Washington, DC.”

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From Friday, April 8th at 6:00 p.m. to Saturday, April 9th until 4:30 p.m., Saint Alban’s will host a PREP marriage weekend.

PREP is unlike anything you’ve been exposed to. No encounter group or sharing personal concerns, no dry psycho-babble… simply thrilling insights into a more loving, growth filled relationship! PREP is based on twenty years of solid research designed to discover what makes successful relationships. Since PREP is based on these findings, rather than conjecture, it is much more likely to really work in helping couples build stronger, more loving marriages. Studies have shown that couples who learned the PREP skills had a 50% higher success rate in staying together and were happier in their relationships than similar couples without this valuable training.

PREP is for you if:

You’re determined to knock down those walls that creep up with time and stress.

You want to quit playing tug-of-war and learn to problem-solve more effectively.

Sometimes you’d like to shut out all of life’s hassles and just be together.

You want romance and passion in your marriage.

You’d like to talk together as friends.

Space is limited to thirty-five couples.  The cost of the session will be $65.00 to cover materials.

Canon Charles Nalls has been a certified PREP facilitator for more than five years, and has conducted PREP weekends for the National Guard’s Strong Bonds Program.  For more information about the program pplease visit:

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