Archive for May, 2017

There will be a Requiem Mass for Auburn Faber Traycik, retired editor of The Christian Challenge magazine. 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 3, 2017 at St. Alban’s Parish, 4006 Hermitage Road, Richmond, Virginia 23227 Questions please e-mail stalbansrector@outlook.com

Life Eternal.


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Auburn Faber Traycik

July 20, 1952-May 25, 2017

Many of you know that Auburn Traycik moved to Richmond three months ago.  Her apartment overlooks St. Alban’s, where she immediately became a valued member of our parish community.


As I had not seen Auburn Sunday or yesterday for Mass (she never missed an Ascension Day in my memory), I directed security to enter the apartment.  I was called back at 10 p.m. and went over to Imperial Plaza to provide identification.  Sadly, Auburn was found dead in the apartment.


Let us all pray for the repose of her soul.  She was a great warrior for traditional Anglicanism during her years as editor of The Christian Challenge magazine.  She sacrificed her livelihood, fortune and life for the cause of Anglican orthodoxy.   We were side-by-side in many a cause on behalf of traditional parishes and their clergy-reporter and lawyer.  Many people don’t know that she was a highly-qualified paralegal who was immensely helpful in the various bits of church property litigation we endured in years past. 


She also was a dear friend of mine and my family for more than 20 years, and we spent many of our holiday dinners together even after we moved to Richmond.  I am so very glad that her last months were spent at St. Alban’s, and that she attained a measure of peace here.


Auburn’s remains are with the medical examiner’s office at present.  I will advise as to arrangements when we get through with that business.  I pray that there will be a large crowd for her requiem.


 Auburn Faber Traycik would have celebrated her 65th birthday on July 20, 2017.


 Truly, the Lord ordereth a good woman’s going.


 Yours in Christ,


 Canon Charles H. Nalls


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A tip of the biretta to John Dixon over at St. Athanasius for letting me know about Melville Scott’s The Harmony of the Collects, Epistles and Gospels. Originally published in 1902, this little gem is available in reprint from Lulu for $20.00 in hardcover or a paltry $10.00 in trade paperback.

Apart from the fact that the Lulu edition has a typeface that proves actually readable,  the book begins with an analysis of the themes and teachings of the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels of the Christians Year as set out in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.   Scott shows not only the theme of the day and how the lessons and collect relate to each other, but also how the propers for each Sunday interrelated with those of the Sundays both previous and following.

This is an outstanding “secret weapon” for preachers who use the traditional propers of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and with the 1928 American book favored by us unreconstructed traditionalist folk.  The book also serves well for laymen at two levels.  In the first and most basic instance, it affords folks a great devotional commentary to supplement the Sunday sermon.  Secondly, it shows the genius of an actual BCP (as opposed to post-1979 imitations) in presenting a cycle of Scripture that draws a parson into the themes of the Christian year and, eventually, brings newcomers to the Church into a common place in the annual readings with parishioners who have been around a bit longer.

The benefits to catechesis are apparent, and, a shared thematic approach to the propers is a great avenue for building community in parishes of any size.  Finally, the expository treatments of each lesson provide a great, off-the-shelf Bible study that works with the homily wherever the priest is preaching from the lessons appointed for particular Sundays.


A great companion to Scott’s book is the weightier Sermons on the Epistles and Gospels by Isaac Williams and also available from Lulu. (No, I don’t get a commission.)   Originally published in the mid-19th Century, this book is more a commentary on the Sunday propers than a short-cut for desperate preachers who are looking for a little something to fill up an otherwise blank page.

Williams’ sermons exhaustively cover the Epistle and Gospel lessons found in the eucharistic lectionary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and it works just fine for the 1928.  For each set of lessons, the reader has a solid exposition of the day’s Epistle as a lead-in to an exposition of the Gospel.  Williams then concludes with devotional thoughts and practical application of the text.  Williams does an remarkable job showing the theme of each set of lessons, and offers examples of how the lessons tie into the theme of the day.  In this way, the reader or the preacher (whether desperate or not) can handily move from exegesis to exposition to practical application.

The publisher, listed as The Anglican Expositor of British Columbia, deserves thanks for bringing these works back into an accessible, reasonably-priced, and well-made book.


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Apart from a vigorous renewal of catechesis at all levels, what our Church needs in clergy and laity is a real deepening of the spiritual life. We become so intermingled with the world as to lose the fresh enthusiasm of the early martyrs and confessors. We are lacking in that zeal and self-sacrifice which won, in early times, England and Europe to the Faith.

Many Clergy perform their duties in a perfunctory way. To preach Christ effectually the priest  must preach of the Cross from the pulpit of the cross.

We need Communities whose life enables them to study and practice the mysteries of the spiritual life. How far below most of us come from the standard of that “fulness of God” revealed in the New Testament! How comparatively little is known of the science of prayer, as developed by the great teachers and saints!

Some lay people say a morning or evening prayer and some clergy make meditation.  But, in a truly religious home or rectory, those who dwell there should practice a life of devotion through regular daily offices and their prayers would bring a blessing upon the Church and thus especially enrich it.

-Adapted from The Works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 5),  edited by B. Talbot Rogers, New York: Longmans, Green, 1914

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