Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category


We are saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Robert Moore Strippy in the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 31, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia. He had been recuperating at Manor Care (Brookdale-Imperial Plaza) following a fall the previous week.

Dr. Strippy was the son of the late Clarence G. and Ruth (Moore) Strippy. He spent his early years in Massachusetts, and attended Episcopal Academy in Devon, Pennsylvania. A professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, he held multiple doctorates, including doctorates of music the Universities of Paris and Rome. In retirement, he was an instructor at the University of Virginia.

In addition to his academic career, “Dr. Bob” worked in advertising in Chicago in the late 1950s and was a speechwriter for President Dwight Eisenhower. In the 1960s, he traveled extensively in Europe and played the organ in a number of great churches and cathedrals, including a time spent studying with renowned French organist Maurice Duruflé.

Dr. Bob’s career also had its serendipitous moments such as his role in the making of “The Abominable Dr. Phibes”, a 1971 British comedy horror film directed by Robert Fuest and starring Vincent Price and Joseph Cotten. The music that Phibes (Price) plays on the organ at the beginning of the film is “War March of the Priests” from Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Racine’s play Athalie. The organ used was the grand New York Paramount theater organ, now in the Century II Center in Wichita, Kansas. The actual organist was none other than Dr. Robert Moore Strippy, then of Chicago!

Dr. Strippy was a devoted, traditional Anglican catholic. Recognizing the coming disintegration of the Protestant Episcopal, Dr. Strippy wrote extensively to sound a call to action. In the 1976 work A House Divided by Fr. Robert Harvey, Strippy provided a cogent and prescient analysis of the destructive result of the impending liberalization and “de-sacramentalization” of the Church. For example, he pointed out that,

[W]hen the question of women’s ordination is settled to the liberals’ satisfaction, they intend to attack the Eucharistic doctrine through a revised liturgy that will have no real meaning, and in which a spiritualist, a Buddhist and an agnostic could participate with equal satisfaction. When so updated, the Eucharist will have ceased to be a representation of Christ’s sacrifice upon the Cross.

He went on to note that, when the Eucharist has been “rearranged” to the liberals’ satisfaction, “[t]hey will then take their second step in the updating of Christian initiation. They will attack the doctrine of baptism by contending that it is untrue that humanity is excluded from God’s family unless they are baptized. The liberals will then replace Jesus’ doctrine with their own: that the entire universe is covered by a baptism of desire, and that physical baptism is superfluous.” This is precisely what has occurred.

Dr. Strippy served a delegate to the 1977 Congress of St. Louis, an international gathering of nearly 2,000 Anglicans united in their rejection of theological changes introduced by the Anglican Church of Canada and by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America in its General Convention of 1976. Indeed, Dr. Strippy was one of several scribes and authors of the Affirmation of St. Louis that would emerge as the basis for “continuing” Anglicanism in the United States. He recalled working around the clock in an hotel room with the late Perry Laukoff to revise and type the edits to the Affirmation as they were sent up from the Debates and discussions in the Congress. Dr. Strippy was always very direct in emphasizing the catholicity of the finished work.

Dr. Strippy relocated to Richmond, Virginia in 2011, where he began to attend St. Alban’s Anglican-Catholic parish and occasionally substitute as organist there. He took an apartment at Imperial Plaza literally around the corner from the parish, and remained a dedicated member, although failing health precluded his regular attendance. He remained a very active member in MENSA.

Dr. Strippy received the Last Rites of the Church from Canon Charles Nalls, Rector of St. Alban’s, on January 31st. No immediate survivors have been located. As soon as funeral arrangements can be made, a requiem Mass will be scheduled at St. Alban’s. Contributions to provide for those arrangements and interment should be made to St. Alban’s Parish, with the annotation “Dr. Strippy Fund”.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,…”-II Timothy 4:7

May his soul with those of the faithful departed rest in peace, + and May Light Perpetual shine upon him.

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In view of recent events, the instructors from the Virginia Cadet Corps (Explorer Post 320) which meets here at St. Albans will be offering an “active shooter course” on Saturday, December 16th. There will be two sessions, one at 9:00 a.m. and a repeat offering at 1:00 p.m. The training session is to last approximately 1 hour. Class leaders will include retired Federal and local law enforcement professionals, as well as private security consultants.
An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and other populated area including churches and schools. In many cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.
Everyone can help prevent and prepare for potential active shooter situations. This course provides guidance to individuals so that they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation.
Upon completing this course, the participant will be able to:
Describe actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and responding law enforcement officials.
Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.
Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a law enforcement active shooter exercise to be held at St. Alban’s in February or March 2018. Please sign up by emailing stalbansrector@outlook.com or on the sign-up sheet in the parish hall.

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Today marks our parish’s patronal day.  We are privileged to have under our altar a stone from the road at Verulamum, and, it is reputed, a relic of the first class in the mensa (altar stone).  The paver from the road trod by the saint on his way to martyrdom was a gift from St. Alban’s Abbey which our family visited just a year ago last week and from which the text below is “borrowed”.  The photographs are ours.

St Alban’s story and this place built in his honour takes us back to the beginning of the Christian faith in Britain.

Alban is believed to have been a Romano-British citizen of the third century in the Roman city of Verulamium, in the valley below the present Cathedral. The earliest versions of his history say that he gave shelter to a stranger fleeing from persecution. This was a Christian priest, originally un-named but later called Amphibalus in the re-telling of the story. Alban was so moved by the priest’s faith and courage that he asked to be taught more about Christianity, then still a forbidden religion.

Before long the authorities came to arrest the fugitive priest. But Alban, inspired by his new-found faith, exchanged clothes with Amphibalus, allowing him to escape. Instead Alban was arrested and brought before the city magistrate. Alban refused to sacrifice to the emperor and the Roman gods. When asked to identify himself he declared: ‘I am called Alban and I worship and adore the true and living God, who created all things’.

The magistrate ordered that Alban should receive the punishment due to the priest. He was brought out of the town and up the hillside to the site of execution where he was beheaded. Despite escaping, Amphibalus too was later arrested and martyred at Redbourn, a few miles away.

Alban was probably buried in the Roman cemetery now located by modern archaeological digs to the south of the present Cathedral. Alban is honoured as the first British martyr, and his grave on this hillside quickly became a place of pilgrimage.

The first churches here were probably simple structures over Alban’s grave, making this the oldest continuous site of Christian worship in Great Britain. Recent finds suggest an early basilica over the spot and in 429 St Germanus recorded his visit to this church. In the early eighth century the historian Bede told the story of St Alban and described ‘a beautiful church, worthy of his martyrdom’.

Matthew Paris, the celebrated medieval historian and most famous of the Abbey’s monks, produced a beautifully illustrated Life of St Alban in the 13th century. This is now at Trinity College in Dublin.


The shrine of St Alban can be seen here today. Its Purbeck marble base of 1308 supports a modern red and gold canopy under which rests a shoulder-blade said to come from the original relics of the saint’s body. The canopy is embroidered with English wildflowers, commemorating Bede’s description of Alban as ascending a hill “adorned with wild flowers of every kind.” The red rose, in particular has come to be a special symbol of the saint reflecting the words of an ancient prayer: ‘Among the roses of the martyrs, brightly shines Saint Alban.’

DSCN2248Watching Gallery Above the Shrine

Alban is a saint of the undivided church, a saint for all Christians. His welcome to a persecuted stranger was a powerful example of courage, compassion and hospitality. St Alban is still with us in the Communion of Saints, and in this sacred place we worship God with him and ask his prayers.


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In the wake of the attacks this afternoon in London, special prayers and a Rosary following Evening Prayer will be said at St. Alban’s at 5:00 p.m. today.

In Time of Calamity.

O GOD, merciful and compassionate, who art ever ready to hear the prayers of those who put their trust in thee; Graciously hearken to us who call upon thee, and grant us thy help in this our need; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Shortly after coming to St. Alban’s nearly seven years ago, I built a small chapel in an unused classroom on the far side of the building.  Over the years it has been used as a penance chapel as it has our confessional, as well as a tabernacle for the Reserved Sacrament (Altar of Repose) during Holy Week.  Otherwise, it has gone largely unnoticed.

Several weeks ago, Fr. Seraphim came from St. Simeon’s skete in Kentucky to lead our pre-Advent retreat for the diocese here at St. Alban’s.  He brought to us the powerful teachings of the Remnant Rosary. Information about this teaching, which is at once a devotion, meditation and spiritual discipline, can be found on the pages of the  Nazareth House Apostolate, of which the skete is the physical part.  It is a must visit site, and I urge all who follow the like to carefully read all of the pages and then make a generous contribution to this extraordinary work of Christ.

Now, that I have gotten the advertisement past, I want to note that a number of the retreat participants already have adopted the Remnant Rosary into their spiritual practice.  It is not easy at first to do so, but nothing that really builds one up is.  Surely, the prayers of the beads are not hard to learn, but the difficulty comes in their convicting nature.  In this upcoming season of Advent, the enormity of the Incarnation is not easy to face if taken seriously, and the Remnant Rosary calls those who sincerely pray it squarely into the sheer power of the event and of the race that Jesus would run for us-a race that led up Calvary to the Cross and beyond the grave.

So it was, over these last two weeks, I sort of “fiddled about” with the beads that Fr. Seraphim had given me and the small booklet that accompanied them.  One can “breeze” through a regular Rosary in a way that can become quite wrote and perfunctory. (One should not, of course, but familiarity can result in laxity.)  However, the Remnant Rosary invites the person that prays it into a deeply personal entry in to the Holy Mysteries.  One is called to internalize the Mysteries and to “take in” Jesus in a way that is quite profound-Eucharistic in a very meaningful way.  It is that sort of intimacy, I believe many people are uncomfortable with even though Christ invites us into that level of relationship.  One need only to examine how many people receive the Sacrament in a perfunctory manner to get my point here. (Here, I invite you to think about the “receive and run” folks who don’t even wait for the Benediction to head for the parking lot.  If, however, this describes you, stop it!)

So, after Matins, I felt sufficiently prepared to take on and engage the Remnant Rosary, and, for some reason, was drawn to the little chapel for a first attempt.  If you already pray the Rosary, the Mysteries are familiar.  The depth of the meditations, though, are not.  Taken seriously, this combination of prayer and meditation moves one swiftly from chronos (actual time) to kairos, (God time), just as the Remnant Rosary book notes.  To borrow from Fr. Seraphim, “Ultimately [this] Rosary has no goal, only depth.  The mysteries are a shoreless ocean, we are a wave ant the Rosary is the current rooted in the depths….Here we ‘see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep’ (Ps. 107:24).”

As I prayed the Joyful Mysteries, I happened to glance at the icon of Supreme Humility and that sense of depth cane home with incredible force.  It is a sense that the shadow of the Cross hangs across the Christmas crib, and both bind Heaven and earth together in the life of Christ.  Advent heralds Good Friday which, in torn, anticipates the Resurrection, all bound up in the life of the Master expressed throughout in Supreme Humility.

This Advent, I would invite you either to “try out” Remnant Rosary or to pray the familiar Rosary with a new attention to its depth.  Include short meditations on each bead, rather than breeze through the devoting to rest satisfied in the fact that you simply have “gotten through” another set of Mysteries.  Personalize each bead, and take in the enormity of each event.  Any worry of time spent (which should not be a concern in prayer) will simply disappear when you let down your spiritual net into the depths for a draught.  And always keep before you the vision of the Supreme Humility that has redeemed the world.



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REMINDER-On Sunday, June 21 there will be a single service at 10:00 am. Bp. Lerow will be visiting the parish for Confirmations. A lunch will follow the service. Please plan to bring a dish and join us for a wonderful Sunday.
In Christ,
Canon Nalls

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December 24th
Nine Lessons and Carols-4:00 p.m. This service will include the blessing of the Christmas Crib. Our thanks to Mr. Bernard Riley, the choir and musicians who have been working so hard to help us lift our voices in a welcome to our Lord!
Christmas Vigil-10:00 p.m.-Sung Mass.
December 25th
Sung Matins-8:00 a.m.
Feast of the Nativity-10:00 a.m.-Sung Mass of Christmas Day
December 26th
Sung Matins-8:00 a.m.
Feast of St. Stephen-12:00 Noon-Said Mass
December 27th
Sung Matins-8:00 a.m.
Feast of St. John-12:00 Noon-Said Mass
December 28th
Morning Prayer-8:30 a.m.
Bible Study-9:30 a.m.-Study of the Gospel of St. Mathew
Holy Eucharist-11:00 a.m. (Hospitality follows in Parish Hall)

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