7/24/2008

Bishop Duleep de Chickera, of Colombo chanted this

Bishop Duleep de Chickera, of Colombo, Sri Lanka, is reported to have chanted this at the end of his sermon:


I take refuge in God the Father
I take refuge in God the Son
I take refuge in God the Holy Spirit
I take refuge in the One Triune God.

I wrote of the amazing grouse of a remark by Bishop Duncan in response HERE.

The notion of refuge is a Buddhist one, one shared by many sacred traditions including Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions.

Some years ago I wrote an alternative way of making a faith statement, not as a creed but as a statement of refuge.. a statement of where to go when the going gets rough. For those who will yell and scream and stomp about, this is not proposed as a Creed. That is the point. It is an affirmation about where I go for refuge.

The Bishop of Colombo will not be taking his lumps alone. I too take refuge. I wrote this in 1997.

Here it is:


THREE CHRISTIAN VOWS OF REFUGE.


I TAKE REFUGE IN GOD CREATOR, COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL,

Source of all that was, and is, and will be,
Whose Name is beyond naming,
Who yet is so present with us
That we call out to The One in names of affection,
The names we give our parents, whose offspring we are.

I TAKE REFUGE IN JESUS CHRIST, COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL;

In whom we have known God’s Word and Wisdom,
present and incarnate,

In Jesus, who comes among us as attentive as a servant,
Whose mindfulness heals,
Whose teaching is the Way of Life,
Who welcomes us to eat and drink with him,
And calls us brothers and sisters.

His compassion is our refuge,
Even his compassion in death.

For we remember:
Under Imperial Authority
In a captured province
He suffered humiliation and agony
And death on the Cross.
That Cross has become our Sign,
For his death was not the end,
But a new mark of his healing Grace.
Death could not keep him from us,
His compassion and his teaching
Have no boundaries.

In Him we find ourselves alive.
He is our refuge for all time.

I TAKE REFUGE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL;

Who is present in the Source of all our being,
In Jesus the Christ, the incarnation of God’s mercy,
And in the community of all who at table
Together are the Body of Christ,
Where God’s mercy and compassion reign,
Where the Way of Life is practiced,
And Presence and the present are one.


Mark Harris, September 22, 1997

Well it is strange, affirming and wonderful to find that the Bishop of Colombo finds refuge too.

11 comments:

  1. Both sets of refuge-takings are beautiful.

    I wish that there was a recording of the Bishop's chant available - I'd like to hear the sort of melody that (+)+Duncan instinctively knows is evil.

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  2. Lee Tuck-Leong25/7/08 12:04 AM

    The refuge prayers are also part of the liturgies in the Common Prayer book of Myanmar.

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  3. In the pre-Christian spirituality of Ireland, there was the concept of the lorica, a mystical piece of armour which would protect one from harm. The early Christian missionaries in Ireland used this concept in teaching the faith. Perhaps the most famous example, then, is a Christian lorica attributed to St. Patrick. Many of you will know it. One well-loved translation begins:

    I bind unto myself today
    the strong name of the Trinity
    by invocation of the same,
    the Three in One and One in Three.

    The translation of the "Buddhist" prayer has, to me, much the same haunting echo.

    I wonder if Bishop Bob will now ban St. Patrick's Breastplate in the Diocese of Pittsburgh on the grounds of its pre-Christian borrowings.

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  4. That's very much the same concept as the ancient Celtic lornica, or breastplate.

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  5. I stand corrected... it's *lorica*, and not *lornica*. Chalk it up to being my day off.

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  6. Those bishops concerned about syncretism should perhaps look at those they seek to ally with. From an article in Christianity Today on dual allegiance in West Africa:

    "One out of 10 self-named Christians in this region practices only Christianity," says Benjamin-Lee Hegeman, a former missionary in West Africa who now teaches at Houghton College. "Some people call it syncretism, but it may be more like dual religious allegiance, where Christianity is practiced in the daytime and occult [practice] is done at night. Many of the pastors will preach from the pulpit that this type of thing is wrong, but secretly take part in it at night. There is the mentality, especially in African Initiated Churches, where the prosperity gospel is preached, that you do what you've got to do to get ahead. You rely on the powers available to you. You are hopeful that Christ will help, but when he can't come through on Sunday, you may take out a different insurance policy at night."

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/august/8.16.html

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  7. Tell me again, how many days until the HoB meets and deposes the immoderator? What an embarrassment!

    FWIW
    jimB

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  8. I keep thinking of something I remember from somewhere: "God is my refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble."

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  9. They are so celtic-sounding and most of all, worth retaining and praying, Thank you.

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  10. I really liked "A Swiftly Tilting Planet," too.

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  11. Mark, that's beautiful.

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