Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oldest Church in Middle East Discovered

With all the news about escaped convicts, tornadoes, and the whole bit, this may have slipped under the major news radar. The oldest (believed) church in the Middle East was discovered by inmates excavating the ground near their prison in preparation for a new prison wing. This discovery is not without irony (at least in my opinion). For the past few weeks at St Michael's, we have been using Eucharistic Prayer D, perhaps the most theologically dense of the Eucharistic prayers. During the anamnesis there is the phrase, "To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners, freedom; to the sorrowful, joy." How wonderful for those who are held captive by their own actions to discover an ancient site where people worshipped the source of all freedom. What hope this must bring to them, that as they were preparing to build another wing to house more prisoners, they, ordinary criminals, made one of the most exciting archeological discoveries. One note to the story, there is the mention of the Greek word for "table" that has baffled the scholar quoted in the article, as they were expecting it to say "altar." My knowlege of early Christian worship before Constantine causes me to think that a table was used in worship before elaborate, permanent altars could be constructed. Also, an Orthodox priest friend sent an email reminding that the Orthodox, who aren't hip to much change, still call their altar the "Holy Table."


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