My 4th so far…


We started the 4th of July by keeping to an old tradition that I inherited from Fr. Karney, the priest who really taught me how to be a priest, that of keeping the 4th as a holy day of obligation. Having read +Paul Marshall’s book on the history of the early Episcopal Church in the U.S., I’m much more keen on the tradition now that I understand the context. It has always seemed particularly right to me to observe the 4th with prayer and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Then my family and I went to see “Ratatouille”, the new Pixar movie, in a packed house afternoon showing.

Definitely recommended. If you haven’t seen it yet, go see it. The message is amazing for anyone involved in creative enterprise, and the graphics are, to me, the best in any Pixar movie yet.

We’re “just chillin'” now and getting ready for the big finish to this day, a firework show at sunset here in our new home. All in all a great day. Even if the outside temperature is supposed to get up to 116 F in the next hour or so. (It was 115 on the drive home.)

How are you celebrating the 4th?

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. I spent three hours watching my two and a half year old son Teddy enjoy a day at the beach here in Lincoln City, Oregon. He has been begging to “play agua” ever since we arrived here yesterday. We came back to our hotel after nearly three hours in the sand and water. Both of us were caked with sand, which evidences a great time had by all. On the way back to the hotel, I told Teddy that today was America’s birthday. He proceeded to sing the Happy Birthday song. Priceless.
    I have been blogging during his nap. He just got up so it is time for the three of us to hit the beach again.

  2. Richard G. Elliott says

    We always spend the 4th in the South Carolina mountains. Yes, South Carolina, as Spencer Tracy said of Katherine Hepburn, “There ain’t much there, but what’s there is cherce.” This is a different sort of feast of obligation for my wife who grew up summering in the community here. We have a generous neighbor just over the hill in NC who throws a bash for the whole community every year. Imagine a farm in a broad valley between forested hills, with a lake in the middle, and in the center of the lake, an island.
    Form six until dark it’s Bluegrass music, hot dogs, beer/wine and conversation. It was a couple of years ago when I was in yet one more conversation about the “Expletive deleted” liberals, that I pointed out to a friend who was wearing a shirt that had once gotten Abby Hoffman arrested, that if it weren’t for the “Expletive deleted” liberals they’d still be complaining about the tax on their tea.
    Around sunset everyone sings the Star Spangled Banner and a few other patriotic songs; sparklers are handed out, and then, when full dark arrives, fireworks shoot up from the island in the small lake.
    This year we spent the evening with old friends, good friends, of the sort my old friend Peter C. once said, “I’m too old to make old friends.” We ate the sacramental dogs, and drank the holy wine/beer, and smelled the smoke of sparklers and fireworks.

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