Monthly Archives: April 2020

Sunday Service for 26th April

Sunday 26th April
Easter 2


Notices
Vi Boyd’s funeral took place earlier this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with
Katie, Malcolm, and their families,


Congratulations to Susan and Michael Forsyth as they become grandparents again.
The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday at 11.00 broadcasting video coverage
of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube
channel. The web page for the broadcast is located
at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also
contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

SERVICE

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The Collect for the day
Almighty Father,
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord:
give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


The Gospel
Luke 24:13-35

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven
miles [a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that
had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus
himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing
him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are
you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have
happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and
deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him
over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was
the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all
this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb
early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had
seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went
to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets
have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his
glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what
was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if
he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly
evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began
to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he
disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning
within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and
those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and
has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and
how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

The Nicene Creed.

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all
things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father
before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not
made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who
for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the
Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us
under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again
according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand

of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the
dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from
the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and
glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic
Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the
Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

The sermon
Our Emmaus Road
Old Etonian Eric Blair – “a tall feller with a pair of flannel bags, a fawn jacket and a
mac”, was once walking a road searching for Wigan Pier.
Blair was better known as George Orwell, later the author of ‘Animal Farm’ and
‘1984’. During the 1930s, the north of England held special fascination for him and
other literati. Aldous Huxley was captivated by the Nottinghamshire coalfields. D. H
Lawrence similarly used them as a backdrop to ‘Lady Chatterley’s lover’ Later, many
writers followed the fortunes of the Jarrow marchers walking from Newcastle to
London in protest against chronic unemployment. At about the same time, Orwell
travelled to the North West of England and to Wigan where unemployment too was
high.
In 1855, the residents of Blairmore on the western shore of Loch Long built a pier to
encourage the trade provided by Glasgow day trippers. Visitors later flocked to the
pier in thousands to sample the pure air and eat their lunch.
Orwell knew this and the attraction of other such piers. Having heard that Wigan
also possessed one, he set out to find it. In fact, ” Wigan pier” never existed save as a
music-hall joke. The story went that day-trippers on a train to the seaside resort of
Southport, peered out of a carriage window across the blighted landscape in a thick
fog. A railway gantry leading to a jetty from which coal was tipped into barges on a
canal hove into view. “Are we there yet?” asked a passenger, mistaking the ghostly
outline for a fashionable seaside attraction. “Nay, lad, that’s Wigan pier you can see,”
replies the railway guard. Orwell should of course have known better: Wigan is
landlocked and at least forty miles distant from Southport. He eventually found the
then broken-down jetty stretching into a murky and rubbish filled canal. The visit
later set the depressive undertones tone for his book ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’
The saddest words in our language all by coincidence begin with the letter D:
disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, discouragement, despondency,
depression, despair. Orwell experienced each on the road to Wigan pier as did
Cleopas and his companion as they trudged the road to Emmaus. They had left a
downhearted and confused band of disciples following Good Friday and shared their
disappointment. The Master they loved had suffered a cruel and degrading death on
a cross. Only a week before, their expectations had risen as excited crowds welcomed

their Master waving palm branches. Now hopes were dashed. “We had hoped that he
would be the one who was going to set Israel free!”
Human hope is fragile, and when it withers, it is difficult to revive. The events of the
past weeks are proof enough. Many become afraid to hope for fear of further
disappointment.
The two were joined by a stranger who asked what they were discussing. They shared
their thoughts with someone prepared to listen rather than tell them to “snap out of
it” Could there not be a more appropriate Gospel reading at present?
Disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, discouragement, despondency,
depression presently fill many lives. Jesus the unseen “stranger” walks alongside us
listening, and if we are willing to hear his voice, revealing himself. The two felt
despondency and sorrow changing to understanding and hope. He points us to God’s
Word of promise in the Bible that we are God’s dearly loved children and that he will
stand by us through thick and thin. He turns despair to hope.
On Good Friday, one Hylton Murray-Philipson was interviewed by Nick Robinson on
the ‘Today’ programme. Murray-Philipson, who is 61, had just left Leicester Royal
Infirmary having recovered, after six days from Covid-19. Robinson asked him about
his time in intensive care. Mr Murray-Philipson said: “One of the very powerful
images I had was the image of Jesus Christ coming to me and helping me in my hour
of need.” To which Robinson retorted in response ‘this was because you have to be on
a ventilator machine which plays tricks with your mind, doesn’t it really?’


Prayers
The Prayers
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.


Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Confession
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men;
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time
to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy
Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do
earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of
them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us,
Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s
sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and
please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution
The Almighty and merciful Lord, grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins.
Amen.


The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to
Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt.
xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that
believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.
Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came
into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.
Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and
He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.
Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud
and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory:
Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I
present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to
Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come

spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee and embrace Thee with all the
affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in
Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:


The Hymn
The hymn long associated with today’s gospel is ‘Abide with me’ ‘ But they urged him
strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in
to stay with them’. The author, Henry Francis Lyte, was an Anglican priest latterly at
All Saints’ Church Brixham Devon.
Lyte composed the hymn in 1820 while visiting a dying friend, William Le Hunte.
William kept repeating the phrase “Abide with me”. After leaving William’s bedside
Lyte wrote the hymn. As he felt his own end approaching twenty-seven years later, he
recalled the lines he had written many years before. The hymn was sung for the first
time at Lyte’s funeral.


1 Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
when other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.


2 Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.


3 I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.


4 I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.


5 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

The Grace
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the
Holy Ghost, be with me always. Amen.

Sunday Service for 19th April 2020

Sunday 19th April
Easter 1

Notices

Today marks the first anniversary of Saffrey Miller’s death. Our thoughts are with David and the family. Today’s hymn, which can be heard via YouTube, closed her Memorial Service.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday at 11.00 broadcasting video coverage of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel. The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

For those who prefer devotion in another form, the following is a complete service.

SERVICE

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The Collect for the day

Lord God, in your compassion you granted to the Lady Julian many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things, for in giving us yourself you give us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 27:5–11
5 One thing have I asked of the LORD;
one thing I seek; *
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life;
6 To behold the fair beauty of the LORD *
and to seek him in his temple.
7 For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe in his shelter; *
he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling
and set me high upon a rock.
8 Even now he lifts up my head *
above my enemies round about me.
9 Therefore I will offer in his dwelling an oblation
with sounds of great gladness; *
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
10 Hearken to my voice, O LORD, when I call; *
have mercy on me and answer me.
11 You speak in my heart and say, “Seek my face.” *
Your face, LORD, will I seek.

The Gospel.

John 4:23–26
Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

The Nicene Creed.

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

The sermon

Invariably during the current crisis, anyone of importance appearing on television is filmed against the backdrop of their bookcase. Wearying of being hectored, viewers are beginning to turn attention instead to the shelves behind the speaker’s head. Are the volumes arranged neatly, suggesting the owner’s tidy mind, or stacked at random suggesting perpetual inner whirlwind? Are the spines colour- coded, signifying perhaps pedantry? Did the books reach the shelves by courtesy of a never to be repeated offer from ‘Reader’s Digest’, or to dispatch an uninvited encyclopaedia salesman from the doorstep? In short, are the books simply to impress or have they at some point been opened?
My own bookcase contains a slim volume by one Julian of Norwich entitled ‘Revelations of Divine Love’. In truth, it has never been opened until recently, but is now steady ‘work in progress’. Although penned in the 14th century, it is remarkably relevant to these disturbing times.
Julian of Norwich wasn’t male as the name suggests, but rather a woman. Her birth name remains unknown: her identity is derived from her life-long association with St Julian’s church, which stood in King Street next to one of the busiest thoroughfares in medieval Norwich.
Julian was born in 1342 during the time of The Black Death. The plague led to bad social conditions and oppression of the poor. There was a shortage of labour, high taxes and bad harvests. Unrest led to the Peasants Revolt in 1381. Religious persecution was also rampant, and many people were put to their death because of their religious beliefs.
Julian wasn’t a nun, but a lay person who chose a life of contemplation. In this role she became a special kind of mystic, known as an anchoress. An anchoress was a person called to a solitary life, not cut-off from the world, but rather within it. She anchored the light of God amidst the darkness of life around her. Thus in 1373 she voluntarily entered ‘lockdown’ within a cell attached to St Julian’s church; it was though used before her time and again after her death. Lest she felt tempted to leave, the entrance was blocked behind her with stone. Her life centred on prayer and contemplation a life highly respected at the time.
Julian kept a servant who brought her meals. She listened through a curtained window to passers-by who needed counsel. The only other living soul who entered her space was her beloved cat, that allowed the rat population to be kept at bay.
On 8 May 1373 she was struck by severe illness, doubtless plague related. During sickness, she experienced 16 profound visions. She scribbled each in detail, lest she later forget them. After recovery, and for the next 20 years, she recorded them in full. Her writings became ‘Revelations of Divine Love’, the first book written by a woman in English, and it remains a spiritual classic.
Unlike many religious teachings of her day, Julian did not write of a vengeful or judgmental God, but a God with an all-enveloping love, like a tender mother or father. In its 27th chapter, Julian wrote “All Shall be Well!”
Readers might initially be tempted to judge these as words befitting someone detached and remote from the hardships and troubles of everyday life. In fact, these were not Julian’s words, but those of God. Julian was naturally sceptical that in a plague, things would ever turn out well. She filled thirteen chapters with such doubts. God, in response, assured her that the mysterious action of divine love and power and wisdom will indeed make all things well. God even presented Julian with examples of how suffering had been made well, and sin into glory. But Julian for a long time remained unconvinced, wanting to know how all things could be made well. Ultimately, God doesn’t explain how things could be made well but invites Julian to trust in that future of wellness.
Knowing that Julian argued with God is helpful, because believing “all shall be well” is not a simplistic devotion or a mental mind game; it is an invitation for us all to live more trustingly.
Julian’s hermitage was destroyed at the Reformation and St Julian’s church during the Baedeker air raids of 1942. Later, the cell was rebuilt along with the nave and chancel of the main church. It serves as a shrine to Lady Julian of Norwich who is also commemorated in nearby Norwich Cathedral by a statue and a stained-glass window.
Prayer and meditation from ‘Revelations of Divine Love’
After that the Lord brought to my mind the yearning that I had for Him in the past, and I saw that nothing stood in my way except sin (and thus I observed universally in us all).
And it seemed to me that if sin had not been, we would all have been pure and like to our Lord as He made us, and thus, in my folly, before this time I often wondered why, by the great foreseeing wisdom of God, the beginning of sin was not prevented, for then, it seemed to me, all would have been well. I ought much to have given up this disturbing wondering, but nevertheless, I made mourning and sorrow about it without reason or discretion.
But Jesus (who in this vision informed me of all that I needed) answered by this word and said: “Sin is inevitable, but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Amen

Confession
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution
The Almighty and merciful Lord, grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins. Amen.

The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.
Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.
Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.
Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee, and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Hymn

1 The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the Passover of gladness,
the Passover of God;
from death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our God hath brought us over
with hymns of victory.
2 Our hearts be pure from evil,
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection-light;
and, listening to his accents,
may hear so calm and plain
his own ‘All hail’, and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.
3 Now let the heavens be joyful,
and earth her song begin,
the round world keep high triumph,
and all that is therein;
let all things seen and unseen
their notes of gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord is risen,
our joy that hath no end.

The Grace
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with me always. Amen.

St Mary’s Easter Day service

Bulletin for Easter Day 2020

Notices

Thank you to those who have been in contact by phone, WhatsApp and email during the week. Please continue to do so, even if just for a chat. I remain of course anxious to help anyone during these difficult days. My thought and prayer for you all.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday be broadcasting video coverage of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel.  The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

For those who prefer devotion in another form, the following is a complete service for Easter Day

The Easter Service

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The Confession

Let us confess our sins to our Heavenly Father:

Jesus Christ, risen Master and triumphant Lord,

we come to you in sorrow for our sins,

and confess our weakness and unbelief,

Lord hear us and help us

We have lived in our own strength,

and not by the power of your resurrection.

In your mercy, forgive us.

Lord hear us and help us

We have lived by the light of our own eyes,

as faithless and not believing,

In your mercy forgive us,

Lord hear us and help us

We have lived for this world alone,

and doubted our home in heaven,

In your mercy, forgive us.

Lord hear us and help us

O God enthroned on high

Filling the earth with your glory:

Holy is your name

Lord God Almighty

In our sinfulness we cry to you

To take our guilt away,

And to cleanse our lips to speak of your word

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen

Absolution

The Almighty and merciful Lord, grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins. Amen.

The Ministry of the Word

Collect

God of glory

By the raising of your Son

you have broken the chains of death and hell:

fill your Church with faith and hope;

for a new day has dawned

and the way to life stands open

in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

First Reading Acts 10:34-43

Second Reading Col 3:1-4

The Gospel John 20:1-18

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

The Creed

You Christ are the King of Glory

the eternal Son of the Father

You overcame the sting of death:

and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory:

we believe that you will come to be our judge

Come then Lord and help your people:

bought with the price of your own blood.

and bring us with your saints

to glory everlasting

The Address

‘This joyful Eastertide, away with sin and sorrow.
My Love, the Crucified, hath sprung to life this morrow’.

These are the opening words of an Easter Carol written towards the end of the 19th century.

Are you well? This is a perennial question asked by everyone at present. The answer expected of course is ‘yes, very well, thank you’. It’s what needs to be said and heard presently to preserve often fragile morale. Our poor Prime Minister was reported last Sunday evening to be in ‘good spirits’ He would say that of course. Unbeknown to most, he was hospitalized and very ill, whilst carrying to his bed the immense burden of office.

Are you joyful this Eastertide? In truth, I find it difficult to summon the happiness associated with the season. Others tell me, and rightly so, that the church is more than just a building. The Archbishop of Canterbury has recently assured us that ‘Jesus is quite up to date with technology’ But celebrating Easter through a screen is simply not the same. Easter Day is associated with beautiful church decorations, glorious music and a sense of fellowship with other worshippers. For the first time in a thousand years, none of this has been possible. We do our best then to be in ‘good spirits’, but it is very hard.

The media rightly describe Mr. Johnson as a ‘big animal’, a charismatic and influential figure.    When news of his admission to hospital broke last week, a wave of anxiety swept the nation. Who was now to lead us through these dark days? It gives some idea of the consternation that must have seized Simon Peter and the other disciples when Jesus was taken from them. Many of them were too terrified by events to be at their master’s crucifixion.  Consequently, they neglected to ensure that he even received a dignified burial.

 Nevertheless, Simon Peter and another disciple came to the tomb three days later. Expecting to find at least Christ’s body, they found nothing. That was probably the last straw: failing to understand, they returned to their homes.

They were not the only visitors to the tomb that morning. There was also Mary Magdalene. Mary was a common name in the scriptures so hence her additional identification. Little is known of her, save that Christ healed her from a life-sapping illness.  Thereafter, renewed in body and spirit, Mary served and followed Christ with utmost devotion.

Unlike the disciples, Mary Magdalene watched all day at the cross, witnessing Christ’s suffering and death.  Mary, visiting the tomb after the disciples, was also distressed to find it empty. Her trust though in Christ remained unshaken and her deep reservoir of faith told her to wait.  Later, through the half light of the early morning, she heard Christ’s voice. In great joy she responded Rabboni, master. When seeing Christ’s form, she naturally hastened to embrace it. Instead, she was commanded to tell the disciples what she had witnessed.

To return to the present. What will happen to our nation this week, and the next? How will future generations cope with the difficulties that undoubtedly will result? We search the darkness of the future just as the disciples and Mary peered into the tomb.

We ask then for the deep, hopeful and patient love in the risen Christ that was found in Mary Magdalene; she who was truly in good spirits.  

This joyful Eastertide, away with sin and sorrow.
My Love, the Crucified, hath sprung to life this morrow.

 The Prayers

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For hospital staff and medical researchers

Gracious God,
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

At Easter Day

We give thanks O God our Father for the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ from the dead;

for his victory over sin and the grave;

for his risen presence in our daily lives;

for his promise of life immortal with him.

Accept our praise and teach us day by day to live rejoicingly in the faith of him who died for us, and rose again, and is alive for evermore

Amen

The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

An act of commitment

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee, and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour Christ has commanded and taught us, so we pray:

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

A recording of this hymn can be accessed via YouTube

   1        Jesus lives!  thy terrors now
        can, O death, no more appal us;
            Jesus lives!  by this we know
        thou, O grave, canst not enthral us.
               Alleluia.

   2          Jesus lives!  henceforth is death
        but the gate of life immortal:
            this shall calm our trembling breath,
        when we pass its gloomy portal.
               Alleluia.

   3          Jesus lives!  for us he died;
        then, alone to Jesus living,
            pure in heart may we abide,
        glory to our Saviour giving.
               Alleluia.

   4          Jesus lives!  our hearts know well
        naught from us his love shall sever;
            life nor death nor powers of hell
        tear us from his keeping ever.
               Alleluia.

   5          Jesus lives!  to him the throne
        over all the world is given:
            may we go where he is gone,
        rest and reign with him in heaven.
               Alleluia.

The Grace

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with me always. Amen.

Good Friday Service

A service for Good Friday 2020

Notice
Broadcast services will be available on YouTube and facebook, via the
Provincial website at https://www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-
sunday-worship/

Good Friday, 14.30: The service will include the Passion Narrative
and the Veneration of the Cross led by the Rt Rev Anne Dyer, Bishop
of Aberdeen & Orkney.
Holy Saturday, 20.30: The Easter Vigil will be led by the Primus,
the Most Rev Mark Strange, from his home in Arpafeelie.


Collect
Almighty Father,
look with mercy on this your family
for which our Lord Jesus Christ was content to be betrayed
and given up into the hands of sinners
and to suffer death upon the cross;
who is alive and glorified with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
All Amen.

Introduction
Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818 –1895) was an Anglo-Irish
hymnwriter and poet. She wrote ” All Things Bright and Beautiful “,
and the Christmas carol ” Once in Royal David’s City .” For today she
penned ” There Is a Green Hill Far Away “
Her poetical works were much admired and came to the attention
of Alfred Lord Tennyson. The composer Charles Gounod once
remarked that it was ‘the most perfect hymn in the English
language because of its charming simplicity. A noted New
Testament scholar wrote, ‘It was given to an Irish woman, in a
hymn she wrote for little children, to express better than many a

learned tome the purpose, the necessity and the challenge of that
sacrifice which has in principle redeemed our prodigal race’
Mrs Alexander wrote to illustrate the words of the creed, ‘Suffered
under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.’
She begins the first verse by painting a picture. As a skilled teacher
she knew that her first task was to capture a child’s imagination.
The second verse celebrates the mystery of the cross, ‘We may not
know, we cannot tell….’ The passion of Jesus, though difficult to
comprehend, is something he endured for us and for our
salvation. This is explained in the next two verses, ‘He died that we
might be forgiven, he died to make us good… There was no other
good enough to pay the price of sin.’
The hymn ends with a call to ‘love as he has loved us.’
Mrs. Alexander devoted her life to Christian education, to the care
of the young, and the poor. She was buried in her beloved Derry,
outside the city walls.
Her words set the scene of our Lord’s passion and celebrates the
mystery, the purpose, the necessity and the challenge of the cross


There is a green hill far away,
without a city wall,
where the dear Lord was crucified,
who died to save us all.


We may not know, we cannot tell,
what pains he had to bear,
but we believe it was for us
he hung and suffered there.


He died that we might be forgiven,
he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heaven,
saved by his precious blood.


There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin;

he only could unlock the gate
of heaven, and let us in.


O dearly, dearly has he loved,
and we must love him too,
and trust in his redeeming blood,
and try his works to do.


The Gospel
Matthew 27:45-54
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the
land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, [ a ] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why
have you forsaken me?”). [ b ]
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s
calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with
wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The
rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his
spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top
to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke
open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to
life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and [ c ] went
into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus
saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified,
and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
The Address
The four gospel narratives describing the events of Good Friday
naturally focus on the hill outside Jerusalem known as Golgotha, or
Calvary. Having described the crucifixion, three of the gospel writers
briefly mention another event that occurred simultaneously with

Christ’s death. It happened a mile or so from Calvary within the
Temple at Jerusalem. The gospel writers say nothing more nor offer
explanation. However, as will be revealed, the event was of great
symbolic significance: some preliminary explanation.
The First Jerusalem Temple was built by the order of King Solomon
in about 940 BC and stood until destroyed by the Babylonians in 586
BC. In 538 BC Cyrus the Great built a second Temple, which in about
20 BC was improved and extended by Herod the Great . Here Christ
was presented as a babe in arms and, as a child, conversed with the
Temple priests. From the same building, shortly before his
crucifixion, he cast out the traders and money changers.
Some fourteen centuries beforehand, the Israelites, having escaped
from Egypt, journeyed to the Promised Land. Along the way,
Moses received the ten commandments from God, and these were
transcribed onto tablets of stone. Thereafter, the stones were
carried through the wilderness in The Ark of the Covenant, a gold-
covered wooden chest with a lid, carried by bearers on wooden poles
in the style of a litter. Later, during the construction of Solomon’s
Temple , a special inner room, named the Holy of Holies , was
prepared to receive and house the Ark. An identical room was
constructed within the second temple.
This inner room was separated into two, designated respectively as
the holy and the most holy place. They were separated by an exquisite
veil or curtain made, according to the Old Testament book of
Chronicles, of blue, purple and crimson yarn sown upon the finest
linen. Entry behind the veil was permitted only for a ritually pure
priest and then only upon the Day of Atonement. The veil
represented a barrier between heaven and earth, behind which
divine secrets were kept.
So, what was the event noted by the writers that occurred
simultaneously with Christ’s death? Matthew Mark and Luke
record ‘the curtain of the temple was torn in two’. (see today’s Gospel
Reading at v.51) The scriptures imply that God himself was
responsible. The destruction then was no mere accident nor act of
vandalism. The veil had been irreparably torn and thus a barrier

between man and God was removed. In a sentence therefore, the
gospel writers provide an explanation for Christ’s crucifixion.


Intercessions
These are based upon the words of Jesus spoken from the cross.
Father forgive them for they know not what they do
We thank you Father that Jesus did as he told others to do and forgive
those who wronged him. Help us to forgive those who wrong us from
our heart.
All: Lord hear our prayer
Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise
We thank you Father that Jesus gave assurance to a man convinced
that he deserved to die. Awaken us to a true understanding of what
we are and what we have done.
All: Lord hear our prayer
Woman behold your son: behold your mother
We give thanks that Jesus thought of others even when dying. Deliver
us from self-pity and for brooding upon our own misfortune. Help us
always to be aware of the needs of others
All: Lord hear our prayer
My God, My God why have you forsaken me?
We thank you Father that Jesus was fully human and no stranger to
the anguish of despair
Help all who are passing through agony of this day
All: Lord hear our prayer
I am thirsty
We thank you Father that someone answered Christ’s cry. Help us to
heed the cry of others who thirst
All: Lord hear our prayer
It is finished
We thank you Father that Jesus died having done your will and
accomplished your work. May we have no cause to regret the use of
our lives
All: Lord hear our prayer

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit
We give thanks that Jesus died trusting in you. May we too share that
confidence through all our days and know that Jesus conquered death
for us all
All: Lord hear our prayer


The conclusion

The text of the following hymn is attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux, a
French abbot and founder of the Cistercian Order in the early twelfth
century. In certain medieval orders, monks would mentally divide the
body of Christ into parts before meditating on each. Bernard wrote a
poem of fifty lines for each part, the head included. The text hymnist
Paul Gerhardt later translated this to German in the seventeenth
century, and from it came the English translation, “O Sacred Head,
surrounded”. In these words, buried beneath grief and shame, is the
pearl of joy. He suffered because of His love for us.
O sacred head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
so shamed and put to scorn!
Death’s pallid hue comes o’er thee,
the glow of life decays;
yet angel-hosts adore thee,
and tremble as they gaze.
Thy comeliness and vigour
is withered up and gone,
and in thy wasted figure
I see death drawing on.
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesu, all grace supplying,
turn thou thy face on me.
In this thy bitter passion,
good Shepherd, think of me
with thy most sweet compassion,
unworthy though I be:
beneath thy cross abiding

for ever would I rest,
in thy dear love confiding,
and with thy presence blest.
Concluding prayer
Most merciful God
Who by the death and resurrection of your Son
Jesus Christ
delivered and saved mankind
grant that by faith in him who suffered upon the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory
through Jesus Christ our Lord
Amen

St Mary’s Maundy Thursday Service of Devotion

Maundy Thursday 2020

Notice

A Provincial broadcast will be available at 18.00, on YouTube and facebook, via https://www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship/

The Rt Rev Ian Paton & the Rev Canon Dr Carrie Applegarth will celebrate a Eucharist from their home in Perth.

A service of devotion

   Christ bids us break the bread
         and share the cup he gave,
       in token of the blood he shed
         for those he died to save.

   It was for us he came,
         to bear, by human birth,
       a crown of thorn, a cross of shame,
         for every child of earth.

   The Saviour crucified
         in glory rose again:
       we here remember him who died,
         ascended now to reign.

   Our hearts his word obey,
         in thankfulness and love:
       we feed on Christ by faith today
         and feast with him above.

   O Christ, once lifted up
         that we might be forgiven,
       we take the bread and drink the cup
         and share the life of heaven.

Opening Prayer

Your love is poured out in death for our sakes

Hold us in your embrace as we wait for Easter’s dawn

Comfort us with the promise

That no power on earth not even death himself

Can separate us from your love;

And strengthen us to wait until you are revealed to us

In all your risen glory

Amen

The Last Supper: extracts from the Gospel accounts.

The time was near for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were afraid of the people, and so they were trying to find a way putting Jesus to death secretly

Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot who was one of the twelve disciples. So Judas went off and spoke with the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard about how he could betray Jesus to them. They were pleased and offered him money. Judas agreed to it and started looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them without the people knowing about it

The day came during the Festival of Unleavened Bread when the lambs for the Passover meal were to be killed. Jesus sent off Peter and John with these instructions

‘Go and get the Passover meal ready for us to eat’

‘Where do you want us to get it ready?’ they asked him

He answered ‘As you go into the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house: The teacher says to you, Where is the room where my disciples and I will eat the Passover meal? He will show you a large furnished room upstairs, where you will get everything ready’

While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples

‘Take and eat it’ he said ‘this is my body’

Then he took a cup gave thanks to God and gave it to them.

‘Drink it all of you’ he said ‘this is my blood, which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom.’

Jesus and his disciples were at supper. He rose from the table, took off his outer garment, and tied a towel round his waist. Then he poured some water into a basin and began to wash his disciple’s feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter who said to him, ‘Are you going to wash my feet Lord? Jesus answered him

‘You do not understand what I am doing, but you will understand later’

‘Where are you going, Lord?’ Simon Peter asked him

‘You cannot follow me now where I am going’ answered Jesus; ‘but later you will follow me.’

‘Lord why can’t I follow you now?’ asked Peter. ‘I am ready to die for you!’ Jesus answered

‘Are you really ready to die for me? ‘I am telling you the truth: before the cock crows you will say three times that you do not know me’

Our confession

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

in what we have thought,

in what we have said and done,

through ignorance, through weakness,

and through our own deliberate fault.

We have wounded your love,

and marred your image in us.

We are sorry and ashamed,

and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us,

forgive us all that is past;

and lead us out from darkness

to walk as children of light

Almighty God

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon us

pardon and deliver us from all your sins

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness

and keep us in the same

Amen

An act of Communion

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving. I present to you my soul and body with the earnest wish that I may always be united to You. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I beseech You to come into my heart. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

   When I survey the wondrous cross
         on which the Prince of glory died,
       my richest gain I count but loss,
         and pour contempt on all my pride.

   Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
         save in the cross of Christ my God;
       all the vain things that charm me most,
         I sacrifice them to his blood.

   See from his head, his hands, his feet,
         sorrow and love flow mingled down;
       did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
         or thorns compose so rich a crown!

   Were the whole realm of nature mine,
         that were a present far too small;
       love so amazing, so divine,
         demands my soul, my life, my all.

The Gospel narratives continue

When the disciples had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus prayed to the Father

‘If it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me’

He said to his disciples,

‘How is that you were not able to keep watch with me for one hour? The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinful men. Come let us go’

On the way they met a man named Simon who was coming into the city from the country, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. They took Jesus to a place called Golgotha which means ‘The Place of the Skull’ 

The closing words

Shadows gather deep and cold

Lamplight flickers, fades and fails

Lord you know what daybreak holds –

Thorns and beatings, cross and nails.

You will be denied, betrayed

When the rooster wakes the sun

Yet you kneel alone and pray

‘Not my will, but thine be done’

In the watches of the night,

In the hour when darkness reigns,

In the grief that has no light,

In the time of fear and pain,

then we hold fast to our way,

In the victr’y you have won

Jesus teach us how to pray

‘Not my will, but thine be done’

   Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
         the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
       when other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
         help of the helpless, O abide with me.

   Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
         earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
       change and decay in all around I see;
         O thou who changest not, abide with me.

   I need thy presence every passing hour;
         what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
       who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
         through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

   I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
         ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
       Where is death’s sting?  Where, grave, thy victory?
         I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

   Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
         shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
       Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
         in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

oly Week: a guide. Thoughts, Prayers, Resources

Holy Week: a guide.

Holy Week began yesterday with Palm Sunday.  The three days that follow lead to Maundy Thursday. The Gospel accounts are not always clear or in agreement about the events which occurred on these days. For the sake of uniformity therefore, the gospel readings follow St John’s Gospel.  

The reading for Holy Monday describes the anointing of Jesus at Bethany. On Holy Tuesday, Jesus predicts of his own death. On Holy Wednesday, Jesus predicts the betrayal by Judas to the Sanhedrin.

The Collect for Holy Week

True and humble king,

hailed by the crowd as Messiah:

grant us the faith to know you and love you,

that we may be found beside you

on the way of the cross,

which is the path of glory

Monday 6th April

Monday of Holy Week

 Reading: John 12:1-11

Tuesday 7th April

Tuesday of Holy Week

Reading: John 12:20-36

Wednesday 8th April

Wednesday of Holy Week

Reading: John 13: 21-32

Thursday 9th April

Maundy Thursday

Text of Service to be supplied

Friday 9th April

Good Friday

Text of service to be supplied

A prayer for Holy Week

Ah my dear Lord, the church is locked
but let my heart be open to your presence;
there let us make, you and I,
your Easter garden;
plant it with flowers,
and let the heavy stone be rolled away.

Amen

St Mary’s Bulletin for Holy Week and Palm Sunday

St Mary's Aberfoyle
St Mary’s Aberfoyle- Built 1893

Bulletin for Holy Week

Richard writes….

Thank you to those who have continued to be in contact by phone and email during the week. Please continue to do so, even if just for a chat. I am not self-isolated and remain of course anxious to help anyone during these difficult days. My thought and prayer for you all.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will continue this Sunday to broadcast video coverage of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel.  The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

It seems unthinkable that Holy Week this year will need to be observed in solitude. Even in the darkest days of the last Great War churches remained open. We will though do our best to make the coming week as meaningful as possible with a Linkage Service being available via the Bulletin both for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Through participation in the whole sequence of services, the Christian shares in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem today to the empty tomb on Easter morning.

The week starts today with the procession with palms. In normal circumstances, Palm Crosses would be distributed in church services today. They will be as soon as circumstances allow.  For the purposes of today’s service, would you please imagine a palm cross in your hand?  Better still, you may have retained a cross from a previous occasion.

The Palm Sunday Service

Introduction and Collect

Hosanna to the Son of David, the King of Israel.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

During Lent we have been preparing by works of love and self-sacrifice for the celebration of our Lord’s death and resurrection. Today we come together to begin this solemn celebration in union with the Church throughout the world. Christ enters his own city to complete his work as our Saviour, to suffer, to die, and to rise again. Let us go with him in faith and love, so that, united with him in his sufferings, we may share his risen life.

God our Saviour,

whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer

and to die;

let these palms be for us signs of his victory

and grant that we who bear them in his name

may ever hail him as our King,

and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The Gospel

Matthew 21.1-11

When Jesus and his disciples had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

‘Tell the daughter of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

   and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking,

‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from

Nazareth in Galilee.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

The Nicene Creed.

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

The Sermon

I was honoured last year to be asked to conduct a baptism, in, of all places, the Chapel of the House of Commons in London. A parking space was arranged, and the day went well. That is, until I started out upon my homeward journey. In Parliament Square a Gay Pride demonstration was in full swing. For an hour the traffic was gridlocked. Nothing moved, save for thousands waving flags and banners. I have never seen so many excited people gathered together in one place.  Perhaps the day was like the gathering in Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday.

How did so many in London know where and when to meet? The answer is obvious: social media.

So how did so many know where and when Christ would enter Jerusalem? The answer is of course different, but obvious: it could only have been by word of mouth. St John’s Gospel records that Christ had already turned water to wine, fed five thousand hungry people and healed the incurable. More miraculously still, he had raised Lazarus from death at Bethany. Although Jesus wouldn’t have wished it, he had achieved celebrity status; everyone wanted to glimpse him. Others had still higher hopes of him as a political leader. Jerusalem had been subdued under the rule of the Roman Empire for at least a century. Could it be that Christ, who had referred to himself as King of the Jews, was now coming to Jerusalem to overthrow the empire and lead the nation to renewed glory? Certainly, that was the hope of many belonging to a nationalist group called the Zealots.     

Once upon a time, the people of an ancient Spanish village learned that their king was to pay the village a state visit for the first time within living memory. At a village meeting it was agreed that the occasion should be marked, but how? Then someone suggested this idea. Since many of the villagers made their own wines, the plan was for everyone to contribute a cup of their choice wine. Each contribution was to be poured into a large vat through a funnel at its top and placed in the market square. “When the king arrives and draws wine from the vat, it will be the very best he’s ever tasted!” promised the mayor.

The day before the king’s arrival, hundreds of people lined up to pour in their offering to the honored guest until the vat was full. The next day the King arrived. He was escorted to the square, given a silver cup and invited to take a drink from the vat.

The king placed his cup under the vat’s tap and drank. He was surprised to taste nothing more than water.  You see, every villager had reasoned after the meeting, “I’ll withhold my best wine and give water instead. With so many cups of wine in the vat, the king will never know the difference” The problem was that everyone thought likewise. Nobody gave wine, but only water. The king was thus greatly dishonored.

On the first Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem to great acclaim. Bystanders waved Palm leaves in his honour. They quickly realised though that a man riding a donkey rather than a charger was not a king. A man followed by a rabble of disciples rather than menacing men of war was never going to be of use to them. They therefore deserted Christ the Son of God at the roadside leaving him alone to face death. A few days later at the trial they saw a beaten and disfigured Jesus. They too dishonored their king. He was like the King whose subjects promised wine, but only gave water  

Will in the days to come, our king the Son of God draw water or the best wine from our lives. Will he be honored or dishonored?  

The Prayers

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For those who are ill

Merciful God,
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For hospital staff and medical researchers

Gracious God,
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Confession

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution

The Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins. Amen.

The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

A personal Communion

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that I may always be united to Thee. And since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee, and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Conclusion:

O Lord Jesus Christ,

Son of the living God,

set your passion, cross and death

between your judgement and our souls,

now and in the hour of our death.

Grant mercy and grace to the living,

rest to the departed,

to your Church peace and concord

and to us sinners forgiveness,

and everlasting life and glory;

for, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

you are alive and reign,

God, now and for ever.

Amen.