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News from and about St Mary’s, Aberfoyle

St Mary’s Service for Sunday 21st June 2020

Trinity 2

Sunday 21st June 2020

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

Faithful Creator,

whose mercy never fails:

deepen our faithfulness to you

and to your living Word,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gospel

Matthew 10:34-39

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[b]

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

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

The church is in Ordinary Time, when, in the absence of major festivals and celebration, believers are encouraged to ponder fundamental aspects of faith. Perhaps the most crucial is one of precedence. Who or what has first claim upon a believer’s love, talents, and other resources?

The teaching of scripture is quite clear. “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; said Jesus (Matthew 6:24) A similarly unequivocal message is conveyed by today’s gospel. “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’

Christ’s teaching may be a surprise, as one of the Ten Commandments decrees that parents should be honoured. Furthermore, children and friends are God’s gifts in creation. Surely these might be accorded equally the love and affection that is given to God?

Should we choose to place love and devotion to anything or anybody on an equal footing to our love for God, then we enter an imaginary love triangle with its attendant difficulties. As in any triangle, it will have three points. The first will be God and the second, ourselves. The third will be the object with which or whom we choose to share our love and devotion.

The pitfalls of any love triangle are illustrated by an extraordinary three-cornered relationship that existed during the last century. It was unwittingly formed by Carrington, an artist. From her time as a student, she was known simply by her surname as she considered her first, Dora, to be “vulgar and sentimental” In 1916, Carrington met the writer, Lytton Strachey at a house party.  Struggling to make a reputation at the time, he would later establish it with the publication of “Eminent Victorians” Carrington was initially repulsed by Strachey’s unfashionably long beard. Early next morning, she crept to his bedroom with scissors, determined to remove the offending object. Instead she fell in love with the slumbering figure. In the following year Carrington and Strachey set up house together at Tidmarsh Mill House, in Berkshire.

Later, Carrington was introduced by her brother to a university friend, Ralph Partridge. Partridge fell in love with Carrington and, in the hope of nourishing courtship, spent weekends at Tidmarsh planting a vegetable garden. Carrington though was too absorbed with painting and keeping house to reciprocate Ralph’s attentions, but not so Lytton.  He cherished Ralph, and his presence at the house became necessary for his comfort and inspiration.  Fearing Lytton’s peace of mind should Ralph ever leave Tidmarsh, Carrington reluctantly agreed to marry Ralph. Strachey paid for their wedding and accompanied them on honeymoon.  

Later, the three moved to Ham Spray House in Wiltshire. Partridge’s frustration, created by his wife’s divided loyalties, slowly drove him to seek the affection of another woman.  Thenceforth, during the week Ralph lived in London but resumed his married life at Ham Spray with Carrington at weekends. Lytton affected by Ralph’s increasing absence found solace by taking rooms near him in London. He too returned to Ham Spray at weekends. Left largely on her own, Carrington’s life became diminished and empty of purpose. Thus she turned to Bernard Penrose a friend of Ralph. The affair initially energized Carrington’s artistic creativity.  Penrose in time demanded Carrington’s affection exclusively: she though demurred for both Strachey and Ralph were still claiming her being. Penrose departed from Carrington’s life opening the void still further.  Shortly after, Lytton became terminally ill and was nursed by Carrington.  For two months after his death, she struggled with a tangle of emotion. With a gun borrowed to ostensibly keep rabbits from the vegetable garden, Carrington died.

What is the most important relationship and who or what is loved the most? After reading today’s gospel the answer should be obvious. Life alas is never that simple.

My late father was inordinately proud of his son’s struggles to qualify as a solicitor. He carried a newspaper cutting in his wallet for anyone who showed an interest. Some years later, I felt a call to ordination. I still recall my father’s bitter disappointment. This was my own love triangle. We are commanded to love Christ more than our own parents. In short, we love each other best when we love God most.

Reflection

  • Whoever loves power, reputation, or wealth more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves country and flag more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves politics, agendas, or ideology more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves church, denomination, beliefs and practices more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves self more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves anyone or anything more than me is not worthy of me.

    The Prayer

    Guide me Lord to know what is worthwhile, that I may acquire strength through the power of truth. As I am going to rest tonight Lord take full control of my life. Wake me with strength and wisdom to continue with the new day. 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 – Listen on YouTube ?

  1     Take my life, and let it be
            consecrated, Lord, to thee;
        take my moments and my days,
            let them flow in ceaseless praise.

   2       Take my hands, and let them move
            at the impulse of thy love;
        take my feet, and let them be
            swift and beautiful for thee.

   3       Take my voice, and let me sing
            always, only, for my King;
        take my lips, and let them be
            filled with messages from thee.

   4       Take my silver and my gold;
            not a mite would I withhold;
        take my intellect, and use
            every power as thou shalt choose.

   5       Take my will, and make it thine:
            it shall be no longer mine;
        take my heart: it is thine own;
            it shall be thy royal throne.

   6       Take my love; my Lord, I pour
            at thy feet its treasure-store;
        take myself, and I will be
            ever, only, all for thee.

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836–1879)

 Frances Havergal was born into an Anglican family, at Astley in Worcestershire. Her father, William was a clergyman. She led a quiet life, but not enjoying consistent good health.

Because her voice was lovely, Frances was in demand as a concert soloist. She also was a talented pianist and learned several modern languages as well as Greek and Hebrew. With all her education, however, she maintained a simple faith and never wrote a line of poetry without first praying over it.

One of the lines of her hymn asks, “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.” Frances wrote to a friend, The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me…Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”

Blessing

Lord God,
we rejoice in your greatness and power,
your gentleness and love,
your mercy and justice.
Enable us by your Spirit
to honour you in our thoughts,
and words and actions,
and to serve you in every aspect of our lives;

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us always
Amen.

Sunday Service 14th June – First after Trinity

The first Sunday after Trinity

Sunday 14th June 2020

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.

Collect

Lord Jesus Christ,

we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament

you have given us the memorial of your passion:

grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries

of your body and blood

that we may know within ourselves

and show forth in our lives

the fruits of your redemption;

for you are alive and reign with the Father

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Gospel

John 6:51-58

51 I am the living bread(A) that came down from heaven.(B) Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”(C)

52 Then the Jews(D) began to argue sharply among themselves,(E) “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh(F) of the Son of Man(G) and drink his blood,(H) you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.(I) 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.(J) 57 Just as the living Father sent me(K) and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”(L)

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

The second phase of the Church year begins today.  As previously explained, the Sunday Gospels between Advent and Trinity have been akin to jigsaw pieces which, when assembled, depict a picture of Christ on earth. During this time, church colours both on the altar and celebrant change frequently: mauve for Lent, red on Palm Sunday and Pentecost, and white during the seasons of Christmas and Easter.  Now in this second phase, the colour will remain predominantly green, a period known as Ordinary Time. Like animals in a field, believers are at leisure to graze the scriptures meditatively and reflect upon other aspects of faith.  One, for example, is the significance of Corpus Christi, observed by the church upon the Thursday following Trinity.

One of the last letters received from David Miller before his death was concern about the weekly Eucharist. As the sacrament was being celebrated so frequently, he feared that receiving the body and blood of Christ was becoming as routine and perfunctory as brushing teeth after a meal. David was quite justified in his questioning and bears testimony to his thoughtful and deep faith.

Until the 1960’s, the Communion service was an exception rather than the rule. Matins and evensong were the staple Sunday services, with perhaps Holy Communion just once a month. After that point, its frequency grew to become the focal point of Sunday worship.  As David mused, regularity and routine risk indifference.  For that very reason The Church of Scotland celebrates the Sacrament perhaps just four or five times a year.  

David’s thoughts and fears accord with those of Juliana of Liège, a 13th-century Norbertine canoness. Orphaned at the age of five, she was entrusted to the care of Augustinian nuns at a convent, where Juliana, in adult life, developed a special veneration for the act of Holy Communion. She feared too that through familiarity, its deepest meaning would become flawed. In 1208, she saw a vision of Christ in which she was instructed to plead for the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi, a time when believers might be reminded anew of the greatest gift of Christ. Eventually she confided the vision to her confessor, who in turn relayed it to the Bishop of Liège.  In 1246 Bishop Robert ordered a celebration of Corpus Christi.  In time Corpus Christi became included in the calendar of the Anglican Church.

The act of Communion began at the Last Supper when Jesus gave the disciples bread and wine as his body and blood in anticipation of his death the next day. Thus, the Eucharist takes place under the shadow of the cross and so commemorating Jesus’ death and the sacrificial love which Jesus showed both during his life and in his death. Members of Christ’s body commit to a life of self-sacrificing love and the receiving of Communion should nourish that resolve.

 Food from our tables strengthens and sustains. The Eucharist though is not consumption of physical food. Christ chose the form and the imagery of a meal, and the symbolism of eating and drinking, as the way of continuing his active, transforming presence among his followers. It is a reminder that Christ is the source of our life and health, similar to the way that ordinary food gives physical life and health. We can though only appreciate this symbolism if we treat the Eucharist as partaking in the extraordinary, rather than the ordinary.

The closing of churches has of course given new emphasis to Corpus Christi.  Easter and Pentecost in particular have passed without a service of Holy Communion. Am I the only one anguished to view the cup and wafer standing unshared in the course of the Provincial Zoom service?  As I write, there is still no indication when churches might fully open again. What safeguards might be required before Communion can again be celebrated? We can only hope and pray. One of the rare benefits of lockdown might be to cherish anew the sacrament of sharing one with another the body and blood of Christ our Saviour.

Reflection

by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI 2005-13

What does Corpus Christi mean to me? It does not only bring the liturgy to mind:

for me, it is a day on which heaven and earth work together. In my mind’s eye it

is the time when spring is turning into summer; the sun is high in the sky, and

crops are ripening in field and meadow. The Church’s feasts make present the

mystery of Christ, but Jesus Christ was immersed in the faith of the people of

Israel and so, arising from this background in Israel’s life, the Christian feasts are

also involved with the rhythm of the year, the rhythm of seedtime and harvest.

How could it be otherwise in a liturgy which has at its centre the sign of bread,

fruit of earth and heaven? Here this fruit of the earth, bread, is privileged to be

the bearer of him in whom heaven and earth, God and man have become one.

The Prayer

Let us pray for the willingness to make present in our world the love of Christ shown to us in the Eucharist, Lord Jesus Christ,
we worship you living among us
in the sacrament of your body and blood.
May we offer to our Father in heaven
a solemn pledge of undivided love.
May we offer to our brothers and sisters
a life poured out in loving service of that kingdom where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God for ever and ever.

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:

Todays hymn Listen on YouTube ? Just skip the Ads – sorry

   1    Jesu, thou joy of loving hearts,
            thou fount of life, thou light of men;
        from the best bliss that earth imparts
            we turn unfilled to thee again.

   2       Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
            thou savest those that on thee call;
        to them that seek thee thou art good,
            to them that find thee, all in all.

   3       We taste thee, O thou living bread,
            and long to feast upon thee still;
        we drink of thee, the fountain-head,
            and thirst our souls from thee to fill.

   4       Our restless spirits yearn for thee,
            where’er our changeful lot is cast,
        glad when thy gracious smile we see,
            blest when our faith can hold thee fast.

   5       O Jesu, ever with us stay;
            make all our moments calm and bright;
        chase the dark night of sin away;
            shed o’er the world thy holy light.

Ray Palmer (1808–1887)
based on Jesu, dulcedo cordium, (Latin, 12th century)

The nineteenth century witnessed a renewed interest amongst hymn compilers for those dating from the medieval period. This hymn was written by Bernard of Clairvaux, a twelfth century nobleman and translated by Ray Palmer, an American pastor in 1858.

Blessing

Christ, who has nourished us with himself the living bread,

make us one in praise and love,

and raise us up at the last day;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among us and remain with us always.

Amen


This weeks Resources from the Diocese

Newsletter for St Mary’s – 6th June 2020

News from St Mary’s

6th June 2020

Letter from Bishop Ian  5th June 2020

Dear sisters and brothers,

Pentecost is the feast of the ’new normal,’ life in the Spirit poured out on the apostles and on all creation. As we celebrated Pentecost this year people were talking about a different ‘new normal’ – our life after the Pandemic. When we rebuild our lives, will we have a better sense of what is important? Or will we just rush back to the same old life? What will ‘new normal’ mean for the Church? What will our priorities be? How will we welcome those who have been joining us online? How will we support those who are sad about people and things that have been lost? What will we need to do if we are to open our churches but keep people safe? 

A week ago over 40 clergy and lay readers shared in an online CMD Conference about exactly these questions, organised for us by Michael Paterson. Our discussions began from his reflections on the Four Hallmarks of Ministry in Luke 24 (Jesus and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus) in the context of the pandemic. I’d like to thank all of you who attended (and those who tried to but couldn’t due to broadband problems), to thank Michael for organising it and for guiding our reflection, and to Carrie Applegath and Elaine Garman for managing the event. The text and a video of Michael’s presentation is available on the Diocesan website. https://standrews.anglican.org/clergy-development-resources/

The Scottish Government’s ‘Route Back’ outlines 4 Phases for opening up public life. As we know, it is measured and cautious, and the timing of each Phase will be announced when the Government decides the time is right. Phase 2 does envisage the possibility of churches being opened for individual prayer and for funerals, but the requirements of physical distancing, provision of handwashing and masks, deep cleaning, and support and training of volunteers, will make this challenging and demanding for churches who decide to offer this. And many of our active members, and some of our active clergy and lay readers are ‘vulnerable’, and may be  ‘shielding’ by staying at home for longer than others. Very shortly the Advisory Group set up by the College of Bishops will send out detailed practical Guidance on what Episcopal churches would be able to do (and not do) once Phase 2 is announced by the Government. I (assisted by the Dean) will be ready to talk to clergy and vestries who decide they want to take any of these steps when the time comes. We all want to see the opening of our churches, but we also know that opening them safely will require care and patience. Globally, the pandemic is still in its early days, as we know from the present situation in Brazil and India from our link bishops in Amazonia and Calcutta (letters sent to you last week, and in the current Diocesan E-News.

Also in the E-News, with Trinity Sunday and a version of Rublev’s icon in mind, I have written about ‘Black Lives Matte’r and the reality of racism. It is in all of our minds, in wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, as are the protests that have sprung up in the USA and in other countries (the article is attached to this email). The fact is that Racism is as real in Scotland as anywhere. Many people have said that the death of George Floyd at the hands of police is a reminder of the equally unacceptable death of Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy in 2015.  Mr Bayoh also died from asphyxiation in the process of being detained. Accusations and counter-accusations have circulated ever since, but it is only now, 5 years later, that a public enquiry has been established. Mr Bayoh’s sister said, “If he was a white man that is not the way his life would have ended. … We are black people but we are not bad people. So why do our children have to feel afraid walking in the streets?”

Like you I am horrified by Racism, and by how hard it still is for Black and Asian people to be treated justly even here in Scotland. But as a White male person I also know that I have a lot to learn about my own attitudes formed by growing up in a world that privileges people like me. I chose to write about Racism this month because even in the situation of pandemic and lockdown, the Church has to engage with the other deep evils that continue to oppress and destroy people’s lives, and to witness to the love of God that calls us to overcome them. As clergy and lay readers we need to take opportunities to think and pray together about enabling our churches to engage. I hope that future CMD discussions and study gatherings will help us to do this, even while we are struggling with Covid. 

Racism, the abuse of women and children, homophobia, the exclusion of disabled people, the neglect of older people – these evils are in reality the same evil, the same sin: our refusal to respect and love every human being, regardless of difference, as our equals in humanity, and as the image of God. After Pentecost we have to pray that the Spirit will lead us and all humankind into all the truth, that we may proclaim the word and works of God.

Also attached to this are some further resources for you:
– the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer for 2020-21, revised with corrections received after the draft was sent out recently.
– 2 more resources from St Luke’s Trust on the well being of those in ministry.
– the latest edition of the SEI Newsletter.
– information about bursaries offered by Ecclesiastical Insurance for clergy study.

As always, please accept my great admiration and thanks for the love and prayer you are bringing to help our congregations to continue in prayer and service. Thank you for all your faithful work which is making this possible.
 
With my greetings and blessings for Trinity Sunday,

Bishop Ian

Attached to Bishop Ian’s Letter were the following – click on each link to download

SEI Newsletter

Black Lives Matter

Rythms & Wellbeing

Relatedness & Wellbeing

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

Also from the Diocese

Diocesan Resources for week 1st June 2020

————————————————————————————————————————–

St Mary’s Heating project

Christopher Roads has been working incredibly hard to raise the funds for the Heating Project which has been approved by the Vestry and the Diocesan Building Committee.

Christopher writes this week;

“The SEC Building Grants Fund has awarded a grant of £8,000 towards this project. This brings the funds raised to date to £16,800 against a target of £18980.

“This sum includes three anonymous donations totalling £3050 which with Gift Aid can be increased to £3,660.

“Further fund-raising has stalled until the Covid epidemic is over as most funders, e.g. the Heritage Lottery Fund, will not entertain applications before October.”

Church Opening

The Church is still closed because of Covid-19.

But we see in the news that plans are being discussed to at least open Churches for Private Prayer in the first instance.


We will let you know as soon as we have information on this

.

Hopefully we shall be allowed to hold a form of service in  the Church in due course

Richard and Melanie – Covid -19

Poor Richard and Melanie are still unable to move into their lovely new house.  In the meantime, Richard is very kindly continuing to provide the congregation with Pastoral support.  As a part of this, he is  preparing a weekly Sunday Service, which we hope you like and enjoy.


We are VERY grateful to Richard for his continued work on our behalf.

News and Information from Bishop Ian Paton – 5th June 2020

Dear sisters and brothers,

Pentecost is the feast of the ’new normal,’ life in the Spirit poured out on the apostles and on all creation. As we celebrated Pentecost this year people were talking about a different ‘new normal’ – our life after the Pandemic. When we rebuild our lives, will we have a better sense of what is important? Or will we just rush back to the same old life? What will ‘new normal’ mean for the Church? What will our priorities be? How will we welcome those who have been joining us online? How will we support those who are sad about people and things that have been lost? What will we need to do if we are to open our churches but keep people safe? 

A week ago over 40 clergy and lay readers shared in an online CMD Conference about exactly these questions, organised for us by Michael Paterson. Our discussions began from his reflections on the Four Hallmarks of Ministry in Luke 24 (Jesus and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus) in the context of the pandemic. I’d like to thank all of you who attended (and those who tried to but couldn’t due to broadband problems), to thank Michael for organising it and for guiding our reflection, and to Carrie Applegath and Elaine Garman for managing the event. The text and a video of Michael’s presentation is available on the Diocesan website. https://standrews.anglican.org/clergy-development-resources/

The Scottish Government’s ‘Route Back’ outlines 4 Phases for opening up public life. As we know, it is measured and cautious, and the timing of each Phase will be announced when the Government decides the time is right. Phase 2 does envisage the possibility of churches being opened for individual prayer and for funerals, but the requirements of physical distancing, provision of handwashing and masks, deep cleaning, and support and training of volunteers, will make this challenging and demanding for churches who decide to offer this. And many of our active members, and some of our active clergy and lay readers are ‘vulnerable’, and may be  ‘shielding’ by staying at home for longer than others. Very shortly the Advisory Group set up by the College of Bishops will send out detailed practical Guidance on what Episcopal churches would be able to do (and not do) once Phase 2 is announced by the Government. I (assisted by the Dean) will be ready to talk to clergy and vestries who decide they want to take any of these steps when the time comes. We all want to see the opening of our churches, but we also know that opening them safely will require care and patience. Globally, the pandemic is still in its early days, as we know from the present situation in Brazil and India from our link bishops in Amazonia and Calcutta (letters sent to you last week, and in the current Diocesan E-News.

Also in the E-News, with Trinity Sunday and a version of Rublev’s icon in mind, I have written about ‘Black Lives Matte’r and the reality of racism. It is in all of our minds, in wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, as are the protests that have sprung up in the USA and in other countries (the article is attached to this email). The fact is that Racism is as real in Scotland as anywhere. Many people have said that the death of George Floyd at the hands of police is a reminder of the equally unacceptable death of Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy in 2015.  Mr Bayoh also died from asphyxiation in the process of being detained. Accusations and counter-accusations have circulated ever since, but it is only now, 5 years later, that a public enquiry has been established. Mr Bayoh’s sister said, “If he was a white man that is not the way his life would have ended. … We are black people but we are not bad people. So why do our children have to feel afraid walking in the streets?”

Like you I am horrified by Racism, and by how hard it still is for Black and Asian people to be treated justly even here in Scotland. But as a White male person I also know that I have a lot to learn about my own attitudes formed by growing up in a world that privileges people like me. I chose to write about Racism this month because even in the situation of pandemic and lockdown, the Church has to engage with the other deep evils that continue to oppress and destroy people’s lives, and to witness to the love of God that calls us to overcome them. As clergy and lay readers we need to take opportunities to think and pray together about enabling our churches to engage. I hope that future CMD discussions and study gatherings will help us to do this, even while we are struggling with Covid. 

Racism, the abuse of women and children, homophobia, the exclusion of disabled people, the neglect of older people – these evils are in reality the same evil, the same sin: our refusal to respect and love every human being, regardless of difference, as our equals in humanity, and as the image of God. After Pentecost we have to pray that the Spirit will lead us and all humankind into all the truth, that we may proclaim the word and works of God.

Also attached to this are some further resources for you:
– the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer for 2020-21, revised with corrections received after the draft was sent out recently.
– 2 more resources from St Luke’s Trust on the welllbeing of those in ministry.
– the latest edition of the SEI Newsletter.
– information about bursaries offered by Ecclesisatiacal Insurance for clergy study.

As always, please accept my great admiration and thanks for the love and prayer you are bringing to help our congregations to continue in prayer and service. Thank you for all your faithful work which is making this possible.
 
With my greetings and blessings for Trinity Sunday,

Bishop Ian

________________________________  

The Right Revd Ian Paton

Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane

Sunday Service and Bulletin for Sunday 3rd May 2020

Easter 4 2020

Richard writes

It is hard to believe that within the course of a few days, St Mary’s has been deprived of two of its most loved and cherished members, David Miller and Kate Joynson. Our sadness is shared with the community at large.

First, their respective funeral arrangements. Under normal circumstances, memorial services in church would have been held for both. The numbers attending might well be imagined. However, such services are, for the time being at least, impossible. David will be cremated on Thursday 7th May. Timings and details are to be confirmed, but it is planned that the cortege will drive a circuitous route through the parish to allow as many who wish to pay their last respects from the side of the road.

Kate’s burial has been provisionally arranged for Wednesday 13th May.

It is hoped that a full appreciation of David can be published in due course. For Kate, I take the liberty of writing a few words now. I apologise in advance for any factual error.

Just as David’s name was always accompanied by Saffrey’s so Kate was to Peter. We remember Peter presently in lockdown at his care home in Stirling. Theresa tells me that the lockdown in Bermuda is a great deal more stringent than we experience. It will be impossible of her to leave the island for the foreseeable future. Michael is struggling with homeworking in London. Our thoughts and prayers with both. For these wishing to be in touch with Theresa by email, her address is theresa.joynson@googlemail.com

Older members of the community have told me that Kate’s mother was a powerhouse of initiative and energy. Kate was very much her mother’s daughter and did much for the good of others. Her involvement with the Abbeyfield in Aberfoyle will forever be appreciated.

Kate was born at Douglas Mains outside Bearsden, now alas under a housing estate. She and Peter married in Edinburgh in the early fifties. With Theresa and Michael, they lived variously at Braendam Thornhill and outside Cambusbarron before eventually settling at Laraich.

Who of us at one point or another have not enjoyed Kate and Peter’s hospitality? Kate always belittled her culinary skills, but evidence proves otherwise.

 Kate took a wonderfully positive outlook on life, even when Peter’s mobility began to tax her strength.  She possessed delightful eccentricities. She drove in a ‘press on’ fashion, sometimes with and sometimes without spectacles as the mood took her. Her previous vehicle was registered with the letters CAV. David Miller, observing her car one day commented that the Latin word caveat means warning, be on your guard.

Kate always reserved for herself the seventh lesson about sheep and shepherds at the annual Carol Service. She always read wonderfully clearly. But then, anything moving on four legs, especially a dog, was dear to Kate’s heart. With Peter elsewhere, life latterly centred around the welfare of Dan, her golden Labrador.

Kate always valued independence and, thanks largely to the devotion of Alison and Angus, that was made possible to the last.

Dear Kate, rest in God’s peace.

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.

Today’s Service

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

The Collect

Merciful Father,

you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,

and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:

keep us always under his protection,

and give us grace to follow in his steps;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gospels

Gospel 1

John 9

9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

His neighbours and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said.

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.

17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”

20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”

25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

39 Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Gospel 2

John 10:1-10

10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

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

‘Matthew, Mark, Luke and John bless the bed that I lie on’. So runs the ancient rhyme about the gospel writers. Mark is largely acknowledged to have written his account of the Good News before Matthew and Luke. John wrote some years after all of them.

Imagine for a moment the four as artists rather than writers, tasked to depict their respective gospels on a blank canvas. Mark would draw Christ’s life in pencil carefully, but with barest detail. Matthew and Luke would add subtle colour and shading to Mark’s account by way of the nativity narratives.  John’s depiction though would be strikingly different, akin to a post-impressionist painter using rich oil colours and vibrant swirling brush strokes to fill the canvas.

As a Gospel writer, John achieves this depth of meaning by placing one narrative next to another, so that the first might illuminate the meaning of the second.

Today we examine an example of John’s juxtaposition. This will explain why two, rather than a single gospel reading are printed.      

Traditionally, the fourth Sunday after Easter Day is observed as Good Shepherd Sunday. In the second gospel, Jesus describes himself as the gate for the sheep, offering the only way in and out of the sheepfold. However, only by reading the first gospel can the imagery of the second be fully explained.

The first gospel narrates how Jesus gave sight to a young man blind from birth by mixing a paste with his saliva and spreading it over the man’s eyes. Later, when the man as instructed by Jesus washed his eyes in the Pool of Siloam, he could see.  Although a miracle, the act was nothing unusual; all four gospel writers bear testimony to Christ’s extraordinary powers of healing.

Having described the incident, John then records the reaction of the watching Pharisees. The young man’s parents were too frightened of them to acknowledge Christ’s powers. Not so their grateful son: he openly confessed to Jesus as an expression of gratitude ‘I believe’ Seeing was indeed believing. (9:38) Jesus then proclaimed to the Pharisees. ‘I have come into the world that the blind might see’ (9:39). The Pharisees, forever on the defensive sprung upon these words. ‘What, are we blind too?’ (9:40)

At this point, the second gospel begins. Jesus’ words about sheep and shepherds were directed against his critics. Jesus spoke of sheep and shepherds, thieves and strangers to explain how giving sight to a man, who had never seen anything, showed the huge difference between true believers, and false prophets who had sight but nevertheless failed to see. To make his point, Jesus drew on one of the most common images in scripture: sheep following their shepherd.

Sheep are mentioned more than 200 times in the Bible. This is hardly surprising because they were important sources of wool, milk and barter. Throughout the Bible, sheep served as a symbol of God’s people. God is portrayed as the shepherd of his chosen flock most famously in the 23rd Psalm.

Sheep share human characteristics. Sheep are followers, copying other sheep, even to slaughter, or into danger. Lambs are conditioned to follow older sheep. Following is an instinct. Sheep are more inclined to follow other sheep than a shepherd.

Sheep find safety in numbers. Since predators attack the outliers, sheep stick closely together. When grazing, sheep will keep at least 4-5 other sheep in view. They are very social animals, and the instinct to flock is strong.

Sheep rarely walk in a straight line. By tracking one side to another, they see what is behind. They can spot danger from up to 1500 yards away, but they have trouble finding a half-open gate without help.

What then of human nature? We are inclined to follow each other more instinctively than to see the Good Shepherd. Before Covid 19 at least, we tend to associate with those we know best and huddle together when danger is sensed. We spend more time looking behind, than walking ahead. Consequently, we are blind to the shepherd and the open gate of the sheepfold.

By placing the texts side by side, John underlines the importance of believers seeing and recognizing the shepherd. The young man had sight given to him and, as a result, believed. The Pharisees had sight and yet were blinded and consequently failed to recognize the Messiah.

Jesus says he is the Gate, the way to safety and green pasture. Do we see the gate?

The prayer

O Lord, may we find you amid our trials. We pray that You would teach us what it means to see beyond our troubles, knowing that You are with us.  Even so, Lord God, we see the challenges those around us are facing. We ask You to intervene, to be with those who are in need, to prompt us to participate with You as You care for your people, and, most of all, to restore creation and to make all things new. We pray that we would not be anxious, but that You would give us Your peace. Let us live differently during this trial so that the world might see You in us. 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:

For today, there can only be one possible choice. This was written by Sir Henry Williams Baker, Bart., eldest son of Admiral Sir Henry Loraine Baker. He was born in London in May 1821, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. Taking Holy Orders in 1844, he became, in 1851, Vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire. This benefice he held to his death in February 1877. He succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1851. This hymn is his best known and the last audible words upon his dying lips were those of the third verse. Listen on YOutube

   1    The King of love my shepherd is,
            whose goodness faileth never;
        I nothing lack if I am his
            and he is mine for ever.

   2       Where streams of living water flow
            my ransomed soul he leadeth,
        and where the verdant pastures grow
            with food celestial feedeth.

   3       Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
            but yet in love he sought me,
        and on his shoulder gently laid,
            and home rejoicing brought me.

   4       In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
            with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
        thy rod and staff  my comfort still,
            thy cross before to guide me.

   5       Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
            thy unction grace bestoweth;
        and O what transport of delight
            from thy pure chalice floweth!

   6       And so through all the length of days
            thy goodness faileth never:
        good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
            within thy house for ever.

Conclusion

The God of peace, who brought from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, make us perfect to in every good work to do his will; and the blessing of God Almighty the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore

Amen.

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!