Tag Archives: Church services

Service for Sunday 5th July 2020 – Trinity 5

Trinity 5

Sunday 5th July 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

Almighty and everlasting God,

by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified:

hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,

that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth

to the glory of your name;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

For the gospel

Ephesians 2:19-22

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

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.


Sermon

There are doubtless mixed feelings of fear and eagerness as the long period of lockdown starts to change. A desire to reopen our buildings sits alongside the anxiety of charting the unknown.

Our churches first shut their doors on 23 March. They have now been closed longer than any time since Pope Innocent III banned church services between March 1208 and May 1213.

Some within the church have regarded the locked door to be a positive development. One recent report describes the worshipping church as having changed in a matter of weeks from being an “Odeon” to a “Netflix” What precisely does that mean? The typical 1950s cinema offered one film with no alternative. Pre pandemic, choice of church worship was similarly limited. After the 23rd March, a vast variety of service suddenly became available; all at the touch of a button and without the discomfort of a pew.   Now, as a Linkage worshipper, if both the Bulletin Service as well as the Province’s weekly offering prove unacceptable, then a choice of service from churches and cathedrals up and down the land is readily available. We are told that there have been several instances of people coming to faith through this new medium.

Consequently, in some circles this development has emboldened opinion towards abandoning buildings that some simply regard as millstones. An Archdeacon in the Church of England wrote recently “We can’t go back . . . to preserving bricks and mortar” She argued that congregations and weary wardens long to be “released to be church, rather than being burdened with the responsibility of preservation, so that “the new life we have seen emerge in lockdown might blossom and flourish”. These same people are perplexed as to why church buildings need ever be open for prayer, because God listens wherever prayer is offered. The argument of course is nothing new: it is simply that the pandemic has sharpened its focus.

There are of course two sides to any discussion. Many still believe the place of worship essential to spiritual life. The poet T.S Eliot summed up the inviolability of a holy building thus:

. . . wherever a saint has dwelt, wherever a martyr has given his
blood for the blood of Christ,
There is holy ground, and the sanctity shall not depart from it
Though armies trample over it, though sightseers come with
guide books looking over it. . .

For many, it matters greatly that the church door has remained locked during the pandemic. Everyone, believer or not, needs a focal point in time of need. Nothing though is so simple Technically our own churches could now reopen for private devotion. However, there are many onerous conditions imposed by government legislation before this might happen. Both vestries have therefore, wisely decided to defer further consideration until the situation becomes clearer.

At a loose end, I decided a few summers ago to repaint the church railings at Callander. Naturally, passers-by stopped and chatted. None were churchgoers, but readily admitted the comfort derived from seeing St Andrews and its manicured garden as a constant in an ever-changing word. One even donated a pot of paint!

As for St Mary’s I once received a complaint from a cashier working at the then Aberfoyle Motors. It was about the church bell. Why wasn’t it being rung? Although not a churchgoer, he confessed comfort from the knowledge that prayers were being said nearby.

What the novelist Susan Hill writes of cathedrals could equally be said of our churches: “Where else . . . is such a place, where the sense of all past, all present, is distilled into the eternal moment at the still point of the turning world?” She asks another rhetorical question, which amplifies the point: “But surely there are other places that will serve the purpose? To which people may come freely, to be alone among others? To pray, to reflect, to plead, gather strength, rest, summon up courage, to listen to solemn words. What though and where are these other places to which the pilgrim or the traveller, the seeker, the refugee, the petitioner, or the thanksgiver may quietly come, anonymously, perhaps, without fear of comment or remark, question or disturbance?” Her question is perhaps answered by the poet Philip Larkin. A church is “a serious house on serious earth”

With all these hopes and anxieties in mind, Bishop Ian will be leading discussion with vestry members in August to explore this question in practical and spiritual terms. This might frame thought in readiness.

Prayer:  

Thank you, gracious God, for the privilege of being part of your building, your dwelling, your temple. Today, I offer myself to you, so that you might put me exactly where you want me to be, so that I might contribute to the building of your home on earth. I pray for my home church, that we might truly live as your dwelling in the world. 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:

Today’s hymn (Listen on Yoube ?)

1 We love the place, O God,
wherein thine honour dwells;
the joy of thine abode
all earthly joy excels.

2 We love the house of prayer,
wherein thy servants meet;
and thou, O Lord, art there
thy chosen flock to greet.

3 We love the sacred font;
for there the holy Dove
to pour is ever wont
his blessing from above.

4 We love thine altar, Lord;
O what on earth so dear?
for there, in faith adored,
we find thy presence near.

5 We love the word of life,
the word that tells of peace,
of comfort in the strife,
and joys that never cease.

6 We love to sing below
for mercies freely given;
but O we long to know
the triumph-song of heaven.

7 Lord Jesus, give us grace
on earth to love thee more,
in heaven to see thy face,
and with thy saints adore.

The author, The Revd William Bullock was born in 1797 at Prittwell, Essex, but later emigrated to Canada. He died in March 1874 at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Bullock was first the Anglican rector of St. Paul’s in Trinity, Newfoundland and later of St. Luke’s Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia. When the church was designated a cathedral in 1864, Bullock was appointed St. Luke’s first dean.
Bullock’s descendants relate a family story that the author was criticized for not including a verse in the hymn about the pulpit. He replied with characteristic wit: “Perhaps this is what I should write:
We love thy pulpit Lord,
For there the word of man
Lulls the worshiper to sleep
As only sermons can.”

The hymn is sung to Quam Dilecta

Blessing

Grant, O Lord, we beseech you,

that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered

by your governance, that your Church may joyfully serve you

in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord

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

Amen

Sunday Service fro 7th June 2020 – Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday

7th 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

Holy God,

faithful and unchanging:

enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,

and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,

that we may truly worship you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever

The Gospel

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.(A) 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.(B) 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,(C) baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,(D) 20 and teaching(E) them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you(F) always, to the very end of the age

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

John Spilsbury, the London cartographer and engraver, has been credited with creating the first jigsaw puzzles around 1760. Why though a jigsaw puzzle? Since the first Sunday of Advent last year, the Gospel readings have acted as pieces of an imaginary jigsaw puzzle. These weekly passages have been gradually revealing a picture both of the life and nature of Christ.  Last week, Pentecost became the next but last piece of the imaginary puzzle. Here Christ first manifested his risen presence to believers through the Holy Spirit. Today the final piece of jigsaw is placed to complete the picture. This is the complex image of God Christ and the Holy Spirit within the concept of what is referred to as the Trinity.

First things first; Tri, the first letters of the word Trinity naturally mean three. From this is derived for example, the three wheeled cycle, the tricycle, and the three-sided geometric shape, the triangle.  In the Christian context of the Trinity the tri or three is God the Creator, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. These three as separate entities are not difficult to understand. In the Trossachs, God can readily be appreciated as creator.  Placed in the imaginary jigsaw already are pieces depicting Christ, God the Son, on earth.  Finally, the Pentecost narrative describes how frightened and disheartened followers were revived by the appearance of the Holy Spirit.

In Cambridge, I once heard what I judged an excellent sermon about The Trinity. The preacher illustrated his sermon with a visual aid, which, he explained that was capable of performing three functions. He produced a radio that could also play a tape and a CD. It illustrated perfectly, or so I thought, the concept of the Trinity. God the Creator can also God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

Over coffee though, the preacher was taken to task by a lecturer in theology who had been sitting in the congregation. ‘What’ the theologian asked the preacher ‘would you do if you wished to listen to the wireless, but found that it was no longer working and could not be repaired?’ The preacher had to admit that he would have to replace the faulty equipment. This though was the theologian’s point: God is always working within the Trinity. If he is not working as Creator, then he will be working as the Son of God or as the Holy Spirit. God in the Trinity is therefore, three in one, but also one in three. I still preferred the sermon.

Sometimes prayer is addressed to God the Father, as for example in the Lord’s Prayer ‘Our Father who art in Heaven’.  By contrast, John Henry Newman’s famous prayer is addressed not to God, but to Jesus.  ‘O Lord support us all the day long of this troublous life’. Most Pentecost prayers are addressed to God as Spirit starting with words like ‘O Holy Spirit of God’. We can though address prayer to any part of the Trinity and wherever we send it, it will be answered.

Some doubtless remain unconvinced. Why bother with the Trinity? Why not simply believe in God and be done with it?  Alas, the Chelsea flower show has become a victim of the lockdown. How the wonderful colours that characterise the show are being missed. So, it is with faith: to experience God’s glory in full, He must be seen and believed not in monochrome, but in the rich variety and glory of the Trinity.

Reflection

The Trinity is the unique relationship of creative love that exists between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through the gift and grace of our baptism and confirmation we are personally invited to be part of this dynamic and life-giving union. The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which we have received. Romans 5:5

Prayer

To the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Father,
you sent your Word
to bring us truth
and your Spirit to make us holy.
Through them we come to know
the mystery of your life.
Help us to worship you,
one God in three Persons,
by proclaiming and living our faith in you.
We ask you this, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCnRYj3lMlQ Today’s hymn

   1    Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
            early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
        holy, holy, holy!  merciful and mighty!
            God in three persons, blessèd Trinity!

   2       Holy, holy, holy!  all the saints adore thee,
            casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
        cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
            which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

   3       Holy, holy, holy!  though the darkness hide thee,
            though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
        only thou art holy, there is none beside thee
            perfect in power, in love, and purity.

   4       Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
            all thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;
        holy, holy, holy!  merciful and mighty!
            God in three persons, blessèd Trinity!

The choice of today’s hymn has not been difficult as it has long been associated with the Trinity. It was written in the early 1800’s by Reginald Heber then vicar of Hodnet in Shropshire. The author was prolific during this period, writing more than a hundred hymns. More to the point, many have survived. Heber was plucked from the obscurity of Hodnet to become Bishop of Calcutta in October 1823. He travelled widely and worked to improve the spiritual and general living conditions of his flock. Arduous duties, a hostile climate and poor health led to his collapse and death after less than three years in India. Memorials were erected there and in St Paul’s Cathedral, London

The tune for this hymn, Nicaea, was composed by John Bacchus Dykes The tune name is a tribute to the First Council of Nicaea – held by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325 – which formalized the doctrine of the Trinity. Dykes was first appointed a church organist at the age of ten. Forsaking a promising musical career, he chose instead to be ordained. 

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 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 Bulletin for Holy Week and Palm Sunday

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

Bulletin for Holy Week

Richard writes….

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

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

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

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

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

The Palm Sunday Service

Introduction and Collect

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

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

Hosanna in the highest.

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

God our Saviour,

whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer

and to die;

let these palms be for us signs of his victory

and grant that we who bear them in his name

may ever hail him as our King,

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

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The Gospel

Matthew 21.1-11

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

‘Tell the daughter of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

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

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

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!

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

Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

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

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

Nazareth in Galilee.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

The Nicene Creed.

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

The Sermon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Prayers

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

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

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

For those who are ill

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

For hospital staff and medical researchers

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

Confession

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

Absolution

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

The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

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

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

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

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

A personal Communion

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

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Conclusion:

O Lord Jesus Christ,

Son of the living God,

set your passion, cross and death

between your judgement and our souls,

now and in the hour of our death.

Grant mercy and grace to the living,

rest to the departed,

to your Church peace and concord

and to us sinners forgiveness,

and everlasting life and glory;

for, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

you are alive and reign,

God, now and for ever.

Amen.

St Mary's Aberfoyle

Service for Sunday 29th March 2020 – Passion Sunday

The Bulletin for Passion Sunday

29th March 2020

Notices

Thank you to those who have been in contact by phone 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 extended virus regulations issued earlier this week now prohibit anyone save the incumbent entering his or her place of worship.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday 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 Passion Sunday

SERVICE FOR TODAY

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

The Collect for the day

Most merciful God,

who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ

delivered and saved the world:

grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross

we may triumph in the power of his victory;

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.

John 11.1-45

11 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:

19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

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

Today, Passion Sunday marks the beginning in the Christian calendar of a two-week period in the Christian calendar during which the sequence of events leading to the crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday are recalled.

Passion is a richly suggestive word. In its human context, it describes a state of deep emotional feeling and attachment. In the context of the divine, it conveys the most powerful longing by Almighty God to redeem humanity by allowing his only son to suffer death for the sake of the world.

Exhibiting passion requires self-giving, that in turn may necessitate personal suffering. Christ’s sufferings in the cause of passionate love for the world are well documented in the Gospels. During his anguished visit to the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ confessed to his disciples that his soul was overwhelmed with sorrow. As he prayed, sweat like drops of blood fell to the ground. The next day, Good Friday, his accusers spat on him and mocked him. They struck his head repeatedly before attaching him to a cross with nails. Later, Christ called from the cross in words of deepest distress., “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  That Christ willing suffered this and much besides explains the divine context of passion, a holy outpouring of love demonstrated by the crucified Christ.

 However, before showing this love for the world, Christ was to outpour his love for one particular family.  Mary, Martha and Lazarus who lived at Bethany were amongst Jesus’ closest friends. Lazarus became ill to the point of death and, in desperation, Mary and Martha sent for Christ, pleading with him to come immediately and heal their brother.

But Christ didn’t respond as the sisters had wished. Rather he postponed the journey for nearly three days. By that time, Lazarus had died. The explanation for the delay will in time became apparent. Martha and Mary though were unaware of the cause and consequently made no effort to hide their disappointment. “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”

At Christ’s bidding, the sisters took him to Lazarus’s tomb and Jesus shook with emotion from the depth of his soul in his concern for the grieving sisters. Christ then was able to show more than mere sympathy for Martha and Mary’ plight.

St John carefully notes in his gospel account no less than seven occasions when Christ exhibited the miraculous. He turned water into wine and cured the hunger of five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. He healed a paralytic at Bethsaida, a royal official’s son at Capernaum, and gave sight to a blind man. He walked over the Sea of Galilee to rescue the disciples from a storm. These account for six miraculous acts. Now Jesus would perform his last and greatest miracle in the presence of Martha and Mary at their brother’s tomb.  

Upon their arrival, Jesus asked that the entrance stone be removed.  Martha though demurred.  “Lord, he has been dead four days.” The stone was nevertheless rolled away. Jesus prayed and then called out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”.  He appeared; his body was still wrapped in burial cloths.  Jesus said, “Free him, and let him go.” The previous six miraculous acts had given Jesus an opportunity to demonstrate the power of God in varying ways. Now in this the seventh at Lazarus’s tomb Jesus proved the power of God to raise the dead to new life.

The reason for Christ’s delay in answering the sister’s plea for help now becomes apparent. The performance of this last and greatest miracle could only be possible after Lazarus had died.   

No act of compassion can be made without cost. According to St John, those who witnessed the miracle went back and told the temple leaders what happened.  John then wrote:

“The chief priests and the Pharisees gathered
and from that day forward they took counsel
that they might put him to death.”

Through this outpouring of compassion for Martha and Mary, Christ had thereby sealed his own fate. And of no less importance, the miracle foreshadowed Christ’s own rising from a tomb.

Amen  

The Prayers

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

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

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

For those who are ill

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

For hospital staff and medical researchers

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

Confession

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

Absolution

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

The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

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

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

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

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

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 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.

Coronavirus On line and Broadcast Services

Coronavirus – Updated information – On line and Broadcast Services

From the Episcopal Church in Scotland
As part of the ongoing response to the Coronavirus pandemic the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) will this Sunday (22 March) begin broadcasting video coverage of Eucharistic services 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 first service, led by the Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, will be broadcast at 11am on Sunday, to coincide with when many people would normally be worshipping, if church services had not been suspended earlier this week. 

The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service. A new service will be broadcast every Sunday on the SEC website, to allow all congregations to worship. We are aware that some congregations will offer their own version of online worship, but others will not have the means or resource to attempt this, hence this province-wide broadcast.

In advance of the broadcast of each provincial service, the Liturgy will be available to download from the SEC website.  We are conscious of the need to offer as much assistance as possible to those who have no access to the internet, and we encourage people to distribute the video/audio recordings and the Liturgy widely within their own personal networks. In households with no internet or playback capacity, people who can be helped by others through the provision of printed materials will have the opportunity to read the words of the Liturgy to themselves close to the appointed time, praising God along with others in the Church.

“Prayer is an important part of the tradition and spiritual life of the people of God,” said Bishop Mark. “In hard times and good times, quietly being before God with the people we love in our hearts encircles us all in God’s everlasting love and the promise of hope and salvation.”

The service will be available online after its first broadcast, followed by a new one each week, the next at 11am on Sunday 29 March.

Broadacast services – Anglican Church
Subject to outside broadcast capacity and our partners, the BBC will aim to broadcast a weekly Sunday morning church service on BBC One, and on local radi stattions

From Mark Seymour
Secretary to St Mary’s Vestry

22nd March 2020

Coronavirus – Updated information – Church services

Coronavirus – Updated information

Coronavirus Guidelines have been issued today by the College of Bishops. They are available in full at www.scotland.anglican.org/coronavirus-updates

 By way of summary, the Guidelines make the following changes to the Linkage
 

public worship is suspended from today in our churches.

•  Should they occur, funerals will have to be taken at the graveside or crematorium, without family presence. These can be followed by a memorial service when the situation permits.

• weddings may have to be celebrated in private or postponed until the situation changes.

• face to face meetings of Vestries and other groups and events are suspended.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will be providing online Eucharistic Sunday worship via the SEC website from this Sunday onwards.

I am anxious that everyone feels that the Linkage continues to function, albeit in a different way. Amanda Smith at St Andrews has already graciously offered practical help to anyone in need, and the same offer is extended by me. Please contact me as and when required and I will do my best to assist, whatever the difficulty

I will of course share further information as and when it is received. In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers for each of you.


It is quite possible, of course, that the suspension of Services might last as long as Easter and beyond.  We will let you know if this becomes the case.

Richard Grosse
Rector
18 th March 2020