Tag Archives: Rectors weekly Bulletin

Sunday Service and Bulletin for 31st May 2020

Sunday 31st May 2020

Pentecost Sunday

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

God, who as at this time

taught the hearts of your faithful people

by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:

grant us by the sa9me Spirit

to have a right judgement in all things

and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;

through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever

For the Gospel:

Acts 2 1-21

2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

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

Once upon a time, Pentecost Sunday was known as Whitsun. Whit Sunday was not merely observed; rather it was celebrated in style equal to Christmas and Easter. The annual Sunday School treat often occurred at Whit, frequently involving a journey, either by steam train or on a hay wain pulled by a farmer’s traction engine. Soot smuts played havoc with the white frocks and shirts customarily worn for the day    It did not matter that children were late to bed on Whit Sunday, because the next day was a rare holiday.  Alas in 1967, the secular world spoilt everything. Whitsun was changed to become the ‘Late Spring Bank Holiday’ a Monday fixed at the end of May rather than being governed by the church calendar. Whit changed its name to Pentecost and somehow since then it has become a normal Festival.

Normal?  No Christian Festival commemorates a routine occurrence. A child born to a virgin at Christmas and a man returning from dead at Easter. The same man ascending to heaven in a cloud at Ascension and now Pentecost, another unique happening as evidenced by today’s reading from Acts.

It was no coincidence that at the first Pentecost, believers were gathered in Jerusalem. Pentecost was already established as a Jewish festival: a celebration of the harvest. For that reason, the disciples were gathered as they had always done before.

Perhaps the disciples were craving the familiarity and certainty of this ancient festival to make amends for the turmoil they had experienced during the previous weeks. Nearly sixty days before, they had entered Jerusalem with their master and witnessed a crowd waving palms and giving a hero’s welcome. They then saw Jesus arrested. After being falsely tried and tortured he was crucified.  The disciples ran away to hide, only then to hear about the resurrection from Mary Magdalene. Later, in the Upper Room, they again saw Jesus in the flesh. Then forty days after that, they witnessed his Ascension to heaven. Their experience had been emotionally exhausting. Alas for the disciples, there would be no respite. God would use Pentecost to again surprise them.

 Those present at Pentecost experienced wind like a tornado and saw tongues of fire. Each believer then felt compelled to speak uncontrollably in tongues.  Hearing this seemingly bizarre outpouring, bystanders naturally judged the believers to be intoxicated. But Peter assured them: what they were experiencing was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

We all receive strange presents from time to time. We smile graciously at the source, but secretly ponder why the gift should be given and how it should be used. The Spirit is a precious gift from God, given to fulfil a divine promise that believers will never be left alone but have the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit is manifest in its activity, akin to a jewel that when held to the light, reveals different hues at every turn. As today’s reflection, the words of the nineteenth century hymnwriter Harriet Auber describe the many aspects of the Spirit.  

Reflection

Our blest Redeemer, ere he breathed
his tender last farewell,
a Guide, a Comforter, bequeathed
with us to dwell.

He came in tongues of living flame,
to teach, convince, subdue;
all-powerful as the wind he came,
as viewless too.

He came sweet influence to impart,
a gracious, willing guest,
when he can find one humble heart
wherein to rest.

And his that gentle voice we hear,
soft as the breath of ev’n,
that checks each fault, that calms each fear,
and speaks of heav’n.

And ev’ry virtue we possess,
and ev’ry victory won,
and ev’ry thought of holiness,
are his alone.

Spirit of purity and grace,
our weakness, pitying, see;
O make our hearts thy dwelling-place,
and worthier thee.

Prayer

Lord, you challenge us with Pentecost.
Do we believe that this
was a once in eternity experience,
never to be repeated?
That the Holy Spirit was poured out
on your followers for a single purpose,
and ended His work at that instant?
If so, then maybe that is why the Church
seems so powerless in this age,
helpless when faced with the needs
both spiritual and physical,
that we see in the world.
Lord, as we meet together ,
and celebrate once again
the memory of that first Pentecost,
may it be for us as it was then
an awareness of your Glory in this dark world,
 and a life changing experience.

 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 Youtube ?

   1       Come down, O Love divine,
            seek thou this soul of mine,
        and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
            O Comforter, draw near,
            within my heart appear,
        and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

   2          O let it freely burn,
            till earthly passions turn
        to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
            and let thy glorious light
            shine ever on my sight,
        and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

   3          Let holy charity
            mine outward vesture be,
        and lowliness become mine inner clothing:
            true lowliness of heart,
            which takes the humbler part,
        and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

   4          And so the yearning strong,
            with which the soul will long,
        shall far outpass the power of human telling;
            for none can guess its grace,
            till he become the place
        wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Bianco da Siena (d.1434)
translated by  Richard Frederick Littledale (1833–1890)

Bianco da Siena born circa 1350 was an Italian poet and wool worker. In 1367 he entered the Order of Jesuates, who followed the rule of St. Augustine. Within the order, he wrote his hymn Discendi, amor santo. The words might well have passed to obscurity, but for the renewed interest in ancient hymnody by translators such as Richard Littledale born in Dublin in 1833. The words are sung to the tune ‘Down Ampney’. Its composer Ralph Vaughan Williams named it after his birthplace in Gloucestershire. He became the chief figure both in the realm of British and church music during the first half of the twentieth century. Despite the latter, he remained, as a friend once described him, ‘a cheerful agnostic’ all his life.

Weekly news – recent emails and messages

College of Bishops Message 28th May 2020

Bishop Ian Message 26th May 2020

Episcopal Resources 26th May 2020

Linkage Bulletin and Sunday service for 24th May 2020

Sunday after Ascension Day 2020

SERVICE

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

Collect

O God the King of glory,

you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ

with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:

we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,

but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us

and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

The Ministry of the Word

The Epistle

Acts 1:4-10

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them

The Gospel

John 17:1-11

17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

“I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of[b] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

The Nicene Creed.

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

The Sermon

The events of the past weeks prove that life can change quite unexpectedly, and remarkably fast. But then, life itself is a process of transformation, dictated by any number of situations and circumstances.   

In the early part of human life, change comes thick and fast. A child will hopefully morph to adulthood and takes its place in society. In later years, the pace of change slows.  Therefore, when circumstances do alter, they often prove unwelcome and bring apprehension and threat to a perceived security.

Alas, it is impossible to flourish in life without acceptance of the inevitability of change, whether for good or ill.

Last Thursday was Ascension Day, the thirty ninth after Easter. The Ascension itself marked a moment of dramatic change for early Christians. The scriptures describe the Ascension in words every bit as mysterious and magical as the account of the Nativity. Mediaeval and Renaissance artists depict the Ascension as Christ’s figure departing to the clouds with humanity gazing at his rapidly disappearing feet. The artistic perception will have been based upon an understanding of a flat earth with the sky above encompassing the heavens. At the time, Jesus’ departure and return to God could naturally only be explained in these terms. Scientific discovery has since proved the earth neither to be flat nor the centre of the universe. Ancient theological imagery therefore has its limitations when set against modern rationalist understanding. What today then is the true meaning of the Ascension?

Mrs Alexander beautifully summarised the nativity in her Christmas carol ‘Once in Royal David’s City’

   He came down to earth from heaven
            who is God and Lord of all,
        and his shelter was a stable,
            and his cradle was a stall;
        with the poor and mean and lowly
        lived on earth our Saviour holy.

The words tell of the entry of divinity, the Christ child, into human experience. By Ascension Day thirty or so years later, events had turned full circle. Jesus’ earthly life had finished, and his humanity become one with the Divine.

Christ’s departure naturally wrought great change to the lives of the earliest believers. Jesus’ immediate, visible presence was at an end. Jesus had though previously warned of change. “In a little while you will see me no more. But a little while after that, you will see me again.” (John 16:16).  Nevertheless, his followers must have found both their lives and understanding changed, as his presence would now be felt in a vastly different way. They had to recognize that Jesus’ life could stilltransform theirs – even though he could no longer be seen.

The Ascension therefore marks a change and one that needs not to be ignored but addressed. Change inevitably leaves the past and familiar behind. Ascension was and is a time of change and transformation. The first believers could not cling to the dangling feet to pull Jesus back down to earth and neither can we.

This momentous change has though only just begun. Pentecost has yet to arrive. 

The Reflection

We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centered now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed

A prayer

Lord, give Your people Your peace that we may shine brightly in a dark world. Grant us the courage to live faithfully even amid hard times. Let our fear of You be the beginning of wisdom rather than allowing the fear of the world to drive our actions. Help us to embrace our heavenly citizenship and live strangely in the midst of a world that needs to know You.  

Show Your mercy and heal those who are suffering in Your fallen creation. Most of all Lord, come. Restore the world You have made and make all things new. We pray that Your will would be done. Amen.

Confession

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

Absolution

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


The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Hymn Listen on YouTube

   1    Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia,
        to his throne above the skies; Alleluia,
        Christ, the Lamb for sinners given, Alleluia,
        enters now the highest heaven. Alleluia!

   2       There for him high triumph waits;
        lift your heads, eternal gates.
        He hath conquered death and sin;
        take the King of Glory in.

   3       Lo, the heaven its Lord receives,
        yet he loves the earth he leaves;
        though returning to his throne,
        still he calls mankind his own.

   4       See, he lifts his hands above;
        see, he shews the prints of love;
        hark, his gracious lips bestow
        blessings on his church below.

   5       Still for us he intercedes,
        his prevailing death he pleads;
        near himself prepares our place,
        he the first-fruits of our race.

   6       Lord, though parted from our sight,
        far above the starry height,
        grant our hearts may thither rise,
        seeking thee above the skies.

Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise” by Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was published in 1739 One upon a time the BBC Home Service would play this before broadcasting began on an Ascension Day morning. Alas, this is no longer possible in our politically correct age.
The first verse explains Jesus’ ascension and the second his destination, the gates of heaven, which accept Christ in glory. The fourth verse assures believers of Christ’s continued investment in the lives of those on earth. in comparison to his heavenly inheritance described in the previous lines. The final stanzas present Christ as the continuous intercessor for humankind, leading us finally to eternal union with God.

St Mary’s Bulletin & Service for Sunday 17th May 2020

Easter 6 2020

Richard writes

Kate Joynson RIP

Kate’s funeral took place in bright sunshine at Aberfoyle cemetery on Wednesday last week. As with David Miller, many turned out to line the route of the cortege. This gesture was greatly appreciated by Theresa and Michael. Mercifully, Theresa was able to join the service from Bermuda by courtesy of Kate’s niece Molly who possesses great technical prowess.

At the graveside, Michael read his mother’s favourite poem and Molly a prayer wholly appropriate to Kate’s lifelong concern for the welfare of others. Both are reproduced below.

I thank Thee God, that I have lived
In this great world and known its many joys;
The song of birds, the strong sweet scent of hay
And cooling breezes in the secret dusk,
The flaming sunsets at the close of day,
Hills and lovely, heather-covered moors,
Music at night, and moonlight on the sea,
The beat of waves upon the rocky shore
And wild white spray, flung high in ecstasy:
The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
The love of kin and fellowship of friends
And all that makes life dear and beautiful.

I thank Thee too, that there has come to me
A little sorrow and sometimes defeat,
A little heartache and the loneliness
That comes with parting and the words, “Good-bye”;
Dawn breaking after dreary hours of pain
When I discovered that night’s gloom must yield
And morning light break through to me again.
Because of these and other blessings poured
Unmasked upon my wondering head,
Because I know that there is yet to come
An even richer and more glorious life,
And most of all, because Thine only Son
Once sacrificed life’s loveliness for me,
I thank Thee, God, that I have lived.
   
By Elizabeth Countess of Craven 1750-1828 Teach us, good Lord,

And the Prayer
To serve thee as thou deservest;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not for seek for rest;
To labour and not to ask for any reward
Save that of knowing that we do thy will. St Ignatius Loyola

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 FOR SUNDAY 17th MAY

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

The Collect

God our redeemer,

you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so by his continual presence in us he may raise us

to eternal joy;

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 14:15-21

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you.18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

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

Nowadays, we turn on the television and open newspapers with trepidation. Whatever is heard or read somehow brings fear and disquiet.

When seventy-five years ago VE Day was celebrated, it was with the knowledge that an enemy had finally surrendered and was defeated. Some have contrasted that conflict with the present fight against the Covid virus.  The difference is that the battle now is with an enemy not only invisible, but presently unconquerable.

Consequently, as we have experienced, any activity or liberty believed even remotely responsible for spreading virus has been curtailed. This includes public worship. The last time church doors were closed at Easter in Britain was over 800 years ago and that by papal edict. Now, scientific evidence presents yet more anxiety for churchgoers. Places of worship might again open for worship within the foreseeable future, but perhaps without freedom to sing hymns. This is because use of the voice is contrary to the recommendations of some epidemiologists. Should this be the case, then our valuable treasury of church musicians will be at risk. More importantly, hymns themselves are our means of praise however indifferent our voices. 

For what it is worth, my view is that most news nowadays consists of speculation rather than fact.  I am sure that before too long our worshipping life will resume, enhanced afresh by the beauty of church music. In that regard, the life of a musician who arguably has done more than any other to enhance and elucidate Christian faith through composition is recalled with gratitude.

In his middle years, Johann Sebastian Bach acquired a copy of Martin Luther’s three-volume translation of the Bible. He pored over it as if it were a long-lost treasure. He underlined passages and made notes in the margins.  To the world, besides being the greatest organist of that era, Bach is acknowledged as one of the most productive geniuses in the history of western music. To the Christian, his works might mean even more.

Bach was born in 1685 and schooled in Eisenach, Thuringia at the same establishment that Luther had attended over a century beforehand. Having sung in a church choir, Bach was by the age of 15 ready to establish himself in the musical world.  This he did, and, after various posts and domestic crises, he settled at Leipzig in 1723, remaining there for the rest of his life. Bach’s stay in the town as musical director and choirmaster of Saint Thomas’s church and school, was often unhappy. Neither his employer the Town Council nor the populace appreciated his genius, most regarding him simply as a teacher who could play the organ. Nevertheless, under these circumstances Bach was still able to produce his best church music. Aside from his organ compositions, he remarkably produced a new cantata every week. Nowadays, any composer who manages to write one work in a year is highly praised.  Of the 202 Bach cantatas that survive, all closely following biblical texts. Unlike his contemporary Georg Frederic Handel, Bach was his own librettist, meaning that he personally studied the scriptures in depth before setting them to music. The nineteenth century skeptic Friedrich Nietzsche wrote upon hearing Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion “One who has completely forgotten Christianity truly hears it here as gospel.”

After his death in 1759, Bach’s genius fell into danger of being forgotten. The manuscripts of some cantatas were lost to generations of St Thomas’s choristers who used them as wrapping paper for their sandwiches. Mozart and Beethoven were in their lifetime admirers of Bach’s works, but did little to preserve or promote his memory. It was not until 1829 that Felix Mendelssohn arranged a performance of St. Matthew’s Passion. So begun a process of rescue and restoration of the composer’s greatness.

One of Bach’s greatest gifts was an ability to replicate in music, phrases from scripture.  For example, a staccato melody runs through one Advent cantata evokes Christ’s words in St John’s Gospel. ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock’

Music was never just music to Bach. Nearly three-fourths of his 1,000 compositions were written for use in worship. Between his musical genius, his devotion to Christ, and the effect of his music, he is acknowledged by many to be “the Fifth Evangelist”  Please God, may we soon again be, in the words of the psalmist, ‘making a joyful noise unto the Lord’

Reflection:

‘To strip human nature until its divine attributes are made clear, to inform ordinary activities with spiritual fervour, to give wings of eternity to that which is most ephemeral; to make divine things human and human things divine; such is Bach, the greatest and purest moment in music of all time’.

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.

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

Confession

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

Absolution

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


The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Hymn:

Today’s hymn is a rarity but was specifically published for use in our Diocese in 1850 when Robert Campbell translated the Latin text of the 12th century writer Adam of St Victor. The tune ‘Evangelists’ to which it is sung was adapted from a Chorale penned by J.S. Bach.

In its words Adam of St Victor gives thanks for the four gospel writers ‘those who spread the treasures in the holy gospels shrined’ Might Robert Campbell also had in mind a fifth evangelist as he set the words to his chosen tune?

Come, pure hearts, in sweetest measures,
sing of those who spread the treasure
in the holy Gospels shrined;
blessèd tidings of salvation,
peace on earth their proclamation,
love from God to lost mankind.

Thou, by whom the words were given
for our light and guide to heaven,
Spirit, on our darkness shine;
graft them in our hearts, increasing
faith, hope, love and joy unceasing,
till our hearts are wholly thine.

O that we, thy truth confessing,
and thy holy Word possessing,
Jesus, may thy love adore;
unto thee our voices raising,
thee with all thy ransomed praising,
ever and forevermore

Diocesan Resources this week

Statement by College of Bishops 15th May – Covid-19 and the Future

Scottsih Bible Society

Linkage Bulletin & Sunday Service for 10th May 2020

David Miller RIP

It was feared that current regulations governing funerals might prevent David’s from being as he deserved. However, as the day proceeded, these anxieties became dispelled. 

Mercifully, Katie, David’s daughter was able to be present, having driven from Southern Ireland. There, travel restrictions are strictly enforced and there was every possibility that she might have been turned back.

What better place to start David’s final journey than from the garden at Blairuskin? This was the beautiful setting for the first part of the service, before the cortege moved off via Kinlochard, Aberfoyle, Gartmore, Ballat and Drymen en route to Cardross crematorium.  Many well-wishers lined this part of the route, some playing instruments and others displaying placards and banners. It was all most moving, and a gesture of respect and support appreciated by the family.

Upon either side of the prayers of committal at Cardross, two hymns were played. The first was ‘Praise my Soul’ and the other, ‘The Day of Resurrection’. Both were sung at Saffrey’s memorial service held just a year and two days ago. This was a poignant reminder that the two are now reunited in death as in life. May they rest in 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.

SERVICE

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

The Collect

Almighty God,

who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us

you put into our minds good desires,

so by your continual help

we may bring them to good effect;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

The Gospel 

John 14:1-6

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

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

Should the words of today’s gospel seem familiar, you will not be mistaken. This passage from St John is traditionally read at a funeral. Aside from the opening verses of the first chapter of John’s gospel which are always heard at the Christmas Carol Service, today’s gospel is possibly the best known of the New Testament.

The gospel dovetails with the theme of last Sunday, Christ the Good Shepherd. It doubtless reflects our own present thoughts and fears.

There was a sense of relief when the Prime Minister recently returned to his desk at Downing Street following convalescence. In times of trouble, the need of a leader is never greater. The difficulty is that human leadership, with respect, is fallible.  Christ promises his followers ‘I am the Good Shepherd’.

Today’s gospel is set on the eve of Christ’s crucifixion. As the disciples took supper, Jesus spoke first of the traitor in their midst and then his imminent departure. The disciples world would have caved in around them.  After three or so years in His company, travelling, watching, and listening to him, they learn He was to suffer and die.

In response, Christ assured them ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’ He told them that His departure was to His Father’s house, with a view to preparing a place for them. Later he would come again to those who know the direction of his journey.

But the disciples remained perturbed. Peter asked, “Where are you going?” Thomas said, “We do not know why you are going, so how can we know the way?”

In response, Jesus described himself, gently rebuking those present for forgetting His nature. ” Do not let our hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me”

Then he assured them ‘I am going now to prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be too’.

In these words, Jesus did not promise that believers would never again experience trouble, disappointment or trials. In fact, He later said just the opposite. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world” Indeed, all but one of those present at supper would later meet death through martyrdom.

A.W. Pink, a British theologian commented on Christ’s words. “Believe in God,’ O Christian. Let not your heart be troubled, for thy Father is possessed of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. He knows what is best for thee, and He makes all things work together for thy good. He is on the Throne, ruling amid the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. . . “If God be for us who can be against us?” Believe in God. Believe in His absolute sovereignty, His infinite wisdom, His unchanging faithfulness, His wondrous love. “Believe also in Me.” I am the One who died for thy sins and rose again for thy justification: I am the One who ever lives to make intercession for thee. I am the same, yesterday, and today, and forever. I am the One who shall come again to receive you to Myself, and you shall be forever with Me. Yes, “Believe also in me!”

Another theologian, Alexander Maclaren, wrote. “Jesus Christ does not merely set Himself up by the side of God, nor are we worshipers of two Gods when we bow before Jesus and bow before the Father; but faith in Christ is faith in God, and faith in God which is not faith in Christ is imperfect, incomplete, and will not long last. To trust in Him is to trust in the Father; to trust in the Father is to trust in Him.”

The concerns of the disciples that night was no different from the turmoil experienced today. Jesus tells the disciples and all believers to surrender the troubles flooding their hearts and take comfort. He takes us by the hand and says, “Come, I’ll take you with me there.” He does not tell us about the way; He is the Way.

Amen

Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

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 HymnListen on YouTube

   1    Thou art the Way: by thee alone
            from sin and death we flee;
        and they who would the Father seek
            must seek him, Lord, by thee.

   2       Thou art the Truth: thy word alone
            true wisdom can impart;
        thou only canst inform the mind
            and purify the heart.

   3       Thou art the Life: the rending tomb
            proclaims thy conquering arm;
        and those who put their trust in thee
            nor death nor hell shall harm.

   4       Thou art the Way, the Truth, the Life:
            grant us that Way to know,
        that Truth to keep, that Life to win,
            whose joys eternal flow.

St Mary's Azaleas
burst

St Mary’s Easter Day service

Bulletin for Easter Day 2020

Notices

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

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

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

The Easter Service

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

The Confession

Let us confess our sins to our Heavenly Father:

Jesus Christ, risen Master and triumphant Lord,

we come to you in sorrow for our sins,

and confess our weakness and unbelief,

Lord hear us and help us

We have lived in our own strength,

and not by the power of your resurrection.

In your mercy, forgive us.

Lord hear us and help us

We have lived by the light of our own eyes,

as faithless and not believing,

In your mercy forgive us,

Lord hear us and help us

We have lived for this world alone,

and doubted our home in heaven,

In your mercy, forgive us.

Lord hear us and help us

O God enthroned on high

Filling the earth with your glory:

Holy is your name

Lord God Almighty

In our sinfulness we cry to you

To take our guilt away,

And to cleanse our lips to speak of your word

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen

Absolution

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

The Ministry of the Word

Collect

God of glory

By the raising of your Son

you have broken the chains of death and hell:

fill your Church with faith and hope;

for a new day has dawned

and the way to life stands open

in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

First Reading Acts 10:34-43

Second Reading Col 3:1-4

The Gospel John 20:1-18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

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

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

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

The Creed

You Christ are the King of Glory

the eternal Son of the Father

You overcame the sting of death:

and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

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

we believe that you will come to be our judge

Come then Lord and help your people:

bought with the price of your own blood.

and bring us with your saints

to glory everlasting

The Address

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Prayers

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

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

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

For hospital staff and medical researchers

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

At Easter Day

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

for his victory over sin and the grave;

for his risen presence in our daily lives;

for his promise of life immortal with him.

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

Amen

The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

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

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

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

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

An act of commitment

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

The Lord’s Prayer

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

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

A recording of this hymn can be accessed via YouTube

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

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

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

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

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

The Grace

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

Good Friday Service

A service for Good Friday 2020

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


The conclusion

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

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

St Mary’s Maundy Thursday Service of Devotion

Maundy Thursday 2020

Notice

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

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

A service of devotion

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

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

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

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

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

Opening Prayer

Your love is poured out in death for our sakes

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

Comfort us with the promise

That no power on earth not even death himself

Can separate us from your love;

And strengthen us to wait until you are revealed to us

In all your risen glory

Amen

The Last Supper: extracts from the Gospel accounts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our confession

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

in what we have thought,

in what we have said and done,

through ignorance, through weakness,

and through our own deliberate fault.

We have wounded your love,

and marred your image in us.

We are sorry and ashamed,

and repent of all our sins.

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

forgive us all that is past;

and lead us out from darkness

to walk as children of light

Almighty God

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon us

pardon and deliver us from all your sins

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness

and keep us in the same

Amen

An act of Communion

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

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

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

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

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

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

The Gospel narratives continue

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

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

He said to his disciples,

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

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

The closing words

Shadows gather deep and cold

Lamplight flickers, fades and fails

Lord you know what daybreak holds –

Thorns and beatings, cross and nails.

You will be denied, betrayed

When the rooster wakes the sun

Yet you kneel alone and pray

‘Not my will, but thine be done’

In the watches of the night,

In the hour when darkness reigns,

In the grief that has no light,

In the time of fear and pain,

then we hold fast to our way,

In the victr’y you have won

Jesus teach us how to pray

‘Not my will, but thine be done’

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

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

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

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

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

oly Week: a guide. Thoughts, Prayers, Resources

Holy Week: a guide.

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

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

The Collect for Holy Week

True and humble king,

hailed by the crowd as Messiah:

grant us the faith to know you and love you,

that we may be found beside you

on the way of the cross,

which is the path of glory

Monday 6th April

Monday of Holy Week

 Reading: John 12:1-11

Tuesday 7th April

Tuesday of Holy Week

Reading: John 12:20-36

Wednesday 8th April

Wednesday of Holy Week

Reading: John 13: 21-32

Thursday 9th April

Maundy Thursday

Text of Service to be supplied

Friday 9th April

Good Friday

Text of service to be supplied

A prayer for Holy Week

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

Amen

St Mary’s Bulletin for Holy Week and Palm Sunday

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

Bulletin for Holy Week

Richard writes….

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

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

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

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

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

The Palm Sunday Service

Introduction and Collect

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

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

Hosanna in the highest.

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

God our Saviour,

whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer

and to die;

let these palms be for us signs of his victory

and grant that we who bear them in his name

may ever hail him as our King,

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

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The Gospel

Matthew 21.1-11

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

‘Tell the daughter of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

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

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

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!

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

Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

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

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

Nazareth in Galilee.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

The Nicene Creed.

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

The Sermon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Prayers

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

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

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

For those who are ill

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

For hospital staff and medical researchers

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

Confession

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

Absolution

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

The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

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

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

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

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

A personal Communion

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

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Conclusion:

O Lord Jesus Christ,

Son of the living God,

set your passion, cross and death

between your judgement and our souls,

now and in the hour of our death.

Grant mercy and grace to the living,

rest to the departed,

to your Church peace and concord

and to us sinners forgiveness,

and everlasting life and glory;

for, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

you are alive and reign,

God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Notices for the week beginning 16th March 2020

Coronavirus

Linkage Policy

1.      The sharing of the Peace at St Mary’s will only be shared verbally.    Thereafter, any other salutation will be at the attendee’s discretion.

2.     Communion. The administration of Communion will continue, but the precise form of receiving will be at the discretion of the communicant.  

The options are:

 

  1. To decline communion and remain in the pew during administration.
  2. To receive ‘a non-contact’ priest’s blessing instead of Communion. A service book held in the hand will indicate this choice.
  3. To receive communion in the form of the wafer only. Communion received in both kinds, being the bread and the wine has always been an important part of Anglican practice.  In the present circumstances, there may be concern that receiving bread alone is somehow disrespectful or lacking in some regard. Church teaching is that as Christ is indivisible, he can still be received in all fullness by the bread alone.  
  4. All decisions taken will be respected. Please be assured that strict hygiene continues to be observed by those preparing elements both before and after the service.

 Easter Lily Fund

The Lily fund in both churches is now open

Rotas

Callander

Luna, Roger or Sandra.

Aberfoyle

Juliet Edmonstone

David Miller

Wednesday 18th March

10.00 Callander

Matt. 5. 17-19

Sunday 22nd March

Lent 4

Mothering Sunday

Collect

Merciful Lord,

absolve your people from their offences,

that through your bountiful goodness

we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins

which by our frailty we have committed;

grant this, heavenly Father,

for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Services & Readings

10.00 Callander

1. Sam. 16.1-13

Eph. 5.8-14

John 9.1-41

11.15 Aberfoyle

1. Sam. 16.1-13

Eph. 5.8-14

John 9.1-41

Wednesday 25th March

10.00 Callander

Luke 1.26-38

Future Notices:

Saturday 28th March

11.00 – 13.00 St Ninians Cathedral Perth

Our Digital Church

This course is with the Digital Missioner of Glasgow and Galloway Diocese with the aim of improving the skills of those who look after the online presence of their churches. A step by step guide of best practices will be followed by a question and answer session. Booking via the Diocesan Office (01738 443173) please.

Holy Week and Easter Services

Monday 6th April

19.30 Devotion at Callander Kirk

Tuesday 7th April

19.30 Devotion at Callander Kirk

Wednesday 8th April

19.30 Devotion at Callander Kirk

Maundy Thursday 9th April

11.00 Chrism Mass at Perth Cathedral

19.30 at St Andrews Devotion ‘In Remembrance’

Good Friday 10th April

10.30 Devotion at St Mary’s

12.00 Devotion at St Andrews

Easter Day 12th April 

Holy Communion

8.00 St Anthony Balfron

10.00 St Andrew’s

11.15 St Mary’s

Saturday 13th June

St Mary’s Summer Fair 12 noon to 16.00

The annual Summer Fair takes place in the Information Office, Main Street, Aberfoyle. Please suggest to anyone you think might be interested in taking a table. Further details from Susan Forsyth.

 Our campaign to assist Start Up Stirling is ongoing to allow contributions of the following items to be delivered to the tray in church on any Sunday. Thank you to all who contribute.

Tinned meat/fish/veg/beans, soup/fruit

Dried foods

Ready meals

Cooking sauces

Breakfast cereals

UHT milk

Tea/coffee/sugar

Snacks

Toiletries

Cleaning products

Household goods – good quality crockery, cutlery, towels, pots and pans.

No fresh fruit nor vegetables please.