Homily: Ordinary 2 Year B “This is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”

Posted Leave a commentPosted in parish, sacraments, scripture, teaching

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

“This is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”

John the Baptist uses the metaphor of the Lamb of God. It is an odd metaphor when one considers the traditional view of the Messiah of God as a powerful military leader who would free Israel from oppression.

The Lamb of God is the sacrificial lamb, the willing victim, the man of sorrows. John the Evangelist makes this connection clear by telling us that Christ is arrested and is given up late on Maundy Thursday – at the same time as the Passover Lambs were being slaughtered in preparation for the Passover. In the Gospel of John, the Last Supper is not the Passover meal, but the one that precedes it – look closely at the text and you will see this.

When I raise the consecrated elements at the end of the Lord’s Prayer, I always echo these words of John the Baptist directly: “This is the Lamb of God”, not “This is something that reminds me of the Lamb of God…” but “This is…”

As you can tell from my girth: in the past I have been very fond of wine. As the Scriptures say, it “gladdens our hearts” and has been a wonderful source of joy in my life.

The process of making wine is ancient: when Noah found dry land again, he planted a vineyard and got drunk (it’s in Genesis 9:20-21). However, one does not simply plant grapes and get wine, something has to happen to it to make it into that wonderful substance.

The action of fermentation, the work of yeast, to convert sugar into alcohol happens almost invisibly. It happens as it must in the dark, in the warm, and out of sight, and for most of us, how it does it is a mystery.

We start with grape juice and we end with champagne. A transformation in substance.

In the same way, the words and the actions of the priest and the responses of the congregation works on ordinary things: simple bread and wine, and there is another transformation in substance.

In a way that is also mysterious, that cannot be satisfactorily explained, nor indeed should be explained, there is a change in the ordinary and it becomes extraordinary, as God enters into these elements and simple bread and wine become the blessed sacrament and precious blood.

“This is the Lamb of God…” is literally true, it is not a metaphor or an illustration, but a statement of fact. In these changed elements we find God. We find the real presence of Him “hiding” as St Francis of Assisi wonderfully said “under an ordinary piece of bread”. When Jesus took the bread and wine of a meal, he said “This is my body”, “This is my blood”. It was not a metaphor, not an illustration, but the institution of a sacrament. We believe Christ when he admits that he is the Son of God, so I fail to understand why some would wish to deny the reality of Christ in these most sacred mysteries.

We start with bread and wine and we end with the body and blood of Christ. We need not look for God in the molecules of the wine, or the atoms of the bread, look not for the change to the elements but look for the change in the people of receive it – the comfort derived from the sacrament. Look not for the wind, but for the action the wind has on the trees.
God takes the ordinary: people like you and like me, and he transforms us into something extraordinary – into the saved. God does this is subtle ways, hidden, in the dark. How he does this is a mystery. We are transformed by the power of God, transformed by Christ’s body and blood.

This is why I have the highest possible regard for the sacraments.

This is why the Mass is the cornerstone of our worship and why it is at the heart of our missionary activity in this place.

This is why we come together not just on a Sunday but at other times during the week to worship God, and why you should come also.

This is why we keep the blessed sacrament safely in that Aumbrey behind the altar and we revere it with a bow or a genuflection, for God is really present here in these blessed sacraments and his holy presence is signified by the candle that always burns above the Aumbrey.

That is why we have the opportunity to pray before the blessed sacrament when it is exposed. This is why is taken to those too unwell to come to Church to receive the sacrament of salvation.

That is why you should all come to this holy altar to partake in these blessed sacraments; for he was prepared to make himself available to all of us.

As we continue through 2018, we are called into the presence of the sacrament, of the Lamb of God, for here, at this altar, in the midst of these powerful prayers, we are forgiven, reconciled, renewed, anointed.

“This is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. Not the sins of a few, or the sins of those who are already good, but the sins of the whole world, the sins of you, the sins of me, the sins of all of us, past, present and future.

We behold Christ on the altar, making the holy sacrifice, we witness the transformation, we ourselves are transformed.

…and it is something far finer than the finest champagne, for this is the taste of salvation.
Amen.

Nano for Windows

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If you are used to hopping around between systems and platforms, then it’s nice to be able to use the same editor on multiple systems so you don’t have to remember obscure commands or function keys.

This is why I was delighted to discover that there was a port of NANO to Windows. It’s my favourite basic text editor foe Linux: fast and powerful with a good interface.

Then I was disappointed to discover that they have stopped porting it 🙁

Then I was delighted to find an archive copy. Here is it for you: (Version 2.5.3) Enjoy!

Intercessions, Midnight Mass

Posted Leave a commentPosted in liturgy, parish

Response:
Jesus, Child of Peace
Be born in us tonight

Jesus, whose mother was Mary:
we give thanks for those who have been mothers and fathers to us,
and for your own coming into this world.

We hold in prayer before you
all families of every size and description,
but especially those whose family life is broken in some way,
through abuse, bereavement, estrangement, debt, depression or distance.

Jesus, as Joseph and Mary were bound to each other in love for you,
draw each of us to those whom you have purposed us to love,
that we might do so with patience and perseverance, insight and inspiration.

Jesus, Child of Peace
Be born in us tonight

Jesus, cradled in a manger:
we give thanks for those places we regard as safe, warm and welcoming,
acknowledging the blessing of the security we experience.

We hold in prayer before you
all those who are homeless and living rough on the streets,
prey to violence, disease and in some cases their own addictions,
and all those refugees living a long way from home
in an effort to find a measure of safety,
and provide food and shelter for their children.

Jesus, as Mary gently cradled you,
hold in your loving care each desperate individual and struggling family,
that with Mary & Joseph they might know your presence
and one day come to proclaim your glory.

Jesus, Child of Peace
Be born in us tonight

Jesus, sharing the stable with the animals:
we give thanks for the wonders of your creation which you came into
so that we might know your light and life.

We hold in prayer before you those things we have done to your world
which have damaged it to breaking point,
our greed to possess the best of everything,
and our obsession with draining away the gifts and wonders of what we call the natural world.

Jesus, as the animals brought warmth to your first hours on earth,
give us the humility to set greed aside,
and the strength of will to use wisely the resources you provide.

Jesus, Child of Peace
Be born in us tonight

Jesus, worshipped by shepherds and kings:
we give thanks for the diversity of cultures, nations and races which are together
what makes us in the likeness of God.

We hold in prayer before you those disputed regions of the world,
where diversity of opinion or politics forms a barrier to peaceful co-existence,
and where borders and barriers seek to hide
brutal injustice, terror and torture.

Jesus, just as you were brought gifts,
help us to use wisely those gifts of forgiveness and reconciliation
which you have given us for the good of all nations.

Jesus, Child of Peace
Be born in us tonight

Jesus, our Emmanuel:
we give thanks that you came not only in the form of a human baby,
but continue to dwell with us through the power of your Holy Spirit.

We hold in prayer before you those in particular need
of the knowledge of your presence with them,
that through your Spirit they might know your strength,
your healing, your peace and your amazing love for them.
We pray for those whom we know and those whose cries are heard by God alone.

Jesus, just as you come to us daily,
may we consciously make time to come to you,
not just this Christmas Day, but every day of our lives.

Jesus, Child of Peace
Be born in us tonight

Jesus, we give thanks to you our living God:
born of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
revealed in glory,
worshipped by the angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed in throughout the world,
exalted to the highest heavens.

Blessed be God,
our strength and our salvation,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Christ amongst the refugees by Malcolm Guite

Posted Leave a commentPosted in parish

That fearful road of weariness and want,
Through unforgiving heat and hate, ends here;
We narrow sand-blown eyes to scan this scant
And tented city outside Syria.
He fled with us when everything was wrecked
As Nazarene was blazoned on our door,
Walked with the damaged and the derelict
To where these tents are ranked and massed, foursquare
Against the desert, with a different blazon;
We trace the letters: UNHCR,
As dark smoke looms behind a cruel horizon.
Christ stands with us and withstands, where we are,
His high commission, as a refugee;
To pitch his tent in our humanity.

Malcolm Guite

 

See the original here which includes an audio recording. “To pitch his tent in our humanity” is one of the most powerful lines I have read this year.

Nine Lessons and Carols Readings

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In case you have lost or mislaid the readings for the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols Service, here are the texts, in both text and downloadable form.
You might also find useful this rota sheet to encourage people to be involved. I leave a laminated card with each reading on at the back, encourage people to select one and put their name down. It always works.

This is the Word Document:

Download (DOC, 39KB)

and the texts:

They should be read without verse or chapter, just beginning with “A reading from…”. There should be no “This is the word of the Lord” or similar at the end. Let the Scriptures sink in.

First Lesson: Genesis 3:8-15

A reading from the book of Genesis

8 The man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the LORD God called to the man, Where are you?
10 He answered, I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.
11 And he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?
12 The man said, The woman you put here with me— she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, What is this you have done? The woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate.
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

Second Lesson: Genesis 22:15-18

A reading from the Book of Genesis

15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time
16 and said, I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,
18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.

Third Lesson: Isaiah 9:2 , 6-7

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

2The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Fourth Lesson: Isaiah 11: 1-9

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash round his waist.
6The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Fifth Lesson: Luke 1:26-38

A reading from the Gospel of Luke

26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
28 The angel went to her and said, Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
30 But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.
31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.
34 How will this be, Mary asked the angel, since I am a virgin?
35 The angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
37 For nothing is impossible with God.
38 I am the Lord’s servant, Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said. Then the angel left her.

Sixth Lesson: Matthew 1:18-34

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce herquietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23 The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel— which means, God with us.
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Seventh Lesson: Luke 2:8-16

A reading from the Gospel of Luke

8 There were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

Eighth Lesson: Matthew 2: 1-11

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
2 and asked, Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5 In Bethlehem in Judea, they replied, for this is what the prophet has written:
6’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Ninth Lesson: John 1: 1-14 (traditionally read by a deacon or a priest)

A reading from the Gospel of John

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.
7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

I hope this is useful.

Leading Intercessions in Church

Posted Leave a commentPosted in parish, teaching

Stock Intercessions for use in Church

Introductions to the prayers

Let us pray for the Church of God in Christ Jesus, and for all
people according to their needs.

Let us pray for the Church and for the world, and let us thank God for his goodness

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ Jesus let us pray to God our heavenly Father.

Let us come before the Lord with our prayers and praises asking him to look with mercy upon all our requests.

When two or three are gathered in my name, there I shall be. Let us therefore bring our prayers to the Father.

Trusting in God’s love and mercy, let us turn to him in prayer and bring him our needs and intercessions.

Responses

The usual ones:

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Lord hear us… Lord, graciously hear us

Theme of Prayers

The Church

Robert, Nick and Sarah – Bishops of this diocese

Justin Welby – Archbishop of Canterbury
John Sentamu – Archbishop of York
Francis – Bishop of Rome (Pope)
Bartholomew – Ecumenical Patriarch (Orthodox)
…and the leaders of the Reformed Churches

The World

Our Community

The Sick

Those known to us
Those listed on the weekly sheet
Those whose cries are heard by God alone

Those who have departed in Faith

Rest eternal, grant unto them O Lord
And let light perpetual shine upon them

May they rest in peace
And rise in glory

We unite our prayers with the angels and the saints,
the prophets and the patriarchs as we join our prayers with those of our blessed lady as we say ‘Hail Mary…’

…in a moment of silence…

Prayer One

Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church,
watch over it Lord and guide it: grant it peace and unity throughout the world. We pray for Pope Francis, Bartholomew the Ecumenical Patriarch,
for Justin and John our Archbishops,
and for Robert, Nick and Sarah our Bishops
and all who hold and teach the faith which comes to us from the Apostles. [Response]

Father, look upon the nations of the world.
Direct the hearts and minds of those who rule and govern
so that men and women everywhere may experience the
peace and justice of the Kingdom.
Father may there be an end to war and strife.
[Response]

Father, pour your grace upon all your people.
Remember all of us gathered here before you.
[Response]

Father, we pray for the health and happiness of those who are dear to us, naming before you those who are suffering in mind, body or Spirit…
[Response]

Remember, Lord, those who have died and have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, especially those for whom we now pray…and those whose year’s minds we commemorate…

May these and all who sleep in Christ, find in your presence, light, happiness and peace.

We ask the prayers of all the Apostles, Martyrs and Saints. In union with the whole Church, we honour Mary the ever Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God as we say, Hail Mary…

In a moment of silence let us bring our own prayers before the throne of grace…

 Prayer Two

Father, we pray for Pope Francis, Bartholomew the Ecumenical Patriarch,
for Justin and John our Archbishops,
and for Robert, Nick and Sarah and all the Bishops, clergy and people of your Church. May we grow in the unity which your Son willed for his Church. [Response]

Father we pray for the needs of the world, for an end to war and famine, for those places suffering unrest and strife at this time. Father grant to them your blessing of peace.
[Response]

Father we pray for the needs of this our community and parish whom you have called together before you. May you bind us together with your love. Lord hear us…..

Father we pray for all those who are in need at this time, and who have asked us for our prayers, for…
May these and all who suffer know the joy of your presence with them. [Response]

Father we pray for those who have died, for those we have known and loved whom we see no longer. For…and for…whose years mind falls at this time.
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord…
May they rest in peace…

Father, we join our prayers with those of all the saints who rejoice in your nearer presence and ask the prayers of Mary, Queen of Heaven as we say, Hail Mary……

Heavenly Father, in a moment of silence we hold before you our own prayers and praises.

Prayer Three

Heavenly Father, we bring before you your Church on earth and those who guide it. We pray that you will bless all who minister in word or sacrament, that there may be a rich harvest for your kingdom. [Response]

Heavenly Father, look upon the needs of the world, troubled by war, injustice, oppression and famine. Relieve those who suffer and are poor, and bring all your people to live in peace and harmony, [Response]

Heavenly Father, you have called us together as a pilgrim people. Look upon us on our journey of faith and grant us strength to serve you on the way you have set before us. [Response]

Heavenly Father, you are with those who suffer in all their needs, hear us as we pray especially for those who have asked our prayers…May they and all who suffer be comforted by your healing touch. [Response]

Heavenly Father, for you faithful people life is not ended but changed, hear our prayer for those who have inspired and guided us, who now walk with you in light refreshment and peace…and for…whose year’s mind is remembered at this time.

For these and all the departed we pray, rest eternal grant to them O Lord… May they rest in peace…

Heavenly Father, you chose the Virgin Mary to be the Mother of your Son, look with favour on her prayers as we join our voices with hers as we say, Hail Mary…

Heavenly Father, we bring our own needs to you in a moment of silence.

Prayer Four

We pray for the Church throughout the world and especially for this Diocese and for Robert, Nick and Sarah our Bishops. Father, give power to your Church to proclaim the gospel of Christ; and grant that we and all Christian people may be united in truth, live together in love, and reveal your glory in the world. [Response]

We pray for the world (especially for…..); give to all a reverence for the earth as your creation, that they might rightly use its resources in the service of all people and to your honour and glory. [Response]

We pray for all nations and especially for this country; bless Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority; direct this and every nation in the way of justice and peace; so that we may honour one another and seek the common good. [Response]

We pray for our families and friends and all others with special claims upon us. Give grace to all whose lives are linked closely to our own, that we may serve Christ in them and love one another as he. loves us. [Response]

We pray for all who are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity, (especially…); to all who suffer give courage, healing and a steadfast trust in your love.
[Response]

We pray for all those who have died and have gone to their rest, Father grant that they might live with you in light, refreshment and peace. [Response]

We join our prayers with all the saints, especially with those of Mary as we say, Hail Mary…

We keep silence for just a moment and bring to the Father our own prayers.

Conclusion to the prayers

God of love, our refuge and our strength, hear the prayers of your Church, and grant us today what we ask of you in faith. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Father, we come before you with faith and love to praise your goodness and to acknowledge our need. We ask you to hear the prayers we make in the name of Jesus the Lord.

Lord God,
Mary gave birth to your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
in purity and love.
may she bring our prayers before you,
for we make them in the name of Jesus the Lord.

Father, you know the many different needs
your people have in this life.
Hear us and answer the prayers of all who believe in you.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Father, may your people turn again to you
and serve you with all their hearts.
With confidence we have asked your help:
may we now know your mercy and love in our lives.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Father, have mercy on your Church in its need, hear the prayers we offer you with all our hearts, and never abandon the people who share your life. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All of these will end in

Amen

New Eucharistic Prayer for Holy Ground (with Video)

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The text of this Eucharistic Prayer was written by me for Holy Ground. Use it as you wish.
Video:

Galaxy EP from Fr Simon Rundell on Vimeo.

Preface

The Lord be with you
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

For all things are of your making, things seen and unseen –
the circling stars and planets beyond human counting
in your infinite universe,
the tiny atoms from which they are all created,
the bountiful, fragile earth on which we live,
the unseen and powerful forces of life and love.
So earth unites with heaven
to sing the new poem of creation:

Sanctus & Benedictus

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Eucharistic Prayer

You Lord, are holy beyond all words,
Send your Spirit upon these gifts like the dewfall
And so empower them to become the +Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
And bring him present here as we gather in this holy ground

Just as he did, with friends gathered round, and
Taking the bread of our ordinary lives,
Giving you thanks for it,
He challenged us all with his words:

Take this, everyone, for this is my body
Eat of me.

Again, after the meal was concluded,
He took the cup, our ordinary drink
Gave thanks and made us think:

Take this, everyone, this is my blood
Drink of me.

Through all our messy, broken mixed up lives
You sit at table with us
You draw us into your mystery of love
And bid us welcome to the feast already taking place in Heaven
Alongside all the Angels, Saints, Prophets and Patriarchs
Alongside Family, Friends, Strangers and Enemies
Alongside all creation as we share in you

Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer – source of life and love
Maker, Saviour and Energiser – heartbeat and headpulse of the world
We eat. We drink. We share
In You.
Amen

Extracting a Google Calendar Agenda for the Parish Noticesheet

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In common with a number of other churches, we keep our diary on Google Calendar. In recent months I have simply been scraping the data straight from that onto the noticesheet for the forthcoming week, and as usual trying to make it easier.

This php code extracts the data from a private ical feed to a display on the page. To get the right feed, go to Google Calendar, select the dropdown next to the calendar you want and select calendar settings.

Then select Private Address below and copy the URL which is listed there. If it’s the only calendar you use, I have found that my Chrome browser will remember it for you.

 

 

Visit this site: https://secure.webinformatique.co.uk/ical/index.php

Then select the date from which you wish to start and the duration (usually 7 days).

After a delay (a number of seconds for a large calendar, I have found), the data is output below

You can cut and paste this into any document.

Developed by Fr. S Using the toolkit developed by Jonathan Goode , John Grogg and Martin Thoma

Written for my own use and made available for you for FREE, all I ask is for your prayers… call it Prayerware if you like!

You are advised to check the entries before reuse as there is a bug in Google Calendar which ignores British Summer Time and sets all events in Daylight Savings Time to an hour earlier. Recurring events and events outside of BST do not appear to be affected. This is a summertime only issue.

What a “Resource Church” really means…

Posted Leave a commentPosted in mission, parish
When a shiny new Church Plant (usually from a shiny church in central west London) appears like a cuckoo in a city – in a reasonably affluent area or an area saturated with students, one of the phrases used to calm us is that it will be a “resource church” which on the face of it, does not sound like a bad thing at all.

 

“Oh good,” we think, “maybe some of those shiny resources can be put to good use in my slightly less shiny parish”, “perhaps they might have a screen or PA we could borrow, or even a working photocopier”, “I wonder if they might have some shiny young people to help us leaflet the estate about our mission to the elderly there…”

 

But such hopes are quickly dashed as the pre-existing congregation are levered out of their not very shiny church and abandoned as they focus relentlessly on a growth strategy that initially strips all the young people out of other churches  into the remodelled (how did they get that through the DAC so quickly? Money still clearly talks…) new interior where the boring old essentials of Anglicanism are relegated to the back to be forgotten, as a Cafe is open before each service serving “absolutely divine coffee”

 

As for the resources they have on offer for us? Well, the transplanted Vicar, Curate, “Worship Leader” and Administrator are very willing to resource the entire church… Why not send your people to one of their Discipleship or Beginners Courses? Why not gather all the “worship leaders” together and our Worship Leader can show them how finally to do it right. It’s funny, because I always thought the leading of Worship was the primary responsibility of the Vicar, Curate, Reader etc. Not just some bloke with a guitar (Fr Robb being the obvious exception to this).

 

What they want to resource us with is their way of doing things,  to insinuate themselves into each and every parish until,  rather like McDonald’s Franchises they come to be the bland, homogenised face of Christendom. If your face does not fit this shiny model of church: if you don’t have the same responses as them, share the same sexuality or gender then they can’y help

 

As an aside, I am amazed that there is not a single woman involved here who is not married to a ‘minister’ – it seems to be the only way they are allowed to minister, because someone in this resource church needs to have a penis somewhere it would appear. It seems that capable and spiritual women are reduced to smiling add-ons with great teeth, beautiful hair and a better class of theology degree that they simply are not allowed to properly utilise in proper ministry because of a single casual line in a pastoral letter of Paul. But I digress.

 

If your taste leans towards valuing the sacraments that Jesus and his bride, the Church have used for centuries and if guitar and drums don’t always work for you, then I am afraid, we can’t resource you.

 

You aren’t resourceable. Even though we must be Jews to the Jews and Greeks to the Greeks, that we must make our ministry as protean as Paul was prepared to do at the Areopagus, these resources come in only one form and in only one spirituality.

 

Tough. Our tanks are here on the lawn now. We are taking over.