Paul Fiddes – Sacraments in a Virtual World

Posted Leave a commentPosted in alt.worship, sacraments, teaching

(This paper is no longer available elsewhere on the web, although its critiques are; so as Prof Fiddes gave us a copy of it, I have scanned it here for the sake of completeness)

From The Virtual Body of Christ? Sacrament and Liturgy in Digital Spaces – a symposium organised by the CODEC research centre for Digital Theology (@CODECUK

Sacraments in a Virtual World?

A contribution by Paul S. Fiddes, University of Oxford, June 2009

Summary:

An avatar can receive the bread and wine of the Eucharist within the logic of the virtual world and it will still be a means of grace, since God is present in a virtual world in a way that is suitable for its inhabitants. We may expect that the grace received by the avatar will be shared in some way by the person behind the avatar, because the person in our everyday world has a complex relationship with his or her persona.

Argument:

The key theological question is whether the triune God is present, and whether Christ is incarnate (in some form, including the church) within the virtual world.*If the answer is yes, then one can conceive of the mediation of grace through the materials of that world, i.e. through digital representations.

Grace is, of course, not a substance but the gracious presence of God, coming to transform personality and society. In sacrament, God takes the occasion of bodies in creation to be present in an intense or ‘focused’ way to renew life.

One ought not to assume that cyberspace is a disembodied world. The net is composed of a form of energy, just as is the familiar ‘physical’ world in which we operate everyday. Moreover, the persons behind the avatars are in physical connection with the virtual world – through many of the senses (sight, hearing, touch — i.e. keyboard, mouse). Anyway, mental activity always has a physical base in the brain. Studies have shown that people feel a bodily connection with those with whom they are communicating over the net.

Theologically we should develop a notion of ‘virtual sacraments’ rather than an ‘extension’ of the consecration of elements over a distance, and their direct reception by the person employing the avatar. Within the logic of the virtual world, the cathedral in Second Life is a place where avatars worship God and avatars minister to avatars. The ‘person’ can thus only receive a virtual sacrament indirectly through relation to the avatar. There is a mysterious and complex interaction between the person and the persona projected (avatar), just as there is between the person and his/her personae (self-presentations to others) in everyday life. Avatars do not, however, worship merely an avatarGod because there is only one God, for whom person and persona are identical and in whom ‘all things live and move and have their being’, including the beings of virtual worlds.

There can be an ‘extension’ of the sacraments from the church sacraments of bread and wine into the sacramentality of the whole world, since the world is held in the life of the triune God; for an expression of this, see Teilhard de Chardin’s Mass on the World. Many physical objects in the world can become a focus of mediated grace in continuity with the church sacraments, while remaining dependent upon the sacraments of dominical institution for their meaning. My suggestion about virtual sacraments thus falls somewhere into the spectrum between church sacraments of bread and wine and other sacramental media in the world. I do not want to suggest that virtual sacraments would be simply identical with the church sacraments, though given the context of a ‘virtual church’ I suggest they would be closer on the spectrum than — say — the sacraments of sand and light in RS Thomas’ poem ‘In Great Waters’ :

The sand crumbles
like bread; the wine is
the light quietly lying
in its own chalice. There is
A sacrament there…

It might be said that the stuff of a virtual sacrament includes both sand (silicon) and light (photons)! Is there any less sand and light in a virtual world than in Thomas’ experience of the sea off the coast of Wales?

* This is not an outlandish question. The same question may be asked about the world which is inhabited by a schizophrenic, which appears completely real to the schizophrenic subject but which will be alien to others who share that person’s life in daily experience.

Dying

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

We should not be afraid of dying, but modern society sees this as a failure. This is a subject I have been banging on about for 25+ years.

The article on the right was written in 1990 by a Staff Nurse in a Coronary Care Unit (with hair, note!) who felt that we applied the indigities of resuscitation far too indiscriminately. As one who jumped on chests on a daily basis, I saw first hand where it worked and its importance. I was also very aware of its abuses because we were too reticent to tell people that their loved ones were dying and that they should not be afraid.

This video, a short think-piece by a specialist in care for the dying (thanatology) , I feel, should be more widely seen as it explains rather beautifully the gentle process of dying which is natural. I would want also to bring the spiritual dimension into this, and speak of the need for words of comfort, reassurance, of making peace and receiving absolution, and where appropriate the sacraments.

The Oil of Healing might heal us to a good death – a Euthanasia – which is the perfect end. That word has come to mean something very different, very clinical; but I ask you: would we not all want a good death? A euthanasia?

Specialists can ensure that death is peaceful, pain-free and stress-free. But you have to let them do their work. “Do all you can” is usually more for our benefit as the ones who remain behind, unable to grasp the reality that death will ultimately visit us all.

It isn’t true that “Death is nothing at all”, for the bereavement it leaves behind can be devastating, but we should be assured that death is a part of life, an inescapable part of reality and a frame around which our lives have meaning and context. What we do on this earth matters: the people we love, the laughter we share, the lives we impact. But it will not last for ever, and there is a time for that to end, and time for subsequent generations to take up the baton. Learning to live with and beyond the loss of someone we love does not mean you have failed them, but that we adjust to that loss .

“Then”, as S. Paul reminds us, “we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess 4:17-18)

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.

Epiphany Proclamation

Posted Leave a commentPosted in liturgy, teaching

While a day like Christmas is fixed in our minds and on the calendars on December 25th, many of the important feasts of the Church year move, based upon the date that Easter is set. Easter changes each year moving to the Sunday after the “Paschal Full Moon,” and can fall between March 22 and April 25.

In ancient times before calendars were common, most people did not know the dates for the upcoming Liturgical year. On Epiphany Sunday, the upcoming dates were “proclaimed” after the gospel in this way, and I make this announcement on the Feast of the Epiphany each year:

Dear brothers and sisters,
the glory of the Lord has shone upon us,
and shall ever be manifest among us,
until the day of his return.

Through the rhythms of times and seasons
let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.

Let us recall the year’s culmination,
the Easter Triduum of the Lord:
his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial,
and his rising celebrated
between the evening of the Twenty-ninth of March
and the evening of the Thirty-first of March,
Easter Sunday being on the First day of April.

Each Easter — as on each Sunday —
the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed
by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death.
From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy.

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent,
will occur on the Fourteenth Day of February.

The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on
Thursday, the Tenth day of May.

Pentecost, joyful conclusion of the season of Easter,
will be celebrated on the Twentieth day of May.

And, this year the First Sunday of Advent will be
on the Second day of December, 2018.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ
in the feasts of the holy Mother of God,
in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints,
and in the commemoration of the faithful departed.

To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come,
Lord of time and history,
be endless praise, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Divine Presence

Posted Leave a commentPosted in poetry, teaching

 

When did God become fully human?
When an egg was fertilised?
When cells divided?
When Mary felt her first kick?
When Jesus took his first breath?

When did God become fully human?
When he entered the kingdom as a child?
When he chose to resist temptation?
When he fought, by not fighting back?
When he hung with us; for us?

Here is a gift of authentic hope: divine presence.

Amid the white noise of a world surfing the airwaves;
amid the narrow casts,
broadcasts and podcasts;
embedded in the WIFI and the 4G
the twitter feeds and the status updates;
up with the static and the crackle of interference
one simple signal still pulses from ages past, like a
heartbeat: Are you receiving me?
Are you receiving me?
Are you receiving me?

(not sure of the author, stolen from the 42Cdo Padre, Dec 2017)

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Brighton Dec 2017

Posted Leave a commentPosted in alt.worship, sacraments, teaching

At the #CuratingLiturgy conference I began the day with an act of benediction. Liturgically traditional, yet realised in a distinctively holy ground way. All videos can be downloaded from the Agnus Dei Website

Exposition

The host in the Perspex monstrance is revealed slowly from underneath organza coverings

He is here…

You might not be able to spot him… but he is present

Really, literally present… amongst us

The image of the invisible God enfleshed at one time, and now with us in another form.

The form he left us: Body and Blood. Bread and wine.

No less than his real self.

To bring change to our humdrum lives, to transform us, as so surely he himself was transformed

To be amongst us… alongside us… with us…

It may be just a glimpse, a suggestion, an idea, captured in the corner of your eye, but he wants to reveal himself to you…

From the mountain top, to the upper room, to this sacred, holy meeting point between you and him.

O saving victim! opening wide
The gate of heaven to man below,
Our foes press hard on every side-
Thine aid supply, thy strength bestow.

All praise and thanks to thee ascend
For evermore, blest One in Three;
O grant us life that shall not end
In our true native land with thee. Amen

Adoration

While the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar, we spend sometime in silent prayer. There may be scripture readings, hymns and prayers from time to time.

Blessed, Praised, Hallowed and Adored,
Be Our Lord Jesus Christ on his throne of Glory
And in the most holy sacrament of the altar

ANIMA CHRISTI

Soul of Christ, sanctify me,
Body of Christ, save me,
Blood of Christ, inebriate me,
Water from the side of Christ, wash me,
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesu, hear me,
Within thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from thee.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come to thee
That with thy saints I may praise thee
for all eternity. Amen

S. PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

THE DIVINE PRAISES
Repeat each line after the priest

Blessed be God.
Blessed be his holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be his most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be his most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother. ;
Blessed be S.Joseph, her spouse most chaste.
Blessed be God in his Angels and in his Saints.

Benediction

Therefore we, before him bending,
This great Sacrament revere:
Types and shadows have there ending,
For the newer rite is here;
Faith, our outward sense befriending,
Makes the inward vision clear.

Glory let us give, and blessing
To the Father and the Son.
Honour, might, and praise addressing,
While eternal ages run;
Ever to his love confessing,
Who, from both, with both is one. Amen

Thou gavest them bread from heaven.
Containing in itself all sweetness.

Let us pray.

O GOD, who in a wondrous Sacrament has left us a memorial of thy passion: grant that we may so venerate the sacred mysteries of thy Body and Blood; that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption: who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

The priest makes the sign of the cross over the people with the Blessed Sacrament in silence.

 

Reposition

After Benediction the Blessed Sacrament is placed at the other end.

Animations (using SWF) inside latest Prezi Classic

Posted Leave a commentPosted in geek, teaching, tech

The biggest bugbear of using Prezi at the moment is, besides the rubbish Prezi Next which they seem keen to push at the expense of an otherwise excellent Classic is the lack of animated loops. When they dropped the flash player, they dropped support for .swf files and they absolutely refuse, despite repeated user requests from users (and especially me) to implement Animated Gifs. For some users, it’s starting to be a show-stopper and I am losing patience with them.

However, there is a solution, and since the Prezi focus is on Prezi Next and they have renamed the Prezi Desktop App Prezi Classic, you can now install an older version of the Prezi Desktop alongside the Classic and use it to import (or more accurately cut and paste) swf animations into the latest Prezi.

Before the renaming, you couldn’t have two different versions alongside each ither and I was forced to use a Virtual Machine (using the excellent free Oracle VirtualBox) but that is no longer necessary.

I managed to find a copy of Prezi 4.7.5 on the web which you can download from here.

This is an early version, and goes straight in the editor, but it works. When you log in, the system will offer to upgrade you to the latest version DO NOT DO THIS EVER.

Do your work in the older editor

The core functionality of Prezi Classic is what makes great presentations. As in Powerpoint (and frankly all software), you will use the same functionality (less than 20% of it’s features) 80% of the time. I therefore recommend that you do the editing work in the older editor, saving it as a Prezi .pez file.

All of the key things which make Prezi great: zooming, fade reveals AND most importantly swf animations can be created. The important thing is how you tell the story using Prezi, not the bells and whistles.

When you have done the core work, import it into the latest Prezi and take advantage of its better presentation tools, some finer customisations and font choices etc. Should you need another swf then save it from the latest version as a .pez and reopen it in the older editor, do your stuff and then save and import it again. Clearly it isn’t a seemless process but until Prezi start listening to their customers then this is the solution.

Enjoy!

I know I will as I can go back to creating the awe-inspiring acts of worship on Prezi that inspire children…

 

A Godly-Play Type Story about the Flight to Egypt

Posted Leave a commentPosted in alt.worship, scripture, teaching, youth

Scripture: Matthew 2: 13-23
Equipment: Sand bag, Two boxes, Holy Family from a Nativity Set, Angel from Nativity Set

Welcome. Are you ready for a story?

(open bag)

Long ago, in a far off land, (spread sand)

God reached down from heaven and became one of us.

Mighty, All-Powerful God could have come in any shape or form he wanted, he could have impressed us with his power, but he loved us so much, he came as… a tiny baby.

(place Jesus in centre of sand)

Born of his Mother, Our Lady Mary… (place Mary)

To be brought up and supported by Joseph… (place Joseph)

God poured his almighty self into this little form, to be with us, alongside us. God-in-a-child.

The King of the Universe was born in poor surroundings and with no comforts that befitted a King. In a Stable, for animals … and all their dirty, smelly mess.

The King of that land, a man called King Herod had heard that somewhere in his land a King had been born, a great King, an all-powerful King… and he was afraid.

King Herod couldn’t bear the thought of being replaced by a King who rightfully should be on his throne, so he sought to catch and kill this threat before it became a problem.

(remove Holy Family, place box at one corner, walk fingers all over the sand)

He sent his guards all across his land to find and kill the new King who might take his place.

(place Holy Family on top of box)

One night, as Mary and Joseph and the baby were asleep, and angel (place Angel on box) appeared to Joseph in a dream.

He warned Joseph that Herod sought to kill the God-in-a-child and that they should run for their lives, to another country.

(place box in opposite corner)

So, Our Lady, and Joseph took God-in-a-child and in the middle of the night, they ran away to be safe in a land called Egypt (meander the Holy Family through the desert). It was a long, scary, dangerous journey until at last they came to the land of Egypt where they could be safe.

They had to live and wait in Egypt until Herod was no longer King and they had to life as refugees for a number of years before Herod died.

(place Holy Family on other box)

Meanwhile, the guards did some horrible things to any child under the age of two, and killed all of the innocent babies just in case they might be the God-in-a-child who threatened Herod’s job. The tears of the Mothers must have fallen on the land like rain

(fingertip pats on the sand)

When Herod died, the Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream once more. (place Angel)

He told them that it was safe to return, and so Mary, and Joseph and God-in-a-child made the long journey back from the land of Egypt to a place called Nazareth, where God-in-a-child grew big and strong and faithful to God and where everyone called him by his name:

Jesus.

From Nazareth. Out of Egypt.

(pause)

I wonder…

I wonder how Herod felt to hear that a real King was born.

I wonder what it felt like to leave in the middle of the night and go to a far-off place…

I wonder how it might have felt in Egypt,

I wonder how people feel today when they have to leave their homelands for fear of their lives.

I wonder what we might do, if Mary and Joseph and God-in-a… and Jesus came to our door needing our help.

(pause)

Amen.

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

UA Fanthorpe – Getting it across

Posted Leave a commentPosted in poetry, scripture, teaching

‘His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things.’

St. John 16:29-30

This is the hard thing.
Not being God, the Son of Man,
—I was born for that part—
But patiently incising on these yokel faces,
Mystified, bored and mortal,
The vital mnemonics they never remember.

There is enough of Man in my God
For me to construe their frowns. I feel
The jaw-cracking yawns they try to hide
When out I come with one of my old
Chestnuts. Christ! Not that bloody
Sower again, they are saying, or God!
Not the Prodigal fucking Son.
Give us a new one, for Messiah’s sake.

They know my unknowable parables as well
As each other’s shaggy dog stories.
I say! I say! I say! There was this Samaritan,
This Philistine and this Roman…or
What did the high priest say
To the belly dancer? All they need
Is the cue for laughs. My sheep and goats,
Virgins, pigs, figtrees, loaves and lepers
Confuse them. Fishing, whether for fish or men,
Has unfitted them for analogy.

Yet these are my mouths. Through them only
Can I speak with Augustine, Aquinas, Martin, Paul
Regius Professors of Divinity,
And you, and you.
How can I cram the sense of Heaven’s kingdom
Into our pidgin-Aramaic quayside jargon?

I envy Moses, who could choose
The diuturnity of stone for waymarks
Between man and Me. He broke the tablets,
Of course. I too know the easy messages
Are the ones not worth transmitting;
But he could at least carve.
The prophets too, however luckless
Their lives and instructions, inscribed on wood,
Papyrus, walls, their jaundiced oracles.

I alone must write on flesh. Not even
The congenial face of my Baptist cousin,
My crooked affinity Judas, who understands,
Men who would give me accurately to the unborn
As if I were something simple, like bread.
But Pete, with his headband stuffed with fishhooks,
His gift for rushing in where angels wouldn’t,
Tom, for whom metaphor is anathema,
And James and John, who want the room at the top—
These numskulls are my medium. I called them.

I am tattooing God on their makeshift lives.
My Keystone Cops of disciples, always,
Running absurdly away, or lying ineptly,
Cutting off ears and falling into the water,
These Sancho Panzas must tread my Quixote life,
Dying ridiculous and undignified,
Flayed and stoned and crucified upside down.
They are the dear, the human, the dense, for whom
My message is. That might, had I not touched them,
Have died decent respectable upright deaths in bed.