Archives November 2011

Bye Bye Google+ a waste of pixels

I am a typical early adopter: I love to try new technology, ideas and innovations. I also love Google products: it’s my backoffice and I’m into it all – mail, calendar, docs, reader etc etc. I was therefore an early adopter of the Google+ social networking in the initial “invite only” phase.

But today I have deleted that paret of my Googlelife, simply because it offered nothing new, nothing better than what the Facebook/Twitter combination could give me. I never went to the Google+ pages, I never read G+ postings and apart from the annoying “X [whom I have never heard of has added you to their circles” email, it was off my radar: a waste of pixels.

I never really conceptualised the “circles” idea – it just seemed to be a new way of categorising people into groups which avoided someone’s intellectual property, and so therefore was not really that useful. It wasn’t helpful at all, and so I have removed just the Google+ section of my Googlelife.

If you want to do the same, but like me need/want/rely on the rest of the (working) Google stuff, then do this:

To downgrade your Google+ profile:

  1. Sign in to Google+ .
  2. Click your full name or email address in the Google bar.
  3. Click Account settings.
  4. Click the Account overview tab.
  5. Click Delete profile and remove associated social features.

Done!


Parish Pilgrimage to Walsingham 2011

The Parish Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was a fabulous weekend, held over the feast of Christ the King. Our thanks to Fr Brian Williams for covering the Mass at home whilst we were away

it was a wonderful, spirit-filled weekend and contained both traditional elements and some creative liturgy in the Barn Chapel shared with the good people of S. Thomas Lydiate in the Diocese of Liverpool. A day trip to Cromer was included and a few beverages were consumed. An excellent Pilgrimage was had by 29 of our Pilgrims.

Next year has been booked, and you are invited: would you like to come with us?

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Blesséd in the Barn – an opening Liturgy for Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

On Friday night, the parishes of S. Thomas the Apostle Lydiate and S Thomas the Apostle Elson will gather in the Barn Chapel at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham where we will begin our Pilgrimages. For the last couple of years we have celebrated this together, and this year it is the turn of Elson, and so we offer a reflective liturgy of hope.

Equipment

Laptop, Speakers, Projector, Bubbles, Tealights

Gathering

https://www.vimeo.com/29168934

Pilgrimage is as much about the journey as the destination, and even more about the place we return home to, after this sacred place has changed us. We cannot but expect that Pilgrimage will change us in some way: new challenges, new perspectives, a refreshed outlook.

We have come some distance today, whether from north or south, and yet our journey is not yet complete. Although we have landed in this place physically, our spiritual journey continues. Away from the bustle, apart from the traffic jams, out of the towns and the cities, we have come to be with God.

Pause for a while. Take a deep breath and relax. Know that you are in a special place, surrounded by others who share your story. This is a safe, sacred place. God is here. Make yourselves at home.

Open your mind, engage your spirit. Free your soul, and be open to the change that Pilgrimage can work within you.

Opening Prayer: A prayer for Pilgrims

Let us pray…

Teach us, O God ,

to view our life here on earth

as a pilgrim’s path to heaven,

and give us grace to tread it courageously

in the company of your faithful people.

Help us to set our affections

on things above,

not on the passing vanities of this world,

and grant that as we journey on

in the way of holiness

we may bear a good witness to our Lord,

and serve all who need our help

along the way,

for the glory of your name. Amen

Bubbles Penitential Rite

https://www.vimeo.com/29169152

Equipment: Bubbles

Absolution

Screen: You are forgiven

Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive you all your offences; and by his authority committed to me, I absolve you from all your sins: +In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Book of Common Prayer, Visitation of the Sick p317

Word: Psalm 4

Lord, have mercy and hear me.

When I call, answer me, O God of justice;

from anguish you released me, have mercy and hear me!

O men, how long will your hearts be closed,

will you love what is futile and seek what is false?

It is the Lord who grants favours to those whom he loves;

the Lord hears me whenever I call him.

Fear him; do not sin: ponder on your bed and be still

Make justice your sacrifice, and trust in the Lord.

‘What can bring us happiness?’ many say.

Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.

You have put into my heart a greater joy

than they have from abundance of corn and new wine.

I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once

for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Lord, have mercy and hear me.

Prayer: Lord’s Prayer Challenge

[vimeo10048025

Our Father in heaven. Don’t say ‘Father’ if you do not behave like a son or daughter. Don’t say ‘Our’ if you only think of your self.
Hallowed by your name Don’t say ‘Hallowed’ if you do not honour that name.
Your Kingdom come

 

Don’t say ‘Your Kingdom come’ if you are weighed down with material goods
Your will be done On earth as in heaven Don’t say ‘Thy will be done’ if you do not accept the hard bits

Don’t say ‘as it is in heaven’ if you only think about earthly matters

Give us this day our daily bread Don’t say ’Our daily bread’ if you have no concern for the hungry or the homeless
 Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin  against us Don’t say ‘Forgive us our sins’ if you remain angry with someone
Lead us not into temptation Don’t say ‘Lead us not into temptation’ if you intend to continue sinning
But deliver us from evil Don’t say ‘Deliver us from evil’ if

you are not willing to make a

stand against injustice

For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen Don’t say ‘AMEN’ without considering the words of your prayer!

Lamentations 3

https://www.vimeo.com/29119941

Equipment: Bricks/Stones, Tealights

Ritual: During the first part of the video (vs 1-9), build a cairn of bricks, during the second part (from vs 22) add the Tea Lights. May be followed by an amount of other Prayer

1 I am one who has seen affliction
under the rod of God’s wrath;
2 he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
3 against me alone he turns his hand,
again and again, all day long.

4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away,
and broken my bones;
5 he has besieged and enveloped me
with bitterness and tribulation;
6 he has made me sit in darkness
like the dead of long ago.

7 He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;
he has put heavy chains on me;
8 though I call and cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer;
9 he has blocked my ways with hewn stones,
he has made my paths crooked.

22 The steadfast love of Yahweh never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 ” Yahweh is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
31 For Yahweh will not
reject us forever.
32 Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve anyone.

Blessing and Dismissal

Go from this place in peace, and onward in your pilgrimage, refreshed by this place and empowered by the YES of Mary

Venture back to your communities with hope and with love

Show to each other the marvellous works Christ has begun in you

And be empowered by His Spirit to transform all those whom you will meet with bubbles of God’s joy and forgiveness, take with you his light and share it with those to whom you return

…and may the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you his peace… and the blessing of God Almighty, +Father, Son & Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you, this night and always. Amen


On the accepting of resignations, mass or otherwise…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/14/gay-clergy-row-mass-resignation?INTCMP=SRCH

The Guardian reports that up to 150 clergy might walk out of the Church of Scotland because they are unable to accept the bidding of the Holy Spirit. Now, Newspapers love this kind of reporting because it appears to be such a disaster – we are constantly reading about how the Church of England is about to fracture (usually over sex, ’twas ever thus); but the Church of Scotland should stand firm in the face of such (usually idle) threats.

I have learnt the hard way to accept that not everyone travels in the same direction and at the same speed and sometimes the Holy Spirit can be a relentless taskmistress. This means that some parting of the ways are inevitable and the unity which Christ himself prayed for was unity of purpose, not of the means. We are all individuals after all, and we group together as the people of God in common purpose and by different means. Paul and his companions set off in different directions after they disagreed, and the Gospel was further proclaimed…

This means that if someone is unable to deal with the issue at hand: the sexuality of their priests, the gender of their bishops, the morality of money, the style and substance of their Vicar; then they should be allowed with grace to move onto wherever God calls them.

I have learnt that the best thing is to always accept a resignation if it is tendered or threatened – especially if it is threatened. Nothing I can say or do will change the reason why the threat was made in the first place; and I believe that once one has done this, then it is an irrevocable position.

No-one: not me, or the Churchwardens or the Treasurer or the Organist, or Mrs Jones in the middle pew is irreplacable to a parish. It may change (and, praise God, it will usually change for the better) as a result of the leaving of an individual or group or faction, but if people are unhappy now, they will be unhappy in the future and history moves us forward, not backwards.

We were threatened that the Ordinariate would be an avalanche of schism, but it turned out to be a very light snowfall. We waved goodbye and blessed the few (usually difficult individuals) who crossed the Tiber. We made comparatively little fuss when the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament gave most of our Anglican money to pay their Stipends for a while (when we here could have done with a new Monstrance as well…), and we will quietly receive them back when they have had enough of playing Roman. In the same way, when the Southern Cone threatens to take its ball home, we should bless them and allow them to move on, and allow the majority of the Church of England, Canada and USA follow where the Holy Spirit leads us. We have voted overwhelmingly for Women Bishops; if we were brave enough to actually ask the Dioceses or even more importantly the Parishes what they thought of their gay clergy, gay congregation or gay anything really then they would not be anti, just quietly affirming, gently supportive and frankly not really fussed by it. The Church of England is liberal with a small ‘l’ and we should celebrate that.

So, my dear friends north of the border, do what your conscience dictates and the Holy Spirit suggests; if that relaxes your view of sexuality then let it, and pray that the Church of England soon realises the same thing. Ignore those who threaten to resign and bless them on their way if they do (but don’t let them take their buildings or their Charitable funds with them), and let us concentrate on the real task at hand – to proclaim the Resurrection.


Our Church is mighty spikey…

To the tune of Aurelia (‘The Church’s One Foundation’)

Our church is mighty spikey
with smells and bells and chants,
And Palestrina masses
that vex the Protestants.
O happy ones and holy
who fall upon their knees
For solemn Benediction
And mid-week Rosaries.

Though with a scornful wonder
men see our clergy, dressed
In rich brocaded vestments
as slowly they process;
Yet saints their watch are keeping
lest souls be set alight
Not by the Holy Ghost, but
by incense taking flight.

Now we on earth have union
with Lambeth, not with Rome,
Although the wags and cynics
may question our true home;
But folk masses and bingo
can’t possibly depose
The works of Byrd and Tallis,
or Cranmer’s stately prose.

(Here shall the organist modulate)

So let the organ thunder,
sound fanfares “en chamade;”
Rejoice! For we are treading
where many saints have trod;
Let peals ring from the spire,
sing descants to high C,
Just don’t let your elation
Disrupt the liturgy.

 

Reminds me of I am an UltraCatholic by the brilliant E L Mascall

The Ultra-Catholic
By the Revd Dr. E. L. Mascall

I am an Ultra-Catholic-No ‘Anglo-,’ I beseech you,
You’ll find no trace of heresy in anything I teach you.
The clergyman across the road has whiskers and a bowler,
But I wear buckles on my shoes and sport a feriola.

My alb is edged with deepest lace, spread over rich black satin;
The Psalms of David I recite in heaven’s own native Latin,
And, though I don’t quite understand those awkward moods and tenses,
My ordo recitandi’s strict Westmonasteriensis.

I teach the children in my school the Penny Catechism,
Explaining how the C. of E.’s in heresy and schism.
The truths of Trent and Vatican I bate not one iota.
I have not met the Rural Dean. I do not pay my quota.

The Bishop’s put me under his ‘profoundest disapproval’
And, though he cannot bring about my actual removal,
He will not come and visit me or take my confirmations.
Colonial prelates I employ from far-off mission-stations.

The music we perform at Mass is Verdi and Scarlatti.
Assorted females form the choir; I wish they weren’t so catty.
Two flutes, a fiddle and a harp assist them in the gallery.
The organist left years ago, and so we save his salary.

We’ve started a ‘Sodality of John of San Fagondez,’
Consisting of the five young men who serve High Mass on Sundays;
And though they simply will not come to weekday Mass at seven,
They turn out looking wonderful on Sundays at eleven.

The Holy Father I extol in fervid perorations,
The Cardinals in Curia, the Sacred Congregations;
And, though I’ve not submitted yet, as all my friends expected,
I should have gone last Tuesday week, had not my wife objected.


Remembrance Sunday Homily and Liturgy

Remembrance Sunday Homily 2011

This sermon can also be found on the S. Thomas Parish website in the Sermons section here

This Remembrance Sunday found the Church packed, with both adults and a specially good turnout from the Unformed Organisations. Colours were presented and the Mass with Act of Remembrance was powerful.

The Response, using the video below

https://www.vimeo.com/31947180

was very powerful, and resulted in a lovely cross and poppies. I think more than 100 people were in Church this morning. Deo Gratias!

Liturgy: Act of Remembrance with Holy Communion (Altar Copy)

Gathering

Colours are presented

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;

to his feet thy tribute bring;

ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven

who like thee his praise should sing?

Praise him! Praise him!

Praise the everlasting King!

Praise him for his grace and favour

to our fathers in distress;

praise him still the same for ever,

slow to chide, and swift to bless:

Praise him! Praise him!

Glorious in his faithfulness!

Father-like he tends and spares us;

well our feeble frame he knows;

in his hands he gently bears us,

rescues us from all our foes:

Praise him! Praise him!

Widely as his mercy flows!

Frail as summer’s flower we flourish,

blows the wind and it is gone;

but while mortals rise and perish

God endures unchanging on.

Praise him! Praise him!

Praise the high eternal One!

Angels, help us to adore him,

ye behold him face to face;

sun and moon, bow down before him,

dwellers all in time and space:

Praise him! Praise him!

Praise with us the God of grace!

Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)

 

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

Amen

The Lord be with you

and also with you

 

Give them eternal rest, O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon them for ever (Ezra 2:34-35)

My dear friends in Christ

We meet together in the presence of God.

Offering this holy sacrifice of the Mass and an act of Rememberence

For all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

As a part of that we commit ourselves to work in penitence and faith
for reconciliation between the nations,

that all people may, together,
live in freedom, justice and peace.

We pray for all who in bereavement, disability and pain
continue to suffer the consequences of fighting and terror.

We remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives,
in world wars and conflicts past and present, have been given and taken away.

 

Penitential Rite

So my dear friends, Let us confess to God the sins and shortcomings of the world;

its pride, its selfishness, its greed; its evil divisions and hatreds.

Let us confess our share in what is wrong, and our failure to seek and establish that peace

which God wills for his children

Silence

Lord have Mercy                Lord have Mercy

Christ have Mercy               Christ have Mercy

Lord have Mercy                Lord have Mercy

Absolution

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you, + pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

 

Gloria

Glory be to God in heaven,

songs of joy and peace we bring,

thankful hearts and voices raising,

to creation’s Lord we sing.

Lord, we thank you,

Lord, we bless you,

glory be to God our King,

glory be to God our King

Lamb of God, who on your shoulders

bore the load of this world’s sin,

only Son of God the Father,

you have brought us peace within.

Lord, have mercy,

Christ have mercy,

now your glorious reign begin,

now your glorious reign begin.

 

Tune: Cwm Rhonnda

Collect

Merciful Father,

hear our prayers and console us.

As we renew our faith in your Son,

whom you raised from the dead,

strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters

will share in his resurrection,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

The Word of God

 

A reader says:

Hear these words from the New Testament

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
John 14:27

The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
James 3:17-18

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5

These are the words of the Lord

Thanks be to God

 

Alleluia

Halle Halle

Gospel

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew:                                   (Matthew 5:1-12)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you

and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven,

for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

Homily

Creed

I believe in God Almighty,

he who made both heaven and earth.

I believe he is our Father,

and through him we have our birth.

I believe and trust in Jesus,

God the Father’s only Son.

I believe he came to save us

for he loves us, every one.

And I love his Mother Mary,

for through her my Lord was born;

born to suffer death and sorrow,

born to rise on Easter morn.

I believe he lives for ever,

death for him was not the end.

He returned to God his Father

that his Spirit he might send.

I believe his Holy Spirit

lives within our Church today.

And he gives his truth and guidance

so that we will know the way.

I believe, when life is over,

Christ will take us home with him,

and in joy we’ll live for ever,

evermore in peace Amen.

Tune: Hyfrydol

Meditation

The Congregation are invited to come forward to offer symbols of remembrance and hope, such as single poppies or crosses at the foot of the altar as a reflective video is played

 

Prayers

Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of conflict, and ask that God may give us peace:

for the service men and women who have died in the violence of war, each one remembered by and known to God; May God give peace
God give peace

for those who love them in death as in life, offering the distress of our grief and the sadness of our loss; May God give peace
God give peace

for all members of the armed forces who are in danger this day, remembering family, friends and all who pray for their safe return;

May God give peace
God give peace

for civilian women, children and men whose lives are disfigured by war or terror, calling to mind in penitence the anger and hatreds of humanity; May God give peace
God give peace

for peace-makers and peace-keepers, who seek to keep this world secure and free; May God give peace
God give peace

for all who bear the burden and privilege of leadership, political, military and religious; asking for gifts of wisdom and resolve in the search for reconciliation and peace. May God give peace
God give peace

O God of truth and justice, we hold before you those whose memory
we cherish, and those whose names we will never know.

+Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord

and let light perpetual shine upon them

May they rest in peace

and rise in glory
Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world, and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm. As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future; for you are the source of life and hope, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Peace

 

Christ is our peace, he has reconciled us to God in one body by the Cross.

We meet in his name and we share his peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

And also with you

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

 

Offertory

 

Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided,

urged and inspired us, cheered us on our way,

sought us and saved us, pardoned and provided,

Lord of the years, we bring our thanks today.

Lord, for that word, the word of life which fires us,

speaks to our hearts and sets our souls ablaze,

teaches and trains, rebukes us and inspires us,

Lord of the word, receive your people’s praise.

Lord, for our land, in this our generation,

spirits oppressed by pleasure, wealth and care;

for young and old, for commonwealth and nation,

Lord of our land, be pleased to hear our prayer.

Lord, for our world; when we disown and doubt him,

loveless in strength, and comfortless in pain;

hungry and helpless, lost indeed without him,

Lord of the world, we pray that Christ may reign.

Lord, for ourselves; in living power remake us,

self on the cross and Christ upon the throne;

past put behind us, for the future take us,

Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone.

Timothy Dudley-Smith (b.1926)

 Prayer over the Gifts

 

Pray, my dear friends that this our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father

          May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all the Church

 

Lord,

we are united in this sacrament

by the love of Jesus Christ.

Accept these gifts

and receive our brothers and sisters who have died in the service of this nation

into the glory of your Son,

who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Eucharist (Thanksgiving Prayer)

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

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,

we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In him the world is saved,

mankind is reborn,

and the dead rise again to life.

Through Christ the angels of heaven

offer their prayer of adoration

as they rejoice in your presence for ever.

May our voices be one with theirs

in their triumphant hymn of praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, God of Power and God of Might,

Heaven and Earth, Heaven and Earth are full of your glory, your power and might

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest heavens

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest heavens

 

Blesséd, Blesséd is he who comes, who comes in the name of the Lord

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest heavens

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;

grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and according to your holy will,
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
          Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith…

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,
his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world;
rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension,
and looking for his coming in glory,         we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.
As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
we bring before you this bread and this cup
and we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people
and gather into one in your kingdom
all who share this one bread and one cup,
so that we, in the company of

Our Blesséd Lady, St. Thomas the Apostle, our Patron, and all the saints,
may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord;

by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

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

 

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,

and grant us peace in our day.

In your mercy keep us free from sin

and protect us from all anxiety

as we wait in joyful hope

for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.


For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory
for ever and ever. Amen

 

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ

Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in the one bread

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Grant us Peace

Come not because you are strong,

but because you are weak.

Come not because any goodness of your own

but because you need mercy and help.

Come because you love the Lord a little

and would like to love him more.

Come because he loves you

and gave his life for you.

This is the lamb of God

who takes away the sin of the world.

Blesséd are those who are called to his supper

Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

 

Communion Antiphon

 

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies, he will live. Anyone who lives and believes in me, will not die. (John 11:25-26)

 

Communion

 

Post Communion

 

Lord God,

may the death and resurrection of Christ

which we celebrate in this eucharist

bring the departed faithful to the peace of your eternal home.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

 

Flags

Flags are gathered and take the central space.

The Kohima Epitaph

When you go home
tell them of us and say,
for your tomorrow
we gave our today.

Act of Commitment

Let us commit ourselves to responsible living and faithful service.

Will you strive for all that makes for peace?
We will

Will you seek to heal the wounds of war?
We will

Will you work for a just future for all humanity?
We will

Merciful God, we offer to you the fears in us

that have not yet been cast out by love:
May we accept the hope you have placed
in the hearts of all people,
And live lives of justice, courage and mercy;
through Jesus Christ our risen Redeemer.
Amen

Remembrance

 

Wreaths are laid at the Memorial, and flags are lowered

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
we will remember them.

We will remember them.

 

Two Minute Silence

 

The Last Post and the Reveille are sounded

Video: two minute silence.

Ever-living God
we remember those whom you have gathered
from the storm of war into the peace of your presence;
may that same peace calm our fears,
bring justice to all peoples
and establish harmony among the nations,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

The National Anthem

      

      God save our gracious Queen,

long live our noble Queen,

God save the Queen!

Send her victorious,

happy and glorious,

long to reign over us:

God save the Queen!

One realm of races four,

blest more and ever more,

God save our land!

Home of the brave and free,

set in the silver sea,

true nurse of chivalry,

God save our land!

Of many a race and birth

from utmost ends of earth,

God save us all!

Bid strife and hatred cease,

bid hope and joy increase,

spread universal peace,

God save us all!

Official Peace Version (1919)

Blessing and Dismissal

God grant to the living grace, to the departed rest,
to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth and all people,
unity, peace and concord,
and to us and all God’s servants, life everlasting.
and the blessing of God Almighty,
+Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all
and remain with you always.
Amen

The Mass is ended. Go in the peace of Christ

Thanks be to God

A hymn is sung as the Colour Party, Clergy and Choir Depart

 

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.

Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting. Refrain

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above. Refrain

Edmond L Budry (1854-1932) tr. Richard B Hoyle (1875-1939)

END


Remembrance Meditation

[vimeo 31947180

This video will be shown during the Act of Remembrance at S. Thomas the Apostle, Elson in Gosport this Sunday

The congregation are invited to come forward and place a poppy on/around a cross during this poignant meditation.

Please feel free to download this video for use in your own acts of remembrance either from here or from Agnus Dei here

 

Many have commented on the rise in observance of Remembrance around the country: more poppies, more money raised for the Royal British Legion (good, I say) and a seemingly greater commitment to the two-mins silence today at 11am. A few years ago, I recall remarking that some seemed to be a little embarrassed by the Act of Remembrance, it seemed to have lost its way, but I believe that two factors have rightly put this back in the national consciousness. The first is that the last veteran of the Great War has been gathered to God: there is no one alive to witness to it, so the responsibility passes to us all. In many ways this is the same tipping point as the early church, when the original witnesses to Christ had died, and the important message had to be spread further: awareness actually rises. The second is the current conflicts: our presence in Afghanistan and the dangerous situations across the world where our servicemen are in the front line. It brings it home to us that today is real.

Here in Gosport, Remembrance has always meant something, as the Service life touches everyone who lives and works here. The Royal Navy lives in Gosport, even if the base is across the Ferry. Everyone is either related to or knows someone who served and all who served know someone who died. We will gather on Sunday in our droves and in our little Church there will be masses to people remembering. The Uniformed Organisations will be out in force, colours will be presented, God will be praised and the fallen remembered.

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

May they rest in peace and rise in glory.


Sermon: All Saints

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

They say that Euro-Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian and it’s all organised by the Swiss.

Euro-Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lover’s Swiss, the police German and it’s all organised by the Italians.

When we think of heaven, we might imagine clouds and angels, harps and halos; meeting once again our loved ones in some ethereal place. But Holy Scripture does not describe this. The book of Revelation, for example, shows that it will be filled with people wearing white robes praising God, praising and worshipping freely and gladly.

It is perhaps difficult to imagine oneself in such a context. It has the same effect, in a way, as those stained glass window depictions of people who look very holy and have soup plates behind their heads. It’s difficult to think that perhaps one day, we ourselves will be depicted in a stained glass window.

Paul, writing to the Ephesians uses the word “saint” to describe all Christian people, for Sainthood is the goal,  what we are called to, not necessarily how we are.

Today’s Gospel reading is the Beatitudes: Our Lord and Saviour identifies experiences such as poverty, hunger, grief, and persecution as marks of the blessed, and wealth, plenty, happiness, and being thought well of as marks of those who are not pleasing to God.

This makes it a difficult reading for us to hear, for these are they very things that Society, and probably by extension, we ourselves strive to achieve.

At our Baptism we are called to be and to become Saints. If we concentrate on the idea that saints are very, very good people, nearly perfect, then we will miss the point: Many saints have been very bad, while becoming rather good: think of Saint Francis of Assisi – a rich, profligate, idle young man with a penchant for war and its spoils, who became by the grace of God, a most humble, Christ-centred and gentle example of faith; think of Saint Augustine of Hippo, a womanising heretic who became by the grace of God one of the Church’s greatest thinkers and influences. His book Confessions, I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who ever (and we all do) has struggled with their faith and their past and needs to understand a little more of God’s wonderful grace.

I have been looking this week through a book describing the lives of great Christians of the 20th Century. Few of them will actually be canonised by Holy Mother Church. Although of that list, St Padre Pio was actually canonised a couple years ago, and Mother Theresa of Calcutta was beatified: the first step in the path of Sainthood by the last Pope. The lives of these modern Christians and their witness can be an example to us all, regardless of denomination ; whether we think of Thomas Merton, the Cistercian Monk whose writing reveals a closeness to the mystery of God, or Jackie Pullinger who worked tirelessly with the Drug Addicted in Hong Kong, Dr Martin Luther King, who was not only a beacon for the American Civil Rights Movement, but a powerful preacher or Bishop Desmond Tutu, whose gentle humour and powerful faith stood against the tide of Apartheid.

These people are truly great examples of Christian inspiration to us all, but however positive we may feel about ourselves, however strong our “self-esteem,” few of us would think we are good enough to be saints.

This is a wrong assumption.

Saints are made by God, they are a reflection of his handiwork, of his choosing, not ours.

We ask whether we are good enough to be saints, when we should be asking whether we are open to God enough to be saints. God will give each and every one of us the opportunity for Sainthood.

God’s grace is there for us to grow into our calling to be saints. This does not necessarily mean major miracles or feats of huge daring for the faith, but God is also the God of small things. God will not call everyone to martyrdom, but he will call each and every one of us to stand up for our faith: to witness to Christ when asked at work, in the playground or in the pub; God will not ask everyone to travel to far off lands to preach the Gospel, but he will ask each and every one of us to provide the kindly word and the warm smile to the neighbour or the marginalised.

There is some saintly ministry in this church or in this community just waiting for you, personally, to become saintly about.

Sainthood is therefore not about sinlessness, for there was only one who was truly sinless, but about openness to God. None of those people I described earlier were sinless paragons of virtue, but were real life human beings who experienced the grace of God.

Everything we attempt, we attempt in Christ, is aided by the prayers and fellowship of all those known and unknown saints who always surround us in love. In this company, we have security to do for Jesus the things we fear to do or even object to doing. We know that the Saints are praying for us, that they now reside in heaven (wherever that may be) engaged in worship and in intercession.

We never do God’s work on our own, but we carry with us what the unknown writer of the letter to the Hebrews called the cloud of witnesses, the Saints in glory. And you too, are part of that Glory.

Amen