Saturday, 30 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) Saturday, 30 April 2022

Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth. Amen.

Today (30 April), the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Pandita Mary Ramabai.

Mary Ramabai was born in 1858, the daughter of a Sanscrit scholar who believed in educating women.

Converting to Christianity, she nevertheless remained loyal to many aspects of her Hindu background, pioneering an Indian vision of the faith.

She became well known as a lecturer on social questions, and was the first woman to be awarded the title ‘Pandita’ (which means scholar or master of the five sciences; the feminine version of the word Pundit).

She spent many years working for the education of women and orphans, founding schools and homes. Personally, she lived in great simplicity and was a prominent opponent of the caste system and child marriage.

She died on this day in 1922.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 29 April 2022

God of compassion, who gave your servant Catherine of Siena a wondrous love of the passion of Christ: grant that your people may be united to him in his majesty and rejoice for ever in the revelation of his glory. Amen.

Today (29 April) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Catherine of Siena.

Catherine Benincasa was born in 1347, the second youngest of twenty-five children.

Pious from her earliest years, she overcame family opposition to her vocation and became a Dominican tertiary at the age of eighteen. Nourished by a life of contemplative prayer and mystical experience, she devoted herself to active care for the poor and sick.

She became increasingly sought out as an adviser on political as well as religious matters and, in 1376, she journeyed to Avignon as an ambassador to the pope and influenced his decision to return to Rome.

She wrote a Dialogue on the spiritual life as well as numerous letters of counsel and direction, which stressed her devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus.

She suffered a stroke on 21 April and died eight days later, on this day in the year 1380.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 28 April 2022

Risen Christ, for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred: open the doors of our hearts, that we may seek the good of others and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace, to the praise of God the Father. Amen.

Today (28 April) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Peter Chanel.

Peter was born at Cras in France in 1803 and, after ordination, joined the Marist missionary congregation in 1831.

In 1836 he was sent to the islands of the South Pacific to preach the faith. Peter and his companions brought healing medicines as well as the gospel and were much loved and respected.

On the island of Futuna in the Fiji group, where Peter was living, the chief’s son asked for baptism, which so infuriated his father that he dispatched a group of warriors with explicit orders to murder Peter. They attacked him with clubs, axes and knives and he died on this day in the year 1841.

Within a year, the whole island was Christian and Peter became revered throughout the Pacific Islands and Australasia as its protomartyr.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 27 April 2022

I take my heart in my hand--I shall not die, but live--Before Thy face I stand;

I, for Thou callest such: All that I have I bring, all that I am I give, smile Thou and I shall sing, but shall not question much.

Today (27 April) the Church celebrates the life and ministry (through her poetry) of Christina Rossetti.

Christina Rossetti was born in 1830 and was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which her older brother, Dante, was a prominent member.

Her elder sister became an Anglican Religious. Christina’s own fame rests upon her poetry, which dealt mainly with religious subjects but also the sadness of unrequited or disappointed love. Her first recorded verses, addressed to her mother on the latter’s birthday, were written on 27 April 1842.

She was the author of the Christmas carol In the bleak mid-winter.

She died on 29 December 1894.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Today (26 April) the Church celebrates the life and martyrdom of George, c.304

The 'official line' is that George was probably a soldier living in Palestine at the beginning of the fourth century. He was martyred at Lydda in about the year 304, the beginning of the persecutions of Diocletian, and became known throughout the East as ‘The Great Martyr’.

There were churches in England dedicated to him before the Norman conquest.

The story of his slaying the dragon may be due to his being mistaken in iconography for St Michael, himself usually depicted wearing armour; or it may be a mistaken identification with Perseus’s slaying of the sea monster, a myth also associated with Lydda.

George replaced Edward the Confessor as patron saint of England following the Crusades, when returning soldiers brought back a renewed interest in his cult.

King Edward III made George patron of the Order of the Garter, which seems finally to have confirmed his position as England’s patron saint.

During the Middle Ages, people believed that St George was one of the 'Fourteen Holy Helpers' – a group of saints who could help during epidemic diseases. St George's protection was invoked against several nasty diseases, many fatal and with infectious causes, including the Plague and leprosy.

Below are depictions of George and the fourteen holy helpers Quattuordecim auxiliatores)

The Vicar's not pulling his weight!

Apparently this advert' appeared in the Illustrated Magazine on 23 February 1952

Could this be an end to clergy being the 'limiting factor'?

Monday, 25 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 22 April 2022

Reflecting on the weakness of the Saints and the enabling of God's presence May the risen Lord Jesus bless us.

May he watch over us and renew us as he renews the whole of creation.

May our hearts and lives echo his love. Amen.

Today (25 April) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Mark the Evangelist.

John Mark was a Jew and, according to Paul’s letter to the Colossians, cousin to Barnabas. He accompanied Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey. Afterwards, he went to Cyprus with Barnabas and to Rome with first Paul and then Peter.

Mark’s gospel is generally regarded as the earliest and was most likely written whilst he was in Rome. It was probably based as much on Peter’s preaching of the good news as on Mark’s own memory.

Mark’s gospel has a sharpness and an immediacy about it and he does not spare the apostles in noting their weaknesses and lack of understanding that Jesus the Christ would suffer for the world’s redemption.

Sharing in the glory of the resurrection means sharing in the giving of self, both in body and spirit, even to death; sharing the gospel was, for all, in essence both excessively generous and ultimately sacrificial.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 24 April 2022

As the day ends and our beds beckon, may the risen Lord Jesus bless us.
May he watch over us and renew us as he renews the whole of creation.
May our hearts and lives echo his love. Amen.

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Easter Sunday 2022

May the risen Lord Jesus bless us.
May he watch over us and renew us as he renews the whole of creation.
May our hearts and lives echo his love. Amen.

Way of Light, Easter Sunday

A reflective service meditating on the stations of the resurrection.

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Easter Eve 2022

Tonight we are joined by John Donne's 'Resurrection', George Herbert's 'The Dawning' and John Chrysostom's 'Paschal homily' as we head for bed on this Easter Eve.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Blessings have been ours this day, may we have shared them with others and brought healing to all we have encountered as we take the final faltering steps to the cross. Amen.

Monday, 11 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 11 April 2022

As the darkness surrounds, we give thanks for the light that dawns each day and for the certain hope of resurrection to keep us and sustain us through the night.

The Way of the Cross

A simple, gentle 'Stations of the Cross' service using images by Nicholas Markell and material prepared by the Church of England.

The perfect start to holy week"

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 10 April 2022

True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory. Amen.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 9 April 2022

Gathering up the fragments of the day we pray for blessing given and received, repent for wounds and sins dealt and forgiveness for those who have wounded or sinned against us. Bring Your healing to this broken world. Amen.

Today (9 April) the Church celebrates the life, ministry and martyrdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Bonhoeffer was born in 1906 into an academic family. Ordained in the Lutheran Church, his theology was influenced by Karl Barth and he became a lecturer: in Spain, the USA and, in 1931, back in Berlin.

Opposed to the philosophy of Nazism, he was one of the leaders of the Confessing Church, a movement which broke away from the Nazi-dominated Lutherans in 1934.

Banned from teaching, and harassed by Hitler’s regime, he bravely returned to Germany at the outbreak of war in 1939, His defiant opposition to the Nazis led to his arrest in 1943.

His experiences led him to propose a more radical theology in his later works, which have been influential among post-war theologians.

He was executed by the Nazi police in Flossenburg concentration camp on this day in 1945.

Friday, 8 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 8 April 2022

What does the LORD require of us?
Humility, justice and mercy.

Lord, help us to serve You and all creation as you command. Amen.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 7 April 2022

As the God is three distinct characters in relation, in unity, with one another - we pray that we would be the same with others around us through the uniting love of God made real in us. Amen.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

We place ourselves and those we love and have concern for into the loving hand of God, confident that there is no safer place.

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Help us Lord to see past the dark.
to hear Your voice about the noise of the day
and to reside in Your peace throughout trials and tribulations within and without. Amen.

Monday, 4 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 4 April 2022

The day ends, tear, joys, failing and flaws are laid down and we go to our beds.
Tomorrow may we wake to a day of blessing given and received and joys shared. Amen.

Sunday, 3 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 23 April 2022

As night marks the end of day - so death marks the end of life.
Tomorrow we wake to a new day.
And then, when life is done, we will rise in the resurrection to eternal life through Christ. Amen.

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 2 April 2022

As we reflect on the love of the Father, the humanity of Jesus, the Christ and the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit, forgive, heal, bless, enable and bring rest to all humanity this night. Amen.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 1 April 2022

Closing the day and heading for bed we entrust ourselves and all creation into the Lord's most generous and loving care. Amen.

Today (1 April)the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Frederick Denison Maurice.

Frederick was born into a Unitarian family in 1805, Frederick Maurice became an Anglican in his twenties and was then ordained.

He was one of the founders of the Christian Socialist Movement, in which his particular concern was providing education for working men.

As a theologian, Maurice’s ideas on Anglican comprehensiveness have remained influential. His best-remembered book, The Kingdom of Christ, demonstrated his philosophical approach to theology. His radicalism was revealed in his attack on traditional concepts of hell in Theological Essays, which cost him his Professorship at King’s College, London, in 1853.

In 1866, however, he was given a Chair at Cambridge, which he held until his death on this day in 1872.