Saturday, April 10, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast links and other news: April 11

 

Dear friends

The links to our audio podcasts, Zoom sessions etc are below, as usual. You will also be able to find details of the ways in which we are hoping to mark the death of HRH Prince Philip in the days leading up to his funeral next Saturday. 

Stay safe and keep others safe!

Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas


April 11  Easter 2

Online
Morning Worship podcast   Morning service sheet       Hymn words (both services)

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

Don't forget that you can also listen to a shortened version of the podcast by phoning 01732 928061 -  if you know someone who doesn't "do" the internet, please pass on the number to them. It costs the same as any phone call to a Sevenoaks number.


In Church

10 am Holy Communion 

6.30pm Said Evensong
  
Numbers limited to 35 people. Facemasks required unless medically exempt. Services are said, with recorded music – there is no singing in church, but we do now have permission to sing outside, so there will be a congregational hymn at the end of the Easter Sunday 10 am service outside.

 

On Zoom this week  email sealpandp@gmail.com for links

Zoffee - Sunday morning chat
 Zoffee
Time: Apr 11, 2021 11:15 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82196686207?pwd=b0p5MnpaQ3VRZGg3N05obkx2c2QrQT09

Meeting ID: 821 9668 6207
Passcode: 332637

You can also join the meeting by phoning  02034815237, and entering the Meeting ID and Passcode above when prompted to do so.

Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.
 
Zoom Children's Choir Wednesday 5 pm Fun singing with Anne Le Bas. Any child welcome.

Zoom Adult choir  Wednesday 7.15 pm contact philiplebas@gmail.com for the link.



Second Sunday of Eastertide
 
Duccio: Jesus appears to his disciplesThe news at the moment is dominated, of course, by the death of Prince Philip, and today’s sermon reflects a little on that, in the light of the Gospel reading set for today, John 20.19-end. Any death saddens us, but the death of such an important public figure, and one who has been part of the life of our nation for longer than most of us have been alive, stirs up emotions that can run deep, even though most of us will never have met Prince Philip, reminding us of our own losses. The story of Jesus’ first appearance to his disciples, who are adrift on a sea of grief, helps us to reflect on our feelings, and hear Christ’s words of reassurance for us at times of sadness, as I explore in today’s sermon.  

 
ALL AGE IDEAS

If your children are puzzled or worried by all the coverage of Prince Philip's funeral, you might like to use this very simple prayer with them.

Loving God,
We are sad that Prince Philip has died.
Thank you for his long life
and for his care for The Queen and our country.
Amen.


There are links to some activities to help children express their feelings on my Pinterest page for Holy Saturday
Here is the story of Jesus appearing to Thomas, from today's Gospel reading. John 20.19-end.
Would you like us to pray for you?
Email your prayer requests to:

sealchurchprayer@gmail.com
Your email will be read by Anne Le Bas and Kevin Bright, the Vicar and Reader of Seal Church who will hold you in their prayers. 
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS

Following the news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh we are hoping to have the church open and supervised to allow people to light candles on Friday afternoon between 3 and 8pm. Please check the church website for details later in the week. 
 
There will be no physical books of condolence anywhere nationally or locally. Thoughts and prayers can be left on online books of condolence at https://www.churchofengland.org/remembering-his-royal-highness-prince-philip, where there are also resources for prayer, and at http://royal.gov.uk/

The flag on the church tower will be flying at half-mast until the morning after the funeral, and some of you may have heard the church bell being tolled, as we were asked to do, on Saturday at noon. 

The Royal Family have asked that people don't gather or lay flowers in the Duke's memory, as they might normally do, but that people give to a charity of their choice instead.
 
From the Know Your Neighbours network
 
SEAL VILLAGE FUND (from the Seal Village Association and Know Your Neighbours)
We continue to receive feedback regarding ideas of ways to spend the money we have to enhance our community . We will continue to collate all the feedback, and there will be a further full Zoom meeting at 8pm on Thursday April 29th to make a decision. In April's edition of Your Local Advertiser, there is a reminder of current ideas, and the opportunity to add further ideas of your own - both by email, or by completing and returning the form inside the paper. Please be as specific as you can. For instance, if you are voting for a Talking Village bench, or benches generally, please specify where you would like to see them. We need to get this right for the whole community.
 
Wildflower Verges
There will be an illustrated talk via Zoom on Wed April 28th from 7.30-8.30pm, to teach us more about our native flowers and what we can do in the parish, to encourage more of these beauties in our roadside verges. To join the zoom, please contact Chris Tavare christavspc@btinternet.com
 
SEAL PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL ASSEMBLY takes place via zoom at 7.30pm on May 5th. Please contact sealparishc@outlook.com for your invitation.
 
LOCKDOWN RECIPE BOOK - please send your favourite recipes which have got you and yours through this last year. We hope to have a book printed to remember this very strange year, in the next few months.
 
GET MOVING WITH LUCI'S DANCE FOR FUN CLASSES BY ZOOM - contact lucinapleton@gmail.com for more info.
 
FRIDAY GROUP - As mentioned earlier, this group is meeting weekly on Fridays from 11am on the recreation ground in groups of 6. When the weather is really bad (this is a very tenacious group) you can obtain a zoom invitation by contacting me on this email address.

 
HYMN OF THE WEEK   
Jesus lives! Thy terrors now, can, O Death, no more appal us.

This hymn was written originally in German by Christian F├╝rchtegott Gellert  (1715 - 1769) His father had been a Lutheran pastor, and Gellert junior was heading in the same direction, but the challenge of preaching from memory, which was demanded at that point by the Lutheran Church, who disapproved of preachers using scripts, defeated him – he was rather a shy man -  so he turned to writing, producing novels, folk tales, poetry and hymns – he also wrote “The heavens are telling the glory of God”. The hymn was translated into English by Frances Elizabeth Cox (1812-1897) a notable translator of German hymns. She also translated the Advent Hymn “Sleepers wake” along with many others.
The words of the hymn lead us to meditate on what it means to say that “Jesus lives!”. The resurrection, it says, removes the reason to fear death, transforming it into “the gate to life immortal”. It assures us of God’s constant presence with us.
 
The tune to which “Jesus lives” is most often sung in England is St Albinus. It was written by Henry John Gauntlett, 1805 -1876 who began learning the  organ at the age of 9, when he probably couldn’t even reach the pedals – always a problem for young organists. He first learned on the organ in the church at which his father was the vicar in Olney, Buckinghamshire. His father insisted that he train as a lawyer, but, as is so often the case with those born to be organists (and organists are born not bred, in my experience!) he couldn’t be kept away from his true passion, and gave up the law in favour of music. Gauntlett became an organ builder and designer, and made various important (to organists!) improvements to organ design as well as playing in a number of churches in London. He was so well respected that Felix Mendelsohnn chose him to play the organ for the first performance of his famous oratorio Elijah in Birmingham in 1846.
 
Gauntlett’s tune is an apparently simple one, but it gradually opens out through the verse until  you come to the final, triumphant Alleluia!, matching the words to the music perfectly.
 
 
1 Jesus lives; thy terrors now
Can, O death, no more appall us;
Jesus lives: by this we know
Thou, O grave, cannot enthrall us.
Alleluia!
 
2 Jesus lives: henceforth is death
But the gate to life immortal;
This shall calm our trembling breath
When we pass its gloomy portal.
Alleluia!
 
3 Jesus lives: our hearts know well
Nought from us his love shall sever;
Life nor death nor pow'rs of hell
Tear us from his keeping ever.
Alleluia!
 
4 Jesus lives: to him the throne
Over all the world is given:
May we go where he is gone,
Rest and reign with him in heaven.
Alleluia!
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Prince Philip: photo credit PASupport us, O Lord,
all the day long of this troublous life,
until the shades lengthen and the evening comes,
the busy world is hushed,
the fever of life is over and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in your mercy
grant us safe lodging, a holy rest,
and peace at the last;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
This prayer, commonly used at funerals, is attributed to John Henry Newman, (1801-1890) a prominent figure in the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement, who eventually joined the Roman Catholic Church, becoming a cardinal and who was recently declared to be a saint.
The prayer was included in the 1928 revision of the Book of Common Prayer. This prayer book was not  authorised by parliament, however – they rejected it twice when it was presented to them, but it was popular with many congregations and clergy, including the archbishops, so many churches used it anyway. Newman’s prayer became popular, despite not, officially, being part of the funeral liturgy, and it has remained so ever since. It’s imagery draws on John 14, where Jesus , on the night before he dies, tells his followers that “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places”.  It is especially appropriate for the funeral of those, like the Duke of Edinburgh, who have died after a long life of service, and can also be used at the end of the day, when “our work is done”. No one has to go on for ever, it tells us! We are allowed to rest in God.

AND FINALLY...
Many thanks to Maggie Fox, Sue Buddin (and maybe others, whose names I don’t know) who decorated the church so beautifully for Easter, filling it with daffodils and tulips. It looked splendid, just perfect for our Easter celebrations.
I am hoping they didn’t gather their material with chainsaws, like this pair, however!
(Copyright: Ron / Church Times) 

 

Friday, April 09, 2021

The death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh


Following the sad news at lunchtime, of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, we have been asked to spread the word that the book of condolence will be online only here, https://www.royal.uk/ to avoid people gathering, and the risks of cross contamination while signing the book. 

You can also sign an online book of condolence here: https://www.churchofengland.org

We will, of course, be marking Prince Philip's death in the course of our worship and prayers during the coming week, both online and in church. 

In the meantime, I thought you might like to offer this prayer for Prince Philip and for Her Majesty the Queen, his children and all those who mourn his loss. 

The Union flag will fly at half mast until Prince Philip's funeral.





Sunday, April 04, 2021

Easter Sunday morning service

 Happy Easter! Here's the video of our Easter Sunday morning service. Enjoy!

Easter Sunday Worship podcast links and other news

 

Happy Easter!
The links to our audio podcasts, Zoom sessions etc are below, as usual.
If you, or someone you know is in need of any kind, please let us know and we will do our best to help.  
Stay safe and keep others safe!

Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas


April 4   Easter Sunday

Online
Morning Worship podcast   Morning service sheet       Hymn words (both services)

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

Don't forget that you can also listen to a shortened version of the podcast by phoning 01732 928061 -  if you know someone who doesn't "do" the internet, please pass on the number to them. It costs the same as any phone call to a Sevenoaks number.


In Church
TODAY - Easter Sunday


10 am Holy Communion - Fully booked. If you haven't booked in advance we won't be able to fit you in. Many apologies!

6.30pm Said Evensong (You don't need to book to come to this service) 
  
Numbers limited to 35 people. Facemasks required unless medically exempt. Services are said, with recorded music – there is no singing in church, but we do now have permission to sing outside, so there will be a congregational hymn at the end of the Easter Sunday 10 am service outside.

 

On Zoom this week  email sealpandp@gmail.com for links

Zoffee - Sunday morning chat 11:15 AM 

Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.
 
No Zoom Children's Choir this week - back the following Wednesday

Zoom Adult choir  Wednesday 7.15 pm contact philiplebas@gmail.com for the link.



Easter Sunday
 
Three women at the empty tomb. After the roller coaster of Holy Week, we finally come to the joy of Easter. The services during Holy Week are deliberately quiet, and a bit sombre, as we walk through some of the worst things that can happen to humanity, and the worst that humanity can do. We go into the darkness with Jesus, and in solidarity with those who are in the darkness now, but having done so, the light is so much brighter, and the joy of Easter so much more real.  
But the first Easter Sunday wasn’t all about cute chicks and spring flowers. Those who witnessed the events around it, like the women who came to the tomb, were terrified and confused by what they saw. Even after the angel spoke to the (you can see him through the doorway in this picture by William Adolphe Bougereau) they could not make sense of what they were hearing. Or perhaps they understood it all too well, and realised that they had just been called to walk a challenging path as disciples not of a dead teacher, however much they had loved him, but of the risen Messiah.


 

ALL AGE IDEAS

Make an Alleluia banner , spelling out the word on triangles of paper, like bunting. Hang it in a window or around a doorway to cheer up passers by.

You could have a different sort of Easter Egg hunt, around the house (or in the garden if you have one). Cut out and decorate 12 egg shapes, and write one letter on each to spell "Jesus is risen". There is a ready made template here if you have access to a printer. but you could just as easily draw them yourselves if you haven't. Cut out the eggs and decorate the other side of them as you want. Then hide them around the house or garden for someone else to find. You could make as many sets as there are people who want to find them, so that everyone can make the whole phrase.
You could also play a game with them. Make several sets. Turn them letter side down, and take it in turns to turn just one over at a time. You have to make the phrase "Jesus is risen" , but you have to turn over the "J" first, then the "E", then the "S". If the letter you turn over isn't the one you want, turn it back again, but try to remember where it was so you can find it when you need it again!

You could also make the Easter eggs into bunting by decorating them, sticking them to some string with sellotape.

My Pinterest board has more Easter egg ideas, and also suggestions for different ways to make caterpillars and butterflies - often used as symbols for the resurrection, as well as Easter chicks hatching from eggs.
Would you like us to pray for you?
Email your prayer requests to:

sealchurchprayer@gmail.com
Your email will be read by Anne Le Bas and Kevin Bright, the Vicar and Reader of Seal Church who will hold you in their prayers. 
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS

We are sorry that the church building has had to be locked outside service times during the last week. We had a couple of incidents of trouble last weekend with young teenagers who mucking about in church and making a mess. Fortunately there was no major damage, but we decided we should lock the church while we  improved the security and surveillance of the building. We hope to reopen the building again during the day some time in the coming week . We are very committed to keeping the church open, because we know how much it means to the local community to be able to come in and find peace. 

 
From the Know Your Neighbours network
 
SEAL VILLAGE FUND (from the Seal Village Association and Know Your Neighbours)
We continue to receive feedback regarding ideas of ways to spend the money we have to enhance our community . We will continue to collate all the feedback, and there will be a further full Zoom meeting at 8pm on Thursday April 29th to make a decision. In April's edition of Your Local Advertiser, there is a reminder of current ideas, and the opportunity to add further ideas of your own - both by email, or by completing and returning the form inside the paper. Please be as specific as you can. For instance, if you are voting for a Talking Village bench, or benches generally, please specify where you would like to see them. We need to get this right for the whole community.
 
FRIDAY GROUP is able to meet up again outside, in groups of 6 from ,depending on weather,.  But should it be ridiculously cold or raining, please remember you can a;sp  join the group by Zoom every Friday from 10.30am just email marionjgilchrist@gmail.com for your invitation.

HMS Seal
Richard Priest, a filmmaker from the Isle of Wight, is planning to produce a documentary of the story of HMS Seal, the submarine which had deep links with this village - see here for the story. His interest was sparked by a memorial in Shanklin Cemetery to Charles Biddlecombe, a native of the Isle of Wight and one of HMS Seal’s crew. The film is planned to be over an hour long and will be available on YouTube.
Richard and his crew are planning to visit Seal in April or May to take some film of the village (including the village sign with its image of HMS Seal) and would like to meet and interview anybody who has memories of the crew reunions or any connection with the story.
If you can help in any way or would like to know more about the project, please contact David Williams on 01732 764068 or williamsredcourt@gmail.com
 
Wildflower Verges Project and Talk
Seal Parish Council has embarked on an exciting project to bring back wildflowers into our verges and public areas.
There will be an illustrated talk on Zoom on Wed 28th April from 7.30 - 8.30pm.
Do join us to learn more about our native wildflowers and what we can do in the Parish to encourage more in our roadside verges and other open spaces.
If you would like to attend the talk please email christavspc@btinternet.com
 
DONATIONS OF LAPTOPS FOR SEAL SCHOOL, are still being sought. Remember, if you have a device you no longer use and would like to donate, please contact Marion Gilchrist, and she will collect for Seal's IT guru, Derek, to cleanse and prepare for the use of one of Seal's pupils.
 
SEND YOUR FAVOURITE LOCKDOWN RECIPES TO Marionjgilchrist@gmail.com FOR A BOOK WE HOPE TO HAVE READY LATER THIS YEAR.
 
GET MOVING WITH LUCI'S DANCE FOR FUN CLASSES BY ZOOM _ ONLY £5 PER LESSON> contact Luci lucinapleton@gmail.com
 


 
HYMN OF THE WEEK   
Thine be the Glory
 
This Easter hymn is far more modern than we might think. It is an English translation of a French hymn called A toi la Gloire by Edmond Budry (1854–1932) a Swiss hymn writer and Evangelical pastor. It was inspired as he mourned the death of his first wife, Marie de Vayenborg. It was translated by Richard Hoyle in 1925 with the permission of Budry for the World Student Christian Federation, an ecumenical organisation for students founded in 1895 and caught on rapidly.
 
Its tune was already well-known. It was composed by Handel in 1747 originally for the oratorio Joshua. It became so popular that Handel reused it in Judas Maccabeus, and Beethoven composed variations on the tune for piano and cello. It is probably the antiquity of the tune which makes the hymn seem older than it really is.  It is a splendid celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Through him life spills out into the world, touching our lives and lifting us up.
As well as being sung at Easter, it is often chosen for funerals, with its promise that “death has lost its sting”.
 
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.
Refrain:
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.
 
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.
 
           What difference does the Resurrection of Jesus make to your faith? The hymn describes it as an “endless victory” – what do you think that means?  
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
God of terror and joy, you arise to shake the earth.
Open our graves and give us back the past;
so that all that has been buried
may be freed and forgiven,
and our lives may return to you,  
through the risen Christ.
 
Janet Morley
 
Janet Morley’s prayer reminds us of the disruptive power of the resurrection. It wasn’t all easter chicks and spring flowers, but something that radically changed the lives of those who encountered the risen Christ. The prayer asks that God should “give us back the past”, not in the sense that everything goes back the way it was, but that we are enabled to see all that has happened in the light of the resurrection, in the light of God’s love which nothing can defeat.
 
  • What changes do you want to see in your life?
  • What needs shaking up and breaking open in our world?

AND FINALLY...
Here is Dave Walker's take on Easter from https://cartoonchurch.com/.
Things to be thankful for...


Saturday, April 03, 2021

Holy Saturday 2021

 


Don't just do something, sit there! 

The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is called Holy Saturday (not Easter Saturday - that's next week!). It's a day about which the Gospels are silent though, because, as far as the disciples are concerned, nothing is happening, and nothing now will happen.

W.S.Auden captured this feeling in his poem "Stop all the clocks"

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, 
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, 
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum 
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead 
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, 
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, 
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. 

He was my North, my South, my East and West, 
My working week and my Sunday rest, 
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; 
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. 

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; 
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; 
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; 
For nothing now can ever come to any good. 

The authorities who had Jesus killed think that it is the end  too. Jesus is sealed in a stone tomb. There are even guards outside it to make sure that no one tries to steal the body. The story is over. 

It is tempting for us to rush on to Easter Sunday. After all, we know that they are wrong. The story is far from over; in fact it is just beginning. 

But it's important that we give this day its due attention, this year even more than every other year. 
Today we are all waiting, and often feeling helpless to do anything. We are waiting for the coronavirus to abate. We are waiting for vaccines to be given and to take effect. We are waiting to be able to resume our normal lives while knowing that many things will not go back to "normal" at all. This illness will have profound effects not just on those who suffer from it, or those who are bereaved by it, but on the world's economy, on businesses, on our children's education and many other facets of our lives. We don't know what those effects will be, and we can't know at this stage. We are living in a long Holy Saturday. Sometimes we may wonder if there will be any resurrection at all. Like those who waited on that first Holy Saturday, we don't know how things will turn out. 

But Christians believe that we can be sure that whatever happens, in death and in life, we are held in the hands of God, that "neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present , nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. " (Romans 8.38-39). We may not know what lies ahead, but this day tells us that even when the life we have is shut in the tomb, just as we are shut in our houses, God is there with us, in the darkness of death, and that can make even this day holy. 

Matthew 27.57-66
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, ‘Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, “After three days I will rise again.” Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead”, and the last deception would be worse than the first.’ Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.’ So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.




In tears of grief, dear Lord, we leave thee.
Hearts cry to thee, O Saviour dear. 
Lie thou softly, softly here.
Rest thy worn and bruised body. 
At thy grave, O Jesus blest
May the sinner, worn with weeping
Comfort find in thy dear keeping.
And the weary soul find rest.
Sleep in peace.
Sleep thou in the Father's breast. 







The Harrowing of Hell

On Holy Saturday Christian tradition says that Jesus descended to the dead, who were thought to exist in a shadowy underworld where they waited for resurrection.  There he broke its gates open and set those imprisoned free.
The harrowing of hell,
from the Petites Heures of the Duc de Barry

On this day there may be nothing to see happening "above ground", but like the seed that germinates unseen in the dark earth, God is at work in Jesus even now. Just because we can't see anything happening, and we can't do anything, it doesn't mean that nothing is happening.

From “The Vision of Piers Plowman” by William Langland. 
[Translated from the Middle English by Ronald Tamplin in “The Sun Dancing” Charles Causley ed.

Hold still

Truth said: I hear some spirit
Speaking to the guards of hell,
And see him too, telling them
Unbar the gates.  'Lift your heads
And from the heart
Of light
A loud voice spoke.

Open
These gates, Lucifer,
Prince of this land: the King of glory,
A crown upon his head
Comes.

Satan groaned and said to his hell’s angels,
It's that sort of light sprung Lazarus.
Unstoppable.  This’ll be big, big
Trouble, I mean all sorts of bother
For the lot of us.  If this bigshot
Gets in he'll fetch the lot out, take them
Wherever that Lazarus got to
And truss me up quick as you like.  Those
Old Jesus freaks and the weathermen
Round here have been going on about
This for years.  Move yourself, Greaser Boy,
Get all those crowbars your grand-dad used
To hit your mum with.  I'll put a stop
To this one.  I'll put his little light
Out.  Before he blinds us with neon

Get all the gates closed.  Get the locks on
Lads, stuff every chink in the house.
Don't let pieces of light in!  Windows,
Fanlights, the lot.  Moonshot, whip out, get
The boys together, Horse and his lot
And stash the loot.  Any of them come
Near the walls, boiling brimstone, that's it!
Tip it on top of them, frizzle them
Up like chips.  Get those three-speed crossbows
And Ye Olde Englishe Cannon and spray
It round a bit - blind his Mounted Foot
With tintacks.  Put Muhammad on that
Crazy catapult, lobbing millstones.
We'll stab them with sickles, clobber them
With those spiky iron balls on string.'
'Don't panic,' said Lucifer, 'I know
This guy and his shining light.  Way back
In my murky past.  Can't kill him off.
Dirty tricks don't work. Just keeps coming.
Still he'd better watch out, so help me.'

Again
The light said Unlock:
Said Lucifer, Who
Goes there?

A huge voice replied, the lord
Of power, of strength, that made
all things., Dukes of this dark place
Undo these gates so Christ come
In, the son of heaven’s King.
With that word, hell split apart,
Burst its devil’s bars; no man
Nor guard could stop the gates swing
Wide.  The old religious men,
Prophets, people who had walked
In darkness, 'Behold the Lamb
Of God', with Saint John sang now.
But Lucifer could not look
At it, the light blinding him.
And along that light all those
Our Lord loved came streaming out.
Romanino, 1485 -1566, from the church of Santa Maria della Neve, Pisogne






Questions to ponder:

  • How do you cope with waiting? What helps you to wait?
  • What do you feel helpless about at the moment? Tell God what it is and try to leave it in his hands.
  • Why do you think people have found comfort in the idea of the harrowing of Hell?


Join us tonight for our final service of Compline this week.
You can find the podcast here. There will also be a service of Compline at 8pm in church. 


ALL AGE IDEAS

Come up with a list of "waiting" games.  There are some ideas here and here 

Make a calm down bottle. Put -  some glitter and other lightweight things in a plastic bottle, top up with water, and a tiny drop of washing up liquid. Fasten the lid on very securely (I tape it on). Shake it up, then wait for it to settle.

Make an Alleluia banner or some bunting ready for tomorrow. Cut out triangles and write one letter on each one of the word "Alleluia". If you have made an Easter Garden you could make a miniature banner or string of bunting to go in it. 

Jesus' friends were sad when he died. I wonder what else they might have felt? There are lots of ideas for exploring emotions with children on our Pinterest board today. 

Friday, April 02, 2021

Maundy Thursday Communion and Tenebrae video

 Here is the video of last night's Maundy Thursday Holy Communion and Tenebrae. Many thanks to Jonathan for filming and producing this.

If you just want to listen to the sermon and a piece of music from Seal choir, you can find them on the sermon blog.

Good Friday 2021

 


There are some stories which are better left to speak for themselves. The story of Jesus' crucifixion is one of those. Our attempts to explain it, to understand the "whys and wherefores" are usually doomed to failure. An innocent man, who has spent all his life loving others, is killed for it. He is in the way, inconvenient, troublesome to those who would prefer to keep the status quo. And yet, there is something about love which is indestructible...

Read the story of Jesus' trial and crucifixion, pausing to listen to the music, so you can ponder as you read.

Mark 15.1-41

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’ Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again, ‘Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.’ But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?’ They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’ So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.


The Passion Chorale, from Bach's Matthew Passion, "O Sacred Head, sore wounded"
Philipp Herreweghe, conductor, Collegium Vocale Gent

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews.’ And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!’ In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.’ Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.




When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’

There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.


Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch
Kol Nidrei is a Jewish prayer, spoken on the Day of Atonement, asking for forgiveness for all people. At the end of the prayer come the words "And the Lord said: I have pardoned, according to your words."

Questions to ponder

  • As you read the story, which parts of it struck you most this year?
  • Who do you identify with most in the story? 
  • If you could say anything to Jesus, or to the other people in the story, what would you want to say, or to ask? 

Join us tonight for our podcast service of Compline
There will also be a service at 2.30pm in church , and a service of Compline at 8pm. 

At the end of the podcast there's a "bonus track" today, a recording of "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" sung by Martin Clews.


ALL AGE IDEAS

Messy Church have produced a pdf with ideas for Good Friday at home. Check it out here.
https://www.messychurch.org.uk/resource/messy-good-friday-home

There are lots of crosses to make or colour on today's Pinterest board.

If you have made an Easter Garden, put the figure of Jesus into the tomb, and talk about his friends (and his enemies!) might have felt. If you haven't made an Easter Garden, why not make one now? You can make it out of soil and plants, with a flowerpot, jar or rocks as a tomb, or you could junk model a garden, or you could make one out of Lego. Take a picture of it and send it to me, if you like (without children in it) and I will put it on our blog and social media.

Jess Heeb found these lovely ideas for talking about hot cross buns, if you can get or make some! Thank you, Jess for sharing it, and the churches of Natland, Old Hutton and New Hutton, who wrote it.