Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Wednesday in Holy Week 2021

 


Today's story is very short, but it is a turning point in the events which lead to Jesus' death. Judas Iscariot makes the fateful decision to contact the Temple authorities and offer to betray Jesus. Luke tells us that "Satan entered into him", which can make it sound as if Judas didn't have any choice in the matter, but was suddenly inhabited by evil. In other places it is implied that this was all just part of the plan, but that turns Judas - and all of us - into mere puppets, and doesn't explain why God would deliberately set events up this way.
In reality Judas' turning against Jesus was probably a long slow process, and his motivation is never really explained in the Gospels. Did he feel disillusioned? Had he hoped Jesus would be an earthly king, and now saw that wasn't how it would work out? Did he genuinely think he was doing a good thing, that Jesus was a dangerous troublemaker after all?  Did he really betray Jesus for money? In Matthew's Gospel, (27.1-10) he repents of what he has done after Jesus is arrested, and gives the money back, but it is too late.Filled with remorse he either returned the money to the Jewish leaders and hanged himself, according to Matthew’s Gospel (27.5), or died in a bizarre accident “falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out” Acts (1.18) Mark, Luke and John don’t say what happened to him at all.

The lack of explanation for Judas' motivation can seem frustrating and puzzling, but in a way it is good that the Gospels aren't specific about it. It emphasizes the mixed motives we can all have for doing the things we do, and the way in which we can all do things which seemed right at the time but which we later look back and shudder at. 

Luke 22.1-6

Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present.

Questions to ponder
  • Have you ever had the experience of discovering that someone you thought was a friend had betrayed or hurt you? Have you ever let down a friend? What happened afterwards?
  • Think about your money. Are there things you would never spend your money on even if you had unlimited funds?
  • Imagine you could have a conversation with Judas, before or after he agreed to betray Jesus. What would you want to say to him?
  • Do you think anyone is unforgiveable? Read Ruth Etchell's poem, below, and see how you feel about it.

In Hell there grew a Judas Tree
Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss
Cimabue (1240)
Assisi
Where Judas hanged and died
Because he could not bear to see
His master crucified

Our Lord descended into Hell
And found his Judas there
For ever hanging on the tree
Grown from his own despair

So Jesus cut his Judas down
And took him in his arms
"It was for this I came" he said
"And not to do you harm

My Father gave me twelve good men
And all of them I kept
Though one betrayed and one denied
Some fled and others slept

In three days' time I must return
To make the others glad
But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had

My tree will grow in place of yours
Its roots lie here as well
There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell"

So when we all condemned him
As of every traitor worst
Remember that of all his men
Our Lord forgave him first

D. Ruth Etchells


Join us tonight for our podcast service of Compline
You can find the podcast here. There is also a service of Compline in church at 8pm

The reading tonight is Luke 22.1-6 (see above)

You might like to find a candle to use through the week, if you have one.

You might also like to listen to the YouTube clip below before you start the podcast, or some other music you have which you like.

There's more information about this hymn in a blog post I wrote several years ago here.


ALL AGE IDEAS

Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Look at some coins and notes together and think about what they could buy. Make some play money or make some rubbings of coins by putting paper over them and rubbing the paper with a crayon. Talk about what would you buy if you had unlimited money? Are there things it would be wrong to buy, even if you could afford them?

Make a card to send to a friend who you can't be with at the moment.

Make a friendship paper chain- you don't need special paper chain sticky paper to do this. Just cut strips of any paper you have around and glue the chains together. Write the name of a friend on each link before you glue it together.

 There are ideas on today's  Pinterest board. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tuesday in Holy Week 2021

 


Have you sown any seeds this year? My house is rapidly turning into a greenhouse (the actual greenhouse is already full of stuff!) I've got kale, broccoli, and a host of flower seeds all sprouting up on windowsills and my tomato plants are a good 4 inches high. To be honest, I probably sowed the tomatoes rather early, but there comes a point in the early part of the year when I know I just need to start growing something, as a reminder to me that spring and summer really will come, however cold it is at that point.

There's something miraculous about seeing a tiny shoot emerge from a seed that looks like a speck of dirt, buried in the bare earth. It looks dead, but it's full of life. That's the image Jesus uses when he talks abotu his own impending death in today's reading. In John's Gospel, the death of Jesus is often referred to as his "glorification", turning what looks like a disastrous failure into the moment when God's love is most clearly shown. The story doesn't tell us what the Greeks who hoped to see Jesus wanted to ask him, but it sounds as if they were hoping to meet with a great leader or guru, not a man who was heading for a squalid death. Jesus' message to them, via Philip and Andrew, is that it is in this death, this moment when hope, love and life itself will seem to have been snuffed out, buried in the grave, that will be the beginning of hope, love and life that are eternal. Jesus' death will bear fruit that will last for ever and spread around the world. His followers need not cling to what we have fearfully. We can afford to live generously, because as fast as we give away God's love, more will grow and bear fruit.

John 12.20-26

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.

Questions to ponder

  • Take some time to look around at the life sprouting up from the bare earth - even if it is just weeds! Thank God for the irrepressible force of life around us. 
  • Have you had the experience of good things growing from times that felt bleak and difficult?

Join us tonight for our podcast service of Compline
You can find the podcast here. There is also a service of Compline in church at 8pm
Service sheet

The reading tonight is John 12.20-26 (see above)

You might like to find a candle to use through the week, if you have one.

You might also like to listen to the YouTube clips below before you start the podcast, or some other music you have which you like.






ALL AGE IDEAS

Do some gardening - indoors if you like. If you haven't got any seeds,, look for some seedheads in the garden or out on a walk - grass seed heads would do fine - and sow those on some damp kitchen towel. Or you could cut the tops off some carrots or parsnips, or the bottom off an onion - the bit with the roots on, and stand them in a shallow tray or saucer of water and see what happens. (There are more ideas on today's pinterest board )

Make a picture using leaves, seeds, stems etc.

Look out for the signs of spring around you on a walk, or from a window - even if it is just weeds growing in a crack in the pavement!

Check out the other suggestions on today's Pinterest board

Monday, March 29, 2021

Monday in Holy Week 2021

 


 Our Lady of the Lake Church, Sparta, NJ
Today's reading is the story of Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus at her home in Bethany from John 12 . 1-11

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

Mary's loving gesture, using ointment which might have been used to anoint a dead body in preparation for burial, shows that she, at least, understands what is coming. The disciples are scandalised by her action, though it is only Judas who says so. He focuses on the waste of what could have been sold "for the poor", though John say that this wasn't the real reason for his disapproval. Jesus response that "you always have the poor with you" can sound as if Jesus doesn't care about the poor, but in reality he has spent his whole life caring about and for them. Jesus isn't saying that helping the poor doesn't matter; it is just that he wants to recognise and affirm the value of this act of tenderness and empathy. We don't have to choose one or the other. Indeed, we cannot truly love the poor (or any other group of people) if we aren't capable of showing love and empathy to those around us. Mary sees Jesus, not just as a great teacher and leader, but as a human being who knows that he faces a terrible time. 

Questions to ponder: 

  • Has anyone ever done a small act of kindness which made a big difference to you?
  • What do you think Judas' real problem was with this act?
  • Imagine you were there - where would you be in the story? who do you most identify with?


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

The reading tonight is John 12.1-11 (see above)

You might like to find a candle to use through the week, if you have one.

You might also like to listen to the YouTube clips below before you start the podcast, or some music you have which you like.

Drop, drop slow tears, by Orlando Gibbons



The woman with the Alabaster Box, by Arvo Part. 
This refers to the story recorded in Luke 7.36, when Jesus is anointed by a woman who gatecrashes a dinner at the house of Simon the Pharisee, but this story is echoed by the story in John 12, when the woman who anoints Jesus is Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. In both cases the women's gesture of love and gratitude is frowned upon by the onlookers, but affirmed by Jesus.

  


A poem for Monday in Holy Week, by Malcolm Guite.

The Anointing at Bethany

Come close with Mary, Martha , Lazarus
So close the candles stir with their soft breath
And kindle heart and soul to flame within us
Lit by these mysteries of life and death.
For beauty now begins the final movement
In quietness and intimate encounter
The alabaster jar of precious ointment
Is broken open for the world’s true lover,

The whole room richly fills to feast the senses
With all the yearning such a fragrance brings,
The heart is mourning but the spirit dances,
Here at the very centre of all things,
Here at the meeting place of love and loss
We all foresee, and see beyond the cross.


ALL AGE IDEAS

Decorate a jam jar by sticking things to the outside of it - pictures, coloured tissue, ribbons, lace etc. Through the week, add notes to it whenever you notice an act of kindness, for you or for others, or if you see references to kindness in the news. At the end of the week, empty out the jar and thank God for the kindness people show.

Find things around the house that smell (nice!) Blindfold each other and see if you can identify them.

Check out the suggestions on today's Pinterest board. https://pin.it/33Htf2I

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast links and other news: Palm Sunday

 

The links to our audio podcasts, Zoom sessions etc are below, as usual.
DON'T FORGET THAT THE CLOCKS HAVE GONE FORWARD, IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO COME TO CHURCH!

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


March 28   Palm 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 - PALM SUNDAY
10 am Holy Communion
6.30pm Said Evensong
 
MON, TUES, WED, FRI, SAT 8pm: Compline (Night Prayer) lasting about 15 minutes 
Compline Service sheet

 
MAUNDY THURSDAY 8pm: Holy Communion followed by Tenebrae readings
 
GOOD FRIDAY 2.30pm: Good Friday service  a quiet reflective service of readings, prayers and recorded music
 
EASTER SUNDAY
10 am Holy Communion
Booking essential - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/easter-sunday-communion-service-tickets-147249423991)  If this service becomes fully booked, I will repeat the service at 11.15 am – check the church website for a new booking link - cleaning the pews between the services.
 
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 Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday services outside.

 

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

Zoffee - Sunday morning chat
Mar 28, 2021 11:15 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81156017213?pwd=VThMS01PSGsvYW9QN2NMdko2STlDQT09

Meeting ID: 811 5601 7213
Passcode: 660221

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 5pm Fun songs, led by Anne Le Bas and Rosemary Pattullo

No  Zoom Adult choir this week  



Palm Sunday
 
Entry into Jerusalem by Lorenzetti. Fresco from AssisiToday marks the beginning of Holy Week, when we travel through the events of the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry, discovering afresh what they mean to us each year. All human life is in these stories; sorrow and joy, cruelty and tenderness. We can find our own life experiences mirrored in the things that happen to Jesus; friendships falter and fail, dreams are shattered, but ultimately hope, love and life triumph.
The week starts with the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey.  It’s a piece of very deliberate political and religious theatre. Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah from the book of Zechariah said that the anointed leader God had promised , who would come to deliver his people from oppression would come “humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey”.(Zechariah 9.9) Jesus knew perfectly well what  he was doing, and what people would read into his actions. But he won’t turn out to be the kind of leader most of them are expecting, and within the space of a week, they will turn on him or away from him, just as we so often do to celebrities who don’t live up to our ideals of them today.
 


ALL AGE IDEAS
On Palm Sunday we remember the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem. The crowd were pleased to see him. They pulled branches off the trees to wave in celebration.

  • You could find some leaves (don't pull them off the trees!) and make a picture of the story with them.
  • You could talk about what it feels like to be excited, and what would make you feel really happy right now.
  • The crowd shouted "hosanna!", which means "God save us". What do you think they wanted to be saved from? What help would you like right now?

Rochester Diocese Worship at home sheet for families

Together at home worship sheet for families

The story of Palm Sunday
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
 
Many thanks to those who put together the service for the Day of Reflection last week for the anniversary of the first lockdown. It was very moving and effective – thank you especially to Marion, Jess and Jonathan, to Martin for the guitar music, and to everyone who contributed in anyway.
 
PLANS FOR HOLY WEEK
We’re keeping it simple this year with our worship in church in Holy Week, as numbers at services will be limited to 35, and many won’t be able to join us in person at church. All services will be said, with recorded music and will take place in the main body of the church, so that we can be socially distanced, though we hope there will be a chance to sing a hymn after the Palm Sunday and Easter Day services, as permission has just been given for congregations to sing outside. Details of services are below. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MUST BOOK FOR THE 10 AM SERVICE ON EASTER SUNDAY. If it becomes fully booked, I will repeat the service at 11.15am, cleaning the pews in between services.
 
ONLINE
There will be podcast services of compline each evening during Holy Week,  and a daily blog with ideas and resources for reflection. And of course, there will be the usual Sunday Podcasts on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, and we hope that videos of some of the Holy Week services will also be available.
 
IN CHURCH – Facemasks & Social Distancing required. We can’t sing inside, but will be including a hymn outside at the end of the Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday services.
Palm Sunday
10 am Palm Sunday communion, with distribution of Palm Crosses, but no procession (palm crosses available in the porch afterwards for any who want to pick one up).
6.30 Palm Sunday evensong.
 
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, 8pm Compline
Maundy Thurs 8pm Holy Communion and Tenebrae
Good Friday 2.30pm Good Friday service (no Messy Church or Reflective Stations this year.)
 
Easter Sunday.
10 am Holy Communion (booking will be required for this service. Free tickets available from https://www.eventbrite.com/e/easter-sunday-communion-service-tickets-147249423991, or by phoning 07510522292 if you don’t have internet access.
6.30pm Evensong
 
From the Know Your Neighbours network
SEAL VILLAGE FUND (from the Seal Village Association and Know Your Neighbours)
Thanks to those of you who have given feedback regarding ideas of ways to spend the money in the Seal Village fund, to enhance our community life. 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 will be 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.
 
The fifth of our  fortnightly Zoom quizzes, organised by Frances and Annie Fish will take place via zoom on Friday April 2nd  at 7.30. These are free, and lots of fun. If you wish to join us, please contact Frances for your Zoom invitation. We would love to see you there.
frances88@hotmail.co.uk  (This date may be amended).
 
An appeal from Emily Durling, regarding the retirement of Denise Larkin, our super librarian.
 
Librarian Denise Retirement Collection
Our lovely village librarian Denise retired during lockdown. Emily (Durling) thought it would be nice to put together a card and collection from the village as Denise was such a friendly, constant presence for so many of us.  To add a message to Denise's card fill in this form here https://forms.gle/Kc1nScDk9BhuqoCe8
If you'd like to donate to the present you can do so via paypal here https://paypal.me/pools/campaign/115573910627197616This appeal ends on Tuesday April 6th.
 
SEAL CHURCH FUND RAISERS
 
There are still some beautiful hand made Easter cards, as well as general cards available, plus some Easter gifts and chicks holding mini eggs.Photos are available.
For chicks, please email marionjgilchrist@gmail.com
For cards c_rampton@hotmail.com
for gifts rsapattullo@gmail.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 I will collect for our IT guru, Derek, to cleanse and prepare for the use of one of Seal's pupils.

 
HYMN OF THE WEEK   All Glory , Laud and Honour
 
This hymn is, in origin, extremely ancient. It is  an English translation  of a Latin hymn by  St Theodulph of Orleans (d.821)  St Theodulph  was Bishop of Orleans at the time of the Emperor Charlemagne, who ruled over a large part of  what is now France, Germany , Belgium and the Netherlands. Theodulph was a theological writer and poet as well as being a bishop, and was a favourite of Charlemagne. After Charlemagne died , however, his son and successor, Louis the Pious, took against Theodulph and had him imprisoned ,  apparently thinking that  Theoldulph supported a rival to the throne (he may have been Pious, but was also , it seems, rather paranoid!)  According to legend it was while Theodulph was in prison that he wrote the Latin text  Gloria, laus et honor, as a Palm Sunday hymn  and Louis, somehow hearing him sing it,  decided not only to release him but to command  that it be sung every Palm Sunday . It’s always sung at Seal on Palm Sunday, so I like to think we are still keeping Louis’ command!
 
The hymn was first heard in English in a translation into Middle English by William Herebert , a Franciscan Friar in the early 14th century.  His translation began "Wele, herying and worshipe be to Christ that dere ous boughte,/ To wham gradden 'Osanna' children clene of thoughte."   It is probably just as well, therefore, that it was translated again in the 19th century by John Mason Neale, since I think we might struggle with Herebert’s text!
 
John Mason Neale (1818-1866), who wrote the  version we now sing, was  a leading member of the High Church  Oxford Movement. Ordained in 1842, he founded one of the earliest Church of England religious communities for women, the Society of St Margaret, which was devoted to nursing the sick.  It is still going strong, with houses in a number of places in the UK and abroad. John Mason Neale was a classicist, who  translated a number of ancient hymns from Latin or Greek into English. We also owe to him hymns like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” and “Of the Father’s heart begotten”.
 
Theodulph’s original version – 78 lines long - would work out to be about 19 verses if they were all included , but mercifully Neale only used parts of it. Even so, there are 8 verses in Hymns A & M (plus the refrain). It was always intended to be a processional hymn and processions can be long! The version we usually use is 5 verses long, which takes us nicely from the lychgate to the back of the church! Although we won’t be having a palm procession this year, I have just heard that we will be allowed to sing outside from this weekend, so we will sing this hymn at the end of the service instead, as a processional hymn which can send us back out into the world!
 
            All glory, laud and honour
            to thee, Redeemer, King,
            to whom the lips of children
            made sweet hosannas ring.
 
1          Thou art the King of Israel,
            thou David's royal Son,
            who in the Lord's name comest,
            the King and bless├Ęd one:
            Refrain
 
2          The company of angels
            are praising thee on high,
            and mortal men and all things
            created make reply:
            Refrain
 
3          The people of the Hebrews
            with palms before thee went:
            our praise and prayer and anthems
            before thee we present:
            Refrain
 
4          To thee before thy passion
            they sang their hymns of praise:
            to thee now high exalted
            our melody we raise:
            Refrain
 
5          Thou didst accept their praises,
            accept the prayers we bring,
            who in all good delightest,
            thou good and gracious King:
            Refrain
 
Theodulph of Orleans (c.750-821) translated by John M Neale (1818-1866)
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Pilgrim God
By Annabel Shilson-Thomas (from “Let justice roll down” a Christian Aid/Cafod anthology)
 
You trod where others dared not tread
You spoke for those whose voices were not heard
And walked the way of the cross to lay claim to Golgotha.
So lead us through the wilderness of apathy
That our whimpers of despair become cries of protest,
Our faltering footsteps become strides of purpose,
and our blind eyes become visions of hope,
That with the landless of the earth
We may enter Golgotha to songs of resurrection,
Feel its pains tourn to birth pangs,
Watch its dry land burst forth and bloom
And hear your pilgrim people rejoice and sing.
 
Annabel Shilson-Thomas is now a Tutor at Westcott House Theological College in Cambridge, but previously worked for Cafod, USPG and other aid agencies. Her prayer invites us to walk with Jesus to Golgotha, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, not 2000 years ago, but in the daily struggle for justice and peace now.

 
 

AND FINALLY...

As if our year of intermittent lockdowns wasn’t enough, a team of 15 human guinea pigs have just gone to live underground in the Pyrenees for 40 days, where they will live without watches, phones or natural light, or any connection to the "outside" world to see what happens to their sense of time and what effect it has on them physically and psychologically to live without any awareness of night and day. Most of us have had a hard enough time over this last year remembering what day it is without many of the normal markers of time to help us. You would have thought these intrepid researchers would have had enough, but evidently they hadn't!
I won’t be volunteering...


The whole story is here https://news.sky.com/story/timeless-cave-lockdown-examines-impact-on-human-guinea-pigs-12250476

Christian Clot/Twitter
 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

National Day of Reflection service available from 11.45am today

Join us for Seal's recorded service from 11.45am today.

Today marks a year from the first coronavirus lockdown. A lot has happened in this year, and to help us reflect on what it has meant to each of us there will be a recorded service, featuring contributions from many people in Seal, and children from Seal school too. Many thanks to all who have contributed and those who have put the service together.
Listen from 11.45 am - there will be a minute's silence at 12 noon, which is included in the service - or at any time after that. 
 

You can also join in our reflection today by tying a ribbon to the remembrance tree in the churchyard, just inside the lychgate. There are ribbons in the churchyard, or you can bring your own.

You are also invited to place a light in your window tonight at 8pm, in thanksgiving for all who have given so much this year, in solidarity with those who have lost so much, and as a sign of hope for the future. 

Join us today, however you are able.

Canon Anne Le Bas

Monday, March 22, 2021

National Day of Reflection recorded service

 Join us tomorrow - Tues 23 - at 11.45 am for our recorded act of worship for the National Day of Reflection on the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown. Contributions from many local people and children from Seal School. https://youtu.be/CcDPyjl_log - goes live at 11.45 tomorrow, in time to observe the minute's silence at 12 noon. Many thanks to Marion Gilchrist, Jess Heeb and Jonathan Heeb for preparing this act of reflection.




Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday podcast worship links and other news: March 21

 

March 21     Lent 5 - Passion Sunday

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

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

In Church
10 am Holy Communion
6.30pm  Breathing Space Holy Communion
 

Numbers limited to 35 people. Facemasks required unless medically exempt. Services are said, with recorded music – sadly, no singing is allowed under current regulations. 


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

Zoffee - Sunday morning chat
Mar 21, 2021 11:15 AM 

Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.
 
Zoom Children's Choir - Wednesday 5pm Fun songs, led by Anne Le Bas and Rosemary Pattullo

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



Lent 5
This Sunday, called “Passion Sunday” in the Church of England’s calendar, marks the moment when we look towards Holy Week, which starts next week, on Palm Sunday. It’s readings hint at what is to come, as Jesus speaks of his coming death. It won’t be an end, though, but rather a beginning, like the “death” of a seed falling into the ground.
 
Have you sown any seeds yet? If not, this is a good moment to do so – a packet of cress or lettuce seeds will give you microgreens, even if all you have is a windowsill to grow them on. Dried peas – the sort you make mushy peas from – will grow too and give you pea shoots. If you can’t do that, then you can look for signs of growth around you, leaves and flowers starting to bud on the bare branches of trees, for example. All remind us of the life of God which can’t be destroyed.
 
A man and women planting potatoes 1861, by Jean Francois MilletJean Francois Millet’s painting, entitled “Potato planters” from about 1861 shows a peasant couple sowing their seed potatos together. It is a hopeful act, and the outcome is important. Under the tree there is a baby in a basket – this little family will need this food later in the year if they are to survive.
 




ALL AGE IDEAS
All age sheet for families from Rochester Diocese
 

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
 
NATIONAL DAY OF REFLECTION IN SEAL
Tuesday March 23rd marks a year since our country entered our first lockdown to address the spread of Covid 19. We are joining in with a National Day of Reflection organised by, among others, Marie Curie.
 
HERE IN SEAL, WE WILL BE MARKING THE DAY IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:-
 
A video/podcast reflection, available from the church Youtube channel and all the usual church websites and social media feeds, lasting about 10-15 minutes. This will be released in time for the midday silence, and will include a video taken of Seal from the church tower. It will include reflections from local people, prayers and Bible reading.  The video will end with the Lord’s Prayer led by Seal School children.
 
Ribbons for remembrance, available now in the Church porch (or you can bring your own) to tie on the yew tree just inside the lychgate (not on the Green in  School Lane, as advertised last week)
 
A light in the window. At 8pm, it would be great to see lights of any sort, in your windows. 
 
Marion Gilchrist and Jessica Heeb.
 

PLANS FOR HOLY WEEK
We’re keeping it simple this year for Holy Week, as numbers at services will be limited to 35, and many won’t be able to join us in person at church. All services will be said, with recorded music and will take place in the main body of the church, so that we can be socially distanced.
 
ONLINE
There will be podcast services of compline each evening during Holy Week, however, and a daily blog with ideas and resources for reflection (these are repeated from last year – there was no point in reinventing the wheel!) And of course, there will be the usual Sunday Podcasts on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.
 
IN CHURCH – Facemasks & Social Distancing required. Sadly, no singing is permitted at services.

Palm Sunday
10 am Palm Sunday communion, with distribution of Palm Crosses, but no procession (palm crosses available in the porch afterwards for any who want to pick one up).
6.30 Palm Sunday evensong.

Weekdays - all services will take place in the main body of the church, not the Lady Chapel. 
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, 8pm Compline 
Maundy Thurs 8pm Holy Communion and Tenebrae
Good Friday 2.30pm Good Friday service (no Messy Church or Reflective Stations this year.)
 
Easter Sunday
10 am Holy Communion (booking will be required for this service. Free tickets available from https://www.eventbrite.com/e/easter-sunday-communion-service-tickets-147249423991
6.30pm Evensong
 
 
SEAL VILLAGE FUND (from the Seal Village Association and Know Your Neighbours)
Thanks to those of you who have given feedback regarding ideas of ways to spend the money in the Seal Village fund, to enhance our community life. 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 will be 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.
 
Librarian Denise Retirement Collection
Our lovely village librarian Denise retired during lockdown. Emily (Durling) thought it would be nice to put together a card and collection from the village as Denise was such a friendly, constant presence for so many of us.
 
To add a message to Denise's card fill in this form here https://forms.gle/Kc1nScDk9BhuqoCe8
 
If you'd like to donate to the present you can do so via paypal here https://paypal.me/pools/campaign/115573910627197616For more community news, please see the Know Your Neighbours blog here http://knowyourneighbours.blogspot.com/

 
HYMN OF THE WEEK  My song is love unknown
This beautiful, meditative song, often sung during Holy Week was originally a poem by Samuel Crossman (1624-83). Crossman was a member of the clergy of Bristol Cathedral.
This was one of a number of poems he wrote, and may have been sung as a hymn in his lifetime. It was only rediscovered, however, in the 20th Century, when it was set to music by John Ireland  just after WW1. Ireland was organist at a number of London churches, and reputedly composed the tune for this hymn in 15 minutes over lunch, prompted by a challenge from Geoffrey Shaw, who I wrote about last week.. The hymn observes the suffering and death of Jesus, and wonders how people could treat an innocent man so cruelly. It recognises that he didn’t deserve what happened, but that he willingly bore the brunt of the anger of the world out of love for humanity, love which was often “unknown” and unacknowledged.
 

 
 
1.My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take
Frail flesh and die?
 
2.He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend,
My Friend indeed,
Who at my need
His life did spend.
 
4.Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!”
is all their breath,
And for His death
they thirst and cry.
 
5.Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
Themselves displease,
and ’gainst Him rise.
 
6.They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He
to suffering goes,
That He His foes
from thence might free.
 
7.In life no house, no home,
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb,
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say?
Heav'n was his home;
But mine the tomb
Wherein he lay.
 
8.Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend,
in Whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.

 •           Why do you think people find it so easy to treat the innocent with cruelty? Have you ever treated someone in a way which you were ashamed of afterwards?
The choir of St Martin in the Fields sing verses 1,2 and 8 of this lovely hymn.
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
 
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
in your goodness you have given us this seed to sow.
In it we perceive the promise of life,
the wonders of your creative love.
By your blessing,
let this seed be for us a sign of your creative power,
that in sowing and watering,
tending and watching,
we may see the miracle of growth,
and in due course reap a rich harvest.
As this seed must die to give life,
reveal to us the saving power of your Son,
who died that we might live,
and plant in us the good seed of your word.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.
 
This prayer, from the Church of England’s Common Worship book “Times and Seasons” is suggested for Plough Sunday, the first Sunday after Epiphany, in early January. It’s rather early for seed sowing then, however, so you might like to use it now if you are a gardener. It’s an ideal prayer to pray as you hold a seed in your hand.
AND FINALLY...

Llandudno goats cause chaos after skipping contraception thanks to Covid

I shared some pictures of the wildlife that had made itself at home in our towns and cities last year during the first lockdown. It would appear that one thing has led to another, and that the problem is now escalating. Contraception for goats? Who knew? Here’s a report from ITV news (click on the headline or pic for the video…)
 
"When ITV News first reported on the wild goats of Llandudno that took the town by storm during Covid lockdown, it was all fun and games.
But now they're back and in even greater numbers.
The Great Orme goats are causing chaos, with kids roaming the streets and the neighbourhood gardens fair game for a spot of lunch.
Part of the problem has been that the goats missed out on their annual contraceptive programme.
Birth control, usually administered to the nanny goats each summer, went unheard of last year thanks to the pandemic - meaning numbers have climbed.
Residents can only hope the herd heads for the hills soon."