¶ The Gathering
In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Lord Jesus, who came to reconcile sinners,
welcomes all who are penitent. Grace, mercy and peace be with you
and also with you.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1.8,9
The priest and penitent say together
Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness; according to the abundance of your compassion blot out my offences. Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin. Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
¶ Confession and Counsel
The Lord be in your heart and on your lips
that you may truly and humbly confess your sins.
The penitent makes confession of sins in his or her own words, beginning
Almighty God, long-suffering and of great goodness: I confess to you, I confess with my whole heart my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments, my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking; the hurts I have done to others, and the good I have left undone.
In particular I confess [since my last confession in … / in this my ﬁrst confession] …
O God, for these, and all other sins that I cannot now remember, I ask your forgiveness.
Forgive me, for I have sinned against you;
and raise me to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The priest may give appropriate counsel or guidance and whatever help is necessary to enable the penitent to complete his or her confession. The priest encourages the penitent to make restitution, and may recommend some prayer or action as a sign of repentance and in thanksgiving for reconciliation
The penitent makes an act of contrition using these or similar words
My God, for love of you
I desire to hate and forsake all sins
by which I have ever displeased you;
and I resolve by the help of your grace
to commit them no more;
and to avoid all opportunities of sin.
Help me to do this,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 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.
And of your charity, pray for me, a sinner also.
The priest may say
we thank you that you have delivered this your servant from the power of sin and restored him/her to your peace in the fellowship of your Church;
strengthen him/her by your Spirit, that he/she may please you until he/she comes to the fullness of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of grace and life, in your love you have given us a place among your people; keep us faithful to our baptism, and prepare us for that glorious day
when the whole creation will be made perfect
in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.
¶ The Lord’s Prayer
The priest and penitent may say the 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.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
¶ The Dismissal
The priest may say a blessing
May Christ, who out of defeat brings new hope and a new future, ﬁll you with his new life;
and the blessing of God almighty, the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.
May God, who in Christ has reconciled all things in heaven and earth, grant you grace to walk the path of forgiveness; and the blessing of God almighty,
the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.
The Lord has put away your sins.
Thanks be to God.
Go in peace, and pray for me, a sinner also.
The Penitent may then depart and undertake the penance or thanksgiving suggested to them
1. “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23: 34) (1:07)
Forgiveness is terribly easy to ask from others, and yet so very hard to give from ourselves. As Our Lord was nailed to the instrument of his passion, he spoke asking the Father’s forgiveness, whilst he freely forgave them himself, for as St. John repeatedly notes: “I am in the Father and the Father is in me”.
Forgiveness is at the heart of the Gospel: at the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, Christ calls for repentance, metanoia to herald the Kingdom of God. His whole ministry is to seek to reconcile God and his creation once more, and the route to that reconciliation is forgiveness: The woman accused of adultery was told “go, and sin no more” (John 8:11), the paralysed man lowered through the roof told that “his sins were forgiven” (Mark 2:5), and the woman who anointed Our Lord’s feet was given the same dispensation (Luke 7:48): “your sins are forgiven”: simple words, such power, such authority.
We pray that we too may be forgiven, for our manifold sins. Forgiveness is part of God’s grace and is freely given, if we but have the courage to ask for it.
We pray that we may also forgive: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. It is not only those who bear hammer and nails against us whom we need to forgive; but those whose offenses are in comparison, quite small. “How many times should I forgive my brother, Lord? Seven times?” “Not seven, but seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22).
“They know not what they do” … and neither do we.
2. “I assure you: this day you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:34) (1:14)
The penitent thief is the only person recorded in the Scriptures who speaks directly to Christ, addressing him by his own name. Not Rabbi, not Master, not Lord, but simply and directly: Jesus.
Such honesty was not bourne out of overfamiliarity, or rudeness, but out of a common bond between them: the bond of the condemned cell. Our Lord and these thieves shared an intimacy which we can only hope to aspire to: to be alongside Christ, and more importantly, to have Christ alongside us in our hour of need.
When we glance away from our own crucifixion, we may just be able to glimpse Christ crucified alongside us; suffering as we suffer, suffering greater as he suffers not only our pain and anguish, but the pain, anguish and bitterness of the whole world. And we hope to hear those words, available to all who have the courage to ask of Christ: “You will be with me in paradise”
We pray for the faith to spot Christ alongside us, especially when we are so wrapped up in our own crucifixion to notice His; and we pray that we may have the opportunity, no matter how fleeting or transitory, to experience the intimacy of Christ: to feel his love and concern, to allow his Grace to guide us to our heavenly home.
3. “Woman, behold your son.” (John 19: 26) (1:21)
Theotokos – “God Bearer”: Our Lady carried such responsibility; in her womb, in her upbringing of the Saviour of the World, in her faithful following of her Son’s ministry from that first sign at Cana in Galillee (John 2) to the foot of the Cross and to the Garden early that Sunday. It was a responsibility which would be almost impossible for any human to carry alone, but for God’s grace. The same Grace which removed the stain of Original Sin from Our Lady is the same Grace which redeems us all, and all we have to do is to accept that Grace from God: “be it done unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38)
We give honour to Our Lady because she is a model for us of humankind’s response to God in faith. So often we find our own faith obstructed by practicalities and earthly considerations: other things to do or say and God’s call to us buried amid the hubbub of daily life and work. Our Lady’s response was to say yes to God without thought or consideration or reference to earthly concerns – a miraculous child born of an unmarried girl far away from home. For this faith, Our Lady is rewarded with a further task: as the beloved disciple is commended to her, so we are commended to her care and her intercession, for we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
We pray alongside Our Lady, our adoptive mother to God, asking her intercession for those things in our lives which need the Grace of God to help us through: the sicknesses, the anxieties, the worldly concerns.
We pray that our response may also be “be it done unto me according to thy word”.
4. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27: 46) (1:28)
There is a dark night that the soul must endure, before it reaches it’s goal – to be with God. On that journey as described by St. John of the Cross, there will be times when one might be forgiven for feeling forsaken by God.
Psalm 22, which Our Lord recalls, speaks of desolation and isolation, but if we focus only on the first half of the Psalm, we lose to context of Christ’s quotation: Christ spoke in an age when the Scriptures were identified by their opening lines: we begin with “Our Father…” and we know the rest of the prayer, Our Lord said “Eloi, Eloi…” and the faithful would recall the whole Psalm. The second and longer part of the Psalm speaks of faith and redemption, of Grace and fulfilment.
For each dark night, there is a brilliant day which follows it.
Even with the sins of the world on his back, Our Lord was not deserted by God, for he carried the promise of hope and fulfilment with him.
In our darkest nights, we pray that we too may be able to recall that promise, that redemption, that Grace. We pray that others whom we see ensnared by despair may be able to complete their Psalm, and see the joy which comes in the morning.
We pray for the dawn from on high, to sustain us through our dark night, until at last we achieve our soul’s perfection.
5. “I thirst.” (John 19: 28) (1:35)
We are driven by our own concerns and needs, our self-centeredness and our conceit; yet the call of the Christian is to emulate the selfless love of Our Saviour as he hung on the tree. Christ’s humanity and his divinity are exposed on the cross, and the vulnerability of He who moved over the waters was displayed for all to see.
Christ’s thirst was not only physical, but was a thirst for our redemption; a desire so compelling that he would accept the cup ordained for him by his Father.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6)
What do we thirst for? Our own needs? Our petty desires? Or do we thirst for Christ, as the deer pants for the water (Psalm 42:1).
We pray for those who are persecuted for their faith or their convictions. We pray that we may receive the Grace to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
6. “It is completed.” (John 19: 30) (1:42)
The last words of Christ were not words of resignation or defeat, but a shout of triumph to cut through the pain and desolation. Christ did not whimper “I am finished”, but proclaimed to the dark sky and the shaking earth the news that death had been conquered, Adam’s had been repaid and humankind would be released: “it is completed!”
“Now Lord, you let your servant depart in peace” (Luke 2:29) was Simeon’s prayer, knowing that what was promised to him had been completed. Too often, we are impatient, and look for the quick fix, the easy way out, the short cut, and thus prevent Our Lord from completing his task within us. We are works in progress, drafts on the potter’s wheel; we are shaped and formed by our loving creator and it is only by his act on the cross that we are complete.
We pray for the Grace given freely to Simeon, to accept with faith the promises God makes to us, for the perseverance to see our calling through to its proper conclusion.
7. “Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit.” (Luke 23: 46) (1:49)
With these words, the divine word returns back to the one who sent him. His redeeming work complete, the atonement fulfilled. By pouring himself out for us (Philippians 2:5-11), he shows us the supreme self-sacrificing love for us of the Creator. With these final words he died, and the servant suffered for the last time.
What follows is silence.
At the end of our lives, it will only be by God’s Grace that we can commend our souls to him. It is a Grace freely given, fully won, completely atoned.
It is our salvation which calls us from the Cross.
DATA PRIVACY NOTICE
The Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) of S. Mary the Virgin, Bickleigh and S. Edward, King & Martyr, Shaugh Prior
1. Your personal data – what is it?
Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).
2. Who are we?
The PCC of the parishes of S. Mary the Virgin, Bickleigh and S. Edward, King & Martyr, Shaugh Prior is the data controller (contact details below). This means it decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.
3. How do we process your personal data?
Our PCCs complies with its obligations under the “GDPR” by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.
We use your personal data for the following purposes: –
- To enable us to provide a voluntary service for the benefit of the public living in, or worshipping at our Churches within the Parishes of Bickleigh & Shaugh Prior;
- To administer membership records;
- To fundraise and promote the interests of the charity;
- To manage our employees and volunteers;
- To maintain our own accounts and records (including the processing of gift aid applications);
- To inform you of news, events, activities and services running at our churches;
- To share your contact details with the Diocesan office so they can keep you informed about news in the diocese and events, activities and services that will be occurring in the diocese and in which you may be interested.
4. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?
- Explicit consent of the data subject so that we can keep you informed about news, events, activities and services and process your gift aid donations and keep you informed about diocesan events.
- Processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement;
- Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim provided: –
- the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and
- there is no disclosure to a third party without consent.
5. Sharing your personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared with other members of the church in order to carry out a service to other church members or for purposes connected with the church. We will only share your data with third parties outside of the parish with your consent.
6. How long do we keep your personal data ?
We keep data in accordance with the guidance set out in the guide “Keep or Bin: Care of Your Parish Records” which is available from the Church of England website https://www.churchofengland.org/more/libraries-and-archives/records-management-guides .
Specifically, we retain electoral roll data while it is still current; gift aid declarations and associated paperwork for up to 6 years after the calendar year to which they relate; and parish registers (baptisms, marriages, funerals) permanently.
7. Your rights and your personal data
Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: –
- The right to request a copy of your personal data which we hold about you;
- The right to request that we corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date;
- The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for us to retain such data;
- The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time
- The right to request that the data controller provide the data subject with his/her personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable).
- The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;
- The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable)
- The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.
8. Further processing
If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Protection Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.
9. Contact Details
To exercise all relevant rights, queries of complaints please in the first instance contact the Vicar on 07976 802123 or email: email@example.com
You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.
A copy of our Pilgrimage Guide for this weekend
or as a pdf:
You really should come along…
Fr Simon can be contacted day or night on 07976 802123
We don’t use a landline for anything. If you see an 01752 number for the parish clergy or office, it won’t work.
Your clergy are here for you. If you are a little lonely or down, need some help, advice, spiritual counsel or prayer. Or even if you just want a cup of tea with someone – If you are in hospital and want a visit call Fr. Simon. Although he has many gifts, being psychic isn’t one of them, so unless you ask for him to visit, he won’t know you would like one.
Other methods of contact:
Carrier Pigeon and smoke signals also gratefully receieved
33 Leat Walk
Plymouth PL6 7AT
I have been working on a standalone app for your Android device which easily handles access to the website, the diary and (if you have the appropriate permissions) the Parish Database. It’s free, and I hope you like it.
I’m sorry there isn’t a version for Apple, but they require a stupid amount of money to develop for them, and a Mac. Which I haven’t. Buy an Android device.
You can download it from here
We are holding a quiet day on Saturday 8th April (the day before Palm Sunday) from 10am to 4pm at the Violet Evelyn Hall Buckfast Abbey TQ11 0EE
This quiet day is open to all and costs just £5. There is a separate dining area for us, so bring your own lunch. As numbers become clear, we can arrange car-shares etc.
The day will include a couple of talks/reflections, opportunities for quiet prayer in and around the beautiful grounds, a series of creative rituals for Holy Week, culminating in a creative Eucharist
All are welcome – from all parishes, traditions and backgrounds
To express your interest/book a place
Payment can be made via Paypal from here if you wish (a small booking fee applies to cover the costs)
Payment can be made via Paypal from here if you wish (a small booking fee applies to cover the costs)
There is also a Requiem at 9.30am in the morning at S. Mary the Virgin Bickleigh for those who do not wish to come out at night. Names to be added to the list to Fr. Simon firstname.lastname@example.org please.
Could your team be TOP OF THE FORM?
A safe space for blokes to get together over a pint, a (cheap) curry and talk about life, the universe and everything.
Beer, Bible & Balti meet during term times at the Lopes Arms, Roborough, Plymouth PL6 9BD from 7pm
We chat about everything from politics, football and who’s going to front Top Gear through to discussions about evil, the challenge of living well and living faithfully, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. It’s easygoing and non-threatening and many people just like to hang out with a pint and listen. You’re not going to have a single perspective shoved down your throat and especially not Jesus because all viewpoints are valued and respected. We don’t think there are enough spaces where we can speak uninhibitedly about things that matter, as well as a lot of tosh.
Meditation: Easter 7
What you do matters. It may not feel much like it, as you drag yourself from Sunday to Sunday, out to this place to sing hymns, hear Scripture and then return to the fields and plains, the town and city of your life, your family, your work.
And yet it matters. Why?
Because it’s true. Because of your worship, prayer and witness to the love of Jesus makes a difference in this world, empowered by prayer, emboldened by faith. It is prayer that we should think of today: our prayer, frail as it may be, and the prayer of Jesus, praying for us.
Our Gospel today offers a powerful opportunity to see prayer in unity. We are, in our Gospel, brought back on the night of Maundy Thursday, when Jesus gathers his disciples around him for a final meal. He washes their feet, setting an example for them. He shares the first Eucharist with them and then gives them a commandment to love another. And then he tries to prepare them for his departure.
In some ways, it’s an impossible task. The disciples can’t comprehend what is happening; perhaps they can’t even hear him through their confusion and fear. And so when he has said all that they can bear, he promises them that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will come to them, remind them of what he’s said, and lead them into all truth.
And then he does one more thing. He prays for them.
The prayer is complex enough, even convoluted enough, that we can forget that it is a prayer. Indeed, we call it the “high priestly prayer” because it is not only intense, but also at portions – including in this reading – rather theologically dense. In some ways, in fact, it sounds more like a commandment – to be one; or more teaching – this time about his relationship with the Father; or even more promises – that they will one day be where Jesus is going and share his glory. But at heart it’s none of these things. It’s a prayer. It’s the prayer of one person praying for others, others whom he loves.
And that’s important. If you’ve ever had someone pray for you – not in general, but really just for you – I am sure you know what I mean.
That’s what Jesus does here. He prays for his disciples. He senses their anxiety, confusion, and fear, and so he prays for them. He knows they can bear no more, and so he prays for them. He knows he will soon leave them, and so he prays for them. And as he does, and whether or not they understand everything he says, he tells them that they do not have to do everything or even understand everything. He tells them that he is there to support him, that they are not alone, and that they are valued and loved.
It’s a powerful moment. And one of the amazing things about this passage is that Jesus doesn’t do this only for them, but also for us. As Jesus prays, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word…” And that includes us! We are the latest in a long line of persons who have been inspired and encouraged to believe because of the words and lives of those original disciples.
And what does Jesus pray for? “That they may be one.” That we may be one – one with each other, one with Jesus and the Father, one with ourselves. And that being one, we may have peace.
So my suggestion this week, my friends, would be to invite you and those outside this church to hear these words of Jesus addressed to us today. Imagine – really, to imagine – that Jesus was praying for us all those years ago and continues to care for us, to support us, and to love and value us today.
Take a moment to think about where you need to be one, to be more whole, to have more peace in your life. Imagine that Jesus is praying just for you and, indeed, for all of us.
After Ascension we are told that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in glory, ever interceding for us, ever praying for us. We have him on our side.
Let us pray…
Hear us Lord Jesus as we pray for the world, for those who do not know you and for ourselves that we might share the love you have for us, so that we may all be one. In your name. Amen
adapted with thanks from http://www.workingpreacher.org/craft.aspx?m=4377&post=2566