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Epiphany Proclamation

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The feast of Epiphany begins with the traditional proclamation which sets the dates for Easter and the rest of the Church year. In an age without watches or calendars it was a useful marker of the year, and is a tradition which should, I believe, be maintained… Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of his return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation. Let us recall the year’s culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial, and his rising celebrated between the evening of the eighteenth day of April and the evening of the twentieth day of April, Easter Day being on the twenty-first day of April. Each Easter — as on each Sunday — the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death. From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on the sixth day of March. The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on the thirtieth day of May. Pentecost, joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on the ninth day of June. And, this year the First Sunday of Advent will be on the first day of December. Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the Passover of Christ in the feasts of the holy Mother of God, in […]

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Christmas Proclamation

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Today, the Twenty-fifth Day of December, when ages beyond number had run their coursefrom the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth,and formed man in his own likeness; when century upon century had passedsince the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after the Great Flood,as a sign of covenant and peace; in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith,came out of Ur of the Chaldees; in the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Mosesin the Exodus from Egypt; around the thousandth year since David was anointed King; in the sixty-fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel; in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; in the year seven hundred and fifty-twosince the foundation of the City of Rome; in the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus,the whole world being at peace, JESUS CHRIST, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and when nine months had passed since his conception, was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man: The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

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Biblical Literalism – it’s not biblical

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Stephen Tomkins Where does biblical literalism come from? What is the genesis, if you will, of the habit of mind that makes many Christians read the Bible with a different brain to the one they’d use with any other writing? It is by no means an essential Christian tenet. No creed says anything about how to read the scriptures. The highest claim the Bible makes for itself is when the writer of Paul’s letter to Timothy says the Hebrew scriptures were “God-breathed”, which is wonderfully suggestive but hardly precise or dogmatic. I mean, Adam was God-breathed, and look what happened to him. The Bible is the word of God, Christians believe, but why should the fact it’s God’s mean it has to be read with naive absolutism? Many Christians call the church “the body of Christ” without considering it anything like infallible, or refusing to see its rites as symbolic. Part of the problem is historical. The deification of the Bible is a result of the Protestant reformation. Before then, the final authority, the ultimate arbiter and source of information in religious matters was the church, with its ancient traditions and living experts. When Luther and friends opposed the teaching of the Catholic hierarchy, they needed a superior authority to appeal to, which was provided by the Bible. Fair enough. But in defending or reclaiming the Bible from papists and then liberals, evangelical Protestants made it the very heart of the faith. Hence the ludicrous situation where many evangelical organisations, such as the Southern Baptist […]

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Did Jesus’ family not understand him? There seems no reference to his Mother Mary and other family members

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Well, apart from the Birth narratives in Matthew and Luke, and after the return from Egypt we hear little more: the story of the finding in the Temple aged 12ish in Luke 2:41-52 and then… Tradition says Joseph was a much older man (and some claim previously married in order to keep the perpetual virginity of Our Blessed Lady, but I think that is rubbish, because unlike us, the Jewish faith has a healthly view on sex, and it would be unthinkable that when it mentions “brothers and sisters” they are step-brothers etc. (There is a looong discussion to be had on Mary, who isimportant, but essentially all the ever-virgin stuff is more about God’s gracethan the condition of Mary’s hymen). In Luke 2:19 and 2:51 it says both times that Mary “pondered these things in her heart” and so they key question which is still being fully worked out is “Who is this Jesus?” – If you grew up next to him you might mainly think of him as the Carpenter-guy. I often find it amazing when I see members of my Youth Group or my kids doing great,successful, important things, because I changed my children’s nappies and remember Youth Group kids as gawky teenagers, but Jesus did not fully enter into his ministry until he was about 30 (which is where Mark jumps right in). I shouldn’t be surprised that they do such great things, but as with everybody I and presumably the people of Nazareth, Aunties and Cousins found making the jump […]

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Why does Jesus say ‘Son your sins are forgiven’ – is he hinting that he was sent to forgive us our sins?

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…Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’ MARK 2.9  As the Scribes recognised “Only God has the power to forgive sins” – so Jesus is effectively hinting about his true nature. When I pronounce the absolution of sins, it is not me doing it,but Christ, who has called me to make this known to people. Very few people Jesus met at the time truly understood who he truly was, and even then oftengot the wrong end of the stick (Peter would be a good example) and especially what the true meaning and purpose of the Messiah would be – not (as many in Israel believed) a great warrior king from God, but a humble suffering servant of the people. The OT speaks of the Messiah being both but when you are under Roman rule, it’s easier to hope for the former to free you, rather than to truly ‘free’you from your sin.

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Question: Why does the crucifixion and resurection of Jesus mean that our sins are forgiven – could God not have done that anyway without this happening?

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FIRST OF A NEW SERIES: Fr Simon tries to explain some common and key questions about the faith in “There is no such thing as a dumb question” The first thing to say is that there are a lot of different perspectives on this, which is at its heart an almost unfathomable mystery: all theology and faith is grasping the edge of something quite beyond our human understanding, but we can see glimpses, and the best clue we have to getting a grip on what God is, and what he wants, was when he stepped into this world as a human in the form of Jesus Christ. This mystery is call the atonement and is about the reconciliation of God with us. We broke the system because we do the bad things: ‘sin’. Metaphorically this is described as the Fall in Genesis (eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – not an apple!) but that is just an ancient way of trying to describe why we as humans mess up. God is constantly trying to win us back (sending prophets etc) but we still didn’t listen and went our own way. Finally he comes himself in the form of Jesus (understand that ‘Son of God’ means the same as ‘God’ himself). That was a bit of a threat, so they had him killed. He foretold this in the Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Matthew 21:33–46; Mark 12:1–12; Luke 20:9–19). The purpose of the Incarnation (God born in human form) anyway was […]

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New Mass Cards for Ordinary Time

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As some of the Mass Cards are looking a little worn, I have made some minor revisions and will be rolling out these new cards shortly. They are essentially the same: the liturgy hasn’t changed! I have just brought in line some of the options and some clearer teaching for new people. I hope you like them.

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Cocktails at the Vicarage – Sat 8th September 2018 7pm

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The closest you have come to a cocktail might have been one of those pre-mixed cans or a large bright-blue thing in a pitcher at Spoons. But we’re going to introduce to you some proper cocktails, some new ones, some classics and some of our favourites, coupled with food to match and to enhance. We hope it will be a fun, informative and above all delicious evening to raise funds for the Friends of S. Mary’s. From  Martinis and Margaritas to Old Fashioneds, Mohitos, Gimlets and Sparkling Wine cocktails like the LPF, there is something here for all tastes and perhaps an introduction to something new. All this for just a measly tenner. Spaces are limited, so book your place now. Call Fr Simon on 07976 802123 simon@rundell.org.uk or Lou Rundell on 07971 527734 lou@rundell.org.uk.

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Annual Report 2018

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The Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting will take place after the 9.30am Team Eucharist at S. Anne, Glenholt PL6 7JA on Sunday 29th April 2018 (approx 10.30am-ish) Anyone is welcome to attend. Download: Complete Annual Report 2017 (pdf, 1.5Mb) Minutes of the 2017 APCM: APCM Minutes 2017 (pdf, 60k) The reports will not be read at the meeting, but are available above. Questions on any of the reports may be raised from the floor, but only AOB notified to the chair (fr.simon@rundell.org.uk) will be taken.

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Sacrament of Reconciliation

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Download the Sacrament of Reconciliation ¶ 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. Psalm 51.1,2,11 ¶ 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, […]

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Meditation for Good Friday: the Final Seven Words of Jesus

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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 […]