2nd Sunday after Trinity 2021

Scripture Readings

2nd-Sunday-after-Trinity-2021-Readings

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Sermon

2nd-Sunday-after-Trinity-2021-Sermon

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The image is taken from Hortus deliciarum (Latin for Garden of Delights), a medieval manuscript compiled by Herrad of Landsberg at the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace between 1167 and 1185. It is the first encyclopaedia that was evidently written by a woman. Creative Commons CC0 License

Easter 7

Dear Friends,

With the good news that from Monday we will be able to meet more freely face to face indoors, and are getting back to a regular rhythm of Sunday worship, I have decided not to continue with my weekly pastoral letter.

I’ll still write a letter from time to time, when there’s something I’d like to share with you; but, for the time being, this will be my last one.

Alan and Colin will continue to put information on the websites, but we will also make sure that those without internet access are kept up to date with any important news.

I think this last lockdown has been harder than the previous ones, and I know some of our people have been, and are, going through particularly challenging times. It is therefore good to be able to do more visiting in people’s homes, so please let me know if you are unable to get to church and would like to receive Holy Communion at home.

Some other good news is that we will be restarting a monthly Tuesday Holy Communion service at St Margaret’s Hall, on Tuesday May 25th at 11.00.

These will usually fall on the third Tuesday of the month but, as it will be St Alban’s day on June 22nd, we will have our service on that day. The service in July will be on July 20th.

I will let you know in good time what the dates will be after that.

I hope it may be possible to restart the Thursday mass at All Saints’ in due course, but we are unable to offer that at present.

I also heard last week that +Norman has decided to make his postponed visit to the island over the weekend of November 27th/28th.

He will be at St Saviour’s, Shanklin, on the Saturday evening for a Vigil mass with Confirmation and will be with us at All Saints’ for a Parish Mass at 11.00 on the Sunday morning, Advent Sunday.

My love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

Easter-7-Readings

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The image is Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles by Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255–1319) dated between 1308 and 1311 and is to be found in the Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana del Duomo, Siena, Tuscany. Creative Commons CC0 License

Easter 6

apostles

Dear Friends,

Next week sees three Rogation Days. Rogation days are days set aside to observe the change in the seasons and are tied to spring planting. The ones which fall next week, known as the Minor Rogations, are celebrated on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday immediately before Ascension Day, which falls on Thursday.

Rogation days are intended to be days of prayer, which also used to include fasting, and were instituted by the Church as a time of penitence for our sins, to ask God’s protection against calamities and to pray for a good and bountiful harvest.

The word comes from the Latin “rogare”, which means “to ask”; and the primary purpose of Rogation Days was, and is, to ask God to bless the fields and the Parish that they fall in.

Rogation Days used to be marked by the recitation of the Litany of the Saints and, after Our Lady had been invoked, the congregation would walk the boundaries of the parish (Beating the Bounds) whilst reciting the rest of the Litany, sometimes with the addition of verses from the psalms.

In this way, the entire parish would be blessed, the boundaries of the parish marked, and the procession would end with a Rogation mass.

Although this tradition has largely lapsed these days, it is good, nonetheless, to remind ourselves of how the Church’s liturgical year is tied to the changing seasons.

You may like to celebrate Rogation Days by yourself, by reciting the Litany of the Saints and, although be might be too much to walk round the whole parish, you could perhaps have a prayer walk round a portion of the boundary, or simply by remembering all who live in that area and praying for good weather and a fruitful harvest.

On Friday 14th the Church remembers St Matthias. He was the disciple chosen by lot to replace Judas Iscariot, but apart from that very little is known about him. Like many of Christ’s followers, he was not famous, so his Feast is an appropriate day to remember all unsung faithful followers of Christ and give thanks for them.

Matthias is also the patron saint of alcoholics, so please pray for all who are suffering from this illness, for their families and friends, and for the work of AA and Al Anon.

My love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

Easter-6-Readings

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Reflection

Easter-6-Reflection

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The image is a medieval (12th century) Byzantine fresco in a Cappadocian rock-cut church at Göreme depicting Jesus Christ with the twelve apostles. Creative Commons CC0 License

Easter 5

Dear Friends,

As part of the C/E prayer series I mentioned last week, a question was raised which seemed to speak into the way a number of people have told me they’re feeling at the moment. The question was, “How do I pray when prayer seems impossible?”

Given the year we’ve had, it is not surprising that some people are in this place. Some have described feeling as though God has let them down, or has even abandoned them. Prayer has become impossible or even pointless. It feels empty, with familiar words and rituals losing their comfort.

Although these experiences are dark and painful, I’d say they are also normal and inevitable. All the great spiritual writers speak of times like these as “desert experience”, and are part and parcel of the Christian journey.

If this is true for you, I’d say “Hang in there”. When I was going through a time like this many years ago, a wise spiritual Director said two things which I have always remembered. The first was, “Pray as you can, not as you can’t”, and “Take the body along and the soul will follow”.

When you journey through the desert, what you look for is an oasis: a place where you can quench your thirst. The oasis will be different for each of us: it might be a familiar prayer; a verse from scripture; a piece of music; a photograph; or even some symbolic action. Discern what it is – no matter how small and seemingly insignificant – that still connects you to God, and then hold onto it tightly through the desert.

I have personally found it helpful to have something physical to hold onto. Whether it’s my rosary beads, or the holding cross made from one of the original crosses at Walsingham, I can get a sense that, as I hold onto these items, God continues to hold onto me, no matter what I’m feeling like, nor whether I recognise Him or not.

Sometimes, the opening words of Ps 130 can be a comfort, “Out of the depths I have cried to you O Lord; Lord, hear my voice”. At others, simply saying “Come, Lord Jesus”, over and over again.

If you can do any of these things, then you are a person of prayer, in community with God and held by Jesus. As you hold onto him and cry out to him in whatever way you choose, he is holding you.

In the Bible, the desert is always a place of discovery. The prophet Isaiah says, “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom.” (Isaiah 35.1)

May this be true for you, too.

With my love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

Easter-5-Readings

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Reflection

Sunday-Reflection-to-come

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The image is of the Eastern Orthodox icon of Jesus Christ as the True Vine. It is to be found in the Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens, Greece and dates from the 16th century. Creative Commons CC0 License

Easter 4

Dear Friends,

It is lovely to be starting to get back into a rhythm of regular Sunday worship again, after all these months of lockdown. We are very fortunate to have priests who are willing to assist us with mass; and we hope that, after May 17th it will be possible to restart a monthly HC service at St Margaret’s Hall, Lowtherville.

In the meantime, we can all find ways of deepening our spiritual lives by drawing on a variety of sources: from the good old BCP to on-line worship, TV or radio, there are now many ways of accessing additional prayer resources.

I am currently following a series entitled, “Prayer: where to start and how to keep going”. It is based on a book by Archbishop Stephen Cottrell and is available from Church House Publishing, or you can listen to ++Stephen’s daily reflections as part of the Radio 4 Daily Service at 9.45LW daily from now until April 30th.

One of ++ Stephen’s suggestions is to use you hand as a model for prayer.
Start by holding your clenched fist in front of you, and then slowly opening it up to receive from God the blessings and wisdom God longs to give you.
In this way – your hands open before God – your hand itself can be a basic pattern and reminder of how to pray:

1. Thumb
When something is good you give it the “thumbs up”. So start with thanksgiving. Count your blessings. What are the good things in your life? Thank God for them.
2. Index finger
This is the finger you use to point. Pray for direction in your life; the decisions you need to make; the things for which you are responsible; the things you are concerned about. Pray for direction in our world and for the challenges we face.
3. Middle finger
This is the tallest finger. Pray for the important people who have power in the world; national and local politicians; the Royal Family and other world leaders and their governments.
4. Ring finger
If you are married, you wear your wedding ring on this finger. It is also the weakest finger. It can’t do much on its own. Pray for your family and friends. Pray for the people upon whom you are dependent, and the people who are dependent on you.
5. Little finger
This is the smallest and the last finger on your hand. Pray for the poor, the weak, the helpless, the vulnerable, the excluded, the hungry, the sick, the ill and the bereaved. Remember those who have died.
And finally – lifting both your hands to God in thanksgiving – pray for yourself

The sign of the cross
This leads us to probably one of the most basic ways of praying of all, also using your hands. Making a sign of the cross on your forehead or your body. It is one of the ways many Christians begin and end a time of prayer.

With my love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

Easter-4-Readings

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Reflection

Easter-4-Reflection

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The image is “The good Shepherd” mosaic in mausoleum of Galla Placidia. UNESCO World heritage site. Ravenna, Italy. 5th century A.D. Creative Commons CC0 License

Easter 2

Dear Friends,

For some people Monday is being regarded as “the glorious 12th”, with the easing of some of the lockdown restrictions, and “non-essential” shops reopening, as well as hairdressers and other establishments; and outdoor service restarting in pubs, restaurants and cafes.

For many people this will come as a welcome end to some of the restrictions we have been enduring over past months, but the Government is rightly urging us all to maintain social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing, in order to limit the numbers of infections which are likely to follow as more people are out and about and mixing more freely.

For others, this will be an anxious time and it will take time to build confidence about starting to go about daily life outside the confines of home once again. For those who have been shielding, this will be especially challenging and I ask your prayers for those known to us in our church family to whom this applies.

Monday will also be the funeral of Tony Steele, much-loved member of Good Shepherd congregation, and also known and loved by many people at Godshill. His funeral will be conducted by Anne Davis, at Good Shepherd church at 10.30, followed by burial at Bridgecourt Cemetery.

Please pray for the repose of Tony’s soul, and remember Janet and all the family at the sad time.

Last week, the funeral of Sue Goff’s mother, Doreen, took place at St Alban’s, followed by burial at Ventnor cemetery. Please pray for the repose of Doreen’s soul, and remember Sue and all her family, as they mourn Doreen’s loss.

Although death of course brings such sadness, as we remember those whom we will no longer see again in this life, we can take comfort from the message of Easter; that through his life, death and resurrection Christ conquered death and opened the way for us to everlasting life.

This won’t stop us feeling sad, but we can mourn our loved-ones in the knowledge that death does not have the final word. Jesus’ resurrection shows us that our earthly death is, in fact, the gateway to eternal life with him; and so we can rightly sing, ”Thine be the glory”, with tears pouring down our faces.

All Saints’ will be open daily for private prayer from Wednesday 14th.

Christ is risen, alleluia, alleluia! He is risen indeed, alleluia, alleluia!

With my love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

Easter-2-Readings

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Reflection

Sunday-Reflection-to-come

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The image is the beginning of the Gospel of St John in the “Coronation Gospels” (Cotton MS. Tiberius A. II, f. 162r). The manuscript was damaged by fire in 1731, the parchment leaves subsequently being mounted in paper frames. It is to be found in the British Library. Creative Commons CC0 License