Church of England Daily Prayer - Contemporay - Combined Prayer

Trinity Daily Prayer

A simple Liturgy of the Hours for singing available here.
Resources for the Liturgy stored at: Company of Voices Resources.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Common Worship Daily Prayer Lectionary Friday 1st June, 2012

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary:

1 Peter 4.7-13     Psalm 96.10-end     Mark 11.11-26


Psalm 142

"A cry to God for succourby one who is persecuted and abandoned by earthly helpers. Christ is the speaker, and his Passion may be seen foreshadowed in the successive verses:
3a Christ in his agony;
3b betrayed by Judas;
4, deserted by the disciples;
5, arrested by his enemies;
6, his faith in the Father;
7, he humbled himself and became obedient unti death;
8, overwhelmed by the powers of eveil, 'himself he acnnot save';
 9a, his resurrection; and
9b the fellowship of the church."
Father Carleton, The English Psalter

Psalm 144

Joshua 5.2-end

Circumcision, Passover, the ceasing of the manna, the commander of the army of the Lord

Luke 10.1-16

the 72 (or the 70 depending on the MSS) are sent out, woe to Chorazin and Bethsaida
Moses commissioned 70 elders at Num. 11;24-25; also see Gen 10, the 70 nations of the world
there are a lot of parallels with Matthew (9 and 10) but the arrangement and significance of this is all Luke.


Psalm 145

"Today the psalmist's prayer is answered once again as we take on our lips this wonderful ABC of praise, raising our minds and hearts to a God who is King of all creation and at the same time a compassionate and loving Father. In Jesus Christ we have seen mightier deeds, more bewildering sign's of God's compassionate love than the psalmist could ever have dreamed of." Richard Atherton

Job 5

Eliphaz's speech - the first part of this was displaced by yesterday's feast, it makes slightly more sense to add at least 4:1-11 to today's reading
Didymus the Blind:
Eliphaz acknowledges that God is the Ruler and Creator of all things. He is a man who possesses wisdom in human things. Eliphaz also has an understanding of the invisible and visible, since he speaks of the inexplorable, the great, the honourable, and also of water and rain. If he distinguishes that water from rain, he must have in mind water from wells, from creeks and from cracks in stone. One can find very wise thoughts of this kind in many places in Scripture, not least of all in Paul, who writes, In him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible. But it seems clear that Eliphaz became afraid in a very human way because of the things that it happened to holy Job, and so he turned from this to admire the works of providence. Regarding the things without number, one has to admit that Eliphaz speaks from a human perspective. For God himself knows everything, there is no miracle in that. Doesn’t Solomon say, For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements; the beginning and end and middle of times; the alternations of the solstices and so on? This knowledge is also given to those who, like Solomon, are worthy of this benefit.
Again Eliphaz vigorously criticises the one who has been rebuked by the Lord, but too often it is righteous people who have been vilified. Among them are Joseph, whom the Egyptian woman charged with excess in spite of his modesty, and Susanna, who suffered as a hostage the humiliations from the lawless elders. Consequently, if he understands his words that the just man rebuked by the Lord will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue to mean that he is neither humiliated nor vilified, he is wrong. It is more accurate to say that the one who lives by the will of God cannot be harmed by humiliation or vilification, by the scourge of the tongue. Virtue protects him from being found guilty of the false allegations. Nor does such a person fear the coming destruction, since he says with St Paul, Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword? Over all this he prevails through virtue’s abundance. Likewise, he is protected from the intrigues of false wisdom, since God takes the wise in their own craftiness.
The words of the Prophet, The calamity will come from far away, must be understood like this: the good comes from us. For it is said, The kingdom of God is within you, and so we have an inclination toward virtue that Christ called ‘kingdom’. But the punishment and damage and disorder of sin come from the outside. For the man, who is created after God’s image, carries the seed of the good within, but if he deviates from the right path, he encounters evil, without having received such an inclination from God.
Didymus the Blind, In Job, 5.9-10, 21; ACC 6 (2006) tr. Simonetti & Conti. Source

Romans 3.1-20

Righteousness "an imaginary dialogue" (King)
Both Nicholas King and Brendan Byrne (Romans, in the Sacra Pagina commentary) lay this text out in a dialogue form which does help to make slightly more sense of it. Byrne says, "Both Paul's personal experience and that which he here projects upon his people form an instance of that pattern, found again and again in biblical thought, where God's righteousness confronts and triumphantly overcomes total UNrighteousness on the human side ... The long prophetic accusation that now draws to a close has all been designed to [prepare the way for and communicate this radical sense of God's inclusive grace."

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Common Worship Daily Prayer Lectionary Thursday 31st May 2012

Zephaniah 3.14-18     Psalm 113     Romans 12.9-16    
Luke 1.39-49[50-56]

The Evening of the Visitation - Written in 1947
Thomas Merton
Go, roads, to the four quarters of our quiet distance,
While you, full moon, wise queen,
Begin your evening journey to the hills of heaven,
And travel no less stately in the summer sky
Than Mary, going to the house of Zachary.

The woods are silent with the sleep of doves,
The valleys with the sleep of streams,
And all our barns are happy with peace of cattle gone to rest.
Still wakeful, in the fields, the shocks of wheat
Preach and say prayers:
You sheaves, make all your evensongs as sweet as ours,
Whose summer world, all ready for the granary and barn,
Seems to have seen, this day,
Into the secret of the Lord's Nativity.

Now at the fall of night, you shocks,
Still bend your heads like kind and humble kings
The way you did this golden morning when you saw God's
Mother passing,
While all our windows fill and sweeten
With the mild vespers of the hay and barley.

You moon and rising stars, pour on our barns and houses
Your gentle benedictions.
Remind us how our Mother, with far subtler and more holy
Blesses our rooves and eaves,
Our shutters, lattices and sills,
Our doors, and floors, and stairs, and rooms, and bedrooms,
Smiling by night upon her sleeping children:
O gentle Mary! Our lovely Mother in heaven!

Psalm 85
Psalm 150
1 Samuel 2.1-10
Hannah's Prayer
Mark 3.31-35
Jesus' mother and brothers

Visitation of the Virgin by Rainer Maria Rilke
She still walked easily in the beginning.
Yet already was sometimes aware when climbing
Of her marvelous body’s life within.
And then, pausing for breath, she stood upon
The high hills of Judea. But spread wide
Around her, was her fullness, not the land.

Walking, she felt; no one would overstride
The greatness which she now could understand.
And the need pressed on her now to lay her hand
On the other body, which had gone on further.

And the women leaned to one another, and
They touched each other on the dress and hair.
Each one, filled with her own sacred good
Used the other as shield in her plight.

Ah the savior in her still was bud,
But in her cousin’s womb, the Baptist could,
And did, leap in rapture of delight.
Tr. unknown
The psalms are those of the traditional Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, see comments earlier this week on these 'psalms of ascents' or 'steps'
Psalms 122
Psalm 127
Psalm 128
Zechariah 2.10-13
Daughter of Zion "Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling."
John 3.25-30
John the Baptist  the friend of the bridegroom

Texts for the Office of the Visitation

Prayers to replace the opening Prayers at Morning and Evening Prayer in CWDP

We marvel at your wonders, Lord our God.
Even before he saw the light of day,
John the Baptist recognised your Son in Mary's womb.
Grant that we who wake at the end of night
may welcome your Word,
and exult with joy
as we greet the promised Light,
Jesus, the Christ, our Lord.

Lord God,
you look with love on the lowly and the poor;
and you ordain that, as in mary,
so in them the presence of your Son is revealed.
By the power of your Spirit,
may we recognise in them
the sacrament of your visitation,
through Jesus, our lord.

Adapted from Proclaiming All Your Wonders, Dominican Publications, 1991

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Common Worship Daily Prayer Lectionary Wednesday 30th May 2012

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary

1 Peter 1.18-end     Psalm 147.13-end     Mark 10.32-45


Psalm 119.153-end

Father Jonathan Graham CR:
After the urgency of the appeal for help in the last stanza, this second prayer for deleiverance appears rather tame and unforceful. In the original the effect is heightened by the use of the same concluding word in three verses, 154, 156, 159. This is hidden away in the English ... In Hebrew it is a far more telling and pathetic cry:
Chayeni, chayeni, chayeni,
and might bne pararphrased,
Life, life, give me life.
This is the prayer of one who is deeply aware that the wages of sin is death and knows that in our lord alone is newness of life.
the effects of embracing the law of love, and of accepting the forgiveness and deliverance which god offers can be distinguished as twofold. The interior peace which fills the soul, giving it poise and unity and freedom: and the exterior activity of praise, springing from the peace within.
The great Love Song which started with Acclamation and Adoration concludes with Peace and Praise.
we have traced the pattern of the perfect prayer, dwelling on the attributes of God, the frailties and needs of man, and God's deliverance."

Joshua 3

Israel crosses the Jordan
At the Jordan the Ark of the Covenant was carried at the head of the people of God. And when the Priests and the Levites halted, the waters held back and heaped up, as if ¬out of respect for God’s ministers, thus allowing the people of God a safe crossing. We Christians should not be surprised to read about the things that were done for an earlier people. For in Baptism we too have passed through the waters of the Jordan and God has promised us far greater and higher blessings: we have been promised a passage¬ through the very air itself.

Listen to what Paul has to say about the just: We shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. There is nothing whatever for the just man to fear, because the whole of creation is at his service.
Listen too to what God promises the just by the mouth of the Prophet:¬ When you walk through fire, the flame shall not consume you, for I am the Lord your God. So we see that the just man is able to go everywhere in safety and that every creature gives him the service that is his due. But you must not think that these things happened only in earlier times and that nothing of this sort will happen to you who are now listening to these stories. In fact, all things come true in you in a mystical way. When you left the darkness of idolatry and were anxious to reach the understanding of the divine Law, you began your exodus from Egypt.
When you were numbered among the catechumens and first undertook to obey the laws of the Church, you crossed the Red Sea. As you halt each day on your journey through the desert, you devote some time to listening to God’s Law and looking on the face of Moses, unveiled for you by the glory of the Lord. And if you come to the spiritual waters of Baptism and in the presence of the Priests and Levites, are initiated into those great and awe-inspiring mysteries (which are familiar to those who have the right to know about them), then you too will cross the Jordan through the ministry of the Priests. You will enter the promised land, where Jesus, following Moses, takes you in his charge, and becomes your leader on this new journey.
Mindful of all these great signs of God’s power, how the sea was parted for you and how the river waters stood still, you will turn to them and say: What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs? And you will hear the divine answer: The earth has trembled at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.
Origen, Homily 4 on Joshua, 1; The Divine Office III

Luke 9.37-50

Jesus heals a boy with an unclean spirit and foretells his death (again); the disciples argue about who is the greatest and John asks a question about miraculous powers


Psalm 136

"Each person who prays this psalm is able to continue the litany by adding his or her own special reasons for giving thanks. Each one of us has a personal history in which God has time and again shown his love." Richard Atherton

Job 3

Job curses the day of his birth
In what place then did I find you to learn of you? For you were not in my memory, before I learned of you. Where did I find you to learn of you, save in yourself, above myself? Place there is none, we go this way and that, and place there is none. You, who are Truth, reside everywhere to answer all who ask counsel of you, and in one act reply to all though all seek counsel upon different matters.

And you answer clearly, but all do not hear clearly. All ask what they wish, but do not always hear the answer that they wish. That man is your best servant who is not so much concerned to hear from you what he wills as to will what he hears from you.
Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved you! For behold you were within ¬and I outside; and I sought you outside and in my ugliness fell upon those lovely things that you have made. You were with me and I was not with you. I was kept from you by those things, yet had they not been in you, they ¬would not have been at all. You called and cried to me and broke open my deafness: and you sent forth your beams and shone upon me and chased away my blindness: you breathed fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and do now pant for you: I tasted you, and ¬now hunger and thirst for you: you touched me, and I have burned for your peace.
When once I shall be united to you with all my being, ¬there shall be no more grief and toil, and my life will be ¬alive, filled wholly with you. You raise up him whom you ¬fill; whereas being not yet filled with you I am a burden to myself. The pleasures of this life for which I should ¬weep are in conflict with the sorrows of this life in which I should rejoice, and I know not on which side stands the victory.
Woe is me, Lord, have pity on me! For I have likewise sorrows which are evil and these are in conflict with joys that are good, and I know not on which side stands the victory. Woe is me, Lord have mercy upon me! Woe is me! See, I do not hide my wounds: you are the physician, I the sick man; you are merciful, I need mercy. Is not the life of man on earth a trial? Who would choose trouble and difficulty? You command us to endure them, not to love them. No one loves what he endures, though he may love to endure. For though he rejoices at his endurance, yet he would rather that there were nothing to endure. In adversity I desire prosperity, in prosperity I fear adversity. Yet what middle place is there between the two, where man’s life may be other than trial? There is woe and woe again in the prosperity of this world, woe from the fear of adversity, woe from the corruption of joy. There is woe in the adversity of the world, and a second woe, and a third, from the longing for prosperity, and because adversity itself is hard, and for fear that endurance may break! Is not man’s life upon earth trial without intermission? All my hope is naught save in your great mercy.
St Augustine, Confessions, 10.26.37-29.40; The Divine Office I

Romans 2.1-16

God's righteous judgement
"A question to reflect on throughout Romans: What is wrong with the law according to Paul?"
Nicholas King

Where the Visitation is celebrated as a greater festival, First Evensong:
Psalm 45

Song of Solomon 2.8-14
Luke 1.26-38

Music for the Office: Divine Compassion / Sacred Heart

Thank you for those who have asked where music for the Sacred Heart (Divine Compassion) is, now uploaded to Company of Voices Resources.

The Society of the Divine Compassion was one of the founder communities of the Society of Saint Francis. Father William of Glasshampton was  a member and one time superior of SDC. The most famous member was probably Father Andrew who wrote devotional poetry of a kind no longer popular (perhaps I'll do a Father Andrew post one day ...). The SDC House on Plaistow is still a house of SSF.

SSF provide the following Collect for the Divine Compassion by Eric Milner-White in their Franciscan Supplement to Exciting Holiness:

Almighty God,
whose Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
was moved with compassion for all who had gone astray
and with indignation for all who had suffered wrong:
inflame our hearts with the burning fire of your love,
that we may seek out the lost,
have mercy on the fallen
and stand fast for truth and righteousness;
who is alive ...

we rejoice in the share we have in the heavenly banquet
     with your Son, our Saviour:
open our hearts to share his life
and continue to bless us with his love;
through ...

I may get some more propers up nearer the time.

Office Hymns for the Visitation

The Visitation seems to have inspired a better quality of Office hymn than some of the saints. Here are two examples; the first from Brother aelred Seton-Shaney Obl.Cam. and the second is a shortened text from Conception Abbey

How blest upon the mountain paths
The feet of her with news of peace:
Elizabeth is overjoyed;
Though still unborn the Baptist leaps.

O Virgin, visit us this day,
God carried in your blessed womb.
Come, sister, daughter, mother, bride;
Like you, in us let God find room.

Show us what God would have us be,
Who dwells in us, in whom we dwell:
You mothered well God’s word enfleshed;
Come now, our mother be as well.

O God who breathed in us your breath,
Whose Spirit overshadows us,
May Christ be formed in us anew:
Our each encounter also bless.

Come visit us, O lowly maid,
So here the gladness may be felt
That filled all hearts within the house
In which your cousin humbly dwelt.

Come, visit, Mary, ocean star;
Your wondrous light still be our guide,
That we may reach our journey’s end
And with the saints above abide.

We magnify the Lord with you,
With you our hearts and souls rejoice.
The God who lifts the humble high
We praise with heaven’s mighty voice.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Singing the Office: Music for Ordinary Time, the Visitation, Trinity and Corpus Christi

Uploaded to Company of Voices Resources. Music for the upcoming feasts and for Ordinary time. A set of refrains for the opening psalms at Matins, generic texts from Celebrating Common Prayer and set by Brother Samuel Weber OSB of Saint Meinrad Abbey. They may be used with the psalms given or with Psalm 95, Venite. The other Ordinary Time material is arranged as in The Daily Office SSF together with the seasonal refrains:

Form 1 Sunday
Form 2 Monday
Form 3 Tuesday
Form 4 Wednesday
Form 5 Thursday
Form 6 Friday
Form 7 Saturday

Almost all the refrain settings are by me, settings from Conception Abbey are by kind permission of Abbot Gregory Polan OSB. If there are any copyright infringements please accept my apologies and correction will be made.

Common Worship Daily Prayer Lectionary Tuesday 29th May 2012

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary:  

1 Peter 1.10-16     Psalm 98.1-5     Mark 10.28-31


Psalm 132

Eaton translates 'song of ascent' as 'song of the steps' and writes of this psalm:
"The psalm was evidently sung as the ark was borne from an outlying station back to its resting place in the inmost shrine of the temple. The procession commemorated David's first installation of the ark in Jerusalem when he went dancing in the procession vividly described in 2 Sam. 6"
Psalm 133
Eaton describes 1b, 'brothers dwelling in unity' as referring to brothers who agree not to split the inherited land; although he translated as "when pilgrims dwell together as one".
Joshua 2
Rahab hides the scouts

Gregory of Elvira:
Although Rahab is described as a harlot, she nonetheless pro¬phetically signified the virginal Church and foreshadowed what was to come at the end of the ages, for she alone was protected and kept alive when all others perished. So too when God told the Prophet Hosea: Take to yourself a wife who is a harlot, the woman prefigured the Church that comes together out of the nations, since it was from the harlotry of the nations and their fornication with idols – Scripture says, They have gone fornicating after other gods; – that a people was to be gathered together. Ekklesia, the Greek word for Church, means “a gathering of the people”.
For Christ has bestowed great grace, great virtue, great forgive¬ness, and great felicity on the Church drawn from the Gentiles in order that, being restored to integrity through observance of the Law and sanctified by the blessings of the Gospel, this Church that was at one time base and despicable might become the chaste spouse of the one Holy Spirit. It is washed in the sacred bath and cleansed of its filthy stains, and so changes from a sinful harlot into a virgin – as the Lord himself said to the Jews: The harlots will enter the kingdom of heaven before you. United to the holy body of Christ by faith and cleansed by the sanctifying and life-giving bath, the Church is said to lead the way into the kingdom of heaven.
Rahab, a type of the Church, hung a scarlet cord from her window as a sign of her promised safety, thus signifying that the Passion of Christ is the salvation of the nations. Therefore, just as only the house of Rahab and its residents were saved by the sign of the scarlet cord when Jericho was razed and burned and its king slain, so when this world is consumed by fire and the devil is slain, none will be saved for eternal life except those within the house of the Church, which will be marked by the scarlet sign, the blood of Christ.
St Gregory of Elvira, Tractates of Origen on Holy Scripture, 12:129-31, 139; Word in Season V.

Luke 9.28-36

The Transfiguration
"The vision of the transfigured Christ, in St. Maximus’s understanding, implies an internal change in those who seek spiritual knowledge. There is a progression, he says, from the beginners’ stage, in which Christ appears in the form of a servant (cf. Phil 2.7), to the advanced stage of those who have climbed the high mountain of prayer, in which Christ appears in the form of God (Cap. Theol. 2.13). This manifestation of Christ in his divine nature is not experienced as something external to ourselves. It is interiorized through the life of faith. Picking up on points made by Origen, St. Maximus goes on to say: When the Logos of God becomes manifest and radiant in us, and his face shines like the sun, then His clothes will also look white (cf. Mt 17.2). That is to say, the words of the Gospels will then be clear and distinct, with nothing concealed. And Moses and Elijah—the more spiritual principles of the Law and the prophets—will also be present with Him. It is only by having Christ radiant within us that we can enter into the truth which even in the Gospels is veiled from ordinary eyes."
 Norman Russell, Fellow Workers with God: OTHODOX THINKING ON THEOSIS, pg. 102-103

Thanks to Fr Ted of the OCA here.


Psalm 134

This is the final psalm of ascent/steps. As with the others Eaton suggests the autumn festival as the most likely setting. The Hebrew verbs (singular then plural) indicate that this is clearly a solo voice with a response.
In the Rule of Saint Benedict and in much of the western church this has been one of the unchanging psalms at Compline.

Psalm 135

Eaton gives this psalm the title: "The Sweet Name and the Special treasure"

Job 2

St John Chrysostom:
Do not be amazed when I tell you that Job did not say, Why did I not die at birth? These are words I lend him, words that seem contrary to his profound goodness. We know Job suffered righteously what he was suffering, and so he must have reasonably and wisely said that It would have been better if I had not been born; but this is exactly what Christ said about Judas: It would have been better for that man if he had not been born. And yet Job says much the same thing of himself: Why was I born? It would have been better if I had not been born.
It seems to me that Job is attempting to humble his friends and to persuade them not to attach a great importance to human affairs. Job has not introduced the dead kings into this passage without purpose when he speaks of those who gloried in their swords. Notice how even amidst his afflictions Job possesses words full of wisdom. Their wealth, in fact, has granted the kings no protection; their power has been of no use; death has come at the end for everyone. After this Job goes on to say of himself, why was I not as a stillborn child that never sees the light? Notice how, in order that he may not appear to be arrogant, he even compares himself with a stillborn child, so absolutely wretched and pitiful is he.
Why is light given, Job asks, to those whose soul dwells in bitterness, and life to those souls who are in pain? Again this is not the language – God forbid – of someone who makes rebukes, but of someone who searches and suffers. From this we learn that not only life but also death is useful, when it is more desired than evil. In this way Job speaks of those who long for death, but, he says, it does not come. That is why the Preacher in Ecclesiastes says, For everything there is a season and, in another passage, O death, how your memory is sweet.
When you hear Job’s wife suggesting to him, Curse God, and die, you should not suppose that he did not answer her because of his love of life but rather because of his piety. Indeed he who considered death to be very desirable and saw it as a real goodness when he was allowed to obtain it did not dare speak against God. Job declares, Death is rest for man. Now if death brings rest, why don’t the majority of people rush to it? Because God has made life desirable in order to prevent us from running to death. Job goes on to say of death, It’s way is hidden, and he adds, they dig for it more than for hidden treasures. By this Job is saying that our future is unknown. We ourselves do not uncover it, neither should we attempt to do so. Please do not speak to me about those who attempt to take their life in their own hands and who hang themselves; Job is here speaking about what conforms to nature and the commandments of God, not about an unnatural sin. He says of death, God has surrounded it with a wall, and the Gospel likewise states that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. Thus to respond to the question, Why do you not choose death? Job answers, The Lord has surrounded it with a wall: Its doors are closed.
St John Chrysostom, In Job, 3.11-16, 20-23; ACC 6 (2006) tr. Simonetti & Conti.

Romans 1.18-end

God's anger on unrighteousness
there are, of course innumerable commentaries on Romans. Once again I cannot recommend highly enough Nicholas King's translation and notes. At the beginning of Romans he writes:
"Romans is Paul's longest and most influential letter. It is also very hard going, and the translator graces a formidably difficult task. A single phrase in Romans 5:12 for example, may have as many as eleven different meanings, and the jury is still out on which of them best suits the context."
On today's passage he says: "We mop our brow upon reading this, and mutter @Steady on, Paul; there are ladies present!', for he uses decidedly strong language; indeed, so powerful are his emotions that the syntax falls apart ... We need to keep our nerve, however, for he has a trick or two up his sleeve. In the first place, he is not so much describing what actually happens, as imagining the Worst. Second, he is leading us into a trap. So if you find yourself nodding your head in approval of his denunciation of contemporary morality, be careful, because he is going to tuen on you ('anyone who judges') in the very next section. You might be encouraged in this restraint by noticing, third, that the list of vices is a fairly uneven one. It includes various kinds of homosexuality, but also lists idolatry of several sorts, as well as 'unintelligence ... wickedness, greed ... quarrelling ... whispering ... disobedience to parents". Almost anything will do here to indicate the plight of human beings without God. We should read it as a picture of the loveless morass that we can drift into if we forget what we are made for.
And that, fourth, is the point. For Paul it is self evident (in a way that it may not be for us) that homosexuality (and all the rest of the list) is something in which people get trapped through their own folly or failure, not an authentic expression of human love and goodness."

Plainsong Resources

An interesting website is available here. From W J C Bailey. With downloads of A Manual of Plainsong and Compline from the Monastic Diurnal Noted among other things.

The Lancelot Andrewes Press has reprinted The Monastic Diurnal, the Noted version (Lauds and Vespers bound together) and a plainsong psalter among other things.

Fr Jonathan Graham C.R. and the Community of the Resurrection

The Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield ought to find acknowledgement on this blog since it is from the book by George Guiver C.R. that I have borrowed the blog name. They are another of the 'elder statesmen' of Anglican Religious communities because of their age and also because of the contribution they have made to the life of the Church of England and the wider communion, notably in South Africa. The definitive history of CR is Alan Wilkinson's Centenary History.
The community have recently undertaken a major refurbishment of their church, a film tour is available introduced by George Guiver:

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a great believer in the power of Psalm 119 as a prayer for daily use, as it was in the Western Church for so many centuries.
The Sunday Quotation for Pentecost is from Fr Jonathan Graham's C.R.'s book on Psalm 119:
Psalm 119 is a love song. Not a passionate love song; certainly not. It is not the song of love at first sight, nor of the bitter sweet of emotion and desire. It is the song of happy married life.
That is not to say that it is, literally, the song of a poet happily wedded; but it breathes all the way through the charmed monotony of a life vowed to another; it repeats with endless variety and sweet restraint the simple inexpressible truth that can never grow weary or stale - I love theeThou, thee, thine; every verse of the poem, except the three which introduce it, contains thou, thee or thine. And a very large number of them echo: I, me, mine. Well might its author find the sum total of his song in the high priestly prayer of Jesus:
All mine are thine and thine are mine.

Father Jonathan Graham C.R.
With My Whole Heart: A Devotional Commentary on Psalm 119 ,DLT, 1962

I think that "charmed monotony of a life vowed to another" is a stunning line.

In the book he separates the sections into groups matched to the clauses of the Lord's Prayer.

Fr Jonathan died tragically young in the 1960's but his book is a great aid in praying the Psalm and would be a wonderful reprint.

Jonathan Graham was for a time Prior and Principal of Codrington College in Barbados. The Lady Day 2012 issue of the CR Review has an article on CR's fourteen year involvement with the college (probably the oldest theological college in the Communion) which may be found here. It includes a photograph of Fr Jonathan with the three other pioneer brethren at the beginning of their journey to Barbados.
Jonathan Grham also wrote Office of A Wall and contributed to Mirfield Essays In Christian Belief  which is available in a new print..
Brian Goldsmith wrote this appreciation of the life of Jonathan Graham which appeared in the CR Review here.
Photographs of the Hostel in Leeds may be found here.

Memories Of Jonathan Graham CR – 45 Years On
In the October of 1961 a small group of us who had been accepted by the Community for training arrived at the Hostel in Leeds to begin our University degree courses. We had all been interviewed by Fr Hilary Beasley, the Hostel Warden, earlier in the year. However, when we arrived, Fr Hilary had been taken into hospital for treatment, and the Superior, Fr.Jonathan Graham had seized the opportunity to come over from Mirfield and stand in for him. It was the custom for the Warden to interview ‘freshers’ before they signed up at the University for their courses. When it was my turn I well remember Jonathan fixing me with a steely gaze and saying “Why are you this great age?.” I was only twenty five - but in those days most candidates were more or less straight from school. It is easy to forget how difficult it was in those days for an older person to be accepted for training and even less so to start education all over again at University. Having explained the reasons for my late vocation, Jonathan then said, with a twinkle in his eye,” then I shall call you Uncle Brian” -a name which stuck for a long time.
Two or three of us were keen on signing up for Sociology courses. Jonathan would have none of this “ not a proper subject” he declared. However, we got our way and he never held it against us. Jonathan stayed for a few weeks until Hilary returned, but it was long enough for a sense of mutual affection to be established between him and our particular year, which lasted right the way through to our time at Mirfield and that fateful day in August 1965. The news that Jonathan Graham had passed away overnight came as a profound shock to Community, Students, and the Church at large. His brother Nicolas had died in 1963 - and now Jonathan. It would take the Community a long time to recover from this double blow.
When we came to the College in 1964 Jonathan elected to take our class for Old Testament studies. He had written a little book published posthumously in 1966 called the Office of a Wall. I looked out my copy again recently and found it to be very prophetic in view of the current situation in the Holy Land with Israel building a wall. I found a paper in the back. Another student and I had developed a rather wicked habit of making a few notes of some of the more memorable sayings of the Brethren. The notes I found were some of the quotations from Jonathan’s OT lectures. I conclude by quoting these as a tribute to a truly great and influential priest and religious whom I shall never forget.
On Job: “and there was Job sitting uncomfortably upon his ash heap not feeling at all comforted.”
“Ezra’s not the sort of person you’d invite to Nehemiah is a different sort of character - low and racy but interesting to talk to.”
“Infinitely boring people these OT prophets, always going around with long faces saying ‘Thus saith the Lord this and thus saith the Lord that.’”
“Isaiah was an infinitely bigger man than these lesser ones”
“Poor Mrs Amos must have had a terrible time at home.” “Deuteronomy never uses one word when eight will do.” “Solomon must have been a very boring conversationalist.” “Sneezing is a very good example of complete self-giving.”
“Don’t go and show this diagram to any of our intellectual friends;
they might despise me and I don’t like being despised.”
And finally, after explaining some sort of confrontation he had recently had with someone in the House:
“With that perfect recollection that distinguishes us Religious I walked into Church as pompously as possible.”
For me my best memories are of Jonathan coming into Church to begin Compline. We might have had a difficult day struggling with NT Greek or a Doctrine Tutorial, but everything came into calm and ordered focus with Jonathan ringing the bell, walking majestically to his stall, and commencing those words: “The Lord Almighty grant us a quiet night and perfect end.”
And that was probably the last thing he did before he died. What a wonderful way to go.
Jonathan Graham CR died on August 23rd1965.
His book The Office of a Wall was an Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book, published by The Faith Press in 1966.
Brian Goldsmith

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Common Worship Daily Prayer Lectionary Monday 28th May, 2012

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary Week 8  1 Peter 1.3-9  Psalm 111   Mark 10.17-27


Psalm 123

This and all the psalms today are known as the 'song of ascents'; scholars and devotional commentaries alike tend to consider this an indication of their use on a pilgrimage, 'ascent' to Jerusalem. Robert Alter suggests it might be a musical term.

James Wood reviewing Alter's Psalms writes:

"The Book of Psalms is the great oasis in which a desert people gathers to pour out its complaints, fears, hopes; the Psalms are prayers, songs, incantations, and perhaps even soliloquies. In them, the supplicants invoke God as their light, their water, their warrior, their scourge, their buckler, their rod, and their staff. But these images, these human metaphors, also expose the frailty of such supplication, since just as God is conjured into words he seems to disappear: many of the Psalms are like flares sent out into the night sky of appeal. Jesus cried out at his abandonment on the Cross by quoting the opening verse of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” The verses continue:
Far from my rescue are the words that I roar. My God, I call out by day and You do not answer, by night—no stillness for me."
Read more

Alter's translation, The Book of Psalms, provides helpful new insight into them as Hebrew texts, here are some extracts for today:

To you, I lift up my eyes,
                          O dweller in the heavens.
Look, like the eyes of slaves to their masters,
                           like the eyes of a slavegirl to her mistress.

Psalm 124

Were it not the Lord Who was for us
                                 - let Israel now say -
were it not for the Lord Who was for us,
                                 when people rose against us
then would they have swallowed us alive
                                  when their wrath flared hot against us.

Psalm 125

Do good, O Lord, to the good
                              and to the upright in their hearts.
And those who bend to crookedness,
                               may the Lord take them off with the wrongdoers.
                               Peace upon Israel.

Psalm 126

They who sow in tears
                         in glad songs will reap.
He walks along and weeps,
                          the bearer of the seed-bag.
He will surely come in with a glad song
                          bearing his sheaves.

Joshua 1

God's commission to Joshua and preparations for the invasion/occupation

Luke 9.18-27

Peter's declaration and Jesus foretells his death and resurrection


Psalm 127 

If the Lord does not build a house,
                  in vain do its builders labour on it.

Psalm 128

May the Lord bless you from Zion,
                       and may you see Jerusalem's good
                                      all the days of your life.

Psalm 129

Much they beset me from my youth
                                 - let Israel now say -
much they beset me from my youth,
                                 yet they do not prevail over me.

Job 1

Introducing Job and his family, the attack on his character and he loses property and children
Saint Gregory the Great writes:

"To fear God is never to pass over any good thing, that ought to be done.  Whence it is said by Solomon, Whoso fears God, neglects nothing [Eccl. 7, 18, (Vulg.) 19.]; but because there are some, who practise some good actions, yet in such wise that they are by no means withheld from certain evil practices; after he is said to have been one that feared God, it is still rightly reported of him that he also eschewed evil; for it is written, Depart from evil, and do good [Ps. 37, 27]; for indeed those good actions are not acceptable to God, which are stained in His sight by the admixture of evil deeds; and hence it is said by Solomon, He who offendeth in one point, spoileth many good deeds [Eccl. 9, 18].  Hence James bears witness, saying, For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. [James 2, 10]  Hence Paul saith, A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump [1 Cor. 5, 6].  So then that it might be shewn us how spotless the blessed Job stood forth in his good actions, it is wisely done that we have it pointed out how far he was removed from evil deeds.   
 But it is the custom of narrators, when a wrestling match is woven into the story, first to describe the limbs of the combatants, how broad and strong the chest, how sound, how full their muscles swelled, how the belly below neither clogged by its weight, nor weakened by its shrunken size, that when they have first shewn the limbs to be fit for the combat, they may then at length describe their bold and mighty strokes.  Thus because our athlete was about to combat the devil, the writer of the sacred story, recounting as it were before the exhibition in the arena the spiritual merits in this athlete, describes the members of the soul [mentis], saying, And that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil; that when the powerful setting of the limbs is known, from this very strength we may already prognosticate also the victory to follow."

Romans 1.1-17

Greeting, prayer of thanksgiving and the power of the Gospel

Sunday Quotation

Psalm 119 is a love song. Not a passionate love song; certainly not. It is not the song of love at first sight, nor of the bitter sweet of emotion and desire. It is the song of happy married life.
That is not to say that it is, literally, the song of a poet happily wedded; but it breathes all the way through the charmed monotony of a life vowed to another; it repeats with endless variety and sweet restraint the simple inexpressible truth that can never grow weary or stale - I love thee. Thou, thee, thine; every verse of the poem, except the three which introduce it, contains thou, thee or thine. And a very large number of them echo: I, me, mine. Well might its author find the sum total of his song in the high priestly prayer of Jesus:
All mine are thine and thine are mine.

Father Jonathan Graham C.R.
With My Whole Heart: A Devotional Commentary on Psalm 119
DLT, 1962

Friday, 25 May 2012

Common Worship Daily Prayer Lectionary Saturday 26th May 2012

Daily Eucharistic Lectionary: Acts 28.16-20, 30-end Psalm 11.4-end   John 21.20-25


Psalm 42

Psalm 43

"The Christian expresses a longing for the presence of God, but does so with the joyful consciousness that his desire for God has been met by the opening to him of direct access to god through Christ, not only hereafter in the unveiled glory of the heavenly Jerusalem, but also now during his exile through the Blessed Sacrament of the altar."
Father Carleton, The English Psalter


Numbers 32.1-27

Reuben and Gad settle in Gilead


Luke 9.1-17

the sending of the twelve, Herod, the feeding of the 5 thousand


Psalm 48

"Because the Temple is a visible sign of God's covenant love, the worshipper can be confident of victory over all that represents disorder and chaos."
Michael Sadgrove, I Will Trust in You


Deuteronomy 32.48-end, 34

The Death of Moses

Pisgah-Sights I and II
Robert Browning

Over the ball of it,
Peering and prying,
How I see all of it,
Life there, outlying!
Roughness and smoothness,
Shine and defilement,
Grace and uncouthness:
One reconcilement.

Orbed as appointed,
Sister with brother
Joins, ne’er disjointed
One from the other.
All’s lend-and-borrow;
Good, see, wants evil,
Joy demands sorrow,
Angel weds devil!

“Which things must, why be?”
Vain our endeavor!
So shall things aye be
As they were ever.
“Such things should so be!”
Sage our desistence!
Rough-smooth let globe be,
Mixed, man’s existence!

Man, wise and foolish,
Lover and scorner,
Docile and mulish,
Keep each his corner!
Honey yet gall of it!
There’s the life lying,
And I see all of it,
Only, I’m dying!


Could I but live again
Twice my life over,
Would I once strive again?
Would not I cover
Quietly all of it,
Greed and ambition,
So, from the pall of it,
Pass to fruition?

“Soft!” I’d say, “Soul mine!
Three-score and ten years,
Let the blind mole mine
Digging out deniers!
Let the dazed hawk soar,
Claim the sun’s rights tool
Turf ’tis thy walk’s o’er,
Foliage thy flight’s to.”

Only a learner,
Quick one or slow one,
Just a discerner,
I would teach no one.
I am earth’s native:
No rearranging it!
I be creative,
Chopping and changing it?

March, men, my fellows!
Those who, above me,
(Distance so mellows)
Fancy you love me:
Those who, below me,
(Distance makes great so)
Free to forego me,
Fancy you hate so!

Praising, reviling,
Worst head and best head,
Past me defiling,
Never arrested,
Wanters, abounders,
March, in gay mixture,
Men, my surrounders!
I am the fixture.

So shall I fear thee,
Mightiness yonder!
Mock-sun, more near thee,
What is to wonder?
So shall I love thee,
Down in the dark, lest
Glowworm I prove thee,
Star that now sparklest!

1 John 5

Overcoming the world