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, 30 August 2012

31 August Saint Aidan

Kevin Mayhew have published a Celtic Hymn Book which has some interesting music and texts in. There isn't one specifically for Saint Aidan but a hymn by Ray Sampson has this verse:

Saints of the North, Take heart;

Aidan and Mother Hild,
friends of the servant Christ,
fierce warring souls you stilled.
From Holy isle to Thames side shore
folk's minds you stirred, their hearts you filled.

A trawl of the internet finds two hymns on parish websites, from Saint Aidan's, Little Chalfont:

Praise the Lord for Great St Aidan
inspiration to us all;
in the presence of our Saviour
his example we recall;
life of service to the needy
gentleness and kindly love,
living witness to the gospel,
honoured here and crowned above.

2
How we long to share his story,
faithful in response to grace,
sign of God's eternal presence
in the realm of time and space.
Now his pilgrimage completed
cross of Christ his only boast,
he unites his own rejoicing
with the great angelic host.

3
Hail St Aidan now in glory
robed before the Saviour's face,
here we claim your intercession
on your feast and in this place.
May the spirit bring us wisdom,
courage and integrity.
Pray that we may share your passion
for the Truth that sets us free.

4
Praise and honour to the Father,
adoration to the Son,
with the all-embracing Spirit
wholly Three and holy One.
All the universe, united
in complete diversity,
sings as one of your endless praises,
ever blessed Trinity.

8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7

And from Merseyside, here:


Gentle Shepherd hear our voices 
raised to thee in suppliant cry.
Aidan’s flock today rejoices, 
let not Aidan’s teaching die.

From Iona’s sacred wildness, 
Lindisfarne’s twice hallowed soil,
Aidan brings a Christ-like mildness, 
never sparing Christ-like toil

Ever loving, modest, lowly, 
through earth’s way he passed unstained
now in death his life most holy, 
has the crown of life attained.

So to him we make our pleading, 
still our shepherd, friend and guide,
may his gentle, kindly leading, 
bring us to our Master’s side.

Glory, splendour, power unbending, 
be to Him who reigns above,
and through Aidan’s prayer ascending, 
may we learn His perfect love.
 8.7.8.7

The Northumbria Community have named one of their Compline's Aidan.
And Orthodox troparia etc may be found here.


Holiday Reading

Like many clergy I have always been an obsessive reader. One of the family stories my parents tell is their efforts to get me to put books down and go to sleep. Resulting one night in my falling asleep with a bedside light tucked under the blankets and burning a hole in the sheet. Well these days I can read all night if I want to. This summer's reading:

Fiction


All In One Person

John Irving

The World According to Garp

John Irving

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility 

Jane Austen

Hotel New Hampshire

John Irving

Skios

Michael Frayne

The Facts of Life
Patrick Gale


Education, Society, Work


The Right Sort of History

David Cannadine et al

Mind the Gap
Ferdinand Mount

Down in the Hood
Harriet Sergeant

Work, Sex, Money
Chogyam Trungpa

The Art of Happiness at Work
Dalai Lama

Transforming Work: An Experiment in Right Livelihood
Padmasuri

Gratitude in Education
Kerry Howells

Mindfulness


Start Where You Are

Pema Chodron

The Way of the Bodhisattva

Santideva, Padmaraka Translation Group

The Bodhicaryavatara

Santideva, tr. Andrew Skilton and Kate Crosby

No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
Pema Chodron


Theology


A Silent Action

Rowan Williams

Lion's World

Rowan Williams

Ascent to Love

Ruth Burrows

The Essence of Prayer
Ruth Burrows

To Live is to Pray: An introduction to Carmelite Spirituality

Elizabeth Ruth Obbard

The Very Lowly: A Meditation on Francis of Assisi
Christian Bobin

Star in the East: Krishnamurti the invention of a Messiah
Roland Vernon

The Cloud of Unknowing with the Book of Privy Counsel
tr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher


Poetry


Odi Barbari

Geoffrey Hill

Poems

Henry Vaughan

Poems
Emily Dickinson

August 30th: Saint Fiacre, Patron of Gardeners

Chateau Valmer from the air
The River Brenne in France is one of the tributaries of the Loire. Like its better known counterpart the valley is home to a number of delightful chateaux. Chateau Valmer burned down just after the second world war but its daughetr house and grounds still exist as do the vines which produce a stunningly steely Touraine. All owned by the current Comte de Saint Venant
Nestling in the caves is a chapel full of the baroque accretions of the French church and dedicated to Saint Fiacre. The gardens host an annual festival and are often full of interesting statuary and features which would so infuriate the conservation guardians of the National Trust.


St Fiacre, patron of Gardeners:
a plaque from Abbaye du Wisque, France



It was at Valmer that I first discovered Fiacre whose feast is kept in Ireland on 30th August but who seems, like his numerous patronages, to have an accumulation of possible feast days.
Given the huge popularity of gardening the church could make something of this patronage that goes way beyond the harvest festivals of October. The end of August would be a good time for parish clergy to bless gardens, allotments, produce and tools. To erect images of Saint Fiacre, or even have a garden procession around a village or community.






God the first garden made.


One of my favourite sources for domestic liturgy is Fr Ed Hays book Prayers for the Domestic Church (available on Amazon and Kindle). We have used it in our family for over twenty years on all sorts of occasions. The register of the language is just a little less formal and slightly more accessible than many official liturgies. There are also examples for rituals in the home. Some of these can feel a little artificial when first used but like all good liturgy as they become familiar lose that self-consciousness. If praying with children is begun while they are very young when they are teenagers rather than feel self conscious about it they will be asking for more.
The book contains liturgies that could be used in church or home for the liturgical year, major events in the life of families and individuals for retreats, a weekly sabbath and daily prayers. There are thanksgivings for relationships that could be used equally with same or opposite sex couples, blessings for an engagement, prayers when couples argue and liturgies to mark teenage transitions.

A blessing of gardens might be a good opportunity to blur the boundary between our work that earns our living and the work and labour of the garden. Here are some examples from Ed Hays with Fiacre in mind:

Blessing Prayer for the Sacred Image of A Saint

Lord God, holy are You.
Your saints and holy ones perpetually give You glory and, in their holiness as well as their humaness, they are channels of Your grace for us.
May this holy image of Fiacre be for all of us who shall look upon it, who shall touch it and pray before it, a source of Your rich blessings and a gateway to Your loving Presence.
May the good example and the special virtues of the patron of gardeners that Fiacre embodied be  a holy pattern for our daily lives.
May the grace and help of the Communion of saints be with us we journey homeward to You, the Eternal Source of all holiness.
Bless this image, Lord and God, in Your holy name
Amen

For the gift of work, we are grateful in our prayer:

As the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we follow in the steps of our first parents who, before their fall, worked joyfully with their hands in Your Garden of Eden, Lord and Creator.

We are thankful for the dignity and creative challenge of our unique tasks.
For the work that ennobles us, that lifts up our spirits, we are grateful.
By means of these labours, we are able to give flesh to our spiritual dreams and to work out the salvation of the earth.
The banner at Chateau Valmer,
from their website here.
We take time to thank You for those common tasks that we must perform each day, those necessary labours of life by which, according to Your divine plan, we are also able to create the Kingdom here in our midst.
We daily follow in the footsteps of jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth, and in the way of Mary, His mother, who gracefully worked at the tasks of her home, as we rejoice in the opportunities for work that form us in Your love.
With St Paul, the tent-maker, with St peter the fisherman, we too labour in love as we proclaim the mysteries of Your Gospel of good news.
Help us, Lord our God, to us our work, to perform it with mindfulness and attention, with care and devotion, that it will be holy and healing for us and for all the earth.Blessed are You, Lord our God, who enhances our lives with work.
Amen.

Here's another prayer from Christine Sine's book To Garden with God: 

The procession at Valmer
God bless this garden
Through which your glory shines
May we see in its beauty the wonder of your love
God bless the soil
Rich and teeming with life
May we see in its fertility the promise of new creation
God bless our toil
As we dig deep to turn the soil
May we see in our labour your call to be good stewards



God bless each seed
That takes root and grows
May we see in their flourishing the hope of transformation
God bless the rains
That water our efforts to bring forth life
May we see in their constancy God’s faithful care
God bless the harvest
Abundant and bountiful in season
May we see in God’s generosity our need to share
God bless this garden
As you bless all creation with your love
May we see in its glory your awesome majesty
Amen



And from the Episcopal Church in the USA here:


Leader: The Lord be with you:
Community: And also with you.
We gather together to ask God’s blessing on our garden and to reflect on our own blessings. We dedicate our efforts in this garden to the glory of God, to be used for God’s purposes here on earth.
Leader: The Lord be with you:
Community: And also with you.
We gather together to ask God’s blessing on our garden and to reflect on our own blessings. We dedicate our efforts in this garden to the glory of God, to be used for God’s purposes here on earth.
As all the earth is a garden, Lord, we ask that you bless this small piece of the earth. As Your Light shines upon us and upon this garden, giving us life, likewise help us to give light and life to others.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, to bless the water that will nourish this garden. Help the roots of our plants tap into life-giving water. Help us to always be rooted in your love and in the water of the Holy Spirit.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, to bless the soil that nourishes new life in this ground and in this community. Help us to look in awe at the mysteries of your work not yet seen. Help us to appreciate the nourishment of your earth and use it wisely.
We ask you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, to bless the seeds planted here. Help them to sprout and grow. Give all new life within this garden the right conditions to grow and bear fruit in Your Light.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, for the knowledge, wisdom, and tools to best tend our garden and do your work to give life to ourselves and others.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, for a bountiful harvest, both in our garden and in our lives. Give us the wisdom to take what we need to feed ourselves and to use our abundance to the benefit of others.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
Bless this garden, O Lord, and all life within it. Give us nourishment from this garden, as we feed ourselves and the entire human family through your love and your gifts.
In Christ’s name, Amen.
As all the earth is a garden, Lord, we ask that you bless this small piece of the earth. As Your Light shines upon us and upon this garden, giving us life, likewise help us to give light and life to others.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, to bless the water that will nourish this garden. Help the roots of our plants tap into life-giving water. Help us to always be rooted in your love and in the water of the Holy Spirit.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, to bless the soil that nourishes new life in this ground and in this community. Help us to look in awe at the mysteries of your work not yet seen. Help us to appreciate the nourishment of your earth and use it wisely.
We ask you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, to bless the seeds planted here. Help them to sprout and grow. Give all new life within this garden the right conditions to grow and bear fruit in Your Light.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, for the knowledge, wisdom, and tools to best tend our garden and do your work to give life to ourselves and others.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
We ask you, Lord, for a bountiful harvest, both in our garden and in our lives. Give us the wisdom to take what we need to feed ourselves and to use our abundance to the benefit of others.
We pray you, Lord, to bless our garden.
Bless this garden, O Lord, and all life within it. Give us nourishment from this garden, as we feed ourselves and the entire human family through your love and your gifts.
In Christ’s name, Amen.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Launching - Trinity Daily Prayer: a simple Liturgy of the Hours for singing

[Update 28 Aug. 9:30 pm Thank you for first corrections. Updated files now uploaded.
Update 1st September: 3rd version is in the folder on CoV Resources final corrections/changes for a while.]

This blog is dedicated to the recovery of the Daily Office as the prayer of the whole people of God. At Trinity we have been experimenting with various sung versions of the Office. One of the tasks I set myself for the summer was to compile a full sung Office that was very simple and might work for the large number of visitors we receive (particularly in the daytime) who sometimes pray with (the long-suffering) Fr Mike and myself. 
Fr Mike at the papal audience in May

Our only resource for music is my tenor recorder; the settings are intended to be simple enough to be learnt by heart with the unvarying texts.


Many parishes have experimented with a 'people's Office' which is very much the call George Guiver makes in his book, from which this blog takes its name.


I have created a new folder in Company of Voices Resources called Trinity Daily Prayer and put Word, Pages and PDF versions of TDP into it. If you use the Word or Pages formats you will need to install the Saint Meinrad fonts in order to be able to read the music.





You will quickly see that I am simply the compiler of other people's work. I would be interested to know if this is of any use elsewhere or what attempts people are making at sung daily prayer in parishes and other settings.  I will keep the blog up to date on how it works in school and any changes we make. Please do let me have any corrections, regular readers will know that proof-reading is not one of my gifts. I will also post about some of the places where a people's Office has been and is being tried, and I would happily hear about more, however small.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Poems for the Beheading of John the Baptist


Salome
Charles Lamb

“Salomé” by Lucien Lévy Dhurmer, 1896
        Once on a charger there was laid,
        And brought before a royal maid,
        As price of attitude and grace,
        A guiltless head, a holy face.

          It was on Herod's natal day,
        Who, o'er Judea's land held sway.
        He married his own brother's wife,
        Wicked Herodias. She the life
        Of John the Baptist long had sought,
        Because he openly had taught
        That she a life unlawful led,
        Having her husband's brother wed.
        This was he, that saintly John,
        Who in the wilderness alone
        Abiding, did for clothing wear
        A garment made of camel's hair;

        Honey and locusts were his food,
        And he was most severely good.
        He preached penitence and tears,
        And waking first the sinner's fears,
        Prepared a path, made smooth a way,
        For his diviner master's day.

          Herod kept in princely state
        His birth-day. On his throne he sate,
        After the feast, beholding her
        Who danced with grace peculiar;
        Fair Salome, who did excel
        All in that land for dancing well.
        The feastful monarch's heart was fired,
        And whatsoe'er thing she desired.
        Though half his kingdom it should be,
        He in his pleasure swore that he
        Would give the graceful Salome.
        The damsel was Herodias' daughter:
        She to the queen hastes, and besought her
        To teach her what great gift to name.
        Instructed by Herodias, came
        The damsel back; to Herod said,
        "Give me John the Baptist's head;
        And in a charger let it be
        Hither straitway brought to me."
        Herod her suit would fain deny,
        But for his oath's sake must comply.

          When painters would by art express
        Beauty in unloveliness,
        Thee, Herodias' daughter, thee,
        They fittest subject take to be.
        They give thy form and features grace;
        But ever in thy beauteous face
        They shew a steadfast cruel gaze,
        An eye unpitying; and amaze
        In all beholders deep they mark,
        That thou betrayest not one spark
        Of feeling for the ruthless deed,
        That did thy praiseful dance succeed
        For on the head they make you look,
        As if a sullen joy you took,
        A cruel triumph, wicked pride,
        That for your sport a saint had died.


On S. John The Baptist

Thomas Stanley

As the youthful morning's light,
Chasing the dark shades of night,
By its blushes does betray,
The approaching of the day:
So this Star that doth forerun
The day of our salvation;
Dyed in's purple blood, doth rise,
And the sun appearing, dies.



Office Hymn for the Beheading of John the Baptist

John's light is dimmed, his prison, dark;
his head the plaything for a feast.
The jealous spurn God's righteousness
- just Judge of both the great and least.

John's voice proclaimed the coming Light,
whose radiance frees the darkened heart;
who levels mountains, paves the way,
proves love, not hate, the better part.

O Bridegroom, closest of John's friends,
let what he died for still endure:
may we the heralds of your joy
be true, courageous, bold and pure.


Aelred Seton Shanley Obl. Cam OSB

Monday, 27 August 2012

S Augustine: Two Office Hymns, an Antiphon and Beauty

Among my most prized books are a set of S Augustine's Expositions on the Psalms (Maria Boulding OSB, New City Press). Though they look very fine on the shelves they are not 'trophy' books. Augustine's voice is unmistakable, reading his expositions, like his Confessions is like stepping into a room with him. I find him the most accessible of the Fathers. Although I have never really been able to get to grips with City of God. I've been trying to get Deus Pulchritudinis to catch on as the school motto - with no success so far!

This lovely hymn comes, it says on my tattered sheet from the Poor Clares at Arundel but I have never been there and wonder if it came to me via Abbot Alan Rees? Likewise, I can't find the origin of the Magnificat Antiphon. The second hymn is by Aelred Seton Shanley Obl.OSB Cam.


Hymn

Numidia's great African,
your life, Augustine, looms so large:
your youth, undisciplined and free,
yet led you to the church's charge.

Unmarried, fathering a son
- whose mother you shared little of -
you were the source of many tears,
so avidly you looked for love.

Well schooled, admired by your friends,
you yet were blinded by your pride:
the Church's faith, God's gift so free,
with Manichaeus, you denied.

The Gospel's great simplicity
you spurned and read without much heed
- then came a simple child's song:
God telling you to 'take and read'.

The Scriptures, then, all spoke of Christ;
God's grace could overcome sin's strife.
With Monica, your son and friends
you lived as one the common life.

Baptised within the paschal feast,
your mother's prayers at last were heard!
Made Hippo's bishop by acclaim:
your flock hung on your every word.

The Church, you taught, embraces earth;
its life not only for the pure.
Her sacraments are God's free gift;
in spite of sinner's they endure.

You battled with your pen untruth;
proclaimed the primacy of grace:
your world at war; your work destroyed,
you breathed your last in Christ's embrace.


Work, Joseph Mysteries and the Rosary



Last time I visited the Shrine of Notre Dame du Puy in the Auvergne I bought this rosary. It has twenty sets of decades for the four mysteries of the Rosary - since John Paul II added the Mysteries of Light. I have to confess that I have not yet felt the need to pray all four sets in one go and thus need a twenty mystery set of beads; but just in case the Spirit leads me ....





Cathedral


The cathedral at Le Puy is stunning, built high on a rocky hill with a magnificent set of stairs that emerge in the middle of the nave.

The image of Our Lady at Le Puy has a fascinating history and is one of the 'black' images.
Vierge noire le Puy
















I am very fond of the Rosary as  a devotion, the mixture of physicality and repetition with meditation on the basic Christian truths is very helpful. When I am most stressed the rosary is sometimes the only form of prayer I am able to use. Praying the Rosary with others is very powerful. In Lewisham we have a 'beer and beads' Rosary for local priests each Tuesday. 
The connection with this blog is, of course, that the 150 Hail Mary's were a sort of layperson's psalter, a real 'people's office'. Before Vatican II many communities of brothers and sisters prayed rosaries in place of a public Office.



Some communities have their own 'Chaplets' or Rosaries so why not a school? Here's  a set of Joseph mysteries that I use and find helpful. I use them with the traditional prayers but others could be prayed instead. One of the reasons for my devotion to S Joseph is that we have such a negative attitude to work in our culture and to 'craftsmanship'; I don't think we can really educate children if they don't believe that work is a good thing and that happiness in life might consist of more than winning Pop Idol, the Lottery or becoming a footballer. Joseph's 'hiddeness' is a good counter-cultural symbol. As is his chastity in a society where being 'a man' is so coarsely associated with 'having sex'.
Joseph is also a good patron for those of us who as teachers look after children who are not our own. Finally, just using the word husband - and we always commemorate 'Joseph, husband of Mary' in the Eucharistic Prayer  - is good in raising the profile of marriage. 



Mysteries of Saint Joseph

1 Joseph descended from David
2 Joseph the Just Man
3 Joseph following a dream takes Mary as his wife
4 Joseph warned in a dream takes Mary and Jesus into Egypt
5 Joseph the Carpenter




Commemoration of Saint Joseph for Working Days:


Hymn to Saint Joseph
Joseph true servant, trusted by the Father,
from whom christ learnt a human Father's kindness,
pray we may know and reverence God at all times
in the defenceless.

Joseph, true workman, teaching Word incarnate

patience and pride in honest labour finished,
show us who work, God's plan for skill and service
in every calling

Joseph true saint, your Sanctity unsought for

won in you doubt and suffering and struggle,
pray we keep faith in every tribulation
till God shines clearly.


V. This is a wise and faithful servant.

R. Whom the master placed in charge of his household.


God our Father,

you willed that your Son,
under Joseph's authority,
should experience daily life and human work.
By the prayers of Saint Joseph,
help us to sanctify the present moment,
to be concerned for our neighbour
and be faithful to the tasks of every day.
hear us, through Christ our Lord.

Saint Joseph, husband of Mary: Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, patron of workers: Pray for us.
Saint Joseph, the craftsman: Pray for us.


Alternative hymns of Saint Joseph from New Camaldoli, Lauds and Vespers:


                      - A -

O hidden saint of silent ways,
we do not know a word you spoke;
but deeds not words were all your strength
when to your calling you awoke.

Come as it might, you heard God's word

and never stopped to count the cost
content to be his instrument,
and count your reputation lost.

Incarnate Lord, who came to save,

show us by Joseph's prayer anew
the secrets of your darker ways;
keep us in life and dying true.


                        -B-

We have so little word of you;
how hidden, Joseph was your life.
yet what you chose to do speaks much,
in taking Mary as your wife.

The dreams you honoured led your soul;

you never stopped to count the cost,
content to listen and to act
than fear your reputation lost.

How often had you thought you'd failed

the flight by night, the life-long fears?
Yet quietly you stood your ground,
and, faithful, laboured through the years.

Lord Jesus, formed and fathered well

by one so faithful and so free;
may we not flee life's darker days,
but live them fully, trustingly.




Intercessions and another Collect for S Monica



If you don't know the monthly publication Magnificat (subscriptions here), do take a look at it. For anyone using the Daily Eucharistic Lectionary for Mass and/or Office it provides the readings as well as a text from the saints or a spiritual writer often linked to the Gospel. there is also a short form of Morning and Evening Prayer for each day which is a very good source for intercessions and additional collects. There are other articles and an always interesting meditation on a piece of Christian art.

Here are the texts for this morning:


Intercessions
Saint Monica's holiness shines as a light among women. Through her intercession, let us pray in faith:
Lift up the lowly, O Lord.

For all Christians married to non-believers as Saint Monica was:
- Keep them firm in faith and make them strong in holiness.

For all parents who seek to raise their children in the faith of Jesus Christ:
- grant that their love may bear fruit.

For all who devote themselves to a life of prayer and good works:
- sustain them in zeal and contentment.


Prayer
O God of all kindness, strength of those who weep, you gathered up with love Saint Monica's tears for the conversion of her son, Augustine; through the power of their prayer, grant to us all the grace to know how to weep for our sins, to seek out those who stray with our prayers, and to come before you as one in the kingdom won for us by your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ ....

Liturgical Tour (3): Walsingham and New Books

The Crucifix in the Barn Chapel
at the Shrine of OL of Walsingham

The Barn Chapel at the Shrine of OL of Walsingham
After exam results arrive in August and the joy of celebrating with our young people and staff I always make an overnight pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham to give thanks for her support and prayers for our work at Trinity. Normally I am able to offer Mass in the Holy House but this year it was a special joy to celebrate at the altar of S Joseph. When I began at Trinity I offered my headship to the patronage of the patron of workers for whom I have a great devotion. Friday was also the feast of S Bartholomew who was patron of the chapel at Chichester Theological College so my joys and intercessions were multiplied. Prayers epecially for all priests trained at Chichester, living and departed.Thank you too to Bishop Lyndsay, Shrine Administrator who answered the Mass for me.
The shrine shop had two new books that interested me. Firstly, Saints of the Roman Missal, J. Michael Thompson, Ligouri 2012.




For each saint new, or with a new rank in the third edition of the Roman Missal Thompson offers quotations, prayers and biographical information. Perhaps of most interest to readers of this blog (is that true?) he has also written a hymn for each saint. I think we have to accept that it is impossible to write Office hymns for the saints without a certain doggerel quality but once that is accepted there is some good material here. Many of these sixteen saints will be of only peripheral interest to Anglicans - although early saints include Saint Appolinaris and Catherine of Egypt. Saint Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) deserves to be better known both for her writings and also for being a saint of the holocaust. Her hymn begins:



O God of ancient Israel,
Whose mercies never cease,
Receive from us our songs of praise,
Our lasting hymn of peace.
In midst of war and hateful acts,
despair and bitter strife,
Your servant Edith, served you well
And won the crown of life.


The other book I bought was the Pocket Book of Blessings from Veritas. A re-print of their 1991 book. Cheap and cheerful it can be carried in the car, bag etc and doesn't matter if it gets lost (as seems to happen to me). It's one of those sorts of things I find myself using just when I've begun to wonder why I bother carrying it around. An example is the blessing for inner healing which I have used very often when people ask for prayer in the midst of distress. The book contains the text of Isaiah 41: 1-3 "Do not be afraid for I have redeeemd you .." and the following prayer;

Ever faithful God,
you sent into the darkness of our lives your Son, Jesus Christ the light of the world.
Stretch forth your healing hand over N. your servant.
Give him/her serenity of mind and eace of heart.
Raise her/him up in body, soul and spirit
and deliver him/her from all evil.
We make our prayer ....

Additional Collect for S Monica







































From Liturgy Alive, here:

Almighty, eternal God,
to give a human life to their children
is the great task you entrust to mothers.
We thank you today for St. Monica,
who prayed to you for her Son Augustine
that he might find Jesus.
Grant to all parents
that they may help their children live and grow
in the life and the future
of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Sunday, 26 August 2012

Book and Web Resource for the Eucharist

Fr Camilo Mariovoet is a Claretian priest and has produced two books in his Liturgy Alive series, one for Weekdays and one for Sundays. I've just discovered that these texts are now available online here.
Fr Camilo provides introductions to the readings, suggested biddings for the intercessions and alternative texts for all the presidential prayers.
Like all liturgical texts by a single author the texts are occasionally idiosyncratic and a little wordy. However, even if only for meditation and preparation they are interesting and stimulating. The printed versions include the (old) order of Mass and were clearly intended to be used as a daily hand missal.

Obviously for those using the Daily Eucharistic Lectionary at the Office the Opening Prayer which is always based on the readings could be used. 

Here are the texts for yesterday (Saturday in the 20th week), as presented on the website here. I think the Opening Prayer is very good:


Opening Prayer
Lord God, you are pure grace.
You fill with your forgiveness and life
those who recognize their own emptiness
and the need for your mercy.
Grant us not to call attention
to ourselves and the good you allow us to do
but to serve you and people
in the unsophisticated simplicity of our hearts
and to give all glory and honor to you
for the life and grace you bring us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Liturgy of the Word

Introduction to the First Reading
       Before the exile, Ezekiel had warned the people against the punishment awaiting them. When the exile had come, he consoles them and gives them the prospect that God will live again among his people with all his glory.


First Reading: Ezk 43:1-7
The angel led me to the gate which faces the east,
and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel
coming from the east.
I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters,
and the earth shone with his glory.
The vision was like that which I had seen
when he came to destroy the city,
and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar.
I fell prone as the glory of the LORD entered the temple
by way of the gate which faces the east,
but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court.
And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD.
Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple,
while the man stood beside me.
The voice said to me:
Son of man, this is where my throne shall be,
this is where I will set the soles of my feet;
here I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 85:9-10,11-12,13-14
R./ The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD—for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.

R./ The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R./ The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps. 

R./ The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
Introduction to Gospel Reading
     The Lord abhors duplicity and hypocrisy, particularly in religious leaders. The scribes had rendered a real service by becoming the teachers of Israel during the exile, when the priesthood was on the decline, but later they had gradually turned religious living into a complicated intellectualistic, legalistic and casuistic system of observances, which they themselves did not fully practice. It had become the pride and boast of the pious Pharisees to observe them all and in this way to work their own salvation. On account of this pride, they lacked the true spirit and humility of openness to God's plans.


Gospel Reading: Matthew 23:1-12
        Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sat on the seat of Moses. So you shall do and observe all they say, but do not do as they do, for they do not do what they say. They tie up heavy burdens and load them on the shoulders of the people, but they do not even raise a finger to move them. They do everything in order to be seen by people; so they wear very wide bands of the Law around their foreheads, and robes with large tassels. They enjoy the first place at feasts and reserved seats in the synagogues, and being greeted in the marketplace and being called 'Master' by the people.

But you, do not let yourselves be called Master because you have only one Master, and all of you are brothers and sisters. Neither should you call anyone on earth Father, because you have only one Father, he who is in heaven. Nor should you be called leader, because Christ is the only leader for you. Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great."
General Intercessions
- For the People of God, that with courage and honesty we may take to heart the task of renewal and reconciliation, so as to show to the world of today the true face of Christ, we pray:

- For all who seek God with a sincere heart, for all who search for truth and justice, that their hunger may be satisfied, we pray:

- For all Christian communities, that we may be reliable and truthful with one another and that our unity and friendship may be genuine, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, merciful Father,
in these simple signs of bread and wine
you give us the servant of all,
your Son Jesus Christ.
Fill us with his Spirit
of unpretentious service.
Help us to recognize him
as our only source of truth and life,
that you may be our only God and Father
now and for ever.
Prayer after Communion
Lord God,
we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ.
He was straightforward
in all he said and did;
he practiced the message he brought to others
and it cost him his life.
Help us to believe his good news
with the whole of our being
and to live by it day after day
in simple sincerity, without any display.
May you thus recognize
the love of your Son present in us
and give us a share in your happiness for ever.
Blessing
We believe in Jesus and in his gospel. Let our lives not contradict our faith, but let our lives tell the story of that faith, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.