All Saints Parish Newsletter
Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
In the reading at Mass from Nehemiah we hear how the people gather in a square in Jerusalem for Ezra the scribe to read from the book of the Law of Moses. Ezra stands on a pulpit made for the occasion. He reads and also gives the sense, so that the people understood the reading. All these years later, we still do this when we gather on a Sunday morning. We listen to readings from the scriptures and to the sermon in which the preachers seeks to give us the sense. Nehemiah tells us that when Ezra opened the book all the people stood. Ezra blessed God and the people responded “Amen.” Then they bowed their heads and answered “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
This reminds us that we read and hear scripture as we worship and pray; not as a text book of ancient religion or self-improvement manual, but as the medium through which God speaks to us. What we do in our Sunday worship reflects this. We gather to hear the word of God in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We say “Thanks be to God” at the end of readings. We respond in the psalms and hymns chosen to reflect something of what we hear. At the reading of the Gospel, we stand. At High Mass, we turn to face the Gospel Book as it is carried into the midst of the congregation. We bow as it passes us because this is the risen Christ coming among his people to address us. The Gospel is announced and we respond in word – “Glory be to thee, O Lord” – and gesture – the sign of the cross on brow, lips and heart: the words of the Gospel are to inform thinking, speaking and loving. The light of candles reminds us that Christ is the light of the world. Incense speaks of honour and prayer. When the Gospel has finished the book is held high and the deacon sings, “This is the Gospel of the Lord.” We respond, “Praise be to thee, O Christ.” He kisses the Gospel Book in reverence. We address Christ directly because he it is who speaks to us in the proclamation of the Gospel, just as he spoke to the congregation in the synagogue in Nazareth , when having read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, he said, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
We sit to listen to the sermon in which the preacher seeks to “give the sense” of what has been read and to apply it to our lives and situations. Just because we sit down does not mean that we have ceased to pray. Our attitude should continue to be one of expectant and prayerful attention. Preachers, I must admit, do not always make this easy for their hearers. Even good preachers have off days, but even dull sermons can bear surprising fruit. This is no excuse for lazy preachers who have not studied and prayed hard over texts or worked to find expressing and illustrating them. Our practice at All Saints is to have a period of silence after the sermon in which we can reflect prayerfully on what we have heard in scripture and sacrament. We come to church not just to talk to God, but to listen.
Fr. Alan Moses
I am getting into this whole youtube thing. This is quite long, but worth it in light of Sunday’s Gospel.
Please pray for Christopher Ryan, Michael Harris, Linda Orme, Mary Barnet, Joshua Levy, Audrey Patterson, Celia Shore, Michael Sullivan, Rachel Clayton, Heather Walker, Brian Sparkes, John Rogers, Mason Jacobson, Barbara Laws, David Day, Timothy Montgomery, Timothy Harding, Andrew Tillyard, Jonathan Jennings, Caroline Chartres, Melanie, Rosie Flack, Richard Turner, Isabelle Stoughton, Patricia Capon. The Recently Departed: Marguerite Crill, Fr. David Jowitt, Belinda Hill, Jacqueline Day, Duncan Pingrift. At the anniversary of their death: Ethel Boileau, Hilda Lawson, Watroslav Reith, Noel Campeon, Archibauld Hood, Oswald Rodger, Walter Vale, Annie Taylor, Alice Savage, Annie Benniston, Vera Martin, John Brackley, Barbara Niemyska, George Flack, Norah Lawrence, Doris Foster, Judith Pulteney, Violet Akers, Leonard Forsyth, Reginald Oxley, Jean Phillips
PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE – Friday 1st February 2013 at 6:30 pm – Preacher: The Venerable Malcolm Squires, former Archdeacon of Wrexham Music: God is light, Harry Bramma; Missa Bell’amfitrit’altera, Lassas; Nunc dimittis (Service in D), Dyson.
Solemn Evensong & Benediction – St Cyprian’s Church. Presentation of Christ in the Temple 2nd February 2013 at 3:00pm – Responses: Thomas Ebdon – Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis: Stanford in G, Anthem: Edward Bairstow – ‘Save us O Lord’ – With the St. Cyprian’s Singers Directed by: Julian Collings
February 10th – 11:00am High Mass – Fr. John Pritchard’s Last service as Assistant Priest at All Saints.
ASH WEDNESDAY 13th February 2013 – Low Masses 8:00am & 1:10pm (with Ashing)
High Mass – 6:30pm with Ashing. Preacher: The Vicar.
St Cyprian’s Lent Course– Will be studying "Feast and Fast" by Christina Rees.
Evening one is at Mary Ashwin’s home on Thursday 14th February at 7.15pm.
Further details from Fr. Gerald Beauchamp. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All Saints Lent Course– "Joy: The Meaning of the Sacraments"
We will be using the book of this title by Peter Wadell, Dean of Chapel at the University of Winchester.
Published by Canterbury Press at 12.99. – Thursdays at 11am in the Vicarage – Please let the Parish Office know if you would like to take part and if you would like us to order a copy of the book for you.
Feb 14. Immersed in joy: Baptism and Confirmation.
Feb 21. Sharing Joy: the Eucharist.
Feb 28. Joy Heals: Reconciliation.
Mar 7. Joy Heals: Anointing the Sick.
Mar 14. Joy Bears Fruit: Ordination.
Mar 21. Joy Bears Fruit: Marriage.
11th March 7:30pm –The Licensing by The Bishop of Southwark of Fr. John Pritchard as Priest-in-Charge, St John The Evangelist, Upper Norwood SE19 2RX – (Nearest Train Station – Crystal Palace). ALL WELCOME
The retreat this year will be at Bishop Woodford House, Ely, from Friday 15th March to Sunday 17th March. Fr. Neil Bunker will conduct the retreat. Martin Woolley will happily receive expressions of interest, and enquiries, on 020 7436 2858, 07976 275 383 or at email@example.com (The order of receipt will be carefully noted to enable peaceful allocation of rooms and facilities.) A fully informative letter will be issued in due course to those who put their names down.