Sunday, 26 June 2011

Ordinary Time - for Welcome and Hospitality

Many churches might have observed today as Music Sunday. We thought about it but wondered if it was really necessary - we have music every Sunday and hopefully do it pretty well. And we work on the maxim, "He who sings prays twice."

So we simply kept the First Sunday after Trinity - and the first Sunday in liturgical green for a long, long time. It's good to be back into "Ordinary Time" as we strike out into a new rhythm of life and worship. The call to be a people of Welcome and Hospitality was the key issue which we drew from today's Gospel reading - here's the text of the sermon which I preached.

Next Sunday it'll be the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle - and a special day as we admit two of the younger members of our congregation to share in Holy Communion. We hope there'll be many to join us.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Pentecost - over all too soon?

We've just been changing the altar frontal and church hangings from yesterday's golds and whites for Trinity Sunday to the green of Ordinary Time. I'm always rather relieved to "get back into green" - perhaps it's just the need to tone down the diet after such a prolonged season of liturgical feasting.

So now for all those "Sundays after Trinity," as the Church of England's Calendar terms them. I wonder if I really prefer this designation from the Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship over the Alternative Serrvice Book's "Sundays after Pentecost"? Now - although there's a build-up to Pentecost in the days after Ascension Day, it's very much a matter of "hello and goodbye" in one day to this Feast of the Holy Spirit. Overall I think I'd prefer to keep simply "Ordinary Time" or "Green Time" - and isn't green an Orthodox liturgical colour for the Holy Spirit?

Anyway, we kept Trinity Sunday yesterday - as is only right and proper - and you can find my Homily for the day by clicking here; please read it in conjunction with "St. Patrick's Breastplate," which some members of my congregation claim not to be able to sing (I was congratulated on reading verses from it, rather than make them sing it).

But over the road in the Church Hall, members of Sunday School were still intent on celebrating Pentecost - and produced the wonderful "Birthday of the Church Cake" in these pictures. All the disciples are individually named - and yes, that does include Matthias...

Monday, 13 June 2011

Things of the Spirit

We had a wonderful celebration of Pentecost at St. Cuthbert's - too late to join in now, but you can read the sermon by our Reader, Rosie Junemann, here. You can find other past sermons and Parish Magazines by clicking the appropriate tab near the top of the blog.

No pictures, I'm afraid, from the Pentecost celebration - nor from our Summer Fair... Despite cold, wind and rain our indoor version nevertheless drew the crowds and was highly successful. Sorry we couldn't seat more people for tea. A highlight was a performance from React Youth Theatre, who came over very well from a stage shared with the tombola!

And appropriately for the period around Pentecost, we joined with our parishes from our Deanery (and others) for a Confirmation at Durham Cathedral last Wednesday. Over 80 candidates in total (it was very long - yet prayerful, with incredible concentration on the part of Bishop Mark). Just one candidate from St. Cuthbert's - Rebecca Dixon, but a good crowd of supporters from the parish (and a full cathedral nave).