Last Wednesday, the 15th August, was the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated by Christians around the world. At St John’s we kept the feast this Sunday, it being the Sunday within the octave of the feast. Here’s what I said.
I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I am addicted to the ITV reality singing competition The Voice. I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that I have never watched a single edition of the ITV reality singing competition The X-Factor. Whether you like these programmes or not, like me you may well be amazed me that seems to be endless supply of young people desperate to be plucked from obscurity and rewarded with fame and fortune. They are all convinced that they can sing. Whether it’s the X-Factor or The Voice there are plenty of would-be stars – as to whether they have any talent or not, that’s for the public to judge. And then there are always those who say, “I’ve wanted to be a singer all my life!” Well – the pedant in me wants to say to them, “No, you haven’t – you didn’t want to be a singer when you were six months old!”
Today we come together to honour a young woman to whom the prospect of being plucked from obscurity and thrust into worldwide stardom simply never would have occurred. Such things are a product of our age, of course – there was nothing equivalent in 1st century Palestine. She was simply one teenage girl among thousands of others. And what had she wanted to do all her life? Well, she probably had no expectations of anything other than getting married and bearing children – that was life for women in 1st century Palestine. Though as far as we know she had spent her life in the service of God – certainly Church tradition would have us believe that, and that belief would be supported by the words of Gabriel when he came to announce to her that she had been chosen, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” Continue reading
Last Sunday we kept the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It should, of course, really be on the 15th and in recent years we have kept it on the sunday of the octave. This year we were just a little bit naughty and pre-empted the feast. Here’s my sermon
Today we come together to honour the mother of Jesus. Every year on or around the 15th August Christians around the world come together to give thanks for the role played by Mary in bringing about our salvation. For without Mary’s “yes” to God there would have been no incarnation. Continue reading
I decided to preach on the New Testament reading this week, from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians.
She always knew that if she kept out of the others’ way then she would be alright. She knew that if she just kept her head down then she wouldn’t be bullied. She understood that she would always be bottom of the pile. It was just how things were. And that worked fine. And they all managed to co-exist. And for all of her life that’s how things were for Flixie. And Fursey was happy as long as he ran the show. Continue reading
Last Sunday we kept the feast of Saint John before the Latin Gate, which we keep as our Patronal Festival. It was only while writing this week’s sermon that I realised I had forgotten to post last week’s. Here it is, somewhat belatedly.
Most clergy are only too happy to have a church without a burial ground surrounding it. The problem is that the rules and regulations governing burial grounds are so complex. And the restrictions on what the Church of England will allow in terms of headstones, of what can be written on them, of what they may be made, and of what you may place on a grave, are very rigid. Get it wrong, and the Diocesan Registrar will come down upon you like a ton of bricks. Continue reading