The Rector writes ‘Well, here we are again! Back to online only Services. I am generally of a positive disposition so I know we will eventually get through this ( I also know that I need to keep wearing a mask, washing my hands, keeping my distance and so on as I’m optimistic not stupid!). We can’t let our guard down now. As a parish we have done everything we had to do in the last few months and we will continue to do just that. I am so glad that we at least got to have our Harvest Thanksgiving Services in the two churches last week and this Sunday, as I stand alone yet again at the altar, I will pretend that I can still smell the apples and the greenery of last week! If you are tuning in on the 11am Livestream Service, just use your imagination and try and smell the harvest bounty in the church! ‘
A different kind of Musical Note this week !
This week, as we enter another period of ’lockdown’ I’d like to pay tribute to our wonderful musicians. In St John’s Church, Kay Treacy plays on the first, third and fourth Sundays of each month, Roger Ellis plays on the 2nd Sunday and in St Mary’s Bébhinn Ni Mheara plays on the first three Sundays and Kevin O’Neill on the 4th Sunday. Together they bring us the joy of music which adds so much to our worship and praise. Perhaps it is only when we don’t have it that we truly appreciate it. I want to thank them for playing music without any of the normal accompanying hymn singing for the last three months and I am so sorry that we are back again online. They are going to try and organise with Simon Woodworth, our Parish Webmaster , to have some music interspersed in the Livestream each week so hopefully we will continue to enjoy their playing. Again our thanks and appreciation to all involved. Canon Elaine
Random Notes CCCLXI
UNGODLY TRAVEL DENOUNCED (1863)
In a pamphlet published in the Victorian era, several so-called experts denounced the new fashion for railway travel. It was ungodly, ungentlemanly and un-Christian according to the pamphlet’s contributors. One short contribution sums up the tone of the pamphlet, it was written by Dr Walter Lewis, Medical Officer of the London Post Office. He wrote that his views and scientific observations on railway travel were based entirely on observation of the health of the travelling public. He was determined to give the impression that his views were based strictly on science yet to the modern traveller his views seem bizarre in the extreme.
Dr Lewis wrote, “Railway travel has little, if any, injurious effect on healthy, strong, well-built persons, such as are typically to be found among the London populations, but provided that the amount be not excessive, and if passengers ensure that they take moderate care of themselves, but persons who take to habitual railway travelling after the age of twenty-five or thirty are more easily and dangerously affected than those who begin earlier, and that the more advanced in age a traveller is, the more easily is he affected by this sort of locomotion. Weak, tall loosely-knit persons, and those suffering under various affections, more especially of the head, heart, and lungs, are very unsuited for habitual railway travelling. They may also find the extreme motion induces delusions of a most unwholesome sort and may even inflame the passions.”
(In future, travel on buses. You have been warned!)
We intend that the 11am Live Streamed Service will continue to be a Service of Holy Communion.
All of the bishops have formed the view that where an individual priest is celebrating the Eucharist alone, but on webcam with others watching at home, that in these extraordinary times, This satisfies the Anglican requirements concerning not celebrating alone as set out in BCP page 77 at General Direction 14 (c )
The term ‘Spiritual Communion’ has been used historically to describe the means of grace by which a person, prevented for some serious reason from sharing in a celebration of the Eucharist, nonetheless shares in the communion of Jesus Christ. The form of prayer below offers Christians an opportunity to give thanks for their communion with him, particularly at times when they would ordinarily be present at the Eucharist.
The Book of Common Prayer, on page 440 in its notes to the ‘Ministry to those who are sick’ states: “those who are incapable of receiving the sacrament are to be assured that, although not receiving the elements in the mouth, they are by faith partakers of the body and blood of Christ and of the benefits he conveys to us by them.”
Making a Spiritual Communion is particularly fitting for those who cannot receive the sacrament at the great feasts of the Church, and it fulfils the duty of receiving Holy Communion ‘regularly, and especially at the festivals of Christmas, Easter and Whitsun or Pentecost’ The Church of which we are members is not defined by the walls of a building but by the Body of Christ of which we are members.
In making our communion spiritually, we are joining with Christians everywhere to be nourished by the one who tells us, ‘I am the Bread of Life’.
In making a Spiritual Communion, you may wish to pray
Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.
after the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester