Saturday, 30 March 2013

New Fire

The Lord is risen Alleluia! ....He is risen indeed Alleluia!

The tomb is empty, death is not the end Jesus Christ lives now and forever!

The Easter Vigil begins St. Arvans

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Higher Order of the Baptised

Choir, Cathedral of the Holy and undivided Trinity, Bristol. 12th cent.

 As readers of this blog over the years will know, we have had no pastoral oversight from an orthodox Anglican Bishop here in Wales for quite a number of years. This is not an ideal situation but which of necessity we live with provisionally (for years, decades or perhaps much longer following God's timing not ours) but always in hope of a return to the proper ordering of our part of the universal Church and the catholic faith within our Province, of which we strive to be faithful disciples within the reformed Anglican tradition.

 Another nave altar disaster. Might look better at the Bristol corn exchange.
Our Lady. beautiful.
  It was therefore good as a wandering celtic college of priests and deacons with their faithful to be made welcome again by the see of Ebbsfleet for the Mass of Chrism at one of it's three venues this Holy Week season at Holy Trinity Cathedral Bristol (and importantly facilitated by the Dean and Chapter to whom thanks are due- and why can't our Cathedrals in Wales help our own?). During the interregnum vacancy it was celebrated by the Bishop of Plymouth, Bishop John Ford to whom we are grateful.  In the homily, which hopefully will hit the digital air waves sometime soon, he referred amongst many things for us to again return joyfully (Ps. 51) to our vocation to proclaim the Gospel.

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you."

Addressing us in the threefold order of Bishops, Deacons and Priests. Importantly he spoke of "the higher order of the Baptised" from which all the other orders stem;  how true and good to be reminded of that. We can not bring Christ to the world without the faithful laity, especially at this time of great challenge to the faith. The vocation to the Christian life as a lay person is vital and of paramount importance to God and his church. However, not as proposed by some in place of or absorbed into holy orders but separate in it's own distinct identity and character from divine grace.

Passiontide veiling.

 Also he spoke of our mission within the undivided church as being the priority. The one church of God, irrespective of painful divisions within and among the various denominations of Christianity. The liturgy was supported musically to a very high standard; for which grateful thanks, by the most accomplished assistant cathedral organist Paul Walton and by the Ebbsfleet affiliated choir with servers from All Saints, Clifton (pray for that parish at this time of vacancy for a priestly father, pleasing to the Lord and in keeping with the traditions of His church there). Let us hope that God (and the Bishop of Bristol) will be merciful.

Some of the Welsh connection.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Unacceptable Behaviour

The Prime Minister should be at the inauguration of Pope Francis. Not to go is simply childish, unacceptable behaviour. I used to think that if nothing else at Eton they taught good manners; obviously not. It doesn't make me very proud to be British with such loutish and ill advised decisions as this especially without an apparent good excuse for absence. Even the Royal family could and should do better than the Duke of Gloucester; how embarrassing this is for all British Christians. I suppose the new Archbishop of Canterbury has some excuse (one being that that they don't apparently teach good manners at his same school) but the Bishop of Chichester would surely have been happy to allow absence at the prayer pilgrimage for the installation of the Bishop of Rome. Now we aren't even paying lip service to ecumenism.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Good news to the Poor

In my previous post there is a comment by Anonymous who correctly points out that St. Francis of Assisi is actually apparently the patron of the new Holy Father's name. At the time I wrote it we did not know (but thanks to him for pointing it out). However, it does raise the issue of the poor who Pope Francis is wanting rightly to concentrate on. We know that St Francis was from a wealthy family and renounced inherited wealth. I will remain supportive of the new successor to St. Peter who is the unifying apostle on earth for  Christians, including Anglicans separated through their accident of history from Rome. I do hope also that we can remember that wealth, or the relative holding of it by world standards in the west, does not bar us from being faithful to Christ or lessens us as believers. Pope Francis as a Jesuit will know that in common with Ignatius and Francis Xavier, Francis Assisi had and continues to have a mission to the poor in spirit. For us in the relatively rich western world and Europe in particular we should rejoice that we can share in the mission of the whole church when Christ proclaims "I have come to bring Good news to the poor" for we too are all poor in spirit, sinful and in need of the new life that Christ promises us in the soon to be proclaimed mystery of the resurrection at Easter. For now we can rejoice that there are religious whether Jesuits, Franciscans (Anglican one's too), Dominicans and others who continue to take their vows and minister to all of us poor, both materially and in spirit. We also who are ordained to serve Christ in the various parts of His church can share in that ministry and renew it. As Passion-tide arrives and Lent continues into it's most sacred part we have time left to give sacrificially in alms to the poor, as Pope Francis encourages us but also to concentrate on the great mission to the poor in spirit, the bringing of the good news of the Lord to those who don't know him yet or don't follow him as closely as he wants.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Which Francis, successor of St. Peter

Te Deum Laudamus for the new Pope Francis but might he not have invoked his name after the patron St. Francis Xavier co-founder of the Society of Jesus with St. Ignatius, rather than as everyone assumes Francis of Assissi? In any case our prayers for the ecumenical priorities that the Jesuit's espouse. May Pope Francis be blessed with the strength and the health required for the mission for which he has been today Ordained through the power of the Holy Spirit.