Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The End of the World is Nigh - Please Give Generously one way to attract attention and donations, for the 'John Martin: Painting the Apocalypse' Exhibition at Sheffield's Millenium Galleries.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin,1852

Martin, who lived from 1789-1854, was one of the most popular artists of the 19th century, justly popular for his vast narratives, often dealing with apocalyptic scenes from the Bible or classical mythology.

The Great Day of His Wrath, John Martin, 1853

This particular work is part of his Last Judgement Trilogy, of massive scale and impressive detail; among the mass of teeming humanity falling into the abyss are a Cardinal or two, Popes and lawn-sleeved Bishops, together with one of those new-fangled Steam Locomotives and Carriages.

Well worth going to see - but how much do you tip for the Apocalypse?

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Catching Up

Preaching in the Cathedral at Evensong last Sunday, Trinity Sunday, fulfilling the annual (voluntary) duty of an Honorary Canon, a veritable feast of Stainer and Stanford. Too many times I've heard sermons that have tried to explain the Trinity, so I preached on the Trinity as a mystery and reality to be lived out, not as a problem to be explained away. An unusual highlight of the early part of last week was the opportunity to reflect on Liturgy with a Suffragan-Bishop elect, - and to teach him how to use a Thurible!

Corpus Christi was duly observed with a Sung Mass and Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, while the following day saw the opportunity to say Mass for the Nativity of St John the Baptist at St Paul's King Cross, in the early days of their Interregnum. St John, to whom a number of Churches are dedicated in Calderdale, and whose severed head is graphically portrayed on represenatations of the old Halifax Coat of Arms in Barry's magnificent Victorian Town Hall, is also portrayed on the glorious High Altar Reredos at St Paul's


(The High Altar at St Paul's, King Cross)

Friday Night took us to Headingley, for a long awaited Derby clash between the mighty Leeds Rhinos, and the Bradford Bulls......Bradford were the least poor of two off-form Teams, and it wasn't a good night for Leeds fans, though the weekend's Rugby theme did pick up with a Saturday afternoon spent at the marvellous Heritage Centre at the George Hotel in Huddersfield.


The First Sunday after Trinity will bring a thank you and farewell to Luke, our latest Mirfield Ordinand, as he completes his placement with us, a Garden Party, and Benediction at St Paul's, before thoughts need to turn to Bishop Tony's Pastoral Visit on Tuesday, the episcopal OFSTED......

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Feasts in June

June begins with two very important Holy Days, as the Queen of Seasons, Easter, reaches its glorious conclusion. The whole of the great Fifty Days of Eastertide form a single festival period, in which a tone of joy and thanksgiving is sustained.

Ascension Day is the fortieth Day of Easter. The Lord commissions his disciples to continue his work, he promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, and then he is no longer among them in the flesh. The Ascension is therefore closely connected with the theme of mission. The arrival of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost completes and crowns the Easter Festival.

Following the day of Pentecost, Ordinary Time, or the Season of the Year, resumes. The first Sunday of this period which will take us right through to the eve of All Saints is Trinity Sunday. The following Thursday is a particular day of Thanksgiving for the Holy Eucharist, Corpus Christi, celebrated with a Procession of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The principal Commemorations of the Saints in June include the Apostle Barnabas (June 11th), the Birth of S John the Baptist (June 24th) and the Apostles Peter and Paul, (June 29th), together with two others who ought perhaps to be better known in our Nation, S.Columba of Iona, (June 9th), and S.Alban, the first martyr of these islands, (June 22nd).

Some Prayers attributed to St Columba

Be Lord Jesus, a bright flame before me,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path below me,
a kindly shepherd behind me:
today, tonight, and forever

Kindle, O Lord, in our hearts, we pray,
the flame of love which never ceases,
that it may burn in us and give light to others.
May we shine forever in your temple,
set on fire with that eternal light of yours
which puts flight to
the darkness of this world;
in the name of Jesus Christ,
your Son, our Lord.