Ash Wednesday

What has God given us this Lent?

 Readings, prayers and thoughts for breakfast time whether you are on your own or with others

 

 

A candle is lit as we keep a moment of silence and bring to mind those things we would like to lay down. Those challenges we would like to pick up and those wounds we would like to let go of.....…...

 

As from the dark winter earth new life and new beauty is breaking through. So from the ashes of repentance may new hope and acceptance break through into our hearts, new joy enrich our lives and new energy empower our prayers Amen.

Music is played

 

Faithful God, we come to you at the beginning of this Lent At the beginning of this day To lay down our burdens, to rest in your presence To pray for those on our minds and hearts And for those whose names we do not know but who you hold and cherish Receive our prayers, forgive our sins and fill us with a sense of wonder at all that surrounds us of appreciation of strength and vulnerability of purpose in disappointment and surprise and of your love in life and in death Amen.

Reading Matthew 25 vv 14 - 30

Questions

What has God entrusted to us this Lent. How might we invest it. What shape might it take and how might we share it? Why might we be tempted to hide it? How might God use it?

 

Closing Prayer

May we find peace enough this Lent to still the anxiety of our lives, beauty enough to colour our routine, music enough to enrich our silence, courage enough to overcome our hesitancy, grace enough to minister to our disappointments and love enough to bear all things, to cherish all things and to carry all things to you in prayer, in Jesus name Amen.

Breakfast Liturgy for Candlemas

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, winter will have another fight. If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, winter will not come again

(traditional rhyme)

Music is played, porridge is served and the candle is lit

There is hope in lighting a candle. There is hope and mystery and promise.

Let us worship in the light of that hope Let us worship in the light of Christ

Reflection: In the East, the feast of Candlemas is called ‘Hypapante, which means ‘meeting’ It is a celebration of faithfulness, recognition and encounter. The young couple Mary and Joseph, encounter the old couple Simeon and Anna - an encounter of different experiences, of different faith journeys and of different generations. A meeting that closes one era and heralds the opening of another. And for Anna and Simeon, who bridge the gap between the two, it is a real and longed for encounter with the Living God and the fulfilment of their calling to pray, to wait, to expect. Though Luke tells us little about them, there is enough for us to know that we are in the presence of those who have grown so close to God, that they can glimpse what is hidden from others. They have eyes to see.

Waiting and encountering, are part of the rhythm of life and discipleship and the sort of encountering worth waiting for, changes and transforms. Neither, Mary, Joseph, Simeon or Anna walked away from their encounter unchanged. And change, transformation, is part of what meeting with Christ always offers. But the rhythm also requires waiting. Patient but expectant waiting. For Simeon and Anna the years of waiting were long, but the meeting that brought the waiting to an end was a rich blessing. Fulfilment and confirmation that God keeps his promises .

Senior Moment by Ann Lewin

His parents brought him, in obedience to the Law. A baby six weeks old, to offer thanks and dedicate their son. Nothing unusual- But for Simeon and Anna, Revelation.

Only mentioned once, these two had been around. Waiting and watching Prayerfully for years, Longing to see salvation. And patience was rewarded When they saw the Child. A moment of recognition And they spoke about Fulfilment, theirs and his. For once old people had the best lines.

Age does not have to mean diminishment. There may well be constraints , but there is also space and time for patient prayerful growth to wisdom's fruitfulness.

Breakfast and Discussion

Questions: Do our lives feel more about waiting than meeting? Do we wait expectantly? Are there things we are tempted to give up waiting for? CaneAnna and Simeon inspire the ministry of prayer for the older members of the churches who feel the less active they are, the less useful they are?

The Nunc Dimittis (Song of Simeon is played)

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For my eyes have seen thy salvation. Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. To be a light to lighten the gentiles and to be the glory of they people Israel.

There is hope in lighting a candle. There is hope and mystery and promise, even as we wait.

Let us with Simeon rejoice in the light of that hope. Let us rejoice in the light of Christ Amen.

 

Advent Breakfast Liturgy

The Voice of John the Baptist

 

Opening Prayer Lord Jesus, you came as the living word, to be the voice of the voiceless. You came as the word made flesh to clothe the outcasts. You came as the light in the darkness to reassure the afraid. You came as the lamb of God, to redeem the brutal. You came from the womb of the Trinity to the womb of the earth, to sanctify all creation. You came and you come as the servant of love, at Advent and always Amen

 

John the Baptist

Advent can be a very evocative, and reflective time as we make our way through the darkness of a year coming to an end, towards the light of a star hovering over a stable at Bethlehem. It is the beginning of the Church’s Calendar year and can bring a sense of anticipation, and permission to make a new beginning ourselves. It is a time of waiting of preparing, of reassessing. But just as we are about to settle down into a nice gentle rhythm and pattern in bursts John the Baptist with no manners and even less finesse!

 

Of all the people in the New Testament (excepting Jesus) John the Baptist is probably the most dramatic, the most dynamic and the most compelling and disturbing. He is the great Herald, the booming voice of Advent and speaks with alarming and provocative authority.

 

Prepare the way of the Lord. The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the Good news.

 

There is no mistaking his meaning not like some public figures who say a lot and yet say nothing. John doesn't mince his words and he doesn't ramble. He is earthy flesh and blood proclaiming the divine. He had waited in the desert- perhaps having battled with his own temptations as Jesus did before his public ministry began and now his moment had come and he gives it everything. He put his whole heart and soul into his message and his sense of urgency, his sense that the time is now counter balances the waiting and preparing side of advent and this wake up call, this living invitation is John's great gift to us.

 

Repent now he says. Believe now. Follow now.

 

And not only does he in his ministry preach some of the most urgent words of scripture but also some of the most inspired. 'Behold the lamb of God' he says when he sees Jesus and glimpses something of the cost of Christ's calling

 

And he speaks too some of the most honest words and the most humble words- the one who comes after me is more powerful than me – I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals.

 

And with great insight he says I must decrease and Jesus must increase.

 

John the baptist had it all- the urgency, the obedience, the vision, the humility, the grace to be who he was truly called to be- no more- no less. Yet he too faced doubt later in his life when imprisoned and suddenly overwhelmed asks Jesus 'are you the one who is to come or should we expect some other?' He wasn't perfect, he didn't get it all right and he certainly wasn't Mr popular amongst the religious of his day but in fulfilling his vocation he challenges us to ask ourselves this Advent what is our vocation?

 

And it is a big question for us to ask – who are we truly called to be? And how do we balance passion and urgency and make time and space to reflect and look forward. How do we live in the now at the same time as looking forward. How do we make sure in our rush to get to Christmas we don't miss the gifts Advent has to give us. 

 

 

Lord, prepare the way for us- prepare the way of our relationships, our finances. Prepare the way of our thinking, our understanding, our praying. And make straight the paths of our hearts and lives, that we may be ready to receive you this Christmas. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 'Poetry and Prayer'

 

'Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words' Robert Frost

 

A candle is lit and we say:

 

The light of the world is here among us so we rejoice that we are not alone

 

Blessed be this day and all we will reflect on      Blessed be our words and our silence Amen

 

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the gift of poetry. For all that lives within us unnamed but understood. For all that we cannot articulate but which dances in our souls. For all that enriches our experience of life and death. Amen.

 

 

 

The Seamless Robe

 

Prayer is like a seamless robe, there are no stitches in between our praise and pleas, our adoration, anger, thanks and longing. Patterns, threads, colours, merge, pain and joy embrace, barrenness, fertility grow as one,as tears, ebb and flow as gentle and as raucous as the ocean, still and raging, music, words, silence, all entwine becoming as the Trinity, albeit, fleetingly. And the robe once silky on your skin, is coarse again. Then gone and all that's left is nakedness that knows it can't be covered

 

But is not ashamed.

 

Disclosure

 

Prayer is like waiting for the kingfisher. All you can do is Be where he is likely to appear and Wait. Often, nothing much happens; There is space, silence and expectancy. No visible sign, only the knowledge That he’s been there, And may come again. Seeing or not seeing cease to matter, You have been prepared. But sometimes, when you’ve almost Stopped expecting it, A flash of brightness Gives encouragement!

 

Ann Lewin

 

 

 

Questions How would we describe our own prayer life? Do we try too hard to understand poetry and mis something of the mystery? Are we aware of evading ourselves?!

 

Blessing

 

May we find poetry in our praying. Music in our silence. And May God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, inspire, encourage and sustain us today and always Amen.

 

 

 

'Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood It may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves. T.S Eliot

 

 

 

Silence and Music

Light a candle and keep a moment of silence

Eternal God, may our lives be as a piece of music with every day a new note which, when played, will so enrich the silence that others will be drawn to listen. May they be filled with the confidence to share their own songs until all hearts are heard and your great composition is complete. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

ReadingThe Silence of a Rose “ I held the stillness as though it were a rose, with care, with reticence, with beauty. Silence welled deep within its petals, far beyond the sweetest music and I myself was held, as though a raindrop in the tip of a leaf, as though a child on the lap of one who is the music and the rose, and the silence. Most of all, who is the silence.

Breakfast and discussion Share experiences of how the silence or music has moved you. Does thinking of our life as a piece of music inspire us to try and live more ‘tunefully’?

Reading Music begins with silence. You can only fully appreciate the beauty and effect of music when it grows out of silence. If you can’t appreciate the music and significance of silence, you will never be able to appreciate fully the music of actual sound. Silence is such an important ingredient in any communication with God. How hard it is to really focus on listening.” (John Sanders – Christian composer)

 

Questions: How hard is it for us to think of ourselves as music? What sort of music do we think we are?!!! What would we like to be? Does music enrich our silence and can silence enrich the music we hear. Do they make words more precious and should we use them more carefully?

 

Prayers – for those who have no music their lives or who through illness feel their music is discordant, for those who have too much silence in their lives, for those who find it threatening and for all those on our hearts......

Music is played......

Blessing

When the anthems have all been sung, when the instruments have all grown silent and when the last notes have all been played, may God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, who is ever in the silence, bless us and keep us Amen

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Hi Lynne, the video of the moon bears was very sad and moving. I am a supporter of WWF and at present tigers are my thing. You are an inspiration. Bliess you.

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Lynne, Your words are beautiful! After reading your bio I realized you are living the life I aspire to, simplicity, quiet, silence, Divine awareness in all:)

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