Welcome to our online worship for this very special day - the Feast of Pentecost, sometimes known as the 'birthday of the church'. Under normal circumstances, we would have been enjoying a Parish Picnic today to celebrate, but we are learning more and more that the Holy Spirit can work outside all our 'normal' plans and expectations!
Today we can look forward to another wonderful Socially Distanced choir anthem - recorded by members in their own homes and then put together by the magic of technology by Tricia Rees-Jones, our musical director, and Will Rees-Jones.
Our readings today have been read by Adrian Moore and David Maine, and our prayers by Jenny Cruse, with help from Adrian.
Thank you to all who have been making these services special, and to all who have encouraged them by listening to them.
Welcome to our online service. Today's service is a simpler one as Tricia and Will Rees-Jones have a week off recording and our music is provided instead from Adrian Moore's archive. The organ music in our service today is played by Rev'd Ivan Fowler. Our Bible readings are read by Emily and Addie.
Like the disciples in today's Bible readings, may you experience the Glory of God even in times of trouble and confusion.
If you would like to contact me, I can be reached by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is our online morning worship for Sunday 17th May - the 6th Sunday of the Easter Season and also Rogation Sunday. 'Rogation' means 'asking' and it is the time when we usually pray for our farms, fisheries and all who work them, as well as all the other businesses that support our rural life. In the past we have marked this with an outdoor service or walk, often at a local farm, so today our prayers have been recorded outside. Perhaps if you are taking a walk today or later this week, you might like to take the time to notice and thank God for our rural life, and pray for all those who support it and depend on it.
As clergy are now allowed to enter churches (alone or with members of their household) for prayer or to celebrate Holy Communion on behalf of their communities, here is a simple service of Holy Communion from St Margaret's Church Hinton Blewett. Our Online Sunday Services will continue as before. A video of this service can be seen on the United Parish Facebook page - no Facebook account or sign-up is needed.
Welcome to our first online version of our lay-led Evening Praise service, planned and delivered by Adrian Moore with contributions for Murray and Rosemary Bennett and music once again, with our grateful thanks, from the archive of the Horfield Parish Choir.
It's always interesting to hear a little about someone else's journey of faith. Looking back, we can often see how God has guided us - perhaps in ways we didn't even notice or understand at the time. As we think about our own journey and the people who have accompanied us. we can give thanks for the past and look onwards with courage to the future.
The bells of East Harptree call us again to our worship this morning, as we hear about a follower of Jesus more often associated with Christmas than the Easter season - St Stephen, whose Boxing Day Feast day is remembered as the day when Good King Wenceslas looked out! With thatnks to Tricia for the music, Will for the technical work and Hazel and Barry Rider for the readings and prayers, with Adrian Moore's recording expertise to help them.
Look out later on Sunday for a special extra service - an online version of our lay-led Evening Praise service, planned and delivered by Adrian Moore with contributions for Murray and Rosemary Bennett and music once again from the archive of the Horfield Parish Choir.
This is our first recorded Evensong - remember these services remain available so you can listen to them any time. Canticles are being sung as hymns to make it as easy as possible to join in, and we have another Socially Distanced anthem from our lovely choir! We also have an excellent sermon, not from me this time but from our Archdeacon, the Ven Adrian Youings, who is archdeacon of Bath and has been working hard in the background to support our clergy and congregations. Our thanks go to him for the sermon on Psalm 27, to Tricia Ree-Jones and the choir for the lovely music, and to Tricia and Will for the technical work to put it all together. Thank you!
It's hard to believe that we are in May already! This Sunday, we are called to worship by the Bells of East Harptree, recorded in earlier times by Adrian Moore, who has also mixed the service for us today, as well as reading the Bible readings. There is also another musical treat as our Musical Director, Tricia Rees-Jones finds a way to sing a descant with herself it the final hymn! Mary Cookson is leading our prayers. Although we don't mention names in the recording, for privacy reasons, if you would like to ask for prayer, do leave a message or contact me by email on email@example.com.
In our worship today, we reflect on Jesus's words 'I came that they might have life, and have it in all its fulness'. What does full, abundant life mean to you?
Later today, an Evening service will also be released - an Evensong following the well-loved traditional words of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and graced with another technological miracle of a 'socially distanced' anthem from the choir. If two services in one day seems like eating all your chocolates at once, why not listen to Evensong during the week?
God bless you, wherever you are - both in the world and on your journey of faith.
We call this the third Sunday of Easter to remind ourselves that Easter wasn't just a one-off event that happened and that was it. It changed the world, as ripples spread out through and from the little pool of men and women close to Jesus. Over these weeks after Easter Day, we find out how those around him were affected by first hearing about and then meeting the risen Jesus for themselves. It is a process that has never stopped. This service today is a tiny ripple far out in the ocean of faith in which we are sailing, and the changing of lives still goes on.
This is a simpler service this week. Our music team are having a well deserved post-Easter rest, and I have produced this episode at home. We do have music though - Adrian Moore has produced some recordings made back in the 90's, with the choir of Horfield Parish, and two of those hymns are used here by kind permission of their Musical Director, Glyn Jenkins, whose wife was one of the original singers. Thank you to Horfield Choir, to Adrian for providing the recordings, and for reading for us, and to Mary Cookson for preparing and reading the intercessions.
This is our Easter Day celebration - despite the fact that our church buildings are closed, Christ is still risen! Thank you to all who have listened to these services over the past few weeks; thank you for your emails and for passing the links on to others.
Thank you to Tricia Rees-Jones, our Musical Director, for the music and singing; to Adrian Moore for the readings, and to Will Rees-Jones for putting the service together.
And today, we have an extra reason to say thank you to Tricia and Will, as well as to all the members of our choir and to their friends! Together, the forces of social distancing, music and technical wizardry have created an Easter Miracle for us - the choir members have sung and recorded their parts separately in their own homes and Tricia and Will have put it all together in an astounding choral anthem to end our Easter service.
Thank you, everybody! Christ is risen!
This online service is intended as a Good Friday meditation, replacing our traditional Hour at the Cross on Good Friday afternoon. You may want to use the 'pause' button to take time to reflect after the readings and meditations.
If you have a cross or crucifix, you could put it nearby as you listen to the service.
The name Tenebrae is the Latin word for "darkness" or "shadows," and has for centuries been applied to the ancient monastic night and early morning services of the last three days of Holy Week, which in medieval times came to be celebrated on the preceding evenings.
The traditional service is marked by reading from the book of Lamentations and the gradual extinguishing of 6 candles until a single candle, considered a symbol of the Lord, remains. Each candle extinguished represents a loss of human hope. Towards the end of the service, the final candle is hidden, representing the apparent victory of the forces of evil. But at the very end, a loud noise (the ‘Strepitus’ in Latin) is made, symbolizing the earthquake at the time of the resurrection (Matthew 28:2), the Benedictus is sung as a hymn of hope and the hidden candle is restored to its place. By its light all depart in silence.
It uses psalms and other passages of lament to remind us that God is present even at those times when we feel alone and abandoned – and even when we feel angry at God for the suffering which goes on in his world. It seems particularly appropriate for Maundy Thursday, when Jesus prayed desperately in Gethsemane, and also at this time when so many people have to struggle with fear, illness and even death, cut off from the human levels of support we so often take for granted.
This interpretation of the service is centred around a poem written by Sr Mary Stevens, who sees how the monastic service she took part in as an enclosed novice has come to represent standing with all the oppressed and suffering people with whom her order works in the modern age. I have not been able to contact Sr Mary to ask her if I may use her poem here, but I hope and believe she would approve.
Holy Week is a time of waiting and watching. Tonight in this service it seems more relevant than ever as we watch and wait with all those who suffer and cry out to God, and whose resurrection moment is yet to come.
If you have seven candles or tealights, you might like to light them and blow them out as the service progresses.
The traditional Night Prayer of Compline is an opportunity to lay our concerns and worries before God, as we put our trust in him before we sleep. The service varies very little, evening by evening. Although these recordings were prepared with the first three days of Holy Week in mind, they can also be used on any night to put us in touch with God's peace, that passes our human understanding.
At a time when there is much to worry us, the ancient service of Compline, or Night Prayer, is the ideal way to end the day by putting ourselves and all our fears and worries into God's hands. Try to listen at a time when you can be quiet afterwards, letting God's peace sink into your heart.
With thanks to Tricia Rees-Jones for singing the traditional Compline hymn.
This is our third Online service together in the time of church closure and isolation due to Coronavirus. Thank you to Tricia Rees-Jones for the music and singing, Will Rees-Jones who has put all our contributions together and Adrian Moore for his wonderful voice and additional technical advice and experience.
Welcome to all our listeners, in the United Parish and those elsewhere who are joining us.
Today is Palm Sunday, which marks the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey through the same rejoicing crowds who would shortly call for his crucifixion. It marks the end of the ‘waiting and preparing’ period of Lent as the action starts to roll inexorably towards his suffering and death – his ‘Passion’ as it is known, in a word that used to mean ‘Suffering’ - on behalf of the world.
We recall it today as we and all in our nation stand at a similar watershed moment. The period of waiting and girding of loins in preparation is almost over, and like Jesus in Gethsemane we pray that, if possible, the cup may be taken from us, but also that we may be given the strength and courage to do whatever God calls us to do.
If you have a Palm cross saved from a previous year, you might like to have it close during this service. Otherwise, why not make a simple cross by tearing paper or pick a leafy twig to recall the palms.
There will be no sermon in today’s service. The Passion Reading speaks for itself.
Next week is Holy Week, and God willing, there will be a simple online reflective service published each day.
This is our second online service during the period of self-isolation and temporary church building closure due to COVID-19. Whether or not you are one of our congregation, you are very welcome to join us. If you have joined us through one of our emails, there will be an order of service attached so that you can follow along with the service and even sing the hymns! If you are just listening to the podcast, you will find the service flows without needing the written words.
As before, the music and singing has been provided by our Musical Director, Tricia Rees-Jones, and technical expertise by Will Rees-Jones. This week, readings have been recorded by Adrian Moore. Thank you all for your help in a very busy week.
If you would like to comment on the service, you can do so by email to me or via the Voice Comments button on the Anchor website.
Stay safe, everybody, and keep praying and looking out for each other at this difficult time.
This is the first service we have shared while separated in our own homes, self-isolating during the COVID-19 outbreak. The service is led by the vicar of the United Parish of East Harptree with West Harptree and Hinton Blewett, Rev'd Karen Spray. The lovely music has been played and sung especially for this service by our Musical Director Tricia Rees-Jones, and wonderful technical support provided by Will Rees-Jones. For all this to come together in the few days since we realised that church services would have to be suspended is a miracle of hope in a difficult time.
Whether you are part of our congregation or not, please feel welcome to this online community.
If you are separated from other members of the family by the need to keep safe, why not arrange to listen at the same time to this online service and then speak together by phone or other online means? Or listen at 10:30am on Sunday, when many of our congregation will be listening
God bless you