20th Sunday in Ordinary Time August 18th 2019
Dark Red Book page 125
to whom all hearts be open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secretes are hid:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love thee,
and worthily magnify thy holy name…
This prayer will be more familiar to some than to others. It is the Collect for Purity and remains enshrined in the liturgy of the CofE. But do not assume that this is some incidental protestant ditty. It is an ancient preparation for Mass found in the Catholic pre-reformation Latin rites. It first appears in English in that 14thC mystical classic: “The Cloud of Unknowing”. In the Anglican rite it comes either at the beginning of the Eucharist or before the Consecration.
When I was a student at KCL, everybody was in awe of the Venerable Dean, Sydney Evans (RiP 1988). He seemed to glide smoothly through the corridors 6” above the floor. If he didn’t hold the “Keys of the Kingdom”, he held the “Sword of Damocles” deciding which students would survive the course. Every Wednesday he celebrated the College Eucharist. This was a command performance especially for those who were on a pathway to (Anglican) Priesthood. The sacrament was prepared and celebrated with care. The preaching was sophisticated and intellectual (or do I mean unintelligible?) and everything was conducted with solemn dignity. Week by week one of the “Ordinands” (training priests) would be required to serve. Now at the best of times my liturgical sensibilities remain limited. My old friend Andrew Proud (lately retired as Bishop of Reading) was the Sacristan. He had to prepare all the vestments and sacred vessels and ensure that the designated student understood his duties:
“You must be invisible. Never draw attention to yourself – When it is time for the Collect for Purity you must lead the congregation. If you do not clearly pronounce the opening words the ceremony will stop and nothing will happen!”
This was impressed upon me. It was probably the only thing I could remember. I solemnly accompanied the Dean: “Let us go to the altar of God…” (Psalm 43:4) Dutifully I knelt in my place. The liturgy unfolded. Confession, Readings, Gospel, Homily, etc. By this time, I had slipped into peaceful oblivion. The homily passed me by. There was a long silence… It went on… Had we had the bidding prayers…? I don’t know… Why didn’t the service continue? Surely, have we had the prayers? YES, NO I don’t know… It all rushed around in my head. I looked at The Dean. He seemed to be in a trance. Nothing was happening. In the ongoing silence I desperately gazed around for a sign. Stony faced academics, professors, venerable guests “know it all students” but no clue was given. I couldn’t hold back any longer. I panicked and, as if in some kind of Pentecostal aberration, I blurted out at the top of my voice: “ALMIGHTY GOD…”
Everyone stared at me as if I needed locking up! The ongoing SILENCE was deafening! Eventually, The Dean breathed a deep sigh of despair and continued:
make us attentive in our prayers…”
I regret I may remain a disappointment in this respect but at least I survived the course! The point is, come to Mass as you are and don’t fret, “Just as I am, Oh Lamb of God, I come”
Mark B, Catherine M, Mrs R Kiernham, Catherine F, Constance C, Sr Mary Sparks OP, Michael & James C, Fr John Lavery, Mary O, Sr Bernadette Rennison OSU, Dan B, Frank B
May they Rest in Peace
Thank You for your Offering
OLSS Aug 4th £1705 (SpDn) 11th Aug £470
St Josephs Aug 4th £322 Toilet Plan £31
Aug 11th £280 Toilet Plan £60 (SpDn) £150
If you are seeking the Baptism of a Child either at OLSS OR St Joseph the next meeting will be 7.00pm Wednesday 11th Sept in the Parish Room at OLSS. Please come at this time when we look at the responsibilities of parents and Godparents & consider carefully the diary for both churches. There will be no meeting in August.
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St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153 Tuesday)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to your protection,
implored your help,
or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you do I come, before you I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions, but in your mercy,
hear and answer me. Amen.
This famous prayer is known as the Memorare of St Bernard and should be well known to all Catholics. It sustained me through final examinations in 1979 every night and morning before opening each of the 10, 3 hour papers. At that time, I still sojourned as a student within the CofE. It settled my anxieties and cleared my mind and will have the same effect for you in times of crisis or anxiety. Despite the title and the fact that it has always been associated with St Bernard, it does not seem to have appeared before the 1500’s and was only made popular by a certain 17thC French Fr Claude Bernard who ministered to condemned criminals. Still it would be a good trade off if Catholics used the Collect for Purity while Anglicans might adopt the Memorare.
MASS CALENDAR FOR 17th – 25th AUGUST 2019
Saturday 17th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Shirley A (RiP)
Sunday 18th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Fr. Kevin & Frances (40th Wed An)
20th Sunday in Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Margaret L (RiP)
Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Anja P (Safe Del)
Inc Baptism of Heather
Monday 19th No Mass on Monday
Tuesday 20th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Velankani & Johnson D
St Bernard Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: Kevin & Frances
Wednesday 21st Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Irene R (RiP)
Thursday 22nd Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Parish & People (Lieu of Sun)
Our Lady Mt & Qn Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Dcd Parents FSM Sisters
Friday 23rd 1.30 Nuptial Mass Wedding Rite of Lisa Jo & Bruno
NO Mass at 9.30 this Friday 23rd
Saturday 24th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: William & Elizabeth M (RiP)
Sunday 25th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People
21st Sunday in Mass St J’s 10.00 Int:
Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Peter R (RiP)
Life will be a little bit hectic in the Robinson Household this week as we prepare for a special celebration when Lisa Jo will be married to Bruno on Friday at 1.30 at OLSS. There will be NO Mass at 9.30 this Friday as we will be rather pre-occupied receiving family and guests, but all parish members and friends are welcome to join the Mass at 1.30. For all the same reasons Fr Kevin will not be available for Confessions on Saturday 24th. Those who attend at 9.00am will know that Lisa is the red headed girl who sings at Mass.
Farewell to Fr Tomasz who has been a great friend and help to us in Greenwich. Tomasz is going to the parish of St Wilfred in Kennington. We wish him God Bless in his new situation with thanks for his kindly ministry among us.
Post expires at 9:01pm on Saturday September 21st, 2019