As of December, 2009, this blog is inactive at this location. All posts have been transferred to the new location here. You are very welcome to read and comment.

Friday, September 29, 2006

St Kitts


The title of this post links to the homepage of the Anglican churches on the island where I grew up. I had no idea that they had a web presence and I suspect it to be a recent development. In any case, I'm extremely pleased to see it, as it has brought back so many memories. It has been very timely indeed. I explain.

I thank all of you who offered prayers for Stella, the lady whom I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago. What I revealed elsewhere but not here was that she was my mother. The very recent revelation about the nature of her death has left me in some degree of shock, upset, anger and bitterness, for all sorts of reasons.

I don't want to go into too much depth about that here, as it is being dealt with privately, but it has left me yearning for more information about what happened, and with a craving for connexions to her life. In the nine years since I moved back to the UK from St Kitts, I have been in touch with folk there only a handful of times. There are various reasons for this, but now I feel a strong need to restore that connexion to my past, and my mother's past. It's a really strange feeling, but it's a positive change and I plan to just go with it and see where it takes me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Priest's Handbook

Just another I thought I'd flag up. There may be one more on its way but I make no promises yet.

By Flowing Waters

And another that I have never used for anything other than occasional reference. The little in it that I persoanlly now have use for is in other publications that I own and so others may have more of a use for this than I do.

The Westminster Missal

This is another shameless plug of an item that I'm currently selling on ebay. I just thought I'd flag it up here in case anybody is interested. The link to the auction is in the title of this post. I've had it for a couple of years now but have hardly had occasion to refer to it and so off it goes.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Please pray

The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened as the result of the sin of those who had fallen. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin-offering. In doing this he acted very well and honourably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin. - 2 Maccabees 12: 42b-45

Of your charity, please pray for the bounties of the Lord's goodness to be extended to Stella: a strong woman for whom the cares of this life became too much, and who laid violent hands upon herself. May whatever she did as a result of human frailty and weakness be cast into oblivion, for God is a good God and a friend of man.

O God, unto Whom all live, and by whose power our bodies, when they die, are not destroyed, but are in due time transformed into a better estate: we humbly beseech Thee, of thy loving-kindness and mercy, to wash away and pardon whatsoever stain of sin contrary to thy holy will thy handmaid may have contracted, through the fraud of the devil and through her own frailty and iniquity; and that Thou wouldest grant that her soul be carried by the hands of thy holy Angels, and be placed in the bosom of thy Patriarchs, of Abraham thy friend, and of Isaac thine elect, and of Jacob thy beloved, where there is no more sorrow nor sadness nor sighing, where the souls of the faithful rejoice with a happy gladness: and that in the last day of the great judgment Thou wouldest cause her to receive among thy Saints and elect ones a portion in thine everlasting glory, where eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which Thou hast prepared for them that love Thee. Through Jesus Christ thine only Son our Lord, Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, God, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Anaphora of St John Chrysostom

Deacon: Let us stand well; let us stand with fear; let us attend, that we may offer the holy oblation in peace.
People: A mercy of peace: a sacrifice of praise!

Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
People: And with thy spirit.
Priest: Let our hearts be on high.
People: We lift them up unto the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks unto the Lord.
Prople: It is meet and right to worship the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity, consubstantial and undivided!

Priest (in a low voice, while the people sing the above response): It is meet and right to hymn Thee, to bless Thee, to praise Thee, to give thanks unto Thee, and to worship Thee in every place of thy dominion: for Thou art God ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever-existing and eternally the same, Thou and thine Only-Begotten Son and thy Holy Spirit.

Thou it was Who didst bring us from non-existence into being, and when we had fallen away didst raise us up again, and didst not cease to do all things until Thou hadst brought us back to heaven, and hadst endowed us with thy Kingdom which is to come.

For all these things we give thanks unto Thee, and to thine Only-Begotten Son, and to thy Holy Spirit; for all things of which we know, and of which we know not, and for all the benefits bestowed upon us, both manifest and unseen. And we give thanks unto Thee also for this liturgy which Thou dost vouchsafe to receive at our hands, even though there stand beside Thee thousands of Archangels and ten thousands of Angels, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring aloft, borne on their wings, (aloud), singing the triumphal hymn, shouting, crying aloud, and saying:

People: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth;
heaven and earth are full of thy glory;
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the Highest!

Priest (in a low voice, while the people sing the above): With these blessed Powers we also, O Master Who lovest mankind, cry aloud and say: Holy art Thou and all-holy, Thou and thine Only-Begotten Son, and thy Holy Spirit: holy art Thou and all-holy, and magnificent is thy glory: Who hast so loved thy world as to give thine Only-Begotten Son, that all who believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life; Who when He had come and had fulfilled all the dispensation for us, in the night in which He was betrayed - or rather, gave himself up for the life of the world - took bread in his holy and pure and blameless hands; and when He had given thanks and blessed it, and hallowed it and broken it, He gave it to his holy Disciples and Apostles, saying:

(aloud) Take, eat: this is my Body which is broken for you, for the remission of sins.
People: Amen.

Priest (in a low voice): Likewise, after supper, He took the cup, saying:

(aloud) Drink, ye all, of this: this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins.
People: Amen.

Priest (in a low voice): Having in remembrance, therefore, this saving commandment and all those things which have come to pass for us: the Cross, the Grave, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into heaven, the Session at the right hand, and the second and glorious Advent, (aloud), thine own of thine own, offering unto Thee, on behalf of all, and for all:
People: we praise Thee, we bless Thee, we give thanks to Thee, O Lord, and we pray unto Thee, O our God. (sung as slowly or as many times as necessary to cover the epiklesis and the memorials).

Priest (in a low voice, while the above is being sung): Again we offer unto Thee this reasonable and unbloody service, and beseech Thee and supplicate Thee...

Priest: O Lord, Who didst send down thy Most-Holy Spirit upon thine Apostles at the third hour: take Him not away from us, O Good One, but renew Him in us who pray unto Thee.
Deacon: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Priest: O Lord, Who didst send down thy Most-Holy Spirit upon thine Apostles at the third hour: take Him not away from us, O Good One, but renew Him in us who pray unto Thee.
Deacon:Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Priest: O Lord, Who didst send down thy Most-Holy Spirit upon thine Apostles at the third hour: take Him not away from us, O Good One, but renew Him in us who pray unto Thee.

...send down thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these Gifts here spread forth...
Deacon: Bless, Master, the holy Bread.
Priest: ...and make this + bread the precious Body of thy Christ.
Deacon: Amen. Bless, Master, the Holy Cup.
Priest: ...and that which is in this + cup, the Precious Blood of thy Christ.
Deacon: Amen. Bless both, Master.
Priest: ...changing + them by thy Holy Spirit.
Deacon: Amen. Amen. Amen.

Priest: (still continuing in a low voice) ...that to those who shall partake thereof they may be unto cleansing of soul, unto the remission of sins, unto the communion of thy Holy Spirit, unto the fulfilment of the Kingdom of Heaven, unto boldness towards Thee, and not unto judgment or unto condemnation.

And again we offer unto Thee this reasonable service for all those who in faith have gone to their rest before us: Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics, and every righteous spirit in faith made perfect: (aloud), especially our all-holy, immaculate, exceedingly blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary:
People: It is very meet to bless thee who didst bring forth God: ever-blessed and most pure and the Mother of our God: more honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim; who without defilement barest God the Word: true Mother of God, we magnify thee!
Priest: (in a low voice, while the above is in singing) ...and for the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John; the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostles; Saints N. & N., whose memory we celebrate; and all thy Saints, at whose supplications look down upon us, O God. And be mindful of all those who have fallen asleep before us in the hope of Resurrection to life eternal; especially N. & N., and grant unto them rest, O our God, where the light of thy countenance shines upon them.

And again we beseech Thee, be mindful, O Lord, of every bishop of the Orthodox, who rightly dividest the word of thy Truth; of all the Priesthood, the Diaconate in Christ, and of every hieratic and monastic order.

And again we offer unto Thee this reasonable service, for the whole world, for the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, for those who live in chastity and holiness of life, for all civil authorities, and our armed forces; grant them, O Lord, peaceful times, that we, in their tranquility, may lead a calm and peaceful life in all godliness and sanctity.

(aloud) Among the first be mindful, O Lord, of our Great Master and Father Alexei, most-holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; our Master the very most reverend Metropolitan HILARION, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad; and of our Master, the most reverend Archbishop MARK, whom do Thou grant unto thy churches in peace, safety, honour, length of days, and rightly dividing the word of thy Truth.
People (slowly): And all mankind!

Priest (in a low voice, while the above is in singing): Be mindful, O Lord, of this city in which we dwell, and of every city and countryside, and of those who in faith dwell therein. Be mindful, O Lord, of them that travel by sea, land, and by air; of the sick, the suffering, captives and their salvation. Be mindful, O Lord, of them that bear fruit and do good works in thy holy churches, and who remember the poor; and upon us all send forth thy mercies: (aloud) and grant us with one mouth and one heart to glorify and praise thine all-honourable and majestic Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
People: Amen!


The above is the anaphora from the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. After having been going to the Liturgy regularly now for nearly a year, I only recently came across the entire text, and was astounded by the sheer beauty of it all. Much of it is said quietly during the Liturgy and so I have only heard the parts that have been sung aloud. I just thought I'd share it here for others who, like me, may be unfamilar with it in its entirety, or indeed, at all.