Shellrock Ramblings - 29th November
My Dear Friends
Sunday 29th is the start of Advent, the time when we are thinking about the forthcoming birth of Jesus. It has always struck me as strange that we should change to the new liturgical colour of purple in Advent. But as we will be looking at the readings throughout the season, it makes sense to be reflecting deeply on our personal response to this most wonderful event in world history.
As with the important other festivals earlier in the year when we were unable to have the usual celebratory services in church, it is sad that again we won’t be together for this Advent Sunday. However, we could remember the day (and the weeks ahead) in our own homes, perhaps by lighting a candle and placing it on a windowsill in a prominent place. ‘Wake up and Watch Out’ are the themes of Advent as we find them in the hymns for the season.
Although this Sunday there will be no service, those thereafter will take place and on 6th December we shall be at RSP for a benefice family service. We shall also be having a service of Nine Lessons and Carols on December 20th at St James at 3.00 pm. The Wymondham choristers will be singing the carols, and there will be one or more people from each parish reading the lessons. Several people have already asked me if there has been any change in the rules about congregational singing. At this moment in time I don’t know but I hope there will be; it will be a wonderful gift if we can sing again, especially those much loved and well known carols.
Some of you will have seen tributes following the death of the former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sachs. He was frequently on “thought for the day” with a wonderful minute of reflection. When I worked in St Joseph’s Hospice in London I was lucky to be able to meet and hear Lord Sachs. He was a frequent visitor because we had quite a number of patients who were Jewish. I would certainly agree with the tributes published about this extraordinarily wise man. Bishop Michael Ipgrave wrote in his tribute that Lord Sachs “was able to speak truth into British and global society in such a way as to enlighten and enrich many, many people beyond as well as within the Jewish Community. The Prince of Wales described him as a light unto the nation.”
Earlier in this week I came across a lovely prayer sent from the diocese and I’m going to include it here, before I finish.
‘Lord it is night, and the night is for stillness…’ a prayer from the New Zealand prayer book
Lord, it is night. The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done; let it be.
The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.
In your name we pray. Amen
My love to you all
Sunday 29th November
Readings: Isaiah 64 v 1-9, Psalm 80 v 1-8, 1 Corinthians 1 v 3-9, Mark 13 v 24-end
10.00am to 11.00am Shropham Private Prayer
Daily St James, Great Ellingham Private Prayer
Tuesday 1st December
11.00am – 1.00pm Open Church for Private Prayer only, in St Peter Little Ellingham
Thursday 3rd December
11.00am – 1.00pm Open Church in St James, Great Ellingham
Sunday 6th December, Second Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 40 v 1-11, Psalm 85 v 1-2, 8-end, 2 Peter 3 v 8-15a, Mark 1 v 1-8
10.30am Rockland St Peter Morning Service
Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday
8.10am Radio 4 Sunday Worship
10.30am BBC1 Sunday Worship for Advent from Brecon Cathedral
12.20pm BBC1 Songs of Praise, boy’s semi-final of BBC Young Chorister of the Year
3.00pm Radio 3 Choral Evensong, from the chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge. A service for Advent with carols
There is still little information available to enable us to plan how the church will operate in December and Christmas in particular. The parish magazines will have a list of planned services and we hope these, at least, will be allowed to go ahead. However there are other issues which need clarifying before we can be confident that what we would like to do is possible. So for the moment, we assume that what was in place before this lockdown will be in place once it finishes on 2nd December.
Shellrock Benefice Facebook
The benefice is now on Facebook, courtesy of Revd Sue Strutt. For those of you who are familiar with this particular social media you should have no problems finding it. For those of us who are less familiar, Sue will be providing details in the next edition of the Ramblings.
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