The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


2 Comments

Gracious is the Lord

There are times when God seems to speak very plainly to us, through what we read, what someone says to us, something that happens. I had one such experience and was not sure who the message I received was actually for. That being the case I decided to share what I had experienced with those at the 2pm service on Thursday and with those of you who are reading this blog. I pray that it may bless someone.

The readings for the service were Genesis 22:1-19, Psalm 116:1-7, Matthew 9:1-8. My reflection follows. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Corpus Christi

Depending on the tradition of your church, you may hold Communion in high esteem or you may not. For some churches 23 June is a day to particularly think about Holy Communion and what it means to us. When thinking about this we not only remember Jesus in the Upper Room with his disciples, blessing bread as his body. We also should remember that we are the body of Christ and consider what that means.

The readings were Psalm 116:10-end, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 and John 6:51-58. My reflection follows.

 

Today, for some churches, it is the feast of Corpus Christi, meaning the body of Christ. It celebrates the institution of Holy Communion by Christ on Maundy Thursday and for that reason is usually celebrated on a Thursday. Although mostly a Roman Catholic celebration, it also finds its way into the calendar of the Church of England, some other Anglican provinces and a few Orthodox and Lutheran churches. Roman Catholic churches place the emphasis on the real presence of Jesus in the consecrated bread and wine. There is often a procession through the streets with the consecrated bread in strongly Catholic countries.

We owe the beginning of this celebration to an Augustinian nun called Juliana of Liege. She was particularly devoted to the Blessed Sacrament at a young age and longed for a special celebration of it. Later she had a vision of the full moon which gleamed beautifully except in one dark spot. She heard in the vision that this spot was because there was no feast of the Eucharist in the church year. In 1208 she had her first vision of Christ in which she was instructed to plead for the institution of Corpus Christi, which she did. This vision was repeated for 20 years. Juliana began a celebration to honour the Eucharist around 1230. Pope Urban IV commanded that this feast be universally observed in 1264. His death delayed the spread of the observance but it was mandatory for the Roman Catholic Church by 1312. Eventually processions became part of the celebration and attracted indulgences. There were often performances of mystery plays at this time also. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Trinity Sunday

It’s very easy to just accept the doctrine of the Trinity without much thought. In fact, if we give it too much thought we might get so muddled that we wish we hadn’t bothered. Over the years theologians have puzzled over this, trying to work out how we can worship one God but talk of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s a mystery although we can gain some understanding. Perhaps the most important thing is that we are invited to join in with the community of the Trinity, to be part of their mutual love.

The readings for the day were Isaiah 40:12-17, 27-end, Psalm 8, Matthew 28:16-20. My reflection from the service is given below.

I wonder how often you have said or heard: ‘in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ or ‘one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ or ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit’ or ‘Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever.’ In a liturgical church such as the Anglican church, these set phrases trip off the tongue almost without thought. They are a formula we just learn off by heart from early in our faith journey as we hear them repeated week after week, or if you say the Daily Office as we do in the chapel here, day after day.

Today is Trinity Sunday. The church has celebrated this day since it was fixed as the Sunday after Pentecost by Pope John XXII in 1334. It is not a day like many others in the church year when we focus on a particular part of the story of Jesus or his disciples. There are no special rituals for the day. It is a day to remember who God is, his being not his doings. It’s a time to actually think about what we believe about God, what our experience has shown us, what the learning and writings of others have helped us to understand. It’s a day when the ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ formula should not trip off our tongues without thought but should cause us to pause and think, even if only for a moment. Continue reading


2 Comments

Richard of Chichester

Anyone who knows the musical Godspell has had contact with something written by Richard of Chichester, remembered on 16 June. It was he who wrote the prayer which famously includes: may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day. In my reflection at the 2pm service I looked at further details of his life. The readings were Psalm 84:7-12, Philippians 4:10-13 and Matthew 25:31-40. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers