The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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God revealed

On 7 January, the Feast of Epiphany, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 72Isaiah 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12.

Most churches of the Anglican tradition and many others are named after a saint – its patron saint. On the day when that saint is remembered in the church calendar, the local church celebrates its patronal festival. Many churches are named after local saints who were remembered, and often prayed to, by the local population. Some of these churches were, and may still be, places of pilgrimage.

When it comes to cathedrals, they too are dedicated to a saint. St Peter’s in Rome is very famous, or Notre Dame (Our Lady) in Paris. In England it’s easy to forget the dedication as the cathedrals are usually referred to by where they are situated. Yesterday I was in Wakefield Cathedral (West Yorkshire) for an Epiphany Eucharist. Everyone calls it Wakefield Cathedral, that’s how it’s referred to on its website, but it is in fact the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Wakefield (a bit of a mouthful). Continue reading

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The Baptism of Christ

On 15 January we recalled the Baptism of Christ. Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 40:1-12Isaiah 49:1-7, John 1:29-42.

Today is the second Sunday of the Epiphany season. I suppose as we meet on Epiphany Island, we of all people should be aware of what Epiphany means. The Greek epiphaneia means manifestation or striking appearance. It refers to some kind of new insight and realisation which gives new understanding or a different perspective on a problem.

Archimedes benefited from an epiphany when he climbed into his bath and noticed the displacement of water (probably not for the first time) and suddenly made the connection to finding the density of an object. Newton must have seen objects dropping to the ground under the influence of gravity many times, but one occasion proved to be an epiphany for him when he was able to connect the fall of an apple with the force which kept the moon orbiting the earth. Continue reading


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Journey of the Magi

On 8 January we celebrated the Feast of Epiphany. Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 72Isaiah 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12.

The sermon began with a reading of T. S. Eliot’s The Journey of the Magi

T. S. Eliot wrote this poem not long after he had come to a deeper faith and converted to Anglicanism. In it he fleshes out the story of the Magi from Matthew by allowing one Magus to remember the journey.

We get some idea of the difficulties of the journey. The weather was against them; the camels were grumpy and their drivers were even worse; places to stay were hard to come by; the places they passed through were unfriendly and exploitative. Is there any wonder that voices in their ears would suggest the journey was sheer folly?

Eliot is making assumptions in order to write his poem of course, but so do we all the time. With regard to the Magi, we make a whole set of assumptions all built on the flimsiest of evidence and perhaps a wish to fill out the story with a few more details. How do we know that there were three men who made this journey? We assume it from the number of gifts they brought. We often call them kings and give them names but where do they introduce themselves? Continue reading


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I am no longer my own, but yours

On 10 January, The First Sunday of Epiphany, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 29, Isaiah 43:1-7, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22.

Last Sunday we remembered the Magi arriving to worship Jesus and we marked that occasion by having them arrive at our garden stable. We have entered the Epiphany season of the Church Year and today is the First Sunday of Epiphany. The meaning of the word Epiphany is manifestation, revelation or showing. The Sundays in Epiphany have readings which are designed to show us important truths about Jesus. Therefore, we should expect to be shown something of the nature of Jesus in the verses we have been given to read today.

Although last week was Epiphany, we used the service as a New Year Covenant service. In that service we concluded by using the Methodist Covenant Prayer. Over the years that we have been using this form of service, I have had several people contact me to express just how uncomfortable they feel with that prayer. I think that shows just how seriously those people are examining the words. I always warn people that many of the statements in that prayer are challenging and that not everyone will feel able to make those statements. There is no point saying something you do not mean, particularly when making such profound promises. Continue reading