Shepherd-King o’er mountain steep, homeward guide thy wand’ring sheep.” This hymn which we will sing today captures the readings perfectly: our King is not a cruel tyrant or despot, but a shepherd who loves his flock, who would (and did) give his life for them. Love for the flock means that he will have to judge them, separating the sheep from those who do not belong to him. Coming to the end of the Church’s year leads us to look to our final ending, the homecoming the hymn speaks of. The judgement of the end of time we do not view as a trial or a terror, but as a coming home: look back to the Isaiah reading on the 28th Sunday to see what a homecoming party is offered. All we do is put our lives in order, living just and holy lives, longing for the day of the lord to come.
0900 Morning Prayer
1000 PARISH MASS & BENEDICTION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
STOP PRESS - DECEMBER MAGAZINE
We are coming to the end of the liturgical year, and so our thoughts turn to the end times. St Benedict in his Holy Rule tells us that we should always keep death before our eyes. Keeping death before us, should mean that we can live better lives.
We often struggle in every way possible to stay young and to pretend that we are young. Others of us seem to embrace getting old, sometimes before old age has even come upon us. I know that I have got younger as I have got older. For most of us, getting older is simply a part of living to be accepted. The point of the reading today is that part of getting older is being prepared to die and to meet the Lord. We need to ask ourselves: “Am I ready to meet the Lord right now?” If I am not, then I had better begin the work to prepare myself!
0900 Morning Prayer
1000 PARISH MASS
The poppy has became a symbol of Remembrance of all those who have been killed on active service, particularly the two World Wars. Today we remember them, not to glorify war and conflict, but to give thanks for them in particular and to pray for peace with justice throughout our world.
We donate and wear our poppies, but our remembrance needs to be based not only in the past but the present. The work of the British Legion is involved in a practical active remembrance of helping those, who have been on active service and are now in need. The return of Service personal to civilian life can be very difficult even for those not physically injured. The psychological struggle, with memories of what they have seen and what they have been a part of can often lead to alcoholism, depression, other mental health issues and living rough.
We, as Jesus followers are called to love and care for one another, in our community here at All Saints, and not just here, but amongst our family and friends, our society, our world. We are called to do what he commands and to love one another. Love we know can be enriching and life giving, it also can be costly as we stand up for what we know is true and what we believe is right. Following Jesus, means being prepared to stand up for what we know to be just, not only for ourselves but for others in our world.
0900 Morning Prayer
1000 SOLEMN REQUIEM & ACT OF REMEMBRANCE
Today we continue our celebration of all the saints, the great cloud of witnesses that surround us, and intercede for us day and night before the throne.
0900 Morning Prayer
1000 PARISH MASS - Preacher The Archdeacon of Middlesex
Today we remember those who have passed from this life with faith, hope and trust in the promise of eternal life. Yesterday we remembered all the saints but today reflect upon those who we know, those who have been part of out lives. Life is a gift from God and nothing that God gives or does is ever wasted. It’s about being a child of God.
Our lives are a reflection of God and his love. Those who have died whom we remember today somehow reflected that love. The dead are never completely gone, they in some way, still live in us. Whether one month, six months, a year, 10 or even 50 years…they live on in our minds and hearts. They have touched us, formed us and changed us. But also know that we have touched them, formed them and changed them. Our love for them is what helps them through life and into eternal life. The bonds of humanity are not broken by death. We remember them and they still remember us while enjoying the fruits of eternal life. Their love for us helps us with this life as we journey to eternal life. Sadness, sorrow, grief may fill us today, but that is a reminder of their presence and love in our lives.
Our loved ones’ journeys are complete and their lives made whole. We are all born to be saints. However, it takes a lifetime to become a saint. How we use our lives is what helps us on that journey to sainthood. The struggles and trials of life often leave us wounded. Too often, we have excess baggage that clings to us or even nags us throughout our lives. After a journey, we are often sweaty and need of a shower. God cleans us up as we pass from this life to the next. God created us good, or as said in Genesis very good, but he did not create us perfect. All those faults and imperfections that we carry are perfected by God. Our souls are purified and are made worthy to stand in the presence of God. All those sacrifices, sufferings and good works do not go unnoticed by God. God turns the good into perfect.
All souls day can touch us personally. Yes, it can be a day of mixed emotions. It is our day to remember, to miss, but also to be joyful. We reflect on our own existence. Each of us is a soul…a soul on its journey. We are still walking on that journey to become all that we were meant to be – a child of God enjoying eternal life with him.
1900 SOLEMN REQUIEM
ALL SAINTS CHURCH
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