Weekly Email – Trinity 15
This Sunday we are going to mark the gift of new hassocks to All Saints by blessing them in thanksgiving for the lives of Clive and Joy Wright and their part in our parish story; I’ll be saying more about blessing, and why we bless things, from the pulpit, so I’ll confine myself in this email to some thoughts about the use of hassocks and our posture in worship.
The classic Christian posture for worship and prayer is standing. Ancient churches were not furnished with pews or chairs, except around the walls for the elderly and infirm (which remains the case in most Eastern Orthodox churches). We stand at the entrance of the ministers of worship in readiness to join in prayer and praise. We stand to welcome the proclamation of the Gospel and to proclaim our faith in the words of the Creed. When we are called to pray during worship, standing should remain our default posture, including during the Prayer of the Faithful or Intercessions: for some reason we stand for these prayers at High Mass but have got into the habit of kneeling (or more often sitting) for the Intercessions at Low Mass: Catholic practice is to stand for prayer. Once seating became a feature of churches, it became usual to sit for readings and sermons, and sometimes also during musical offerings such as anthems and motets, or longer musical settings of the Gloria and Creed, but not for prayer.
Kneeling was originally limited to acts of penitence. It used to be forbidden to kneel during Eastertide, when the good news of the Resurrection should overwhelm even our sense of sinfulness. But, like genuflection, kneeling gradually became customary as a sign of reverence. We may kneel to receive communion, to receive a blessing, and out of reverence for the coming of Christ’s presence among us in the Great Thanksgiving or Eucharistic Prayer.
One of the noticeable protestantising tendencies in modern Anglican congregational behaviour has been to sit for a great deal of the time we spend together in worship. Some might suggest this reflects ageing congregations and increasingly feeble knees. I sympathise (both Fr Peter and I have had knee trouble: the punishment fits the genuflecting crime!).
But there’s something more going on here: passively sitting, rather than kneeling or standing, expresses protestant suspicion of the body as contributing to worship, and therefore suspicion of liturgy as opposed to preaching. It is sometimes explained in terms of the equality of all in church (e.g. not standing when the priest enters), but it is also a denial that reverence should be shown to sacraments or sacramentals (which is claimed to be idolatrous). That is where we should draw a line. Our faith is incarnational and posture expresses that: sitting is passive; kneeling or standing is a posture of deliberate engagement. Now that we have hassocks again please try to kneel or stand (standing is an equally reverent posture) except when listening to (non-Gospel) scripture, music, sermons and notices.
Online theology by Zoom
The Father explores questions to do with dementia and human relationships. How does the Christian tradition respond to the idea of dementia? What does Jesus teach about what it means to be human? How does memory define who we are? How can we contribute to debate on this topic in a way that values human life? To kind out more and explore this crucial area, join us on Tuesday 14th September at the following Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88404429227
Walsingham Devotion & Monthly Requiem
Tomorrow our monthly Walsingham Devotion, in the form of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary with intercessions, will be offered at 1130 before the noon Mass.
A week tomorrow our monthly Requiem Mass will be celebrated: please let Fr Michael have names of those you’d like remembered at that Mass.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for Trinity 15 is at the end of this email.
And click here for the YouTube live stream.
Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm on Sunday. This week the music includes Gabriel Jackson Truro service, Tallis O nata lux, Lassus O salutaris, and Andriessen Tantum ergo. This service is not live streamed.
We are looking for volunteers to help with the flowers in church. If you have a particular talent for flower arranging and would like to help from time to time or on a regular basis please contact Shawn on 07988 287 663 or email@example.com
If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn or speak to Chris Self.
Prisoners and captives
Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
Rohingya Christians in Pakistan, Karen Christians in Burma, and Tigrayan Christians in Ethiopia
David Fettke,Vallery Tchukov, Sara Vice, Katherine Lee, Lorna Smith, Beth Klausing, Hilary Porter, Bruce Ross-Smith, Benjamin Woolf, James Shrimpton, Tony Rodger, Rachel Pereira, Fr Michael Gudgeon, Chris and Carole Radley, Fr Harry Hodgetts, Rosemary Orr, Martin Berka, Barbara Schiefer, Joan Anna SLG, Poppy Harris-Thompson, Sheila Wood, Jennifer Spreckley, Sue Yesnick, Elizabeth Lyon, Rosina Sargon Eskrya, Malcolm Brown, Tim Knight, Hillary Rodger, Geoff Vardy, Fr John O’Brien, Max Fernandes, Mark Willoughby, Craig Williams, Ross Dixon, Bernard Holmes, Elaine Bishop, Kathleen McMorran, Muriel Woodhead
Those known to us recently departed
Olivier Maire Pr, Benedict Reid OSB Pr, Charles Hoff, Edward Barnes
Anniversaries of death
12th – James Shaw, Marion Pidgeon
13th – Bernard Clements Pr (sixth vicar of All Saints), Reginald Bickerton
14th – Peggy Macmillan, Thomas Partridge
15th – Augusta Kirby, Gwen Duckett, Richard Dinnis Pr
16th – Evelyn Hutt, Virginia Ambridge, Flora Subbiah
17th – Arthur Bourchier, Allan Duggan
Supporting All Saints
Parish Giving Scheme
You can set up a regular donation to All Saints here.
We use the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows contributions to be anonymous and deals with Gift Aid, saving our office a lot of time. You can read about how the scheme works here.
Donations for general church purposes
To give by BACS please use the following details, advising the Administrator to collect Gift Aid:
PCC All Saints (Charity no. 1132895)
Sort Code 60-09-15
Parish Legacy Policy
We are always delighted to hear from anyone who wants to support us with a donation. Our PCC Legacy Policy encourages people to leave bequests specifically to one of our two related charities to be used for purposes of lasting value (rather than day to day costs):
All Saints Choir & Music Trust (Charity # 802994)
or The All Saints Foundation (Charity # 273390).