This is the second of a series of talks for Lent 2017, given in the Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul, Lufton
Read last week’s talk here.
Tonight’s talk I have entitled Hail, gladdening light.
St Ambrose was Bishop of Milan from 374 until his death in 397. Together with St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (d. 367), Ambrose is considered the father of western hymnody, although it is by no means certain that he wrote any of the hymns attributed to him. What is more certain is that he was responsible at Milan for importing an antiphonal style of singing (in which one side of the choir responds to the other) from the Eastern Church.
Between twelve and eighteen hymns are attributed to him, four with a fair degree of certainty – although at various times in the past many more have been. He is also said, together with St Augustine, to have written the song which we know now as the Te Deum, although neither he nor Augustine mention it in their writings so we cannot be certain. Continue reading “Hail, gladdening light”
Well, that was a shock – but not, perhaps, a complete surprise. Last Thursday the British people (or more accurately the English and Welsh people) voted to leave the European Union.
It was clear during a heated and often acrimonious, and sometimes depressing campaign, that feelings were running high. As is always the case on such occasions those who wanted to leave were passionate and forceful, while those who were not actively involved in the campaign largely held their counsel. A lot of things were said by campaigners – some of them true, but many clearly not – and some were provocative and have led occasionally to confrontation between people who voted leave and have been telling immigrants to Go home now or worse. Continue reading “Out of the frying pan, into the fire?”
Prayer is a tricky business. Or at least so it would seem from conversations that I’ve had with other Christians, with people on the fringe of Church life and non-Christians who challenge me about it. And, if I’m honest, it can be a bit of tricky business for me too. And lots of teaching on prayer appears designed to make us feel guilty about it.
And because so many of us find it tricky, we also find that it becomes a source of guilt and anxiety for us. We don’t feel that we pray for long enough or often enough; or we don’t pray well enough; we don’t know what to pray about; our prayer is too formulaic and stale, lacking variety and inspiration; we get too easily distracted; and everybody else seems to do it better than me. You probably have your own anxieties that you could add to the list. Continue reading “When you pray, say …”
The Lord’s Prayer has been in the news this week and has received lots of publicity. And all because a Church of England advert for the new Just Pray website has been banned from being shown in cinemas because it might be offensive to people of other faiths or no faith.
The outrage would suggest that the cinemas have got that wrong. Critics of all faiths and none have condemned the decision, but it’s probably the case that more heat than light has been generated in the debate.
I guess that it’s likely that more people have watched the advert in two days on YouTube than would have seen it in the cinema on its day of release – and certainly more people have noticed it – so it’s probably already been an effective piece of publicity. Continue reading “Our Father …”