Advent Candle 1

Zoom Worship for Advent Sunday – 29th November 2020

Welcome to our Sunday worship brought to our homes by Zoom.  After the worship we can have a short chat together. The hymns and other shared texts you might know

 by heart, or you can print out this service, or you may have a hymn book at home, or you may be happy to listen in silence.

 

The Sunday worship login address remains the same throughout these weeks – see website. Deacon Christine offers a Saturday morning worship option on Facebook. The website will inform you of any regulation changes for December.  Advent Begins on 29th November. From 1st December until 23rd December there will be a service of Night Prayer (Compline) EVERY night at 21.00. Have a candle ready to light in your home. See website for login.

 The preacher this morning is Fr. Leonard

Priest:  Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

All:        and also with you.

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Light a candle for Advent

Service for Night Prayer (Compline) during Advent

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.  All  Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord

All  who made heaven and earth.

A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

All  Most merciful God, we confess to you, before the whole company of heaven and one

      another, that we have sinned in thought, word and deed and in what we have failed

      to do. Forgive us our sins, heal us by your Spirit and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen.

 

O God, make speed to save us.

All  O Lord, make haste to help us.

All  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. Amen.

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Advent Candle 1

Advent Message – The Revd. Canon Leonard Doolan, Athens. November 2020

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25, 1-13).

November 29th is Advent Sunday. We begin a new church year. The liturgical cycle has come round full circle. A new season begins, a short punchy and powerful season. A new year begins also in the CofE three year cycle of liturgical readings. From this Advent we will be on Year 2 readings.

 

Advent is a season set aside in time, to mark time – to mark time before the birth of the timeless one. It has many seasonal riches. Advent calendars are among the favourite accompaniment for this season – and now available in a full range of chocolate products behind every door! There are advent candles that burn down for each day of Advent, so long as you remember to blow it out each time! In our churches we would normally have Advent candle stands, with our 4 purple candles and a central white candle. If you are very exotic the candle for the 3rd Sunday in Advent will be pink – not for Our Lady, as some think, but for what is called ‘Gaudete Sunday’ or ‘Rejoice Sunday’ when the normal fasting and austerities of Advent were relaxed.

Another favourite feature for me are the days of Advent that lead directly into Christmas, the ‘Great O’ days. It begins with ‘O Sophia’, so not surprisingly it is called Holy Wisdom day. Each of these days addresses Christ by one of the many titles given him by scripture or the church. They are probably best preserved in the popular mind by the great Advent hymn,

O come, O come, Emmanuel!

Redeem thy captive Israel,

That into exile drear is gone

Far from the face of God’s dear Son.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

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Candle

Zoom login for Night Prayer in Advent

Fr Leonard is inviting everyone to join him in Night Prayer each evening in Advent – 1st – 23rd December, at 9.00pm – 21.0 hrs.  Please have available a candle to light during the service.  Please follow the link below for access to the Zoom service.  Please encourage friends and relations to join with us in this season of preparation and expectation.

 

Leonard Doolan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85222931221?pwd=QmdkWW4xaytYcWlKM3VZdlp0aUxSZz09

 Meeting ID: 852 2293 1221

Passcode: 3jNShp

Topic: Night Prayer

Time: Dec 1, 2020 09:00 PM Athens

        Every day, until Dec 23, 2020, 23 occurrence(s)

        Dec 1, 2020 09:00 PM

        Dec 2, 2020 09:00 PM

        Dec 3, 2020 09:00 PM

        Dec 4, 2020 09:00 PM

        Dec 5, 2020 09:00 PM

        Dec 6, 2020 09:00 PM

        Dec 7, 2020 09:00 PM

        Dec 8, 2020 09:00 PM

        Dec 9, 2020 09:00 PM

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Picture Trinity 17

Sunday Zoom Worship for 22nd November – Christ the King

Welcome to our Sunday worship brought to our homes by Zoom.  After the worship we can have a short chat together. The hymns and other shared texts you might know by heart, or you can print out this service, or you may have a hymn book at home, or you may be happy to listen in silence.

Until the end of November there is Wednesday evening service at 19.00. The login address for this is on the website. The Sunday worship login address remains the same throughout November – see website. Deacon Christine offers a Saturday morning worship option on Facebook. The website will inform you of regulation changes for December.

Advent Begins on 29th November. From 1st December until 23rd December there will be a service of Night Prayer (Compline) EVERY night at 21.00. Have a candle ready to light in your home. See website for login.

 The preacher is Canon Colin Williams our former Archdeacon. Welcome to virtual St. Paul’s, Colin.

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Bishop Robert’s Christmas Message 2020

The Bishop in Europe:

The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes

In one of our best-loved carols, Christina Rossetti situates the birth of Jesus ‘in the bleak midwinter’. She paints a severe and freezing manger scene, with howling wind and deep snow. She represents the frosted earth and water with iron and stone.

 

From the biblical narrative, it seems unlikely that Jesus was born in the bleak mid-winter, as the shepherds would not be putting their sheep out to pasture in freezing conditions. But that does not stop us gladly enjoying Rossetti’s romantic poetic licence and reminding ourselves that the conditions of the first Christmas were hard, extraordinarily hard by modern standards.

 

Mary was a young girl giving birth a long way from home. The town of Bethlehem was crowded with strangers registering with the tax authorities of the occupying powers. Mary laid her new-born baby in an animal’s stone feeding trough. And the first visitors were not close family but rough men from the fields.

 

It is extremely difficult to recover this first Christmas. The festival has become overlaid with medieval nativity scenes and Romantic or Dickensian winter scenes. In the twentieth century, Christmas became the setting of the perfect family gathering. Most significantly, the run up to the commercial Christmas – the ‘golden quarter’ – is a now a vital part of the retail industry’s overall wellbeing so that vasts sums are expended on advertising to persuade us to acquire more goods and more debt.

 

But not in 2020. This year it will be very different. Travel bans, lockdowns and quarantines mean it will be harder and perhaps impossible to get together with our loved ones. People are poorer. High streets, at least at the time of writing, are closed in many countries. And even when they re-open, shopping isn’t quite the same when you have to physically distance and wear a mask.

 

Christmas will be simpler this year. And for many it will be sadder. As Covid-19 has progressed, more and more families have been affected by the virus and its frightening and sometimes long-term symptoms. Some of us have a relative who has been in intensive care, struggling to breathe. Many of us know someone who has very sadly lost their life, and some of us face the first Christmas without someone close to us. This year, perhaps we more intuitively sense the harshness of the manger scene, the cruelty of death, the pain of a bleak mid-winter.

 

Another well-known – and much older – carol speaks to us about ‘tidings of comfort and joy’. In 2020 we need to hear these tidings. For Christmas is at heart the story of a God who draws near to us in Jesus, sharing the sorrows and joys of human experience. In the mystery of the incarnation, the eternal God wonderfully condescends to be born as a human baby, in the roughest conditions. He is ‘Immanuel’ – the God who is with us.

 

Whatever conditions you face this Christmas, I hope you will be able to reach out and find the God who is with us. I hope you will take comfort from the presence of God with you, and perhaps also find opportunity to comfort others.

 

‘God rest you merry’ in modern English means ‘may God grant you peace and happiness’. The unknown author continued:

 

‘Let nothing you dismay

for Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas Day.

To save us all from Satan’s power

when we had gone astray

Which brings tidings of comfort and joy.’

 

I wish each of you and your families comfort and joy as we approach this Christmas season.

Robert Signature

 

+Robert Gibraltar in Europe

Comfort & Joy

I am the way

Sunday Zoom Worship for November

Welcome to our Sunday worship brought to our homes by Zoom.  After the worship we can have a short chat together. The hymns and other shared texts you might know by heart, or you can print out this service, or you may have a hymn book at home, or you may be happy to listen in silence.

 Until the end of November there is Wednesday evening service at 19.00. The login address for this is on the website. The Sunday worship login address remains the same throughout November – see website. Deacon Christine offers a Saturday morning worship option on Facebook.

 Advent Begins on 29th November. From 1st December until 23rd December there will be a service of Night Prayer (Compline) EVERY night at 21.00. Have a candle ready to light in your home. See website for login.

 The preacher on 15th November is Deacon Christine, and on 22nd November Canon Colin Williams our former Archdeacon

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I am the way

Evening Worship – Wednesdays at 19.00hrs (7.00pm) –

A short service for the early evening.

Please join us on Zoom – login details on the website – or say this at home.

 

Together we say:

 

1    How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!  ♦

My soul has a desire and longing to enter the courts of the Lord;

my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.

2    The sparrow has found her a house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young:  ♦ at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

3    Blessed are they who dwell in your house:  ♦ they will always be praising you. [R]

4    Blessed are those whose strength is in you,  ♦ in whose heart are the highways to Zion,

5    Who going through the barren valley find there a spring,  ♦and the early rains will clothe it with blessing.

6    They will go from strength to strength  ♦ and appear before God in Zion. [R]

7    O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;  ♦ listen, O God of Jacob.

8    Behold our defender, O God,  ♦ and look upon the face of your anointed.

9    For one day in your courts  ♦ is better than a thousand. [R]

10  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God  ♦than dwell in the tents of ungodliness.

11  For the Lord God is both sun and shield; he will give grace and glory;  ♦no good thing shall the Lord withhold from those who walk with integrity.

12  O Lord God of hosts,  ♦ blessed are those who put their trust in you.

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. Amen.

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