Thursday, December 23, 2021

Christmas Greetings


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Mass Times at All Saints' Benhilton
Christmas Eve: Friday 24th December 
11.00 p.m. MIDNIGHT MASS 

Christmas Day: Saturday 25th December 
8.00 a.m. Low Mass 
9.30 a.m. SUNG MASS 

Holy Family Sunday: 26th December 
8.00 a.m. Low Mass 
9.30 a.m. SUNG MASS

O Emmanuel

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

O Rex

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

O Oriens

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Monday, December 20, 2021

O Clavis


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Sunday, December 19, 2021

O Radix

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Saturday, December 18, 2021

O Adonai


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Friday, December 17, 2021

O Sapientia

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The Advent 'O Antiphons'.

In the Church's traditional cycle of prayer, Evening Prayer, also called Vespers, always includes the great song of Mary known as the Magnificat (luke 1:46-55). This song is preceded and followed by a short verse or "antiphon" that links it to the feast of the day or the season of the year. In the last seven days of Advent (December 17-24), the Magnificat antiphons are very special. Each begins with the exclamation "O" and ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes increasingly urgent.

These "O Antiphons" were composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together some of the key Old Testament texts and phrases looking forward to our salvation. They form a rich, interlocking mosaic of Scriptural images; in the Middle Ages the custom grew of ringing the great bells of the church each evening as they were being sung.

A particularly fascinating feature of the O Antiphons is that the first letter of each invocation, when read backwards, forms an acrostic in Latin: the first letters of Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel in reverse form the Latin words: ERO CRAS. These are understood as the words of Jesus, responding to his people's plea, saying "Tomorrow I will be there."


Saturday, December 11, 2021

Why we rejoice . . .


Judgment Runs 0ut Into Mercy - Austin Farrer

Austin Farrer (1904-1968), the son of a Baptist minister, was ordained in the Church of England and served as Dean of Magdalene College, Oxford, and Warden of Keble College. He was widely acclaimed as a preacher, poet, philosopher, biblical scholar and spiritual guide. This quote comes from The Crown of the Year : Weekly Paragraphs for the Holy Sacrament, Darce Press, London, 1952.

Our journey sets out from God in our creation, and returns to God at the final judgement.  As the bird rises from the earth to fly, and must some time return to the earth from which it rose; so God sends us forth to fly, and we must fall back into the hands of God at last.  But God does not wait for the  failure of our power and the expiry of our days to drop us back into his lap.  He goes himself to meet us and everywhere confronts us.  Where is the countenance which we must finally look in the eyes, and not be able to turn away our head?  It smiles up at Mary from the cradle, it calls Peter from the nets, it looks on him with grief when he has denied his master.  

Our judge meets us at every step of our way, with forgiveness on his lips and succour in his hands.  He offers us these things while there is yet time.  Every day opportunity shortens, our scope for learning our Redeemer's love is narrowed by twenty-four hours, and we come nearer to the end of our journey, when we shall fall into the hands of the living God, and touch the heart of the devouring fire. Advent brings Christmas, judgement runs out into mercy. For the God who saves us and the God who judges us is one God. We are not, even, condemned by his severity and redeemed by his compassion; what judges us is what redeems us, the love of God. What is it that will break our hearts on judgement day? Is it not the vision, suddenly unrolled, of how he has loved the friends we have neglected, of how he has loved us, and we have not loved him in return ; how, when we came (as now) before his altar, he gave us himself, and we gave him half-penitences, or resolutions too weak to commit our wills? But while love thus judges us by being what it is, the same love redeems us by effecting what it does. Love shares flesh and blood with us in this present world, that the eyes which look us through at last may find in us a better substance than our vanity.

YOUR invitation to our Carol Service!

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Worship with us over Christmas!

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