The Parish of
From the vicar
The majority of services in the Church of England and those of most other denominations conclude with a blessing. The Church of England commonly uses the blessing from Philippians 4:7, ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (although seasonal variations are sometimes used along with the Aaronic blessing of Numbers 6:24-26). The first part of the blessing is followed by the mediaeval episcopal blessing, ‘the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost be amongst you and remain with you always.’
These words are very familiar, but are far more than a conclusion to a service and certainly not just a cue for the last hymn or a cup of coffee. When a blessing is pronounced it is a plea for God’s favour to rest upon someone. This stands to reason at the end of a Sunday service, but it is also used on other special occasions like weddings or to commission somebody for a particular task or ministry in the church. Here it can mark a new beginning which requires God’s presence and support and as such a blessing can be extended to inanimate objects which are being dedicated for sacred use. Particular examples of this might be the blessing of water at Baptism or the blessing of oils for anointing.
Sometimes I have the pleasure of blessing a home. Few places are ever as significant to us as our homes and it is comforting to know that God is present with us in our daily lives, taking an interest in all that we do. The best way to bless a home is to pray in it as ‘blessing by use’ underpins liturgical blessing which is there to emphasize not replace God’s activity in each of us. Even so there are occasions when a formal, liturgical blessing is appropriate. This may be at the time of moving to a new home or at a time when there has been a difficulty within the house or family. At times like these which can often be accompanied by uncertainty or fear it is good to be assured of God’s favour. Simple prayers of blessing in each room and the sprinkling of Holy Water as a sign of cleansing from past or present evils can set us afresh on our daily walk with God.
May God bless you and your homes in the months to come and always.
Songs of Praise and Hope: ‘The Stranger in our Midst’
Sunday 23rdSeptember, 6.30pm
Speaker: Rebecca Palmer of New Hope Trust
8.00am Said Mass (Book of Common Prayer) 9.30am Parish Mass (Modern Rite)
Quiet Day at Ascot Priory
Saturday 29thSeptember 2018
‘The Blessed Virgin Mary: from Maiden to Icon’
Addresses by Father Andrew Burton
The cost will be £20 per person. Please book with Fr. Andrew.
Pray for our ministry to those who celebrate baptisms, weddings and funerals at St. Peter’s.
From the diary
Wednesday 4th July, 10.00am Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion (St. Thomas, tr.)
Wednesday 11th July, 10.00am Morning Prayer (Officiant: Sr. Diana)
Sunday 15th July, 8.00am no service
9.30am Parish Mass (Celebrant: Fr. Robert Van de Weyer)
Wednesday 18th July, 10.00am Morning Prayer (Officiant: Sr. Diana)
Sunday 22nd July, 8.00am no service
9.30am Parish Mass (Celebrant: Fr. Roger Stokes)
Wednesday 25thJuly, 10.00am Said Mass (St. James, Apostle)
Blessing of Pilgrims, 10.30am at St. Peter’s, Bushey Heath
Mass, 12 noon at St. Albans Cathedral
Followed by a picnic and bible study in the Bishop’s garden.
Bring your own food. Drinks provided.
Wednesday 1st August, 10.00am Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion
Wednesday 8thAugust, 10.00am Said Mass (Transfiguration of Our Lord, tr.)
Saturday 11th August Parish Pub Night (details on the pew sheet)
Wednesday 15thAugust, 10.00am Said Mass (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Wednesday 22ndAugust, 10.00am Said Mass (St. Bartholomew, tr.)
From the registers –
Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child
2ndJune Amelia McBride
Hymns at St. Peter’s
Have you ever wondered when your favourite hymn is going to be sung? Is there a hymn you would particularly like to sing, perhaps for a special occasion? If there is, please feel free to approach Jonathan Quinn our organist or mention it to Fr. Andrew so that your choice can be considered.
The Red Trust, Bushey: suggested donations for the Foodbank
We make up bags of different sizes so we need small, medium and large in all the foods listed.