Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Continuing Ministerial Education:
New services introduced
to clergy and readers

Stephen Fletcher, the Revd Rod Smyth and Bishop Kenneth Kearon at the recent new liturgies workshop in Limerick

A bewildering array of new services have been authorised for use in the Church of Ireland. These include new forms of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, blessing, prayers and naming ceremonies in cases of early infant and prenatal deaths, new Collects of the Word, and Holy Communion by extension.

The Revd Rod Smyth of Nenagh recently introduced the new services to clergy and readers from the Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe and Tuam, Killala and Achonry at a one-day workshop at the (Roman Catholic) Diocesan Centre at Saint Munchin’s College on Corbally Road, Limerick.

Finding our way through them may be puzzling for clergy and readers, and even more difficult for parish congregations.

Rod Smyth described how the new forms of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer for Sundays were designed to be more user friendly, yet with a clearly defined structure, embedded in the Lectionary, and easier to make relevant to seasons in the Church Year.

The workshop was part of a roll-out of seminars requested by the Liturgical Advisory Committee for each diocese in the Church of Ireland.

During the one-day workshop, the diocesan secretary, Mrs Yvonne Blennerhassett, also spoke on parish administration.

The next workshop for clergy and readers looks at ‘Preparing for Christmas.’ This is on Tuesday 3 December in the Rectory, Askeaton, Co Limerick from 10:30 to 3:30. An evening programme from 7 p.m. is also available.

This half-page news report is published in the December 2019 edition of 'Newslink,' the magazine of the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe (p 12)

Reading Saint Luke’s Gospel
in Advent 2019: Luke 3

‘John said to the crowds … Prepare the way of the Lord’ (see Lue 3: 7, 4) … Saint John the Baptist depicted in a stained-glass window in the chapel of Saint John’s Hospital, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During the Season of Advent this year, I am joining many people in reading a chapter from Saint Luke’s Gospel each morning. In all, there are 24 chapters in Saint Luke’s Gospel, so this means being able to read through the full Gospel, reaching the last chapter on Christmas Eve [24 December 2019].

Why not join me as I read through Saint Luke’s Gospel each morning this Advent?

Luke 3 (NRSVA):

1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God”.’

7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’

10 And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ 11 In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ 12 Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we do?’ 13 He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.’ 14 Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’

15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’ 18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. 19 But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added to them all by shutting up John in prison.

21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work. He was the son (as was thought) of Joseph son of Heli, 24 son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph, 25 son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai, 26 son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda, 27 son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri, 28 son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er, 29 son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi, 30 son of Simeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim, 31 son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David, 32 son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Sala, son of Nahshon, 33 son of Amminadab, son of Admin, son of Arni, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah, 34 son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor, 35 son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah, 36 son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech, 37 son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan, 38 son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.

A prayer for today:

A prayer today (International Day for persons with disabilities) from the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG, United Society Partners in the Gospel:

Let us pray in solidarity with people living with disabilities that we may work together for fullness of life for all people.

Tomorrow: Luke 4.

Yesterday: Luke 2.

‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’ (Luke 3: 4) … a walk along the twists and turns of Cross in Hand Lane, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org