St Anne’s Kew will be streaming Mass at 8.00 pm on their Facebook page:
In our Missal, the service starts on p.398 - the readings are
Please find below the intention and readings for:
Ascension Day - 21st May 2020
Ascension Day is also the beginning of the nine days of prayer entitled Thy Kingdom Come taking us up to Pentecost on 31 May. This is a international event, and ouor Diocese has put together a good number of resources which include material for adults and children.
The main page is: https://southwark.anglican.org/tkc
A booklet of daily prayers and reflections can be downloaded by clicking on the button below.
The choir sing Great is the Lord by Edward Elgar
Recorded in 2016 under the direction of Philip Collin
Organist: Oliver King
Baritone Soloist: Rainer Graeme
Words from Psalm 48
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God,
in the mountain of His holiness.
Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion,
on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
God hath made Himself known in her palaces for a refuge.
For, lo! the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together;
They saw, then were they amazed; they were dismay'd, they hasted away;
Trembling took hold of them there, pain as of a woman in travail,
As with the east wind that breaketh the ships of Tarshish:
As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts,
in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever.
We have thought on Thy loving kindness, O God,
in the midst of Thy temple:
As is Thy name, O God, so is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth;
Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
Let mount Zion be glad, let the daughters of Judah rejoice,
because of Thy judgements;
Walk about Zion and go round about her, tell the towers thereof,
Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces, that ye may
tell it to the generation following.
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even
unto death: Amen
Louise Sugden has provided this sermon. She writes: "Last year, The Reverend Sally Bedborough, the priest presiding on Ascension Day 2019 at my mother's church, St Peter’s, Poole kindly gave me and my mother a copy of her sermon. My mother is getting deaf so could not hear it easily. I found the sermon the other day when sorting out a box under my bed and it seems very meaningful now during the lockdown so I thought I’d share some of it with you."
“Today we find ourselves at the beginning of a certain pocket of time. This period begins with our marking of this Ascension Day and it concludes when we reach the day of Pentecost in 10 days’ time. This is a particular time in our church calendar; it’s a time of promise; it’s a time of waiting. The promise is to the disciples who just a few weeks before, were bereft following Jesus death; but who were then amazed as Jesus appeared to them 3 days after his death, in his resurrected body. As he did so often in his life, he turned expectations upside down. He was not dead but risen.
This evening we focus on the account of Jesus disappearing again. It’s hard to imagine this was any easier for the disciples than the first time of their parting was. But they were blessed by Jesus before he left them and were given the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. This promise seems to have made all the difference. We read that they did as they were told…that didn’t always happen! And they did as Jesus bid them do: they remained; they abided in Jerusalem until his promise came to fruition. This occasion of Jesus leaving them was very different from the first time. The first time was at his death and the disciples were disappointed, broken, distressed and disempowered. This second time of leaving them was so different in that they remained where they were and focussed on the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. What made that difference was in the qualities of waiting that they gleaned from the one they followed: the qualities of waiting that Jesus lived out in his earthly life and beyond.
Waiting is often hard. But life consists of times of waiting, and how we use those times is a hallmark of our faith and beliefs. Before we reflect this evening on our own times of waiting, let’s turn to Jesus and notice the hallmarks that identified his waiting….
Firstly, He waited silently and unremarkably. The outline of Jesus ministry spans only 3 years. Between the birth narratives and the beginning of his ministry, we know of only one story from those interim years. And that was the time Jesus got lost in Jerusalem at the Passover, when he drove his parents frantic with worry. When they eventually found him in the temple, there he was, sitting with the temple teachers, listening to them, asking them questions and passing on what he knew of God at that point. This gives us our first insight into how we can wait in a godly way. Just as Jesus did, we might be reminded today to stay close to God, to learn, to meditate upon God’s ways and to pass on what we know of him.
Secondly, He waited actively. Come the time Jesus’ ministry began, we see an active style of waiting: we read of his words, his questions, his actions, and the healings he performed. If we focus particularly on the betrayal of Jesus, and on his suffering and death, we realise that he was no passive victim. His suffering and death were actively bringing about a pathway to God for us. If we have a God in Christ who knows what waiting is like, who knows what pain is like, who has experienced our humanity from the inside, then we are accompanied and strengthened by that, knowing that there is life beyond it all. If we do not have such a god, then Jesus suffering and death were merely enactments, not the real thing. Jesus waiting for the inevitable betrayal, torture, ridicule and death was in all ways human and active in that it achieved an immense reward. A way actively forged through pain and death to the hope of resurrection.
Thirdly, His waiting was undergirded by God’s promise. The knowledge that he was the son of God enabled Jesus to teach in the temple at an early age. It enabled him to wait until the right time for his ministry to begin; it enabled him to wait actively through his betrayal by a friend through an agonising death on the cross, and throughout the process of bidding farewell to his earthly life.
All these forms of waiting can inspire us in our waiting. Whether we are waiting for an ending or a new beginning, for healing, for strength, for comfort, for mercy, forgiveness or for loving presence, we wait armed with Christ’s promise to us: the Holy Spirit will be alongside us and within us, giving us all we need in our waiting. Our waiting may be uncomfortable, unremarkable and silent; but the waiting that is armed with confidence in God’s promise is an active form of waiting”.
Our thanks to Louise and The Reverend Sally Bedborough (associate Priest at St Peter's, Poole).