Service Times

St George’s, Tubbercurry: 11.30am Sundays

Killoran (Rathbarron): 10.00am Sundays

 

Priest-in-Charge

 

Revd Peter Norman
Hawkswell farm
Banada
Tourlestrane
Co. Sligo
00353 71 9181685

 

 

 

From: The Revd. Peter Norman

Holy Thursday, 9th April 2020 (A short reflection and prayers for Good Friday is here too)

(I intend to celebrate the Eucharist at home this week on Holy Thursday at 8.00 p.m. and have a Good Friday service at 11.00 a.m. A short reflection with prayers is available here for those days. I will also celebrate the Eucharist on Easter Sunday at 11.00 a.m.)

John 13: 1-17, 31b-35
I have often said that when we celebrate the Eucharist we do so as though we are there in the upper room at the Last Supper. It is as if we are sat alongside the apostles hearing those words of Jesus for the first time as he gives us this sacrament which we celebrate at his command ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’
The Jewish Passover which also involves a meal is very similar. Those who celebrate it are as it were one with those who fled from the Egyptians, crossed through the Red Sea and entered the promised land. All the years in between disappear as it were and those who celebrate now are one with those who made that journey all those years ago.
As we celebrate the Eucharist it is as though time has stood still and we sit on those very benches around the table as Jesus breaks bread and says to the apostles ‘this is my body’; as he shares the wine and says ‘this is my blood’.
Before this however is the story in tonight’s Gospel of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. The act of a servant, which St. Peter in his usual impetuous way initially refuses. What he hasn’t understood is that discipleship, being at one with Our Lord, is about being a servant of God’s people. Jesus exercises his authority through service.
‘Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Philippians 2:6-11)
After the supper, Jesus and his three of his disciples enter the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus asks them (unsuccessfully) to stay awake whilst he prays. Here is what is known as ‘the agony in the garden’. Jesus knows that his end is near and yet asks if there is any other way otherwise ‘thy will be done.’ There is great humanity in Jesus in this moment when he perhaps is anxious about what will now happen next. And yet great faith in the Father’s will and purpose. God knows what he is doing, all we have to say is ‘thy will be done’ and God can work through us whatever purpose he has in mind.
So on this night there are three things that are revealed in these stories. Firstly, discipleship involves serving others with humility. Secondly, Jesus shares our human life in its fullness in that with the prospect of suffering and death he is anxious and afraid and yet unwavering in his faith. Sometimes in desperate situations, when the world is full of uncertainty and we are afraid for the future we need to remember the ‘agony in the garden’ and that Our Lord is there with us in those moments having experienced them for himself. And finally, whenever we celebrate the Eucharist we do as Jesus commands, and receive what he promises – His body and His blood. Though at the moment we cannot physically do that the desire for him enables him to share our lives as if we did. The prayer for a Spiritual Communion which you’ll find below is a reminder of this.

Prayers
Father, your Son humbled himself and took the form of a servant. We pray that all Bishops, Priests and Deacons may share his humility and serve those entrusted to their care.
Lord in your mercy
hear our prayer

Father, your Son washed the feet of his disciples and gave them the command to love one another. Help all Christian people to follow his example and so serve their neighbours that His love shine through in their lives.

Lord in your mercy
hear our prayer

Father your Son shared the Last Supper with his disciples and gave us the gift of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist. May we follow his command to do this in remembrance of Him that we increase our devotion to Him in this Blessed Sacrament.

Lord in your mercy
hear our prayer

Father, your Son spent the night in prayer before his death. Strengthen us as we pray for the needs of ourselves and all your people that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord in your mercy
hear our prayer

Father, your Son under went the ‘agony in the garden’ as he prepared for the suffering and death he was to endure. Give strength and courage to those who suffer; for those who are sick at this time, for those who are anxious or afraid.

Lord in your mercy
hear our prayer

Father, your Son was led away to be tried and crucified. Be with those who are close to death and all who will die tonight. May they and all who have died be welcomed to the table in your kingdom and see you face to face for eternity.

Lord in your mercy
hear our prayer

Father as we prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, and together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Patrick and all the saints we offer our prayers to you as we say Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Good Friday, 10th April 2020

(I intend have a Good Friday service at home at 11.00 a.m. I will also celebrate the Eucharist on Easter Sunday at 11.00 a.m.)

John 18:28 – 19:end
Father Don Giuseppe Berardelli was the priest for the parish of Casnigo, a small village just 40 miles north east of Milan. He was described as a priest who listened to everyone, who knew how to listen, and whoever turned to him knew that they could count on his help. He travelled around his parish on an old motorbike and when passing by he was always cheerful and full of enthusiasm giving peace and joy to the community.

Father Berardelli died, aged 72, as a result of catching the Coronavirus. Just one of the huge number of Italian victims of the disease. He died in one of the worst hit areas in the world for Covid-19 so no funeral was held for him. Instead, people stood on their balconies at noon on 16th March and gave him a round of applause.

Father Beradelli was so greatly loved that parishioners bought him a respirator. Such was his love that he refused to use it and gave it to a younger patient that he did not know.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)

Today, Good Friday, we see what this means in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Jesus lays down his life for his friends – all of us; all of God’s people. Jesus is the Saviour of all mankind.

Father Beradelli, like his Lord and Master laid down his life for another. It was an act of self-sacrifice made even greater by the fact that he gave his life for someone he didn’t even know though he would surely have regarded that person as his friend in Christ.

We are all, at the present time, called to make sacrifices for one another. Not perhaps by dying for another but at least helping to prevent the death of another. In a world pre-Coronavirus, sacrifice was not a popular or encouraged option. In the cut and thrust of business; in the world of profit and loss; in a materialistic self obsessed culture, sacrifice was not the way to get on in the world. Sacrifices were made – but usually people being sacrificed on the altar of profit.

Now we learn (or re-learn) a different way. Now perhaps we see how sacrifice can bring people together. People willing to give of themselves for the sake of others without a financial incentive; people on the front line putting themselves at risk day by day to help people they may not even know. And we have learnt to be thankful and appreciative for that. Sacrifice, ironically often brings freedom. Freedom to be the human being that God intended us to be – kind, compassionate, generous, thankful people.

Good Friday sees Jesus hanging on the Cross; a sacrifice on our behalf in order to overcome evil with good, death with life, sin with forgiveness. Even in his last agony Jesus promises the repentant thief a place in the kingdom and commits His mother into the care of St. John. Jesus freely offers the sacrifice of His life in order to bring freedom to others.

As we too make sacrifices we unite our offering with His for the sake of the world. Through our sacrifice we bring life and freedom to others.

This was a lesson that the disciples had to learn and often they found it difficult, they didn’t understand what it was that Jesus had to do and why. When he needed them most they fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, scattered when he was arrested, denied him when the cock crowed. There was a sense for them that all that Jesus had done was futile; were they mistaken in putting their trust in him; what now for the future? All that Jesus had taught them; all those promises for a better world, a brighter future lay buried in a tomb.

There were dark days as there are now. But like now that was not the end of the story; like the disciples we need to hold our nerve; trust and hope like we’ve never trusted and hoped before; make sacrifices we never thought we would have to make. The Dawn of the Resurrection is not far away and it will come.
The bishop of Ossory wrote only recently. ‘Many events have been cancelled because of the Coronavirus. Faith, love, and especially hope, however, are not among them.’

We adore you O Christ and we bless you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Prayers

(Good Friday has its own set of prayers – The Solemn Intercessions – a version of which now follows)

Let us pray for the Church of God throughout the world

for unity in faith, in witness and in service
for bishops and other ministers, and those whom they serve
for our bishop, Patrick, and the people of this Diocese
for all Christians in this place
for those preparing for Baptism
for those mocked and persecuted for their faith

that God will confirm his Church in faith,
increase it in love, and preserve it in peace.

Lord, hear us
Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us pray for the nations of the world and their leaders –

for Michael our President and the Government of this land
for those who administer the law and all who serve in public office
for all who strive for justice and reconciliation

that by God’s help the world may live in peace and freedom.

Lord, hear us
Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us pray for those who do not believe the Gospel of Christ

for those who follow other faiths and creeds
for those who have not heard the message of salvation
for all who have lost faith
for the contemptuous and scornful
for those who are enemies of Christ and persecute those who follow him
for all who deny the faith of Christ crucified

that God will open their hearts to the truth and lead them to faith and obedience

Lord, hear us
Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us pray for all who suffer –

fro those who are deprived and oppressed
for all who are sick and handicapped
for those in darkness, in doubt and in despair,
in loneliness and in fear
for prisoners
for the victims of false accusations and violence
for all at the point of death and those who watch beside them
for those suffering as a result of the Coronavirus and those who care for them
for those giving their lives in the service of others

that God in his mercy will sustain them with the knowledge of his love.

Lord, hear us
Lord, graciously hear us.

Almighty and everlasting God,
the comfort of the sad, the strength of those who suffer;
hear the prayers of your children who cry out of any trouble;
and to every distressed soul grant mercy, relief and refreshment,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us commend ourselves and all God’s children to his unfailing love,
and pray for the grace of a holy life, that with all who have died in the peace of Christ,
we may come to the fullness of eternal life and the joy of the resurrection.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Prayer from the Diocesan Website

Almighty and All–loving God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we pray to you through Christ the Healer
for those who suffer from the Coronavirus
in Ireland and across the world.
We pray too for all who reach out to those who mourn the loss
of each and every person who has died as a result of contracting the disease.
Give wisdom to policymakers,
skill to healthcare professionals and researchers,
comfort to everyone in distress
and a sense of calm to us all in these days of uncertainty and distress.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord
who showed compassion to the outcast,
acceptance to the rejected
and love to those to whom no love was shown. Amen.

Prayer for a Spiritual Communion for those unable to physically take Communion.

Spiritual Communion Prayer
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
And unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
Amen.

Please share this (safely) with anyone you know that does not have access to the internet.

If you wish to contact me then please do so by ‘phone 071-9181685 or by email peternorman1959@gmail.com

Take care and keep safe
With every Blessing
Revd. Peter.