church website design - church123.com.

LATEST


ANZAC DAY
25 April 2021

Flag of Australia   Flag of New Zealand

Anzac day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served".   It is observed on 25 April each year.  Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Corps who served in the Gallipoli Campaign - their first engagement in the First World War.



________________________________________________________________________


His royal highness, the PRINCE PHILIP

duke of edinburgh
(10 June 1921 - 9 April 2021)

HRH Prince Philip - in uniform

Gyda pharch dwys a gyda i'r Hollalluog Dduw
am was a chymar ffyddlon i'r Frenhines
rydym ninnau, Farchogion y Deml,
O Briordy Fawr Brydain Gyfan
a Phriordy Fawr Cymru
yn datgan ein galar am farwolaeth
Ei Uchelder Brenhinol, y Tywysog Philip, Dug Caeredin,
a gyhoeddwyd heddiw gan Balas Buckingham.

Boed iddo orffwys mewn Hedd. 

+

With deep respect and in grateful thankfulness to Almighty God
for a faithful servant and Consort to Her Majesty the Queen
We, the Knights Templar of
The Grand Priory of All Britain and The Grand Priory of Wales
mourn the death announced from Buckingham Palace of
His Royal Highness, Prince Philip
Duke of Edinburgh.

May he rest in Peace.



KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

 

KT - Cross



_________________________________



HOLY WEEK 2021


EASTER SUNDAY MORNING
4 April 2021


ALLELUIA!  CHRIST IS RISEN!

Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Christós Anésti!

 

Christ is Risen

HE IS RISEN INDEED!  ALLELUIA!!

Ἀληθῶς ανέστη!
Alithós Anésti!


     Arglw
ydd atgyfodedig,
          ymfalchiwn heddiw, yn y fuddugoliaeth a ennillaist drosom ni,
          ac i Ti bia' r anrhydedd.
     Cynorthwya ni i ddysgu o' r newydd ystyr byw fel bobl y Pasg.
     Boed i ni fod yn negesyddion gobaith a herodron y Goleuni
          a ddaeth i mewn i' r byd er mwyn ein iachawdwriaeth.
     Boed i ni ddangos dy heddwch a'th gyfiawnder a ennillwyd gan dy glwyfau,
          nes i ni gyrraedd gyda Thi ar ddeheulaw Duw,
          yn gyfrannog o' r Deyrnas Nefol.
      Amen.


     Risen Lord, we rejoice today that you have triumphed over death
          and that the victory is yours.
     Help us to rediscover what it means to live as an Easter people.
     May we be messengers of hope and heralds of the Light
          that came into the world for our salvation.
     May we show the peace and justice which your wounds won for us,
          til we shall be set with you at God's right hand,
          partaking of the heavenly Kingdom.
     Amen.

 


Here is the account in the Holy Bible of the first Easter Morning from the Gospel according to St John, Chapter 20, verses 1-18.


The Empty Tomb

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.

Noli me Tangere - Titian c.1514
Noli me Tangere - by Titian c.1514

Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.


Dandelions & Stone
Dandelions 'awake' & a rolling stone in the Grand Prior's garden.

God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him,
should not perish,
but have everlasting  life.
[John 3: 16]

Jesus said:

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die."

                                                                                                                                                                  [John 11:25-26]


        Grape Hyacinths       Tulips and Heather

  

                         Berberis       Honesty


                A Prayer:

Lord God, the resurrection of Jesus
gives us new life and renewed hope.
Help us to live as new people
in pursuit of the Christian ideal.
Grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it.
Amen.


There is always hope


Fish symbol


_________________________________


HOLY SATURDAY
3 April 2021


Yellow Archangel
Yellow Archangel in the Grand Prior's garden.

Here is a summary of the Biblical account of the first Good Friday evening and Holy Saturday:

That Friday evening Joseph of Arimathaea, a member of the Jewish Governing Council but also a follower of Jesus, asked Pilate if he might have Jesus’ body.  Once Pilate had given permission, the body was taken down from the cross and wrapped in a linen sheet.  Then it was laid in a tomb cut out of the rock, which Joseph had prepared for himself, and a large stone was rolled in front of it. Some of the women who had witnessed the crucifixion watched over the grave.

Dandelions asleep
Dandelions "asleep" & a rolling stone in the Grand Prior's garden.

The next day the Jewish leaders asked Pilate if they could protect the tomb with a guard, lest the disciples should come, steal the body and then falsely claim that Jesus had risen from the dead.  Pilate agreed to their request, and the tomb was sealed and guarded.

KTW - Holy Saturday

A church near to the Grand Prior's home,


Here is a Biblical prophecy from the book of Isaiah, written approximately 700 years before the birth of Christ:

He was despised, and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering; as one from whom men hide their face, and we despised him and we did not value him.  Surely he has borne our sufferings, and carried our pains; yet we considered him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions.  He was crushed for our iniquities.  The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed. [Isaiah 53:3-5]


Easter - Celandines

God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him,
should not perish,
but have everlasting  life.
[John 3: 16]

A prayer:

            Almighty God as the body of the crucified Jesus lay in the silence of the tomb;
            May we give ourselves some quiet time in the current Covid-19 crisis
            to still our hearts and minds to contemplate the mystery of death.
 Amen.

Holy Saturday

[Today is also the anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King's last speech (see new menu page)]
__________________________________________________________________________________________________



GOOD FRIDAY
2 April 2021


Good Friday


 The events of the first Good Friday

During the night Jesus’ guards insulted and tormented him.  They blindfolded and beat him, saying mockingly: ‘If you are a prophet, tell us who hit you’.  When morning came Jesus was brought before the Jewish Governing Council, which consisted of the chief priests, elders and teachers of the Law.  ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’  His reply, ‘It is you who say that I am’, was regarded as sufficient evidence for his condemnation for blasphemy. He was taken before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and accused of claiming to be King of the Jews and thus of subverting Roman rule.  After interrogating him Pilate concluded he had done nothing wrong, and was inclined to release him.  When however he discovered that Jesus came from Galilee, he sent him to be judged by the ruler of that province, Herod son of Herod the Great, who happened to be in Jerusalem.

Herod had heard a great deal about Jesus and had long wanted to meet him.  He questioned him at length, but Jesus refused to reply.  Eventually Herod sent him back to Pilate arrayed in a gorgeous robe, thereby making up a quarrel between them.

Pilate still believed that Jesus was being falsely accused, and his wife sent him a message to the same effect.  So he decided to take advantage of a custom by which a prisoner chosen by the people was released at Passover-tide.  He was holding another well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas, and he asked the crowd which had gathered: ‘Which one would you like me to release - Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’  The chief priests and elders had worked on the crowd, so they responded ‘Barabbas’.  ‘What then am I to do with Jesus called Messiah?’ asked Pilate.  The reply came repeatedly and with increasing emphasis: ‘Crucify him!’

When Pilate saw that his efforts to save Jesus were fruitless, and that there was a danger of a riot breaking out, he took water and washed his hands, saying, ‘My hands are clean of this man’s blood.’  He released Barabbas and had Jesus flogged; then he handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers made sport of him, stripping him, dressing him in a scarlet cloak, and putting a reed in his hand and a crown of thorns on his head.  They paid him mock homage, spat upon him, and beat him. Then they put on his clothes again, and led him away.

(see: Luke 22.63 - 23.12; Matthew 27.15 - 31)


Euphorbia
Euphorbia in the Grand Prior's garden.


The Crucifixion

By then Jesus was too weak to carry his cross to the place of execution, so the soldiers compelled a man named Simon from Cyrene in North Africa to carry it for him.

 Periwinkle  Wood
Periwinkle & Wood in the Grand Prior's garden.

Among the great crowd which followed him were many women, who wept for him. Jesus told them to weep for themselves and for their children because dreadful times were coming.

When they reached the place called ‘The Skull’ the soldiers crucified him and two criminals, one of them on his right and one on his left.

   Good Friday - 3 Crosses
In a churchyard near to the Grand Prior's home.

Jesus said: ‘Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’  Above his head was an inscription saying ‘The King of the Jews’.  The soldiers shared out his clothes by casting lots; they and the crowd, which included Jewish leaders, jeered at him, saying: ‘He saved other people; now let him save himself if he really is God’s chosen Messiah’.   Even one of the criminals crucified with him joined in the taunting; but the other reproached him, saying: ‘We are getting what we deserve, but this man has done nothing wrong’.  Then he said to Jesus: ‘Remember me when you inherit your kingdom’.  Jesus replied: ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise’

 

From midday darkness fell until three o’clock in the afternoon.  Then Jesus shouted: ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’  Some of the bystanders thought he was calling upon Elijah; one of them offered him wine in a sponge held on the end of a stick, and said: ‘Let’s see if Elijah will come and help him’.  Jesus then gave another loud cry and died; and at that very moment the curtain dividing the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple building was torn in two.

The day was a Friday, the eve of the Sabbath, and the Jews were anxious that the bodies should not remain on the crosses once the Sabbath had begun.  Pilate therefore agreed that the legs of the condemned men should be broken, to hasten their deaths.  This was done in the cases of the two criminals but when the soldiers came to Jesus they found he was already dead.  They did not break his legs, but one of them thrust a spear into his side, causing a flow of blood and water.

(see: Luke 23.26 - 43; Mark 15.33 - 39; John 19.31 - 37)


 Photinia
Photinia in the Grand Prior's garden.


Probably the most famous hymn for Good Friday is one which Isaac Watts (1674-1748) wrote in 1707 and perhaps a reflective reading of this provides an excellent prayer for today:

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ my God:
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down:
did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
spreads o'er his body on the tree;
then am I dead to all the globe,
and all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,

demands my soul, my life, my all.

Amen


________________________________________________________________________


MAUNDY THURSDAY
1 April 2021


Maundy Thursday

The Thursday in Holy Week is usually referred to as Maundy Thursday.  The word 'maundy' comes from the English word derived through Middle English and the Old French word mandé, and the Latin mandatum (also the origin of the English word "mandate") which is the first word in St John's Gospel, Chapter 13 verse 34 in Latin of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" where Jesus gave to his disciples: "A new commandment  ...

         "That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

The fact that this was given as a "Commandment" and not merely a 'suggestion' or a 'good idea' added to its vital importance then and continues to apply to his followers today.  We Knights Templar do our best to obey.

Also, during the evening meal with the disciples, as recorded by St Mark (Chapter 14 verses 22-25) :

22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Flowering Cherry
Flowering Cherry in the Grand Prior's garden.

By these actions Jesus instituted what we know as 'The Lord's Supper' or 'Holy Communion' or 'The Mass' or 'The Eucharist' and so on, when Christians all over the world, in their different communities, churches and traditions usually gather together to celebrate and bring to mind the sacrifice of his life which he gave freely for our salvation.  This year, with the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis affecting peope everywhere and some church buildings still closed many innovative ideas to celebrate this meal (especially in family settings at home) are being used.  Do let us know if and how you have managed - use our 'Contact Us' page.


Following his account of the Last Supper, St Luke records (Chapter 22 verses 39-46) :

39 Jesus left the city and went, as he usually did, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples went with him. 40 When he arrived at the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

41 Then he went off from them about the distance of a stone's throw and knelt down and prayed. 42 “Father,” he said, “if you will, take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will, however, but your will be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 In great anguish he prayed even more fervently; his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 Rising from his prayer, he went back to the disciples and found them asleep, worn out by their grief. 46 He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you will not fall into temptation.”


From this account there arose a legend that a plant growing where Jesus prayed in the 'Garden of Gethsemane' was splattered with his blood, causing its leaves and flowers to have dark spots on them.  That flower is the Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) : 

              Early Purple Orchid - group    Early Purple Orchid - close up


The Early purple orchid is one of the first orchids to be seen in the spring.  Its pinkish-purple flowers appear from April, when bluebells still carpet our woods and glades.  Its leaves are dark green with dark spots.

Early Purple Orchids  Blue Bells

A prayer:

            Lord Jesus Christ we thank you for our salvation through your self-sacrifice;
            We pray that you will continue to protect us from harm and keep us in Eternal Life.
            Amen.

__________________________________________

HOLY WEDNESDAY

31 March 2021


Weeping Cherry
Weeping Cherry in the Grand Prior's garden,


Unofficially Holy Wednesday is sometimes referred to as 'Spy Wednesday' since one of the main Gospel readings is from St Matthew, Chapter 26 verses 20-25 (also Mark 14:17-25, Luke 22:14-30, John13:21-30).  This passage recounts the event when Jesus reveals that one of his own disciples would betray him.  Judas left the 'Last Supper' and went off to make arrangements to identify Jesus to the authorities.


The Biblical account of Judas agreeing to Betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16) :

14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.


A prayer:

            Almighty God keep us firm in the salvation hope which you have set before us;
            That we may never betray Jesus in our hearts, thoughts, words nor actions.
            Amen.


Note: After Jesus was crucified Judas Iscariot, realising his error, attempted to return the money but the authorities refused to take it.  And as a result Judas hanged himself ..... 


Pink Moon at 5.19am 8 April 2020
A tree in the Grand Prior's garden, photographed in the early hours.


Fish symbol

_______________________________________


HOLY TUESDAY
30 March 2021

Daffodil
  Daffodil in the Grand Prior's garden.

One of our Honorary Chaplains has told us that the tradition of giving thanks for meals has long been linked to Saint Margaret, Queen of Scotland (1045-1093).


St Margaret of Scotland

 


So as we look ahead to Holy Thursday when Jesus and his disciples met together at what we now call the ‘Last Supper’ let’s revisit mealtime prayers as, perhaps, being confined at home during the present Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis we’re having more meals together with other family members.

 

At formal dinners and on other auspicious occasions one may hear the Grace said in Latin.  Here is a typical text with the translation into English below each line:

 

Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona

Bless Lord us and these Your gifts

 

quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi

which from Your bounty we are about to receive

 

per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.  Amen.

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

This is another well-known version:

 

Before the meal:

 

Benedictus benedicat, per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.  Amen

Blessed blessing [the meal, to be received], through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

After the meal:

 

Benedictus benedicato, per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.  Amen

Blessed blessing [the meal, having been received], through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

 

An explanation of the different wording is that the grace at the beginning gives thanks for the coming blessing:

Benedictus benedicat [blessed blessing - in the future tense].

 

The grace at conclusion gives thanks for having been blessed by the meal, that is, having received the blessing:

Benedictus benedicato [blessed blessing - in the past tense].

 

 

Other versions include:

 

Benedictus Benedicat

[May the Blessed One bless]

 

OR:

 

Benedic, Domine, dona Tua in usum nostrum, et nos in servitium Tuum, per Iesum Christum, Dominum nostrum.

[Bless, Lord, Your gifts in our use, and ourselves in Your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord.]

 

OR:

 

Quidquid nobis apositum est, aut quidquid aponetur, Benedicat Deus haec Sua dona in usum nostrum, necnon nosmet ipsos in servitium Suum, per Iesum Christum, Dominum nostrum.

[Whatever has been, or may be set before us, may God bless these gifts of His in our use, and ourselves also in His service, through Jesus Christ our Lord.]


Daisies
Daisies in the Grand Prior's garden.


 

However, here's a simple version in English:

 

Almighty God –

We give you thanks and praise:

   for our family lives and friendships;

   for our health and well-being;

   for our homes and gardens; and

   for the food we have to eat.

We pray that you will bless our homeland;

   and continue to bless all of us

   with your abiding Love and Care;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


 

Our Grand Prior’s usual prayer is very simple:

 

            For good food and good friends; we thank you Lord.  Amen

 


 

Our Honorary Chaplain summarised, by writing:

     "So miraculous is a spirit of thankfulness that a poor person thankful may be richer than a person with a thankless heart".

 

     "So begin by being thankful, and all that you have shall be more precious.  Of all people surely we as   Templar Knights need to apply this custom of giving thanks in all that we do".



Wild Cherry
Wild Cherry photographed in the Grand Prior's garden.

_______________________________


HOLY MONDAY
29 March 2021

Magnolia


There are a number of different traditions about the events in Jerusalem on the day after Jesus triumphantly entered the city.  But one logical one - bearing in mind the then massive support which Jesus had from the people - was what is known as the "Cleansing of the Temple" :

Cleansing the Temple

Cleansing the Temple

St Matthew provides us with an account of this event in his Gospel (Chapter 21, verses 12-13):

Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

References:

1. Isaiah 56:7
2. Jeremiah 7:11
3. Psalm 8:2

                                                           Primula

     A prayer:

            Help us Lord God to cleanse from our lives the things which keep us from
            adequately thanking and praising you today for Jesus, our Friend and Saviour.
            Amen.

Wild Cherry


Fish symbol


__________

30 mArch 2021



Brimstone Butterfly - 22 March 2020

A Brimstone Butterfly photographed by The Grand Prior in his garden.

________



28 MARCH 2021

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the day in which Jesus entered Jerusalem; His last journey into the city before His death.  Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  This choice of travel is very symbolic as Jesus wanted to show all the people that He came in peace.  History shows that when a king rode into a city on a horse, he was entering for war.  If a king came into a city on a donkey, he was coming in peace.

Zechariah 9

Here is the prophecy in the Old Testament Book of  Zechariah (Chapter 9: 9-12)
of the coming of Zion’s king:

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
    and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
    and the battle-bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
    His rule will extend from sea to sea
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.
11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
    I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;
    even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.


Many people who heard Jesus was arriving in Jerusalem came forward to greet Him.

In the Gospel of St. John (Chapter 12: verse 13), it is written that a great multitude: “Took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him and cried: 'Hosanna! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!'”  Palm leaves and robes were placed on the ground in front of Jesus as He entered Jerusalem - similar to a “red carpet” greeting.


The full Biblical Account:

Jesus Came to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:

15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
    see, your king is coming,
    seated on a donkey’s colt.”

16 At first his disciples did not understand all this.  Only after Jesus was glorified did they realise that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere.  Look how the whole world has gone after him!”


A hymn for Palm Sunday:

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Hark, all the tribes hosanna cry:
O Saviour meek, pursue thy road
with palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die:
O Christ, thy triumphs now begin
o'er captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
The wingèd squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wondering eyes
to see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
The last and fiercest strife is nigh:
the Father on his sapphire throne
awaits his own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
bow thy meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O God, thy power, and reign.

        Author: Henry Hart Milman DD (1827)


In his account of Palm Sunday St Luke (Chapter 19: verses 41-44) recounts how Jesus wept over the sight of Jerusalem as he foresaw that some decades later the beautiful city would come under seige and the magnificent Temple would be utterly destroyed - not one stone standing upon another - and duly that came to pass in (70AD) by the Roman rulee.  To this very day the Temple complex has not been rebuilt.

BUT we - the Knights Templar (named after the fact that the original knights occupied part of the Temple site) - can represent that temple still; as 'living stones' built into the Temple which is Jesus.  This is explained in 1 Peter 2: 4-6 ....

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a temple of the spirit, to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
For in Scripture it says:

                    “See, I lay a stone in Zion,
                    a chosen and precious cornerstone,

                    and the one who trusts in him

                    will never be put to shame.”


If one traces the path over which Jesus rode on a donkey from Bethany, towards Jerusalem, down the steep slope of the Mount of Olives, you come to a small chapel built in the shape of a teardrop as mentioned in St. Luke's Gospel.  It is the church known as Dominus Flevit (the Lord wept):

Dominus Flevit


The main window has a superb view over the city and the Church of the Holy Sepuchre:

Dominus Flevit - view

The Church of the Holy Sepuchre was built over the place where Jesus was crucified and the tomb where he was buried and then, three days later - on the first Easter Day - he rose from the dead.

Holy Week gives us an opportunity to refresh our memories of the most important events in human history!   Hopefully it will also encourage us to become the 'holy priesthood' mentioned above.


A prayer:

            Help us Lord this week to become pilgrims,
            learning to follow you in all things.
            Amen.

Fish symbol

________________________________


23 MARCH 2021


FIRST COVID  Two daffodils  ANNIVERSARY

Majestry, the Queen sent a bouquet of irises,tulips, mixed narcissi and ranunculus to St Bartholomew's Hospital (where the Duke of Edinburgh had recently been treated), with a personal note, signed "Elizabeth R", typed on Windsor Castle headed paper and which read:

“As we look forward to a brighter future together, today we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year.”

HMQ - Covid flowers

     HMQ - Covid bouquet close up    HMQ - Covid bouquet and nurse


The bouquet was carried into the hospital by a medic before being handed to the hospital's chief executive, consultant cardiologist Professor Charles Knight:

HMQ - Covid flowers - with Prof Knight


At noon individuals and groups all over the country observed one minute of silent reflection to remember over the well 126,000 who had died within 28 days of being diagnosed with Covid.

Similarly, at 8.00pm, people lit candles and shone torches in remembrance.

Covid Lights - lamp

  Covid - KT - D1Covid - KT - D2

  



  




KT - Cross

________________________


21 MARCH 2021

PASSION SUNDAY
or

Compassion Sunday

You can read in St Luke’s Gospel (Chapter 7) an excellent example of the compassion shown by Jesus
when he encountered a widow whose only son had died:
Luke 7:
11 And it came to pass that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him,
and much people.
12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still.
And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak.  And he delivered him to his mother.
 
CENSUS SUNDAY
Today is also Census Day in Britain, although in Scotland it has been postponed until next year because
of the Covid-19 crisis.
Except for 1941 (because of World War II) a census has been held every 10 years since 1801.
This year is marginally different because the document can be completed on-line or (by request)
in the usual paper format.
One of the first censuses we read about is also in St Luke’s Gospel, at the start of Chapter 2
and no doubt Jesus was duly recorded:
Luke 2:
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world
should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David,
which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;
because there was no room for them in the inn.
 
 

KT - Cross


____________________________________________________________________________________________________


20 MARCH 2021

SPRING EQUINOX

Primroses  Variegated Periwinkle  Weeping Cherry
       Primroses                                Variegated Periwinkle                         Weeping Cherry
       Flowers in the Grand Prior's garden at the Spring Equinox

      __________________________________


14 MARCH 2021


MOTHERING SUNDAY

Mothering Sunday


Mothering Sunday - today - falls on the Third Sunday in Lent, the middle of Lent.  It was originally a time when people returned to the church in which they were baptised or where they attended services when they were children.  This meant that families were reunited as adults returned to the towns and villages where they grew up.  In time, it became customary for young people, who were working as servants in large houses, to be given a holiday on Mothering Sunday.  They could use this day to visit their own mother and often took a gift of food or hand-me-down clothing from their employers to her.  In turn, this moved towards the modern holiday on which people still visit and take gits to their mothers.

Traditionally, people observed a fast during Lent.  Lent is the period from Ash Wednesday until Good Friday.  During the Lent fast, people did not eat from sweet, rich foods or meat.  However, the fast was lifted slightly on Mothering Sunday and many people prepared a Simnel cake to eat with their family on this day.

A Simnel cake is a light fruit cake covered with a layer of marzipan and with a layer of marzipan baked into the middle of the cake.  Traditionally, Simnel cakes are decorated with 11 or 12 balls of marzipan, representing the 11 disciples and, sometimes, Jesus Christ.  One legend says that the cake was named after Lambert Simnel who worked in the kitchens of Henry VII of England sometime around the year 1500.




____________________________________________________________

Pi Day

One of the oldest and the most recognised mathematical constant in the world, π (pi) is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter.  Its value is approximately equal to 3.14159265.  It is an irrational number, which means it cannot be expressed as a ratio of whole numbers, and its decimal representation never ends or repeats.  Pi is represented by the lower case Greek letter, π, because it is the first letter of the Greek work περίμετρος, meaning perimeter.  It is celebrated in countries that follow the month/day (m/dd) date format, because the digits in the date, March 14 or 3/14, are the first three digits of π (3.14).  Pi Day was founded by Physicist Larry Shaw in 1988.  Because everyone should be able to enjoy a fun mathematical holiday, people in countries that follow the day/month (dd/m) date format, honour pi on what is sometimes referred to as Pi Approximation Day.  The date of Pi Approximation Day - July 22 - when written in the day/month format - or 22/7 - which corresponds to the fraction (22/7) that pi is usually depicted as.


______________________________________________________________________________________________


1 MARCH 2021

 

dydd gwyl dewi sant hapus!

 

 Daffodils

Happy St David's Day

St David

Dewi Sant - Saint David

 

Dyuw ein Tad

Rydych yn enw dy was Dafydd
i gynnal y ffydd Gristnogol ymhlith pobl Cymru,
i'w hannog gan ei gadw at ymprydio ac ufudd-dod,
ac i ddangos tosturi iddynt trwy weithredoedd bach o gariad mawr.

Gan fod golau yn cael ei dywallt ar y bennau'r mynyddoedd
ac fel glaw ffres yn cael ei ysgeintio ar y bryniau,
yn ein helpu i fod yn ofalwyr da o un arall
ac o Eich Creation mawr a gogoneddus.

Amen.




God our Father,

You called your servant David
to uphold the Christian faith amongst the people of Wales,
to encourage them by his observance of fasting and obedience,
and to show them compassion through small acts of great love.

As light is poured onto the mountain-tops
and as fresh rain is sprinkled on the hills,
help us to be good carers of one another
and of Your great and glorious Creation.

Amen.

 

 (This prayer was written by the former Anglican Archbishop of Wales, The Most Reverend Dr Barry Morgan)

 


________________________________________________________________________________

LENT 2021


For the convenience of those following our week-by-week Lent 2021 series - which is being written by one of our Assistant Chaplains, Darren - these now have their own page, below this one and are entitled Lent 2021.


Lent candles


_____________________________________


14 FEBRUARY 2021


St Valentine's Day

Heart


God is Love

1 John 4: 7-21

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


2 FEBRUARY 2021


Obituary


Captain Sir Tom Moore (1920 - 2021)


KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

 

KT - Cross

_________________________

2 FEBRUaRY 2021

CANDLEMAS


All Saints Day - 3

Candlemas is the Christian holiday celebrated on 2nd February each year to commemorate
 The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple when he was a baby.
It occurs 40 days, inclusive, after Christmas.

The Holy Bible records this event in the Gospel of St Luke Chapter 22, verses 22-40

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”, 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

________________________________


On Friday 17th July 2020 Her Majesty the Queen "dubbed" Tom Moore as a Knight Bachelor (KB) and he soon became better known to us all as Captain Sir Tom Moore.

However today, Captain Tom's family had to announce the extremely sad news that he had died. It may seem as if one of the Candlemas candles has gone out but in truth his example will live on in our hearts and minds: 

Candle



GRAND PRIOR’S THOUGHTS

As we celebrate Captain Tom’s life and start to say goodbye to him in his physical form I want to stress that this is not the end; a most important part of Tom will live on.

His life and spirit have become a part of the life and spirit of those closest to him, to us, and to millions of his ‘followers’ across the world.  His values, character and influence have been shared amongst us during this final 100th year of his life and will be carried with us into our future.

I am sure that you will find your thoughts turning to him over the coming weeks, months and years.  Something that you see; a phrase that is said; an event that happens; and suddenly Captain Tom will come to mind and you will find that you are meeting him again in your memory.  Treasure those thoughts.

                                    

                                                                         THE BLESSING

                                And now may Christ the Light of the World

                                       shine upon you and
                                       scatter the darkness
                                       from before your path,
                                       and make you ready to meet Him
                                       when He comes in glory;

                                And the blessing of God Almighty,
             
                                       the Father,
                                       the Son, and
                                       the Holy Spirit,
                                                 be among you
                                       and with all those whom you love
                                       and remain with you always.

                                       Amen.


__________________________________________________________________________


31 JANUARY 2021


Dean of Hereford - Last Service

The Dean of Hereford Cathedral, The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor
conducted his final Service there today 31 January 2021

The whole Service can be seen on the Cathedral's website at
www.herefordcathedral.org/news/sunday-morning-worship-deans-final-service


The Dean had originally planned to lead a series of farewell services on Sunday 31 January but, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, those plans were thwarted. Instead, the cathedral community and many around the county came together online on Sunday morning with a pre-recorded video service sharing memories of Michael’s time in Hereford. As well as messages of thanks from members of the cathedral community, the Archbishop of Canterbury sent his best wishes to the Dean via a special video message.

The Very Revd Michael Tavinor said: “It’s difficult for us all, parting at this really challenging time, but I think it’s important to look back together at all the good things of the last nineteen years. When we do so, we’ll recall events, projects, sadnesses and joys, and the cathedral community has been second to none in its faithfulness, encouragement, support and loving care throughout all of them.

“I shall never cease to be thankful for the friendship I have received from so many who have contributed to cathedral life, and have made my ministry as Dean so enjoyable and rewarding. I thank you all for your kindness and generosity. The cathedral and the city of Hereford will always have a special place in my heart and I shall be thinking of you and remembering you all in my prayers as you prepare for the next stage of your journey. God bless you all.”

The Bishop of Hereford said: “After nearly two decades as the Dean of Hereford, it is with a heavy heart that Michael is retiring in the midst of another lockdown. It is of course very far from the ideal send-off that we had all hoped and prayed for - we hope to bid a more personal farewell in due course. Despite our short time together, I am very grateful for Michael’s wisdom, insight and the warm welcome he offered me on my arrival nearly 12 months ago.

“He has been a great influence on so many. I am deeply aware of the significant impact of his ministry on the lives of individuals and worshipping communities across the Diocese of Hereford. I wish him every blessing for a long and happy retirement.”

Michael’s gentle leadership has played an instrumental role overseeing many developments to the cathedral buildings during his time in Hereford, including the installation of the Thomas Traherne and Ascension stained glass windows, celebrating St Thomas Cantilupe and St Ethelbert with the restoration of two striking shrines, and the recent completion of the restored Eastern Cloisters, with their new attractions for visitors. As well as his own musical skill and love for the cathedral’s choral and organ music, Michael’s passion for pilgrimage has been shared widely throughout the community, and the warm welcome and hospitality that he has provided for all those who visit the cathedral will be sorely missed.


A MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN

It's difficult to put into words the enormous gratitude I feel, following last Sunday's final Service and presentation.

I was so touched by the words spoken by Peter and Linda, our cathedral wardens and do thank them for what they said and for wonderfully generous cheque presented to me. Canon Andrew spoke on behalf of the Chapter and again, such kind and generous thoughts. It has been a real joy to me to work with my colleagues on Chapter and with such a dedicated congregation. I do thank Sir Andrew Macfarlane, who spoke on behalf of the Cathedral Council, and the Lord Lieutenant, who spoke on behalf of the county – believe me, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with them both and with all the local and civic leaders whom they represent. The appearance of the Archbishop of Canterbury was a complete surprise – but I was so touched that Archbishop Justin should take the time and trouble to do this – it meant a great deal. I was very moved by the words of Bishop Richard and deeply honoured that he should confer on me the title of Dean Emeritus.

Everybody has been so very kind and I’ve received the most lovely letters, cards and emails. I hope to reply to all, even if it takes me a little while! I remember our dear friend, the late Dean Peter Haynes, saying that the job of a dean was ‘all joy’. I think he meant it in contrast to the job of archdeacon (in which role he had also served)! I’m not sure about the ‘all’ – every ministry has its ups and downs – but I can honestly say that the joys have always shone through and you all have made that happen, through your constant kindness, support and encouragement.

Hereford will always have a special place in my heart and I shall be praying for you all, as you move to the next stage of life in this wonderful place: and I know that you will say a prayer for me as I cross the border into Wales! 

God bless you all.

Michael



Hereford - Investiture Group - 3 October 20200


___________________________________________________________________________________


22/23JANUARY 2021


JOHN FIELDING WILLIAMS VC

John Fielding Williams VC - headstone

John Fielding Williams was one of the soldiers who was awarded the Victoria Cross
following the Defence of Rouke's Drift, during the Zulu (South Africa) War


John Fielding Williams VC - with Grand Priorr
The Grand Prior
at the grave


__________________________________________________________________________


20 JANUARY 2021

Inauguration of the 46th President of the United States

President Day - Trupeter

President - old Air Force One President - The Mall         former president - Donald Trump flys out                      The Mall - bedecked with celebratory flags


   President - Joe Biden - oath  President - Vice-President
             President Joseph R Biden Jr takes the oath                        Vice-President Kamala Harris

President - Speech
   President Joe Biden

   President - Joe  Jill - together   President - Joe  Jill - standing

President Biden and his wife, the First Lady, Dr Jill Tracy Jacobs

President -  at The Oval Office

President Biden starting to work at the Oval Office.  Vice-President Harris on the right.

President - Evening Celebration 

President - Evening Fireworks

President - Portrait

President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr

The 46th President of the United States of America


____________________________________


18-25 January 2021

KT - Cross


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


KT - Cross

__________________________________________________________



18 JANUARY 2021


Martin Luther King Jr Day

Martin Luther King Jr

15 January 1929 - 4 April 1968

More than 50 years after his death, Martin Luther King Jr's legacy lives on.


Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr Day is a federal holiday in the United States of America and is held on the third Monday in January.  It celebrates the life and achievements of the hugely influential American civil rights leader, The Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

A chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism and one of the leading figures of the civil rights movement, his words live long in the memory of millions worldwide.

Martin Luther King Jr - Lincoln Memorial


Martin Luther King Jr pictured as he addressed crowds during the 'March On Washington' at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech.


Some of Dr King’s powerful quotes:

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."

"We've got some difficult days ahead.  But it really doesn't matter with me now because I've been to the mountaintop...  I've looked over and I've seen the promised land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land."

“I have a dream...”


Knights Templar everywhere can learn much from studying Dr King's life and message and, of course, see how his inspiration and commitment was rooted in his devotion to the teachings of his and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

 

KT - Cross

________________________________________________


8 JANUARY 2021

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have received Covid-19 vaccinations, a Buckingham Palace has reported.

The Queen  Prince Philip

The royal source said the vaccinations were administered by a household doctor at Windsor Castle.  The source added that the Queen decided to let it be known she had had the vaccination in order to prevent further speculation.

The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are among more than 1.5 million people in the UK to have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine so far.

People aged 80 and over in the UK are among the high-priority groups who are being given the vaccine first.

The couple have been spending the lockdown in England at their Windsor Castle home after deciding to have a quiet Christmas at their Berkshire residence, instead of the traditional royal family gathering at Sandringham.


________________________________________________________________________________________________


6 JANUARY 2021 : EPIPHANY


Epiphany is an ancient Christian festival and is celebrated across the world in numerous ways.


The word comes from the Greek έπιφάνεια (epiphaneia) which means the “manifestation” or the “showing forth” of Jesus to non-Jews (the Gentiles) after his incarnation (his birth).
In the Western Church we usually relate this to the arrival of the Magi at the house where the Holy Family were living, some 2 years after the birth of Jesus.
In the Orthodox or Eastern Church the word is Theophany (
θεοφάνεια)
meaning the appearance of God.


According to the Holy Bible in the Gospel of St Matthew (Chapter 2:verse 11) they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Epiphany - gifts

The Gospel account indicates that the Magi had been following a star
which led them to the house where they found Jesus, his mother Mary and Joseph:

Epiphany - a star

The star which the Magi followed can remind us of the lovely Epiphany Carol
by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898):

As with gladness, men of old
Did the guiding star behold
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright
So, most glorious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.

As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly household bed
There to bend the knee before
Him Whom Heaven and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.

As they offered gifts most rare
 In that homestead plain and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!

 

 Or as the Gospel of St Matthew (Chapter 2, verse 10) puts it:

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”

 

This event is re-enacted by some children:

Epiphany - children

Epiphany could also represent the flight of the Holy Family into Eygpt
in order to escape Herod's anger and the murder of boys under 2 years in Bethlehem:

Epiphany - Flight into Eygpt

 

 In Eastern churches, Epiphany usually celebrates the baptism of Jesus by St John the Baptist,
in the River Jordan:

Epiphany - Jesus Baptism

Alternatively it also commemorates Jesus' first miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana in Galilee,
where he turned jars of water into high quality wine:

Epiphany - Cana  Magi


All of these celebrations and images seek to illustrate 'Epiphany'
'the showing forth' or 'revelation' of Jesus to non-Jews (that is, the Gentiles) -
on various occasions during His life.



 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________



NEW YEAR'S DAY : 1 JANUARY 2021


Dymunwn flwyddyn newydd fendithiol a heddychlon i chi
(We wish you a glorious and peaceful New Year)

The first second:

New Year 2021


Here are some words from Minnie Louise Haskins’ poem which the then Princess Elizabeth (now Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) gave to her father, the late King George VI, to say during his Christmas broadcast in 1939:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.  That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.”

__________________________________


NEW YEAR'S EVE 2020


The last minute:

Big Ben at 23.59 31 December 2020

Great Clock, Elizabeth Tower, London


The last seconds:


  Count down to New Year - 4  Count down to New Year - 3  Count down to New Year - 2   Count down to New Year - 1

Count down to New Year - 0

Count down to New Year - 00



_____________________________



THE FEAST DAY OF ST jOHN THE EVANGELIST
27 December 2019


One of special days (a Feastday) which the Order observes is that of Saint John, the Apostle and Evangelist.

St John the Evangelist


In the first extract from the Holy Bible below we read St John's own accound of his encounter with Jesus.  The second piece is from St John's Gospel.  St John is sometimes depicted as an eagle and similarly used in church lecterns to hold the Bible - carrying the Word of God across the world.

The Epistle

1 St. John 1.1-end

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, That God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all un-righteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


St John the Evangelist - lectern


The Gospel

St. John 21.19-end

Jesus said unto Peter, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, That that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose, that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.

St John the Evangelist


A Prayer

Merciful Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church,
that, it being enlightened by the doctrine
of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John,
may so walk in the light of thy truth,
that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


KT - Cross

___________________________________


SNOW AT CHRISTMAS ?

Have you ever wondered whether it actually ever snows at Christmas-time in the Holy Land?


You may remember the Christmas carol usually sung to a tune by Gustav Holst with the words written by Christina Rossetti in about 1872, entitled: "In the bleak mid-winter" :

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ..

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.


So the question is whether Rossetti was writing with "poetic licence" or did she know that it did occasi onallysnow at Christmas-time in the Holy Land?

The answer is a definite 'Yes'.  It certainly does snow there and the following photographs taken on 12 and 13 December 2013 show it snowing in Bethlehem and Jerusalem:

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - Christmas 2013

Snow at the Dome of the Rock

A Palestinian youth throws a snowball in front of the Dome of the Rock
at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the old city of Jerusalem
on 12 December 2013
as a winter weather front hit the region,
bringing early snow and a steep drop in temperatures.


The first Knights Templar believed that the Dome of the Rock was the original Temple of Solomon.  Consequently, when they made the site their headquarters, they came to be known as the Knights of the Temple - in short the Knights Templar - hence our name today.

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - Christmas 2013

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - 13 December 2013

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - 13 December 2013

Bethlehem - 12 December 2013

Snowing at Christmas in Bethlehem

Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity
12 December 2013


Jerusalem Cross

Jerusalem Cross


____________________________________


CHRISTMAS DAY 2020

 We are pleased to send our most heart-felt Good Wishes and Blessings to the hundreds of individuals who read items on this website every day of the year.  On this special day we pray that God will keep you safe in His Love and in the New Year ahead grant us all a Peaceful time in the knowledge that He is ALWAYS with us.


One of our Assistant Chaplains, Tony, has recorded the following carols and we hope that you will enjoy listening to them.

 
Oh Holy Night

https://youtu.be/CcUn4Y3fIiQ

 

Mary Did You Know

https://youtu.be/KsG7PrzTUkw

Silent Night

https://youtu.be/J1btRbyoHYs

 



__________________________________________________________


CHRISTMAS 2020

Christmas - 2017

Illuminated Letter 'A' - Venturino Mercati (c. 1450-1500)



At this most Holy and Joyful Christmas time we sent our very Best Wishes and Blessings to all of the
Knights and Dames of the Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem throughout the world
and to the hundreds of others who visit these pages on a daily basis.


A Blessing

May God
(the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - Ever and Only One)

bless, preserve and keep you safe

in His Love and Care today

and in the New Year ahead

Amen.

The Grand Prior of All Britain and Grand Prior of Wales


In the Holy Bible, the Gospel of St John tells us who the Babe at Bethlehem is - none other than Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, the Creator and Lord of All .....

John 1: 1 ─ 14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.  3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.  8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  9 That was the true Light, which gives light to every man coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

12 But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

__________________________________


ADVENT SEASON 2020

[Advent Sunday 29 November 2020 to Christmas]


Advent Candles

 

O Lord our God,
make us watchful and keep us faithful
as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;
that, when he shall appear,
he may not find us sleeping in sin
but active in his service
and joyful in his praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
                                          Amen.


Advent Star



Advent Star

 

Advent and Candles

 

Welcome to Advent, our theme for this year is one of light in the darkness.

 

Light in the darkness 1

 

Imagine for a moment, the world just before the birth of Christ; a world that was dark, in need of salvation, a world that was lost and believed in its own righteousness, a world of empire and of human laws.

The Light arrived in the most inauspicious of circumstances, born to a carpenter and his bride-to-be in a stable in Bethlehem.  This event was largely ignored by the human world at the time but let’s not rush ahead.  Advent is a special season in which we look at the events that led to the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The first candle is a candle of hope; the hope that those early prophets such as Daniel and Samuel had in God, the faith that they held, knowing the Holy Spirit would move, and bring a new possibility, a new way, a change for good, a hope that in this moment things would never be the same again.

And so we can light the candle for this first period in Advent:

 

Advent Candle 1

 

We hold that hope of change, especially at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty and increasing secularisation.  But there is good news, we get to be hope-givers to a weary and hurting world.  We get to share our hope so that others are liberated and can also walk free from chains of despair, or addiction, or fear.  We have that faith that God will send the Holy Spirit, His Light upon us.

And so we pray:

Creator God, who saw a world in darkness.  And when you saw your people losing hope, you kindled the flame within them and sent hope to the world that was not an empty hope but a hope that has moved through your people and that has touched the hearts of many the hope that we can bring and live out, that we can inspire others and bring your kingdom closer.  Amen.



Advent 2

Our theme for the second period of Advent is peace.  When I say that word … “Peace”, what comes to mind?  Perhaps a pristine snow-draped mountain, a deserted beach, a quiet fireside and a good book?  Or maybe it’s an image less tangible, or maybe peace is more of a feeling?  A state of being?  A person whose presence brings peace?

Most renditions of the Christmas story begin with the angel Gabriel telling Mary she is to bear a son.  Yet in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’ birth story parallels that of John the Baptist.  Months before visiting Mary, Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce that Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, would bear a son to be named John.  Because he is so old, Zechariah, not unlike Abraham (see Genesis 18: 10-12), questions whether paternity is possible, like Mary’s initial response to her improbable pregnancy.  But while Mary’s question is answered, Zechariah is chastised for doubting, then struck mute for the duration of his wife’s pregnancy.

Looking at Zechariah for a moment it’s tempting to see him as being punished but I wonder if he was in fact blessed: how many of us would like to just shut out all things for a moment?  Muting the perpetual cycle of thought brings a calm, a quiet, it brings a greater peace.  We are called to mute our own thoughts.  With quiet minds and open hearts, we find rest in the peace that surpasses all understanding.

And so we can light the candles for the second period of Advent.  We hold onto that calm, that peace that the Lord sends, whatever form it takes.  We keep in mind how we don’t just receive the gift of peace from God but we also have a duty and a calling to share that peace with others, not just in our gathering as one family but out in the world also, to let others see it in our lives.

 

Advent Candle 2


So we pray:

Loving God who knows the world your people are in today, who sees the distractions, the trials and the dangers we face.  Grant us your peace, a peace that comes from the knowledge that you are our God, that you stand beside us all, and that we are beloved in you father.  Amen.



Advent 3

Our theme for the third period of Advent is love.  How do we define love?  Is it nurturing?  Sacrificial?  Affirming?  Poets, scholars, playwrights and artists have wrestled with this question since the time of the Old Testament.  Indeed, we will all have our own ideas of what love is.

What if I said love is freedom?  There is an incredible sense of power and freedom in both giving and receiving love without condition or expectation.  The experience can be so profound that we lose track of whether we’re the giver or receiver.  This is the love Jesus would later preach on in his ministry.  The Love of God.

 

Love in advent is especially poignant, Mary’s love of God provides her with the courage to give herself to God’s plan.  We sometimes forget that she was a teenager, yet she displays a love and courage well beyond her years.  She, in receiving that gift of love, freely gives it in the purest way in her caring for and journeying with Jesus for his whole life.

 

Joseph, moved by his love of Mary commits himself to be a guardian, an adoptive father to Jesus.  Indeed we see the very real gamut of emotions that he feels before he returns to Mary’s side.  His love drives him to protect the baby Jesus, to teach him as he grew, to give him a trade and an idea of what it was to be a man.


And as we light a candle for the third period of Advent we think of the love that God showers on us so freely, the profound and limitless love that he gave to come and be among us, to give us the gift of salvation, of hope and to change everything in one loving act.


Advent Candle 3


Let us pray:

Loving Lord, you devoted yourself to us the moment you created us and you reaffirmed that love when you came to earth on a cold night in Bethlehem.  You chose Mary and Joseph, and trusted them with this task.  You helped them to build a family based on love, with you at the core.  We ask Lord that you move in our lives too.  Let us love intently and freely.  Let us love as you love, Lord.  Amen.

 

 

Advent 4

Our theme for the fourth period of Advent is joy.  We so often confuse joy and happiness, but is happiness not fleeting?  We can all think of some examples: a delicious meal is interrupted and goes cold; a happy day out ends; a holiday becomes a past event.  Joy though is something that remains.  The moment of joy may pass but the feeling remains long after.


Joy is always so good that it has to be shared.  In telling the Christmas story, think of the last time you felt joy, real joy.  What happened in the lead-up to that moment?  The Gospel writers remind us that when things seem darkest, joy can come in unexpected places and in small packages.

Light in the darkness 2

A lesson I learned in my life before the church, working with children and teenagers is that they have such a unique way of seeing the world, they remind us of the joy of playing, giving, learning, and loving.  In the presence of such joy, our inner child can help us feel joy in a way we as adults are maybe not used to.  In that freedom of feeling, can we reflect the joy we feel back to those we meet daily, that joy that Christ brings?

As we have journeyed together this Advent we have looked at Hope, Peace, Love and Joy.  It’s no accident that they come in this order, they are interconnected and flow from each other.

A special thing happens as we open to the possibility of hope: we realise that we are not alone.  When we live in the understanding of peace, we act as a channel for it, as in the prayer sometimes attributed to St Francis.  When we give love, we are truly doing the Lord’s work and in that we find joy.  We find all of these in each other as we have walked this path together as one people under Christ.

And so as we light the candle for joy let’s remember the joy of the Holy Family.  There is the joy that Mary would have felt as she felt baby Jesus kicking; the joy of Joseph as he watched his beloved wife move throughout the trimesters of pregnancy and the joy that the two of them must have felt the moment they held their new-born son in their arms knowing that their almost impossible journey had led to this moment when they saw the joy for all humanity, who lay in their arms.

Advent Candle 4

Let us pray:

Dear God, thank you for all the joyful moments that we have experienced in this most difficult of years.  Thank you for all the times when we have helped people and been helped ourselves so that we have had a chance to give and receive the joy that comes from the unity of one Christian family.  Thank you for the birth of baby Jesus and the joy that this has given people.  We pray Lord, help us to experience true joy this Christmas.  Amen.

 

 

Final thoughts.

Is it me or, with the passing of the old year, does it feel as if we’ve finished one movie and are moving into the sequel?

I was thinking about the season of the New Year, what it means; new beginnings, new starts and the possibilities that brings.  Not much will have changed in the world by the time you read these words, Covid-19 will still be out there, we will still be in lockdown but what if we don’t need the world to be new, what if it us who need to be new?  Hear me out in 2020 we were caught off guard, we didn’t know how to handle a global pandemic but now we have learned to adapt.

Yes, we all miss the normal we are used to, but as St Paul himself tells us: “Be on the alert.  Stand firm in the faith.  Be people of courage.  Be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13)  I don’t know about you but I find those words comforting, there are many lessons we could learn from our brothers and sisters in antiquity.  They were not hiding from Covid-19 but from the Romans, yet they endured, they outlasted their foe.

That’s what I believe 2021 will hold for us, like those who followed Moses into the desert, like those who met in secret in Rome, those who bucked the trend in Corinth, we must walk in faith: that God will be alongside us.  The road we walk in 2021 will not be an easy one but we will walk it together in faith, in love and in fellowship.

As always, my brothers and sisters, my prayers for you are that you are happy and safe.

Darren

[Assistant Chaplain]

Advent Star


FROM THE GRAND PRIOR & SPIRITUAL PROTECTOR
OF THE GRAND PRIORIES OF ALL BRITAIN AND OF WALES

A BLESSING

      Go forth into the world in peace;

      be of good courage;

      hold fast to that which is good;

      render to no one evil for evil;

      strengthen the fainthearted;

      support the weak;

      help the afflicted;

      honour everyone;

      love and serve the Lord,

         rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit; and

      May Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you,

      scatter the darkness from before your path,

      and make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory;

and

      Mae Bendith Duw Hollalluog,          The blessing of God Almighty,

      y Tad, y Mab a'r                            the Father, the Son, and

        Ysbryd Glân,                                  the Holy Spirit,

      a fo yn eich plith ac                        be among you and

      a drigo gyda chwi yn wastad.          remain with you always.

      Amen.                                           Amen.

 



KT - Cross



_______________________________________________


NOVEMBER

The Time of Remembrancing

Lest We Forget


Armistice Day : 11 November 2020

Poppy Logo - 1      

Remembance Soldier 1Poppy Wreath  Remembance Soldier 2


     1918 - Battlefield, France  2019 - Thiepval, France
                1918 - Battlefield, France                                   2019 - Thiepval, France


                                                  Westminster Abbey November 2020

The Queen paid a private visit to the Abbey and stood at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior:

       HMQ  Westminster Abbey - 1     HMQ  Westminster Abbey - 2

   HMQ  Westminster Abbey - 3    HMQ  Westminster Abbey - 4

Her Majesty bowed her head to honour all those killed while serving their country, as a floral tribute inspired by her bridal bouquet was placed on her grave.

It was the Queen's idea to have a small, private service to mark 100 years since the unidentified British serviceman was laid to rest there on 11 November 1920, in the presence of her grandfather George V and her father, the then future King George VI.

She was driven from Windsor Castle  to Buckingham Palace, where the royal standard briefly flew to mark her first visit to her official London residence since March.

Wearing a black coat, hat and gloves, the Jardine Star brooch pinned under her poppy and a black mask trimmed with white, she then arrived at the Abbey with just her equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah.

Inside, she stood close to the black Belgian marble tombstone lined with poppies in the western nave of the building as the Dean of Westminster Abbey, The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, led prayers.

The Queen then moved to look at a bouquet of white and lilac orchids, myrtle and greens, created by a palace florist to reflect the one she carried on her wedding day, touching them briefly before her equerry knelt to place them on the tomb.

After a moment of silent reflection and more prayers, Piper to the Sovereign, Richard Grisdale, played the lament “The Flowers of the Forest” from the organ loft overhead.

Her Majesty’s poignant gesture echoed that of her mother who, as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyonplaced her own bridal bouquet at the same spot in 1923.  The Queen Mother’s touching tribute was made in memory of her brother Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who died aged 26 in the Battle of Loos in 1915.  It has inspired many royal brides to leave their own bouquets on the tomb – usually a day after the wedding.

This week marks the centenary of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and also of the Cenotaphwhich was unveiled by George V during the unknown serviceman’s funeral procession on Armistice Day 1920.

The warrior’s remains were brought back from the World War One battlefields of Northern France and laid to rest in the Abbey, where thousands filed past to pay their respects.  It became a moment of collective mourning for the nation and one that the Queen was determined to commemorate.

A royal source said: “The grave of the unknown warrior is as relevant and poignant today as it was when Her Majesty's grandfather and father stood in the abbey at its side 100 years ago.  It holds enormous significance for the country and the royal family.  The Queen was keen that the centenary was marked appropriately.  A simple but deeply personal act reflecting a tradition started by her mother 97 years ago felt the right thing to do."

Poppy Pin - We Will Remember     Poppy Pin - All Gave Some


KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,

  

KT - Cross


    __________________________________________


9 November 2020

31st Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

9 November 1989

Berlin Wall - Crowd   Berlin Wall - on the wall

Berlin Wall Celebrations

___________________________________


Covid-19 restrictions, unfortunately, have limited public observances of Remembarnce Sunday so below are some items which may assist you to contemplate, in silence, the sacrifices made by men, women and children across the world due to the wars and conflicts of the last 100+ years:

Silent Remembrance coin


Remembrance Sunday : 8 November 2020


Souls of the Righteous


Poppy Pin

                            A Prayer for the Fallen

                                     Remember, O Lord

             all those who have died the death of honour and
       are departed in the hope of resurrection to Eternal Life,
                   especially the Officers, Men and Women
                          of our Sea, Land and, Air Forces,
               to whom it was given to lay down their lives
                     for the cause of Freedom and Justice.

                          In your heavenly place of Light,
        where pain, sorrow, tears and mourning are no more,
            give them rest, O Lord, the Lover of all people.

                         Grant this for Jesus Christ’s sake.

                                                Amen.

 Poppy Pin - We Will Remember    Poppy Pin - All Gave Some


                          In Flanders Field       All gave some

In Flanders Fields - in script

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.


Lt Colonel John McCrae was a Canadian soldier, physician and poet.  He wrote this poem on 3 May 1915.  In the above autographed copy of the poem from In Flanders Fields and Other Poems, his handwritten version ends the first line with "grow", unlike the printed copy in the same book where the first line ends with "blow".


                   In Flanders Fields - Lt Colonel John McCrae      In Flanders Fields - 1921 page 1

In Flanders Fields - red poppies


KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,

 

KT - Cross

____________________________


All Souls' Tide : 2 November 2020

   Crowned Cross

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis,
Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam

 

 At this All Souls' Tide we remember past Knights Templar
and particularly those who have kept the Christian Faith
in their lives, actions, homes, hearts and minds.

Especially we give thanks to God for those who have died for the Faith.

Therefore we recall those Knights Templar who have suffered martyrdom,
including Jacques de Molay (the last medieval Grand Master) and
Geoffroi de Charnay (the Master of Normandy)
who were cruellly burnt at the stake in Paris on 11 March 1314
on the false orders of the King of France, Philip IV (known as Philip the Fair)


Arms - Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay - Coat of Arms
 
 
Jacques de Molay - Execution
Depiction of the Martyrdom of
Jacques de Molay, Grand Master and
Geoffroi de Charney, Master of Normandy




Nearer to home we remember our Patron Saint, St Thomas Cantilupe (1218-1282),
also known as St Thomas of Hereford.
He was a Provincial Grand Master of the Order
and Bishop of Hereford (including parishes in Wales):


  St Thomas Cantilupe - window    St Thomas Cantelupe - Hereford    St Thomas Cantilupe - Hambleden
                      Credenden Hill Church                                    Hereford Cathedral                                          Hambledon Parish Church

Locally we recall our brother Knights Templar of the Grand Priory of Wales
who have passed from our sight in recent times:

Chevalier H John Sommerin (1946-2020)
Chevalier Brian W Ansen (1941-2018)
Chevalier David Bergstrom (1946-2016)
Chevalier Jonathan Griffiths (1955-2017)



KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

 

KT - Cross

_______________________________


1 November 2020

All Saints Day - 1

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you -
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his saints

[Ephesians 1: 18]



The well-known hymn "For all the saints" is a favourite with Templars.
It expresses our hope and trust in the future and
calls upon us to follow the example of our forebears:


1 For all the saints who from their labours rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2 Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4 O blest communion, fellowship divine,
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5 And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6 The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warrior cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7 But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

8 From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

                                    Words: William Walsham How (1864)
                                     Tune (Sine Nomine): Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906)



Some Prayers:

Let us pray:

THANKSGIVING

 

God of time and eternity

we give you thanks and praise:

for life in all its fullness,
for love in all its power,
for joy in all its wonder.

 

SUPPLICATIONS

 

Rejoicing at our good fortune ...

we nonetheless pray for those in need:
   the hungry and the thirsty
   the destitute and the homeless,
   the lonely and the despairing,
   the sick and the fearful,
   the individuals and families with or at risk from Covid-19,
   the weak and the oppressed,
   the refugee and those in prison.

 

Almighty God

 We commend to your loving mercy
all those known and unknown to us
who are not able to pray with us today.

Comfort and encourage them
with your healing Love and Care: …
that each precious life may be redeemed
by love of You and love of neighbour,
that together we may share in one another’s joy.

Amen.

 

Dear Father

 

We pray for those who have no one
who loves them enough to pray for them.

Give them a share of our blessings
and in your mercy let them know
that they are not forgotten.

Amen.


Merciful God

 

We thank you for the memory
of your faithful saints and servants
who have departed this life,
who have fought the good fight,
finished their course, and kept the faith.

Help us to imitate their example of holy living,
and to follow them in all virtuous and godly ways.

Amen

 

For ourselves Lord

 

We humbly place our lives
into your loving hands of mercy and
ask that you continue to bless us and
grant us peace in our hearts and homes.

Amen.

   

Finally we pray for Christian Unity:

 

LORD GOD, we thank you
for calling us into the company

of those who trust in Christ
and seek to obey his will.

May your Spirit guide and strengthen us
in mission and service to your world;
For we are strangers no longer

but Pilgrims together
on the way to your Kingdom.

Amen.


(The Swanwick Declaration: the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland, 1987)


Some encouragement from the Bible's New Testament:

1 Peter 2, verses 9 and 10:

9 You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.



All Saints Day - 3



KT - Cross


_______________________________________________________________________________________


Saturday 3 October 2020

INVESTITURE AT HEREFORD CATHEDRAL

Hereford - Investiture Group - 3 October 20200

For further details see the menu page below: 'Latest Investiture - 3 October 2020'

_____________________________________


11 September 2020

It has been announced that the Dean of Hereford, The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, is to retire in February 2021.  He has been a very good friend to us in recent years and we have valued his support and encouragement.  The Knights and Dames of the Grand Priory of Wales will certainly miss him (at the Cathedral) but as he is only moving 'over the border' to Wales we shall be pleased to welcome him!  He has been able to give us valuable insights into the life and times of St Thomas Cantilupe - one of our Patron Saints and a previous Provincial Grand Master of our Order.

Needless to say we wish Michael "Every Blessing" for the future and look forward to meeting him again before his retirement at our forthcoming Celebration & Investiture in the Cathedral on 3 October, when he is to be our Preacher on that occasion.

jDean of Hereford - Message

Dean of Hereford - Announcement

_________________________________

13 September 2020

400th Anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower
to the Americas.

There is an interesting book coming out in November entitled "Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth : Remembering the Mayflower Pilgrims, 1620 - 2020":

Remembering the Mayflower Pilgrims

As you can see, the editors are Michael A G Haykin, John Clements and Roy M Paul.  The Revd Dr John Clements is one of our Chaplains.  He is also the pastor of "The Old Meeting House" off Colegate in Norwich.  The church's website is at: www.oldmeetinghousechurch.org.uk  and there is an excellent panorama of it to be found at https//www.norwich360.com/oldmeeting house.htm

Old Meeting House, Norwich


________________________________________


2 September 2020

75th anniversary of the end of World War II

Tokyo Bay - 2 September 1945 - 1

    Tokyo Bay - 2 September 1945 - 2

Japanese officials signing the unconditional Instrument of Surrender
on board the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay,
on behalf of Emperor Hirohito
2 September 1945 -
6 years (less 1 day) since it started.

_______________________________________________


27 August 2020

Call to address racial injustice by
The Presidents of Churches Together in England

CTE - Presidents 2020

The Presidents of Churches Together in England

·       Pastor Agu Irukwu, head of Redeemed Christian Church of God UK and CTE Pentecostal President.

·       Archbishop Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury.

·       Archbishop Angaelos of London, Archbishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London and CTE President for the Orthodox Churches.

·       Cardinal Vincent Nichols, The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster.

·       Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, The Free Churches Moderator.

The Fourth Presidency Group comprises Lutheran, Quaker and The Church of Scotland (English Presbytery) member churches.

The Presidents of Churches Together in England (CTE), with the support of the Fourth Presidency Group, have issued the following statement calling on churches to travel together on the journey of racial justice, addressing injustices both within our Church life and in wider society:

We as Presidents of Churches Together in England have responded to the killing of George Floyd in the United States, and the widespread call for real change to combat racial injustice in our world, above all in our own country.  We have spent time over the past few weeks listening to voices of people from the black community, especially the younger generation.  This has been a deeply moving experience and illustrated powerfully the many profound changes of heart and actions that need to be made.  The attitude that regards black people – and indeed other people of ethnic minorities – as inferior is evil and mars our common humanity.  We challenge this unreservedly, recognising the constant experiences of racism, including micro aggression, which black people face.

We believe that churches have a significant role to play in combating racial injustice. If we are to be effective in doing so, we must look at ourselves.

We are painfully aware of the racism that blights the life of our churches.  We are intent upon a process of identifying racial injustice within our churches – current and historic – repenting of it and taking action to effect real change.  This includes the potential for discriminatory behaviour in the way that we make church appointments, which we know can happen at the conscious or unconscious level.  We want to ensure that these processes are just and demonstrate the so often neglected gospel truth of Colossians 3:11 “there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all”.  In this verse Paul makes it clear that racial injustice and discrimination is not only profoundly unjust and an affront to God but also the very denial of Christ who reached out to all human beings.

Some member churches of Churches Together in England have already embarked upon this journey of tackling racial injustice.  The Church of England plans a new action group, and among the Free Churches work by the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, together with Baptists Together, is already under way, as is also true for the Catholic Church.  The Pentecostal Forum has long held this issue in its view, as have the Orthodox churches.

We call upon all churches to travel together on this journey of racial justice so that together, as one community of churches in England, we may reach out in love and respect to one another in pursuit of our common witness.

An area of great concern to us as Presidents is the relationship between the black community and the criminal justice system.  We will therefore be facilitating conversations between young black women and men and senior members of the police service.  We are also seeking to engage both the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice in further considering the day-to-day experience of many young black people in England.

We encourage all churches throughout England to do all they can to build trust and improve accountability between black communities, the police, civic bodies and wider community groups.  In particular we call upon groupings of Church leaders throughout the nation to reach out to their black colleagues in church leadership who are currently absent from their membership, making more inclusive ecumenical leadership.  Our desire is that these groups will create spaces for those in authority to listen, as we have, to the powerful testimony of young black women and men as a step towards greater social cohesion.

We see these issues as matters of gospel and faith for all who follow Jesus Christ, the one who calls every nation and people to the justice of the Kingdom of God.

Extracted from: https://ctbi.org.uk/call-to-address-racial-injustice-by-cte-presidents/?ct=t%28CTBI_Monthly_Newsletter-August+2020%29

We the Knights Templar of the Grand Priory of Wales and the Grand Priory of All Britain confirm that in all of our activities we entirely support and endorse the statement above concerning the evils of racial injustice and intolerance.  We shall endeavour to put into action the suggestions made and, from our own ancient and historic experience, we are well aware that Templars have not always had a good record in these areas but in this 21st century we want to ensure that such failings are not repeated amongst us in future.


Coptic - 9 October 2018
Chevalier Ormond, Chevalier Ian, Archbishop Angaelos and Grand Chaplain-General Graham
8 October 2018


___________________________


15 August 2020

V.J. DAY

End of World War II : Victory over Japan

  

         Burma Star Medal   Veterans Badge   Pacific Star Medal
                 Burma Star Medal                       Veterans Badge                       Pacific Star Medal

When you get home, tell them from us and say:
"For your tomorrow, we gave our today"



___________________


Tuesday 4 August 2020

                          5 - British Red Cross Society     5 - British Red Cross Society

The Royal Mint issued this £5 coin today to celebrate the 150th Anniversary
of the
British Red Cross Society

_________________________________

Friday 17 July 2020

Her Majesty knights Tom Moore

Today, at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth graciously 'dubbed' Captain (Honorary Colonel) Tom Moore a Knight Bachelor (KB).

Captain Tom We Salute You

We, the Knights and Dames of the Grand Priory of All Wales
are delighted to congratulate Tom on this well-deserved honour.

________________________________________

4 & 5 July 2020


This weekend was the 72nd Anniversary of the establishment of the National Health Service


NHS -  at 72


This weekend, people throughout the United Kingdom took part in the biggest ‘thank-you’ the country has ever seen on the birthday of the NHS.  It culminated in an epic pause for applause at 5pm today, Sunday 5th July, 72 years after the NHS was founded by Aneurin Bevan, who was the Minister of Health in the then Labour Government.  He said that the tax-payer funded service was to be free at the point of delivery (which it still is), with treatment based on clinical needs and not on a person's ability to pay.

The Prince of Wales (Tywysog Cymru), His Royal Highness Prince Charles, said today that this founding principle was a "profoundly moving statement of our values" which was never more relevant than now.

He paid tribute to the sacrifices made by the staff of the NHS to provide treatment to more than 100,000 patients who have been treated in hospital for COVID-19.  He said he had been lucky to get away with only mild symptoms from his diagnosis, and was not admitted to hospital.

Prince of Wales

He said, "To all who have given so much during this present danger, I just want to say that it is you who have been our shield.  It is your hands that have held us up."

"Despite all that has been endured, there is deep cause for gratitude, and a true reason for pride."


During the last few months, the NHS has been through the greatest test in its lifetime and will, no doubt, continue to deal with the many challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future.  So people came together across the country to thank everyone who has helped to support the NHS, other Support Staff, the Fire Service and Police throughout this period and beyond.


Following the applause many people enjoyed a drink or a cup of tea and reflected with family, friends and neighbours on the bonds that have sustained us in recent months.


NHS - Flag


____________________________________________

 

On Saturday evening, July 4th, everybody was asked to put a light in their windows in remembrance of all those lost during the pandemic.

Candle

Many public buildings were lit up in NHS blue, including the Royal Albert Hall, Stonehenge, Number 10 Downing Street and Windsor Castle.:

       NHS - Blue - Royal Albert Hall  NHS - Blue - Stonehenge

       NHS - Blue - No 10  NHS - Blue - Windsor Castle

                                                                  "Here's To The Heroes"

Here's to the heroes
Those few who dare
Heading for glory
Living a prayer

Here's to the heroes
Who change our lives
Thanks to the heroes
Freedom survives

Here's to the heroes
Who never rest
They are the chosen
We are the blessed

Here's to the heroes
Who aim so high
Here's to the heroes
Who do or die

Here's to the heroes
Who do or die.


Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, said:

“This year has been the most challenging in NHS history, with staff displaying extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion to care for the 100,000 patients with Covid-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and many others besides.

“During this testing time our nurses, doctors, physios, pharmacists and countless more colleagues were sustained by the support of the public, not least through the weekly applause for key workers.

“No health service, not even the NHS, could have coped alone with this coronavirus pandemic.

“From bus drivers and teachers to care staff and food retailers and, of course, the public who took action to stay at home to stop infection spreading, everyone played their part.

“The NHS’s anniversary this year not only offers the opportunity for us to say thank you to the nation, but for us all to recognise all the work which has taken place in the last months and say a heartfelt thank you.”


NHS - Flag 2

____________________________

27 June 2020


diwrnod y lluoedd arfog

Armed Forces Day



Armed Forces Day - Welsh Flag

dewch i gefnogi

show your support


Rotating Cross

_____________________________________________

A MESSAGE FROM HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
ON ARMED FORCES DAY

The Duke of Edinburgh and I join many around the United Kingdom in celebrating Armed Forces Day, and the efforts of our military both at home and overseas.

Today provides an opportunity for thanks, and a recognition of the dedication and risks faced by those serving our nation.  We also have cause to thank veterans, who continue to contribute to our way of life, long after they leave the Armed Forces.

Having had members of my family serve in each of the Armed Services, I know only too well of the pride Service personnel take in their duty.  As your Commander-in-Chief, I send my warmest best wishes to you all, your families, and the entire Armed Forces community.

Elizabeth R.

Armed Forces Day - 2020


The Knights, Dames & Guild of St Thomas Cantelupe of the Knights Templar Grand Priory of All Wales, many of whom are Veterans, are also delighted to show our support for Armed Forces Day today.

Armed Forces Day - Cadets


Crowned Cross


Flag - Wales - No border
The Banner of the Knights Templar of All Wales


Armed Forces Day - Show Your Support


Rotating Cross

____________________________


 

10 June 2020

Today is the 99th Birthday of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip at 99
Today's official photograph

We are pleased to express and send our Very Best Wishes to His Royal Highness and we pray that his exemplary service for Her Majesty The Queen, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will long continue to inspire and encourage us.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN


____________________________



7 June 2020

TRINITY SUNDAY

This important Christian festival day is best summed up in the words of the great hymn: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty":

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
Which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy

The writer of this hymn, Reginald Heber (1783-1826), was born into a wealthy, educated family.  He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven and entering Oxford University at 17.  He won two awards for his poetry during his time there.  After graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years.  He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke.  Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today.

The usual tune, NICAEA, is named after the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), convened in the town of Nicaea in Bithynia, at which church leaders formulated a consensus of belief and practice amongst Christians concerning the doctrine of the Trinity in order to oppose the heresies of Arius.  The result was the well-known Nicene Creed, a document passed down through the ages as one of the pillars of church doctrine.  The primary function of this creed was to establish a firm belief in the Holy Trinity, countering the heresy of Arius, who believed that Jesus was not fully divine and was neither the Creator of all things, nor “being of one substance with the Father …”, as the creed puts it so neatly.

New Knights and Dames, seeking to be admitted to the Grand Priory of Wales, recite the Nicene Creed before kneeling to receive the accolade on behalf of the Grand Master.

It was this creed that inspired Reginald Heber to write this great hymn of praise to the Triune God, with the intent that the hymn be sung before or after the creed was recited in church services, and especially on Trinity Sunday – eight weeks after Easter.

The tune for this hymn is one of the finest tunes composed by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876) and is also entitled NICAEA in recognition of Heber's text.  The words evoke a sense of awe at the majesty of God and call on all of creation - humans, saints and angels and all living things - to praise the non-divisibilty unity of God, three-in-one and one-in-three.


_____________________________________________________


PENTECOST

31 May 2020

Pentecost - 50 days after Easter - is the Anniversary of the Birthday of The Church

So let's celebrate!


Rose of Sharon
A Rose of Sharon (Hypericum) in the Grand Prior's garden today

The reason for celebration is a promise fulfilled by Jesus, made to his disciples, that when he returned to heaven he would ask the Father to send them another Comforter (a helper) to remind them of his teachings.

In St John's Gospel, Chapter 16: verses 26-27, it is recorded that Jesus said:

"When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me; And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning".

Jesus told the disciple to wait in Jerusalem until this event took place.  And duly - 50 days after the Resurrection - the Holy Bible records in Acts, Chapter 2: verses 1-11 ....

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs — we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”


                     Rose Red 2       Rose Apricot
                                                                                     Roses in the Grand Prior's garden today


One of the best known and loved hymns which celebrates Pentecost is "Come down, O Love divine", (Author: Bianco da Sienna [1350-1434]; Translator: Richard Frederick Littledale [1833-90]).  It is u
sually sung to the tune "Down Ampney", (Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams [1906]).

1 Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

2 O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

3 Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing:
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o'er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

4 And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till he become the place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.




Flower Not Known and a Bee
An unknown flower & a Bee in the Grand Prior's garden today


HMQ - Pentecost 31 May 2020
Her Majesty the Queen riding on her horse Balmoral Fern in Windsor Great Park today



___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


20 May 2020

Captain Tom We Salute You

It has been announced that Her Majesty the Queen has graciously decided to award Captain (Honorary Colonel) Tom Moore with a Knighthood.  We, the Knights and Dames of the Grand Priory of All Wales are delighted to congratulate Tom on this well-deserved honour.

______________________________________


8 May 2020

75th ANNIVERSARY of V.E. DAY

VE - Flag

VE - Buckingham Palace

                  VE - Picture Post    VE - Vera Lynn

VE - Flag - Wales

VE - Stamp - 1.63

Free French Flag
Free France Flag

__________________________________________


The Message in the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency:

Stay In - Union Jack


_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________


22 April 2020