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LATEST


OCTOBER 2020 TO OCTOBER 2021

THE GRAND PRIORIES OF ALL BRITAIN & OF WALES
are holding special
INVESTITURE SERVICES DURING THESE 12 MONTHS

TWO HAVE ALREADY BEEN HELD, one at Hereford Cathedral and the other
at Newport Cathedral AND OUR THIRD IS DUE SHORTLY

On account of the Covid-19 restrictions attendance will have to be by invitation only but if you would like to have details about this next Investiture, which will be held in South Wales on 9th October, do please get in touch ....   


    Anyone seeking further information should contact us via the 'Contact Us' page.

______________________________


12 September 2021


A few days ago a major statement about the state of the world was made jointly by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Pope Francis of Rome and Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The full text of their message can be seen on our web page here, entitled 'Protection of Creation'.

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Butterflies are often seen as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

For some other thoughts on this see the page entitled 'Thoughts for a Week'.

 Comma butterfly  Comma butterfly - underside  Comma butterfly

A comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album) in the Grand Prior's garden today.

_____________________________


'9/11'

20 years on from 11 September 2001


The following is the official list, issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, of the 67 British nationals who died in the '9/11' attack on the Twin Towers in New York on 11 September 2001:

  1. Sarah Ali, 35.                         2. Andrew Joseph Bailey, 29.              3. Michele Beale, 37.

  4. Jane Beatty.                          5. Oliver Bennett, 32.                         6. Graham Berkeley, 37.

  7. Paul Gary Bristow, 27.            8. Geoffrey Thomas Campbell, 31.       9. Jeremy Mark Carrington, 34.

10. Suria Clarke, 30.                  11. Neil James Cudmore, 38.               12. Michael Joseph Cunningham, 39.

13. Gavin Anthony Cushny, 48.   14. Caleb Arron Dack.                         15. Anthony Richard Dawson.

16. Calvin Dawson.                    17. Kevin Dennis, 43.                         18. Melanie Louise Devere, 30.

19. Richard Anthony Dunstan.     20. Michael Egan, 51.                         21. Christine Egan, 55.

22. Robert Eaton, 37.                 23. Godwin Forde, 38.                        24. Christopher Forsythe.

25. Boyd Gatton.                       26. Andrew Clive Gilbert.                     27. Timothy Paul Gilbert.

28. Paul Gilbey.                         29. Ronald Lawrence Gilligan, 43.         30. Robert Halligan.

31. Nicholas John, 33.                32. Christopher Jones.                        33. Robin Blair Larkey, 48.

34. Steven Lawn, 29.                 35. Leon Lebor.                                  36. Michael William Lomax, 37.

37. Mark Ludvigsen.                  38. Gavin MacMahon, 35.                    39. Simon Percy Maddison, 40.

40. Keithroy Maynard.               41. Colin McArthur, 52.                       42. Christina Sheila McNulty.

43. John Moran.                       44. Stephen Philip Morris, 31.              45. Alex Napier.

46. Marcus Neblett.                   47. Christopher Newton-Carter, 52.     48. Avnish Raman Patel.

49. Hashmukh Parmar.              50. David Alan James Rathkey, 47.      51. Sarah Anne Redheffer, 35.

52. Rick Rescorla, 62.                53. Karlie Rogers, 25.                        54. Howard Selwyn, 47.

55. Jane Simpkin.                     56. Michael Stewart, 42.                     57. Derek Sword, 29.

58. Rhondell Tankard.               59. Ian Clive Thompson, 43.               60. Nigel Bruce Thompson, 30.

61. Simon James Turner, 39.      62. Benjamin James Walker, 41.         63. Dinah Webster, 50.

64. Vincent Wells, 22.                65. Kathryn Wolf.                              66. Martin Wortley, 29.

67. Neil Robin Wright, 30.

Day Lilly Hemerocallis
Day Lilly (Hemerocallis)
[Today in the Grand Prior's garden]

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Background to the attack on 11 September 2001:

Four large passenger aircraft had been hijacked.  The first two planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York.  The first crashed into the North Tower at 08:46 Eastern Time (12:46 GMT); the second hit the South Tower at 09:03.  [Within two hours both of the 110-storey towers collapsed.]  At 09:37 the third plane hit the Pentagon and at 10.03 the fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03 - passengers having fought back.

In total, 2,977 people (not counting the 19 hijackers) died:

        2606 at the Twin Towers – at the time or later due to injuries:

        All 246 passengers and crew in the four planes were killed: and

        125 individuals were killed at the Pentagon.


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At this time there will be many remembrances of the ‘9/11’ attack on the Twin Towers in New York 20 years ago.  As a direct result the ‘war’ in Afghanistan started and was, effectively, then brought to an end  last month.

During the course of the war thousands of civilians and armed servicemen and women were injured or killed – on both sides of the conflict.

We remember, especially, 457 British individuals who were killed.  As far as we are aware no members of the Order were killed but there are, no doubt, some who did serve in Afghanistan.

Those British Armed Forces personnel who served in support of the campaign from 11 September 2001 onwards receive the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan.  In addition, the family or next-of-kin of those killed in action or who died of wounds receive the Elizabeth Cross.

                 Afghanistan Meda   Elizabeth Cross

(The specific eligibility criteria in both cases are available from the Ministry of Defence.)


On 11 September 2001, in New York one particularly outstanding act of heroism, which has received much recognition, is that of Father Mychal Judge OFM, an Irish-American Franciscan, a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department since 1992.

Fr Mychal died in the line of duty after hurrying with firefighter colleagues to the burning World Trade Center.  As he prayed in the north tower’s lobby with rescuers and victims, the 68-year old priest was crushed by debris from the falling south tower.

The son of Irish immigrants Fr Mychal grew up in Brooklyn and decided while still in his teens to join the Franciscan religious order.  He was ordained as a priest in 1961, battled alcoholism with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous and developed a passion for ministering to marginalised communities including those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

His body was the first to be recovered from the rubble of these buildings.  More than 2,000 people attended his funeral including former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary Clinton as well as hundreds of firefighters.  As it happens we have a Dame who is a firefighter in Wales so we are well aware of the risks such professionals take every time they attend a fire.

One notable legacy of Fr Mychal is his own daily prayer:

Lord, take me where You want me to go;

Let me meet who You want me to meet;

Tell me what You want me to say;

And keep me out of Your way.

This prayer has echoes of one composed some 250 years previously by The Reverend John Wesley (1703-1791), an Anglican priest through whose Ministry the world-wide Methodist Church came into being.  He who put it this way:

Do all the good you can,

By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can,

In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,

To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can. 

We Templars everywhere and other Christian people could use these prayers as a suitable focus, not only during this period of 9/11 recollections, but also as a guide for our own ministry – ideally one of compassion, peace and humility.

Amen.

___________________________________


SATURDAY : 19 JUNE 2021

Investiture at Newport Cathedral

Newport 2021 - General View of Congregation

Some of those attending

OSMTJ - Newport 21 - The Setting
The Setting

OSMTJ - Newport 21 - Remembering Chevalier Richard

Remembering the late Chevalier Richard

The stand displayed Richard's photograph taken at his last appearance on duty at our Investiture in October 2021 at Hereford Cathedral, with the Grand Master's brevet
appointing Richard to the rank of Knight Grand Cross.
Alongside is an empty sword scabbard to symbolise the conclusion of this Knight's pilgrimage.

The knights are dust,
Their swords are rust.
They're with the Lord
We trust.

  


OSMTJ - Newport 21 - Four of the Candidates

The first four Candidates standing ready to be Invested

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KNIGHTS AND DAMES RECEIVING THE ACCOLADE:

 OSMTJ - Newport 21 - John  OSMTJ - Newport 21 - Ashley

                                             Chevalier John                                                                   Chevalier Ashley

    OSMTJ - Newport 21 - Dame Lady   OSMTJ - Newport 21 - Dame Elizabeth
                                             Dame Lady                                                                         Dame Elizabeth   

      OSMTJ - Newport 21 - Chevalier Stephen   OSMTJ - Newport 21 - Starting young?
                                         Chevalier Stephen                                                                Starting young?


                                                                                               KT - Cross 


______________________________________________



Obituary

With deep respect and in thankfulness for a faithful servant we recall our dear Brother and Knight Templar of the Grand Priory of All Britain
who has recently passed from our sight:

Chevalier Richard Lewis

Richard died at his home on 16 April 2021 after a very long battle with cancer; his wife, Jill, son and daughter were with him as he transferred to serve Our Lord in Glory.  He had been in hospital for several weeks but was able to return home for his final couple of weeks on earth.  Richard had rendered faithful Services to the Order for many years and had bravely taken on the role of Marshal of our new Priory of England last October, with the rank of Commander.  Previously he had served as a Knight Officer and Deputy Marshal in our Grand Priory of Wales.

On 14 June 2021 and in grateful acknowledgement of his Services
the Grand Master
, General Ronald S Mangum PhD US Army (Retd)consecrated:


 Brother Richard
to the office of
Knight Grand Cross
in the
Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de J
érusalem


Richard Lewis
Hereford Cathedral on 3 October 2021

Chevalier (Knight Grand Cross), Richard Lewis



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


____________________________________

23 MAY 2021

PENTECOST

The celebration of Pentecost is regarded as the Birthday of the Church.  The first 'Christian' Pentecost is recorded in the New Testament in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2.

The lesson for the Church in the 21st Century is that the experience of receiving the Holy Spirit enabled the early church to develop and grow and the result was that God blessed their work: "And every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved" - as the last verse of Chapter 2 puts it.  And as Jesus put it "Go and do thou likewise".

The hymn "Breathe on me, Breath of God" beautifully expresses these sentiments:


Breathe on me, Breath of God

The text is a prayer for renewal by God's Spirit, a renewal that is to be expressed in a life of love (verse 1), in purity of heart and will (verse 2), and an intimacy with God that heralds the perfection of Eternal Life (verses 3 and 4).  In both Hebrew and Greek the Word for "spirit" is the same as "wind/air/breath"; thus in this text the Spirit of God is referred to as the "Breath of God".

It was written by Edwin Hatch (born in Derby, England in 1835), printed privately in 1878 and then published in Henry Allon's "The Congregational Psalmist Hymnal" in 1886.

Hatch was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford  but subsequently taught at Trinity College in Toronto, Canada (1859-1862) and at a high school in Quebec City (1862-1867).  He died in England in 1889.

(For the Scripture references see also: Ezekiel 36:27, Joel 2:28, John 20:22)

_______________________________________


15 MAY 2021

Royal British Legion badge

100th Anniversary of The Royal British Legion 

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the “life-changing and often life-saving support” the Royal British Legion (RBL) provides to the Armed Forces, in a message honouring the charity’s 100th birthday.

RBL - Prince Charles

Prince Charles said that the RBL provided a “constant and reassuring presence” and an “unending commitment”.

The RBL was formed exactly 100 years ago at 09.00 BST on 15th May 1921.  Wreaths will be laid at the Cenotaph in London and other parts of the UK.

Prince Charles said he had the “utmost admiration” for the RBL’s ability to rally support for the Armed Forces and help grieving families.

“There are few organisations which hold a place at the heart of society in the way the Royal British Legion does.  For 100 years, the Royal British Legion has been a constant: through the annual Poppy Appeal, leading the nation in remembrance, and providing a life-long commitment to every veteran and their families.”

He offered his “sincere and heartfelt gratitude” to those who helped build the charity.  “Those who have served have an organisation that provides life-changing and often life-saving support an organisation that speaks up on their behalf and an organisation that ensures that their sacrifices shall never be forgotten.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________


                       DIARY DAY - 12 MAY 2021

There is a very interesting challenge for anyone from the age of 4 to 104 (or more!) to make a record of their life on one day.  For full information see the website massobs.org.uk

This is a unique opportunity to record yourself into history!!

________________________________________________________________________

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.



________________________________

21 APRIL 2021


From Indonesia it was reported that submarine KRI Nanggala-402 was sunk in very deep water with the tragic lost of all of the crew, some 53 individuals.

OSMTJ - Submarine - August 2015
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alonzo M. Archer : 8 August 2015


The Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala-402) participated in an exercise in the Java Sea during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2015.  In its 21st year, CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise series with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

The boat was ordered in 1977, launched in 1980, commissioned in 1981 and underwent a major refit in 2012.

OSMTJ - Submarine KRI Nanggala - Badge.png


Nanggala was declared missing on 21 April 2021, hours after losing contact with surface personnel while it was underwater.  It was in the middle of a torpedo drill in waters north of Bali and had fired a live round before it went missing.  The navy estimated that the submarine's oxygen supply would last for about three days, and multiple domestic and international vessels were sent to search for Nanggala.

Three days later, on 24 April, debris from the submarine was found on the surface, and the Indonesian Navy declared Nanggala sunk.  The next day, scans positively identified the remains of Nanggala, and the loss of all 53 crew members on board was confirmed.


OSMTJ - Submarine - April 2021


IN WATERS DEEP

                     In ocean wastes no poppies blow,
                     No crosses stand in ordered row,
                     There young hearts sleep … beneath the wave …
                     The spirited, the good, the brave,
                     But stars a constant vigil keep,
                     For them who lie beneath the deep.
                     ‘Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer
                     On certain spot and think, “He’s there.”
                     But you can to the ocean go …
                     See whitecaps marching row on row;
                     Know one for him will always ride …
                     In and out … with every tide.
                     And when your span of life is passed,
                     He’ll meet you at the “Captain’s Mast.”
                     And they who mourn on distant shore
                     For sailors who’ll come home no more,
                     Can dry their tears and pray for these
                     Who rest beneath the heaving seas …
                     For stars that shine and winds that blow
                     And whitecaps marching row on row.
                     And they can never lonely be
                     For when they lived … they chose the sea.


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. 

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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)]
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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

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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.

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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


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30 mArch 2021



Brimstone Butterfly - 22 March 2020

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

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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

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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


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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.

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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.


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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


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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


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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

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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

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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



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67. Neil Robin Wright, 30.

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