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4 & 5 July 2020


This weekend is 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, Fire and Police throughout this 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


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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 be 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

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27 June 2020


diwrnod y lluoedd arfog

Armed Forces Day



Armed Forces Day - Welsh Flag

dewch i gefnogi

show your support


Rotating Cross

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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 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 Wales


Armed Forces Day - Show Your Support


Rotating Cross

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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


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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.


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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



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20 May 2020

Captain Tom We Salute You

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

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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

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

Stay In - Union Jack


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22 April 2020
St George's Day


HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge
Second Birthday

   Prince Louis - rainbow hands   Prince Louis - aged 2

Princes Charles  Louis  

Their Royal Hignesses
Prince Charles & Prince Louis

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21-22 April 2020


Starlink Satellites

   Grand Priors Garden  Starlink Satellite Train  Grand Prior's garden set for the night's veiwing         25 satellites in a 'train' across the southern night sky at 9.04pm 21.4.20 

                                                        Lyrid Meteors

      Lyrid Meteor - 21-04-2020 - Nottingham      Lyrid Meteor - 21-04-20 - Arizona
  Nottingham (2 hour shot 22.4.20 - star trails, 1 Meteor top left)                  Arizona (Early Morning of 22 April 2020)


     Lyrid Meteor - Massachusetts 22-04-20         Lyrid Meteors - Copenhagen 22-04-20
   Massachusetts (Jupiter & Mars between arms, Mars left, 1 meteor top centre)              Copenhagen (Early Morning of 22 April 2020)


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21 April 2020

Her Majesty, The Queen's 94th Birthday.


The Queen  Prince Philip
1947                                                                                             2017


We are delighted to send our loyal and most affectionate Greetings to Her Majesty and Prince Philip on the occasion of The Queen's 94th Birthday today.
We pray that God will continue to richly bless and keep them.

God Save the Queen


Apple Blossom
Apple Blossom in The Grand Prior's garden today



     Starlink Satellites    Lyrid Meteor Shower

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19 April 2020
['Low' Sunday]

After all of the 'hype' over the 'high' celebrations at Easter, this Sunday in the Christian Calendar is often referred to as 'Low' Sunday.  Nevertheless the Bible Readings in many churches will have included the following passage from St John's Gospel (Chapter 20, verses 19 to 31).  It follows immediately after Mary Magdalene had reported that she had seen Jesus (alive):

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


It is interesting to note that the Disciples were in a state of 'lockdown' - just as many of us are at this time!  They were fearful and many people today - across the world - are also fearful, especially because of the present Covid-19 (Coronavirus) emergency.  But if we put our trust in Jesus he will bring us Peace and help to calm our fears.

Orange Tip Butterflies
Male (left)and female (right) Orange Tip butterflies in the Grand Prior's garden today


                        Female Orange Tip Butterfly        Female Orange Tip Butterfly

Female Orange Tip butterflies in the Grand Prior's garden today feeding on an Honesty flower
(This was the first appearance of the female
Orange Tip butterflies, the males appeared over 2 weeks ago on 5 April)


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16 April 2020


Congratulations!

Captain Tom Moore - Finishing Line

Captain Tom Moore - 100 laps


Here is World War Two Veteran Captain Tom Moore approaching and then completing the 100th 'lap' of his garden to raise money for the National Heath Service.  He had originally plannned to raise £1000 but by the end of this day he had raised over £18,000,000 (£18 million!).  He said he would "keep walking" whilst the public continued to support the cause.

Also pictured are men from the succesor unit of Tom's original - the West Yorkshire Regiment - forming a well-deserved Guard of Honour.

West Yorkshire Regiment cap badge

Appearing on BBC "Look East" the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge added their congratulations to Tom.  Prince William has also made a donation to Tom's project.

William  Kate - Look East
William & Kate on "Look East"

Tom's "thumbs up" inspires us all to thank the NHS staff, Care Workers, the Police, Fire Service and many other agencies and charities at this difficult time:

Captain Tom Moore - Thumbs up

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EASTER MONDAY
13 April 2020


EASTER BONNETS

Gnomes - Rhiwbina, CardiffRhiwbina, Cardiff - Wales Online, Easter Monday 2020


Gustav hatted   Lanb with bonnet


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HOLY WEEK 2020
DAY-BY-DAY .....


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EASTER SUNDAY MORNING
12 April 2020


ALLELUIA!  CHRIST IS RISEN!

Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Christós Anésti!

 

Christ is Risen

HE IS RISEN INDEED!  ALLELUIA!!

Ἀληθῶς ανέστη!
Alithós Anésti!


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 12 April 2020

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.



Fish symbol


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HOLY SATURDAY
11 April 2020


Yellow Archangel
Yellow Archangel in the Grand Prior's garden 10 April 2020

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 11 April 2020

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


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GOOD FRIDAY
10 April 2020


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 10 April 2020


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 10 April 2020

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 10 April 2020


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


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MAUNDY THURSDAY
8 April 2020

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, 9 April 2020

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 most church building 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.

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HOLY WEDNESDAY
8 April 2020


Weeping Cherry
Weeping Cherry in the Grand Prior's garden, 8 April 2020


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 at 5.19am today, 8 April 2020


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HOLY TUESDAY
7 April 2020

Daffodil
  Daffodil in the Grand Prior's garden on 7 April 2020

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 on 7 April 2020


 

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 on 7 April 2020

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HOLY MONDAY
6 April 2020

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


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Her Majesty The Queen's Broadcast to the Nation

5 April 2020


The Queen - 5 April 2020

I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time.  A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.

I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all.  I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.

I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones.  Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.

I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.  And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.  That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.  The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.

The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit; and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children.

Childrens Rainbows - 5 April 2020

Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heart-warming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort.

And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.

It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister.  We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety.

Princesses Elizabeth  Margaret 1940

Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones.  But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.

While we have faced challenges before, this one is different.  This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.  We will succeed and that success will belong to every one of us.

We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.

But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.

_______________________________


5 April 2020

Palm Sunday


Palm Sunday is the beginning of the Holy Week for Christians around the world.  Holy Week encompasses the 7 days prior to Easter.  It begins today on Palm Sunday and includes Holy Thursday (also known as Maundy Thursday), Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  At the end of Holy Week - the beginning of next week - it is Easter Sunday with the celebration of Jesus rising from the tomb.


First - A prayer in the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis

Almighty and Ever-Loving God :

We commend to you all those across the world who are caring for others

         or in any way supporting the efforts to combat the current medical and health crisis.

We pray that you guide and strengthen us all in the coming weeks and months

           and keep us safe and secure in your Love and Compassion.

As we celebrate your dominion over death, shown so clearly in the Easter Resurrection of Jesus,

           comfort the dying and those who mourn.

And in your Mercy, bless and keep us in Eternal Life.
Amen


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.

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.

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3 and 4 April 2020

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Revd Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr.; 15 January 1929 – 4 April 1968) was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.  Dr King is best known for advancing civil rights through non-violence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahtma Gandhi.  The following is the full text of one of his most famous speeches. 

 

 "I've been to the Mountaintop"

Address delivered by The Revd Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ HQ),

Memphis, Tennessee. 3 April 1968

 [on the following day, 4 April 1968, Dr King was assassinated]

 

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. [Laughter] It's always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you, and Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world.

I'm delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined [Audience:] (Right) to go on anyhow. (Yeah, All right) Something is happening in Memphis, something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, "Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?" I would take my mental flight by Egypt (Yeah), and I would watch God's children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather, across the Red Sea, through the wilderness, on toward the Promised Land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn't stop there. (All right)

I would move on by Greece, and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides, and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon [Applause], and I would watch them around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality. But I wouldn't stop there. (Oh yeah)

I would go on even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire (Yes), and I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn't stop there. (Keep on)

I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and aesthetic life of man. But I wouldn't stop there. (Yeah)

I would even go by the way that the man for whom I'm named had his habitat, and I would watch Martin Luther as he tacks his ninety-five theses on the door at the church of Wittenberg. But I wouldn't stop there. (All right) But I wouldn't stop there. (Yeah) [Applause]

I would come on up even to 1863 and watch a vacillating president by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn't stop there. (Yeah) [Applause]

I would even come up to the early thirties and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation, and come with an eloquent cry that "we have nothing to fear but fear itself." But I wouldn't stop there. (All right)

Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty and say, "If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, I will be happy." [Applause]

Now that's a strange statement to make because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick, trouble is in the land, confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. (All right, Yes) And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men in some strange way are responding. Something is happening in our world. (Yeah) The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee, the cry is always the same: "We want to be free." [Applause]

And another reason I'm happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we are going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn't force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. (Yes) Men for years now have been talking about war and peace. But now no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today. [Applause]

And also, in the human rights revolution, if something isn't done and done in a hurry to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty; their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. (All right) [Applause] Now I'm just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period, to see what is unfolding. And I'm happy that he's allowed me to be in Memphis. (Oh yeah)

I can remember [Applause], I can remember when Negroes were just going around, as Ralph has said so often, scratching where they didn't itch and laughing when they were not tickled. [Laughter, applause] But that day is all over. (Yeah) [Applause] We mean business now and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God's world. (Yeah) [Applause] And that's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. (Yeah) We are saying [Applause], we are saying that we are God's children. (Yeah) [Applause] And if we are God's children, we don't have to live like we are forced to live.

Now what does all this mean in this great period of history? It means that we've got to stay together. (Yeah) We've got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula of doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. [Applause] But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh's court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that's the beginning of getting out of slavery. [Applause] Now let us maintain unity.

Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. (Right) The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. [Applause] Now we've got to keep attention on that. (That's right) That's always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window breaking. (That's right) I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that 1,300 sanitation workers are on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn't get around to that. (Yeah) [Applause]

Now we're going to march again, and we've got to march again (Yeah), in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be (Yeah) [Applause] and force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God's children here suffering (That's right), sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That's the issue. (That's right) And we've got to say to the nation, we know how it's coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory. [Applause]

We aren't going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces. They don't know what to do. I've seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there, we would move out of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church day after day. By the hundreds we would move out, and Bull Connor would tell them to send the dogs forth, and they did come. But we just went before the dogs singing, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around." [Applause] Bull Connor next would say, "Turn the fire hoses on." (Yeah) And as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn't know history. He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn't relate to the trans-physics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. [Applause] And we went before the fire hoses. (Yeah) We had known water. (All right) If we were Baptist or some other denominations, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist or some others, we had been sprinkled. But we knew water. That couldn't stop us. [Applause]

And we just went on before the dogs and we would look at them, and we'd go on before the water hoses and we would look at it. And we'd just go on singing, "Over my head, I see freedom in the air." (Yeah) [Applause] And then we would be thrown into paddy wagons, and sometimes we were stacked in there like sardines in a can. (All right) And they would throw us in, and old Bull would say, "Take 'em off." And they did, and we would just go on in the paddy wagon singing, "We Shall Overcome." (Yeah) And every now and then we'd get in jail, and we'd see the jailers looking through the windows being moved by our prayers (Yes) and being moved by our words and our songs. (Yes) And there was a power there which Bull Connor couldn't adjust to (All right), and so we ended up transforming Bull into a steer, and we on our struggle in Birmingham. [Applause]

Now we've got to go on in Memphis just like that. I call upon you to be with us when we go out Monday. (Yes) Now about injunctions. We have an injunction and we're going into court tomorrow morning (Go ahead) to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is to be true to what you said on paper. [Applause] If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they haven't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read (Yes) of the freedom of speech. (Yes) Somewhere I read (All right) of the freedom of press. (Yes) Somewhere I read (Yes) that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. [Applause] And so just as I say we aren't going to let any dogs or water hoses turn us around, we aren't going to let any injunction turn us around. [Applause] We are going on. We need all of you.

You know, what's beautiful to me is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel. (Amen) It's a marvelous picture. (Yes) Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somewhere the preacher must have a kind of fire shut up in his bones (Yes), and whenever injustice is around he must tell it. (Yes) Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, who said, "When God Speaks, who can but prophesy?" (Yes) Again with Amos, "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." (Yes) Somehow the preacher must say with Jesus, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me (Yes), because He hath anointed me (Yes), and He's anointed me to deal with the problems of the poor." (Go ahead)

And I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years. He's been to jail for struggling; he's been kicked out of Vanderbilt University for this struggling; but he's still going on, fighting for the rights of his people. [Applause] Reverend Ralph Jackson, Billy Kyles; I could just go right on down the list, but time will not permit. But I want to thank all of them, and I want you to thank them because so often preachers aren't concerned about anything but themselves. [Applause] And I'm always happy to see a relevant ministry. It's all right to talk about long white robes over yonder, in all of its symbolism, but ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here. [Applause] It's all right to talk about streets flowing with milk and honey, but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here and His children who can't eat three square meals a day. [Applause] It's all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day God's preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. [Applause] This is what we have to do.

Now the other thing we'll have to do is this: always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal. Now we are poor people, individually we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively, that means all of us together, collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. Did you ever think about that? After you leave the United States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, West Germany, France, and I could name the others, the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States and more than the national budget of Canada. Did you know that? That's power right there, if we know how to pool it. (Yeah) [Applause]

We don't have to argue with anybody. We don't have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don't need any bricks and bottles; we don't need any Molotov cocktails. (Yes) We just need to go around to these stores (Yes sir), and to these massive industries in our country (Amen), and say, "God sent us by here (All right) to say to you that you're not treating His children right. (That's right) And we've come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment where God's children are concerned. Now if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you." [Applause]

And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight (Amen) to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. (Yeah) [Applause] Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. (Yeah)[Applause] Tell them not to buy–what is the other bread?–Wonder Bread. [Applause] And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. [Applause] As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now only the garbage men have been feeling pain. Now we must kind of redistribute that pain. [Applause] We are choosing these companies because they haven't been fair in their hiring policies, and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right. (That's right, Speak) [Applause]

Now not only that, we've got to strengthen black institutions. (That's right, Yeah) I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. (Yeah) [Applause] We want a "bank-in" movement in Memphis. (Yes) Go by the savings and loan association. I'm not asking you something that we don't do ourselves in SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We are telling you to follow what we're doing, put your money there. [Applause] You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an "insurance-in." [Applause] Now these are some practical things that we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base, and at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. (There you go) And I ask you to follow through here. [Applause]

Now let me say as I move to my conclusion that we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. (Amen) Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We've got to see it through. [Applause] And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school, be there. [Applause] Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike (Yeah), but either we go up together or we go down together. [Applause] Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.

One day a man came to Jesus and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus (That's right), and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base. [Recording interrupted] Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from midair and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. (Yeah) And he talked about a certain man who fell among thieves. (Sure) You remember that a Levite (Sure) and a priest passed by on the other side; they didn't stop to help him. Finally, a man of another race came by. (Yes sir) He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying this was the good man, this was the great man because he had the capacity to project the "I" into the "thou," and to be concerned about his brother.

Now, you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn't stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn't be late for their meeting. (Yeah) At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that one who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony. (All right) And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem, or down to Jericho, rather, to organize a Jericho Road Improvement Association. [Laughter] That's a possibility. Maybe they felt it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect. [Laughter]

But I'm going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It's possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho Road is a dangerous road. (That's right) I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. (Yeah) And as soon as we got on that road I said to my wife, "I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable." It's a winding, meandering road. (Yes) It's really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about twelve hundred miles, or rather, twelve hundred feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about twenty-two feet below sea level. That's a dangerous road. (Yes) In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the "Bloody Pass." And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. (Go ahead) Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking (Yeah), and he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. (Oh yeah) And so the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" (All right)

But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" That's the question before you tonight. (Yes) Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job?" Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?" (Yes) The question is not, "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?" The question is, "If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?" That's the question. [Applause]

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. (Amen)

And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you. (Yes sir) You know, several years ago I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?" And I was looking down writing and I said, "Yes."

The next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured you're drowned in your own blood, that's the end of you. (Yes sir) It came out in the New York Times the next morning that if I had merely sneezed, I would have died.

Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheelchair of the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states and the world kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the president and the vice president; I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the governor of New York, but I've forgotten what that letter said. (Yes)

But there was another letter (All right) that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter and I'll never forget it. It said simply, "Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School." She said, "While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I'm a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze." (Yes) [Applause]

And I want to say tonight [Applause], I want to say tonight that I, too, am happy that I didn't sneeze. Because if I had sneezed (All right), I wouldn't have been around here in 1960 (Well), when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up (Yes sir) for the best in the American dream and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy, which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

If I had sneezed (Yes), I wouldn't have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take a ride for freedom and ended segregation in interstate travel. (All right)

If I had sneezed (Yes), I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent.

If I had sneezed [Applause], if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been here in 1963 (All right), when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. (Yes)

If I had sneezed [Applause], I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great movement there.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. (Yes) I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.

And they were telling me. [Applause] Now it doesn't matter now. (Go ahead) It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane–there were six of us–the pilot said over the public address system: "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out (Yeah), or what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers.

Well, I don't know what will happen now; we've got some difficult days ahead. (Amen) But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. (Yeah) [Applause] And I don't mind. [Applause continues] Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. (Yeah) And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. (Go ahead) And I've looked over, (Yes sir) and I've seen the Promised Land. (Go ahead) I may not get there with you. (Go ahead) But I want you to know tonight, (Yes) that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. [Applause] (Go ahead, Go ahead) And so I'm happy tonight; I'm not worried about anything; I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. [Applause]

Source: 

MLKEC, INP, Martin Luther King, Jr. Estate Collection, In Private Hands, NYC-4A & 4B


___________________________________________



22 March 2020 - Mothering Suday

Brimstone Butterfly - 22 March 2020
A Brimstone Butterfly
photographed by The Grand Prior in his garden this morning

________


Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop of Canterbury Jusin Welby's Sermon broadcast for Sunday Worhip today on Radio 4

There are some places that speak to our hearts very powerfully. For me there are bits of London, where I was born and spent a lot of my childhood, and there’s a section of the North Norfolk coast around Blakeney. It was where my grandmother lived and it has memories of cold winters and a fire, of security, of summers messing about in mud and sand, or later on, in a boat. Good memories.

Many of my friends in Africa, however long they have lived in the big city, talk about ‘my village’ in the same way.

Mothering Sunday is about place – about knowing where we are rooted, what gives us life, how we are related to others. It’s a place for starting from and returning to, in ancient tradition to the church where we were baptised, where we grew in faith.

But today many of us are disconnected from our roots, from our mother place. Lacking roots we now have to find ways to make a place of safety and welcome for other people at a difficult time. The temptation is, of course, to pull up the drawbridge and just look after ourselves. That’s the kind of thing that leads to panic buying, to growing fear and to spiritual and emotional as well as physical isolation. That kind of fear, in the end, destroys us.

In our gospel reading [John 19.25-27] we heard how Jesus created the first Christian community even while he was hanging on the cross. Two people left alone by his death, his mother and his closest friend. Through him now they find a new place and new hope. Even in the darkest moments Jesus Christ comes to us and makes a new place of nurture and hope for us. All we have to do is co-operate, listen to him, obey him, as John did with Mary, do what he says.

So how do we find consolation when fear and alarm, or struggle and suffering strike us? Many people would say their parents, often from their mothers. For plenty of others that is not true. Parenting is not simple. The one who bore us may be one who fails us, even betrays us. I suspect St Anselm, a long ago Archbishop of Canterbury, knew much love from his mother. Writing 800 years ago he likens God to a mother, and speaks so tenderly of that relationship of love that I imagine he can only have learned it at home.

Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you; you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

All love has its source in the immeasurable, wonderful love of God. All consolation comes from God, through being loved, and it comes to us abundantly, so that we can give it to others. Paul is breathtakingly honest at the beginning of the second letter to the Corinthians. He speaks of suffering and failure that almost destroyed him. Yet, somehow God consoled him in such a way that he could consoled others.

How did that happen? We don’t know. Perhaps through friends. Perhaps in deep prayer. I find consolation from God in moments of desolation in all sorts of ways. The love of family. Silent contemplation in the chapel. The prayers of a friend.

But to console others we must find our own consolation in God. It’s not a case of fake it until you make it. Its more seek until you find, come to God looking for the means to console the frightened, the panic struck, the panic buying, the fearful around.

In all of the current troubles, and they really are serious troubles, looking inwards will only reveal the limit of our own resources, and lead to deeper fear and selfishness.

Acting in love found from God in Jesus Christ will do the reverse. As we look out in love we can enable people to find the place of their nurture, a new place where they meet God. As we share our consolation the mother love of God will enfold them. As we love the poor, as we go and give to a food back, call someone isolated, do their shopping, pray with and for them from a distance, we will find that we are deeply consoled by our own gift of consolation.

Someone I know well, filled with understandable anxiety, posted a letter through every door in her street, inviting people to join her in caring for one another. The immediate result of these actions was wonderful. Strangers responded. Hope began. Of such small acts of love we make new communities as Jesus did with his mother and the beloved disciple. Of such small consolation we create hope in a time of sickness. And then we find God and know our call from God, driving out fear, filled with faith.


The Blessing

May God, who gave birth to all creation, bless you:
May God, who became incarnate by an earthly mother, bless you:
May almighty God bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever.
Amen.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
Amen.


KT - Cross



The whole of the Service can be found at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gm8f

______________________________________

19 March 2020

A message from Her Majesty The Queen, 19th March 2020


The Queen

 

As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.

 

We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.

 

At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.

 

We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals - today and in the coming days, weeks and months.

 

Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.

 

ELIZABETH R


_____________________________________


9 March 2020

Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey

Wesminster Abbey

More to follow

_________________________________


1 March 2020

 

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)

 

___________________________________________

29 February 2020

Cherry Blossom in the Grand Prior's garden
Cherry Blossom in the Grand Prior's garden

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
Lord of all
To thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise


___________________________________________


28 February 2020

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg : Environmentalist Extraordinary
Campaigning in Bristol

Bristol crowd 1

Great and 3 fellow campaigners

Bristol crowd 2
 


  ___________________________________________


25 February 2020

ASH WEDNESDAY

Lent 2020

This is the front cover page of the Lent 2020 study issued by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.  The full document (in Welsh or English) is available at https://ctbi.org.uk/lent/

The opening words from St Luke's Gospel set the scene:

'Were not our hearts burning
within us while he was talking
to us on the road, while he was
opening the scriptures to us.'

[Luke chapter 24, verse 32]

Each period for the 5 weeks leading down to Holy Week has between 5 and 8 pages of interesting discussion of some particular section of scripture, together with numerous items of other material for meditation, prayer, thought, reflection and so on.

Holy Week is covered by a further 7 pages and the whole concludes with 3 pages of final thoughts for onward consideration.

We are pleased to recommend this document to all of our Knights and Dames as well as to all the many readers of this website.

Here's a prayer from the course written by Ann Lewin (the full citation is on page 10):

Lord Christ, set me on fire
Burn from me all that dims your light
Kindle an answering flame in lives around:
That darkness may be driven back
And glory stream into this world
Transforming it with love.




KT - Cross



  ___________________________________________

FEBRUARY - THE SNOWDROP SEASON

Snowdrops (Galanthus) are the habingers of Spring

Snowdrop Field

There are hundreds of varieties of snowdrops:

 Snowdrop - variety c Snowdrop - variety d Snowdrop - variety a


  Snowdrop - variety b  Snowdrop - variety e


Some places hold 'Snowdrop Festivals':

  Snowdrop Festival b   Snowdrop Festival a

 Snowdrop Festival c  Snowdrop Festival d

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
Lord of all
To thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise


  ____________________________________________

21 February 2020

HRH The Prince of Wales visited flooded Pontypridd
Pontypridd, 12 miles (19 km) north of Cardiff,
is the county town of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Prince Charles in Pontypridd 1

  Prince Charles in Pontypridd 2  Prince Charles in Pontypridd 3

Prince Charles in Pontypridd 5  Prince Charles in Pontypridd 4

  Prince Charles - Getty Images  Prince Charles - Image by Jacob King - PA Wire
           Prince Charles - Getty Images                 Prince Charles - Image by Jacob King - PA Wire

   Prince Charles - Image by Ben Birchall-PA Wire   Veterans Badge
         Prince Charles - Image by Ben Birchall - PA Wire        [HRH is wearing a Veterans Badge]


  ____________________________________________

16 February 2020

STORM DENNIS

Llif -  Flood - Wales

The Meteorological Office issued a rare Red Weather warning
as the UK faced a second day of disruption:

Storm Dennis - Wales

Storm Dennis

   Weather - UK



From Exodus Chapter 9, Verse 29 :


And Moses said, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord's.


Psalm 24 Verses 1 and 2 :

1.  The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein.

2.  For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.


________________________________________

27 January 2020


DIWRNOD COFIO'R HOLOCOST
HOLOCAUST  MEMORIAL DAY

Dysgn gwersi o'r gorffennol er mwyn
cren dyfodol gwell a mwy diogel

Learning lessons from the past
to create a safer, better future


We Knights Templar have reason to remember that in the 14th century Templar knights across Europe were rounded up and many killed or died in prison, all as a result of the trumped-up charges of heresy and the like brought against the Order by King Philip of France. 

Today such an attempt to destroy a particular group of people on the basis of their perceived religious beliefs or practices would constitute an act of genocide.

However, and fortunately for the Order, the Pope eventually absolved the Order and its knights from the accusations.  Unfortunately this was not until after the Order had been 'officially' disbanded throughout the areas of the Pope's authority.

But many knights escaped the persecution, either having fled abroad or they were already based in countries like Scotland, Switzerland or Portugal where they regrouped and survived thus enabling the Order to emerge again and today it thrives and is growing acoss the world including, of course, in Wales!


                                                     "FIRST THEY CAME"
                                                                    by
                                                   Pastor Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist;

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.


Holocaust Memorial Day 2020


For Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January 2020, people are asked to Stand Together in remembrance of people who were murdered by the Nazis and join thousands of others to  ensure that those who were murdered are not forgotten.


200 survivors attended the wreath-laying ceremony at Auschwitz
Monday morning, 27 January 2020

   Wreath-laying at Auschwitz - 27 January 2020 - 1

 

             Wreath-laying at Auschwitz - 27 January 2020 - 2


Wreath-laying at Auschwitz - 27 January 2020 - 3


Today marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Thousands of people from across the UK are also coming together to mark this landmark anniversary.

Commemorative ceremonies are taking place in Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

In London, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join the UK’s faith, political and civic leadership, and survivors of the Holocaust and genocides, at the UK Commemorative Ceremony:

The Duke  Duchess of Cabridge

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

Faith Leaders light candless

Faith Leaders light commemorative candles

___________________________________


As Presidents of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), and in respect of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we ask our churches to join in the use of this prayer on the Sunday closest to Holocaust Memorial Day 2020.

The Rt Hon and Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
His Eminence Nikitas Loulias, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain
The Rt Revd Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the Church of Scotland
The Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, Moderator of the Free Churches


A prayer for use by Christians on Holocaust Memorial Day 2020

 

Please invite the congregation to stand and to join in the words in bold.

God of the past, present, and future,

We remember today, 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution, and all those who have been targeted and killed in subsequent genocides.

We remember those who, having survived genocide, share their stories with us:

We give thanks to You for the lessons of human stories, both in their suffering and in their joy.

We remember those who stood up against injustice and saved lives:

We give thanks to You for their example.

Together we acknowledge the sacrifice of those that stood together with those who suffered during the Holocaust and other genocides.

And we affirm that every life is loved by You and sacred.

Yet, during the Holocaust too many failed to stand together with their neighbours. Oppression stains Your world and contradicts Your love.

So we pray that You will inspire us now as we stand together on this day in the love that we know of God in Christ Jesus.

Let us commit to remembering:

And glorify God in our words and actions.

We make these prayers in the name of Christ Jesus who through His life, death, and resurrection, journeys with us into the eternal hope of Your truth and light.

Amen.

 


Holocaust Memorial Day - Kindertransport
Kindertransport - bringing children from Nazi Germany to Great Britain


Ar Ddiwrnod Cofio'r Holocost (HMD) - 27 Ionawr 2020 - fe gofiwn am y miliynau o bobl a laddwyd yn yr Holocost o dan Erledigaeth Natsiaidd, ac achosion ers hynny o hil-laddiad yn Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia a Darfur a hyd heddiw, heriwn gasineb ac erledigaeth.

On Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) - 27 January 2020 - we remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur and challenge hatred and persecution today.

In particular Holocaust Memorial Day this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp:

Holocaust Memorial Day - Auschwitz-Birkenau 27 January 1945

Auschwitz Liberation

In the UK, thousands of local events and activities take place every year – each one an opportunity for people to reflect on those whose lives were changed beyond recognition, and to challenge prejudice, discrimination, and hatred in our own society today.

                                             A prayer:

Heavenly Father,
    whose many gifts include memory and empathy:
    we hold in remembrance before you those many of the Jewish people
    who were murdered, harmed, or displaced in the horror of Nazi persecution,
    and whose communities were destroyed.

In your mercy, help us to learn to accept our differences without fear
    and cleanse our hearts of all hatred.

So may every human community flourish and every home be secure,
    to the advancement of your loving purposes
    and the glory of your name.

                                               Amen.


Holocaust Memorial Day - logo

Ymddiriedolaeth Diwrnod Cofio'r Holocost yw'r elusen
sy'n hyrwyddo a chefnogi
Diwrnod Cofio'r Holocost yn y DU

Holocaust Memorial Day - Information


More information can be found about Holocaust Memorial Day
on the website of the
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.



__________________________________________________________________________


23 January 2020

Jerusalem

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, along with many other world leaders, attended an event in Jerusalem to remember the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi 'death camp' at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Prince Charles spoke to the huge audience saying that "hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart".


Prince Charles
  HRH Prince Charles at Yad Vashem  in Jerusalem : 23 January 2020’


Heads of State gathered at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, on 23rd January 2020 for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nazi ‘death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau being liberated by Soviet troops on 27th January 1945.

During his speech the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier acknowledged that ‘the worst crime in the history of humanity was committed by my countrymen’.  He added: ‘Seventy five years later after the liberation of Auschwitz I stand before you all as President of Germany and laden with the heavy historical burden of guilt.’

Other guests at the event included the Prince of Wales, the Russian President Vladimir Putin and France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

During his speech the Prince of Wales urged world leaders to learn the lessons of the past and combat hatred and intolerance.  Condemning the scourge of anti-Semitism, Charles described the extermination of six million Jewish people during the Second World War as a ‘universal human tragedy’ affecting all, not just the families of those killed by the Nazi regime.

He went on to warn that ‘hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart’ but society must remain ‘resolute in resisting words and acts of violence’ and that the story of ‘incomprehensible humanity’ must not be forgotten.

Charles said: ‘The Holocaust was an appalling Jewish tragedy, but it was also a universal human tragedy, and one which we compound if we do not heed its lessons.’  He told the guests the stories of the Holocaust belonged to many of those in the hall and Jewish people across the globe.

The Prince added: ‘But we must never forget that they are also our story: a story of incomprehensible inhumanity, from which all humanity can and must learn.  Warning that intolerance was never far away, he said: ‘We must be vigilant in discerning these ever-changing threats; we must be fearless in confronting falsehoods and resolute in resisting words and acts of violence.’

Charles also paid tribute to the ‘selfless actions’ of his grandmother, Princess Alice, who in 1943 while living in Nazi-occupied Greece, sheltered a Jewish family in her own home.

In 1993 Yad Vashem bestowed the title of Righteous Among The Nations on her and she is buried at the nearby Mount of Olives.  Charles described the title as ‘a fact which gives me and my family immense pride.’


Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/23/prince-charles-warns-world-leaders-hatred-holocaust-remembrance-speech-12113341/?ito=cbshare

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

said ‘hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart’


Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/23/prince-charles-warns-world-leaders-hatred-holocaust-remembrance-speech-12113341/?ito=cbshare

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/


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18-25 January 2020

KT - Cross


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


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6 JANUARY 2020 : EPIPHANY


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

In Western churches it is mainly associated with the visit of the Magi (the 'wise men') to the infant Jesus when God revealed himself to the world through the incarnation (the birth) of Jesus.

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 place where they found Jesus, his mother Mary and Joseph:

Epiphany - a star

Venus (a planet) is not the star which the Magi followed but, other than the Moon, it is the brightest 'light' presently visible in the evening sky.  It 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 manger 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
At that manger rude 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

 

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


Finally Epiphany could 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

 

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



 

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new year's DAY : 1 JANUARY 2020 &

new year's eve : 31 December 2019


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

Great Clock, Elizabeth Tower, London : 00.00.01  1 January 2020

Great Clock, Elizabeth Tower, London


Palace of Westminster, London : 1 January 2020

  Palace of Westminster, London 1 January 2020 - b  Palace of Westminster, London 1 January 2020 - a

London Eye : 1 January 2020

      The London Eye    London Eye 2


     London Eye 3    London Eye 4


London Eye 5

London Eye 6


     River Thames, London 1   River Thames, London 2


London Eye x



Auckland, New Zealand : Midnight 31 December 2019

Auckland, New Zealand - Midnight 31 December 2019


Sydney, Australia : Midnight 31 December 2019

Sydney, Australia - Midnight 31 December 2019


Sydney, Australia - Midnight 31 December 2019


Sydney, Australia - Midnight 31 December 2019


Sydney, Australia - Midnight 31 December 2019


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THE FEASTDAY 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


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CHRISTMAS 2019



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 Knights and Dames of the Supreme 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 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.

 

Peace

 

 

KTW - Banner Small
 
  Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis,
Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam

 

 

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Christmas Eve - 24 December 2019

Bethlehem - Christmas Eve 2019
A Christian pilgrim kisses an icon of the Virgin Mary
as she visits the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
Christmas Eve 24 December 2019


Christmas Eve - Surabaya, East Java - 2019
Surabaya, East Java
Christmas Eve 24 December 2019



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[Advent Sunday 1 December 2019 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

 

FROM THE GRAND PRIOR & SPIRITUAL PROTECTOR
OF THE GRAND PRIORY 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


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Remembrance Tide

Lest We Forget

    Poppy Logo - 1     

Remembance Soldier 1Poppy Wreath  Remembance Soldier 2

Remembrance - Red Cross women

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Armistice Day : 11 November 2019

     1918 - Battlefield, France  2019 - Thiepval, France
                1918 - Battlefield, France                                  2019 - Thiepval, France                                      
                                 11.00am 11 November 2019

  Westminister Abbey   Whitehall, The Cenotaph                        Westminster Abbey                                              Whitehall, The Cenotaph


    The Last Post    The Salute
  The National Memorial Arboretum - Gurkhas (गोरखाली) on Parade

                           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


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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Remembrance Sunday : 10 November 2019


Remembrance Sunday 1


Poppy Pin

Remembrance Sunday - HMQ Remembrance Sunday - Price of Wales

Festival of Remembrance - Bugler

Prince Charles lays the Queens wreath
Prince Charles lays the Queen's wreath at The Cenotaph


The Queen wipes away a tear

Her Majesty, The Queen, wipes away a tear


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The Fall of the Berlin Wall : 9 November 1989

Berlin Wall - Crowd   Berlin Wall - on the wall

Berlin Wall Celebrations


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All Souls' Tide : 2 November 2019

   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 in March1314
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


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

Chevalier Brian Ansen
Chevalier David Bergstrom
Chevalier Jonathan Griffiths



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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1 November 2019

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)

 


All Saints Day - 3




KT - Cross


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