PRAYER SPACE

 

“Be still, and know that I am God”. We have created a Prayer Space in front of the altar in the Lady Chapel, with visual aids and suggestions for personal reflection.
On Advent Sunday,2019, Rt Rev Dr John Armes, The Bishop of Edinburgh, blessed this new “Prayer Space” Cross, designed and hand-made by Sandie Goddard.

 

                                     

The Prayer Space Cross:
Click the link for Sandie’s explanation of how she created this beautiful piece

Prayer Space Cross Notes

 

Our Advent Theme

 

 

 

The Advent Wreath: What does it mean?

                 

There are several interpretations associated with The Advent Wreath. Here is one version.

Firstly, by being circular, the wreath represents God’s endless love for us, and by being EVERGREEN it represents the HOPE of eternal life.

There are traditionally at least four candles, three PURPLE (the liturgical colour of Advent) and one ROSE , and they are lit in turn on the 4 Sundays of Advent. A fifth, white candle, may be added on Christmas Day.

The meanings of the candles, and the order in which they are lit, varies according to tradition, but one interpretation is:

The first of the PURPLE candles symbolises HOPE and is often known as The Prophecy Candle, in remembrance of the Prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipating the coming Messiah. As the carol says, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight”

The second PURPLE candle can symbolise FAITH, and is often known as The Bethlehem Candle, representing the great journey of faith which Mary and Joseph took from their home in Nazareth to a stable in Bethlehem. It was a long and tiring journey for the heavily pregnant Mary, with no certainty as to what would await them on arrival. But Mary travelled in faith, having submitted to the will of God, saying “be it unto me according to your word”.

The third Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, meaning “Rejoice”, and the third candle is sometimes known as The Shepherd’s Candle, representing their Joy at finding the Christ Child. Now, opinions differ as to whether the candle should be ROSE on the third Sunday, or dedicated to Mary on the fourth Sunday, but ROSE is the colour of JOY and those tidings of great joy, which the shepherds heard, should be at the heart of all our preparations.

The fourth candle…whether ROSE or PURPLE…is  sometimes known as The Angel’s Candle and represents PEACE, reminding us of the Angel’s message of “Peace on Earth, goodwill to all”.

So, as we journey through Advent, we do so in Hope, in Faith, in Joy and in Peace.

Mary’s journey was not without difficulty, possibly danger, certainly stress and inevitably fatigue.

But as we arrive at the stable in Bethlehem, we find The Christ Child, for whom a final WHITE candle will be lit on Christmas Day, symbolising Love, the greatest gift of all, and the gift that keeps on giving.

A final thought, courtesy of Eleanor Farjeon:

“People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.”

An Advent Prayer

God of Hope, as we journey through this season of preparation and expectation, grant us the FAITH to travel into the unknown, trusting in your guidance and your plan for each of our lives.

Help us to share the JOY of the Shepherds, who recognised the Infant Christ as the Saviour of the World, and spread the good news to all around them.

As the Angels sang of PEACE and goodwill to all, grant us your PEACE in our hearts, the PEACE that passes all understanding.

And above all, Loving God, help us to abide in your endless and unconditional LOVE, this Advent, this Christmas, and for evermore. Amen

 

 

 

 

The Scottish Episcopal Church has signed up to an Ecumenical Call to Prayer, in response to the Corvid19 Pandemic, at 7pm on Sundays, using these words

God whose name is Love,
You make yourself known to us
As the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sustain us in the knowledge of your love through the times in which we live.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
May we hear the words of your Son
That echo down the ages:
I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love is generous,
You gift to us your Holy Spirit,
The very giver of Life.
Renew our lives and the life of the community in which we share.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love is steadfast,
You know us as we are for you have made us.
In your compassion, be with all who struggle and grieve at this time.
Remember them and hold them safe in your keeping.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love is from everlasting to everlasting,
Give strength to the weary and power to the weak,
That we might renew our strength
And soar on wings like eagles.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love inspires,
May we love you with all that we are
And love our neighbour in response to your love.
Through our service of others, may your love be revealed.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Other Prayer Ideas

This Prayer, from the URC website, is very apposite for the events we are witnessing just now.(June 2020)

 O Lord, let the healing grace of your love so transform us that we may play our part in the transfiguration of the world from a place of suffering, death, and corruption to a realm of infinite light, joy and love.
Make us so obedient to your Spirit that our lives may become living prayers that witness to your unfailing presence. Amen

A Prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola

O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness 
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength. 
Help us to have perfect trust 
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things. 
Amen
 
 

Beatitudes for a global pandemic. 

Blessed are those who stay indoors for they have protected others.
Blessed are the unemployed and the self-employed, for their need of God is great.
Blessed are the corner shopkeepers, for they are the purveyors of scarce things.
Blessed are the delivery drivers and the postal workers, for they are the bringers of essential things.
Blessed are the hospital workers; the ambulance crews, the doctors, the nurses, the care assistants, and the cleaners, for they stand between us and the grave, and the Kingdom of Heaven is surely theirs.
Blessed are the checkout workers, for they have patience and fortitude in the face of overwork and frustration.
Blessed are the refuse collectors, for they will see God despite the mountains of waste.
Blessed are the teachers, for they remain steadfast and constant in disturbing times.
Blessed are the church workers; the deacons, priests and bishops, for they are a comforting presence in a hurting world as they continue to signpost towards God.
Blessed are the single parents, for they are coping alone with their responsibilities and there is no respite.
Blessed are those who are alone, for they are children of God and with Him they will never be lonely.
Blessed are the bereaved, for whom the worst has already happened. They shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who are isolated with their abusers, for one day – we pray – they will know safety.
Blessed are all during this time who have pure hearts; all who still hunger and thirst for justice; all who work for peace and who model mercy.

May you know comfort. May you know calm. And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all. Amen.

 By Jayne Manfredi @TheWomanfredi

 Women’s Fellowship Prayer 

Lord, you walk beside us, each moment of each day.
You know us by name, see each joy and sorrow.
You have created within us the potential to love and nurture.
You offer us patience and understanding in an uncertain and a complex world.
You have laid upon us the responsibility to carry and care for others.
You have crafted in us minds and imaginations that are able to solve problems and see possibilities.
You have given us the gift of life woven through with colour, texture and variety.
As we gather together may we know and experience your love for us.
Heal us.
Guide us.
Inspire us.
And lead us to reflect more and more of your life within our own.
Amen

Rev Grace Redpath 2020