| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Sunday 17th January 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (2nd Sunday of Epiphany) Worship and Prayer
Hymn: At the name of Jesus
Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Christ the Light of the World has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. In his light, let us examine ourselves and confess our sins. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer Eternal God and Father, whose Son prayed that his disciples might be one, as he is one with you: draw us closer to him, that in common love and obedience to you we may be united to one another in the fellowship of the one Spirit, that the world may believe that he is Lord, to your eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Readings Psalm 145 1 I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. 2 Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. 5 They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. 6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. 7 They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. 8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. 14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name
Hymn: God is love, let heaven adore him
Hymn: Brother, sister, let me serve you
1 Corinthians 12.12-27 Unity and Diversity in the Body 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by [c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
John 15.1-17 The Vine and the Branches 4John the baptizer appeared* in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with* water; but he will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit.’ 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;* with you I am well pleased.’
Reflections by Reverend Jonathan Hall Abiding in Christ The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed annually, during the octave in which we commemorate the Conversion of St Paul, because of his pivotal role in bringing the Gospel of Christ to the gentiles. Worship material for The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year – 18th to 25th January, has been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. The theme chosen is “Abiding in Christ” and draws one of the great I AM sayings recorded in John’s Gospel in which Jesus calls is followers to “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 15:1-17). Bob Fyffe, General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, offers these reflections on the way in which our own spiritual lives can be deepened and enriched during these challenging times by drawing on the example of the monastic life of the community at Grandchamp… “Our spiritual well-being is as important as our physical well-being. In the past year both of these have been seriously challenged: the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to be careful about our own health, taking precautions such as washing hands and wearing facemasks and maintaining social distance. Some of us have been ill or have lost someone close to us. Meanwhile the working lives of many have been disrupted and families kept apart, often at huge personal cost. Perhaps it has made us all more anxious about our health and more aware of our vulnerability. At the same time church buildings have been closed and worship has been taking place online. Opportunities to worship and pray together have been seriously curtailed. We may well be feeling a sense of isolation from God as well as our neighbour. The periods of lockdown have caused us to take a step back to think again about our priorities and the things and people that we value, that make our lives whole. The long periods of absence from extended family and friends, and the inability to share a meal together or celebrate a birthday or a wedding, are examples of this. When it comes to our spiritual life, what is it that is most important for our well-being? As Church life has to a large extent paused for the first time for most people, what does it mean to be part of the one Church, the Body of Christ when all we see of our sisters and brothers are on the screen of a laptop? When the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity invited the sisters of the Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland to produce the material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for 2021 they could not have foreseen the pandemic and its impact. Yet the Sisters of Grandchamp offer us something uniquely precious: an opportunity to engage with a form of prayer that is both very ancient and yet at the same time so apposite for our times. The ancient rhythm of prayer found in many religious orders and their traditions teach us that when we pray, we pray not just on our own or with those who share the same physical space, but with the whole Church, the Body of Christ, of Christians in other places and in different times. A rhythm of prayer, with its traditional forms of structure, hymns and psalms and perhaps most importantly, silence, might well be an important gift from the ancient Church to the Church of today struggling with pandemics and lockdowns and more widely with some of the serious challenges that our world faces, most particularly climate change, racism and poverty. This tradition of prayer and spirituality, despite the things that hurt and separate us, invites us into shared prayer and silence together. Surely a most precious gift in troubled times. Come with us this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and enter into a place of community and blessing. Simply “be” in this place and be carried by the prayer and the reality that it is God, in Christ and through the Holy Spirit, who carries us and accompanies us. Always.” The summary of the rule of life that the sisters of Grandchamp recite together each morning begins with the words “pray and work that God may reign”. Prayer and everyday life are not two separate realities but are meant to be united. All that we experience is meant to become an encounter with God. Of course, we don’t have to go to Switzerland to gain an insight into the monastic rhythm of worship and work. Several years ago, I set aside three days for a time of personal retreat at Quarr Abbey, which is a Benedictine Community here on the Isle of Wight… At the heart of any great Abbey or Monastery is the Cloister. This is a four sided covered walkway around a central garden. Deep at the heart of the community, protected from the outside world by the walls of the church and other buildings, this is a place where the monks can spend time in quiet contemplation and prayer. The aim of time spent in the cloister is to focus the heart and mind on the God whom they seek to love and serve every minute of the day. In a real way, each monk makes their own heart a reflection of this cloister - a place free from the distractions and temptations of a world so often at odds with the way that Christ calls us to live. Fr Luke Bell, a Monk living at Quarr Abbey, in his book “A Deep and Subtle Joy,” reflecting on the importance of the cloister writes: “…the real place of work for the monk is his heart. We want our hearts to become beautiful like this special garden within the cloister.” In a similar way, we can each work on our hearts! We too can meditate on a garden filled with many things of beauty reflecting the love and care of God our creator; and likewise seek to fill our hearts and minds with thoughts and feelings which stem from God’s love, grace, mercy and peace. As St Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, whenever our hearts are troubled or anxious, we should fill our minds with everything that is good, and lovely, praiseworthy and honourable, and we will know the peace. The church at Quarr Abbey, is a beautiful and striking space set aside for prayer and worship. It was built in 1912, when the present Abbey was founded, and was designed by one of the monks, who had been an architect before joining the community. During my three days at Quarr Abbey, I joined the monks for their 7 times of prayer and worship in the church. These began at 5.30am in the morning and there are then services at 7.00am, 9.00am, 1.00pm 2.20pm, 5.00pm and 8.00pm. The basic principle of monastic life is that the whole day is punctuated by times of prayer and worship. In between these times of prayer, the brothers are engaged in their work, which includes farming, bee keeping, cooking the meals, book binding, and all the day-to-day tasks around caring for and maintaining the Abbey. The set times of prayer create a rhythm to each day. It is never very long, before God is sought again in prayer and worship and fresh inspiration and strength gained for the work of the day. It was a huge privilege to join the monks for these times of worship, and listen to the prayers and psalms sung in traditional Gregorian chant. It reinforced for me the importance of having a pattern of times when we bring our work, our hope and fears before God and open our hearts and minds to his word. In our everyday lives, most of us would find it hard to set aside 7 times for prayer each day. Five or ten minutes near the beginning and or near the end of the day is probably more realistic for many people. However, in a very real way, this frames everything that happens during the day in prayer. A rhythm of prayer – whether it is 7 times a day or twice a day, helps to strengthen and sustain our faith in a special way and assure us of God’s presence with us every moment of every day. Although prayer is fundamental to building our relationship with God – it is something that many of us struggle with – that might be because we find it difficult to create the time and space to be still in God’s presence Or it might be that there are so many issues and concerns going around in our minds that we don’t know where to begin. Or it might be difficulty with finding the right words, or prioritizing the things we feel that we should bring before God. I think that one of the greatest gifts of the Benedictine monastic Rule of Life, is the model of prayer, which is called “Lectio Divina” – it is a model of prayer that all of us can take and use, and is particularly helpful when we are struggling in our own prayer life. Lectio Divina – which is Latin, for “Divine Reading,” is made up of four simple stages which are these:- 1. First of all, read a short passage of scripture. 2. Secondly, allow God’s Spirit to draw you to a particular word or phrase within the passage. 3. Thirdly, reflect on that word or phrase, what is God saying to me through it? How does it relate to how I am feeling, or what is happening in my life? Make that your prayer. 4. Finally, carry that word or phrase with you throughout the rest of the day and allow it to continue to speak to you. For me, one of the greatest things about this way of praying, is that the starting point is with God – his word to us, and our prayer grows out of the dialogue with him as we reflect upon what is happening in our lives in the light of that word. During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, as we draw on the experience of the monastic tradition through the centuries, I invite you to make time and space each day for Lectio Divina - to read and reflect again on our Gospel reading or another passage from the Bible and allow God to speak to you. May our lives be enriched, as we Abide in Christ and his love for us in our own personal times of prayer. Amen.
Prayers
Reflective Song: I am with you always
Intercessions from the Ecumenical Celebration Service prepared by the Grandchamp Community for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 God of life, you have created every human being in your image and likeness. We sing your praise for the gift of our manycultures, expressions of faith, traditions and ethnicities. Grant us the courage always to stand against injustice and hatred based on race, class, gender, religion, and fear of those not like ourselves. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Merciful God, you have shown us in Christ that we are one in you. Teach us to use this gift in the world so that believers of all faiths in every country may be able to listen to each other and live in peace. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! O Jesus, you came into the world and shared fully in our humanity. You know the hardships of life for people who suffer in so many different ways. May the Spirit of compassion move us to share our time, life and goods with all those in need. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Holy Spirit, you hear the fury of your wounded creation and the cries of those already suffering from climate change. Guide us toward new behaviours. May we learn to live in harmony as part of your creation. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Jesus you call us to abide in you, as branches of the true vine. Nurture us so that we may each bear the fruit of your healing and reconciling love. As we abide in you, help us to offer your love to one another and to the world.
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION St Blasius Home Page St Blasius Home Page St John’s Home Page St John’s Home Page
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We gather together all our prayers and praises in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hymn: God of Grace and God of Glory
A Blessing prayer from the Christian community across Ireland
God’s Blessing May God, who in Christ calls us into the fellowship of his Church Family, continually inspire and equip us in his service, and sustain our lives through the rhythm of his love; And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Be with us all, ever more. Amen.

| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Sunday 17th January 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (2nd Sunday of Epiphany) Worship and Prayer
Hymn: At the name of Jesus
Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Christ the Light of the World has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. In his light, let us examine ourselves and confess our sins. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer Eternal God and Father, whose Son prayed that his disciples might be one, as he is one with you: draw us closer to him, that in common love and obedience to you we may be united to one another in the fellowship of the one Spirit, that the world may believe that he is Lord, to your eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Readings Psalm 145 1 I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. 2 Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. 5 They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. 6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. 7 They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. 8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. 14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name
Hymn: God is love, let heaven adore him
Hymn: Brother, sister, let me serve you
1 Corinthians 12.12-27 Unity and Diversity in the Body 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by [c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
John 15.1-17 The Vine and the Branches 4John the baptizer appeared* in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with* water; but he will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit.’ 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;* with you I am well pleased.’
Reflections by Reverend Jonathan Hall Abiding in Christ The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed annually, during the octave in which we commemorate the Conversion of St Paul, because of his pivotal role in bringing the Gospel of Christ to the gentiles. Worship material for The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year – 18th to 25th January, has been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. The theme chosen is “Abiding in Christ” and draws one of the great I AM sayings recorded in John’s Gospel in which Jesus calls is followers to “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 15:1- 17). Bob Fyffe, General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, offers these reflections on the way in which our own spiritual lives can be deepened and enriched during these challenging times by drawing on the example of the monastic life of the community at Grandchamp… “Our spiritual well-being is as important as our physical well-being. In the past year both of these have been seriously challenged: the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to be careful about our own health, taking precautions such as washing hands and wearing facemasks and maintaining social distance. Some of us have been ill or have lost someone close to us. Meanwhile the working lives of many have been disrupted and families kept apart, often at huge personal cost. Perhaps it has made us all more anxious about our health and more aware of our vulnerability. At the same time church buildings have been closed and worship has been taking place online. Opportunities to worship and pray together have been seriously curtailed. We may well be feeling a sense of isolation from God as well as our neighbour. The periods of lockdown have caused us to take a step back to think again about our priorities and the things and people that we value, that make our lives whole. The long periods of absence from extended family and friends, and the inability to share a meal together or celebrate a birthday or a wedding, are examples of this. When it comes to our spiritual life, what is it that is most important for our well-being? As Church life has to a large extent paused for the first time for most people, what does it mean to be part of the one Church, the Body of Christ when all we see of our sisters and brothers are on the screen of a laptop? When the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity invited the sisters of the Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland to produce the material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for 2021 they could not have foreseen the pandemic and its impact. Yet the Sisters of Grandchamp offer us something uniquely precious: an opportunity to engage with a form of prayer that is both very ancient and yet at the same time so apposite for our times. The ancient rhythm of prayer found in many religious orders and their traditions teach us that when we pray, we pray not just on our own or with those who share the same physical space, but with the whole Church, the Body of Christ, of Christians in other places and in different times. A rhythm of prayer, with its traditional forms of structure, hymns and psalms and perhaps most importantly, silence, might well be an important gift from the ancient Church to the Church of today struggling with pandemics and lockdowns and more widely with some of the serious challenges that our world faces, most particularly climate change, racism and poverty. This tradition of prayer and spirituality, despite the things that hurt and separate us, invites us into shared prayer and silence together. Surely a most precious gift in troubled times. Come with us this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and enter into a place of community and blessing. Simply “be” in this place and be carried by the prayer and the reality that it is God, in Christ and through the Holy Spirit, who carries us and accompanies us. Always.” The summary of the rule of life that the sisters of Grandchamp recite together each morning begins with the words “pray and work that God may reign”. Prayer and everyday life are not two separate realities but are meant to be united. All that we experience is meant to become an encounter with God. Of course, we don’t have to go to Switzerland to gain an insight into the monastic rhythm of worship and work. Several years ago, I set aside three days for a time of personal retreat at Quarr Abbey, which is a Benedictine Community here on the Isle of Wight… At the heart of any great Abbey or Monastery is the Cloister. This is a four sided covered walkway around a central garden. Deep at the heart of the community, protected from the outside world by the walls of the church and other buildings, this is a place where the monks can spend time in quiet contemplation and prayer. The aim of time spent in the cloister is to focus the heart and mind on the God whom they seek to love and serve every minute of the day. In a real way, each monk makes their own heart a reflection of this cloister - a place free from the distractions and temptations of a world so often at odds with the way that Christ calls us to live. Fr Luke Bell, a Monk living at Quarr Abbey, in his book “A Deep and Subtle Joy,” reflecting on the importance of the cloister writes: “…the real place of work for the monk is his heart. We want our hearts to become beautiful like this special garden within the cloister.” In a similar way, we can each work on our hearts! We too can meditate on a garden filled with many things of beauty reflecting the love and care of God our creator; and likewise seek to fill our hearts and minds with thoughts and feelings which stem from God’s love, grace, mercy and peace. As St Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, whenever our hearts are troubled or anxious, we should fill our minds with everything that is good, and lovely, praiseworthy and honourable, and we will know the peace. The church at Quarr Abbey, is a beautiful and striking space set aside for prayer and worship. It was built in 1912, when the present Abbey was founded, and was designed by one of the monks, who had been an architect before joining the community. During my three days at Quarr Abbey, I joined the monks for their 7 times of prayer and worship in the church. These began at 5.30am in the morning and there are then services at 7.00am, 9.00am, 1.00pm 2.20pm, 5.00pm and 8.00pm. The basic principle of monastic life is that the whole day is punctuated by times of prayer and worship. In between these times of prayer, the brothers are engaged in their work, which includes farming, bee keeping, cooking the meals, book binding, and all the day-to-day tasks around caring for and maintaining the Abbey. The set times of prayer create a rhythm to each day. It is never very long, before God is sought again in prayer and worship and fresh inspiration and strength gained for the work of the day. It was a huge privilege to join the monks for these times of worship, and listen to the prayers and psalms sung in traditional Gregorian chant. It reinforced for me the importance of having a pattern of times when we bring our work, our hope and fears before God and open our hearts and minds to his word. In our everyday lives, most of us would find it hard to set aside 7 times for prayer each day. Five or ten minutes near the beginning and or near the end of the day is probably more realistic for many people. However, in a very real way, this frames everything that happens during the day in prayer. A rhythm of prayer – whether it is 7 times a day or twice a day, helps to strengthen and sustain our faith in a special way and assure us of God’s presence with us every moment of every day. Although prayer is fundamental to building our relationship with God – it is something that many of us struggle with – that might be because we find it difficult to create the time and space to be still in God’s presence Or it might be that there are so many issues and concerns going around in our minds that we don’t know where to begin. Or it might be difficulty with finding the right words, or prioritizing the things we feel that we should bring before God. I think that one of the greatest gifts of the Benedictine monastic Rule of Life, is the model of prayer, which is called “Lectio Divina” – it is a model of prayer that all of us can take and use, and is particularly helpful when we are struggling in our own prayer life. Lectio Divina – which is Latin, for “Divine Reading,” is made up of four simple stages which are these:- 1. First of all, read a short passage of scripture. 2. Secondly, allow God’s Spirit to draw you to a particular word or phrase within the passage. 3. Thirdly, reflect on that word or phrase, what is God saying to me through it? How does it relate to how I am feeling, or what is happening in my life? Make that your prayer. 4. Finally, carry that word or phrase with you throughout the rest of the day and allow it to continue to speak to you. For me, one of the greatest things about this way of praying, is that the starting point is with God – his word to us, and our prayer grows out of the dialogue with him as we reflect upon what is happening in our lives in the light of that word. During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, as we draw on the experience of the monastic tradition through the centuries, I invite you to make time and space each day for Lectio Divina - to read and reflect again on our Gospel reading or another passage from the Bible and allow God to speak to you. May our lives be enriched, as we Abide in Christ and his love for us in our own personal times of prayer. Amen.
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION St Blasius Home Page St Blasius Home Page St John’s Home Page St John’s Home Page
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reflective Song: I am with you always
Prayers
Intercessions from the Ecumenical Celebration Service prepared by the Grandchamp Community for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 God of life, you have created every human being in your image and likeness. We sing your praise for the gift of our manycultures, expressions of faith, traditions and ethnicities. Grant us the courage always to stand against injustice and hatred based on race, class, gender, religion, and fear of those not like ourselves. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Merciful God, you have shown us in Christ that we are one in you. Teach us to use this gift in the world so that believers of all faiths in every country may be able to listen to each other and live in peace. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! O Jesus, you came into the world and shared fully in our humanity. You know the hardships of life for people who suffer in so many different ways. May the Spirit of compassion move us to share our time, life and goods with all those in need. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Holy Spirit, you hear the fury of your wounded creation and the cries of those already suffering from climate change. Guide us toward new behaviours. May we learn to live in harmony as part of your creation. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Jesus you call us to abide in you, as branches of the true vine. Nurture us so that we may each bear the fruit of your healing and reconciling love. As we abide in you, help us to offer your love to one another and to the world.
We gather together all our prayers and praises in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hymn: God of Grace and God of Glory
A Blessing prayer from the Christian community across Ireland
God’s Blessing May God, who in Christ calls us into the fellowship of his Church Family, continually inspire and equip us in his service, and sustain our lives through the rhythm of his love; And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Be with us all, ever more. Amen.

| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Sunday 17th January 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (2nd Sunday of Epiphany) Worship and Prayer
Hymn: At the name of Jesus
Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Christ the Light of the World has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. In his light, let us examine ourselves and confess our sins. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer Eternal God and Father, whose Son prayed that his disciples might be one, as he is one with you: draw us closer to him, that in common love and obedience to you we may be united to one another in the fellowship of the one Spirit, that the world may believe that he is Lord, to your eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Readings Psalm 145 1 I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. 2 Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. 5 They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. 6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. 7 They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. 8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. 14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name
Hymn: God is love, let heaven adore him
Hymn: Brother, sister, let me serve you
1 Corinthians 12.12-27 Unity and Diversity in the Body 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by [c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
John 15.1-17 The Vine and the Branches 4John the baptizer appeared* in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with* water; but he will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit.’ 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;* with you I am well pleased.’
Reflections by Reverend Jonathan Hall Abiding in Christ The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed annually, during the octave in which we commemorate the Conversion of St Paul, because of his pivotal role in bringing the Gospel of Christ to the gentiles. Worship material for The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year – 18th to 25th January, has been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. The theme chosen is “Abiding in Christ” and draws one of the great I AM sayings recorded in John’s Gospel in which Jesus calls is followers to “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 15:1-17). Bob Fyffe, General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, offers these reflections on the way in which our own spiritual lives can be deepened and enriched during these challenging times by drawing on the example of the monastic life of the community at Grandchamp… “Our spiritual well-being is as important as our physical well-being. In the past year both of these have been seriously challenged: the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to be careful about our own health, taking precautions such as washing hands and wearing facemasks and maintaining social distance. Some of us have been ill or have lost someone close to us. Meanwhile the working lives of many have been disrupted and families kept apart, often at huge personal cost. Perhaps it has made us all more anxious about our health and more aware of our vulnerability. At the same time church buildings have been closed and worship has been taking place online. Opportunities to worship and pray together have been seriously curtailed. We may well be feeling a sense of isolation from God as well as our neighbour. The periods of lockdown have caused us to take a step back to think again about our priorities and the things and people that we value, that make our lives whole. The long periods of absence from extended family and friends, and the inability to share a meal together or celebrate a birthday or a wedding, are examples of this. When it comes to our spiritual life, what is it that is most important for our well-being? As Church life has to a large extent paused for the first time for most people, what does it mean to be part of the one Church, the Body of Christ when all we see of our sisters and brothers are on the screen of a laptop? When the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity invited the sisters of the Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland to produce the material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for 2021 they could not have foreseen the pandemic and its impact. Yet the Sisters of Grandchamp offer us something uniquely precious: an opportunity to engage with a form of prayer that is both very ancient and yet at the same time so apposite for our times. The ancient rhythm of prayer found in many religious orders and their traditions teach us that when we pray, we pray not just on our own or with those who share the same physical space, but with the whole Church, the Body of Christ, of Christians in other places and in different times. A rhythm of prayer, with its traditional forms of structure, hymns and psalms and perhaps most importantly, silence, might well be an important gift from the ancient Church to the Church of today struggling with pandemics and lockdowns and more widely with some of the serious challenges that our world faces, most particularly climate change, racism and poverty. This tradition of prayer and spirituality, despite the things that hurt and separate us, invites us into shared prayer and silence together. Surely a most precious gift in troubled times. Come with us this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and enter into a place of community and blessing. Simply “be” in this place and be carried by the prayer and the reality that it is God, in Christ and through the Holy Spirit, who carries us and accompanies us. Always.” The summary of the rule of life that the sisters of Grandchamp recite together each morning begins with the words “pray and work that God may reign”. Prayer and everyday life are not two separate realities but are meant to be united. All that we experience is meant to become an encounter with God. Of course, we don’t have to go to Switzerland to gain an insight into the monastic rhythm of worship and work. Several years ago, I set aside three days for a time of personal retreat at Quarr Abbey, which is a Benedictine Community here on the Isle of Wight… At the heart of any great Abbey or Monastery is the Cloister. This is a four sided covered walkway around a central garden. Deep at the heart of the community, protected from the outside world by the walls of the church and other buildings, this is a place where the monks can spend time in quiet contemplation and prayer. The aim of time spent in the cloister is to focus the heart and mind on the God whom they seek to love and serve every minute of the day. In a real way, each monk makes their own heart a reflection of this cloister - a place free from the distractions and temptations of a world so often at odds with the way that Christ calls us to live. Fr Luke Bell, a Monk living at Quarr Abbey, in his book “A Deep and Subtle Joy,” reflecting on the importance of the cloister writes: “…the real place of work for the monk is his heart. We want our hearts to become beautiful like this special garden within the cloister.” In a similar way, we can each work on our hearts! We too can meditate on a garden filled with many things of beauty reflecting the love and care of God our creator; and likewise seek to fill our hearts and minds with thoughts and feelings which stem from God’s love, grace, mercy and peace. As St Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, whenever our hearts are troubled or anxious, we should fill our minds with everything that is good, and lovely, praiseworthy and honourable, and we will know the peace. The church at Quarr Abbey, is a beautiful and striking space set aside for prayer and worship. It was built in 1912, when the present Abbey was founded, and was designed by one of the monks, who had been an architect before joining the community. During my three days at Quarr Abbey, I joined the monks for their 7 times of prayer and worship in the church. These began at 5.30am in the morning and there are then services at 7.00am, 9.00am, 1.00pm 2.20pm, 5.00pm and 8.00pm. The basic principle of monastic life is that the whole day is punctuated by times of prayer and worship. In between these times of prayer, the brothers are engaged in their work, which includes farming, bee keeping, cooking the meals, book binding, and all the day-to-day tasks around caring for and maintaining the Abbey. The set times of prayer create a rhythm to each day. It is never very long, before God is sought again in prayer and worship and fresh inspiration and strength gained for the work of the day. It was a huge privilege to join the monks for these times of worship, and listen to the prayers and psalms sung in traditional Gregorian chant. It reinforced for me the importance of having a pattern of times when we bring our work, our hope and fears before God and open our hearts and minds to his word. In our everyday lives, most of us would find it hard to set aside 7 times for prayer each day. Five or ten minutes near the beginning and or near the end of the day is probably more realistic for many people. However, in a very real way, this frames everything that happens during the day in prayer. A rhythm of prayer – whether it is 7 times a day or twice a day, helps to strengthen and sustain our faith in a special way and assure us of God’s presence with us every moment of every day. Although prayer is fundamental to building our relationship with God – it is something that many of us struggle with – that might be because we find it difficult to create the time and space to be still in God’s presence Or it might be that there are so many issues and concerns going around in our minds that we don’t know where to begin. Or it might be difficulty with finding the right words, or prioritizing the things we feel that we should bring before God. I think that one of the greatest gifts of the Benedictine monastic Rule of Life, is the model of prayer, which is called “Lectio Divina” – it is a model of prayer that all of us can take and use, and is particularly helpful when we are struggling in our own prayer life. Lectio Divina – which is Latin, for “Divine Reading,” is made up of four simple stages which are these:- 1. First of all, read a short passage of scripture. 2. Secondly, allow God’s Spirit to draw you to a particular word or phrase within the passage. 3. Thirdly, reflect on that word or phrase, what is God saying to me through it? How does it relate to how I am feeling, or what is happening in my life? Make that your prayer. 4. Finally, carry that word or phrase with you throughout the rest of the day and allow it to continue to speak to you. For me, one of the greatest things about this way of praying, is that the starting point is with God – his word to us, and our prayer grows out of the dialogue with him as we reflect upon what is happening in our lives in the light of that word. During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, as we draw on the experience of the monastic tradition through the centuries, I invite you to make time and space each day for Lectio Divina - to read and reflect again on our Gospel reading or another passage from the Bible and allow God to speak to you. May our lives be enriched, as we Abide in Christ and his love for us in our own personal times of prayer. Amen.
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Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers
Reflective Song: I am with you always
We gather together all our prayers and praises in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Intercessions from the Ecumenical Celebration Service prepared by the Grandchamp Community for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 God of life, you have created every human being in your image and likeness. We sing your praise for the gift of our manycultures, expressions of faith, traditions and ethnicities. Grant us the courage always to stand against injustice and hatred based on race, class, gender, religion, and fear of those not like ourselves. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Merciful God, you have shown us in Christ that we are one in you. Teach us to use this gift in the world so that believers of all faiths in every country may be able to listen to each other and live in peace. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! O Jesus, you came into the world and shared fully in our humanity. You know the hardships of life for people who suffer in so many different ways. May the Spirit of compassion move us to share our time, life and goods with all those in need. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Holy Spirit, you hear the fury of your wounded creation and the cries of those already suffering from climate change. Guide us toward new behaviours. May we learn to live in harmony as part of your creation. God of peace, God of love, in you is our hope! Jesus you call us to abide in you, as branches of the true vine. Nurture us so that we may each bear the fruit of your healing and reconciling love. As we abide in you, help us to offer your love to one another and to the world.
Hymn: God of Grace and God of Glory
A Blessing prayer from the Christian community across Ireland
God’s Blessing May God, who in Christ calls us into the fellowship of his Church Family, continually inspire and equip us in his service, and sustain our lives through the rhythm of his love; And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Be with us all, ever more. Amen.