Saturday, February 26, 2011


     Today (Sunday 27 February 2011) the Church commemorates George Herbert, priest and poet who died in 1633. The words of all the hymns and today’s motet are by this remarkable Anglican cleric. From a noble and wealthy family, Herbert forsook the opportunity for academic success and popularity at court, in order to take up parish ministry as an Anglican priest. Although he only had a short ministry he is held up as the model pastor. He loved the people of his little parish of Bemerton, just outside Salisbury. His hymns, his poems and other writings are so very Anglican and express the middle way. For many Anglican priests he is their hero and their exemplar. His contemporary Richard Baxter wrote of him, “heart-work and heaven-work make up his books”. We give   thanks for George Herbert and enjoy the beauty and the prayerfulness of his hymns today.
Hymns: AMR nos. 337 Teach me, my God and King, 178 The God of love my Shepherd is, 367 King of glory, King of peace, 375 Let all the world in every corner sing. Motet The call, set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

* TO LISTEN TO THE SERMON by the Dean, the Very Revd Fr Simon Aiken, 16 January 2011, go to the BLOG ARCHIVE (to the right of your screen) and click on "January" and then select (click again on) "Sermon by the Dean..." OR follow this link:

     Lent is just around the corner and in fact Ash Wednesday is on 9 March. There will be a said Mass at 6:00 a.m. and a sung Mass at 6:00 p.m. that day. The imposition of ashes will be available at both services. Further Wednesdays in Lent up to Palm Sunday will see a Mass at 9:00 a.m. together with readings from spiritual writers. On Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. the Cathedral Parish is invited to enrol in a course of study and discussion surrounding the Sacrament of Baptism. This will take the form of a presentation and discussion in the Cathedral ending by 7:30 p.m. When we get to Holy Week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will see a said Mass at 7:00 p.m. in the evening, Maundy Thursday will see the traditional foot-washing and other ceremonies of the evening Mass beginning at 7:00 p.m. Good Friday will see an exciting development with our Junior Church presenting a whole day’s programme of special activities for young people – watch this space for further details. For the rest of us the Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 12 noon and the Liturgy of the Day will begin at 1:30. The sacrament of Baptism and the Easter Ceremonies will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Holy Saturday and the Festal Mass for Easter will be at 8:30 a.m. on Easter Day itself. There is a lot for us to prepare and be busy with and I am grateful to priestly colleagues and the many, many lay people who assist in preparing and presenting our liturgical life. They will all have their work cut out and I know will contribute generously and joyfully to our observance of Lent, Holy Week and Easter. Sundays in Lent will have the usual Cathedral Mass at 8:30 a.m. and Stations of the Cross at 6:00 p.m.

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