Category Archives: Girton

Girton Chapel:Thanksgiving for Graduation

Girton choir in full flight. photo by Martin Bond

Welcome to this brief service of Thanksgiving for Graduation, the last of our series of services for this Academic Year. Usually we would be gathered at College, with all the excitement of robing for the ceremony and bringing parents and supporters to show them round. Then, before we processed to the Senate house for the graduation itself, we would gather in chapel for this service, in which we would celebrate each other’s achievements, and thank God for the blessing of our time together at Girton. Following a beautiful ‘first fruits ceremony’ from the Old Testament, I would bring a basket to the altar as a thanksgiving for all you have shcieved, enjoyed, and received during your time at Girton. This year we shall do our best to give you a flavour of that before, we hope, you will return to college, when circumstances allow for a more in person celebration. There are all kinds of videos, celebrations and encounters, live and recorded on the college’s main ‘Graduation’ website but here is a little annexe, as it were, in virtual chapel, in which we can mark the day with grateful praise.

So to begin with we will hear our choir sing a hymn we often have on this occasion and I am including the words here so that you can sing along together with whoever you are with as you keep this day ‘virtually’ wherever you are:

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesu, thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.
Come almighty to deliver,
Let us all thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
Glory in thy perfect love.
Finish then thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love and Praise.

Girton gardens aflame with blossom – photo by Liliana Janik

Now let us here an excerpt from Courtesy byMicheal O’Siadhail  read by the Chaplain

Reading: Courtesy – Micheal O’Siadhail

I bring my basketful to serve

Our table. Everything mine is yours.

Everything. Without reserve.

Poems to which I still revert.

Gauguin. Matisse. Renoir’s pear-shaped women.

Music I’ve heard. Blessed Schubert.

Ecstasies I’ll never understand –

Mandelstam’s instants of splendour, the world

A plain apple in his hand.

Lost faces. Those whose heirs

I was. My print-out of their genes,

Seed and breed of forbears.

Whatever I’ve become – courtesy

Of lovers, friends or friends of friends.

All those traces in me.

The living and dead. My sum

Of being. A host open and woundable.

Here I am! …..

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Girton College Chapel: End of Year Thanksgiving

Just some of the choir, fellows, and musicians who make all these beautiful things happen! Photo by Jeremy West

Welcome to the Girton College Chapel Page for this final service of term. Whereas our other services have followed the pattern of Evensong, today’s service has its own form, hi-lighting all we have to be thankful for in this past Academic Year. Today’s service will also include, as it does each year, the announcement of the winners of the Tom Mansfield Prize for contribution to the college’s musical life. Today’s service, themed around thankfulness will also bring to a conclusion our series of reflections on The Lord’s Prayer

We begin this service, themed around thankfulness and blessing with a prayer and a poem:

Opening Prayer

We thank you Lord that we can gather together in prayer, that even though we are outwardly and visibly scattered in many places, even though our eyes cannot meet nor our voices join, nevertheless we are gathered in your love and your Spirit makes us one. May we who are praying through this page be lifted by the prayers of others as we lift one another up to you in thanksgiving

Through Jesus Christ Our Lord

Amen

Now I will read you a sonnet which gives thanks for our community, for the webs and threads of interconnection that run between us all however physically distant we may be:

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving starts with thanks for mere survival,

Just to have made it through another year

With everyone still breathing. But we share

So much beyond the outer roads we travel;

Our interweavings on a deeper level,

The modes of life embodied souls can share,

The unguessed blessings of our being here,

Threads of connection no one can unravel.

 

So I give thanks for our deep coinherence,

Inwoven in the web of Gods own grace,

Pulling us through the grave and gate of death.

I thank Him for the truth behind appearance

I thank Him for his light in every face

I thank Him for us all, with every breath.

 

And now, for our first anthem from the choir, we have a real treat. Gareth Wilson has been able to put together a virtual choir video of the Anthem Lead Me Lord by SS Wesley, and it is a joy, and a technical miracle, to see, as well as hear, our choir singing it.

 

After such beautiful music it is appropriate that we come to the awarding of the Tom Mansfield memorial prize. Tom was a brilliant young man, a first year student whom I got to know in my own first term here as chaplain. He arrived from Harrogate bringing with him an enthusiasm for music of every kind and soon had a little Girton brass group going as well as playing  jazz trombone in other venues. And then, tragically his life was cut short by a traffic accident. Many of us travelled up to Harrogate for his unforgettable, and musically rich memorial service and the JCR instituted a prize in his honour for students who like him, had enthused others to make music in college. So here is a message from Riva Kapoor, the JCR President introducing the prize and announcing the first of this year’s joint winners:

Congratulations to Rachel! Here is Rachael’s reply:

And here is the announcement of our second joint-winner:

Congratulations to James! Here is James’ reply:

A little glimpse of Girton stillness, photo by Liliana Janik

We come now to the first of our two readings from the letter to the Colossians, read for us today by Sandra Fulton, the Senior Tutor

Colossians 1:15-20

  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in[i] him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Our second Anthem is the Missa Laudate Pueri by Ingegneri, from the choir’s acclaimed CD:

Our second reading from Colossians is read for us by The Mistress:

Colossians 3:12-17 

 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with

Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another,

forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts

sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

beauty unfolding everywhere Photo by Liliana Janik

My sermon and sonnet today pick up the theme of thanksgiving and also reflect on the final words of The Lord’s Prayer:

Address by the Chaplain’ Thine is the Kingdom’ 

Text of the Sonnet:

Thine is the kingdom...

The kingdom and the power and the glory,

The very things we all want for ourselves!

We want to be the hero of the story

And leave the others on their dusty shelves.

How subtly we seek to keep the kingdom,

How brutally we hold on to the power,

Our glory always means another’s thralldom,

But still we strut and fret our little hour.

 

What might it mean to let it go forever,

To die to all that desperate desire,

To give the glory wholly to another,

Throw all we hold into that holy fire?

A wrenching loss and then a sudden freedom

In given glories and a hidden kingdom.

 

Our third Anthem is In Spiritu Humiliatis by Croce

‘Sing the waning darkness into light’ Photo Martin Bond

Now we come to our prayers which will include the special prayer thanksgiving for music and musicians which I first prayed on our behalf at Tom Mansfield’s memorial service:

Let us pray:

We thank you Lord for this academic year. We thank you for all that we enjoyed with one another in the two terms we were together, but we also thank you for all the love that has been shown and shared in the term of our Covid exile. For the many messages of mutual support, the Zoom supervisions, the virtual events and celebrations. May we who have passed together through these historic times, be bound more closely together in the future through our shared experience, suffering and resilience

V: Lord in Your Mercy

R: Hear Our Prayer

We thank you for all who have served us throughout the year in this college, for all the college staff, the cleaners, gardeners, kitchen staff, porters, and administrators. for the Mistress and fellows, the college officers, the nurses, tutors and councillors, and all through whose care, seen and unseen we have been brought to this day and to this celebration.

V: Lord in Your Mercy

R: Hear Our Prayer

 

A Thanksgiving for Tom Mansfield and a prayer for Musicians:

Father we thank you for the gift of music and for the gifts you give to those who play that music for us.

Today especially Father we thank you for Tom as a musician,

we thank you for his talents, and for his joy in making music, for the pleasure he gave and received when playing.

And Father we thank you for music itself, for its power to express the heights of our joys and the depths of our sorrows.

We thank you especially for those moments when hearing and making music seems to bring us to the brink of heaven,

when we hear behind the music the echo of your call,

we get a glimpse of your glory, and our hearts yearn for more than they can imagine.

We thank you that the promise at the core of our music is true

that one day in heaven we shall ourselves be made your music.

Father we pray that Tom is finding now with you the true meaning of every note he played and taking his part in the music of heaven.

Finally Father we pray for all the musicians of Girton,

for the choir and organists, for the Girton Music society, the Gir-ten, and all the informal musical gatherings and combinations that enrich our college life.

Father be with them when they take up their instruments to play,

May they play boldly and clearly, may they sound a note that tells their sorrow,

but may they also hear, as they play, that promise hidden in music,

that there is a joy with you beyond this world and that one day we will share that joy together..

We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ Amen

We gather these prayers together in the words of the prayer on which we have been reflecting throughout this term:

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that 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.

my rising and my rest, peaceful seat in the fellows garden Photo by Jeremy West

Now, as our service comes to a close, and I come to bid you farewell and give you my final blessing, I reflect that this is the last End Of Year Thanksgiving Service in my time with you as chaplain, and I give thanks for the honour of serving this chapel and college over the last 18 years. I thank God for all the Girtonians who have worshipped here over those years and whom I have come to know and love and I speak this blessing for all of them as well as for of you who are gathered around this page:

A Blessing from the Chaplain:

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our lord, and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you and those whom you hold in your hearts, this day and always, Amen

Finally, to lead us out and let us go in peace, the choir will sing the Nunc Dimities in Gareth Wilson’s wonderful setting:

The NuncDimmitis from The Girton Service(Wilson), sung by Girton choir

NUNC DIMITTIS

 

Luke 2.29

LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace :
according to thy word.

For mine eyes have seen :
thy salvation;

Which thou hast prepared :
before the face of all people;

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles :
and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

In any other year we would process from the chapel into Woodlands Court and enjoy some celebratory sparkling wine together, but perhaps you will join me now in lifting a glass and toasting the college and one another, wherever you may be

To The college!

 

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Girton College Chapel: Forgive Us and Deliver Us

Gazing out into Girton’s Beautiful gardens. Photo by Liliana Janik

Welcome back to Girton’s ‘virtual chapel’ Evensong page. After the two big feasts of Ascension and Pentecost we are returning to our termly theme, which is a deep dive into The Lord’s Prayer. As we have missed a couple of Sundays and are coming towards the end of term we are going to look at two petitions from the prayer today, ‘Forgive us our trespasses’ and ‘Lead us not into temptation’, or as another translation puts it, ‘ do not bring us to the time of trial’, but as there are deep links between these two parts of the prayer I hope it will be helpful to handle them together.

As always, our readings, music, and reflections develop our theme in different ways. The choir, once more accompanied by the Conservatoires’ Cornett & Sackbutt Ensemble directed by Jeremy West, will bring us music from Ingegneri and from our own Gareth Wilson, and Once more we will enjoy responses and prayers set for us by up and coming composer Rhiannon Randle, ! (You can find the choir’s CDs Here)

So we will begin with the opening responses:

Introductory Responses

 

V:O Lord, open thou our lips.
R:And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
V:O God, make speed to save us.
R:O Lord, make haste to help us.

V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R: .As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V: Praise ye the Lord.
R:The Lord’s Name be praised.

our wonderful choristers

Since our reading and sermons this week touch upon the passion, let us read psalm 22 together. You may like to read this psalm ‘antiphonally with someone else in your household:

  1. MY GOD, my God, look upon me; why hast thou forsaken me: and art so far from my health, and from the words of my complaint?
  2. O my God, I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not: and in the night-season also I take no rest.
  3. And thou continuest holy: O thou worship of Israel.
  4. Our fathers hoped in thee: they trusted in thee, and thou didst deliver them.
  5. They called upon thee, and were holpen: they put their trust in thee, and were not confounded.
  6. But as for me, I am a worm, and no man: a very scorn of men, and the outcast of the people.
  7. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot our their lips, and shake their heads, saying,
  8. He trusted in God, that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, if he will have him.
  9. But thou art he that took me out of my mother’s womb: thou wast my hope, when I hanged yet upon my mother’s breasts.
  10. I have been left unto thee ever since I was born: thou art my God, even from my mother’s womb.
  11. O go not from me, for trouble is hard at hand: and there is none to help me.
  12. Many oxen are come about me: fat bulls of Basan close me in on every side.
  13. They gape upon me with their mouths: as it were a ramping and a roaring lion.
  14. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart also in the midst of my body is even like melting wax.
  15. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my gums: and thou shalt bring me into the dust of death.
  16. For many dogs are come about me: and the council of the wicked layeth siege against me.
  17. They pierced my hands and my feet; I may tell all my bones: they stand staring and looking upon me.
  18. They part my garments among them: and casts lots upon my vesture.
  19. But be not thou far from me, O Lord: thou art my succour, haste thee to help me.
  20. Deliver my soul from the sword: my darling from the power of the dog.
  21. Save me from the lion’s mouth: thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns.
  22. I will declare thy Name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
  23. O praise the Lord, ye that fear him: magnify him, all ye of the seed of Jacob, and fear him, all ye seed of Israel.
  24. For he hath not despised, nor abhorred, the low estate of the poor: he hath not hid his face from him, but when he called unto him he heard him.
  25. My praise is of thee in the great congregation: my vows will I perform in the sight of them that fear him.
  26. The poor shall eat and be satisfied: they that seek after the Lord shall praise him; your heart shall live for ever.
  27. All the ends of the world shall remember themselves, and be turned unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him.
  28. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the Governor among the people.
  29. All such as be fat upon earth: have eaten and worshipped.
  30. All they that go down into the dust shall kneel before him: and no man hath quickened his own soul.
  31. My seed shall serve him: they shall be counted unto the Lord for a generation.
  32. They shall come, and the heavens shall declare his righteousness: unto a people that shall be born, whom the Lord hath made.

Sermon and sonnets by the chaplain:

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Girton College Chapel May 24th: The Ascension

A little glimpse into Girton, photo by Lilia Janik

Welcome back to Girton’s ‘virtual chapel’ evensong page! This Thursday was the feast of the Ascension, the glorious finale of the Easter Season, so today’s service, takes a break from our series on The Lord’s Prayer, to take up the theme, and explores the mystery of the Ascension, and all our readings, music, and reflections develop it in different ways. The choir, once more accompanied by the Conservatoires’ Cornett & Sackbutt Ensemble directed by Jeremy West, will bring us music from Lassus and Ingegneri, and this week, I am happy to say, they will also sing our psalm for us! (You can find the choir’s CDs Here) Once more we will enjoy responses and prayers set for us by up and coming composer Rhiannon Randle, and I will offer you a sonnet and reflection for this great feast in the church Calendar

Introductory Responses

 

V:O Lord, open thou our lips.
R:And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
V:O God, make speed to save us.
R:O Lord, make haste to help us.

V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R: .As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V: Praise ye the Lord.
R:The Lord’s Name be praised.

Psalm 19 is set by Gareth Wilson and sung for us this week by the choir:

Psalm 19 – Wilson

  1. THE heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
  2. One day telleth another: and one night certifieth another.
  3. There is neither speech nor language: but their voices are heard among them.
  4. Their sound is gone out into all lands: and their words into the ends of the world.
  5. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun: which cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant to run his course.
  6. It goeth forth from the uttermost part of the heaven, and runneth about unto the end of it again: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
  7. The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom unto the simple.
  8. The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light unto the eyes.
  9. The fear of the Lord is clean, and endureth for ever: the judgements of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
  10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb.
  11. Moreover, by them is thy servant taught: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
  12. Who can tell how oft he offendeth: O cleanse thou me from my secret faults.
  13. Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the dominion over me: so shall I be undefiled, and innocent from the great offence.
  14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart: be alway acceptable in thy sight,
  15. O Lord: my strength, and my redeemer.

Glory Be to the Father, and the theSon and to the Holy Ghost

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen

Jeremy West gives us a glimpse of our bluebell woods!

As it is Ascension Sunday our first reading is taken from the end of Luke’s Gospel and is read for us by Maureen Hackett Official Fellow and Junior Bursar

Luke 24:44-end

Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’

  Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,

  and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,

  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

  You are witnesses of these things.

  And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’

The Ascension of Jesus

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them.

  While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.

   And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;

   and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

In place of the Magnificat we hear Surge Propera by Ignegneri

Just some of the choir, fellows, and musicians who make all these beautiful things happen! Photo by Jeremy West

The Epistle for Ascensiontide is read for us by Gareth Wilson, director of Chapel Music

Ephesians 1:15-end

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason

  I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.

  I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him,

  so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,

  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.

  God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.

  And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church,

  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

In place of the Nunc dimities we will hear Levavi Oculus Meus by Lassus

The Choir’s Glorious Lassus CD!

Final Responses set by Rhiannon Randle sung by Girton Choir

V:The Lord be with you.
R:And with thy spirit.
V:Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

V:O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
R:And grant us thy salvation.
V:O Lord, save the Queen.

R:And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
V:Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
R:And make thy chosen people joyful.
V:O Lord, save thy people.
R:And bless thine inheritance.
V:Give peace in our time, O Lord.
R:Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
V:O God, make clean our hearts within us.
R:And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

‘Sing the waning darkness into light’ Photo Martin Bond

Sermon and sonnet by the Chaplain: The Ascension

The text of the poem:

Ascension Day

We saw his light break through the cloud of glory

Whilst we were rooted still in time and place,

As earth became a part of heaven’s story

And heaven opened to his human face.

We saw him go and yet we were not parted,

He took us with him to the heart of things,

The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted

Is whole and heaven-centered now, and sings;

Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,

Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,

Whilst we our selves become his clouds of witness

And sing the waning darkness into light;

His light in us, and ours in him concealed,

Which all creation waits to see revealed.


Our Anthem this evening is Cantati et Psalite by Ingegneri

Sing through the clouds that veil him from our sight. Photo by David Johnson

Now here, as always is the blessing which concludes our service:

A Blessing from the Chaplain:

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our lord, and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you and those whom you hold in your hearts, this day and always, Amen

Here we are gathered last year as I launched our traditional three rockets for ascension!

 

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Portraits By Moonlight: A Bit of Fun!

Bond, Jane; Fran Maranzi, Motorbike Dispatch Controller; The ‘Biker Girl in my poem, http://www.artuk.org/artworks/fran-maranzi-motorbike-dispatch-controller-195137

One of the joys of being at Girton is our thriving poetry group. We meet once a fortnight (alas, of late only by Zoom) and read out and discuss the poems, on a chosen theme, which we have all submitted anonymously. Recently our theme was Girton itself, and just for fun I wrote a mock-gothic ballad about “The People’s Portraits‘, the wonderful collection of portraits of ordinary work-a-day people that we have hanging in our halls, imagining that in this lockdown they came to life and complained about how much they were missing the students! Anyway the poetry group chose it to be one of the poems on the Girton Youtube Channel for our ‘poetry fortnight’ and I thought I would share it with you here.

Ive included the words of the poem after the video.

 

Portraits By Moonlight

Beyond old Girton College tower

I watched the sun decline

And soon on all its empty courts

The moon began to shine.

 

The bright moon shone on hearth and hall

Where students used to throng

And on the empty chapel choir

That once was rich with song

 

It shone through casements high and low,

Through panes of leaded glass

And where the magic moonlight fell

A strange thing came to pass

 

Down all the lonely corridors

The people’s portraits hung

And as the moonlight touched each face

It seemed a faint chime rung,

 

A faint chime rung and then, behold:

Each portrait sighed and stirred

The walls that held them echoed round

As each one spoke a word.

 

And such strange murmuration rose

When each one spoke to each

That I came near so I might hear

The tenor of their speech

 

‘Alas’ said one, (the tramp I think)

‘I miss our students so

I loved the way they looked at me

I hate to see them go’

 

‘They should have been back weeks ago’

The Oarsman soon replied

‘There’s something that has held them back

There’s something wrong outside!’

 

‘There’s something wrong outside indeed’

The biker girl put in,

‘Time was when all the roads I’d ride

Were full of traffic din

 

But listen how strange silence reigns

Afar on land and sea

No traffic brings the students back

Wherever they may be.’

 

And all the portraits sighed and said

‘Alas that this should be

How much we miss the merry throng

That kept us company’

 

And then I heard a voice ring clear

From down the dining hall

A voice of true authority

Was summoning them all.

 

Turning her folded hands a while,

Showing her kindly face,

Emily Davies spoke aloud,

The foundress of this place:

 

‘Fear not my fellow portraits, now

Be still and hear me out

For I have vanquished many a foe

And banished many a doubt.

 

It may be we will have to wait

A little longer yet,

It may be many a moon will rise,

And many a sun will set,

 

But I am sure the day will come,

Our watch is not in vain,

When these old halls ring out with life

And Girton thrives again!

 

I waited many years myself

To bring about my dream

But our endurance won the day

And realised our scheme.

 

And then we waited all those years

Till women got degrees

This absence is as nothing, when

Compared with waits like these’

 

And then the moon was hid in clouds,

The portraits all were still,

But each one seemed to keep for us

Unconquerable will.

 

I slipped away, to ponder on

The strange tale of that night

And when the sun arose today

I knew we’d be all right.

If you are enjoying these posts, you might like, on occasion,(though not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish.
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A Sonnet for Ascension Day

 Here is a sonnet for Ascension Day, the glorious finale of the Easter Season. I’m posting it a day in advance, in case anyone would like to use it in a service, either on the day itself or else this Sunday.

In the mystery of the Ascension we reflect on the way in which, one sense Christ ‘leaves’ us and is taken away into Heaven, but in another sense he is given to us and to the world in a new and more universal way. He is no longer located only in one physical space to the exclusion of all others. He is in the Heaven which is at the heart of all things now and is universally accessible to all who call upon Him. And since His humanity is taken into Heaven, our humanity belongs there too, and is in a sense already there with him.”For you have died”, says St. Paul, “and your life is hidden with Christ in God”. In the Ascension Christ’s glory is at once revealed and concealed, and so is ours.  The sonnet form seemed to me one way to begin to tease these things out.

This sonnet is drawn from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press here in England. The book is now back in stock on both Amazon UK and USA . The book is now also out on Kindle.

Please feel free to make use of this, and my other sonnets in church services and to copy and share them. If you can mention the book from which they are taken that would be great.
As always you can hear the sonnet by clicking on the ‘play’ button if it appears in your browser or by clicking on the title of the poem.

I’m grateful to Oliver Neale for the image above, the image below was taken as we launched rockets to celebrate Ascension day at Girton College:

We have lift off!

Ascension

We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we our selves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed .

 

If you are enjoying these posts, you might like, on occasion,(though not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish.
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Girton College Chapel May 17th: Our Daily Bread

Welcome back to our weekly Girton chapel evensong page, and a special welcome to those of you from around the world who are joining us from beyond our college community, we’re delighted to have you as our guests.Today we have another treat in store for you: more exquisite Palestrina and Ingegneri from the choir, accompanied by the Conservatoires’ Cornett & Sackbutt Ensemble directed by Jeremy West. We also have Milly Atkinson’s wonderful anthem setting of my little quatrain ‘The Lost Son’, plus The Girton Responses  composed especially for the college by our own Gareth Wilson, plus beautiful photos of the college and grounds, and a new episode of my series of reflections and sonnets on The Lord’s Prayer. (You can find the choir’s CDs Here)

Now, to begin our worship, we hear the opening responses, composed by Gareth Wilson and sung by the choir for whom they were written:

The Girton Responses (Wilson) – Preces

 

V:O Lord, open thou our lips.
R:And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
V:O God, make speed to save us.
R:O Lord, make haste to help us.

V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R: .As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V: Praise ye the Lord.
R:The Lord’s Name be praised.

 

delicate blossoms in the college grounds -photo by Jeremy West

Since our theme today is the gift of daily bread, and the deeper and wider meanings of that gift, our psalm speaks of the sowing and reaping that lie behind the provision of bread. Do read this psalm aloud, perhaps alternating verse with other members of your household.

Psalm 126.In convertendo

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Sion, then were

we like unto them that dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter : and our tongue

with joy.

Then said they among the heathen : The Lord hath done

great things for them.

Yea, the Lord hath done great things for us already : whereof

we rejoice.

Turn our captivity, O Lord : as the rivers in the south.

They that sow in tears : shall reap in joy.

He that now goeth on his way weeping, and beareth forth

good seed : shall doubtless come again with joy, and bring his

sheaves with him.

Our Old Testament reading is taken from the Book of Exodus and speaks of how God fed his people in the wilderness. It is read for us by our chapel warden Wilhelm Emmrich

Exodus 16:1-16

The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt.

The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.

The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.

On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.’

So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt,

and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?’

And Moses said, ‘When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.’

Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.” ’

And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.

The Lord spoke to Moses and said,

‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’

In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.

When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground.

When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.

This is what the Lord has commanded: “Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.” ’

 

In place of the Magnificat the choir will sing for us Palestrina’s Deus Qui Dedisti

photo by Phil Mynot

Our New Testament reading comes from the Gospel of St. John and is read for us by Tony Hall, the Head Porter:

John 6:1-14

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.

   A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.

  Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.

  Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.

  When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’

  He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.

  Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’

  One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,

  ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’

  Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.

  Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

  When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’

  So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.

  When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’

Peace by the Pond photo by Liliana Janik

In place of the Nunc Dimitis we will hear Emendemus In Melius by Ingegneri

Girton Choir, David Johnson Photography

Preces, from The Girton Responses, sung by Girton Choir

V:The Lord be with you.
R:And with thy spirit.
V:Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

V:O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
R:And grant us thy salvation.
V:O Lord, save the Queen.

R:And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
V:Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
R:And make thy chosen people joyful.
V:O Lord, save thy people.
R:And bless thine inheritance.
V:Give peace in our time, O Lord.
R:Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
V:O God, make clean our hearts within us.
R:And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Sermon: Give us this day our daily bread: a reflection and sonnet from the chaplain

The text of the poem:

Daily Bread

Give us this day our daily bread we pray,

As though it came straight from the hand of God,

As though we held an empty plate each day,

And found it filled, by miracle, with food,

Although we know the ones who plough and sow,

Who pick and plant and package whilst we sleep

With slow backbreaking labour, row by row,

And send away to others all they reap,

We know that these unseen who meet our needs

Are all themselves the fingers of your hand,

As are the grain, the rain, the air, the land,

And, slighting these, we slight the hand that feeds.

What if we glimpsed you daily in their toil

And found and thanked and served you through them all?

Our Anthem this evening is The Lost Son by Milly Atkinson:

Atkinson – The Lost Son

and below is the text of my poem which she set

The Lost Son

We miss the light, we lose ourselves in lies

We never reach the heart of anything

Unless we turn to meet his searching eyes

Who meets us in the midst of everything

Now here, as always is the blessing which concludes our service:

A Blessing from the Chaplain:

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our lord, and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you and those whom you hold in your hearts, this day and always, Amen

New life on the college pond! Photo Jeremy West

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Girton College Chapel May 10th: Thy Kingdom Come

Bluebells in Girton Grounds Photo Jeremy West

Welcome back to Girton College Chapel for the third of our virtual Sunday Evensongs, we have all been greatly encouraged that so many of you have come to these pages and found them fruitful. This week we continue our reflection on The Lord’s Prayer and I share with you a sermon and a sonnet on its second petition, a double prayer: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Once more we will have a chance to listen to our choir and let their music lift our hearts and souls in worship.(You can find the choir’s CDs Here) Today we will hear the responses and Lord’s prayer settings composed by Rhiannon Randle, one of the foremost young composers and a former member of our college and choir.

Now, to begin our worship, we hear the opening responses, composed by Rhiannon Randle and sung by Girton Choir. As with all the audio you can listen by clicking on the ‘play’ button or the title.

The Queen Elizabeth Doors outside chapel Photo by Liliana Janik

Introductory Responses

 

V:O Lord, open thou our lips.
R:And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
V:O God, make speed to save us.
R:O Lord, make haste to help us.

V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R: .As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V: Praise ye the Lord.
R:The Lord’s Name be praised.

 

Since our theme today is the coming of the Kingdom, our psalm sings of the King and the compassion of his Kingdom. do read this psalm aloud, perhaps alternating verse with other members of your household.

Psalm 145.Exaltabo te, Deus

I will magnify thee, O God, my King : and I will praise thy

Name for ever and ever.

Every day will I give thanks unto thee : and praise thy Name

for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord, and marvellous, worthy to be praised :

there is no end of his greatness.

One generation shall praise thy works unto another : and declare

thy power.

As for me, I will be talking of thy worship : thy glory, thy

praise, and wondrous works;

So that men shall speak of the might of thy marvellous acts :

and I will also tell of thy greatness.

The memorial of thine abundant kindness shall be shewed :

and men shall sing of thy righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful : long-suffering, and of

great goodness.

The Lord is loving unto every man : and his mercy is over all

his works.

All thy works praise thee, O Lord : and thy saints give thanks

unto thee.

They shew the glory of thy kingdom : and talk of thy power;

That thy power, thy glory, and mightiness of thy kingdom :

might be known unto men.

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom : and thy dominion

endureth throughout all ages.

The Lord upholdeth all such as fall : and lifteth up all those

that are down.

The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord : and thou givest

them their meat in due season.

Thou openest thine hand : and fillest all things living with

plenteousness.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways : and holy in all his

works.

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him : yea, all

such as call upon him faithfully.

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him : he also will

hear their cry, and will help them.

The Lord preserveth all them that love him : but scattereth

abroad all the ungodly.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord : and let all flesh

give thanks unto his holy Name for ever and ever.

Glory Be to the Father, and the theSon and to the Holy Ghost

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen

A shy deer comes to Girton, an image of the soul Photo Jeremy West

The Old Testament Reading is taken from the book of Deuteronomy 

Deuteronomy 24:14-19 Read by Fiona Cooke Chair of the Chapel Committee

You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy labourers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns.

  You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.

Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their parents; only for their own crimes may persons be put to death.

You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge.

   Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.

When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings.

 

In place of the Magnificat we hear the choir sing Sancta Maria by De Brito:

Our choir in full flight. Image by Adrenalin Photography

Our New Testament reading, one of the parables of the kingdom, is taken from St. Matthew’s gospel

Matthew 20:1-16 read by choir member Catriona James

  ‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard.

After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place;

and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went.

When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same.

And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?”

They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.”

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.”

When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.

Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.

And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner,

saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”

But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?

Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.

Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?”

So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’

In place of the Nunc Dimities we will hear the Ecce Venit Desideratus by Ingegneri from the choir’s wonderful new CD:

Final Responses set by Rhiannon Randle sung by Girton Choir

V:The Lord be with you.
R:And with thy spirit.
V:Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

V:O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
R:And grant us thy salvation.
V:O Lord, save the Queen.

R:And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
V:Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
R:And make thy chosen people joyful.
V:O Lord, save thy people.
R:And bless thine inheritance.
V:Give peace in our time, O Lord.
R:Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
V:O God, make clean our hearts within us.
R:And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Sermon: Thy Kingdom Come: a reflection and a sonnet from the chaplain

The text of the poem:

Thy Kingdom Come

Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth

Can we imagine what we’re asking for?

When all we know and all we think we’re worth

As vanity might vanish, disappear,

Fading before the splendours you reveal:

The beggars crowned with glory, all the meek

Exalted even as the mighty fall,

And everywhere the triumph of the weak.

 

And we, who have been first, will be the last

And queue for mercy like the refugees

Whom only moments earlier we passed

By on the other side. For now the seas

That separated are no more. The Sun

Is risen like justice, and his will is done.

Our anthem this evening is Unus Ex Duobus by Palestrina:

When an ordinary staircase becomes Jacob’s Ladder! Image by Adrenalin Photography

Now here, as always is the blessing which concludes our service:

A Blessing from the Chaplain:

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our lord, and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you and those whom you hold in your hearts, this day and always, Amen

A glimpse into the fellows garden. Photo Liliana Janik

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Girton College Chapel 3rd May: ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’

Girton Choir and Brass in the chapel

Welcome back to Girton College Chapel for the second of our virtual Sunday Evensongs, we have all been greatly encouraged that so many of you attended last week. This week we continue our reflection on The Lord’s Prayer and I share with you a sermon and a sonnet on its first petition: Hallowed be thy Name. The choir continue to assist and lift our worship, and once more the music features the original work of our own community, with ‘The KCL Responses’ composed by our director of chapel music Gareth Wilson. Many of us will enjoy and participate in this service together, through the medium of this page, at our usual time of 5:30pm (BST) so join us then if you can, but equally feel free to use this page as an aid to your devotions at any time of your choosing. I’m grateful to Liliana Janik and Jeremy West for the lovely glimpses of Girton their photographs provide.

Now to usher us into worship we hear the opening responses The KCL Preces (Wilson)

V:O Lord, open thou our lips.
R:And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
V:O God, make speed to save us.
R:O Lord, make haste to help us.

V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R: .As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V: Praise ye the Lord.
R:The Lord’s Name be praised.

 

Today’s psalm, 113 sets out the theme, taken up in The Lord’s Prayer, of hallowing God’s Holy Name. Do say the psalm aloud if you can and perhaps share the verses with others in your household:

Psalm 113.Laudate, pueri

Praise the Lord, ye servants : O praise the Name of the Lord.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord : from this time forth for

evermore.

The Lord’s Name is praised : from the rising up of the sun

unto the going down of the same.

The Lord is high above all nations : and his glory above the

heavens.

Who is like unto the Lord our God, that hath his dwelling so

high : and yet humbleth himself to behold the things that are in

heaven and earth?

He taketh up the simple out of the dust : and lifteth the poor

out of the mire;

That he may set him with the princes : even with the princes

of his people.

He maketh the barren woman to keep house : and to be a joyful

mother of children.

a glimpse through Girton windows photo Lila Janik

The Old Testament Reading is taken from the Book of Exodus, and is read for us by our Bursar James Anderson

Exodus 3:1-15

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

  There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.

  Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’

  When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’

  Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’

  He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings,

  and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

  The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them.

  So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.’

  But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’

  He said, ‘I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.’

But Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you”, and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’

  God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you.” ’

  God also said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you”:
This is my name for ever,
and this my title for all generations.

Photo by Jeremy West

For the Magnificat we continue to feature the work of Cardoso, this time with his Magnificat Quinti Toni:

Luke 1

MY soul doth magnify the Lord :
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded :
the lowliness of his hand-maiden.

For behold, from henceforth :
all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath magnified me :
and holy is his Name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him :
throughout all generations.

He hath shewed strength with his arm :
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat :
and hath exalted the humble and meek.

He hath filled the hungry with good things :
and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel :
as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

Our New Testament reading is the great Hymn to Christ’s self-emptying, or Kenosis, read for us by the Vice-Mistress Karen Lee

Philippians 2:5-11

 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
  but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
    he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

  Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
    so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

In place the Nunc Dimmitis this Sunday we are going to hear Gareth Wilson’s beautiful setting of Ave Maris Stella

Now we turn to God in Prayer with Gareth Wilson’s setting of the responses

V:The Lord be with you.
R:And with thy spirit.
V:Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

V:O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
R:And grant us thy salvation.
V:O Lord, save the Queen.
R:And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
V:Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
R:And make thy chosen people joyful.
V:O Lord, save thy people.
R:And bless thine inheritance.
V:Give peace in our time, O Lord.
R:Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
V:O God, make clean our hearts within us.
R:And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Sermon: ‘Hallowed by they Name’ a reflection and a sonnet by the chaplain:

The text of the poem:

Hallowed be thy name

There’s something in the sound of the word hallow;

A haunting sense of everything we’ve lost

Amidst the trite, the trivial, the shallow,

Where nothing lingers, nothing seems to last.

But Hallowed,summons up our fear and wonder,

And summons us to stand on holy ground.

To sense the mystery that stands just under

Familiar things we’ll never understand.

 

Hallowed be thy name: the name unspoken,

The name from which all other names arise,

The name that heals the sick and binds the broken,

Whose living glory calls the dead to rise.

You make this prayer my rising and my rest

That I might bless the name by which I’m blessed.

‘my rising and my rest’, a peaceful seat in the fellows garden Photo by Jeremy West

 

Our Anthem this evening is Laudata Sion by Ingegneri, a rennasance composer re-discovered by Gareth Wilson and featured on the choir’s new CD  (You can find the choir’s CDs Here)

 

Now here, as always is the blessing which concludes our service:

A Blessing from the Chaplain:

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our lord, and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you and those whom you hold in your hearts, this day and always, Amen

Blossoms in our beautiful orchard. Photo by Lila Janek

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Girton College Chapel 26th April: introducing the Lord’s Prayer

Girton CollegeChapel East Window . Photo Phil mynott.

Sunday 26 April – Introducing the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father

Welcome to the first Sunday ‘evensong’ chapel page of the new term. Although we cannot be together physically in our beautiful chapel, I hope that you will be able to come to this page each Sunday, either at 5:30pm, as you used to for evensong, or at another time that suits you. Here you will find some beautiful pictures to remind you of chapel, some prayers and responses, the psalm and readings, set for each Sunday, and, of course the beautiful settings of the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimmitis, sung by our choir, together with an anthem – the music that has been so much at the heart of our worship together.

You will also find, as you often did in chapel, a poem and a reflection from your chaplain, developing the term’s theme. Our theme this term is the Lord’s Prayer so each week I will offer a poem and a brief meditation taking us deeper into the power and wisdom of the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer we can say together whilst apart, a prayer which we share with Christians the world over, and most importantly a prayer we share with Christ who comes to share our present sufferings. We will start our reflections this week with the opening phrase Our Father.

Now, to begin our worship, we hear the opening responses, composed by Rhiannon Randle and sung by Girton Choir. As with all the audio you can listen by clicking on the ‘play’ button or the title.

Introductory Responses

V:O Lord, open thou our lips.
R:And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
V:O God, make speed to save us.
R:O Lord, make haste to help us.

V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R: .As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V: Praise ye the Lord.
R:The Lord’s Name be praised.

The psalm for today is psalm 48, I commend reading it out loud. You could say it yourself, or if you have others with you, you could say it ‘antiphonally’ alternating verses with one another

Magnus Dominus

  1. GREAT is the Lord, and highly to be praised: in the city of our God, even upon his holy hill.
  2. The hill of Sion is a fair place, and the joy of the whole earth: upon the north-side lieth the city of the great King; God is well known in her palaces as a sure refuge.
  3. For lo, the kings of the earth: are gathered, and gone by together.
  4. They marvelled to see such things: they were astonished, and suddenly cast down.
  5. Fear came there upon them, and sorrow: as upon a woman in her travail.
  6. Thou shalt break the ships of the sea: through the east-wind.
  7. Like as we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God upholdeth the same for ever.
  8. We wait for thy loving-kindness, O God: in the midst of thy temple.
  9. O God, according to thy Name, so is thy praise unto the world’s end: thy right hand is full of righteousness.
  10. Let the mount Sion rejoice, and the daughters of Judah be glad: because of thy judgements.
  11. Walk about Sion, and go round about her: and tell the towers thereof.
  12. Mark well her bulwarks, set up her houses: that ye may tell them that come after.
  13. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he shall be our guide unto death.

V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R: .As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: read by Jeremy West

1 Kings 8:22-30

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven.

He said, ‘O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart,

the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand.

Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, “There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.”

Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant my father David.

‘But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built!

Have regard to your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today;

that your eyes may be open night and day towards this house, the place of which you said, “My name shall be there”, that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays towards this place.

Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray towards this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling-place; heed and forgive.

 

our wonderful choristers

The Magnificat Octavi Toni (Cardoso),  Sung by Girton choir. From the Choir’s CD Manuel Cardoso

MAGNIFICAT

Luke 1

MY soul doth magnify the Lord :
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded :
the lowliness of his hand-maiden.

For behold, from henceforth :
all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath magnified me :
and holy is his Name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him :
throughout all generations.

He hath shewed strength with his arm :
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat :
and hath exalted the humble and meek.

He hath filled the hungry with good things :
and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel :
as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

New Testament Reading: Matthew 6:9-13 read by Rosalind Skillen

‘Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
 hallowed be your name.
 Your kingdom come.
 Your will be done,
 on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts,
 as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And do not bring us to the time of trial,
 but rescue us from the evil one.

The NuncDimmitis from The Girton Service(Wilson), sung by Girton choir

NUNC DIMITTIS

 

Luke 2.29

LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace :
according to thy word.

For mine eyes have seen :
thy salvation;

Which thou hast prepared :
before the face of all people;

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles :
and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

Final Responses set by Rhiannon Randle sung by Girton Choir

 

V:The Lord be with you.
R:And with thy spirit.
V:Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

V:O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
R:And grant us thy salvation.
V:O Lord, save the Queen.
R:And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
V:Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
R:And make thy chosen people joyful.
V:O Lord, save thy people.
R:And bless thine inheritance.
V:Give peace in our time, O Lord.
R:Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
V:O God, make clean our hearts within us.
R:And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Sermon:Our Father: A reflection and poem from the chaplain:

The text of the poem:

Our Father

I heard him call you his beloved son

And saw his Spirit lighten like a dove,

I thought his words must be for you alone,

Knowing myself unworthy of his love.

You pray in close communion with your Father,

So close you say the two of you are one,

I feel myself to be receding further,

Fallen away and outcast and alone.

 

And so I come and ask you how to pray,

Seeking a distant supplicant’s petition,

Only to find you give your words away,

As though I stood with you in your position,

As though your Father were my Father too,

As though I found his ‘welcome home’ in you.

 

The Anthem this evening is a setting of the Lord’s Prayer in Latin composed by our Chapel Music Director Gareth Wilson and  sung by Girton choir:

Pater Noster (Wilson)

Now here, as always is the blessing which concludes our service:

A Blessing from the Chaplain:

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our lord, and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you and those whom you hold in your hearts, this day and always, Amen

Blossoms in Girton Orchard last week. (Photo Liliana Janik)

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