Dear brothers and sisters,

This is a reminder that the service at tea-time today will be vespers, rather than compline. Confessions will be heard after the service, and I must thank all who visited the chaplaincy for confessions, yesterday. Confessing so many parishioners throughout the day was extremely helpful, given the busyness of this festal weekend.

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Preparing for Pentecost

ascension icon - for website.jpgDear brothers and sisters, greetings, as we continue to celebrate the after-feast of the Lord’s Ascension.

We now find ourselves in that waiting period between Ascension and Pentecost, remembering the contemplative days in which the Holy Apostles awaited the revelation of the meaning of the Saviour’s words: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever…” (John 14:16) and “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)Continue reading

Sermon on the Ascension of the Lord

Thus did the One ascend to Heaven Who held heaven within Himself. He who carries hell within himself will end up in hell, but he who bears heaven within his soul will ascend to heaven.  And truly, no one can ascend to heaven other than those who have heaven within; and no one can end up in hell besides those who have hell within. The familiar is drawn to what is familiar and unites with the familiar; but it rejects what is not familiar. Matter submits to the spirit to the extent that the human soul is filled with the Divine Spirit; and the laws of nature are obedient to moral laws, which govern the world. Because the Lord Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the perfection of moral law, to Him is subject all matter—the entire physical world, with all the laws of nature.

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Blessed are you, O Upper Room, so small

in comparison to the entirety of creation;

yet what took place in you

now fills all creation –

which is even too small for it.

Blessed is your abode, for in it was broken

that Bread which issues

from the blessed Wheat Sheaf,

and in you was trodden out

the Cluster of Grapes that came from Mary

to become the Cup of Salvation.


Blessed are you, O Upper Room;

no-one has ever seen

nor ever shall see, what you beheld:

Our Lord became at once

The Altar, Priest, Bread, and Cup of Salvation.

In His own person

He could fulfil all these roles;

none other was capable of this:

Whole Offering and Lamb,

Sacrifice and Sacrificer,

Priest and the One destined to be consumed.

St Ephrem the Syrian