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Cathedral Service for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, 3 October 2021

October 5th, 2021

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

On a weekend that sees seven of our parishes in some form of lockdown, and the remainder of our parishes and ministry centres under ongoing COVID restrictions, we trust that this pre-recorded service of Holy Communion from St Paul’s, Sale, will be a helpful resource to use and share as seems good to you and Holy Spirit.

Dean Susanna preaches a learned and pastoral sermon on a challenging passage from Mark’s gospel, and Christine Morris assists with the intercessions and a reading, as well as filming the service and providing the piano music that accompanies the video.

We are grateful to David Perryman for editing and distributing the file.

Some of you, of course, may be observing the feast of St Francis (4 October) this Sunday: the culmination of the ecumenical ‘Season of Creation’. If so, these alternative lections and ‘propers’ may offer some parallel spiritual nourishment to that Franciscan fare. Indeed, it is interesting to ponder on the resonance between the Collect (Opening prayer) for St Francis, reproduced below, and the Collect for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B, that we used in the attached service.

At a time when our state, our nation, and our world is confronting so many complex and rapidly evolving issues, it is important to find some time and space to breathe, to reflect, to rest in the unstinting love of the Beloved, and to reconnect with the source of our hope.

I pray that whatever shape your worship takes this weekend, this will be your experience, and – that in being thus blessed – we will be a blessing to others.

A prayer for Spiritual Communion (at the point of distribution of the Sacrament)

O Lord Jesus Christ, through your tender mercy grant that as the hem of your garment, touched in faith, healed the woman who could not touch your body, so the soul of this your servant may be healed by like faith in you, whom I cannot now sacramentally receive. In union with the faithful at every altar-table in your Church I desire to be united with you, and pray that you will come spiritually into my heart. Let nothing ever separate me from your love, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A Collect for St Francis

O God, you ever delight to reveal yourself to the child-like and lowly of heart: grant that, following the example of blessed Francis, we may count the wisdom of this world as foolishness and know only Jesus Christ, and him crucified, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Grace and peace, +Richard