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Cathedral Service for the 21st Sunday after Pentecost, 17 October 2021

October 16th, 2021

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It has been another challenging week in the state of Victoria with more wild weather, high case numbers, and rising anxiety with respect to mandatory vaccination requirements – especially in our context as they apply to ‘Religious Workers’, a subject on which I have communicated separately.

Into that ‘storm’ the Cathedral Parish again offers a virtual experience of the Eucharist, and the peace which flows from it.

I am joined in the sanctuary by Associate Priest at St Paul’s, and Garnsey Campus Chaplain at Gippsland Grammar, Nikolai Blaskow, with assistance from The Revd David Perryman who also filmed the service.

Christine Morris has once again undertaking the editing of the video file, and we are grateful to all members of this production team.

The following prayer may be helpful to use at the point of distribution of the Sacrament:

A prayer for Spiritual Communion 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.

And, as we follow our Lord on the road to Jerusalem in this tenth chapter of Mark’s gospel, through the various encounters he has with those along the way, may we extend kindness, compassion, and dignity to our fellow travellers on this journey into living differently with the pandemic, praying for our leaders, health care workers, and all who carry heavy loads at this time in seeking navigate a path forward…

Perhaps this prayerful poem from Michael Leunig is one we can all echo:

Dear God, We struggle, we grow weary, we grow tired. We are exhausted, we are distressed, we despair. We give up, we fall down, we let go. We cry. We are empty, we grow calm, we are ready.
We wait quietly…

A small, shy truth arrives. Arrives from without and within. Arrives and is born. Simple, clear, and steady. Like a mirror, like a bell, like a flame. Like rain in summer. A precious truth arrives and is born within us. Within our emptiness. We accept it, we observe it, we absorb it. We surrender to our bare truth. We are nourished, we are changed, we are blessed. We rise up. For this we give thanks. Amen.

Grace and peace, +Richard