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Epiphany 2

Year C, White


The passage from John's Gospel today is one which causes some consternation. Jesus makes wine, lots of it, more than anybody needed. It is over the top and could easily be criticised as wasteful. Is that what God is like? Well the ministry of Jesus does show us what God is like, he is God in human form, and this incident is one of those extravagant moments when Jesus gives us a glimpse of the nature of God's provision for us.

The miracle tells us much. Perhaps it shows just how different the way things are going to be with Jesus when compared to the Old Testament. The Law was given for the nation of Israel and it was bad news for everybody else. God has shown grace and mercy to individuals like Abraham, but the God the Jews worshipped was a terrifying figure who demanded that innocent animals be sacrificed to atone for the sins of people. It was gruesome stuff and even then it was only these special people, the Jews who enjoyed God's covenant relationship.

So perhaps Jesus needed a really extravagant miracle, to show everybody that things had changed. Now the love of God was to extend to all people, he would go to the gentiles too, and there was enough grace and mercy  to go round, enough for everybody  -  just like the wine.

Opening Verse of Scripture Psalm 36:7

How precious is your loving mercy, O God! All mortal flesh shall take refuge under the shadow of your wings.

Collect Prayer for the Day—Before we read we pray

Almighty God, whose Son revealed in signs and miracles the wonder of your saving presence: renew your people with your heavenly grace, and in all our weakness sustain us by your mighty power; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. CW

God of all mercy, your Son proclaimed good news to the poor, release to the captives, and freedom to the oppressed: anoint us with your Holy Spirit and set all your people free to praise you in Christ our Lord. CW

First Bible Reading  Isaiah Chapter 62 Verses 1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. NRSV

Second Reading  1 Corinthians Chapter 12 Verses 1-11

Concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. NRSV

Gospel Reading John Chapter 2 Verses 1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.  NRSV

Post Communion Prayer

Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.CW


I like wine and I enjoy going to wine tasting where people who are experts describe why certain wines taste the way they do and how they were created. I was encouraged to sample a sherry before Christmas that was made from 30 year old raisins. The taste was extraordinary, like liquid Christmas pudding. Of course the main ingredient of wine is water. The fabulous wine makers have perfected their skills over thousands of years but fundamentally the main ingredient of wine is water. The individual vineyards on particular sloping hills, the soil the 'teroir' is all important but at the heart lies water. Wine is something of a miracle, God gives us seeds and sun and water and things grow. However you need to have a certain sense to notice, otherwise it is just wine that we have made. For many people at the wedding it appears that the miracle went unnoticed. The enjoyed the wine of course but they remained unaware of the miracle which gave it. In other words they took it for granted.

The miracle was an amazing glimpse into Jesus and his ministry. It spoke of abundance and it illustrated change. These were to be two very important parts of the ministry of Jesus. He showed that God’s grace mercy and forgiveness were extravagant, showered on all people. They also offered to those who would accept it the opportunity for change, there was no need for anybody to be satisfied with anything less than knowing the amazing power of God in their lives.


When something is new to us, whether it is a shiny toy, a saved-for piece of furniture or new shoes, it is natural to take care of it, to want to keep it safe and protect it against accidents. In our relationships, we are equally careful at the beginning. We have to watch what we say, be careful not to hurt or “put off” the new person. When this first phase is over, trust and intimacy take the place of all this caution. But sometimes familiarity breeds neglect, the loved one is treated with carelessness and their presence taken for granted. If this rings a bell with you, then spend some time this week treasuring one or two of the people you are grateful to have in your life. Similarly, if we are not attentive, we can neglect our relationship with God. We have heard from Isaiah that God delights in us. Shouldn’t we take time to praise God, and rejoice over His presence with us and delight in Him? Joan Crossley

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

My peace I give to you (John 14.27)

The traditional date for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson to cover the octave (8 days) between the feast of the Chair of St Peter at Rome and the feast of the conversion of St Paul. In the southern hemisphere where January is a vacation time churches often find other days to celebrate the week of prayer, for example around Pentecost (which was suggested by the Faith and Order movement in 1926), which is also a symbolic date for the unity of the church.

In the early 1930’s the idea of working and praying for Christian unity was taken by the Abbe Couturier of Lyon. He accepted the basic idea of Paul Wattson but believed that it needed to be broadened. He insisted: ‘We must pray not that others may be converted to us but that we may all be drawn closer to Christ.’ In 1936 the ‘Octave of Prayer’ was relaunched as “The Week of Universal Prayer of Christians for Christian Unity”. He stressed that it must be the prayer for the ‘Unity Christ wills by the means he wills’.”

But the search for Christian unity is not limited to one week each year. We are therefore encouraged to see this as an invitation to find opportunities throughout the whole year to express the degree of communion which the churches have already received, and to pray together for that full unity which is Christ’s will.

The theme this year …...

The search for peace in the Middle East will be the backdrop for this year's celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, from Jan. 18-25.

"As peace in our world remains elusive and is obstructed at every turn, the search for peace, and the profound hopes which are entwined in that search, form a vital part of the prayer which rises from our hearts to the merciful heart of God in our day," said the international joint committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Faith and Order Commission and the Pontifical Commission for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

The theme has been drawn from John 14:27, "My peace I give to you / Ma paix je vous donne."
The Christian churches of the city of Aleppo, Syria, proposed the theme for this year's ecumenical worship services. The celebration is modelled after services regularly used in the Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches of Aleppo.

The yearning for peace around the world is certainly palpable. Praying for peace is important because some people have given up hope of ever achieving it. It is difficult because while we continue to pray for peace it's hard to see that we're getting anywhere. Many of us have taken part in these Weeks of Prayer for Christen Unity for the whole of our adult lives and the inevitable questions arises - What good do they do? Where is the unity we have prayed for?

Judging from the evidence of disunity among Christians, even within churches and denominations, we can go on to ask: Does God not hear our prayers? If the answer is “yes!” then maybe we are not listening to what God is asking of us! 

It is true, that in many parts of the Christian church denominations are cooperating and working together in exciting and inspirational ways. Many of these examples of ‘ecumenism’ are practical projects in needy communities while others are ecumenical partnerships where Christians of two, three or four denominations actually worship and work together as one congregation. But examples are few and far between. It has to be admitted that much Christian growing and working together is merely an attempt at self preservation, often being ‘thrown’ together by circumstance, as numbers in local congregations fall and the maintenance of unrealistic buildings becomes a burden

Surely this is not how Jesus meant it to be. St Paul makes quite clear the unity to which Jesus calls us.

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4: 3 – 6)   

There are still many conflicts around the world and so, people really struggle. There are those who say 'why bother?' however we must not loose hope but continue praying for peace. We have to keep the search for peace at the forefront of the life of the world wide church.

Christians are urged to pray and work for peace, not only during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, but throughout the whole year. As Christians pray for peace we should also pray and work for the unity of the Church. We cannot honestly pray for peace in the world and rest content with all the divisions and dissensions in our own lives as Christians.

As the rainbow is a sign of God’s peace so it is also a sign of the Christian unity for which we pray. It is not uniformity which we seek, but a unity which holds together our diversity, a unity which is made more beautiful by our diverse colours, as the one rainbow holds together the colours of the spectrum in a beautiful whole.



  1. Guide me O thou great Jehovah
  2. For I'm building a people of power
  3. Christ whose glory fills the skies
  4. Take my life and let it be
  5. Songs of thankfulness and praise (St George’s Windsor)
  6. Spirit of holiness (Blow the Wind Southerly)
  7. Jesus calls us here to meet him (Jesus calls us)
  8. Lord of the church, we pray for our renewing (Londonderry Air)


Prayers for Sunday and the week ahead

O God of steadfast love, at the wedding in Cana your Son Jesus turned water into wine, delighting all who were there. Transform our hearts by your Spirit, that we may use our varied gifts to show forth the light of your love as one body in Christ. Amen.

Loving, attentive God, who loves us more dearly than a mother watching over her child, we thank you for your constant care for our lives, and that we are precious even in the context of Eternity. Amen

O God whose beauty is beyond our imagining and whose power we cannot comprehend, show us your glory as far as we can grasp it and shield us from knowing more than we can bear until we can look upon you without fear through Jesus Christ. Amen (Janet Morley)

Additional Resources

Jesus at Cana

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Jacopo Tintoretto: Marriage at Cana (1561) Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

This painting by the great Venetian master painter Tintoretto shows the wedding feast at Cana. This is a huge canvass oil painting 4.35m x 5.45 m which dominates a wall where it was commissioned and is still in situ in the Sacristy of the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice. The painting shows the first miracle at Cana at a wedding at the start of the ministry of Jesus. Tintoretto transposes the scene to 16th-century Venice and shows interesting details of everyday life, customs, and fashion. In his ministry Jesus will be seen at many parties eating and drinking wine, resulting in many calling him a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Matt 11:19). This prefigures the teachings of Jesus that beyond this earthly life his followers will enjoy a heavenly banquet and it is seen as a precursor of the Eucharist.

On the table you can see empty glasses and decanters, the guests have clearly been enjoying themselves and there is more food needing to be washed down with wine. The perspective of the table draws the eye towards the end of the table where Jesus is seated and his head is surrounded by light. Next to Jesus there is a woman to his left, this is clearly Mary his mother who has encouraged Jesus to intercede and do something to help out and provide more wine for the guests enjoyment. The women on the right side of the picture are seen pouring water into the large jars. This moment is just before this first miracle in John’s Gospel takes place. The other guests are oblivious to what is going on as they wait for more wine to be brought. When the jars are subsequently poured they will still remain clueless about what has happened and simply remark that the host has reversed expectation serving the best wine second, instead of first. Usually the poorer quality wine was served when the guests had drunk too much to notice.

Miracles can be like this, only seen by those with eyes of faith.


John's Gospel and Signs

In the synoptic gospels, (Matthew, Mark and Luke) Jesus performs what are called miracles. In John’s Gospel John does not call them miracles, he calls them signs. We are told in John 20 what the purpose of the Gospel was - he wrote Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Note ! Jesus performs signs, not miracles. And the reason why these signs took place was in order for people to believe in who Jesus was. John is quite restrictive in how many of these signs he records. There are only seven in the whole Gospel. He has slimmed down the miracles and chosen seven special ones which he thinks are significant signs in demonstrating who Jesus was and what he was doing.

So lets think about this sign  - the water into wine In the Gospel of Mark Jesus begins his ministry with an exorcism. In John’s Gospel today we read of Jesus turning water into wine. We know that the Gospel writers didn’t just throw their material together, it is compiled very carefully to make a theological point. So why did John begin the ministry of Jesus in his Gospel by showing Jesus provide wine at a party? He could have chosen something much more dramatic, like raising Lazarus from the dead. John had only seven special miracles or signs, and this is the first one he chooses so there must be something very important going on. So let’s look at the passage and see what is going on and why this sign is so important

Why was Jesus there? Jesus is invited with his disciples and we know that at this stage there were probably at least five: Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, Nathanael and the anonymous disciple (1:35). The mother of Jesus is also invited. We don't know why Jesus was invited. Mary perhaps knew the family because she is concerned about the wine and seems to be able to give instruction to the catering staff. Note - in John's Gospel Mary is only mentioned twice, once here and the next time is at the cross when Jesus hands her into the care of the disciple.  Curiously she is never actually called Mary. We know that one of the disciples of Jesus, Nathanael, came from Cana, he would have probably known the couple who were getting married.

It was on the Third Day A wedding was a big occasion in that time. We are told that it took place on the ‘Third Day.’ We have weddings on Saturdays, at that time in ancient Israel Tuesday was the wedding day! In the UK right now I am told that Sunday is the most popular day for Jewish weddings to be held.There is some thought that at the time Tuesday was considered a good day because in the Torah story of creation Tuesday is the only day that God describes as ‘good’ twice.   (see Genesis 1:10 and Genesis 1:12). The significance of Third Day can hardly be missed, Jesus was raised on the third day.

It went on for seven days Wedding ceremonies normally lasted  seven days. Depending on the wealth of the family a whole town could be invited and many rabbis excused the celebrations from the conflicting religious obligations. Even people you didn’t get on with would be invited and it was insulting to refuse  to attend. The ceremonies were not just about two people getting together, it was the bringing together of families. There could be no quick trip to a wedding chapel in Jerusalem!

Wine was important The host was supposed to provide wine for all for seven days !  Running out of wine was a major faux pas. It was not just a blunder, in a culture which was very much based around shame and honour, it was something which would bring shame on not just the couple but the whole family. Wine was a fundamental part of the celebrations and to run out was not just inconvenient it was a loss of reputation, a damaging social situation would cause a loss of honour and status.

Mary told Jesus they ran out of wine Much has been written about how Mary asks Jesus to help out, and how Jesus responds. Most of it is just guesswork and we will never understand fully understand. On the face of it Jesus seems reluctant to intervene. He uses the words ‘my hour has not yet come.’ The word ‘hour’ in John’s Gospel is a term which is used by Jesus to refer to his death. I have included the references here which you may wish to use in your own Bible study. :4:21, 23, 5:25, 28, 7:30, 8:20, 12:23, 27, 13:1, 16:2,4, 21, 25, 32, 17:1).

The writer of the Gospel says things like

Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.

  • He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
  • Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

Jesus says things like

  •  Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.
  • After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you,

These passages put the question of Mary and the response of Jesus into a context which is so much more than just helping out at a wedding. This was about understanding who he was and what he had be born to do, his obedience to the mission which God had given to him.

Jesus turns water into wine It is a fantastic miracle. The Jewish traditions demanded that Jews were not to eat until they gave their hands a ceremonial handwashing. Do you remember Mark 7:3-4.

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him,  they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders;  and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also. 

So water had to be poured by servants over the hands of every guest before the meal. The more guests the more jars ! For the purpose of water purification there were six hug stone jars at this wedding about 150 gallons in total. Jesus gives instruction for the jars to be filled and for the content to then be taken to the chap in charge of the ceremony who announces that the best wine has been kept until then end of the festivities. 

So what was the sign - it wasn’t just water Everybody remembers that Jesus turned water into wine. But of course it wasn’t just water. If Jesus turns water into wine it is a great trick, but it isn't the sign! It becomes a poingnant sign because this was special water, it was water of purification, it was Jewish cleaning water. Jesus takes Jewish cleaning water and shows he has the power to change it. It becomes a sign, an illustration of the fact that the old water of cleaning was now being superseded. You had ceremonial water which people had to use over and over again but they were never really clean. Jesus is saying that this system didn’t work and so Jesus puts an end to ceremonial washing !

The law constantly reminded you how dirty you were. Jesus has come so that you can be properly clean. The reason why this miracle is the first miracle, the reason why it is so important, is because in it Jesus is doing nothing less than redefining our relationship to God. Instead of repeatedly washing but never being clean, now all would be made clean by Jesus.

Jesus wanted to bring God’s wine of forgiveness and acceptance to all people and that was a complete change to what had been going on as different as water is to wine. Jesus hated the temple and all that it stood for about measuring out God’s love and forgiveness. He hated it so much we are told by John seven verses after the Cana wedding Jesus responded to the Jews in Jerusalem who asked for sign

‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20 The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Conclusion Being a follower of Jesus is like being invited to a wedding where the wine does not run out. That sounds like it is a happy place and Christians should be filled with Joy, Jesus was not into making people miserable. You can get that out of the passage today with no problem. But the sign says something else which is very important. The question used to be whether you could become clean enough to come near to God and some people still think in that way. 'I am not good enough', 'I am insignificant and God wouldn't be bothered with me.' Jesus is not interested in how good we are, all are invited. No matter how dirty, you are Jesus makes you clean. The communion which we celebrate today is Jesus meal and he invites everybody. There is nobody too dirty, nobody who is not good enough, all are called to come. There are no barriers to the love of God, so all are invited to come. Children, women, men, all are invited to come. Jesus said it was no longer about how clean how religious you are, it is just about whether you will come. Jesus says ‘come to the table.’  He invited everybody to come to him and he still does, and that is why the Cana sign laid down the new rules and why it was so important . The Cana sign shows that Jesus is God’s expression of the turning over of the old religion of  barriers and his offering of himself for to show his overflowing love and forgiveness. Now all that we need to do is come.  


There are seven of these signs in the Gospel

1. Water into wine 2:1

2. Healing of Officials son 4:46

3. Healing the paralytic at Bethesda John 5

4. Feeding the 5000 John 6

5. Jesus walks on water  john 6

6. Jesus heals the man born blind  John 9 1-7

7. Jesus raises Lazarus John 11



John 2:1-11

In Psalm 40:8 we are told that God invites us to take pleasure in our work for him. Here, in the gospel reading set for today, from St John’s gospel, we learn that Jesus was enjoying being at a wedding celebration, when he performed his first miracle. It seems quite likely that Jesus had not gone to the party with the intention of performing a miracle, but was virtually forced into it by the actions of Mary, his mother. Clearly she had merely intended getting Jesus to help the people organising the party out of an embarrassing situation, while the miracle which Jesus performed wac a great work – turning about 180 gallons of water into good quality wine is no mean feat!

If this miracle had taken place at a point other than at the start of Jesus’ ministry, then I am pretty certain that we would have heard Judas carping about people simply drinking the wine. No doubt he would have said something to the effect of: ‘What a waste! This wine could have been sold and the money given to the poor!’ (cf John 12: 4-6). Yes, I suppose, the drinking of such good wine after people had drunk plenty already, probably was a waste in that sense. However, the wine served a two-fold process: at one level it gave pleasure to all the wedding guests as they celebrated the marriage of the couple, whilst at a deeper level it made everyone aware of the generosity of God in providing a first class product: no second rate home brew from that source! We could possibly go further and say that through it God was also recognising the importance to him of the marriage ceremony and the vows made.

If we think about our own experiences, then do we give as freely as God gave here? God gave freely and readily more than perhaps was needed. Do we give as generously of our time and talents in the service of God? Or do we begrudge the time which we spend in worship, prayer or helping others? Do we calculate how much we can afford to give to mission funds, or the work of the Church whether it be at home or abroad? If we look at Matthew’s gospel (6:31 – 35) then what we find is that if we put God’s work first, then God will take care of everything else. All it takes is a giant step of trust, and such a step will be a big one because it goes against everything we have been taught. After all, the world we live in is one which emphasises insurance schemes, pension funds, and long term planning for the future. There are not too many of these ideas emphasised in the Bible!

God was able to turn a situation of lack, at the wedding feast, so that it became a situation of high-class plenty. God is also prepared to work in a similar way in our lives, if only we will let him. We shall not become drunk on the wine which God provides, but we may die from a lack of sustenance without it. Peter Littleford



O Lord, remember not only men and women of goodwill, but also those of ill-will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering - our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this, and when they come to judgement, let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness. Ravensbruck Concentration Camp

That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and his desires, without a glow or an inspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to him, 'Thou art my refuge, because thou art my home.' George Macdonald, Unspoken Sermons

Prayers for Sunday

The Universal Prayer, Probably Clement XI

Lord, I believe in you—increase my faith. I trust in you —strengthen my trust. I love you—let me love you more and more. I am sorry for my sins—deepen my sorrow. I worship you as my first beginning, I long for you as my last end, I praise you as my constant helper, and call on you as my loving protector. Guide me by your wisdom, correct me with your justice, comfort me with your mercy, protect me with your power. I offer you, Lord, my thoughts—to be fixed on you; my words—to have you for their theme; my actions - to reflect my love for you; my sufferings—to be endured for your greater glory. I want to do what you ask of me—in the way you ask, for as long as you ask, because you ask it. Lord, enlighten my understanding, strengthen my will, purify my heart, and make me holy. Help me to repent of my past sins and to resist temptation in the future. Help me rise above my human weaknesses and to grow stronger as a Christian. Let me love you, my Lord and my God, and see myself as I really am—a pilgrim in this world, a Christian called to respect and to love all whose lives I touch, those in authority over me or those under my authority, my friends and my enemies. Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed with generosity, apathy by fervour. Help me to forget myself and reach out to others. Make me prudent in planning, courageous in taking risks. Make me patient in suffering, unassuming in prosperity. Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer, temperate in food and drink, diligent in my work, firm in my good intentions

Let my conscience be clear, my conduct without fault, my speech blameless, and my life well-ordered. Teach me to realise that this world is passing, that my true future is the happiness of heaven, that life on earth is short, and the life to come eternal. Help me prepare for death with a proper fear of judgement, and a greater trust in your goodness. Lead me safely through death to the endless joy of heaven. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen

The Anima Christi

Soul of Christ sanctify me. Body of Christ save me. Blood of Christ inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ wash me. Passion of Christ strengthen me. O good Jesu hear me. Within thy wounds hide me. Suffer me not to be separated from thee. From the malicious enemy defend me. In the hour of my death call me and bid me come to thee. That with thy saints I may praise thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymns for Sunday

  1. Ye servants of God
  2. Who took fish bread
  3. God who created light (Tune: Moscow)
  4. O Thou who camest from above
  5. Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
  6. Blessed assurance (tune by Palmer)
  7. Give me joy. (Sing Hosanna)
  8. Great is thy faithfulness
  9. Guide me O thou great Jehovah (Cwm Rhondda)