Prayer for Liverpool
Anticipating the lockdown, the Dean invited me, as Canon Theologian, to reflect on the implications for Sunday worship. At this stage I envisaged congregations staying at home, but I never envisaged clergy being locked out of churches as well. The Dean’s invitation made me ponder deeply on the structure of the Sunday Eucharist.
Here Sunday by Sunday we have a service in two parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Sacrament. The two parts are hinged on the Peace. As a true Anglican (both Catholic and Reformed), I value both parts. But the tendency can sometimes be to emphasise and value the Sacrament more than the Word. Reflecting on the Gospel reading about Jesus meeting incognito with two disciples on the road to Emmaus on that first Easter Sunday, in his address last Sunday Canon Neal reminded us so well, as he literally took us on the walk to Emmaus, just how much the Word and the Sacrament go hand-in-hand.
But Canon Neal also demonstrated just how much time needs to be given to the Liturgy of the Word. Those disciples were on the road for seven miles, reflecting on their personal experience of things that had so recently impacted their lives and engaging dialogue with the Word. This was long enough to make their hearts burn within them. All this they took to the table, well worked through, before the bread was broken.
Now in the lockdown, the Liturgy of the Sacrament remains crucial, but we are at the same time given opportunity to reflect more on the Liturgy of the Word. My hope is that some of you are now drawing on, and finding helpful, the material Exploring the Sunday Gospel at Home. During this past week, we have been inviting you at home to reflect on today’s Gospel reading, John 10: 1-10, and do to so through the lens of the image Sheep. We have even invited you to draw a picture, choose a photo, or make a model of your sheep to be a focus in your home for today’s broadcasted service.
Next week the Gospel is John 14: 1-14 where Jesus describes himself as ‘The Way’. We are inviting you to explore this passage through the lens of the image Maps. The material can be found at https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We warmly welcome you to join us in worship today here:
The text of the sermon for the service is here, in both English and Farsi:
We invite you to further engage with us using the Breakfast and the Bible document here:
To access the “Exploring the Sunday Gospel at Home” documents, go to the “Prayer Resources” page of this blog and look under the “Preparation” column: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. You will also find Children’s activities from the Cathedral Education Team on under the “Education” column on the same page. The documents for next week are now available, so that you can begin preparing for next Sunday early in the week.
The picture above is taken from the book, Making Spiritual Landmarks, a part of the series of books entitled Randalph's Spiritual Quest and Search for Meaning for 8 to 11 year old learners. You can find the whole book and the entire series of Randalph books on the St. Mary’s Centre website, http://www.st-marys-centre.org.uk/resources/randalphs%20spiritual%20quest.html.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God