The Church of the Ascension
Sunday 6th January 2018 – Feast of the Epiphany
9:15 am Parish Mass
Celebrant & Preacher; – Rev Dominic Black
Monday 7th January 2019 5:30 pm Office Hour
Monday 7th January 2019 7:00 pm
Standing Committee in Meeting Room
Wednesday 9th January 2019 – 9:15 am Mass
Sunday 13th January 2019 – 2nd Sunday of Epiphany
Parish Mass – 9:15 am
Celebrant & Preacher: – Rev Dominic Black
Monday 21st January 2019 7:15 pm Service of the Word
Monday 21st January 2019 7:45 pm P.C.C. Meeting
Some of the shortest prayers we can say often carry a wealth of meaning. This is one I often use when receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Forgive what I have been
Sanctify what I am
Order what I shall be
There’s a sort of timelessness in that prayer as past, present and future merge into one. We ask God’s forgiveness for past sins and, as the Body of Our Lord is placed into our hands, we accept God’s forgiveness as something real. I’m accepted, I’m forgiven, and the guilt I felt has been removed like a weight from my shoulders.
We ask to be sanctified. The word means to be made Holy; to be cleansed and made safe. No matter what we have done in the past God’s love envelops us at this moment and we are given his peace. It’s as if we can hear the words he speaks. ‘It’s alright. I understand because I have walked in your shoes. Do not be afraid.’
We ask that he will reveal to us his will. There is a task allotted to each of us that has not been given to anyone else and he will equip us for that task. We can make this short prayer for ourselves but we can also say it for this Church as we ask for God’s forgiveness for our petty quarrelling and pessimism that has prevented us from moving forward. We can ask for his blessing on this New Year that we may be sanctified and ready to welcome a new priest with enthusiasm and optimism. We ask that God will bring order into our lives and unite us in the aim of making his name known and loved in Park End, Berwick Hills and Pallister Park.
The Archbishop of Canterbury asked us in his New Year message to be united by something greater than our differences. Let this be the year we see our church renewed and the joy we seem to have lost be restored. Middlesbrough’s motto is, ‘Erimus’ – We shall be. We ask God to direct the way forward where each of us has a task to play in the coming year.