St Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne (c. 639 – 25 May, 709)





St Aldhelm’s merits as a scholar were early recognised in his own country as shown by the encomium of Bede (Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum 5.18), who speaks of him as a wonder of erudition. In his capacity as bishop, he displayed a great deal of energy, included going into public places where he would sing hymns and passages from the gospels interspersed with bits of clowning to draw attention to his message. Due to his sanctity, his biographers relate miracles worked during his lifetime and at his shrine. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

The Paschal homily of St John Chrysostom

If any be a devout lover of God,
let him partake with gladness from this fair and radiant feast.
If any be a faithful servant,
let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord.
If any have wearied himself with fasting,
let him now enjoy his reward.
If any have laboured from the first hour,
let him receive today his rightful due.
If any have come after the third,
let him celebrate the feast with thankfulness.
If any have come after the sixth,
let him not be in doubt, for he will suffer no loss.
If any have delayed until the ninth,
let him not hesitate but draw near.
If any have arrived only at the eleventh,
let him not be afraid because he comes so late.
For the Master is generous and accepts the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him who comes at the eleventh hour
in the same was as him who has laboured from the first.
He accepts the deed, and commends the intention.
Enter then, all of you, into the joy of our Lord.
First and last, receive alike your reward.
Rich and poor, dance together.
You who fasted and you who have not fasted, rejoice together.
The table is fully laden: let all enjoy it.
The calf is fatted: let none go away hungry.
Let none lament his poverty;
for the universal Kingdom is revealed.
Let none bewail his transgressions;
for the light of forgiveness has risen from the tomb.
Let none fear death;
for death of the Saviour has set us free.
He has destroyed death by undergoing death.
He has despoiled hell by descending into hell.
He vexed it even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he cried:
Hell was filled with bitterness when it met Thee face to face below;
filled with bitterness, for it was brought to nothing;
filled with bitterness, for it was mocked;
filled with bitterness, for it was overthrown;
filled with bitterness, for it was put in chains.
Hell received a body, and encountered God. It received earth, and confronted heaven.
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen! And you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is risen! And the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is risen! And the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen! And life is liberated!
Christ is risen! And the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power, now and forever, and from all ages to all ages.
Amen!

Holy Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy, Bishop of Britain.

Saint Aristobulus, the brother of Saint Barnabas is called the Apostle of Britain and was its first bishop.  He was ordained and sent to Britain by the Apostle Paul who mentions him in his epistle to the Romans (16:10). He endured the torments and malice of the pagans, eventually baptising them, and having established the Church here he reposed in peace. 

O Holy Apostle Aristobulus, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

The Luxury of Fasting

There was a man who feasted sumptuously every day……………

Fresco from Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

Remember those in the world who have no food – who are starving, both physically and spiritually.

 

THE GOSPEL for Sunday of the Last Judgment

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (25:31-46)

The Lord said, “When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and He will place the sheep at His right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at His right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed Thee, or thirsty and give Thee drink? And when did we see Thee a stranger and welcome Thee, or naked and clothe Thee? And when did we see Thee sick or in prison and visit Thee?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to Thee?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

Holy Week & Pascha 2014

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Palm Sunday April 13 Entry into Jerusalem

10.00 Hours 10.30 Divine Liturgy 13.00 Bridegroom Matins

Great & Holy Wednesday April 16

18.00 Sacrament of Holy Unction

Great & Holy Thursday April 17

18.00 Service of the 12 Gospels

Great & Holy Friday April 18

14.30 Vespers & Descent from the Cross

17.30 Matins & Lamentations

Great & Holy Saturday April 19

10.00 Vespers & Liturgy of St Basil

23.30 Paschal Matins & Divine Liturgy

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SUNDAY April 20 GREAT & HOLY PASCHA

12 noon Agape Vespers