Bidding prayers etc for the Sundays and holydays of July and August are given below, beginning with next Sunday. After these suggestion sheets, you’ll find texts to welcome summer visitors from abroad.
We celebrate the Ascension of Jesus today. We remember his sending out of the disciples, and his promise to remain with us until the end of time.
Mary O. Vallely reflects on her reecent experience of a christening in Scotland, where she was saddened by the lack of real welcome for the newly baptised babies and their parents. She appeals to priests to make real, warm, loving connections with their congregations, adding that a smile — or a nod of warmth, a handshake with eye-to-eye contact, a pat on the back or a hug — are all marks of Christ.
The sight of people being rescued from ricketty boats in the Mediterranean brings home the plight of immigrants and refugees; seeing rescuers coming to their aid inspires us. God is master of the deep; Jesus stilled the storm. May all in need of help be saved through his power today. (On Father’s Day we pray especially for fathers.)
There’s a reminder of the two great commandments in today’s celebration: we are called to love God and our neighbour: friend, visitor and stranger alike.
There is an interesting letter in this week’s The Tablet from the retired bishop of Portsmouth, Crispian Hollis.
It confirms the worst suspicions about the lack of attention that was paid by bishops when the ‘new missal’ was being foisted on us.
To facilitate people taking time off over Christmas, the entire set of Christmas Presiders Page has now been published, up to and including New Years Day.