Showing posts from September, 2013

Michaelmas: praying with angels and archangels

Prayer sometimes feels to me like a lonely activity - not always, but often. When it does I'm encouraged by the thought that no one is ever alone in prayer. 

I sometimes imagine prayer and praise to God to be like a river that is constantly flowing whether or not I dip my toes into the water. When prayer feels hard or impossible, it's good to know others are praying. And that unseen glorious beings are always praising God and ready to act as his messengers.

Today is Michaelmas - a feast so popular in England in times gone by that although other feasts of angels were removed from the Church of England calendar during the Reformation period, Cramner retained the Feast of Michael and All Angels which falls on 29 September every year. And today as at every service of Holy Communion in the C. of E. as in many other churches around the world during the great prayer of thanksgiving we will hear and say:

Therefore with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim …

How not to welcome visitors

This must be the most unwelcoming sign I've seen inside a church.

A few days ago my husband and I were visiting the Czech Republic. We stepped inside a church in Prague. What was the first thing that greeted us? This sign in English,
'STOP TOURISTS'.I collect ambiguous signs as they appeal to my sense of humour. So I took this photo. Is it a slogan to rally people to stop tourists entering the church or visiting Prague which has a lot of tourists?

On further inspection it seemed intended only to stop visitors from entering the north aisle where restoration work was being done. OK. Understood. But I didn't feel welcome. Would you?

What's the most unwelcoming sign you've seen outside or inside a church?

Image: my own

PS. For other ambiguous or funny signs see:

Ambiguous SignsAlarming or helpful?Humans Welcome by Appointment only

St Matthew's Day Reflection

Who me?
You want me to follow you?
You must have got it wrong.
I can see you're a good person,
- not like some hypocrites. 
You need someone better than me. 

Who me?
Don't you know who I am?
I'm a traitor.
I work for the enemy occupiers.
I handle their dirty money.
You need someone better than me.

Who me?
You know I steal from our people.
I call it commission but I cheat.
I make people poorer by extortion.
I'm a despised tax-collector.
You need someone better than me.

Who me?
I'm a sinner - the lowest of the low.
You can't want me to be your disciple.
What me? Really?
You are calling me?
You need someone just like me?

The detail from Caravaggio's painting of the calling of St Matthew
says it all - the unexpectedness of the call, the sense of unworthiness, of the reaching of a pivotal moment, the dawning realization as the light shines on Matthew, a hand beckons and a voice invites,
"Follow me".As I wrote in a St Matthew's day post last year