Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Fear and Trembling

I don't often do "serious". I don't generally feel qualified to talk about current affairs (ok, with the exception of the EU referendum), since I live in a little bubble of child-herding/preschool runs/cleaning/translating/church/repeat. The news in recent weeks has been so horrific that I can't even bring myself to look at it most days.

The news about Fr. Jacques Hamel yesterday felt like a kick in the gut. It brought everything into very, very sharp focus, and I'm scared.

There's nothing special about St Etienne du Rouvray. It's a French town, like any other. With a parish church, like any other.  With a weekday mass, like any other. With a priest, like any other. And a congregation, like any other. 

This isn't just an attack on a single community, on a single priest. It's an attack on all of us. Another village, another time, another mass... any of us could have been in that congregation. I could so easily have been there. My children could so easily have been there.

So yes, I'm scared. I'm not ashamed to admit it. But I'm not going to give in to fear. "Be not afraid": there's a verb in there. It's an action. We're allowed to be scared, but we must let ourselves be comforted. We must stand up and be counted - in love, not in hatred. We must stand by the people of St Etienne du Rouvray, of Nice, of Paris. Of Turkey. Of Syria. Of Iraq. We must keep praying, keep attending mass, keep loving. We must not let hatred win. 

Hymns of the Week: 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year C

Entrance: O God our Help in Ages Past
Offertory: In Bread we bring You, Lord
Communion: Do Not Be Afraid
Recessional: Walk in the Light

(Final hymn chosen especially for my eldest daughter, who loves it. She also thinks the words are "Ahhhh-hhhhh, ginger live".)

I did debate using Faith of our Fathers this week, with respect to everything that's been going on in the world of late, but it's a bit too polemical. Whilst I think it's an amazing hymn, the words can be interpreted as encouraging division and conflict, and that's the last thing we need at the moment. Not being afraid seems to be a pretty good starting point, anyway.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Hymns of the Week: 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year C

Entrance: Seek Ye First
Offertory: In Bread we bring You, Lord
Communion: This is My Body
Recessional: How Great Thou Art

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Hymns of the Week: 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C

Too late to be any use to anyone this week, but who knows, maybe in three years' time...
To be perfectly honest, this weeks' hymns were picked mostly based on what I can play with no practice. It's been a long week! That said, they all fit in pretty well with the readings (welcoming, following, silence, watching/working, Martha/Mary...)

Entrance: Be Thou My Vision
Offertory: I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Communion: Be Still, for the Presence of the Lord
Recessional: Will You Come and Follow Me

Monday, 4 July 2016

Hymns of the Week: 15th Sunday of Ordinay Time, Year C

Entrance: At the Name of Jesus
Offertory: A New Commandment
Communion: Love is His Word
Recessional: Almighty Father, Strong to Save (the collection is for the Apostleship of the Sea this weekend - I haven't just pulled that one from nowhere!)