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Sunday, 10 December 2017
Tuesday, 5 December 2017
The Church of England keeps December 4th as the feast day of Nicholas Ferrar, the devout Anglican who founded the Community of Little Gidding in the early seventeenth century. Ferrar was trying to find a fruitful via media between protestant and catholic understandings of what it is to be Christian. As a member of a reformed church he and his community were devoted to reading the scriptures in their own language, to sharing their faith, and to worshipping together in the beautiful services of the Book of Common Prayer. But he was also keen to preserve and explore the Catholic heritage of community life, the daily offices of prayer, and praise, the pattern of Benedictine work and prayer, rooted in the psalms and the gospels. in holding these together he was recovering and preserving what he called. 'The right good old way'. His great friend George Herbert, from his death bed sent Ferrar the manuscript of all his poems, and it was Ferrar who published them for all of us. In the 1930s TS Eliot visited Little Gidding, and eventually enshrined the experience of prayer and awareness granted him there, in the poem Little Gidding, the last of the Four Quartets.
Ferrar died on the 4th December 1637, the day after Advent Sunday, at 1 am, the hour he had always risen for prayers, and my sonnet touches on that. Certainly the place in which he and his community kept prayer going at all times, recited the psalms, and lived out their gospel harmony, is still soaked in prayer, still, a place through which the eternal light shimmers into time, still, as the inscription on the chapel says, 'The very gate of Heaven'.
I would like to dedicate this sonnet to the memory of Susan Gray, a friend and parishioner who loved Little Gidding, both the place and the poem. When I took her last communion to her in the Hospice, she spoke the line from Little Gidding 'In my end is my beginning'.
As always you can hear the poem by clicking on the title or the 'play' button.
For Nicholas Ferrar
You died the hour you used to rise for prayer.
In that rich hush beneath all other sounds,
You rose at one and took the midnight air
Rising and falling on the wings and rounds
Of psalms and silence. The December stars
Shine clear above the Giddings, promised light
For those who dwell in darkness. Morning stirs
The household. From the folds of sleep, the late
Risers wake to find you gone, and pray
Through pain and grief to bless your journey home;
Those last glad steps in the right good old way
Up to the door where Love will bid you welcome.
Love draws us too, towards your grave and haven
We greet you at the very gate of Heaven.
Monday, 4 December 2017
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FCCV DECEMBER 2017 NEWSLETTER
|NEWS | EVENTS | HOLY DAYS|
2017 VICTORIAN INTERFAITH NETWORKS CONFERENCE: FAITH COMMUNITIES COUNCIL OF VICTORIAOn Sunday November 12th, around 240 people gathered at Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo for the 2017 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference.
FAITH COMMUNITIES UNITE TO SAY 'NO' TO FAMILY VIOLENCE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMENThe Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) has issued the following statement on the prevention of family violence and violence against women.
2018 MULTIFAITH CALENDARThe Faith Communities Council of Victoria has released it's annual multifaith calendar outlining major holy days and festivals for Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
'THEIR CROSS TO BEAR': THE CATHOLIC WOMEN TOLD TO FORGIVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCEPope Francis has denounced domestic abuse as 'craven acts of cowardice'.
PHILIP RUDDOCK TO REVIEW RELIGIOUS PROTECTIONS AMID SAME-SEX MARRIAGE DEBATEFormer Liberal frontbencher Philip Ruddock will chair a panel tasked with reviewing protections for religious freedom, the Federal Government has announced.
MAPPING SOCIAL COHESION 2017: THE SCANLON FOUNDATION SURVEYS REPORTThis report presents the findings of the tenth Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion Survey conducted in 2017.
UNIQUE PROJECT AIMS TO FIGHT AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA AND PUBLIC ABUSEApril Robinson is still shocked when she hears stories from Muslim women about being spat on, pushed over, having their head scarf torn from their heads, or simply being ignored.
MUNGO MAN WELCOMED BACK TO COUNTRY IN DANCE AND SONGDancers, musicians and cultural leaders from Indigenous communities across Australia gathered to celebrate the return of Mungo Man, Australia's oldest known human remains.
MUSLIM LEADERS LEARN ABOUT JEWISH MELBOURNEFifteen Muslim community leaders participated in the Jewish Immersion Day.
SIKH TEMPLES OF LEARNING FOR NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCKThe greater Melbourne area, which boasts of a sizeable Punjabi population, has a number of gurdwaras or Sikh temples.
TALE OF TORTURE AND CRUELTY BEHIND SYDNEY LANDMARK THE BAHA'I TEMPLEIt towers over Sydney's northern beaches hinterland, its grand white dome aglow in all kinds of weather.
ADVERTISING WATCHDOG BACKFLIPS, BANS MLA'S CONTROVERSIAL RELIGIOUS LAMB ADThe advertising watchdog has backflipped on its decision to give a controversial lamb ad the green light.
THE RELIGIOUS SHORT FILM PRIZEThe Religious Short Film Prize is an opportunity for film-makers to explore the religious quest through a powerful contemporary medium.
PARLIAMENT SUPPORTS CLIMATE & HEALTH DECLARATION FROM PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCESThe Parliament of the World's Religions and its Climate Action Task Force expresses an emphatic appreciation for a "significant and substantive" declaration on climate change and health.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND 'CREMATED REMAINS OF BUDDHA' IN ANCIENT CHINESE BOX ALONGSIDE 260 STATUESArchaeologists have discovered an ancient Chinese box, which according to the inscriptions on the chest, holds the 'cremated remains of the Buddha'.
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