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Sunday, 16 August 2020
This morning we met at 10 am for Mattins. After a week of extremely hot weather, we met on a cloudy rainy but mercifully cooler morning. Today in our service we remembered the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is our Patron Saint. We have our Patronal Festival to mark her birth in September, but this is also an important St Mary's day. Our Prayers and music reflected St Mary.
Before the Service Joanna played Priere a Notre-Dame from the Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann.

The Canticles and Psalm 138 were said, as Joanna was suffering from hay fever. Father Stephen's address is below as are the readings.

In place of an anthem we listened to a recording of  an Ave Maria by Mendelssohn. A work in 3 sections with a soaring tenor solo (in this recording Andrew Carwood) and the full choir of Westminster Cathedral to the fore in the middle section.

In the notices Father Stephen reminded us to order christmas cakes and puddings from Dr Platts, proceeds to the church. Orders must be received by 1st October.

The organ voluntary at the end of the service was J.S. Bach Fugue on the Magnificat BWV 733.


Russian Icon of the Dormition (‘Assumption’) of Mary

Dear Friends

This Sunday, the tenth after Trinity, also falls directly after the day (15th August) when we remember especially our patron, St Mary.  Many churches dedicated to St Mary hold their patronal festival on this day, but in Sidlesham, we tend to ‘reserve’ that for the first Sunday in September.

Nevertheless, it is right to remember Mary today and her role in our salvation.  The Magnificat, which we heard as the second reading, is the song which the evangelist Luke places on Mary’s lips during the narrative of the Visitation, and we heard a ‘prototype’ of it in the first reading, from Isaiah.  In fact, as Sister Elizabeth Ruth Obbard points out in her thoughtful meditation on this passage, biblical scholars think that this could well have originally been a song of the anawim, Israel’s lowly, trustful followers of Yahweh, which was subsequently attributed to the mother of God.  Be that as it may, it certainly expresses the very heart of her spirituality – a spirituality with which each of us can identify.

Here is a song of joy rising from a background of shame and suffering.  Mary is in the position of an unmarried mother, she does not know that the future holds for her, and yet in this situation there bursts from her a paean of praise as her cousin Elizabeth greets her: ‘Blessed is she who believed.’

And Mary, of course, believed even when all was going wrong – when life was not taking the course she would have expected!  Mary believes and trusts despite all the apparently adverse and strange circumstances in which she finds herself – and, as we know, the promise made at the Annunciation is to be completed in her life in ways which she could not possibly have imagined at this stage.  She is truly the handmaid of the Lord, and trusts that the Lord will not desert her.

In some ways, then, we can understand the mystery of the Visitation as the mystery of Christ growing within each of us.  The seed of the Word is planted in us at baptism and we are meant to be Christ-bearers for the world, sharing him in our ordinary human exchanges.  And when life seems perplexing and challenging, as it does for many of us at this time, then we can recall, and be grateful for, the example of Mary, as one who can share with us the secret of her own joy – the Lord is with her (and with us) always.  As one who is now in heaven, she knows in reality what we can at present only know by faith – that nothing can be wanting to those who know, and trust in, God.

Fr Stephen

Collect for the Blessed Virgin Mary

Almighty God,
who looked upon the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and chose her to be the mother of your only Son:
grant that we who are redeemed by his blood
may share with her in the glory of your eternal kingdom;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
 my whole being shall exult in my God; 
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, 
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
 as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, 
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, 
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, 
so the Lord God will cause righteousness 
and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Luke 1:46-55

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Chrsit according to Luke.

Mary said,
"My soul magnifies the Lord, 

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. 
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 

for the Mighty One has done great things for me, 
and holy is his name. 

His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation. 

He has shown strength with his arm; 
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, 
and lifted up the lowly; 

he has filled the hungry with good things, a
nd sent the rich away empty. 

He has helped his servant Israel, 
in remembrance of his mercy, 

according to the promise he made to our ancestors, 
to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

Service Times

First Sunday in the Month:
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Family Service

Second Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Third Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Sung Matins

Fourth Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Variations can be found in the Parish Magazine or the Calendar at the bottom of this page.

Useful links

Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:

  1. St Mary's Facebook page
  2. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  3. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  4. Prayer for today.
  5. The C of E youtube channel.
  6. Hearing You is a new phone help line launched by the Diocese of Chichester in partnership with Together in Sussex in response to the impact that Covid 19 has had on Just about the whole community. It aims to provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  7. COVID-19 advice from the Diocese of Chichester here.

Please note that St Mary's are not responsible for the contents of external links

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