Last evening Hilary, Ian and I sang Beethoven’s Mass in D otherwise known as Missa Solemnis at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank. I have to say it was one of the most difficult pieces I have ever sung. The notes are not too bad, but you have got to count, because it feels like Beethoven changes the time signature every other bar. Still, if you don’t at first succeed… as the saying goes. In the end I was reasonably pleased with my performance, accepting the fact that in the Credo there is a passage I would defy any amateur singer to get right! For those in the know it’s the Amen fugue after ‘Et vitam venturi saeculi’ -what a nightmare! Still you come to expect that kind of mania from Beethoven, it is why he is so amazing – he wears his humanity on his sleeve. This week we enter into the drama of our Lord’s last days on earth. Jesus’ humanity is there for all to see. He knows what lies ahead – he might wish it otherwise – but he is willing to fulfil his God given mission to proclaim a new way of living, a new way of loving. From this action of self-offering our relationship with God changed for ever. It also changes the way we relate to ourselves and our neighbours. We are all made in the image of God and you know what that means.
I hope you can join us for this week’s liturgies, by doing so you will enter in a deep and profound way the journey of our Lord to life. This journey is also ours if we are willing to participate.
Believing that we are all made in God’s image has consequences for the way we view our fellow human beings. In the E-bulletin you will find a simple app which helps us to decide if those who are washing our cars are trapped in modern day slavery, I hope you will use it.
At Mass yesterday evening our gospel reading was the story of Mary
anointing Jesus with precious ointment at Bethany. In my address I talked about the important role that smell plays in our lives. As I approach St Nick’s I am reminded of beer brewing by the smell coming from Fullers brewery. As I enter the church I smell incense, reminding me of all the prayers offered there.
As we were worshipping yesterday at St Nick’s crowds of people were gathered in Paris experiencing the dreadful smell of smoke, coming from the fire at Notre Dame cathedral. Some in the crowds were watching in stunned silence, others begin singing hymns and praying. Thankfully it seems that
nobody was seriously injured, but the event has left people in France and beyond devastated at this terrible event. We join with others around the world in offering our thoughts and prayers for all those affected by this tragic event, especially at the beginning of Holy Week.
With every blessing