Holy Ground October 2017 – A splash of words


October 8th 2017

Pre-Gathering Videos

Do not go gentle into that good night – Dylan Thomas

The Windhover – Gerard Manley Hopkins


Music: Vaughan Williams “Love bade me welcome”


(Hannah) Good evening and welcome to Holy Ground. Newcomers, regulars; we are really pleased to see you. A little later we will welcome Canon Mark Oakley as our speaker. In our time with Canon Mark, and in our worship this evening, we will be exploring the written and spoken word. Words have the power to inspire us, to challenge us, to move us, and to bring us closer to Jesus Christ the living Word. But we begin our worship without words – by sharing a few moments of silence together.

(A few moments of silence)

Welcome to this ancient place
House of prayer for many,
home to all who come.

Welcome to this gathering place:
friend and stranger, saint and sinner
in all who gather here.

Come with hope or hesitation,
come with joy or yearning,
all who hunger, all who thirst, for life in all its fullness.
Generous God and generous Saviour,
touch us through your Spirit.

Jesus calls us here to meet him

Jesus calls us here to meet him
as, through word and song and prayer,
we affirm God’s promised presence
where his people live and care.
Praise the God who keeps his promise;
praise the Son who calls us friends;
praise the Spirit who, among us,
to our hopes and fears attends.

Jesus calls us to confess him
Word of Life and Lord of all,
sharer of our flesh and frailness
saving all who fail or fall.
Tell his holy human story;
tell his tales that all may hear;
tell the world that Christ in glory
came to earth to meet us here.

Jesus calls us to each other:
vastly different though we are;
race and colour, class and gender
neither limit nor debar.
Join the hand of friend and stranger;
join the hands of age and youth;
join the faithful and the doubter
in their common search for truth.

Jesus calls us to his table
rooted firm in time and space,
where the church in earth and heaven
finds a common meeting place.
Share the bread and wine, his body;
share the love of which we sing;
share the feast for saints and sinners
hosted by our Lord and King.

John Bell and Graham Maule © Wild Goose Resource Group, Iona Community
4th Floor Savoy House, Sauchiehall St., Glasgow G2 3DH

Poem: Broken Open – Jude Simpson (Video)


Penitential Rite

Holy God, Maker of all,
have mercy on us.

Jesus Christ, Servant of the poor,
have mercy on us.

Holy Spirit, breath of life,
have mercy on us.

I confess to God, and in the company of all God’s people,
that my life and the life of the world
are broken by my sin.

May the Creator +forgive you, the Redeemer renew you,
and the Sustainer enable you to grow in love.


Let us pray…

Almighty God, you have made us for yourself
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.
Pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Poem: The Whisper – Dave Hopwood (read live)

There is a whisper, a quiet call.
A still small voice,
Willing us to come out from life’s crevices,

From the rocks we hide behind.
A subtle, hopeful invitation,
‘Come out, please come and see me.
Show me your face,
Tell me your secrets.
Share your hopes and dreams,
Your fears and longings.

For I love to hear your voice,
And spend time with you.
There is a gentle, divine request,
A whisper, a quiet invitation,
Saying, ‘Come out, let’s talk,

Let’s spend some time together,
For I delight in you
And I love to see you.’

Song of Songs 2 v 14

Gospel Acclamation:

Listen now for the Gospel
It is God’s word that changes us

Come Holy Spirit, melt and break our hearts of stone,
until we give our lives to God, and God alone.
Come Holy Spirit, melt and break our hearts of stone,
until we give our lives to God, and God alone.

Come Holy Spirit, root in us God’s living word,
that we may show the faithfulness of Christ our Lord.
Come Holy Spirit, root in us God’s living word,
that we may show the faithfulness of Christ our Lord.

Come Holy Spirit, bind the broken, find the lost,
confirm in us the fire and love of Pentecost.
Come Holy Spirit, bind the broken, find the lost,
confirm in us the fire and love of Pentecost.

Original Zimbabwean traditonal translated J.L.Bell © 2002 WGRG

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.
Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.

The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
not blood-begotten,
not flesh-begotten,
not sex-begotten.
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Listen now for the Gospel
It is God’s word that changes us


Active meditation – ‘A Splash of Words’ (introduced by Hannah)

‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God… and the word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.’

Now is your chance to have some creative time with words.

Around the cathedral you will find two things:

You will find large sheets of coloured paper. I invite you to use those sheets of colour to write on one, or more, of them your word or words to express joy and praise, lament and sadness, or contrition / penitence. Or if words don’t come easily, feel free to draw. Whatever is brimming in your heart right now, let your emotions and thoughts guide you to the colour that best expresses it, and then write a word or words, or draw in a way that express something of what you want to say to God.

The other thing you will find around the cathedral are lots of poems. These are for you to pick up, reflect on, ruminate over. You may find these open up doors into your heart and innermost thoughts, and so help you open your heart and your thoughts to the God who loves you, who hears, who sees, who acts.

There will be music played quietly for 10 minutes or so while we engage in this. When you hear the singing begin, you are invited to return to your seat.

Mikey and Uni choir: ‘Sleep’

After 10 mins or so…

Before the world began one Word was there;
grounded in God he was, rooted in care;
by him all things were made;
in him was love displayed;
through him God spoke and said, ‘I AM FOR YOU’

Life found in him its source; death found its end;
light found in him its course, darkness its friend,
for neither death nor doubt
nor darkness can put out
the glow of God, the shout: ‘I AM FOR YOU’

The Word was in the world which from him came;
unrecognised he was, unknown by name;
one with all humankind,
with the unloved aligned,
convincing sight and mind: ‘I AM FOR YOU’

All who received the Word by God were blessed;
sisters and brothers they of earth’s fond guest.
So did the Word of Grace
proclaim in time and space
and with a human face, ‘I AM FOR YOU”

Words and Music ©1987 The Iona Community


Poem: Not cut out for religion – Jude Simpson (Poem)

Affirmation of Faith

Screen: Credo Background


We believe in a bright and amazing God
who has been to the depths of despair on our behalf;
who has risen in splendour and majesty;
who decorates the universe with sparkling water,
clear white light, twinkling stars and sharp colours,
over and over again.

We believe that Jesus is the light of the world;
that God continues to trust us with his world,
even though we make the same mistakes
over and over again.

We walk with God,
guided by the light of his loving Spirit,
who enters the shadowed places of our hearts
and leads us into truth and life.

We look for the fulfilment of God’s promises,
for the time when darkness will hold no fear
and the light will no longer blind,
but creation be made whole once more
and God’s peace will reign for ever.

And so we commit ourselves to Jesus,
to one another as brothers and sisters,
and to the Maker’s business in the world.

Poem: I am the resurrection – Malcom Guite

“I am the resurrection and the life” John 11:25

How can you be the final resurrection?
That resurrection hasn’t happened yet.
Our broken world is still bent on destruction,
No sun can rise before that sun has set.
Our faith looks back to father Abraham
And toward to the one who is to come
How can you speak as though he knew your name?
How can you say: before he was I am?

Begin in me and I will read your riddle
And teach you truths my Spirit will defend
I am the End who meets you in the middle,
The new Beginning hidden in the End.
I am the victory, the end of strife
I am the resurrection and the life.



The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

For all things are of your making, things seen and unseen –
the circling stars and planets beyond human counting
in your infinite universe,
the tiny atoms from which they are all created,
the bountiful, fragile earth on which we live,
the unseen and powerful forces of life and love.
So earth unites with heaven
to sing the new poem of creation:

Sanctus & Benedictus

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Eucharistic Prayer

You Lord, are holy beyond all words,
Send your Spirit upon these gifts like the dewfall
And so empower them to become the +Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
And bring him present here as we gather in this holy ground

Just as he did, with friends gathered round, and
Taking the bread of our ordinary lives,
Giving you thanks for it,
He challenged us all with his words:

Take this, everyone, for this is my body
Eat of me.

Again, after the meal was concluded,
He took the cup, our ordinary drink
Gave thanks and made us think:

Take this, everyone, this is my blood
Drink of me.

Through all our messy, broken, mixed up lives
You sit at table with us
You draw us into your mystery of love
And bid us welcome to the feast already taking place in Heaven
Alongside all the Angels, Saints, Prophets and Patriarchs
Alongside Family, Friends, Strangers and Enemies
Alongside all creation as we share in you

Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer – source of life and love
Maker, Saviour and Energiser – heartbeat and headpulse of the world
We eat. We drink. We share
In You.


Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

The bread is broken, as the president says:

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

This is the table not of the Church but of the Lord.
It is made ready for those who love him,
and who want to love him more.

So come, you who have much faith, and you who have little,
you who have been here often,
and you who have not been for a long time,
you have tried to follow, and you have failed.

Come, not because it is I who invite you:
it is our Lord.
It is his will with those who want him
should meet him here.

Distribution of Communion

Poem: At the Altar Rail (read live)

The Body of Christ
The Blood of Christ
of Christ
The Body Body of Christ ist
The Blood
Blood of Christ
These crows circle round
but they bring bread rather than
snatch away

of Christ

My turn is coming
‘Lord I am not worthy’
I make the sign on my body
But on me it leaves no marks

The Body of Christ
The Blood of Christ

Despite the enormity of its task
it does not stick in my throat
the grace spreads inward
and perfuses me with

I was not worthy
but He came to me just the same

The Blood
The Blood of Christ

He is past me now
For his work is never done
and I must wait until the next day
before I can come to the throne again


Let us pray together

Almighty God,
all things came into being through your living Word,
so give us reverence for all creation,
and respect for every person.
So may we, who have been nourished
at your table on earth,
mirror your likeness in Jesus Christ our Lord.


May the grace and truth, the peace and love of Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Let us offer one another his peace.


(Hannah) It’s great to welcome Mark Oakley, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Mark has previously been the Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe. He was appointed a Deputy Priest in Ordinary to the Queen in 1996. He is a visiting lecturer in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at King’s College London, a trustee of the Civil Liberties Trust, a patron of the Tell MAMA project and an ambassador for the charity Stop Hate UK. Canon Mark has has come to share with us a taste of his book, ‘A Splash of Words’ and tell us something of his passion for poetry, and its power to startle, challenge and reframe our vision.


Next month – 12th November

Blessing & Dismissal

May the everlasting God shield you,
East and west and wherever we go.

And the blessing of God be upon us,
The blessing of the God of life.

The blessing of Christ be upon us,
The blessing of the Christ of Love.

The blessing of the Spirit be upon us,
The blessing of the Spirit of grace.

The blessing of the Trinity, +Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer be upon us
Now and for evermore.

Our worship has ended. Go and make beautiful poetry with your lives
Thanks be to God


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