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From the Rectory

July 2017

In the Book of Common Prayer, the Sundays between Trinity Sunday and the Sunday next before Advent are simply numbered as ‘Sundays after Trinity’, of which there are twenty four. The exact number of Sundays after Trinity in each liturgical year is determined by the date of Easter. An ‘early’ Easter, on or shortly after 21st March might mean that all the Sundays after Trinity are utilised, whilst a ‘late’ Easter, on or just before 25th April would mean a fewer number.

Today, the Western Church refers to the Sundays after Epiphany and before Lent and the Sundays after Trinity, as ‘ordinary time, of which there are thirty four. .

Of course, no time is ever ‘ordinary’. Although we have a tendency to take time for granted, no minute of any day is ever anything but unique. We can waste time, we can hurry through time if we find our occupation to be tiresome, disagreeable or inconvenient and conversely, we can try to relish those times which we find pleasurable. But each moment of every day is a new experience. No time is ever a copy or an imitation of any other. .-

The great spiritual writers of both East and West speak about the precious, the sacred nature of all our time. There is much attention today on the Buddhist practice of ‘mindfulness’, when the practitioner seeks to place the entirety of their attention on any activity or thought however mundane or routine. The great Christian writer, J P de Caussade wrote and taught about the ‘Sacrament of the present moment’.

Perhaps we need in a world where the pace of life seems to increase, to re-discover the importance of time and the sense of wonder at its extra-ordinary nature. In his poem “The Bright Field”, R S Thomas wrote:

Life is not hurrying on to a receding future,
nor hankering after an imagined past. It is the
turning aside like Moses to the miracle of the
lit bush, to a brightness that seemed as
transitory as your youth once, but is the eternity
that awaits you.


So may it be for all of us.

Best wishes for July,
Martin