The Apostles Creed.

We recently buried my mother. She was 91. My father and she had been married for 70 years and 9 months. They remained as devoted and in love with each other as they had been on their wedding day.  Because of various age and health issues with my immediate family, it squarely came down to me to write her service as she had requested of me and with the help of a wonderful vicar and many hours of thought, prayer and consultation…her funeral service beautifully, poetically and thoughtfully reflected her as the human being she was, a beautiful individually created child of God.

I felt impelled to have the full version of the Apostles Creed in the service and yet could not fully explain why, other than it is perhaps the ultimate statement of faith within the Christian tradition. It felt like we said it on her behalf, to send her on her way, bolstered in the faith she had always held in life. It remains unusual to have the creed within a funeral service but it felt absolutely right and many people commented on how beautiful it was.  When the vicar asked whether I would like the short or long version of the Creed, I instinctively wanted the full long version.

The Apostles Creed is an ancient creed, in its present form dating back at least 1000 years although it is much older than that. And I thought I would share it with you all, along with a very good brief explanation of its content.

And here is a brief summary of the prayer:



The Monks of Papa Stronsay: Orkney, Scotland

Following on in the theme of faith lifestyles, here is a short documentary featuring a monastic family local to myself…on the fabulous Orkney Isle of Papa Stronsay…

Papa Stronsay 1

Papa Stronsay 2

Excerpt from a documentary series featuring the Transalpine Redemptorist monks of Papa Stronsay, Scotland – a congregation of traditionalist Catholic Fathers and Brothers of both Eastern and Western Rite from all over the world. The documentary was filmed in September 2003 and originally aired on Channel 4 (UK) in 2004.

The congregation was founded in 1988 by Fr Michael Mary and Fr Anthony Mary on the advice of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Their aim was to found a new Redemptorist congregation which observed the original Rule of Saint Alphonsus and ignored the reforms adopted by modern Redemptorists following the Second Vatican Council.

The congregation moved from the Isle of Sheppy in Kent, England, to Papa Stronsay in 1999. The island was considered ideal because of its seclusion from the world and ancient connection with the monastic tradition. As well as producing their own newspaper, the monks raise their own cattle and sheep and they produce most of their own food.

For more information visit:


I, Hugh Gilbert, O.S.B, by the grace of God Bishop of Aberdeen, decree that the community known as the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, be erected as a Religious Institute of Diocesan right in accordance with c 579 of the Code of Canon Law 1983. The Institute will be subject to all other applicable norms of the said code and governed by the statutes of the said community previously approved by the Holy See.

Given this day 15th August in the year of Our Lord 2012

Avinu Malkeinu

Hear our prayer

We have sinned before Thee

Have compassion upon us and upon our children

Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine

Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth

Inscribe us for blessing in the Book Of Life

Let the new year be a good year for us

Avinu malkeinu sh’ma kolenu

Avinu malkeinu chatanu l’faneycha

Avinu malkeinu alkenu chamol aleynu V’al olaleynu v’tapenu

Avinu malkeinu Kaleh dever v’cherev v’raav mealeynu

Avinu malkeinu kalehchol tsar Umastin mealeynu

Avinu malkeinu

Avinu malkeinu Kotvenu b’sefer chayim tovim

Avinu malkeinu chadesh aleynu Chadesh a leynu shanah tovah

Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu

Avinu malkeinu

Avinu malkeinu Chadesh a leynu

Shanah tovah

Avinu malkeinu Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu Sh’ma kolenu

Silence: The Language of Eternity

The louder our world today is, the deeper God seems to remain in silence. Silence is the language of eternity; noise passes.

Gertrud von Le Fort

A Good Christmas with Bishop Rowan Williams with Link that Works

The previous link did not work so am re-posting one that I hope will. Thanks to Michael Marsh who first posted this though. Some of you will obviously get this through twice!

After A While…

After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul.

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

And that company does not mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head held up and your eyes open.

With the grace of an adult

Not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today

Because tomorrows ground is too uncertain

For your plans.

After a while you learn that even sunshine

Burns if you have too much.

So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul

Instead of waiting for someone to buy you flowers.

And you will learn that you can endure

That you are really special

And that you really do have worth.

Live to learn and love yourself.

In doing so, you will learn to live.



Beauly Priory Atumn Leaves

How Very True

Speaking personally, I am now well into those Autumn years and am filled to over-bursting with reverence. I remember blissful innocence in young tender years and the heady mix of exuberance in those often turbulent summer years…and am busy qualifying for perseverance!!

Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.
Yoko Ono