Legillium Mass Book – the toolkit you will need to say the Mass (beautifully)

Front PageIt’s good to know that you have everything you need – or might possibly need – to hand.

Based on the book that was on the legillium in my title parish (Holy Spirit, Southsea), this is key texts for the Mass: a rock for every low mass and a godsend when visiting unfamiliar places. If I have this in my bag, then I know I can get through it. I have added to it over the years, borrowing a good introduction to confession, absorbing an offertory prayer, ensuring that I have the MU prayer at the back for those times when you need it and so it represents an ongoing toolkit for my ministry and a swiss-army knife for the everyday offering of the sacrifice.

So why don’t I let you have a copy?

You can download it (from Dropbox) from hereThis is the original, in Microsoft Publisher format in A5. I also have a version for use on my Tablet in Microsoft Word format which is available from here. The latter is pretty unformatted because it’s easy to scroll down in that way, whereas the Publisher version is designed to be printed out and folded into  (fold on the right-hand-side) one of those A5 document books.

Of course, it is highly idiosyncratic, but it works for me and my particular spirituality. The point of sharing of course is that you will be able to use it as a basis for your own toolkit. So, by all means use this as a start and make it your own: take out and add as you need. After all, unless you are in the Diocese of Exeter, you’ll need to change the names of the Bishops and the patron saints that your Churches are dedicated to…

So if (like some) you resent the amount of Roman material in it, and refuse to pray for the Bishop of Rome, the Ecumenical Patriarch and the leaders of the reformed churches, then replace them. If you really want to use Prayer H  – although I have no idea why you might want to :-) – then put it in. I won’t judge you.

Adopt. Adapt & Improve.

If, as a part of using this you would like to offer a prayer for me and our ministry here in NE Plymouth, then we would be most appreciative: call it prayerware if you like!

I’m always willing to be sent additional bits, so let me know if you find something you think I should have in my book as well as yours. May it help you to celebrate the Mass to his honour and glory beautifully.


Many clergy will at sometime have experienced a… challenging baptism.

Reflecting on that has led me to add the following line to my webpage on baptism:

However, if you aren’t sure about being able to make these promises, if you simply don’t believe in all this, if you are just having “the baby done” for the sake of a nice party and some lovely photographs, then I’m afraid baptism isn’t for you. We don’t routinely offer the Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child unless your child was (for example) baptised in an emergency when they were born, as this is the chance to thank God for that already baptised child; but we don’t offer it as “baptism-lite”: these promises are serious.

It’s a shame that a few experiences from the past have to make this worth saying, but many will understand why…

Homily: Ordinary 14, Year A

 Text: Matthew 11.16–19, 25–end

In the name of the +Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

“What can I say about the people who live today? What are they like? The people today are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group of children calls to the other group,

‘We played flute music for you, but you did not dance;
we sang a funeral song, but you were not sad.’”

(Matthew 11)

Why will Jesus not jump to their tune? Why does he not act like they want? He eats with “sinners”. He lets a “sinful woman” anoint him. He’s a friend with rich and poor, with prostitutes and traitors and trouble-makers.

Jesus doesn’t mention the Pharisees in here – it seems like a rant against just about everybody! But they were a great example. Jesus is – in most of what he seems to say and do – in broad agreement with the Pharisees. He shares their views on the Resurrection and, mostly, on the Law. But he won’t quite be one, will he?

It’s so easy to find people dragging Jesus in on their side.  It’s as though, having taken on board the idea that we are made in God’s image, that God is also made in our image.

For example, there are those on the far right who believe that Jesus is a capitalist – quoting the Parable of the Talents to prove it.

Whereas others could find plenty of examples of people proving Jesus is a socialist: because he told people to give their money away.

But Christ’s earthly ministry predates both socialism and capitalism. Christ left the money stuff to earthly powers… Render unto Caesar what is caesar’s… and focused on the relationship with God. But, no, we want the words of Christ to be those of our chosen political philosophy.

Similarly, Elton John’s comments about Jesus also echo this deep desire. Elton John looks at Jesus, sees the epitome of compassion, and decides that therefore Jesus would agree with him.

“”He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about.”

That’s the Jesus Elton John has decided he wants, and that’s the Jesus he invokes on his side. But he doesn’t mention the Jesus who called a Phoenician woman a “dog” because that’s not inclusive. He doesn’t mention the passage where Jesus says

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

For I have come to turn
“ ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’”

No, that’s a different Jesus, that is. A scary, divisive Jesus. Likewise when he starts burning up tares but saving good wheat. Or sending goats one way and leading sheep the other. This is a non-inclusive Jesus – if inclusive is meant to be of everybody. Which it isn’t. Inclusivity recognises that we all can be formed into the likeness of Christ, not Christ formed into our own likeness.

It’s a kind of narcissism, deciding that whatever I believe, that’s what Jesus was like.

But it’s natural, and it’s always happened. There was a body a few years ago called the Jesus Seminar. It decided that by voting, and examination of the texts concerning Jesus, they would decide which bits of the stories of Jesus were true, historic, and which were fables and legends. By the end they’d decided Jesus was a wandering wise man, a social revolutionary, who was not born to a virgin mother, didn’t do miracles and wasn’t resurrected. Which was, of course, what they’d thought beforehand or they’d never have started the exercise. They got exactly the Jesus they wanted.

But it’s what people have always done. They’ve looked at Jesus and seen a socialist, a Buddhist, a Victorian gentleman, a druid, a freedom fighter, a nice Tory, a dreamer, a spaceman, an Egyptian mystic, a Greek Philosopher, a bunny-hugging environmentalist. They’ve found, in Jesus, exactly what they’ve put in there.

It’s the danger of the whole “What Would Jesus Do” concept as well. Quite apart from the obvious issue that it can’t be applied to whole areas of human experience. As the kids in the programme Outnumbered knew when they asked the vicar, “What would Jesus do if he met a polar bear?”

Tricky question. He’d probably start off by wondering what on earth this creature was – as it wouldn’t be anything you could expect he’d heard about. Then I guess he’d have either run, or charmed the beast…. Or zapped it…

But this doesn’t really help me if I met one.

If you’re thinking of getting married, but not sure – the question “What Would Jesus Do” is not helpful. Unless you’re really really looking for the answer “stay single”.

No. Jesus is not there to reassure us in our certainties. He is not there to confirm what we already thought. He is not there to put the seal of approval on who we are. He is not supposed to dance to our tune. He’s much more Jewish than most of of us can consider. He was, in his earthly life, probably rather smellier than we’re really approve of. His feet and hands would have been calloused. He was almost certainly not blond.

The Jesus of the Gospels is so much richer than that. So much wilder. So much stranger.  The One who walks on water, who tells the storm to be quiet, who lays hands on lepers, who has no human father – he’s pointing us to something so much deeper, so much more important, than whether you’re nice to people, what your politics are, whether you think the way you behave is right.

When we look into the face of Jesus, what we are not to find is ourselves looking back, generally speaking. Not if we are comfortable, happy with our own situation, a bit smug. What we are to find is the face of those we are called to love. A challenge to our attitudes.

But for the ones who are struggling – the ones who feel judged – the ones needing God’s love – the ones who are told they don’t matter – there’s something else to be seen. The face of the one who doesn’t judge. The free love of the God who cares – the one who counts every sparrow on the earth, and knows every hair on our heads, and loves us to bits. The one who says to the one who is tired, come and rest. To the one broken down, I will lay down with you. The one whose yoke is easy, and whose burdens are light.

When you look into the face of Jesus, what do you see?


With thanks to the Archdruid Eileen

Teaching on Marriage – the Marriage of Barnaby and Bernadette (Bear)

This is the outline of the session for KS1 aged children (Infants Year R,1 & 2)

  • We gather the Children in Church
  • Important things:
    • Many people mark important events in their lives by coming to Church
      • The birth of a baby – baptism
      • The passing of a loved one – funeral
      • The love of one person for another – a marriage
    • It’s more than just a day to dress up pretty and have a party
    • It begins something more important: two people sharing their lives together and making important promises to each other
    • The wedding day enables us to mark this beginning and to pray that the couple enjoy a life-long loving time together
  • Places everyone!
    • Sides of the Church – where the congregation sit
    • Groom and Best Man
    • Bride outside
  • Text:

In the name of the +Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

God is love, and those who live in love live in God
and God lives in them. 1 John 4.16

God of wonder and of joy:
grace comes from you,
and you alone are the source of life and love.
Without you, we cannot please you;
without your love, our deeds are worth nothing.
Send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
that we may worship you now
with thankful hearts
and serve you always with willing minds;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we have come together
to witness the marriage of Barnaby and Bernadette,
to pray for God’s blessing on them,
to share their joy
and to celebrate their love.

Barnaby and Bernadette are now to enter this way of life.
They will each give their consent to the other
and make solemn vows,
and in token of this they will [each] give and receive a ring.
We pray with them that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen them,
that they may fulfil God’s purposes
for the whole of their earthly life together.

Barnaby will you take Bernadette to be your wife?
Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her,
and, forsaking all others,
be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

He will probably whisper in the ear of Fr Simon like Sweep used to do

Bernadette, will you take Barnaby to be your husband?
Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him,
and, forsaking all others,
be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

She will probably whisper in the ear of Fr Simon like Sweep used to do

The Priest says to the congregation

Will you, the families and friends of Barnaby and Bernadette,
support and uphold them in their marriage
now and in the years to come?
We will!

These are the promises they make to each other:

I take you,
to be my bear,
to have and to hold
from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part;
according to God’s holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.

Heavenly Father, by your blessing
let these rings be to Barnby and Bernadette
a symbol of unending love and faithfulness,
to remind them of the vow and covenant
which they have made this day
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Priest addresses the people

In the presence of God, and before this congregation,
Barnby and Bernadette have given their consent
and made their marriage vows to each other.
They have declared their marriage by the joining of hands
and by the giving and receiving of rings.
I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.

The Priest joins their right hands together and says

Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.

The Priest says to the couple

God the Father,
God the Son,
God the Holy Spirit,
bless, preserve and keep you;
the Lord mercifully grant you the riches of his grace,
that you may please him both in body and soul,
and, living together in faith and love,
may receive the blessings of eternal life.

The prayers conclude with the Lord’s Prayer.

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.

The Priest says

Barnby and Bernadette,
May God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love,
defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the new Mr and Mrs Bear

  • Pictures outside as per tradition


Trust Him when dark doubts assail you,
Trust Him when your strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him
Seems the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him, He is ever faithful;
Trust Him for His will is best,
Trust Him, for the Heart of Jesus
Is the only place of rest.

Trust Him, then, through doubts and sunshine;
All your cares upon Him cast,
Till the storm of life is over,
And your trusting days are past.

Lectio Divino: Ephesians 4:15-16

Family Communion: June 2014

Family Communion: 15th June 2014

See here for the Prezi and to download it. Or you can download a fully standalone version from here (zip file)

Gathering Song (Here we go round the Mulberry Bush)

We gather round in this holy space
Holy Space, filled with grace
We gather round in this holy space
To do what Jesus taught us

We hear the stories of our King
Eternal life, for us he’ll win
We share his meal and pray with him
And do what Jesus taught us.

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

The Lord be with you
and also with you

Penitential Rite (Ba Ba Blacksheep)

Just like lost sheep we have gone astray
Done bad things and run away
So we come to say sorry
Make things better as you see
Loving Jesus make anew
Our lives so we can be like you.

Absolution (If you’re happy…)

You’re forgiven and you know it, so clap your hands
You’re forgiven and you know, so you really ought to show it,
You’re forgiven and you know it, so clap your hands

Jesus loves you and you know it, so stamp your feet
Jesus loves you and you know it, so you really ought to show it
Jesus loves you and you know it, so stamp your feet

If you believe that God forgives you, say “We do” “We do”
When you say that you are sorry, you no longer have to worry
God takes away your sin, so say “Amen”. Amen!

Gloria (Old Macdonald)

Glory be to God on high
To all on earth be peace
Lord God, Heavenly King
For you we praise and sing

O Lord God,
Lamb of God,
You take away
the sin of the world
Have mercy on us

You alone are the holy one
You alone are the Lord
You alone are the mo-ost high
Jesus Christ

In the Glory of God,
the Fa-a-ather
ever one
Always three


Let us pray…

Thank you Lord for bringing us here
Together as friends and family

Thank you Lord so we can share
This special meal with you.


Gospel: Listen 30 p64

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

Creed (to the tune of frere Jacques)

God our Father, God our Mother [or above all other]
We believe, we believe
who created all things, who created all things
Earth and sea, stars and me.

Christ our Saviour, Christ our Saviour
We believe, we believe
Lived and died and risen, lived and died and risen
You and me, set us free.

Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit
We believe, we believe
Moving here among us, moving here among us
God right here, near as near.

Three in one, three in one
One in three, one in three
God revealing all things, God revealing all things
Dancing free, trinity.

Prayers (to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down)

We thank you Lord for all we have
All we have, all we have
We thank you Lord for all we have
Which you give us

We pray to you for all our friends,
all our friends, all our friends
And all those who need our prayer
Come and help them

We pray for those who are sick or ill
sick or ill, sick or ill
sad or lonely, stressed or ill
Come and help them

Hail Mary full of grace
full of grace, full of grace
The Lord is with you, pray for us
Now and always

And to God we give our prayers
give our prayers, give our prayers
Hear us Lord and help us on
Now and always


Here we are
One in Christ
Gathered here
Ain’t this nice?
So let us share a sign of peace
A kiss or hug before the feast…

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you

Let us offer one another a sign of peace

Pray, my brothers and sisters, that this our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his Church.

Prayer over the gifts

Heavenly Father, we thank you for these gifts,
Bread and Wine, fruit of the earth
We pray you will change them
as you change us
by the power of your Holy Spirit

Preface (Kum By Yah)

The Lord is here right now
His spirit with us

Lift up your hearts to him
We lift them up

It’s the right thing to do
Yes Jesus, O yes, we come in prayer

Lord of all life,
you created the universe,
where all living things reflect your glory.
You give us this great and beautiful earth,
to discover and to cherish.

You give us sun and moon and star-lit sky,
everything that gives us light,
light for our eyes, our hearts, our minds.

You made us all,
each wonderfully different,
to join with the angels
and sing your praise:
Sanctus (Kum By Yah)

Holy, Holy Lord, O Holy God
Our prayers are joined
By the Saints
Blessed is the one
Who comes in peace
Blessed is the Prince of Peace

Eucharistic Prayer 2 for Children

Father, on the night before he died,
Jesus shared a meal with his friends.
He took the bread, and thanked you.
He broke it, and gave it to them, saying:

Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this to remember me.

After the meal, Jesus took the cup of wine.
He thanked you, and gave it to them, saying:

Drink this, all of you.
This is my blood,
the new promise of God’s unfailing love.
Do this to remember me.

Memorial Acclamation (Kum By Yah)

Let us proclaim Of our faith

“Christ has died
And has arisen
Christ will come
To us again
O yes, he will return”

Father, as we offer this bread and wine,
and remember his death and resurrection,
send your +Holy Spirit,
that we who share these gifts
may be fed by Christ’s body and his blood.

Pour your Spirit on us
that we may love one another,
work for the healing of the earth,
and share the good news of Jesus,
as we wait for his coming in glory.

For honour and praise belong to you, Father,
with Jesus your Son, and the Holy Spirit:
one God, for ever and ever.

Great Amen (Kum By Yah)

Amen, Amen
Let it be so,
Amen, Amen
Let it be so,
Amen, Amen
We say this now,
Amen, O yes, Amen!

Lord’s Prayer (Pop Goes the Weasel)

Our Father, who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy na-a-ame.
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us all our si-i-ns
As we forgive
all those us who sin
or trespass against us

Let us not be drawn into
Any kind of temptation
Deliver us
from the evil one
Amen, Amen, Amen.

Agnus Dei (3 blind mice)

Lamb of God, Lamb of God
You take away, the sin of the world
Have mercy on us, Lamb of God
Don’t let us stray away from the flock
You take away the sin of the world
So grant us peace

Come and eat, come and drink
You’re welcome here, come quite near
Share in his body and blood with us
It tastes like wine and bread but just
Know that inside it’s not quite thus
Share the food of God.

Communion Antiphon
Jesus said “Let the children come to me”

Prayer after Communion (Polly put the kettle on)

Thank you for the meal we eat
Thank you for the meal we eat
Thank you for the meal we eat
Christ brings us life

Now let us go from this place
Now let us go from this place
Now let us go from this place
To do his work

Blessing (Sing a Song of Sixpence)

The Lord be with you
And also with you

Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing

May the Lord now +bless you
And keep you all safe
Send you out from here
In a state of grace
Take what we have learned
About Jesus our King
And do what he has taught us
To make the world a better thing.

Go, the Mass has ended
But our service has begun
We heard it straight from Jesus
What it means to live as one
With him now up in heaven
Looking from above
Blessing us in all our work
Let’s go and share his love.

The Mass is ended. Go in the Peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God