St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times
Every Sunday, Maitland NSW Australia. Venue: St Marys School Chapel in Victoria St. Mass at 11am.
Email Fr Matthew Kirby for further details.
Check here for any additions or cancelations of services.
Sunday, 28 February 2021
Tuesday, 29 December 2020
“Unto us a child is born” [Is. 9.6, in anthem].
Christmas is a time of wonder, awe and thankful worship. For we go back to Bethlehem in our hearts and minds to see God for the first time, not only in human vesture/nature, but as a helpless baby! The beauty of the vulnerable infant united mysteriously to the divine majesty.
Now, all babies are lovely and bring out affection in all but the worst people. And Jesus would have been the same in that regard. Yet, babies are also demanding: they are hard work, as they can do nothing for themselves. Baby Jesus was the same in this regard: utterly dependent on his parents, especially Mary. We have to take the less “romantic” aspects of newborns seriously in order to remind ourselves that he was truly human. “No crying he makes” is a nice line, and certainly Jesus would have been a “good baby”, as his human nature was faultless, but Jesus had to let his parents know when he was hungry or in pain somehow. And we can be sure he didn’t say “Mother, I need to be breastfed” as an infant! And, yes, nappies would have to have been changed. Jesus was a real baby. [Burped, carried. Not superman in diapers.]
Christmas then is a reminder that our faith is not merely a philosophy that teaches us wise sayings and tells us what to do to be good. Christianity is Christ himself. God has not just talked to us, he has acted in human history, even to the point of becoming one of us. The Word has become flesh, because we needed more than the light of truth spoken or written, for our hearing was dull and our sight dim due to sin. We needed the Truth to come and live among us and the light to overcome the darkness by shining in the midst of it.
But even this would not have been enough, if the whole life of Jesus had just been one great long “object lesson”: a “fine example” for us all to follow. Yes, Jesus is an example to imitate, but he’s also much more. Indeed, we cannot imitate him until we have his life, his human (not just his divine) life, flowing through us. [We can become like him, because he became like us.]
So, Christians “get in and get dirty” and do many good deeds in the world, and don’t just sit back and think clever or holy thoughts. Why? Because God did! Yes, “it’s the right thing to do”, but we need more than ordinary, weak old conscience to explain the charitable works of Christians like Mother Theresa and St Francis of Assisi in the past and the millions of Christian volunteer-workers in the present. They are drawing on the strength of Jesus, the Incarnate God: the God who came down into our muck and mess, shared in our sufferings and gave himself completely for us.
And one major way we share in the wisdom, strength, life and love of the man Jesus (so we can be the sort of people who do these things) through the Sacraments. Physical, touchable things to create our bond with the physical Jesus. We connect to God through the humanity of Jesus.
And so we see that Jesus is our everything. He is the path and the bridge, as well as the goal we walk towards. He is our best friend, our brother, the human being closest to us; and our God. He is the teacher and the lesson. He is the priest and the sacrifice. He is the humble, sweet little infant of the First Coming and the all-conquering king of the Second Coming; our gentle Advocate and our fearfully holy Judge. O come let us adore him.
Sunday, 29 November 2020
"The day is at hand" +
In the Epistles of St Paul "the Day" often has reference to the return of Christ and final Judgement. Judgement is one of the main themes of Advent . And when St Paul first preached the Gospel, this theme was clearly present (Acts 17:31, 24:25).
Does Judgement, from God's perspective, apply to what the world calls victimless crimes? Sexual impurity, drunkeness, envy/jealousy? Yes, as we see in today's Epistle. It's easier for people to see validity of judgement of sins against loving neighbour, but they inwardly rebel against the idea that God punishes the other sins, that they should even be considered sins at all. "No harm, no foul." However, their conscience can still prick them when they do these things, despite this attitude. Why? Where is the sin?
For a start, they are often not victimless, even in the conventional sense. And they are usually strongly associated with sins more obviously harmful to others.
Drunkenness in one person often claims the life of another, or seriously injures them, as the alcoholically-enhanced road toll reminds us, and as do the scenes of drunken brawls, whether at schoolies venues, as we have seen recently, or elsewhere.
Jealousy can seldom help but break out in gossip and back-biting. It is unusual for it to remain a purely hidden vice of the mind.
The scandal of the abuse of children and minors by RC clergy is due to the same domino effect of sin. The abuses noticeably peaked between the late 60s to the 80s, but were below general community averages before and after this time. Why? They were partly the result of a dangerous change in the choosing and education of seminarians (trainee priests) that occured in the 60s. What was this change? The Church institutions relied on the advice of so-called experts on human sexuality. These experts didn't explicitly teach potential priests to abuse the young, nor did they instruct seminaries to choose paedophiles or ephebophiles. What they did do was teach seminarians and others that traditional sexual morality was foolishly restrictive and that pornography and seeking pleasure for its own sake were ok. And they counselled against allowing through men into the priesthood who they found believed in the classical teaching on these issues, labelling them as too rigid. And, too make things even worse, they told bishops they could cure the abusive clergy, while telling each other that the age of consent should be abolished. These experts based their beliefs on the work of a man called Kinsey. Kinsey, who deliberately set out to overturn concepts of sexual perversion, has been shown to have used scientific fraud to make such perversions appear much more common and therefore normal than was truly the case. And, worse still, he has been shown to have used at least one paedophile rapist, working even on infants, to get his data. He couldn't bring himself to stop at so-called victimless crimes. In each case, we find that the philosophy of the only bad sex is non-consensual sex (rape) leads to rape anyway.
So, victimless crimes do in fact lead quite naturally to victims, offending against love of neighbour.
The second point to make about these sins is that love of neighbour not the only love. Love of God, love of self, are part of the great commandment. Human dignity is the missing ingredient in so many people's ethical thinking: the good life is not just about maximising feelings of happiness or pleasure and minimising feelings of unhappiness or pain. "You owe it to yourself" is an old saying. How can one sin against oneself? "You are not your own, you were bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 6:20). Twice-purchased, by creation and redemption. We belong to God. Self-destruction, self-dehumanisation is an insult to Him, a defacing and defilement of his work of art. Fulfillment of our humanity requires that the reason rules the passions, that the will governs instincts. It also requires that sexual faculties which are designed for creating new life, forming loving unions and sealing the mutual gift of the whole self in a marriage, are not squandered on mere pleasure for self. When we degrade ourselves, we defile God's image, God's gift of spiritual life.
The morality which denies all of this, and judges actions only on how they maximise pleasure or feelings of happiness in the greatest number, is utilitarianism or consequentialism. Why does utilitarianism-consequentialism fail? It cannot make any sense of purely internal sin, despite the essence of morality, of human goodness, obviously being dependent on motive. It cannot even explain why a bedridden man who has secret murder fantasies impossible to fulfill is being a bad man. Or why a hypocrital woman who is outwardly polite and "nice" to a colleague at work but inwardly despises her for her less fashionable dress sense, is being a bad person. Or why a child who chooses not to steal something only because they know they would get caught and punished, is not virtuous.
It is not enough to avoid inflicting pain on others, as essential as that is to goodness. It never has been.
The last point to make is that in itself, such holy Judgement would be Bad News for us. But it does not exist by itself! It exists in the context of the Gospel of Justification. Justification is the declaration of innocence based on forgiveness, the act of judgement that is actually mercy. A blessed paradox. The "good news" about Judgement? Grace, forgiveness, renewal, are freely available. Evil deeds are forgotten, it's as if they never occurred. Good deeds are enabled, prepared, given by God in Christ, but credited to us as if our own.
Here is the link to the playlist of recordings and livestreams from 2020 at St Hilda's.
Tuesday, 24 December 2019
Thursday, 18 April 2019
Maundy Thursday, 7 pm
Mass of the Last Supper, followed by Foot-washing, Stripping of the Altar and Prayer Vigil before the Reserved Sacrament
Good Friday, 10 am
Liturgy of the Presanctified with Veneration of the Cross, followed by a break for a Hot Cross Bun, then Stations of the Cross at 12 noon.
Easter Day, 11 am
Lighting of the Paschal Candle, Litany of the Saints, followed by Mass. Easter eggs blessed and distributed at the end.
Sunday, 23 December 2018
Location: Chapel at St Mary's Campus, All Saints College, Maitland
Entry off Victoria St
Morning Prayer: 10.40 am
Mass: 11 am
O come, let us adore Him.
The Catholic Faith and reverent Worship in the Anglican tradition.
Monday, 22 May 2017
Monday, 8 May 2017
- (1Peter 3:3-4)
Thursday, 20 April 2017
Through all of life's ups and downs may
she always hold tight to God
and may the love of Christ shine through her.
As a newly adopted daughter of God
please welcome her into the Body of Christ.
Monday, 27 March 2017
"God gives faith; we don't. But we can do things that make faith harder for other people, and we must try to minimize those things."
(Quoted from Archbishop Mark Haverland)
Monday, 20 March 2017
Firstly, there is a modern symbolic interpretation of the cross which I like. The vertical section (the up and down line) represents the transcendent, spiritual realm (the Father) and a horizontal section represents the immanent, physical earthly existence (the Son). When you cross yourself these lines are intersecting slightly above center at the point of the heart, creating wholeness (Holy Spirit) as God was made man. Pretty cool aye?
The sign of the cross (Latin: signum crucis), or crossing yourself, is a form of prayer and it isn't a ritual restricted only to Catholics. It is a way of marking ourselves as Christians and it is a visible expression of our belief and hope in God. It is a reminder to us of the Triune God and also recalls Christ's passion and death on the Cross for our salvation. The Sign of the Cross is probably the most often used prayer of Christians. Despite its simplicity, the Sign of the Cross is an ancient prayer rich in meaning. References to it appear in writings dating back to 240 AD, and it is believed that it was in use during the earliest days of Christianity.
Are you wondering how to do it?
2. With an open hand, where their five fingers remind them of the five wounds of Christ.
Anglicans, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics cross themselves using a Western Style. The direction they use is from the left to the right, representing Jesus’ descent into Hades (the left side) and His ascension into Heaven (the right side).
1. Touch your forehead
2. Touch the base of your sternum
3. Touch the left side of your chest
4. Touch the right side of your chest
5. As you cross yourself, say, whisper, or think: “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Now you know "how", but what about "when"?
Well, it is a custom to do this gesture when invoking the Trinity, before and after prayers and ceremony. It is also a stand-alone practice of asking God to bless oneself. Many Christians also make the sign of the cross when they hear the name of the Blessed Trinity. By observing other people in your church you can also get a feeling for times when it is appropriate. You can also cross yourself when you need to pray but you are at a loss for words. By tracing the cross on your body you are taking up your cross and following Jesus. Because we are called to pray non-ceasing, and the crossing of oneself is a form of prayer, I don't think there is any time when it would be inappropriate so don't worry about being the only one inspired to do the gesture at any time during a service.
What's that? you saw someone trace little crosses on themselves?
This is done before the Gospel reading at Mass.
To do this you use your thumb.
1. Place the small cross first on your forehead
(while saying the words in your mind "Christ be on my mind"),
2. then sign the cross on your lips
(while saying the words in your mind "Christ be on my lips"),
3. then sign the cross on your chest
(while saying the words in your mind "Christ be in my heart").
In doing this, we acknowledge our belief in the Word of God, our commitment to spread His Word in our daily lives, and our awareness of His presence in our hearts.
When we make the Sign of the Cross on ourselves, we are also expressing our belief in God and the Trinity, reminding ourselves of God's love for us, of the sacrifice Jesus made to give us eternal life, and of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.
Hope this was helpful. God Bless.
( by Di Mathews: churchwarden /blog administrator)
Monday, 6 March 2017
Monday, 27 February 2017
What is Ash Wednesday About ??
This holy day will mark the beginning of Lent, a 40-day season of fasting and prayer that is considered preparation for Holy Week and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the forehead. The ashes which are made from blessed palm branches taken from the previous year's palm Sunday Mass, symbolize the dust from which God made us. The ash is placed on their foreheads in the shape of the cross as the words from Genesis 3:19 are spoken: “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Lent mirrors Jesus’ own 40-day period of fasting, described in the book of Matthew.
Thursday, 16 February 2017
Monday, 13 February 2017
This Saint Valentines Day when you are feeling all romantic and loving, step back from the commercial card rack and give a thought to the purpose of recognising Saints because Valentines Day wasn't invented to romance the opposite sex. Its purpose was to honour a Saint and to learn by his example. In the legends that developed about Saint Valentine he wasn't trying to win the heart of a young maiden, but rather he puts his dedication to his faith and love of God, followed by his love for and serving of others, above everything including his own safety.
However a lot of the early Saints do have legends that develop.
The lover of Christ and of the church,
we ask for your intercession
so that we may learn to love God above all things,
and to selflessly love one another.
O'Glorious Saint Valentine pray for us,
that we too may have the steadfast faith of the martyrs.
Almighty God, strengthen my faith.
Give me the courage to always place you first.
Fill my soul with the love of God
so that it may shine forth into the world.
Fill my heart with your love for man
so that I may serve them well according to your will.
Lord Jesus Christ... be my Valentine.
( by Di Mathews: churchwarden /blog administrator)
Thursday, 9 February 2017
are faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of them is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Monday, 2 January 2017
and hast brought thy servants to the beginning of another year:
Pardon, we humbly beseech thee, our transgressions in the past,
bless to us this New Year,
and graciously abide with us all the days of our life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sunday, 27 November 2016
- The colour of our Advent altar - purple, the colour of royalty welcoming the coming of Christ the King. Purple is also the colour of suffering used during Lent and Holy Week suggesting connection between Jesus' birth and death. The nativity and the Incarnation, are linked with His crucifixion. Jesus came into the world as the "Word made flesh" and lived among us to reveal God and His grace. He did this through his life and teaching, but also through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
- The Circle Of Wreath - represents the eternity and endless mercy, of God, without beginning, nor end.
- The Green of the Wreath - Our hope of newness, renewal and eternal life.
- Light of the Candles - The Light of God that came into the world through Christ to bring newness, life and hope
- Lighting the Candles - The progressive departure of darkness from the world as the more and more light is shed through the candles.
- Four Outer Candles - The four weeks of Advent, representing the four centuries between the time of the Prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
- Three Purple Candles - A period of waiting, expectation and preparation.
- Advent Sunday - The First Candle: The Candle of Promise. A time of expectation and hope.
- Advent II - The Second Candle: The candle of Light. The peace that is to come.
- Advent III - The Pink Candle. The candle of Love. It symbolizes joy for the promise is almost fulfilled.
- Advent IV - The Fourth Candle:The candle of Hope. The love of God for humanity.
- Christmas Day - The white center candle: The Candle displaying the light of Christ. It is lit on Christmas Eve or Day to display that the light of Christ has come into the world in fulfillment of the prophecies.
Saturday, 12 November 2016
Sunday, 30 October 2016
Christ the King 2016The following is a sermon summary.
How can the Lord receive wisdom when he is omniscient ?
How can he receive power when he is the omnipotent Creator?
What does the one for the Earth is his footstool need with wealth?
What does this act of worship mean?
First, it is can be interpreted as saying that He is worthy of having all this ascribed to Him, so that it is short for “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive acknowledgement of his infinite power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Cf. Revelation 4:11.)
A second way to understand this is to remember that it follows on from earlier statements in the chapter that the Lamb has conquered, established a Kingdom for his people, and earned the right the unroll the scroll of human history and destiny. Thus, the seven glories, which, unusually, are here introduced in the Greek with only one article – “THE power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing”all represent one gift to the King, which is the sum of all creaturely achievements or possessions. In other words, all the good of human kingdoms and cultures and thought find their true place under his sovereignty, and thus all honour is duly given to Him. Then the words can be interpreted as “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive the power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing of all mankind and his works!”
But, as I noted before, Christ's Kingship is not merely over us but, in the end, with us in partnership. This astonishing truth is made clearer as we look further into the chapter and what came before it. Who spoke this praise? The angels, but also the “Elders”. Who are they? Allow me to read from more of the chapter, and then quote from a Biblical Commentary.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals? And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals. And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth. Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! And the four living creatures said, Amen! and the elders fell down and worshiped.
God's sovereignty over the world--as symbolized by the throne--is shared in by others whom the vision also portrays as seated on thrones. They are symbolically described as twenty-four elders who act as a kind of heavenly council or senate. These elders appear frequently in the course of the book, always positioned beside God, rendering him tribute of glory and worship (cf. 4:10) "the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing," (cf. 5:9) “Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation," (cf. 19:4) "And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”, offering him the prayers of the faithful (cf. 5:8) "And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; or explaining events to the seer" (cf. 5:5) "Then one of the elders said to me, “Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”(cf. 7:13) "Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?”. It is not clear whether they stand for angels or saints; the Fathers and recent commentators offer both interpretations.
And in the same way Christ makes a gift to us of Himself and His kingdom, we find here that we give all of ourselves to Him in return for He is worthy, and yet lose nothing and gain everything in the final analysis. Thus the circle is complete, the interchange of love and blessing being perfected in the union of Christ with his Bride, the Church. +