Thursday, 4 October 2007

Saint Francis and the Harvest.

Saint Francis.

Looking towards the choir stalls.

Saint Hilda today.

The Harvest Display.

I have just returned from a very well attended meeting of our 'First Thursday' prayer group/Bible study. As it is the feast of Saint Francis, we talked about his rule, his spirituality and particularly his great acceptance of all the people he met upon the avenues on which God chose to direct him. It was a most successful evening, rounded off as always with Compline and silent prayers to Our Lady before heading home. I noticed that the Flower Ladies have done a magnificent job of the flowers for Harvest, I particularly like the mushrooms and carrots on sticks poking out of the oasis! The display by Saint Hilda is very effective as well. I was struck by St Francis' devotion to the harvest of Souls and the proximity to Harvest Sunday and his call to penitence to us all. I wonder what we would think if we met him now, preaching in our cities, calling the shoppers to repentance?

As you can see, we moved our statue of St Francis in front of the Altar Rails and as usual put the lectern at the steps to the choir and a large candle in the middle. Before you splutter about the Liturgical Movement, this brings in the space very well, and by lighting just the choir and (dimly) the High Altar, it creates a very intimate space, rather 'ship like', floating in the midst of darkness. Although I feel we shall have to retreat to the community room soon, as the nights are drawing in and it gets colder. Sitting in the choir stalls is rather monastic, which is quite the point!
Saint Francis’ Canticle of All Creatures.
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.
Heavenly Father,You gave Your servant Francis
great love for each of Your creatures.
Teach us to see Your design in all of creation.
We ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Saint Francis, Pray for us and all your children.