The Curate's Blog

  • Rev Annabelle Elletson

Legend has it that, as a boy Cuthbert was minding sheep on a mountain near Melrose when he had a vision of angels taking Aidan, the founding Bishop of Lindisfarne, up to heaven. It turned out that Aidan had died that very same night.

Cuthbert later joined the community at Melrose Abbey and became a monk. He later became Bishop at Lindisfarne himself, before returning to his preferred life as a hermit, until his death in 687.

This prayer comes from the Northumbria Community's Cuthbert Compline:


O God, and Spirit, and Jesu, the Three,

from the crown of my head, O Trinity,

to the soles of my feet mine offering be.

Come I unto Thee, O Jesu, my King -

O Jesu, do Thou be my sheltering.

Amen


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  • Rev Annabelle Elletson

St Joseph is one of the saints of whom we know little - beyond his support of Mary following the Annunciation, their difficult journey to Bethlehem then his taking the new family to safety in Egypt, he is mentioned only indirectly again. We presume he was at the Temple in Jerusalem when Jesus went missing, but it seems likely he had died by the time of Jesus' ministry. We do know, though, that he was descended from David, and the shoot from Jesse that fulfilled the Hebrew Bible's prophesy.

This painting from 1850 by John Everett Millais, Christ in the House of His Parents, captures family life as the child Jesus might have known it. Millais has added various details, though: Jesus has scratched his hand, as a reference to his wounds at the crucifixion, with blood also dripping on to his foot. Very carefully, his cousin John the Baptist carries in a bowl of water to wash the wound, as later he will wash Jesus in baptism.

In many ways the painting is startlingly realistic - Joseph's concern, the shavings on the floor, and the care not to spill the water by John. How realistic, though, is it that the child helping in the carpenter's shop is dressed so spotlessly in white?!


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  • Rev Annabelle Elletson

17th March is celebrated widely both in Ireland, the UK and in the USA to mark St Patrick, First Bishop of Armagh and Patron Saint of Ireland.

Patrick was reputed to have been taken to Ireland as a slave, probably from Wales, and became Ireland's first and greatest Apostle, travelling the whole island to teach the gospel and preach against paganism. Tradition holds that Ireland has no snakes because of a miracle carried out by Patrick.

He died in approximately 461, aged over seventy, and is remembered by the shamrock, worn on this day around the world to honour him.

Patrick founded many churches and monasteries, and his seat at Armagh became the centre of Christianity in Ireland. His main concern was to exalt the name of the Triune God.

This prayer comes from the Northumbria Community's Patrick Compline:


The God of life with guarding hold you;

the loving Christ with guarding fold you;

the Holy Spirit, guarding, mould you;

each night of life to aid, enfold you;

each day and night of life uphold you.

May God shield me;


may God fill me;

may God keep me;

may God watch me'

may God bring me this night

to the nearness of His love.


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