Sunday, 28 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 10

For this Day of Resurrection we have a scene from the Chapel of the Resurrection.

We celebrated Harvest Festival in the Chapel just before half term. Here we see some of the produce placed on the altar. Two of our young altar servers wanted to get in on the photo also!

To thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise
In hymns of adoration;
To thee bring sacrifice of praise
With shouts of exultation.
Bright robes of gold the fields adorn,
The hills with joy are ringing,
The valleys stand so thick with corn
That even they are singing.

And now, on this our festal day,
Thy bounteous hand confessing,
Upon thine altar, Lord, we lay
The first-fruits of thy blessing;
By thee the souls of men are fed
With gifts of grace supernal;
Thou who dost give us daily bread,
Give us the Bread eternal.

We bear the burden of the day,
And often toil seems dreary;
But labour ends with sunset ray,
And rest is for the weary;
May we, the Angel-reaping o'er,
Stand at the last accepted,
Christ's golden sheaves for evermore
To garners bright elected.

O, blessed is that land of God,
Where Saints abide for ever;
Where golden fields spread fair and broad,
Where flows the crystal river:
The strains of all its holy throng
With ours to-day are blending;
Thrice blessed is that harvest song
Which never hath an ending.

Good words which remind us not just of earthly food, but also of the heavenly food which we receive in the Eucharist. The words also remind us that we are called to be God's harvest - something which we shall be very aware of on Thursday 1 November when we celebrate with great joy the Solemnity of All Saints'.

I am off for a few days break in Scotland, and so my next posting will be on Tuesday 6 November. I shall be starting a new mini-series entitled 'Autumn Glory.'

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 9

Not everything in the harvest festival display was grown in the garden of Latymer House!

These items were donated by our pupils (and their parents) for distribution to some of the financially less well off members of the local community. I even spotted tins of dog and cat food - so some of the local pets were in for a treat!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 8

Yes, it was inevitable that the pumpkin would make an appearance. I am amused that the pupils were informed that the vegetable could be used in soups or stews - this one is almost certainly going to be carved!

I am much more impressed with this magnificent harvest loaf.

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest-home!
All be safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God's own temple, come;
Raise the song of harvest-home!

We ourselves are God's own field,
Fruit unto his praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear:
Grant, O harvest Lord, that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take his harvest home;
From his field shall purge away
All that doth offend, that day;
Give his Angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast,
But the fruitful ears to store
In his garner evermore.

Then, thou Church triumphant, come,
Raise the song of harvest-home;
All be safely gathered in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There for ever purified
In God's garner to abide:
Come, ten thousand Angels, come,
Raise the glorious harvest-home!

Another superb harvest hymn!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 7

Here we have potatoes...

...and beetroot...

...and pole beans and tomatoes...

...all grown in the garden of Latymer House.

We plough the fields, and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft refreshing rain:
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
For all his love.

He only is the Maker
Of all things near and far.
He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star.
The winds and waves obey him,
By him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, his children,
He gives our daily bread:
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
For all his love.

We thank thee then, O Father,
For all things bright and good;
The seed-time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food.
No gifts have we to offer
For all thy love imparts,
But that which thou desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts:
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
For all his love.

What splendid words!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 6

Most of the vegetables have now been harvested from the School Garden, and have been put on display in Latymer House for the Harvest Thanksgiving. They will then be eaten!

The young pupils have been given helpful hints on the finer qualities of some of the produce. Here we have carrots and spinach...

...and here we have sweet-corn...

...and here we have rainbow chard.

It wasn't so up market in my school days!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 5

Here we see more vegetables growing in the garden of Latymer House.

Runner beans are my favourite vegetable!

I'm not so keen on winter greens!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 4

Here we see some vegetables growing in the garden of Latymer House. They are almost ready for harvesting. The plants have been tended with great devotion by the young pupils who attend the Gardening Club.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

The Day of Resurrection - 3

Here we have something a little more edifying than pumpkins as we celebrate the first day of the week.

Now let the heavens be joyful,
And earth her song begin,
The round world keep high triumph,
And all that is therein;
Let all things seen and unseen
Their notes of gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen,
Our Joy that hath no end.

A real excuse to sing Alleluia!

Have a Happy Sunday.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 3

Some of our Chapel members seem to have found a superior source of pumpkins to those grown at Latymer House!

I have read in the press that this year's pumpkin harvest has been a very poor one - but this farmer should make a good profit!

I'm afraid that one of these pumpkins is destined for the altar in the Chapel of the Resurrection - I hope I shall not get the sack for such liturgical irregularities. I had little choice in the matter - honestly Your Eminence.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 2

I'm not sure these tomatoes would have been awarded a Gold Medal at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens. However they were faithfully grown in the garden at Latymer House by the pupils in our Prep School. They might not look great - but I am assured they tasted delicious, and that is what really matters.

I suppose with pumpkins it is the other way round - it is looks that matter. The young gardeners were very proud of the pumpkins they grew. I guess these are destined to become Halloween lanterns!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Harvest Festival - 1

Here is a photo of the harvest festival display at Harlow Carr Gardens.

The only problem is - it all looks too good to eat! Have a Happy St Luke's Day.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Farewell to Summer - 8

I also know what this flower is - it is a sunflower!

By now the petals will have died back and the seeds will be providing food for the birds. The sunflower also provides man with oil - and so this image happily leads us into our celebration of Harvest, which will start tomorrow - St Luke's Little Summer.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Farewell to Summer - 7

Well I do know what these flowers growing in Harlow Carr Gardens are - they are sweet peas.

Not only do they look nice, they also have a lovely fragrance. We too can fill the world with a lovely fragrance by displaying the Fruits of the Spirit.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Farewell to Summer - 6

I'm not sure what type of flower this is - but it is a cheerful little thing!

Perhaps we can all try and bring a little joy into someone's life today!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

The Day of Resurrection - 2

Here is a photo of a lovely hybrid tea rose growing in a garden in Escrick, near York.

Our hearts be pure from evil,
That we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal
Of resurrection-light;
And, listening to his accents,
May hear so calm and plain
His own 'All hail,' and, hearing,
May raise the victor strain.

Splendid words for this first day of the week.

Have a Happy Sunday, and please offer a prayer for my Mother (Jean) - today is her 87th birthday.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Farewell to Summer - 5

Here is a photo of a hanging basket seen in the streets of York.

And in the dusty city,
Where busy crowds pass by;
And where the tall dark houses
Stand up and hide the sky,
And where through lanes and alleys
No pleasant breezes blow,
Dear God our Father, even there
You make the flowers grow.

Actually, I think York is a lovely city. I am a Yorkshireman after all!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Farewell to Summer - 4

Here we see a lovely water lily blooming in a pond in Harlow Carr Gardens.

For each perfect gift of thine
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven:
Christ our God, to thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

I am sure this image will bring joy to any Buddhist visitors to this blog.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Farewell to Summer - 3

Here we see some 'red hot pokers' growing in Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Kindle our lips with the live bright coal from the hands of the Seraph;
Shine in our minds with thy light; burn in our hearts with thy love.

What a lovely prayer to the Holy Spirit this is.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Farewell to Betty

Today I am saying farewell to Betty Wells. She would have been 91 years old yesterday, but died in hospital on Thursday 27 September. I was able to be with her that evening. It came as no surprise that she requested me to preside at her burial following a Solemn Requiem Mass at St Thomas Aquinas Church, Ham. She had planned her funeral down to the smallest detail - including visiting the undertakers in August to pay for it. She requested white, pink and purple lilies - purple vestments for the Mass, but I could wear a white stole for the burial.

She had chosen the three hymns - Abide with me; All things bright and beautiful; and There is a green hill far away.

There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin:
He only could unlock the gate
Of heaven, and let us in.

Let us pray that Betty will soon be in heaven with all the saints who from their labours rest.

I photographed these lovely pink lilies in Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate on Friday 31 August, after having lunch in the cafe there. And what, you may ask, was the name of the name of the cafe? Well, Bettys of course!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Farewell to Summer - 2

Here we have another scene from Petersham Nurseries - which are located just 1 mile from my home.

When in the bosom of the earth
The sower hid the grain,
Thy goodness marked its secret birth,
And sent the early rain.

Yes, we have had plenty of rain this year!

Monday, 8 October 2007

Farewell to Summer - 1

As autumn starts to take hold, I thought that this week we would have a final look back at summer. Next week we shall be celebrating Harvest Festival.

Here we see a mixture of flowers and vegetables growing in Petersham Nurseries - a real kitchen garden scene!

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise him, alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them his glory also show:
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Christ whose glory fills the skies

The Northern Ireland Exam Board kindly let me spend Friday night in the Hilton Hotel in Belfast. This is the view which greeted me at 7.00 am on Saturday from my bedroom window on the 8th floor. The sun was just about to rise - and the River Lagan reflected the glory of the early morning sky.

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o'er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Daystar, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn
Unaccompanied by thee;
Joyless is the day's return,
Till thy mercy's beams I see;
Till they inward light impart,
Glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy Divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day.

I think these words by Charles Wesley are simply perfect.

Have a Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Church spire viewed from Latymer Upper School

Sadly this is not the Chapel of the Resurrection. This is in fact the spire of Rivercourt Methodist Church as seen from the grounds of Latymer Upper School. I am sure that the Methodists who attend this church are fond of hymn singing!

Hymns of glory, songs of praise,
Father, unto thee we raise;
Jesus, glory unto thee,
Ever with the Spirit be.

NB I am in Belfast for a couple of days - hence this 'early' posting! Normal service on Sunday.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Well that was quick work!

Sadly this is just an artists impression of the finished building. It will be some months yet before it really looks like this! Still it is nice to dream on. In our worship on earth we are preparing ourselves for worship in heaven.

Saints below, with heart and voice,
Still in songs of praise rejoice;
Learning here, by faith and love,
Songs of praise to sing above.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Getting ready for the glass front

The hoarding at the North End of the New Music School has now been moved so as to make room for a second crane which will be erected this weekend. This crane will be used to 'slot' the giant panes of glass into the front of the building. I hope God does not intend to teach us a lesson as he did when the Tower of Babel was built!

And will man alone be dumb
Till that glorious kingdom come?
No, the Church delights to raise
Psalms and hymns and songs of praise.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

New build from the North End

It is interesting to note that the North End of the new Music School will be glass-fronted. This is the one side on which the sun will not directly shine. One can only assume that the architects knew what they were doing!

This new building replaces the former library and classics department building - which was only about 70 years old.

Heaven and earth must pass way,
Songs of praise shall crown that day;
God will make new heavens and earth,
Songs of praise shall hail their birth.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

A closer look at the building works

Our new music school is going up rapidly. At one time we had hoped it would be finished by Christmas - Easter now seems the more likely completion date.

Songs of praise awoke the morn
When the Prince of peace was born;
Songs of praise arose when he
Captive led captivity.

Monday, 1 October 2007

New Build at Latymer Upper School

We are having a new music school built at Latymer. This lovely hymn talks about songs of praise being sung by the angels at the time of Creation. A timely thought at this Michaelmastide.

Songs of praise the angels sang,
Heaven with alleluias rang,
When creation was begun,
When God spake and it was done.