Universalis

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

After seven weeks of Easter joy, it makes a nice change to focus on the Incarnation once again!


It was during the Visitation that Mary proclaimed the Magnificat.

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.



Happy Feast!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Stirling Castle - 3

This says it all! James V Palace re-opened by Her Majesty The Queen - 6 July 2011.


Time for prayer:

Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness,
bless our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth,
and all who are in authority under her;
that they may order all things
in wisdom and equity, righteousness and peace,
to the honour and glory of your name
and the good of your Church and people;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.


And now for our hymn:

Be still for the presence of the Lord
The holy one is here
Come bow before him now
With reverence and fear
In him no sin is found
We stand on holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The holy one is here

Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
He burns with holy fire
With splendour he is crowned
How awesome is the sight
Our radiant king of light
Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around

Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister his grace
No work to hard for him
In faith receive from him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Stirling Castle - 2

This is The Great Hall where the King and Queen held large State Banquets. However, we don't want to linger long in such common places - no let us ascend the private steps to the Royal Palace for a private audience.


Lights' abode, celestial Salem,
vision whence true peace doth spring,
brighter than the heart can fancy,
mansion of the highest King;
O how glorious are the praises
which of thee the prophets sing!

There for ever and for ever
alleluia is outpoured;
for unending, for unbroken
is the feast-day of the Lord;
all is pure and all is holy
that within thy walls is stored.

There no cloud nor passing vapour
dims the brightness of the air;
endless noonday, glorious noonday,
from the Sun of suns is there;
there no night brings rest from labour,
for unknown are toil and care.

O how glorious and resplendent,
fragile body, shalt thou be,
when endued with heavenly beauty,
full of health, and strong, and free,
full of vigour, full of pleasure
that shall last eternally!

Now with gladness, now with courage,
bear the burden on thee laid,
that hereafter these thy labours
may with endless gifts be paid,
and in everlasting glory
thou with bright be arrayed.

Laud and honour to the Father,
laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run.


Monday, 28 May 2012

Stirling Castle - 1

I recently paid a visit to Stirling Castle. I was particularly anxious to see The Palace - the Royal Lodgings of James V and Mary of Guise which have recently been restored.


However, my first port of call was The Chapel Royal. I wanted to pray for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in this her Diamond Jubilee Year.

God of time and eternity,
whose Son reigns as servant, not master;
we give you thanks and praise
that you have blessed this Nation, the Realms and Territories
with ELIZABETH,
our beloved and glorious Queen.
In this year of Jubilee,
grant her your gifts of love and joy and peace
as she continues in faithful obedience to you, her Lord and God
and in devoted service to her lands and peoples,
and those of the Commonwealth,
now and all the days of her life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



I was now ready to move to The Great Hall.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

8th Sunday of Easter - Pentecost

Today we rejoice at the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. We end our Easter Festival on a real high note!


Refrain: Hail thee, festival day!
Blest day that art hallowed forever;
day wherein God from heaven,
shone on the world with his grace.

Lo! in the likeness of fire,
on them that await his appearing,
he whom the Lord foretold,
suddenly, swiftly, descends. Refrain

Forth from the Father he comes
with his sevenfold mystical dowry,
pouring on human souls
infinite riches of God. Refrain

Hark! in a hundred tongues
Christ's own, his chosen Apostles,
preach to a hundred tribes
Christ and his wonderful works. Refrain

Praise to the Spirit of life,
all praise to the Fount of our being,
light that dost lighten all,
life that in all dost abide. Refrain

God, who art giver of all
good gifts and lover of concord,
pour thy balm on our souls,
order our ways in thy peace. Refrain

God Almighty, who fillest
the heaven, the earth and the ocean,
guard us from harm without,
cleanse us from evil within. Refrain

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




Happy Feast!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Ascensiontide - 6


Come down, O love divine, seek Thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with Thine own ardour glowing.
O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear,
And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,
Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.


Friday, 25 May 2012

Ascensiontide - 5

It is time for us to pray for the descent of the Holy Spirit.


Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
with the abundance of thy grace.
Keep far from foes, give peace at home:
where thou art guide, no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee, of both, to be but One,
that through the ages all along,
this may be our endless song:

Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Ascensiontide - 4


The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty victor’s brow.

The highest place that Heav’n affords
Belongs to Him by right;
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
And Heaven’s eternal Light.

The joy of all who dwell above,
The joy of all below,
To whom He manifests His love,
And grants His Name to know.

To them the cross with all its shame,
With all its grace, is given;
Their name an everlasting name,
Their joy the joy of Heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below;
They reign with Him above;
Their profit and their joy to know
The mystery of His love.

The cross He bore is life and health,
Though shame and death to Him,
His people’s hope, His people’s wealth,
Their everlasting theme.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ascensiontide - 3

Here we see Our Lord crossing the finishing line!


Sing we triumphant hymns of praise,
New hymns to Heaven exulting raise:
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand,
Alleluia, Alleluia!
And with the virgin mother see
Jesu’s resplendent majesty.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

To whom the angels, drawing nigh,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?
Alleluia, Alleluia!
This is the Saviour!” thus they say,
“This is His noble triumph day!”
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

“Again ye shall behold Him, so
As ye today have seen Him go;
Alleluia, Alleluia!
In glorious pomp ascending high,
Up to the portals of the sky.”
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

O grant us thitherward to tend,
And with unwearied hearts ascend
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Toward Thy kingdom’s throne, where Thou
As is our faith, art seated now.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Be Thou our joy and strong defense,
Who art our future recompense:
Alleluia, Alleluia!
So shall the light that springs from Thee
Be ours through all eternity.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord,
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Ascensiontide - 2

Today we have one of my favourite hymns!


Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia!
to his throne above the skies; Alleluia!
Christ, the Lamb for sinners given, Alleluia!
enters now the highest heaven! Alleluia!

There for him high triumph waits; Alleluia!
lift your heads, eternal gates! Alleluia!
he hath conquered death and sin; Alleluia!
take the King of glory in! Alleluia!

Lo! the heaven its Lord receives, Alleluia!
yet he loves the earth he leaves; Alleluia!
though returning to his throne, Alleluia!
still he calls mankind his own. Alleluia!

See! he lifts his hands above; Alleluia!
See! he shows the prints of love: Alleluia!
Hark! his gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
blessings on his Church below. Alleluia!

Still for us he intercedes, Alleluia!
his prevailing death he pleads, Alleluia!
near himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
he the first fruits of our race. Alleluia!

Lord, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
far above the starry height, Alleluia!
grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
seeking thee above the skies. Alleluia!

There we shall with thee remain, Alleluia!
partners of thy eternal reign, Alleluia!
there thy face forever see, Alleluia!
find our heaven of heavens in thee, Alleluia!


Monday, 21 May 2012

Ascensiontide - 1

Some of our finest hymns are ideal for this time of the Church's Year.


See, the Conqueror mounts in triumph; see the King in royal state,
Riding on the clouds, His chariot, to His heavenly palace gate.
Hark! the choirs of angel voices joyful alleluias sing,
And the portals high are lifted to receive their heavenly King.

Who is this that comes in glory, with the trump of jubilee?
Lord of battles, God of armies, He has gained the victory.
He Who on the cross did suffer, He Who from the grave arose,
He has vanquished sin and Satan, He by death has spoiled His foes.

He has raised our human nature in the clouds to God’s right hand;
There we sit in heavenly places, there with Him in glory stand:
Jesus reigns, adored by angels; man with God is on the throne;
Mighty Lord, in Thine ascension we by faith behold our own.

Glory be to God the Father, glory be to God the Son,
Dying, risen, ascending for us, who the heavenly realm has won;
Glory to the Holy Spirit, to one God in persons Three;
Glory both in earth and Heaven, glory, endless glory, be.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

7th Sunday of Easter - Ascension Day

Today (three days too late!) we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord.


Refrain: Hail thee, Festival Day!
Blest day that art hallowed forever;
day when our God ascends
high in the heavens to reign.


Lo, the fair beauty of earth,
from the death of the winter arising,
every good gift of the year
now with its Master returns. Refrain

Daily the loveliness grows,
adorned with the glory of blossom;
heaven her gates unbars,
flinging her increase of light. Refrain

Christ in his triumph ascends,
who hath vanquished the devil's dominion;
gay is the woodland with leaves,
bright are the meadows with flowers. Refrain

Christ overwhelms the domain
of Hades and rises to heaven;
fitly the light gives him praise--
meadows and ocean and sky. Refrain

Loosen, O Lord, the enchained,
the spirits imprisoned in darkness;
rescue, recall into life those
who are rushing to death. Refrain

So shalt thou bear in thine arms
an immaculate people to heaven,
bearing them pure unto God,
pledge of thy victory here. Refrain

Jesus, the health of the world,
enlighten our minds, thou Redeemer,
Son of the Father supreme,
only-begotten of God! Refrain

Equal art thou, co-eternal,
in fellowship ay with the Father;
in the beginning by thee
all was created and made. Refrain

And it was thou, bless├Ęd Lord,
who discerning humanity's sorrow,
humbledst thyself for our race,
taking our flesh for thine own. Refrain




Happy Feast!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Rogation Saturday

The thistle is popular in church flower arrangements in Scotland. We ask for God's blessing on all the flowers grown in our gardens.


We thank thee, O our Father,
for all thy loving care;
we thank thee that thou madest
the world so bright and fair.
We thank thee for the sunshine,
and for the pleasant showers;
and O, our God, we thank thee,
we thank thee for the flowers.

Out in the sunny meadows
and in the woodlands cool,
upon the breezy hillside,
and by each reedy pool,
and in the quiet pasture,
and by the broad highway;
all pure and fresh and stainless,
they spring up every day.

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,
e'en there, O God, our Father,
thou mak'st the flowers grow.

And whether in the city
or in the fields they dwell;
always the same sweet message
the fair, sweet flowers tell.
For they are all so wondrous,
they show thy power abroad;
and they are all so beauteous,
they tell thy love, O God.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Rogation Friday

Raspberries are another very important crop in Scotland - in fact, I prefer then to strawberries! I pray that God will look kindly on all our raspberry canes - particularly those in my back garden!


For the fruit of all creation,
thanks be to God.
gifts bestowed on every nation,
thanks be to God.
For the plowing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth's safekeeping,
thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labour,
God's will is done.
In the help we give our neighbour,
God's will is done.
In our worldwide task of caring
for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing,
God's will is done.

For the harvests of the Spirit,
thanks be to God.
For the good we all inherit,
thanks be to God.
For the wonders that astound us,
for the truths that still confound us,
most of all that love has found us,
thanks be to God.


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Rogation Thursday

Many of our finest strawberries are grown in Scotland. We ask for God's blessing on this years crop.


All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voices, let us sing:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beams,
thou silver moon that gently gleams,
Refrain:
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
ye lights of evening, find a voice, (R)

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for thy Lord to hear,
Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
that givest man both warmth and light, (R)

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: (R)

And all ye men of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care: (R)

And thou, most kind and gentle death,
waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
and Christ our Lord the way hath trod: (R)

Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One: (R)


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Rogation Wednesday

Here we see some young potato plants - a most important crop in Scotland.


Lord, in Thy Name Thy servants plead,
And Thou hast sworn to hear;
Thine is the harvest, Thine the seed,
The fresh and fading year.

Our hope, when autumn winds blew wild,
We trusted, Lord, with Thee:
And still, now spring has on us smiled,
We wait on Thy decree.

The former and the latter rain,
The summer sun and air,
The green ear and the golden grain,
All Thine, are ours by prayer.

Thine too by right and ours by grace,
The wondrous growth unseen,
The hopes that soothe, the fears that brace,
The love that shines serene.

So grant the precious things brought forth
By sun and moon below,
That Thee in Thy new heav’n and earth
We never may forgo.




Please note: we shall not be celebrating the Ascension of Our Lord on this blog until Sunday 20 May. Rogation-tide will continue until then - my invention!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Rogation Tuesday

It is time for us to pray for God's blessing on our growing crops.


Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He’d never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Monday, 14 May 2012

St Matthias

The first act of the apostles after the Ascension of Jesus was to find a replacement for Judas. With all the questions, doubts, and dangers facing them, they chose to focus their attention on finding a twelfth apostle. Why was this important? Twelve was a very important number to the Chosen People: twelve was the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. If the new Israel was to come from the disciples of Jesus, a twelfth apostle was needed.


But Jesus had chosen the original twelve. How could they know whom he would choose?

One hundred and twenty people were gathered for prayer and reflection in the upper room, when Peter stood up to propose the way to make the choice.

Peter had one criterion, that, like Andrew, James, John, and himself, the new apostle be someone who had been a disciple from the very beginning, from his baptism by John until the Ascension. The reason for this was simple, the new apostle would must become a witness to Jesus' resurrection. He must have followed Jesus before anyone knew him, stayed with him when he made enemies, and believed in him when he spoke of the cross and of eating his body -- teachings that had made others melt away.

Two men fit this description -- Matthias and Joseph called Barsabbas. They knew that both these men had been with them and with Jesus through his whole ministry. But which one had the heart to become a witness to his resurrection. The apostles knew that only the Lord could know what was in the heart of each. They cast lots in order to discover God's will and Matthias was chosen. He was the twelfth apostle and the group was whole again as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Happy Feast!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

6th Sunday of Easter

Today in the gospel, we hear Jesus call us friends.

Alleluia! bread of heaven,
here on earth our food and stay!
Alleluia! here the sinful
flee to thee from day to day.
Intercessor, Friend of sinners,
earth's Redeemer, plead for me.
Where the songs of all the sinless
sweep across the crystal sea.



Now, for our Easter hymn!

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o'er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Refrain:
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict'ry, thou o'er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting. Refrain

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above. Refrain




Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

St Andrews - 10

Here we have another view of John Knox inside St Andrews Castle!


On his return to Scotland, Knox led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Protestant nobility. The movement may be seen as a revolution, since it led to the ousting of Mary of Guise, who governed the country in the name of her young daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots. Knox helped write the new confession of faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church, the Kirk. He continued to serve as the religious leader of the Protestants throughout Mary's reign. In several interviews with the Queen, Knox admonished her for supporting Catholic practices. Eventually, when she was imprisoned for her alleged role in the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley, and King James VI enthroned in her stead, he openly called for her execution. He continued to preach until his final days.

Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,
your sweetest notes employ,
the Paschal victory to hymn
in strains of holy joy.

For Judah's Lion bursts his chains,
crushing the serpent's head;
and cries aloud through death's domains
to wake the imprisoned dead.

Devouring depths of hell their prey
at his command restore;
his ransomed hosts pursue their way
where Jesus goes before.

Triumphant in his glory now
to him all power is given;
to him in one communion bow
all saints in earth and heaven.

While we, his soldiers, praise our King,
his mercy we implore,
within his palace bright to bring
and keep us evermore.

All glory to the Father be,
all glory to the Son,
all glory, Holy Ghost, to thee,
while endless ages run. Alleluia! Amen.


Friday, 11 May 2012

St Andrews - 9

John Knox (c. 1514 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation who brought reformation to the church in Scotland. He was educated at the University of St Andrews or possibly the University of Glasgow and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1536. Influenced by early church reformers such as George Wishart, he joined the movement to reform the Scottish church. He was caught up in the ecclesiastical and political events that involved the murder of Cardinal Beaton in 1546 and the intervention of the regent of Scotland, Mary of Guise. He was taken prisoner by French forces the following year and exiled to England on his release in 1549.


While in exile, The Rev. John Knox was licensed to work in the Church of England, where he quickly rose in the ranks to serve King Edward VI of England as a royal chaplain. In this position, he exerted a reforming influence on the text of the Book of Common Prayer. In England he met and married his first wife, Marjorie. When Mary Tudor ascended the throne and re-established Roman Catholicism, Knox was forced to resign his position and leave the country.

Knox first moved to Geneva and then to Frankfurt. In Geneva, he met John Calvin, from whom he gained experience and knowledge of Reformed theology and Presbyterian polity. He created a new order of service, which was eventually adopted by the reformed church in Scotland. He left Geneva to head the English refugee church in Frankfurt but he was forced to leave over differences concerning the liturgy, thus ending his association with the Church of England.

Jesus lives! thy terrors now
can no longer, death, appall us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
thou, O grave, canst not enthrall us.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! henceforth is death
but the gate of life immortal;
this shall calm our trembling breath
when we pass its gloomy portal.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! for us he died;
then, alone to Jesus living,
pure in heart may we abide,
glory to our Saviour giving.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! our hearts know well
nought from us his love shall sever;
life, nor death, nor powers of hell
tear us from his keeping ever.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! to him the throne
over all the world is given:
may we go where he has gone,
rest and reign with him in heaven.
Alleluia!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

St Andrews - 8

Having spent the morning visiting the university and castle, I was ready to sit down for lunch at the magnificent Doll's House Restaurant. Sadly, this is not the Duchess of Cambridge making me a cup of coffee; though I did manage to persuade her father-in-law to appear on the blog - see below!


Lunch Menu
Thursday 26th April – Wednesday 9th May 2012
£6.95 for 2 courses (starter & main) Supplement = S


Freshly made soup of the day
Chilled Galia melon with confit pear and passion fruit syrup
Doll’s House smoked haddock and bacon chowder
Steamed Scottish rope mussels in a spicy bacon and herb broth – S £2.45
Spinach and goat’s cheese parfait, mango salsa and rocket
Confit duck and chorizo terrine, tomato and pickle – S £2.95
*****
Twice cooked belly of Carnoustie pork, braised pak choi with a honey and soy jus
Mushroom risotto with aged Parmesan and truffle butter – S £1.95 Pan roasted chicken supreme with spicy peanut sauce
Fillets of red mullet, pickled vegetables and beetroot essence Pan seared Angus rump steak with marsala cream sauce – S £3.95
or upgrade to sirloin – S £4.50
Penne pasta in a creamy chilli sauce with artichokes and olives
Fillet of sea bream, buttered mussels and garden pea guacamole – S £2.00
Poached fillet of Scottish salmon with a wild garlic risotto
*****
All served with seasonal vegetables and potatoes - and bread and butter


Small wonder it was popular with Prince William and Kate Middleton!

At the Lamb's high feast we sing
praise to our victorious King,
who hath washed us in the tide
flowing from his pierced side;
praise we him, whose love divine
gives his sacred Blood for wine,
gives his Body for the feast,
Christ the victim, Christ the priest.

Where the Paschal blood is poured,
death's dark angel sheathes his sword;
Israel's hosts triumphant go
through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal victim, Paschal bread;
with sincerity and love
eat we manna from above.

Mighty victim from on high,
hell's fierce powers beneath thee lie;
thou hast conquered in the fight,
thou hast brought us life and light:
now no more can death appall,
now no more the grave entrall;
thou hast opened paradise,
and in thee thy saints shall rise.

Easter triumph, Easter joy,
sin alone can this destroy;
from sin's power do thou set free
souls newborn, O Lord, in thee.
Hymns of glory and of praise,
Risen Lord, to thee we raise;
Holy Father, praise to thee,
with the Spirit, ever be.


As you know, I recently added a weather widget to this blog. In an attempt to improve things further, there will now be an occasional full weather forecast. Our forecaster tonight is none other than HRH The Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles).

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

St Andrews - 7

St Andrews Castle was the official residence of Scotland’s leading bishop (and later archbishop) throughout the Middle Ages. Its scale demonstrated the power and wealth of the bishops, and it was the setting for many important events which determined the course of Scottish history. Some of the key moments leading up to the Scottish Reformation in 1560 were played out within its precinct. These include the burning of George Wishart, the Protestant preacher, the murder of Cardinal Beaton, and the great siege of 1546–7, when Rev John Knox was one of the garrison.


An amazing part of any visit are the Mine and Counter-mine – these unique underground passages give visitors a palpable sense of the horrific nature of medieval siege warfare. My meditation came to me easily as left this gloomy place!

1 Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus my Saviour,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord!
Refrain:
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Alleluia! Christ arose!


2 Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus my Saviour;
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus my Lord!
Refrain:

3 Death cannot keep its Prey,
Jesus my Saviour;
He tore the bars away,
Jesus my Lord!
Refrain:


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

St Andrews - 6

Well, at least I was joined by a crow in the castle grounds!


On a headland to the north of St Andrews stand the ruins of the city’s castle, the main residence of the bishops and archbishops of St Andrews – the focal point of the Church in Medieval Scotland.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.


I'm not sure the crow would particularly appreciate the description in this hymn!

Monday, 7 May 2012

St Andrews - 5

Even the castle grounds were deserted - perhaps there was some big golf event going on that I was unaware of!


More time for meditation.

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

It was a glorious day!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

5th Sunday of Easter

Hardly the sort of vine that Jesus is referring to in the gospel today, but it is good to see this wisteria vine in full bloom. The vine, which looks so dead during Lent, bursts into new life at Easter - Alleluia!


This joyful Eastertide,
away with care and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
hath sprung to life this morrow.
Refrain:
Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne'er burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now is Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen, arisen.


Death's flood hath lost its chill,
since Jesus crossed the river:
Lover of souls, from ill
my passing soul deliver, Refrain

My flesh in hope shall rest,
and for a season slumber,
till trump from east to west
shall wake the dead in number. Refrain




Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

St Andrews - 4

Plenty of time for quiet meditation in the university garden. I was starting to wonder whether the grounds had been cleared for some special filming, and I was ruining everything!


Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.

’Tis the spring of souls today; Christ has burst His prison,
And from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen;
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
From His light, to Whom we give laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendour,
With the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb’s dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal hold Thee as a mortal;
But today amidst the twelve Thou didst stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing.

Alleluia! - now we cry to our King immortal,
Who, triumphant, burst the bars of the tomb’s dark portal;
Alleluia! - with the Son, God the Father praising,
Alleluia! - yet again to the Spirit raising.

Friday, 4 May 2012

St Andrews - 3

Here we see the totally deserted main building of St Andrews University at high-noon. I know that there are cut backs in public spending on higher education, but this is ridiculous!


Still, I had plenty of peace and quiet for my Easter meditation.

A brighter dawn is breaking,
And earth with praise is waking;
For Thou, O King, most highest,
The power of death defiest.

And Thou hast come victorious,
With risen body glorious,
Who now forever livest,
And life abundant givest.

O free the world from blindness,
And fill the world with kindness,
Give sinners resurrection,
Bring striving to perfection.

In sickness give us healing,
In doubt Thy clear revealing,
That praise to Thee be given
In earth as in Thy Heaven.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

St Andrews - 2

Here we see the main building of the university at 12 noon - during term time. Where is everyone? Don't tell me they are all in the library!


Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
Tell me the story simply, as to a little child,
For I am weak and weary, and helpless and defiled.

Refrain

Tell me the old, old story, tell me the old, old story,
Tell me the old, old story, of Jesus and His love.

Tell me the story slowly, that I may take it in,
That wonderful redemption, God’s remedy for sin.
Tell me the story often, for I forget so soon;
The early dew of morning has passed away at noon.

Refrain

Tell me the story softly, with earnest tones and grave;
Remember I’m the sinner whom Jesus came to save.
Tell me the story always, if you would really be,
In any time of trouble, a comforter to me.

Refrain

Tell me the same old story when you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory is costing me too dear.
Yes, and when that world’s glory is dawning on my soul,
Tell me the old, old story: “Christ Jesus makes thee whole.”

Refrain

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

St Andrews - 1

I recently paid a visit to St Andrews - and had lunch in my favourite restaurant, the Doll's House. This is the restaurant where (the then) Kate Middleton worked as a part-time waitress when she was a student at the University. How her life has changed!


I have never seen the town so quiet - perhaps people knew that I was planning to visit! Here we see the main street looking towards the ruins of the Cathedral.

I had a delicious lunch and sat at the table at which the body guards sat when Prince William and Kate were out courting. I was informed that on one occasion, the couple asked to have the body guards moved, as they were being a nuisance! The restaurant is superb value - just £6.95 for a two course lunch. I also enjoyed a quarter litre of wine - well, it is Eastertide. I had to taste the vine's new fruit!

Thou hallowed chosen morn of praise,
that best and greatest shinest;
fair Easter, queen of all the days,
of seasons, best, divinest!
Christ rose from death; and we adore
forever and forevermore.

Come, let us taste the Vine's new fruit,
for heavenly joy preparing;
today the branches with the root
in resurrection sharing:
whom as true God our hymns adore
forever and forevermore.

Rise, Zion, rise! and looking forth,
behold thy children round thee!
From east and west, from south and north,
thy scattered sons have found thee;
and in thy bosom Christ adore
forever and for evermore.

O Father, O co-equal Son,
O co-eternal Spirit,
in persons Three, in Godhead One,
and One in power and merit;
in thee baptized, we thee adore
forever and for evermore.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May Day

In many parts of Britain it is traditional to have maypole dancing on 1 May.


The winter’s sleep was long and deep,
But earth is awakened and gay;
For the life ne’er dies that from God doth rise,
And the green comes after the grey.

So God doth bring the world to spring;
And on this holy day
Doth the Church proclaim her Apostles’ fame,
To welcome the first of May.

Two saints of God went by the road
That leadeth on to light;
And they gave up all at their Master’s call,
To work in their Master’s sight.

Would Philip’s mind the Father find?
Lo, he hath found the Way;
For to know the Son is to know the One
Whom the earth and the heavens obey.

And James, ’twas thine by grace divine
To preach the Christian life,
Where our faith is shown by our works alone,
And love overcometh strife.

Lord, grant that we may brethren be—
As Christians live in deed;
For it is but so we can learn to know
The truth that to Thee doth lead.


This hymn of course is for use in those churches which keep 1 May as the Feast of Sts Philip and James, rather than St Joseph the Worker.

For those of you who have never seen maypole dancing, here is video of some well-trained dancers in Oxfordshire.



They seem to capture the joyful mood of this Easter Season!

Happy May Day!