Friday, 29 March 2013

Lenten Pilgrimage - 39

On this Good Friday we find ourselves at the church of St Mary the Virgin, located in the Market Street at Ullapool.

St Mary’s congregation began in 1940 when occasional services were conducted in various locations in Ullapool by the Rector of St James’s, Dingwall. In 1968 regular services began in the Village Hall, continuing until 1976 when the then Itinerant Priest of the Diocese took up residence at number 25 Market Street

A small chapel was created within the house, and dedicated, in 1976, to St Mary the Virgin. Within the chapel the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a gift from the church of St Michael and All Saints in Edinburgh.

In 1979 Episcopalians in the Achiltibuie area were gathered together by the Itinerant Priest and services were conducted each month in various locations in the village, including the Village Hall. This continued until 1998 when the area was taken under the wing of the Ullapool congregation.

O sacred head, sore wounded,
defiled and put to scorn;
O kingly head surrounded
with mocking crown of thorn:
What sorrow mars thy grandeur?
Can death thy bloom deflower?
O countenance whose splendour
the hosts of heaven adore!

Thy beauty, long-desirèd,
hath vanished from our sight;
thy power is all expirèd,
and quenched the light of light.
Ah me! for whom thou diest,
hide not so far thy grace:
show me, O Love most highest,
the brightness of thy face.

I pray thee, Jesus, own me,
me, Shepherd good, for thine;
who to thy fold hast won me,
and fed with truth divine.
Me guilty, me refuse not,
incline thy face to me,
this comfort that I lose not,
on earth to comfort thee.

In thy most bitter passion
my heart to share doth cry,
with thee for my salvation
upon the cross to die.
Ah, keep my heart thus moved
to stand thy cross beneath,
to mourn thee, well-beloved,
yet thank thee for thy death.

My days are few, O fail not,
with thine immortal power,
to hold me that I quail not
in death's most fearful hour;
that I may fight befriended,
and see in my last strife
to me thine arms extended
upon the cross of life.


As is now my custom on Good Friday, this afternoon I sowed eight tomato seeds* between 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm as I meditated on the words of Our Lord as recorded in the gospels:

"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." (John 12:23-24)

* This year, I am growing Tomato Apero F1 Hybrid - which has received the RHS Award for Garden Merit.

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