Sunday, 23 June 2013

The prayer of Jesus

Oh, it's been over a week since I posted - so 2 videos to make up!
When I was in seminary I remember being fascinated by efforts being made to re-create what the Lord's Prayer would have actually sounded like when spoken by Jesus. The language that he used was Aramaic, which is still the liturgical language of some of the Eastern Rites of the Church. So one way of doing such a re-creation is simply to listen to the Our Father as spoken or sung by our fellow Christians of today. 
So here are two such versions, both set to music. One is an Australian recording and the other American.  The first is a little New Agey, but still beautiful. The second, slightly longer, has a man speaking the prayer then a choir singing it. So here is the Our Father or Abun d'bashmayo, version one - click on the picture.
And so here is the second version - click on the picture here too.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Priest and people

I came across a video that I'd seen before - and maybe posted here. But I think it's worth looking at again, as it says a lot about the relationship between priest and people... It's in Spanish, but with subtitles. 
Click on the picture...

Monday, 10 June 2013

Of Lewises and wall paintings

The beautiful weather continues... at least for the moment. On Saturday I was invited out for lunch, and afterwards we decided to take an afternoon trip into the Vale of Glamorgan. For the non-locals, this is the rural area west of Cardiff as far as Bridgend. It's a place of pretty villages, winding lanes and, especially at this time of year, green everywhere.
We headed first to Llantrithyd. This tiny village is one of the "sources" of my own family history. Thomas Lewis was born there in about 1735, and presumably his forebears had been like him, "aglabs" or agricultural labourers there for generations further back than that. His grandson Richard Lewis moved into Cardiff to work at Penylan farm, where he met Elizabeth Harding. Their daughter Jane married my great-grandfather, Baptist minister David Jones.
We walked through the silent churchyard and found the ancient church open (left). It is a little in need of some tlc, yet I easily spent a little while absorbing the peace, and thinking of the generations of Lewises who had lived there.
Then we moved on to the nearby - and better known - village of Llancarfan. The church here is on an even older site, being the location of St Cadoc's clas or community 1500 years ago. It has been in the headlines as the removal of whitewash is revealing 15th century frescoes. I was surprised how much has already been done. The Seven Deadly Sins emerged first, followed by a large St George and the Dragon. Work will continue, I imagine, for years to come. The style reminds you of the "new" medieval frescoes in St Teilo's Church at St Fagans - but these are the real thing! Click on the picture to visit the church website.
If you're in visiting distance, or passing through South Wales, St Cadoc's Church in Llancarfan is well worth a visit. Fr M approves....  and you might pop into Llantrithyd too! 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

It's not about the nail

At my rapidly advancing age (big 60 later this month) I've observed a lot of people. What about this men and women bit - are there real differences? I remember reading "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus" years ago and, well, yes, there was something in it. One of that book's main proposals is that women's deepest wish is to be listened to, have their feelings "validated", while men's deepest is to be needed. So the worst thing you can say to a woman is "I don't care what you're feeling", and to a man "I don't need you". 
Anyway, I came across a little video which puts some flesh on this, at least the women's side of it. It's a clever little piece called "It's not about the nail" - see what you think! Click on the picture.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


In busy parish life, I am often faced with a clash in my diary. This evening I want to be two places at the same time, but not having the gift of bilocation, it's going to be difficult. Strangely the two clashing appointments symbolise two very different aspects of a pp's life. 
At 7pm in our parish primary school, Christ the King, there is a termly meeting of the full Governing Body. In a Catholic school the Governors have authority in at least four areas - the appointment of staff, the admission of children, the supervision of the curriculum and the distribution of the money. Or who does the teaching, who gets taught, what they get taught and how you pay for it! I am a great believer in Catholic schools, and also believe that parish clergy should be involved in the governing of our schools - not all priests agree...
But also at 7pm in the house of some parishioners is the "post mortem" on this year's
Celebrate Wales a month ago. Now I am a great supporter of Celebrate too, and this year we are seeing some very positive developments in our 3 Churches as a result of Celebrate. More of that in a later posting.
So, what to do? The education of our children or the stirring up and celebrating of our faith? Well, I'll attempt both, I think. I'll go to the Governors then at maybe 8pm make my excuses and zoom over to the Celebrate meeting.
Two very different meetings... Thank God for our living Church!