52 Gospels and a Saviour

Reflections on gendered language, socially contextualized imagery, one-year lectionaries and sermon series

Siôn B. E. Rhys Evans
19 min readDec 29, 2021


An early fifteenth century Burgundian John the Evangelist at the Met Museum

The feast of the disciple whom Jesus loved — gentle, reflective, compassionate; the one to whom he entrusted his mother — turned out to be a good day on which to conclude listening to The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast series, about Mark Driscoll’s Seattle mega-church, which never aimed to be particularly gentle.

The culture and practice of Christianity at Mars Hill, and within American evangelicalism more broadly, contains so much with which I’m unfamiliar (thoroughgoing complementarianism, elder trails, demon trials, church creation ex nihilo) that I’m nervous about commenting or drawing too many parallels (though I’m allowing myself some envy at the investment in communication and technology; and some relief at subsisting within an episcopal tradition, with its shared cure of souls and timbre of oversight, whatever its other occasionally deadening frustrations).

However, as later episodes detailed the lives changed and, it must be said, harmed by Mars Hill — by its culture, its practice and its leadership — it was hard not to reflect on something which I’ve always known, but which our enfeebled church infrastructure within Anglicanism can sometimes make us disregard: gathered Christian worshipping and teaching communities are formative places. Whether we intend it or not, their culture and practice shapes people’s lives by shaping their understanding of themselves and their understanding of God — and that can be a misshaping if the formation is bad, abusive or simply lukewarm. More fundamentally and positively, gathered Christian worshipping and teaching communities are supposed to be powerful enough to change people by revealing repeatedly something of the nature of God.

(This is the essential premise of the Parish Communion Movement, drawing on Gabriel Herbert’s thesis in Liturgy and Society that a community’s liturgy should be shaped by a community’s prior understanding of the nature of God, for the liturgy will re-form the community to live that understanding in the world — a reading reflected upon more eloquently and accurately by Andrew Bishop in Eucharist Shaping and Hebert’s Liturgy and Society: Church, Mission and Personhood; and it’s also Ann Morisy’s glowing insight in Bothered and Bewildered, as when she reflects on the way in which a culture of scarcity flowing from declining resources within contemporary church communities gives birth to a theology of scarcity — a vision of God who is stingy with love — which in turn forms stingy Christians; whereas, in fact, God’s love is abundant, even wasteful, as church communities must therefore also be in their worship and their teaching, and so at their heart.)

Since the beginning of October, I’ve been involved in leading a gathered Christian worshipping and teaching community, as Sub-Dean of Saint Deiniol’s Cathedral in Bangor.

We’ve had a generative few months; the Cathedral is blessed with a new, gifted, productive Director of Music within a small but hard-working music team; I have other patient and supportive colleagues; there was an appreciated need to re-boot worship after an inward-focused, hard lockdown; and an intentionally long-term decanal interregnum and no Precentor has allowed for some significant liturgical latitude.

We’re clear that a generative renewal of our worshipping and teaching life is only one of the things we have to be getting on with at the Cathedral (one of six things, in fact; the other five being beautifying, restoring and renovating the fabric; welcoming pilgrims and telling the Christian story to visitors; reaching out to those who won’t cross out threshold because the culture gap is too big; serving the city and catalyzing its regeneration; and resourcing the parishes of the diocese through all that we do); but attention to the formative quality of our worshipping life is a proper priority for any church community.

Enabling the “Cathedral worship” of our two main Sunday services (a Welsh-language and an English-language choral Holy Eucharist) to be, yes, offered to the glory to God, but also edifyingly formatives celebrations, has weighed heavily on me.

My motivation here has been to create a liturgical life that is capable of contributing to the ongoing formation forming of the type of Christian community which I believe the Cathedral community would describe itself as wishing to become, based in turn on its understanding of the nature of the God who calls us. Within the breadth of Anglican tradition, I imagine this particular community speaking of God the Holy Trinity as Source, Measure and Fulfilment, and as the originator, form and goal of revelation, approached through the theological vitues of faith hope and love; and of Christian life as baptismal, eucharistic and sacramental, and as broadly liberal and Catholic, apologetically alert and socially engaged.

By the beginning of Advent, we had established a pattern of good music, decent bulletins / worship aids (in Welsh and English; and for bilingual special services), a diary of observances across two liturgical seasons, and the custom of three sacred ministers at the altar-table; better vestments, robes, furnishings and A.V. / streaming equipment are in the pipeline. Much of that amounts simply to the restoration of what is good and proper for even a small, quite thinly resourced Cathedral.

In other areas of our worshipping and teaching life, in service of the formational model I’ve described, I’m conscious of being more interventionist, forging and exposed.

(1) Inclusive and egalitarian language

Worshipping and teaching about God the Holy Trinity as Source, Measure and Fulfilment demands consideration of gendered language and socially contextualized imagery.

I have, for many years, avoided a gendered approach to God the divine essence in my writing, speaking and preaching. A gendered male approach to God the divine essence seems to me fundamentally historically conditioned, and kataphatically limiting of our understanding of the divine. At a time when contemporary understanding of gender is increasingly sophisticated, and (more seriously) when one of the great dangers within the Church is of a naïvely anthropomorphic understanding of the divine, maintaining a gendered male approach to God the divine essence is apologetically prejudicious.

(Avoiding a gendered approach to God the divine essence can be understood to be compatible with a gendered approach to God the Father and God the Son, all the while both avoiding a gendered approach to God the Holy Spirit and also noticing a little elegiacally the male weighting within our reception of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.)

In terms of our worshipping and teaching at the Cathedral, this has meant seeking to avoid the use of male pronouns for God the divine essence — and finding ways of doing so elegantly and poetically. All in all, this is not difficult — save that it takes practice and, essentially, formation.

More challenging is embeddedness of a gendered male approach to God the divine essence within most translations of the Bible — notable in both the use of male pronouns, and also the use of “the Lord” and “the Lord God” to refer to God the divine essence (YHWH; Adonai; kyrios). It is difficult to see how referring to God the divine essence as “Lord” is not a gendered male approach. As for so many Anglican churches, our default English-language translation of the Bible has been the New Revised Standard Version, which adopts this gendered male approach to God the divine essence. An equal and related challenge is the use of “Lord” within the liturgy to refer to God the divine essence.

A consequential challenge, if references to God the divine essence are amended to avoid or remove the use of “Lord” is the Christological impact of the “internal scriptural rhyming” which makes Jesus Christ’s title of “Lord” (kyrie and kyrios) so potent in our understanding of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

That, in turn, reinforces an already needful reflection on the usefulness of the language of lordship and kingship regarding the divine essence and the Persons of the Holy Trinity. The use of such imagery, located for us within the political economy, strikes the contemporary listener as historically conditioned (almost regardless of the way it was originally drawn from an historically conditional political economy). It need not be of the absolute essence of an approach to God the Holy Trinity as Source, Measure and Fulfilment; indeed, I can conceive of it as being apologetically prejudicious; and it surely need not have the centrality in terms of Christological liturgical expression which it has traditionally been given.

Practically and Sunday by Sunday, this means that we have moved away from the greeting “The Lord be with you” (whose currency is anyhow so severely devalued by the variety of responses validated over the last thirty years in Anglican and Roman Catholic liturgy) to use universally the alternative greeting in the Church in Wales’s liturgy: “Grace and peace be with you. And keep you in the love of Christ.” We use at the opening of the Eucharist, before the proclamation of the Gospel reading, at the opening of the Eucharistic Prayer, and before the Blessing. We also begin and the proclamation of the Gospel with “Listen to the Holy Gospel according to Saint N. Glory to you, O Christ”, and conclude it with “This is the Gospel of our Saviour. Praise to you, O Christ”; and end other scriptural Readings with “Hear the word of life to the world. Thanks be to God.” Collects end “through [the same,] Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.” The Ordinary of the Eucharist (laden with “Lord”) and the Eucharist Prayer remain unaltered.

In our scriptural readings, we have drawn from new translations in A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church (Wilda Gafney), The Gospels: A New Translation (Sarah Ruden), The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation, The New Testament: A Translation (David Bentley Hart), The Bible for Everyone (John Goldingay & Tom Wright) and The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary (Robert Alter) to adapt the N.R.S.V. translation. We have sought to avoid the use of male pronouns and of “Lord” in Old Testament Readings, through attention to the narrative mode, grammatical person, and sentence structures, and through using “God” or other appropriate title (“the Holy One, the Living One, the Eternal One”). With care, we have also sought to avoid the use of male pronouns and of “Lord” for God the divine essence in the New Testament Readings and the Gospels (a significantly more onerous task in the former than the latter), and to refer to Jesus Christ, through attention to sentence structures and titles, in ways that seek to avoid “Lord” while retaining the “internal scriptural rhyme” with God the divine essence. For the Readings and the Gospels, this requires careful preparatory work. For the Psalmody, The Saint Helena Breviary of the Order of Saint Helena (Episcopal) in South Carolina provides an off-the-shelf psalter.

(It goes without saying that we avoid the liturgical use of “man” and “mankind” to refer to humanity, the people of God and the created order. We have also sought to move away from “Brother and sister” in the Pauline Epistles to use instead the traditional “Dearly beloved” greeting from the non-Pauline epistles.)

Hymnody presents a challenge. Our default English-language hymn book is The New English Hymnal, whose versions of hymns have become canonical for so many people, and deviations from which can be clumsy, glib or just confusing for a congregation. (The challenge is much more acute with Welsh-language hymnody). This remains a work in progress. Similarly, with only minor variations, the texts of anthems and motets are unaltered; and the whole of Choral Evensong retains its 1662 language. These are exceptions to the normative liturgical language, but the editing task within and for one community is too great.

Ritualistic, sacramental, Catholic worship — latreutic worship — is what we aim to offer to God. But that cannot be reliant for its power, in our context, upon gendered language, feudal imagery of the divine economy, and the priorities of Victorian piety. The alternative isn’t 1960s thin liturgical gruel; it’s latreutic liturgical action combined with apologetic language about God that is rich in scriptural, patristic and contemporary poetic, apophatic mystery.

Ritualistic, sacramental, Catholic worship is properly repetitive, as ours has been since October. It is striking, and concomitant of the power of liturgy, that even if October’s worship contained linguistic innovations, it has taken very little time for new phrases and responses to become embedded and familiar for the congregation.

In all of this, there is little that is innovative — Jim Cotter, late of this parish, went much further; the espoused theology of many within mainstream British Anglicanism would be consistent with what we’ve developed here.

However, enacting it liturgically with consistency feels vulnerable because of the conservatism of our normative liturgical texts. It’s an unhappy irony that, at a time when so many use non-Prayer Book, unauthorized material or non-liturgical worship as their normative liturgy, our contemporary Prayer Books are dry, distant and conservative when it comes to gendered language and socially contextualized imagery — there’s no “common” middle ground.

Hat-tip: While that which we’ve established as normative goes further than his recommendations for present orthodoxy, I’m grateful to the Sub-Dean of Christ Church’s writings for their reflections on methodology and references to publications in this area.

(2) Lectionaries and sermon series

(i) A one-year Lectionary

Worshipping and teaching about God the originator, form and goal of revelation demands scriptural familiarity and focused preaching, and a clear and consistent theological and pedagogical framework.

While the repetitive nature of ritualistic, sacramental, Catholic worship can provide a stable backdrop for teaching, I’ve worried for a while that a three-year Lectionary is unhelpfully sophisticated. It more of less prohibits scriptural texts from becoming familiar in worship — in 20 years, one would only encounter a Gospel passage six times in the context of a liturgy. It demands weekly attendance, otherwise the continuity on which it relies is broken (and, on missing it once, one only encounters that Gospel five times now over those two decades). It adds to preparatory work in any context where texts need to be reproduced or available in printed form to a congregation, and focuses improvisation and variation on the task of digesting a permanently moving Lectionary rather than on preaching with depth and insight. Above all, and through all of this, it generally risks disempowering a laity from having, holding and owning their scriptural texts for worship — and even if that is no longer in the form of a published Prayer Book in their pew containing the Epistle and Gospel, it is far easier to “own”, and more realistic to expect a diverse congregation to “own”, 52 Gospel passages, each repeated annually, than a 156 such passages, punctured by festivals, holidays everything else that inevitably jolts an expectation of stability.

We’ve therefore moved our Cathedral worship to a one-year Lectionary at its Sunday morning Eucharists. We use the Church in Wales Lectionary from its 1984 Prayer Book, based largely on the 1662 Prayer Book, and selecting either an Old or New Testament Reading from the selection therein alongside the Psalmody and Gospel.

Moreover, we use the Sunday Eucharist Reading, Psalmody and Gospel at each of our weekday celebrations of the Eucharist. This enables a lectio divina-like contemplatio of the scriptural passages over the course of the week. It has the added practical benefit of enabling a fully bilingual weekday Eucharist bulletin / worship aid to be printed each week, allowing for the use of either of the two languages by the celebrant and readers, and for contextual variation in language from day to day and congregation to congregation.

(We use the three-year Lectionary main service readings at Choral Evensong every Sunday, so that the readings which are heard in a number of churches across the diocese are also heard and prayed over at the Cathedral every Sunday, too.)

(ii) Five sermon series

Within the stability enabled by the one-year Lectionary, it has also been possible to plan sermon series for the liturgical year, responding to discerned teaching priorities.

Sermon series provide a means of enabling a focus on teaching during the Sunday Eucharist. A series laid upon a one-year Lectionary seems more digestible than one laid upon a three-year Lectionary — again, space for improvisation and variation is preserved for this teaching element rather than for digesting the Lectionary. Sermon series have the added practical benefit of incorporating sermons from Chapter members, visiting preachers, and a home-team of preachers within a coherent framework that is more substantial and connected than a Lectionary alone.

This first year’s five sermon series focus on revisiting some fundamentals, with an emphasis on doctrine, for a context which is new to apologetic teaching. While the first series is loose, mindful that Advent and Christmastime have their distinctive busyness and expectations (and mindful that we were all finding our feet), the following four series are pedagogically tighter.

The 2021/2022 sermon series:

Introductory series | From Advent Sunday to Candlemas
“God with us” (Matthew 1:23)

During Advent, when the days are short, we prepare the way, expectantly, for Jesus Christ, who came among us in our human flesh in Bethlehem, who will come to us again at the culmination of all things, and whose Spirit of love comes to each of us this day. From Christmas Day until Candlemas, we celebrate, with light and joy, God’s dwelling among us, alert for manifestations of God’s love in our hearts and all around us.

Advent 1
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Psalm 96:9–13; Isaiah 62:10–12; Matthew 21:1–13

Advent 2
“Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near”
Psalm 119:97, 98, 102–105; Isaiah 55:6–11; John 5:24–40

Advent 3
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you”
Psalm 132:8–17; Malachi 3:1–5; Matthew 11:2–10

Advent 4
“Make straight the way of the Holy One”
Psalm 80:1–7; Isaiah 40:1–9; John 1:19–28

Christmas Eve
“And the Word became flesh and lived among us”
Psalm 89:19, 24–28; Isaiah 9:2, 6–7; John 1:1–14

Christmas Day
“You will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger”
Psalm 96; Titus 2:11–14; Luke 2:1–14

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Holy One”
Psalm 119:161–168; Acts 7:55–60; Matthew 23.34–39

“They offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh”
Psalm 96:1–9; Isaiah 60:1–6; Matthew 2:1–12

“You are my Son, the Beloved”
Psalm 2:1–8; Isaiah 42:1–7; Mark 1:1–11

Christmas 4
“He called his disciples”
Psalm 34:8–15; 1 Corinthians 1:26–31; Luke 6:12–23

Christmas 5
“The first of his signs”
Psalm 63:1–6; 1 John 1:1–4; John 2:1–11

“For my eyes have seen your salvation”
Psalm 48:1–3, 9–11; Haggai 2:3–9; Luke 2. 22–35

Sermon series 2 | From 4 before Lent to Easter Eve
“Where the heart is” (Matthew 6:21)

Lent is our time in the wilderness, when self-examination, self-denial, study and generosity help us to reorientate ourselves towards God. As we turn to Christ, God’s grace meets us in sacraments and rites that hallow our hearts. Our Sunday morning sermons over these weeks — as we prepare for and keep a holy Lent — invite us to contemplate the sacraments and rites that are familiar to us; and they conclude with our anticipation of the life-changing liturgies and rites of Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum.

4 before Lent
“Gushing up to eternal life” | Water, light and oil
Psalm 111; Micah 4:6–8; John 4:1–14

3 before Lent
“God breathed into them the breath of life” | Holy Baptism
Psalm 33:4–9; Genesis 2:4–8; John 5:1–20

2 before Lent
“Bear fruit with patient endurance” | Holy Eucharist
Psalm 14; Genesis 3:8–15: Luke 8:4–15

“Son of David, have mercy on me!” | Anointing of the sick and last rites
Psalm 31:21–27; Genesis 9:8–17; Luke 18:31–43

Ash Wednesday
“So that your fasting may be seen by your Father who is in secret” | Lenten disciplines
Psalm 51:9–12; Isaiah 58:1–9; Matthew 6:16–21

Lent 1
“Forty days and forty nights” | The hallowing of time
Psalm 119:1–8; James 1:12–21; Matthew 4:1–11

Lent 2
“Whoever does not gather with me scatters” | Confirmation and initiation
Psalm 27:1–6; Romans 7:21–8:4; Luke 11:14–26

Lent 3
“If you had only recognized the things that make for peace” | Confession, penance and reconciliation
Psalm 32:1–2, 5–6; Acts 2:37–43; Luke 19:41–44

Lent 4 (Mothering Sunday)
“Five barley loaves and two fish — what are they among so many people?” | Matrimony, family and relationships
Psalm 122; Revelation 21:9–14; John 6:1–15

Lent 5
“We do not proclaim ourselves” | Holy Orders and ministry
Psalm 43:1–4; 2 Corinthians 4:5–11; Matthew 16:21–17:8

Palm Sunday
“Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem” | Holy Week and the Triduum
Psalm 45:2–7; Luke 19:28–40; Philippians 2:5–11; Matthew 27:1–54

Maundy Thursday
“Jesus knew that his hour had come”
Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 11. 23–29; John 13:1–15

Good Friday
“Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit”
Psalm 22:1–11, 14–19; Isaiah 53:3–12; John 19:1–37

Easter Eve
“Let there be light”
Genesis 1:1–2:4; Psalm 104:1–7; Genesis 3; Psalm 51:1–7; Exodus 3:1–11; Psalm 27; Exodus 14:10–15:1; Song of Miriam; Ezekiel 47:1–12; Psalm 46:1–5; Baruch 3:9–15, 32–4:4; Psalm 19:7–14; Romans 6:3–11; Luke 24:1–12

Sermon series 3 | From Easter Day to Trinity 2 (Petertide ordinations)
“Were not our hearts burning within us?” (Luke 24:32)

As they look back on the experience of encountering the gloriously risen Jesus Christ, the disciples say to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us?” They had known God in Jesus Christ — and that knowledge set their hearts ablaze. Our Sunday morning sermons over these weeks explore the heartlands of our faith — those ancient and fundamental doctrines, concepts and images that tell us about our beginning and our end, that unfold before us God’s ways, and that speak to us in our own language of God’s blazing love.

Easter Day
“A new birth into a living hope” | Resurrection
Psalm 114; I Peter 1:3–9; John 20:1–10

Easter 2
“Made in the image of God’s own eternity” | Creation
Psalm 16:9–12; Wisdom 2:23, 3:1–9; Luke 24:13–35

Easter 3
“I will rescue my scattered sheep” | Salvation
Psalm 23; Ezekiel 34:11–16; John 10:11–18

Easter 4
“Plans formed of old, faithful and sure” | Revelation
Psalm 66:1–5, 7; Isaiah 25:1, 6–9; John 14:1–11

Easter 5
“For in God you have an everlasting rock” | Anxiety
Psalm 36:5–10; Isaiah 26:1–4; John 21:1–14

Easter 6
“Like the spring rains that water the earth” | Liberation
Psalm 145:15–21; Hosea 6:1–3; John 16:23–33

“Who fills all in all” | Grace
Psalm 24; Ephesians 1:15–23; Luke 24:44–53

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” | Spirit
Psalm 68:18–19, 28, 33–36; Acts 2:1–11; John 14:15–27

“Glory and honour and power” | Trinity
Psalm 150; Revelation 4; John 3:1–15

Corpus Christi
“Draw near to God” | Communion
Psalm 116:11–12, 15–16; Exodus 16:9–15; John 6:53–58

Trinity 2
“You have come to the city of the living God” | Destiny
Psalm 95:6–11; Hebrews 12. 18–25; Luke 14:15–24

Sermon series 4 | From Trinity 3 to the Patronal Festival
“Like a tree planted by water” (Jeremiah 17:8)

Jeremiah the Prophet imagines a life well-lived — a vision of humanity planted in God’s good soil, refreshed in heat and drought by streams of living water, and bearing the fruit of good works. Jesus Christ’s call to all of us, likewise, is to follow in his good ways, to pursue the good with all our powers, and to choose the good in concrete actions — and our goal in all of this, to become Christ-like, like God. In our Sunday morning sermons over these weeks, we will reflect on the sources that help us to discern what is ethical and good, and we will consider those virtues that allow us to think, feel and act for God and for good.

Trinity 3
“So he told them this parable” | Scripture
Psalm 119:169–176; Ephesians 2:11–18; Luke 15:1–10

Trinity 4
“Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour” | Tradition
Psalm 37:1–6; Colossians 3:12–17; John 4:31–38

Trinity 5
“Take thought for what is noble in the sight of all” | Reason
Psalm 101:1–6; Romans 12:9–21; Luke 6:36–42

Trinity 6
“Put out into the deep water” | Experience
Psalm 33:8–12; Revelation 15:2–4; Luke 5:1–11

Trinity 7
“For we are members of one another” | Justice
Psalm 85:1–6; Ephesians 4:25–32; Matthew 5:20–24

“We did not follow cleverly devised myths” | Temperance
Psalm 27:1–5; 2 Peter 1:16–19; Luke 9:28–36

“Blessed is she who believed that there would be fulfilment” | Prudence
Psalm 45:2, 7, 11, 17; Galatians 4:4–7; Luke 1:39–55

Trinity 10
“Endurance produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us” | Courage
Psalm 105:1–7; Romans 5:1–11; Luke 19:1–10

Trinity 11
“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation” | Faith
Psalm 145:1–6; 2 Corinthians 5:14–20; John 17:18–26

Trinity 12
“Be opened” | Hope
Psalm 15; Acts 18:24–28; Mark 7:31–37

“According to the fruit of their doings” | Love
Psalm 150; Jeremiah 17:5–10; Matthew 19:23–30

Sermon series 5 | From Trinity 14 to Christ the King
“Blessed are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8)

Through our Baptism we became members one of another in Jesus Christ, members of a company of saints whose mutual belonging transcends even death. Our Sunday morning sermons over these weeks introduce us to some of those saints in whose lives we see the grace of God powerfully at work. Our sermons will also invite us to reflect on our relationship will all those, across years and centuries, who are Jesus Christ’s, and who join us in prayer for God’s new creation.

Trinity 14
“That the peoples may know of your power” | William Salesbury & William Morgan
Psalm 145:8–13; 1 Thessalonians 5:9–24; Luke 10:25–37

Trinity 15
“In the courts of God’s house” | Michael and all Angels
Psalm 116:11–19; Colossians 1:3–4, 9–14; Luke 17:11–19

“All the earth sings out your Name” | Francis of Assisi
Psalm 67; Isaiah 55:6, 10–13; Mark 4:1–9

Trinity 17
“You stooped to me and heard my cry” | Esther John
Psalm 40:1–6; 1 Corinthians 3:10–15; Matthew 7:21–29

Trinity 18
“Give me life in your ways” | Teresa of Avila
Psalm 119:33–40; 1 John 4:15–21; Mark 12:28–34

Trinity 19
“For you yourself know whereof we are made” | Daniel Rowland
Psalm 103:8–14; Acts 10:34–43; Mark 2:1–12

All Saints
“Your faithful servants bless you” | All the saints
Psalm 145:3–13; Revelation 7:2–4, 9–17; Matthew 5:1–12

All Souls (weekday)
“Out of the depths have I called to you” | The faithful departed
Psalm 130; Lamentations 3:17–26, 31–33; John 5:19–25

Saints of Wales
“All your works praise you” | The saints of Wales
Psalm 145:3–13; Revelation 19.:5–8; John 17:18–23

“This is the God of Hosts, who reigns in glory” | Remembrance of the fallen
Psalm 29:1–4, 9–10; 2 Maccabees 12:38–39, 43–45; Matthew 5:43–48

Christ the King
“Those who go out weeping will come again with joy” | Christ the King
Psalm 126; Jeremiah 23:5–8; Matthew 25:1–13

Hat-tip: Canon Philip Anderson (and, without knowing it, the Ven. Simon Fisher) have been formative for me in reflecting on the Lectionary; and Canon Anderson was additionally generous with his advice on its relationship to weekday worship.

Saving the parish

In all of this, there’s something of saving the parish in real time, and even at the Cathedral — for this feels like the real hard work of building up the Body of Christ, in a challenging context, through worship and teaching, to God’s glory.

I’d welcome any comments or feedback on this; I can be emailed here and I’m @sionrhysevans on Twitter.



Siôn B. E. Rhys Evans

Priest, Diocesan Secretary | Offeiriad, Ysgrifennydd Esgobaethol | Duc in altum