Calendar of Services



Sunday readings from Revised Common Lectionary, Year A (Year of Matthew)

Weekday readings from Lectionary for Seasons and Lectionary for Ordinary Time

Christmas season continues into New Year for nearly a fortnight. (liturgical colour LC white)

Ordinary Time begins on 13th January. (LC green)

Wednesday, 1st January: Feast of St. Mary, Mother of God: Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus:

10.00am Mass in St. Mary’s, Hay

Thursday, 2nd January: The ‘opening batsmen’, for the calendar year are illustrious Doctors of the Church: St. Basil the Great (330-379) and his friend, St. Gregory Nazianzen (329-389). With addition of Basil’s brother, Gregory of Nyssa, these are called the Cappadocian Fathers. Both Basil and Gregory Nazianzen received excellent education at Caesarea, Constantinople, and Athens. They brought to their study of Christian theology a sound knowledge of Greek classics and philosophy. After ‘college’, both became monks; both became involved in resistance to Arian heresy, which had taken control of church and state in Constantinople. Basil was appointed Bishop of Caesarea (in modern Turkey) and Metropolitan of Pontus, leading fifty suffragan bishops. Basil possessed the character and ability to organise. He wrote a rule for monastic life in Community which, alongside the hermit model, has prevailed ever since throughout Eastern Orthodoxy. His other achievement came from tremendous commitment to social justice, and care for the poor and sick. For Basil his ‘do-gooding’ was genuine, rising above vacuous activism, ‘cheque-book’ charity, benevolence by bureaucracy, all of these in danger of detachment from any foundation in faith. Rather, Basil gave alms from his own property. His welfare work was integrated with his practice of prayer, worship, and theology. Gregory Nazianzen was more retiring and contemplative than Basil. He outlived his friend. In 381 the Orthodox Emperor Theodosills ruled instead of the Arian Valens. Gregory was called to Constantinople, and preached in his own house, because no Orthodox churches remained open in the capital. With power and clarity, he proclaimed the doctrine of the Trinity, acknowledging the full divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit. A great council was held in the imperial city and Gregory was chosen as patriarch. The Council of Constantinople marked high triumph of the theology taught by the Cappadocian Fathers: vindication of the Nicene Creed and the downfall of Arianism. Gregory ‘the Theologian’ withdrew quickly from high office.

10.00am Mass in shrine chapel of St. Mary’s, Hay

N.B. Thursday Mass is being moved to the Parish Church because of renovations in progress at St. John’s Chapel.

Sunday, 5th January: Solemn Feast: Epiphany of the Lord (transferred):

9.20am Parish Mass in Llanigon

11.00am Parish Mass in St. Mary’s, Hay

2.30pm District Mass in Little St. Mary’s, Capel-y-ffin

Wednesday, 8th January:

10.00am Mass in St. Mary’s, Hay

Thursday, 9th January:

10.00am Mass in shrine chapel of St. Mary’s, Hay

Sunday, 12th January: Solemn Feast: Baptism of the Lord:

9.30am Parish Mass in Llanigon

11.00am Parish Mass in St. Marys, Hay

Monday, 13th January: First Week of Year in Ordinary Time (Lectionary Year Two)

Wednesday, 15th January:

10.00am Mass in St. Mary’s, Hay

Thursday, 16th January:

10.00 Mass in shrine chapel of St. Mary’s, Hay

Saturday, 18th January: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Church Unity Octave) begins today.

Sunday, 19th January: Second Sunday and Week of Year: Epiphany II: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

9.30am Parish Mass in Llanigon

11.00am Parish Mass in St. Mary’s, Hay

2.30pm Evensong in Little St. Mary’s, Capel-y-ffin

Wednesday, 22nd January: St. Vincent of Saragossa (Spain) perished in the final ferocious persecution inflicted on Christians by pagan Rome under Emperor Diocletian. The clergy, as particular targets, were forced to perform an act of idolatrous sacrifice to gods of the old pagan establishment. Failure to do so resulted in execution. This crisis happened at the beginning of the fourth century. Deacon Vincent was arrested with his bishop Valerian. Prudentius and Augustine were early witnesses to Vincent’s martyrdom. But the story of his being roasted on a gridiron seems to be legendary. The same legend was attached to both Vincent of Saragossa and Lawrence of Rome.

10.00am Mass in St. Mary’s, Hay

Thursday, 23rd January:

10.00am Mass in shrine chapel of St. Mary’s, Hay

Saturday, 25th January: Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul: end of Church Unity Octave:

Commemoration of St. Dwynwen (Welsh version of St. Valentine’s Day)

Sunday, 26th January: Third Sunday and Week of Year: Epiphany III:

9.30am Parish Mass in Llanigon

11.00am Parish Mass in St. Mary’s, Hay

Monday, 27th January: Holocaust Memorial Day

Wednesday, 29th January: My wife has been throwing my books around, so that I have lost the connection of St. Andrew Rublev with this particular date. She piled a mountain of books on our splendid dining table. Suddenly, there was a loud crack, and the table, designed to bear Christmas dinner but now loaded with literature, crashed down to the floor!

In the Eastern Orthodox Churches Pentecost Sunday celebrates the full manifestation of the Holy Trinity. Thus, the proper icon venerated by the faithful at Pentecost is the Trinity icon. The means whereby the Trinity is expressed is the story of the hospitality of Abraham in Genesis 18. This welcome, given to strangers, happened at the very beginning of the divine plan for redemption of mankind. ‘Abraham had a vision of the Lord in the valley of Mambre, as he sat by his tent door at noon. He looked up and say three men (angels) standing near him and, at the sight, he ran from his tent door to meet them, bowing down to the earth. The most beautiful rendition of this scene, as representing encounter with the Trinity, was painted by the monk Andrew Rublev for Trinity Sergius monastery (near Moscow), between 1408 and 1425.

10.00am Mass in St. Mary’s Hay

Thursday, 30th January: Several parish churches have been dedicated to Blessed Charles Stuart, King and Martyr. On the other hand, according to Whig interpretation of history, Charles was reckoned to be the most malevolent enemy of parliamentary democracy. Well, for the past year we have been pickled in politics. So this calendarist has no wish to delve into terrors of seventeenth century politics. But I suppose that there was a big religious component in the civil war between King Charles and Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. For a ‘high church party’ had grown-up within the Anglican establishment, in order to resist puritanism. Both the King and his Archbishop, William Laud, adhered to this party. What then did high churchmen want at this time? Continuity (as well as the reformation break) with the medieval church; ordered and dignified worship (with organ and surplices); altar rather than pulpit as the chief piece of furniture used in Divine Service; rejection of the Calvinist system of faith; episcopal government of the church (rather than Presbyterian or independent alternatives).

Whatever their other follies or misdeeds, King and Archbishop died as martyrs, professing their particular vision of the Church of England. Without the witness of Charles Stuart and William Laud, the national church might well have been taken over, lock, stock and barrel, by Genevan Protestants or Scottish Presbyterians.

10.00am Mass in shrine chapel of St. Mary’s, Hay