Shipley Church Self-Service
Sunday 16th August 2020
Thought for the Week – My soul doth magnify the Lord
The Magnificat, known also as the “Song of Mary”, has been celebrated in art, music and poetry throughout the centuries. Mary’s song of joy and adoration communicates beautifully her wonder and humble acceptance at being chosen to give birth to the promised Messiah. Can we ourselves approach God with anything like Mary’s acceptance and level of sanctity as the mother of Jesus? Today we celebrate the Feast of St Mary the Virgin in whose name our church is dedicated – our patronal festival. Out of around 16,500 churches in the Church of England, the most common dedications are to St Mary (2,368), All Saints (1,467), and St Peter (1,327).
Around the time our church in Shipley was built in 1140 AD, the veneration of saints, particularly the Blessed Virgin Mary, had been a feature of life in the middle ages. It then found expression in the solemn dedication of churches as buildings set apart for Christian worship. People believed their patron saint would intervene with the Almighty on their behalf for their spiritual well-being as well as protection from everyday hazards such as childbirth, travel, hunger, and shelter. St Ambrose once said, “Let Mary’s soul be in us to glorify the Lord; let her spirit be in us that we may rejoice in God our Saviour”. (Luke 1: 39-56)
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord:
Unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
Tender to me the promise of his word;
In God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.
We pray this wonderful prayer, Mary’s Magnificat, may provide for us and for all who receive God’s word a message of hope. We look for the same purity of heart and humility as was manifested in the Mother of our Lord, our Patron Saint.
The Gospel and Readings for today can be downloaded from the top right of this page