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Banner Quotes

Have you wondered what the quote in the seasonal banners that occasionally appear at the head of this site are and what they mean? These pages, hopefully, explain what they are all about. 

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  • Easter   The quote "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said ." is from Matthew 28:6 which is Matthew's account of the resurrection of Christ: "He is ...
    Posted 1 Mar 2017, 01:18 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • Mothering Sunday   The quote 'And bring her cheer, A-mothering on Sunday' is line from the charming Mothering Sunday Carol by George Hare Leonard (c. 1900):   It is the day of all ...
    Posted 15 Mar 2009, 16:19 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • Shrove Tuesday / Ash Wednesday The image in the banner is linked to Shrove Tuesday and depicts pancake racing at Olney (Circa 1950s, but more on this in a bit). The quote 'Man does not ...
    Posted 21 Feb 2009, 15:41 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • Epiphany   We all know that the wise men came from the East bearing gifts of "gold, and frankincense and myrrh" and we all know what gold is; but have you ever ...
    Posted 9 Jan 2009, 14:23 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • The Last Candle: Christmas Day   Christmas Day is traditionally when the last candle on the Advent Wreath is lit. With this candle we remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May the ...
    Posted 5 Jan 2009, 14:58 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • Forth Sunday of Advent: Love   On the forth Sunday of Advent we light the forth candle of the Advent wreath, known as the Candle of Love. As we look at the light of this candle ...
    Posted 5 Jan 2009, 14:58 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • Third Sunday of Advent: Joy   On the third Sunday of advent we light the third candle, known as the Candle of Joy. It reminds of the joy that Mary felt when the angel Gabriel told ...
    Posted 14 Dec 2008, 08:14 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • Second Sunday of Advent: Peace   On the second Sunday of Advent we light the second candle of the Advent wreath, known as the the Candle of Peace. Peace is like a light shining in a ...
    Posted 7 Dec 2008, 14:26 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • First Sunday of Advent: Hope   The first Sunday of Advent is traditionally when the first candle of the Advent wreath is lit. This candle is called the Candle of Hope and as we light it ...
    Posted 2 Dec 2008, 15:30 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • Stir up Sunday   The fifth Sunday before Christmas is known as 'Stir up Sunday' which is an informal term in the Anglican Church for the last Sunday before the season of Advent, also ...
    Posted 15 Nov 2016, 13:01 by St Lawrence C of E Church
  • Remembrance    'We shall not sleep, though poppies grow' is a line taken from the poem "In Flanders Fields" by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae and here it is in full: In ...
    Posted 11 Nov 2008, 00:39 by St Lawrence C of E Church
Showing posts 1 - 11 of 11. View more »

Easter

posted 9 Apr 2009, 13:36 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 1 Mar 2017, 01:18 ]

 
The quote "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said ." is from Matthew 28:6 which is Matthew's account of the resurrection of Christ:
"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come,
see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly,
and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;
and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee;
there shall ye see him: lo,I have told you."

And this is, of course, what Easter is all about.

So why all the eggs?

Before the advent of the Easter egg, the egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in Pagan celebrations of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the rebirth.

The Easter egg is much more than a celebration of the ending of Lent, it is a declaration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Traditionally, Easter eggs were dyed red to the represent the blood of Christ, redeeming the world and human redemption through the blood shed in the sacrifice of the crucifixion; and the hard shell of the egg symbolized the sealed tomb of Christ - the cracking of which symbolized his resurrection from the dead.

The decorating and colouring of eggs for Easter was the custom in England during the middle ages. 

As time went by, artificial eggs were made and by the end of the 17th century, manufactured eggs made of various materials were available for purchase at Easter, for giving as Easter gifts and presents. Easter eggs continued to evolve through the 18th and into the 19th Century, with hollow cardboard eggs filled with gifts and sumptuously decorated, culminating in the ultimate in Easter eggs, the fabulous Faberge Eggs.

By the turn of the 19th Century, the discovery of the modern chocolate making process meant that the hollow, moulded Chocolate Easter Egg was fast becoming the Easter gift of choice in the UK and many parts of Europe, and by the 1960's it was well established worldwide.

Mothering Sunday

posted 15 Mar 2009, 15:41 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 15 Mar 2009, 16:19 ]

 
The quote 'And bring her cheer, A-mothering on Sunday' is line from the charming Mothering Sunday Carol by George Hare Leonard (c. 1900):
 

It is the day of all the year,
Of all the year the one day,
When I shall see my mother dear
And bring her cheer,
A-mothering on Sunday.

So I'll put on my Sunday coat,
And in my hat a feather,
And get the lines I writ by rote,
With many a note,
That I've a-strung together.

And now to fetch my wheaten cake
To fetch it from the baker,
He promised me, for mother's sake,
The best he'd bake
For me to fetch and take her.

Well have I known, as I went by
One hollow lane, that none day
I'd fail to find -for all they're shy-
Where violets lie,
As I went home on Sunday.

My sister Jane is waiting-maid
Along with Squire's lady;
And year by year her part she's played,
And home she stayed,
To get dinner ready.

For mother'll come to church, you'll see-
Of all the year it's the day -
'The one,' she'll say,'that's made for me.'
And so it be:
It's every mother's free day.

The boys will all come home from town
Not one will miss that one day;
And every maid will bustle down
To show her gown,
A-mothering on Sunday.

It is the day of all the year,
Of all the year the one day;
And here come I, my mother dear,
And bring you cheer,
A-mothering on Sunday.

The Carol portrays a way of life that no longer exists, but does allude to the origins of Mothering Sunday.

In the 16th century, the Church required that people returned to their mother church or cathedral on the fourth Sunday in Lent for that day's service.

The day became known as Mothering Sunday, not through association with mothers, but because of the journey made to the mother church. And, in an age when children as young as 10 left home to take up work or apprenticeships elsewhere, this was often the only day in the whole year when families would be reunited.

By the 17th century, it had become a public holiday, when servants and apprentices were given the day off so that they could fulfill their duties to the Church and visit their families.

Money in those days was scarce, so a gift bought for their mother was often a bunch of violets or other spring flowers. This tradition continues today in many churches, where children take bunches of violets or spring flowers to be blessed at the altar before giving them to their mothers.

When all the family had assembled, they attended church together and, on their return, a special dinner was eaten.

Mothering Sunday was also known as 'Refreshment Sunday', 'Simnel Sunday' or 'Mid-Lent Sunday'.  It was often called Refreshment Sunday because the fasting rules for Lent were relaxed, in honour of the 'Feeding of the Five Thousand' from the Bible. Simnel Sunday is named after the Simnel Cake following a practice where young girls in service would make one to be taken home to their mothers on their day off.

Nowadays, Mothering Sunday is a day for being grateful for what's special about Mum - but it's also a day for being grateful for 'Mother Church' and what it's done for us over the centuries.

Shrove Tuesday / Ash Wednesday

posted 21 Feb 2009, 15:13 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 21 Feb 2009, 15:41 ]

The image in the banner is linked to Shrove Tuesday and depicts pancake racing at Olney (Circa 1950s, but more on this in a bit). The quote 'Man does not live on bread alone.' is in fact a quote from Jesus and can be found in Luke chapter 4 v1-13:

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread. Jesus answered, It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.' The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours. Jesus answered, It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.' The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. If you are the Son of God, he said, throw yourself down from here. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' Jesus answered, It says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time."

Now that is food for thought, which brings me back to pancakes. This Tuesday is, of course, Shrove Tuesday and pancakes will be foremost in most peoples thoughts. Ash Wednesday also occurs this week, but why are these days named so? Below are some answers.

Shrove Tuesday

The name Shrove comes from the old word "shrive" which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began.

The origins of eating pancakes arose from Christians who observe Lent and wanted to use up all the rich foods in their cupboards before Lent. During Lent eggs, sugar and butter were not allowed so these ingredients were used to make pancakes.

More than a hundred years ago, Shrove Tuesday used to be a half-day holiday. A church bell, called the 'Shriving Bell', would have been rung signalling the start of the holiday and to call people to church to confess their sins. The church bell was rung at eleven or twelve o'clock in the morning, as a signal to housewives to start frying the traditional pancakes.

Pancake Racing

Pancake racing is said to have originated in the town of Olney, England in 1444 when a housewife was still busy frying pancakes to eat before the Lenten fast when she heard the bells of St Peter and St Paul's Church calling her to the Shriving Service. Eager to get to church, she ran out of her house still holding the frying pan complete with pancake, and still wearing her apron and headscarf!

Now every year, in Olney, local housewives compete in a 415yard dash, tossing pancakes, wearing skirts, aprons and headscarves. The winner is greeted with a kiss of peace from the verger. The race is immediately followed by a Shriving service in the Parish Church.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday gets its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a sign of repentance. The ashes used are gathered after the Palm Crosses from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned. The ashes are used (sometimes mixed with oil to a paste) by the priest who presides at the service to make the sign of the cross, first upon his or her own forehead and then on each of those present who kneel before him/her at the altar rail. As s/he does so, s/he recites the words: "Remember (O man) that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
 
On a lighter note, I leave you with a quote from John. C. Maxwell:
"Remember, man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up."

Epiphany

posted 5 Jan 2009, 14:59 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 9 Jan 2009, 14:23 ]

 
We all know that the wise men came from the East bearing gifts of "gold, and frankincense and myrrh" and we all know what gold is; but have you ever wondered what frankincense and myrrh actually are?

Frankincense

Frankincense is an aromatic resin obtained from the very scraggly but hardy Boswellia tree. It is tapped through scraping the bark and allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden. These trees are considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving, the trees sometimes seem to grow directly out of solid rock. The aroma from these 'tears' are valuable for their presumed healing abilities and are also said to have superior qualities for religious ritual.
 

Myrrh

Myrrh is a reddish-brown resinous material, the dried sap of the tree Commiphora myrrha.  The scent of raw myrrh resin and its essential oil is sharp, pleasant, somewhat bitter and resinous. The scent can be used in mixtures of incense as well as various perfumes, toothpastes, lotions, and other modern toiletries. In the Old Testament of the Holy Bible (and the Torah), myrrh is mentioned as a primary ingredient in the holy anointing oil God commanded Moses to make. Myrrh was highly valued in ancient times, and was often worth more than its weight in gold.
 
On a final note, the banner shows three wise men. It is not actually known how many wise men came to visit Jesus - we only know from Mathew 2:1 that: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem ...". However, Mathew 2:11 also makes mention of the three gifts: "... they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh" and from this it is commonly assumed that there may have been three wise men.

The Last Candle: Christmas Day

posted 5 Jan 2009, 14:51 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 5 Jan 2009, 14:58 ]

 
Christmas Day is traditionally when the last candle on the Advent Wreath is lit. With this candle we remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May the flame of this candle remind us that you are the light of the world and that if we follow you, we will never walk in darkness, but will have the true light of life.

The line "We honour Messiah with the Christ-Candle's flame" is taken from last verse of the Advent hymn that was introduced in the first Advent banner.

Forth Sunday of Advent: Love

posted 5 Jan 2009, 14:44 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 5 Jan 2009, 14:58 ]

 
On the forth Sunday of Advent we light the forth candle of the Advent wreath, known as the Candle of Love. As we look at the light of this candle we celebrate the love we have in Christ.

The line "A candle to point us to heaven above" is taken from forth verse of the Advent hymn that was mentioned in the first Advent banner.

Third Sunday of Advent: Joy

posted 14 Dec 2008, 07:54 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 14 Dec 2008, 08:14 ]

 
On the third Sunday of advent we light the third candle, known as the Candle of Joy. It reminds of the joy that Mary felt when the angel Gabriel told her that a special child would be born to her - a child who would save and deliver his people.

The line "A candle to welcome brave Mary's new boy" is taken from third verse of the Advent hymn that was introduced in the first Advent banner.

The third Sunday of Advent is also known as “Gaudete Sunday”. The Latin Gaudete is translated as Rejoice, the first word of the introit of this day's Mass: “Rejoice in the Lord always...”.

Gaudete (“Rejoice”) is also a sacred Christmas carol, composed sometime in the 16th century. The song was published in a collection of Finnish/Swedish sacred songs in 1582. The original lyrics are written in Latin, but is also provided here in English:

Latin English
Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!
Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary, rejoice!
Tempus adest gratiæ
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina lætitiæ
Devote reddamus.
The time of grace has come
That we have desired;
Let us devoutly return
Joyful verses.
Deus homo factus est
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante.
God has become man,
And nature marvels;
The world has been renewed
By Christ who is King.
Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.
The closed gate of Ezechiel
Has been passed through;
Whence the light is born,
Salvation is found.
Ergo nostra cantio,
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.
Therefore let our song
Now be sung in brightness
Let it give praise to the Lord:
Greeting to our King.
 
Note that the first verse is also the refrain.

Second Sunday of Advent: Peace

posted 7 Dec 2008, 13:37 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 7 Dec 2008, 14:26 ]

 
On the second Sunday of Advent we light the second candle of the Advent wreath, known as the the Candle of Peace. Peace is like a light shining in a dark place. As we look at it we celebrate the peace we find in Jesus Christ.

The line "A candle to signal that conflict must cease" is taken from second verse of the Advent hymn that was mentioned in the first Advent banner.

Peace in a relationship with Jesus Christ is our only refuge and hope of overcoming that feeling of,"How come they get to have all that and I don't. IT'S NOT FAIR!" When we focus our efforts on what God had in mind for this season, i.e. celebrating His Son's birth, we can come to a peace with the world where having everything is not what it's all about. Christmas is about giving, and God gave us the greatest gift of all during this season: His son Jesus Christ. Let's celebrate that the most this season.

First Sunday of Advent: Hope

posted 29 Nov 2008, 16:47 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 2 Dec 2008, 15:30 ]

 

The first Sunday of Advent is traditionally when the first candle of the Advent wreath is lit. This candle is called the Candle of Hope and as we light it we celebrate the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

The line "A candle of Hope in December's dark night" is from the Advent Hymn. The hymn is usually sung to the tune of "Away in a Manger". Here is the hymn reproduced in full: 
On the First Sunday of Advent
 
A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright;
A candle of Hope in December's dark night.
While angels sing blessings from heav'n's starry sky
Our hearts we prepare now, for Jesus is nigh.
 
On the Second Sunday of Advent.., add
 
A candle is burning, a candle of Peace;
A candle to signal that conflict must cease.
For Jesus is coming to show us the way;
A message of Peace humbly laid in the hay.
 
On the Third Sunday of Advent..., add
 
A candle is burning, a candle of Joy;
A candle to welcome brave Mary's new boy.
Our hearts fill with wonder and eyes light and glow
As Joy brightens winter like sunshine on snow.
 
On the Fourth Sunday of Advent..., add
 
A candle is burning, a candle of Love;
A candle to point us to heaven above.
A baby for Christmas, a wonderful birth;
For Jesus is bringing God's Love to our earth.
 
On Christmas Eve..., add
 
We honour Messiah with the Christ-Candle's flame;
Our Christmas Eve candles glad tidings proclaim.
O come, all ye faithful, rejoice on this night
As God comes among us, the Christian's true Light

With that I leave you one final thought: Hope is like a light shining in a dark place.

Stir up Sunday

posted 16 Nov 2008, 08:43 by St Lawrence C of E Church   [ updated 15 Nov 2016, 13:01 ]

 
The fifth Sunday before Christmas is known as 'Stir up Sunday' which is an informal term in the Anglican Church for the last Sunday before the season of Advent, also known as 'Christ the King'.

The term comes from the opening words of the collect for the day in the Book of Common Prayer of 1549 and later (a translation of the Roman Missal's collect "Excita, quæsumus"):

“Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Traditionally, Christmas puddings are made on Stir up Sunday. Families returned from Church and gave the pudding its traditional lucky stir. Children would chant this rhyme:

Stir up, we beseech thee,
The pudding in the pot;
And when we get home
We'll eat the lot.

Christmas pudding traditions

A proper Christmas pudding is always stirred from East to West in honour of the three Wise Men.

A Christmas pudding is traditionally made with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His Disciples.

Every member of the family must give the pudding a stir and make a secret wish.

A coin was traditionally added to the ingredients and cooked in the pudding. It was supposedly to bring wealth to whoever found it on their plate on Christmas Day. The traditional coin was an old silver sixpence or threepenny bit.

Other traditional additions to the pudding included a ring, to foretell a marriage, and a thimble for a lucky life.

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