On a liturgical note: November 2018

By Canon Philip Gillespie

My first parish priest after Ordination was Father EK Taylor at Holy Family Parish in Southport. He had a particular fondness for the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours which we keep, by date, on 11 November. As this date is a Sunday this year, the Saint’s Memorial naturally gives way to the ‘weekly Easter’ which is the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection – but I think Father Taylor would still have managed to insert
Martin’s name into the Eucharistic Prayer that day!

We read in the Office of Readings for St Martin that, even in his advanced years (he was over 80 when he
died), he undertook an arduous journey to part of his diocese to bring resolution to a dispute which had
arisen and, in this way, to cement unity among the people of his diocese. Martin was a man of deep-rooted charity, often depicted as a soldier on horseback cutting his cloak in half in order to share it with a poor man, and this charity extended not only to giving of himself and his own possessions for the good of others, but to actively working to bring peace, understanding and reconciliation where there was unrest and uncertainty. This too is charity and love of others – to bring peace into their lives.

On 11 November this year we will also keep the 100th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities at the end
of the First World War – a conflict which sadly did not live up to its name as the ‘war to end all wars’. To
turn our minds to peace, to an end to that mistrust and fear which can so easily not only justify but also
condone violence and hatred between communities, peoples and nations, this too is active charity and
rightly deserves the beatitude, Blessed are the Peacemakers.

At our celebration of Mass each day we pray: ‘Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant
peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all
distress.’

Amen to that.