Online Worship Archive

Welcome to the online service of worship for the Sixth Sunday of Easter - 17 May 2020.

Today's order of service can be download here in PDF format.

The YouTube playlist can be found here.

Or view below.





Online Worship Material Available 8.00am Every Sunday

Sunday 17 May 2020

Sixth Sunday of Easter


The Season’s Benedictions


With each unfolding seed, with every spring,
He breathes the rumour of his resurrection,
As birdsong calls your hidden heart to sing.
So may this season be his benediction,
To lift your love, and bid your prayer take wing,
To thaw your frozen hope, to warm your mind,
For spring has come! Can heaven be far behind?

Malcolm Guite
Printed with permission from
After Prayer, Canterbury Press 



 Welcome and Introduction

Good morning to the members and friends of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church; and welcome to this worship online for the 6th Sunday of Easter.

It’s all so ordinary, and yet extra-ordinary! How often have I heard people say, and have said myself ‘we’re living in strange times!’ And so we are these days when, in Scotland anyway, life in lockdown goes on much as it has for the past weeks.

And yet, the scene outside our windows is much the same apart from fewer cars and fewer people coming and going; friends and family are still there, albeit often remotely; dogs still need walks, and so do most of us. It also occurred to me last week that we’re not worrying about falling bombs, as they did seventy and more years ago here and throughout Europe, though unhappily this isn’t necessarily the case everywhere.

We’ve much to be grateful for, and as much to concern ourselves about; and all of this informs our worship – in preparation for which I invite you now to join me in a short period of silence…….

Scripture Sentences
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits-
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases;
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Let us pray

Almighty God, help us indeed not to forget grace and mercy; the gift of forgiveness; the hope of kindness and the promise of new beginnings. Speak gently to our fears and console unquiet hearts. Infuse our preoccupations with the spirit of peace and lead us in the way of fidelity and truth. Help us to use this time of seclusion and change to consider our priorities, to set our bearings aright, and to live more fully in the present moment of our days, so that whether we are in the morning of our lives, or drawing closer to the evening we may have openness of heart and trust in the beauty and grace of providence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Collect

O God who has prepared for those who love you such good things that pass our understanding, pour into our hearts such love toward you, that we, loving you above all things, may obtain your promises which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Children’s Reflection Kay Mcintosh DCS

Good morning and welcome. Hillary our youth worker has been on a week’s holiday and so you have me today, Kay your pastoral Assistant.
In our bible readings this morning we are being asked to keep Gods commandments.

I wonder if many of you know some of the commandments from the Bible? I am sure you do.

I am going to read one just now and it’s from the gospel of Matthew chapter 22 verse 36.
‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’

I am going to teach you a song with these words in it so please join in at home.
Love your God with
(arms raised)
All your heart and
(Hands on heart)
All your mind and
(hands hold head)
All your soul and
(hands in prayer)
All your strength! All your strength!
(Show muscles in arms)
And love your neighbour
(arm out to left)
And love your neighbour.
(arm out to right)

Love your neighbour as yourself.

Many people have been showing their love for their neighbour in supporting Christian Aid this week.

In order to support yourself, can I ask you to look for five things which make you smile, laugh or give you joy. At the end of the day, remember them and give thanks to God for them.

Let’s now join together for our repeated prayer. Please pray with me:

Thank you God for helping us
to learn about you.
Thank you for all of the people
who care for us.
Help us all to be to be good
friends and good neighbours.

HYMN 404    I  danced in the morning

I danced in the morning
when the world was begun,
and I danced in the moon
and the stars and the sun,
and I came down from heaven
and I danced on the earth --
at Bethlehem
I had my birth.

Dance then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
and I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
and I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

I danced for the scribe
and the pharisee,
but they would not dance
and they wouldn't follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
for James and John --
they came with me
and the Dance went on.

I danced on the Sabbath
and I cured the lame,
the holy people
said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
and they hung me on high,
and they left me there
on a Cross to die.

I danced on a Friday
when the sky turned black --
it's hard to dance
with the devil on your back.
They buried my body
and they thought I'd gone --
but I am the Dance
and I still go on.

They cut me down
and I leapt up high --
I am the life
that'll never, never die.
I'll live in you
if you'll live in me,
I am the Lord
of the Dance, said he.

Sydney Bertram Carter (1915-2004)

CCLI Streaming License: #88916. Words and Music: (c) 1963, Stainer & Bell Ltd, PO Box 110, Victoria House, 23 Gruneisen Road, London N3 1DZ



First Reading  Acts 17: 22 – 31  Click to read 

Second Reading  St John 14: 15 – 21  Click to read   

Readers: George Ross and Kay McIntosh DCS

Reflection By Revd Helen Alexander Click to listen

I will not leave you orphaned’: a striking sentence from St John’s Gospel for today which, together with the entirety of Chapters 14, 15 and 16, comprise what’s often called Christ’s Farewell Discourse to his disciples in preparation for his death.

These poignant words of farewell might ring especially true for us this Spring when, along with the familiar signs of growth and life, the advent of the coronavirus has brought much premature death in its wake. Some who are left feel they have indeed been ‘orphaned’ too soon as the disease has claimed the lives of many older people, as well as those tragic younger exceptions that occasion intense, particular grief.

It is certainly a cause for grief to lose people we love, whatever age they and we may be. Our word ‘bereavement’ comes from an Old English word meaning ‘to deprive’, and even ‘to rob’, and it can indeed feel as if we’ve been robbed when someone dies: robbed of their presence, their life in our lives, their encouragement and inspiration so that we’re left with an aching void where that person ought still to be.

Death can also leave us with confusing and debilitating ambivalence. Grief is rarely straightforward. Not all memories of a beloved person are necessarily unequivocally nourishing, and some are too deep to risk bringing to the surface for fear of how to handle memory where bodily presence has been. Intense sorrow, abandonment, fury of loss can exist side by side with relief and guilt. The end of a loving partnership that has matured over many years produces a type of grief that is different, though no less keenly felt, than the brutal severance of a relationship cut off before its time.

In all this confusion, the journey through bereavement takes time and is deeply personal. We need to tread gently when making the journey ourselves or when accompanying others on theirs.

We need to tread as carefully when we are dealing with the ‘little deaths’ in life that all of us encounter at some time or another: loss of capacity, for example, loss of time to do all that we might have liked to do, still wish to do; loss of security; sometimes, cripplingly, loss of identity; loss of a sense of our place in the world which once we might have assumed to be solid and unassailable; and loss of faith, perhaps one of the most shattering losses a person who has been faith-full can be called upon to endure.

Into this multifaceted reality of loss comes St John’s image of the Spirit as ‘parakletos’, translated ‘advocate’ in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible; probably best understood not in a specifically legal sense but more generally as ‘helper’ or ‘supporter’.

This spiritual help is inextricably bound up with love and truth according to St John’s Jesus: ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth.’

A thought or two, arising from this:

First, the verse speaks to us through our ordinary experience, as all spiritual truth must do; for a significant step in the journey through loss is to face the truth of it, often with the steady loving presence of another to help us.

The agony of loss must be suffered. But it can be perpetuated by its being held too close and enclosed within the individual heart for too long. While this natural clutching at loss is not for another to breach, it is for the sufferer to let go of enough to be reflected upon and sometimes shared with a trusted companion.

The Biblical image of the Spirit that never forces itself, but waits until it is admitted speaks to this insight. In loss, we’re invited, though never forced to open ourselves to love that encompasses more than our own and to begin the long road to a sense of peace.

What about the sort of loss that is open to the Paraclete of God, yet isn’t rewarded with a sense of the presence of the peace that passes all understanding? When the words ‘I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever’, far from being comforting, seem to open up the void of loss even more: what then?

I don’t know any other writer who so eloquently puts the agony of the loss of God into words better than the poet RS Thomas. His bleak poetry of absence can amaze with strange consolation. I don’t think this is simply down to the relieved recognition that another soul can struggle as much as oneself, though this can be a huge help. It seems more: as if in the very struggle to articulate the depth of felt Godlessness honestly and courageously, some true, if fleeting God-sense can be recovered, or discovered anew, while never willing to be summoned by us, as if by right. This experience is not the sole prerogative of RS Thomas, though his ability to convey it may be uniquely his.

In this, I suggest lies strange comfort. This is ‘parakletos’ that is as fleeting as breath, as unpredictable as wind, leaving us becalmed for weeks, months, sometimes years, before making its strange presence felt again as the one in whom ‘we live and move and have our being’ to quote St Paul, quoting others before him in the Athenian Areopagus.

Life, loss and love: St John links them inextricably together. We experience loss in direct relation to our capacity to love; and out of the intense struggle with love and loss, we are invited to believe that we are offered the capacity to live again with spirit and hope.

We are presented with this profound insight through the story of Jesus of Nazareth: his living, his losing, his dying, his rising, his leaving and the continuation of his life in the faith of the church, thanks be to God; amen.


Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession  

Andante       Karl Heinrich Zöllner (1792-1836)

Let us pray for the church of Jesus Christ throughout the world in the glory of her diversity in tradition and practice, worship and song. Let us give thanks for membership of this great body that is open to all without discrimination or restriction, and let us pray for her welfare and good. Let us confess her sinfulness in life and practice, recognising that the behaviour of individuals in small ways or horribly large affects us all, however distanced we may think we are from the worst of her failings.

Let us pray for the church in these islands, seeking ecumenical co-operation and mutual benefit, that we may learn from one another and add richness to the life of faith in this land. Let us pray for the Church of Scotland; for the incoming Moderator in this year’s strange Assembly week, praying for him and all who seek to guide the church and take decisions that will affect us all, much blessing and good in the days that lie ahead.

Let us pray for this City and those with positions of responsibility; for courage and imagination in these difficult days; for the ordering of priorities for good; for care of those who are most disadvantaged and for the protection of those who are weakest.

Let us give thanks for all who keep our city as safe as possible in these difficult times: for those who clean the streets; administer welfare and relief; manage the distribution of food and essential services; work in the emergency services and continue to keep the peace.

And let us pray with grateful thanks for all who work in care homes and hospitals and continue to support and care for those who are frail or ill and for those who are dying, that their resilience, professionalism and kindness may not diminish no matter the circumstances of tragedy and suffering they may be required to meet.

Let us pray for those we love; those who are never far from our minds; those we may find ourselves suddenly thinking about now; those with whom relationship may be strained, yet to whom we are bound by duty, familiarity and love; praying for ourselves in relation to them, while thanking God for that great number forever held with us in the Communion of Saints through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. For ever and ever. Amen.

HYMN 489 Come down, O Love Divine

Come down, O Love Divine,
seek out this soul of mine,
and visit it with your own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, your holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes, in its heat consuming;
and let your glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
my outward vesture be,
and lowliness become my inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o'er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
we cannot guess its grace,
till we become the place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.

Bianco da Siena (d.1434)
translated Richard Frederick Littledale (1833-1890) (alt.)


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. 



NEXT SUNDAY’S READINGS: Ephesians 1: 15 - 23 and St Luke 24: 44 - 53.

REQUEST FROM BETHANY CARE SHELTER Homeless folks are being housed in the Old Waverley Hotel. The Support Team have requested donations of the following food items;

  • Boxes of cereals (not cornflakes)
  • Jam (not marmalade)
  • Fruit
  • Diluting Juice
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Sugar
  • Crisps
  • Individually wrapped biscuits

Also, you might like to donate but not get back:

  • Novels in a foreign language (got plenty in English)
  • A guitar
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Puzzle books
  • Art supplies
  • MALE clothing

Financial support also welcome.  

If you would like to contribute please contact Jean and Alastair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We would be happy to collect and deliver items.


Virtual Youth Programming: The *virtual* youth schedule for the month of May can be accessed on the church website under the 'Young People' tab. Please note the time and age group changes for various activities. All youth programming will be held over Zoom. New virtual youth consent forms must be sent to Hillary before attending a session. For log-in access to the Zoom sessions, or to get a copy of the consent forms, please contact Hillary!

Children & Youth Resource List: A resource page on the church website will be updated weekly with links to resources which our families can use with their children and youth at home while we are unable to meet as a church community and in our Sunday School groups. The resource list can be found under the 'Young People' tab.

Youth Group: Tonight, We will meet at our regular times on Zoom for a *virtual* escape room.


ONGOING HELP FROM THE GIFT SERVICES 2019 I thought I would share with you what we are doing with the surplus gifts from last year.

There are no visits taking place at the prison due to Covid-19.  Mothers and Fathers in prison are having less contact with their children.

The staff in the visitors centre are still working, but distributing food parcels to the families of those in the prison. We have been giving gifts to the children as part of this process.  You can appreciate that these children fall in to the category of the most vulnerable and at risk.

Because of your kindness and generosity.  We are in a position to continue to help these children.

HMP Edinburgh



Mayfield Salisbury maintains several email lists to help distribute information throughout the congregation.  The lists are as follows:            

0930 Service list Information pertaining to the Sunday 0930am All-Age Worship and related events.

Youth Newsletter Hillary Leslie, our Youth Worker, sends out a Youth Newsletter to parents of P6 - S6 youth. This keeps the parents and their kids in the loop about important youth-related events and activities

Congregational list General information relevant to the entire congregation. This includes general news, notices of lectures & special events and importantly details on the forthcoming ministerial vacancy.

Grapevine Magazine list The latest magazine in PDF format.

If you would like to be added to any of these lists, please contact the Church Manager,  William Mearns on: 0780 801 1234  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Forthcoming Deadlines

Order of service for next week: Thursday at 8.00pm.

Next Grapevine: Friday 26 June at 6.00pm.

Please send submissions to the Church Manager, William Mearns.

Phone: 0780 801 1234 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Books for the Journey

My Sour-Sweet Days: George Herbert and the Journey of the Soul by Mark Oakley.

Luminaries: Twenty lives that illuminate the Christian Way by Rowan Williams.


Interim Moderator

Revd Neil N. Gardner This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 556 3515

Locum Preacher

Revd Helen Alexander This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 346 0685

Pastoral Assistant

Kay McIntosh DCS This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0790 326 6307

Youth Worker

Hillary Leslie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0745 372 2224

Church Manager

William Mearns This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0780 801 1234


Kate Pearson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0744 238 2296

Choir Leader

Walter Thomson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 662 0405

Session Clerk

Charles Garland This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0776 290 8343


John Graham This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 667 6331

Gift Aid Donations & Roll Keeper

Hugh Somerville This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 466 2446 


Ecotip: Make a positive decision to avoid commercial greetings cards; use electronic ones or make your own.


Social Media

Youth Instagram: the.msyg Scottish Charity Number SC000785



Copyright Notices

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church holds a CCLI Streaming License: #88916.

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Online Offering

Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Scottish Charity Number: SC000785


  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 'God is not the answer, God is the question.'
    Herbert McCabe