Online Worship Archive

Welcome to the online service of worship for the Ascension Sunday - 24 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 24 May 2020

 Ascension Sunday

Psalm 47: 1, 5 - 9

1 Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.

5 God has gone up with a shout,
the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the king of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm.

8 God is king over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted.

Today's hymns were recorded remotely in individual parts by members of the Mayfield Salisbury Chamber Group, and assembled by Kate Pearson.


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 Ascension Sunday.

Ascension is an ancient feast of the church dating from the 4th century that is kept 40 days after Easter Day which was last Thursday. With this we begin a trio of services: for Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. To help us celebrate these important days in the church’s calendar, we welcome the return of members of the Chamber Group whose voices are combined with the music of the hymns played by Kate Pearson, Mayfield Salisbury’s versatile organist whose musical skills we’ve been enjoying from the beginning of these online Services.

I invite you now to join me in a short period of silence in preparation for worship…..

Scripture Sentences

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Let us pray

Giving thanks for the inestimable gift of grace that is offered to us from the abundance of divine love: grace that is mediated through the good things of the earth, like sun filters through the leaves of a tree; grace that lifts our senses like the fragrance of a flower; grace that sings to us from the song of a blackbird, the sound of a river, and voices blended in harmony.

Within the atmosphere of earthly and heavenly grace, let us offer that which may be foremost in our hearts today: delight and thanksgiving in being alive; gratitude for the blessings we may count even at a time of restriction and hardship; the knowledge of our attachment to people and places, even though these beloved connections may seem out of reach except in our minds and hearts.

And if today or any other day, grace seems hidden from our eyes and far from our awareness, let us lift our hearts just the same in hope of help and healing: help for our fears, our anguish or despair; quietude of soul for our anxiety or perplexity; words of sympathy and kindness heard in the inner ear or from a trusted friend; seeking to believe that whether we live or it is as if we are dying in body, mind or spirit, we are forever held in the unfailing love of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Collect

Almighty God, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things, grant that your Church on earth may be filled with his presence and that he may remain with us always, to the end of the world; through the same Jesus Christ who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Children’s Reflection Hillary Leslie

Good morning everyone! It’s nice to be here with you today. I hope you’ve all been keeping well at home.

All around the world, people speak different languages, and they all have their own words for ‘goodbye.’ Can you think of a phrase we say in Scotland when we say goodbye? Sometimes we say ‘See you later!’ or ‘See you soon!’ when we are hopeful to be together again.

Some languages even have words that are used to say both hello AND goodbye. Can you think of any words? The Italians say ‘Ciao!’ for hellos and goodbyes. My favourite, though, comes from Hawaii – does anyone know what word Hawaiians use to both say hello and goodbye? They say ‘Aloha!’ Not only is the word used to say hello and goodbye, but the deeper meaning of the word is the idea that we are sharing love, peace and compassion with another person – the life force that unites the world. We don’t have a word for ‘Aloha’ in English because it carries a beautiful message that’s difficult to put into words.

Can you think of times when you’ve had to say goodbye? How does it make you feel to say goodbye? Many of us have had to say unexpected goodbyes and ‘see you laters’ to friends, family and teachers while staying at home during lockdown. Sometimes it’s hard to say ‘see you later’ when we don’t know when ‘later’ will be. Although we have had to say ‘goodbye for now’ to many people during the lockdown, most of us are still able to be with them, by video chatting, phoning or writing letters and emails.

Sometimes we may not ever see a person face-to-face again after saying goodbye, and that can be very sad. We carry those people with us though, through the memories and experiences we have shared with them; they remain in our hearts and minds.

Today is Ascension Sunday which is the day in which the risen Jesus ascends, or goes up, to heaven. The disciples were very sad after Jesus’ death, but then Jesus came back. Now, it appears that Jesus is leaving them again, and that they will need to say goodbye to him again. But the disciples don’t need to say their goodbyes with Jesus, because Jesus isn’t leaving them.

Jesus hasn’t left us behind; he is sending us out. Jesus has said ‘Aloha!’ a greeting filled with love, compassion and peace, encouraging us in his ‘goodbye’ to go out into the world and share God’s love, compassion and peace with others. Jesus remains with us in our hearts and minds, and as he rises to heaven, we are being asked to rise to his call to share God’s love, compassion and peace in the world.

Let’s pray together – please repeat after me:

Dear God, thank you for this day

Thank you for the warm weather and sunshine

Please be with those who are lonely or sick today

May we remember the word ‘Aloha!’

And that you are always with us

May we share your love and peace with others. Amen

HYMN 438   The Head that once was crowned with thorns



First Reading  Ephesians 1: 15 - 23  (NRSV)

Paul’s Prayer

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[a] toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God[b] put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.


Second Reading  St Luke 24: 44 - 53  (NRSV)

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah[a] is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses[b] of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The Ascension of Jesus
50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.[c] 52 And they worshiped him, and[d] returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.[e]

Readers: Lucia Garland and Kay McIntosh DCS


Reflection By Revd Helen Alexander

St Luke’s imaginative capacity to translate theological truth into word-pictures didn’t only produce the beautiful narratives of Jesus’ birth at the beginning of his Gospel for it ends with the striking image of Christ’s ascension into heaven. Luke repeated this at the beginning of the Book of Acts, his history of the early church, with embellishments to the story: the introduction of the cloud of God enveloping Jesus, after the manner of the ascension of the prophet Elijah recorded in the First Book of Kings; the appearance of two angelic-looking figures similar to those who appeared to the women in his empty tomb story; and setting the story in a different time frame: forty days after Resurrection Day rather than on the evening of that day which is where he puts it in his Gospel.

Throughout the ages, Luke’s account of Christ’s Ascension into heaven has produced many artistic representations in churches of the East and West. We’ve one close to home. The Ascension window in the South Transept of Mayfield Salisbury was the first to be installed in the church in 1899, followed in 1902 by the window beside it entitled the Kingdom of Heaven, depicting a kingly Christ seated in glory surrounded by angels and blessed representations of faithful humanity. The two windows form an insightful partnership.

Pictures of a glorified Christ with a crown on his head and an orb and sceptre in his hands may appeal less to us than it did to people in the past. Ours is a more egalitarian age, in theory if not in practice. Nonetheless the invitation to ‘Rejoice! the Lord is King’ may still work especially for those who admire the Queen of the United Kingdom whose long life has been shaped by her acknowledgement of an ultimate authority that is of an altogether different order to her own.

Whatever we make of this, there’s an interesting artistic tradition with regard to the Ascension which developed in the Middle Ages, whereby all you see of Christ as he ascends into heaven are his disappearing feet, while the astonished apostles gaze upwards. Some of these pictures with feet peeping quaintly below the hem of his robe have their comical side, perhaps reminding us that humour can be as helpful as sobriety in communicating truth, and sometimes more memorable.

It’s impossible confidently to enter into the mind of past artists, but pictures of the disappearing feet make me think of the earthly ministry of Jesus in the dusty land of Palestine. Though he may have hitched the odd ride on a donkey, it seems that mostly he used shanks’s pony. In addition to this literal understanding of the importance of his feet, I suggest it’s also justifiable to describe Jesus’ mission as being ‘grounded’, to use a modern idiom. We might say that his feet were firmly “on the floor”: rooted to the earth, to the needs and deepest desires of the people he encountered; to their hunger for food and nourishment of soul; to their struggles in relationship, their hope of healing, their sorrows and their joys. We’re told that Jesus prayed, not apparently as pious escapism but in such a way as to send him straight back to the messy reality of life. And in the end, far from tiptoeing around the greatest horror of his betrayal and death, he stepped right up to it in a manner of speaking, and was nailed on the cross by his feet and hands for his pains.

A comparatively recent picture of the Ascension that highlights Christ’s hands and feet was painted in 1958 by Salvador Dali. There’s a huge amount in this painting, but one of the striking features is that the large feet are absolutely foreground, their soles coated in what looks like dust or grime, facing towards the viewer. No coy peeping toes here. Whatever else he’s doing, Dali’s Christ is undoubtedly taking the experience of his earthly toil with him on his journey.

Earlier artists seem to have developed this insight. From early in the Fifteenth Century a number of paintings of Christ’s disappearing feet also featured footprints left behind on the earth, embedded in it like ancient fossilized prints that have been discovered in our time.

While many in our day consider the Christian faith something of a fossil itself, this art is far from suggesting such a thing. Rather the imprint of the feet seem graphically to suggest that as well as our humanity’s being raised to the highest value by Christ’s having lived it – an essential meaning of the story of the Ascension - it is up to believers in any age to seek to live in the light of his life so that it doesn’t disappear as if into the heavens but is practised again and again in the world: “the Word of God became man, that thou mayest learn from man how man may become God” said Clement of Alexandria, whose life spanned the end of the 1st and beginning of the 2nd Century, thus prompting us to overlook his exclusive language.

Clement is surely implying that it is for you and me to seek to walk in Christ’s footsteps; to have “the eyes of (our) heart enlightened” to adapt the rather lovely phrase of the writer to the Ephesians; to take to heart his teaching; to trust in providence, mercy and grace; to practice integrity and generosity of heart, and to support help for the poorest and healing for sick bodies and minds.

We are likely to fail in this endeavour of course, certainly some of the time. We may fall on the road and suppose that our burdened feet will carry us no longer. It is then that in Christ’s wounded feet we may glimpse something of his glory as well as his pain, and be encouraged to stand on our own feet again to keep the faith in practical as well as worshipful ways, if indeed the two can be separated.




For the Ascension of Christ: Good Christians, one and all, rejoice      Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

On this day when we celebrate Christ’s impulse and love encircling the whole world, let us pray for the world in all its beauty and tragedy, its crisis and its opportunity for healing and hope.

As many of us are able to perceive more of the earth’s beauty on our doorsteps than we have in years, let us pray that the renewal of the earth may continue long beyond this present time, and that out of this crisis may come solid awareness of the preciousness of the gift of the world that is our home.

At the close of Mental Health Awareness Week in our land, let us pray that our society may recognise all that works against the health of people in mind and spirit as well as in body, and may continue to work for an increase in kindness and for the well-being of all.

Let us think of suffering people near at hand and in places far away: those who are desperately worried about their welfare and their ability to earn a living for themselves and their families; those who have been helped by governments and organisations, and those who have somehow fallen through the cracks; those who can’t see the way forward, as well as those who are able to use the current circumstances to plan creatively and well.

Amidst our thankfulness for the great spirit of altruism and kind co-operation in this country and beyond, let us pray for those bent on selfishness and destruction and who seek to capitalise on this crisis and to cheat the unwary for their own gain.

Restricted as we are to our own homes, let us pray for all who haven’t got a home: those in temporary shelters who dread their re-engagement with the outside word; those who live in crowded tents where the threat of the coronavirus compounds existing worries about health and sanitation; those in transit from place to place, and those who have given up the struggle for security and peace altogether.

Let us pray for all whose hearts are prompted to sympathy and help; giving thanks for people who make a difference in small ways and large; and seeking to count ourselves in that number, according to our circumstance and means.

Let us pray for all we love and hold forever in our hearts, even as we remember with thanksgiving all we have loved and lost and love still and are united forever in the glory of the courts of heaven; 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 439   Look, ye saints, the sight is glorious! 


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: 1 Corinthians 12: 3b - 13 and Acts: 2: 1 – 21.

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.

PS. Many thanks to those who have already donated so generously!



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!

Youth Group: Tonight, Sunday 24 May S1-S6 will meet from 6:.30 -8.30pm for a Netflix watch party! We will initially meet on Zoom before starting the film. A doodle poll has been sent out to families for the youth to suggest a film. There will be no youth group meeting for P6 & P7 tonight. Please contact Hillary if you have questions about using Netflix Party.

Youth Worship: Sunday 31 May we will meet on Zoom for a Youth Worship service at 7.00pm. Bring some colouring and writing supplies as we gather together with music, prayer and time for reflection. For log-in information, 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.



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.


Click here to view and learn about  Salavdor Dali's The Ascension of Christ.


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: Switch off lights, power supplies or modems when not in use.


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