Sunday, 14 October 2012

Last in current sequence of Tuesday gatherings

Since Pentecost we have continued to pray for the future of the Church, doing this outside the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh each week.  The last in this current series of prayer times is Tuesday 16 October. The group that has been meeting is continuing to meet monthly, and to have commitments to
  • pray for the Church
  • pray for our own renewal
  • study to better understand the advances since the start of the second Vatican Council
  • provide a supportive space for people to express and explore their reactions to recent events in the Church
Many of us attended the Call to Action meeting in London, on 11 October, and so attention is drawn to the associated website.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Now we have passed Pentecost..?

The vigil had a by-product of building a strong, praying group of people, some of whom prayed outside the RC Cathedral in Edinburgh, and others who prayed elsewhere, and all of whom seek the continuing renewal of the Church. See the early posts in this blog to see why we felt drawn to do this.

In discussions over the last couple of days of the vigil  several thoughts arose, exploring how some of us might wish to continue with  a to-be-defined mix of prayer, meeting and protest.  If you wish to join this discussion then contact me -

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Friday 25th May

Prayer took an ecological turn last night, with concern being expressed about the process of fracking  (This entails pumping chemicals deep into the Earth to fracture rocks so we can extract gas; earthquakes and damage to underground  water supplies have in some places been consequences of fracking). 

We prayed that the Spirit will guide the Church to protect the Earth.  Some saw parallels between what is being done to the Earth and to the Church  by those with power and influence.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Signs that spoke to us tonight

Tonight as we prayed we watched a bus go by, with an advert proclaiming “Be different.” We prayed that those in the Church have the courage to be different from each other, and that the institutional Church gives us the freedom and liturgy to delight in that difference.

There are two sets of prominent doors into the Cathedral - one is always closed, but has clear arrows pointing to the open doors. Often people fail to interpret the signs, and stand puzzled by the closed doors until we speak to them.  We prayed that the people of the Church help each other to respond to the signs of our times.

As we sang Ubi Caritas lovers walked by.  We prayed that the Church be seen as a sacrament of love

On listening

About a week ago I came to the Vigil pondering  how listening to someone can be compassionate and open to their truth and integrity, or listening can be closed by the certainty of one’s own views.   I began praying not to be closed and prejuduced  in my own attitudes.

An ambulance with siren blaring had its progress blocked by a car that did not move. The sign of that moment and its demands were ignored. The driver was too caught up in their own world to be able to hear and act as they should.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

More about praying outside the Cathedral

A few days into the Vigil I put some thoughts about praying outside the Cathedral on this post. Another week or so has elapsed and praying outside the Cathedral still feels right.

The attraction is not just about praying with the life of the City filling our senses – for the City is where we have to be Church, as is shown daily by so many people. It is also that praying there feels a bit vulnerable – it stretches us beyond our comfort zone.  It therefore feels like a place in which we can pray for renewal with integrity – for we want more laity to take risks and challenge their leaders, their leaders to challenge the Cardinals and the Cardinals to assert their roles in the Vatican – with all of us, even including the Curia, being brought out from our comfort zones of churchiness into… into what??  Into something new and deeper than the malaise we have now, a malaise indicated by the silencings, the Mass text, the inadequate ways in which we envision and express priesthood and ministry,….

Tonight we prayed that people would hear the challenge to protest and accept that risk of standing out. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Notes from a small vigil - 30 April

Tonight  (Monday 30 April) we again prayed for and with those who engage with this vigil from places other than outside the Cathedral. They are scattered across Scotland from the borders in the south  to as far north as Inverness, and perhaps are feeling more isolated than the few who meet at the Cathedral.

(The most southerly known participants are in the Midlands - 4 May.) 

We prayed again with the gospels of yesterday and today - the good shepherd, who comes that we have life and have it to the full.  (Earlier in the day, I'd been  reflecting on my experience of yesterday's Collect here.) After the period of silence we prayed for those in roles of shepherd, and as always  for those who are silenced and those doing the silencing.

As we prayed we watched families play on the sculpture of the foot (photo here) - the parents showing what shepherding of children is: the children climbing and sliding; a kaleidoscope of fun and of intensity, of accompanying, guiding, catching, encouraging, laughter.

Tonight we prayed for this kind of shepherding for the children of God..

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Praying so God's agenda is found and followed

This post has extracts from correspondence about the vigil, between Peter Simmons and Mike Mineter. The emails are in chronological order; in the most recent Peter invites me to publish the texts of his emails here .

Also in the last of these emails, Peter captures the crux of the exchange:
What I am suggesting is that we should pray insistently - banging the table if necessary - that God's will for the Church be done and that God should nudge all of us, from the smallest child right down to the Pope, in the direction God wants us to take.


At the Vigil over the last few days, after the prayer-time we have been pondering whether we should just allow the Vigil to grow organically by word of mouth, or more actively invite new participants, for if there are people who would like to join us in the prayer, we'd like to have contacted them. We leave this invitation here for anyone who happens to see it, in case they wish to join in.

You are invited to pray between now and Pentecost for an increased outpouring of the Spirit into the RC Church. People have begun to meet for 30 minutes at 6:15 each evening for quiet prayer outside the RC Cathedral in Edinburgh. Others are joining us in prayer from wherever else they are.

Why meet outside the Cathedral? Firstly, we feel alienated by the institutional RC Church, yet still feel that we belong to the Church. Secondly, what we are doing seems controversial in the light of recent history, for we might expect that:
  • The Spirit will lead us to engage with the marginalised, as did Christ. The current Mass text has had the effect of marginalising the engaged – many of us influenced by Vatican II feel that has happened to us.
  • The Spirit will lead to a myriad people exploring and speaking of new ways in which God is at work in the world. Recently people have been silenced by the Vatican for doing this. 
  • The Spirit will burn more strongly in every heart and mind, not only fall like the dew onto bread and wine (as in the new Eucharistic Prayer).
If you wish to join us to pray, come to the Roman Catholic Cathedral at 6:15pm, or if you cannot, we hope that you will pray from wherever you are.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

A few practicalities

This post was set up to include notes to help those considering joining the prayer at the Cathedral. (Others join from their homes.) It was moved to a static page here

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

email sent on 17 April to invite participation

You are encouraged to forward this email.

This email invites you to join others to pray whenever possible at 6:15pm each day outside St Mary's RC Cathedral for 30 minutes for an increased outpouring of the Spirit on the Roman Catholic Church, and on our own diocese. By beginning on Tuesday 17 April we have 40 days to Pentecost.

This period from Easter to Pentecost is one when the disciples were confused, wanting to live in the light of the Resurrection not knowing how. So it is always a powerful and prayerful time for Christians.
Today in the Roman Catholic Church we have our own additional and intense sources of confusion.

In the last few months we have seen:

- The marginalising of many whose experience is not heard, because it does not echo the opinions of those who seek to exercise power.

- Division arising from the new Mass text, which has polarised communities, stressed relationships and individuals. Some say "its what we should have had for years" and others say that in many ways the text is defective and alienating.

- Many people who consider themselves to be formed in the light of Vatican II are in a crisis of belonging within the Church.

For this 40 days of prayer, a simple quiet time is proposed as a pattern, with brief singing before and after:

Taize - Veni Sancte Spiritus


Taize - Ubi Caritas

For further information email
(For those wishing to respond, in a way that can be seen by others, a blog has been set up, [URL given])