St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church

St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church

Where in the World is David Park?

Vlog #3

Today our happy wanderer takes us to church. 

Enjoy. Don’t forget to like and share! 

Posted 57 weeks ago

Where in the world is David Park?

Vlog #2 - Eating in Edinburgh

In his latest dispatch, David Park tells us about some of the food he’s encountered so far.

Posted 57 weeks ago

Where in the World is David Park

Vlog #1 - The Journey Begins

Our Pastoral Associate and Director of Music The Rev. Dr. David Kerr Park has landed in Scotland and has sent us his first vlog. 

Click below to see what he sent us!

Posted 58 weeks ago

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

Lenten Meditation for Holy Saturday

Yes, today is “tax day” on the secular calendar. But for us as Christians this day is known as Holy Saturday. There are two distinct sides to this day. The first is simply Holy Saturday, the time when Jesus is buried and in the tomb borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea.  It is a solemn and mournful time, as we lament the death of our beloved Rabbi, and our complicity for all that is evil in this world, and our sins

Mother Cynthia recently came into my office handing me a piece of paper as she excitedly exclaimed “Look at this! You should really consider putting it to music.” The text by the English poet W. H. Vanstone (1923-1999) on the entombment and resurrection of Christ is from his final book, Fare Well in Christ, a Christian meditation on death. I was truly moved when I read it, and knew I had to share it with you on this day…

Joseph of Arimathea’s Easter
W. H. Vanstone

‘He’s gone,’ says Joseph, and, with Pilate’s leave
Eases the nails and lowers him from the Tree,
Wraps him in reverent and tender thoughts
And lays him in the cave called Memory.

That cave is deeply hewn in Joseph’s heart:
All that’s within will always be his own:
In memory’s cave the treasure of his past
Is safe for ever, walled and sealed by stone.

‘He’s safe,’ says Joseph, ‘safe in this cool place
And no one now can take my Lord away.
In years to come I’ll still see his dear face
As clearly as I’ve seen it on this day.’

‘He’s gone!’ cries Joseph at the empty tomb:
But Mary says, ‘He’s left a word for you:
He cannot rest content to be your past,
So he has risen to be your future too.’

As we ponder this time, which was filled with great fear and uncertainty by Jesus’ followers, I invite you to meditate on this picture by the Chinese Christian artist He Qi. Dr. Qi is a professor at the Theological Seminary and at the University of Nanjing. He has painted dozens of works based on biblical themes. His style has been described as “Chagall meets Matisse meets Picasso meets the East.” He uses brilliant colors, and blends Chinese folk traditions with western art.

Notice who is present, and who is absent? Where are they going? What were they bringing with them? Where could the others have been? Why were they avoiding the place of Jesus’ burial? Where would YOU have been? What would you have been feeling? What were you thinking of doing with your life next?

Finally, Holy Saturday has another side—the joyous celebration of the first Eucharist of Easter in the Great Vigil. In our parish the choir traditionally sings the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. That isn’t the only Hallelujah chorus.  The “other Hallelujah chorus” is from the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives by Beethoven. The oratorio wasn’t well received in Beethoven’s own time, and is rarely performed today. The final chorus, however, has been very popular on its own.

Listen to this energetic and exciting performance by Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus. It is accompanied by a great slide show and full text.

May your Easter be blessed!

The Rev. Dr. David Kerr Park
Pastoral Associate and Director of Music

Posted 74 weeks ago

Good Friday

…He kneeled long
And saw love in a dark crown
Of thorns blazing, and a winter tree
Golden with fruit of a man’s body. R.S. Thomas, 1913-2000, Welsh

Photo:St. Clement’s Church, Isle of Harris, Scotland, 2015
Mother Cynthia
Posted 74 weeks ago

Maundy Thursday

It was October 1961. My sister, 13 years old and I, 11 years, were taken to the ICU of a local hospital to visit our mother.

As we entered her room, an attendant brought the evening meal. Mother beckoned us to come closer and she struggled to embrace us with partially paralyzed arms. Looking upwards, she prayed, giving thanks for the meal and asked the Lord to keep us in His loving care. She then invited us to partake; a hospital meal was transformed into a delightfully tasty feast!!

Mother detailed in a loving yet somber manner her dreams for us, before directing our Dad to take us home. She died hours after our visit.

Years later, I contemplated on the way my mother spent her last hours lavishing us with love. I realized that my mother was imitating the Lord of Love, Jesus Christ, who facing His own death, “loved to the end.”

Maundy Thursday is a meditative day, when we recall the words of the Father, “this is my Beloved Son, listen to Him.” We listen to His command to love each other because we desire to be followers. We listen as Jesus invites us into a new life, where pride and ego diminish as followers desire a life of love and humility. We are attentive to the Love that gave up everything; Body and Blood and tells us to memorialize that giving for we need nourishment to journey into the fullness of His Presence.

Submitted by:
Rev. Lorna F. Goodison
Deacon, St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church

Posted 74 weeks ago

Wednesday in Holy week

Scripture, Meditation, Reflection, and Affirmation
For Holy Week
Excerpts taken from Daily Prayer For All Seasons, published by Church Publishing Inc., (2014-06-01) Kindle Edition with references provided


Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.Isaiah 42: 1-4


We must get ready then. Our journey requires a rejuvenated faith. We must set high standards. We must rely on the gospel to guide us. It will help us to follow Christ and grow better acquainted with him so we are prepared to live with Jesus in his heavenly kingdom.
from The Rule of St. BenedictChurch Publishing (2014-08-01). Daily Prayer for All Seasons (Kindle Locations 1487-1496). Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Where does our faith need rejuvenation today? How will we let the gospel guide us?


As children of God, we affirm:
That God, who is Love, created all and called it good,
that God is present with all of creation, and that,
in darkness and in light, God is faithful;
therefore we, too, seek to be faithful.
That Jesus came to show us Love with a human face,
that he taught justice and reconciliation and suffered on our behalf,
and that through his faithful example, he embodies hope;
therefore we, too, seek to be people of justice, reconciliation, and hope.
That the Holy Spirit guides and accompanies us,
that this same Spirit offers wisdom and discernment,
and that, when we are open, the Spirit can always find a way;
therefore, we seek to be people filled with God’s Spirit:
discerning, loving and transforming our world.

Church Publishing (2014-08-01). Daily Prayer for All Seasons (Kindle Locations 1509-1512).Church Publishing Inc. Kindle Edition.
Church Publishing (2014-08-01). Daily Prayer for All Seasons (Kindle Locations 1497-1508).Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Church Publishing (2014-08-01). Daily Prayer for All Seasons (Kindle Locations 1487-1495).Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Submitted by:
Br. Terrence Declan, AF

Posted 75 weeks ago

Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Lent

Five Day Retreat Preparing for Holy Week


Lift up your heads, O gates!

and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

that the King of glory may come in.

-Psalm 24:7

A Prayer for the beginning of Holy Week

Assist us mercifully with your help,O Lord God of our salvation,that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts,whereby you have given us life and immortality;through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Five Day Retreat Preparing For Holy Week

Be watchful, brethren, lest the mysteries of this season pass you by without your gaining from them their due fruit. Abundant is the blessing; you must bring clean vessels to receive it, and offer loving souls and watchful senses, sober affections and pure consciences for such great gifts of grace. … All Christians practise more than usual devotion in these seven days and try to be more humble and more serious than is their wont, so that in some sort they may share Christ’s sufferings. And rightly so. For the Passion of the Lord is here in truth, shaking the earth, rending the rocks and opening the tombs; and His Resurrection also is at hand. …

Bernard of Clairvaux 1090-1153On Keeping Holy WeekDe Passione DominiCourtesy of Suzanne Guthrie

Submitted by:

Br. Terrence Declan, AF

Posted 75 weeks ago

Monday in Holy Week

Lenten Art Project for Children

Taken from an art project presented to St. Mary Magdalene’s Sunday school children by Evelyn Sibelle

Blog submitted by Stephanie Harris

Instructions: Using an empty egg carton place 12 empty plastic eggs inside of it pre- labeled # 1-12. Every day or all at one sitting (depending on the age of the child) place the objects highlighted in black below inside of the egg and read the bible verse that it represents. Keep all of the objects inside the eggs as the time progresses. Encourage discussion with your child.

1. Bread: Matthew 26:26 When they were eating Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples. “Take and eat it,” He said, “This is my body.” (Use a crouton or bread piece)

2. Coins: Matthew 26: 14-15 Then one of the twelve disciples, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and asked, “What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?” They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him. (Use penny or plastic coin)

3. Purple Cloth (Robe): Mark 15:17 They put a purple robe on Jesus. (Use a small piece of purple material)

4. Crown of thorns: Matthew 27-29 Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on His head, and put a stick on His right hand; then they knelt before Him and made fun of Him. “Long Live the King of the Jews!” they said. (Use a piece of straw and form it into a circle)

5. Rope (Scourge): Mark 15:15 Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed Him over to be crucified. (Use cut shoe lace or piece of rope)

6. Cross: John 19:17-18a He went out, carrying his cross, and came to “The Place of the skull,” as it is called. (In Hebrew it is called “Golgotha.”) There they crucified Him. (If need be inexpensive small crosses may be purchased in various stores)

7. Nails: John 20:25b Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in His side, I will not believe.” (Purple ribbon tied around a nail)

8. Sign: Luke 23:28 Above Him were written these words: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. (Words written on a piece of paper)

9. Sponge: Matthew 27:48 One of them ran up at once, took a sponge, soaked it in cheap wine, put it on the end of a stick, and tried to make him drink it. (Use a piece of sponge)

10. Spear: John 19: 34 One of the soldiers plunged his spear into Jesus’ side, and at once blood and water poured out. (Use a toothpick)

11. Rock: Matthew 27:59-60 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a new linen sheet, and placed it in his own new tomb, which he had recently dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away. (Place rock inside.)

12. Empty: Matthew 28:6 He is not here! He has risen just as he said.

Posted 75 weeks ago

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

Five Day Retreat Preparing For Holy Week

The Last Word

Look for us, the faithful, with the angels and the children,
loudly praising the conqueror of death: Hosanna in the
- Monastic Liturgy
quoted from A Lent Sourcebook II,
Liturgy Training Publications

The Ass

Having said that, shall I now comfort our poor beast a little? We know he cannot sing; he is not of those who can say, ‘Thy statutes have been my songs in the place of my pilgrimage’! But he has something, all the same, that all the others lack; for to none other is the Lord so near. No, no even those who keep close to His side have Him so close to them as has the beast whereon He sits; the prophet says as much, 'The Lord is nigh to them that are grieved at heart.'For a mother also, when she knows her son is sick, takes all the greater care of him and folds him in her arms more frequently. Let no one, therefore, think it an unworthy or small thing that he should be a riding-beast for Christ.

Bernard of Clairvaux 1090-1153
from Dominica Palmarum II

That beast on which Christ sits, is it no you, who glorify and carry Christ in your
own bodies, as the apostle says?

Dominica Palmarum I.4
Courtesy of Suzanne Guthrie

Submitted by:
Br. Terrence Declan, AF

Posted 75 weeks ago