‘Something Understood’

 A Short Liturgy for the Feast of the Visitation


(You could, if you wish, light a candle with each invocation)

who has encompassed
all time,
be present now;

who was enfolded
in the womb of time
be present now;

who still entangles
our time with God’s time
be present now;

so may this time
be held by love
and hallowed
with grace.

you are invited to keep a short time of silence

You are still
coming into the world –
spoken through small beginnings
and in unlikely places,

and calling us to be both bearers
and witnesses
to that word of Life.

Where I have not always recognised you
with the intuitive joy of Elizabeth
forgive me
and enlighten my seeing;

where I have not always welcomed you
with the vigorous joy of John
forgive me
and enlarge my heart;

where I have not always spoken you
with the explosive joy of Mary
forgive me
and energise my voice;

that I too
may know
and bear witness
to Life in all its fullness.

READING: LUKE 1: 39-56

REFLECTION: Art video podcast on Pontormo’s painting ‘Visitation’ from Dr Debbie Lewer of the University of  Glasgow

Podcast for the Visitation from St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow.

Jesus – hidden and yet known –
for those who recognised you
joy would also, in time,
be joined by sorrow.

Keep me steady
through joy and sorrow,
faithfully holding
to the larger view
of what will unfold
through your presence in the world.

So shall I too be part of its realisation
until the time
when all sorrow is healed
in the joy of your Kingdom.

As I move again into time
keep me attentive
to the voice of your Spirit
that I might see and know you
wherever you are coming into the world;

and through that recognition
may revelation and rejoicing
to a re-imagining
and remaking
of the world
as you intend it to be.

Liturgy © Pat Bennett

The Iona Community

This liturgy and podcast were prepared in partnership with St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow and with Dr Debbie Lewer, Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow. It is part of part of a series entitled ‘Bodies in Transition’, and two further podcasts and liturgies – for the feasts of Corpus Christi and the Transfiguration – will be released on 11th June and 6th August respectively. You can download a transcript of today’s podcast here.  and a PDF of the  Visitation Liturgy here.

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