Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

16th July 2023

Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Year A


You can click to expand or minimize the order of service below.

All are requested to join in wherever text is GREEN or when instructed by Fr. David.

Where the is shown, all are encouraged to make the sign of the cross. The people respond with confidence everywhere which is in bold type

Sing, ye faithful, sing with gladness,
Wake your noblest, sweetest strain,
With the praises of your Saviour
Let his house resound again;
Him let all your music honour,
And your songs exult his reign.

Now on high, yet ever with us,
From his Father’s throne the Son
Rules and guides the world he ransomed,
Till the appointed work be done,
Till he see, renewed and perfect,
All things gathered into one.

Alleluia to the Father,
Alleluia to the Son,
Alleluia to the Spirit,
Ever three and ever one,
One in love and one in glory,
While unending ages run. Amen

Blessed be God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen


From Easter to Pentecost:

Allelulia. Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia


In Lent and other penitential occasions:

Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins;

His mercy endures for ever.

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.


Let us pray:

Almighty God, to whom all hearts be open, all desires known and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy, welcoming sinners and inviting them to the Lord’s table.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, confident in God’s forgiveness.

Merciful God, our maker and our judge, we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do: we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves; we repent and are sorry for all our sins , Father forgive us, strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

**(Note: all are encouraged to strike their breast 3 times following the lead of the Celebrant as he utters the words: ‘sorry for all our sins’)**

Almighty God, who has promised forgiveness to all who turn to him in faith, pardon you and set you free from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness and keep you in eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord, have mercy

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy,

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy,

Lord, have mercy.

(This prayer is omitted during Advent and Lent)

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, h in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.



O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A reading from the book of


As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;

the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;

and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

PSALM 65: (1-8, 9-14

8-11, 18-20 (replace these if there are verses listed or delete if the complete psalm)

Psalm 65: (1-8), 9-14

Te decet hymnus

You are to be praised, O God, in Zion; *
to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.

2 To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come, *
because of their transgressions.

3 Our sins are stronger than we are, *
but you will blot them out.

4 Happy are they whom you choose
and draw to your courts to dwell there! *
they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house,
by the holiness of your temple.

5 Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness,
O God of our salvation, *
O Hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the seas that are far away.

6 You make fast the mountains by your power; *
they are girded about with might.

7 You still the roaring of the seas, *
the roaring of their waves,
and the clamor of the peoples.

8 Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvelous signs; *
you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.

9 You visit the earth and water it abundantly;
you make it very plenteous; *
the river of God is full of water.

10 You prepare the grain, *
for so you provide for the earth.

11 You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; *
with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase.

12 You crown the year with your goodness, *
and your paths overflow with plenty.

13 May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, *
and the hills be clothed with joy.

14 May the meadows cover themselves with flocks,
and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; *
let them shout for joy and sing.

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the:


There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law– indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

All stand for the Acclamation and the Gospel reading.

(Response outside of Lent: “Alleluia!”)

Response during Lent: “Praise to you, O Christ, King of Eternal Glory.”

Alleluia!  Alleluia!

To set the mind on the flesh is death,

but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.


A reading from the Holy Gospel, according to


Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

After the Gospel reading

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

Earlier this week, I allowed myself to be pulled into a debate on Facebook. This is never a wise decision, of course, but social media tends to make fools of us all. Someone had posted a comment attacking David Bentley Hart, my favourite living theologian, and it was hard to let the case pass without serving as Hart’s defense attorney. Dr. Hart is a brilliant man who, I am fairly sure, has never uttered a word of less than three syllables and who, I am fairly sure, was born wearing a bowtie. I also suspect that his first words, perhaps uttered around three months old, were “Salutations all.”
The commentator accused Hart of relying too much on logic and not enough Scripture, but this is quite false: Hart may not quote chapter and verse on every page of his books, but he usually draws inspiration from St. Gregory of Nyssa, whose thought is a majestic synthesis of Scripture. But it was the premise of the comment that I found nonsensical: That faith and reason are in conflict. This is a common assumption these days, unfortunately: as if faith is purest when it is innocent and mixed with just a dash of irrationality.
This experience set me to thinking about Christ’s parable in a new way. After all, the fellow who wrote this comment reads the same Bible as I do, but the difference lies in our approach to Scripture: he believes, apparently, that faith must be at least somewhat irrational if it is to be sincere, while I believe that, since God endowed us with intelligence, to read Scripture well we must use reason as well as faith. If the words of Christ, and of the Scripture in general, are seeds, then our approach to Scripture is soil, and the quality of the soil can make all the difference. If we read through a poor theological framework, the words may well sink into our hearts, but they cannot grow and thrive.
Unfortunately, I think the attack on David Bentley Hart is symptomatic of a deeper problem in our churches and, in a word, that problem is fideism, the elevation of faith over reason. The guiding assumption here is that we come to know God through His acts in history—His care for Israel, for example, or His sending of Christ into the world—and must accept this providence with faith alone, with reason playing a diminished role or, in extreme cases, no role at all. The rhetoric of this way of thinking can be stirring. “When God appeared to Moses on Mt. Horeb, Moses did not sit down and write an abstract treatise on the nature of God. Instead, he approached the leaping flames with trembling, in awe of the sheer reality of God.” But if this remark seems pious, it is a rhetorical illusion. It is true, of course, that some theologians and philosophers play around with concepts and confuse this with actually knowing God. But the hidden consequences of fideism are severe indeed.
If we follow it through to its conclusion, after all, then we must assume that God’s actions in history—Christ’s raising Lazarus from the dead, or His lovely encounter with the woman at the well, or His resurrection—do not actually bring us to the know God. Quite to the contrary, they display a mystery, a mystery that can never be solved, because there is no way to move from what God does to who He is. It is reason, after all, that shows us what the works of Christ mean. But in fideism, God’s actions become a mere show of force, and when only power is displayed, nothing is actually revealed. And the name of this impenetrable mystery is “power.” Not love. Not goodness. Power. Because it is only action; there is no content to know.
The most extreme example of the idolatry of power in Christian theology is arguably Calvinism. The more extreme Calvinists believe in absolute divine sovereignty: Every moment of history—from a rose blooming to a child starving—is caused directly by God, even willed by God, and it all displays His mysterious and awful sovereignty. And the cheer doesn’t end there: God also predestines some for glory, some for perdition, and we do not know who. Recently I found out that Derek Webb, a Christian singer-songwriter, renounced his faith some years ago, and this came as a small shock until I discovered that he was a Calvinist, and then the mystery vanished. It makes all the sense in the world to lose faith in such a God. But of course, this was not a loss of faith: It was the burning of an idol. Webb was reading the same Bible as you and I; but even though the words of Christ were falling upon His heart, thudding into the depths of his being, the poor soil—the belief that God is sheer, incomprehensible power and that everything is willed by Him—choked the life of those seeds away, and made it impossible for them to thrive into an enduring faith.
I suspect that most of us find all of this rather distasteful, and for good reason; but the temptation is subtler than we may realize and, if we believe that God’s acts in history—as recorded in our Scriptures—must be received in the purity and innocence of faith, with reason playing a diminished role, then we are already flirting with Calvinism. After all, if we stop with belief in God’s power and assume that believing in it is sufficient, then we never allow reason to connect God’s power with His goodness and His love. The classical Christian understanding of divine power is not force, not sovereignty, but the perfect expression of goodness. But faith without reason implies that we should be devoted to God without actually knowing Him.
If I say that God is loving, or infinite, or full of affection towards us, then I am speaking rationally. To say “God is love” is, after all, to say, “I know that God is love.” And recognizing this does not mean that God’s mystery can be reduced to human concepts or man-made theological systems. It only means that reason and faith can work in harmony, and that the fire of belief merges with the fire of knowledge in a single and coherent act of devotion. And if I say that God is infinite love, then I know something about His nature, but I also know that a boundless love exceeds the boundaries of my knowledge and, indeed, of every creature’s knowledge. And so, we do not need for faith to overwhelm reason to preserve the mystery of God: No, we only discover the mystery of God on the far side of philosophy. When faith infuses reason, as light infuses our sight, then we can look upon Christ’s passion and resurrection, and know that God is love, and that His love conquers death. We can finally move from what God does to who He is.
Yes, knowledge contains a great intimacy. And this is why philosophy really means the love of wisdom. Scripture leads us to knowledge, and knowledge leads us—paradoxically—beyond concepts to the very reality of God, that transcendent mystery. As Marguerite Porete said, “God is a ravishing far-nearness.” He is near to us because, in Christ, He empties Himself and makes Himself known; but He is also far, because the love that we taste in Christ is transcendent, boundless, and eternal.
St. Gregory of Nyssa, one of the greatest of the church fathers and probably Hart’s favourite theologian, says that we must read Scripture philosophically. In saying this, he is not elevating reason over faith, but is merely insisting that devotion to God is also a search for wisdom. As we read about the life and ministry of Christ in the gospels, or about God’s care for Israel in the Old Testament, we come to know the Father, because as faith connects us with God’s providence, reason connects us with God’s nature and character, and knowing what He does shows us who He is. We see, we believe, we know, and then we fall silent in awe. Reading the gospels philosophically does not mean that we conjure up abstract concepts about God and then accept them dispassionately as true; it only means that, as we read, Christ’s passion and resurrection and His changing of the water to wine show us the Father, and that our belief is but the spark that ignites the roaring and intimate flame of knowledge.
God becomes real for us only when we know Him. And so, I will say it again: It is reason that forges a connection between what Christ does and who He is; without philosophy, we cannot pass from the experience of God’s power to the knowledge of His face.
Faith alone is idolatry. Faith without reason is poor soil. But faith united to reason in prayer… This is wisdom… This is good soil: Soil that can make the words of Christ thrive in our hearts.
At the end of the day, you only fall in love with someone you know. I imagine that most of us have fallen in love at some point in our lives. And in that experience, we discovered that physical attraction is not an end in itself; it leads us into another person’s soul. And that soul is knowable and, being knowable, is also lovable. As Aristotle said, the soul is the form of the body. And so, it is with Scripture. We may begin with faith as we read the words of Christ, but ultimately, we are led—when faith and reason merge—into the knowledge of the Trinity. But faith alone, faith without knowledge, is like touch without intimacy. It can never satisfy.

Please stand for the Nicene Creed.  Let us individually affirm the faith of the Church.

I believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Let us pray for the world and for the Church:

(Prayers of intercession are now said, and at the end of each petition the intercessor says:)

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


Lord hear us,
Lord graciously hear us.

(At the conclusion of the prayers the priest says:)
Almighty God, who has promised to hear our prayers:
Grant that what we have asked in faith we may by your grace receive, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles:
I leave you peace, my peace I give you.
Look not on our sins, but the faith of your Church, And grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom Where you live for ever and ever. Amen.

Please stand for the greeting of peace

We are the Body of Christ.

His Spirit is with us.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of God’s peace, in the traditional Thai way, with a ‘wai’.

Thy kingdom come, O God,
Thy rule, O Christ, begin;
Break with thine iron rod
The tyrannies of sin.

Where is thy reign of peace
And purity and love?
When shall all hatred cease,
As in the realms above?

When comes the promised time
That war shall be no more,
And lust, oppression, crime,
Shall flee thy face before?

We pray thee, Lord, arise,
And come in thy great might;
Revive our longing eyes,
Which languish for thy sight.
O’er lands both near and far
Thick darkness broodeth yet:
Arise, O morning Star,
Arise, and never set.


Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness, we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and the service of your kingdom.

Blessed be God forever.


Let us pray

We do not presume to come to your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies.  We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table, but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of your dear son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.  Amen.

The Lord be with you.

and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word, through whom you have created all things; who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour.

By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh; as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin, he lived on earth and went about among us; he opened wide his arms for us on the cross; he put an end to death by dying for us; and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life; so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.

Proper Preface

Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died:

Christ is risen:

Christ will come again.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice, made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.

As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of [N and] all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.


Let us pray with confidence to the Father, as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.  

O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

**(Note:  All are encouraged to tap their breast three times following the example of Fr. David as he utters the words ‘…have mercy, …have mercy and …grant us peace’)**

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

This is the Lamb of God , who takes away the sins of the world;

Happy are those who are called to his supper.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

**(Note:  All are encouraged to strike breast following the example of the Celebrant as all utter the words ‘not worthy’)** 

Please approach the altar with cradled hands if you wish to receive the sacrament, or with the hands behind your back if you wish to receive a blessing. Each communicant responds ‘Amen’ when receiving communion in either kind.

After Communion, there is time for silent prayer and meditation.


Let us pray.

Father of all we give you thanks and praise that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world. 

Keep us in this hope that we have grasped; so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name.

Father, we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Lord. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit , be amongst you and remain with you always.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You have come to us,
You are one with us,
Mary’s Son;
Cleansing our souls from all their sin,
Pouring your love and goodness in;
Jesus, our love to you we sing,
Living Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Now and every day
Teach us how to pray,
Son of God.
You have commanded us to do
This in remembrance, Lord, of you:
Into our lives your power breaks through,
Living Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ,
I would come to you,
Live my life for you,
Son of God.
All your commands I know are true,
Your many gifts will make me new,
Into my life your power breaks through,
Living Lord.

Music – use hymns from the same week last year

Here is the music for this week’s hymns, if you would like to practice beforehand.

Performed by Fr. David Price

NOTE: The introductory music is ”Allegro’, from Concerto in C – Felton’.