Illu­mi­nat­ed Riv­er: A Ser­vice of Blessing

In partnership with Southwark Cathedral
Led by The Very Revd Andrew Nunn Dean of Southwark
Friday 19 July 9.30pm

And God said Let there be light
and there was light.

Christ is the light of the world,
a light no darkness can quench.

The light shines in the darkness
and the darkness will not overcome it.

Reading Revelation 21.1-5

A reading from the Book of Revelation.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.

The river has inspired us

Above all rivers thy river hath renowne,
Whose beryl streames, pleasant and preclare,
Under thy lusty walles runneth down;
Where many a swanne doth swimme with winges fair,
Where many a barge doth sail, and row with oar,
Where many a ship doth rest with top-royal.
O town of townes, patron and not compare,
London, thou art the flower of Cities all.

From ‘In Honour of the City of London’, William Dunbar (1465?-1530?), 1501


Twenty bridges from Tower to Kew
Wanted to know what the River knew
For they were young and the Thames was old,
And this is the tale that the river told.

I walk my beat before London Town,
Five hours up and seven down.
Up I go till I end my run
At Tide-end-town, which is Teddington.
Down I come with the mud in my hands
And plaster it over the Maplin sands.

From ‘The River’s Tale’, Rudyard Kipling, 1911


The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song….
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.

From ‘The Wasteland’ T S Eliot 1922

The Blessing

God bless those who cross the bridges.
God bless those who walk the edges.
God bless those who sail the waters.
God bless those who steer the vessels.
God bless those who care for fishes.
God bless those who light the bridges.
God bless this illumination
Light and joy, colour, imagination.
May it bring this river to life
Even on the darkest night.
Amen.


As Jesus taught us so we pray

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.
Amen.


And God said Let there be light
and there was light.

Christ is the light of the world,
a light no darkness can quench.

The light shines in the darkness
and the darkness will not overcome it.

May the God whose Spirit hovered over the waters bless you.
May the God who brought light out of darkness bless you.
May the God who refreshes the soul and illuminates the mind bless you.
May God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you and remain with you always.

Amen.

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