Category Archives: Illuminating Faith

Illuminating Liturgy – A Trisagion for Lent

The trisagion or ‘three-holies’ (tris-agion) is a prayer of adoration and for mercy often featured in Lenten liturgies.

This new setting is suitable for local congregational use and can be sung with one or two voices – either ‘straight through’ (top staff only) or with an echo effect with both vocal staves.

The PDF for the setting, and an MP3 version for review, can be downloaded below.

Illuminating Liturgy – An ‘O Antiphons’ setting for Advent

A new setting of the traditions ‘O Antiphons’ for Advent is now available and free for download and use in local congregation settings.

The MtE 1 O Antiphons are a simple setting of the antiphons for one or more voices, or for alternating voices for each antiphons.

The setting is suitable for local congregational use, particularly in a service structured around a cycle of readings. A model service of this type will be available on Illuminating Liturgy later in 2020 [COVID-willing!].

Illuminating Faith – The Church: Towards A Common Vision (WCC Study Document)

The Church: Towards A Common Vision is a study document of the World Council of Churches in 2013. The document is available here (in English), with versions in other languages accessible here.

A study guide to assist small groups in reading and considering the document was produced by the Uniting Church’s Christian Unity Working Group, and is available from the UCA Assembly web site, here.

Illuminating Liturgy – Mark the Evangelist Communion I

Over 2019 the Congregation refined a new sung communion setting, composed within the congregation. This is in the final stages of finalisation and will be made available to the wider church, likely after Easter 2020.

The setting is written with singability in mind and for use by congregations without the support of a choir. The setting is principally in E-minor, making it particularly useful for Advent and Lent but will work for any time of the year. The music will be provided in a standard piano score with supporting chord symbols, and in transposed versions for Bb instruments.

To be notified when the new setting is available, subscribe to the ‘Illuminating Faith’ email list.

Illuminating Faith – Advent Studies on the Song of Songs

What has this surprising biblical book got to do with the idea of God’s coming-to (‘ad-vent-ing’) us? The central themes of longing and desire in the Song of Solomon which connect the book with Advent.

It has been said that the Psalms are God’s Word to us in our words to God – our own songs and poems and prayers given back to us as God’s revelation of Godself. In thinking about Songs we ask after something comparable: in what way might our words to each other – for that is what love poetry is – become God’s Word to us?

The studies are concerned with what it is we desire, and how that desire works in us – in, for and against others and God. The issue is not whether we do or should desire, or not. Longing and desire – the beautiful and possessing it – are at the heart of Solomon’s Songs and at the heart of all that we do and say, whether or not we are conscious of it. We cannot but desire; the question is simply one of pressing towards the ‘appropriate’ object of desire, longing, yearning. Advent is a season for the training of desire.

The studies are designed for small group use in a ‘read and discuss’ format. Though originally conceived as a series for Advent, they could be used at any time.

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

Illuminating Faith – The Apostles’ Creed – A lively text in a world made strange


Bruce Barber’s The Apostles’ Creed is a reading of the Creed for today, with particular focus on the assumptions the modern mind brings to the Creed and how the Creed, and the faith it symbolises challenge those assumptions.

The study is supported by guiding questions and is suitable for personal or small group use; it could be comfortably be covered in a 7 week study series, although groups may find they want to move more slowly through the material.

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

Worship Service Orders – Advent A

This is our first attempt at providing a series of worship orders which congregations might consider taking up more or less as given, for a liturgical season.

A worship order is provided for each Sunday in Advent, linked to the Revised Common Lectionary’s Year A readings for Advent (2019, 2022, 2025, 2028). The service structure is repeated each week, as are a number of the congregational responses

These service orders are provided as a ‘proof of concept’ experiment — with the question as to whether such things would be of use in the church. If you do use them and would be interested to see more such liturgical resources put together, please let us know via the feedback form and subscribe to the eList for updates on future additions.

A click on each button below will download a Word .docx version of each file:

Lenten Studies in Illuminating Faith

Illuminating Faith studies recommended for Lent

The complete Lenten Study listing

Illuminating Liturgy – The Passion according to St Luke – A Service Order

For a number of years the Congregation of Mark the Evangelist has heard the passion narrative of the gospel for that lectionary year on Passion (Palm) Sunday as a preparation for Holy Week. A version of that order — for Luke’s Gospel in Year C – is shared here in the hope that it might be useful to others .

The text of the passion narrative is punctuated with prayers, psalms and hymns, with a few suggestions for dramatic actions which might help to reduce the ‘wordiness’ of such a long reading in church. The order also includes the Eucharist. More explanation of the service and how to prepare it are given in the downloadable documents. Used ‘as is’ – including Holy Communion – the service would run for 70-75 minutes, depending on your music choices.

Please feel free to download these resources (in MS Word .docx format) and adapt them as appropriate to your local context. We’d love to hear whether they have been useful to you!

PLEASE NOTE that this order will be reviewed late in 2021 in readiness for Lent 2022 – Year C, Luke.


Illuminating Faith – The covenanting God draws near

These studies will assist small groups in a local congregation to reflect together on the set texts of the Revised Common Lectionary for the first five weeks of Lent in Year C.

If Sunday’s preacher is a member of such a group, she or he will also be assisted by hearing our others in the group react to the readings, and so suggesting how they might be handled in the sermon and liturgy.

The study booklet contains the full text of the RCL readings for each week and some questions to guide groups into reflecting together on the texts.

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

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