Listen to or read a short service of prayer for Tuesday 26 May 2020, the Lesser Festival of Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury.
Augustine was prior of the monastery of St Andrew in Rome. In 596, at the instigation of Pope Gregory the Great, he was dispatched as the leader of a group of forty monks to re-evangelize the English Church. Augustine appears not to have been a particularly confident person and, in Gaul, he wanted to turn back, but Pope Gregory’s firm resolution held the group to their mission. The monks finally landed in Kent in the summer of 597 where they were well received by King Ethelbert whose wife, Bertha, was a Christian. Once established, Augustine returned temporarily to Gaul to receive ordination as a bishop. Pope Gregory would have preferred London to have become the primatial see, but in the event Canterbury was chosen and thus Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. He died in either 604 or 605.
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
Risen, ascended Lord,
as we rejoice at your triumph,
fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,
that all who are estranged by sin
may find forgiveness and know your peace,
to the glory of God the Father.
Psalm 68:9-10, 18-19
You sent down a gracious rain, O God;
you refreshed your inheritance when it was weary.
Your people came to dwell there;
in your goodness, O God, you provide for the poor.
Blessed be the Lord who bears our burdens day by day,
for God is our salvation.
God is for us the God of our salvation;
God is the Lord who can deliver from death.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
‘I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’John 17:1-11 (NRSV)
This is the word of the Lord.
Let us pray to God, the Lord of the Church and of the world.
We pray for the people of your Church, those you have called to hear and believe in your word. Draw them together in unity, inspired by the mutual love of the Father and the Son to be as one in faith and hope and love.
For all the people of the world that Christ came to save, those who acknowledge his power and those who do not know him, we ask that his glory may shine upon them and make them his own. As he has authority over all, may those who exercise power learn the way of his justice and his mercy.
Protect those whom you have given us in love to be our families and friends. Guide them with the grace promised to all who are your own, and help us to spread by word and example the knowledge of your glory.
Come tenderly to those who having heard and sought to follow have fallen away and lost the vision that once they knew. Bring them back to the way that leads to eternal life. Have mercy on the sick, grant them healing and renewal of life.
We remember those who in this world began their eternal life through faith and have now entered into its fullness. As they are now in your presence, so may we grow in grace towards that vision of glory.
We pray in the name of Christ, glorified before all worlds.
Eternal God, giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom:
confirm us in this mission,
and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray with confidence 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.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit enlighten our hearts and minds.