Listen to or read a short service of Prayer for Monday 22 June 2020, the Lesser Festival of Alban, first martyr of Britain.
Alban was a citizen of the Roman city of Verulamium (now St Albans in Hertfordshire) who gave shelter to a Christian priest fleeing from persecution, hiding him in his house for several days. Greatly influenced by his devotion to prayer, Alban received instruction from the priest and was converted. When the priest’s hiding place was discovered, Alban dressed himself in the priest’s cloak and was arrested in his place. Tortured by the Roman authorities, Alban refused to renounce his faith. He was beheaded on this day, probably in the year 250, and so is acknowledged as the first British martyr. The remains of his shrine stand today as a place of pilgrimage in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban.
O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
when the gospel of Christ first came to our land
you gloriously confirmed the faith of Alban
by making him the first to win a martyr’s crown:
grant that, following his example,
in the fellowship of the saints
we may worship you, the living God,
and give true witness to Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sing to God, sing praises to his name:
exalt him who rides on the clouds.
The Lord is his name; rejoice before him.
Father of the fatherless, defender of widows,
God in his holy habitation!
God gives the solitary a home
and brings forth prisoners to songs of welcome,
but the rebellious inhabit a burning desert.
O God, when you went forth before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,
the earth shook and the heavens dropped down rain,
at the presence of God, the Lord of Sinai,
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
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.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.’John 12.24-26
This is the word of the Lord.
Let us pray to God, whose love brings victory out of suffering and death.
May the Church always have courage to preach the Gospel without fear, after the example of blessed Alban who witnessed to the world and did not count the cost. Grant to all Christian people perseverance in their calling and faithfulness to the truth that they have been taught.
Have mercy on a world where good is often met with evil and love with anger. Open the eyes of men and women everywhere, to see and follow the goodness around them. Bless those in authority and lead them into the way of peace.
Give us strength when faith is hard and brings us into conflict with others. Help us to witness by word and example to those among whom we live and work.
We pray for all who suffer persecution for the sake of the Gospel. For all whose faith has alienated them from those who should be close to them. Give them courage in their affliction and soften the hearts of their persecutors.
We give thanks for all who have faithfully witnessed to the truth in this world. We pray that those who have suffered for their faith may find rest and eternal life in the realm where all tears are wiped away and there is no more pain.
We pray through Christ that we may be strong in the faith that sustained his holy martyrs.
O God our protector,
by whose mercy the world turns safely into darkness
and returns again to light:
we give into your hands our unfinished tasks,
our unsolved problems,
and our unfulfilled hopes;
for you alone are our sure defence
and bring us lasting peace
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
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. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.