Listen to or read a short service of prayer for 25 May 2020, celebrating the Lesser Festival of the Venerable Bede, 8th century monk, scholar and historian.
Bede was born in Northumbria around the year 670. When he was seven years old, his family gave him to the monastery of St Peter and St Paul at Wearmouth. He then moved to Jarrow, where he lived as a monk for the rest of his life. Although it seems he never travelled further than York, his monastery was a centre of learning, and Bede studied extensively. He used all the resources available to write the most complete history of Christian England up to the year 729, as well as commentaries on books of the Bible. He was renowned for his monastic fidelity and his love of teaching, and was fondly remembered by his pupils, including his biographer. He died peacefully on the eve of Ascension Day in the year 735.
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.
Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered;
let those that hate him flee before him.
As the smoke vanishes, so may they vanish away;
as wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish
at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
let them make merry with gladness.
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.
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’ disciples said, ‘Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.’
Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’John 16:29-33 (NRSV)
This is the word of the Lord.
In the power of the Spirit, and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.
God Most High, you call your Church to proclaim the way of salvation in your Son Jesus Christ. Keep us rejoicing in this faith and delighting in your name. Come, Holy Spirit, fill your Church with your life and love.
God Most High, you send us to be agents of your Kingdom. Transform our hopes and fears to declare your glory in all our dealings with one another. Come, Holy Spirit, fill our nation and all the nations with your life and love.
God Most High, you draw us together from diverse backgrounds into a commonwealth of your Son. Deepen our respect and appreciation of all your people. Come, Holy Spirit, fill all people with your life and love.
God Most High, you heal our pain, bind up our wounds and restore us for your glory. Pour your blessing upon all whom we bring before you. Come, Holy Spirit, fill us and all for whom we pray with your life and love.
God Most High, you give to those who desire you a living spring gushing up to eternal life. Raise in your name all who have died. Come, Holy Spirit, gather all the departed into the life and love of your eternity.
Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.
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.