Listen to or read a short service of prayer for Saturday, 25 April 2020, celebrating the Festival of Mark the Evangelist.
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.
who enlightened your holy Church
through the inspired witness of your evangelist Saint Mark:
grant that we, being firmly grounded
in the truth of the gospel,
may be faithful to its teaching both in word and deed;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
How shall young people cleanse their way
to keep themselves according to your word?
With my whole heart have I sought you;
O let me not go astray from your commandments.
Your words have I hidden within my heart,
that I should not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
O teach me your statutes.
With my lips have I been telling
of all the judgements of your mouth.
I have taken greater delight in the way of your testimonies
than in all manner of riches.
I will meditate on your commandments
and contemplate your ways.
My delight shall be in your statutes
and I will not forget your word.
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.
Then Jesus began to say to the disciples, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
‘As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.’Mark 13:5-13 (NRSV)
This is the word of the Lord.
In the power of the Gospel let us pray with confidence to the Lord.
We give thanks for the Gospel of St Mark, entrusted to the Church to make know the word of God through the incarnate Son. Keep all who profess the faith of Christ faithful to the message they have received. Bless the work of missionaries and teachers of that faith throughout the world.
May the rulers of this world, and all who have authority over others, be open to the message of salvation, and exercise their power with compassion. Bring peace among the nations, and let God’s people be drawn together to live and work for the good of all.
We pray that we may make our faith known, by our words and by our deeds, to our friends and neighbours and those with whom we work. Bless and enlighten all in our community who do not yet know the Lord.
Strengthen those, who through suffering, are witnessing to their faith. Guide all whose way is perilous, and give them the mutual comfort of fellowship in Christ.
We remember those who, after years of toil, have come to their rest. Grant them a place with the saints and martyrs who have gone before them, upheld by the hope of the Gospel.
Rejoicing in the fellowship of blessed Mark and all the saints, we make our prayers through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger. Amen.
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 risen Christ give us his peace.