21 March 2021

Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
33, Saint Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy

Saint Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, Pugin’s ‘Irish Gem’ overlooking the River Slaney in Co Wexford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During Lent and Easter this year, I am taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, a photograph of a church or place of worship that has been significant in my spiritual life;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

Today is the Fifth Sunday in Lent (21 March 2021), sometimes known as Passion Sunday.’ This week I am offering photographs from seven churches that were designed by Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-1852), the architect singularly responsible for shaping and influencing the Gothic revival in church architecture on these islands.

My photographs this morning (21 March 2021) are from Saint Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

The cathedral is the largest building in Ireland designed by Pugin, who based his design on the ruins of Tintern Abbey in Wales. Saint Aidan’s is a three-quarter size replica of Tintern, as Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney, is a three-quarter size scale model of Salisbury Cathedral.

The cathedral was built in two phases: the eastern parts were built between June 1843 and June 1846, and the nave and aisles were built between 1846 and 1848. The interior was completed by James Joseph McCarthy (1817-1882).

The names of the Bishops of Ferns, from Saint Aidan in 632 to the present day, include Bishop Edmund Comerford, in Saint Aidan’s Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 12: 20-33 (NRSVA):

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 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. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.

27 ‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say — “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ 30 Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (21 March 2021), the Fifth Sunday in Lent and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, prays:

God of justice and peace,
You have made us equal and we are precious in your sight.
Help us to pray and work without ceasing
for a world free of racism, prejudice, and oppression.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Inside Saint Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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