Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
49, Resurrection frescoes, Tolleshunt Knights

The Empty Tomb … a fresco in the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During the Season of Easter this year, I am continuing my theme from Lent, taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, photographs 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).

Easter began on Sunday with Easter Day. This week, I am offering photographs of images of the Resurrection from seven churches, some of which I have already visited during the season of Lent.

My photographs this morning (6 April 2021) are from frescoes in the Stavropegic Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights, near Maldon in Essex.

I visited this monastery on a one-day pilgrimage each year while I was a student at the summer school in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, organised by the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies.

The monastery was founded by Archimandrite Sophrony (1896-1993), a disciple of Saint Silouan (1866-1938) of Mount Athos. This mixed community gives a central place to the Jesus Prayer and is a popular place for pilgrims and Orthodox visitors.

Inside the Resurrection Chapel at the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 20: 11-18 (NRSVA)

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ 14 When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God”.’ 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (6 April 2021) invites us to pray:

Let us pray for the followers of Jesus in this age who are witnessing in challenging places as they spread the good news of Jesus’ resurrection.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The Resurrection and the Crucifixion in a fresco in the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights (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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