21 May 2024

Daily prayer in Ordinary Time 2024:
13, 21 May 2024

The Empress Helen depicted in a fresco in the Church of Saint Constantine and Saint Helen in Rethymnon, Crete … she is commemorated on 21 May (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The 50-day season of Easter came to an end on Sunday with the Day of Pentecost (19 May 2024). The Church Calendar has returned to Ordinary Time, which continues until Advent, and the liturgical colour returns to green.

This week, between the Day of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday next Sunday (26 May 2024), my morning reflections include the daily Gospel reading, the prayer in the USPG prayer diary, and the prayers in the Collects and Post-Communion Prayer of the day.

Today, the Calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship remembers the Empress Helena (330), Protector of the Holy Places.

The Empress Helena came to power in the Roman Empire when her son Constantine became Emperor, in the year 306. Although she had previously been abandoned by her husband, her son raised her to a position of great honour.

Helena was a Christian, and in the year 326 she made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There she helped to found the building of a basilica on the Mount of Olives and another at Bethlehem. According to fourth century historians, she discovered the cross on which Christ was crucified.

In the Eastern Church, she is commemorated on this day, together with her son Constantine.

Before this day begins, I am taking some quiet time this morning to give thanks, for reflection, prayer and reading in these ways:

1, today’s Gospel reading;

2, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary;

3, the Collects and Post-Communion prayer of the day.

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me” (Mark 9: 37) … a window in Saint John’s Hospital, Lichfield, commemorating Catherine Browne of the Friary, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

Mark 9: 30-37 (NRSVUE):

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

33 Then they came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them, and taking it in his arms he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

The Emperor Constantine and his mother, Saint Helena, with the True Cross … a fresco in Analipsi Church in Georgioupoli, Crete (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayers (Tuesday 21 May 2024):

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Pentecost Reflection.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday with a Reflection by the Revd Duncan Dormor, USPG General Secretary.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (21 May 2024) invites us to pray:

Lord we pray for the Global Church and for the Anglican Communion – may we move forward in peace and unity.

The Collect:

O Lord, from whom all good things come:
grant to us your humble servants,
that by your holy inspiration
we may think those things that are good,
and by your merciful guiding may perform the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer:

Gracious God, lover of all,
in this sacrament
we are one family in Christ your Son,
one in the sharing of his body and blood
and one in the communion of his Spirit:
help us to grow in love for one another
and come to the full maturity of the Body of Christ.
We make our prayer through your Son our Saviour.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The discovery of the True Cross … an image above the door into the funeral chapel at Analipsi Church in Georgioupoli, Crete (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version, Updated Edition copyright © 2021, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Church of Saint Constantine and Saint Helen … a modern, neo-Byzantine church above the bus station in Rethymnon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

No comments: