26 May 2024

Daily prayer in Ordinary Time 2024:
18, 26 May 2024, Trinity Sunday

An icon of the Trinity in Saint Nektarios Church in Tsesmes, near Rethymnon in Crete (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The 50-day season of Easter came to an end last Sunday with the Day of Pentecost (19 May 2024), and today is Trinity Sunday (26 May 2024). Today is being celebrated as the Patronal Festival in many churches I know, including Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton, where there is a psecial celebration of the Eucharist at 11 am.

Later this morning, I hope to be part of the Trinity Sunday celebrations at the Parish Eucharist in Saint Mary and Saint Giles Church, Stony Stratford, singing with the choir. This is a bank holiday weekend in England too. But, before today 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.

A modern copy of Andrei Rublev’s icon, the Hospitality of Abraham or the ‘Old Testament Trinity’, by Eileen McGuckin

John 3: 1-17 (NRSVUE):

1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with that person.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You[c] must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

The Visitation of Abraham or the ‘Old Testament Trinity’ … a fresco in the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights, Essex (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayers (Sunday 26 May 2024, Trinity Sunday):

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 ‘Renewal and Reconciliation.’ This theme is introduced today with a Programme Update by Rachael Anderson, Senior Communications and Engagement Manager, USPG:

“If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1: 6-7).

Last year, USPG and the Codrington Trust announced Renewal and Reconciliation: The Codrington Reparations Project. Our commitment to this 10–15-year project is the result of USPG’s continuous work to seek to engage critically with and take reparative action in response to its shameful links to slavery through its ownership of the Codrington Estates in Barbados.

In 1710, the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG – USPG’s former name) received a bequest from Sir Christopher Codrington for two estates in Barbados. The estates totalled 700 acres and included a population of enslaved African men, women and children. From then until 1838, SPG owned and ran the estates through local managers.

Though USPG has long been engaging critically with its past including a substantial amount of research into Codrington, we are aware that it is not enough to just offer an unreserved apology. It must be more than mere thoughts and words. As an organisation that is committed to championing justice, we seek to honour the command in 1 John 1: 6-7 and now move towards honest reparative action.

The project will include four areas of work in collaboration with the descendants of the enslaved: community development and engagement; historical research and education; burial places and memorialisation; and family research.

Renewal and Reconciliation: The Codrington Reparations Project will begin this spring 2024.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (26 May 2024, Trinity Sunday) invites us to pray:

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity, we beseech thee, that thou wouldest keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you have given us your servants grace,
by the confession of a true faith,
to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity
and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:
keep us steadfast in this faith,
that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer:

Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith,
that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,
who are three Persons yet one God,
now and for ever.

Additional Collect:

Holy God,
faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The Trinity in an icon of the Heavenly Divine Liturgy by Michael Damaskinos, ca 1585-1591, in the Museum of Christian Art in Iraklion, 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.

‘Nicodemus … came to Jesus by night’ (John 3: 1-2) … an image in a window in Saint Mary de Castro Church, Leicester (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

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