11 April 2020

Praying through Lent with
USPG (46): 11 April 2020

‘Vergesst es nie’ (‘Never Forget’) … Kristallnacht and the Holocaust recalled in a memorial at the Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue), Berlin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We have arrived at the last day of Lent and today is Easter Eve or Holy Saturday [11 April 2020]. Late this evening, when Lent comes to an end, I should be celebrating and preaching at the Easter Eucharist in Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin (Tarbert), Co Kerry (7 p.m.) and Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, Co Limerick (9 p.m.). However, these are not normal times, and on the advice of the Bishop, all services have been cancelled for the past few weeks in these dioceses. This situation continues to be reviewed and monitored with the bishop and the archdeacons.

Throughout Lent this year, I have been using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Holocaust, so I am illustrating my reflections each morning with images that emphasise this theme.

USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

Throughout this week (5 to 11 April 2020), Holy Week, the USPG Prayer Diary has taken as its theme this week, ‘The Right Time.’ This was introduced last Sunday by the Revd Rana Khan, Rector of Crickhowell, Cwmdu and Tretower in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, Wales.

In his introduction, he wrote, ‘Sometimes certain patches of our personal experiences or communal history create fears and concerns and we don’t welcome Christ in our lives and societies. Christ is always looking for the right time but sometimes instead of allowing God to execute his plans, we react according to our human fears. Let us pray … that God gives us a fresh understanding of the restoration and change he wants to bring – both in and through us.’

Saturday 11 April 2020 (Holy Saturday):

Lord help us learn patience, and give peace to all those who watch and wait.

The Readings: Job 14: 1-14 or Lamentations 3: 1-9, 19-24; Psalm 31: 1-4, 15-16; I Peter 4: 1-8; Matthew 27: 57-66 or John 19: 38-42.

The Collect (Easter Eve):

Grant, Lord,
that we who are baptised into the death
of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
may continually put to death our evil desires
and be buried with him;
and that through the grave and gate of death
we may pass to our joyful resurrection;
through his merits, who died and was buried
and rose again for us,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lenten Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Series concluded

Yesterday’s reflection

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