10 August 2021

Praying in Ordinary Time 2021:
73, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

The chapel in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Before the day gets busy, I am taking a little time this morning for prayer, reflection and reading. During this time in the Church Calendar known as Ordinary Time, I am taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, photographs of a church or place of worship;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

My theme this week is seven college chapels in Cambridge, and my photographs this morning (10 August 2021) are from Corpus Christi College.

Inside the chapel in New Court … part of the 19th century rebuilding of Corpus Christi (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Corpus Christi College, formally known as the College of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the only Cambridge college founded by the townspeople of Cambridge: it was founded in 1352 by the Guilds of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

At first, the college had no chapel, and used Saint Bene’t’s Church next door for worship and liturgies until the beginning of the 16th century. At one time during the Reformation, the college was also known as Saint Bene’t’s … perhaps a conscious effort to break with the traditions associated with Corpus Christi.

The first college chapel was built by Thomas Cosyn, who was Master from 1487 to 1515. The old chapel was demolished to make way for New Court, including the Parker Library, which were designed by William Wilkins and completed in 1827. The Parker Library is named after Archbishop Matthew Parker (1504-1575), who was the Master of Corpus Christi 1544 to 1553, before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury (1559-1575).

The chapel now in New Court is part of the 19th century rebuilding of Corpus Christi. It is the third chapel in the college, and was designed by William Wilkins as a replica of the chapel in nearby King’s College.

Today, Corpus Christi is best known to visitors to Cambridge for its clock, the Chronophage or ‘Time Eater,’ which is accurate only once every five minutes.

Archbishop Parker (right) at the chapel door in Corpus Christi, seen from a window in the Parker Library (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Matthew 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14 (NRSVA):

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ 2 He called a child, whom he put among them, 3 and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

10 ‘Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. 12 What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’

The Pelican of Matthew Parker on the altar frontal in the chapel of Corpus Christi (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (10 August 2021) invites us to pray:

Let us pray for the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, and for the success of the Abundant Life Programme.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The Old Court in Corpus Christi College is the oldest surviving court in any Oxbridge college (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

The Chronophage or ‘Time Eater’ at Corpus Christi is accurate only once every five minutes (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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