29 November 2022

Praying in Advent with Lichfield Cathedral
and USPG: Tuesday 29 November 2022

‘Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness’ (Advent Collect) … winter darkness at the south door in Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Advent began on Sunday (27 November 2022), the First Sunday of Advent.

In the calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship, today is a Day of Intercession and Thanksgiving for the Missionary Work of the Church.

In the first chapter of Saint John’s Gospel, Saint Andrew is listed as one of the disciples of Saint John the Baptist. When Jesus walked by, Andrew followed him and then went and found his brother, Simon, saying, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ So Saint Andrew is seen as the first missionary for Christ, and the vigil of his feast day is an appropriate time for intercession and thanksgiving for the missionary work of the Church.

Today we give thanks for all those who have worked to bring the Good News to areas where it was previously unknown, in both historic and more recent times, and we respond in faith to God’s call to the Church in our own day to spread the gospel and proclaim his kingdom in the world.

Before this day gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for reading, prayer and reflection.

During Advent, I am reflecting in these ways:

1, The reading suggested in the Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar produced by Lichfield Cathedral this year;

2, praying with the Lichfield Cathedral Devotional Calendar;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary, ‘Pray with the World Church.’

Saint Andrew’s Cross (centre) on a hassock in Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Luke 10: 21-24 (NRSVA):

21 At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

23 Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.’

‘Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness’ (Advent Collect) … candlelight at evening in Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The Lichfield Cathedral Devotional Calendar:

Give thanks for all who have brought the good news of Jesus Christ to us, our nation and the whole world. Pray for our own Church and our Cathedral community to witness joyfully and boldly.


Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion:

O Lord our God,
make us watchful and keep us faithful
as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;
that, when he shall appear,
he may not find us sleeping in sin
but active in his service
and joyful in his praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Additional Collect:

Almighty God,
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin
to the light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Collect on the Eve of Andrew:

Almighty God,
who gave such grace to your apostle Saint Andrew
that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ
and brought his brother with him:
call us by your holy word,
and give us grace to follow you without delay
and to tell the good news of your kingdom;
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.

USPG Prayer Diary:

The theme in the USPG Prayer Diary this week is ‘World Aids Day.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday with a report from the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe.

The USPG Prayer Diary invites us to pray today in these words:

Let us pray for those researching into the spread of infectious diseases. May their learning and discovery bear fruit for the good of all life.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

‘Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness’ (Advent Collect) … night colours at Timor Court in Stony Stratford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

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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