06 June 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (9) 6 June 2023

The chapel in Trinity College Dublin was designed in the 1790s by Sir William Chambers (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

This week began with Trinity Sunday (4 June 2023). The calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship today remembers Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945.

Over these few weeks after Trinity Sunday, I am reflecting each morning in these ways:

1, Looking at relevant images or stained glass window in a church, chapel or cathedral I know;

2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

Inside the chapel in Trinity College Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The Chapel, Trinity College, Dublin:

My photographs this morning (6 June 2023) are from the chapel in Trinity College Dublin. Trinity Monday is no longer celebrated on this week in Trinity College Dublin. Instead, Trinity Monday was marked this year in TCD on 24 April, when new honorary fellows, fellows and scholars were announced. The ceremony is one of the oldest and most colourful at TCD and refers back to its foundation in 1592.

I received a post-graduate Diploma in Ecumenics at TCD in 1984, and studied classical Greek there in 1987. Later, I was twice the Select Preacher in the Chapel, and I have chaired and been the secretary of the Dublin University Far Eastern Mission (DUFEM).

Until 2017, while I was on the staff of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, I was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in TCD, sitting on academic and staff committees and Courts of Examiners, supervising research and overseeing examinations. Group photographs of the BTh and MTh graduates were taken each year on the steps of the chapel in TCD. I was also a visiting lecturer on other degree courses.

Overlooking Front Square, at the heart of the TCD campus, the chapel was designed by Sir William Chambers in 1798 to form the north range of Parliament Square. Chambers was George III’s architect, and he also designed the Examination Hall on the south side of Parliament Square. The building work was overseen by Christopher Myers and his son Graham Myers, and it is likely that Myers heavily influenced the end design.

The chapel and the theatre are similar in form, creating a pleasing balance to the square and evoking a sense of Palladian symmetry with the two buildings serving as end pavilions. However, the chapel is both longer and narrower.

The classical elegance of the design is seen throughout the chapel, particularly in the stonework carved by George Darley and Richard Cranfield. Inside, the classical motif continues in the plasterwork by Michael Stapleton, spiral staircases by Robert Mallet, and the organ gallery carved by Richard Cranfield. Henry Hugh, a general carpenter throughout the project, may have worked on the pews.

The 19th century saw significant modifications to the interior, with stained glass by Clayton and Bell depicting scenes of Moses and the Children, the Ransom of the Lord, the Sermon on the Mount, and Christ with the teachers of Law, installed in 1865. Polychrome floor tiles were added to designs of John McCurdy, and, in 1872, stained glass windows were installed in the apse and centre, showing the Transfiguration, to designs by Mayer & Company.

Reflecting the Anglican heritage of the college, there are daily services of Morning Prayer, weekly services of Evensong, and Holy Communion is celebrated on Tuesdays and Sundays.

The chapel has been ecumenical since 1970, and is now also used daily in the celebration of Mass for the college’s Roman Catholic members. In addition to the Anglican chaplain, who is known as the Dean of Residence, there are two Roman Catholic chaplains and one Methodist chaplain.

The chapel is often the venue for ecumenical events, such as the annual carol service and the service of thanksgiving on Trinity Monday.

The Chapel Choir in Trinity College Dublin was established in 1762 and sings twice a week at services in the chapel, Evensong on Thursdays and the Eucharist on Sundays. The choir is made up of students from across the university. There is also a student Conductor, a student Organ Scholar, and a professional Director of Music who oversee the running of the choir, its music, and its day-to-day activities.

The stained glass window in the apse depicting the Transfiguration is by Mayer & Company (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Mark 12: 13-17 (NRSVA):

13 Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. 14 And they came and said to him, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? 15 Should we pay them, or should we not?’ But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ‘Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.’ 16 And they brought one. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ 17 Jesus said to them, ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they were utterly amazed at him.

With MTh graduates on the steps of the chapel in Trinity College Dublin

Today’s prayer:

The theme in the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) this week is ‘Protecting the Environment in Zambia. This theme was introduced on Sunday by USPG’s Regional Manager for Africa, Fran Mate, with a reflection from Zambia for the United Nations World Environment Day yesterday.

The USPG Prayer invites us to pray this morning (Tuesday 6 June 2023):

Let us pray for the Zambia Anglican Council. May it work in partnership with other Churches and organisations to spearhead environmental protection in Zambia.


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:

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.

Parliament Square, or Front Square, in TCD, with the portico of the chapel on the left (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Yesterday’s reflection<

Continued tomorrow

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

Looking through the Campanile towards Regent House, with the chapel on the right and the public theatre or exam hall on the left (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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