07 June 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (10) 7 June 2023

The bridge at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin … the formal name of the cathedral is the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (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 recalls 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.

The west front of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Cathedral of the Holy Trinity):

My photographs this morning are of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, where I was a canon for 10 years from 2007 to 2017. The formal name of the cathedral is the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

It is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the cathedral of the ecclesiastical province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the Church of Ireland. It is one of two mediaeval cathedrals, the other being Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Christ Church Cathedral was founded in the early 11th century under the Viking king Sitric Silkenbeard.

The cathedral was originally staffed by secular clergy, but the Benedictines were later introduced. Christ Church was converted to a priory of the Regular Order of Arrosian Canons (Reformed Augustinian Rule) by the second Archbishop of Dublin, Saint Laurence O’Toole, in 1163.

The Priory of the Holy Trinity was headed by an Augustinian prior, who ranked as the second figure in the diocese, and not a dean, until re-establishment in 1541. The Priory of the Holy Trinity became the wealthiest religious house in Ireland, holding estates of over 40 sq km (10,000 acres) in Co Dublin alone, including Grangegorman, Glasnevin and Clonkeen, now Deansgrange.

At the Dissolution of the monastic houses during the Tudor Reformation, the Priory of the Holy Trinity was abolished in 1539. The Prior and Canons of Holy became secular clergy, to be known as the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church. The Prior and Sub-Prior became the Dean and Precentor, the Seneschal and Precentor became the Chancellor and Vicar-Choral, and the Sub-Precentor or Succentor and Sacristan, became the Treasurer and Vicar-Choral of the new foundation.

A partial collapse in the 16th century left the cathedral in poor shape and the building was extensively renovated and rebuilt in the late 19th century, giving it the form it has today, including the tower, flying buttresses, and distinctive covered footbridge.

I was ordained deacon there in 2000 and priest in 2001 by Archbishop Walton Empey, and I was appointed to the chapter by Archbishop John Neill in 2007.

During my 10 years as a canon of Christ Church, I served on the cathedral board, on the arts and music committees, introduced many events, including exhibitions of icons and film evenings, and regularly presided and preached at the Cathedral Eucharist as a canon-in-residence. I was a member of the Episcopal Electoral College that met in Christ Church Cathedral last year (2022).

The labyrinth at the south-west porch of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Mark 12: 18-17 (NRSVA):

18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, 19 ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; 21 and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22 none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. 23 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.’

24 Jesus said to them, ‘Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? 27 He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.’

Inside Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, facing the choir and the east end (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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 on Monday.

The USPG Prayer invites us to pray this morning (Wednesday 7 June 2023):

Let us pray for clergy and church leaders. May they demonstrate the importance of protecting the environment and work with church members to make a difference.


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.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The crypt in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (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 south aisle of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, seen from the south transept (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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