12 July 2023
Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (45) 12 July 2023
We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and this week began with the Fifth Sunday after Trinity (9 July 2023).
Before this day begins, I am taking some time this morning for prayer, reading and reflection.
Over these weeks after Trinity Sunday, I have been 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.
Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines, Dublin:
Over the years, I have on occasions been invited to preside at the Eucharist, preach, and take part in many other services in Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines.
For four years, from 2002 to 2006, I worked in Belgrave Road, only a few footsteps away from this church. This is one of the three of four landmark buildings in Rathmines, the others being the Clock Tower on the old Town Hall, the Carnegie Library at the end of Leinster Road, and the green copper dome on the Roman Catholic parish church.
But Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines, is also an important church architecturally as one of the churches designed in the Gothic style by John Semple before Pugin’s arrival in Ireland. His other churches in Dublin include the Church of Ireland parish church in Kiltiernan (1826); Saint Mary’s Church, Donnybrook (1827); Saint Maelruain’s Church, Tallaght (1829); Saint Mary’s, otherwise known as the Black Church, in Saint Mary’s Place (1830); and the parish church in Monkstown (1833).
Maurice Craig has described Semple as the ‘presiding genius of the Board of First Fruits.’ He was the board’s architect for the Province of Dublin, and he invented his peculiar brand of Gothic, flinging to the winds every notion of scholarship and orthodoxy. This style is like his paintings: he reduced everything to the severest geometry, including buttresses, pinnacles and mouldings, so that everything is expressed as a contrast of planes.
It was said that in his final years Archbishop William Magee (1822-1831) would only consecrate churches that could be used as fortresses because he suffered from delusions, believing that the Protestant population was under siege and in danger of being massacred. Perhaps this fear explains why Urbs Fortitudinis is still a favourite canticle in the Church of Ireland. It may also explain why Semple built so many churches with such extraordinary solidity.
Semple’ss church in Monkstown is adorned with towers and turrets, ‘for all the world like chessmen,’ according to Craig. Inside, there is an elaborate internal plaster vault to simulate masonry, described by Semple’s contemporaries as ‘a mule between the Gothics and Saracens.’
Peter Costello even suggests that Semple’s Moorish elements may have been inspired by the Alhambra in Granada – Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra had been published in 1832.
Semple’s church in Church Avenue, Rathmines, has his distinctive pinnacles and deep-set windows and doors. The three wide gables, the tall steeple, and the plain exterior are all typical of Semple’s interpretation of Gothic.
The church stands on an island in the middle of the road where Church Avenue and Belgrave Road meet. It was built 195 years ago in 1828 as a chapel-of-ease for Saint Peter’s Church in Aungier Street, now long demolished. Holy Trinity was consecrated on 1 June 1828 by Archbishop Magee, but Rathmines did not become a separate parish until 1883. Since then, the parish has only had seven rectors.
The vestry walls are lined with photographs of past rectors, including Canon Ernest Lewis-Crosby (1914-1924), who later became Dean of Christ Church Cathedral (1938-1961), and who was still dean when he died at the age of 97. His successor and biographer, Evelyn Charles Hodges (1924-1927), later became Bishop of Limerick (1943-1960).
The present rector of Rathmines is Revd Rob Jones, who was the curate to his predecessor, Canon Neill McEndoo.
Matthew 10: 1-7 (NRSVA):
1 Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near”.’
The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Fighting Climate Change Appeal – Hermani’s story’. This theme was introduced on Sunday.
Find out more HERE.
The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (12 July 2023) invites us to pray:
We pray for the Earth, for nature, for all that surrounds us. Help us care for it and protect it.
Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Grant, O Lord, we beseech you,
that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered
by your governance,
that your Church may joyfully serve you in all godly quietness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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