19 April 2024

Daily prayer in Easter 2024:
20, 19 April 2024

An icon of the Mystical Supper or the Last Supper in a shop window on Eth Antistaseos street in Rethymnon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

Patrick Comerford

Easter is a 50-day season that continues until the Day of Pentecost. The week began yesterday with the Third Sunday of Easter (Easter III). Throughout this Season of Easter, my morning reflections each day include the daily Gospel reading, the prayer in the USPG prayer diary, and the prayers in the Collects and Post-Communion Prayer of the day.

I am staying in Rethymnon for an extended weekend, having arrived here late on Wednesday afternoon. Later this evening in Limerick, a new local history book edited by Denis O’Shaughnessy (ed), The Story of Athlunkard Street, 1824-2024, is being launched in Saint Mary’s FC Clubhouse, Grove Island, Limerick. I have written a small contribution to this new book, and here in Greece I shall be smiling this evening as I think of this book lauch.

The Calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship today remembers Saint Alphege (1012), Archbishop of Canterbury and martyr. Before this day begins, I am taking some quiet time to give thanks, for reflection, prayer and reading in these ways:

1, today’s Gospel reading;

2, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary;

3, the Collects and Post-Communion prayer of the day.

The Last Supper, by Mikhail Damaskinos (ca 1585-1591) in the Museum of Christian Art in the Church of Saint Catherine of Sinai, Iraklion (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 6: 52-59 (NRSVA):

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ 53 So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ 59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

The Last Supper … an icon in the Lady Chapel in Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Today’s Prayers (Friday 19 April 2024):

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 ‘The effect of Climate Change in the Solomon Islands.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday by the Revd Kate Komepwaisiho, Trustee of the Melanesian Mission.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (19 April 2024) invites us to pray:

Let us give thanks for the wonderful array of languages, cultures and people that make up God’s world. May we strive for dialogue and development, embrace difference and love each other.

The Collect:

Merciful God,
who raised up your servant Alphege
to be a pastor of your people
and gave him grace to suffer for justice and true religion:
grant that we who celebrate his martyrdom
may know the power of the risen Christ in our hearts
and share his peace in lives offered to your service;
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 Prayer:

God our redeemer,
whose Church was strengthened by the blood of your martyr Alphege:
so bind us, in life and death, to Christ’s sacrifice
that our lives, broken and offered with his,
may carry his death and proclaim his resurrection in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued Tomorrow

The site of Saint Alphege or Saint Alphage London Wall, also known as Saint Alphege Cripplegate … Saint Alphege is remembered on 19 April (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

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