02 May 2024

Daily prayer in Easter 2024:
33, 2 May 2024

Saint Athanasius among seven Fathers of the Church above the south door of Lichfield Cathedral (from left): Saint Augustine, Saint Jerome, Saint Ambrose, Saint Gregory, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Athanasius and Saint Basil (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Easter is a 50-day season that continues until the Day of Pentecost (19 May 2024). The week began with the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Easter V). This is still the Season of Great Lent in Greece, where this is Holy Week in the calendar of the Greek Orthodox Church and today is Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday.

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.

The Church Calendar today celebrates the life of Athanasius (373), Bishop of Alexandria and Teacher of the Faith. There are local elections throughout England today (2 May 2024), and I plan not only to exercise my democratic right and duty this morning, but to stay up late tonight watching the results come in. Before this day begins, however, I am taking some quiet time this morning 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.

John 15: 9-11 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said:] 9 ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.’

An icon of the Mystical Supper or the Last Supper in a shop window in Rethymnon … today is Holy Thursday in the Greek Orthodox Church (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

Today’s Prayers (Thursday 2 May 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 Sacred Circle.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday with a programme update adapted from the Autumn edition of Revive magazine.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (2 May 2024) invites us to pray:

We pray today for the Anglican Church of Canada, especially for its commitment to face the wrongs of the past, apologise and work in reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

The Collect:

Ever-living God,
whose servant Athanasius testified
to the mystery of the Word made flesh for our salvation:
help us, with all your saints,
to contend for the truth
and to grow into the likeness of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Post Communion Prayer:

God of truth,
whose Wisdom set her table
and invited us to eat the bread and drink the wine
of the kingdom:
help us to lay aside all foolishness
and to live and walk in the way of insight,
that we may come with Athanasius to the eternal feast of heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Voting takes place in local elections today (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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