I was driving round town last Wednesday afternoon, when Choral Evensong from Birmingham Cathedral was being broadcast on Radio 3. It was a beautiful service, with excellent music and interesting readings. But most moving and illuminating were the final prayers.
So I wrote to the Dean, Catherine Ogle, many years ago a student of mine, and asked for the text, which Canon Nigel Hand (pictured right) has now kindly sent me.
Here they are:
deliver us from a world without justice
and a future without mercy;
in your mercy, establish justice,
and in your justice, remember the mercy
revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Heavenly Father, you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.
We pray for the people of Mosul in Iraq and of Aleppo in Syria
as conflicts rage and innocent lives are put again in the firing line.
We thank you for opening the hearts of many
to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome,
and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope,
and lives torn apart be restored.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
who fled persecution at His birth
and at His last triumphed over death.
O Saviour Christ,
in whose way of life lies the secret of all life,
and the hopes of all the people,
we pray for quiet courage to meet this hour.
We did not choose to be born
or to live in such an age.
But let its problems challenge us,
its discoveries exhilarate us,
its injustice anger us,
its possibilities inspire us,
and its vigour renew us
for your Kingdom’s sake.
O Christ, the King and Lord of all,
Teach us to know that with you
Nothing is too bad to be cured,
Nothing too good to be hoped for,
Nothing too hard to be attempted:
And nothing so precious that it cannot be surrendered for your sake;
Who lives and reigns
With the Father
In the Unity of the Spirit
For ever and ever.
O God, who would fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:
let the design of thy great love
lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows:
and give peace to thy Church,
peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings,
and peace in our hearts:
through thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.
All these prayers we bring together as we say together the words of the Grace ……..
You can listen to the service in full via the BBC Radio 3 Podcast by flowing this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07z7dcw