What does the Rector do?
Here’s the fifth and final entry in my short series of blogs offering a few reflections on some of the ministry I’ve been involved with during the week. I’m choosing one aspect of each day, today…
5. Prays at 5pm
Each day (Saturdays excepted) at 5pm at St Chrysostom’s the Angelus bell rings out and prayers are said. Some days Mass is celebrated some days Vespers is said. Some days a priest leads, some days a lay person is the leader. During August 5pm prayers are said on a rota basis by church members wherever they are.
Of course I pray at other times, and indeed I am not always present at 5pm worship. However, as the Rector it is my duty to ensure that the advertised public worship at 5pm takes place, and it is my duty to regularly pray for the parish and all it’s people.
The daily prayer brings the life and people of our parish before God. Sometimes the intercessions are introduced with the traditional words “We make our supplication to you O Lord, on behalf of this parish…” This is an important reminder that a parish church offers the prayers fort, and on behalf of, the people of the parish – those who worship in the church and all who live and work in the parish. Prayers at 5pm, spoken out, or silently uttered, frequently bring before God those whom we have met and the particular concerns we have encountered. We pray for those for whom prayers are requested.
In this way our thoughts, our lives, the parish, is brought to God in the parish church as we pray “Thy Kingdom come.” We place ourselves and our concerns into the context of the Kingdom of eternal love, the Kingdom of God.
At Mass particularly, yet also in our regular praying of Vespers, heaven and earth intersect, and our concerns – for those in prison, for children of our parish, for those coming for baptism, for those with desperate housing problems, and more – are held before God and embraced, we pray, in God’s infinite love.