Sunday, 6 October 2013

Church: Dedicated, blessed and continuing

Today is one of the days set aside to celebrate the dedication of those church buildings where the proper date is unknown. I say 'days' because the rubric says it can be done on the Last Sunday after Trinity (three weeks time - 27th Oct) and, interestingly, any other locally chosen and acceptable date.

What makes this special for me is the collect - that special prayer that once brought the people together before the service and set the scene for what was to happen - giving rhyme and reason, direction and purpose to what follows. Today's collect is a superlative piece of prayer for our congregations and the task we take upon ourselves:

Almighty God,
to whose glory we celebrate the dedication of this house of prayer:
we praise you for the many blessings you have given to those who worship you here:
and we pray that all who seek you in this place may find you,
and, being filled with the Holy Spirit,
may become a living temple acceptable to you;
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. Amen

I often find myself praying this collect (omitting the second line) as I visit other places and when rejoicing in our own.

The key is to count the 'many' blessings in the place you worship rather than bemoan that which you don't like - do this and you'll be another blessing to be counted.

May today be a happy, blesséd and profitable Sunday

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