Prayer for Liverpool
When lockdown first began, there was little warning that the clergy were no longer expected to have access to their churches. I have only been inside the Cathedral a handful of times in the last 10 weeks.
This troubled me for two reasons. The first was the state in which I had left my room! I had not had the chance to put things away and leave everywhere tidy. At home we used to joke when we were about to go away. We were anxious to leave the place tidy and clean in case we were burgled! I would not have liked a robber to see my room during those first few weeks of lockdown.
The other worry was slightly more esoteric. Once we reached Easter Day, I felt uneasy knowing that the high altar in the Cathedral was still dressed for Lent. For me, this just added to the sense of desolation and abandonment.
Last week I’m happy to say that both of these problems have been addressed. Half an hour in the office has allowed me to leave everywhere tidy, if still rather dusty. On Tuesday, Jack and I used our verger skills to change the altar frontal for ‘Ordinary Time’ which has now begun on the days after Pentecost.
‘Ordinary Time’ is not the most elegant phrase in the church calendar. Our Roman Catholic friends refer to the endless weeks of green which lie ahead as ‘the Sundays of the Year.’ After a brief flirtation with ‘Sundays after Pentecost’ during the era of the Alternative Services Book, we have happily returned to the Prayer Book custom of ‘Sundays after Trinity.’
Perhaps this year, we might designate much of the year as ‘Extraordinary Time.’ For half of Lent, the whole fifty days of Easter and now for who knows how many weeks after Trinity, our familiar patterns of worship and meeting together is not available to us. We miss sharing the sacraments, the daily offering of prayer and praise, the glorious music which graces the magnificent spaces of Giles Gilbert Scott’s great building, the welcome and hospitality we love to share with all who encounter the God who knows and loves them as they come through our doors. When we return, we must appreciate these gifts more and more.
This time has been extraordinary not just through what we have lost, but also through the unexpected ways in which God has enriched and sustained us. I am thinking of the new ways we have found to worship and have fellowship, of how people in the Cathedral company, young and old alike, have shown care and concern for one another, and of the heroic front-line efforts of those who have sustained the vital work of Micah throughout this time.
When all thy mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys, transported with the view, I’m lost in wonder, love and praise.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God