Prayer for Liverpool
I have spent half the morning choosing psalms, hymns and readings. Early in my time as Precentor, I discovered the need to plan a full term ahead, so today found me working on the week which begins with ‘Stir up Sunday’ in late November. By the end of the week, I hope to arrive at Christmas!
Experience has also shown that it is best only to work on just one week – any longer, and the precentor will lose concentration and end up creating a dreadful muddle. Each week requires three distinct tasks. First, to work through psalms, readings and holy days for each day of the week, following the Church of England lectionary.
Next is to go through the Cathedral diary for these days with great care, to flag up if a service needs to be moved to a different location from normal because of school workshops or other events. With the weekly rota complete, it is ready to go off to Jayne and Nelson in the Dean’s office who will sort out ‘who does what’ at each of the daily services.
The third task is to create the service scheme which eventually will include the choral music, once Lee has had the opportunity to work his magic. But first it falls to me to check that the psalms on the scheme match those on the weekly rota, to check who is preaching, and finally the bit I most enjoy - to choose the hymns.
This year, of course, it all feels a bit odd. For the summer term, planned and mapped out in January, lockdown has turned it into a complete work of fiction. As I prepare for next term, I do so in the realisation that none of us can know what restrictions may still be in place for those months that lie ahead.
I have sometimes quoted from the pulpit the old adage: ‘Do you want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans!’ All through our lives we find ourselves dealing with a God of surprises, a God who will use the unexpected – and sometimes the unwelcome – to draw us closer, to trust more, to love better, to be open to so much of what God yearns to give to us and do in us.
So let us make our plans by all means, but let us refuse be held captive by them, knowing that the Lord of the journey is always beside us, offering new life to us, every step of the way.
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