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Praying for the Primates

Posted on: January 13, 2016 10:43 AM
The Anglican Primates are being prayed for during services at Canterbury Cathedral, where prayers for the Anglican Communion are said every day.
Photo Credit: Gavin Drake

[ACNS] The Community of St Anselm, the new religious community of 36 young men and women from around the world, are in Canterbury this week to pray for the Primates of the Anglican Communion as they continue their deliberations.

The Community comprises of 16 residential and 20 non-residential young people. Seventeen of them have made the journey from their base at Lambeth Palace – the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury – to Canterbury Cathedral where the Primates are meeting.

Their praying presence is just one example of the global prayer that is being focused on the meeting. In addition to the Primates’ own prayers, members of their support staff, Anglican Communion officials, supporters and members of the Cathedral congregation are gathering at 7.30 am and 5.30 pm each day for Morning Prayer and Evensong during which prayers are said for the Primates.

Prayers are also being said in cathedrals, abbeys, monasteries, parish churches and by individuals across the world of all denominations.

Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK tweeted his followers to tell them he was praying for “grace and wisdom for friends meeting and deliberating this week” at the Primates Meeting. He also retweeted a link to the prayer resources on the Primates2016 website under the hashtag #OneFamily.

“It’s a tremendous privilege to add our prayers to those of Jesus that all whom the Father has given him shall be one,” the Revd Anders Litzell, Prior of the Community of St Anselm, said. “As a community we had nothing in common at the start of this year except the unrelenting desire to be shaped into the likeness of Christ, by the Holy Spirit, to the glory of the Father.

“So we have experienced on a small but personal scale the pain of division and disagreement. But we have also found real unity through the monastic virtues of humility under authority, mutual obedience, shared life and service to Christ in the face of the poor.”

He added: “It is a true joy to be praying for the face and voice of Jesus to be increasingly revealed in each Primate and Province. We’ll be praying for the whole Body of Christ to reflect the simultaneous humility and glory of the Crucified and Risen Christ. We are delighted to show our love for the Church in this way.”

Before the meeting began, Archbishop Justin Welby asked people to pray for love and wisdom, “that the love of Christ for each of us, each of us who are sinners, each of us who fail, will so overwhelm us that we are able to love each other as we should; and wisdom that we would know the call and purpose of God, and in love and wisdom serve His world in the way He calls us to.”

The secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, called on people to pray daily for the Primates Meeting.

A responsorial prayer and a series of collects has been published on the Primates2016 website.