Thy Kingdom Come: the start of something?
For the last two years, Ascension Day has been different. It has heralded the start of ‘Thy Kingdom Come,’ the Archbishops’ call to prayer for new disciples of Christ for the ten days leading to Pentecost.
Thy Kingdom Come 2017 begins on 25th May. How will you and your church mark its start? What will you be doing during the ten days and will you come to St Albans Cathedral for the Pentecost Beacon Event at 6:30-pm on Sunday 4th June?
Tell us what you will be doing, and,when you’ve done it, tell is what you did. You can post details on our Thy Kingdom Come Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TKCBedsHerts/ and encourage others with what you are doing or on www.stalbans.anglican.org/faith/thy-kingdom-come/.
Ascension Day has traditionally seen beating the bounds, choirs singing from the top of church towers and (for the last 30 years or so) the Radio 4 Ascension Day Service from St Martin in the Fields which fills the church and has a large following on air and online. All of these can be vehicles for prayer – and include prayer at their heart.
The emphasis is on ‘pray your own way’ but a range of resources are also available. A ‘Novena Pocket Prayer 2017’, pictured, below left, is available for download or purchase. A novena, a form of prayer said over nine days, has a certain request or intention in mind. It’s an ancient practice, recalling the constant prayer of Christ’s disciples between Ascension and Pentecost in the Upper Room.
This year’s Pocket Prayers look at nine Bible stories of people who find themselves in an ‘in-between’ space: characters caught between moments of despair and thanksgiving; endings and beginnings, and seeing and knowing. These stories and their images, created this year by Canterbury artist Caleb Simmons, will be a springboard for prayer throughout Thy Kingdom Come. The booklets are suitable for personal and group use.
A ‘pdf’ download is available at: www.thykingdomcome.global/uploads/resources/TKC_Novena2017.pdf
Copies may be purchased from: www.cpo.org.uk/product.aspx?prod=C5267BT&cat=3745
There are also other resources to download or buy at: www.thykingdomcome.global/prayerresources
During the ten days of prayer, one parish’s idea for encouraging prayer is to hold a daily silent eucharist. Elstow Abbey’s new incumbent, The Revd Paul Messam, has tried this out in his previous post and found it to be very fresh and powerful (pictured, far right).