Thinking allowed

Topical prayers from the Liturgical Commission (2)

The Litur­gic­al Com­mis­sion has provided pray­ers and oth­er mater­i­al for a num­ber of forth­com­ing occasions.

These are:

  • The Bap­tism of Prin­cess Char­lotte of Cam­bridge (on 5 July)
  • The 70th anniversar­ies of Hiroshi­ma and Naga­saki (6 and 9 August)
  • The 70th anniversary of VJ Day (Vic­tory in Japan) (2 Septem­ber 15 August)
  • The cen­ten­ary of the exe­cu­tion of Edith Cav­ell (12 October)

The text of the mater­i­al for the first three is in the pre­vi­ous post. This post con­tains the mater­i­al for Edith Cavell.

Com­mem­or­a­tion of Edith Cav­ell: 12 October

Edith Cav­ell, the daugh­ter of a priest, trained as a nurse at the Roy­al Lon­don Hos­pit­al and in 1907 became the dir­ect­or of a nurs­ing school in Bel­gi­um. When Ger­many was poised to invade Bel­gi­um, Edith returned to be with the nurses she had trained, and she insisted that their call­ing was to care for all, friend and foe alike. From Novem­ber 1914 Edith assisted Brit­ish and Allied troops to escape from enemy occu­pied ter­rit­ory into the neut­ral ter­rit­ory of Hol­land. Edith was arres­ted for assist­ing Allied sol­diers to escape. A chap­lain cel­eb­rated the Euchar­ist the night before she was shot and killed by a Ger­man fir­ing squad on Octo­ber 12 1915. She was hur­riedly bur­ied in a grave out­side Brus­sels, but her body was rebur­ied at Nor­wich Cathed­ral, fol­low­ing a state funer­al at West­min­ster Abbey in May 1919. Her example inspired many, and she soon became a pop­u­lar heroine and a mod­el of self­less ser­vice. There are memori­als to her oppos­ite the Nation­al Por­trait Gal­lery in Lon­don, and at Nor­wich Cathedral.


God of com­pas­sion, as we recall the fear­less cour­age of your ser­vant Edith Cav­ell, give us a heart to serve and to care even for those who abuse and des­pise us. Remove from us all fear, hatred, and bit­ter­ness, and give us that life-giv­ing love that loves to the utter­most and seeks the good of all, through Jesus Christ who came to seek and to save the lost. Amen.

God our Fath­er, we thank you that you call women and men to share the pas­sion of your Son, and to wit­ness to your truth in adversity. As we recall the cour­age and single-minded­ness of Edith Cav­ell, may we show forth your costly recon­cil­ing love, and be strengthened to serve you in one anoth­er, through the one through whom we are made one with you and one anoth­er, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Come Lord Jesus and abide with us. Be with us in the even­ing hour and pro­tect us through the dark hours of the night. Com­fort all who are in danger and those who watch and wait. Help us to be still, and to hold to your prom­ise that in the end your pur­poses will be ful­filled, our anxi­et­ies dis­pelled, and our fears calmed, in the name of him whose love casts out fear, Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Heav­enly Fath­er, your Son said that whatever we do for the least of our broth­ers and sis­ters we do for him. May we, like your ser­vant Edith Cav­ell, bring relief to those who are in need, com­fort to those who are afraid, and heal­ing to all who are in pain. This we ask in the name of him who came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many, Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Bib­lic­al Read­ings link to all Readings

Wis­dom 3.1–7
Isai­ah 43.1–7
Jeremi­ah 11.18–20

Psalm 3
Psalm 35.1–5
Psalm 77.1–12

1 Peter 4.7–15
Hebrews 11.32–40
1 John 4.13–21

Mat­thew 10.16–22
Mat­thew 25.31–40
Luke 6.20–36
Luke 10.25–37
Mat­thew 25.31–40


​​Let not your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid
O death, where is your sting?
​​The last enemy to be des­troyed is death.
​​Let not your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
​​Christ has been raised glor­i­ously from the dead.
​​O death, where is your sting?

Pray­ers for the Eucharist

Invit­a­tion to Confession

​​The saints were faith­ful even unto death,
​​and now dwell in the joy of heaven.
​​As we recall their courage,
​​so we con­fid­ently ask for God’s mercy,
and con­fess our sins and weaknesses
in pen­it­ence and faith.

Pen­it­en­tial Kyrie

​​Lord, we fail to see that whatever we do for the least of all, we do to you.
​​Lord, have mercy.
​​Lord, have mercy.

Lord, we hold back from giv­ing ourselves and in doing your will,
Christ, have mercy.
​​Christ, have mercy.

​​Lord, we fal­ter in fol­low­ing the way of the cross.
​​Lord, have mercy.
​​Lord, have mercy.



​​Etern­al God,
​​whose ser­vant Edith Cav­ell placed her duty to you above all things
​​and laid down her life in pro­tec­tion of others:
​​make us, after her example, stead­fast in all adversity,
​​and abide with us until, with all your faith­ful ones,
​​we share the joy of heaven;
​​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.
​​​​​ (Nor­wich Cathedral)

Gos­pel Acclamation

Alle­lu­ia, alleluia
The one who endures to the end will be saved.

The Peace

Lord Jesus Christ, you said, ‘Do not be troubled, and let not your hearts be afraid, my peace I give to you, and my peace I leave with you.’
​​The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

Post Com­mu­nion Prayer

​​Lord God, on the night before he died,
your Son accep­ted the cup of suffering.
Strengthened by this Euchar­ist­ic food,
may we spend and be spent in your lov­ing service,
and at the end be brought, with Edith Cavell,
to sit at your table in the heav­enly Kingdom;
through him who laid down his life for us,
and now ever lives to make inter­ces­sion for us,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


​​God give you strength to show forth
the pas­sion of Christ, with all the saints,
and to love oth­ers both in word and in deed.
And the bless­ing of God almighty,
the Fath­er, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with you, now and always. Amen.

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