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An Ember Day Prayer

Today is an "Ember Day", a day of special prayer for the ministry of the Church.  Ember Days are traditionally observed on the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the First Sunday in Lent, the Day of Pentecost, Holy Cross Day and December 13th.  Hence today is the third and last of the three days following Pentecost.     

As I have moved forward to follow a call to ordained ministry, dear friends have been very kind to pass to me books they thought I might use during devotions.  One of my mainstays has been God's Minute which frequently graces this blog with daily devotions of scripture and prayer.  Another book I am privileged to have is Saint Augustine's Prayer Book.  It is a book of devotion for members of the Episcopal Church, published by The Holy Cross Press in West Park, N.Y.  The copy I have is the 11th edition printed in September 1959.  The foreword of the prayer book reads:

"This little devotional manual is published in response to a rather large demand on the part of the Reverend Clergy and others as is dedicated, as its name implies, to the patron of the Order of the Holy Cross, Saint Augustine of Hippo.  It is our hope that it will find a real place in the devotional literature of the American Church.  No one should suppose that it is intended to take the place of the Book of Common Prayer, which is the official service book of the Episcopal Church, for its chief value will certainly be found in its daily use as a manual of private prayer and devotion.  The Order of the Holy Cross is deeply indebted to the Reverend Loren N. Gavitt, an Oblate of Mount Calvary, for his untiring effort in compiling and editing.  He was assisted by the Reverend Archie I. Drake, a Priest Associate, and Business Manager of the Holy Cross Press. Our special special thanks is due, and given here, to the Reverend Frank M. Butler, Rector of Ascension Church, West Park, for the fourteen original pen and ink drawings illustrating the Stations of the Cross."

So I turn to this prayer book for today's Ember Day Prayer:

"Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of the divine Providence hast appointed divers Orders in thy Church; Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all those who are to be called to any office and administration in the same; and so replenish them with the truth of thy doctrine, and endue them with innocency of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name, and the benefit of thy holy Church.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

Blessed be those especially who were ordained at the Diaconal service this morning at Christ Church, Old Town Alexandria, VA.