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FRIGHTFUL TIMES

THOUGHTS ON THE SECOND FRIDAY IN LENT



O God, you know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: grant to us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



ANGELA TILBY in today's Church Times has this to say:


Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prayers have been written for public use

which are simply bland, too reliant on the old semi-Pelagian belief that all we can really expect of God is that God will help us to help ourselves.


Get out the chequebook; petition the government on refugees.

I am not saying that we should not do these things:

But, in times of crisis, prayer needs some active verbs,

some genuine calling on God, as though he had some capacity to do something, some hope that God can weave his will through human pride.

.....It is important not to fear taking sides.

Not all conflicts are one-sided, but this one comes pretty close.


This is her prayer.....


Merciful and mighty God, send down your power from on high

to quench the rage of war.

Burn up the fuel of aggression, destroy all lying tongues,

suppress the profits of violence,

and, because no one is without sin, unveil our own complicity.


Bear up the broken

and defend them under the wings of your protection,

and send the strong peace that comes from above

to heal all wounds, relieve all griefs, and set all peoples free,

in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



A prayer from the same standpoint:


God, we are angry and frightened.

We know you created us for peace,

but we are angry and frightened by the threats of violence.

We ask your strength for those violated.

We ask your justice for those whose souls are so numb

that they cannot feel the pain they inflict.

They need you most of all.

Overcome them with your grace,

that they may feel again.

And make us your peace;

that we may be such a refuge

that this evil can come to an end.



A VIGIL FOR PRAYER AND ACTION.

On Saturday 12 March at 11.00am Winchester Cathedral

will be hosting a blue and yellow themed vigil for prayer, reflection and action

for the people of Ukraine and all who are caught up in this conflict.


The vigil will include: voices from Ukraine, music and readings,

resources for prayer and action, plus the Disasters Emergency Committee

will engage about the national appeal.

You are invited to bring a daffodil or candle to this vigil.

Everyone is welcome.

Please note that this vigil will also be Live Streamed,

so if you cannot attend in person, you are very welcome to join online.



ORTHODOX leaders have joined Churches worldwide

in denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and appealing for peace,

as thousands flee the country’s towns and cities to escape artillery barrages and missile attacks.


Metropolitan Onufriy Berezovsky, the head of Ukraine’s Moscow-linked Orthodox Church, told citizens in a message:


“Tragically, Russia has launched military operations against Ukraine —

at this fateful time, I urge you not to panic, to be courageous

and show love for your homeland and for each other.”

He also urged prayers for the country’s “army and people. . .


“Defending the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine,

we also appeal to the president of Russia

to stop this fratricidal war immediately.

The Ukrainian and Russian peoples came out of the Dnieper baptismal font,

and war between these peoples is a repetition of Cain’s sin. . .

Such a war has no justification for either God or humanity.”



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