Jun. 16th, 2009

anchorhold: till we have faces (till we have faces)
Today the Church of England commemorates Richard, Bishop of Chichester, †1253 (who spent several years, apparently, living with a vilage priest and preaching barefoot because the king had locked him out of his palace and stolen the diocesan revenues. Ah, the middle ages, where Britain was a proper Christian country!) He's an interesting figure, who rose from relatively obscurity and a difficult family background, had a glittering academic career, but became a priest and later bishop; he was deeply concerned with promoting a reverent celebration of liturgy and sacrament (and not charging money for them), and with improving the standard of learning among clergy and lay believers (admittedly in terms of lay theological education, this meant making sure that everyone knew the Creed, the Hail Mary and the Our Father, but you've got to start somewhere).

He is best known for this rather lovely prayer:

Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits thou hast given me,
for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly
and follow thee more nearly, day by day.


I rather like Richard.


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