National Day of Prayer (II)

by
08 December 2017

December 7th, 1917.

WRITING in his Diocesan Gazette the Bishop of St Albans says: “The King has publicly proclaimed the first Sunday of the New Year as a day for special intercession for the Empire and Its forces [100 Years Ago, 10 November]. Some of us would have been glad if the day had not fallen on the Festival of the Epiphany, which has associations and teaching of its own. But when at a private meeting of bishops the Archbishop of Canterbury told us that the negotiations between himself and his Majesty and the Government had revealed the extreme difficulty of fixing any other Sunday, it was the general feeling of the bishops that we should throw ourselves heart and soul into the movement for making January 6 a memorable day of prayer.” We respectfully suggest that the Archbishop of Canterbury might take the Church into his confidence, and reveal the “extreme difficulties” which prevented any other day being fixed but that which is a principal feast of the Church, for no one will be able to conjecture what those difficulties could possibly have been. The Bishop of Lincoln has, we think, taken the right course. In his Diocesan Magazine he says frankly that the actual day seems to him “a strange and rather unhappy selection. I venture to suggest to the clergy and people of our diocese that the last Sunday of the old year seems to lend itself better to the purpose. . .” We hope that other diocesans may have the courage to follow where the Bishop of Lincoln has led. Any action that they took to remedy a most unfortunate mistake would be approved by a very large proportion of their clergy and people.

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