In the intense heat of the afternoon, it was a blessing to be in the cool interior of St Alban’s and enjoy the peace and tranquillity as everyone seemed to be hiding from the heat.
Just a few days after his feast, prayers were once again offered at the shrine of St Alban, for our parish, for our parishioners and friends – particularly asking the Protomartyr to show our parish the way forward in its search for a home which can be a ‘seven-days-a-week’ temple, with services in the same place, rather than in different parts of the city. However, we know that the Lord knows and the Lord allows, as we continually pray, “Thy will be done.”
As candles were lit, prayers were also offered to the Mother of God, before her Walsingham icon, especially for the sick among our parishioners and friends, and for those far from home, seeking refuge from war-torn Ukraine.
Parishioners will remember the icon of Our Lady of Walsingham from the Little Oratory of Newman Hall, where we often prayed the akathist in honour of the Walsingham icon as part of the many Orthodox services celebrated there. When the Oratorian Fathers were relieved of the chaplaincy and the care of Newman Hall, the icon was translated to the Oratory Church where it continues to be venerated, and where we continue to pray before it.
O Sovereign Lady, Mother of God most high, who didst inspire the Lady Richeldis to stablish the holy house at Walsingham for the veneration of thy holy Annunciation, entreat thy Son, even our God, to send down grace upon us for the healing of soul and body, that, as we approach and kiss thy holy ikon and drink the wholesome water drawn up from thy spring, we may ever praise and glorify the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.