A Prayer for Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby was enthroned today as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. In keeping with ancient tradition Archbishop Welby struck the cathedral door three times before it was opened to him.

Evangeline Kanagasooriam [a 17-year-old member of the Anglican Communion] greeted him, saying: ‘We greet you in the name of Christ. Who are you and why do you request entry?’

The Archbishop replied: ‘I am Justin, a servant of Jesus Christ, and I come as one seeking the grace of God, to travel with you in his service together.’

Evangeline added: ‘Why have you been sent to us?’

The Archbishop replied: ‘I am sent as Archbishop to serve you, to proclaim the love of Christ and with you to worship and love him with heart and soul, mind and strength.’

Evangeline went on to ask: ‘How do you come among us and with what confidence?’

The Archbishop said: ‘I come knowing nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified, and in weakness and fear and in much trembling.’

Evangeline then said to him: ‘Let us then humble ourselves before God and together seek his mercy and strength.’

Photograph Archbishop Welby

The following prayer is offered for the Church and Archbishop Justin:

Almighty God, we praise, bless, and thank you for Justin who has been called and elected to serve your people as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Grant him grace, strength, and courage to devote himself, body, soul, and spirit, to your service and to the service of your people.

Open his eyes and heart to see and know himself to be surrounded and supported by the fellowship, love, and prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints.

Fill his memory with the record of your mighty works; enlighten his understanding with the light of your Holy Spirit; and may all the desires of his heart and will center in what you would have him do. In prayer, quicken his devotion; in praises, heighten his love and gratitude; in preaching, give him readiness of thought and expression.

Make him an instrument of your salvation for the people entrusted to his care. Grant that he may faithfully administer your holy sacraments, wisely oversee the life and work of the Church, and by his life and teaching set forth your true and living Word.

As there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, empower Justin to lead and guide us all to be of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, that with one mind and one mouth we may glorify you.

All this we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be honor, power, and glory in the Church, now and forever. Amen.*

*This prayer is an adaptation and, in most phrases, quotation of various prayers and liturgies in the Book of Common Prayer.

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