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We are Invited to Pray for Our New Archbishop of Canterbury, as He Begins This Ministry Today

March 21, 2013

As Justin Welby begins serving as Archbishop of Canterbury today, the 85 million members of the Anglican Communion are being invited to pray for him and his ministry.

The Anglican Communion Office has today issued a prayer that Anglicans throughout the world (and all who would like to join us) can share, as Archbishop Justin becomes the 105th occupant of the Chair of St. Augustine.

Archbishop Justin’s Confirmation of Election took place in St Paul’s Cathedral in London on February 4. That was a relatively low-key legal ceremony, whereas today’s Service of Enthronement included African dancers, Punjabi music, a Burundian blessing, and strong representation from the other main Christian Churches around the world. This made plain the importance of the global Anglican Communion to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the drive towards the deeper unity of all Christians.

Here is the prayer we are invited to pray for the Most Rev’d & Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, as we celebrate the beginning of his ministry as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
through whom all things live and move and have their being;
pour out your Holy Spirit and the boundless gifts of grace
upon your servant Justin,
that being daily renewed,
he may faithfully serve you
in the ministries which you have entrusted to him;
giving glory to you,
who with the Father and the Spirit,
are One God, now and for ever, to the ages of ages. Amen.


Embedded below are two videos (one for a couple of minutes, and the other for a half an hour) with highlights of today’s Enthronement Service at Canterbury Cathedral, plus a video with one of its hymns.

For me, one of the most stirring parts of the Service is the interaction between the Archbishop of Canterbury and 17-year-old Evangeline Kanagasooriam, representing the congregation of Canterbury Cathedral (3:54 to 5:01 in the second video embedded below). I LOVED the words they shared, which express beautifully the bottom line not only for the Archbishop’s ministry, but for all of us as we enter one another’s lives as our Lord’s disciples:

Evangeline: We greet you in the Name of Christ. Who are you, and why do you request entry?

Justin: 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: Why have you been sent to us?

Justin: 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: How do you come among us, and with what confidence?

Justin: I come knowing nothing, except Jesus Christ and him crucified, and in weakness and fear and in much trembling.

Evangeline: Let us then humble ourselves before God, and together seek his mercy and strength.


Embedded below is a recent interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury:

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