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  • Writer's pictureMargaret Tinsley

St. Peter, St Alban and all the saints....

St. Peter, St Alban and all the saints....

How often we hear those words in our Eucharistic prayer. In fact, the celebration of the two saints is exactly a week apart and usually takes place on consecutive weekends. This year was different so, this last Sunday, we remembered St. Peter at our own church and the Alban events, postponed in the hope - vain as it turned out - of avoiding restrictions, took place on the same day.

We are all familiar with the life and work of St. Peter and followed our own special services to mark his feast day. Alban's life is less well-known and documented. We believe that a priest - usually given the name Amphibalus - was sheltered by Alban. Alban was impressed by the priest's example, asked for instruction in the faith and, when soldiers arrived to arrest the priest, Alban took his place and declared, ' I worship and adore the true and living God'. This was, of course, to lead to his death.

Yesterday, some of us took part in the pilgrimage procession from St. Michael's church to the area outside the Cathedral, where the execution of Alban was re-enacted. A service of Evensong followed, at the end of which we left roses on St. Alban's shrine for 'Among the roses of the martyrs: brightly shines St. Alban.

It is said that when Alban, the first British martyr, asked for water on the way to his execution, a continuous spring bubbled up at his feet. Let our prayer be inspired by that:

Lord God,

as Alban passed through the waters to death and glory,

guide us through all the trials of this life.

Keep us in the way you have chosen for us,

lead us where you would have us go,

and may your Holy Spirit be a spring of life in us,

until we come at last to see you face to face;

through Christ our Lord.


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