A Prayer for the Feast Day of Gregory the Great

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and merciful God, who didst raise up Gregory of Rome to be a servant of the servants of God, and didst inspire him to send missionaries to preach the Gospel to the English people: Preserve in thy Church the catholic and apostolic faith they taught, that thy people, being fruitful in every good work, may receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Of course, we Anglicans have special reason to give thanks for the life and witness of Pope Gregory the Great.  He is the one who not only dispaatched his friend and fellow monk Augustine (of Canterbury) to England, but he also wrote a famous letter instructing Augustine to be flexible in his missionary methods and to avoid trying to impose all of Rome’s ways on the Angles.

It’s also worth noting that only two popes, so far, have been honored by being called “the Great.”  The other, of course, was Leo, about a century and a half earlier.  Personally, I’d be happy if the Catholic Church chose to consider the late John Paul II as the third man to receive that high honor.  But clearly, both Leo and Gregory richly desserved it.

Finally, there is another reason why I have a special regard for Gregory the Great.  And it’s not because of the huge boost that he gave to Benedictine monasticism, as Benedict’s biographer as well as his follower as a Benedictine monk himself.  And it’s not because of his deeply spiritual writings, such as his famous treatise on Pastoral Care.  No, it’s because of my fondness for the historic unison chant that to this day goes by the name of “Gregorian Chant.”  Historically, there is no extant evidence that allows us to trace the connection, but whatever the link may have been, the rich heritage of traditional acapella chant is another reason to be grateful to God for the tremendously fruitful life and ministry of his saintly servant, Gregory, who was the first to call himself, “the servant of the servants of God.”

David Handy+

March 11, 12:26 pm | [comment link]
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