Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* John Mason Neale *


Oh! give your servants patience to be still and hear your will, courage to venture wholly on your arm that will not harm, the wisdom that will never let us stray out of our way, the love that now afflicting knows best when we should rest. Amen.


To the name of our salvation,
laud and honour let us pay,
which for many a generation
hid in God’s foreknowledge lay;
but with holy exultation
we may sing aloud today.

Jesus is the name we treasure;
name beyond what words can tell;
name of gladness, name of pleasure,
ear and heart delighting well;
name of sweetness, passing measure,
saving us from sin and hell.

It is the name for adoration,
name for songs of victory,
name for holy meditation
in this vale of misery,
name for joyful veneration
by the citizens on high.

It is the name that whoso preacheth
speaks like music to the ear;
who in prayer this name beseecheth
sweetest comfort findeth near;
who its perfect wisdom reacheth,
heavenly joy possesseth here.

Jesus is the name prevailing
over every name by right;
at this name, in terror quailing,
powers of hell are put to flight;
God, in mercy never failing,
saves by this name of might.

Therefore we in love adoring,
this most blessèd name revere;
holy Jesus, thee imploring
so to write it in us here,
that hereafter, heavenward soaring,
we may sing with angels there.

( Translated from Latin into English by John Mason Neale )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John Mason Neale: ancient voices from the poorhouse

Today Saint Laika’s remembers John Mason Neale, who brought to life the ancient song of the Church from a poorhouse where he ministered to those in need.

John Mason Neale was born in London in 1818. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, and while studying there came under the influence of the Oxford Movement, an association of Anglican clergy and laity, who were interested in the pre-reformation church. Neale founded the Cambridge Camden Society for the study of ecclesiastical art, architecture and ritual. He was ordained in 1842, but ill health prevented him from taking his first parish.

In 1845, the leading figure in the Oxford Movement, an Anglican priest, John Henry Newman, relinquished his identity as an Anglican and converted to Roman Catholicism. The outcry this provoked led many of the clergy in the Oxford Movement to be viewed with suspicion. Neale was one of them. He was offered and accepted the position of warden at Sackville College, a poorhouse. This was not considered a position of distinction, but like many clergy in the Oxford Movement who took refuge in urban ministry, it was all Neale could get.

In 1854, together with the daughter of a neighbouring parish priest, Neale founded an order of Anglican nuns, the Sisterhood of Saint Margaret. His churchmanship was so suspect that he was once beaten and mauled while attending the funeral of one of his Saint Margaret sisters. His own bishop inhibited his ability of function as a priest from 1847 to 1863. People feared that after Newman’s defection, Neale and others were intent on subverting the Church of England, and returning it to the Roman Catholic Church. So an inhibited priest, eking out a living as poorhouse warden, turned to the ancient hymns of the church, written in Greek, Syriac, and Latin, and began to translate them into English verse. We have Neale to thank whenever we sing a hymn like “All Glory, Laud, and Honor,” or, “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation,” or “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” to name only a few.

By the time of his death on the sixth of August, 1866, he had acquired a world-wide reputation as a writer of prose and verse.

Scripture. In the "Second Book of Chronicles," chapter twenty, at verse twenty and twenty-one, we read:

"Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God and you will be established; believe his prophets.’

"When he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy splendour, as they went before the army, singing, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.’"


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for hymn writers and translators of holy verse.

... for priests and other church ministers who have been prevented from carrying out their full vocation because of differences of opinion between those with power in the church and themselves.

... for the people of Côte d'Ivoire and Jamaica who celebrate their national days today.

... for the lonely, especially those who feel lonely even when among other people.

... for people starting new jobs.

... for people who are house-hunting; for all looking for a new place to live; for the homeless.

... for those affected by the tornado that hit the city of Tulsa in Arizona; for those who were injured and those who homes or businesses have been damaged.

... for people suffering from longterm chronic pain.

... that North Korea stops developing nuclear weapons.

... for the safety of the people of Kenya as they elect a new president tomorrow; that there will be no violence following the announcement of the result.

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.


From "Sermons on the Blessed Sacrament" by John Mason Neale:

With the blessed sacrament thus set before us, with the Lord of Glory in his very flesh and blood presented to our eyes, how satisfied is faith! How satisfied is love! Hope only remains for the present unsatisfied.

How satisfied is our faith! for what greater, what more glorious truth can she be called to embrace? Here she may put forth all her strength and energy: sight fails, understanding fails. How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

And faith answers, "Be not afraid; believe only, and thou shall be made whole."

Love, too is satisfied; for what greater proof of responsive love than when that Eternal Wisdom proclaims, "Come, eat of my bread, and drink of my wine that I have mingled," than when man shall eat angels' food, and he sends us meat enough? Enough to supply all our wants through the desert of this world: enough to satisfy the hundred thousand congregations who have this day received the body that was taken of Mary, and drank of the blood that streamed down from the cross: enough, by a miracle infinitely surpassing that of the five loaves, in multiplying this celestial food a million of times, that the Church may be supported during one more day of her pilgrimage.

But hope yet remains unsatisfied. This is not the end and the sum of her wishes. She desires to see, as well as to believe; to look on her lord face to face, and not under the shadow of a sacramental veil: she desires that the master should reveal himself to her under his own dear form, in the garden of Paradise, as once to Saint Mary in the garden of Joseph of Arimathea. That, too, will be in time, but not till the time when hope itself shall have met with its own blessed end.

Then will be heard those most happy words, "Behold my hands and feet, that it is I, myself."


God of Majesty, whom saints and angels delight to worship. We remember before you your servant, John Mason Neale, who made art and music for your people. Help us to glimpse your beauty here on earth, and lead us to stand before your unveiled glory in eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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