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Wednesdays with the Saints Evening Prayer
February 27 @ 5:15 PM - 5:45 PM
Wednesdays with the Saints
Evening Prayer Service
This week we give thanks for and celebrate the life of George Herbert, Priest. George Herbert was born in 1593; he was a cousin of the Earl of Pembroke. His mother was a friend of the poet John Donne. George attended Trinity College, Cambridge, and became the public orator of the university. He was responsible for giving speeches—in Latin—to famous visitors and writing letters of thanks, also in Latin, to acknowledge gifts to the Cambridge University Library. This garnered the attention of King James I who granted him an annual allowance.
In 1625 King James died, and Herbert, who had originally gone to college to become a priest, but had thought he might have a career at court, determined anew to seek ordination. In 1626 he was ordained and became vicar and then rector of the parish of Bemerton and neighboring Fugglestone, not far from Salisbury.
He served faithfully as a parish priest, diligently visiting his parishioners and bringing them the sacraments when they were ill and food and clothing when they were in want. He read Morning and Evening Prayer daily in the church and rang the church bell before each service so that those who could not come might hear it and pause in their work to join their prayers with his.
He used to go to Salisbury once a week to hear Evening Prayer sung in the cathedral. On one occasion he was late because he had met a man whose horse had fallen with a heavy load. Much like the good Samaritan, Herbert stopped to provide assistance. He took off his coat, helped the man unload the cart, got the horse back on its feet, and then helped reload the cart. His spontaneous generosity and good will won him the affection of his parishioners.
Today, however, he is remembered chiefly for his book of poems, The Temple, which he sent shortly before his death to his friend Nicholas Ferrar for publication if he thought them suitable. They were published after Herbert’s death and have influenced the style of other poets, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Several of them have been used as hymns, in particular “Teach me, my God and King,” and “Let all the world in every corner sing.”[Excerpted from satucket.com.]
Daily prayers are said on a regular schedule at Saint James. On Wednesday evenings, we invite you to explore and celebrate the inspiring lives of the saints at our Evening Prayer service.