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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, 1637.

Every generation of Christians seems to produce its own kind of religious community, from ancient Athos to modern Taize. Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire, England, was one of its generation's most famous religious communities. Nicholas Ferrar was the founder and chaplain of Little Gidding. He was well-born, well-educated, and well-traveled. Ferrar was a Member of Parliament and a trustee of the Virginia Company.

When he was thirty-four years old he retired to his family estate at Little Gidding and, with a number of friends, organized a semi-monastic community of men and women. Members of the community followed a very strict rule of life, using The Book of Common Prayer for their guide. They did not take vows of celibacy and did not withdraw from the world. They were very active in providing for the poor, operating a free school and a hospital. Through three decades Little Gidding established and maintained an impeccable reputation for charity and godly living. However, the Puritans, at the height of their raging against the prayer book and "popery," broke up the community violently. When the Puritan tide ebbed and the church was restored in England, Little Gidding was not revived. However, its spirit of real Christian community and of service to human beings in need is continually being renewed in the church.

May we may pattern our household after your ways, Lord Christ. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Lord God, make us worthy of your perfect love; that, with your deacon Nicholas Ferrar and his household, we may rule ourselves according to your Word, and serve you with our whole heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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