David, Patron Saint of Wales

1 March -- Lesser Festival -- Bishop -- White

David, or Dewi, was a monk and a bishop in the sixth century. He was reputed to be an exemplar of the ascetic, spiritual life but was also highly regarded for his kindness and compassion to others, particularly the poor and the sick. He is believed to have founded the monastery at Menevia, now St David's, and also at least a dozen other monasteries. He is said to have based his Rule for his monasteries on that of the Egyptian desert monks, with a strong emphasis on hard work, abstinence from alcohol and a refraining from unnecessary speech. He died in about the year 601 and has been regarded as the patron saint of Wales since at least the twelfth century.

Collect

Almighty God,
who called your servant David
   to be a faithful and wise steward of your mysteries
   for the people of Wales:
in your mercy, grant that,
   following his purity of life and zeal for the gospel of Christ,
we may with him receive the crown of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the book Ecclesiasticus.

Whoever fears the Lord will do this, and whoever holds to the law will obtain wisdom. She will come to meet him like a mother, and like a young bride she will welcome him. She will feed him with the bread of learning, and give him the water of wisdom to drink. He will lean on her and not fall, and he will rely on her and not be put to shame. She will exalt him above his neighbours, and will open his mouth in the midst of the assembly. He will find gladness and a crown of rejoicing, and will inherit an everlasting name.

This is the word of the Lord.         Ecclesiasticus 15. 1-6

Responsorial Psalm

RBefore I formed you in the womb, I knew you;
[before you were born, I consecrated you].
Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;
I have said to the Lord, "You are my Lord, my good above all other."
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,
upon those who are noble among the people. R

O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;
it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;
indeed, I have a goodly heritage. R

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand I shall not fall. R         From Psalm 16

A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians.

Though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was toward you believers. As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

This is the word of the Lord.         1 Thessalonians 2. 2-12

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

"For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done."

This is the gospel of Christ.         Matthew 16. 24-27

Post Communion

God, shepherd of your people,
whose servant David revealed the loving service of Christ
   in his ministry as a pastor of your people:
by this eucharist in which we share
awaken within us the love of Christ
and keep us faithful to our Christian calling;
through him who laid down his life for us,
but is alive and reigns with you, now and for ever.