Richard of Chichester

16 June -- Lesser Festival -- Bishop -- White

Richard de Wych, or of Droitwich as it is now known, was born there in 1197 and worked hard for his yeoman father to restore the family fortunes. Later he studied at Oxford and Paris and then in Bologna as an ecclesiastical lawyer. When he returned to England in 1235, he was made Chancellor of Oxford and eventually Chancellor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund of Abingdon. When Richard eventually became Bishop of Chichester, he was seen as a model diocesan bishop: progressing around his diocese on foot, visiting and caring for his clergy and people, generally being accessible to all who needed his ministry. He insisted that the sacraments be administered without payment and with a proper dignity. Whilst on a recruitment campaign for the Crusades, he fell ill at Dover and died there on 3 April 1253 and his mortal remains were translated to Chichester on this day in the year 1276.

Collect

Most merciful Redeemer,
who gave to your bishop Richard a love of learning,
a zeal for souls and a devotion to the poor:
grant that, encouraged by his example,
we may know you more clearly,
   love you more dearly,
   and follow you more nearly,
day by day,
who with the Father and the Holy Spirit are alive and reign,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the Book of Job.

Job said, "If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold. My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth. But he stands alone and who can dissuade him? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me; and many such things are in his mind."

This is the word of the Lord.         Job 23. 8-14

Responsorial Psalm

RArise, O God, and rule the earth,
[for you shall take all nations for your own].
God takes his stand in the council of heaven;
he gives judgement in the midst of the gods:
"How long will you judge unjustly,
and show favour to the wicked? R

"Save the weak and the orphan;
defend the humble and needy;
rescue the weak and the poor;
deliver them from the power of the wicked. R

"Now I say to you, 'You are gods,
and all of you children of the Most High;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince.'" R          From Psalm 82

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

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "All things are put in subjection," it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.

This is the word of the Lord.         1 Corinthians 15. 20-28

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

As the disciples were going along the road, someone said to Jesus, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To another he said, "Follow me;" but he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

This is the gospel of Christ.         John 21. 15-19

Post Communion

God, shepherd of your people,
whose servant Richard 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.