Week Seven : introduction

Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall

America's capital had never known a minister quite like the Revd Dr Peter Marshall (1902-1949). The Presbyterian minister arrived in Washington in October 1937, barely a decade after he migrated to America from Scotland. Marshall had been a labourer and a newspaper worker before there was an opportunity to enter Columbia Theological Seminary. Following two flourishing pastorates in Georgia, he was called to Washington's New York Avenue Church, among the most celebrated in America. There were soon queues of people seeking a seat in church to hear Marshall's preaching and be led by him in prayer—with faith, clarity a poetic voice.

In January 1947, Dr. Marshall was elected Chaplain of the United States Senate. His pithy prayers opening the daily sessions of the Senate soon drew wide attention. Only two years later, Marshall died of a massive heart attack. His wife Catherine chronicled his life in a biography, A Man Called Peter. She also gathered some of his prayers for publication in The Prayers of Peter Marshall (London: Peter Davies, 1955), which is the source of the prayers shared here.

The selected prayers have a Lenten focus of confession, repentance, forgiveness and hope in Christ.

The photographs show scenes from the 'Passion' façade of the Sagrada Família, Barcelona. The other great façades depict the Nativity of Christ and the Glory of God.

For music in this last week of Lent, 'Holy Week', we have chorales from J.S. Bach's St John Passion. You can also find a superb performance of the full work on YouTube here.

St Philip's Anglican Church, cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602