Worship Where You Are
Sunday 17th of May 2020
6th Sunday of Easter
Welcome to our latest Sunday worship while we are still in lockdown. Today is the sixth Sunday of Easter. We continue to give thanks to God for his love for us, poured out on the cross in Jesus, saving us from our sins, and opening the way to life through his name.
This week we will continue to share Compline and Healing services on this website. Compline will be online from 7pm on Monday and Friday and the healing service will be available from 7pm on Wednesday. If you would like to submit names of people for us to hold in prayer, please send them by noon on Wednesday. In addition, Thursday the 21st May is Ascension Day, when we recount the risen Christ having ascended to his Father in heaven. The service is an opportunity for Christians to give thanks for all that this means for us.
For the Ascension service, I would like to invite members of our community to take part by pre-recording some of the liturgical responses, so that we can all have a better sense of the worshipping community, praying and praising together. If you would like to take part in this, please be in touch with me.
The church is built up by the gifts of its members, and it lives by the love we share in Christ. You may notice that we have added a virtual 'retiring collection', that is to say, it is now possible for people online to make one-off donations to the chaplaincy using a credit or debit card.
Be safe and well. Bless you,
You may use the recorded liturgy to help you follow this service, or for those praying in pairs or larger family groups, you may decide that one person will lead, while others respond with the words in bold type.
You may wish to spend some time in silence or listening to gentle music before following the service.
As we consider the promises of Christ that he came to offer abundant life, we might also consider which external powers govern our own hearts and deny us the abundance of Christ.
Praise God! For the Lord our God the almighty reigns!
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him the glory.
Happy are those who have been invited
to the wedding-feast of the Lamb.
Amen. Praise the Lord!
Faithful one, whose word is life:
come with saving power
to free our praise,
inspire our prayer
and shape our lives
for the kingdom of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayers of Penitence
Jesus said, ‘Before you offer your gift, go and be reconciled.’
As sisters and brothers in God’s family,
we come together to ask our Father for forgiveness.
In a time of silence, we call our sins to mind and resolve to sin no more.
Most merciful God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned
in thought, word and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy
forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be;
that we may do justly,
and walk humbly with you, our God.
May the God of love and power
forgive you and free you from your sins,
heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,
and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.
As we worship our loving God, play one or more of the following worship songs, or other music.
Join in singing or just enjoy the words and music in God's holy presence
The Word of the Lord
22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said,
“For we too are his offspring.”
29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’
The Psalm for the Day
7 Bless our God, O you peoples;
make the voice of his praise to be heard,
8 Who holds our souls in life
and suffers not our feet to slip.
9 For you, O God, have proved us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
10 You brought us into the snare;
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
11 You let enemies ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water;
but you brought us out into a place of liberty.
12 I will come into your house with burnt offerings
and will pay you my vows,
which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
13 I will offer you fat burnt sacrifices
with the smoke of rams;
I will sacrifice oxen and goats.
14 Come and listen, all you who fear God,
and I will tell you what he has done for my soul.
15 I called out to him with my mouth
and his praise was on my tongue.
16 If I had nursed evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have heard me,
17 But in truth God has heard me;
he has heeded the voice of my prayer.
18 Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer,
nor withheld his loving mercy from me.
1 Peter 3.13-22
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
15 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18 ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’
Sermon - Rev. Dan Langdon-Griffiths, Chaplain
Prayers for Our Community
At the end of the prayers we pray together:
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
The Agape Meal
An Agapé or Love Feast is a way of breaking bread together as Jesus did with people in all sorts of settings. You may like to join in at home with some bread and wine or juice.
We have bread and wine,
gifts of this good earth,
enough for all, if we can share!
Gracious God we give you thanks
for all the many blessings in our lives
and ask that you would bless us now
as we share your good gifts
in Jesus’ name.
Loving God, you provide enough for everyone:
this earth is fertile, fruitful and abundant,
but we are sometimes greedy, wasteful and selfish.
Many go hungry despite our plenty,
many are left outside while we enjoy a feast.
But on the hillside, in the wilderness,
with five thousand and more hungry people,
Jesus took the bread that they had,
broke it and gave thanks to you.
He shared the bread,
so that no one should be left out,
and they all ate and were satisfied.
Blessed be God forever!
Hurting God, you hurt with our pains,
you weep with our tears;
when you see how we struggle and suffer.
You long for our peace, yet we so often make war.
You long for our healing and wholeness,
yet we so often turn away from you.
But at a wedding in Cana when the wine ran out,
Jesus asked them to fill the empty jars with water,
and by your grace, water became wine,
sadness was turned to joy,
and all were able to share in the best wine of all.
Blessed be God forever!
you long for us to dream your dream,
of a world at peace, a people made one,
a feast for all;
where bread is broken and shared with companions on the road,
where wine is blessed
and shared with all who are hurting,
and all are caught up together
in the Kingdom of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
The bread can be shared, using the words:
Bread for the world to share.
The wine can be shared using the words:
The best wine, saved till now.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Gracious God we thank you,
for your abundant love in creation,
your compassionate, healing touch in our hurting,
your inspiration for our venturing.
Thank you for bread, and wine to share.
Give us grace to follow
in the footsteps of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dedicating Ourselves to God
God of our salvation,
you have restored us to life,
you have brought us back again into your love
by the triumphant death and resurrection of Christ.
Continue to heal us,
as we go to live and work
in the power of your Spirit,
to your praise and glory.
We believe Jesus has been raised from the dead in glory.
We believe we have been raised with Christ.
May your hearts and minds be set on things above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and all those you love,
now and always,
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, Alleluia, Alleluia!
In the name of Christ, Alleluia, Alleluia!
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New Patterns for Worship, material from which is included here, is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2002 and published by Church House Publishing.
Dancers and Wayfarers, material from which is included here, is copyright © Chris Thorpe 2020 and published by Canterbury Press
Bible Readings taken from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.