Worship Where You Are
on Mothering Sunday
Sunday 22nd March 2020
Welcome, I'm really glad you're here reading this,
Welcome to our resources for worship at home this Sunday. As the Coronavirus epidemic continues to take hold of our country and many other countries around the world, we look likely to face many of our principal Christian celebrations without the possibility of meeting together in the buildings which we view as the family homes of our church community. It is perverse that at a time when the world faces such a huge challenge, and when we would value the comfort and joy that exists in Christian fellowship, this is something which we are unable to access in the ways in which we have become familiar.
Even so, the world needs us. The world needs our prayers. It needs more desperately the love that we are still able to express in many many ways. As we pray together using the resources included here, and those being prepared by churches around the world, remember that even as we may not now draw close to one another physically we nonetheless remain the living body of Christ in our homes. Though at a forced distance, remain the outpouring of the love of Christ in our communities. We are still one with Christ, and we are still one with our sisters and brothers throughout the whole world. Our holy calling continues the same.
This service includes the possibility of breaking bread together as a reminder of God's generous love for us. If you would like to join in this, please prepare a piece of bread and a small glass of wine in the midst of those who are joined together.
For those praying together, you may decide that one person should lead, while others should 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.
The above video is 'Veni Sancte Spiritus', from the Taizé Community. In English, this means 'Come Holy Spirit'.
As we welcome the Holy Spirit among us, please remember before God all those who join us in prayer and worship today.
Through Christ let us offer our sacrifice of praise to God.
Let our lips proclaim his praise.
cf Hebrews 13.15
We stand before the throne of God
with countless crowds
from every nation and race, tribe and language.
Blessing and glory and wisdom,
thanksgiving and honour, power and might
be to our God for ever and ever.
cf Revelation 7.9,12
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
Prayers of Penitence
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.’
We long for the fire of God’s cleansing
to touch our unclean lips,
for our guilt to be removed and our sin wiped out.
So we meet Father, Son and Holy Spirit
with repentance in our hearts.
cf Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4
In a time of silence, we call our sins to mind and resolve to sin no more.
O King enthroned on high,
filling the earth with your glory:
holy is your name,
Lord God almighty.
In our sinfulness we cry to you
to take our guilt away,
and to cleanse our lips to speak your word,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
cf Isaiah 6
May the Father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins,
and restore us in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Word of the Lord
In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked him of the Lord.’
The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, ‘As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there for ever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.' Her husband Elkanah said to her, ‘Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.' So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him. When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, ‘Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.’
She left him there for the Lord.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The Psalm for the Day
And that is what the soldiers did.
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Sermon from Linda Billenness, Licensed Minister from our Alet-les-Bains Congregation
A copy of the sermon text can be found here
Prayers for Our Community
The Breaking of Bread
Lord God, we praise You and we thank You,
We are the product of Your creativity, made to be like You;
When we rebelled against You, and denied our true selves,
You stepped into our flesh and our reality,
and submitted to the cross so that we could find our way home.
And now, in gratitude, we join in the love song of creation
for all eternity:
Jesus died; Jesus came alive again; Jesus is coming back.
We remember how all things were made new:
On the night before He died, Jesus took the loaf of bread,
and after blessing it, and breaking it, He gave it to His friends:
Remember Me whenever You eat. This is my body given for all.
When supper was finished, He took the cup of wine,
and after blessing it, He gave it to His friends:
Remember Me whenever You drink. This is my blood shed for all.
With thanksgiving we eat and drink;
With joy we remember,
And with Christ's inclusive love we gather together around His table.
Those gathered share the bread and the wine, remembering as we do that Jesus died for us, and determined to live in the love of God.
Dedicating Ourselves, to God
Most merciful God,
by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
you delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible,
the only wise God,
be honour and glory for ever and ever.
Food For The Road: Life Lessons From The Lord’s Table, material from which is included here,
is copyright © John van de Laar 2005
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.