This Weeks Services ,Readings and Prayers

Collect

God of glory, by the raising of your Son  you have broken the chains of death and hell: fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

FIRST READING Jeremiah 31.1–6

A reading from the book of the prophet Jeremiah.

At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus, says the LORD:  The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Again, I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again, you shall take your tambourines, and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.

Again, you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. For there shall be a day when sentinels will call in the hill country of Ephraim: ‘Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.’

PSALM Psalm 118.1–2, 14–24

R Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! This is the day the Lord has made.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures for ever. Let Israel now proclaim, ‘His mercy endures for ever.’ R

The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. There is a sound of exultation and victory in the tents of the righteous: ‘The right hand of the Lord has triumphed! the right hand of the Lord is exalted! the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!’ R

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has punished me sorely, but he did not hand me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness. I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord. R

‘This is the gate of the Lord. whoever is righteous may enter. ’I will give thanks to you, for you answered me and have become my salvation. The same stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. R

This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. On this day the Lord has acted. we will rejoice and be glad in it. R

SECOND READING Acts 10. 34-43

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

Listen to the Gospel of Christ according to John ( 20. 1-18)

Glory to you, O Lord.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

Listen to the Gospel of Christ according to John ( 20. 1-18)

Glory to you, O Lord.

Post Communion

God of Life, who for our redemption gave your only begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection have delivered us  from the power of our enemy: grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;  through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Easter Day Intercessions

Up from the grave he arose; with a mighty triumph o’er his foes; he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever, with his saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose! (Robert Lowry.)

Lord, today we pray that our hearts and minds echo the joy of Easter as we speak with family, friends and neighbours. From the quietness of our homes, and in union with our usual Sunday congregations, we pray that despite our unusual circumstances we may experience the bliss of the Easter message, and live it out in our lives. (Short Silence)

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Lord, we pray for a world that recognises Jesus as Lord, and can only imagine how different life on earth could be; free from hatred, violence, poverty and injustice; a place where all would live together in love and harmony. That would be heaven here on earth. (Short Silence)

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Lord, we pray for families, friends and neighbours who have not yet recognised that Jesus died and rose again for everyone. Help them to see and realise the possibilities that accepting him will bring, not least the promise of life beyond the grave. (Short Silence)

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Lord, just as the hefty entrance stone of your Son our Lord’s tomb was rolled away, so we pray that the heavy weights of illness, despair, worry and fear may be cast to one side.

We pray for all those suffering as a result of the current pandemic, for those on the front-line providing care, and all others who are carrying grief, illness or sorrow at this time. We pray for a bright tomorrow, and that the light and joy of our Lord’s resurrection finds a way into all our lives. (add names of those requesting prayer) (Short Silence)

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us

Lord, your love once reached beyond the grave to raise your son to a triumphant resurrection.

When we have fear about our death, and the death of those we love: strengthen us in the knowledge that Christ has gone before us to reign with you, crowned with glory and honour. We pray for those departed this life that they, too, may be raised with Christ

(add names of the recently departed or on Anniversary list) (Short Silence)

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us

Lord, may we go from this Easter Day service rejoicing. Determined to live a resurrection life, and to demonstrate to the world that we are your disciples.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Easter Sunday – ADDITIONAL READINGS

Mark; 16.1ff] After the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices to go and anoint the body of Jesus… On the way they said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb?” They looked up, and saw that the stone had been rolled back… and so they went in; but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

Luke; 24.3ff ] They stood there, puzzled about this, when suddenly two men in bright shining clothes stood by them;..the men said “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? He is not here. Remember what he said to you in Galilee; “The Son of Man must be handed over to the sinners, be crucified,and three days after rise to life.”….The women told these things to the apostles…Peter got up and ran to the tomb, he bent down and saw the linen (corpse) wrappings, but did nothing else. Then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

John; 20.19ff] Late that Sunday evening…the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said,”Receive the Holy Spirit”…. One of the twelve disciples, Thomas, was not with them (then)…and he said, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later the disciples were together again, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said,”Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands, then stretch out your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting and believe!” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me.”

These are the words of the Lord: Thanks be to God.

In terms of ancient Jewish belief the Crucifixion has a straight-forward symbolic meaning, which Jesus and the Apostles preached, and which as basic Christian belief we have inherited. The present Jewish Faith refers to ‘Yom Kippur’, the festival of ‘Atonement’, occurring these days in early October (lunar calendar). Fortuitously, ‘atonement’ allows the English language to express it as AT-ONE-ment.. ie being ‘at one’ with God… no sins or doubts barring this relationship. In Jesus’ time the High Priest would sacrifice a lamb ‘without blemish’ to God for the sins of the whole Jewish nation. For a moment, everyone was ‘At One’ with God. Those sinning in some way after a minute or two had to wait a whole year for that state to be re-established by this sacrifice. Jesus, by God’s will, taking upon himself the ritual role of The Lamb, ended this unsatisfactory view of sinning and atonement / forgiveness; recall that Jesus is God in human form, and so more understandable by us. Thus, by God’s own will and authority, sins, if sincerely repented and admitted /confessed to God, are forgiven by Him without having to wait a year for a priest to make a sacrifice. In the words of the popular hymn “The vilest offender who truly believes / That moment a pardon from Jesus receives.” “Forgive them, Father,” said Jesus, even as he was being nailed to the Cross. And his Resurrection shows us that God is master of all natural processes in the Universe He created, even death. “God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that whilst you were spiritually dead (ie not following the ‘Golden Commandment’s’ themes to “Love God with all your strength and abilities, and your neighbour as you love yourself”) he brought us to eternal life with Christ: it is by God’s Grace (grace = Latin ‘Gratia’ -an unexpected gift, as in ‘gratuity’) that you have been saved.” St. Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus.2. 4-8.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired man sees a wolf coming and runs off, and the wolf scatters and devours the sheep. I am the good shepherd.” (crucified for us, his sheep, and risen again for our guidance and protection) Jesus – quoted in St John’s Gospel 10.11-15.

“I am the Lord your God; I strengthen you and say, ‘Do not be afraid; I will help you.” Isaiah 41.13.

“I assure you, anyone who believes in me already has eternal life.” Jesus – quoted in John 6.47.

“All my hope on God is founded; he doth still my trust renew. Me through change and chance he guideth, only good and only true. God unknown, he alone, calls my heart to be his own.

Human pride and earthly glory, sword and crown betray man’s trust; What with care and toil he buildeth, tow’r and temple fall to dust. But God’s power, hour by hour, is my temple and my tower.

God’s great goodness aye endureth, deep his wisdom passing thought; Splendour, light and life attend him, beauty springeth out of naught. Evermore, from his store, new-born worlds rise and adore.

Still from Earth to God eternal, sacrifice and praise be done. High above all praises praising for the gift of Christ his son. Christ doth call, one and all; ye who follow shall not fall.” [ Old Traditional Hymn ]

“This is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven; May your holy name be honoured; may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need. Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.’ If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.” Jesus – quoted in St Matthew’s Gospel 6.9ff

May the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen

The head that once was crowned with thorns is crowned with glory now;

A royal diadem adorns the Mighty Victor’s brow.

The highest place that heaven affords is his, is his by right

The King of kings and Lord of lords, and heaven’s eternal light.

The joy of all that dwell above, the joy of all below

To whom he manifests his love, and grants his name to know.

To them the cross with all its shame, with all its grace is given:

Their name an everlasting name,their joy the hoy of heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below, they reign with him above,

Their profit and their joy to know the mystery of his love.

The cross he bore is life and health, though shame and death to him;

Hos people’s hope, his people’s wealth, their everlasting theme.

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Jesus lives! Thy terrors now can no more, O Death, appal us

Jesus lives! By this we know, thou, O grave, cannot enthral us. Alleluia!

Jesus lives! Henceforth is death but the gate of life immortal:

This shall calm our trembling breath when we pass its gloomy portal. Alleluia!

Jesus lives! For us he died; then alone to Jesus living

Pure in heart may we abide, glory to our Saviour giving. Alleluia!

Jesus lives! Our hearts know well naught from us his love shall sever;

Life, nor death, nor powers of hell tear us from his keeping ever. Alleliuia!

Jesus lives! To him the throne over all the world is given:

May we go where he is gone, rest and reign with him in heaven. Alleluia!

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Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth – Hallelujah!

The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ,

And he shall reign for ever and ever, King of kings, and Lord of lords – Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!