This Weeks Services ,Readings and Prayers

May 17th – 6th Sunday of Easter – Rogation Sunday

A Simple Order of Morning Prayer in Eastertide

O Lord open our lips,

And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Most glorious Lord of life, whose Son Jesus Christ conquered death and rose victorious from the grave: may we walk in his company, hear the mystery of the Scriptures unfold to us, and, with burning hearts, know his presence in the breaking of the bread, for our Saviour is risen indeed – Alleluia!

Blessed be God for ever.

The Easter Anthems

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who sleep.

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us so let us celebrate the feast, Not with the old leaven of corruption and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Christ once raised from the dead dies no more death has no more dominion over him. In dying he died to sin once for all in living he lives to God. See yourselves therefore as dead to sin and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. For as by man came death by man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.

Bible Readings

FIRST READING Acts 17.22–31

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For 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. The 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, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From 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, so 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. For “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.” Since 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. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people  everywhere to repent,  because 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.’

PSALM Psalm 66.8–20

R Let the sound of his praise be heard.

Bless our God, you peoples; make the voice of his praise to be heard. Who holds our souls in life and will not allow our feet to slip. R

For you, O God, have proved us; you have tried us just as silver is tried. You brought us into the snare; you laid heavy burdens upon our backs. You let enemies ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; but you brought us out into a place of refreshment. R

I will enter your house with burnt offerings and will pay you my vows, which I promised with my lips and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble. I will offer you sacrifices of fat beasts with the smoke of rams. I will give you oxen and goats. R

Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he has done for me. I called out to him with my mouth, and his praise was on my tongue. If I had found evil in my heart, the Lord would not have heard me, R

But in truth God has heard me; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer, nor withheld his love from me. R

SECOND READING 1 Peter 3.13–22

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 defence to anyone who demands from you an account of 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.

The Gospel of Christ according to John (14. 15-21)

Glory to you, O Lord.

‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 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.

‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 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.’

Praise to you, O Christ.

Reflection from Liz Houghton on John 14:15-21

The Gospel reading this week and last week are part of a group of readings often called the ‘Farewell discourse’. Jesus is telling his first disciples what is about to happen to him and to them. I have often wondered if I’d have been sat alongside the disciples that day, what I’d have made of what He was saying. To be honest I’m not sure if I’d have understood what He was saying, other than it was important, and to trust in Him.

The scripture in this Sundays Gospel reading mentions ‘abiding’. Another word for abiding is ‘to remain’, a word we’ve heard more often associated to Brexit and more currently associated to lockdown, expressed more commonly as ‘to stay’ at home.

For some of us, and probably for the majority of us at some point during this lockdown period, staying at home to worship, and doing so alone, can bring a mixture of emotions. I miss one to one fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ a lot!

Despite this, I take joy in the fact that we can all remain connected, physically and spiritually. Spiritually, we remain connected because God through His grace, sent the Holy Spirit. Physically however, this will look different for each and every one of us. For myself a lot of this is through social media. This is not just for Church services but also for college. I’ve just finished our virtual residential, where candidates for licensed and ordained ministries were invited to take part from their homes from all over Wales. God bless zoom!

The other week I read with interest a report published by the charity Tearfund suggesting that during lockdown, more people, particularly younger people, are starting to pray. And some of these were not those who had prayed before.

This is of course wonderful news. But how then, if God is connecting with these people, are we going to help them grow in faith, because these people aren’t learning to pray by entering a church building. So, here’s the challenge! I wonder if, by loosening our grip on our church buildings temporarily, and perhaps being more present on social media in lots of different ways, through You tube, Instagram, twitter, Facebook, zoom and more, places where younger people are familiar and comfortable, as opposed to our church buildings, a place that for some are unfamiliar and uncomfortable, we may see people entering into a relationship with Jesus. Last weeks Gospel reading talks about ‘My father’s house having many rooms’, I guess this is exactly what I’m trying to connect with here. God doesn’t limit Himself to a Church building, it is us that imposes these limitations.

We all have stories to tell. Stories inspire, encourage, they lift us up, and down, they educate, they sharpen us, affirm us and sometimes awaken our creativity. We all share a part in the greatest ever story that draws us altogether. Within that story, we all have our own subset of stories. Just maybe, this is your time to share your story? It may speak greatly to some-one and help them to connect and enter into a sustaining relationship with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and by doing so, enter into an abiding eternal story.

Collect for St Padarns college, Cardiff

Faithful and loving God, you hold us in the palm of your hand. Guard and protect us during this time of uncertainty. Comfort the sick, strengthen those who care for them, and give peace to the dying. Soothe and reassure all who are lonely and frightened. Through our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.Amen.

The Benedictus

God has raised Christ Jesus from the dead, so that we have a sure hope in him. Alleluia!

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel for he has come to his people and set them free.

The Lord has raised up for us a mighty Saviour born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets God promised of old to save us from our enemies from the hands of all who hate us.

To show mercy to our forebears and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear holy and righteous before him all the days of our life.

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, To give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.

God has raised Christ Jesus from the dead, so that we have a sure hope in him. Alleluia!

Prayers

Gracious God, you are anything but unknown to us: you made us along with our world and everything in it. So, we pray with one voice, proclaiming your presence to all the earth. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: Hear our Prayer

Holy God, and Father of all, you have planted the Good News of your love in the faith communities of our Benefice and our Diocese.

By your Holy Spirit at work within us, grant us to grow strong in Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. May our lives of devotion and service reveal to your world the power of your love, which is able to do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Creator God, we pray for prime ministers and presidents, for leaders and trendsetters. May they be guided by the Spirit of Truth.

We especially pray for all the worlds’ governments as they continue to do their best during the Covid-19 Pandemic. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Father God, we pray for all who sow, grow, and harvest the food we eat, both on the land and at sea. We pray for farmers unable to get the seasonal workers they need. We pray too for those in the food supply chain currently risking the lives of their families and themselves as they carry out their work.

We pray for all others who are working in busy places right now…. Postal workers, lorry drivers and storemen, bus and train drivers, scientists, veterinarians, and many more.

We pray too for all NHS workers and those carrying out their duties in our Care Homes. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Loving Father, and Shepherd of your sheep. We give you thanks for all pets.

At the news that Monty Don had lost his beloved dog, Nigel, we pray for those who have recently lost an animal companion.

We pray too for the sick and troubled, the fearful, those who are alone, and for those in pain at home.

We pray that all who suffer may feel the Holy Spirit’s healing presence. 

(We pray especially today for those on our list.) (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Merciful God, we pray for those kept fresh in our memory and for those long forgotten, those we have loved and those who once touched our lives.

We pray for all who have passed to everlasting peace (List)

We pray too for all who mourn,  may they find rest in the Holy Spirit’s embrace, and we commend them to your keeping. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

God of heaven and earth, companion in life, Spirit of truth: to you alone we turn our eyes and lift our hearts. Help us to keep your commandments and to love one another as you love us.

Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer is said.

The Collect for the Day

 Collect for 17th May

 God our redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your Son: grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The second collect, for peace.

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life, to serve you is perfect freedom: defend us in all assaults of our enemies, that we, surely trusting in your protection, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The third collect, for grace.

Eternal God and Father, by your power we are created and by your love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to you in love and service of one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.