Monthly Archives: April 2021

Finding Words for it!

Easter 3B. 2021:  A sermon on Acts 3: 12-19 and Luke 24: 36b-48

We’re still in the season of Easter – the season of celebration. In our fast-moving world it’s easy to forget this sometimes. Easter stretches out until Pentecost – and that gives us time to ponder the significance of Easter. After all, we’re called to be an Easter people. And being an Easter people means more than enjoying Easter music, and enjoying the feeling of lightness after Holy Week, and having holidays. Continue reading Finding Words for it!

Easter Day 4th April 2021

The service will begin in silence

DECLARATION.1

Leader: Christ is risen: he is risen indeed. Alleluia.

The cloth is removed from the table. The Christ candle and the flowers are carried in and placed on the table. And the music sounds!

OPENING WORDS
Christ is risen in quiet and mysterious darkness
before the chorus of dawn.
Alleluia, Christ is risen;
He is risen indeed.|
Risen with glory and grace in reserve,
and authority beyond measure.
Alleluia, Christ is risen;
He is risen indeed.
Risen to prove that violence is no solution;
to offer us peace and life in all its fullness.
Alleluia, Christ is risen;
He is risen indeed.
The last laugh is God’s laugh;
God has the last laugh:
for freedom comes beyond the cross,
for peace comes beyond the violence,
for friendship comes beyond the betrayal.
for life comes beyond the crushing of life.The first laugh and the last laugh are God’s.
and God has made laughter for us.  Alleluia, Christ is risen;
He is risen indeed. Continue reading Easter Day 4th April 2021

Maundy Thrursday

We begin in silence.

We live on the edge of the fullness of time. Let us, therefore, watch and wait, and offer our silent prayer.    silence

PRAYER.

In ancient time it was said that there is a time for every purpose under heaven.
A time for being born and a time for growing; a time for embracing and a time for love.
It also was said that there is a time for dying, for weeping and for silence.
Dear Jesus, we just don’t know the answers.
But we know that, for you, this night, there forms a conviction that the hour has come.
What will it bring? Disillusionment or fulfillment?  The end of faith or faith’s new beginning?
Not understanding, we offer our silence.

HYMN: “All praise be yours, my God, this night.”  Tune: TALLIS’CANON

All praise be yours, my God, this night, for all the blessings of the light,
keep me, kind maker of all things beneath the shadow of your wings.|
Forgive me, by Christ’s victory won,the ill that I this day have done,|
that from the fear of sin set free, I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

O let me on your love repose, let welcome sleep my eyelids close,
sleep from whose balm new strength I take to serve my God when I awake.
Praise God who gives all blessings birth; praise God all creatures on the earth,
praise God, who makes, sustains, set free:  one holy God in persons three.

Thomas Ken

READING. John 13: 1-15, 33-35,

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

HYMN “An upper room did our Lord prepare,” Tune: O WALY WALY

An upper room did our Lord prepare, for those he loved until the end:
and his disciples still gather there  to celebrate their risen friend.

A lasting gift Jesus gave his own: to share his bread, his loving cup.
Whatever burdens may bow us down,he by his cross shall lift us up.

And after supper he washed their feet, for service too is sacrament,
in him our joy shall be made complete – sent out to serve, as he was sent.

And even as the hour now comes, he loves beyond our uttermost:
in every part of life and death he will be there, as Lord and host.

Fred Pratt Green alt.

THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

PRAYER.

Holy God, this meal that we share today is the celebration of love – love that becomes visible through the life of Jesus, who graced lives with healing and hope, compassion and power, and whose love, life, healing and hope, compassion and power continue to grace our lives today.

On the night of his betrayal, as he sat at table and broke bread with his friends, he said “Take and eat; this is my body which is broken for you. Remember me each time you do this.” After they had eaten, he took the cup and said: “Remember me as you drink from this, for it is my life, poured out for you –the beginning of a new relationship with God.”

God came to us in Jesus.
This same God is present with us now.
And God will always be here with and for us.

The breaking of the  bread.

Now that the hour has come, send your Spirit upon the gifts of the bread and the cup.

As we take the bread, Lord, feed us with your compassion that we may be made whole, and, in our healing, become servants to a shattered world.

As we take the cup, Lord, mingle its juices with your tears of hope, so that we may carry this gift to those who have lost everything.

Thom M Shuman. alt.

A time of silence. At its conclusion, the minister says: “And when they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” 

HYMN: ‘The duteous day now closeth.’ Tune: INNSBRUCK
The duteous day now closeth, each flower and tree reposeth,
shade creeps o’er wild and wood: let us, as night is falling,
on God our Maker calling, give thanks to God, the Giver good.

Now all the heavenly splendour breaks forth in starlight tender
from myriad worlds unknown; and we, the marvel seeing,forget our selfish being,
for joy of beauty not our own.

Awhile our mortal blindness may miss God’s loving kindness,
and grope in faithless strife: but when life’s day is over
shall death’s fair night discover the fields of everlasting life.

Paul Gerhardt, tr Robert Bridges.

INTO THE SHADOWS.

The Shadow of betrayal.

In the evening he sat down with the twelve disciples; and during supper he said, “I tell you this: one of you will betray me!” In great distress they exclaimed one after the other, “Can you mean me, Lord?” he answered, “One who has dipped his hand into this bowl with me will betray me!” then Judas spoke, the one who was to  betray him: “Rabbi, can you mean me?” Jesus relied, “The words are yours.”

(The first candle is blown out)

Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

The Shadow of Inner Agony

Then he went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, accompanied by his disciples. When he reached the place, he said to then: “Pray that you may be spared the hour of testing.” He himself withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down and began to pray: “Father, if it be your will, take this cup from me. Yet not my will, but yours, be done.” In anguish of spirit he prayed the more urgently, and his sweat was like clots of blood falling to the ground.

(The second candle is blown out)

Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

The Shadow of loneliness.

He came to the disciples, and found them asleep; and he said to Peter: “Could you not sray awake with me one hour? Stay awake, and pray that you might not come to the time of trial; the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed: “Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” He came again, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving the again, he went away and prayed a third time, using the same words.

(The third candle is blown out)

Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

The Shadow of desertion.

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, appeared; with him was a great crowd, armed with swords and cudgels, sent by the chief priests and elders of the nation. The traitor gave them this sign: “The one I kiss is your man; seize him.” And stepping forward at once, he said: “Hail, Rabbi.” And kissed him. Jesus replied “Friend, do what you are here to do.” They came forward, seized Jesus, and held him fast.

(The fourth candle is blown out)

Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

The Shadow of Accusation.

The chief priests and the whole council tried to find some allegation against Jesus on which a death sentence could be based, but they failed to fine one, though many came forward with false evidence. Finally, two men alleged that he had said “I can pull down the temple of God, and rebuild it in three days. At this the High Priest rose and said to him, “Have you no answer to the charge that these witnesses bring against you?” But Jesus kept silence.

(The fifth candle is blown out)

Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

The Shadow of Mockery.

Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what shall I do with the man you call King of the Jews?’ For he knew it was out of malice that they had brought Jesus before him. But the chief priests incited the crowds to ask him to release Barabbus rather than Jesus. Pilate spoke to them again: “Then what shall I do with the man you call King of the Jews?” they shouted back “Crucify him.” ‘Why, what harm has he done?’ Pilate asked; but they shouted all the louder, Crucify him!” So Pilate, in his desire to satisfy the mob, released Bababbus to them; and then he had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified. Then the soldiers took him inside the courtyard and dressed him in purple, and put a crown of thorns on his head. Then they began to salute him with “Hail, King of the Jews!”

(The sixth candle is blown out)

Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

The Shadow of Death.

When they reached the place of the Skull, they crucified him there, and two criminals with him, one on his right and the other on his right. Jesus said “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

They divided his clothes among them by casting lots. The people stood, looking on, and their rulers jeered at him: “He saved others; now let him save himself, if this is God’s Messiah, his chosen.” The soldiers joined in the mockery and came forward offering him their sour wine. “If you are the king of the Jews,” they said, “save yourself.” There was an inscription over his head which ran “This is the King of the Jews.”

By now it was about noon, and a darkness fell over the whole land, which lasted until three o’clock: the sun’s light had failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus gave a loud cry and said “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit”, and with these words he died. The centurion saw it all, and gave praise to God. “Beyond all doubt,” he said,, “this man was innocent.”

(The last candle is blown out)

There is no Benediction. Leave quietly when you are ready