Easter 2 Sunday 7th April Holy Communion

Hymn – A New Commandment I Give Unto You

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The Greeting

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

All:       And also with you

The Peace 

We are the body of Christ.

In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body

Let us then pursue all that makes for peace

and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

All:       And also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

(Please turn to those around you, offering your hand, and say

‘The peace of the Lord be with you’)

Prayer of Preparation

All:      Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer of Penitence

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our Cod is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your Cod with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

All:       Amen. Lord, have mercy.

God so loved the world

that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ

to save us from our sins,

to be our advocate in heaven,

and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith,

firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments

and to live in love and peace with all.

All:       Father eternal, giver of light and grace,

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

in what we have thought,

in what we have said and done,

through ignorance, through weakness,

through our own deliberate fault.

We have wounded your love

and marred your image in us.

We are sorry and ashamed

and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

who died for us,

forgive us all that is past

and lead us out from darkness

to walk as children of light.

Amen.

Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All:       Amen. 

Collect for the Second of Easter 

Almighty Father,

you have given your only Son to die for our sins

and to rise again for our justification:

grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness

that we may always serve you

in pureness of living and truth;

through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All: Amen

Our First Reading is – Acts Chap: 4

32 The group of believers was one in mind and heart. None of them said that any of their belongings were their own, but they all shared with one another everything they had.

33 With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God poured rich blessings on them all.

34 There was no one in the group who was in need. Those who owned fields or houses would sell them, bring the money received from the sale,

35 and turn it over to the apostles; and the money was distributed according to the needs of the people.

This is the word of the Lord

All:      Thanks be to God.

Hymn – From heaven you came helpless babe (The Servant King)

Here the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John Chap: 20

19 It was late that Sunday evening, and 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.

20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord.

21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.”

22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

23 If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came.

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” Thomas said to them, “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.”

26 A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”

28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”

30 In his disciples’ presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book.

31 But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.

This is the word of Christ

All:       Praise to you, O Christ.

Have you ever been the only one missing at a key event – perhaps because you were ill, or double-booked or just simply forgot, got the wrong day or were called away by some other emergency.  That feeling of missing out, or being left out is such a hard one to bear.

Imagine then how Thomas felt when he missed out on that first opportunity, on the evening of the first day of the week, to meet with the risen Jesus together with the other disciples who had locked themselves away in fear.  We’re not told why Thomas wasn’t there, but we are told that he was not with the other disciples.  Had Thomas excluded himself through disillusionment, disappointment, anger, fear or shame? What kept him away and what keeps us away from community?   Did the other disciples go looking for him, particularly after their first post-resurrection encounter?  This raises the question for us as the church, as a community of faith here in Corley/Ansley – who is missing from our midst?  Are we noticing?  Are we reaching out?  How far do our relationships go beyond our Sunday gatherings?  Is there someone even this week we might need to be in touch with, who we haven’t seen for a while.  How can we make new connections with those in our community not currently represented in the life of the church?  Who is missing from our midst?  Who is left out?

Both of our readings today emphasise the blessing and importance of our gathering together and holding together in worship and fellowship – of being present not only to God but to one another and for another.  It was when the disciples were together that they received the fullest experience of Jesus’ risen presence amongst them.  Just look at what happens.  They are fearful, locked away – but their fear, like ours, is no barrier to Jesus.  He enters into it and transforms it.  When Jesus came and stood among them, I wonder what the disciples expected his first words to be.  Let’s notice that Jesus comes to his friends without recrimination.  There is no ‘Where were you all when it mattered?’  ‘Why didn’t you do this?’  ‘Why did you do that ?’  No.  The past has already been redeemed, reconciled at the cross.   The very first words Jesus has for his terrified followers are words of peace, ‘Peace be with you’.  What recriminations may we simply need to set aside today?  Are there areas where we are still accusing rather than announcing peace?

The first resurrection gift Jesus gives is that of peace.  Then comes joy, an abundance of joy as the disciples see from the hands and side shown to them that this truly is the same Jesus who endured the cross, who has absorbed and swallowed up in his own body the very worst of death to bring the very fullest of new life.  Thus joy and renewed hope can supplant fear, can outlast it and out win it in the kingdom of God.  The peace that Jesus brings has a purpose.  It is not given for us to rest on our laurels and remain sheltered in locked away spaces.  No, this is a peace that propels us outward ‘As the Father has sent me.  I am sending you.’  This is a peace on the move.  A peace that’s meant to be shared.  We are to be a growing and a going people.  We are to be a people infused with, and inspired by the very life-breath of God, the Holy Spirit – Jesus breathed on them and said ‘Receive, the Holy Spirit’ – ‘Welcome the Holy Spirit’.  This takes us right back to the creation account in Genesis when God breathed life into Adam and Eve.  In Christ we are new creations, fuelled and empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness to this resurrection life that is constantly at work, if we’ll only take time to notice it and join in with it.  And a major part of this transformative resurrection work is forgiveness, the forgiveness of sins which we must learn both to receive and to offer for ourselves and for others, embracing as part of that forgiveness the truth and justice which needs to accompany it.   Forgiveness is part of the peace that Jesus brings to those disciples locked in fear, in regret, in fallenness, fragility, failure and brokenness.  It is that complete Shalom peace of God which incorporates peace with God, with ourselves, and our past, with other people and with all creation.  It is the peace Jesus prayed for.  It is a restorative, renewing peace – the kind of peace the world cannot give and so disparately struggles to find.

And at first it seems as though Thomas has missed out on all this.  He is not there and he struggles to believe on the basis of the testimony of the others when they tell him, ‘we have seen the Lord!’  Thomas cannot believe at a distance, he must come closer to have his own encounter and thankfully he does.  Faith still needs to be first, rather than second hand.  Are we still seeking those fresh, personal encounters with Jesus – allowing him to breathe on us too, resisting the thought that that kind of thing is for others rather than for us.  Jesus loved Thomas and didn’t want him to be left out.  Thomas is often associated with doubt, but, when he appears, we find him asking the questions others are afraid to ask, saying what others are secretly thinking, showing that curiosity which takes us beyond superficial, simple or well-rehearsed answers.   Thomas wants to go deeper.  He wants a faith that dares to touch the wounded and the scarred.  Thomas’ tenacious questioning leads in the end to new and fuller revelation.  Just think, without Thomas’ question in John chapter 14 ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way’, we would not have heard Jesus’ response ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’.  Without Thomas’  request to see the nail marks in Jesus’ hands and to inspect his wounded side, we might never have understood that Jesus’ resurrected body still carries those wounds and scars, still bears the marks of his suffering and therefore still very much identifies with all those who suffer today, all those wounded and scarred by the world, still awaiting that resurrection shalom peace, still awaiting that healing breath of re-creation and reconciliation.  In the same way our questions, our doubts, our searching can lead us and others more deeply into the true nature of God’s now and not yet kingdom and be caught up in the working out of God’s purposes and mission.  Let’s be brave enough though to explore our questions and our doubts in community rather than in isolation because it is there that we will truly see so much more of the risen Christ.

Amen

Let us declare our faith in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

All:      I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Amen.

Prayers of Intercession 

During the intercession this response is used:

Lord, m your mercy

All:       Hear our prayer.

Prayers for King Charles

Through this tritium of prayer we ask God’s continuing blessing on our new King Charles

Prayer

O God, to whom every human power is subject,
grant to your servant our sovereign Charles
success in the exercise of his high office,
so that, always revering you and striving to please you,
he may constantly secure and preserve
for the people entrusted to his care
the freedom that comes from civil peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen

Prayer for the Royal Family

Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness,

we humbly beseech thee to bless

Queen Camilla, William Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, and all the

Royal Family:

Endue them with thy Holy Spirit; enrich them with thy heavenly

grace; prosper them with all happiness;

and bring them to thine everlasting

kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith

Strengthen all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide Charles our King; give wisdom to all in authority; and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace; that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours, that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of

Christ……; according to your promises,

grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St. Laurence, St. John, St. Wilfred, St. Michel and all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father,

All:      Accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Heavenly Father,

you have promised through your Son Jesus Christ, that when we meet in his name, and pray according to his mind, he will be among us and hear our prayer: m your love and mercy fulfil our desires, and give us your greatest gift, which is to know you, the only true God, and your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

All:      Amen.

Hymn –  I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene

  1. I stand amazed in the presence
    of Jesus the Nazarene,
    and wonder how he could love me,
    a sinner, condemned, unclean.

Refrain: How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful
is my Saviour’s love for me!

  1. For me it was in the garden
    he prayed: “Not my will, but thine.”
    He had no tears for his own grief’s,
    but sweat-drops of blood for mine.
     

Refrain: How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful
is my Saviour’s love for me!

  1. In pity angels beheld him,
    and came from the world of light
    to comfort him in the sorrows
    he bore for my soul that night.

Refrain: How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful
is my Saviour’s love for me!

  1. He took my sins and my sorrows,
    he made them his very own;
    he bore the burden to Calvary,
    and suffered and died alone.
     

Refrain: How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful
is my Saviour’s love for me!

  1. When with the ransomed in glory
    his face I at last shall see,
    ’twill be my joy through the ages
    to sing of his love for me.

Refrain: How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful
is my Saviour’s love for me!
      (by Chas. H. Gabriel – 1856 to 1932) 

The Eucharistic Prayer 

The Lord is here.

All:      His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts,

All:       We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All:      It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right,

it is our duty and our joy,

at all times and in all places

to give you thanks and praise,

holy Father, heavenly King,

almighty and eternal God,

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word;

through him you have created all things from the beginning, and formed us in your own image.

All:       To you be glory and praise for ever.

Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin, giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;

You raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high.

All:       To you be glory and praise for ever.

Through him you nave sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit, and made us a people for your own possession.

All:       To you be glory and praise for ever.

Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

All:       Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,

through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,

and as we follow his example and obey his command,

grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit

these gifts of bread and wine

may be to us his body and his blood;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,

took bread and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

All:      To you be glory and praise for ever.

Therefore, heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself made once for all upon the cross; we proclaim his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup

we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

All:       Christ has died: Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest, this our sacrifice of thanks and praise, and as we eat and drink these holy gifts in the presence of your divine majesty, renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love and unite us in the body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

All:      To you be glory and praise for ever.

Through him, and with him, and in him, m the unity of the Holy Spirit,

with all who stand before you in earth and heaven, we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise;

All:      Blessing and honour and glory and power be yours for ever and ever.

Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us 

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.

Amen.

Breaking of the Bread 

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

All:       Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

All:      Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world.

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

Draw near with faith

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you-

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

Amen

Post Communion Prayer 

All: Lord God our Father,

through our Saviour Jesus Christ

you have assured your children of eternal life

and in baptism have made us one with him:

deliver us from the death of sin

and raise us to new life in your love,

in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Amen. 

The Blessing

Praise God who loves us.
All Praise God who cares.
May God, who gave birth to all creation, bless you:
may God, who became incarnate by an earthly mother, bless you:
may God, who broods as a mother over her children, bless you.
May almighty God bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever

All:      Amen.

Hymn To God Be the Glory

  1. To God be the glory, great things He has done;
    So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
    Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
    And opened the life gate that all may go in.

    Refrain:
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
  1. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
    To every believer the promise of God;
    The vilest offender who truly believes,
    That moment from Jesus a pardon receives
    .Refrain:
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done
    .
  1. Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
    And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
    But purer, and higher, and greater will be
    Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

    Refrain:
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
    (by Fanny J Crosby – 1820 to 1915) 

Final Prayers and the Dismissal

Go in faith to love the Lord.

All: In the Name of Christ

Amen

 

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