EASTER DAY Service

04 Apr 21

Greeting -  

Christ is Risen Alleluia! 

This is the day the Lord has made

All: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

God the Father,

by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,

open to you who believe the gates of everlasting life. 

All:  Amen.

God the Son,

who in bursting from the grave has won a glorious victory,

give you joy as you share our Easter faith.

All:  Amen. 

God the Holy Spirit,

who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord,

empower you and fill you with Christ’s peace.

All:  Amen..

Grace, mercy and peace

from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ

be with you

All:   and also with you. 

Hymn  Christ the Lord is Risen Today  

1)  Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

2)  Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

3)  Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

4)  Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

5)  Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

6)  King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!  
(by Charles Wesley – 1707 – 1788) 

Easter Collect 

Lord of all life and power,

who through the mighty resurrection of your Son

overcame the old order of sin and death

to make all things new in him:

grant that we, being dead to sin

and alive to you in Jesus Christ,

may reign with him in glory;

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit

be praise and honour, glory and might,

now and in all eternity. 

Prayers of Penitence

Almighty God, you have accepted our Lord's sacrifice for our salvation.
By your power you have raised Him from the dead,
you have clothed Him again with flesh on these resurrection appearances
so that his disciples might recognize him.

All: Praise be to You O Lord 

We say together   

We humbly confess that,
while we know the story and believe it,

it often has made too little difference in our lives,
and at times we have been silent when we should have spoken of it.
 

Forgive us, we pray.
Enable us today to reflect more deeply on the sacred story,
that our obedience may increase,
that our service may be more joyful, and our testimony may be more courageous.
Hear us in the name of our risen Saviour.

Amen. 

The Minister Says –

Open for us the gates of righteousness;

We will enter and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord

Through which the righteous may enter.

We will give you thanks, for You have answered us;

You have become our salvation. 

All: Hosanna to the Son of David,

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest! 

God our Saviour, whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer and die, let these palms be for us signs of His victory.  Grant that we who bear them in His Name may ever hail Him as our King, and follow in the way that leads to eternal life; Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit now and forever. 

 Amen 

 Hymn - Thine be the Glory 

1)    Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son:
endless is the vict'ry thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.

Refrain:
Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son;
endless is the vict'ry thou o’er death hast won.

2)    Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.

Refrain:
Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son;
endless is the vict'ry thou o’er death hast won.

3)    No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conqu'rors, thro' thy deathless love:
bring us safe thro' Jordan to thy home above

Refrain:
Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son;
endless is the vict'ry thou o’er death hast won
. (by Edmond Budry – 1854 – 1932) 

A Song of hope and a future   – Psalm 16

1)     Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

2)     I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.’

3)     I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    ‘They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.’

4)     Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

5) Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.

6) The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.

7) I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me. 

8) I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

9)  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,

10)  because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

11) You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand. 

 First reading from John Chap: 14

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

1)    “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 

2)    My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 

3)    And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 

4)    You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

5)     Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 

6)    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

7)    If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 

8)     Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 

9)     Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 

10)  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 

11)  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 

12)  Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 

13)  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 

14)  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15)  “If you love me, keep my commands. 

16)  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 

17)  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 

Hymn  O For a Thousand Tongues 

1)    O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!
 

2)    Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease,
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life and health and peace.
 

3)    He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood availed for me.
 

4)    He speaks, and, listening to His voice,

New life the dead receive,

The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,

The humble poor believe. 

5)    Hear Him ye dead,

His praise ye dumb,

Your loosened tongues employ;

Ye blind behold your Saviour come, and leap ye lame for joy. 

6)     My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honours of your name.  
( by Charles Wesley – 1707 – 1788)

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to - John Chap: 20

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24) Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.

25) So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26) A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

27) Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28) Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29) Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30) Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.

31) But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. 

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:   Praise to you, O Christ.  

Doubting Thomas and The Resurrection 

Thomas, was given the nickname ‘Doubting Thomas’. This name became part of the English language for someone who doubts a truth without firm evidence.  Thomas was born in Galilee and died in Ramapuram, India.  He is buried at Santhome Cathedral, Chennai, India. 

There are no contradictions in the accounts of the post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus. Like a good reporter piecing together a story from reliable eyewitnesses, we must examine all the eyewitness accounts recorded in God’s Word.  It is in all four gospels that we realise that for Scripture to be reliable, the accounts of the resurrection must be true, and see how they fit together without any contradictions. Together, these accounts tell us about the most important truth in the history of the world: Jesus Christ the Son of God died for our sins and rose again, conquering sin and death for our salvation and for the glory of God. Those who did not see Him—like us—have also been called to believe on Him and are promised the incredible blessing of eternal life for that belief, as John Chap: 20 says: 

29) Then Jesus told him (Thomas), “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

When Jesus appeared to some of the disciples, Thomas was not with them the first time. John 20  says, 

 25) "So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But Thomas said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe”

Eight days later, Jesus appears before His disciples again:

 26) "A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!'

27) Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'

28) Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!'

How truthful all this is. If Thomas hadn't been a doubter, this famous saying may not have been recorded in history. 

This particular saying has helped many, many people at different times in their lives. When things have been going badly, when we have faced hardships, doubt, faltering faith, lack of trust and pain, the words of Doubting Thomas have given us hope. In the midst of Covid 19 this is a wonderful assurance.

Even though Thomas earned a negative label, he was not lacking some great qualities, especially being a realist. He displayed great courage and loyalty.

 When the other disciples tried to keep Jesus from going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead, because of the danger from those in the area, Thomas said to them in John Chap: 11 

16) "Let us also go, that we may die with Him". 

Thomas also asked Jesus one of the most famous questions, when Jesus said He was leaving them as we heard in our first reading in John Chap 14 

5) "Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' 

6) Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father  except through me.” 

The Lord answers many prayers for us, maybe not always in a miraculous way or in a way we would expect, but He makes us very aware that He is always there and He cares about us. We can find Him in our everyday walk through life especially in these days: 

I am the way -There’s a Bible verse which says.

 ‘There is a way which seems right to man but leads to death’ (Proverbs Chap: 14 Ver: 12)

We live in a time were there appears to be no absolutes and everything is relative and culturally anything goes. Many have no direction or destination in life. 

I am the truth - there are many false teachings about God and the way of salvation.  A nurse can be sincere in the medicine she is giving her patient, but the medicine could be poison for all she knows.  The truth of God’s word is unchangeable.  Jesus said, ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free; and when you are free, you are free indeed’. 

I am the life – for many they struggle with how to have a meaningful life.  Jesus said, ‘I have come that you might have life in all its fulness.’

Without His way there is no going, without His truth there is no knowing and without His life there is no living. 

What happened to Doubting Thomas?

Well, he doesn’t stay a doubter. When he meets the risen Lord, all that Jesus has taught now makes sense. To his dying day, Thomas is an outspoken messenger (apostle) for His Lord.

Church tradition tells us that he went on to preach in Babylon, near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in modern day Iraq. He then went to Persia, present day Iran, and continued to spread the gospel.  Thomas then went south to Malabar on the west coast of India in 52AD where he preached, established churches and a number of high cast Brahmins came to faith in Christ.

When the Portuguese arrived in India in the early 1600s, they found a group of Christians there – the Mar Thomas Church which had been established by Thomas 1500 years before.  Finally, Thomas travelled to the east coast of India, preaching relentlessly, until he was martyred near Mylapore, present day Madras, about 72AD. 

  Thomas doubted and questioned the resurrection of Jesus, but he was being realistic. Coming to faith in Christ is like that.  The resurrection of Jesus is what makes Jesus unique amongst anyone else who ever lived. Also, we have two things doubting Thomas did not have – the possibility of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the written New Testament in our own language. By the power of the Spirit and the Word of God, we can overcome doubts. 

The biggest journey we can ever take in life is from what we believe in our minds to what we take into our hearts.  

Affirmation of Faith  

We say together

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.

Intercessions for Easter Sunday

In joy and hope let us pray to the Father.

That our risen Saviour may fill us with the joy of his

glorious and life-giving resurrection … 

we pray to the Father.

All: Hear our prayer. 

That the isolated

may find fresh strength in the good news of Easter … 

we pray to the Father.

All: Hear our prayer. 

That God may grant us humility

to be subject to one another in Christian love … 

we pray to the Father.

All: Hear our prayer. 

That the Lord may provide for those who lack food, work or shelter … 

we pray to the Father.

All: Hear our prayer. 

That by his power war and famine may cease through all the world … 

we pray to the Father.

All: Hear our prayer. 

That he may reveal the light of his presence to the sick,

the weak and the dying,

to comfort and strengthen them especially at this time of the coronavirus … 

we pray to the Father.

All: Hear our prayer. 

That, according to his promises,

all who have died in the faith of the resurrection

may be raised on the last day … 

we pray to the Father.

All: Hear our prayer. 

That he may send the fire of the Holy Spirit upon his people,

so that we may bear faithful witness to his resurrection, 

we pray to the Father.

All: Hear our prayer. 

Heavenly Father,

you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

grant that, as His death has recalled us to life,

so His continual presence in us may raise us to eternal joy;

through Christ our Lord. 

All: Amen. 

A time of Silence   …. As we bring our own personal prayers to God. 

We say together 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Name.

Thy Kingdom  come.

Thy will be done in earth,

As it is in  heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive them that 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 

Praise to you, Lord Jesus: 

We say together

Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life:

Lord Jesus, come in glory.

We praise you and we bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of glory,

for in your resurrection the power of love breaks open the earth

and frees life from death.

Almighty and eternal God, who, for the firmer foundation of our faith,

allowed your holy apostle Thomas to doubt the resurrection of your Son

till word and sight convinced him:

grant to us, who have not seen, that we also may believe

and so confess Christ as our Lord and our God;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for eve 

All:     Amen. 

 

 Hymn - Crown Him with Many Crowns 

1)     Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne.
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless king
through all eternity.

 2)     Crown him the Lord of life,

who triumphed o'er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save;
his glories now we sing
who died and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.
 

3)     Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
rich wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified;
no angels in the sky
can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends their burning eye
at mysteries so bright.
 

4)     Crown him the Lord of years,
the potentate of time,
creator of the rolling spheres,
ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
for thou hast died for me;
thy praise shall never, never fail
throughout eternity.       
              (by Matthew Bridges, 1851) 

Closing Easter Blessing

May the glory and the promise of this joyous time of year bring peace and happiness to you and those you hold most dear. 

May Christ, Our Risen Saviour, always be there by your side to bless you most abundantly and be your loving guide.

Amen 

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord       

All:  In the Name of Christ.

Amen

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Personal Profile
Rev. John Langlands

 Rev. John Langanlds 

It is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome you to St Laurence.  Frances, my wife, and I have received a very warm welcome ourselves, so you will not be disappointed when you visit St Laurence.  I am also the Curate of the other churches in Ansley and Arley – St John’s, St Michael’s and St Wilfrid’s.

Being in a rural and farming area in the north part of Coventry Diocese is like coming home for us.  A number of years ago I pastored a church in rural Norfolk which was mainly surrounded by arable farms with some pigs and chickens.  The strong sense of community life was something very special.  This should be particularly valued in these days when many folk live such individual, separate and often lonely lives. 

We have just had hot off the press a visiting card which I hope reflects what our church stands for: ‘You will not walk alone.  Together we are with you on life’s journey’.  Over these next weeks, months and years, I hope we can get to know you better and that you will find Frances and myself not just ‘churchy’ people but friends as well, who enjoy life and plenty of laughter!

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