Next before Lent Sunday 11th February Morning Worship

Morning Prayer for the First Sunday Before Lent –

Hymn Let There Be Love Shared Among Us

Sung twice

Preparation

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

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

All: And also with you.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

All:  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving  to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may give ourselves to the service of God.

All: We say Sorry

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’

So let us turn away from our sins and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

All: Lord God, we have sinned against you;

We have done evil in your sight.

We are sorry and repent.

Have mercy on us according to your love.

Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.

Renew a right spirit within us and restore to us the joy of your salvation;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May the Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins, and restore us in His image to the praise and glory of His name through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All: Amen.

Blessed is the Lord,

All: For He has heard the voice of our prayer;

Therefore shall our hearts dance for joy

All: And in our song will we praise our God. 

Blessed are you, Lord our God, creator and redeemer of all;

to you be glory and praise for ever.

From the waters of chaos you drew forth the world, and in your great love fashioned us in your image. Now, through the deep waters of death, you have brought your people to new birth by raising your Son to life in triumph.

May Christ your light ever dawn in our hearts as we offer you our sacrifice of thanks and praise.

Blessed be God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

All: Blessed be God for ever. 

 Hymn – Bind Us Together, Lord

Collect for the First Sunday Before Lent

Almighty Father,

whose Son was revealed in majesty

before he suffered death upon the cross:

give us grace to perceive his glory,

that we may be strengthened to suffer with him

and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All: Amen

Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

All: And Christ shall give you light.

You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.

All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

Set your minds on things that are above,

not on things that are on the earth.

All: And Christ shall give you light.

When Christ our life appears

you will appear with him in glory.

All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. 

Hymn – How lovely on the mountains (Our God Reigns)

Our First Reading is taken from – John Chap: 13

33 My children, I shall not be with you very much longer. You will look for me; but I tell you now what I told the Jewish authorities, “You cannot go where I am going.’

34 And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

35 If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.”

This is the Word of the Lord

All: Thanks be to God

 Benedicitus

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,

All: who has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

All: born of the house of his servant David.

 Through his holy prophets God promised of old  

All: to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us,

 To show mercy to our ancestors,

All: and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:

All: to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear,

All: holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

 And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,

All: for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation

All: by the forgiveness of all their sins.

 In the tender compassion of our God

All: the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,

All: and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

All: 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. 

Hear the Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ According to 1 Corinthians Chap: 13

1 I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell.

2 I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains – but if I have no love, I am nothing.

3 I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned – but if I have no love, this does me no good.

4 Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud;

5 love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs;

6 love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.

7 Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

8 Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass.

9 For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial;

10 but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.

11 When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways.

12 What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete – as complete as God’s knowledge of me.

13 Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.

This is the word of Christ

All: Thank be to God 

Sermon for the First Sunday before Lent

Well, ladies, you’ll know day it is on Wednesday, don’t you? And men, what mustn’t we forget to do on Wednesday?

Yes, it’s Saint Valentine’s Day! I do hope none of you husbands or boyfriends have forgotten!

For me, last year was a disaster in many ways. I asked Sue, my wife what she wanted for Valentine’s Day and she said, “Nothing.” And that’s exactly what she got! But unfortunately, it’s not what she meant! Oh dear!

Then the post man came. 12 envelope’s, great. Surely some for me. Well, 2 bank statements, 2 bills, 3 junk mail, 5 envelopes that looked like cards. But when I looked closely, they were for the young lad next door, they’d been put in the wrong letter box by the postman. Oh dear!

But I wonder how many of you remember the story behind the origins of Valentine’s Day. You know, it is called Saint Valentine’s Day for a reason.

Approximately 250 years after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was a priest by the name of Valentine. He lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius, who was committed to rebuilding the once-great Roman army. However, he believed it was important for men to volunteer for armed service, rather than drafting men into service against their will. The problem was that, given a choice, most young men in the Roman Empire refused to serve. They’d rather stay at home with their wives and

Children than go off into battle.Claudius came to believe that only single men would volunteer for service, so he issued a royal decree that banned all further marriages. He actually outlawed weddings in the Roman Empire, so earning himself the nick-name Claudius the Cruel.

Valentine thought it was ridiculous! One of his favourite duties as a priest was to marry people. So after Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine secretly continued performing marriage ceremonies. He would whisper the words of the

ceremony, while listening for soldiers on the steps outside.
One night, Valentine did hear footsteps at his door. The couple he was marrying escaped, but he was caught. He was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.

Valentine tried to stay cheerful. Many of the young couples he had married came to visit him in jail. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love.

One day, he received a visit from the daughter of one of the prison guards. Her father allowed her to visit him in his cell and they often sat and talked for hours. She believed he did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and performing weddings.

On the day Valentine was to die, he left her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty.

And he signed it, “Love from your Valentine.”

That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D, a day that was set aside in honour of a man who gave his life for God and for love. Now, every year on this day, people remember Saint Valentine, but most importantly, they think about love.

Everyone loves love! We want to be loved and we want to give love. The problem is our love is lacking, just like we are. It’s often conditional upon our own mood or our loved one’s actions, appearance or attitude. When it comes to love, all of us fall a little short, don’t we?

Some of us are as confused about love as little five-year-old Kari who told her teacher, “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”

My question for you today is, how do we develop and nurture a love worth giving on Valentine’s Day and every day?

The answer, I believe, is found in God’s Word

John Chap: 15 Vers: 9 to 17 to be precise. Let’s read what Jesus has to say in this passage, shall we?
I have loved you even as the Father has loved me.

Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command… This is my command: Love each other. (John Chap: 15 NLT)

And I think it is just so appropriate that this year, Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday are the same day.

Because we will begin our Lenten observance, we will decide what we will give up over the next 40 days, or what extra task we will take on.

We might decide to give up chocolate, sweets, alcohol, television, all sorts of things. Me? I’m giving up abstinence!

Or we might decide to take on something extra: read our bible, study a Christian book, attend an extra service, do a good deed for our neighbour or friend.

But whatever we do, it must be out of love, or it’s no good. If it’s being done out of duty, because it’s the right thing to do, simply because it’s Lent, then we’ve totally missed the point.

I’m reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So whatever extra you take on, or whatever you give up this Lent, do it out of love. Love for your Lord, and love for your neighbour.

If you don’t, then, as Saint Paul says, you are nothing and your deeds are nothing, and that’s quite a sobering thought, isn’t it?

Loving God, fill our hearts with the love that you freely give. Make love our first and last thoughts. May we love others and freely give to them. Make our spirits a spirit of joy, happiness, and love for both our friends and our enemies. Help us love as abundantly as you have loved us.

Amen

Hymn – A New Commandment I Give Unto You

Sung Twice

Time of Silence …..

We Say Together:

The Creed.

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. 

All: Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Prayers for King Charles

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

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.

We pray for God to fill us with his Spirit.

Generous God,

we thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit.

We ask that we may be strengthened to serve you better.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the wisdom of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to make us wise to understand your will.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the peace of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to keep us confident of your love wherever you call us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the healing of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to bring reconciliation and wholeness

where there is division, sickness and sorrow.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to equip us for the work which you have given us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the fruit of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to reveal in our lives the love of Jesus.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the breath of your Holy Spirit,

given us by the risen Lord.

We ask you to keep the whole Church, living and departed,

in the joy of eternal life.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit. 

All: Generous God,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

We gather our thoughts and prayers in the words our Saviour gave us 

All: 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.

Hymn – Love Divine All Love’s Excelling

  1. Love divine, all loves excelling
    Joy of Heaven to Earth come down
    Fix in us Thy humble dwelling
    All Thy faithful mercies crown
    Jesus, Thou art all compassion
    Pure, unbounded love Thou art
    Visit us with Thy salvation
    Enter every trembling heart
  1. Breathe, O breathe, Thy loving spirit
    Into every troubled breast
    Let us all in Thee inherit
    Let us find that second rest

Take away the love of sinning
Alpha and Omega be
End of faith, as its beginning
Sets our hearts at liberty

  1. Come Almighty to deliver
    Let us all Thy life receive
    Suddenly return and never
    Never more Thy temples leave
    Thee we would be always blessing
    Serve Thee as Thy hosts above
    Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing
    Glory in Thy perfect love 
  1. Finish then Thy new creation
    Pure and spotless let us be
    Let us see Thy great salvation
    Perfectly restored in Thee

Changed from glory into glory
‘Til in Heaven we take our place
‘Til we cast our crowns before Thee
Lost in wonder, love and praise      (by Charles Wesley (1707 to 1788)

Closing Blessings

To God the Father, who loved us,
and made us accepted in the Beloved:
to God the Son, who loved us,
and loosed us from our sins by his own blood:
to God the Holy Spirit,
who spreads the love of God abroad in our hearts:
to the one true God be all love and all glory
for time and for eternity. 

All: Amen.

Hymn – Guide me, O my great Jehovah

  1. 1. Guide me, O my great Jehovah,
    pilgrim through this barren land;
    I am weak, but you are mighty;
    hold me with your powerful hand.
    Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
    feed me now and evermore,
    feed me now and evermore.
     
  1. Open now the crystal fountain,
    where the healing waters flow.
    Let the fire and cloudy pillar
    lead me all my journey through.
    Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
    ever be my strength and shield,
    ever be my strength and shield.
     
  1. When I tread the verge of Jordan,
    bid my anxious fears subside.
    Death of death, and hell’s Destruction,
    land me safe on Canaan’s side.
    Songs of praises, songs of praises
    I will ever sing to you,
    I will ever sing to you.
    (by William Williams – 1717 to 1791)

The Grace 

All: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

And the love of God,

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

Be with us all evermore.

Amen

Go in joy and peace to love and serve the Lord

All: In the name of Christ Amen.

© 702211