Fifth Sunday of Easter - 10th May

Eastertide Spiritual Communion

Fifth Sunday of Easter – 10th May, 2020



¶  Preparation: You may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or a special place.


      The Lord be with you

All: and also with you.           


      Alleluia! Christ is risen.

All: He is risen indeed. Alleluia!



Christ is made the sure foundation

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Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord, and precious,
binding all the Church in one,
holy Sion’s help for ever,
and her confidence alone.


To this temple, where we gather,
come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
with thy wonted loving-kindness,
hear thy servants as they pray,
and thy fullest benediction
shed within its walls always.


Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
what they ask of thee to gain,
what they gain from thee for ever
with the bless
èd to retain,
and hereafter in thy glory
evermore with thee to reign.

Praise and honour to the Father,
praise and honour to the Son,
praise and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run.



Prayer of Preparation

      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.


Prayers of Penitence

       Christ our Passover lamb
      has been sacrificed for us.
      Let us therefore rejoice
      by putting away all malice and evil
      and confessing our sins with a sincere and true heart.


      Like Mary at the empty tomb,
      we fail to grasp the wonder
      of your presence.
      Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.


      Like the disciples behind locked doors,
      we are afraid to be seen as your followers.
      Christ, have mercy.

All: Christ, have mercy.


      Like Thomas in the upper room,
       we are slow to believe.
       Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.



Gloria in Excelsis

All: Glory to God in the highest,      
       and peace to his people on earth.         

       Lord God, heavenly King,
       almighty God and Father,
       we worship you, we give you thanks,
       we praise you for your glory.

       Lord Jesus Christ,
       only Son of the Father,
       Lord God, Lamb of God,
       you take away the sin of the world:
       have mercy on us;
      ​​​​​​​ you are seated at the right hand
      ​​​​​​​ of the Father:
      ​​​​​​​ receive our prayer.

      ​​​​​​​ For you alone are the Holy One,
      ​​​​​​​ you alone are the Lord,
      ​​​​​​​ you alone are the Most High,
      ​​​​​​​ Jesus Christ,
      ​​​​​​​ with the Holy Spirit,
      ​​​​​​​ in the glory of God the Father.
      ​​​​​​​ Amen.


The Collect

      Let us pray that we may walk the risen life of Christ in glory.


      A period of silent prayer is kept.

      ​​​​​​​ Almighty God,
      ​​​​​​​ who through your only begotten Son Jesus Christ,
      ​​​​​​​ have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
      ​​​​​​​ grant that, by your grace going before us
      ​​​​​​​ you put into our minds good desires,
      ​​​​​​​ so by your continual help
      ​​​​​​​ we may bring them to good effect;
      ​​​​​​​ through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
      ​​​​​​​ who is alive and reigns with you,
      ​​​​​​​ in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
      ​​​​​​​ one God, now and for ever.
      ​​​​​​​ Amen.


The Liturgy of the Word


New Testament Reading

Acts 7:55-end

The Stoning of Stephen

But filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.

At the end:

      This is the Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.


Gradual Hymn

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

Link to music

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
in a believer’s ear!
It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,
and drives away our fear.


It makes the wounded spirit whole,
and calms the troubled breast;
‘tis manna to the hungry soul,
and to the weary rest.


Dear name! the rock on which I build,
my shield and hiding-place,
my never-failing treas’ry filled
with boundless stores of grace.

Jesus! my shepherd, brother, friend,
my prophet, priest, and king,
my Lord, my life, my way, my end,
accept the praise I bring.


Weak is the effort of my heart,
and cold my warmest thought;
but when I see thee as thou art,
I’ll praise thee as I ought.


Till then I would thy love proclaim
with ev’ry fleeting breath;
and may the music of thy name
refresh my soul in death.



Gospel Reading

John 14:1-14

      ​​​​​​​ Alleluia, alleluia.
      ​​​​​​​ I am the first and the last, says the Lord, and the living one;
      ​​​​​​​ I was dead, and behold
      ​​​​​​​ I am alive for evermore.

All: Alleluia.


      ​​​​​​​ Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

All: Glory to you, O Lord.


Jesus the Way to the Father

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.


At the end:

       This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:   Praise to you, O Christ.




Revd Sally


Poignantly at this time, this reading – or part of it – is often used for funeral services. Jesus reassures us that “in my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places”, that he is preparing a place for us and we will share eternity with him, whenever that time may come. Coupled with ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’, which is echoed very strongly by Mother Julian of Norwich, whom the Church remembered on Friday, when she writes ‘All shall be well’.

I hardly need to tell Norfolk folk this, but Mother Julian lived through very troubled times. 14th Century Norwich was not the place to be: the city suffered the devasting effects of the Black Death, and much of the country was rocked by the Peasants’ Revolt in the same century. Julian herself became seriously ill when she was thirty and thought she was on her deathbed.

It all seems like echoes of our time, with the threat of serious disease and the impact on so many people’s livelihoods; affecting not only health and well-being, but also relationships with those whom we hold dear.

But it was in the wake of Julian’s experience that she wrote her Revelations of Divine Love, having had extraordinary visions of Christ’s Passion during her own recovery from illness. 

Through this time of considerable anxiety, one thing seems to be coming through very strongly – which is manifested in the Thursday 8pm ‘Clap for Carers’ and rainbows displayed in so many windows – is hope.

And it is that hope that Jesus offers us, which Mother Julian understood. “If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” Prayer may not always be answered in the way that we might at first wish, but the Lord is faithful and reassures us that we are all God’s children, loved by him, as the unique and precious people that we are.

Jesus is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life: leading us into a meaningful and ever-lasting relationship with God our Father. 




Affirmation of Faith


All:    We believe and trust in God the Father,
      ​​​​​​​     source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist.


        We believe and trust in God the Son,
      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹    who took our human nature, died for us and rose again.


        We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹    who gives life to the people of God
      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹    and makes Christ known in the world.


        This is the faith of the Church.

      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹    This is our faith.

      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹    We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Prayers of Intercession 


      Pray for the needs of the world, for our local communities, our loved-ones and our friends.


At the end:


All: Merciful Father,
      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹accept these prayers,
      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹for the sake of your Son,
      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
      ​​​​​​​ â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught 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.




The Church’s one Foundation

Link to music

The Church’s one foundation
is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is his new creation,
by water and the word;
from heav’n he came and sought her
to be his holy bride,
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.


Elect from ev’ry nation,
yet one o’er all the earth,
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with ev’ry grace endued.


‘Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace for evermore;
till with the vision glorious
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great Church victorious
shall be the Church at rest.


Yet she on earth hath union
with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.



Closing Prayer

        Eternal God,
       whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:
       grant us to walk in his way,
       to rejoice in his truth,
       and to share his risen life:
       who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

All:   Amen.



Virtual Blessing

      Alleluia! Christ is risen.

All: He is risen indeed. Alleluia!


      God the Father,
      by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,
      open to those who believe the gates of everlasting life.

All: Amen.


      God the Son,
      who in bursting from the grave has won a glorious victory,
      give us joy as we share the Easter faith.

All: Amen.


      God the Holy Spirit,
      who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord,
      empower us and fill us with Christ’s peace.

All: Amen.


      And [may] the blessing of God almighty,
      the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
      be with us and those whom we love, today and always.

All: Amen.



Director of Music: James Lilwall

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