Sunday Orders of Service

Eastertide Spiritual Communion

Sixth Sunday of Easter – 17th 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!



Alleluia, sing to Jesus


Alleluia, sing to Jesus,
his the sceptre, his the throne;
alleluia, his the triumph, his the victory alone:
hark, the songs of peaceful Sion
thunder like a mighty flood:
Jesus, out of ev’ry nation, hath
redeemed us by his blood.

Alleluia, not as orphans
are we left in sorrow now;

Allelluia, he is near us,
faith believes, nor questions how;
though the cloud from sight received him
when the forty days were o’er,
shall our hearts forget his promise,
‘I am with your evermore’?

Alleluia, bread of angels,
thou on earth our food, our stay,
alleluia, here the sinful
flee to thee from day to day;
intercessor, friend of sinners,
earth’s redeemer, plead for me,
where the songs of all the sinless
sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia, King eternal,
thee the Lord of lords we own;
alleluia, born of Mary,
earth thy footstool, heav’n thy throne;
thou within the veil has entered
robed in flesh, our great High Priest;

thou on earth both priest and victim
in the Eucharistic Feast.



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.


The Collect


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


A period of silent prayer is kept.

      God our redeemer,
      you have delivered us from the power of darkness
      and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
      grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,
      so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;
      through the same Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
      who is alive and reigns with you,
      in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
      one God, now and for ever.




¶  The Liturgy of the Word


New Testament Reading

Acts 17:22-31


Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said,
“For we too are his offspring.”

Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’


At the end:

      This is the Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.


Gradual Hymn

Holy Spirit, come confirm us (Tune: All for Jesus – text in copyright)

Please see hymn book




Gospel Reading

John 14:15-21

      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.


The Promise of the Holy Spirit


[Jesus said to his disciples] ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’



At the end:

       This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:   Praise to you, O Christ.




Norman Johnson, Benefice Reader


I wonder what your answer would be if asked the question: ‘What is the most important thing that the majority, if not all, human beings need to experience in their lifetime?’ Would it be good health or would it be worldly success or even financial security? Whilst these might justifiably be thought of as important, my contention is that the most necessary thing is love and connection in the form of relationship. It is a basic human need to love and be loved, to be in communion with others.

The reading today focuses on both relationship and love. Jesus starts by saying “if you love me, you will keep my commandments” referring to his great commandments to the disciples and through them to us. He then brings together the relationship of the Holy Trinity. Assuring the disciples that they will not be left alone when he returns to the Father, the words “I will not leave you orphaned” are an integral part of his message. Like the disciples we are not left alone.

When we as Christians ponder on what this life is about the question we should be asking is not ‘who am I?’ or ‘where did I come from when I was born?’ or indeed ‘where will I go when I die?’ In truth we surely know the answer to the last of those three. As Christians we believe in the saving grace of Jesus and because of him we will go into the presence of God. The question to ask is, ‘who am I in relation to God and in relation to my neighbour?’ Neighbour does not just mean the folks next door, or those in our community, but every other human being we come into contact with or even those we don’t.

In these strange times, so many are showing such love and care. There are also many reaching out for companionship through online meetings. Some are searching for something spiritual. I heard on the radio that before this crisis 6 percent of the population attended Church, but since this began 25 percent have tuned to some form of spiritual content online or the media and 48 percent have prayed.

These may be hard times for us all and especially those who live alone. We all need a hug from time to time but we all need to reach out to love in whatever way we can. We may be apart but as the title of a song written by singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka in the1970s, it’s “Love will keep us together”.

As Jesus tells us at the end of today’s reading, if we turn to God and truly love God, he will not let us be alone, the Spirit will guard us and guide us and keep us strong.



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,
        who took our human nature, died for us and rose again.


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


        This is the faith of the Church.

        This is our faith.

        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,
        accept these prayers,
        for the sake of your Son,
        our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


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.




Great is thy faithfulness

(music in copyright)


Great is thy faithfulness,
O God my Father,
there is no shadow
of turning with thee;
thou changest not,
thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been
thou for ever wilt be.

Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning
new mercies I see;
all I have needed
thy hand hath provided,
great is thy faithfulness,
Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter,
and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars
in their courses above,
join with all nature
in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness,
mercy and love.

Pardon for sin
and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence
to cheer and to guide;
strength for today
and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine,
with ten thousand beside!


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.



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