St Thomas of Canterbury, Wilbury
7th Sunday of Easter – May 24th, 2020
Welcome and introduction by Revd Elizabeth Bunker, our celebrant
Our Preacher is the Rev Jane Wheatley
I trust this technology in worship will work for you! The text is downloadable and printable so you should be able is access this either on your computer or laptop or from a printed copy. If it helps a small table with a candle/cross might help you with focus. If you wish during the communion to have a piece of bread and a glass each with wine/grape juice. Please have these ready in advance. It might help to remind you that we are celebrating with millions of other Christians even if most of us are behind “locked doors”.
The service includes preparation with confession, absolution and the collect; then comes the gospel reading, a short address and an affirmation of faith; this will be followed by an invitation to prayer followed by silence.
I will then set up the table, say the Peace and then an Easter Eucharistic prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer the breaking of bread and an invitation to communion after we will say a prayer of thanksgiving and service will end with a blessing.
Opening Hymn Hail the day that sees him rise,
- Hail the day that sees him rise, alleluia!
Glorious to his native skies; alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals giv’n, alleluia!
Enters now the highest heav’n! Alleluia!
- There the glorious triumph waits; alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates! Alleluia!
Christ hast vanquished death and sin; alleluia!
Take the King of glory in. Alleluia!
- There we shall with thee remain, alleluia!
Partners of thine endless reign; alleluia!
There thy face unclouded see, alleluia!
Find our heav’n of heav’ns in thee. Alleluia!
Greeting and Welcome
Alleluia, Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us:
so let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old leaven of corruption and wickedness:
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Christ once raised from the dead dies no more:
death has no more dominion over him.
In dying, he died to sin once and for all:
in living he lives to God.
See yourselves therefore as dead to sin:
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ has been raised from the dead:
the first fruits of those who sleep.
For as by man came death:
by man has come also the resurrection of the dead;
for as in Adam all die:
even so in Christ shall all be made alive
In dying he died to sin once and for all
In living he lives to God
Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and shall be forever. Amen
Let us confess our sins to Almighty God
(A time for reflection)
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
Hear then the word of grace and the assurance of pardon
Your sins are forgiven for his sake. Amen
O God the king of glory,
you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ
with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:
we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,
but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us
and exalt us to the place
where our Saviour Christ is gone before,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. AMEN
6 When the apostles had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’
7 He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
10 While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.
11 They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.
13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.
14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women,
including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Psalm 68.1–10, 33–36
R Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord.
1 Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him.
2 Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away;
as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. R
3 But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; let them also be merry and joyful.
4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name; exalt him who rides upon the heavens; Yahweh is his name, rejoice before him! R
5 Father of orphans, defender of widows, God in his holy habitation! 6 God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; but the rebels shall live in dry places. R
7 O God, when you went forth before your people, when you marc ed through the wilderness, 8 The earth shook and the skies poured down rain, at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, at the presence of God, the God of Israel. R
9 You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; you refreshed the land when it was weary. 10 Your people found their home in it; in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor. R
33 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord. 34 He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice. R
35 Ascribe power to God; his majesty is over Israel; his strength is in the skies. 36 How wonderful is God in his holy places! the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people! Blessèd be God! R
Glory to the Father, and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning is now
and ever shall be forever, Amen
Second reading 1 Peter 4.12–14; 5.6–11
A reading from the first letter of Peter.
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.
14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.
7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert.
Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.
10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Gospel Hymn; All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
- All hail the power of Jesu’s name;
let angles prostrate fall;
bring forth the royal diadem
to crown him, crown him, crown him,
crown him Lord of all.
- Crown him, ye martyrs of your God,
who from his altar call;
praise him whose way of pain ye trod,
and crown him Lord of all.
- Ye see of Israel’s chosen race,
ye ransomed of the fall,
hail him who saves you by his grace,
and crown him Lord of all.
- Let every tribe and every tongue
to him their hearts enthral,
lift high the universal song
and crown him Lord of all.
Hear the GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John 17,1-11
Glory to you, O Lord
1 Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do.
5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
6 I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours.
10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ
Homily – Revd. Jane Wheatley, read by Shena
First, I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. How hard it is to not be able to see them In the flesh and hug in friendship and love. The virus is not only affecting us physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We help ourselves and each other as best we can.
Spiritually we are best helped in conversation with God. This is prayer. As a school chaplain, I am writing to the children about prayer to explain how they can talk to God. Just talk. No need to think about the shopping list of things we want or need. Just chatter to Him like you do to someone you know really well. Tell Him stuff. Don’t just ask for stuff. I feel we adults are just the same. The children have come to realise that talking To God, and not Asking and seeing Him as just a provider, has many benefits.
Talk to Him. Tell Him what’s in your heart and on your mind. And yes, you will actually be telling Him what you need and so much more. Fortunately, we can do this either silently or out loud depending on circumstances. I feel so much better when I’ve had a chatter WITH Him and not only ASKING.
Our Gospel reading is the Great Prayer of Jesus of His Father. I am so moved when I read it. I hear a son talking to his father. Then I become aware this is Our Lord talking to His Father…..His and ours. Telling Him about the things they share Telling Him about a shared mission and hope for the world. And…. telling Him how hard the separation has been with His human life separated from His divine life. The Ascension had yet to happen. He had not yet ascended back to His Father. How well He must know how we feel now. He tells His Father about us, His friends. And prays for us.
Read this carefully. Hear the voice of Jesus- feel the Presence of His Father- the listener. And know that Jesus is praying for you and me. This prayer, I believe, never ceases. I believe Jesus continues to pray for you and me eternally. He doesn’t wait to be asked. All He requires from us is to believe and KNOW that He prays this prayer ” Holy Father protect those you have given me that they be one as we are one.”
No need to ask………..just tell Him.
The Prayers by Sylvia Wildey
Father God, How wonderful to have lived in the time of Jesus, to see and hear him for ourselves.
How hard his ascension must have been for the disciples, having received him joyfully back from the dead, only to part with him again.
And yet, Father God, we rejoice in the Ascension and give you thanks and praise,
because it was through his return to heaven that Jesus was able to send his Spirit to us.
Jesus as a man could only live in one place and one time, and only a few people were blessed with his presence. Now as risen Lord, he is able to send his Spirit to each of us, throughout the world, and for all time. That Spirit which comforts us, guides us, challenges us, and even equips us for the challenge.
Thank you, Father, for opening our way to you, through Jesus and his Spirit.
We at St. Thomas’ are a little church, and like many others, we struggle to share your gospel with the local community.
But this strange time of lockdown has brought a change: In times of danger and sorrow people are moved to turn to God. (I’ve been surprised to hear media figures, who profess to have no faith, express indignation at the decision to close the churches!) People are looking at our website; a vast range of Christian support is available from many sources; and a recent poll found that 25% of people said they were accessing church services online.
We pray that you will give them a thirst for more, so that when this time is over, we may see a revival in church growth.
We pray for Jess our new vicar, that she may soon be with us, and we ask you to bless her as she leads us into the future.
Give wisdom to our government, as they cautiously relieve some of the lockdown rules. Give us patience to endure the remaining restrictions on our lives, and to find positive ways to use this time.
Strengthen and encourage all health workers, and those who keep essential services going, who have risen so heroically to the occasion. And help the scientists who are toiling to find vaccines and new treatments for the sick. We pray for those suffering with the virus, and also with other medical problems, whose treatment has been disrupted.
This crisis has pointed up much that is wrong with the world and society: we see the vital need for international co-operation, we realise how undervalued our low-paid workers have been, how reliant we are on the skills of migrant workers, not least in the NHS.
We dream of a time when this is all over, but we also pray, Lord, that the post-Corona world we build, will be one of greater justice and compassion, having reassessed the priorities of our lives.
Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
Affimation of faith
Do you believs and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist
We belive and trust in him
Do you believs and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again
We belive and trust in him
Do you believs and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God, and makes Christ known in the world
We belive and trust in him
This is the faith of the Church, we believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen
The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples saying:
Peace be with you.
Then they were glad when they saw the Lord
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.
Offertory hymn, Alleluia, sing to Jesus
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Alleluia, sing the 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 every nation
hath redeemed us by his blood.
Alleluia, not as orphans
are we left in sorrow now;
alleluia, 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 promised,
‘I am with you evermore’?
Alleluia, bread of angels,
thou on earth out 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 al the singles
sweep across the crystal sea.
Alleluia, King eternal,
thee the Lord of lords we own;
alleluia, born of May,
earth thy footstool, heaven thy throne,
thou within the veil hast entered,
robed in flesh, our great High Priest:
thou on earth both Priest and Victim
in the eucharistic feast.
William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898)
Easter Eucharistic prayer
The Lord is here
His Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
always and everywhere to give you thanks
almighty and eternal Father,
and in these days of Easter
to celebrate with joyful hearts
the memory of your wonderful works.
For by the mystery of his passion
Jesus Christ your risen Son,
has conquered the powers of death and hell
and restored in men and women the image of your glory.
He has placed us once more in paradise
and opened to them the gate of life eternal.
And so in the joy of this Passover,
earth and heaven resound with gladness,
while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation
sing for ever the hymn of your glory:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
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 he was betrayed,
took bread, and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to this 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 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.
Therefore heavenly Father,
we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
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,
Great is the mystery of faith:
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 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.
Through him, and with him, and in him,
In 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. Amen
Pause for reflection
The Lord’s Prayer
As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.
Breaking of the Bread
We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.
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.
The body of Christ Amen
The blood of Christ Amen
Post Communion Prayer
Eternal God, giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom:
confirm us in this mission,
and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Final Hymn The head that once was crowned with thorns
The head that once was crowned with thorns
is crowned with glory now:
a royal diadem adorns
the mighty Victor’s brow.
The highest place that heaven affords
is his, is his by right,
the King of kings, and Lord of lords,
and heaven’s eternal Light;
The joy of all who dwell above,
the joy of all below,
to whom he manifests his love,
and grants his name to know.
To them the cross, with all its shame,
with all its grace, is given:
their name, an everlasting name,
their joy, the joy of heaven.
They suffer with their Lord below
they reign with him above;
their profit and their joy to know
the mystery of his love.
The cross he bore is life and health,
though shame and death to him;
his people’s hope, his people’s wealth,
their everlasting theme.
Thomas Kelly (1769-1855)
Blessing and Dismissal
The God of peace, who brought again, from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ that great shepherd of the sheep, make you perfect in every good work to do his will.
The blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and always. Amen
Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord. In the name of Christ, Amen
Copyright: Some of this material is copyright Common worship Archbishop’s Council ©2000
Some of the text is copyright © 2015 Archbishop’s Council and Roots for Churches Ltd
© Roots for Churches Ltd adapted
Thought for the Week
How wonderful is God in His Holy places. The God of Israel giving strength and power to His people.
Prayers for the week
Please pray for those who live in these streets
The street where you live
Wilbury Hills Road
Hill Crest Park
The elderly, housebound, sick
The Hospice, local hospitals and health care services
You can now give online at https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/13156
Please encourage any you know who are worshipping with us online to support us financially at this difficult time
Please keep up your planned giving because we need to maintain our cashflow. Offertory envelopes can be dropped in to Sylvia, Shena or Peter but we are trying to avoid handling cash if possible. Could you consider giving by occasional cheque, or setting up a standing order or direct debit? The church and Wilbury Hall hires have ceased, so that income stream is gone! If you could spare a bit more, that would be great!