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Easter Holy Communion Podcast Sunday Worship Worship

Holy Communion for Easter 4

Listen to a service of Holy Communion for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, 25 April 2021, and take part in an act of Spiritual Communion

Hymn

I will sing the wondrous story
of the Christ who died for me,
how he left the realms of glory
for the cross on Calvary.
Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story
of the Christ who died for me —
sing it with his saints in glory,
gathered by the crystal sea.

I was lost but Jesus found me,
found the sheep that went astray,
raised me up and gently led me
back into the narrow way.
Days of darkness still may meet me,
sorrow’s path I oft may tread;
but his presence still is with me,
by his guiding hand I’m led.

Francis Harold Rowley (1854–1952)

The Gathering

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia

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.
Amen.

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.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.
Amen.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis

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

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading
Acts 4.5-12

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

The Jewish rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.

When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is “the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.” There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

He revives my soul
and guides me along right pathways for his name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil; for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

Second Reading
1 John 3.16-24

A reading from the first letter of John.

We know love by this, that the Son of God laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.

And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask,
because we obey his commandments and do what pleases God.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading
John 10.11-18

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

‘The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away – and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.

‘I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.

‘I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

‘For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

The Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God, who sent his Son to be the great Shepherd of his sheep.

Grant that the Church of Christ, assured that there is no other name given under heaven for salvation, may show forth his love in word and deed. We pray for our Bishops and pastors, that they may be faithful shepherds to those entrusted to their care.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Draw the peoples of the world into the fold of your love, that they may love one another and cease from conflict and strife. Defend them from false teachers and all that would lead them astray.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Bless our homes with the spirit of your love so that we and our families may live in Christ and he in us.  May he always be the true door of our going out and our coming in.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Be merciful to those have been betrayed by those they trusted. Comfort and relieve those who feel deserted and abandoned. We pray for those who are sick in body, mind and spirit. Lord, may they know the wonder of your healing touch, and may those who care for them be inspired by your example of love and service.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

We remember those who have departed this life in the faith of Jesus Christ, and those whose faith was known to God alone. May Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for his sheep, receive the departed into the good pastures of heaven. In his saving name, grant them eternal joy.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

With awe and reverence but in confidence, we offer our prayers.

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

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples
and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
Then were they glad when they saw the Lord. Alleluia.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
Alleluia, alleluia.
And also with you.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Hymn

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.

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!
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.

Thomas O. Chisholm (1866–1960)

Preparation of the Table

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness
we have this bread to set before you,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness
we have this wine to set before you,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become for us the cup of salvation.
Blessed be God for ever.

The 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 right to give thanks and praise.

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 them 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.

We praise and bless you, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord;
and as we obey his command,
send your Holy Spirit,
that broken bread and wine outpoured
may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.

On the night before he died he had supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he praised you.
He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.
Again he praised you, gave it to them and said:
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.

So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,
in him we plead with confidence his sacrifice
made once for all upon the cross.

Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,
we proclaim his death and resurrection
until he comes in glory.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

Lord of all life,
help us to work together for that day
when your kingdom comes
and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.

Look with favour on your people,
gather us in your loving arms
and bring us with all the saints
to feast at your table in heaven.

Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory are yours, O loving Father,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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.

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.

The Agnus Dei

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

Jesus is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
Blessed are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

Today communion is received for and on behalf of all who are participating in this service. This is a time when you are invited to make your own Spiritual Communion.

Hymn

In heavenly love abiding,
no change my heart shall fear;
and safe is such confiding,
for nothing changes here:
the storm may roar without me,
my heart may low be laid;
but God is round about me,
and can I be dismayed?

Wherever he may guide me,
no want shall turn me back;
my Shepherd is beside me,
and nothing can I lack:
his wisdom ever waketh,
his sight is never dim,
he knows the way he taketh,
and I will walk with him.

Green pastures are before me,
which yet I have not seen;
bright skies will soon be o’er me,
where darkest clouds have been;
my hope I cannot measure,
my path to life is free;
my Saviour has my treasure,
and he will walk with me.

Anna Laetitia Waring (1823–1910)

Prayer after Communion

Merciful Father,
you gave your Son Jesus Christ
to be the good shepherd,
and in his love for us
to lay down his life and rise again:
keep us always under his protection,
and give us grace to follow in his steps;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Generous God,
you have fed us at your heavenly table.
Set us on fire with your Spirit
that when Christ comes again
we may shine like lights before his face,
who with you and the Spirit lives for ever.
Amen.

Blessing and Dismissal

The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight:
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen.

Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

Hymn

Now thank we all our God
with hearts and hands and voices,
who wondrous things hath done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mother’s arms
hath blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessèd peace to cheer us;
and keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son, and him who reigns
with them in highest heaven,
the one eternal God,
whom earth and heaven adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Nun danket alle Gott
Martin Rinkart (1586–1649)
translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827–1878)