Holy Communion for the Feast of Christ the King

Listen to or read a service of Holy Communion for the Feast of Christ the King, Sunday 22 November 2020, and take part in an act of Spiritual Communion


Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King.
The heavens are not too high,
his praise may thither fly:
the earth is not too low,
his praises there may grow.
Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King.

Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King.
The church with psalms must shout,
no door can keep them out;
but above all the heart
must bear the longest part.
Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King.

George Herbert (1593–1633)

The Gathering and Greeting

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

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

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

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’ 
So let us turn away from sin and turn to Christ, 
confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

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. 

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. 

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. 


Let us pray.

Eternal Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven
that he might rule over all things as Lord and King:
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet;
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

First Reading: 
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

A reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel. 

Thus says the Lord GOD: 

I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. 

I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. 

Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 

I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.    

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

Responsorial Psalm: 
Psalm 100

We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; 
serve the Lord with gladness 
and come before his presence with a song. 
Know this: The Lord himself is God; 
he himself has made us and we are his; 
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. 
We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; 
go into his courts with praise; 
give thanks to him and call upon his name. 
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; 
and his faithfulness endures from age to age. 
We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Second Reading: 
Ephesians 1:15-23

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians. 

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power 
for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 

God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

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

Gospel Reading: 
Matthew 25:31-46

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

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 

‘Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” 

‘Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

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


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. 

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God, King of heaven and Lord of all the world.

Bless the Church, the Body of Christ, and make her worthy to claim him as her head. Guide your ministers to be good shepherds of their flocks, faithful in word and works.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Spread through the world the spirit of love and care. Bless those who work to relieve suffering. May all the nations acknowledge Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Inspire our community with concern for those in need. Help us to spread to our neighbours and those with whom we work the good news of Christ as Lord.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Have mercy on all who are in want of food or drink or clothing, the sick and those in prison. Through human hands, bring them the relief that comes from your love and power.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We remember those who have been called from this world to be with Christ. By his kingship of the living and the dead, grant them rest.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

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

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

To crown all things there must be love, 
to bind all together and complete the whole. 
Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.


Christ triumphant, ever reigning,
Saviour, Master, King!
Lord of heaven, our lives sustaining,
hear us as we sing:
Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, the eternal name.

Priestly king, enthroned for ever
high in heaven above!
sin and death and hell shall never
stifle hymns of love:
Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, the eternal name.

So, our hearts and voices raising
through the ages long,
ceaselessly upon you gazing,
this shall be our song:
Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, the eternal name.

Michael Saward (b. 1932)

Prayers at the 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, 
holy Father, almighty and eternal God. 

For with the oil of gladness 
you have anointed Christ the Lord, your only Son, 
to be our great high priest and king of all creation. 

As priest, he offered himself once for all upon the altar of the cross 
and redeemed the human race by this perfect sacrifice of peace. 

As king he claims dominion over all your creatures, 
that he may bring before your infinite majesty 
a kingdom of truth and life, 
a kingdom of holiness and grace, 
a kingdom of justice, love and peace. 

And so with angels and archangels 
and all the heavenly host, 
we proclaim your glory 
and join in their unending hymn of praise:

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

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.  

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 the 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.


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.

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)

Prayer after Communion

Let us pray.

Stir up, O Lord,
the wills of your faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,
may by you be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Almighty God, 
we thank you for feeding us 
with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ. 
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies 
to be a living sacrifice. 
Send us out 
in the power of your Spirit 
to live and work 
to your praise and glory. 

The Blessing and Dismissal

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, 
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, 
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; 
and the blessing of God almighty, 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 
be among you and remain with you always

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. 
In the name of Christ. Amen.