Second Sunday of Easter – 11th April 2021
ORDER OF SERVICE
You can click to expand or minimise the order of service below.
All are requested to join in wherever text is GREEN
Where the ✝ is shown, all are encouraged to make the sign of the cross.
Where the ✊ is shown all are encouraged to strike their breast with a closed hand following the actions of Fr. David.
Where the ✋ is shown all are encouraged to tap their breast with an open hand following the actions of Fr. David.
HYMN: Ye choirs of new Jerusalem, Your sweetest notes employ.
Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,
Your sweetest notes employ.
The Pascal victory to hymn
In strains of holy joy
How Judah’s Lion burst his chains,
And crushed the serpent’s head;
And brought with him, from death’s domains,
The long-imprisoned dead.
Triumphant in his glory now
His sceptre ruleth all,
Earth, heaven and hell before him bow.
And at his footstool fall.
All glory to the Father be,
All glory to the Son,
All glory, Holy Ghost, to thee,
While endless ages run. Alleluia! Amen.
BLESSED BE GOD: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. ✝
And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen
From Easter to Pentecost:
Allelulia. Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia
In Lent and other penitential occasions:
Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins;
His mercy endures for ever.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, to whom all hearts be 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.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
This prayer is omitted during Lent and Advent:
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s 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.
Holy God, holy and mighty ✝, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
THE FIRST READING
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles:
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God
Ecce, quam bonum!
1 Oh, how good and pleasant it is, *
when brethren live together in unity!
2 It is like fine oil upon the head *
that runs down upon the beard,
3 Upon the beard of Aaron, *
and runs down upon the collar of his robe.
4 It is like the dew of Hermon *
that falls upon the hills of Zion.
5 For there the Lord has ordained the blessing: *
life for evermore.
THE SECOND READING
A reading from the book of 1 John
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life– this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us– we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Thanks be to God
All stand for the Acclamation and Gospel reading.
Jesus said: ‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe’.
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to:
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
After the Gospel reading
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
Have you ever have a bad weekend? Just think what kind of weekend the apostles had on that first Easter. They must have been suffering from a severe dose of depression following on from the events of Good Friday. Jesus was dead. The crowd that welcomed him with palms as he entered Jerusalem turned against him that Good Friday morning, calling for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus. The apostles, now afraid of the crowd, had shut themselves in for their own protection as we heard in the Gospel. There were ten of them gathered in this nervous state; Judas was no more and Thomas was temporarily absent. Jesus suddenly came into their midst with his healing, “Peace be with you,” and how much better they must have felt now, easing their shock and doubts. That was Easter Sunday evening; the crisis was over, but what a long three days it had been since that Friday morning.
Thomas then returns, and they tell him Jesus is alive– “We have seen him!” Jesus came into the room, despite the fact that the doors were all locked. Thomas thinks this is simply adding insult to injury. You can imagine what he might well have said to them. “You saw his body when it was taken down from the cross. You know he was not breathing. You know there was no blood left in his body; you know his heart had been pierced with the soldier’s lance. You are all raving. It’s getting to you. Get a grip on yourselves!” We heard in our Gospel that Thomas demanded proof, “Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into them, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.”
What has happened now? Suddenly there is division among the apostles. Ten of them know Jesus is alive. The eleventh, Thomas, is stubborn and refuses to believe. Thomas does not have faith yet, and he is relying on reason alone, but when he will see Jesus later that week, he will believe and so faith and reason will be perfectly aligned. The division among the apostles is like the division in any family between those who have faith and reason in perfectharmony, and those whose faith and reason are out of kilter. If Thomas had been sufficiently sensitive, he would surely have noticed that ‘the ten’ have great peace now; they are not remotely in the same state of mind as when he had gone out earlier. But Thomas considers himself a big, strong, macho man. He has no time for what he thinks is silly, sissy stuff. He wants scientific proof for God and fails to realise that there does not have to be any conflict between faith and science, or between faith and reason. Thomas has yet to learn that faith and logic are meant to be in harmony. The following Sunday Jesus came again to them all, even though once again the doors were closed and bolted. As on the previous occasion, Jesus wished them peace and provided Thomas with the proof that his reason and logic, and desire for a scientific answer needed. “Put your finger here: look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.” Thomas is immediately shamed, and replies, “My Lord and my God.” Now faith and reason are perfectly aligned in Thomas, now that he has actually seen Jesus. Seeing is indeed believing!
Relying only on reason and logic alone had closed Thomas’ mind to Jesus’ resurrection. His independence, his pride, his wish to be master of his own life, wanting control of his own destiny instead of allowing faith to be in harmony with reason meant that he wasted a whole week, and shut Jesus out of his life. All it takes to meet Jesus is to allow our reason to work together with our faith. So we make that act of faith in God. Surrender into the hands of a loving God. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain. A chant about trust in God goes like this, “Trust, surrender, believe, receive.” The last word is “receive.” If you trust, surrender and believe, you will receive. When Thomas saw the risen Jesus on that Sunday after Easter, he trusted, surrendered and believed. Then he received Jesus. It is the same with each of us. Trust in Jesus – surrender, believe, and you will receive a joy that you will not get from anything, or anybody else. If we are not happy, it may well be because you and I have gone away from God. Thomas had wasted a week – we do not want to waste a whole lifetime. If you haven’t yet met the risen Lord, roll away the stone to meet Jesus. Allow faith to work together in harmony with your reason and logic.
I don’t know about each and every one of you, but I’ve always felt somewhat sorry for Thomas, and had more than just a sneaking sympathy with him. Are we too in danger of becoming ‘doubters’; do we always require proof of everything? There is all the difference in the world between something which will stand up to scientific scrutiny, and something else, which to some degree defies logic, but yet there is clear reason to suppose that it might well be so. That is the essential difference between fact and faith. As Christians we are constantly being required to make this ‘leap of faith’. It all comes down to putting our total trust in God and his power to save. As Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen me; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Living, as we do, over 2,000 years since Our Lord walked this earth, none of us has seen with our own eyes. The road will only take us so far before there is a bit missing and we have to have the courage to leap over the gap. Are we all, each and every one of us, brave enough to make this leap of faith, trusting that God will not allow us either to fall, or fail. Back in my days as a schoolmaster, I used to subject children who were willing to ‘the faith test’, in that I would stand a couple of feet behind one of them, and then ask him or her simply to lean back on their heels and fall backwards, trusting that I would catch them under the arms and not allow them to fall. Fortunately, and encouragingly, a good number were able to summon up the necessary courage and bring themselves to dothis, but not without moments of doubt and uncertainty along the way. God is waiting in a similar manner to catch us, if only we are brave enough to trust him – let us pray that each and everyone of us will have that faith.
THE NICENE CREED
Please stand for the Nicene Creed.
Let us together affirm the faith of the Church. ✝
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 of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and became truly human.
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.
Let us pray for the world and for the Church:
At the conclusion of the prayers the priest says:
Almighty God, who has promised to hear our prayers.
Grant that what we have asked in faith we may by your grace receive, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy, welcoming sinners and inviting them to the Lord’s table.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, confident in God’s forgiveness.
Merciful God, our maker and our judge, we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do: we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves; we repent and are sorry ✊ for all ✊ our sins ✊, Father forgive us, strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
**(Note: all are encouraged to strike their breast 3 times following the lead of Fr. David as he utters the words: ‘sorry for all our sins’)**
Almighty God, who has promised forgiveness to all who turn to him in faith, pardon you ✝ and set you free from all your sins, strengthen you in all goodness and keep you in eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The congregation stands.
We are the Body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.
Please greet each other with a sign of peace.
HYMN: Jesus lives! Thy terrors now Can, O Death, no more appal us
Jesus lives! Thy terrors now
Can, O Death, no more appal us;
Jesus lives! By this we know
Thou, o grave, canst not enthral us.
Jesus lives, henceforth is death
But the gate of life immortal;
This shall calm our trembling breath,
When we pass its gloomy portal.
Jesus lives! Our hearts know well
Nought from us his love shall sever;
Life, nor death, nor powers of hell
Tear us from his keeping ever.
Jesus lives! To him the throne
Over all the world is given;
May we go where he is gone,
Rest and reign with him in heaven.
Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and the service of your kingdom.
Blessed be God forever.
Let us pray
We do not presume to come to your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table, but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of your dear son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us. Amen.
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER C
CLICK HERE FOR EUCHARISTIC PRAYER
The Lord be with you.
and also with you.
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.
Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word, through whom you have created all things; who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour.
By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh; as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin, he lived on earth and went about among us; he opened wide his arms for us on the cross; he put an end to death by dying for us; and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life; so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.
Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:
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.
Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his 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; he gave it to them, 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.
Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.
And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice, made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.
As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of [N and] all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.
Let us pray with confidence to the Father, 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.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. ✋
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.✋
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.✋
**(Note: All are encouraged to tap their breast three times following the example of Fr. David as he utters the words ‘…have mercy, …have mercy and …grant us peace’)**
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.
This is the Lamb of God ✝, who takes away the sins of the world;
Happy 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.
**(Note: All are encouraged to strike breast following the example of Fr. David as all utter the words ‘not worthy’)**
After Communion the celebrant and the congregation say
Let us pray.
Father of all we give you thanks and praise that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us in this hope that we have grasped; so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name.
Father, we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Lord. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.
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 amongst you and remain with you always.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
HYMN: Love’s redeeming work is done; Fought the fight, the battle won:
Love’s redeeming work is done;
Fought the fight, the battle won:
Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er!
Lo, he sets in blood no more!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal,
Christ hath burst the gates of hell;
Death in vain forbids his rise;
Christ has opened Paradise.
Lives again our glorious King;
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying once, he all doth save;
Where thy victory, O grave?
Soar we now where Christ has led,
Following our exalted Head;
Made like him, like him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to thee by both be given:
Thee we greet triumphant now;
Hail, the Resurrection thou!
NOTE: The introductory music is Chorale Prelude, ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’ (BWV 625) – Bach
Here is the music for this week’s hymns, if you would like to practice beforehand.
Performed by Fr. David Price