Fifth Sunday in Lent – 21st March 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
HYMN: Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle, Sing the ending of the fray,
Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
Sing the ending of the fray,
O’er the cross, the victor’s trophy,
Sound the loud triumphant lay:
Tell how Christ, the world’s Redeemer,
As a victim won the day.
Therefore when the appointed fullness
Of the holy time was come,
He was sent who maketh all things
Forth from God’s eternal home:
Thus he came to earth, incarnate,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
To the Trinity be glory,
To the Father and the Son,
With the co-eternal Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One,
One in love and one in splendour,
While unending ages run. 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 God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
THE FIRST READING
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
Thanks be to God.
Miserere mei, Deus
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *
in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, *
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you only have I sinned *
and done what is evil in your sight.
5 And so you are justified when you speak *
and upright in your judgment.
6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
a sinner from my mother’s womb.
7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
that the body you have broken may rejoice.
10 Hide your face from my sins *
and blot out all my iniquities.
11 Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
12 Cast me not away from your presence *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
13 Give me the joy of your saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
In quo corrigit?
9 How shall a young man cleanse his way? *
By keeping to your words.
10 With my whole heart I seek you; *
let me not stray from your commandments.
11 I treasure your promise in my heart, *
that I may not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord; *
instruct me in your statutes.
13 With my lips will I recite *
all the judgments of your mouth.
14 I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees *
than in all manner of riches.
15 I will meditate on your commandments *
and give attention to your ways.
16 My delight is in your statutes; *
I will not forget your word.
THE SECOND READING
Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;
as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.”
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
Thanks be to God
All stand for the Acclamation and Gospel reading.
Glory to you, O Christ, you who are the Word of God!
If a man serves me, says the Lord, he must follow me;
Wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
Glory to you, O Christ, you who are the Word of God!
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to:
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
After the Gospel reading
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
In our gospel reading for today, we gain a glimpse of Jesus reacting with two of his disciples. Philip and Andrew came to tell him that some Greeks had arrived, asking to see him. As he so often did, Jesus answered indirectly. He didn’t say, “Send them away” or “Fine – let them come in.” Instead, he took the moment to teach – to lay out a reality that his followers needed to understand. It was as if Jesus were saying, “Oh, they want to see me, do they? So then, I will let them see what I am all about. I will let them know what God is doing.”
His reply to Phillip and Andrew indicated his readiness for what he well knew would be his final days, and the climatic encounter between the ways of the world and the way of God. He said that it was time for him to reveal what all humankind would see about him, and his role in the divine drama. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
This must have both elated and excited his disciples, and also the Greeks, if they heard him, because they surely thought that by being “glorified”, Jesus meant he would make all things well. Having recently experienced Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, perhaps they thought he would work even greater wonders, and bring an end to their difficulties in life. Or, maybe, they were thinking about one of the traditional expectations of how the Messiah would restore Israel – by a glorious military victory. Maybe they thought he meant it was time for him to prevail over all of the kingdoms of this world, whose leaders would cower before his conquering feet.
Any such euphoria, however, would have been short-lived. It was a different kind of wonder that would be revealed, a different kind of conquest that Jesus had in mind – the conquest of the cross. Jesus immediately began to lay out the hard truth of what lay ahead. In a similar way, as we worship, just one week away from Palm Sunday, our gospel reading lets us see what lies ahead for us in making the Holy Week journey.
Jesus used a parable to explain how not only Greeks, but everyone would see him. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” A seed, by itself, is only a small piece of matter. If eaten, it provides a little bit of nourishment. If left in the blazing sun, it can dry up and lose its value. If sealed in a jar, it can remain viable for centuries. But even then, it is only potentially powerful. But if it is buried, and dies beyond its present condition, it can release allthat is contained within – the very nature and substance of a whole stalk of ripened wheat!
His own death and resurrection would be the vehicle, through which not only his disciples and curious Greeks, but all humankind, could see Jesus – truly see what he was all about. It was by dying, that the power of God contained in Jesus would be fully released. By “glorified,” Jesus meant “crucified.” Jesus was saying that only by his death could true life come. Just as a grain of wheat, remaining unfruitful in the protective security of a barn, can only release its power by being buried, and dying to what it has been.
Making sure there would be no mistaking the stark reality of what he meant, Jesus added this amplification to the parable: “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal joy and felicity.” So, what was true for Jesus, he said, was also true for his followers. Those who would truly see him would know, that only by their death to the values of the world, could they gain true life. The Christian reality is that only in dying to self can the power of God be embraced and released. Jesus laid out this model, not just for the disciples to see but also to emulate. He said, “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.”
Often, in the course of human experiences – those of past centuries as well as current times – this truth has more than amply proved itself. When concerned and committed people are prepared to die for their cause, much can be achieved. It was by the deaths of the courageous faithful that Christianity first grew. This is summed up in a well-known phrase by Tertullian, a Christian writer in the first century: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
Often, people become of real use to God by burying their own goals and desires. Think about the saints. Think about your personal heroes. Aren’t they the ones who put aside personal safety and security, for the sake of others? Haven’t they abandoned selfish gain, and the advancement of personal need, to meet the needs of others? Whenever the world gains spiritual health, it often owes such a condition to those who spend their strength, and give themselves away to God, and to others.
In today’s gospel then, Jesus lets us see an initial view of him as the prototype – the perfect example – of the kind of risk-filled living that love of God requires. The world teaches that we will live longer and prosper more if we watch out for ourselves, if we are careful and avoid risk, if we remain in our homes, safe and secure. Jesus on the other hand teaches that by so doing, we may live longer or in greater comfort, but we will not live as well. He helps us see that real living – genuine, meaningful living – involves much more.
Only by spending our lives, he says, can we keep our true lives. Jesus calls us into a “give-it-away” faith. He calls us into a realm, not of our ordinary world, but into one that stands in sharp contrast – the world of God. Jesus calls us beyond the common, selfishgoals of false security. He calls us to see him – to see his vision – a new view of life, a life of meaning and of glory.
Unlike his fellow Jews, Jesus viewed glory not as the acquisition of power, or the ability to control their own destiny, after centuries of foreign rule, but he looked at glory as the ability to serve others for a greater purpose. In the encounter of today’s gospel, he taught that only dying to self can bring forth the kind of redeemed life God has in store for us; only by spending life can we retain it. Only in this context can we do what the Greeks hoped to do – see Jesus for what he is for the world. Only in the context of dying to self and living in God, can we see the essential Jesus. Only in this way can we see him for what he really is – the living image of God.
As we move rapidly now towards Holy Week, we would do well to come, as the Greeks before the Lord – asking to see Jesus – to discover just what he is all about. As we witness the ultimate example that he provides, we can follow him into a life of truemeaning, and become utterly transformed by what we see. Amen
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:
Prayers of intercession are now said and at the end of each prayer the priest says:
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord hear us,
Lord graciously hear us
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.
Jesus said: Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
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
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: We sing the praise of him who died, Of him who died upon the Cross;
Glory be to Jesus,
Who, in bitter pains,
Poured for me the life-blood
From his sacred veins.
Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blest be his compassion,
Blest though endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torment
Doth the world redeem.
Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Hell with terror trembles,
Heaven is filled with joy.
Lift ye then your voices,
Swell the mighty flood;
Louder still and louder
Praise the precious Blood.
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
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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.
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.
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: There’s a wideness in God’s mercy Like the wideness of the sea;
My song is love unknown,
My saviour’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O, who am I, That for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?
He came from his blest throne,
Salvation to bestow:
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know.
But O, my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need his life did spend!
Sometimes they strew his way,
And his sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King.
Then ‘Crucify!’ is all their breath,
And for his death they thirst and cry.
Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King,
Never was grief like thine!
This is my Friend, in whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.
NOTE: The introductory music is Trio Sonata No.3 (2nd Movement) BWV 327 – JS BACH
Here is the music for this week’s hymns, if you would like to practice beforehand.
Performed by Fr. David Price