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               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we commemorate Mothering Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Lent.  Traditionally this day is also known as Refreshment Sunday, to enable those fasting to take a break of the rigours of Lent, does this give me a legitimate excuse to indulge in chocolate I wonder, I hope so as I’m beginning to run out of them……

We shall be celebrating a Eucharist in Church, this Service of the Word is if you are unable to worship with us in person.

May Christ’s love sustain you always.

Much love to you all,

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

God of love, passionate and strong, tender and careful: watch over us and hold us all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Amen.

 

Hymn; ‘Let all the world in every corner sing’

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

Listen to God’s commandment:

‘Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long.’ (Exod. 20:12)

Today, we remember how we often fail to give enough respect or attention to those we love…

Let us confess such sins to God:

Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  

we confess we have sinned in thought and word and deed.

We have not loved you with our whole heart.

We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

In your mercy forgive what we have been,

Help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, our God.  Amen.

 

May Almighty God, have mercy upon us, forgive us our sins,

and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

 

Let us pray our Collect for today

God of compassion, whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary, shared the life of a home in Nazareth, and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself: strengthen us in our daily living that in joy and sorrow we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

Old Testament Reading: Exodus 2.1-10

New Testament Reading: 2 Corinthians 1.3-7

 

Hymn; ‘Ye Holy Angels bright’

 

Gospel: John 19. 25b-27

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. 

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.The Gospel According to

John

The Word Became Flesh

This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)

 

 

Reflection
Today, the 4th Sunday of Lent, we celebrate Mothering Sunday. 

Right then, let's start with some basic dictionary definitions. 

What is a mother?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a mother is:

‘A term of address for an elderly woman of the lower class’

How about: ‘the Head of a Religious Community’

‘A quality or condition which gives rise to another’, as in; 'necessity is the mother of invention'

Or – I like this one, ‘Artificial Mother’:  ‘An apparatus for rearing chickens’

Of course we've all heard the word ‘Mother’ used in various contexts haven't we.  The House of Commons is sometimes referred to as 'the Mother of Parliaments'.  For our Roman Catholic friends, St Peter's in Rome is sometimes referred to as; 'the Mother Church'.  And the military have an annoying habit of referring to fighting as; 'the Mother of all battles'.

But of course, the most usual use of the word is the one we give to our Mums...to those who gave birth to us, and or who brought us up in the world.

True motherhood though, is much more than the biological function of bringing new life into the world.  That part of motherhood is hard, no doubt, after all, from what I remember, it’s painful to give birth.  But, as any mother will tell you - it's after the birth that the real work of mothering begins.

Real mothering takes time, devotion, and skill.  And mothers have to learn those skills along the way - often by trial and error.  In fact it’s easy to tell new mothers from more experienced ones - especially by the way they relate to their children.

Apparently, when you have your first baby, you spend a great deal of time just gazing at him or her, astounded at producing something so beautiful.

When you have your second child, you spend a good part of everyday just making sure that your first child isn't hitting, poking or squeezing the new baby.

When you have your third child, you spend precious moments of every day hiding from all the children!

There are other signs of an experienced mother too, for instance, you know you've become a mother when you go out for a romantic meal with your husband, and then reach over and start cutting up his dinner. 

But let's face it, not every mother is successful.  In fact, in these days of fractured or highly mobile families, it’s not unusual for a young mum to find herself bringing up a child, all alone, with no other family members around.  Even in this area I know of some young women who are isolated beyond belief, for many, motherhood becomes an almost prison-like experience.

The other uncomfortable fact is that some people just shouldn't be mothers.  Too many children grow up in homes that are unloving, or where one parent or the other suffers from addictions to drugs or alcohol. 

Some parents are violent towards their children, others don’t realise that just sticking a child in front of a TV all day isn’t good either.

So, before we become too depressed by this, Mothering Sunday should inspire us to enlarge our vision of what 'mothering' is. 

Mothering is something that the whole of society should be involved with, because it’s too important to be left to mothers alone. 

Not so long ago...in fact within the memories of most of us here, whole villages or towns were involved in bringing up children.  It was perfectly natural for any adult who saw a child mis-behaving to chastise them. 

Adults from across the community ran the scouts and guides and youth clubs,  but less adults are willing to volunteer nowadays, and you can’t blame them, the rules and regulations of our modern society mean that many activities run for children now can only happen if parents stay in the room, or at the side of the pitch.  And the danger of this protection can be that children’s vision of life is reduced.

For children who are taken to school in the safety of Mum or Dad's car, and watched 24/7, the world becomes a place to be protected from, rather than to be experienced and enjoyed for all its beauty, challenge, and yes, even danger sometimes.

For Jesus, the bonds of family were important.  In fact, they were so important that when he hung on the cross, one of the things most clearly on his mind was the long-term care of his Mother.

Mothering is an important part of our Christian community, we are called by Christ, to serve and 'mother' the rest of the world. 

To those who are sick, or hungry, or homeless, Christ says, effectively, ‘Mother them’. Christ uses a mothering metaphor of himself, when he says; ‘How long have I desired to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings’.

 

 

So for the Church, Mothering Sunday has never been just 'Mother's Day,’ because motherhood needs to be understood as a calling that every Christian - man or woman - shares...a calling to 'mother' a world which is in need of wisdom and upbringing.

And that is surely what we are called to do here; our church is called to act like a mother to those around us. 

A good mother imparts knowledge, inspires their child to become the best human being they can become.  A good mother feeds and comforts her child.  A good mother sits beside the bed of a child who is suffering, and prays for them. 

All of us are called to be that kind of mother to the people of our community.  By our teaching of the Gospel, by our prayers for the sick and the suffering, by our keeping in touch with the lonely, by such events as our newly restarted coffee mornings, we are called to act as a mother to the wider family of the people here.

So here's my prayer for our church, and for our parish:  may we discover the fullness of motherhood revealed to us through the example of Christ.  May we know the joy and fulfilment which comes from sharing God's motherly love to more than just our own families, but to whoever and wherever Christ calls us. Amen

 

Hymn; ‘Love Divine’

 

Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist. 

We believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again. 

We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world. 

This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

Our Intercessions this week are written by Daphne Hawkins

Most Holy, merciful and loving God, we pray that you will be among us this beautiful spring morning, Mothering Sunday, a very special day.                                                         We thank you for the quiet rest of the night that has passed, for the promise that this morning has brought and the hope of this new day.

We pray for our church, our diocese and the world-wide church, our bishops, priests and church leaders, those in authority where the tasks and challenges ahead are difficult and demanding. Please guide them in their decisions, give them strength and commitment to protect and promote our church and our faith.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

Dear Lord, we bring to you the dear people of the Ukraine. The violence, pain and destruction they are enduring is unbelievable.                                                                             Give our leaders, aid agencies and those involved in helping these homeless, displaced and suffering people the strength and commitment to do as much as possible to help in whatever way we can to ease their pain and bring them to hope. Lord, may those in power and authority work to bring this conflict to an early end.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

We pray for our community, for the work done here to help those around us in need; the ever-open door at St Clement that welcomes all who come to pray and find solace in this church.

We pray for Reverend Diane and her family. Be with her Lord, give her health and strength in her endless commitment and duty to our church congregation and to the much wider community she so diligently cares for.  We remember in our prayers our most loved and respected Queen.                                               Lord, give her strength in this jubilee year to enjoy and partake, when she can, in the celebrations of her long and successful reign.                                                                         We pray for the whole royal family and the love and support they give her in carrying out so many duties each day.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

Dear Lord, in our world of pain, war, hatred and suffering, we come to you in great need. Our brothers and sisters of whatever colour, race or creed are suffering warfare, homelessness, hunger, poverty, hatred and injustice; little children and the vulnerable with no future or hope.                                                                                 May all world leaders work to put an end to this conflict and pledge to do all they can for the people they represent.                                                                                                       May peace return to Ukraine and may they re-build their homes and their lives. May we all do our best for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Lord, in your mercy  Hear our prayer

 

Lord, we bring to you all who are sick in body, mind or spirit.                                                             We remember: Ken, Margaret, Ollie, Brian, Sandra, Sally, Gavin, Paul and Jan, and those unknown to us with no one to love, care or pray for them.  Please lay your healing hands on them, Lord. Give them comfort, peace and hope and be with them always.

We pray that those whose earthly journey has ended are with you at rest and at peace together with those we love but see no more.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

We pray for mothers everywhere. May today be a day of joy and happiness; families together united in friendship and love.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, we commend ourselves and all Christians to your unfailing love.

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

 

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus 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.

 

Hymn; ‘Tell out my Soul’

 

The Peace

‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name’ says the Lord,

 ‘I am there among them’

May the peace of God be always with us.  Amen.

 

Blessing

May Christ give us grace to grow in holiness, to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him; and may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, those whom we love, and remain with us always. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 24th March 2022 9:30 AM