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          St Clement Church Community Sunday Service 31.10.21

 

Good morning to you all as we commemorate All Saints and All Souls, whether in your own home or our church building.  

In church we will be celebrating a Eucharist service which will differ slightly from our ‘normal’ All Saints and All Souls.

Due to possible covid transmission concerns we won’t be having folk coming up to the altar to light a votive candle in memory of a loved one, instead candles will be lit during the singing of the last hymn, and we will focus on them during the closing music. I suggest you might light a candle at home too?

May Christ’s love sustain you now and always. 

Much love and God Bless,

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

Father in heaven: we give thanks for the communion of saints, and we thank you that our loved ones who have gone before us now share in their witness.  May this be our comfort and support on our earthly pilgrimage, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Our prayers of Penitence

The lives of the saints encourage us to persevere as Christ’s followers, even though at times we may stumble on our journey.  Therefore let us confess those failings to almighty God:

When we falter in faith or perseverance….

Lord, have mercy.

When we lack courage or commitment….

Christ, have mercy.

 

When we fail to show forgiveness or humility….

Lord, have mercy.

 

May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our failings, and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Let us pray our Collect for today

God of holiness, your glory is proclaimed in every age: as we rejoice in the faith of your saints, may we follow their example with boldness and joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Hymn: NEH no. 63: All Ye Who Seek a Comfort Sure’ 
 

Readings:

Isaiah 25. 6-9

Revelation 21. 1-6a

 

Hymn: NEH no. 376:  I heard the voice of Jesus say.’

 

Gospel John 11.32 - 44

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 

He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ 

Jesus wept. 

So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’

Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, he has been dead for four days.’

 Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone.

And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ 

When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’

 

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

 

Reflection

Sermon on John 11-32-44 St Clement 2021

This Sunday, many church communities are commemorating All Saints Day. Here at St Clement, we follow our usual custom; we also commemorate All Souls, as this gives us the opportunity, united in solidarity and prayerful support of each other, to remember our departed loved ones, at rest with all the saints in glory.

Death, in modern society, is a difficult subject to talk about, but we shouldn’t try to ignore the inevitable.  We know life is precious, the frailty of our lives can be affected by illness, accident, or our span of years, and certainly the Covid19 pandemic brings its own fears too.  Fears that became a reality to our church community.

Life is very precious indeed.

He has died.  She is dead. Words we dread to hear.  Even if we’ve been waiting for such news, even if the person’s passing was expected, we’re still unprepared for the message those words bring.  

As a community, though we watched and waited for the news, we were in shock as grieved together over Martin’s death. 

How are we to cope when the hurt that comes with the death of a loved one hits us?  How can we deal with the pain, the emptiness, the questioning, the helplessness, and the yearning for things to be different?

Mary and Martha were struggling with such hurt after Lazarus died, especially as they’d sent a message to tell Jesus to come beforehand.

So there’s a tinge of rebuke in their words; “If you’d been here, Lord, my brother wouldn’t have died!”  And who can blame them for being upset. 

When Jesus sees the tears and the grief, he weeps with them. 

In fact the shortest verse in all the Bible is John 11.35; ‘Jesus wept’

Jesus weeps with Mary and Martha because he’s saddened at the power death has over his people and the terrible suffering it causes them.

He weeps because he knows the raising of Lazarus will be one of the causes leading to his own death, and he weeps because of the grief that will bring to the lives of those whom he loves, his own mother and the disciples.

But at Jesus’s command, Lazarus was reunited with his sisters and friends, their mourning was changed into joy and happiness.

At the time when this miracle happened, Jesus was on his last journey to Jerusalem. 

We know the rest of the story, Jesus was put to death, but his following resurrection is a sign to us of the glorious hope of eternal life, a life to look forward to with all the saints who have gone before.

There’s a tangible sense of peace when I officiate at the funeral of someone who has died trusting in Jesus’ power over death.

This was certainly the case at Martin’s funeral and following requiem mass, following his detailed instructions as much as possible to the letter!

Yes, we were sad, we felt an empty, helpless, deep sense of loss, but in our hour of need as we brought Martin into the cathedral we were reminded of our Lord and Saviour’s promise as I offered the words:

Jesus says; “Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die”.

So, with those words in mind, we can remember today our loved ones who have died to this earthy life with confidence, and we can celebrate shared times with them. 

And by remembering their stories and passing such memories on to the next generation, through us, our loved ones live on.  Our loved ones live on in us as they live on in God.

Martin’s memory will certainly live on here in this place won’t it, you’re a hard act to follow Martin!

And so thanks be to God this day for all the saints we remember, that great cloud of witnesses in the place where God has wiped away every tear from their eyes, as he does ours.  Amen.

 

 

Hymn: NEH no. 271:  ‘Alleluia Sing to Jesus.

 

 

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 Liz Davies

 

Let us pray in communion with all the saints on earth and in heaven, with the martyrs and the faithful in all ages.

Ever - living God, we are gathered as your family to praise your name and honour your holy ones. Rejoicing in your love for each one of us, we turn to you to hear and answer our prayers and the prayers which the saints offer on our behalf.

God of all Saints we ask that we be a holy church, a praying church, a giving church, a serving church. May the saints in heaven be an example for us all so that we may serve God in the way he wishes.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

God of Peace, we pray that those in authority may follow the example of the saints who worked for peace and love. Guide the leaders of all nations that justice may prevail throughout the world. Let not the needy be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor be taken away. Make us instruments of your peace and let your glory be over all the earth.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

God of Justice, keep us from being pre-occupied with money and worldly goods, and with trying to increase them at the expense of justice. Help us not to be ruthless with one another, and to eliminate the discord and violence that exists around us. Let us not be impatient under our own burdens and unconcerned about the burdens of others.

Make us thirst for you and actively spread your influence in our private lives and in society.

Grant that we may be quick to forgive and slow to condemn. Help us to make peace in our families, in our country and in the world.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

God of Communities, we pray for our community here in the Truro and St Clement area; for our church and its congregation. Enable us to do your will. Make us vulnerable that we may speak with calm humility. Make us outward looking that we may care deeply and make us a community of peacemakers and bridge builders.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

God of fellowship, we pray for our families and friends that you will be to them, all that they most deeply need. We thank you for the fellowship of your people here. May we as a family of your people be rooted and established in your love and come to know the extent of your grace as you dwell in us.

Lord, in your mercy  Hear our prayer

 

God of Healing, we bring to you those whose lives are darkened by pain, fear or weariness. Come to our aid; help us to bear what must be carried, and take from us all resentment and bitterness, replacing it with an abundance of peace. We remember all those who are housebound and lonely. We pray for all those who selflessly minister to the needs of others.  We especially, at this time, bring before you – Maureen, Ollie, Ken and Diane, Mo, Brian, Max, Margaret, Liz, Kirsten and the family, and in a moment of silence, all those who are known to us personally and those who have no one to pray for them.

Lord, in your mercy  Hear our prayer

 

God of Compassion, bring healing and hope to those who grieve. We bring before you all those who have gone before us, both recently and across the years. We remember today; Martin, Harold, Vincent, and all our loved ones lost from our earthly sight. May we always be aware of your compassion which calms our troubled hearts and shelters our anxious souls.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

 

 

God of Eternity, we thank you for all the saints – those recognised by the Church and those known only to a few, and to you. We praise you for their example and give thanks that they live in your heaven with every tear wiped away. In your mercy may all who have died in your friendship know your lasting peace.

 

Lord, as we go from church today,                                                                                                           May the light of God shine on us,                                                                                                              May the love of God shine in us,                                                                                                                                           May the light of the Spirit shine through us.

 

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Clement and St Andrew, and all the saints in heaven, merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord. 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: NEH no. 457: ‘The King of Love my Shepherd is.’

The Peace

We are fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God,

through Christ our Lord, who came and preached peace to those who were far off and those who were near.

May the peace of the Lord be always with us.           

 

Blessing

May God who has prepared for us a city with eternal foundations, give us grace to share the inheritance of the saints in glory; 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: 28th October 2021 4:37 PM