St Clement Church Community Easter Sunday Service

                                MC900155368[1]

                                   

               St Clement Church Community Easter Day Service

 

 

Good morning to you all.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

We will truly be celebrating Easter in our church building on Sunday, this service of the Word is for you to read at home if you are unable to be with us.  Together, whether in person or not, today we worship our risen Lord and reflect on the wonder of the Easter message.

Much love and God Bless.

Rev Di and family xx

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Through him we have come to trust in God who raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory, so that our faith and hope are set on God.      

 

 

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus Christ, risen from death to life in the father’s love,

raise us to share in new life, that we may know your presence among us now, and serve you in the power of the Spirit. Amen.

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

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.”                                      

This Easter Day we bring our fears and failings to the risen Christ:

 

When we are faced with a challenge, but regress into old attitudes,

Lord, have mercy. 

 

When we allow past hurts to undermine our present relationships,

Christ, have mercy.  

 

When we face these difficult times, but fail to trust in your loving purposes,

Lord, have mercy. 

 

When we look inwards to our selfish concerns rather than outwards to a world in need,

Christ, have mercy. 

 

When we are agents of gloom rather than messengers of hope,

Lord, have mercy. 

 

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

 

 

Let us pray our Collect for Easter Day

God of glory, by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell: fill your Church with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Old Testament Reading: Acts 10. 34-43

New Testament Reading: 1 Cor. 15. 1-11

 

Gospel: John 20. 1-18

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’

Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb.

The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’

When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’

Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.“’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

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

 

 

Our Reflection is written by Elizabeth Davies

Jesus Christ is Risen today – Alleluia!

Unlike those who were the first to the tomb on the first Easter Day, we know the significance of its emptiness. Unlike them, our reaction is, or should be, to give praise and thanks for the Risen Christ.

In John’s account of the first Easter Day, Mary Magdalen is the first to make her way to the tomb ‘while it is still dark.’

Darkness still engulfs everything. Darkness still envelops the tomb and darkness still encompasses the disciples and friends of Jesus. It is still dark even though the LIGHT is already shining.   Mary has been supremely devoted to Jesus ever since He cast out seven demons from her. On arriving at the tomb, she finds the entrance stone rolled back, and immediately assumes that the tomb is empty.  Her first reaction is to turn and run to tell Peter, and the disciple whom Jesus loved, that the body of Jesus has disappeared. We can only imagine the shock they feel when they hear Mary’s announcement. They are already numb at the unexpected death of their Lord. They immediately set off to see if it’s true. Indeed, they run, initially together but John says that the beloved disciple outruns Peter, wins the race, and gets there first.

Not only that, John says he is the first to peer into the empty tomb and believe. The beloved disciple believes without seeing. He doesn’t hear Jesus. He doesn’t see the Risen Christ. All he does is to come, to peer into the dark, empty tomb and he believes. But exactly what does he believe? Does he believe in the Resurrection in the light of Jesus’ absence? Is the beloved disciple the first to believe in Easter?                                                                                                                              The next words are ‘for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.’  These words imply that maybe he didn’t. Certainly, there has been much argument by theologians over the centuries.                                                                                                                                                           The disciples then return home leaving Mary, who has returned, by the tomb.  She sobs outside the tomb, convinced that her Lord is dead and his body has been stolen. Looking in, she sees two young men, angels, who ask her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ Interestingly, I wonder whether they are actually looking at her when they ask, or are they looking at something, or someone, behind her? Something makes her turn round and she is faced by a ‘stranger’ she assumes to be the gardener. Yet again, she is asked, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’                                                                                                                            I wonder, is this twice asked question, a gentle rebuke – does it imply that she should have known that the empty tomb meant rejoicing, praise and thanksgiving because Jesus had clearly said several times, as the Gospels record, that He would rise again on the third day?

If we think about it, one of the striking phenomena of the Gospels is the deafness of the disciples to the repeated revelations of Jesus concerning His Resurrection. He has great difficulty convincing them that He IS going to die. It’s only when they see the opposition closing in on Him that they realise that His words ARE true.

But even then, none of them seem to grasp that every time He mentions His death, He also adds that He WILL rise on the third day.                             

But, to return to Mary, let’s be honest, she is just like us! How often have we found ourselves in difficult or distressing circumstances, when everything seems to be falling about us, and Christians though we are, we forget all God’s promises and feel sorry for ourselves, we become anxious and upset.                                                                                                                                                Yes, we so quickly forget God’s promises.

There’s a story about Martin Luther - he once spent three days in a black depression over something that had gone wrong. On the third day his wife came downstairs dressed in mourning clothes.                                                       ‘Who’s dead?’ he asked.                                                                                                     ‘God,’ she relied.                                                                                                                             Luther rebuked her, saying, ‘What do you mean, God is dead? God cannot die.’  ‘Well,’ she replied, ‘The way you’ve been acting I was sure he had.’

Many of us have been caught in that trap – so wrapped up in our own misery. This is what happens to Mary. She doesn’t believe until she stands face-to-face with the Risen Christ and hears him call her name, ‘Mary!’                                                                                                                     Thomas doesn’t believe until the Risen Christ offers to let him touch his pierced hands and wounded side. For Thomas, only seeing is believing.             

No one was around to see what God did on that first day of the week. No one then, and none of us now, saw or heard God call LIGHT into being. Yet we believe he did. Why?                                                                                                                                   It is by faith that we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. It is by faith that the darkness of grief and despair are removed from us. It is by faith that the darkness of sin and evil are erased from us. It is by faith that the darkness of unbelief and doubt are dislodged from us. It is by faith that we accept the LIGHT of Jesus’ Resurrection.                                                                                                                Ours is a faith that believes without seeing, a faith that believes without seeing the empty tomb; a faith that believes without having a visible encounter with the Resurrected Christ. That’s the kind of faith we have. We don’t have the benefit of seeing and hearing the Resurrected Christ the way Mary, Thomas and the other disciples did.  We are called upon to believe without seeing.  

Faith without sight – that’s what we are called to have. Believing without seeing – that’s what we are called to do.                                                                                               It’s not easy, is it? BUT, we have the Holy Spirit. The Spirit fills us, He makes us born again, He blesses us so we believe without seeing.                                                 Because of the Spirit’s presence, in spite of the darkness that so often surrounds us, we are able to believe without seeing. Because of the Spirit’s presence, in spite of the darkness, we are able to believe that Christ IS Risen.

Jesus Christ is Risen today – Alleluia

Amen                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

                                                                                                                                              Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;

he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day and afterwards he appeared to his followers and to all the apostles:

this we have received, and this we believe.         

 

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 are written by Daphne Hawkins

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ let us pray to the Father. Most merciful and loving God, we thank you for bringing us through the pain and heartache of our Lenten journey into the light and joy of this special Easter Day.                                                                                                                                                                 Christ is risen bringing the renewed promise of life eternal. We only have to trust and believe in God’s word to us all to live our lives with you beside us to guide and lead us through life’s journey.

Lord, in your mercy     Hear our prayer

                                                                                                                          

As we celebrate the joy of Easter let us not forget those facing the loss of a loved one, the sick and the suffering, the lonely, the homeless, the hungry, those who do not have the freedom to worship without fear or persecution, those who face uncertainty and hopelessness in the days ahead.  Lord, please be with them and give them the assurance of your ever present and enduring love.

Lord, in your mercy     Hear our prayer     

                                                                                                                       

Lord, we are still walking in darkness through this pandemic. As we look to the future, may we all work together sensibly and without risk to others to bring to an end to this seemingly endless problem.                                                                                                     We thank you for the work of government ministers, scientists and health advisers, the results of which, vaccines and testing, are giving us light at the end of the tunnel.                                                                                                                                                   We continue to pray for all doctors, nurses, carers and all health care workers who risk their lives everyday caring and looking after any one sick or in need.  We pray for their health and safekeeping.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer                                                                                                                                     

 

Our hope must be to emerge from this experience acknowledging our vulnerable and fragile state. May all world leaders and mankind resolve to show consideration to all other forms of life, our duty to this planet and endeavour to live a much richer, better way of life.

Lord, in your mercy  Hear our prayer

                                                                                                                               

We pray for the world-wide Church at this difficult time and all Church leaders.                                                                                                                                                       We pray for Reverend Diane and her family that you will especially be with her at this time.                                                                                                                                                       We pray for all who are sick and suffering and many that we do not know due to our lack of communication at this time.                                                                                             We remember at this time, Susan, Ken and Diane, Sue, Kate, Martin and Liz, Linda and Rupert.                                                                                                                                       Give to all who need you at this time, fresh courage to face each day, and the comfort and knowledge that you are always near and you love and care for them always.

Lord, in your mercy   Hear our prayer

 

                                                                                                                            

At this Blessed Easter time, in darkness and in light, in trouble and in joy, help us heavenly Father to trust your love, to serve your purpose and to praise your name.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and the Blessed Virgin Mary, 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, our Lord.  Amen

 

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,

let us pray with confidence as our Saviour 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.

 

 

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples

and said, ‘Peace be with you.’

Then they were glad when they saw the risen Lord.

Alleluia!  May the peace of the risen Lord be always with us.

 

Blessing

May the light of Christ surround us,

may the Love of God enfold us,

may the presence of God watch over us,

may the power of God protect us and those whom we love, 

and may we never forget that wherever we are, God is also. 

Amen.

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 4th April 2021 7:15 AM