All Saints and All Souls Eucharist Service

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service, whether in your own home or our church building.  

This Sunday in church we will be celebrating a Eucharist service for both All Saints and All Souls Day.  The service will differ slightly from our ‘normal.’  Due to the Covid restrictions folk won’t be able to come up to the altar to light a votive candle in memory of a loved one, instead candles will already be lit, and we will focus on them as Martin plays a reflection piece of music. I suggest you might light a candle at home too?

Sadly, the Covid virus is now spreading out of control and we all need to be extra vigilant to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and well. 

If you are attending church, could you please ensure you put on a mask before entering the building, sanitise your hands, and keep a 2 metre distance from each other.  If space doesn’t allow then 1 metre distancing is permissible for a short a time as possible. 

I know these rules are difficult to follow, especially if we’ve not had much conversation all week, but I don’t want us to be the first church community that has to isolate for a fortnight…….

So, please look after yourselves, and keep safe in these unsettling times.

May Christ’s love sustain you 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.

 

                                                                                            

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of John (11.1, 3-6, 17-28, 32-45)

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’

 

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ 

Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother.

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ 

Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.

Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’  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.’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I know 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.’

Many of the Jews therefore who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

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

Reflection

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. 

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 grieved at our beloved Harold’s passing, as we grieve now at the unexpected news of Esther’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 Father Harold’s Requiem Mass and funeral.

Yes, we were sad, we felt an empty, helpless, deep sense of loss, but in our hour of need as we brought Father Harold into church 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.

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.

 

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 Helen Dunbar

Lives that have shone with God’s love on earth are filled with the joy as they see their Lord face to face.

 

Knowing our dependence on God in all things, let us pray to him now.

Glorious God, as we celebrate the love of those Church members who have shone with the brightness of your love, we offer you ourselves and strive to make a fresh commitment and conscious awareness of our need for you in this parish and as individual Christians.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

Powerful and everlasting God, may your kingdom of love and peace be established in this world and grow. We pray for both the influential and the ignored, both the popular and the disliked, both the ambitious and the vulnerable. Teach us your ways and your values.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

We pray for our government here at home and people in positions of power throughout the world, still struggling to make the right decisions in the ongoing pandemic. May they be men and women of integrity, guided by a desire for public service and a love of the truth; we ask that they also be just and compassionate, so that all people may be led in the ways of righteousness and mercy. We do not forget all who are struggling to cope with illnesses other than covid.

 

We pray for the Church across the world, for our Archbishop and Bishop Philip and Suffragan Bishop Hugh, not forgetting, our own dear Diane, our Vicar here at St Clement and her family.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Healing God, 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 the abundance of peace.

Our thoughts go to the young family from Iran who tragically drowned trying to cross the channel in a small boat to escape persecution in their own country and who had been enduring a very hard life to get to a place of safety. Please God surround their grieving family with your love.

 

Dear Lord bless our Queen and the royal family and be with them in all they do, as they carry out their royal duties.

We pray for all animals and birds in the world, and also our pets, remembering with great affection all of our treasured companions who are no longer with us.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

We pray for the sick, please God surround them with your love, and give wisdom and understanding to all who support and guide them.  We pray for:  Nicky, Sue, Kate and Charlotte and all those known to us.

In our years’ mind we remember Winifred Moor.

We remember the recently departed, and it has been a tough year here at St Clement - Esther Race, who passed away a few days ago. She and her husband Roger for many years were members of our congregation here at St Clement and very much loved by everyone and we pray for Esther and Roger’s loving family. We also remember our much-loved Father Harold and his family.

We also remember Vincent Frost, whose birthday falls at this time, a loving husband of May and father of Susan and Diane.

 

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.

 

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: 31st October 2020 1:06 PM