Printable word service to use at home if not attending Eucharist at St Clement 1

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate 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 an excuse to indulge in chocolate I wonder……

We return to worship with Communion in our church building today, this Service of the Word is for those are unable to attend.

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.

 

 

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:

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,  

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

 in thought and word and deed,

through negligence, through weakness,

through our own deliberate fault.

We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

who died for us, forgive us all that is past,

and grant that we may serve you

in newness of life to the glory of your name.  

Amen.

 

May Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins,

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,

and keep us in life eternal; 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

Gospel: Luke 2.33-35

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

The Gospel According to

John

The Word Became Flesh

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

 

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

Reflection
Mothering Sunday Sermon 2021

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

Firstly, a recap on the history of this festival; it was originally called Refreshment Sunday, which allowed a day’s break form the strict observances of Lent. 

And then from the 16th century onwards, many people in England, including young children, often had to work away from home, and so used to worship at their nearest Parish Church (the daughter church).

In these times there were very few holidays, but it became tradition on this day in Lent for employers to allow their workers an annual trip home to visit their mothers and family and to worship at their ‘mother’ church whilst there.

Girls who were in service would bake a cake to take home, traditionally this would be a Simnel cake, and as they walked home they would gather wild flowers to give to their mums and to take to church.

Nowadays, commercialism has taken over with special cards, flowers and presents available to help express thanks to mums and celebrate motherhood.  Sadly perhaps, losing sight of the need to give thanks for the care of the church, and to reflect on God’s loving nature.

But we have to be aware that although Mothering Sunday has developed into a time for celebration and offering thanks to mothers, it’s not always a good day for some people.

For instance, some folk will be unhappy today because their mother is no longer with them, or maybe because a child is no longer with them to celebrate. 

In this day and age, the role of women has changed, many mothers work combining careers with motherhood, or have to work solely because of financial necessity, and won’t be able to be with their offspring today. 

Also, as others celebrate this day, there will be those who have endured an unhappy childhood, and are full of regret.

And some mothers are estranged from their children, maybe because of marital breakdown, and there are those for whom today is difficult because they have not, for a variety of reasons, been able to become a mother.

So there’s no getting away from the fact that many people spend this day with troubling thoughts and sadness.

All this highlights both the joys and sorrows of motherhood.

 

 

A story from the lighter side;

A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday school presentation.

His mother was in the front row to prompt him. She gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it did not help.

Her son's memory was blank. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered the cue; "I am the light of the world."

The child beamed and with great feeling and in a loud clear voice said; "My mother is the light of the world!”

And on a more serious note,

During the holocaust of the 2nd world war, a Jewish man with his wife and 2 sons were placed in a Nazi concentration camp.  It was a labour camp and the rules were simple, work and live, become weak, be put to death.  One evening the husband returned to the barracks and searched for his family, he could only find his eldest son huddled in a corner, weeping and praying.

He was told that his youngest son had become ill and couldn’t work and when the soldiers came for the boy he was afraid and cried.  The boy’s mother had said; ‘There is nothing to be afraid of, my son,’ and she took his hand and went with him.

An example of a mother’s love that was so strong in the face of adversity, that she would willingly sacrifice her life to comfort her child.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, willingly sacrificed her life to bear the son of God, experiencing the joys and sorrows of motherhood from her child’s birth, to her presence at the cross.

Our gospel reading today tells of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple for the purification rituals that the law required. 

They find themselves with Simeon, an elderly priest, who just before our gospel passage, recited what we now know as the Nunc Dimittis.

But instead of the expected conversation of congratulations, poor Mary hears that her baby will cause the fall and rise of many in Israel, he will be a sign that will be opposed, and a dreadful thought for her, a sword will pierce her own soul too.

Although Mary knew her child was the son of God, she had no idea at that time what his destiny would be, and none of us can imagine how she felt, hearing these words.  At his birth we are told that Mary ‘pondered these things in her heart’ and I expect she must have done the same on this day.

We know very little about Jesus’ life until he started his public ministry,

but I think in context his younger home life would have included Mary trying to ensure that he behaved properly, did his school work,

was fed and clothed adequately, pretty much the same as the daily round with children at home today.

As Mary watched the ministry of Jesus unfold, she saw the miracles, she listened to his teaching, and although having confidence in her son, she would also have been conscious of the direction in which matters were heading.  She would have heard the whispers and mutterings and seen the men of authority turn away in anger, so Simeon’s words would have come back to her with increasing frequency. 

But it wasn’t until the events of the first Holy Week in Jerusalem came to a head that she discovered what Simeon’s words really meant.  Yet Mary’s love and compassion was unfaltering, even facing the most hellish of scenes she remained as her son died, offering comfort with her presence, as did the Jewish mother in the concentration camp. 

The Biblical experiences of Mary seem to me to represent that whenever anyone truly loves, they experience moments of pure joy, and also times of pain and heartache. 

Human relationships are never easy and being a mother, or father, isn’t simple, to love is hard work.  It means making ourselves vulnerable in self – giving, emotionally sharing in the lives of others.

The sacrificial love of the mothers I have spoken of, leads me to the sacrificial love of Jesus. Jesus loved us so much that he was prepared to offer the ultimate sacrifice of his own life on the cross, dying to enable our reconciliation with his Father, so we can fulfil the writing of John 1:12 -  ‘But to all who received him, who believed in his name, He gave power to become children of God.’

Fulfilling these words will involve a spiritual, physical and emotional struggle, joy and sorrow, life is like that. As children of God we aren’t promised an easy life, nevertheless, our heavenly parent does promise to be with us, experiencing with us the thick and thin, the joy and sorrow, as in today’s words of St Paul;

‘Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.’

On this Mothering Sunday, we celebrate not just mothers, but all those who have parentally influenced our lives.  We remember with fondness care received, and celebrate that.  

We also give thanks for the care of the church, and reflect on God’s loving nature as we celebrate the joy of life, and our identity as children of God.   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 Elizabeth Davies

Heavenly Father, we pray today for our Mother Church and our little church at St Clement. We give thanks for our Church family and pray that all may find in her their true home; that the lonely, the marginalized and the rejected may be welcomed and loved in the name of our Lord Jesus.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                    Lord, graciously hear us

 

Holy God, forgive us when we have sinned by speaking against you, your Son Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit and also for the times that, through fear or complacency, we do not speak for you or admit to our Christian faith. Help us to always carry our cross openly and to take every opportunity to share and live the Good News.

Gracious God, whenever we start to get offended by your generosity and open-mindedness, give us the grace to repent and return to give you praise and rejoicing. Guard the Church against self-righteousness and all rules and limits which you would not own, but always keep before us the rule of love.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                             Lord, graciously hear us

 

Creator God, as we see the brokenness of our world, we pray for healing among the nations; for food where there is hunger; for freedom where there is oppression; for joy where there is pain; that your love may bring peace to your children.                                                                                                                                         We especially pray for all mothers who have to raise their children in places where there is war, famine, terrorism and great uncertainty;

for mothers who have had to flee conflict to a different country or are far from their homes and their relatives; for mothers who have been unable to meet with their children because of Covid and for all those who have had to cope with home learning with their children whilst still doing all of their everyday life.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                                  Lord, graciously hear us

 

Gracious God, we bring before you all those who have worked over and above their usual duties over this last year: for the doctors and nurses and all hospital staff, all the research workers, the paramedics, the shop workers and delivery drivers, those who have kept all our utilities going and those who have stretched out the hand of friendship and love to others over the last year - those who work at the Food Banks, those who have made and delivered meals, those who have shopped, delivered and kept in contact with those who are not able to go out.                                                                                                                                                       Father God, we remember that, as we celebrate Mothering Sunday today, there are those who do not share our happiness, those who are sick, those who are sad, those who are lonely, those who are separated from their families and those who live in families where there is little joy.                                                          We bring before you all those who need healing in their lives and give thanks where healing has taken place.                                                                                                                 We especially remember Ken and Di, Sue, Kate and Martin.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                                  Lord, graciously hear us

 

Merciful God, you commanded us to honour our parents. Have mercy on the souls of our mothers and fathers who have departed this life and hear us as we remember too, the recently departed Ken Brand

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                               Lord, graciously hear us

 

Gracious God, as we go out into the coming week may we reflect your love for us, love in our families, our church and our community; so that the world can see that we are followers of your Son, Jesus Christ and draw others into his loving care.

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.

 

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: 12th March 2021 9:12 AM