Services whilst we are closed due to Corona virus

                                MC900155368[1]

                                   

               St Clement Church Community Easter Season Service

 

Good morning to you all as we commemorate the 6th Sunday of Easter,

if we were celebrating today’s service in our church building we would commemorate part of the service to Rogation Sunday.

Rogation Sunday is the day when the Church has traditionally offered prayer for God’s blessings on the fruits of the earth and the labours of those who produce our food.

The word “rogation” is from the Latin rogare, “to ask.” Historically, the Rogation Days (the three days before Ascension Day) were a period of fasting and abstinence, asking for God’s blessing on the crops for a bountiful harvest.

Less of us today directly derive our livelihood from the production of food, yet it’s good to be reminded of our dependence upon those who do and our responsibility for the environment.

Traditionally, a common feature of Rogation days was the ceremony of beating the bounds, in which a procession of parishioners, led by the minister and churchwardens would proceed around the boundary of their parish and pray for its protection in the forthcoming year.

When I lived in West Tilbury, a rural village in Essex, the local church community, led by our wonderful parish priest; The Reverend Jack Branch, would process from the church to the village hall, stopping to pray at the farms and their fields along the way, the prayers focusing on creation, the livestock, the planted crops, orchards and gardens.

And of course our walk would be followed by a wonderful tea and fellowship in the church hall!

Such processions don’t often happen nowadays, and certainly won’t be this year, but I’m sure many services held ‘at home’ today will mention Rogationtide in their prayers.

 

I hope you are all keeping well in these challenging times and continue to keep safe.  We’re not out of the woods yet, but hopefully soon we can start looking for light at the end of the tunnel…. Much love and prayers and may Christ’s love sustain you always.  Rev Di and family xx

 

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

 

Let us pray these traditional words for Rogationtide;

Remember, Lord, your mercy and loving-kindness towards us.

Bless this good earth, and make it fruitful.

Bless our labour, and give us all things needed for our daily lives.

Bless the homes of our parish and all who live within them.

Bless our common life and our care for our neighbour.

Hear us, good Lord. Amen.

 

Our prayers of Penitence

On this 6th Sunday of Easter, secure in the knowledge that God, who created us, loves us dearly, let us now confess before him those sins of which we are ashamed and which fill our lives with darkness and despair.

 

When we try to present a good image rather than to purify our hearts…. Lord, have mercy.

 

When we seek to please others rather than to speak the truth…….

Christ, have mercy.

 

When we are slow to admit that others may be right, or to say sorry if we are in the wrong……

Lord, have mercy.

 

When we honour God with our lips but keep him far from our hearts……

Christ, have mercy.

 

May the High King in heaven, with Jesus Christ his Son,                                                    have mercy on us.  May all that dismays us and fills us with fear                                                                                                                                                                       be cleansed and forgiven, and by the power of the Holy Spirit                                                                                                                                                                           may we never be separated from the love of God                                                             in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Amen.                                                                                               

Let us pray our Collect for the sixth Sunday of Easter

Risen Christ, by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples: help your Church to obey your command and draw the nations to the fire of your love, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

The Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. (15-21)

Glory to you, O Lord.

‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’

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

 

Reflection

Do you know the song by written by Carol King; ‘You’ve got a friend.’

Okidoki, – I’ve probably lost you for the rest of the morning as you try to remember the words to the song, or where you were when you first heard it! I think it’s a beautiful song, a message of commitment and love, with the words;

‘You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running to see you again. Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to call, and I’ll be there – You’ve got a friend.’

We all need friends, and we’ve all had times when we’ve been glad a friend is there, someone to help when the chips are down, to talk to and listen to our problems, someone who cares and loves us, even if we’re in the wrong.

And in today’s gospel reading, that’s how the disciples must have felt at the time, lonely and uncertain, like they needed a friend.

After all, the disciples had made great sacrifices to follow Jesus and had literally staked everything on him.

 

They’d walked away from their ways of earning a living, they’d left their homes, they believed that Jesus was the Messiah and now he was talking about leaving them.  Why had he brought them this far only to abandon them?

But Jesus knew that his disciples were afraid, so he made them a promise.

He said, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever." An advocate. A friend. In the original Greek, the word we translate as "Advocate" is "parakletos."Someone called in to help."

A parakletos could be a lawyer called in to defend you, or a witness called in to testify on your behalf, or someone called in to help in your hour of need, a friend.

Jesus, knowing that he would soon ascend back to the Father, promised his disciples such a being, someone whom they could call on when they needed help, someone who would be there for them in their hour of need, and Jesus promised that this friend would be with them forever.

That’s where we come in.

The friend that Jesus promised to these first disciples is promised to us as well, there to help us when we need help, to guide us when needed and to protect us from harm.

Of course, with hindsight we know Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, God's Spirit within us, living in our hearts, an advocate, a helper, a friend to call on in time of need.  Jesus is saying in effect;

‘Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to call and I’ll be there – You’ve got a friend.’

And by faith in these words we can find strength and comfort.  We’ve all had times when we’ve prayed; ‘how am I going to get through this?’ and somehow we get the strength to do so.

I liken it to the story of an orphaned baby bear who was befriended by a huge male grizzly bear.  The bigger bear guided and watched over the baby, and helped him survive. 

But one day the baby bear was down by the river on his own, having a go at fishing like he’d seen his friend do, when along came a mountain lion, who fancied having baby bear for dinner. 

Cripes!  (or something similar…) the baby bear thought, ‘how am I going to get through this? Well, here goes!’

And with all his might he stood up on his hind legs, all three feet of him, and did his best to growl, just like he’d seen his friend do, only it came out as a tiny squeak.

But to his amazement, the mountain lion suddenly took fright and ran off.  Wow, thought the baby bear, ‘I CAN MAKE IT ON MY OWN, I DON’T NEED FRIENDS!’

Then, full of himself, he got back down on all fours, and turned around. 

That’s when he saw his friend, who’d been behind him all the time, the big male grizzly bear, up on his hind legs, teeth silently bared, protecting him.

We too have a friend watching our backs.  We can’t expect easy lives, Jesus never promised us a bed of roses, but the Spirit helps us to prevail no matter how difficult the circumstances, especially during these challenging times of covid19.

Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit, and has delivered on that promise.

We have a friend to watch our backs, we’ve got a friend indeed.

Amen.

 

We close this reflection with our words of hope:

Because he lives I can face tomorrow, because he lives all fear is gone.

Because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living,

just because he lives.  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 this week are written by Daphne Hawkins

Merciful and loving God, we come to you this Rogation Sunday, each in our home but together in spirit, as we are united in care, compassion, friendship and love with our priest, our congregation and our friends, each Sunday, in your divine presence.

 

God of creation, the earth is yours with all its beauty and goodness, its rich and overflowing provisions.  But we have claimed it for our own, plundered its beauty for profit, and grabbed its resources for ourselves.

God of creation forgive us, may we no longer abuse your trust but care gently and with justice for your earth. 

On this Rogation Sunday and at this time of anxiety, fear and loneliness when we need the fruits of this earth more than ever before in our times please hear our prayers.

 

We pray for all who are planting and working with the land to provide us and all animals with food.  We pray for sunshine and rain to nurture and bring us harvest at the season’s time. May we in return respect and care for our beloved earth.

 

Lord, we are living in a time of a pandemic of which we know little about, may our world leaders heed the advice of scientists, medical advisors, and all who are involved in bringing this disease under control.

May we all observe the rules of lock down and work to resolve our serious situation.

 

Lord, we pray for all people who over the past two months have risked their lives looking after others.  All working in Hospitals, care homes, schools, supermarkets, utilities, transport, cleaners, delivery persons, refuse collection, and everyone out there making lockdown work, and looking after the sick and vulnerable.  Be with them all dear God, protect them and keep them safe.

 

Lord, we pray for all who are sick, those who mourn alone, and those who are at the end of life’s journey - alone.

Dear lord, as a church we cannot offer support as we would like to, we ask that you lay your hands that heal and comfort on each and every one in grief, suffering, and without hope and give them the gift of your love and light in their hour of need..

 

Lord, we pray for the world church all bishops and priests that you will guide and strengthen them at this time of great uncertainty and stress.

We especially pray for our own priest Rev Diane and her family in their support and love for her. 

Her work load is even more stretched at this sad time and we know she will be working far beyond her expected duties. Please strengthen, support, and keep her safe.

 

Lord, please give to us and all your people in this time of anxiety; serenity, in times of hardship; courage, in times of uncertainty; patience, and at all times a quiet trust in your WISDOM and 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 risen Lord 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: 15th May 2020 8:20 AM