Service at Home for Easter Day (during the day) 4th/4/21.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed for us.
Let us therefore rejoice by putting away all malice and evil and confessing our sins with a sincere and true heart.
Lord Jesus, you raise us to new life. Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins. Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you feed us with the living bread. Lord, have mercy.
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Gloria in excelsis
Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen
First Reading Acts 10:34. 37-43
Peter speaks to the household members of the Roman centurion Cornelius. He gives an outline of the story of Jesus and emphasises that his preaching is trustworthy as he has experienced the risen Jesus for himself.
Psalm 118: 1-2, 16-17, 24-25. This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad.
Second (Epistle) Reading Colossians 3:1-4
Our life as Christians should be centred on the person of the risen Christ, and this should influence the way we think and behave.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed;
let us celebrate the feast then, in the Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Gospel John 20:1-9
Mary Magdalene finds the tomb of Jesus open and empty, and goes to inform Peter and the disciple Jesus loved. They visit the grave but only the beloved disciple understands what has happened.
Twenty-one years ago, Neil MacGregor, who was at the time the director of the National Gallery, organised an exhibition called “Seeing Salvation”. It was extraordinarily popular. There was the exhibition catalogue, then there was a book and then a television series. Neil MacGregor traced the life of Christ and the development of Christian culture in the work of artists from different times and diverse cultures. The exhibition drew people from all walks of life and was taken on a triumphant world tour. Twenty-one years ago there seems to have been a real thirst but what for? For what is salvation? Is it something you can see? Or is it perhaps something you have to experience.
We all, well most of us, want to be saved from the Corona virus pandemic, but until recently, salvationwas probably not much thought about. For do people really need salvation; after all many problems could be solved by a visit to the doctor, the bank manager, a therapist or someone else. We may need to be saved from ourselves but that is as far as any idea of personal salvation goes, as our society has little concept of sin. Many people feel that our future is in our own hands: we can become anything we want to be. This applies not just to career or personal relationships but also to sexuality and gender.
In the time of Jesus the term salvation encompassed many things. There was salvation from foreign oppression, in which Cornelius as a Roman soldier was instrumental, and also there was salvation from sickness, famine or from demonic power. In fact you needed to be saved from almost everything from war to sin. In most ancient cultures different gods dealt with specific areas of need and these gods were appeased by offerings and sacrifices.
Although a pagan, Cornelius was different; he glimpsed the true God in the God of the Jews. Theirs was a god who cared for his people and Cornelius prayed to their god and gave alms to the Jews. He was rewarded with a visit from an angel and the message that his prayers and alms had been accepted. He was also commanded to seek out Peter. By means of a vision Peter learnt that God’s salvation is available to non-Jews and that the laws relating to diet and ritual cleanliness do not prevent them from becoming followers of Jesus, and that if they believe in him they will have their sins forgiven through his name. The Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard Peter’s words, and Peter commanded them to be baptised.
This may not be what was expected or even hoped for, but sin is another word for being separated from God; and this gulf between God and his creatures was overcome by Christ’s death and resurrection. That is why St Paul can say we should look for heavenly things; because we can now live in the way God wanted us to live, in harmony with him, if only we can see that to be the case.
Mary of Magdala brought the news of the empty tomb to Peter and the beloved disciple, who then raced to the place where Jesus had been laid. Peter saw the grave clothes of Jesus but not much else. In the empty tomb the disciples saw salvation. They saw enough to see and believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. In looking for the Lord they were rewarded with the gift of faith in his resurrection.
Cornelius saw in the life and worship of the Jews enough of the presence of the true God to seek more, and found salvation for his family in Christ. Jesus’s resurrection matters to every single one of us, just as it did to Cornelius and the apostles, because we can now see clearly that if we die with Christ, then we will rise with him.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
See notice sheet + Her Majesty the Queen Covid pandemic cases and deaths vaccination programmes Prayers Scottish crisis’ We pray for all women affected by or lost to violence. The family of Sarah Everard. Policing of violent ‘protest tourism,’ especially in Bristol. Myanmar -Taiwan rail disaster. – Renewed attack on U.S. Capitol.
The Lord’s Prayer.
“Spiritual Communion” is recommended at any time we cannot physically receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood. It means that God gives us the grace of the sacrament in response to our real desire to receive it. This does not mean that we can get on just as well without receiving Holy Communion, but rather, if the opportunity of receiving it is denied to us for whatever reason, God will not withhold its grace and blessing from us. Here is a form of prayer we can use.
Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits you have given me, for all the pains and insults you have borne for me. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I ask you to come spiritually into my heart. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me:
Body of Christ, save me:
Blood of Christ, invigorate me:
Water from the side of Christ, wash me:
Passion of Christ, strengthen me:
Cross of Jesus, protect me:
Good Jesu, hear me:
Within your wounds, hide me:
Never let me be separated from you:
From the deadly enemy, defend me:
In the hour of my death call me
and bid me come to you
that with all your saints I may praise you
for ever and ever. Amen.
God of Life, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Solemn Blessing for Easter.
God the Father, by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,
open to us who believe the gates of everlasting life. Amen.
God the Son, who in bursting from the grave has won a glorious victory,
give us joy as you share the Easter faith. Amen.
God the Holy Spirit, who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord,
empower us and fill us with Christ’s peace. Amen.
And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon us and remain with us always. Amen.
The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed. Let us go forward in his peace Alleluia.
Copyright notice: As well as my own words & material I have drawn on material from internet sources including websites of The Church of England for Common Worship Sacred Space and on printed sources including The Divine Office: Matins. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary Prentice Hall, &This is the Word of the Lord Bible Reading Fellowship 1980.
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