Act of Spiritual Communion

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Guidance on Spiritual Communion and Coronavirus

The term ‘Spiritual Communion’ has been used historically to describe the means of grace by which a person, prevented for some serious reason from sharing in a celebration of the Eucharist, nonetheless shares in the communion of Jesus Christ. The form of prayer below offers Christians an opportunity to give thanks for their communion with him, particularly at times when they would ordinarily be present at the Eucharist. The Book of Common Prayer instructs us that if we offer ourselves in penitence and faith, giving thanks for the redemption won by Christ crucified, we may truly ‘eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ’, although we cannot receive the sacrament physically in ourselves. Making a Spiritual Communion is particularly fitting for those who cannot receive the sacrament at the great feasts of the Church, and it fulfils the duty of receiving Holy Communion ‘regularly, and especially at the festivals of Christmas, Easter
and Whitsun or Pentecost’ (Canon B 15).

The Church of which we are members is not defined by the walls of a building but by the Body of Christ of which we are members. In making our communion spiritually, we are joining with Christians everywhere to be nourished by the one who tells us, ‘I am the Bread of Life’.

In making a Spiritual Communion, you may wish to pray all or part of the following, as you are able.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

You may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or a special place. You might choose to make your Spiritual Communion at a particular time of day, or after viewing a live streamed service.

Reflect on the day and on your relationships.

What good things have come from God today?

Where have I fallen short?

What might I do tomorrow?

You may wish to say or pray
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Read the following words from Scripture. If you have access to today’s readings for Holy Communion, you may wish to read and reflect on them.

Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’
John 6.35

Pray for the needs of the world, for your local community, and for those close to you. End with the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father…

Give thanks for the saving death and resurrection of Jesus and ask him to be with you now:

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.
after the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester

You might then add one or more of the following prayers:

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,
‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care. Amen.

or

O God,
help me to trust you,
help me to know that you are with me,
help me to believe that nothing can separate me from your love
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord, in these days of mercy,
make us quiet and prayerful;
in these days of challenge,
make us stronger in you;
in these days of emptiness,
take possession of us;
in these days of waiting,
open our hearts to the mystery of your cross.
Amen
Angela Ashwin

or

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you most humble and
hearty thanks
for all your goodness and loving kindness.
We bless you for our creation, preservation, and
all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And give us, we pray, such a sense of all your mercies
that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful,
and that we show forth your praise,
not only with our lips but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you in holiness and
righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all honour and glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Conclude with the following:
The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,
and keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Easter Eucharist 2020

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You may wish to have bells, hooters, party poppers or a saucepan-and-wooden-spoon-drum ready to make a joyful noise when we say the Easter acclamation!

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

Joining with the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Sing Resurrection, we will begin our worship with two great Easter hymns…

1 Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia,
our triumphant holy day; alleluia,
who did once upon the cross; alleluia,
suffer to redeem our loss; alleluia!

2 Hymns of praise then let us sing; Alleluia,
unto Christ our heavenly king; alleluia,
who endured the cross and grave; alleluia,
sinners to redeem and save: alleluia!

3 But the pains which he endured; Alleluia,
our salvation have procured; alleluia,
now above the sky he’s King; alleluia,
where the angels ever sing: alleluia!

4 Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as his love; Alleluia!
Praise him, all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!

1 Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son;
endless is the vict’ry Thou o’er death hast won.
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where Thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son;
endless is the vict’ry Thou o’er death hast won.

2 Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb.
Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let His church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for the Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting.

3 No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life!!
Life is nought without Thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conqu’rors, through Thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.

Prayers of Penitence

Our response is:
In your mercy, forgive us.
Lord, hear us and help us.

The priest pronounces God’s forgiveness

The Gloria

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.

The Collect

Readings

Sermon

The Creed

We stand to proclaim 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
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles:
this we have received,
and this we believe.
Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

Our response is:
We pray to the Father.
Hear our prayer.

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

The priest continues praising God and we all respond singing:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The priest recalls the Last Supper

Jesus Christ is Lord:
Lord, by your cross and resurrection
you have set us free.
You are the Saviour of the world.

The priest continues in prayer

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Giving of Communion

Alleluia. Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

Prayer after Communion

Father of all,
we give you thanks and praise,
that when we were still far off
you met us in your Son and brought us home.
Dying and living, he declared your love,
gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.
May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;
we who drink his cup bring life to others;
we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us,
so we and all your children shall be free,
and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Blessing

The Dismissal

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

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He has given us new life and hope.
He has raised Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.
He has brought us out of darkness.
He has made us light to the world.

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

Early Morning Easter Service 2020

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You might want to have a candle, torch or other light ready to illuminate at the right moment in this service.

The Vigil

The Easter fire is lit. There is a prayer and a reading recalling God’s deliverance of God’s people from Egypt. We pause to remember our own journeys with God.

The Service of Light

Christ yesterday and today,
the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega,
all time belongs to him,
and all ages;
to him be glory and power,
through every age and for ever.
Amen.

By his holy and glorious wounds
may Christ our Lord guard and keep us.
Amen.

The president lights a candle, you might choose to light a candle or torch at home

May the light of Christ, rising in glory,
banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

The light of Christ
Thanks be to God.

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

We sing the Exsultet to the tune of Tell Out My Soul

Sing, choirs of heaven! Let saints and angels sing!
Around God’s throne exult in harmony!
Now Jesus Christ is risen from the grave!
Salute your King in glorious symphony!

Sing, choirs of earth! Behold, your light has come!
The glory of the Lord shines radiantly!
Lift up your hearts, for Christ has conquered death!
The night is past; the day of life is here!

Sing, Church of God! Exult with joy outpoured!
The gospel trumpets tell of victory won!
Your Saviour lives: he’s with you ever more!
Let all God’s people shout the long Amen!

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

The minister continues praising God and recalling God’s goodness.  At the end we all say
Amen.

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Matthew 28:1-10 is read

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

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.

Renewal of Baptismal Vows

As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, we remember that we have died and been buried with him in baptism, so that we may rise with him to a new life within the family of his Church. Now that we have completed our observance of Lent, we renew the promises made at our baptism, affirming our allegiance to Christ, and our rejection of all that is evil.

Therefore I ask these questions:

Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
I reject them.

Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
I renounce them.

Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
I repent of them.

Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
I turn to Christ.

Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
I submit to Christ.

Do you come to Christ
the way, the truth and the life?
I come to Christ.

Sisters and brothers, I ask you to profess the faith of the Church.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father almighty
Creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in his Son, Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ
his only Son, Our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and dead.

Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.  Amen

You are invited to sign yourself with water.

Almighty God, we thank you for our fellowship in the household of faith with all those who have been baptized in your name.  Keep us faithful to our baptism, and so make us ready for that day when the whole creation shall be made perfect in your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

We continue in prayer

Dismissal

The minister introduces the dismissal

Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He has given us new life and hope
by raising Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.
He has brought us out of darkness.
He has made us light to the world.

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

Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

Do join us for our Easter Day Eucharist at 10am.

Compline (Night Prayer) in Holy Week

An Order for Night Prayer (Compline) in Holy Week

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night
and a perfect end.
Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord
who made heaven and earth.

A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

Most merciful God,
we confess to you,
before the whole company of heaven and one another,
that we have sinned in thought, word and deed
and in what we have failed to do.
Forgive us our sins,
heal us by your Spirit
and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Alleluia.

Psalm 139

1O Lord, you have searched me out and known me; 
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

2You mark out my journeys and my resting place 
and are acquainted with all my ways.

3For there is not a word on my tongue, 
but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

4You encompass me behind and before
and lay your hand upon me.

5Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
so high that I cannot attain it. 

6Where can I go then from your spirit? 
Or where can I flee from your presence?

7If I climb up to heaven, you are there; 
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

8If I take the wings of the morning 
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

9Even there your hand shall lead me, 
your right hand hold me fast.

10If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me 
and the light around me turn to night,’

11Even darkness is no darkness with you;
the night is as clear as the day; 
darkness and light to you are both alike. 

12For you yourself created my inmost parts; 
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

13I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.

14My frame was not hidden from you, 
when I was made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.

15Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished; 
already in your book were all my members written,

16As day by day they were fashioned 
when as yet there was none of them.

17How deep are your counsels to me, O God! 
How great is the sum of them!

18If I count them, they are more in number than the sand, 
and at the end, I am still in your presence. 

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading and Reflection

Responsory

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Keep me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

Gospel Canticle (Nunc Dimittis)

Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace: 
your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation 
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

A light to reveal you to the nations 
and the glory of your people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

Intercessions

Collect

Silence may be kept.

Almighty God,
as we stand at the foot of the cross of your Son,
help us to see and know your love for us,
so that in humility, love and joy
we may place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord,
with those who work, or watch, or weep this night,
and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying,
soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous;
and all for your love’s sake. 
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

In peace we will lie down and sleep;
for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.

Abide with us, Lord Jesus,
for the night is at hand and the day is now past.

As the night watch looks for the morning,
so do we look for you, O Christ.

May God bless us,
that in us may be found love and humility,
obedience and thanksgiving,
discipline, gentleness and peace.

© The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2000-2005
Official Common Worship apps, books and eBooks are available from Church House Publishing.

Worship at Home with St Paul’s Church Stockingford

Gathering

We come from scattered lives to meet with God.
Let us recognise God’s presence with us now.
Keep a short silence, still your heart.
As God’s people we have gathered in God’s presence, separated by distance but united in God’s love

Let us pray.
Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful people,
and kindle in us the fire of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

In the light of Jesus, let us examine ourselves and confess our sins.

Keep a short silence, leave your sins at the cross

Father, we have sinned against heaven and against you.
We are not worthy to be called your children.
We turn to you again, have mercy on us,
bring us back to yourself as those who once were dead
but now have life through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

May the Father forgive us by the death of the Son,
and strengthen us to live
in the power of The Spirit
all our days.  
Amen.

The Bible Readings

See the blog post for the week which will have hymns, Bible readings and a Sermon

The Creed

We affirm our faith in the words of the Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

We intercede for others in the quiet of our hearts. Lord, meet us in the silence and hear our prayer.

Pray for yourself in your isolation,
that God would sit with you.
Pray for others in their loneliness.
Pray for our country.
Pray for the world.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Faithful God,
may we who have shared in this time of worship
Glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Our salvation and hope,
Who reigns as Lord now and forever.

Fill us, Good Lord with your Spirit of love;
And as you have fed us with your presence,
so make us one in heart and mind,
In Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God.

If you want to live out your faith in your isolation, why not telephone someone, to encourage them and let them know that they are not alone.

The Lord will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8b)

Liturgical material adapted from Common Worship (C) 2000 Archbishops Council