Monday, 1 February 2010

END OF UNITY WEEK

On Sunday 24th January we marked the end of the Week of prayer for Christian Unity with a service at St. Marie's church.

Opening Hymn
1
Holy God, we praise Thy Name;
Lord of all, we bow before Thee!
All on earth Thy scepter claim,
All in Heaven above adore Thee;
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Thy reign.

2
Hark! the loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising,
Cherubim and seraphim,
In unceasing chorus praising;
Fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord.

3
Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three we name Thee;
While in essence only One,
Undivided God we claim Thee;
And adoring bend the knee,
While we own the mystery.

4
Spare Thy people, Lord, we pray,
By a thousand snares surrounded:
Keep us without sin today,
Never let us be confounded.
Lo, I put my trust in Thee;
Never, Lord, abandon me.

Introduction and Renewal of Baptismal Promises

Our service tonight begins at the font where the Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated. As we come to the close of this Unity week we reflect on what unites, rather than divides us.

Priest: Dear friends in Christ,
we are united as brothers and sisters in the Lord
by our common baptism
let us renew the promises we made at baptism
when we rejected Satan and his works.
And so I ask:

Priest: Do you reject sin,
so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
All: I do.

Priest: Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
All: I do.

Priest: Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
All: I do.

Priest: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
All: I do.

Priest: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
All: I do.

Priest: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
All: I do.

As a reminder of the waters of baptism the priest now goes through the church sprinkling the people with baptismal water

Priest: Almighty God
who anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit
and revealed him as your beloved Son:
inspire us your children,
who are born of water and the Spirit,
to surrender our lives to your service
that we may rejoice to be called children of God.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
All: Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading – A reading from the Prophet Ezekiel 36:24-28

Hymn
1
The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth meT
he quiet waters by.

2
My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Even for His own Name’s sake.

3
Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me;
and Thy rodAnd staff my comfort still.

4
My table Thou hast furnish├Ęd
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

5
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.

Second Reading - A reading from the Letter to the Romans 6:1-11

Gospel (please stand)
Priest: The Lord be with you
People: And also with you
Priest:
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
People: Glory to you Lord

At the end of the Gospel

Priest: This is the gospel of the Lord
People: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Sermon

Intercessions

These prayers are taken from the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom and form part of the Byzantine Liturgical Tradition of the Church. In accordance with that tradition the intercessions are sung.

Priest: In peace let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest:
For the peace from on high and for the salvation of our souls,
let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest:
For the peace of the whole world, for the well being of the holy Churches of God and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest:
For His Holiness, our Universal Pontiff Benedict, the Pope of Rome,
let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest:
For our primate, the most eminent and most reverend Lord, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Cormac; for our most reverend Archbishop and Metropolitan Patrick; for our God-loving Bishop, Terence, for the reverend Priesthood, the Diaconate in Christ, for the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest: For our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth and all the royal family, for the High Court of Parliament, for our present government, and for all the armed forces of the crown, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest: For this town, for every city and countryside, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest: For favourable weather, for an abundance of fruits of the earth and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest: For those travelling by land, sea or air, for the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest:
For the souls of those who throughout the ages have fallen asleep in the true faith, and in the hope of resurrection and eternal life: our forebears and brethren, the founders and benefactors of this holy church, our parents and families, those who lie buried or who are listed here, and all true Christians everywhere, and for their blessed repose, let us to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest: That they may stand blameless before the fearful judgement seat of Christ, and may gain entry into the land of the living, the place of light, where the just repose, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest: That we be delivered from all affliction, wrath and need, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O Lord, by Your grace.
People: Lord have mercy.
Priest: As we remember our most holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, the righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna, together with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.
People: To You, O Lord.
Priest: For to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is due all glory, honour and adoration, now and always and unto the ages of ages.
People: Amen.
Priest: Obedient to the words of our Saviour and formed by his divine teaching we are bold to say:
Our Father...

Priest: Lord
hear the prayers of your people
and bring the hearts of believers together in your praise Heal all divisions among Christians
that we may rejoice in the perfect unity of Your Church and move together as one to eternal life in Your kingdom
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
All: Amen.

Blessing and Dismissal

Final Hymn

1
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
Tender to me the promise of His Word;
In God my Savior shall my heart rejoice.

2
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of His Name!
Make known His might, the deeds His arm has done;
His mercy sure, from age to age the same;
His holy Name, the Lord, the mighty One.

3
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of His might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by;
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight;
The hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

4
Tell out, my soul, the glories of His Word!
Firm is His promise, and His mercy sure.
Tell out my soul, the greatness of the Lord
To children’s children and for evermore!

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