CHRIST our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast; Not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. 5v7
On Lent 3, 15th March, the last time we held public worship in St James’, I promised that whatever transpired I would celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday morning at 10am. If we couldn’t come to church people could gather round their kitchen/dining room table either then or, at some other time in the day, to pray and break bread with those in their household who wished to join them. It would be an opportunity to share with the village in offering up prayers for themselves, their family this village and the world.
Today, the Sunday after Easter, is usually known as Low Sunday because after all the church services leading up to Easter and then Easter Day when even those who are not necessarily regular attenders come and share in proclaiming the greatest news in history, that Christ is risen—some decide its time for a Sunday off! Even clergy have tended to have a holiday on Low Sunday! This year will be different and it will be interesting to see how many people share in our Sunday worship. The Easter Day reflection was viewed over 260 times. I would be one of the first to say that the Church can get itself hung up on numbers and it is about a community of faith of which church going is a part, but given the numbers viewing the reflections it may be in the post Covid-19 world there is a case for both public worship and youtube reflections or even live streaming the service!
I offer this short service sheet for your use. Thanks to the continuing support from a friend who has sup- ported me over the years with producing and recording public events I have also recorded a reflection for Easter Sunday which can be viewed on Facebook or YouTube. For those not on social media if you have a SMART TV you can watch YouTube on it!
The link is: https://youtu.be/nR8yaFPqhZw
Throughout the Easter Season we begin our service by saying
Alleluia, Christ is risen He is risen indeed Alleluia
If you have a candle you might like to place it on the table and light it.
Spend some time in silence reflecting on how this pandemic and the last 27 days of “lock down” has changed your life and the lives of your family and friends some of whom you may be separated from because of distance or to protect them. Pray for any you know who have Covid -19 and those who care for them. You can share these silently or out loud.
Offer to God the things you are sorry for, the things you wished you hadn’t done and the things you have failed to do.
You could then all say together the Collect for Easter 2:
Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
The Sharing of Bread
We now know it will be at least another three weeks and possibly be many more weeks before we can gather together in St James’ and share bread and wine. The church has no provision for the vicar celebrating the Eucharist with his own family whilst the rest of the congregation are in their own homes with their family breaking bread together; so as with so
many things in this crisis we have evented one. This is not a Eucharist as we know it Sunday by Sunday. This is simply an opportunity to share together with loved ones and remember Jesus’ command to follow him as disciples of the crucified, risen and ascended Lord.
On the night Jesus was betrayed he had a very special meal with his family and friends where he broke bread and shared it with his friends. Since then in every conceivable human circumstance, people have found no better thing than this. For kings at their crowning and for of criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for a good crop of wheat; or for a sick old woman afraid to die. Today we break this bread in thanksgiving for all we have; for those suffering during this Covid-19 pandemic, and for wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help each of us make the world a better place in the future for all God’s people.
As you take the Bread, and break it say “Every time we break this bread we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us and that through his resurrection that he brings life and light to the world”
Let everybody with you share the bread and reflect on their own lives and how they will seek to make the world, in the future, a better place.
Remember in your prayers any in your family who are sick at this time; those who are finding this “lock down” hard because of loneliness, separation from family and friends; the challenges of occupying children and home schooling them; those who have died. We especially remember the soul of Brian Tabner who died. Please pray for his wife Viv, and his family.
Reading for today John 20 v24 –29
Jesus appears to Thomas
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
This is the word of the Lord Thanks be to God
A Reflection from Peter: This can be found on the Forton Village Life and St James Church, Facebook and above.
Say together the Lord’s Prayer in which ever version you prefer/are used to.
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.
A Concluding Prayer Lord God our Father,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ you have assured your children of eternal life and in baptism have made us one with him: deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in your love, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
The Grace—hold hands and say the grace together
The Grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all now and for evermore. Amen.
If you would like a copy of this service sheet emailed to you every Saturday please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several people in the village offering help and support. St James’ has a number of people who are able to help with shopping, collecting of medication and in any other way should you need it. We are also aware that there will be some in the village who are experiencing severe financial difficulties due to not being able to work. Whilst we don’t have limitless funds we may be able to help in a small way.
If you need help in any way please contact Peter our Vicar:
email and telephone number below
Email email@example.com Tel; 07970 923 141
If you would like the sheet to include the names of friends or realtives who are sick or any who have passed away please email them to Peter on the above email
There will be a service sheet for every week whilst we are unable to have public worship
Date for your diary:
The first Sunday we are able to hold public worship there will be a Champagne Reception at 9.45am followed by a huge service of celebration in church. Watch this space!