Service of the Word for home use

In a time when we are unable to gather in worship, it can be hard to hang onto the fact that we are still a community – still called to be, together, witnesses to the love of God wherever we are.  Our shared faith is something which binds us together, even when we are physically apart – God is with us as we pray by ourselves and in families, and his enveloping love holds all of us who are holding the Christ-light in these difficult days in relationship to one another as well.  As our bishops have put it, “We may not be able to meet together in the normal way as congregations for a time, but we are bound together through the ministry of the word and through prayers, by our common baptism and by bonds of Christian love”.

All of us, in the coming weeks, will be challenged to find new ways of worshipping and of 'being church'.  To help us all feel a bit more joined-up as we do this, I have put together a 'Service of the Word'.  I myself am committing to saying this daily at noon, and I would be delighted if you would join me in doing the same in your own home, if it is something you would find helpful.  The thought that we are using the same words at the same time is somehow a comforting one, and it can be something which draws our scattered lives together into the family of St Michael’s – alive and well, even if doing things a bit differently at the moment.  My blessings to you all.  Liz.

The Rev’d Dr Liz Ratcliffe
Rector, Tilehurst  St Michael

Click here to download the Service below (PDF file, 4 pages, 563 KB)

Symbol - play sound  If you are missing the sound of St Michael's bells before a service, click here to listen to some bellringing (2m 48s of a method called Stedman Triples).


A service of prayer and worship for use at home

Gathering to worship God

Remember, even though we are not physically gathered, we are all praying these words.  The family of St Michael’s Church is not defined or limited by the walls of the building!

+ In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Confession

The Gospel calls us to turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.    As we offer ourselves to him in penitence and faith, we renew our confidence and trust in his mercy.

God of mercy,
we acknowledge that we are all sinners.
We turn from the wrong that we have thought
and said and done,
and are mindful of all that we have failed to do.
For the sake of Jesus, who died for us,
forgive us for all that is past,
and help us to live each day
in the light of Christ our Lord.  Amen.

May almighty God,
who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,
bring us his pardon and his peace, now and for ever.  Amen.

We pray the Collect

Sovereign God,
The defence of those who trust in you
and the strength of those who suffer:
look with mercy on us in these unsettling times
and deliver us through our mighty Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Gospel Reading

We shall follow the Gospel readings of the day, as published in the Revised Common Lectionary.  This binds us not only as the community of St Michael’s, but links us to the wider community of the Anglican Church throughout the world.  Click on this link for a list of forthcoming Gospel readings.

Time of Reflection

If you wish, spend five minutes in quiet reflection.  What words or phrases particularly caught your attention?  Turn them over in your mind prayerfully and see what thoughts they conjure up— let your imagination run where God leads you ... What might God be saying to you through the readings you have heard today?

Affirmation of Faith

On Sundays, we say the Nicene Creed.  Notice that it is a statement of what “we” believe – Christians across the world are saying these words today. We are united in faith, even though we may be separated by distance.

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.

Prayers of Intercession

We pray to the Lord, who is our refuge and stronghold:
For the health and well-being of our nation,
that all who are fearful and anxious
may be at peace and free from worry:
Lord, hear us

For the isolated and housebound,
that we may be alert to their needs,
and care for them in their vulnerability:
Lord, hear us.

For our homes and families,
our schools and young people,
and all in any kind of need or distress:
Lord, hear us.

For a blessing on our local community,
that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship,
where all are known and cared for:
Lord, hear us.

If you wish, spend a few moments bringing before God the particular concerns of your day.

We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.
Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

We gather our prayers together in the Lord’s Prayer

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 forever.   Amen.

Closing Prayer

In darkness and in light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us, heavenly Father,
to trust your love,
to serve your purpose,
and to praise your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Material from “Common Worship: Services and prayers for the Church of England”, 2000; and “New Patterns of Worship”, 2002, which has been used in this service, is copyright The Archbishops’ Council.