A Service of Communion for Ordinary Time
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you and also with you.
Prayer of Preparation
Sit or Kneel
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
Prayers of Penitence
Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
All Amen. Lord, have mercy.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ
to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.
Most merciful God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned
in thought, word and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy
forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be;
that we may do justly,
and walk humbly with you, our God.
Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
The Collect for the third Sunday after Trinity Let us pray
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
The Liturgy of the Word Psalm 107: 1-3, 23-32
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious, •
for his steadfast love endures for ever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say this, •
those he redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
3 And gathered out of the lands
from the east and from the west, •
from the north and from the south.
23 Those who go down to the sea in ships •
and ply their trade in great waters,
24 These have seen the works of the Lord •
and his wonders in the deep.
25 For at his word the stormy wind arose •
and lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They were carried up to the heavens
and down again to the deep; •
their soul melted away in their peril.
27 They reeled and staggered like a drunkard •
and were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, •
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He made the storm be still •
and the waves of the sea were calmed.
30 Then were they glad because they were at rest, •
and he brought them to the haven they desired.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness •
and the wonders he does for his children.
32 Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people •
and praise him in the council of the elders.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end Amen
New Testament reading 2 Corinthians 6: 1-13
As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, ‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours.13In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Gospel Reading Mark 4: 35-41
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, one God, who was, and who is, and who is to come, the Almighty. cf Revelation 1.8
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Glory to you, O Lord.
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
For such a short reading this morning, it contains some amazingly graphic, descriptive writing which I am sure has enabled each one of us to create a vivid picture of the scene in our minds – I am sure that we have all been on ships or boats when the weather has changed or even become just a touch choppy; perhaps as we have made a short crossing from Calais to Dover or maybe from West Wales or North West England across the Irish Sea to Ireland – Even when travelling on our modern- day ferries, when the weather is rough the going can be tough, uncomfortable and even scary – How would the Disciples have been feeling in their small, flat bottomed, wooden fishing boats when the weather suddenly changed and they were caught in the fiercest of storms. We should also remember that these were experienced fishermen, not cross channel day trippers like we may be, this must have been really bad. We understand that in those days as today, the Sea of Galilee had its own microclimate and its location left it open to regular, rapid changes in weather conditions, the Disciples would have experienced this before, this must have been some storm.
In the reading Jesus and his disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee. They were moving from the Jewish side to the Gentile side, hey were travelling from the side where they were at home to the side where they are strangers, from the side where life was familiar to them to the side where it was new, different, and unfamiliar. We may have never crossed the Sea of Galilee but I am sure we have been in that boat of going to a new place or somewhere outside of our comfort zone.
But this is not just a story about the weather and a boat trip. It is a story about life. It is a story about faith. It is a story about fear.
Sometimes the sea of life is rough, sometimes the wind is strong, the waves are high, the boat is taking on water and we are sinking. We all know what that is like and each one of us could tell a “storm story”. Some of our stories will begin with a phone call, a doctor’s visit, or news we did not want to hear. Some of them will start with the choices we have made, our mistakes, and our sins. Other stories will tell about the difficulty of relationships, with our hopes and plans that fell apart, or the struggle to grow up and find our way in life. Some storms seem to arise out of nowhere and take us by surprise while other storms build and brew as we helplessly watch on.
Storms happen. Storms of loss and sorrow. Storms of suffering. Storms of confusion. Storms of failure. Storms of loneliness. Storms of disappointment and regret. Storms of depression. Storms of uncertainty and second guessing, Storms of thoughts and voices.
Regardless of when or how they arise storms are about changing conditions. Life becomes overwhelming and out of control, things do not go our way and circumstances seem too much for us to handle. Order in our lives gives way to chaos; and we are sinking, the water is deep, with our sanctuary of the new shore being just a distant horizon.
The disciples are quick to make the storm about Jesus. We heard them say “Do you not care that we are perishing?” We have probably all echoed their words in the storms of our lives calling out to God to “Do something. Fix it. Make it better.” In the midst of the storm Jesus seems absent, passive, uncaring. How can he sleep at a time like this? Sleeping Jesus is not what they or we want in our times of crisis.
The sleeping Jesus, however, is in the same boat and the same storm as the disciples. He is surrounded by the same water as the disciples, he is being blown by the same wind, and beaten by the same waves. His response, however, is different. While disciples fret, worry and panic, he sleeps. The disciples want busyness and action whilst Jesus sleeps in peace and stillness. His sleep reveals that the greater storm and the real threat is not the wind, waves, and water around us – it is not the circumstances in which we find ourselves – but the real threat is within us. The real storm, the more threatening storm is always the one that churns and rages within us.
That internal storm is the one that blows us off course, beating against our faith, and threatening to drown us. Fear, vulnerability, and powerlessness blow within us. The sense of abandonment, the unknown, the judgment and criticism of ourselves and others are the waves that pound us. Too often anger, isolation, cynicism, or denial become our shelter from the storms in our lives.
“Peace! Be still!” Jesus speaks to the wind and the sea. But Jesus is not changing the weather as much as inviting the disciples to change. He is speaking to the wind and the waves within them. The disciples have been pointing to what is going on outside them; now Jesus points to what is going on inside them. “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Jesus’ words are more about us than the circumstances of our lives, and the storms we meet. Storms happen. Faith, more faith, better faith, stronger faith, the right kind of faith do not eliminate the storms of our lives. Faith does not change the storm; it changes us. Faith does not take us around the storm but guides us through the storm. Faith allows us to see and know that Jesus is there with us. Faith is what allows us to be still, to be peaceful, in the midst of the storm. It means we do not have to wrestle with the storm within us but have the faith to pass it on to God.
The Spirit of God blows through and within us more mightily than the winds of any storm. The power of God is stronger than any wave that beats against us. The love of God is deeper than any water that threatens to drown us. In every storm Jesus is present and his response is always the same, “Peace! Be still!”
In every storm there are choices to be made. Will we focus on the storm within us or trust in Christ Jesus’ peace? Do we put our faith in the power of the storm or in the power of God in Christ? Amen
Let us affirm our faith in the words of the Creed
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.
Prayers of Intercession
Lord, in your mercy
All hear our prayer.
And at the end
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Peace –
Peace to you from God our heavenly Father.
Peace from his Son Jesus Christ who is our peace.
Peace from the Holy Spirit, the life-giver.
The peace of the triune God be always with you and also with you.
Prayer at the preparation of the Table
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this bread to set before you,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this wine to set before you,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become for us the cup of salvation.
Blessed be God for ever.
The Lord is here.
His 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.
It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
For he is your living Word; through him you have created all things from the beginning and formed us in your own image.
Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,
giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;
you raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high.
Through him you have sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit and made us a people for your own possession.
Therefore, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name,
for ever praising you and saying:
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.]
Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.
Therefore, heavenly Father,
we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom,
and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.
Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died,
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.
Accept through him, our great high priest,
this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts
in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit,
inspire us with your love
and unite us in the body of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him, and with him, and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty,
in songs of everlasting praise:
All Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
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.
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.
Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.
Giving of Communion
Draw near with faith.
Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you,
and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink
in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.
We do not presume
to come to this your table, merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in your manifold and great mercies.
We are not worthy
so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table.
But you are the same Lord
whose nature is always to have mercy.
Grant us therefore, gracious Lord,
so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ
and to drink his blood,
that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body
and our souls washed through his most precious blood,
and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
The Body and Blood of Christ - Amen
The congregation receive communion respecting social distancing protocol.
Prayer after Communion
O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining and whose power we cannot comprehend: show us your glory as far as we can grasp it, and shield us from knowing more than we can bear until we may look upon you without fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen
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 peace of God, which surpasses all understanding;
Keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.
Copyright acknowledgement: Some material used in this service is copyright The Archbishops Council; Common Worship and Common Worship Times & Seasons 2002 & 20