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2021: OUR ONLINE SUNDAY SERVICE AND OTHER SEASONAL SERVICES WILL BE POSTED HERE EACH WEEK, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

United Benefice of St Michael and St Mary
FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – FAMILY COMMUNION
SUNDAY 2nd MAY 2021

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‘Allegro’ – Léon Boëllmann (1862-1897)

The Lord be with you
And also with you

 Collect

Almighty God,
who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us
you put into our minds good desires,
so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Hymn: You are the vine

You are the vine and we are the branches,
Prune and make us bear more fruit.
We have been cleansed by the word and you have spoken;
Abide in us and we in you.

You are the vine and we are the branches,
Apart from you we are nothing at all.
Teach us to love as you have commanded.
Come to us now, abide in us.

You have commanded us to love one another
There is no greater commandment than this.
No greater love has been shown to your people,
Than to lay down your life for us.

Words: Gordon Giles (b.1966)
Music: ‘Golden Lane’ John Barnard (b.1948))

Reading: Acts 8.26-40 Philip baptises the Ethiopian eunuch

Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:

‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
so he does not open his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.’

The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’ He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

Anthem: Requiem: Christ is our cornerstone – David Thorne (Contemporary)
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(Lübecker Knabenkantorei an St. Marien, recorded as part of a 2019 concert tour in St. Vincent-de-Paul, Le Havre, Sven Fanick (Organ) and conducted by Karl Hänsel)

Christ is our cornerstone, on him alone we build.
The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Alleluia!
Words: Latin Hymn translated by John Chandler (1837)

Gospel: John 15 1-8 Jesus is the true vine

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

Sermon by the Archdeacon of Lambeth

Prayers

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord

Lord in your mercy … hear our prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbour, and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you. In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love, and your love

Lord in your mercy … hear our prayer

We pray for those in most need in our own families and neighborhood, thinking of the elderly, the housebound and those in hospital or hospice. We pray for all carers and visitors whether family members, volunteers or health care professionals and especially for those who minister to people near the end of life’s journey through the hospice movement – for they do your work and so we ask for them your gifts of patience, compassion and understanding.

We pray for those that we know who are sick, lonely or in some special need at this time as we share a brief moment of silence together as we name them in our hearts…..

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

We also remember those we have loved but see no more and pray for those left behind to grieve. Let them know that nothing is more dependable in times of sorrow than your encircling love

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, a light which no darkness can quench. We remember before God those we love but no longer see, in the silence we lift them before you…  may the light of Christ which eternally shines bring hope for you turn our darkness into light; in your light shall we see light.

Merciful Father accept these prayers
for the sake of your son
our saviour Jesus Christ
Amen

Blessing
The Lord bless us and watch over us;
The Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us;
The Lord look kindly upon us and give us peace. Amen
Our worship has now ended, and our service now begins…
Go in the light and peace of Christ
Thanks be to God.

Voluntary: Finale from ‘Fireworks Music’ – George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)