Easter Sunday 2020

Prologue

Sentence of Scripture

Death has been swallowed up in victory:
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
(1 Corinthians 15:54c-55)

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
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.
Amen.

Hymn

Choose “Christ the Lord is risen today” (Salvation Army Band or Hymns Project pop-orchestra).

Collect for Easter Day

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen

Prayers of Penitence

John writes:
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:8-9)

Let us admit to God the sin that always confronts us.

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing
and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen
(cf. Psalm 51)

Hear the words of comfort our Saviour Christ says to all who truly turn to him:

God so loved the world
that he gave his only-begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life.
(John 3.16)

Hear what Saint Paul says:
This saying is true and worthy of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
(1 Timothy 1.15)

First Bible Reading

Acts 10:34-43 Text / Audio – click the player below

Acts 10:34-43 from the New International Version of the Bible

Hymn

Choose “One day when heaven” (traditional tune as sung in Widford church with piano accompaniment or revised version with full band arrangement as sung in Hunsdon church)

Second Bible Reading

John 20:1-18 Text / Audio – click the player below

John 20:1-18 from the New International Version of the Bible

Creed

Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even the death of the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.
(cf. Philippians 2.6-11)

Sermon

Prayers

Almighty God, you created all things from nothing by your powerful word.  You breathed life into the human race, formed us in your own image to reflect your glory and sent your Son to bring us back to you no matter how far we have strayed.  On this day when we celebrate the glorious resurrection of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, we pray:

For your church:
As your people all over the world face trials daily, give them confidence in your power which raised Christ Jesus from the dead.  When they are threatened with violence for belonging to you, give them courage to stand and to proclaim your gospel of peace.  When they are mocked and scorned, marginalised and ignored, equip them by your spirit to persevere and never to give up doing good.  In these difficult days of isolation, strengthen the bonds of love between your people that they may more effectively show your resurrection hope to the world.

For the rulers of the nations:
Sovereign Lord, give wisdom to our government and the governments of the world as they seek to protect their people from the contagion gripping the planet at present.  We pray for our politicians and civil servants, and especially those who have been called upon to deputise for the Prime Minister during his hospitalisation.  In your mercy, give them all the resources they need to deal with this complex situation and to hold our nation together.  We entreat you, Lord: both restrain and embolden the media that it may truly act in the public interest, being neither too critical nor too credulous, speaking nothing but the truth from a heart of genuine love.

For our communities:
Loving Father, from whom every family in earth and heaven receives its name, we pray for our families and friends and above all at this time, for those who are fearful in the face of the virus or who grieve as a result of its impact.  In your grace, make yourself known as a steadfast companion to the lonely; as a generous provider to those who are facing financial challenges; and as the grave-conquering Lord of life to those who mourn.  This Eastertime, may many more in our community come to know your love in a deeper way, to receive forgiveness for their sin and experience the all-transforming hope of eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

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 for ever.
Amen.

Hymn

Choose either “Thine be the glory” (traditional) or “See, What a Morning” (contemporary).

Blessing

The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be with you always.
Amen

Epilogue

For those who wish to sing and dance on this glorious day…

Some material in this service is from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) and is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council. cf. www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/common-worship