The Gathering

An introit hymn is sung.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord:
unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name:
make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same;
his holy name, the Lord, the mighty one.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might:
pow’rs and dominions lay their glory by;
proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word:
firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children’s children and for evermore.

Words: T. Dudley-Smith (b. 1926)
Music: W. Greatorex (1877-1949)

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


The Greeting

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you

and also with you.

Words of Welcome

Prayers of Penitence

Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;
you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.
Often you weep over our sins and our pride,
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

Silence is kept.

Come, let us return to the Lord and say:

Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgement;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

The president says

May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Collect

The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words ‘Let us pray’.

God of compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and sorrow
we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
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.


The Liturgy of the Word

A reading from the Book of Exodus.

A man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him, ‘This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,’ she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’ Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Yes.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed it.

When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because,’ she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’

Exodus 2.1-10

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


For Mary, mother of our Lord,
God’s holy name be praised,
who first the Son of God adored,
as on her child she gazed.

The angel Gabriel brought the word
she should Christ’s mother be;
Our Lady, handmaid of the Lord,
made answer willingly.

The heav’nly call she thus obeyed,
and so God’s will was done;
the second Eve love’s answer made
which our redemption won.

She gave her body for God’s shrine,
her heart to piercing pain,
and knew the cost of love divine
when Jesus Christ was slain.

Dear Mary, from your lowliness
and home in Galilee,
there comes a joy and holiness
to ev’ry family.

Hail, Mary, you are full of grace,
above all women blest;
and blest your Son, whom your embrace
in birth and death confessed.

Words: J. R. Peacey (1896-1971)
Music: G. Slater (1896-1979)

Gospel Reading

An acclamation is said to herald the Gospel.

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.
The Lord is a great God,
O that today you would listen to his voice.
Harden not your hearts.

cf Psalm 95.3,8

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.

Glory to you, O Lord.

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary,

‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

 Luke 2.33-35

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


Affirmation of Faith

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.

cf Philippians 2.6-11

Prayers of Intercession

The response to the bidding.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us; 

in your love and tenderness remake us.

Then at the end

The Lord’s Prayer

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.

The Peace

Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.


Bind us together, Lord, bind us together
with cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, Lord,
bind us together in love.

There is only one God,
there is only one King.
There is only one Body,
that is why we sing:

Bind us together, Lord…

Fit for the glory of God,
purchased by his precious Blood,
born with the right to be free:
Jesus the vict’ry has won.

Bind us together, Lord…

We are the fam’ly of God,
we are his promise divine,
we are his chosen desire,
we are the glorious new wine.

Bind us together, Lord…

Words: B. Gillman
Music: B. Gillman arr. M. Archer (b. 1952)

A Song of Anselm

Sung by a chorister.

Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;
you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.
Often you weep over our sins and our pride, 
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.
You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds, 
in sickness you nurse us, and with pure milk you feed us.
Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life; 
by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.
Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness; 
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.
Your warmth gives life to the dead, 
your touch makes sinners righteous.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us; 
in your love and tenderness remake us.
In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness, 
for the beauty of heav’n may your love prepare us.

from Anselm of Canterbury

We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us.

These words of Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference were offered on Mothering Sunday last year as we entered a period of lockdown for the first time.

Blessing of the Flowers

Traditionally at this point during the service, daffodils have been blessed and then distributed amongst those gathered. This year small bunches of daffodils will be available for collection from the porch at St. Mary’s from 10.00 am.

Do come and collect a bunch for you or someone whom you think would be glad to receive them.

This prayer is said by the president.

God, our Mother and Father
whose love surrounds us daily
we pray you bless these flowers
that they might be tokens of your love
and symbols of hope
giving joy to those who give and receive
we ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Now thank we all our God,
with hearts and mind and voices,
who wondrous things hath done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mother’s arms
hath blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessèd peace to cheer us;
and keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and him who reigns
with them in highest heaven,
the one eternal God,
whom earth and heav’n adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Words: M. Rinkart (1586-1649) translated C. Winkworth (1827-1878)
Music: J. Crüger (1598-1662)

The Dismissal

The Blessing

Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life;
by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy
and the blessing of God Almighty
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
rest upon you and those whom you love
now and always.


Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

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Tell out, my soul
Words © T. Dudley-Smith

Gospel Acclamation
© The Royal School of Church Music

For Mary, mother of our Lord
Music © Reverend M. J. Hancock
Words © Oxford University Press

Bind us together, Lord
© Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

© Stainer & Bell

CCL licence: 668063