Order of service

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The Gathering

Our worship begins at the sound of the bell, please stand as the sacred ministers enter, during which the introit hymn is sung.

Hail the day that sees him rise, alleluia!
to his throne above the skies; alleluia!
Christ the Lamb, for sinners giv’n, alleluia!
enters now the highest heav’n! alleluia!

Circled round with angel-pow’rs, alleluia!
their triumphant Lord and ours; alleluia!
wide unfold the radiant scene, alleluia!
take the King of Glory in! alleluia!

Lo, the heav’n its Lord receives, alleluia!
yet he loves the earth he leaves; alleluia!
though returning to his throne, alleluia!
calls the human race his own; alleluia!

Still for us he intercedes, alleluia!
his prevailing death he pleads; alleluia!
near himself prepares our place, alleluia!
he the first-fruits of our race; alleluia!

Lord, though parted from our sight, alleluia!
far above the starry height, alleluia!
grant our hearts may thither rise, alleluia!
seeking thee above the skies; alleluia!

Ever upward let us move, alleluia!
wafted on the wings of love; alleluia!
looking when our Lord shall come, alleluia!
longing, sighing after home; alleluia!

Words: C. Wesley (1707-1788), T. Cotterill (1779-1823) and others
Music: R. Williams (1781-1821)

God has gone up with a shout,

the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.

Psalm 47.5

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

Amen.

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

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for forty days we have been celebrating with joyful hearts the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, his bursting from the tomb and his defeat of the power of sin and death. He appeared to his disciples many times and told them about the kingdom of God.

Today we recall how he left this earth and returned to his Father, ascending into heaven to take his throne over all dominions and powers. Trusting in his reign over all creation, and submitting to his kingly yet loving rule, let us hear the story of his parting.

The Ascension Reading

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Acts 1.4-11

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

A minister says

Seeing we have a great high priest who has passed through the heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us offer him the praise worthy of his name.

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

The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words ‘Let us pray that our risen and ascended Lord will lead us to eternal life.’

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ
to have ascended into the heavens,
so we in heart and mind may also ascend
and with him continually dwell;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Please sit.

The Liturgy of the Word

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians.

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1.15-end

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

Please stand as an acclamation is sung to herald the Gospel.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Go and make disciples of all nations, says the Lord.
Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

cf Matthew 28.19,20

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

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

Glory to you, O Lord.

Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

Luke 24.44-end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

Please sit after the preacher leads us in prayer.

The Nicene Creed

Please stand with the president.

Let us declare our faith in God.

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

Following an invitation to pray from the intercessor we sit and the response to the bidding is:

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

Then at the end.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

Please stand with the president.

The Peace

Jesus says: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
If you love me, rejoice because I am going to the Father’. Alleluia.

John 14.27,2

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Preparation of the Table

The table is prepared and bread and wine are placed upon it.

A Hymn is sung.

The head that once was crowned with thorns
is crowned with glory now:
a royal diadem adorns
the mighty victor’s brow.

The highest place that heav’n affords
is his, is his by right.
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
and heav’n’s eternal light.

The joy of all who dwell above,
the joy of all below,
to whom he manifests his love,
and grants his name to know.

To them the cross, with all its shame,
with all its grace is giv’n;
their name an everlasting name,
their joy the joy of heav’n.

They suffer with their Lord below,
they reign with him above,
their profit and their joy to know
the myst’ry of his love.

The cross he bore is life and health,
though shame and death to him;
his people’s hope, his people’s wealth,
their everlasting theme.

Words: T. Kelly (1769-1855)
Music: J. Clarke (c.1674-1707)

Taking of the Bread and Wine

Blessed be God,
by whose grace creation is renewed,
by whose love heaven is opened,
by whose mercy we offer our sacrifice of praise.

Amen.

The Eucharistic Prayer

Please sit.

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 and good,
our duty and our joy,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ the King of glory.
Born of a woman, he came to the rescue of our human race.
Dying for us, he trampled death and conquered sin.
By the glory of his resurrection
he opened the way to life eternal
and by his ascension,
gave us the sure hope
that where he is we may also be.
Therefore the universe resounds with Easter joy
and with choirs of angels we sing for ever to your praise:

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.

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and according to your holy will,
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

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.

Jesus Christ is Lord:

Lord, by your cross and resurrection
you have set us free.
You are the Saviour of the world.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,
his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world;
rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension,
and looking for his coming in glory,
we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.
As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
we bring before you this bread and this cup
and we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people
and gather into one in your kingdom
all who share this one bread and one cup,
so that we, in the company of Blessed Mary and all the saints,
may praise and glorify you for ever,
through Jesus Christ our Lord;

By whom, and with whom, and in whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

Silence is kept.

The Lord’s Prayer

Looking for the coming of his kingdom,
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

The president breaks the consecrated bread.

Lord, we died with you on the cross.

Now we are raised to new life.

We were buried in your tomb.

Now we share in your resurrection.

Live in us, that we may live in you.

Invitation to Communion

I heard the voice of a great multitude crying, Alleluia.

The Lord our God has entered into his kingdom.

Blessed are those who are called
to the supper of the Lamb.
Alleluia.

The president and people receive communion. At the giving of communion, the president receives communion in both kinds

The words of distribution (“The body and blood of Christ, broken/shed for us all”) are spoken to the congregation, and all who intend to receive reply with “Amen”.

At the distribution, please follow the guidance offered by the stewards. Holy Communion is administered without speaking. The consecrated bread is dropped into the hands of communicants. To reduce the risk of spreading any infection, communion will be in one kind (bread) only. This is still considered to be complete communion by the Church of England.

For those at home it might be helpful to use this prayer during the distribution.

Abide with us Lord, throughout this day.
Abide with us in our journeying, and in our homes.
Abide with us in our seeking and in our longings.
Abide with us now and to eternity,
Jesus, risen Lord,
who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit
in glory for ever. Amen.

The Post Communion Prayer

Please stand with the president who introduces a time of silent prayer with the words ‘Let us pray’.

God our Father,
you have raised our humanity in Christ
and have fed us with the bread of heaven:
mercifully grant that, nourished with such spiritual blessings,
we may set our hearts in the heavenly places;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

We thank you, Lord,
that you have fed us in this sacrament,
united us with Christ,
and given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet
prepared for all peoples.

Amen.

Please stand as a hymn is sung.

Christ triumphant, ever reigning,
Saviour, Master, King,
Lord of heav’n, our lives sustaining,
hear us as we sing:

Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, the eternal name.

Word incarnate, truth revealing,
Son of Man on earth!
Pow’r and majesty concealing
by your humble birth:

Yours the glory and the crown…

Suff’ring servant, scorned, ill-treated,
victim crucified!
Death is through the cross defeated,
sinners justified:

Yours the glory and the crown…

Priestly King, enthroned for ever
high in heav’n above!
Sin and death and hell shall never
stifle hymns of love:

Yours the glory and the crown…

So, our hearts and voices raising
through the ages long,
ceaselessly upon you gazing,
this shall be our song:

Yours the glory and the crown…

Words: M. Saward (1932-2015)
Music: M. Baughan (b. 1930)

The Dismissal

Reading

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying. They were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

Acts 1.12,13a,14

Silence is kept.

Responsory

As we wait in silence,

make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we listen to your word,

make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we worship you in majesty,

make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your refreshing,

make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your renewing,

make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your equipping,

make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your empowering,

make us ready for your coming Spirit.

Silence is kept.

The Blessing

May the Spirit,
who set the Church on fire upon the day of Pentecost,
bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ.
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

The Dismissal

Waiting expectantly for the promised Holy Spirit,
go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.


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Gospel acclamation
© The Royal School of Church Music

Organ music after the Gospel
© Banks Music Publications

Organ music during communion
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Christ triumphant
Words © Michael Saward / Jubilate Hymns
Music © Michael Baughen / Jubilate Hymns

Organ voluntary
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

CCL licence: 668063