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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.

Sing we of the blessèd Mother
who received the angel’s word,
and obedient to his summons
bore in love the infant Lord;
sing we of the joys of Mary
at whose breast that child was fed,
who is Son of God eternal
and the everlasting Bread.

Sing we, too, of Mary’s sorrows,
of the sword that pierced her through,
when beneath the cross of Jesus
she his weight of suff’ring knew,
looked upon her Son and Saviour
reigning high on Calv’ry’s tree,
saw the price of our redemption
paid to set the sinner free.

Sing again the joys of Mary
when she saw the risen Lord,
and, in prayer with Christ’s apostles,
waited on his promised word:
from on high the blazing glory
of the Spirit’s presence came,
heav’nly breath of God’s own being,
manifest through wind and flame.

Sing the greatest joy of Mary
when on earth her work was done,
and the Lord of all creation
brought her to his heav’nly home:
virgin mother, Mary blessèd,
raised on high and crowned with grace,
may your Son, the world’s redeemer,
grant us all to see his face.

Words: G. B. Timms (1910-1997)
 Music: C. V. Taylor (1907-1991)

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

Invitation to Confession

We have done what was wrong in the Lord’s sight
and chosen what displeased him.
Yet as a mother comforts her child,
so shall the Lord himself comfort us.
So let us come to him who knows our every deed and thought.

Silence is kept.

Lord Jesus, you are mighty God and Prince of Peace:
Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you are Son of God and Son of Mary:
Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you are Word made flesh and splendour of the Father;
Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

The almighty and merciful Lord
grant you pardon and forgiveness of all your sins,
time for amendment of life,
and the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit.


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.

The Collect

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

Almighty and everlasting God,
who stooped to raise fallen humanity
through the child-bearing of blessed Mary:
grant that we, who have seen your glory
revealed in our human nature
and your love made perfect in our weakness,
may daily be renewed in your image
and conformed to the pattern of your Son
Jesus Christ 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

Please sit.

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Galatians 4.4-7

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Please stand as the gradual hymn is sung. At the end of the hymn please remain standing as the Gospel for the day is read.

Virgin-born, we bow before thee:
blessèd was the womb that bore thee;
Mary, maid and mother mild,
blessèd was she in her child.

Blessèd was the breast that fed thee;
blessèd was the hand that led thee;
blessèd was the parent’s eye
that watched thy slumb’ring infancy.

Blessèd she by all creation
who brought forth the world’s salvation,
blessèd they, for ever blest,
who love thee most and serve thee best.

Words: R. Heber (1783-1826)
Music: German carol melody (14th century)
harmonised R. Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Gospel Reading

Alleluia, alleluia.

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

cf Luke 1.28,42


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

Glory to you, O Lord.

Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Luke 1.46-55

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


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.

Prayers of Intercession

Following an invitation to pray from the intercessor we kneel or sit to pray

The response to the bidding

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.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

Please stand with the president.

The Peace

Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,
and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9.6

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.

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)

Taking of the Bread and Wine

God our Father,
your handmaid Mary fed your Son at her virgin breast.
Nourish us at this table with the bread of heaven
and the cup of salvation.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Eucharistic Prayer (A)

Please kneel or 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 salvation,
almighty Father, ever-living God,
to proclaim the wonders you have worked in all your saints,
and on the feast of Mary, ever blessed,
to echo her praise of your loving kindness.
For you have truly done great things
and holy is your name,
and your mercy is on those who fear you
in every generation.
When you looked with favour on your lowly servant
you remembered your promise of mercy
and gave the world through her
your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Through him the hosts of heaven adore you
and rejoice in your presence for ever.
May our voices join with theirs
in the triumphant hymn of 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.

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:

Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever.

Silence is kept.

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.

Breaking of the Bread

The president breaks the consecrated 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.

Invitation to Communion

God’s holy gifts
for God’s holy people.

Jesus Christ is holy,
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

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.

Mighty One,
whose power does not reside
in fleshless lonely purity,
whose word is enwombed
at the heart of creation:
we praise you for Mary,
whose hospitable Yes
made a place for love;
whose song of transformation
makes thrones and rulers tremble;
whose prayer is heard
because she is one of us;
through Jesus Christ, Mary’s Child.

From Steven Shakespeare’s Prayers for an Inclusive Church

The Post Communion Prayer

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

God most high,
whose handmaid bore the Word made flesh:
we thank you that in this sacrament of our redemption
you visit us with your Holy Spirit
and overshadow us by your power;
strengthen us to walk with Mary the joyful path of obedience
and so to bring forth the fruits of holiness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


we have broken your bread
and received your life.
By the power of your Spirit
keep us always in your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A 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)

The Dismissal

The Blessing

When the Word became flesh
earth was joined to heaven in the womb of Mary:
may the love and obedience of Mary be your example.


May the peace of Christ
rule in your hearts and homes.


May you be filled with the joy of the Spirit
and the gifts of your eternal home.


And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.


The Dismissal

Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord;
let it be to me according to your word.’

Luke 1.38

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

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Sing we of the blessèd Mother
© Oxford University Press

Communion setting
© The Royal School of Church Music

Virgin-born, we bow before thee
Music © Oxford University Press

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

Music during Holy Communion
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Tell out, my soul
Words © T. Dudley-Smith
Music © Oxford University Press

Organ voluntary
© R. Dunster-Sigtermans

CCL licence: 668063