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.

The president stands before the Easter Garden and says:

Christ yesterday and today,

the beginning and the end,

Alpha and Omega,
all time belongs to him,
and all ages;

to him be glory and power,
through every age and for ever. Amen.

Sisters and brothers,
this is a great moment,
when again we can declare
that the love of God is stronger
than the sin of the world
and that nothing
in the heights or depths can separate us from it.

‘The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.’

Matthew 28.5,6

The stone is rolled away and the president says:

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,
The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To you be glory now and for ever.
In your great mercy you have given us a new birth
Into a living hope
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
By your blessing, may we who have prepared this garden
in celebration of his victory,
Be strengthened in faith,
Know the power of his presence,
And rejoice in the hope of eternal glory.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Blessed be God for ever.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.


Jesus Christ is ris’n today, alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heav’nly King, alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, alleluia!

But the pains that he endured, alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, alleluia!
Now above the sky he’s King, alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, alleluia!

Words & Music: from ‘Lyra Davidica’ (1708)

The Collect

The president introduces a time of silent prayer with the words ‘Let us pray that we may reign with the risen Christ in glory.’

Living Lord,
whose love displaced the gravity of stone;
you entrusted women,
who loved beyond death,
with news of resurrection:
we praise you for the open gospel
which ends where Easter faith begins;
accept our fear, our disbelief and take us into this new world
led by the risen Son;
through Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the dead.


Please sit.

The Liturgy of the Word

 A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Acts 10.34-43

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Please stand as the gradual hymn is sung. During the hymn a procession will make its way to the centre of the nave from where the Gospel for the day is read. To symbolise our desire to turn to Christ in our daily lives, at the end of the hymn we remain standing and turn to face the place where the Gospel is proclaimed.

Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,
Your sweetest notes employ,
The Paschal victory to hymn
In strains of holy joy.

For Judah’s Lion burst his chains,
And crushed the serpent’s head;
And brought with him, from death’s domain,
The long-imprisoned dead.

From hell’s devouring jaws the prey
Alone our leader bore;
His ransomed hosts pursue their way
Where he hath gone before.

Triumphant in his glory now
His sceptre ruleth all:
Earth, heav’n and hell before him bow,
And at his footstool fall.

While joyful thus his praise we sing,
His mercy we implore,
Into his palace bright to bring,
And keep us evermore.

All glory to the Father be,
All glory to the Son,
All glory, Holy Ghost, to thee,
While endless ages run. Alleluia. Amen.

Words: St Fulbert of Chartres (d. 1028)
translated by R. Campbell (1814-1868)
Music: H. J. Gauntlett (1805-1876)

Gospel Reading

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.


He has defeated the powers of death.


Jesus turns our sorrow into dancing.


He has the words of eternal life.


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

Glory to you, O Lord.

On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Luke 24.1-12

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


Please sit after the preacher leads us in prayer.

The Liturgy of Initiation

Presentation of the Candidates

The candidate, who is asked to stand is presented to the congregation and then asked

Alice,do you wish to be baptised?

I do.

The president asks the whole congregation

Faith is the gift of God to his people.
In baptism the Lord is adding to our number
those whom he is calling.

People of God, will you welcome this candidate
and uphold her in her life in Christ?

With the help of God, we will.

The Decision

The president asks the candidate:

In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light.

To follow Christ means dying to sin
and rising to new life with him.

Therefore I ask:

Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?

I reject them.

Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?

I renounce them.

Do you repent of the sins that separate us
from God and neighbour?

I repent of them.

Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?

I turn to Christ.

Do you submit to Christ as Lord?

I submit to Christ.

Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?

I come to Christ.

Signing with the Cross

The president makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of the candidate with the oil of baptism, saying:

Christ claims you for his own.
Receive the sign of his cross.

Prayer over the Water

Please stand. The president and candidate gather at the font. Water is poured into the font.

Praise God who made heaven and earth,

who keeps his promise for ever.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ
was baptised in the river Jordan,
we thank you for the gift of water
to cleanse us and revive us.

Saving God,

give us life.

We thank you that through the waters of the Red Sea
you led your people out of slavery
to freedom in the Promised Land.

Saving God,

give us life.

We thank you that through the deep waters of death
you brought your Son,
and raised him to life in triumph.

Saving God,

give us life.

Bless this water, that your servants who are washed in it
may be made one with Christ in his death and in his resurrection,
to be cleansed and delivered from all sin.

Saving God,

give us life.

Send your Holy Spirit upon them,
bring them to new birth in the household of faith
and raise them with Christ to full and eternal life;
for all might, majesty, authority and power are yours,
now and for ever.


Profession of Faith

The president addresses the congregation.

Brothers and sisters, I ask you to profess
together with this candidate
the faith of the Church.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.


The president addresses the candidate for baptism by name, saying

Alice, is this your faith?

This is my faith.

The president pours water on the candidate, saying:

Alice, I baptise you
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.


The president signs the candidate with the oil of Chrism.

May God, who has received you by baptism into his Church,
pour upon you the riches of his grace,
that within the company of Christ’s pilgrim people
you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit,
and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory.


There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism:
Alice, by one Spirit we are all baptised into one body.

We welcome you in the fellowship of faith;
we are children of the same heavenly Father;
we welcome you.

The congregation welcome Alice with a round of applause.

Prayers of Intercession

The president says to the candidate:

You share, with all the members of the Church, the privilege
of praying to our Father, through his Son Jesus Christ, in the
power of the Holy Spirit.

So, let us pray for the whole world,
which is being renewed by the Risen Christ.

Please kneel or sit to pray.

The response to the bidding.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

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

Alleluia. Christ has been raised from the dead.

The peace of the risen 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. During this hymn a collection, our financial offering in support of the work of the Church both at St. Mary’s and across our diocese, is taken.

I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth;
At Bethlehem I had my birth.

Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

I danced for the scribe
And the pharisee,
But they would not dance
And they wouldn’t follow me;
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John;
They came with me and the dance went on:

Dance, then, wherever you may be…

I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame:
The holy people
Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung me high,
And they left me there on a cross to die:

Dance, then, wherever you may be…

I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance
With the devil on your back.
They buried my body
And they thought I’d gone;
But I am the dance and I still go on:

Dance, then, wherever you may be…

They cut me down
And I leapt up high;
I am the life
That’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you
If you’ll live in me:
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he:

Dance, then, wherever you may be…

Words & Music: S. B. Carter (1915-2004)
(Music adapted from a traditional Shaker melody)

Taking of the Bread and Wine

Risen Lord Jesus Christ,
we believe you, and all we have heard is true.
When you break bread
may we recognise you as the fire
that burns within us,
that we may bring light to your world.


The Eucharistic Prayer (B)

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, our duty and our joy,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
almighty and eternal Father,
and in these days of Easter
to celebrate with joyful hearts
the memory of your wonderful works.
For by the mystery of his passion
Jesus Christ, your risen Son,
has conquered the powers of death and hell
and restored in men and women
the image of your glory.
He has placed them once more in paradise
and opened to them the gate of life eternal.
And so, in the joy of this Passover,
earth and heaven resound with gladness,
while angels and archangels
and the powers of all creation
sing for ever the hymn of your glory:

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.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

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 here and in their homes
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. (Sung)

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation, 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.

The Agnus Dei is sung as the bread is broken for distribution.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,
grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

Alleluia. Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

The president and people receive communion. All baptised Christians are welcome to receive the sacrament. Please follow the guidance offered by the stewards.

If you are not baptised, or would prefer to not receive then do still come forward for a blessing bringing this book with you so the president knows your intention.

The sacrament is available in both kinds, however if you wish to only receive the bread please do so and then return to your place. Receiving in one kind is still considered to be full communion by the Church of England. Please do not dip bread in the wine (sometimes called ‘intincting’).

To the words “The Body/Blood of Christ” the communicant replies “Amen”.

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

God unlimited
by mortal fear
or tomb’s cold grip:
in the lingering dark
give us grace to know
your life triumphant
your love undimmed
in the face of Jesus Christ,
the firstborn from the dead.

Choir Anthem


Rejoice, heav’nly pow’rs! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation round God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour,
Radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Saviour shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
Echoing the mighty song of all God’s people:

Words: The Easter Song of Praise
Music: J. Bielby (b. 1944)

One or two communion hymns may be sung during the distribution as time allows.

Please remain seated.

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been;
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

In the grave they laid him, Love whom men had slain,
Thinking that never he would wake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain,
Quick from the dead, my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Thy touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts, that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

Words: J. M. C. Crum (1872-1958)
Music: French traditional melody

Christ the Lord is ris’n again,
Christ hath broken ev’ry chain.
Hark, the angels shout for joy,
Singing evermore on high: Alleluia!

He who gave for us his life,
Who for us endured the strife,
Is our Paschal Lamb today!
We too sing for joy, and say: Alleluia!

He who bore all pain and loss
Comfortless upon the cross,
Lives in glory now on high,
Pleads for us, and hears our cry. Alleluia!

He whose path no records tell,
Who descended into hell;
Who the strong man armed hath bound,
Now in highest heav’n is crowned. Alleluia!

Now he bids us tell abroad
How the lost may be restored,
How the penitent forgiv’n,
How we too may enter heav’n. Alleluia!

Thou, our Paschal Lamb indeed,
Christ, today thy people feed;
Take our sins and guilt away,
That we all may sing for ay. Alleluia!

Words: M. Weisse (c.1480-1534)
translated by C. Winkworth (1827-1878)
Music: melody from ‘Hundert Arien’, Dresden (1694)

Prayer after Communion

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

God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


God of our salvation,
you have restored us to life,
you have brought us back again into your love
by the triumphant death and resurrection of Christ.
Continue to heal us,
as we go to live and work
in the power of your Spirit,
to your praise and glory.


Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son,
Endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won;
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
Kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son,
Endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom.
Let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
For her Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting.

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son,
Endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
Life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife;
Make us more than conqu’rors, through thy deathless love:
Bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son,
Endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won.

Words: E. L. Budry (1854-1932)
translated by R. B. Hoyle (1875-1939)
Music: G. F. Handel (1685-1759)


God the Father, by whose love
Christ was raised from the dead,
open to you who believe
the gates of everlasting life.


God the Son,
who in bursting from the grave
has won a glorious victory,
give you joy as you share the Easter faith.


God the Holy Spirit,
who filled the disciples
with the life of the risen Lord,
empower you and fill you
with Christ’s peace.


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


Giving of a Lighted Candle

The president gives to the newly baptised a lighted candle lit from the Paschal Candle and then says:

God has delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and has given us a place with the saints in light.
You have received the light of Christ;
walk in this light all the days of your life.

Shine as a light in the world
to the glory of God the Father.

The Dismissal

With the power that raised Jesus from the dead
at work within you, go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

In the name of Christ. Amen.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

The ministers and people depart.

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Organ Introit
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Communion Setting
© Royal School of Church Music

Music after the Gospel
© Banks Music Publications

I danced in the morning
© Stainer & Bell Ltd

Music after the Offertory Hymn
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Great Amen
© G H Taylor

© Jonathan Bielby

Now the green blade riseth
Words © Oxford University Press

Music after the Communion Hymns
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Organ voluntary
© Oxford University Press

CCL licence: 668063