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 to the Lord’s Anointed,
Great David’s greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free;
To take away transgression,
And rule in equity.

He comes with succour speedy
To those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy,
And bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing,
Their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying,
Were precious in his sight.

He shall come down like showers
Upon the fruitful earth,
And love, joy, hope, like flowers,
Spring in his path to birth:
Before him on the mountains
Shall peace, the herald, go;
And righteousness, in fountains,
From hill to valley flow.

Kings shall fall down before him,
And gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore him,
His praise all people sing;
To him shall prayer unceasing
And daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
A kingdom without end.

O’er every foe victorious,
He on his throne shall rest,
From age to age more glorious,
All-blessing and all-blest.
The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove;
His name shall stand for ever,
That name to us is love.

Words: J. Montgomery (1771-1854) based on psalm 72
Music: from a melody in J. Crüger’s ‘Gesangbuch’
adapted by W. H. Monk (1823-1889)
Hymn Tune: CRÜGER

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


The Greeting

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.

From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.

The Lord of glory be with you.

The Lord bless you.

Words of Welcome

The Collect

The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words ‘Let us pray that we may be faithful to our baptism.’

Eternal Father,
who at the baptism of Jesus
revealed him to be your Son,
anointing him with the Holy Spirit:
grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit,
that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children;
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

Please sit.

A reading from the book of the Acts of the Apostles.

Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every people anyone who fears him and practices righteousness 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.

To the name that brings salvation
Praise and honour let us pay,
Which for many a generation
Hid in God’s foreknowledge lay,
But to ev’ry tongue and nation
Holy Church proclaims today.

Jesus, be that name we treasure,
Name beyond that words can tell;
Name of gladness, name of pleasure,
Ear and heart delighting well;
Name of sweetness, passing measure,
Freeing souls from sin’s dark spell.

Name that whosoever preaches
Makes sweet music to the ear;
Who in prayer this name beseeches
Finds divinest comfort near;
Joyful then the heart that reaches
To embrace that name so dear.

Where thou reignest with the Father,
Thou the everlasting Son,
Where with the eternal Spirit,
Threefold God, yet ever One,
May our eyes behold the splendour
When our earthly course is done.

Words: Latin c. 15th century
translated by J. M. Neale (1818-1866) and Editors
Music: C. Ett’s ‘Cantica Sacra’ (1840)

Gospel Reading

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

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptised by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptised, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw God’s Spirit descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from the heavens said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

 Matthew 3.13-end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


Please sit after the preacher leads us in prayer.

Thanksgiving for Holy Baptism

Please stand.

Water is poured into the font with these words.

God in Christ gives us water welling up for eternal life.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Lord, give us this water and we shall thirst no more.

The president stands before the water and says:

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.

Father, we give you thanks and praise
for your gift of water in creation;
for your Spirit, sweeping over the waters,
bringing light and life;
for your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
baptised in the river Jordan.
We bless you for your new creation,
brought to birth by water and the Spirit,
and for your grace bestowed upon us your children,
washing away our sins.
May your holy and life-giving Spirit
move upon these waters.
Restore through them the beauty of your creation,
and bring those who are baptised
to new birth in the family of your Church.
Drown sin in the waters of judgement,
anoint your children with power from on high,
and make them one with Christ
in the freedom of your kingdom.
For all might, majesty, dominion and power are yours,
now and for ever.

Alleluia. Amen.

The Prayer over the Water is followed by this act of penitence and dedication.

God of truth,
you are faithful to the covenant you have made with us;
look in mercy on your people.

From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.

We have broken the pledges of our baptism,
and failed to be your disciples.

From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.

Though we are saved by Christ
and dead to sin through the deep waters of death,
we have not witnessed to his grace by our manner of life.

From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.

We have shown indifference to those in need
and have been afraid to stand up for justice and truth.

From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.

We have been slow to forgive, and have failed to remember
your repeated forgiveness of our sins.

From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.

Today we rejoice and give thanks
because your Son humbled himself to be baptised in the Jordan.
Through the waters you have given us the mystery of baptism
for the remission of our sins.

From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.

Through water and Spirit
you give us new life as the people of God,
and pour out upon us the gifts of your new covenant.
From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.

Almighty God,
in our baptism you have consecrated us
to be temples of your Holy Spirit.
May we, whom you have counted worthy,
nurture your indwelling Spirit with a lively faith,
and worship you with upright lives;
through Jesus Christ.


The water is sprinkled over the people before 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.


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

God has made us one in Christ.
He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come,
has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts. Alleluia.

cf 2 Corinthians 1.22

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

This is usually a handshake shared with those near 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.

You can place cash or giving envelopes in the collection plates as they are passed around. If you would prefer, or if you miss the plate, you can also give by tapping your contactless card or device on the giving plate by the door as you leave, or on our donations page.

Songs of thankfulness and praise,
Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise,
Manifested by the star
To the sages from afar;
Branch of royal David’s stem,
In thy birth at Bethlehem;
Anthems be to thee addressed:
God in man made manifest.

Manifest at Jordan’s stream,
Prophet, priest and King supreme,
And at Cana wedding-guest,
In thy Godhead manifest,
Manifest in pow’r divine,
Changing water into wine;
Anthems be to thee addressed:
God in man made manifest.

Manifest in making whole,
Palsied limbs and fainting soul,
Manifest in valiant fight,
Quelling all the devil’s might,
Manifest in gracious will,
Ever bringing good from ill;
Anthems be to thee addressed:
God in man made manifest.

Sun and moon shall darkened be,
Stars shall fall, the heav’ns shall flee;
Christ will then like lightning shine,
All will see his glorious sign.
All will then the trumpet hear,
All will see the judge appear;
Thou by all wilt be confessed:
God in man made manifest.

Grant us grace to see thee, Lord,
Mirrored in thy holy word;
May we imitate thee now,
And be pure, as pure art thou;
That we like to thee may be
At thy great Epiphany,
And may praise thee, ever blest,
God in man made manifest.

Words: C. Wordsworth (1807-1885)
Music: C. Steggall (1826-1905)

Taking of the Bread and Wine

Open the heavens, Lord our God,
and send your transforming Spirit
on us and on these gifts.
May we who are baptised into Christ
be ready to share his cup of suffering
and strengthened to serve him for ever.


The Eucharistic Prayer (E)

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 truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
You celebrated your new gift of baptism
in signs and wonders at the Jordan.
Your voice was heard from heaven
to awaken faith in the presence among us
of your Word made flesh.
Your Spirit was seen as a dove,
revealing Jesus as your servant,
and anointing him with the oil of gladness
to preach the good news to the poor.
Therefore, as we celebrate the union of earth and heaven,
we rejoice to echo the song of the angels in heaven
for ever praising you and singing:

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.

We praise and bless you, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord;
and as we obey his command,
send your Holy Spirit,
that broken bread and wine outpoured
may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.

On the night before he died he had supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he praised you.
He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.
Again he praised you, gave it to them and said:
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.

So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,
in him we plead with confidence his sacrifice
made once for all upon the cross.
Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,
we proclaim his death and resurrection
until he comes in glory.

Great is the mystery of faith:

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

Lord of all life,
help us to work together for that day
when your kingdom comes
and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.
Look with favour on your people,
gather us in your loving arms
and bring us with Blessed Mary, St Joseph,
St Aelred of Hexham, Hilary of Potiers and all the saints
to feast at your table in heaven.
Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory are yours, O loving Father,
for ever and ever.


Silence is kept.

The Lord’s Prayer

Believing the promises of God, 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 the bread of life,
and that life is the light of the world.

God here among us,
light in the midst of us,
bring us to light and life.

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.

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. 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’).

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

God of freedom,
your beloved meets us where we are,
immersed in the flow of life:
by his humility and solidarity
raise us from fear and guilt;
may the arc of the Spirit’s flight
make us a people of peace;
through Jesus Christ, the Son of Righteousness.

Choir Anthem

‘If ye love me’

If ye love me, keep my commandments,
And I will pray the Father,
And He shall give you another Comforter,
That He may abide with you for ever;
E’en the Spirit, e’en the Spirit,
E’en the Spirit, the Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.
And ye know Him,
For He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless.
I will come to you.

P. Wilby (b. 1949)

The following communion hymns may be sung during the distribution as time allows. Please remain seated.

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
The Holy One, is here;
Come, bow before him now,
With reverence and fear.
In him no sin is found,
We stand on holy ground.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
The Holy One, is here.

Be still, for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around;
He burns with holy fire,
With splendour he is crowned.
How awesome is the sight,
Our radiant King of Light!
Be still, for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around.

Be still, for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place,
He comes to cleanse and heal,
To minister his grace.
No work too hard for him,
In faith receive from him;
Be still, for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place.

Words & Music: D. Evans (b. 1957)
Music: arrangement: N. Warren (1934-2019)

We pray thee, heav’nly Father,
To hear us in thy love,
And pour upon thy children
The unction from above;
That so in love abiding,
From all defilement free,
We may in pureness offer
Our Eucharist to thee.

Be thou our guide and helper,
O Jesus Christ, we pray;
So may we well approach thee,
If thou wilt be the Way;
Thou, very Truth, hast promised
To help us in our strife,
Food of the weary pilgrim,
Eternal source of life.

And thou, creator Spirit,
Look on us, we are thine;
Renew in us thy graces,
Upon our darkness shine;
That, with thy benediction
Upon our souls outpoured,
We may receive in gladness
The body of the Lord.

Words: V. S. S. Coles (1845-1929)
Music: J. B. Dykes (1823-1876)

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mould me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.

Words & Music: D. Iverson (1890-1972)

The Post Communion Prayer

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

Lord of all time and eternity,
you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father
in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son:
by the power of your Spirit
complete the heavenly work of our rebirth
through the waters of the new creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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.

A hymn is sung.

Crown him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon his throne;
Hark, how the heav’nly anthem drowns
All music but its own:
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.

Crown him the Virgin’s Son,
The God incarnate born,
Whose arm those crimson trophies won
Which now his brow adorn;
Fruit of the mystic Rose,
As of that Rose the Stem,
The Root whence mercy ever flows,
The Babe of Bethlehem.

Crown him the Lord of love:
Behold his hands and side;
Rich wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified:
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends each burning eye
At mysteries so bright.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
Whose pow’r a sceptre sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease,
Absorbed in prayer and praise:
His reign shall know no end,
And round his piercèd feet
Fair flow’rs of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me;
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity.

Words: M. Bridges (1800-1894)
Music: G. J. Elvey (1816-1893)

The Dismissal


The Father’s voice bears witness to the Son.

God has revealed himself to us.

The Son bows his head beneath the waters of baptism.

God has revealed himself to us.

The Spirit as a dove descends from heaven.

God has revealed himself to us.

Submitting to John’s baptism, Christ delivers us from bondage.

God has revealed himself to us.

The Dismissal Gospel

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

Glory to you, O Lord.

John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptise with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptises with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’

John 1.32-34

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

The Blessing

May God the Father,
who led the wise men by the shining of a star
to find the Christ, the Light from Light,
lead you also in your pilgrimage to find the Lord.


May God the Son,
who turned water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana,
transform your lives and make glad your hearts.


May God the Holy Spirit,
who came upon the beloved Son
at his baptism in the river Jordan,
pour out his gifts on you
who have come to the waters of new birth.


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


The Dismissal

We have come to Christ, the living water.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

Donations to St Mary's

St Mary’s is a charity which receives no funding from the government and is entirely dependent on donations and fees to keep operating.

If you'd like to donate to support our work you can give contactlessly as you leave the building by tapping your contactless card device against our card reader. You can also leave cash in the offering plate by the door.

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Communion Setting
© Royal School of Church Music

Music after the Offertory Hymn
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Great Amen
© G H Taylor

If ye love me
© Banks Music Publications

Be still, for the presence of the Lord
© Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

We pray thee, heavenly Father
Words © Oxford University Press

Spirit of the living God
© Birdwing Music/Alliance Media Ltd

Organ voluntary
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

CCL licence: 668063