Sunday 22nd March

Order of service for Sunday 22nd March - 4th Sunday in Lent


A warm welcome to this service

This booklet is designed for use throughout the season of Lent and includes guidance notes.

Although Lent may originally have followed Epiphany it soon became a season of preparation for Easter, making it a time of self-examination, penitence, self-denial and study, to which almsgiving has traditionally been added.  The forty days of Lent remind us of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness.

In present times, the focus of Lent is on “taking up” rather than “giving up”, as we are encouraged, through study and prayer, to grow in faith and understanding, to seek justice for the poor, and to give freely to those in need.

As in Advent, churches are kept bare of flowers and decoration and the liturgical colour is purple.  Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent (also known as Refreshment Sunday) offers a break from Lenten austerity, before the season darkens into Passiontide.

The Greeting

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

All               and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

All               Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Invitation to Confession

Deacon        Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, though we have rebelled against him. 

Let us then renounce our wilfulness and ask his mercy by confessing our sins in penitence and faith/.


God our Father,we come to you in sorrow for our sins. For turning away from you, and ignoring your will for our lives;

Father, forgive us:

All               save us and help us.

For behaving just as we wish, without thinking of you; Father, forgive us:

All               save us and help us.

For failing you by what we do, and think and say; Father, forgive us:

All               save us and help us.

For letting ourselves be drawn away from you by temptations in the world about us; Father, forgive us:

All               save us and help us.

For living as if we were ashamed to belong to your Son; Father, forgive us:

All               save us and help us.


President     May the God of love bring us back to himself, forgive us our sins, and assure us of his eternal love

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All               Amen.

The Collect

Merciful Lord, absolve your people from their offences, that through your bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins which by our frailty we have committed; grant this, heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word  

Old Testament Reading 1 Samuel 1.20–28

Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked him of the Lord.’  The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow.  But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, ‘As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there for ever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.’  Her husband Elkanah said to her, ‘Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only – may the Lord establish his word.’ So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.  When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine.  She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young.  Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  And she said, ‘Oh, my Lord! As you live, my Lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.  For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him.  Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.’  She left him there for the Lord.   For the word of the Lord,   Thanks be to God.

Psalm 34. vv.11 – 20  

Come, my children and listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is there who delights in life, and longs for days to enjoy good things.

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from lying words.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their cry.The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to root out remembrance of them from the earth.

The righteous cry and the Lord hears them, and delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to the broken hearted and will save those who are crushed in spirit.

Many are the troubles of the righteous; from them all will the Lord deliver them.

He keeps all their bones, so that not one of them is broken.           

New Testament Reading Colossians 3.12–17

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. For the word of the Lord, Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading                     

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.                                  

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

The Lord be with you

All               and also with you.

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

All               Glory to you, O Lord.

John 19.25b–27

Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’  Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All               Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon - follow link to this week's reflection

Apostles’ Creed                                               

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

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. 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. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession           

A prayer for Mothering Sunday

We thank you, O Lord, for Mothers everywhere, and for all who care for us day by day. Let us not forget that you were a child, and that your mother was Mary.  So let our voices be heard  for all Mothers and Grandmothers, on this special day.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

With the coronavirus outbreak around us, we pray:

for the health and well-being of our nation, that all who are fearful and anxious may be at peace and free from worry; for those who are guiding our nation at this time, and shaping national policies, that they may make wise decisions; for doctors, nurses and medical researchers, that through their skill and insights many will be restored to health; for the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs, and care for them in their vulnerability; for our homes and families, for young people who do not know when they might go back to school, college or university, and anyone in any kind of need or distress; for a blessing on our local community, that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship, where all are known and cared for.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for those in our community and others known to us who have need of our prayers:

You are the giver of life and power, all energy, all strength comes from you. We think of those who are weary or ill, and we ask your blessing on all who feel that they are drained of their resources. We remember in your presence those who have served you, and who have now died. Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Peace

Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us access to his grace.      Romans 5.1,2  

The peace of the Lord be always with you.              All    and also with you.

Preparation of the Table

God of our journey, as we walk with you on your path of obedience, sustain us on our way and lead us to your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.             All        Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer C            

The Lord is here.                                             All    His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.                                          All     We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.          All     It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy, at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise, holy Father, heavenly King, almighty and eternal God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And now we give you thanks because you give us the spirit of discipline, that we may triumph over evil and grow in grace, as we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed. Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying/singing:

All     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.

All glory be to you, our heavenly Father, who, in your tender mercy, gave your only Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross of our redemption; who made there by his one oblation of himself once offered a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world; he instituted, and in his holy gospel commanded us to continue, a perpetual memory of his precious death until he comes again.

Hear us, merciful Father, we humbly pray, and grant that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, we receiving these gifts of your creation, this bread and this wine, according to your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed body and 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.

Deacon        Christ is the bread of life:

All               When we eat this bread and drink this cup. we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus until you come in glory.

Therefore, Lord and heavenly Father, in remembrance of the precious death and passion, the mighty resurrection and glorious ascension of your dear Son Jesus Christ, we offer you through him this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

Grant that by his merits and death, and through faith in his blood, we and all your Church may receive forgiveness of our sins and all other benefits of his passion. Although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer you any sacrifice, yet we pray that you will accept this the duty and service that we owe. Do not weigh our merits, but pardon our offences, and fill us all who share in this holy communion with your grace and heavenly blessing; 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.

All               Amen.                                                        

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.  Amen.                  

Breaking of the Bread

Every time we eat this bread and drink this cup             All    we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.                 

          Agnus Dei

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

Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Blessed are those who are called to his supper.

All       Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

All        Most merciful Lord, your love compels us to come in. Our hands were unclean, our hearts were unprepared; we were not fit even to eat the crumbs from under your table. But you, Lord, are the God of our salvation, and share your bread with sinners. So cleanse and feed us with the precious body and blood of your Son, that he may live in us and we in him;  and that we, with the whole company of Christ, may sit and eat in your kingdom. Amen.

Post Communion Prayer

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Saviour gave his back to the smiters and did not hide his face from shame: give us grace to endure the sufferings of this present time with sure confidence in the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

All      Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world. Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name; through Christ our Lord.    Amen.


Christ give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always. All               Amen.

Deacon        Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All               In the name of Christ. Amen.

Recessional hymn verse

A lasting gift Jesus gave his own:

to share his bread, his loving cup,

whatever burdens may bow us down,

he by his cross shall lift us up.