Sunday 29th March

Order of service for Sunday 29thMarch - 5th Sunday in Lent (Passion Sunday)


This booklet is designed for use during Passiontide


As Holy Week approaches, the atmosphere of the Lenten season darkens as  the readings begin to anticipate the story of Christ’s suffering and death, giving the Fifth Sunday of Lent its name of Passion Sunday. During Passiontide the processional Cross and the Lady Chapel reredos (altar screen) will be covered in purple cloth, to remind us of the hiddenness of Christ’s divinity in these last days. The 14 Stations of the Cross are displayed around the walls of St  Michael’s.  They depict Jesus’ final hours according to church tradition, and give opportunity to all who visit the church to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer through meditating upon Christ’s final journey and reflecting on what that sacrifice of love and life means to us. 

The Gathering

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        Christ himself carried up our sins in his body to the tree, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds we have been healed.

Let us confess our sins.                                           1 Peter 2.24


Lord Jesus, you came to reconcile us to one another and the Father: Lord, have mercy.

All               Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you heal the wounds of sin and division: Christ, have mercy. 

All               Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you intercede for us with your Father:

Lord, have mercy. 

All               Lord, have mercy. 


President     Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.       All   Amen.

The Collect

Gracious Father, you gave up your Son out of love for the world: lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion, that we may know eternal peace through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Liturgy of the Word  

Old Testament Reading     Ezekiel 37.1–14

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.  He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.  He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’  I answered, ‘O Lord God you know.’  Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.  Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.  I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the  Lord.’  So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.  I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.  Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’  I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.  Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel.  They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.”  Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.  I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’       For the word of the Lord            All         Thanks be to God.

Psalm 130                                          

Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.                  

If you, Lord, were to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you shall be feared.                                            

I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; in his word is my hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than the night watch for the morning, more than the night watch for the morning.                                                                                                       

O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy; With him is plenteous redemption and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.             

New Testament Reading     Romans 8.6–11          

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law – indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.           For the word of the Lord      All      Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading      John 11.1–45                

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory. Christ humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and given him the name that is above every name.              (Philippians 2.8,9)

 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.

A certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.  So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’  But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’  Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’  The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’  Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight?  Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world.  But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’  After saying this, he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.’    The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.’  Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep.  Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead.  For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.  But let us go to him.’  Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’  When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.  Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away,  and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home.  Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’  Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’  Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,  and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?’  She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’  When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’  And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.  The Jews, who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out.  They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there.  When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.  He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’  They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’  Jesus began to weep.  So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’  But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’  Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb.  It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.  Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’  Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’  So they took away the stone.  And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’  When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’  The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth.  Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’  Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

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            

Let us pray to the Father through his Son who suffered on the cross for the World’s redemption.

Fill with your Spirit the worldwide Church. Give to Christian people everywhere a deep longing to take up the cross and to understand it’s mysterious glory. May it be our solace in this troubling time.

By the Saviours cross and passion.

Lord, save us and help us.

Bless those who lead the Church’s worship at this solemn time. May new ways to worship be embraced at this time of separation and isolation, in the preaching of the word and the celebration of the Sacraments. Draw your people to you and remind us not to be afraid.

By the Saviours cross and passion

Lord, save us and help us.

Look in your mercy upon the world that you loved so much that you sent your Son to suffer and die for us. Strengthen those who work to share the reconciliation won at such a cost upon the cross.

By the Saviours cross and passion

Lord, save us and help us.

Bring healing, by the wounds of Christ, to all those suffering in mind, body or spirit. Help all those who, at this time of the coronavirus pandemic, are working so hard and selflessly caring for the sick, suffering and dying. May all find strength and comfort in their troubles and know that the love of God surrounds them.

By the Saviours cross and passion

Lord, save us and help us.

Welcome into Paradise all who have left this world in your friendship. According to your promises, bring them with St. Michael and all your Saints, to share in all the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection.

By the Saviours cross and passion

Lord, save us and help us

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.             Amen.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

Christ is our peace. He has reconciled us to God in one body by the cross. We meet in his name and share his peace. The peace of the Lord be always with you.         All               and also with you.

Preparation of the Table

Jesus, true vine and bread of life, ever giving yourself that the world might live, let us share your death and passion: make us perfect in your love.     All               Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer B            

                     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.

Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved son Jesus Christ, your living Word, through whom you have created all things; who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour.

By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh; as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin, he lived on earth and went about among us; he opened wide his arms for us on the cross; he put an end to death by dying for us; and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life; so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.

And now we give you thanks because, for our salvation, he was obedient even to death on a cross. The tree of shame was made the tree of glory; and where life was lost, there life has been restored.

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.

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.

Deacon        Jesus Christ is Lord:

All               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 St Michael 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. 

All               Amen.                                                                       

The Lord’s Prayer

Standing at the foot of the cross, let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

All               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

We break the bread, communion in Christ’s body once broken.

All               If we have died with him, we shall live with him; if we hold firm, we shall reign with him. 

Agnus Dei

All               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               We do not presume to come to this your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies.  We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table. But you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body and our souls washed

Post Communion Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do also for you: give us the will to be the servant of others as you were the servant of all, and gave up your life and died for us, but are alive and reign, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

All               Almighty God, we thank you for feeding us with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Through him we offer you our souls and bodies to be a living sacrifice. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory. Amen.

The Dismissal


Christ crucified draw you to himself, to find in him a sure ground for faith, a firm support for hope, and the assurance of sins forgiven; 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

All sing        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.