Sunday 21 February

      St. Michael and All Angels                    Amersham on the Hill



A warm welcome to this service

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. 

The Gathering

Introit: Lent prose

Verse: To thee, redeemer, on thy throne of glory, lift we our weeping eyes in holy pleadings: listen, O Jesu, to our supplications.

Response: Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have sinned against thee

Processional Hymn .

Forty days and forty nights  thou wast fasting in the wild;
Forty days and forty nights Tempted, and yet undefiled:

Sunbeams scorching all the day; chilly dewdrops nightly shed;
prowling beasts about thy way; stones thy pillow, earth thy bed.

Shall not we thy sorrows share, And from earthly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer, glad with thee to suffer pain?

And if Satan, vexing sore, Flesh or spirit should assail,
thou, his vanquisher before, Grant we may not faint nor fail.

So shall we have peace divine; Holier gladness ours shall be;
round us too shall angels shine, Such as ministered to thee.

Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear, Ever constant by thy side;
That with thee we may appear At the eternal Eastertide.
George Hunt Smyttan (1822-1870) and Francis Pott (1832-1909)

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

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.



May the God of love bring you back to himself, forgive you your sins, and assure you of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord.    All ;Amen.


The Collect

Heavenly Father, your Son battled with the powers of darkness, and grew closer to you in the desert: help us to use these days to grow in wisdom and prayer that we may witness to your saving love in Jesus Christ our Lord.    All;  Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word 
Old Testament Reading; Genesis 9.8–17

God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’ 

For the word of the Lord     All; Thanks be to God.

New Testament Reading1 Peter 3.18–22

Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you – not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

For the word of the Lord   All Thanks be to God.


Psalm 25 vv.1-9

Response: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul
1. To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul: O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies triumph over me.
2. Let none who look to you be put to shame, but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.    Response
3. Make me to know your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths.
4. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you have I hoped all the day long. Response
5. Remember, Lord, your compassion and love for they are from everlasting.
6. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions, but think on me in your goodness, O Lord, according to your steadfast love.   Response
7. Gracious and upright is the Lord; therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.
8. He will guide the humble in doing right and teach his way to the lowly.
9. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.  Response


Gospel Reading Mark 1.9–15

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. (cf Psalm 95.3,8)     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 Mark.    All; Glory to you, O Lord.

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’ around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.    All; Praise to you, O Christ.


Sermon Sunday, February 21st. 2021. Lent 1 Genesis 9, 8-17, Psalm 25, 1-9, Mark 1, 9-15


Apostles’ Creed

All; 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.


The Lord’s Prayer

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.   


Prayers of Intercession 

Be still in God’s presence – love and be loved. Fall deep in the silence - the silence of God
You, Lord, are here among us. Let us be at peace within ourselves. Let us accept that we are profoundly loved and need never be afraid. Let us be aware of the source of being that is common to all human beings and all living creatures. Let us be filled with the presence of the Great Compassion
towards ourselves and towards all living beings. Realising that we are all nourished from the same source of life, may we live so that others be not deprived of air; food; shelter or the chance to live. Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be a cause of suffering to one another. With humility let us
pray for the spreading of peace in our hearts and on the earth. May God kindle in us the fire of love to bring us alive and give warmth to the world.

Lord, in the face of this worldwide pandemic may we realise that Christ has penetrated into the depth of darkness; loneliness; agony and fear in order to touch the depth of darkness in each one of us, and to call us to belief, trusting in resurrection, and that we may find in the depth of our vulnerability the presence of Jesus – the light shining in the darkness.

God of all our growing, call our shoots up from the soil. In the sharp spring season of our awakening, nurture the resurrection life in us: in the fragile burgeoning  thrust of green; in the delicate bud, the trembling leaf; the first tentative signs of our growth. Send your Spirit where the new season dances and bring us into the promise of Spring.

Today we remember from our Book of Remembrance:- John Morris; Margaret Carpenter; Kenneth Appelboom; John Oakley; Kenneth Rock; Rev Margaret Hall; Barbara Foster; Paul Paddison; Florence Appleby; Dorrie Croisdale; Christine Summers; Tony Paddison.

Father, we give thanks for the gift of memory. Neither time nor death can rob us of the hours we shared with those we love, and from such remembered companionship; friendship; laughter and tenderness, enable us to draw new strength to live each day - Merciful Father,
All; accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,  our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Dismissal


Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us o'er the world's tempestuous sea;
guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us, for we have no help but thee;
yet possessing every blessing if our God our Father be.

Saviour, breathe forgiveness o'er us, all our weakness thou dost know,
thou didst tread this earth before us, thou didst feel its keenest woe;
lone and dreary, faint and weary, through the desert thou didst go.

Spirit of our God, descending, fill our hearts with heavenly joy,
love with every passion blending, pleasure that can never cloy;
thus provided, pardoned, guided, nothing can our peace destroy.
James Edmeston (1791-1867)


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.

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.

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), New Patterns for Worship (2002) and Times and Seasons (2006), material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council. CCL No 908682. SMAA 6.2.17