Sunday 24th May


Sunday 24th May - Ascensiontide

A warm welcome to this service

Last Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter, was Ascension Day, marking the end of Jesus’ time on earth and his return to God the Father.  No longer has the divine, living on earth, but part of the fullness of God everywhere, Christ, by his Ascension, given us the hope that where he is we may be also.

The nine days which follow are traditionally observed as days of prayer and preparation, given that Christ has commissioned his disciples to continue his work, has promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit, and is no longer among them in the flesh.  The Ascension is therefore closely connected with mission, with sending out. 

The arrival of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, will complete and crown the fifty days of Easter. 

The Gathering 


Opening Hymn         

1. Rejoice, the Lord is King: Your Lord and King adore!
Mortals, give thanks and sing, And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

2. Jesus, the Saviour, reigns, The God of truth and love;
When He has purged our stains, He took his seat above;
Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

3. His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o'er earth and heav'n;
The keys of death and hell Are to our Jesus giv'n:
Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

4. He sits at God's right hand Till all his foes submit,
And bow to his command, And fall beneath his feet.
Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!       Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

The Greeting The Lord be with you              All  and also with you.


Christ has gone up on high.   All  Alleluia!

God raised Christ from the dead.  All   and enthroned him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

Christ has gone up on high.   All   Alleluia.                                          

Invitation to Confession

What God has prepared for those who love him, he has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything. Therefore, let us in penitence open our hearts to the Lord, who has prepared good things for those who love him.        (1 Corinthians 2.9,10) 


You raise the dead to life in the Spirit: Lord, have mercy.   All    Lord, have mercy.

You bring pardon and peace to the broken in heart: Christ, have mercy. All   Christ, have mercy.

You make one by your Spirit the torn and divided: Lord, have mercy.  All   Lord, have mercy.


May the God of love and power forgive you and free you from your sins, heal and strengthen you by his Spirit, and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.  All  Amen.

The Collect:   

Risen, ascended Lord, as we rejoice at your triumph, fill your Church on earth with power and compassion, that all who are estranged by sin may find forgiveness and know your peace, to the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word                                

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.      

 Acts 1.6–14     When the apostles had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’   He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.   But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’   When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.   While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.   They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven?  This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’   Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.   When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.   All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.      For the word of the Lord,   All  Thanks be to God.

A reading from the first letter of Peter.

1 Peter 4.12–14; 5.6–11     Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.          For the word of the Lord,   All  Thanks be to God.

Gradual Hymn    

1. Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour first-begotten from the dead,
thou alone, our strong defender, liftest up thy people's head.
Alleluia, alleluia, Jesu, true and living bread.

2. Paschal Lamb, thine offering, finished once for all when thou wast slain,
in its fullness undiminished shall for evermore remain,
Alleluia, alleluia, cleansing souls from every stain.

3. Life-imparting heavenly manna, stricken rock with streaming side,
heaven and earth with loud hosanna worship thee, the Lamb who died,
Alleluia, alleluia, risen, ascended, glorified!  George Hugh Bourne (1840-1925)     

Gospel Reading     

Alleluia, alleluia. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in us the fire of your love. Alleluia, alleluia.   

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 17.1–11     Jesus looked up to heaven and said,  ‘Father, the hour has come;  glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you,   since you have given him authority over all people,  to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.   And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.   I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do.   So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.   I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world.  They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.   Now they know that everything you have given me is from you;   for the words that you gave to me I have given to them,  and they have received them  and know in truth that I came from you;  and they have believed that you sent me.   I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours.   All mine are yours and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.   And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.  Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’    

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

Sermon - follow link to this week's reflection- Reflection  - May 24th

Affirmation of Faith                 

Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; afterwards he appeared to his followers, and to all the apostles: this we have received, and this we believe. Amen.     (cf 1 Corinthians 15.3-7)

The Lord’s Prayer

Being made one by the power of the Spirit, as our Saviour has 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.  

Prayers of Intercession            

Freed from the constraints of time and space, of human body and human needs, Christ lives within us now. The Risen, Ascended Lord of all. Let us pray for those who need to know the liberating presence of God in their lives.

God of every time and place. We pray for all who work for the good of others. For those who look for peaceful solutions to conflict. For those who provide healthcare and education in these difficult and challenging times. For all who provide the things we need.

Lord, in your mercy                         Hear our prayer

God of the here and now. We pray for all who are facing uncertainty in their lives. For those who are constricted by poverty. For all who suffer in mind, body or spirit. For those known to us and those known to God alone.

Lord, in your mercy                         Hear our prayer

God within us and around us. We pray for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Breaking down the barriers between us, freeing us from our fears, freeing us to be ourselves in You. Empowering us with Your love.

Lord, in your mercy                      Hear our prayer

Be with us, living God, in all the ups and downs of our lives. Now and for evermore. In the name of our Ascended Saviour. Amen

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


1. Hail the day that sees him rise, alleluia!
to his throne above the skies; alleluia!
Christ the Lamb, for sinners giv'n, alleluia!
enters now the highest heav'n! alleluia!

2. Lo, the heav'n its Lord receives, alleluia!
yet he loves the earth he leaves; alleluia!
though returning to his throne, alleluia!
calls the human race his own. alleluia!

3. Lord, though parted from our sight, alleluia!
far above the starry height, alleluia!
grant our hearts may thither rise, alleluia!
seeking thee above the skies. alleluia!

4. Ever upward let us move, alleluia!
wafted on the wings of love; alleluia!
looking when our Lord shall come, alleluia!
longing, sighing after home. alleluia!      Charles Wesley (1707-1788), Thomas Cotterill (1779-1823) et al


Christ our ascended King pour upon you the abundance of his gifts and bring you to reign with him in glory; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you, and remain with you always. All   Amen.

Recessional hymn verse

Father, we love you, we praise you, we adore you.

Glorify your name in all the earth. Glorify your name, glorify your name, Glorify your name in all the earth.

Enriching the Christian Year (1993), 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 2020