The Order for Mattins on Easter Sunday

The Order for Mattins

Vestry Prayer

O God, who hast given us minds to know thee,
hearts to love thee,
and voices to show forth thy praise:

Give us grace, we beseech thee,
to dedicate ourselves freely to thy service,
that we may reverently fulfil the worship of thy sanctuary,
and beautify the praises of thy house;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Mattins

Welcome

The Lord be with you
and with thy spirit.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

The Great Fifty Days of Eastertide form a single festival period in which the
tone of joy created at the Easter Vigil is sustained through the following seven
weeks, and the Church celebrates the gloriously risen Christ.

In those places where the custom
of lighting the Easter Candle at the beginning of Easter is followed, the lit
Candle stands prominently in church for all the Eastertide services. The
Alleluia appears frequently in liturgical speech and song, and white or gold vestments and decorations emphasize the joy and brightness of the season.

Seasonal Sentence

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1.3         

Penitential Sentence

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Luke 15.18,19    

Hymn

77      Jesus Christ is risen today

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia,
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia,
who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia,
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia.

Hymns of praise then let us sing Alleluia,
unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia,
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia,
sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia.

But the pains that he endured Alleluia,
our salvation have procured; Alleluia,
now above the sky he’s King, Alleluia,
where the angels ever sing Alleluia.

EASTER HYMN
Arranger (last stanza):
Heathcote Statham (1889-1973)
Melody from Lyra Davidica, London, 1708; as altered in the 18th century

Introduction

Confession

Dearly beloved [brethren],
the Scripture moveth us
in sundry places
to acknowledge and confess
our manifold sins and wickedness;
and that we should not dissemble
nor cloke them
before the face of Almighty God
our heavenly Father;

but confess them with an humble,
lowly, penitent, and obedient heart;
to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same,
by his infinite goodness and mercy.

And although we ought at all times
humbly to acknowledge our sins before God;
yet ought we most chiefly so to do,
when we assemble and
meet together to render thanks
for the great benefits that we have received at his hands,

to set forth his most worthy praise,
to hear his most holy Word,
and to ask those things
which are requisite and necessary,
as well for the body as the soul.

Wherefore I pray and beseech you,
as many as are here present,
to accompany me with a pure heart and humble voice
unto the throne of the heavenly grace,
saying with [after] me

A general Confession to be said of the whole Congregation with (after) the Minister, all kneeling.

Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep.
We have followed too much the devices and desires
of our own hearts.

We have offended against thy holy laws.
We have left undone those things
which we ought to have done;

and we have done those things
which we ought not to have done;
and there is no health in us.

But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
miserable offenders.

Spare thou them, O God,
which confess their faults.

Restore thou them that are penitent;
according to thy promises declared unto mankind
in Christ Jesu our Lord.

And grant, O most merciful Father,
for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy name.
Amen.

The Absolution or Remission of sins to be pronounced by the Priest alone, standing:
the people still kneeling.

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who desireth not the death of a sinner,
but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live;
and hath given power, and commandment, to his ministers
to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent,
the absolution and remission of their sins:
he pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent
and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel.
Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance,
and his Holy Spirit,
that those things may please him which we do at this present;
and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy;
so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Then the Minister shall kneel, and say the Lord’s Prayer: the people also kneeling, and repeating it with him, both here, and wheresover else it is used in Divine Service.

Our Father, which art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that 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.

Morning Prayer

O Lord, open thou our lips
and our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Stand & Face East

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;

Answer.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.

Easter Anthems – page 6 of Oxford Psalter

Christ our passover is sacrificed for us :
therefore let us keep the feast;

Not with the old leaven,
nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness :
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more :
death hath no more dominion over him.

For in that he died, he died unto sin once :
but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin :
but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christ is risen from the dead :
and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death :
by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die :
even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Gloria Patris is said or sung
Here, all standing up

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;

Answer.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

Psalmody

Psalm 114

When Israel came out of Egypt *
and the house of Jacob from among the strange people,

Judah was his sanctuary *
and Israel his dominion.

The sea saw that, and fled *
Jordan was driven back.

The mountains skipped like rams *
and the little hills like young sheep.

What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest *
and thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?

Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams *
and ye little hills, like young sheep?

Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord *
at the presence of the God of Jacob;

Who turned the hard rock into a standing water *
and the flint-stone into a springing well.

Psalm 117

O praise the Lord, all ye heathen *
praise him, all ye nations.

For his merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us *
and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise the Lord.

Gloria Patris is said or sung
Here, all standing up

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;

Answer.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

The First Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson is written in the 14th and 15th chapters of the Book of Exodus
beginning at the 10th verse of the 14th Chapter

And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.
And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Exodus 14.10-18,26 – 15.2

Here endeth the First Lesson

After the lesson, silence may be kept for a while

Stand

Te Deum Laudamus

We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.

To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein.
To thee cherubin and seraphin continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.

The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee:
the Father of an infinite majesty;
thine honourable, true and only Son;
also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.

Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man,
thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.

When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants,
whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy saints in glory everlasting.

O Lord, save thy people and bless thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee;
and we worship thy name, ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.

O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.

Sit for second lesson

The Second Lesson

The New Testament Lesson is written in the 15th chapter of the Book of Revelation
beginning at the 2nd verse.

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Revelation 15: 2-4

Here endeth the Second Lesson.

After the lesson, silence may be kept for a while

Stand

Jubilate Oxford Psalter p. 14

O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands :
serve the Lord with gladness,
and come before his presence with a song.

Be ye sure that the Lord he is God :
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise :
be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.

For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting :
and his truth endureth from generation to generation.

Psalm 100

Gloria Patris is said or sung
Here, all standing up

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;

Answer.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed

All turn east to say the Creed

I believe in God the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead and buried.

He descended into hell;
the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic Church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

At Morning Prayer

Upon these Feasts; Christmas Day, the Epiphany, Saint Matthias, Easter Day, Ascension Day, Whitsunday, Saint John Baptist, Saint James, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Matthew, Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Saint Andrew, and upon Trinity Sunday, shall be sung or said at Morning Prayer, instead of the Apostles’ Creed, this Confession of our Christian Faith, commonly called the Creed of Saint Athanasius, by the Minister and people standing.

Quicunque Vult or the Creed of St Athanasius

Whosoever will be saved:
before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick Faith.

Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled:
without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the Catholick Faith is this:
That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

Neither confounding the Persons:
nor dividing the Substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son:
and another of the Holy Ghost.

But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one:
the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son:
and such is the Holy Ghost.

The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate:
and the Holy Ghost uncreate.

The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible:
and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal:
and the Holy Ghost eternal.

And yet they are not three eternals:
but one eternal.

As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated:
but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.

So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty:
and the Holy Ghost Almighty.

And yet they are not three Almighties:
but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God:
and the Holy Ghost is God.

And yet they are not three Gods:
but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord:
and the Holy Ghost Lord.

And yet not three Lords:
but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity:
to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

So are we forbidden by the Catholick Religion:
to say there be three Gods, or three Lords.

The Father is made of none:
neither created, nor begotten.

The Son is of the Father alone:
not made, nor created, but begotten.

The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son:
neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons:
one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other:
none is greater, or less than another;

But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together:
and co-equal.

So that in all things, as is aforesaid:
the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved:
must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation:
that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the right Faith is that we believe and confess:
that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;

God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds:
and Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world;

Perfect God, and Perfect Man:
of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting;

Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead:
and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood.

Who although he be God and Man:
yet he is not two, but one Christ;

One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh:
but by taking of the Manhood into God;

One altogether, not by confusion of Substance:
but by unity of Person.

For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man:
so God and Man is one Christ.

Who suffered for our salvation:
descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.

He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty:
from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies:
and shall give account for their own works.

And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting:
and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

This is the Catholick Faith:
which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

 

Lesser Litany

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
And grant us thy salvation.

O Lord, save the Queen.
And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.

Endue thy ministers with righteousness.
And make thy chosen people joyful.

O Lord, save thy people.
And bless thine inheritance.

Give peace in our time, O Lord.
Because there is none other that fighteth for us,
but only thou, O God.

O God, make clean our hearts within us.
And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

The Collect of the Day

The Collect of the Day (BCP).

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
hast overcome death,
and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life:
We humbly beseech thee,
that as by thy special grace preventing us
thou dost put into our minds good desires,
so by thy continual help
we may bring the same to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost,
ever one God, world without end.

Amen.

The Collect for Peace

O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord,
in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life,
whose service is perfect freedom;
defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies;
that we, surely trusting in thy defence,
may not fear the power of any adversaries;
through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The Collect for Grace

O Lord, our heavenly Father,
almighty and everlasting God,
who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day;
defend us in the same with thy mighty power;
and grant that this day we fall into no sin,
neither run into any kind of danger,
but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance,
to do always that is righteous in thy sight;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

HYMN

Jesus, Prince and Saviour

Jesus, Prince and Saviour,
Lord of life who died,
Christ, the friend of sinners,
mocked and crucified;

In His power and Godhead
every victory won,
pain and passion ended,
all His purpose done;

Resurrection morning,
sinners’ bondage freed!
Christ the Lord is risen,
He is risen indeed!

Timothy Dudley-Smith
ST GERTRUDE
CCL: 182525

Sermon

 

There has, over the years, been a fashion to try to explain away some of the miraculous happenings of the Bible using quasi-scientific approaches to cast them as everyday events, shrouded by some sort of mystical air to deceive the gullible. One of things they say is that Jesus had not really died, and that is how he was touched and, not only seen, but seen eating.

How can we be sure that he was dead when he was buried on Good Friday and alive again on Sunday morning? Just think about the narrative; think about the track record that the Romans had; think about the hours of torture, the nailing to the cross and even a Roman soldier droving a spear into Jesus’s side – nobody could have endured all that and lived. Indeed, no Roman governor would have released the body if there had been any doubt.

You will remember in Scripture that it says:

Then ‘Pilate said to the priests, “You have a guard of soldiers; go and make it as secure as you can. ” So they went with the guards and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone’.

The platoon, or watch, of soldiers, a heavy stone, and a secure seal to show if the stone had been tampered with – all testify that there was no escape.

Several first century tombs have been excavated in Jerusalem, with a rolling-stone across the entrance. The stone must have been colossal. It took the whole troop of Roman soldiers to roll it into place. It was then sealed and almost certainly further secured with ropes and leather straps and then the centurion’s wax seal affixed.

I also think the apostles they were in no state to come up with any sort of subterfuge; As scripture testifies, they were too broken-hearted to take any sort of decisive action, but even if all eleven remaining disciples had come at once, they could not have overpowered the soldiers before any attempt could be made to move the stone themselves.

The soldiers remained on watch over the tomb all weekend, until something happened — something that happened that made them desert their post in terror. Thus, all these precautions, intended to prevent a rumour spreading that Jesus was alive again, proved futile. That night the plans and schemes of the Sanhedrin and the High Priests, in particular had gone utterly awry.

I believe that it is justified to be sure that Jesus was truly dead and buried,

but that is not the end of the story. Then comes the question of how we know that he was subsequently truly alive.

In spite of the priests’ attempt to bribe the soldiers to say that they had all slept right through a noisy grave-robbing, it became clear that God and his Angels deployed at the tomb, rolled back the stone and raised the dead Jesus to life. Many people saw him alive in the next 40 days — St Paul says there were over 500 at one sighting. Many in the years following, were prepared to defend the truth of their statements by accepting martyrdom. Millions since then have vowed that Jesus has answered their prayers, which a dead person cannot do. We too, you and I can bear contemporary witness from our own experience of his living presence and his loving care.

But what of resurrection? What did the disciples mean by it?

In Jesus is time, many Jews believed that the Messiah would bring about the kingdom of God on earth, when good Jews would live forever in ‘the life of the age’, when all enemies would be destroyed. Jesus used words that would have been familiar to them in his teaching, because otherwise they would not have understood him, but he gradually changed their understanding and brought new meaning.

The Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, made fun of the Pharisees’ idea of a return to life on Earth — ‘She had seven husbands; are they all come back to Earth, whose wife will she be?’, they said as a taunt or at least a test. Jesus replied that there will be no arranged marriages when we are rise again, because we shall all be like the Angels. The Angels live not on Earth, but in heaven.

Furthermore Saul of Tarsus, the zealous Pharisee, had grown increasingly incensed with Christians for teaching that the kingdom of God had already begun here on Earth and no Romans had yet been destroyed. How could a Jewish vision of the Kingdom be contaminated with filthy foreigners?

Then Saul met Jesus, whom he knew to be dead, on the road to Damascus. That shattered his preconceptions; the far-distant resurrection had started already! Saul spent a dozen years in the Syrian desert trying to work out what this meant.

When Barnabas introduced him to the Roman governor of Cyprus, Saul, now called Paul, really took on board the idea that foreigners, too, could be included in the resurrection. But still St Paul believed in an earthly resurrection — you can watch his slowly changing thinking unfold in the letters he wrote.

When he wrote to the Thessalonians, he was still thinking of the physical resurrection, though not on Earth, but ‘in the air’, and it will take place in his lifetime: ‘For the Lord himself … will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever’.

Later, writing to the Corinthians, he was thinking of a more spiritual existence, and struggles for words to describe it: ‘It is sown in a physical body, it has raised a spiritual body … flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God … For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality ‘.

‘The past is a foreign land — they do things differently there’, so they say, so it is hard for us to understand how people of the past looked on something as challenging as life after death. The Christian understanding of resurrection was clearly even changing while the Bible was being written. Over the centuries wise and faithful men and women have been inspired to offer further interpretations. Today, we are still absorbing new knowledge and attempting to describe what happens to us when we die. The language of quantum theory and multiverses have both been invoked.

Well the words some of use may change, but the reality of eternal life with Jesus remains the same. Put simply: Trust God. He would not have bothered to create us, if he had not intended something better for us after we have finished with this broken world.

Throughout the history of the church, great minds and some ordinary folk are developed various spiritual ideas of resurrection, and we should resist the urge to criticise those who think of resurrection in a way different from our own conception. The reason that I make such a bold statement is that none of us has the words, let alone the understanding, to describe the ineffable eternity and omnipotence of God in a way which is remotely adequate. However we attempt to describe and understand resurrection, we can only resort to metaphor.

The first disciples would not have understood a word if Jesus had spoken to them in the language of, say, relativity and multiple universes. God has always communicated in a language that is understandable to them; he makes his promises of a better life after death in words and with images that are familiar in our own time.

I believe that Jesus’ resurrection was certainly a truly physical miracle when the body of Jesus disappeared from the tomb. But who knows what his physical body was like in those days after the resurrection? Mary Magdalene was told by Jesus not to touch him yet, you will remember that his followers on the road to Emmaus did not recognise him until he broke the bread – something about him was different.

But we also know that St Paul had a life-changing vision of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. Not a hallucination, which is caused by a disturbance in our own minds, but a vision, which is caused by someone who wishes to appear to us.

We cannot know what the original disciples and later Paul saw, but we know enough to believe in our hearts that Jesus is alive for evermore; and one day we shall be with him.

Praise to you indeed, Lord Jesus. You are our risen Christ. By dying you destroyed our death and in rising you have restored our life. As we know and you have promised, you, Lord Jesus, will come in glory. Amen

HYMN

75      The Day of Resurrection

The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the Passover of gladness,
the Passover of God;
from death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our God hath brought us over
with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil,
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection-light;
and, listening to his accents,
may hear so calm and plain
his own ‘All hail’, and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful,
and earth her song begin,
the round world keep high triumph,
and all that is therein;
let all things seen and unseen
their notes of gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord is risen,
our joy that hath no end.

St. John of Damascus
Translator: J. M. Neale
ELLACOMBE
Gesangbuch der Herzogl. Hofkapelle, Würtemberg, 1784

Prayers

A Prayer for the Queen’s Majesty

O Lord, our heavenly Father, high and mighty,
King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes,
who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth:

Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour
to behold our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH;
and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit,
that she may alway incline to thy will, and walk in thy way.

Endue her plenteously with heavenly gifts;
grant her in health and wealth long to live;
strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all her enemies;
and finally after this life she may attain everlasting joy and felicity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for the Royal Family

Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness,
we humbly beseech thee to bless Philip Duke of Edinburgh,
Charles Prince of Wales, William Duke of Cambridge
and all the Royal Family:

Endue them with thy Holy Spirit;
enrich them with thy heavenly grace;
prosper them with all happiness;
and bring them to thine everlasting kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

A Prayer for the Clergy and People

Almighty and everlasting God,
who alone workest great marvels:

Send down upon our Bishops, and Curates,
and all Congregations committed to their charge,
the healthful Spirit of thy grace;
and that they may truly please thee,
pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing.

Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator,
Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Litany

Here followeth the Litany, or General Supplication, to be sung or said after Morning Prayer, upon Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and at other times when it shall be commanded by the Ordinary.

O God the Father of heaven: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

O God the Father of heaven: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three Persons and one God: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three Persons and one God: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

Remember not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; neither take thou vengeance of our sins: spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever.

Spare us, good Lord.

From all evil and mischief; from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil; from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From all blindness of heart; from pride, vain-glory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From fornication, and all other deadly sin; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From lightning and tempest; from plague, pandemic and pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder, and from sudden death,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From all sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion; from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of thy holy Incarnation; by thy holy Nativity and Circumcision; by thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By thine Agony and bloody Sweat; by thy Cross and Passion; by thy precious Death and Burial; by thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension; and by the coming of the Holy Ghost,

Good Lord, deliver us.

In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our wealth; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgement,

Good Lord, deliver us.

We sinners do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God: and that it may please thee to rule and govern thy holy Church universal in the right way,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to keep and strengthen in the true worshipping of thee, in righteousness and holiness of life, thy Servant ELIZABETH, our most gracious Queen and Governor,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to rule her heart in thy faith, fear, and love, and that she may evermore have affiance in thee, and ever seek thy honour and glory,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to be her defender and keeper, giving her the victory over all her enemies,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bless and preserve Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Charles Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to illuminate all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of thy Word; and that both by their preaching and living they may set it forth and shew it accordingly,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to endue the Lords of the Council, and all the Nobility, with grace, wisdom, and understanding,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bless and keep the Magistrates, giving them grace to execute justice, and to maintain truth,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bless and keep all thy people,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to give to all nations unity, peace, and concord,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to give us an heart to love and dread thee, and diligently to live after thy commandments,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to give to all thy people increase of grace, to hear meekly thy Word, and to receive it with pure affection, and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bring into the way of truth all such as have erred, and are deceived,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to strengthen such as do stand; and to comfort and help the weak-hearted; and to raise up them that fall; and finally to beat down Satan under our feet,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to succour, help, and comfort all that are in danger, necessity, and tribulation,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to preserve all that travel by land or by water, all women labouring of child, all sick persons, and young children; and to shew thy pity upon all prisoners and captives,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to defend, and provide for, the father-less children, and widows, and all that are desolate and oppressed,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to have mercy upon all men,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth, so as in due time we may enjoy them,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to give us true repentance; to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue us with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, to amend our lives according to thy holy Word,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

Son of God: we beseech thee to hear us.

Son of God: we beseech thee to hear us.

O Lamb of God: that takest away the sins of the world;

Grant us thy peace.

O Lamb of God: that takest away the sins of the world;

Have mercy upon us.

O Christ, hear us.

O Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Then shall the Priest, and the people with him, say the Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Priest.
O Lord, deal not with us after our sins.

Answer.
Neither reward us after our iniquities.

Let us pray.

O God, merciful Father,
that despisest not  the sighing of a contrite heart,
nor the desire of such as be sorrowful:

Mercifully assist our prayers that we make before thee
in all our troubles and adversities,
whensoever they oppress us;
and graciously hear us, that those evils,
which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man worketh against us,
be brought to nought,
and by the providence of thy goodness
they may be dispersed;
that we thy servants, being hurt by no persecutions,
may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thy Name’s sake.

O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us, the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them.

O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thine honour.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;

Answer.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

Prayers and Thanksgivings

Upon several occasions, to be used before the two final Prayers of the Litany, or of Morning and Evening Prayer.

Prayers

A Prayer that may be said after any of the former.

O GOD,
whose nature and property is ever to have mercy and to forgive,
receive our humble petitions;
and though we be tied and bound with the chain of our sins,
yet let the pitifulness of thy great mercy loose us; f
or the honour of Jesus Christ,
our Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

A Prayer for Her Majesty’s Government and Civil Service.

MOST GRACIOUS GOD,
we humbly beseech thee, as for this Kingdom in general,
so especially for the High Court of Parliament,
the ministers and civil servants of our most religious and gracious Queen:
under the same:

That thou wouldest be pleased to direct and prosper all their consultations
at all times
to the advancement of thy glory,
the good of thy Church,
the safety, honour, and welfare of our Sovereign and her Dominions;
that all things may be so ordered and settled by their endeavours,
upon the best and surest foundations,
that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety,
may be established among us for all generations.

These and all other necessaries,
for them, for us, and thy whole Church,
we humbly beg in the Name and Mediation of Jesus Christ
our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Prayers about the outbreak

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of thy mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in thy comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from thy love
in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

For those who are ill

Merciful God,
we entrust into thy tender care those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
thine everlasting arms be there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
we beseech thee
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For hospital staff and medical researchers

Gracious God,
give skill, sympathy and resilience to all
that doest for the sick,
and thy wisdom to that search for a cure.
Strengthen them with thy Spirit,
that through their work many shall be restored to good health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For and from the ill or isolated

O God,
help us to trust thee,
help us to know that thou art with us,
help us to believe that nothing can separate us from thy saving grace
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanksgiving

ALMIGHTY GOD, Father of all mercies,
we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks
for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men;

[*particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings
for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them.
]

We bless thee for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world
by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.

And we beseech thee,
give us that due sense of all thy mercies,
that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful,
and that we shew forth thy praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives;
by giving up ourselves to thy service,
and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with thee
and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory,
world without end.
Amen.

*This to be said when any that have been prayed for desire to return praise.

The Final Prayers of the Litany

From our enemies defend us, O Christ.

Graciously look upon our afflictions.

Pitifully behold the sorrows of our hearts.

Mercifully forgive the sins of thy people.

Favourably with mercy hear our prayers.

O Son of David, have mercy upon us.

Both now and ever vouchsafe to hear us, O Christ.

Graciously hear us, O Christ; graciously hear us, O Lord Christ.

Priest.
O Lord, let thy mercy be shewed upon us;

Answer.
As we do put our trust in thee.

Let us pray.

We humbly beseech thee, O Father,
mercifully to look upon our infirmities;
and for the glory of thy Name
turn from us all those evils that we most righteously have deserved;
and grant that in all our troubles
we may put our whole trust and confidence in thy mercy,
and evermore serve thee in holiness and pureness of living,
to thy honour and glory;
through our only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer of Saint Chrysostom

Almighty God,
who hast given us grace at this time with one accord
to make our common supplications unto thee;
and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name
thou wilt grant their requests:

Fulfil now, O Lord,
the desires and petitions of thy servants,
as may be most expedient for them;
granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth,
and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

The Grace

The grace (X) of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost,
be with us all evermore.

2 Corinthians 13

Amen.

HYMN

428   Thine be the glory!

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.

Refrain:
Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.

Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting:

Refrain

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of Life;
life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors through thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above: [Refrain]

Refrain

Edmond Budry (1854-1932)
Translator: Richard Birch Hoyle (1875-1939)
MACCABAEUS
George Frederick Handel (1685-1759)

 

Blessing

The peace of God,
which passeth all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord:

and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father,
the Son,
and the Holy Ghost,
be amongst you and remain with you always.
Amen.

Dismissal

The Lord be with you
and with thy spirit.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Remember, O Lord, what thou hast wrought in us,
and not what we deserve;
and, as thou hast called us to thy service,
make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Copyright Acknowledgements

Extracts from The Authorized (King James) Version. Rights in the Authorized Version are vested in the Crown. Reproduced by permission of the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

Extracts from The Book of Common Prayer, the rights in which are vested in the Crown, are reproduced by permission of the Crown’s Patentee, Cambridge University Press.

 

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