Easter Day

An act of Spiritual Communion 

The Service of Light

 

The service would normally begin in silence with all lights switched off.

If possible, place a new candle on a table.

 

The markings of the Easter Candle would normally be traced while the following is said:

 

 Christ yesterday and today,

All:   the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega,
all time belongs to him,
and all ages;

All:   to him be glory and power,
through every age and for ever. Amen.

 

By his holy and glorious wounds may Christ our Lord guard and keep us.

All:  Amen.

 

This is the day when our Lord Jesus Christ passed from death to life.
Throughout the world Christians celebrate the awesome power of God. As we hear his word and proclaim all that God has done, we can be confident that we shall share his victory over death and live with him for ever.

      

Please light the new candle, and hold it up saying:

 

May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

 

The light of Christ.

All:  Thanks be to God.

 

The Exsultet

Hymn  - Sing, Choirs of Heaven, Richard Shireby (Woodlands) YouTube

Sing, choirs of heaven! Let saints and angels sing!
Around God’s throne exult in harmony!
Now Jesus Christ is risen from the grave!
Salute your King in glorious symphony!

Sing, choirs of earth! Behold, your light has come!
The glory of the Lord shines radiantly!
Lift up your hearts, for Christ has conquered death!
The night is past, the day of life is here!

Sing, Church of God! Exult with joy outpoured!
The gospel trumpets tell of victory won!
Your Saviour lives; he’s with you evermore!
Let all God’s people sound the long Amen!

 

The Liturgy of the Word

 

The following is repeated three times.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

All:  He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

 

A joyful fanfare is played: hand-bells rung, if you have them, or even a fanfare of saucepan lids!
Lights can be switched on, if needed.

 

Say or sing the Gloria:

 

Gloria in Excelsis


Glory to God in the highest,          
and peace to his people on earth.   

Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

 

The Collect

 

Let us pray that we may reign with the risen Christ in glory.

 

 A period of silent prayer is kept.

 

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 

New Testament Reading

Acts 10:34-43

 

Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

 

At the end:

This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

 

Gradual Hymn

 Jesus Christ is risen today, King’s College Cambridge Choir (YouTube)

 

Jesus Christ is ris’n today, alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, alleluia!
who did once, upon the cross, alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss, alleluia!

Hymns of praise than let us sing, alleluia!
unto Christ, our heav’nly 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! 

 

Gospel Reading

 

Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the first and the last, says the Lord, and the living one;
I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.

Alleluia.

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

Glory to you, O Lord.

 

The Resurrection of Jesus - Matthew 28:1-10

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’

 

At the end:

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

 

Reflection

I’m waking up each morning to the lovely sight of sunrise over the village green. Maybe one or two people out walking their dogs. And then my heart sinks as I remember what is going on in our nation and across the world.

It’s hard, this year, to stay positive, isn’t it? And yet, here we are in Spring, with lambs being born just around the corner from where I live; spring-bulbs bursting into flower; birds calling their mates (and how lovely to be able to hear their song so clearly, now there is so little traffic noise). All signs of new life, hope and blessing.

According to Matthew’s gospel, it was Mary Magdalene and “the other” Mary who went to Jesus’ tomb just as day was dawning on that Sunday morning following the crucifixion of Jesus. In other gospels we read that they had brought spices to anoint Jesus’ body for burial – their first opportunity following the Sabbath ‘lock-down’.

They must have woken that morning and ‘remembered’ the events of Good Friday and the pain and emptiness that followed. As they approach the tomb in their grief, they have the most terrifying experience. A great earthquake heralds the arrival of an angel of the Lord! The angel rolls back the stone sealing the tomb to reveal that it is empty (save for some grave-clothes). Jesus’ body is not there!

‘Do not be afraid’, says the angel, who then proclaims the Resurrection of Jesus. Still afraid, but also full of great joy, the women leave quickly to share the good news with the other disciples.

Before they can get there – another shock! They meet the risen Jesus! And we hear again, ‘Do not be afraid’, this time from our Lord himself.

It’s a message for our time. We are all rather afraid, for ourselves, our loved-ones, our communities. We don’t know how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue to threaten and take lives. We don’t know when life might ever get back to anything like normal for those who weather this storm.

Today – the greatest Festival of the Christian year - our church buildings should be places of great rejoicing and fellowship together. But they, like the tomb, stand empty, with their doors shut and locked. 

That is not the end of the story, any more than the empty tomb was on that first Easter morning. The other message that both the angel and our Lord gave the women was ‘Go and tell’.

That, too, is a message for us. Our ‘going’ may be restricted, but we are finding new ways to share the Good News of Jesus. 

Let’s repeat the prayer we said at the beginning of this service:

May the light of Christ, rising in glory,

banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

Amen.

 

Amen, indeed.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

With Easter blessings and my prayers,

Revd Sally

 

Affirmation of Faith


We believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist.

We believe and trust in God the Son,
who took our human nature, died for us and rose again.

We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world.

This is the faith of the Church.

This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Hymn

The Day of Resurrection, Gloucester Cathedral Choir (YouTube – skip Ad)

 

The day or resurrection! Earth tell it our abroad;
the Passover of gladness, the Passover of God!
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
our Christ 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 list’ning to his accents, may hear so calm and plain -
his own ‘All hail’ and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heav’ns 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 hath risen, our joy that hath no end.

         

Prayers of Intercession

Pray for the needs of the world, for your local community, and for those close to you.

Give thanks for the saving death and resurrection of Jesus and ask him to be with you now.

 

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults
you have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer,
friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day.
Amen.

after the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester

You might then add one or more of the following prayers:

 

God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.     
Amen.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care.
Amen.

 

O God, help me to trust you,
help me to know that you are with me,
help me to believe that nothing
can separate me from your love
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

 

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.

 

Final Hymn

Thine be the glory, King’s College Cambridge Choir - YouTube

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son,
endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death has won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.

Refrain:

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son,
endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death has 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 hast losts its sting.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of Life;
life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife.
Make us more than conqu’rors through thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.

 

Closing Prayer

Silence is kept.

 

God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

       

Virtual Blessing

       
Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

 

God the Father,
by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,
open to us who believe the gates of everlasting life.

Amen.

 

God the Son,
who in bursting from the grave has won a glorious victory,
give us joy as we share the Easter faith.

Amen.

 

God the Holy Spirit,
who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord,
empower us and fill us with Christ’s peace.

Amen.

 

And may the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with us and those whom we love, this Easter Day and always.

Amen.  

 

Virtual Buck’s Fizz!


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