Celebrating Eastertide from Home: 5th Wednesday of Easter
In these worship resources,
we continue our journey in Eastertide.
Opening to the Word
I was glad when they said to me,
‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’
Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi:
In domum Domini ibimus.
Psalm 121 (122):1
The Liturgy of the Word
Click on one of the reading references to read the Bible passages:
Many church musicians (and those who love church music) will be very familiar with CHH Parry’s setting of verses of today’s psalm:
I was glad when they said unto me
let us go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet shall stand
in thy gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built as a city
that is at unity in itself.
O pray for the peace of Jerusalem
they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls
and plenteousness within thy palaces.
The grandeur of Parry’s setting, skillfully setting the text, is hugely inspirational.
(See some available recordings here.)
It’s a great sing (and play) too!
However, in these days, we cannot “go into the house of the Lord”; at least not in any physical sense.
Our feet cannot stand “in thy gates”.
And yet, and yet:
We are Church, we are the house of the Lord, and our houses, to which we are confined, are – for the most part – places of blessing.
For some of us, however, home is not a place of blessing; it can be a place of terror, degradation and violence.
For too many people, the confines of a building are, instead of a place of security and peace, a kind of prison, where they are abused by others.
And this abuse may not always be visible; emotional and mental abuse is as damaging as physical abuse, if not more so.
The psalmist continues:
O pray for the peace of Jerusalem
they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls.
For those living in these conditions, we pray for courage and for freedom; for abusers, we pray that they may repent (literally, turn around).
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us that it is only by remaining part of the vine that we will bear fruit, and that pruning and cleansing are a necessary part of growth.
He warns us (all of us) that if we refuse to remain part of the vine we will wither.
Pray that we may all welcome this pruning and cleansing that each day we may turn again so that we may grow in the love of God.
And pray that we may use this time when we cannot go into our churches as a time of retreat, of fasting, awaiting the day when once again, as the assembled People of God, “our feet shall stand in thy gates” and we can together sing the praise of God who calls us out of darkness into God’s own marvellous light.
At this time, pray that we may enter ever more deeply into the presence of God, who longs to make God’s home with us.
Pray for those who bring light to those in darkness,
for those who bring hope where there is despair.
Pray for essential workers.
Pray for us all.
Music for reflection *
Lord Jesus Christ! Turn towards us,
send your Holy Spirit to us:
with her help and grace may God rule us
and lead us on the way to truth.
An Eastertide hymn
1 Blest be the everlasting God,
the Father of our Lord!
Be God’s abounding mercy praised,
and majesty adored!
2 When from the dead he raised his Son,
and called him to the sky,
God gave our souls a lively hope
that they should never die.
3 There’s an inheritance divine
reserved against that day;
’tis uncorrupted, undefiled,
and cannot fade away
4 Saints by the power of God are kept,
till that salvation come;
we walk by faith as strangers here,
till Christ shall call us home.
Isaac Watts, alt.
Alternative Eastertide Hymn (especially for the evening)
1 Stay with us Lord, for day is almost over;
Come to us in peace and greet us with your word.
You we have known, your love has sought and found us:
Speak to us now, our brother and our Lord.
2 Stay with us Lord, your word like fire within us
Sheds its searching light on all our despair:
We had forgotten you, the risen Master,
Taking our way, you talked with us there.
3 Stay with us Lord, and ever go before us,
Soon will your future dawn on us like day;
Stretch out your hand to hold and lead us always,
Gentle and strong one, Lord of our way.
Words: Alan Griffiths
© 1995 Alan Griffiths
from ‘Hymns for Prayer & Praise‘
The Lord’s Prayer
You can say this in any language you choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.
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.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificatur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Notre Père qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié.
Que ton règne vienne.
Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offences
comme nous pardonnons aussi
à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
mais délivre-nous du mal.
Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
whom truly to know is everlasting life:
grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ
to be the way, the truth, and the life,
that we may steadfastly follow his steps
in the way that leads to eternal life;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In these strange times, we are called to trust
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Collects are from the Scottish Episcopal Church, 1982.
The hymn ‘Stay with us Lord’ by Alan Griffiths, is taken from ‘Hymns for Prayer & Praise‘.
Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown, by Alistair Warwick.
Music engraved by The Art of Music.
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