Lent

Lent

Lent is the time of preparation for Easter when we focus on penitence, reflection and spiritual growth. Around the tenth century Lent came to be linked with Christ’s forty days in the wilderness. Therefore it is a time when a renewal of commitment and simple worship are appropriate.

Hymn or Music

Opening Sentence (Psalm 51:17)

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, you God, will not despise.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may give ourselves to the service of God.

Opening Responses

O Lord, open our lips:
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
O God make speed to save us:
O Lord make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen

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

Hymn or Music

Prayer of Preparation

Lord,
direct our thoughts and teach us to pray.
Lift up our hearts to worship you
in spirit and in truth
through Jesus Christ our Lord
Amen

Confession

Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, though we have rebelled against him.

Silence is kept.

Let us admit to God the sin which always confronts us:

Lord God
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing
and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore to us the joy of your salvation
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

May almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever.
Amen.

Collect                      

Almighty and everlasting God
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of those who are penitent;
create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness
may receive from you, the God of all mercy
perfect remission and forgiveness
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Bible Reading

Address

Hymn or Music

Affirmation of Faith

Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Though he was divine
he did not cling to equality with God
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death
even the death of the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow
and every voice proclaim
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father
Amen.

Silent Prayer

Let us pray in silence for our own needs and for the needs of the world:

Lord, meet us in the silence.
And hear our prayer.

  • For the world (for peace, for all leaders, for those suffering or in need)
  • For the church (for our bishops, clergy, the diocese, local churches)
  • For our community (for leaders, groups, and those in need or distress)
  • For our friends and family (for those we love and those no longer with us)
  • For ourselves (we give thanks and we ask for help and guidance)

Remind us often Lord
when we are feeling proud, arrogant, beyond reproach,
pleased with ourselves and self-sufficient in our ways,
that for such as us you walked a road
that took you to a cruel cross,
and rose again to show us
where we might look for rescue.
Amen.

We sum up our prayers in the words that Jesus taught his disciples:

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.

Hymn or Music

Agape Meal

The Agape was the Love Feast of early apostolic times, a simple meal to which everyone was invited. All differences of economic and social standing were ignored, as Christians met as members of one family. As a sign of equal membership, the rich brought food for the poor, who brought nothing. The word ‘Agape’ describes a love which is selfless, sacrificial and unconditional. It is the love God has for us, shown in Jesus’ sacrificial death. We pray that in sharing this meal, we may then demonstrate that love to one another in our daily lives.

Reading (Colossians 3)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Prayer before the Meal

Come, Holy Spirit
and bless us as we meet together in unity.
As we eat and drink this meal,
may we be reminded of your unconditional love for us,
and may our eyes be opened
to recognise Jesus in each other.
We ask this prayer in his name
Amen.

The Distribution

We remain in our seats for the meal and, as a sign of our fellowship in Christ, we pass the food and drink to our neighbour, saying: ‘The Bread of Life’ and ‘The Cup of Blessing’

Prayer after the Meal

Lord, be with us through the fellowship of this meal.
May the food and companionship we share
nourish our hearts and minds,
and with our spirits refreshed,
may we live our lives to your praise and glory,
now and forever.
Amen.

A Song of Humility (Hosea 6: 1-6)

Come, let us return to the Lord who has torn us and will heal us.
God has stricken us and will bind up our wounds.
After two days, he will revive us,
and on the third day will raise us up,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us strive to know the Lord;
his appearing is as sure as the sunrise.
He will come to us like the showers,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
‘O Ephraim, how shall I deal with you?
How shall I deal with you, O Judah?’
Your love for me is like the morning mist,
like the dew that goes early away.
‘Therefore, I have hewn them by the prophets,
and my judgement goes forth as the light.
For loyalty is my desire and not sacrifice,
and the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever.
Amen.

Prayer

God of compassion
through your Son Jesus Christ
you have reconciled your people to yourself.
As we follow his example of prayer and fasting
may we obey you with willing hearts
and serve one another in holy love
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Hymn or Music

Blessing

May Christ give us grace to grow in holiness
to deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow him
and may the blessing of God Almighty
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
be among us and remain with us always.
Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ, Amen.

Hymn or Music