Missio Dei (The Mission of the Church)
During this time, we focus on the ways in which Christ empowers us by his grace to share the Gospel with others and join in with his on-going mission in the world. It allows a time of reflection between the celebrations surrounding Jesus’ birth and the challenging themes of Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
Opening Sentence – John 15:16a
Jesus said, ‘You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you so that you may go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.’
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.
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
The gospel calls us to turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ. As we offer ourselves to him in penitence and faith, we renew our confidence and trust in his mercy.
Silence is kept.
Let us return to the Lord our God and say to him:
Father, we have sinned against heaven and against you. We are not worthy to be called your children. We turn to you again. Have mercy on us, bring us back to yourself as those who were once dead but now have life through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the Lord enrich us with his grace, and nourish us with his blessing: may the Lord defend us in trouble and keep us from all evil; may the Lord accept our prayers and absolve us from our offences, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Almighty God, who called your Church to witness that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself: help us to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may be drawn to you; through him who was lifted up on the cross, and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn or Music
Affirmation of Faith
Let us declare our faith in God.
We believe in God the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. We believe in God the Son, who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love. We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who strengthens us with power from on high. We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
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)
O Lord, to be turned from you is to fall, to turn to you is to rise, and to stand in your presence is to live for ever. Grant us in all our duties your help, in all our perplexities your guidance, in all our dangers your protection, and in all our sorrows your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Seeking the salvation of the world, 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.
Hymn or Music
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
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 the Anointing of the Spirit (Isaiah 61:1-4, 11)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me:
because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring good news to the poor:
and to bind up the broken-hearted.
To proclaim liberty to the captives:
and the recovery of sight to the blind.
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour:
a day of recompense from our God.
To comfort all who mourn:
to give them the oil of gladness instead of mourning.
They shall be called oaks of righteousness:
planted by God for his glory.
They shall rebuild the ancient ruins:
and restore what has long laid waste.
For as the earth brings forth shoots and makes new things grow:
the Lord will make integrity and praise spring up before all nations.
Eternal God, giver of life and power, your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world to preach the gospel of his kingdom: confirm us in this mission, and help us to live the good news we proclaim; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn or Music
May the Father whose glory fills the heavens, cleanse us by his holiness and send us to proclaim his word. Amen.
May the Son, who has ascended to the heights, pour upon us the riches of his grace. Amen.
May the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, equip us and strengthen us in our ministry. Amen.
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.