Sunday 11 April – 2nd Sunday of Easter – worship at home

Listen to the recording

Our Easter bells proclaim the Resurrection.

OPENING HYMN
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.

THE EASTER ANTHEMS
Alleluia! Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us;
Let us celebrate the feast. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Not with the old leaven, the leaven of corruption and wickedness:
But with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Christ being raised from the dead dies no more: Alleluia!
Death no longer has dominion over him. Alleluia! Alleluia!

In dying he died to sin, once for all: Alleluia!
In living he lives to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!

See yourselves therefore as dead to sin.
And alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Christ has been raised from the dead. Alleluia!
The first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Alleluia! Alleluia!

For as by a man came death,
By a man has come also the resurrection of the dead; Alleluia! Alleluia!

For as in Adam all die,
So also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia! Alleluia!

GREETING
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

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

WORDS OF WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
Welcome to everyone joining us from home as we give thanks to God for the Resurrection of Christ from the dead.

In our Gospel reading today the Risen Christ came to the disciples in their fear and blessed them with his peace and his presence.

In our mass today let us name to God our fears and pray for his peace and grace for greater belief and trust in him.

Silence

PRAYER OF PENITENCE
When we have lived by our own strength,
and not by the power of your resurrection.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

When we have lived by the light of our own eyes,
as faithless and not believing.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

When we have lived for this world alone,
and doubted our home in you.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

May the Father of all mercies
cleanse you from your sins,
and restore you in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

THE GLORIA
Sung Gloria, Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, Gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Gloria, Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, Gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

COLLECT
Risen Christ,
for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:
open the doors to our hearts,
that we may seek the good of others
and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,
to the praise of God the Father.
Amen.

FIRST READING (Acts 4.32-35)
A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

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

GOSPEL (John 20.19-end)
Sung Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John
Glory to you, O Lord.

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sung Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

THE SERMON

It surprises me that Thomas wanted to recognise Jesus not as the teacher he had known before, or the healer or the miracle worker, the Jesus he had walked alongside, but by his wounds, by his suffering. The one who was pierced. He states: “Unless l see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, l will not believe. “ A week later Jesus appears and gently tells Thomas “Put your finger here and see my hands, reach out your hand and put it in my side, do not doubt but believe.”

It is Caravaggio, the seventeenth-century Italian artist, who captures most vividly this moment. Jesus has loosened his garment. Framed by the dim light, he grips Thomas by the wrist. As Thomas extends his fore-finger which Jesus guides to the wound in his side, Thomas’ face is one of immense concentration with His eyes following the direction of his extended finger. Can he believe what he sees? He can, and he does: “My Lord and my God!”
The evidence of the resurrection is there before his eyes. There is only one conclusion he can come to: “My Lord and my God!” Thomas declares his faith in the risen Christ, acknowledging Christ’s claim upon his life from now on, and committing the whole of his life to proclaiming the Gospel as Jesus commands all his disciples.
It is a life-changing moment for Thomas. It remains a crucial moment for the many who would come after him in the future “who have not seen and yet have come to believe”.

Thomas’ name still stands for doubt, rather than faith, but with this he has left an abiding and positive legacy to all who would seek to follow the risen Christ. Here he stands for, and represents, all of us. Many of us have followed the same struggle to believe, to come to terms with the Christian faith, to make a commitment to the risen Lord.

Thomas represents all who wrestle with doubt and struggle with belief before being able to declare their faith. He reminds us that a Christian life is a daily struggle. Pope Francis invites all Christians to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus, or at least openness to letting him encounter them. He says “I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”

May we all desire Christ every single day of our lives. To be Easter people we need, like Thomas. to experience the passion of Christ to be able to confess and make our declaration , ” My Lord and my God.”

To view the image in greater detail go to https://www.caravaggio.org/the-incredulity-of-saint-thomas.jsp

THE CREED
Let us declare our faith
in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried;
he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles:
this we have received,
and this we believe.
Amen.

PRAYERS

Faithful God, we praise you for the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ from the dead. Shed his glorious light on all Christian people that we may live as those who believe in the triumph of the cross.

Lord, in your mercy: Hear our Prayer

Heavenly Father, we pray for all those who work to benefit your church. We remember especially, Sarah Bishop of London, Pete Bishop of Willesden, Graham Rector of this Parish, Jacque our Curate. Give them wisdom and grace to preach your word.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Merciful God, we pray for peace in our troubled world. Wherever nations are at war and people are suffering we pray for true reconciliation. Protect all Christian people in the nations of the world, and help them to influence their country for the good of all and continue to pray for a fair and equitable distribution of the Coronavirus vaccine.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Father God, we pray for all families whose homes are disrupted by anger and bitterness and where relationships are breaking up, exacerbated by the stress of the Pandemic. We thank you for the gift of your Son, our Saviour, who walks with us on our life’s journey and, as he gladdened the hearts of his friends when they saw him raised from the dead, may he travel alongside all who are struggling with their family life.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Loving God comfort the sick and suffering with your living presence. Heal and strengthen weak bodies, calm confused minds and reassure the lonely with your company. We raise before you those we know with particular needs whom we have been asked to pray for….

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Merciful God, we remember before you those who have died in the hope of the resurrection. Unite us with them in your undying love. Help us to always remember that death could not hold your Son Jesus Christ and that new life for him means new life for all who believe in Him. We remember those who have died recently ….

And we pray for HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh whose death was announced on Friday. We give thanks for his service in the armed forces and then for 73 years supporting Her Majesty the Queen. And we remember his work with young people through the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and his interest in environmental issues.
We pray that Her Majesty will feel supported by the love and affection of her family and the wider public at this time of loss.

We also remember those whose anniversaries fall at this time ….

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Gracious God, your Son Jesus Christ, stands among us, and we have seen the marks of your saving love. Breathe on us with the power of your Holy Spirit and send us out to share the peace of Christ with all who may cross our paths in the weeks ahead.

Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

THE PEACE
The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said,
‘Peace be with you.’
Then they were glad when they saw the Lord. Alleluia.

The peace of the risen Christ be always with you.
And also with you. Alleluia.

THE EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

Be present, be present,
Lord Jesus Christ,
our risen high priest;
make yourself known in the breaking of the bread.
Amen.

The Lord is here
His Spirit is with us

Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give thanks and praise

We give you thanks and praise
for the gospel we have received.
Christ died for our sins. Alleluia.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Death comes to all through Adam,
and sin reigns for a time.
New life without end comes through Christ,
and he reigns for ever. Alleluia.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
Death is swallowed up in victory,
the victory you give us in Christ. Alleluia.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

We have been crucified with Christ,
and live his risen life,
to praise you for ever with angels and archangels, singing:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might.

Heaven and earth are full,
Full of your glory,
Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes
In the name of the Lord,
Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;

Who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia. Alleluia.

In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Therefore, heavenly Father,
we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrection
and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom,
and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

Accept through him, our great high priest,
this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts
in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit,
inspire us with your love
and unite us in the body of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Through him, with him, and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you
in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty,
in songs of everlasting praise:

Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER
As Saviour has commanded and 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.

THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD
We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

AGNUS DEI (Lamb of God)
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
grant us peace.

COMMUNION
Alleluia! Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Lord God our Father,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ
you have assured your children of eternal life
and in baptism have made us one with him:
deliver us from the death of sin
and raise us to new life in your love,
in the fellowship of the Holy spirit,
by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen.

THE BLESSING AND DISMISSAL
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

God the Father,
by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life:;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen.

Go in the peace of Christ.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thanks be to God.
Alleluia! Alleluia!