Special Days and Occasions

     13

A Service for St Valentine’s Day

Notes

Type of service

    Non-eucharistic;

    A fully worked out example, not intended to be reproduced locally in this particular form.

Aim

To reflect on the sacrificial love of God in Christ as an example for the human love between men and women.

Introduction

It is important to capture something of God’s love, as well as the celebration of human love, at the start of the service. The ‘further words of introduction’ might, for instance, include something like:

This is the day when we celebrate the martyrdom of St Valentine, in Rome around AD 269 under the Emperor Claudius. There is nothing to connect his death with the choosing of a ‘Valentine’ of the opposite sex, other than that it coincided with a rather jolly Roman pagan festival in mid-February.

Sharing experiences

As part of the response to the readings, and possibly as part of the sermon, there might be an opportunity to interview one or two people with a particular story to tell about how God has brought them together, or deepened their love, or overwhelmed them with his love in Christ.

The Peace

The service moves towards a climax at the Peace. This needs careful introduction, perhaps focusing on that unity in Christian fellowship, because of what Christ has done for us, of which St Paul speaks in the introductory words. People should also be encouraged to greet one another in whatever way is most natural and comfortable for them – and for those they are greeting! The more adventurous worship planners might want to provide some symbol – coloured paper hearts, or flowers, for example, which members of the congregation might give to one another as reminders of the love and generosity of God.

Marriage Vows

It may be a good occasion on which to combine this service with some of the material for the Renewal of Marriage Vows in the Thanksgiving for Marriage section of Common Worship: Pastoral Services, page 184ff. The concluding congregational prayer is – slightly amended – from that service. One of the prayers from the Common Worship Marriage Service, placed where it will sum up the Intercessions and prepare for the Peace, is used in place of a collect.

A Service for St Valentine’s Day

This sample service is not intended to be reproduced locally in this particular form.

We say together the words printed in bold.

Preparation
Greeting

Praise God! For the Lord our God the almighty reigns!

All   Let us rejoice and be glad and give him the glory.

Happy are those who have been invited

to the wedding-feast of the Lamb.

All   Amen. Praise the Lord!

Further words of welcome and introduction follow.

Praise

A hymn or song of praise may be sung.

Confession

The minister may introduce the confession

God shows his love for us

in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Let us then show our love for him

by confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

Silence may be kept.

(Come, let us return to the Lord and say)

All   Lord our God,

in our sin we have avoided your call.

Our love for you is like a morning cloud,

like the dew that goes away early.

Have mercy on us;

deliver us from judgement;

bind up our wounds and revive us;

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May the God of love

bring us back to himself,

forgive us our sins,

and assure us of his eternal love

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Word
Psalm

A psalm, or a song or hymn based on a passage of Scripture, may be used.

Reading(s)

This acclamation may herald a reading from the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia.

God is love;

let us love one another

as God has loved us.

All   Alleluia.

At the end of each reading this response may be used

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

Response to God’s Word
Sermon
Song(s) or Hymn

Affirmation of Faith

This Affirmation of Faith, or the Apostles’ Creed, or another authorized Affirmation of Faith is used

Let us declare our faith in God:

All   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.

Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer

Lord, remember us in your kingdom,

as we pray in the words you gave us

All   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.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

This form, or some other form, may be used

(We pray for the family of the Church,

for loving relationships, and for the life of families around us, saying

Jesus, Lord of love,

All   in your mercy, hear us.)

Jesus, born in poverty and soon a refugee,

be with families today who are poor

and live in hunger and want …

Jesus, Lord of love,

All   in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you grew in wisdom and in favour with God and the people

in the family of Joseph the carpenter,

bring wisdom and the presence of God

into the work and growth of families today …

Jesus, Lord of love,

All   in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you blessed marriage in the wedding at Cana,

be with those preparing for marriage

and with those who come to the end of their resources …

Jesus, Lord of love,

All   in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you healed Peter’s mother-in-law,

bring healing to those in our families who are ill today …

Jesus, Lord of love,

All   in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, when you were dying you called Mary and John

to care for one another,

provide today for those who lose their families:

the bereaved and childless, orphans and widows …

Jesus, Lord of love,

All   in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you ate breakfast on the beach with your disciples

after you were raised from the dead,

bring the whole Church on earth and in heaven

into your risen presence to eat at the eternal banquet.

Jesus, Lord of love,

All   in your mercy, hear us,

accept our prayers and be with us always.

Amen.

The Collect

God of wonder and of joy:

grace comes from you,

and you alone are the source of life and love.

Without you, we cannot please you;

without your love, our deeds are worth nothing.

Send your Holy Spirit,

and pour into our hearts

that most excellent gift of love,

that we may worship you now

with thankful hearts

and serve you always with willing minds;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Ending
The Peace

The minister may introduce the Peace with these words

To crown all things there must be love,

to bind all together and complete the whole.

Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All   and also with you.

Song(s) or Hymn
Concluding Prayers

Eternal God, we offer our thanks that through our earthly lives

you speak of your eternal life.

We rejoice in the wonder of creation,

the gift of human life

and the many blessings that our relationships bring.

Renew in us the fruits of your Holy Spirit;

that love, joy and peace may abound in our homes,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

All   Heavenly Father,

We offer you our souls and bodies,

our thoughts and words and deeds,

our love for one another.

Unite our wills in your will,

that we may grow

in love and peace

all the days of our life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Sending Out

God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love,

defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

     14

A Service for Mothering Sunday

Notes

Type of service

    Non-eucharistic, with suggestions for combining with Holy Communion;

    A fully worked out example, not intended to be reproduced locally in this particular form.

A good deal will depend on whether this service is intended to be the main Sunday service for the Fourth Sunday of Lent or a ‘special’ service at some other time on that day.

Acclamation

The acclamation

Praise God who loves us.

Praise God who cares.

is used throughout the service as a unifying thread.

Using different voices

In the section ‘Praising and thanking God’ the acclamations may be led by different voices from different parts of the church building. If a large candle is lit at this point the first section is used. A child might be invited to light the candle. Alternatively, a candle might be lit at the absolution.

Sharing experiences

The chance to let members of the congregation speak of their experiences and their faith can be an excellent way of connecting the worship to the rest of life, and can especially help visitors to see how our faith is worked out in practice. Before the sermon (or as part of it) it might be possible and appropriate to include such an element of ‘testimony’. This might include, for instance:

    asking a pregnant woman to talk about the frustration and excitement of waiting for a baby to be born, or a new mother to describe the difference being a mother has made to her life and her faith;

    inviting someone to share (sensitively) their experience of having a mother who let them down badly, and the difference that knowing God’s love has made to them;

    inviting a grandmother to speak about what it is like to be a grandparent, including any advice she has for new parents, or any things she wishes she had done differently when her children were young.

It might be particularly appropriate to conclude such sharing with the Affirmation of Faith.

The giving of flowers or other gifts

It is important that this element of the service is conducted with sensitivity towards those present who do not have children.

In addition to the giving of gifts of flowers (or other gifts) to mothers in the congregation, it may be appropriate to place flowers near a statue of Mary, the mother of our Lord.

Posture needs to be thought through beforehand. If the response at the beginning of the section is led by children it would be easier to see them if everyone sits. It is probably better if everyone remains seated for the giving of the flowers or other gifts, and the mothers (or all the women) stand for the Thank you … prayer at the end. Of course local custom and architecture may suggest another arrangement.

Combining the service with Holy Communion

If the service is to be eucharistic it could follow this order:

The Gathering

    Including the ‘Praising and Thanking God’ and Confession material.

The Liturgy of the Word

    This might include the Song of Saint Anselm, the Affirmation of Faith and the Prayers of Intercession;

    This Gospel Acclamation could be used before the Gospel reading:

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

This child is the light to enlighten the nations

   and the glory of your people Israel.

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

    The Peace is introduced using the suggested words, or another suitable introduction;

    Eucharistic Prayer G is particularly appropriate;

    The Prayer for Mothers could be included after the Post Communion prayers.

Dismissal

    Use suggested material.

A Service for Mothering Sunday

This sample service is not intended to be reproduced locally in this particular form.

We say together the words printed in bold.

A hymn or song may be sung.

Greeting

This acclamation may be used as part of the greeting

Praise God who loves us.

All   Praise God who cares.

Praising and Thanking God

[A large candle may be lit.

We light this candle to remind us that the love of God is like a light in our darkness.

All   Blessed be God for ever.]

We praise you, our God, for all mothers who have loved and laughed and laboured as they cared for their children;

All   Blessed be God for ever.

We praise you, our God, for all mothers who have wept in sorrow and joy for their children:

All   Blessed be God for ever.

We praise you, our God, for Jesus, born of a woman and nurtured in her love, and for Mary, a reminder of your patient, waiting love.

All   Blessed be God for ever.

Confession

Let us call to mind our sin, our failure to value the love of others and our failure to love as Christ has loved us.

Silence for reflection

Your love gives us life from the moment of conception.

We fail to live as your children.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

You call us to do good. We seek our own good.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ have mercy.

You hear us when we cry for help. We ignore the cries of others.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

If a candle was not lit earlier, it might be lit at this point.

May the Father of all mercies

cleanse us from our sins,

and restore us in his image

to the praise and glory of his name,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

A hymn of praise may be sung.

The Collect

Praise God who loves us.

All   Praise God who cares.

The Collect for Mothering Sunday is said.

Reading(s)

At the end this response may be used

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

This canticle, or some other appropriate hymn, song or canticle, may be used

A Song of St Anselm

This refrain may be used at the beginning and end of the canticle and, in addition, between verses or groups of verses.

All   Gather your little ones to you, O God,

as a hen gathers her brood to protect them.

1   Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;  

you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

2   Often you weep over our sins and our pride,  

tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

3   You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds,  

in sickness you nurse us and with pure milk you feed us.

4   Jesus, by your dying, we are born to new life;  

by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.

5   Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;  

through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

6   Your warmth gives life to the dead,  

your touch makes sinners righteous.

7   Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;  

in your love and tenderness remake us.

8   In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,  

for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

All   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.

Sermon

A hymn or song may be sung.

Affirmation of Faith

Praise God who loves us.

All   Praise God who cares.

This, or another Creed or authorized Affirmation of Faith is used

Let us declare our faith in God.

All   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.

Prayers

As children of a loving God who always listens to our cries, let us pray to our Father in heaven.

After each section this response may be used

God of love,

All   hear our prayer.

Loving God, you have given us the right to be called children of God. Help us to show your love in our homes that they may be places of love, security and truth.

Loving God, Jesus, your Son, was born into the family of Mary and Joseph; bless all parents and all who care for children; strengthen those families living under stress and may your love be known where no human love is found.

Loving God, we thank you for the family of the Church. We pray that all may find in her their true home; that the lonely, the marginalized, the rejected may be welcomed and loved in the name of Jesus.

Loving God, as we see the brokenness of our world we pray for healing among the nations; for food where there is hunger; for freedom where there is oppression; for joy where there is pain; that your love may bring peace to all your children.

The Lord’s Prayer

As God’s children, and heirs with Christ

we cry in the Spirit, ‘Abba’, Father.

All   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.

Loving God, accept the cries of our heart as we offer you prayers;

through them transform us and all creation until you are in all and through all.

We ask these and all our prayers in the name of Jesus.

All   Amen.

The Peace

Praise God who loves us.

All   Praise God who cares.

Through the prophet Isaiah, God says,

‘As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.’

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All   and also with you.

The congregation share the Peace.

A hymn or song may be sung.

Prayer for Mothers and Distribution of Flowers

Praise God who loves us.

All   Praise God who cares.

Children may lead the following responsory

For the care of mothers;

All   Thanks be to God.

For their patience when tested;

All   Thanks be to God.

For their love when tired;

All   Thanks be to God.

For their hope when despairing;

All   Thanks be to God.

For their service without limit;

All   Thanks be to God.

Other words of thanksgiving may be added as appropriate.

Hymns or songs of praise may be sung during the distribution of flowers to the congregation.

At the end of the distribution of flowers we all say this prayer. Everyone sits except mothers, who are asked to remain standing.

All   Thank you God for the love of our mothers:

thank you God for their care and concern;

thank you God for the joys they have shared with us;

thank you God for the pains they have borne for us;

thank you God for all that they give us;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The Blessing

Praise God who loves us.

All   Praise God who cares.

May God, who gave birth to all creation, bless us:

may God, who became incarnate by an earthly mother, bless us:

may God, who broods as a mother over her children, bless us.

May almighty God bless us, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All   In the name of Christ. Amen.

A hymn or song may be sung.

     15

A Service for Fathers’ Day

Notes

Type of service

    Non-eucharistic;

    A fully worked out example, not intended to be reproduced locally in this particular form.

The Ten Commandments

The Commandments have been included for their reference to ‘obeying your father and mother’. Care needs to be taken that their inclusion does not make the service feel too ‘heavy’, especially if many visitors have been invited and the overall feel of the service is one of celebration. The Commandments have been included here in a brief form, with only two responses. They could further be ‘lightened’ by the use of different voices, or by the careful choice of a different Bible translation from which they could be taken.

Sharing experiences

The chance to let members of the congregation speak of their experiences and their faith can be an excellent way of connecting the worship to the rest of life, and can especially help visitors to see how our faith is worked out in practice. Before the sermon (or as part of it) it might be possible and appropriate to include such an element of ‘testimony’. This might include, for instance:

    asking a new dad to describe the difference being a father has made to his life and his faith;

    inviting someone to share (sensitively) their experience of having a father who let them down badly, and the difference that knowing God’s love has made to them;

    inviting a grandfather to speak about what it is like to be a grandparent, including any advice he has for new parents, or any things he wishes he had done differently when his children were young.

It might be particularly appropriate to conclude such sharing with the Affirmation of Faith.

Giving gifts to fathers

If you intend to give symbolic gifts (or cards) to fathers, this might appropriately happen at the end of the prayers of intercession. This element of the service needs to be conducted with sensitivity. Music might be played or a hymn or song be sung while this takes place. Fathers present might be asked to stand during the prayer, ‘Heavenly Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus …’.

A Service for Fathers’ Day

This sample service is not intended to be reproduced locally in this particular form.

We say together the words printed in bold.

Preparation
Greeting

Grace, mercy and peace

from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ

be with you

All   and also with you.

Further words of welcome and introduction follow.

Praise

This responsory may be used, and/or a hymn or song of praise may be sung (if a hymn has not preceded the Greeting)

See what love the Father has given us

All   that we should be called the children of God.

You are my sons and daughters:

this day have I begotten you.

All   See what love the Father has given us.

As many as received him,

to them he gave power to become the children of God.

All   See what love the Father has given us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit.

All   See what love the Father has given us

that we should be called the children of God.

The Collect

The minister introduces a time of silent prayer, which concludes with the Collect.

The Ten Commandments

God spoke these words and said: I am the Lord your God;

you shall have no other gods but me.

You shall not make for yourself any idol,

whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above,

or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.

For six days you shall labour and do all your work.

But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.

All   Lord, have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Honour your father and your mother.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness.

You shall not covet.

All   Lord, have mercy upon us,

and write all these your laws in our hearts.

Silence may be kept.

Confession

Let us return to the Lord our God and say to him

All   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 once were dead

but now have life through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May the God of love

bring us back to himself,

forgive us our sins,

and assure us of his eternal love

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Word
Psalm

A psalm, or a song or hymn based on a passage of Scripture, may be used.

Reading(s)

At the end of each reading this response may be used

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

Response to God’s Word
Sermon
Song(s) or Hymn
Affirmation of Faith

This Affirmation of Faith, or the Apostles’ Creed, or another authorized Affirmation of Faith is used

Let us declare our faith in God.

All   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.

Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus taught us to call God our Father,

so in faith and trust we pray

All   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.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

This form, or some other form, may be used

Sovereign Lord,

your Son has revealed you as our heavenly Father,

from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

Father of all

All   hear your children’s prayer.

You have made your Church a spiritual family,

a household of faith.

Through baptism we are reborn as the brothers and sisters of Christ.

Deepen our unity and fellowship in him.

Father of all

All   hear your children’s prayer.

You sent your Son to give his life

as a ransom for the whole human family.

Give justice, peace and racial harmony to the world he died to save.

Father of all

All   hear your children’s prayer.

You gave your Son a share in the life of a family in Nazareth.

Help us to value our families, to be thankful for them,

and to live sensitively within them.

Father of all

All   hear your children’s prayer.

Your Son drew around him a company of friends.

Bring love and joy to all who are alone.

Help us all to find in the brothers and sisters of Christ a loving family.

Father of all

All   hear your children’s prayer.

You are the God of the dead as well as of the living.

In confidence we remember those of the household of

faith who have gone before us.

Bring us with them to the joy of your home in heaven.

Father of all

All   hear your children’s prayer.

This or some other prayer of thanksgiving may be used

Blessed are you Lord our God,

creator and redeemer of all;

to you be glory and praise for ever.

All   [Blessed be God for ever.]

You father us from all eternity giving life to creation

and pouring your love into all you have made.

All   [Blessed be God for ever. ]

From the beginning we have known you as ‘Father’,

and all our families have their origin in you.

All   [Blessed be God for ever. ]

Through the love of earthly fathers you give us a glimpse

of your everlasting love.

Their guidance and wisdom reveal to us the eternal life of heaven.

All   [Blessed be God for ever. ]

In following their example we become more like you,

growing into the people your heart longs for us to be.

All   [Blessed be God for ever. ]

May the love of our fathers draw us ever nearer to you

and perfect in us the image of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

All   Blessed be God for ever.

If symbolic gifts are to be distributed to fathers, this should take place before the following prayer

Heavenly Father,

you entrusted your Son Jesus,

the child of Mary,

to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.

Bless all fathers

as they care for their families.

Give them strength and wisdom,

tenderness and patience;

support them in the work they have to do,

protecting those who look to them,

as we look to you for love and salvation,

through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.

All   Amen.

Ending
Song(s) or Hymn
Final Prayer

All   In darkness and in light,

in trouble and in joy,

help us, heavenly Father,

to trust your love,

to serve your purpose,

and to praise your name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Sending Out

A blessing, the Grace or the sharing of the Peace may conclude the service, or these responses may be used

The Lord God almighty is our Father:

All   he loves us and tenderly cares for us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour:

All   he has redeemed us and will defend us to the end.

The Lord, the Holy Spirit, is among us:

All   he will lead us in God’s holy way.

To God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be praise and glory today and for ever.

Amen.

     16

Harvest (outline)

Notes

Type of service

    An outline, with suggestions for resources to use within it.

This shows a possible structure for a service in which the ‘talk’ (in whatever form it takes) is divided into three short sections, one in each of the three main sections of the service.

Harvest

Greeting

A suitable greeting would be A26

God is good …

Hymn
Bible Reading 1
Talk part 1
Canticle or other Song of Praise

For instance, the version of the Benedicite D30

Glory to God above …

or the response from G25 could be used

Blessed are you, Lord God, King of the universe …

Collect
Talk part 2
[Sentence of Scripture]

G1 or another suitable sentence

[Rejoice in the Lord always …]

Confession

B56 might be used with an appropriate absolution

We confess to you our lack of care …

Song, Hymn or Psalm

For instance, this version of Psalm 66 (D9)

Let the praises of God ring out …

[Bible Reading 2]
Talk part 3
[Affirmation of Faith]

This Affirmation of Faith may be used (Affirmation 1, E6)

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,

source of all being and life …

Song or Hymn
Intercessions

For instance, the form F47

Let us pray to God, that he will bring to fruition …

The Lord’s Prayer
Song or Hymn
Blessing or Dismissal

If a blessing is given, this form may be suitable (J69)

May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ …

     17

A Saint’s Day:
a Celebration of St Luke

Notes

Type of service

    Non-eucharistic;

    A fully worked out example, not intended to be reproduced locally in this particular form.

Different kinds of saints

Each saint is different. While we always need to remember we are worshipping God our Father, through his Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit, the life of the saint concerned, and the gift he or she brought to the Church, should guide the theme and direction of the worship.

This particular service has been built around a celebration of the Feast of St Luke, evangelist and doctor. Over the centuries his feast day has been an opportunity for the Church to focus on its healing ministry, so following this tradition an opportunity for the thanksgiving for the healing ministry of the Church has been incorporated into the service. Note 8 on page 58 of Common Worship applies. (See also here.)

However, some saints are missionaries, others teachers, others bishops, others martyrs and so on. The content, style and ethos of each service should reflect the saint who is being celebrated. For example, if the saint is a martyr, the service might focus on commitment and use elements from the Thanksgiving for Baptism.

Exciting Holiness (Canterbury Press, 1997) may be used as a suitable resource for details of the saints and suggested texts for use with their celebrations.

The presentation of the life of the saint

This may vary from a simple comment by the leader, or some other suitable person, to a dramatic presentation of the saint’s life by a number of people.

The first reading

This may be about the saint concerned or from his own writings but it should not repeat the points made in the introduction. Alternatively, it may be an Old Testament or New Testament reading.

The response to God’s word

This should include an authorized Affirmation of Faith, a confession if one has not been used earlier in the service, and intercession, and may include some symbolic action relating to the life, ministry and gifting of the saint being celebrated. For example, this service celebrating St Luke incorporates an opportunity for the ministry of healing.

A Celebration of St Luke

This sample service is not intended to be reproduced locally in this particular form.

Preparation

We stand before the throne of God

with countless crowds

from every nation and race, tribe and language.

All   Blessing and glory and wisdom,

thanksgiving and honour, power and might

be to our God for ever and ever.

Amen.

Song or Hymn
Greeting

The leader greets the people with a suitable greeting.

Informal greetings may also be included.

A brief explanation of the life of the saint may be offered.

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

All   Come, Holy Spirit,

fill the hearts of your faithful people,

and kindle in us the fire of your love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

The minister introduces the confession with these words

God the Father forgives us in Christ and heals us by the Holy Spirit.

Let us therefore put away all anger and bitterness,

all slander and malice,

and confess our sins to God our redeemer.

Silence for reflection

We have wandered from your paths, yet your truth leads us home.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

We have failed to live as your children, yet your love restores us.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

We are disfigured by our sin, yet your power heals us.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

The minister says the absolution

May the God of all healing and forgiveness

draw us to himself,

and cleanse us from all our sins

that we may behold the glory of his Son,

the Word made flesh,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Song of Praise

related to the saint

The Collect

for St Luke’s Day

The Word
Reading(s) from the Bible

At the end of each reading this response may be used

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

Hymn, Song, Psalm or Canticle
Verses from Psalm 34

O magnify the Lord with me;

let us exalt his name together.

All   O magnify the Lord with me;

let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord and he answered me;

he delivered me from all my fears.

All   O magnify the Lord with me.

In my weakness I cried to the Lord;

he heard me and saved me from my troubles.

All   Let us exalt his name together.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

All   O magnify the Lord with me;

let us exalt his name together.

Sermon
Response to God’s Word
Song(s) or Hymn
Thanksgiving for the Healing Ministry of the Church

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

All   and forget not all his benefits;

Who forgives all your sins

All   and heals all your infirmities;

Who redeems your life from the Pit;

All   and crowns you with faithful love and compassion.

This prayer of thanksgiving may be said

Blessed are you, sovereign God, gentle and merciful,

creator of heaven and earth.

Your Word brought light out of darkness.

In Jesus Christ you proclaim good news to the poor,

liberty to captives, sight to the blind

and freedom for the oppressed.

Daily your Spirit renews the face of the earth,

bringing life and health, wholeness and peace.

In the renewal of our lives

you make known your heavenly glory.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

All   Blessed be God for ever.

Affirmation of Faith

This or another authorized Creed or Affirmation of Faith may be used.

Let us declare our faith in God.

All   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.

Prayers of Intercession

Intercessions for those in need and those who care for them may be offered in this or another form

Holy God, in whom we live and move and have our being,

we make our prayer to you, saying,

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant to all who seek you

the assurance of your presence, your power and your peace.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant your healing grace to all who are sick

that they may be made whole in body, mind and spirit.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant to all who minister to the suffering

wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful

and lift up all who are brought low.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

Hear us, Lord of life.

All   Heal us, and make us whole.

Almighty God,

whose Son revealed in signs and miracles

the wonder of your saving presence:

renew all your people

with your heavenly grace,

and in all our weakness

sustain us by your mighty power,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

All   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.

Prayer for Healing

The Ministry of Healing may take place here using these or other suitable prayers. Hymns and songs may be sung during the prayers.

Be with us, Spirit of God;

All   nothing can separate us from your love.

Breathe on us, breath of God;

All   fill us with your saving power.

Speak in us, wisdom of God;

All   bring strength, healing and peace.

The Lord is here.

All   His Spirit is with us.

The laying on of hands may be administered using the authorized words on page 52 of Common Worship or other suitable words.

If anointing is administered by an authorized minister, the authorized words on pages 52–53 of Common Worship or other suitable words may be used.

This prayer concludes the Ministry of Healing

The almighty Lord,

who is a strong tower for all who put their trust in him,

whom all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth obey,

be now and evermore your defence.

May you believe and trust that the only name under heaven

given for health and salvation

is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

The Peace

Peace to you from God our Father who hears our cry.

Peace from his Son Jesus Christ whose death brings healing.

Peace from the Holy Spirit who gives us life and strength.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All   and also with you.

Song(s) or Hymn
Conclusion

God give you grace to follow his saints

in faith and hope and love;

and the blessing …

All   Amen.

     18

Facing Pain:
a Service of Lament

Notes

Type of service

    Non-eucharistic;

    An example of a ‘one-off’ service, not designed to be used without adaptation.

This service will need to be adapted to the particular circumstance that has caused the community to lament. It might be the passing of someone significant in the community; a major incident resulting in death, which affects many people; the effects of an industrial policy; or something of that kind.

Use of symbols and actions

If appropriate, and possible, something that symbolizes the event might be brought in and placed on or near the Holy Table, or in some other appropriate place, during the opening hymn.

A cross should be prominent.

The ministers could enter in silence.

Naming the departed

If there are deaths related to the event, the names of the deceased should be read out individually. A place for this to happen is indicated in the text. For each of the deceased a candle might be lit. A light could be taken from the Easter candle or some other large candle and a small candle lit as each of the names is read out.

The Candle of Hope

If a candle is lit at the section headed ‘Proclamation of Hope’, it could be carried at the front of any formal procession at the end of the service.

Affirmation of Faith

Because a service like this might not be the principal service of the day, and might well not take place on a Sunday, an Affirmation of Faith is not required and has not been included, though a point in the service at which it might appropriately come has been indicated.

Facing Pain: a Service of Lament

An example of a ‘one-off’ service, not designed to be used without adaptation.

We say together the words printed in bold.

Welcome and Introduction

We meet in the presence of God

All   who knows our needs,

hears our cries,

feels our pain,

and heals our wounds.

A minister introduces the service.

A hymn or song may be sung.

Let us pray.

The weight of grief bears heavily upon us

but it is a load we need not bear alone.

Let us offer our burden to Jesus,

Lord of life and of death, of the present and of the future.

We bring before you, Lord,

our confusion in the face of shock,

our despair in the face of tragedy,

our helplessness in the face of death.

Lift from us our burden,

All   and in your power, renew us.

We bring before you, Lord,

the tears of sorrow,

the cries for help,

the vulnerability of pain.

Lift from us our burden,

All   and in your power, renew us.

We bring before you, Lord,

our sense of frustration,

our feeling of powerlessness,

our fears for the future.

Lift from us our burden,

All   and in your power, renew us.

[We bring before you, Lord,

our frustrated hopes,

our unfulfilled desires,

our unfettered sadness.

Lift from us our burden,

All   and in your power, renew us.]

The minister concludes with this prayer

God of the desolate and despairing,

your Son Jesus Christ was forced to carry the instrument

of his own death —

the cross that became for us the source of life and healing.

Transform us in our suffering

that [in the pain we bear] you might be for us a fount of life

and a spring of hope;

though him who died for us,

yet is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

Sharing the Story

Experiences of those who have been affected may be shared.

Psalm 102 – a Psalm of Lament

Turn your ear to me;

be swift to answer when I call.

All   Turn your ear to me;

be swift to answer when I call.

Lord, hear my prayer,

and let my cry come before you:

All   be swift to answer when I call.

Do not hide your face from me

in the day of my trouble:

All   be swift to answer when I call.

You, Lord, endure for ever,

and your name from age to age:

All   be swift to answer when I call.

You will be moved to have compassion on Zion,

for it is time to have pity on her:

All   be swift to answer when I call.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

All   Turn your ear to me;

be swift to answer when I call.

Words of Comfort

Hear these words of comfort which the Lord our God offers to all in trouble and distress:

A short silence is kept between each of the readings.

The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.

Exodus 2.23b-25

Jesus said ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Matthew 11.29,30

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

Isaiah 43.2-3a

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8.38-39

Hymn or Song
Finding Hope
Reading(s)

After each reading the reader says

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

Address

Silence for reflection

Proclamation of Hope

A minister goes to the large candle, carrying a light.

We light this candle to remind us that when God the Father raised Jesus from the dead he defeated the power of death, and his light shines in the midst of the darkness of this world.

The candle is lit as a sign of the hope of resurrection.

May the light of Christ, rising in glory,

banish all darkness from our hearts and lives.

All   Lord, by your cross and resurrection

you have defeated death,

and set your people free.

You are the Saviour of the world.

(or)

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

The Lord is the strength of my life.

All   The Lord is my light and my salvation;

The Lord is the strength of my life.

The light shines in the darkness

And the darkness has not overcome it.

All   The Lord is the strength of my life.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

All   The Lord is my light and my salvation;

The Lord is the strength of my life.

If appropriate, an authorized Affirmation of Faith could be used here.

Hymn or Song
Laying Down the Past
Prayers of Intercession

Biddings might be offered, interspersed with silence. Initially these should relate to the local incident but they should also include suffering experienced throughout the world.

The prayers end with this Collect

Lighten our darkness,

Lord, we pray,

and in your great mercy

defend us from all perils and dangers [of this night],

for the love of your only Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

[Names of the deceased could be mentioned here.]

Stand.

Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:

All   your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

All   which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

A light to reveal you to the nations

All   and the glory of your people Israel.

All   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.

Silence is kept.

Let us pray that we may know life and hope in Jesus Christ as we say

All   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.

Moving into the Future
Blessing and Dismissal

Neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God.

All   Amen. Thanks be to God.

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.

All   Amen.

Hymn

     19

A Penitential Service (outline)

Notes

Type of service

    An outline structure for a service with a particularly penitential flavour, such as might be appropriate in Lent or in Advent, or at a particular stage in the life of a local church.

    Hymns or songs may be added at suitable points.

Gathering
Greeting

For example

A11   The Lord be with you …

A12   We come from scattered lives …

Introduction, Welcome and Explanations
The Collect
Word
Reading 1
Psalm

Psalm 51 might be suitable.

Reading 2
Sermon
Response
Act of Penitence

This might include the following: the Commandments, Jesus’ summary of the Law or the Beatitudes; silence; Confession; imposition of ashes or some symbolic placing of sin at the cross; the use of water for washing or sprinkling; Kyries; Absolution.

Thanksgiving

These thanksgivings may be appropriate

G23   See what love …

G35   Christ became obedient unto death …

Intercessions
The Lord’s Prayer
Going out
Affirmation of Faith
Blessing and Dismissal

The following may be suitable

J53   Now may the Lord of peace …

J54   May God give to you …

     20

A Service of Healing (outline)

Notes

Type of service

    Non-eucharistic;

    This service could be used regularly or on an occasional basis as an alternative to the provision in Common Worship: Pastoral Services for the Laying on of Hands with Prayer and Anointing at a Celebration of Holy Communion (page 26).

It falls within the suggestions in the Common Worship provision for Prayer for Individuals in Public Worship (Common Worship: Pastoral Services, page 48), and some of the notes there may be helpful.

This public ministry of prayer may be accompanied by laying on of hands, and may also be accompanied by anointing with oil. It may be helpful to make clear in advance the form of ministry that is intended. There are a number of possibilities, such as prayer for individuals who do not explain their particular need; prayer following a brief explanation to those who will pray with them of a person’s need or concern; or prayer following an explanation to the whole congregation of a person’s need or concern. (The Laying on of Hands may be received on behalf of a third person who is not present.)

Care needs to be taken to integrate ministry to individuals with the corporate prayer of the whole people.

Those who will be ministering to individuals should be offered appropriate help in preparing for this. Before the service it is normally appropriate for them to pray together for grace and discernment.

Anointing

Canon B 37 provides that the priest should use ‘pure olive oil consecrated by the bishop of the diocese or otherwise by the priest’, for which forms are provided in the rite for a celebration of Wholeness and Healing in Common Worship: Pastoral Services, page 20–21, and also on pages 46–47. Note 1 on page 40 also says that whoever presides may delegate the ministry of anointing to other ministers authorized for this ministry.

Introduction

In Common Worship: Pastoral Services (page 42) there are some sample introductions, one of which may be used here. These, together with some of the passages in the lectionary provision on pages 44–45 of Common Worship: Pastoral Services, will give some indication of themes that can be tackled in the course of teaching people over a number of months about healing, but it may well be that the words used at this point in the service are briefer and more informal.

Prayers of Intercession

It is intended that prayer for healing takes place within the wider context of the prayer of the people for other things. The litany on page 31 of Common Worship: Pastoral Services, or some other suitable prayers or biddings, may be used.

Conclusion

A Time to Heal: A Report by the House of Bishops on the Healing Ministry (CHP, 2000), page 243, suggests that at this point there should be a prayer of thanksgiving, an act of praise and the final blessing and dismissal: ‘This helps both the congregation and those who have received ministry to depart in a spirit of faith and hope in God.’

A Service of Healing

The Gathering

The minister welcomes the people with a greeting, for example A34

We meet in the presence of God …

The minister may introduce the service.

Prayers of Penitence

The minister introduces the Confession. B25 may be suitable.

A form of Confession is used. B65 may be suitable

Friend of sinners, you bring hope in our despair …

The minister declares God’s forgiveness.

The Liturgy of the Word
Readings

One or more readings from the Bible.

A Psalm or scriptural Song
Sermon
An authorized Affirmation of Faith, or Creed
Prayers of Intercession

Brief biddings may introduce prayer for the world and the Church.

Prayer for Healing

The time of prayer for individuals may include one or both of these prayers

Be with us, Spirit of God;

All   nothing can separate us from your love.

Breathe on us, breath of God;

All   fill us with your saving power.

Speak in us, wisdom of God;

All   bring strength, healing and peace.

The Lord is here.

All   His Spirit is with us.

A43

(or)

In the name of God and trusting in his might alone,

receive Christ’s healing touch to make you whole.

May Christ bring you wholeness

of body, mind and spirit,

deliver you from every evil,

and give you peace.

All   Amen.

The Collect and the Lord’s Prayer are said.

Conclusion

A suitable hymn of praise and a praise item such as this versicle and response

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

All   and forget not all his benefits;

Who forgives all your sins

All   and heals all your infirmities;

Who redeems your life from the Pit;

All   and crowns you with faithful love and compassion.

The service ends with the Peace

Peace to you from God our Father, who hears our cry.

Peace from his Son Jesus Christ, whose death brings healing.

Peace from the Holy Spirit, who gives us life and strength.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All   and also with you.

     21

Worship in a Small Group
or an Intercessory Prayer Meeting (outline)

Notes

Type of service

    An outline structure for a home group, a Bible study group, a Lent group, an enquirers’ group, a prayer meeting with a focus on intercession or another small group setting.

Worship in a Small Group

Introduction

The meeting may begin with a brief time of silence.

A prayer may be used, for example A39

Lord, speak to us …

Praise

A psalm or canticle of praise may be said. Songs or hymns may be sung.

Thanksgiving

Informal sharing of answers to prayer and other reasons to thank God may take place.

This form may be used to introduce the time of giving thanks

The Lord is here.

All   His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.

All   We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All   It is right to give thanks and praise.

The Thanksgiving may conclude with a short song, or with a canticle such as Great and Wonderful (Common Worship, page 800).

Scripture Reading

Suitable passages from the Bible may be read. This may be followed by silence.

Sharing of reflections on the readings may take place, a brief talk may be given or a short meditation may be led.

Prayer

Needs for prayer may be shared and open prayer may follow.

The prayers may conclude with the Lord’s Prayer.

The Dismissal

The canticle Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon, Common Worship, page 799) may be used.

The meeting may conclude with the saying of the Grace or the sharing of the Peace.