Online Service for Sunday 7th February 2021

Welcome to the Service for Candlemas: Also available via YouTube

Online Service for Sunday 7th February 2021

 

Service of the Word for Candlemas 2021.

 

Please Click here for Online Service on YouTube

 

 

Hymn

1 Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore you
Hope of a life spent with you

Chorus:

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me



2 King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly you came to the earth you created
All for love's sake became poor

Chorus

And I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
And I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

Chorus

Welcome to our Service today from St Andrew’s B-o-S. We are very pleased to have Bishop Ruth preaching for us”.

The Greeting

The Lord be with you All   and also with you.

God in Christ has revealed his glory.

All   Come let us worship.

From the rising of the sun to its setting

All   the Lord’s name is greatly to be praised.

Give him praise, you servants of the Lord.

All   O praise the name of the Lord!

This is a poem suggested for our service by Bishop Ruth

Snowdrops, which usually appear towards the end of January, have long been associated with Candlemas. Their lantern flowers are a symbol of the light of Christ shining in the darkness of the world.

“When the days drag on and the nights hang heavy
When the weight of the world is already a burden we struggle to bear
When we’re painfully aware of the barriers between us,
When six feet feels like light years
And we wish that our loved ones were right here
In the darkness the flame flickers on

When the tears fall so freely at nothing at all
And a day can be made by a call from a friend
When we spend our time locked in, locked down, locked apart
And our hearts ache with loss for the world that once was
Or because of what might have been
In the darkness the flame flickers on

 

When the ground, like our grief, is frozen and bare
When the floods swirl around and the air fills with mist
So we can’t see what lies in the distance
And our very existence requires a persistence
That’s taking its toll, when it’s hard to feel whole
In the darkness the flame flickers on

 

Because buried beneath the bare surface of earth
Is a seedbank of hope
As the Candlemas snowdrops defiantly show
What their Christ-light lanterns can do
As they break through and make the soil sing
And they bring the first glimmers of spring
A reminder that this too shall pass.
Just as winter is defeated by a flower in the grass
So at long last will our long frost melt
And the darkness we’ve felt for so long will be gone
And the Christ-light flame flickers on. Written and read by Reverend Rich Clarkson, January 2021 who recites it on our YouTube service.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,

light of the nations and glory of Israel:

make your home among us,

and present us pure and holy

to your heavenly Father,

your God, and our God.

 

Confession

Let us pray to the Father through Christ our light and life.

Father,

your Christ is acclaimed as the glory of Israel:

look in mercy on your Church.

Let us recall the times we have failed to share your light …

Failed to bring justice failed to recognise the poor, failed to offer peace, failed to heal injuries.

Amen.

 

 

Kyrie Mass of St Cedd – Peter Nardone

Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Lord hard mercy.

Absolution

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The first reading is taken from Romans 12 verses 1-5

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual[b] worship. Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.

This is the word of the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia.

Our eyes have seen your salvation,

a light to enlighten the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke Chapter 2 verses 22-40

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
    according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon[i] blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. 39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All   Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon given by Bishop Ruth

Candlemas Sermon for Burnham on Sea – Feb 2021

In a week’s time, on February 15th we shall have a new grandson! How can I be sure? Well the wonders of technology mean the scan shows it’s a boy and the date is determined by the fact that my daughter-in-law will be admitted to hospital for a caesarean delivery on that day.

I must say that I am beginning to feel my age. This is grandchild number 3. However, for my mum, I think it is even more special as this third greatgrandchild will share his Birthday with her! She will be 90 on February 15th.

Our reading this morning is that set for Candlemas, which we celebrated on February 2nd. It marks the day on which Jesus, as the first-born son in his family, was presented in the Temple. Consecrated to God His heavenly Father, by Joseph his human one.

Candlemas is the moment in the Church year when Christmas and the revelations of Epiphany end. We’ve heard the stories of the incarnation of ‘God with us’ and been given glimpses of the divine in this human form. We now begin to discover the purpose for which He came amongst us. It’s the moment that, as it were, we turn from the crib to the cross.

And here in Luke’s gospel we meet 2 wonderful people of faith, who recognise in this child the culmination of a promise. Simeon and Anna were revered as elders within their community, not just because of their age but also because of their wisdom and religious practice. Simeon, we are told, was “righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him”. Anna, was known as a prophet, who “never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day.”

What wonderful accolades! I wonder if you recognise Simeons and Annas in your midst? People of God who are waiting and watching for signs of God at work and wanting to join in. I’m aware as I’ve travelled round the diocese over the past 5 and a half years of plenty of Annas who never seem to leave their church buildings! Whether that’s polishing the pews, arranging the flowers, welcoming people into church, making the tea and baking the cakes, reading the lessons, leading the prayers. When I think of my own mum, I see someone for whom Church has been her life. She’s the sort of person who goes to every service of worship, prayer meeting, coffee morning, Bible study, home group, and has done all her life.

So how hard has it been for her, for you, during this time when our buildings are shut to us? For many it has been a bereavement, a grief and loss. Perhaps there are others who have found new-found liberation in fresh possibilities. This week I spoke with someone who told me that she has found a new rhythm of daily prayer online with her recently found church family. She said it is like a ‘monastic community’. My mum isn’t able to access IT but has found the Daily Hope phoneline a lifeline for her. And some of you may have found the recent diocesan Everyday week of prayer an introduction to a range of different ways of having that daily practice.

There will come a time when many of us will be able to return to our buildings. But there will be those who may feel too vulnerable to do so. What I hope we will do is remember this time, when we began to see those we had lost sight of, those who worship God but are unable to join in person with others. The frail in our care homes, those with disabilities, the elderly or the very young at home, those who have to do key work on Sunday, those who are caring for others.

Worship is not something reserved for Sunday morning or for religious buildings but something which transforms us for the everyday as we hear in Paul’s words to the Roman church in chapter 12…

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Simeon and Anna were both people for whom being in their special place of worship was important and yet who had stretched their gaze beyond the traditions of their religious practice to watch for the signs of the new. The promise of God was that salvation was on the way. Not a vaccine for a pandemic, but a lasting reconciliation for the problem of sin. An expectation of ‘consolation’ for the faithful, Jewish people. And a new hope that would be as a light, opening the eyes of those outside of such faith.

So how might we be as Simeon and Anna now? How might we, as people of God, experience the consolation of God in this period of what feels desolation?

The Ignatian practice of spirituality would suggest that this is about orientation. Are we directing our lives towards God (consolation) or away from him (desolation)?

Desolation turns us inward, cuts us off from community, makes us want to give up on things, crowds out our distant vision, drains energy.

Consolation directs our focus outwards, beyond ourselves, lifts our hearts to see the joys and sorrows of others, cements community, restores balance and refreshes our inner vision and shows us where God is active in our lives and where He is leading us.

And so here in the Temple, Simeon takes the child Jesus into his arms and the light dawns. He recognises the Christ, the expected Messiah in the child Jesus. And so he declares that here in this baby, is the consolation of God for the people of God. And Anna takes that joyful message out to those non-religious seekers within the wider community, beyond the walls of the building, praising God and pointing to this sign of hope.

Are we those who have come to recognise for ourselves the light of Christ, the promise of His love? Do we praise God for the hope we have in Him and then share that with others too? Are we people who carry the light of Christ into the darkness of a world which feels fear and anxiety and desolation?

As we turn from the crib to the cross, may we be people who carry the light of Christ wherever we go. May we live and tell the story of God’s love to all whom we meet on the journey. Bishop Ruth

Hymn

 

In a world where people walk in darkness

sung by St Martin’s Voices

 


1 In a world where people walk in darkness,
let us turn our faces to the light,
to the light of God revealed in Jesus,
to the daystar scattering our night.
For the light is stronger than the darkness
and the day will overcome the night,
though the shadows linger all around us,
let us turn our faces to the light.



2 In a world where suffering of the helpless
casts a shadow all along the way,
let us bear the cross of Christ with gladness
and proclaim the dawning of the day.
Chorus

3 Let us light a candle in the darkness,
in the face of death a sign of life;
as a sign of hope where all seemed hopeless,
as a sign of peace in place of strife.
Chorus


 

Intercessions


Loving God, in Jesus you know what it is to be human and you understand the concerns and needs we all carry for ourselves and for others.   Hear us as we pray to you now for help, healing and guidance in your church and in the world.


Let us pray for all the people of God’s church that through her ministry God’s salvation in Jesus Christ may be revealed to all peoples, setting free all those held in slavery by the fear of death.

Let us pray for the needs of this world:
for those whose lives are threatened by violence of war or terrorism;
for those oppressed by cruelty and injustice;
for those deprived of food and water by greed and indifference to their suffering.

Lord in your Mercy. All Hear our Prayer

Let us pray for our own communities in this time of darkness in the Covid 19 Pandemic:
for families whose relationships are being tested and strained;
for families suffering financial hardship;
for families struggling with ill health and bereavement.

Lord in your Mercy. All Hear our Prayer



Let us pray for the people we know who need God’s healing touch today that they may know his presence alongside them and his strength supporting them.

Lord in your Mercy. All Hear our Prayer.

All Merciful Father, accept these prayers,

For the sake of your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen





The Lord’s Prayer is said – please join in

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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.

Blessing given by Bishop Ruth

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, who was wounded for our sins,

that you may bear in your life the love and joy and peace

which are the marks of Jesus in his disciples;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

 

The Dismissal

Let us go in peace.

All   We go into the world

to walk in God’s light,

to rejoice in God’s love

and to reflect God’s glory. Amen.

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