MORNING PRAISE – TRINITY SUNDAY

PREPARATION  

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

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you
and also with you.

FIRST HYMN

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty!
    Early in the morning, my song shall rise to thee;
holy. holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
    God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore thee,
    casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
    which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
    Though the eye mad blind by sin Thy glory may not see,
only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee
    perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
    all Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
    God in three persons, blesséd Trinity!

A&M 276
Music: John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876)
Words: Reginald Heber (1783 – 1826)

 

PRAYERS OF PENITENCE

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.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.
Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

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.
Amen.

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS  

Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest!

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
    Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory!

              Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest!

              Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
                  Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
              have mercy on us.

              You are seated at the right hand of the Father,    receive our prayer.

              Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest!

              For you alone are the holy one, you alone are the Lord!
                  you alone are the most high, Jesus Christ,
              with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.

              Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest!

David Thorne
Mass of St Thomas: Gloria

 

COLLECT FOR TRINITY SUNDAY

Almighty and everlasting God,
you have given us your servants grace,
by the confession of a true faith,
to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity
and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:
keep us steadfast in this faith,
that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

EPISTLE READING 2 Corinthians 13.11-13

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

GOSPEL HYMN  

Can we by searching find out God
    or formulate his ways?
Can numbers measure what he is
   or words contain his praise?

Although his being is too bright,
    for human eyes to scan,
his meaning lights our shadowed world
    through Christ, the Son of Man.

Our boastfulness is turned to shame,
    our profit counts as loss,
when earthly values stand beside
    the manger and the cross.

We there may recognise his light,
    may kindle in its rays,
there find the source of penitence,
    the starting point for praise.

There God breaks in upon our search,
    makes birth and death his own:
He speaks to us in human terms
    to make his glory known.

A&M 269
Words Elizabeth J. Cosnett

GOSPEL READING  

              Hear the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew,
              Glory to you O Lord.

 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

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

 

SERMON Written by Gill Persicke

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time at all, you’ve probably lost count of the number of times you’ve repeated these words: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore, Amen.”   And if you were attending to the epistle a couple of minutes ago, you’ll have been reminded that these words, the Grace, are closely based on the benediction at the end of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians.   Given that this blessing brings to a close one of Paul’s most emotional letters, to a community often at each other’s throats, there’s a certain irony to the fact that we tend to use the same blessing at the end of our church meetings!   But what are we actually doing as we repeat the Grace together?   Let’s delve a little – and we’re going to do this by thinking first about the extraordinary outpouring of grace, love and fellowship which, paradoxically, seems to have been brought about by the truly horrible COVID 19.

First, grace - which means, to the Christian, unearned, unmerited gift.  Many of us are beginning to see things we used to take for granted (or perhaps not even notice at all) as gifts – incredible gifts.   You’re relying on someone else to do your food shopping, and the fruit bowl has been empty for a couple of days, and then some apples get delivered – and they are no longer humble apples, just an item on a shopping list, but you slice one wafer-thin, and eat it from a white saucer, and it tastes like a miracle – boy, are you grateful for those apples!   A pair of long-tailed tits arrive in the rosebush outside your window, and you realise you’ve never seen anything so quick and fresh and sprightly before – where did these bright creatures spring from?  

And so some apples and some garden birds have been introducing millions of people to the experience of grace.   How I long, as a Christian, to be able to tell those people more about grace – about how unmerited gifts are lavished upon us, constantly, by God, and how God has given us even greater gifts than these – forgiveness, courage, hope in times of terrible adversity . . .  his only Son.

Second, love.  We hear in the news about the staff of a care home, who moved into that home many weeks ago now, who moved away from their own families and home comforts to sleep on campbeds in a stockroom and work 12-hour shifts day after day – and all to protect and look after a group of elderly people, who have become their New Family.   Extraordinary love, flowing from ordinary people who never would have believed themselves capable of such greatness.   And then there’s the strange, courteous dance we now perform with complete strangers in the street, as we cross the road to stay distant, but nonetheless catch each other’s eye and smile and say “Thank you” – the parable of the Good Samaritan inverted, with love and concern for stranger shown by crossing the road not towards but away from that stranger!

And so, the carehome workers and the strange new street pavane have been giving millions of people a fresh vision of what it means to love.   How we long, as Christians, to be able to tell those people more about love – about how the human love we see around us is just a faint echo of the divine Love which upholds the whole universe, and about how that love isn’t just cosmic, it’s also personal and individual and unfailing - God loving you and you and you . . . and me.

Third, fellowship, communion, community.   I had a quick look at the Norfolk Community Foundation website, and was overawed by their Coronavirus response efforts – working with other local charities and volunteers to get food out to people; supporting vulnerable children, and people with mental health problems and people coming out of hospital and people struggling with debt – the list goes on and on.   What incredible things people can do together when some good old-fashioned community spirit kicks in.   And it’s not just the serious stuff.  Round where I live, unexpected things have been appearing in front gardens: homemade scarecrows have been appearing  (sweet, childlike ones; witty, sophisticated ones) as our local community plays a distanced game of dressing-up together.   As you walk around and spot the scarecrows, you can sense an underlying web of community life, neighbours playing together, and entertaining each other, even though the streets are empty. 

And so charities and scarecrows have been alerting millions of people to the beauty of community, collaboration and fellowship.   How we long, as the church, to show these people more about community – what it means to belong to a church community, charitable, playful, welcoming absolutely everybody in.   And how our church community strives to be a preview of the Kingdom of Heaven, when all will be gathered in, forgiven, valued and loved.

When we say the Grace at the end of a church meeting, its reach normally does feel limited to those actually present at that meeting: “Grace, love and fellowship be with us”.   But now I’m beginning to hear these beautiful words in an all-encompassing way: “God’s blessings be with us all “ – not just the people in this room, or the people in our church or city, but God’s blessings be with the whole of humanity.

And we long to draw newcomers in – those millions of people who have become more sensitised to grace, love and community over the last ten weeks or so.   This great outpouring of goodness in our society does ultimately, of course, stem from God, even if society doesn’t name it as God-given.   But that naming is important, because goodness which understands itself as human is, in the end, a far frailer thing than goodness which knows that its foundations lie in God alone.   Dear Lord, help us name You to the people around us; help us to make disciples of all nations.

Amen.

 

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION Written by Helena Carr

 Intercessions, written by Helena Carr

Gracious God, who promised that, where two or three are gathered together in your name, you will be in their midst, we hope that you are here with us now and will accept these prayers that we humbly offer up to you. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We focus our prayers this week on the protests that have taken place across America and other parts of the world in response to the recent brutal deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, and Breonna Taylor. Lord we pray for their families at this time and that the injustices and inequalities in these communities, where tensions and emotions run so very deep, will finally be addressed and healed. We hope that peace and mercy will be the guiding light to all who seek to find solutions and to calm and comfort distressed, angry, and broken hearts. Lord you have shown us the way through Christ’s teachings, let us use that wisdom to reflect on these issues of racism and inequality in our own communities and to think about our own behaviour and what part we can play in making our world more just, caring, and fair. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

As more people in our communities attempt to return to their schools, jobs, and businesses this week, we pray for the many who will find this an anxious and confusing time. For those worried about whether it is safe for them and others if they return to work or school; those who have lost their jobs or are worried about being made redundant, and for employers anxious about how to protect both their staff’s jobs and their health. For those who have worked long hours, putting themselves in danger, many of whom are physically and mentally exhausted but have to find the strength to carry on. Finally, we keep in our thoughts those who have been suffering with mental health or are victims of physical or sexual abuse, and for those still shielding who may be feeling lonely, frightened, isolated, and forgotten about as the world around them ventures out. Just as you reassured your disciples,

Merciful Christ, give them your comfort and strength to salve their anxieties and to sustain them through these difficult times, and move those around them to continue to be mindful, helpful, and protective. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

We pray for our Bishops Graham, Alan, and particularly for Bishop Jonathan who has announced his intention to retire early next year. We are thankful for his service to our diocese and hope he will enjoy a happy, restful, and fulfilling retirement. We are so grateful for the ministry of Edward, Fiona, Lorna, Graham, Gill, Becky, and Michael here at Mancroft. We also pray for Ben who will be joining us for the Ministry Experience in September.

Lord, support them and all the others who work tirelessly to maintain and grow our lively and diverse church community. While we deeply miss our beautiful church building and the wonderful services we attended there, we are reminded through this experience, what we have always known: that as a church, we have so much that binds us together as a spiritual and loving congregration. Until we can be together there again, keep us, and all other churches gathering virtually at this time, safe, supported, and strong in faith and fellowship. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

This week we also keep in our prayers the Benefice of Corton, the Anglican Church in Mexico, and our market traders here in Norwich who are gradually returning to their stalls. Keep them safe and support them in their work. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Almighty God, healer of all, we pray for any who suffer in mind, body, or spirit, and those who care for them. We pray at this time for Pam, Simon, Janet, Angela, Martin, Nina, Val   and Helen; and in a moment’s quiet, we bring before you, Lord, those who are known to us personally… Give them your grace, comfort, and strength to sustain them through their suffering. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord of eternal life, we pray for all departed souls, entrusting them to your unfailing love and mercy. We pray in particular for Richard Jarvis and Derek Metcalf. We also remember with love Helen Thomas and at this Year’s Mind:  Nellie Gregory, Ernest Loades, Marjorie Ward, Norah Todd, Ronald Everett, and Robert Kendall. Grant unto them, eternal rest O Lord; and may the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace and rise in glory. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ, just as your disciples experienced doubt, fear, and anxiety after your death, and even after your resurrection, many of us too falter in faith. In the week ahead in this uncertain world, help us to ease our questioning and anxious minds with the power of the Holy Spirit and to find comfort in your ever-present love. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Merciful Father,
Accept the prayers,
for the sake of your son,
our saviour Jesus Christ,
amen. 
 

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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 PEACE  

Peace to you from God our heavenly Father. Peace from his Son Jesus Christ who is our peace. Peace from the Holy Spirit, the life-giver.
The peace of the triune God be always with you.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

FINAL HYMN  

Lord, You give the great commission:
    ‘Heal the sick and preach the Word.’
Lest the Church neglect its mission,
    and the Gospel go unheard,
help us witness to Your purpose
    With renewed integrity;
  with the Spirit’s gifts empower us
    for the work of ministry.

Lord, You call us to Your service:
    ‘In My name baptize and teach.’
That the world may trust Your promise,
    life abundant meant for each,
give us all new fervour, draw us
    Closer in community.
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us
    for the work of ministry.

Lord, You make the common holy:
    ‘This my body, this my blood.’
Let us all, for earth’s true glory,
     daily lift life heavenward,
asking that the world around us
     share your children’s liberty;
with the Spirit’s gifts empower us
     for the work of ministry.

Lord, You show us love’s true measure:
    ‘Father, what they do, forgive.’
Yet we hoard as private treasure
    all that You so freely give.
May Your care and mercy lead us
    to a just society.
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us
    for the work of ministry.

Lord, You bless with words assuring:
    ‘I am with you to the end.’
Faith and hope and love restoring,
    may we serve as You intend,
And, amid the cares that claim us,
    hold in mind eternity.
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us
    for the work of ministry.

A&M 499
Tune: Abbot’s Leigh
Words: Jeffrey W. Rowthorn

CONCLUSION

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.
Amen.

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