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Readings and Prayers
24 May 2020
Sunday after Ascension Day

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'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven?'   Acts 1. 1

 Ascension Panel (detail)
'The Ascension' (Detail), Cologne, 12th Century (c) Victoria and Albert Museum London 

First Hymn

You can see a video of Sam Barber playing 'O thou who camest from above' here

The Collect

O God the King of glory,
who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ
with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven:
we beseech thee, leave us not comfortless,
but send to us thine Holy Spirit to comfort us
and exalt us unto the same place
    withour our Saviour Christ is gone before;
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading

Acts 1. 6-14   The Ascension of Jesus

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.


John 17. 11-11 Jesus prays for his disciples

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.



You can read the text and hear an audio recording of the sermon by David McEvoy, Reader, here 

Prayers for the week

Lord, we bring before you all those known to us who are sick, or suffering from loneliness or isolation.  We pray by name for Lolitza Azucki, Gordon Baker, Karen Clancey, Margaret Cordery, Linda Dean, Lauren Doyle, Moses Ekole, Barry Graney, Joy Hall, John Kelly, Philip Norris, Sue Ralfe, Caroline Short (Bradley) and Gamal Tadros.  May your Holy Spirit comfort and sustain them and those who care for them.

We pray for all those recently departed, particularly any who have died separated from their loved ones. We pray for Sylvia and James Laurent. We remember all whose anniversaries fall at this time. We remember Clyde Hopkins on his second year's mind. We ask God's blessing and comfort on all who are mourning the loss of loved ones. .



You can see a video of Sam Barber playing John Ireland's Alla Marcia here and playing Max Reger's Melodia here


Post Communion Prayer

Eternal God, giver of love and power,
whose Son Jesus Christ hath sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom:
so confirm us in this mission
that our lives may show forth the good news which we proclaim'
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Final Hymn

The Blessing

Christ our ascended King
pour upon you the abundance of his gifts
and bring you to reign with him in glory;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.


Liturgical texts taken from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England and Common Worship: Times and Seasons.

Many thanks to Sam Barber for his recording of 'O thou who camest from above' and 'O worship the King all glorious above' (233, 101, Hymns Ancient and Modern New Standard, Hymns Ancient and Modern Limited) and for his recording of John Ireland's Alla Marcia and Max Reger's Melodia.

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