Sun 21/3/21

On this page. 

Broadcast & Online services.

Full Morning Prayer with Sermon and Hymns which will be used on ZOOM at 11am to join us email 

A Service of the Word For 
Use on Zoom



Leader   We come from scattered lives to meet with God. Let us recognise his presence with us.


Leader   As God’s people we have gathered:

All          Let us worship him together.


All          Lord, direct our hearts, and teach us to pray.  Lift up our hearts to worship you in spirit and truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


HYMN    Lift high the cross  



Leader   Human sin disfigures the whole creation,
which groans with eager longing for God’s redemption.  We confess our sin in penitence and faith.



All          Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us
from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within is
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Leader   May almighty God,
who sent his Son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon and his peace, now and for ever.

All          Amen.

Psalm    51: 1 - 13 attached as POWERPOINT


Reading       Hebrews 5: 5 - 10


Saviour of the World

Leader   Jesus, Saviour of the world,
come to us in your mercy:
we look to you to save and help us.

All          By your cross and your life laid down,
you set your people free.
we look to you to save and help us.

Leader   When they were ready to perish, you saved your disciples:
we look to you to save and help us.

All          In the greatness of your mercy, loose us from our chains:
forgive the sins of all your people.

Leader   Make yourself known as our Saviour and mighty deliverer;
save and help us that we may praise you.

All          Come now and dwell with us, Lord Christ Jesus:
hear our prayer and be with us always.

Leader   And when you come in your glory:
make us one to share with you
and to share the life of your kingdom.

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 fore ever.  Amen.


Hymn    Just as I am, without one plea


Reading       John 12: 20 - 33


A Sermon for the Fifth Sunday of Lent
John 12: 20 – 33; Hebrews 5: 5 – 10


“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies…”  I once had a conversation with a farmer about this verse.  He told me he got worried about seeds that die.  He wanted seeds which germinated and grew.   It had never occurred to him that the seed must die for new life to come.


That encounter can help us as we see Jesus preparing his disciples for his forthcoming death.  Jesus uses is the picture of a grain of wheat.  Like a seed which must die to bear fruit, Jesus’ must die for his work to bear fruit.  Jesus’ death will be a triumph, not a tragedy.  The time has come to plant the seed which will make Jesus’ death a triumphant defeat of death.


John’s Gospel speaks a lot about the right time, by which John means ‘God’s time’.  Until now the time has not been right.  Not when Jesus turned water into wine; not when he encountered the Samaritan woman; not when he evaded arrest after openly suggesting he was God.  On those occasions, Jesus’ time had not yet come.  Now it has.  Everything is ready for the great event when Jesus will look death in the face and defeat it.  


We don’t know why, but the arrival of the Greeks seems to help Jesus sense that his time has come.   The voice from heaven confirms that it has.  Jesus’ work on earth is almost complete.  The finale is close and Jesus begins the final preparations for his crucifixion.


Like his first week of ministry, Jesus’ final week will be intense for his followers.  They will learn about the nature of the Church and Jesus’ role as the supreme High Priest.  They will share an emotionally charged Passover Meal with Jesus and he will give the meal a new and powerful meaning.  Finally, the disciples will witness Jesus deep in troubled prayer– or those who can stay awake long enough will do so.  But that is to jump ahead.  For now, it is enough to note that Jesus’ time has come and to witness his preparations for the final act.


Jesus shows no pride or exhilaration that he has completed part one of his task.  Instead, John tells us, Jesus is troubled.  Throughout John’s Gospel we see the power and love of the Father revealed in Jesus.  He has healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, turned water into wine and raised Lazarus from the dead.  Now, as he faces the final act of his work on earth, we see the Word made flesh deeply heart-troubled.  Faced with suffering, Jesus’ human instinct is to shrink from suffering as ours is. 


That can bring us hope when we face difficult circumstances in our own lives.  For, as the writer of the Hebrews tells us in chapter 4 of his letter: “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.”


Jesus has been troubled as we are troubled; he suffered as we suffer; he understands our human situations as one who has shared the experience.  That in its self can be a source of comfort when we face difficult times ourselves.  


Jesus was deeply troubled as a human being.  As he reaches the finale of his ministry on earth, he knows that, if God is to be glorified, there must be suffering and danger ahead.  And so, despite his very human reaction, Jesus resolves to face his trial and crucifixion so that God can be glorified.  It is a resolve which can encourage us in our own challenges.


This Gospel reading comes from a section of Jesus’ teaching intended for all who follow Jesus.  Jesus’ death was a unique event.  Only Jesus could defeat the power of sin and death.  But in his suffering and death, Jesus was also preparing the way which everyone who follows him must take.


That is not comfortable, but suffering and danger will come to us, as Christians around the world have discovered as they have been shunned, imprisoned and killed for following Jesus.  When that day comes, we will not be alone.  We will be in the company of Jesus who has gone before us and knows our weakness.  Until then, we can walk with him, preparing ourselves for the day when the seed of our own lives must die in order to bear the fruit for God.


S Anne Lawson



Hymn    It is a thing most wonderful

Statement of Faith

Leader   Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.


All          Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even death on the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.  Amen.



Prayers of Intercession

Leader   In the power of the Spirit, let us pray to the Father through Christ the saviour of the world.
Let us pray to the Lord.

All          Lord, have mercy.

Leader   For forgiveness for the many times we have denied Jesus,
let us pray to the Lord.

All          Lord, have mercy.

Leader   For Christian people,
that through the suffering of disunity
there may grow a rich union in Christ,
let us pray to the Lord.

All          Lord, have mercy.

Leader   For those who make laws, interpret them and administer them, that our common life may be ordered in justice and mercy,
let us pray to the Lord

All          Lord, have mercy.

Leader   For those who have the courage and honesty
to work openly for justice and peace,
let us pray to the Lord.

All          Lord, have mercy.


Leader   For those in the darkness and agony of isolation, that they may find support and encouragement, 
let us pray to the Lord.

All          Lord, have mercy.

Leader   For those who, weighed down with hardship, failure or sorrow, feel that God is far from them,
let us pray to the Lord.

All          Lord, have mercy.

Leader   For those who are tempted to give up the way of the cross,
let us pray to the Lord.

All          Lord, have mercy.

Leader   That we, with all those who have died in faith,
may find mercy in the day of Christ,
let us pray to the Lord.

All          Lord, have mercy.

All          Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy on us.  Amen.



The Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Leader   Gracious Father,
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

All          Amen

Leader   Standing at the foot of the cross, 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.



Hymn    When Christ was lifted from the earth


Closing Prayer

All   Lord Jesus Christ,
you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant, and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:
give us the courage to follow you
and to proclaim you as Lord and King,
to the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

Broadcast and Live-streamed Opportunities for Worship
8.10 am  Radio 4 Sunday Worship 
10.00 am Chester Cathedral are livestreaming the Cathedral Eucharist at:
10.45 A modern-style of service will be livestreamed from Christ Church Gipsy Hill available at:
The Prayer Book Society continue to livestream a wide range of Book of Common Prayer Services available at:

Psalm 51 is attached as a PowerPoint below.
Website Editor,
Mar 17, 2021, 3:19 AM