2nd May ~ 5th Sunday of Easter
The Collect: Almighty God, who through your only~begotten Son Jesus Christ have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. All: Amen.
The Epistle is written in the 26th verse of the 8th chapter of the Acts of the Holy Apostles.
An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep He was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so He does not open His mouth. In His humiliation justice was denied Him. Who can describe His generation? For His life is taken away from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, does the prophet say this, about Himself or about someone else?” Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptised?” He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them went down into the water, and Philip baptised him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
This is the Word of the Lord: All: Thanks be to God
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John: All: Glory to You, O Lord
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
This is the Gospel of the Lord: All: Praise to You, O Christ
In this time of elections, we give you thanks O Lord for the freedom we have to elect our nations leadership. In a world where there are many dictators we thank you for those who have fought in previous years to ensure that we do have choice. We pray for all those putting themselves forward in our area for election. We pray for the gifts of integrity and truth among all candidates, help us and them discern O Lord your will for our nation. Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Let us pray for the peace of the world: for statesmen and rulers, that they may have wisdom to know and courage to do what is right for all who work to improve international relationships, that they may find the true way to reconcile people of different race, colour, and creed, and for men and women the world over, that they may have justice and freedom, and live in security and peace. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Father we ask that you will look after all the people in your church throughout the world, especially those who live in areas where it is hard to be a Christian. We pray for George Safar and his family and all Christians in the Holy land and for those who support them. We pray for our Church, so that each of us will might make use of our individual talents enabling each church group to flourish as a witness to the “One Body” of the church. Help us all to spread the warmth of Your love to everyone we meet and help us to welcome all who come through the doors of this church. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer
God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Bless all who are preparing for and sitting assessments instead of exams. Help them to overcome any nerves so they may do the best they can. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Gracious God we pray for the work and service of all care homes and day centres for the elderly and sick, and for those carers who look after family and friends in their own home. Thank you for the many charity organisations who raise money and provide supportive services to help. We pray for all finding their life painful, lonely or uncertain, especially those who are ill or vulnerable. Help them to sense your comfort in times of need. Show us the best way to help those who suffer, without being intrusive but without simply turning away from their pain either. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Merciful Lord, your love reaches beyond the grave. Be with all those whose earthly life is drawing to a close be with them and with those who love them. May those who have gone before us rest in your eternal peace. We remember those who have died and we pray for all whose life is saddened by the death of a loved one – be with them in their loneliness. Lord ,in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Everlasting God we pray for ourselves; as we go from this church today to start the week ahead, we ask that in all we do, we may walk more closely with you at our side, safe in the knowledge that your fatherly love and care knows no bounds.