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Ascension Day Service
The Revd Philip Cochrane
The Revd Philip Cochrane
Thursday, May 21, 2020
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    Service of Holy Communion via Youtube Live    

A Sonnet for Ascension Day – Malcolm Guite We saw his light break through the cloud of glory Whilst we were rooted still in time and place As earth became a part of Heaven’s story And heaven opened to his human face. We saw him go and yet we were not parted He took us with him to the heart of things The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings, Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness, Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight, Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness And sing the waning darkness into light, His light in us, and ours in him concealed, Which all creation waits to see revealed .

Before the Service Welcome to our online Service In preparation, you may want to think about posture and your environment at home.  You may find it helpful to light a candle, place or hold a cross…whatever is helpful.  


Announcements   The Celebrant gives the Territorial Greeting, Announcements and welcomes everyone informally.  

Sentence of Scripture

19 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, 

20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’                           Matthew 28: 19,20  

The Greeting  

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

All                  And also with you.  

Celebrant         Alleluia! Christ is risen.

All                   The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!  

Celebrant         May God’s grace and peace be with you

All                   May God fill our hearts with joy.    

Glory to God  

Celebrant         Glory to God in the highest,

All                  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.   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.   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. Amen.  

Collect of the Day    

Celebrant         Let us pray.  

We keep a period of silence.  

Celebrant         Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord.  Keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit  and in the bond of his peace,  and bring the whole of creation to worship at his feet, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

All                    Amen.  


FIRST READING                                                                                                     Acts 1:1-11     Reader:           A reading from the book of Acts   In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ 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.’  

Reader:            The word of the Lord.

All                  Thanks be to God.    

The Gospel                                                                                                                      Lk 24:44-53   Celebrant         +The Holy Gospel of Jesus the Christ according to Luke.

All                    Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.  

Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’ Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.  

Celebrant         The Gospel of Christ.

All                    Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.  


Affirming Our Faith (The Apostles’ Creed)   

Celebrant         With the whole church, let us confess our faith:

All                    We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.   We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven:   by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.   He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.   We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets.   We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.   

The Prayers of the People                                                                          

St Paul’s is joining the Thy Kingdom Come initiative with Christians from churches across the country and around the world to pray that the Holy Spirit would come to inspire and equip us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our friends, families and local communities:   Bidding             We pray

All                    Your kingdom come   At the conclusion,  

Celebrant        Almighty God, your ascended Son has sent us into the world to preach the good news of your kingdom: inspire us with your Spirit and fill our hearts with the fire of your love that all who hear your Word    may be drawn to you, And that your Kingdom may come on earth as in heaven  through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All                    Amen.  

The Peace   

Celebrant          Christ came and proclaimed the gospel: peace to those who are far off   and peace to those who are near. The peace of Christ be always with you.

All                    And also with you.

Confession & Absolution  

Celebrant         Conscious of our failure to proclaim the gospel, let us call to mind our sins:

Celebrant         Most merciful God,

All                 we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.   We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.    

Celebrant         Almighty God have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All                  Amen.  


The Table is prepared.  

Prayer over the Gifts

(We encourage those who can afford to, to consider financial giving to the work and ministries of St Paul’s Anglican Church. There are multiple methods to contribute, including through )   Celebrant         Let us pray   The community prays in silence.   Celebrant         Eternal God,                         our Saviour Jesus Christ                         has promised to be with us until the end of time.                         Accept all we offer you this day,                         And renew us in his transfigured life;                         for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. All                    Amen.   The Great Thanksgiving   

Celebrant         May God be with you.

All                    And also with you.  

Celebrant          Lift up your hearts.
All                    We lift them up to God.  

Celebrant         Let us give thanks to God our Creator.

All                    It is right to give our thanks and praise.  

Celebrant         Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of heaven and earth; we give you thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord, who after his glorious resurrection appeared to his disciples, and in their sight ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us; that where he is, there we might also be, and reign with him in glory.     Therefore we praise you with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your name. we raise our voices to proclaim the glory of your name.

All                    Holy, holy holy Lord, God of power and might,  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosana in the highest.            

Celebrant          We give thanks to you, Lord our God,  for the goodness and love you have made known to us in creation;  in calling Israel to be your people;  in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary,  to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil,  and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us  out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness,  out of death into life.                          

On the night he was handed over  to suffering and death,  a death he freely accepted, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you,he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat:   this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”  After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it,  do this for the remembrance of me.”                                    

Therefore, Father, according to his command,

All                   we remember his death, we proclaim his resurrection,  we await his coming in glory;

Celebrant          and we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation,  this bread and this wine.  We pray you, gracious God,  to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts, that they may be the sacrament of the body of Christ and his blood of the new covenant.             Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we, made acceptable in him, may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.           

In the fullness of time, reconcile all things in Christ, and make them new, and bring us to that city of light      where you dwell with all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation,  the head of the Church,  and the author of our salvation; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are yours, almighty Father, now and for ever.

All                   Amen.    

The Lord’s Prayer                                                        

Celebrant         In times of hope, in times of trouble, in times of sorrow, in times of praise as our Saviour taught us, so we pray:  

All                    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.            

Save us from the time of trial,            

And deliver us from evil.            

For the kingdom, the power,            

And the glory are yours,            

Now and forever. Amen.    

The Breaking of the Bread

The Celebrant breaks the consecrated bread.  

All        Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.            

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us            

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace.    

The Invitation  

Celebrant         Be present, be present,                        

Lord Jesus Christ, our risen high priest;                        

make yourself known in the breaking of bread. 

All                    Amen.            

The Communion  

This prayer may be helpful as we celebrate communion spiritually at this time of physical separation.  

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits you have given me, for all the pains and insults you have borne for me. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I ask you to come spiritually into my heart. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.

after the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester   


Post-Communion Prayer  

Celebrant         Let us pray.   The community prays in silence.  

All                    Eternal Giver of love and power,                        

your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world                        

to preach the gospel of his kingdom.                        

Confirm us in this mission,                        

and help us to live the good news we proclaim;                        

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

Celebrant         Glory to God,

All                    whose power, working in us,                                                                                                  

can do infinitely more                        

than we can ask or imagine.                        

Glory to God from generation to generation,                        

in the Church and in Christ Jesus                                  

for ever and ever. Amen.  

The Blessing

Celebrant         The Spirit of truth lead you into all truth,                        

give you grace to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,                        

and strengthen you to proclaim the word and works of God;                        

and the blessing of God our Creator, Redeemer                        

and Giver of life be with you always

All                    Amen  

The Dismissal  

Celebrant         The Lord says, ‘Go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations.’                         Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All                   In the name of Christ, Amen.