Resources for Prayer and Worship at Home on Mothering Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), March 22, 2020

Some resources for prayer and reflection for the people of God, especially those who are of the Anglican Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Kefalas, Crete, Greece.

Rood Cross

The Cross surmounts the screen in St Birinus‘ Roman Catholic Church in Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England. Jesus is at the centre. Mary the Mother of God and the Beloved Disciple (usually identified with John the Evangelist) and  are to the left and right. Rood screens were created to separate the choir from the nave of the church, supposedly to keep down drafts. Up until the 17th century most Anglican churches with screens had a “rood” or cross on them. Most of these were destroyed during the Commonwealth by iconoclastic puritans. The one above dates from the 19th century.

We cannot meet this Sunday, and likely for many Sundays to come. We may even not be able to meet for Holy Week and Easter. But we are still the Church, and although to not meet is a burden, it does not mean that we cease to be the Body of God. Whether gathered in one place or dispersed as leaven in dough, we continue to follow Jesus and radiate God’s love on this island and beyond.

I will be writing a sermon for this Sunday and it will be the next post on this weblog. It has been suggested to me that Athanasius the Alpaca, Mla the Raven, and all their friends should make an appearance – maybe not this Sunday, but in Sundays to come, eh?

Our Diocesan Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Robert Innes, has videoed a message to the Diocese in Europe, and you can see it by clicking here (this may open a new window on your internet browser).

If you wish to watch a church service, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby,  will be live-streaming at 9:00 am GMT – which is, conveniently, exactly our regular worship time at 11:00 am EET. You can find it by clicking here.

Alternatively, for those of you on Facebook, the Reverend Christine Saccali, deacon and Assistant Chaplain at St Paul’s, Athens, will be leading a livestream of the Order for Morning Prayer at 10:15 am EET.

Or, again, you can join the Reverend Smitha Prasadam, Chaplain at St. Alban’s, Copenhagen, for a virtual service of the Holy Eucharist at 10:30 am CET (which is 11:30 am EET our time).

The readings for Mothering Sunday are:
Exodus 2: 1-10
Psalm 34: 11-20
Colossians 3: 12-17
John 19: 25b- 27
The highlighted text indicates that it is also a hyperlink, and if you click on it you will open a new window with that bible reading from the New Revised Standard Version translation.

Mothering Sunday is a practice unique to the Church of England, and is otherwise unknown to many parts of the Anglican Communion. Therefore, some churches will be using the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, which can be found here.

The Church of England website has a host of resources. Those of you who want to say Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer may wish to download the app to your smartphone; there is a link on this page.

Simple-Acts-of-Worship-V4 By clicking on the link at left you can download a PDF of “Simple Acts of Worship & Prayers For Those Unable to Attend Church” from the Diocese of Exeter.

I was sent a copy of a “Word of Consolation for the Pandemic” from Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, an Orthodox priest and monk of the Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights, Essex. I can send the full text to anyone if you wish (email me at bbryantscott@gmail.com), but some of his words are worth sharing:

If they ask us to stop our Church services,
let us simply surrender and bless the Providence of God.
Besides, this reminds us of an old tradition that the Fathers had in Palestine:
in Great Lent, on the Sunday of Cheese fare, after the mutual forgiveness,
they would go out in the desert for forty days without Liturgy;
they would only continue in fasting and prayer
so as to prepare and return on Palm Sunday
to celebrate in a godly way the Passion and the Resurrection of the Lord.
And so, our present circumstances force us to live again
that which existed of old in the bosom of the Church.
That is to say, they force us to live a more hesychastic life, with more prayer,
which will however make up for the lack of the Divine Liturgy
and will prepare us to celebrate with greater desire and inspiration
the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. . . .
If we shall not have Easter in the Church, let us remember that every contact with Christ is Easter.

 

Here are some prayers:

A Prayer for Cheerfulness
Lord, give us at all times a cheerful spirit and a joyful sense of our blessings.
Help us to look on the bright side of life and
save us from despondency and dejection, especially when the going is hard.
Increase our faith in your boundless and unchangeable love
and help us to remember at all times that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Amen.

From the Great Litany (1544)
From lightning and tempest, from plague, pestilence, and famine, from battel, and murder, and from sudden death,
Good Lord deliver us.

Prayer for a Pandemic  by Cameron Bellm, Seattle 2020

May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.

May we who have had to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.

 

A Song of St Anselm (from Common Worship)

Gather your little ones to you, O God,
as a hen gathers her brood to protect them.

1   Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;  ♦
you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

2   Often you weep over our sins and our pride,  ♦
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

3   You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds,  ♦
in sickness you nurse us and with pure milk you feed us.

4   Jesus, by your dying, we are born to new life;  ♦
by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.

5   Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;  ♦
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

6   Your warmth gives life to the dead,  ♦
your touch makes sinners righteous.

7   Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;  ♦
in your love and tenderness remake us.

8   In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,  ♦
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

Glory to God, Source of all being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Gather your little ones to you, O God,
as a hen gathers her brood to protect them.

Prayers for Mothers (from Common Worship)

Praise God who loves us.
Praise God who cares.

For the care of mothers;
Thanks be to God.

For their patience when tested;
Thanks be to God.

For their love when tired;
Thanks be to God.

For their hope when despairing;
Thanks be to God.

For their service without limit;
Thanks be to God.

Thank you God for the love of our mothers:
thank you God for their care and concern;
thank you God for the joys they have shared with us;
thank you God for the pains they have borne for us;
thank you God for all that they give us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Praise God who loves us.
Praise God who cares.

May God, who gave birth to all creation, bless us:
may God, who became incarnate by an earthly mother, bless us:
may God, who broods as a mother over her children, bless us.
May almighty God bless us, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen.

Call one another. If you are able to help, ask others how you can be of assistance. Seek justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God. God be with you all,

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About Bruce Bryant-Scott

Canadian. Husband. Father. Christian. Recovering Settler. A priest of the Church of England, Diocese in Europe, on the island of Crete in Greece. More about me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruce-bryant-scott-4205501a/
This entry was posted in Lent, Liturgy, Prayer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Resources for Prayer and Worship at Home on Mothering Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), March 22, 2020

  1. Pingback: Prayer Resources for Passion Sunday in the Great Pandemic, March 29, 2020 | The Island Parson

  2. Danny Draper says:

    I am a friend of Minister Scott’s distant past. Would it be possible to obtain his email? Thanks in advance

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