Service for Sunday 11th October

A Service for the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity, 11th October, 2020



Before beginning to read this short service, you may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or a special place.  


May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.


The Acclamation of Christ at the Dawning of the Day 


O Lord, open our lips

and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.


May Christ, the true, the only light

banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.


O come, let us sing to the Lord; 

let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation. 

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving 

and be glad in him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God 

and a great king above all gods. 

Come, let us worship and bow down 

and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God; 

we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. 


Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.


Blessed are you, creator of all,

to you be praise and glory for ever.

As your dawn renews the face of the earth

bringing light and life to all creation,

may we rejoice in this day you have made;

as we wake refreshed from the depths of sleep,

open our eyes to behold your presence

and strengthen our hands to do your will,

that the world may rejoice and give you praise.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Blessed be God for ever.


The Collect


Silence is kept.


Almighty and everlasting God,

increase in us your gift of faith

that, forsaking what lies behind

and reaching out to that which is before,

we may run the way of your commandments

and win the crown of everlasting joy;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.




The First Hymn

Crimond:   please access Simon’s accompaniment here:


The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
e’en for His own Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
And staff my comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnishèd
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.


The First Reading:

Isaiah 15: 1-9


Psalm 23


Refrain:    I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


1    The Lord is my shepherd;  

therefore can I lack nothing.

2    He makes me lie down in green pastures  

and leads me beside still waters. [R]

3    He shall refresh my soul  

and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4    Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;  

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me. [R]

5    You spread a table before me

in the presence of those who trouble me;  

you have anointed my head with oil

and my cup shall be full.

6    Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,  

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


Refrain:    I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


O God, our sovereign and shepherd,

who brought again your Son Jesus Christ

    from the valley of death,

comfort us with your protecting presence

and your angels of goodness and love,

that we also may come home

and dwell with him in your house for ever.




The Second Reading:

Philippians 4: 1-9


The Gospel:

Matthew 22: 1-14




Last Sunday, most of us were reading Harvest Festival lessons and missed those appointed for the Sunday, which included the parable of the vineyard, towards the end of Matthew chapter 21.  Today we have a similar story.  In the vineyard parable the owner sends servants to the vineyard’s tenants to get his share of the fruit - and they were sent packing; whilst today a king invites guests to his son’s wedding and they would not come.

Matthew seems to want us to understand the two parables in the same way:  God is appealing to his people, but finds a response that is far from what it should be - it is a downright rejection.  If this is the main point, there seem to be other messages too, for otherwise there would be no point in mentioning the killing of the servants who were simply obeying a command and delivering an invitation.  Then the over-reaction comes the other way with the destruction of both guest and city.  

If, as seems likely, Jesus is indicating his response to the on-going refusal of the Pharisees to accept him, whilst drawing in the tax-collectors and other outcasts, we find the drama of the parable is all about how we receive the invitation to share at the table of the Lord; at the marriage feast - which is a picture of the Kingdom - a comparison made again a few chapters later in St Matthew in the parable of the wise and foolish maidens, and indeed by St John in the closing chapters of the Book of Revelation.

This analogy, linking the Kingdom of God to being like a marriage feast, is pushed even further in the parable of the wedding garment - which rather disconcerts us - with the thought that someone can be rejected for what they were wearing.  But what it is really getting at is, the clothes as the evidence of a life-changing experience that has accompanied the acceptance of the invitation.  It is like the good soil in the parable of the sower, or the, “many are called, but few are chosen”, kind of division.  That internal change of heart, revealed in what that new life becomes, that is like shedding rags, tilling good soil, being ready for the call, not simply making a casual and meaningless gesture which has no depth.

These are challenging parables, of that there is no doubt.  They remind us that we are not far from the beginning of Advent - just a few short weeks away - and the need for alert attention to what the Light of the World is revealing, and the call to follow the way of him who is that Light.

John Mann



Second Hymn 

My God, and is thy table spread:


1 My God, and is thy table spread,
and doth thy cup with love o'erflow?
thither be all thy children led,
and let them all thy sweetness know.

2 Hail, sacred feast which Jesus makes,
rich banquet of his flesh and blood!
Thrice happy he who here partakes
that sacred stream, that heavenly food.

3 Why are its bounties all in vain
before unwilling hearts displayed?
Was not for them the Victim slain?
Are they forbid the children's bread?

4 O let thy table honoured be,
and furnished well with joyful guests;
and may each soul salvation see,
that here its sacred pledges tastes.



Heavenly Father, as we pray together as your sons and daughters, sharing our faith in you and in your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to be one in your Spirit with those here, and in other lands, that worship you today.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer


We pray for those whose churches are in a difficult situation, for whatever reason, and that they may be strengthened in their life and mission, and feel supported by those praying for them.  

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer


We pray for the Church leaders in this country and for their guidance through demanding times, with challenging decisions, and most especially for the churches of our team; for St Nicholas’, St Mark’s, All Saints’ and St Mary’s, and all with responsibility for their life and work.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer


Bless, we pray, those on government, both nationally and locally as we live through an autumn and winter with much uncertainty.  As we appreciate and give thanks for the many things that we enjoy, day by day, help us to keep in mind those who have not the freedom to flourish and live life to the full. 

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer 


Make us, O Lord, conscious of those who are finding the demands upon them overwhelming.  Those who have lost jobs or home, those who are anxious for themselves or other members of their families; those separated from loved ones; those who are ill or isolated.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer


Grant, Lord, your inspiration and direction to the scientists and health workers who maintain the treatment, testing and care of those suffering as a result of the coronavirus and all diseases, and those who search for vaccines and other preventative solutions.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer


May your light, O Lord, shine on all who walk in dark paths this day.  Illuminate their way; hold them, and let them be aware that they are held; that, no matter what, they are safe in your care, and our unity in the Spirit is eternal, and our life fulfilling and wonderful, for it is in you.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Merciful Father accept these our prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen


The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then were they glad when they saw the Lord


The Lord’s Prayer


A few moments of silence before we pray:


We praise and thank you, O Christ, for the sacred feast:

in which we receive you,

together the memory of your passion is renewed,

together our minds are filled with grace,

and together a pledge of future glory is given,

when we shall feast at that table where you reign

with all your saints for ever.





The Lord bless us and keep us:


The Lord make his face to shine upon us,

and be gracious to us:


The Lord lift up his countenance upon us

and give us peace:


Numbers 6.24-26


The Lord God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

the holy and undivided Trinity,

guard us, save us,

and bring us to that heavenly city,

where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.



Basse et Dessus de Trompette - Clerambault:




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