A Service for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

A Service for the Sixth Sunday of Easter


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.  During the Easter Season we call to mind the days when our Lord passed from death to life and appeared to his disciples and spoke with them. 

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


  1. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.  Alleluia


The Collect

 Let us pray that we may walk the risen life of Christ in glory.

 Silence is kept.


God our redeemer,

you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so by his continual presence in us he may raise us

to eternal 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

 Jesus, where’er thy people meet - please access Simon’s accompaniment here



 1 Jesus, where'er thy people meet,

there they behold your mercy seat;
where'er they seek thee, thou are found,
and every place is hallowed ground.

 2 For thou, within no walls confined,

inhabitest the humble mind;
such ever bring thee when they come,
and going, take thee to their home.

 3 Dear Shepherd of thy chosen few,

thy former mercies here renew;
here to our waiting hearts proclaim
the sweetness of thy saving name.

 4 Here may we prove the power of prayer

to strengthen faith and sweeten care,
to teach our faint desires to rise,
and bring all heaven before our eyes.

 5 Lord, we are few, but thou art near;

nor short thine arm, nor deaf thine ear;
O rend the heavens, come quickly down,
and make a thousand hearts thine own.


The Reading:

Acts 10: 44-end

 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

 The Gospel:

John 15: 9-17

 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.



 “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide”

 It is a common enough intention that has been experienced for as long as humanity has existed, that individuals wish to leave their mark.  Ancient graffiti carved on the stones of very old buildings have told archaeologists as much as more formal documents about the way of life of our forebears; lovers names expand in the bark of trees as the years pass from the day they recorded it with heart and arrow; schoolboys have traditionally carved their names in desks during the course of boring lessons and churches continue to name halls and chapels – even churches as a memorial to past incumbents. 

 The need to leave something lasting appears to be deeply ingrained in the human psyche and the temptation to turn this to folly is classically revealed by Shelly’s “Ozymandias”.  He who should want to leave his mark (and it usually is a man) should learn well the lines: “Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare the lone and level sands stretch far away.”  Yet in our Gospel today, Jesus is saying that we should bear fruit that will last.  How does this fit?  What does Jesus want of us?  Can we on the one hand work for the furtherance of the kingdom not caring if our part is inconsequential?  Yet, at the same time be concerned for the fruits of our labour, that they be not just passing, but of lasting value? 

 Naturally, Jesus is speaking of a spiritual message and spiritual fruit that will last, not such a thing as a physical building, or work of art, or piece of writing.  He is commissioning his disciples to go and witness to him.  This is happening at the Last Supper; everything is about to change.  Jesus will die and rise again, but the place of the disciples will become much more challenging as they have to take up the mantle of Jesus and do his work.  Our Lord says that you will do this not from your own choice, but because I have chosen you.  This is a key point in this whole process of seeking the fruits of labour.  Where the intent is to gain reward for a chosen way of life, the temptation to greed will always be there.  Many people will see its dangers and not fall for it, but if we place in anyone’s way the chance to make more financially (or any other way that enhances influence or ego) out of what they are doing than they gain from the incentive to do their job well and for the benefit of others, then we place this temptation at the very heart of how they spend their day to day life.

 Jesus bids his followers to see themselves as the object of a calling from him.  Now he addresses this specifically to the disciples and by extension to those directly leading the work for the spread of the Good News.  However, surely we can extend the principle of this to the vocation of every single adult Christian person in all that we are engaged in?  Whatever we have discovered our work at any stage of our life to be, that is a part of us; it is our contribution, large or small to the life of the community in which we live.  For the Church the calling goes to the heart of our eternal hopes for all to find in Christ the life and purpose for which he calls us to his service.

 It is all about choice and bearing fruit; how we make our choices and what sort of lasting fruit we are hoping to produce.  Jesus was quite clear that his followers should consider themselves chosen; not making a choice to come with him, but rather responding to a call and bearing fruit for him, and so for the good of others.  In return he offers the promise that what we ask in his name we shall receive.  That is a wonderfully subtle promise, which sits squarely on our Lord’s insistence on what our calling amounts to; how we work it through in practice and the nature of the fruit of our discipleship. 

 Our requests to the Father come from one whose trust is implicit, whose sense of calling is absolute and whose determination to serve is complete.  None of us are perfect; many of us over the years will have fallen into the temptation to seek to gain when we should rather seek to serve – perhaps at some time or other we have all done this, it is human nature, but our Lord calls us back today to look at the kind of fruit we would like to leave when our work is over; how our love for God and for Christ, is worked out in our love for our neighbour; and to seek clearly when we criticise others - when to remain silent and when to speak; a further outcome involving; to mix biblical metaphors, a process that considers removing beams from our own eyes and not being the first to cast stones. 

Our Lord was sharing crucially important and encouraging teaching at the Last Supper, but not easy for any of us who seek to respond to his call, and work that out in our lives day by day - a process that is lifelong, yet at the same time, New Every Morning - such as now today, as we go forth and work out how we, each of us, responds to his call to bear fruit.

 John Mann


 Second Hymn

 At the Name of Jesus: https://youtu.be/_Hn_yhCwDtk


At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,

every tongue confess him King of glory now;

tis the Father’s pleasure we should call him Lord,

who from the beginning was the mighty Word.


Humbled for a season, to receive a name

from the lips of sinners unto whom he came;

faithfully he bore it spotless to the last,

brought it back victorious when from death he passed.


Bore it up triumphant with its human light,

through all ranks of creatures to the central height;

to the throne of Godhead, to the Father’s breast,

filled it with the glory of that perfect rest.


Name him, brothers, name him, with love strong as death,

but with awe and wonder, and with bated breath;

he is God the Saviour, he is Christ the Lord,

ever to be worshipped, trusted and adored.



Almighty God grant us hearts alive in the Spirit of the risen Christ as we bring our intercessions before your throne of mercy and grace

Almighty God, we pray for your Church throughout the world; the family for which your Son taught the Lord’s Prayer and to call you ‘Father”.  Grant to us that sense of oneness in prayer, that unites the Church in one body, seeking the furtherance of your Kingdom of righteousness and truth.  Where there is persecution, give courage and support; where there is need of forgiveness, bring penitence and humility; where there is hatred, show, in your mercy the way of love. 

Bless, Nicholas and Karen our bishops, this Diocese of Salisbury, its parishes, institutions and chaplaincies, and guide our team of churches, within the town of Swanage and village of Studland, in mission and ministry within the wider Church and community, of which we are a part.

 Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.


Father of all mercies and God of glory and splendour, we give you thanks for the miracle of new birth and the joy of parenthood, and for all the privileges of belonging to each other.  We pray for all whose lives are held in the busyness of family life, especially in these days when households are confined and activity limited.  We pray, as well, for those who are on their own in their homes, and would love the company of others.  May all our lives be enriched by your blessing and daily presence, guided in your service, and inspired by your Holy Spirit.  Fill our hearts with the deeper blessing that comes from the dedication of life to others and to you.

 Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.


Bring peace, O Lord, to your troubled world.  Support the weak and vulnerable, the refugee, and the hungry and fearful, and all in need, Strengthen individuals and organisations dedicated to help those in poverty or distress.  Inspire all your people to act with determination to establish just and ordered societies in places of division, chaos and violence amongst and between nations and peoples.  Encourage and guide the deliberations of all who seek to minimise the effects of the current pandemic, in our own country and across the world.

 Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.


Shed, O Lord, the bright beams of your loving presence on all who are sick, on those who mourn the loss of someone dear to them, on those who are anxious that their loved one is endangering themselves for the sake of the health and well-being of others.  Shield all who care for those who are ill, those who are lonely, those who are in danger, and may your love and compassion surround those we carry on our hearts today.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.


The Lord’s Prayer

A few moments of silence before we say the…..

Easter acclamations:

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He has given us new life and hope.

He has raised Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.

He has brought us out of darkness.

He has made us light to the world.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.


God the Father,

by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,

open to all who believe the gates of everlasting life.

God the Son,

who in bursting from the grave has won a glorious victory,

give us joy as we share the Easter faith.

God the Holy Spirit,

who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord,

empower us and fill us with Christs peace.


Hindemith - Sonata no 2, Movement 2: https://youtu.be/NWsZpVCdomQ