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  • Writer's picturePhil



Loving God, I have come to worship you.

Help me to remember that you are here with me.

May I pray to you in faith,

praise you with gratitude,

and read your word with eagerness;

in Jesus’ name. Amen

✠In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Paul implores us:

“In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus.”

When in our thoughts, words and actions

we have failed to think as God thinks,

let us ask for His encouragement to live better lives,

and confess our sins in penitence and faith:

that I have greatly sinned,

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

through my fault, through my fault,

through my most grievous fault;

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,

all the Angels and Saints,

to pray for me to the Lord our God.

May almighty God have mercy on us, ✠ forgive us our sins,

and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you, we bless you,

we adore you, we glorify you,

we give you thanks for your great glory,

Lord God, heavenly King,

O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us;

you take away the sins of the world,

receive our prayer;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father,

have mercy on us.

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.


O God, who manifest your almighty power

above all by pardoning and showing mercy,

bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us

and make those hastening to attain your promises

heirs to the treasures of heaven.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

FIRST READING - Ezekiel 18:25-28

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows:

‘You object, “What the Lord does is unjust.”

Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust?

Is it not what you do that is unjust?

When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies

because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed.

When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest,

he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins;

he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’


Remember your mercy, Lord.

Lord, make me know your ways.

Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:

for you are God my saviour.

Remember your mercy, Lord.

Remember your mercy, Lord,

and the love you have shown from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth.

In your love remember me,

because of your goodness, O Lord.

Remember your mercy, Lord.

The Lord is good and upright.

He shows the path to those who stray,

He guides the humble in the right path,

He teaches his way to the poor.

Remember your mercy, Lord.

SECOND READING - Philippians 2

If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all,

or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy,

then be united in your convictions and united in your love,

with a common purpose and a common mind.

That is the one thing which would make me completely happy.

There must be no competition among you, no conceit;

but everybody is to be self-effacing.

Always consider the other person to be better than yourself,

so that nobody thinks of his own interests first

but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.

In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus:

His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God

but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave,

and became as men are; and being as all men are,

he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.

But God raised him high and gave him the name

which is above all other names, so that all beings in the heavens,

on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus

and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.


Alleluia, alleluia!

If anyone loves me he will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we shall come to him. Alleluia!

GOSPEL - Matthew 21:28-32

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

✠ Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people,

‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons.

He went and said to the first,

“My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.”

He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went.

The man then went and said the same thing to the second

who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go.

Which of the two did the father’s will?’

‘The first’ they said. Jesus said to them,

‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes

are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.

For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness,

but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did.

Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.’

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


A Reception teacher was looking around at the drawings the children were doing, making a point of looking at each child's artwork.

As she got to Hannah, aged four, who was working diligently,

she asked her what the drawing was. Hannah replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said,

"But no one knows what God looks like." Without looking up from her drawing,

Hannah stated, “Well, they do NOW”

The Artist interprets what he or she sees,

and brings to life ideas and perceptions

you wouldn’t necessarily have seen without the artist.

"Resurrection Cookham" - Stanley Spencer

One of my favourite “religious” artists is Stanley Spencer,

and I say this with reservation, because he was somewhat complex.

He was a devout Anglican, a convinced Christian,

and a man given to “Bohemian” standards!

… but his portrayal of God is stunning!

Sandham Memorial Chapel is overwhelming,

as indeed is “Resurrection Cookham”.

Stanley Spencer’s picture of God

portrayed the people of his community and his family.

God was IN the community, IN the people…..

…. and Paul also sees God in the community, in the people,

portrayed in their relationships with each other…

“But no-one knows what God looks like, Paul.

“Well, they do NOW” he tells the Philippians.

“God will be portrayed when you are united in your convictions

and united in your love,

when you display a common purpose and a common mind;

when there is no competition, no conceit;

when everybody is self-effacing,

considering the other person as better than self,

when nobody thinks of his own interests first,

but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.”

That’s what God looks like, says Paul;

and the whole of his letter to the Philippians is about

“Men (and Women) behaving badly”,

obscuring the portrayal of God,

dishonouring the image of God by argument and division.

It seems that Paul’s words have continued to fall on deaf ears

since he wrote his Letter to the Philippians.

It’s difficult to convince today’s world of the existence of God.

It would be easier if the Church took Paul’s portrayal of God

as shown to the Philippians,

and modelled itself as a body where its members and its hierarchy

“are united in their convictions and united in their love;”

“where there is no competition, no conceit;”

“where others are considered as better than self,”

“where nobody thinks of his own interests first,

but considers other people’s interests instead.”

Paul saw the same problem (and more) in the church at Corinth.

It’s reassuring to know that the Church in Paul’s time

was just the same battleground as it can be today.

Adapting his well-known passage, 1 Corinthians 13…..

“If I speak of mission strategies and of fresh expressions, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have a mission-shaped church, and understand (and apply) The Faculty Jurisdiction Rules, and if I have multiple Sunday congregations and church plants, but have not love, I am nothing.”

O Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace,

Break down the barriers which separate us

from each other and from God.

Teach Christians to love each other across

the boundaries of creed, disposition, colour and culture;

forgive us too the excuses we make for our own prejudices.

And lead us captive in your cause of peace and goodwill;

for your name’s sake. Ian Bunting

A prayer by Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711)

O God, make the door of this house wide enough

to receive all who need human love and fellowship,

and a heavenly Father’s care;

and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and hate.

Make its threshold smooth enough

to be no stumbling-block to children, or to straying feet,

but rugged enough to turn back the tempter’s power:

make it a gateway to thine eternal kingdom.


I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

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.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


For the Church: that we may more and more

put on the attitude of Christ

and empty ourselves so that God can raise us to a new life

of faithful relationships and loving service.

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

For integrity:

that we may not merely speak of God’s ways

but sincerely commit to living them as faithful disciples;

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

For healing of our attitudes:

that God will free us from the desires to control or be selfish,

and help us to strive to serve others with love, patience, and humility.

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

For the unity of Christians:

that all believers may be of one mind and heart

and work together in serving God and confronting evil.

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

For all who are being persecuted:

that God will strengthen them, and that they may know

God’s love, mercy, and compassion.

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

For world leaders meeting at the United Nations:

that God will help them listen to the needs of humanity

and give them wisdom in developing policies

so that all may have food, safety, and live in peace.

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

For all who are ill, particularly those with covid-19:

that God will ease their pain,

help them to receive life-enhancing treatment,

restore them to their loved ones

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

For migrants and refugees:

that all who have fled violence, starvation, or persecution

may find welcome and places of safety to live.

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

For healing of the earth: that God will inspire us to act boldly

in addressing climate change and other abuses of the earth

so that those who are suffering may be relieved

and that the future may hold many blessings for the human family

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us.

Our Lady of Damascus

Let us ask Mary to pray with us:

Hail, Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee;

Blessed art thou amongst women,

and blessed is the fruit

of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death.

Almighty God, you have taught us through your Son

that love is the fulfilling of the law:

grant that we may love you with our whole heart

and our neighbours as ourselves;

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right and just that we should always give you thanks,

Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For you do not cease to spur us on to possess a more abundant life

and, being rich in mercy, you constantly offer pardon

and call on sinners to trust in your forgiveness alone.

Never did you turn away from us,

and, though time and again we have broken your covenant,

you have bound the human family to yourself through Jesus your Son,

our Redeemer, with a new bond of love so tight

that it can never be undone.

Even now you set before your people a time of grace and reconciliation,

and, as they turn back to you in spirit,

you grant them hope in Christ Jesus and a desire to be of service to all,

while they entrust themselves more fully to the Holy Spirit.

And so, filled with wonder, we extol the power of your love,

and, proclaiming our joy at the salvation that comes from you,

we join in the heavenly hymn of countless hosts,

as without end we acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

At the Saviour’s command

and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,

that, by the help of your mercy,

we may be always free from sin

and safe from all distress,

as we await the blessed hope

and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


“Behold I stand at the door and knock;

if any one hears my voice and opens the door,

I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Apocalypse 3

“In God alone my soul in stillness waits;

from him comes my salvation.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.” Psalm 61 (62)

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11.28

In union, Lord, with the faithful at every altar of your Church

where Mass is now being offered this day,

and remembering the community of Holy Trinity, Winchester;

I long to give you praise and thanksgiving for creation

and all the blessings of this life,

for the redemption won for us by your life, death, and resurrection,

for the means of grace and the hope of glory.

I present to you my body and soul as a living sacrifice,

with the earnest wish that I may always be united with you.

And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I pray that you will come spiritually into my heart.

I unite myself to you,

and embrace you with all the strength of my soul

and the life you have given me.

Let nothing ever separate me from you.

May I live and die in your love. Amen.

Jesus, as the hem of your garment, touched in faith,

healed the woman who could not touch your body,

so may the soul of your servant be healed,

for though I cannot receive you in the sacrament

I can, through this offering of my prayer,

receive you in my heart;

grant this for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Blessed be God.

Blessed be His Holy Name.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.

Blessed be the Name of Jesus.

Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.

Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.


May Christ, who makes saints of sinners, raise and strengthen us;

that God through us may transform the world;

and may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, ✠

and the Holy Spirit, come down upon us,

and remain with us for ever. Amen.


The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary. Holy Mary.

And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt amongst us. Hail Mary. Holy Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ

by the message of an angel, so by his Cross and Passion

we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection;

through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

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