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  • Writer's picturePhil


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



Sheep look out for each other, listen to the Shepherd and trust him;

Goats are out for themselves, not for each other.

In many countries sheep and goats look the same,

But it’s their behaviour that gives them away.

What about our behaviour?

When we have failed to listen to the voice of The Good Shepherd;

When we have looked only to our own interests,

rather than what is good for others, let us confess our sins….

I confess to almighty God

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, and 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.

THE COLLECT: Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore

all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we

pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your

majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. 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. Amen.

FIRST READING - Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17

The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself

and keep all of it in view.

As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view

when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep,

so shall I keep my sheep in view.

I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered

during the mist and darkness.

I myself will pasture my sheep,

I myself will show them where to rest –

it is the Lord who speaks.

I shall look for the lost one,

bring back the stray, bandage the wounded

and make the weak strong.

I shall watch over the fat and healthy.

I shall be a true shepherd to them.

As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this:

I will judge between sheep and sheep,

between rams and he-goats.


The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I shall want.

Fresh and green are the pastures

where he gives me repose.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Near restful waters he leads me,

to revive my drooping spirit.

He guides me along the right path;

he is true to his name.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness

no evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff;

with these you give me comfort.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You have prepared a banquet for me

in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil;

my cup is overflowing.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me

all the days of my life.

In the Lord's own house shall I dwell

for ever and ever.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

SECOND READING - 1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28

Christ has been raised from the dead,

the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

Death came through one man and in the same way

the resurrection of the dead has come through one man.

Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ;

but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits

and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him.

After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom

to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty,

authority and power.

For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet

and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death,

for everything is to be put under his feet.

And when everything is subjected to him,

then the Son himself will be subject in his turn

to the One who subjected all things to him,

so that God may be all in all.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory,

escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat

on his throne of glory.

All the nations will be assembled before him

and he will separate men one from another

as the shepherd separates sheep from goats.

He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right hand,

“Come, you whom my Father has blessed,

take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you

since the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food;

I was thirsty and you gave me drink;

I was a stranger and you made me welcome;

naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me,

in prison and you came to see me.”

Then the virtuous will say to him in reply,

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you;

or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome;

naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?”

And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly,

in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine,

you did it to me.”

‘Next he will say to those on his left hand,

“Go away from me, with your curse upon you,

to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you never gave me food;

I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink;

I was a stranger and you never made me welcome,

naked and you never clothed me,

sick and in prison and you never visited me.”

Then it will be their turn to ask,

“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty,

a stranger or naked, sick or in prison,

and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer,

“I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this

to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”

‘And they will go away to eternal punishment,

and the virtuous to eternal life.’ (Matthew 25:31-46)


What does Her Majesty think of “The Crown”?

Though she's never publicly spoken about the show,

in 2017 the Sunday Express reported that she had watched

all of the first season with Prince Edward and Sophie,

who drove to Windsor to join her for an informal supper,

followed by a bit of Netflix. It appears she liked it,

but she felt some bits were over-dramatised

with a generosity of poetic license.

Season 4 of The Crown has started, which delves deeply

into the failure in the marriage between Diana and Prince Charles.

Jan and I are still at the beginning of the second series,

but what has struck us has been the fragility and vulnerability

of the Royal Family, made even worse by the ever-present

public scrutiny.

Another King was under public scrutiny 2000 years ago.

This King was born to an ordinary family

(who nevertheless could trace their family back to King David);

born in a mediocre and unimportant city,

in a country that was a nuisance to its imperial coloniser.

Our last reading of this Christian Year, the Year of Matthew,

Introduces us to “The Son of Man”, the “King”.

Look carefully at this king as portrayed in today’s parable:

he was hungry and thirsty, naked, ill and in prison!

This King is served by subjects who give food to the hungry

and drink to the thirsty, who welcome strangers

and clothe the naked, who comfort the uncomfortable

and visit prisoners.

In their service of the poorest, the most infirm,

the least-capable, they truly serve the King Himself.

What a king and what a kingdom!

In chapter 1 of Matthew’s Gospel we have proved to us

that Jesus is “of David’s line”, but as with our own Royal Family,

there are skeletons in that genealogical cupboard.

Jesus is a King with some questionable antecedents!

In Chapter 2, we hear the question asked by those wise visitors:

“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star

in the East, and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

Matthew’s Jesus is the King with an unbounded Kingdom;

a King born in a stable, not a palace.

A king who turned down the offer of ruling over lands

as far as he could see Matthew 4

A king who mixed freely with those on the margins of Jewish

society, untouchables like lepers & Roman Centurions Matt.8

And, lowest of the low, Tax Collectors! Matt 9.

A king who called a child to stand in front of his followers,

whom, he said, was the “greatest in the kingdom”…..Matth 18

Jesus in Matthew acts and teaches with true power and authority,

as opposed to Herod, Pilate, and the Pharisees

who are limited by their inadequacy, self-importance

and an insatiable quest for power.

Matthew’s Christ is a King

whose laws (as in the Sermon on the Mount)

are based on love and kindness, ”turning the other cheek”,

“going the extra mile”, living life with compassion and forgiveness,

selflessness and peace;

whose subjects are similarly-motivated.

Subjects of this Kingdom feed the hungry,

satisfy the thirsty, clothe the naked, care for the sick,

give hospitality to those on the margins.

Do I do that? Does it sound like me? Could I do more?


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,

(All bow)

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.


Love never fails. Even in the darkest moments, love gives hope.

Love compels us to stand together in prayer

with our neighbours near and far.

Love compels us to give and act as one.

Now, it is clear in this pandemic that our futures are bound together

more tightly than ever before.

As we pray in our homes, around the nation and around the world,

we are united as one family.

So, let us pause and find a moment of peace,

as we lift up our hearts together in prayer.

For the health workers tending the seriously ill

for the scientists working on a vaccination

for the researchers analysing data and identifying trends

Thanks be to God.

For the media outlets working to communicate reality

for the supermarket workers, hygiene and sanitation providers

for the good news stories of recoveries and effective planning

Thanks be to God.

For the recognition that isolation doesn’t need to mean loneliness

for the notes through letterboxes offering help and support

for the internet, phones and technology that connects

for the awakened appreciation of what is truly important

Thanks be to God.

For those who are unwell and concerned for loved ones

for those who were already very anxious

for those immune suppressed or compromised

Lord, graciously hear us.

For those vulnerable because of underlying conditions

for those in the ‘most at risk to coronavirus’ categories

for those watching their entire income stream dry up

Lord, graciously hear us.

For those who have no choice but to go out to work

for those who are afraid to be at home

for those who are lonelier than they've ever been

Lord, graciously hear us.

For those who are bereaved and grieving.

God be their healer, comfort and protection,

be their strength, shield and provision

be their security, safety and close companion

We ask Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church, to offer our prayers with her own, as we say

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.


God the Father, as we hear the call of Christ the King

help us to follow in his service, whose kingdom has no end;

for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, one glory.

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, our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For you anointed your Only Begotten Son,

our Lord Jesus Christ, with the oil of gladness

as eternal Priest and King of all creation,

so that, by offering himself on the altar of the Cross

as a spotless sacrifice to bring us peace,

he might accomplish the mysteries of human redemption

and, making all created things subject to his rule,

he might present to the immensity of your majesty

an eternal and universal kingdom

a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace,

a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

And so, with Angels and Archangels,

with Thrones and Dominions,

and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,

we sing the hymn of your glory 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.

Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles:

Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,

look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church,

and graciously grant her peace and unity

in accordance with your will.

Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

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

where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving.

I remember your death, Lord Christ;

I proclaim your resurrection;

I await your coming in glory.

Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood,

I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come.

“Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment

receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart ...

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.” Pope Francis

Lord, in these days of mercy, make us quiet and prayerful; in these days of challenge, make us stronger in you;

in these days of emptiness, take possession of us; in these days of waiting, open our hearts

to the mystery of your cross.

Angela Ashwin


God the Father,

who has given to his Son the name above every name,

strengthen us to proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord.


God the Son,

who is our great high priest passed into the heavens,

plead for us at the right hand of the Father.


God the Holy Spirit,

who pours out his abundant gifts upon the Church,

make us faithful servants of Christ our King.


And may almighty God bless us,

the Father, the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit. 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. Amen.

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

Hail Mary…..

And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt amongst us.

Hail Mary…..

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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 proceed in peace,

giving thanks to God.

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