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ST PAUL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH ATHENS DIOCESE IN EUROPE Everything We Touch – A Mothers’ Union Service for Mothering Sunday

Welcome

Welcome to this service for Mothering Sunday, a celebration, not only to thank God for all Mothers but to thank and recognise all those who nurture us through our lives, including God.

The work of the Mothers’ Union around the world is about nurturing individuals, groups and communities by enabling them to improve their quality of life and providing opportunities for communication and reconciliation within families. The MU facilitates a network of parenting groups, provides a range of support for families and produces resources on issues important to adults and children.

Leader: ‘As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother, and he revealed that in everything, and especially in these sweet words where he says: I am he; that is to say: I am he, the power and goodness of fatherhood; I am he, the wisdom and the lovingness of motherhood; I am he, the light and grace which is all blessed love; I am he, the Trinity …’ (The Showings, Long Text, Mother Julian of Norwich, 14th century)

Worship Focus

You are asked to light a candle and put it in a window or place where it can be seen at 9pm greek time tonight. Please extinguish it when you got to bed. This is an initiative asked of us by Abps of  Canterbury and York. ( see Church of England website)

Nurturing God,

we light this candle

in recognition of the great care and love

you have for each one of us.

All Nurturing God,

we praise and thank you.

Nurturing God,

we light this candle

in thanksgiving for all mothers,

for all they do, or once did,

for all they give, or once gave

and for all they mean and will always mean.

All: Nurturing God,

we praise and thank you.

Nurturing God,

we light this candle

for all families

throughout the world.

All Nurturing God,

we praise and thank you.

Nurturing God,

we light this candle

for the family of the Church,

here and everywhere. And for all peoples.

All Nurturing God,

we praise and thank you.

Nurturing God,

we light this candle

for all who nurture

and encourage others may we do the same as we journey together as one..

All Nurturing God,

we praise and thank you

Call to Worship

Come, worship God,

who said. ‘As a mother comforts her child,

so I will comfort you.’ (Isaiah 66:13a)

who is the comforter and provider of all.

Hymn : Morning has broken

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of grace, listening, loving God,

where there is any peace on earth –

peace among the nations,

peace within communities,

peace in our families,

peace in our own hearts –

we know that you are its source,

that you are its wellspring: unfailing, steadfast.

 

All God of peace,

for the peace we hope for,

the peace and healing that we yearn for, reach for, work for,

fragile, and flimsy, and unfinished, as it often is,

we give you thanks and praise.

Prayer of Confession

All Holy God, maker of the skies above,

lowly Christ, born amidst the growing earth,

Spirit of life, wind over the flowing waters,

in earth, sea and sky,

you are there

in everything we touch,

in everyone we meet

your presence is all around us.

But when we have not touched but trampled you in creation,

when we have not met but missed you in one another,

when we have not received but rejected the poor,

forgive us, and hear our plea for mercy.

 

Come, Redeemer of the poor, come, Light of our hearts,

come, generous Spirit,

by the glory of your creation around us,

by the comfort of your forgiveness within us,

by the wind of your Spirit moving in this place,

renew us and make us whole.

Amen

Readings

EXODUS:2:1-10

 

Psalm 127:1-5

Unless the Lord builds the house,

those who build it labour in vain.

Unless the lord keeps the city,

the guard keeps watch in vain.

It  is in vain that you hasten to rise up early and go so late to rest,

eating the bread of toil,

for he gives his beloved sleep.

Children are a heritage from the Lord

and the fruit of the womb is his gift.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,

so are the children of one’s youth.

 

Hymn: You raise me up.

 

GOSPEL JOHN: 19: 25b-27:

 

Sermon

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

Let us affirm our faith in God:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our lord,

who was conceived  by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate was crucified, died and was buried;

he descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again;

He ascended into heaven,  He is seated at the right hand of the Father and he will come to judge the quick and the dead.

 I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

 Intercessions

God of all,

we bring to you our concerns:

concerns for ourselves and those we love;

our concerns for the world and our sisters and brothers in the world wide family to which we all belong.

Lord in thy mercy, Hear our prayer

 

We pray for all children in the world:

that they may feel affirmed and listened to;

We pray for all families:

for mothers or fathers struggling to bring up children alone

for families under strain – poor, homeless or unable to cope

and for parents whose children have died,

or who are separated from them and concerned at this time. For the elderly and sick. For those who cannot work and who are worried about finances.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

We pray for those who long for children

but for whom this is not possible.

May God strengthen and affirm

all whose lives take a path different

from the one they expected to take

and let them know they are loved and needed by others.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

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

 

Collect for Mothering Sunday

God of compassion,

whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,

shared the life of a home in Nazareth,

and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:

strengthen us in our daily living

that in joy and in sorrow

we may know the power of your presence

to bind us together and heal;

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 forever.

AMEN

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

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.

For thine is the kingdom,

The power and the glory

For ever and ever.

AMEN

 

Symbolic Action

After service reflect on a flower or posy  or a picture of some so as to pause and think about God’s creation

 

Prayer

 

All: God in heaven,

we will never fully know

what our mothers have done for us.

We can never fully repay them

for their countless gifts of love.

But we give these flowers today

as a sign of how we love them.

Amen

 

Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers:

they shall be called children of God.

We meet in the name of Christ and share his peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All and also with you.

 

Hymn  Bind us together Lord

 

Closing Prayer/Blessing

God of love, passionate and strong, tender and careful: watch over us and hold us all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

 

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord,

In the name of  Christ, Amen

 

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Assistant Chaplain: Reverend Deacon Christine Saccali csaccali@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment
  • Judy Triantafillou

    24/03/2020 at 13:55 Reply

    Thank you dear Deacon Christine for sharing with all of us these loving and inspiring words, which are particularly helpful during this difficult time.

    We wish you, and all the members of the congregation of St. Paul’s, health and strength to overcome together the problems we are facing.

    With much love to all,
    Judy and Tassos Triantafillou and family

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