From The Pastors Desk
 Last Updated  25-Jan-2004 11:20 AM




Week of Prayer For Christian Unity

18th - 25th Jan 2004

My Peace I Give You.

Assembly and Praise:

Leader: Glory to the Holy, Undivided, Consubstantial Trinity, now and ever and to the age of ages. Amen
All: Glory be to God on high, and peace to God's people on earth.
Leader: Lord, open our lips
All: And our mouths shall declare your praise.

Hymn: 'Praise My Soul the King of Heaven'
Praise my soul the King of heaven, to his feet thy tribute bring; ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like me his praise should sing? Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise the everlasting King.

Praise him for his grace and favour to our fathers in distress;
Praise him still the same for ever, slow to chide, and swift to bless:
Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him!
Glorious in his faithfulness

Fatherlike, he tends and spares us, well our feeble frame he knows;
in his hands he gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes:
Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him.
Widely as his mercy flows.

Angels, help us to adore him; ye behold him face to face;
sun and moon, bow down before him, dwellers all in time and space:
Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him!
Praise with us the God of grace.

I wish to extend a warm welcome to all
who are gathered here today. Our service is based on worship resources from the city of Aleppo in northern Syria. The churches in that area are surrounded by tribulation, and so they ask us to pray for peace.
We gather under the ancient biblical sign of the rainbow, stretched out between heaven and earth as a sign of God's enduring love. We recall the dove carrying the olive branch, bearing the promise of new life and a fresh start. We pray that the Holy Spirit will usher in a new era of peace in our time.
We gather under the shadow of the cross, where Jesus stretched out his hands in love that always forgives. We gather as a witness to his peace, but how can we speak of peace to others when we are divided among ourselves? We pray, therefore, that we may be one.
Prayers of Repentance and Forgiveness

All: The lord's my shepherd:
The lords 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 through death's dark vale, yet will I fear no ill;
For thou are with me
and thy rod and staff me comfort still.

My table thou has furnished
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 for evermore
my dwelling-place shall be.

Dear God and Friend of humankind, forgive our foolish ways; Reclothe us in our rightful mind; In purer lives thy service find, in deeper reverence, praise.
(a period of silent reflection)
Drop they still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of thy peace.

Liturgy of the Word Micah 4.1-4
Old Testament reading:
In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob: that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Hymn: You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst, You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way. You shall speak your words to foreign men and they will understand. You shall see the face of God and live.

Chorus: Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come follow me, and I will give you rest.
If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown, If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed. If you stand before the pow'r of hell and death is at your side, know that I am with you through it all. Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs. Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh, and if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, Blessed, blessed are you!

Second Reading: Ephesians 2.13-18
But now in Christ Jesus you, who were once afar off, have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, he it is who has made both one, and has broken down the intervening wall of the enclosure, the enmity, in his flesh. The law of the commandments expressed in decrees he has made void, that of the two he might create in himself one new man, and make peace and reconcile both in one body to God by the cross, having slain the enmity in himself. And coming, he announced the good tidings of peace to you who were afar off, and of peace to those who were near because through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

All: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Reader: Let us listen to the Gospel
All: Glory to you, O Christ.

Gospel Reading: John 14.23-31
Jesus said, 'Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my word; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
'I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 'You heard me say to you, ' I am going away, and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way'.

Giving and sharing of peace
Leader: Shlomo Alkulhon
All: Peace be with us
Leader: Shalom Chaverim
All: Peace be with us
Leader: Salaam Ar-Rab Yesu Al-Messih
All: The peace of Christ
Leader: Peace rooted in justice
All: Peace full of courage
Leader: Peace delighting in wisdom
All: Peace gifted by God
Leader: Let us with each other exchange a sign of peace.

The Apostles Creed
All: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He 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, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living 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 .

(Intercessions adapted form the Syriac liturgy of Antioch)
Intercessor: Again and again let us pray to God, for the unity of the Church and all of the people of God, for he is Friend to us all.
All: Lord, have mercy
Intercessor: We pray to you Lord, in your goodness, remember your one, holy Church, spread throughout the world and among all nations.
All: Lord, have mercy
Intercessor: Bless us your creatures, spread form one end of the world to the other, all the peoples and nations. May your peace come down from the heavens into all our hearts, peace to this and every generation, and fill us with your grace.
All: Grant this, O Lord.
Intercessor: Bless leaders of nations and their peoples, bless our neighbours, bless all migrants and refugees, and clothe us with your peace, O King of Peace.
All: Grant this, O Lord.
Intercessor: Give us your peace, for from you come all good things. May we belong to you O God, for we know only you. Your holy name is that which we proclaim. May our souls live in your Holy Spirit. May the deadly power of sin not prevail upon your servants nor upon any people of the earth.
All: Grant this, O Lord.
Intercessor: Bless, O Lord, the peace of your Church, all your people and all your creatures. Pacify and reconcile all enemies and belligerents, that their swords may be transformed into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks and that they may learn war no more. And keep them all in you name.
All: Grant this, O Lord.
Intercessor: Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance, watch over and keep us for ever. Maintain us in the truth in glory and dignity all our days: establish us in the love and the peace which surpasses all things.
All: Amen.

Hymn: Ag Críost an síol ag Críost an fómhar, in iothlainn Dé go dtugtar sinn. Ag Críost an mhuir, ag Críost an t-iasc, I líonta Dé go gcastar sinn. Ó fhás go haois, is ó aois go bás. Do dhá láimh, a Chríost, anall tharainn. Ó bhás go críoch, ní críoch ach ath-fhás, I bParthas na nGrást go rabhaimid.

The Seed is Christ's and his the sheaf;
within God's barn may we be stored. The sea is Christ's; and his the fish; in the nets of God may we be caught. From birth to youth, and from youth till death, your two hands O Christ stretch over us. From death - the end? No end but new life in sweet Paradise may we be found.

The Lord's Prayer
Leader: As our Saviour has taught us, so we pray:

All: Our Father who art in heaven,
The Commitment
After each response representatives may come forward each draping a piece of coloured cloth, or crepe paper, building up a rainbow effect.

Reader: We pledge ourselves to peace
All: Unite us in your love
Reader: We pledge ourselves to justice
All: Unite us in your love
Reader: We promise to forgive
All: Unite us in your love
Reader: We promise to reach out
All: Unite us in your love
Reader: We need your help, O Lord
All: Unite us in your love
Reader: We long to do your will
All: Unite us in your love
Reader: You are our peace and joy
All: Unite us in your love.

Invocation of the Holy Spirit

Leader: O Holy Spirit, make us worthy of contributing to the holiness of your holy treasures, and to offer you in humility and purity a true adoration here and in all places, now and to the end of our lives, that your good news may be proclaimed to the ends of the earth.

All: Amen.

All: Peace be on us and the mercy of God and God's blessings. May we be full of Wisdom and courage. May we walk in integrity and justice all our days.

Final Hymn:
Make me a channel of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
and where there's doubt, true faith in you.

O Master, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand to be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of our peace,
where there's despair in life, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness only light, and where there's sadness ever joy.

O Master... Make me a channel of your peace, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, in giving to all that we receive, and in dying that we're born to eternal life.


We would like to get your views and comments.   Click here to contact me 

This site was created, and is maintained by Peter Scanlan © 2002

Newsletter updated every weekend