Sunday Prayers, Readings & Intercession

The Second Sunday of Easter – Low Sunday

Collect

Almighty Father,
you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification:
grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you
in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading

Acts 4:32-35

32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

Response

Psalm 133

1  Behold how good and pleasant it is ♦︎
to dwell together in unity.
2  It is like the precious oil upon the head, ♦︎
running down upon the beard,
3  Even on Aaron’s beard, ♦︎
running down upon the collar of his clothing.
4  It is like the dew of Hermon ♦︎
running down upon the hills of Zion.
5  For there the Lord has promised his blessing: ♦︎
even life for evermore.

Epistle

1 John 1:1-2:2

1We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— 3we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We are writing these things so that our* joy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Gospel

John 20:19-31

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin*), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ 28Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe* that Jesus is the Messiah,* the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Intercession

Most merciful God,
whose wisdom is beyond our understanding,
surround the Queen and the Royal Family with your love,
that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss,
but have confidence in your goodness,
and strength to meet the days to come.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.Amen.

God of creation,
We give thanks for the beautiful world
you have given us to live in.
We pray for all those who work
to conserve species and habitats.
Help us to live our lives gently
And to use resources carefully.

We pray for all whose lives are marked with fear:
for those who face the violence of the state:
for those persecuted for their faith:
for those traumatised by violence.
In response, may from faiths and nations
be places of healing, welcome and generous love.

We continue to pray for those affected by Coronavirus:
for those who are ill,
remembering especially those with long-covid,
and those with trauma and depression:
for those who have lost loved ones:
for those who work in the NHS are care homes.:
and places of education:
and those out of the public eye
who keep vital services going for the benefit of all.

Today we give thanks for those
whose lives are given to the service of others.
We give thanks for elderly people.
We give thanks for those who enjoy long marriages.
We give thanks for family life, with all its challenges.
We give thanks for your faithfulness to us,
even when we doubt.
Soon, like the disciples, we will be able to gather
with friends and families, once more.
But give us discipline and forbearance to wait.

Amen

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