Online Worship: 17 May 2020, Sixth Sunday of Easter

This Sunday is the 17th of May 2020, the sixth Sunday of Easter.

Photo by Gavin Atkin, 2018

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Welcome to our Online Worship for this week. We have just this Sunday and next Sunday left in the season of Easter. It will shortly be Ascension Day and then Pentecost, and so perhaps it’s no surprise that our reading today starts to point us in that direction as we consider Jesus’ promise of the coming Holy Spirit in John 14.15-21.

Once again we have been able to link up with one of our mission partners this week and we’re delighted to welcome Daniel and Sarah to our worship all the way from Brazil! They will be sharing our Gospel Reading with us. There’s the usual mix of hymns to sing and prayers to pray, lots of notices and things to be aware of, and Rev David is preaching today with his reflections on the Gospel Passage and the themes of hope and fear he spots within our current times and how it links to Jesus’ words.


There are a number of things to be aware of at the moment. This page will tell you more.

Songs to sing today

O Jesus I have promised (Wolvercote)

Faithful One, so unchanging

Children’s song: Heaven is in my heart

Family Worship @ Home

Families seeking to support their children may also like to know about the Diocese of Rochester’s update for this week with resources for children and families. This week the focus is John 14:15-21, the same reading as we’re using. You can download this week’s PDF sheets to use if you wish to do so. (PDF file)

David’s video sermon for this Sunday

01:47 Thy Kingdom Come advert, 02:40 greetings and the Bible Reading with Daniel & Sarah in Brazil, 07:48 onwards the Sermon.

Prayers for today

A Litany for Easter season

We pray to Jesus who is present with us to eternity.

Jesus, light of the world,
bring the light and peace of your gospel to the nations …
Jesus, Lord of life,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, bread of life,
give food to the hungry …
and nourish us all with your word.
Jesus, Lord of life,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, our way, our truth, our life,
be with us and all who follow you in the way …
Deepen our appreciation of your truth
Jesus, Lord of life,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, Good Shepherd who gave your life for the sheep,
recover the straggler,
bind up the injured,
strengthen the sick
and lead the healthy and strong to new pastures.
Jesus, Lord of life,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, the resurrection and the life,
we give you thanks for all who have lived and believed in you …
Raise us with them to eternal life.
Jesus, Lord of life,
in your mercy, hear us,
accept our prayers, and be with us always.


A prayer about the COVID-19 pandemic

God of healing and hope,
may this time of danger,
by your Holy Spirit, bring out the best and not the worst in us.
Show us the ways in which we can share faith and love,
while standing at a distance,
and honour our connection with one another,
and with you,
through Jesus Christ our Saviour,

The Collect for this Sunday

Risen Christ,
by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:
help your Church to obey your command
and draw the nations to the fire of your love,
to the glory of God the Father.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.

Before we go, did you see… ?

Having shared with you “The UK Blessing” last week, a very different but no less breathtaking music and technical achievement came from Stile Antico who have recorded a ‘socially distanced’ performance of Spem in Alium, Thomas Tallis’ amazing 40-part motet.

As they said when they published it online, we hope its beauty and confidence inspire you as we travel together through these uncertain times. Runtime approximately 9 minutes.


May God,
who through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
has given us the victory,
give you joy and peace in your faith;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Stay at home in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

Resources for the week ahead

Prayer pointers

  • Those who have asked for our prayers: Stewart Betts, Hilda Bodley, Bill Bruce, Valerie Crittenden, Lucy Clifford, Pam Hoskins, Robin & Rosemary Law, Ron Marchant, Cynthia & John Noble, Barbara & Graham Norton, Malcolm Scott, Eileen Vickers, Irina Walker, Grant Wilkinson, Janet & John Wincott, and Heather, William, Stephanie, Kate.
  • For the families of Jean Shepherd, Joyce (Joy) Cruttenden, Terry Frisby, Arthur (Tony) Cook and Trevor Fosberry, all of whom have died recently.
  • For those in our congregation who work in the arts or entertainment. For the creativity of God’s Spirit, economic favour, a prophetic voice and their witness at work.
  • Giving thanks for our Churchwardens, Stephen and Jane in Offham, John and Clare in West Malling, and all they do to lead our congregations, support our Ministers and care for the fabric of the churches.
  • Prayers for St Lawrence’s Church and the people of Mereworth.
  • For the UK and world authorities political, medical, scientific, civil and religious as we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • For HM Queen and our nation, for the Prime Minister and Government, for loving and respectful discourse, truth and integrity in political life.
  • For unity and reconciliation in our nation following our departure from the European Union.
  • For authorities and emergency services working in areas of war, humanitarian or ecological tragedy including all nations affected by Coronavirus. Especially Syria, Iraq, Turkey, for the Kurdish people, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and the Yemen.
  • For local mission partners at Pilsdon, Spadework and Kenward Trust.

Lectionary readings for Daily Prayer

Eastertide season continues
Monday – Psalm 104.21-30, Deuteronomy 8.1-10, Philippians 4.4-7, Matthew 6.1-15 (Rogation Day)*
Tuesday – Psalm 107.1-9, 1 Kings 8.35-40, 2 Thessalonians 3.6-13, Mark 11.22-24 (Rogation Day)*
Wednesday Morning – Psalm 121, Job 28.1-11, 1 John 5.12-15, Luke 11.5-13 (Rogation Day)*
Thursday Morning – Psalm 110, Isaiah 52.7-15, Hebrews 7.11-28 (Ascension Day)
Thursday Evening – Psalm 8, 2 Kings 2.1-15, Revelation 5 (Ascension Day)
Friday Morning – Psalm 20, Numbers 20.1-13, Luke 7.11-17
Friday Evening – Psalm 145, Deuteronomy 29.2-15, 1 John 1.1-2.6
Saturday Morning – Psalm 21, Numbers 21.4-9, Luke 7.18-35
Saturday Evening – Psalm 84, Deuteronomy 30, 1 John 2.7-17

* – Rogation Day. The word “rogation” is from the Latin rogare, “to ask.” Historically, the Rogation Days (the three days before Ascension Day) were a period of fasting and abstinence, asking for God’s blessing on the crops for a bountiful harvest. Less of us today directly derive our livelihood from the production of food, yet it is good to be reminded of our dependence upon those who do and our responsibility for the environment.

13 thoughts on “Online Worship: 17 May 2020, Sixth Sunday of Easter

  1. Thank you David for Today. Very in-depth and thought provoking sermon. A very creative presentation all round. By the way, my favourite Icon of all time! They use that at Taize and it hangs in my tiny office. Great to hear a the reading and message from Brazil too. Most encouraging, thank you. I valued it greatly.

  2. Thank you David for another thoughtful service. Although I miss the friendship of meeting in church you manage to make me still feel connected. God bless.

  3. Thank you David for another lovely online service. Especially nice to see you inside the Church building. Very encouraging talk on Hope and Fear and Spirit of Truth, thank you, God Bless,
    Sonja Pitcher

  4. Thanks once again for pulling together an inspiring time of worship. It’s always good to hear contributions from a range of people, especially from those at the other side of the world. Our prayers are with you and those you love and we are reminded of the verse ” Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1Peter 3:15)

  5. Thank you Dave and Sarah and Daniel for an encouraging service at the end of a tough week! Much love to all of our brothers and sisters in Christ in the parishes near and far. We are looking forward to the Sunday School quiz this afternoon and to joining in prayer together for Thy Kingdom Come.
    Love and God bless to all.

    • Im just soaking up your image, understanding and connection with the Counsellor/Spirit of Truth David.
      The experience of Pentecost can’t come to early in times like this!
      Thanks again for stretching us to encompass things that are just over the horizon.
      So good to see, hear and share with our friends Daniel and Sarah in distant Brazil.

      The connection between fear and hope is remarkable, also the bird of hope and the Spirit of truth; given to us all, freely. Thank you David.

  6. “When two or three are gathered together (online) there am I in the midst of them.”

    Thankyou, David once again for a very moving, thought provoking and encouraging worship session. When we were dealing with the poll tax cases years ago defendants had what were called ‘Mackenzie Friends’ to stand beside them to give support and we have the Holy Spirit to stand beside us all through our lives.
    Yes, we too liked the ikon and if we ever get to go the Louvre we will seek it out, as it is new to us.
    We are so grateful that we can feel the strength of our worshipping community, even though we are physically apart.

    • Hi Liz

      Thanks for taking part and for taking time to comment. You’re very welcome and I’m glad that you’re finding the worship worthwhile.

      Every blessing,

  7. Thank you David for a thoughtful and hopeful service. I liked the poem, and it was good to see you inside the church. Also good to see Sarah and Daniel and hear about their experiences in Brazil.
    Blessings to all.

    • Thanks Jill. It was nice to be back in church filming… although I’d prefer to be leading a service of worship with you all present. Hopefully one day soon.

  8. Thanks once again, David, for a sermon which comforts and encourages at this time. Good to see you back in Church, and also hear from Brazil and to be reminded of the global challenges of Covid 19 and how it exploits further the entrenched injustices in all communities. Wishing you a good week.

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