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Intercessions for Easter Day Year C: 31 March 2013


The Collect

Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen.

 ¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading:Acts 10.34-43

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Psalm 118.1-2,14-24

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; *his mercy endures for ever.
Let Israel now proclaim, *‘His mercy endures for ever.’
The Lord is my strength and my song, *and he has become my salvation.
Joyful shouts of salvation *sound from the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds; the right hand of the Lord raises up; *the right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds.’
I shall not die, but live *and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me sorely, *but he has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness, *that I may enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; *the righteous shall enter through it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me *and have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected *has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing, *and it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; *we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15.19-26

If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

 Gospel reading: John 20.1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.“’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

This week the Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, has an excellent suggestion. Although I find the style of his intercessions too demotic for my own taste, the guidance he gives in ‘The Intercessions Handbook‘ (p.60) resonates : ‘A helpful approach to praying at the great festivals of the Church is to use one of the evocative images of the biblical story as the theme which runs through the intercessions. In the following examples, the powerful image of the stone which was rolled away from the tomb is paralleled with the need for stones to be rolled away from some of the tombs in which we live‘.

Prayers of Intercession

Heavenly Father, you have not made us for darkness and death, but for life with you for ever. Alleluia!

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we ask you to help us roll away the stones that form walls separating your Church into different traditions: at times these seem almost  like separate entities, a series of Churches within your Church.  Let us break down these stone walls, which threaten our unity and at times threaten to block out your light altogether. Today, of all days, let us raise our voices in unison and in harmony in a great hymn of rejoicing and praise: Alleluia, alleluia! He who was dead now lives for evermore!

Lord, raise us from darkness to the light and hope of your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, we praise you for the primeval rhythms of the seasons as we once again witness the green blade rising from the dark earth, where it has lain buried for many months. Although winter may be reluctant to loose its grasp, we have the assurance of knowing that Spring will assuredly follow. In the beginning, your creation Adam was a gardener and today your risen Son appeared as a gardener and brought a new beginning for mankind, showing us that through your grace, all can be life.

Lord, raise us from darkness to the light and hope of your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

Ever-living Lord, help us to celebrate our joy in the resurrection of your Son and to express in our lives the love we celebrate. Let us work to break down barriers between us, while learning to distinguish with sensitivity between our neighbours’ possible loneliness and need for company and their possibly real desire for privacy. May all relationships be strengthened and hurts be healed.

Lord, raise us from darkness to the light and hope of your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for those who are troubled or anxious about the future; for the chronically ill and for all who walk in darkness; for all who are in pain and all who have lost hope: may they find a new vision and comfort in the power and promise of the resurrection.

Lord, raise us from darkness to the light and hope of your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we remember all who have lost those whom they love and for whom they sorrow greatly. May they be comforted this Easter by the promise of the resurrection. And bring us, we pray, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling but one equal light; no noise nor silence but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity, world without end.

Lord, raise us from darkness to the light and hope of your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The illustration is Resurrection morning by James Martin 

“Conveying the emotion and amazement of Mary Magdalene as she meets the risen Lord outside the tomb, the stark reality of the empty tomb and graveclothes, just as described in Johns’s gospel, chapter 20 . This image and its particular viewpoint had been in my mind for many years before I tried creating it as a painting.”

Via Veritasse

1 comment on this post:

gerryewan said...

Excellent! Thank you

29 March 2013 12:33

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