Weekly Online Service
14 February 2021 The Sunday next before Lent

Please find below our service for this week. You can also click on the PDF button to open and download a copy of the printed generic Service booklet.

You will find an opening hymn - words are included. This is followed by the service. Finally there is a closing hymn. Please feel free to follow along in whichever way you feel most comfortable. Words in bold are for everyone to join in.

Hymn

Holy, holy, holy!

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see
only thou art holy, there is none beside thee
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
all thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Service Audio

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

All say Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Prayers of Penitence

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us, forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.  Amen.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria in Excelcis

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

Lord Jesus Christ,
only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand
of the Father:
receive our prayer.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

The Collect of the Day is said or sung.

Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Old and New Testament Readings

2 Kings 2.1-12 - Read by Adeola Shyllon

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. 3 The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’

4 Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. 5 The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’

6 Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ 10 He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ 11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

2 Corinthians 4.3-6 - Read by Elizabeth Ranson

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Mark 9.2-9 - Read by Aniru Shyllon

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ 6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ 8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

The Transfiguration of our Lord

Mark 9: 2-9

It was in 1922, when George Leigh (Maloree) Mallory answered the question “why do you want to climb Everest?” he first coined that famous quote, “Because it’s there.” He went on to say it’s very existance was a challenge, and in 1924 the same mountain cost him his life. In the 1980s Sir Edmund Hillary, tongue in cheek, said that “it’s also very important to get down”.

Apart from 2020 and 2021 dealing with Covid-19, mountains are still the ultimate challenge, and in Britain, groups such as Firefighters regularly take on the ‘three peaks’ challenge for charities. I once saw a wonderful photograph of six firemen standing on the peak of Snowden as the sun rose behind them. It was a beautiful, and powerful image.

Throughout our bible mountains figure quite a lot, some three whole pages and several hundred entries are found in my concordance. Mountains were very important to the people of Israel, after all, Jerusalem was built on and around seven of them. In Genesis we read of Abraham being tested to sacrifice his son Isaac, and meeting God up a mountain on the plains of Moriah. In Exodus we read of Moses being given the Ten Commandments on Mnt Sinai, whilst the people below had a party. And in the first book of Kings we read of Elijah on Mnt Horeb meeting with God in the silence.

Jesus was fond of withdrawing to a mountainside to reflect and pray and to get close to his Father. We read Peter, only a week before, had openly recognised Jesus as the Messiah, but it would be a while before he came to realise what kind of Messiah he would be. And today we hear how Jesus took Peter with John and James up the mountain to pray. What happened next was almost indescribable and certainly an emotional experience for all three disciples.

Transfiguration, its not a word that we use in conversation very often, and so I looked it up. A change in form or appearance so as to elevate or idealise, and interestingly it comes from the same root as to transform. Something I will touch on later.

Peter, James and John had dozed off while Jesus prayed. As they woke they saw what they interpreted as Jesus standing and talking with Moses and Elijah. Jesus’ face appeared to have changed and his clothes were glowing, dazzling white. Peter, impetuous Peter, jumped in with his idea of marking this amazing vision by erecting three booths or tents. I suppose nowadays we might have snapped a selfie with our mobile phone. But next, as the cloud decended and the vision dimmed they heard the voice of God, himself, “This is my Son, my chosen one; listen to him”. Like many mysteries do, disappointingly at this point everything returned to normal, and the three disciples kept the whole event to themselves.

It is clear that throughout their history Jewish people were quite tuned into visions as a way for God to speak to his people. We read, in Daniel and The Revelation to John, of amazing dreams and visions containing a reality that today we find difficult to understand. Still, we do get the general picture in this reading of a mountain top experience that left the three disciples stunned into silence, Godsmacked.

Was it like the sun’s reflection off snow or white sand, or off a white building? We were not there and so we can never know for certain what happened. But we do know that Peter wanted to mark a momentous moment in the same way we do. In the 21st century we have photgraphs, videos, film and recordings at our finguretips, to mark out and record our special times, our mountain top experiences, for posterity.

We mere humans cannot stop time, as Peter wanted to, to keep those wonderful events alive in our memory. I am reminded of 86 year old Peggy Styles, who studied during severe ill health, and received her PhD from Bristol University. Also of a ninety plus year old African American woman who, when asked what her degree meant to her, said to the stunned audience that she wished her grandfather could have seen her because he had been a slave.

Luke tells us Jesus was talking to Moses and Elijah about his departure, his new Exodus from another mountain just outside Jerusalem. A time and place, soon to come, when all God’s people would be led out of slavery from sin and death to the new promised land, a new creation, a place where we will live for ever.  Easter was to transform and redefine God’s relationship with his people to the end of time.

Mountain top experiences are transforming, both for those involved, but also for us who hear about, or read of them. Mountain top experiences are quite wonderful, but they often take a great deal of effort to achieve, and being airlifted to the summit just doesn’t count. However much we want to extend the excitement of reaching our goal we can’t stay there for ever, as Sir Edmund Hillary said “it’s very important to get down’.

In life we experience many ups and downs. 2020 has given the whole world an experience that sadly scientists tell us we will see again. In life we can lose our shine, the gloss wears off and our enthusiasm wains. Every experience in life transforms us in some way. Very often following a really great event, such as a birth, a marriage, or a spiritual event like being confirmed, it is followed by a sense of loss or being deflated. We come down to earth with a bump.

We can feel on top of the world one minute and in deep dispair the next. What then? Well it is then that we need to remember the message and not just the image. From the midst of the cloud God said “This is my Son, I love him, I am pleased with him”. When we trust in and have faith in Jesus as the Son of God, then these are the words that can fulfil all our hopes and prayers, we too are told to, ‘do what he tells you’. Amen.

The Rev'd Mo Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 14/02/2021

Service Audio

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit
and the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Intercessions 

The Intercessions list has been circulated with petitions for the Church, The World, The Community, Our Keyworkers, The Sick and the Deceased. The Diocesan Cycle of Prayer is found at:

London Anglican Cycle of Prayer

This or another response may be used:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen N our bishop(s) and all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth,
live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours,
that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit …;
give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ …; according to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

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

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

and also with you.

A sign of peace may be exchanged.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

Service Audio

The Post Communion Collect

Holy God, we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ: may we who are partakers at his table reflect his life in word and deed, that all the world may know his power to change and save. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

The peace of God,
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Recessional Hymn

Thou, whose almighty word

Thou, whose almighty word
chaos and darkness heard,
and took their flight;
hear us, we humbly pray,
and where the gospel-day
sheds not its glorious ray,
let there be light.

Thou, who didst come to bring
on thy redeeming wing
healing and sight,
health to the sick in mind,
sight to the inly blind,
O now to all mankind
let there be light.

Spirit of truth and love,
life-giving, holy Dove,
speed forth thy flight;
move on the water’s face,
bearing the lamp of grace,
and in earth’s darkest place
let there be light.

Holy and blessed Three,
glorious Trinity,
Wisdom, Love, Might;
boundless as ocean’s tide
rolling in fullest pride,
through the earth far and wide
let there be light.

Material from Common Worship 2000 is included in this service and is copyright © The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England.