Weekly Online Service
24 January 2021 The Third Sunday of Epiphany

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

Songs of thankfulness and praise

Songs of thankfulness and praise,
Jesu, Lord, to thee we raise,
manifested by the star
to the sages from afar;
branch of royal David’s stem
in thy birth at Bethlehem:
anthems be to thee addrest,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest at Jordan’s stream.
Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;
and at Cana wedding-guest
in thy Godhead manifest;
manifest in power divine,
changing water into wine:
anthems be to thee addrest,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest in making whole
palsied limbs and fainting soul;
manifest in valiant fight,
quelling all the devil’s might;
manifest in gracious will,
ever bringing good from ill:
anthems be to thee addrest,
God in man made manifest.

Sun and moon shall darkened be,
stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee;
Christ will then like lightning shine,
all will see his glorious sign;
all will then the trumpet hear,
all will see the Judge appear:
thou by all wilt be confest,
God in man made manifest.

Grant us grace to see thee, Lord,
mirrored in thy holy word;
may we imitate thee now,
and be pure, as pure art thou;
that we like to thee may be
at thy great Epiphany;
and may praise thee, ever blest,
God in man made manifest.

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 God, whose Son revealed in signs and miracles the wonder of your saving presence: renew your people with your heavenly grace, and in all our weakness sustain us by your mighty power; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, 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

Genesis 14.17-20 - Read by Adeola Shyllon

After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him and said,
‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
   maker of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
   who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’
And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Revelation 19.6-10 - Read by Elizabeth Ranson

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder-peals, crying out,
‘Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
   the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
   and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
   and his bride has made herself ready;
8 to her it has been granted to be clothed
   with fine linen, bright and pure’—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

John 2.1-11 - Read by Aniru Shyllon

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ 4 And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ 5 His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ 6 Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. 9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb”, “These are true words of God”

Words from The Revelation to John.

Over many years the main area of Malcolm’s business was Wedding Photography and often I would tag along, as I would say ‘to look after his equipment’, but in truth it was because I am a sucker to a wedding.  The excitement of the family, the fabulous outfits and the obvious love of the couple for each other. Now of course I have the additional pleasure of being the one who ties the knot and it is a real privelage to do it.

During my first visit to Holy Land and the village of Cana I witnessed a group of several couples reaffirming their wedding vows with another embarrassed group of young single boys hovering nearby.  This made me question what the miracle at Cana was about.

Cana, as we know it today, lies four miles out of Nazareth on the road to Tiberius and there are two churches built there to commemorate the first miracle of Jesus. I remember it being yet another really hot day, and I was pleased to enter the cool of the Wedding church. In the crypt there was a glass cabinet containing a stone water jar similar to those kept during the time of Jesus for the purification of hands and feet. I was perhaps naive when I had imagined these were made of Roman style pottery. This jar was a solid lump of stone that stood at least as tall as I, and it was carved out to contain the twenty or thirty gallons described in the gospels. One hundred and twenty gallons of wine suddenly became a reality, what a wedding feast it must have been.

Looking back into history there was almost nothing in the public lives of first century Jewish people that did not come out of tradition. Throughout John’s gospel we read of the signs and wonders that confirm Jesus as the Word made flesh. And in describing Jesus’ actions John wanted his Greek readers to understand the nuances of God’s message.

We heard this morning that Melchizedek brought wine and food to Abram after the battle. Of Abram’s thanksgiving gift, and of God’s covenant with Abram and his future offspring. We may recollect Isaiah who described the wayward people of Israel as an unfruitful vineyard and of God providing a feast with well-matured wine, as a symbol of salvation. Isaiah also described the Creator as a husband gathering back his abandoned Wife; “as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you” And so when reading the Bible passages this morning we need perhaps to keep an open mind, because weddings and wine in the scriptures represent much more than weddings and wine.

Let us pause here and reflect for a moment. Just a few weeks earlier Jesus had been baptised by John and been affirmed by God, ready to begin his ministry. In the wilderness Jesus had dealt with the temptation to do things in his own way. He had given himself up to God, and his plan of reconciliation with, and salvation for creation.

At the announciation an Angel had told Mary that her child was of God. She had listened to Simeon and Anna in the Temple affirming her little baby to be the promised one. She had seen the young boy seated at the feet of the teachers in the Temple, holding his own, and speaking with authority. Finally she would have known what had happened at the river Jordan. So when Mary spoke to Jesus at the wedding feast the situation was pregnant with possibilities.

To run out of wine at such a huge public event would have been humiliating. The bride and groom’s families, and very likely, the whole village had been celebrating for three days when Mary noticed the discomfort of the servants and the Chief steward. When we pray desperately for God’s help in an urgent situation, like children we want it right now. Jesus response to Mary “what has this to do with me or you, my hour has not yet come,” echoes his rebuke to Peter at Caesarea Philippi. “Get behind me Satan, my hour has not yet come” both pointing strongly toward Easter and God’s perfect timing. Mary’s instruction to the servants “Do whatever he says” displayed a trust and assurance that something was going to happen.

In the marriage service we are reminded that as a couple grow together in love and trust, their unity mirrors the unity of Christ with his bride the Church. They begin a new way of life made Holy by God. In this earthly life we are reminded that our God is a God of New Beginnings.

In John 10:10 we read that Jesus came to bring us life, not just any old life, but life in abundance. “Fill up those water jars” and pure, clean water, a symbol of life was somehow turned into wine. Not just any old wine but the best wine, and lots of it.

In our Eucharist we celebrate with water and wine, a symbol of Jesus’ blood and an Easter sign of the new covenant between God and his people. The miracle at Cana is not only a story of Jesus being kind and saving the dignity of a new groom’s family, but also a sign of new life, new life for the couple and new life for God’s people, the church.

We wait with anticipation for the freshness of a new beginning in our church. When a new vicar and a new generation at St Mary’s will be able to look with joy at the wonderful work of artists dedicated to portraying something of the glory of God.

So when we come to renew our relationship with God and each other, in the bread and wine, don’t come to the wedding feast of the Lamb with a miserable face, but as Gordon Slater’s hymn suggests,  “Come with joy, a child of God, forgiven, loved and free, the life of Jesus to recall, in love laid down for me” for you, for us all, and for all eternity. Let us come with joy and then take it out into the week ahead showing the love of God in the world. Amen.

The Rev'd Mo Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 24/01/2021

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

Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. 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

Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go

Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go,
my daily labour to pursue;
thee, only thee, resolved to know,
in all I think or speak or do.

The task thy wisdom hath assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfil;
in all my works thy presence find,
and prove thy good and perfect will.

Preserve me from my calling’s snare,
and hide my simple heart above,
above the thorns of choking care,
the gilded baits of worldly love.

Thee may I set at my right hand,
whose eyes my inmost substance see,
and labour on at thy command,
and offer all my works to thee.

Give me to bear thy easy yoke,
and every moment watch and pray,
and still to things eternal look,
and hasten to thy glorious day;

For thee delightfully employ
whate’er thy bounteous grace hath given,
and run my course with even joy,
and closely walk with thee to heaven.

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