Trinity Sunday

   

 

     

 

 

 

 

The Eucharist

The Gathering
In the name of the Father, †
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
 
The Greeting
The Lord be with you                                  
and also with you.
 
Prayer of Preparation
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.

 
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.
 
The Confession  
Father, you come to meet us when we return to you:
Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.
 
Jesus, you died on the cross for our sins:
Christ, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.
 
Spirit, you give us life and peace:
Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.
 
The Absolution
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.
 
The Gloria
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.
 
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.

 
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.  Amen.


The Collect
Holy God,
faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.
 
Old Testament Reading
For the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
 
Gospel Reading
Alleluia, alleluia.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
one God, who was, and who is, and who is to come,
the Almighty.  Alleluia.
 
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.
Glory to you, O Lord.
 
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
 
Prayers of Intercession
 
The Peace
Peace to you from God our heavenly Father.
Peace from his Son Jesus Christ who is our peace.
Peace from the Holy Spirit, the life-giver.
The peace of the triune God be always with you
and also with you.
 
Offertory Prayer
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
 
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become for us the cup of salvation.
Blessed be God for ever.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.
 
It is indeed right,
it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places
to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King,
almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
And now we give you thanks
because you have revealed the glory of your eternal fellowship
of love with your Son and with the Holy Spirit,
three persons equal in majesty, undivided in splendour,
yet one God, ever to be worshipped and adored.
 
Therefore with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name,
for ever praising you and saying:
 
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

 
All glory be to you, our heavenly Father,
who, in your tender mercy,
gave your only Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption;
who made there by his one oblation of himself once offered
a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world;
he instituted, and in his holy gospel commanded us to continue,
a perpetual memory of his precious death until he comes again.
 
Hear us, merciful Father, we humbly pray,
and grant that, by the power of your Holy Spirit,
we receiving these gifts of your creation, this bread and this wine,
according to your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution,
in remembrance of his death and passion,
may be partakers of his most blessed body and blood;
 
who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.
 
In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.
 
Great is the mystery of faith.
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.
 
Therefore, Lord and heavenly Father,
in remembrance of the precious death and passion,
the mighty resurrection and glorious ascension
of your dear Son Jesus Christ,
we offer you through him this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
 
Grant that by his merits and death,
and through faith in his blood,
we and all your Church may receive forgiveness of our sins
and all other benefits of his passion.
Although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins,
to offer you any sacrifice,
yet we pray that you will accept this
the duty and service that we owe.

Do not weigh our merits, but pardon our offences,
and fill us all who share in this holy communion
with your grace and heavenly blessing;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
by whom, and with whom, and in whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.  Amen.
 
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.  Amen.


The Agnus Dei
Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.


Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.


Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

 
Behold the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
Happy are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

 
Post-Communion Prayer
Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith,
that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,
who are three Persons yet one God,
now and for ever.  Amen.
 
The Blessing
God the Father,
who first loved us
and made us accepted in the beloved Son, bless you.  Amen.
 
God the Son,
who loved us
and washed us from our sins in his own blood, bless you.  Amen.
 
God the Holy Spirit,
who sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts, bless you.  Amen.
 
The blessing of the one true God,
to whom be all love and all glory for time and for eternity,
come down upon you and remain with you always.  Amen.
 
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ.  Amen.
 

The Intercessions by Harvey Howlett
Prayers of Intercession and Lamentation

 

I am grateful to have been given permission to adapt and use these prayers originally written by the Revd Phil Hooper, a priest in the Episcopal Church in the USA and which were originally written at the request of the Revd Isaiah ‘Shaneequa’ Brokenleg of South Dakota.
 
In grief and in undaunted hope,
let us cry out to God, the undivided Trinity,
responding with the words of the Trisagion,  saying:
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal,
Have mercy upon us.
 
God, your Church is splintered and sorrowful.
We are undone by the virulence of the age into which you have called us.
We hunger for the bread only you can give;
we long for the solace of an absent embrace.
Gather us close, hide us under the shadow of your wings,
and strengthen us to be your ministers
amidst the uncertainties that lie ahead
and to reveal your love in all we say and do.
 
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal,
Have mercy upon us.
 
God, our nations are diseased. A pandemic has brought us to our knees,
but we have been kneeling before false gods for too long:
economic and environmental injustice, systemic racism,
the vainglory of unexamined consumption.
We need you, the Divine Healer,
to mend the hidden wounds of our hearts that we do not see
so that we might heal the broken bodies
and broken systems we can see.
And as we hold in mind the concerns of our own nation,
we remember also the people of the United States of America in their need.
 
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal,
Have mercy upon us.
 
God, the world is so vast, and we are so small.
We are overwhelmed by its complexities,
yet we are reminded how tightly our lives are knit together.
The old lies of extraction and exploitation have laid waste to our planet
and have oppressed our brothers and sisters in every land.
Lead us out into the wilderness beyond self-satisfaction,
beyond denial, beyond plunder,
and teach us new ways to live simply, humbly, and close to the earth.
 
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal,
Have mercy upon us.
 
God, our communities are being crushed by the yoke of sin:
political enmity, economic inequality, violence, racism, xenophobia,
disparities in health and education, pollution, loneliness, and despair.
Our brothers and sisters are sleeping in the streets, weeping in the streets,
bleeding in the streets, like strangers in their own land.
And so many of us choose to look away.
Give us, instead, your easy yoke, your light burden: to open the doors,
to step out, to speak out, to trust one another,
to be taken where we do not wish to go, to the foot of the Cross, to the tomb,
where you will meet us, where real life begins. 
 
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal,
Have mercy upon us.
 
God, our loved ones are sick and dying,
from viruses and from violence.
The silence of silenced bodies overwhelms our ears.
The IV-drip of memories stings and burns as it works its way through our veins.
We are weak and helpless, but don’t allow us to be hopeless.
Make your presence known to us,
especially when we cannot be present to one another.
Especially we name those in our own community for whom our prayers are sought
Joanna, Anne Rogers, Andrea Linsell, Sam, Sonya, Harriet, Molly O’Day, Jackie, Matthew, Leslie, and Karen.
Heal our ailments and mend our hearts. 
 
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal,
Have mercy upon us.
 
God, you have taken so many away.
Their names tumble from our lips, a remembrance, an insistence, a plea.
We say their names so that they won’t be forgotten.
We say their names so that we won’t be the type of people willing to forget.
We remember those who have died Maureen Russell, Penny Spring, David Armour
and those whose anniversary of death we hold near Denis Haskett, Rowley Hall, Brian Flack,
Eileen Worsfold, Frank Bott, Hazel Williams.
As we grieve and grasp at the mystery of death,
take their names and bind them to yourself;
open your everlasting gates and welcome them home.
 
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal,
Have mercy upon us.
 
God of our Sorrows and our Joy, we lament today
so that we might rejoice tomorrow in your promise
of justice, of healing, and of never-ending life;
for you are the One in whom all things are made new,
and it is to you whom we turn in trust,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

The Sermon  Trinity Sunday
 

When I was a child my parents usually sent us to our grandparents one weekend a month.  That always included going to Church as my grandfather was the local minister.  That experience was really the sum total of our religious upbringing as my parents had left it to my grandparents.  As a hellfire and brimstone Baptist, your head gets filled up with all kinds of stuff, some of it rather dangerous.  It is not the generous Christianity that we have here.
 
By the age of fourteen subtle pressure was exerted to get me to be baptised, to make an adult decision.  It was seen as a rite of passage for us teenagers and the rest of the kids my age gladly went forward.  I balked at the prospect because I had begun to think for myself.  Though it was made quite clear that no one could get to heaven without repenting their sins and confessing Jesus as Lord and Saviour.  No one.  I jumped ship and became an Anglican.
One thing that always interests me is how people experience God.  There seems to be an endless variety of religious experience, as if the longing for God is imprinted on most every human heart, though we take different paths on our journeys of faith.
 
Muhammad had a problem.  He abhorred the idolatry of his countrymen, as they bowed down before rocks and trees, worshipped the moon and stars.  Amongst the Jews and Christians in the region he experienced what it meant to worship the one God, our God that we all claim as our own.  Jesus was his stumbling block.  He, as do all Muslims, accepted that Jesus was born of a virgin and that Christ was crucified, but he could not believe that the Divine, the Transcendant Creator would ever draw so near to fallen, wicked humanity as to become physically one of us.  It didn’t help matters that many of the Christian sects he encountered agreed with him and thought that Jesus was not God Incarnate.  For him God was far to big, too mysterious to be known and understood as a human being.
 
For the ancient Israelites, their God was one of many, a mountain deity that made the mountains smoke and the earth tremble.  Other nations had their own gods, but Yahweh was a jealous God and they were supposed to worship him only, though all over the Holy Land images of the Asherah have been found, the female consort of Yahweh.  A mighty warrior, he was supposed to protect them from their enemies, save their tiny nation from their mighty neighbours intent on conquest.  This is the angry God we sometimes find in the Old Testament, constantly chiding the Israelites for their unfaithfulness.
 
But things began to change.  Other voices were heard that spoke of a different experience of the Almighty.  God as the mother hen tenderly gathering her children from exile in Babylon.  The still small voice that Elijah heard as God passed by, not the fire, the earthquake, or the wind, but a gentle whisper.  The Jews, as we see in the Proverbs, also began to see a feminine side to God, Wisdom at work in creation.  Christians would take this image of wisdom and apply it both to Jesus as the Word of God, and also to the Holy Spirit, seen by many Christians as a feminine attribute of God.
 
For us Christians, Jesus is the living image of the invisible God.  The Gospel reading tells us that his disciples worshipped him, though some doubted.  They were still in that frame of mind where the Almighty couldn't possibly be one of us.  But Jesus makes the unknowable immensely personal, someone you can have a real relationship with, just as we do with one another.  In his life and his death, Jesus corrected the all too common misconceptions and narrow religious attitudes prevalent in his society and in ours.  Jesus is the lens through which we must view the world around us, and thanks to the Spirit who makes him ever present, our lives and actions are the paper on which his love is written for others to see.  Without the looking and the showing, the Christian experience is meaningless.  It changes nothing and becomes just another special interest or exclusive hobby with limited appeal.  For many outside the Church this is what they see and how they see Christians; just a club wrapped up in itself.  Which begs the question, how do we make God real for others and where do we find him? 

I wonder how we experience God, what images, what ideas appeal to our hearts and make God real for us.  There are those who find God in the majesty and diversity of nature, in the mountains and the sea.  I find him mostly in Jesus because I need a face to identify with and someone concrete to relate to, the God of the Old Testament seems too far away from me.  Others get fired up by the Spirit, God who flits from here to there, ever moving on and doing what it alone wills, God on the move who is everywhere, the peaceful dove, the wind, and fire, these impress and move other hearts.  Each one of us will have our own nuance that speaks directly to our hearts and makes God ever so real in our own lives.
 
I leave you with one last image.  I once knew a young man of about sixteen in our Children’s Hospital.  He was blind and had some terrible genetic disease that had left him unable to communicate with the world or relate to it in any meaningful way.  He was outwardly unresponsive though very much alive.  His mother had waited on him hand and foot all his life, he was her world, her work every waking hour.  He always became very agitated once he realised she wasn’t in the room, but the sound of her voice or the touch of her hand made him as placid as anything.  I asked myself, with my Baptist notions, how he could ever confess Jesus as Lord, be “saved”, or even experience God at all as he couldn’t possibly know God.  It occurred to me that he DID know God, had found him in a mother’s love, a love that had come from God himself and was just as faithful and everlasting.  God had made the effort and ensured that all may know his love, even though they may not give him the credit or praise.  God is generous and humble.  We do best to follow his example and we may even make his love real for someone else.  That would be a beautiful thing and one that would please him no end.  

                         

                          The Holy Trinity by contemporary artist Candelario Cervantez.