Worship At Home
If it is not possible for people to worship together, the various Church Of England apps For Daily Prayer and Reflection are a wonderful resource and unite us in prayer.
Along with these resources we have provided some prayer to those who are self isolated or housebound, or those who are unable to attend church.
As you may know, in light of recent Government Guidance all services have been suspended in Church until further notice but there are still ways that we can pray and worship together, even whilst in our own homes and we hope that these prayer packs will help.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have released a letter that begins as follows
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, it is imperative that for the health of the nation and in order for the National Health Service itself to manage the increase in those requiring medical help, the Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essential items and to take daily exercise. Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own.
Rev Andy also added:
Please be assured that Ali (the Curate) and I will continue to pray in the Vicarage, and any prayer requests remain most welcome, via either phone (01207 270261, 07557 148689) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
We will also continue to maintain contact with the congregations and communities as best we can by phone, email, website, Facebook and Twitter. Please do also look at resources offered for prayer and worship online via the Church of England website at https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online.
With prayers and best wishes,
Rev Dr Andrew Miller
Prayers for use at home during a time of illness or self-isolation
Here is a selection of prayers you may find helpful during the coming weeks.
Before praying these prayers, you may like to light a candle.
Be still and take a moment to remember that God is present with you now and is looking at you with love, mercy and compassion.
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care.
Prayers for Comfort
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
we entrust to your unfailing and tender care,
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold us safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Below are some helpful words from our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters:
There are times when people are unable to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, through illness or due to their personal disposition. Even though some may not receive ‘sacramental’ Communion, all are united in some way by the Holy Spirit. The traditional idea of ‘spiritual’ Communion is an important one to remember and reaffirm. A deep spiritual communion is possible even when we do not share together the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.
I believe that you are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar.
I love you above all things
and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
come spiritually into my soul
so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever.
Based on a prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori
Prayers for carers, medical staff, and for those in authority
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to care for the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Wondrous God, author of life,
you fashioned us in your likeness
and breathed into us the life which is your own.
Be with those whose special care
is the health of mind and body.
Fill their hearts with awe for the life which is your gift
and sustain them daily in your service,
that their hands may bring to others
the comfort of your healing touch.
Through Christ our Lord.
Loving God, in Christ Jesus, the servant of all,
you call us to the service of others.
Grant to those who govern the community
the skill to recognise its urgent needs
and the strength to pursue the common good.
Endow us all with patience and courage,
that we may care for the suffering,
feed the hungry,
shelter the homeless,
and sustain the needy.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
From St Patrick’s Breastplate
O gracious and holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
and a life to proclaim you,
through the power of the spirit
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me,
body of Christ, save me,
blood of Christ, inebriate me,
water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me:
hide me within your wounds
and never let me be separated from you.
From the wicked enemy defend me,
in the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you,
so that with your saints I may praise you
for ever and ever.
Sentences and passages from scripture for contemplation
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Ps 46.1
Be still, and know that I am God. Ps 46.10
Lord, save me! Mt 14.30
Romans 8.35, 38-end
You may also like to try saying the Jesus prayer, the words of which are based on Lk 9.13:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Some people find the above prayer a helpful tool to begin meditation (also known as contemplative prayer). Pray silently the first line of the prayer as you take your natural inward breath, pause, then pray silently the last part of the prayer as you breathe outwards. Repeat for as long as you wish, though if you are new to this way of praying then set a timer for two minutes and see how this feels.
Prayers for the Home
Hear us, Lord,
and send your angel from heaven to visit and protect,
to comfort and defend all who live in this house.
Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you to defend you,
within you to keep you,
before you to lead you,
beside you to guard you,
and above you to bless you.
May God bless you.
Receive God’s healing grace
to comfort and support you.
Material from: Church of England prayer resources online; A New Zealand Prayer book, © 1989 The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia; Free resources from the Liturgy Office, © 2020 Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PL. Prayers © 1998, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation
A Liturgy for those Unable to be Present at a Funeral
Use this in whichever way is most helpful for your own circumstances. There are suggestions for the Bible readings and it might be best to select those before you begin. You can say it alone or it can be led by a friend or family member. You may like to light a candle and spend a few moments in silence before you pray the liturgy.
We meet in the name of Jesus Christ,
who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.
We join with those in (place)
in remembering before God our brother/sister N;
to give thanks for his/her life;
to commend him/her to God our merciful redeemer and judge;
to commit his/her body to be buried/cremated,
and to comfort one another in our grief.
God of all consolation,
your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears
at the grave of Lazarus his friend.
Look with compassion on your children in their loss;
give to troubled hearts the light of hope
and strengthen us in the gift of faith,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
At this point you may like to pause and take some time to recollect memories of the one who has died; this may be done privately or you may like to share your memories if there is another present.
hear our prayers and comfort us;
renew our trust in your Son,
whom you raised from the dead;
strengthen our faith
that all who have died in the love of Christ
will share in his resurrection;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Readings choose a psalm followed by a New Testament reading
Psalms 23, 121, 130, or 139,
John 14.1-6, Romans 8.31-end, 1 Thessalonians 4.13-end, Revelation 21.1-7
Or make your own selection
Lord God, creator of all,
you have made us creatures of this earth
but have also promised us a share in life eternal:
receive our thanks and praise
that, through the passion and death of Christ,
your child N, our brother/sister,
whom we commend into your hands today,
shares with your saints in the joy of heaven,
where there is neither sorrow nor pain
but life everlasting. Alleluia. Amen.
Most merciful God,
whose wisdom is beyond our understanding,
surround all who mourn N with your love,
that we may not be overwhelmed by our loss,
but have confidence in your goodness
and strength to meet the days to come.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Risen Lord Jesus,
draw near to us as we walk this lonely road.
Pierce our weary sorrow
and gladden our heavy hearts as you go with us,
and bring us in the end to your heavenly table.
Commendation and Farewell
Let us commend N to the mercy of God,
our maker and redeemer.
as you bring us face to face with our mortality,
we thank you for making each one of us in your own image
and giving us gifts in body, mind and spirit.
We thank you now as we honour the memory of N.
Together with those in (place)
we entrust him/her to your mercy,
and pray that you will show us the path of life,
and the fullness of joy in your presence
through all eternity.
Silence is kept.
The Lord’s Prayer
And now to him who is able to keep us from falling,
and lift us from the dark valley of despair
to the bright mountain of hope,
from the midnight of desperation
to the daybreak of joy;
to him be power and authority, for ever and ever,
May Christ the Good Shepherd
enfold us with love,
fill us with peace,
and lead us in hope,
to the end of our days;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.
Common Worship: Pastoral Services, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000, 2005.