A service of Holy Communion for Ascension Day

Welcome to this online Windmill United Benefice communion service for Ascension Day celebrated by Rev Charles Sargent, with a talk by Rev Nicholas Calver. All the music was recorded at previous services in the benefice.

The hymn ‘Alleluia, sing to Jesus’ is sung

Alleluia, sing to Jesus,
His the sceptre, his the throne;
Alleluia, his the triumph,
His the victory alone:
Hark, the songs of peaceful Sion
Thunder like a mighty flood:
Jesus, out of ev’ry nation,
hath redeemed us by his blood.

Alleluia, not as orphans
Are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia, he is near us,
Faith believes, nor questions how;
Though the cloud from sight received him
When the forty days were o’er,
Shall our hearts forget his promise,
“I am with you evermore”?

Alleluia, bread of angels,
Here on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia, here the sinful
Come to you from day to day.
Intercessor, friend of sinners,
Earth’s redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless
Sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia, King eternal,
He the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia, born of Mary,
Earth his footstool, heav’n his throne;
He within the veil has entered
Robed in flesh, our great High Priest;
He on earth both priest and victim
In the Eucharistic Feast.

Introduction and confession

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!           

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for forty days we have been celebrating with joyful hearts the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, his bursting from the tomb and his defeat of the power of sin and death. He appeared to his disciples many times and told them about the kingdom of God.

Today we recall how he left this earth and returned to his Father, ascending into heaven to take his throne over all dominions and powers. Trusting in his reign over all creation, and submitting to his kingly yet loving rule, let us hear the story of his parting.

But first, 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, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Gloria is sung

Glory in the highest to the God of heaven!
Peace to all your people through the earth be given:
Mighty God and Father, thanks and praise we bring,
Singing alleluia to our heavenly king.

Jesus Christ is risen, God the Father’s Son:
Seated now and reigning from your Father’s throne,
Lamb of God the Saviour, all our sin to bear,
Show us now your mercy, now receive our prayer.

Christ the world’s true Saviour, high and holy One,
With the Holy Spirit, you are Lord alone!
Lord and God, we praise you; Highest heaven adores:
In the Father’s glory, all the praise be yours!

The Collect and readings

Collect for Ascension Day
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that as we believe your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ
to have ascended into the heavens,
so we in heart and mind may also ascend
and with him continually dwell;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from Acts 1: 1-11
by Andrew Gilbert

The Gospel reading from Luke 24: 44 to the end
by Val Butt

by Rev Nicholas Calver

The Creed, Intercessions and Peace

The Creed
Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried;
he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles:
this we have received,
this we believe. Amen.

The Intercessions
led by Maggie Leventoglu

The Peace
Jesus says: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. If you love me, rejoice because I am going to the Father’.
The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Communion is celebrated

Lord Jesus Christ, since I cannot now receive you sacramentally
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day.

The anthem is ‘I watch the sunrise’
(Words by John Glynn, music by C. Murphy, arr. P Nye)
Sung by the United Benefice Choir at Horne on Advent Sunday, 3 December 2017

I watch the sunrise lighting the sky, 
Casting its shadows near. 
And on this morning bright though it be, 
I feel those shadows near me.

But you are always close to me 
Following all my ways. 
May I be always close to you 
Following all your ways, Lord.

I watch the sunlight shine through the clouds, 
Warming the earth below. 
And at the mid-day, life seems to say: 
I feel your brightness near me. 
For you are always . . .

I watch the sunset fading away, 
Lighting the clouds with sleep. 
And as the evening closes its eyes, 
I feel your presence near me. 
For you are always . . .

I watch the moonlight guarding the night, 
Waiting till morning comes. 
The air is silent, earth is at rest 
Only your peace is near me. 
Yes, you are always…

Closing responses and blessing

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles:

Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying. They were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

Silence is kept.

As we wait in silence,
make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we listen to your word,
make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we worship you in majesty,
make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your refreshing,
make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your renewing,
make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your equipping,
make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your empowering,
make us ready for your coming Spirit.

Christ our ascended King pour upon you
the abundance of his gifts
and bring you to reign with him in glory;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia!

In the name of Christ.  Alleluia! Alleluia!

The hymn ‘Christ triumphant, ever reigning’ is sung

Christ triumphant, ever reigning, Saviour, Master, King,
Lord of heav’n, our lives sustaining, hear us as we sing:
Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, th’eternal name.

Word incarnate, truth revealing, Son of Man on earth!
Pow’r and majesty concealing by your humble birth:
Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, th’eternal name.

Suffering servant, scorned, ill-treated, victim crucified!
death is through the cross defeated, sinners justified:
Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, th’eternal name.

Priestly King, enthroned for ever high in heav’n above!
sin and death and hell shall never stifle hymns of love:
Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, th’eternal name.

So, our hearts and voices raising through the ages long,
ceaselessly upon You gazing, this shall be our song:
Yours the glory and the crown
the high renown, th’eternal name.

Organist: Peter Nye
Hymn words reproduced under CCLI: 845257
Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000.Edit