Celtic Evening Prayer: First Sunday of Lent

Lent begins in the dimness of late winter and ends with the burst of bright spring. John’s gospel tells us that Jesus is the Light of the World We, in turn, are called to share that light.

As we look at this lit candle we pray that God will help us all keep a light of faith and hope shining and share it with others on our journey through Lent.

The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart God will not despise.

Let us come to the Lord, who is full of compassion,

and acknowledge our transgressions in penitence and faith.

 

If we had a fraction of the faith in you that you have in us
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

If we showed a fraction of the love that you show to us
Then this world would be transformed, Lord

If we possessed a fraction of the patience that you display with us
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

If we shared just a portion of the blessings that we have received from you
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

If we showed as much trust in others as you have shown in us
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

If we claimed just a fraction of the power you promised to your Church
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

Transform us first, Lord, that we might transform this world
Through your love and your power. Amen

 

A prayer of St Benedict:

Almighty God, give us wisdom to perceive you, intellect to understand you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you and life to proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Hymn: The Lord’s My Shepherd

Our Bible readings:

Psalm 119: v17-32

 

Deal bountifully with your servant,
    so that I may live and observe your word.
18 Open my eyes, so that I may behold
    wondrous things out of your law.
19 I live as an alien in the land;
    do not hide your commandments from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
    for your ordinances at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
    who wander from your commandments;
22 take away from me their scorn and contempt,
    for I have kept your decrees.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
    your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your decrees are my delight,
    they are my counsellors.

25 My soul clings to the dust;
    revive me according to your word.
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
    teach me your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
    and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Put false ways far from me;
    and graciously teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I set your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to your decrees, O Lord;
    let me not be put to shame.
32 I run the way of your commandments,
    for you enlarge my understanding.

 

Luke 13: v31-35

31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ 32 He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33 Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” 34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”’

Reflection by Revd Alison

 

Hymn: With Mary Let My Soul Rejoice

 

Prayers

 

We pray to the Lord for courage to give up other things

and to give ourselves to him this Lent.

Give your Church the courage

to give up her preoccupation with herself

and to give more time to your mission in the world.

May the blood and water flowing from the side of Jesus

bring forgiveness to your people

and help us to face the cost of proclaiming salvation.

Lord in your mercy

hear our prayer.

 

Give your world the courage

to give up war, bitterness and hatred,

and to seek peace.

May the shoulders of the risen Jesus,

once scourged by soldiers,

bear the burden of political and military conflict in our world.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Give us the courage to give up quarrels, strife and jealousy

in our families, neighbourhoods and communities.

May the presence of the risen Jesus,

his body once broken and now made whole,

bring peace as we live with one another.

Lord in your mercy

hear our prayer.

 

Give us the courage

to give up our selfishness as we live for others,

and to give time, care and comfort to the sick.

May the wounded hands of Jesus bring his healing touch,

and the light of his presence fill their rooms.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

 

Give us the courage to give up our fear of death

and to rejoice with those who have died in faith.

May the feet of the risen Jesus, once nailed to the cross,

walk alongside the dying and the bereaved in their agony,

and walk with us and all your Church

through death to the gate of glory.

Lord in your mercy,

hear our prayer,

here and in eternity. Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory

for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

Hymn: We Shall Go Out With Hope of Resurrection

 

Closing prayers

 

For each step that we might take
Be our guide, O Lord of life
For each load that we might bear
Be our strength, O Lord of life
For each mountain we might face
Be our power, O Lord of life
For each river that might impede
Be our safety, O Lord of life
For each place where we might rest
Be our peace, O Lord of life
For each sunrise and sunset
Be our joy, O Lord of life

Amen

 

The love of the Risen Christ be with us as we sleep

the love that knows no bounds

the love of grace and joy

bring us to a new day that we can greet as a new birth.

 

May our Lord Jesus Christ

be near you to defend you,

within you to refresh you,

around you to preserve you,

before you to guide you,

behind you to justify you,

above you to bless you,

who lives and reigns

with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.

Amen

 

Hymn:  A Gaelic Blessing