This is the day that Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour.
Luke 1:68, 69
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory.
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things and by your will they were created and have their being. Revelation 4:11
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:16
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Brother and sisters, we have gathered today as an expression of our worship of God; to confess our sins to him and to ask for his forgiveness; to thank him for making us and sustaining us; to praise him for his love and mercy; to hear from his holy word; to pray for our needs and the needs of others; and to encourage each other as we see the day approaching; But, first, let us confess our sins as we say together:
Confession (said by the whole congregation)
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we confess that we have sinned against you, in our thoughts, words, deeds and in what we have left undone. Lord have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and help us that we may serve you better and please you more through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assurance of forgiveness (pronounced by the minister)
Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, does not wish the death of sinners, but rather that we should turn from our sin and trust in Christ. God’s word declares that he forgives the sins of all who truly repent and believe the Gospel. God gave his Son Jesus Christ to die that we could be forgiven and have everlasting life through him.
Let us therefore worship God saying:
Lord, we worship you for your wonderful plan of salvation and your great love that while we were lost sinners Christ died for us to give us life.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvellous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn –
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
Glory be to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, so now and for ever. Amen
Readings from the Old and New Testaments; and the Psalms
Readers begin with, “Hear the Word of God as it is written in…”
And conclude with, “This is God’s word to us.”
Apostles’ Creed (said together – all standing)
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, he died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
Christ’s holy universal church,
the fellowship of Christians,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Prayers (said responsively; may be replaced by the Litany)
Lord, have mercy upon us
Christ, have mercy upon us
Lord, have mercy upon us
Lord’s Prayer (said together)
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your Name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
on earth as it is 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.
The Collect for the Day
Prayer for peace
Almighty God, from whom comes all holy desires, all good intentions and all right deeds: Give to us your servants that peace which the world cannot give. Strengthen us so that our hearts may desire to obey your commands and free us from the fear of our enemies, that we may live our days in rest and quietness through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Prayer for grace
Lighten our darkness O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this life, for the love of your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer for our land
Almighty, everlasting God, bless our land, its rulers and people. Grant that we may live in obedience to your word and follow after truth, righteousness and justice. Lord, give peace in our time, to the glory of your holy name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for our church
Heavenly Father, you have called us to be living members of Christ’s holy church. Bless the fellowship of REACH churches in Southern Africa. Glorify your name through our witness. Preserve our unity and advance your kingdom. Strengthen and sustain the bishops, ministers and those in responsible positions. Grant to all who belong to your church, sure faith in your holy word and lives obedient to it. May we always serve you and each other in prayer and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for all in need
Almighty, merciful Father, you have told us not to think of ourselves only, but to remember the needs of others. We pray for all in want or need, for the sick in body or mind, for the poor and lonely, for those in distress and despair and for all who have strayed from your way.
Merciful Lord deliver them, strengthen and restore their faith, bless and help them through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for South Africa
God bless South Africa.
Give us peace,
Fill us with love,
Grant us joy,
Nurture our faith,
And grow our hope.
Save our rulers.
Shower us with rain.
Stop wars and suffering,
Be merciful to our nation,
And hear our prayers, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
A prayer for missions and missionaries
Father, you are Lord of the harvest. Hear our prayer today for those who do not know you. May they come to a saving knowledge of your son. Thrust out workers into the harvest field. Sustain, strengthen and provide for missionaries everywhere. Encourage those who are down-hearted. Bring fresh vigour and energy to those under persecution and those whose faith is wavering. Continually renew missionary zeal in your Church; and make us to be faithful witnesses to your mercy; filled with love and deeply united – for your glory alone.
A prayer for the extension of Christ’s kingdom
Our Father, you have given all authority in heaven and on earth to your Son.
He has commanded us to make disciples of all nations, to baptise them in your name, and to teach them to obey everything he has commanded. He has promised that he will be with us to the very end of the age.
Make us faithful not fearful;
Courageous not timid;
Obedient not defiant;
Energetic not idle;
Inclusive not selective;
Gracious not rude;
Loving not selfish;
We ask, that through your Spirit, you will save many for your glory.
A prayer of thanksgiving
Our Father, we shout for joy and we worship you with gladness; we come before you with joyful hearts, confident that you are God; it is you who made us, and we are yours. We bring you praise and thanksgiving; for you are good and your love endures for ever; your faithfulness continues through all generations.
2 Corinthians 13:14
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Then follow: The announcements.
The hymn before the sermon.
The closing hymn.