Stages of Worship




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Almighty God,
by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ's sufferings,
and by following in his Way
come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Matthew 4:1-11

The word 'discipline' in this Collect is not used to mean 'punishment' but to mean 'following a pattern or example'. The example we are asking to follow is that of Jesus; his life of prayer, teaching and self-sacrifice. The word mystery is a very well known way of describing the wonderful things that Jesus did that are written in the gospels many of which led him to suffer.
(Collect for any time in Lent)

Holy God,
our lives are laid open before you:
rescue us from the chaos of sin
and through the death of your Son
bring us healing and make us whole
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 51.6-13
Luke 15.11-32
Timothy 6.6-10

A Collect used only on Ash Wednesday - the first day of Lent. The word sin is often used to mean something like 'wrongdoing' or 'bad things'. It is better to think of it as meaning something like 'not doing the best we can', or in more grown up words 'falling short'. Do we always live up to the values that we believe are important? When we do not do the best we can then things get all mixed up and they then become chaos.

God of love,
passionate and strong,
tender and careful:
watch over us and hold us
all the days of our life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Genesis 28:15
Psalm 121:7

These words make a special picture of a loving parent who is tender and careful. Someone strong and passionate about us, their children. This picture of watching and holding shows us what kind of parent God is.
(Collect for Mothering Sunday, 4th Sunday of Lent)

May God himself, the God of peace, make us perfect and holy, and keep us safe and blameless, in spirit, soul and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;

1 Thessalonians 5.23

This short prayer is very personal. In it we bring ourselves completely before God, body, mind and spirit.
What do the words body, mind and spirit mean to you?

True and humble king,
hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you
on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory.

Matthew 21:1-11
Mark 11: 1-11
Luke 19: 28-40
John 12: 12-19
Zechariah 9:9

This Collect reminds us of the story of Jesus coming into Jerusalem as a popular hero, the Messiah, cheered by the crowd. In this Collect we ask for faith. Here the word is not used just to mean 'belief' but also a way of knowing, loving and enduring. We all try to stay with other people we know and love when they are in trouble. Here we ask to play our parts in the story and be with Jesus as he is taken to the cross.
(Collect from Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday)

God our Father, 
your Word has come among us in the Holy Child of Bethlehem:may the light of faith illumine our hearts and shine in our words and deeds; through him who is Christ the Lord.

Matthew 5:14, 16

A prayer for Christmas which has a lovely theme of light within it. We can see in this prayer that the 'light' of God is seen through the things that we do and say.
Illumine means 'make clear' or 'shine on'.

Eternal God,
in the cross of Jesus
we see the cost of our sin
and the depth of your love:
in humble hope and fear
may we place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark Chapter 15

When we sin we do not live up to our values and this can lead to other people suffering. The way that Jesus suffered when he was betrayed by his friends shows just how much harm our sin can do. We need God's love, healing and forgiveness in order for us to start again and try to live up to our Christian values.
(Collect for Good Friday)

Son of Mary, Son of God, we have joined the worship of the angels; may we never lose that heavenly vision. Like the shepherds, we have rejoiced at the news of your birth; help us to proclaim that message in word and deed, to your praise and glory.

Psalm 148:2
Luke 2:13-15

A Christmas prayer which works well towards the end of an act of worship. The words 'Son of Mary, Son of God' are about Jesus.

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Matthew 28: 1-8

In this Collect there is hope as we see that Christ, the light of the world, brings a 'new day'. The Ash Wednesday Collect mentions sin and this one talks about 'hell'. Just as there are different ways to think about sin there are different ways to think about hell. One of the best ways to think of hell is as being separate from God, separate from the values and love that faith in God brings to us and separate from our friends and loved ones.
(Collect for Easter Day itself)

God our saviour,
look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace won for us by your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Psalm 85:8
2 Peter 3:13

This Collect makes us think of the world and its problems by describing it as 'wounded'. When we say this prayer we are asking God to help us remember and act upon the values we live by - the Christian values found in the Bible.
(Collect for use during Trinity)

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