Lord, we greet this new day, giving thanks
that our senses allow us to say that the air smells good today,
straight from the mysteries within the garden of God;
That all creation has awakened to join in praise and prayer:
the trees with their green leaves,
the birds with their melodies,
the first blue violets, kneeling.
All that breathes praise the Lord!
(Collect from the Armenian Sunrise Service)
♪ Ay farzandane nur (Oh children of the light; Afghanistan/Iran)
Responsive Psalm 22: 23 – 31
You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord,
and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
O Lord our God and Saviour,
who sent the disciples and apostles to the very ends of the earth,
to teach and proclaim your message,
to heal all illnesses and to reveal the mysteries of the faith,
which have been hidden from humankind since the creation of the earth,
send us your blessing and enlighten our understanding,
and may we be given the gift of final perseverance.
May we be enabled to do and to act in accordance with your commands as set out in the gospel,
and may the fruit of the gospel be increased in us many times over,
that we may obtain forgiveness of our sins
and so be considered worthy to obtain our heavenly reward.
Scripture Reading: John 15: 1 – 8
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
Reflection: Dr Manoj Kurian (Coordinator of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance)
♪ I am the Vine
Prayers of Intercession
O God, we come seeking so that we may receive your blessing,
touch our brows, touch our heads, and do not look upon us in anger.
In a year, such as this when life has been difficult and hard,
be our mercy;
In a year, such as this, when we face the afflictions resulting from a pandemic,
be our kindness;
In a time when our minds are darkened from the trauma of stressful living,
banish dark spirits from us and brighten our lives with the presence of your Holy Spirit;
When we are afraid,
be our courage;
When we are ashamed,
be my true face;
When we feel the coldness of isolation,
be close to us covering us like a blanket.
For the people and churches of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan,
sustain them in every way.
((Pilgrim Prayer, 85, adapted)
As Christ has taught us, so we pray, each in our own language…. Our Father
The Lord bless us and keep us;
The Lord make his face shine on us and be gracious to us;
the Lord turn his face toward us and give us peace.