Readings and Prayers for Sunday 3rd Sunday before Advent

Spencer, Stanley; The Resurrection of the Soldiers; National Trust, Sandham Memorial Chapel

Readings and Prayers for Sunday 8th November
3rd Sunday before Advent

The Collect
Almighty Father,
whose will is to restore all things
in thy beloved Son, the King of all:
govern the hearts and minds of those in authority
and bring the families of the nations,
divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to his just and gentle rule;
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Psalm 70
1O God, make speed to save me;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
2Let those who seek my life
be put to shame and confusion;
let them be turned back and disgraced
who wish me evil.
3Let those who mock and deride me
turn back because of their shame.
4But let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
let those who love your salvation say always, ‘Great is the Lord.’
5As for me, I am poor and needy;
come to me quickly, O God.
6You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay.

A Reading from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians chapter 4 v 13 -18
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who
have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since
we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will
bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of
the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will
by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of
command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will
descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are
alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet
the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore
encourage one another with these words.

This is the Word of the Lord Thanks be to God

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew
chapter 25 v 1 – 13
Jesus spoke this parable to the disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like
this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five
of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps,
they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As
the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at
midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet
him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish
said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But
the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had
better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to
buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the
wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came
also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not
know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.’

Message and Intercessions by Fr Guy
This has been quite a week. The COVID 19 pandemic continues to ravage the
nations of the world. Our own nation has been forced into a second lockdown.
We await the result of the Presidential election in the United States of America.
France and Austria are coming to terms with acts of terror on their streets and
Turkey is reeling from the aftermath of earthquakes. The world feels
particularly vulnerable and fearful at this time.

In the liturgical year we have just marked All Saints’ and All Souls’ and we
now approach Remembrance Sunday, remembering the devastating effects of
two World Wars and many conflicts since: death, trauma, disability, grief and
loneliness. We remember the sacrifice made by so many and we pray with
hope for a peaceful future.

Here in Midsomer Norton a momentous day failed to arrive; the licensing of a
new Vicar had to be postponed! But if we take a step back and look at the
bigger picture, we can see that it is not a major disaster. Because of the
postponement and impending lockdown, Kate and I joined the worshipping
community here last Sunday to reassure you all that we are present, to say hello
and to offer prayer and worship. It was wonderful to be with you, and I look
forward to beginning work now, and being licensed at a future date.
In one way or another we are all suffering loss because of Coronavirus. Many
are suffering the agonising loss of a loved one. Livelihoods and jobs hang in
the balance. Financial anxieties loom large. Many are struggling with mental
health and physical wellbeing. There is a real sense of loss in not being able to
visit family or friends. We are missing face to face interaction and physical
contact. Sadly, we are not currently able to gather for worship. But St Paul
reminds us, that, even in loss, we do have hope: hope in the Resurrection of
Jesus Christ. In that hope, we will find encouragement for ourselves and each
other. Whatever turmoil we face as individuals or as community, God will
raise us up with love and hope, as Jesus was raised. Soon we will celebrate
Christmas when God reaches down once again through all our suffering to
raise us up in the love of the Christ Child. Hopefully, by then we may be able
to come together as community. But whether we can or not, as certainly as
winter turns to spring, one day soon we will be able to resume life in all its

Until then, in today’s Gospel, Jesus urges us to remain ready. We are to be
‘match fit’ for what is to come. Our lamps are to remain burning brightly
within our communities, and we are to guard against running out of oil. Our
resilience, as followers of Christ, comes from Jesus. Following his example,
we replenish our oil supplies by prayer and worship, by study of scripture and
by serving others lovingly. So that, whenever we are called to the wedding
banquet, we are ready. At this time, we are called to sacrifice something of our
freedom today to protect each other and our nation. On this Remembrance
Sunday, we recall with sorrow and gratitude those who sacrificed their today
for our tomorrow. And we remember with thanksgiving the ultimate sacrifice
made by Jesus, out of which comes the source of our hope, our restoration, and
our invitation to that eternal banquet – in this world and the next. See you
there, very soon!

Prayers of Intercession
Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of conflict, and ask that God may give
us peace:
for the service men and women who have died in the violence of war,
each one remembered by and known to God;
may God give peace. God give peace.
For those who love them in death as in life, offering the distress of our grief
and the sadness of our loss;
may God give peace. God give peace.
For all members of the armed forces who are in danger this day, remembering
family, friends and all who pray for their safe return;
may God give peace. God give peace.
For civilian women, children and men whose lives are disfigured by war or
calling to mind in penitence the anger and hatreds of humanity;
may God give peace. God give peace.
For peacemakers and peacekeepers, who seek to keep this world secure and
may God give peace. God give peace.
For all who bear the burden and privilege of leadership, political, military and
asking for gifts of wisdom and resolve in the search for reconciliation and
may God give peace. God give peace.
For our National Health Service and all who care for the sick and dying at this
time of pandemic.
may God give peace. God give peace.
For the vulnerable, the anxious, rough sleepers and those in residential care.
may God give peace. God give peace.
O God of truth and justice,
we hold before you those whose memory we cherish,
and those whose names we will never know.
Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world,
and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.
As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future;
for you are the source of life and hope, now and for ever.

Please pray for:-
The Residents of: Hayes Park Road, St Lukes Road, St Mark’s Road &
St John’s Crescent
The Sick:- Rachael Macfarlane, Miranda Cooper, Rose Stenner, Paul &
Margaret Knott, Irene Leet, Gerrard Monks, Trevor Bell, Fr Roy Boots,
Nicholas Hambleton, Betty Chiplin, Ethan Horwood, John Lewis, Patricia
Flagg, Pat Gilham, Bishop Peter Hancock, Vince Marriot.
Years Mind:- (S) Margaret Popham (M) Ethel Chivers (T) George Moss,
Douglas Barnett (W) Jacqualine Maggs (T) Ernest Ricketts, Mabel
Whitehouse, Trevor Williams, Ellen Matthews (F) Albert Francis, Madeleine
Yelling, Leonard Chivers, Claude Edwards, Ken Clynes, Hector Hardwick (S)
Liz Lockhead, Gwendoline Pratten.
Fr Guy will open the church for silent prayer on Tuesday 10th from 10am –
11.30am and Saturday 14th from 10am – 12 noon
Also please note the new vicarage telephone number is 412904

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