United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Worship on this second Sunday of  Lent



The Lord be with you
All        And also with you.

Opening Prayer

God of revelation,
unveil your Kingdom in our midst.
Show us who we truly are in you:
expose the illusions that distort our vision,
deliver us from temptations that contort our living,
open our eyes in this time of trial –
that resistance may be the secret of our joy
and our joy a sign of your shalom.

All         Amen.



From ashes to the living font
your Church must journey, Lord,
baptised in grace, in grace renewed
by your most holy word.

Through fasting, prayer, and charity
your voice speaks deep within,
returning us to ways of truth
and turning us from sin.

From desert to the mountaintop
in Christ our way we see,
so, tempered by temptation’s might
we might transfigured be.

For thirsting hearts let waters flow
our fainting souls revive;
and at the well your waters give
our everlasting life.

From ashes to the living font
your church must journey still:
through cross and tomb to Easter joy,
in Spirit-fire fulfilled.


Prayers of penitence

All       Most merciful God,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

we confess that we have sinned

in thought, word and deed.

We have not loved you with our whole heart.

We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

In your mercy

forgive what we have been,

help us to amend what we are,

and direct what we shall be;

that we may do justly,

love mercy,

and walk humbly with you, our God.



Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,

Have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness

and keep you in life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



First Reading
Genesis 17:1-16

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’

Abram fell face down, and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.’

Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner – those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’

God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’


This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God



Psalm 22:23-31

Praise the Lord, you that fear him;  ♦

O seed of Jacob, glorify him;

stand in awe of him, O seed of Israel.

24  For he has not despised nor abhorred the suffering of the poor;

neither has he hidden his face from them;  ♦

but when they cried to him he heard them.

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation;  ♦

I will perform my vows

in the presence of those that fear you.

26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied;  ♦

those who seek the Lord shall praise him;

their hearts shall live for ever.

R Be not far from me, O Lord

27  All the ends of the earth

shall remember and turn to the Lord,  ♦

and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

28  For the kingdom is the Lord’s  ♦

and he rules over the nations.

29  How can those who sleep in the earth

bow down in worship,  ♦

or those who go down to the dust kneel before him  ♦

R Be not far from me, O Lord

30  He has saved my life for himself;

my descendants shall serve him;  ♦

this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.

31  They shall come and make known his salvation,

to a people yet unborn,  ♦

declaring that he, the Lord, has done it.

Refrain:    Be not far from me, O Lord.





Second reading
Mark 8:31-38

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.’

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God




Affirmation of faith

All   I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator 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, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.


I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.



Prayers of intercession


Heavenly Father draw near to us as we draw close to you in this time of worship. Open our hearts to receive all you have to give us, and graciously accept all we have to offer you.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


Heavenly Father, you have called your church to proclaim your gospel in all lands, help us in obedience to your call to participate in active Christian Mission in our country and overseas, by what we are, what we say and what we do for others.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


Heavenly Father, we thank you for our neighbours and for the people around us with whom we share our daily lives. We pray for the old and the lonely, those isolated from their families and those who find it difficult to make friends. Show us what we can do to help and teach us to be good neighbours.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


Heavenly Father, whose eternal perfect love can shine even in our fragmented relationships, bless all those to whom we are bound by ties of kinship and affection. Bind us to one another and to you, through him in whom dwells the fullness of your love.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer



God of love, we pray for our children as they grow up in our family circles; we think especially for parents ‘home schooling’. Give us understanding of their needs and show us how best we can help them face their problems and prepare for life in the world.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


God of all grace we pray for any known to us who are sick. We ask that your blessings can be upon the work of doctors and nurses in the hospitals and nursing homes of this area; strengthen them for their tasks, give them the joy of knowing that they are furthering your own purposes of love and healing.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


Heavenly Father, we thank you for those we love who are now at rest in your presence. Today we remember especially …, we thank you for the lives they have lived and the examples they have left behind. We praise you that death can never finally separate those who love Jesus, and that at the last we shall be reunited in the Father’s house and be ever with the Lord.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


Lord teach us the practice of recollection, the habit of thankfulness and the art of praise. May we deal generously with others as you Lord deal with us, for Jesus Christ’s sake.


Merciful Father                                                                                                                                accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.   Amen



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.

All       Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven…



Take up thy cross, the Savior said,
if thou wouldst my disciple be;
deny thyself, the world forsake,
and humbly follow after me.

Take up thy cross, let not its weight
fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
his strength shall bear thy spirit up,
and brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.

Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
to save thy soul from death and hell.

Take up thy cross then in his strength,
and calmly sin’s wild deluge brave,
’twill guide thee to a better home,
it points to glory o’er the grave.

Take up thy cross and follow Christ,
nor think til death to lay it down;
for only those who bear the cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown.

To thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
all praise forevermore ascend:
O grant us in our home to see
the heavenly life that knows no end.


Christ give you grace to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him, and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you and remain with you always.

All        Amen!




Common Worship is (c) Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England

Biblical texts are from the Holy Bible New International Version Anglicised (NIV-UK) is (c) Copyright Biblica, Inc

From ashes to the living font by Alan J Hommerding is © Copyright 1994 World Library Publications, c/o Calamus

Copyright songs reproduced under CCL licence 206171 and streamed under CCL licence 71318