11:00am – First Sunday after Easter

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

First Sunday after Easter 

This service is live in church, with all the usual COVID restrictions, but it will be streamed so if you are unable to attend you can view it online.




Fear was present but subsided –

All        Christ is Risen!  Alleluia!

All        Doubt was present but subsided –

All        Christ is Risen!  Alleluia!

So, fearless and sure of Christ’s risen presence –

All        we draw near to God in worship.



Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,
your sweetest notes employ,
the Paschal victory to hymn
in strains of holy joy.

For Judah’s Lion burst his chains,
and crushed the serpent’s head;
and brought with him, from death’s domains,
the long-imprisoned dead.

From hell’s devouring jaws the prey
alone our leader bore;
his ransomed hosts pursue their way
where he hath gone before.

Triumphant in his glory now
his sceptre ruleth all:
earth, heav’n and hell before him bow
and at his footstool fall.

While joyful thus his praise we sing,
his mercy we implore,
into his palace bright to bring,
and keep us evermore.

All glory to the Father be,
all glory to the Son,
all glory, Holy Ghost, to thee,
while endless ages run.

Prayers of penitence

Jesus Christ, risen Master and triumphant Lord, we come to you in sorrow for our sins, and confess to you our weakness and unbelief.

We have lived by our own strength,
and not by the power of your resurrection.
In your mercy, forgive us.
All        Lord, hear us and help us.

We have lived by the light of our own eyes, as faithless and not believing.
In your mercy, forgive us.
All    Lord, hear us and help us.

We have lived for this world alone and doubted our home in heaven.
In your mercy, forgive us.
All    Lord, hear us and help us.

May the God of love and power free us and forgive us from our sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit, and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.




Risen Christ, for whom no door is locked,

no entrance barred: open the doors of our hearts,

that we may seek the good of others

and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,

to the praise of God the Father.

All   Amen

First Reading
Acts 4:32-35

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all  that there was no needy person among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales  and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.    from the least of them to the greatest,”


This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God



Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus said: ‘You believe because you can see me.  Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

All        Alleluia!

Gospel reading
John 20:19-31

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

All        Glory to you, O Lord

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’

But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’

Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’

Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

This is the gospel of the Lord

All        Praise to you, O Christ




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

The Lord calls us to draw close

And examine the wounded hands and feet

Of the risen Christ

And to know the depth of his love for us.

The response to

‘Lord in your presence’ is

‘We lift our hearts to you’


Lord our Father, as Jesus entered the locked room

to show his disciples the beginning of a new world,

so enter our hearts and move us to faith in Jesus as the Risen One

We bring to you, Lord,

The church in all its richness and need;

All its diversity and all its division.

Give us a fresh understanding

Of what it means to live in you;

May all of us – both laity and clergy together –

Celebrate the reality of your presence among us,

Filling us with new life and new hope.

Lord in your presence

We lift our hearts to you


We bring to you, Lord,

Our nation, our world, our universe;

All the areas that are fastened shut to hold you out;

All the bewildered confusion

About who we are and why we are here;

All the doubts and insecurity,

And all the searching for inner peace.

Wherever nations are at war and people are divided,

visit and bring true reconciliation.

Lord in your presence

We lift our hearts to you


We bring to you, Lord, our homes and families,

And all the joys and sorrows of our relationships.

We bring the rooms in which we eat

And work and relax;

And we invite you into them all.

Lord in your presence

We lift our hearts to you


We bring to you, Lord,

Those whom life has damaged,

And all who find it difficult to trust in you;

We bring you those who need refreshment and hope,

Comfort, healing and inner serenity.

Heal and strengthen weak bodies,

calm and correct confused minds.

As we approach the next stage of the roadmap out of the lockdown

We pray that all continue to follow the guidelines

So that deaths and infection rates continue to fall

We take a moment to bring before God

Anyone known to us who needs his healing love

We remember particularly …………………

Lord in your presence

We lift our hearts to you


We bring to you, Lord,

Those who approach death with great fear

And those who die unprepared to meet you.

Have mercy on us all, forgive us all that is past

And gather us into your everlasting kingdom

Of peace and joy.

We pray especially today for …………….

And we remember Prince Philip

God of our lives,

We give thanks for the life of Prince Philip,

For his love of our country,

And for his devotion to duty,

We entrust him now to your love and mercy,

Through our Redeemer Jesus Christ.

Lord in your presence

We lift our hearts to you


We bring to you, Lord, the love of our hearts

As we recall the extent of your love for us

Which understands our frailty

And reaches out to us where we are.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.



The peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All       And also with you

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord be with you

All        and also with you

Lift up your hearts

All        We lift them to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

All        It is right to give thanks and praise


The president praises God for his mighty acts and all respond


    Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might.

    Heaven and earth are full of your glory, hosanna in the highest!

    Blessed is he who comes he name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

Throughout the prayer the response is used

This is his/our story:
All   This is our song.
Hosanna in the highest!

The prayer continues and all respond boldly

All       Blessing and honour
and glory and power,
be yours for ever and ever, Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father…

The Breaking of Bread

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ

All       Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us;

Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us;

Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

Words of invitation are said finishing with

Alleluia, Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us

All       Therefore let us keep the feast, alleluia!

and the president and those present in church receive communion.  You can use this time to make an act of spiritual communion.

The Book of Common Prayer instructs us that if (when we cannot receive Communion because of some just impediment), we offer ourselves in penitence and faith, giving thanks for the redemption won by Christ crucified, we may truly ‘eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ’, although we cannot receive the sacrament with our mouths. 

You might like to use the following prayer

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive you in the blessed Sacrament,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.

You can then listen to the small group sing .

Prayer after Communion

All     You have opened to us the Scriptures,
O Christ,
and you have made yourself known
in the breaking of bread.
Abide with us, we pray,
that blessed by your royal presence,
we may walk with you
all the days of our life,
and at its end behold you
in the glory of the eternal Trinity,
one God for ever and ever, Amen.


Forth in the peace of Christ we go;
Christ to the world with joy we bring;
Christ in our minds, Christ on our lips,
Christ in our hearts, the world’s true king.

King of our hearts, Christ makes us kings;
Kingship with him his servants gain;
With Christ, the Servant-Lord of all,
Christ’s world we serve to share Christ’s reign.

Priests of the world, Christ sends us forth,
The world of time to consecrate,
The world of sin by grace to heal,
Christ’s world in Christ to recreate.

Christ’s are our lips, his word we speak;
Prophets are we whose deeds proclaim
Christ’s truth in love that we may be
Christ in the world, to spread Christ’s name.

We are the Church; Christ bids us show
That in his Church all nations find
Their hearth and home where Christ restores
True peace, true love, to humankind.


The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

All        Amen.

The dismissal

Go in the peace of Christ.  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

All        Thanks be to God.      Alleluia!  Alleluia!



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

Forth in the peace of Christ we go by James Quinn is © Copyright 1969 Geoffrey Chapman, an imprint of Continuum Int Publishing Group

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