Easter Day

                                      EASTER  DAY         
The parishes of Bere Regis and Affpuddle in the benefice of West Purbeck     
Our services today: at 8am Holy Comminion at Bere Regis;  at 9.30am Easter Day  Eucharist at Affpuddle;  at 11am  Easter Family Service and Communion at Bere Regis
Alleluia! Christ is risen!   Welcome to worship on Easter Day. What a day this is for us, as St Augustine said right back in the 4th century: ‘we are an Easter people and alleluia is our song.’ Today we celebrate the cardinal factor of our faith, God raised Jesus from the dead and because of that, through faith in him, we have the promise of eternal life. Our response? ‘Alleluia’- literally- ‘Praise the Lord.’  Easter is such a great celebration and I really like Tom Wright’s idea (shared in the Lent Course) that we might drink champagne every day in Easter week to mark the occasion. Just as important, though, is John Pritchard’s teaching that we should remember to observe Easter throughout the year; Easter isn’t, as it were, just for Easter. If we are an Easter people, we need to live, worship and serve with a lively Easter faith week in and week out. Something for us to ponder at this exciting time- how will we try to live out our calling in the year ahead?
 Happy Easter!              Rev Carol
Collect for today  
  Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity.
Epistle Reading: Acts 10 : 34-43
   Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism  but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.  You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
      ‘We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross,  but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.  All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’              
Holy  Gospel:  John 20 : 1-18                                               
    Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’   
   So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.   Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb  and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.   
They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?   ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’  At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.
       He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’   Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’
      Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’   She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).   Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’
       Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told
them that he had said these things to her.
For the Church and the community of Christ       
 Let us celebrate the resurrection of Christ and move forward in hope, faith and new life          ~we pray for the Church of England – for all, from Archbishops Justin and John to the most provincial worshipper         ~for our  Deanery of Purbeck and our parishes in West Purbeck     ~for Reverend Carol and all who minister to us             ~for guidance and wisdom in the appointment of a new associate priest for Bere Regis and Affpuddle                 ~ and for our diocesan partners in the Episcopal Churches the of the Sudan and South Sudan and today for  the Rt Revd Peter Joh Abraham Mayom, Bishop of Malek. 
For the world and its leaders
  For peace and and an end to war – especially in Yemen, Syria and Iraq          ~for order not chaos –  Sudan, Venezuela and Northern Ireland       ~ for those making and implementing decisions over the environment, waste and reduced carbon emissions          ~for the leaders of UK and the EU in respect of Brexit              ~for all working to end knife crime in our cities and on our streets and for all its victims 
For our parishes and community   
  We pray for all who provide our daily needs from postman to shop assistant to doctor and pharmacist                ~for each of us this Eastertide as we see friends, spend time with family and share our experiences: may we celebrate Easter with joy and be refreshed                 ~for visitors to our area as they explore the coast and the hills                 ~for any going through a crisis perhaps in relation to work, home, finances or faith               ~ for those relying on foodbanks here in Purbeck and elsewhere          
For the sick and their carers                                                                                                                                               
~We pray for all in hospital or receiving out-patient treatment      ~for those awaiting treatment, or operation or the outcome of tests                ~for all carers and those who give support            ~for those whose faculties are deteriorating or suffering dementia       ~for those battling depression or issues of the mind          ~ and in our parishes we pray for  Margaret Bartlett,  Jo Powell, John Dewey, Linda Thomas, Mary Fegan, Mary England  and Ivor Mullins  
For the deceased and those who mourn                                                                                                        
We commend to you Lord, the souls of all who have died; we lift to you those we each have known and loved; in our beneficiary we lift to you those who have died recently and we pray for comfort for their family and friends 
Post Communion Prayer
  God of Life, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection have delivered us from the power of our enemy: grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Wednesday 24th April: 11am Midweek Holy Communion followed by soup lunch at Bere Regis; 
7pm  Annual Meeting and Parochial Church Meeting
Next Sunday, second of Easter  28th April           
9.15am Parish Communion at Affpuddle                     
11am Family Communion at Bere Regis       
6pm  Evensong at Affpuddle followed by Parish AGM                                       .     
Bere Regis Spring Fayre and Coffee Morning Sat 27 April at theScout Hut 10 to12 noon