Prayer resources for those unable to meet together.

                                 St John's logo

A Reflective Service:

for worship in isolation

We come from scattered lives to meet with God.

Let us recognise God’s presence with us now.


            Keep a short silence, still your heart.


As God’s people we have gathered;

Let us worship God now together,

Across the miles yet joined


Let us pray.

Come, Holy Spirit,

fill the hearts of Your faithful people,

and kindle in us the fire of Your love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,



In the light of Jesus, let us examine ourselves

and confess our sins.


            Keep a short silence, leave your sins at the cross



Father, we have sinned against heaven and against You.

We are not worthy to be called Your children.

We turn to You again, have mercy on us,

bring us back to Yourself as those who once were dead

but now have life through Christ our Lord.




May the Father forgive us by the death of the Son,

and strengthen us to live in the power of The Spirit

all our days.  Amen.

Find the bible reading for Sundays on page 8


We affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God:


Though He was divine, He did not cling to equality with God,

but made Himself nothing. Taking the form of a slave,

He was born in human likeness. He humbled himself

and was obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

Therefore, God has raised Him on high,

and given Him the name above every name:  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every voice proclaim

that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


cf Philippians 2.6-11



We intercede for others in the quiet of our hearts.

Lord, meet us in the silence

And hear our prayer.


Silence for prayer is kept:


Pray for yourself in your isolation, that God would sit with you

Pray for others in their loneliness

Pray for our country

Pray for the world


Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be Your name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are Yours

now and for ever.


Silence is kept


Faithful God, may we who share in this time of worship

Glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Our Salvation and Hope, who reigns as Lord now and forever.


Fill us, Good Lord with Your Spirit of love;

And as you have fed us with Your presence,

so, make us one in heart and mind,

In Jesus Christ our Lord.



Let us bless the Lord

Thanks be to God.


“For God has said, ‘I will not leave you or forsake you’ so we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)


“It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)


Please God, we ask that we can meet together in church again, soon. Amen



How to find a bible reading.


Check the index in your bible to find out if it numbers all the pages consecutively, or starts again for the

New Testament.


Before Easter the first Reading is from the Old Testament. After Easter all but the Psalms are from the

New Testament.


Look at the name of the book that you need to find 

Numbers before the name of the book are part of the name (to distinguish between multiple books with the same name e.g. 1 & 2 Samuel)


Use the index to find which page the book you are looking for starts on and turn to that page.


The first number after the name of the book (before the dot) is the chapter number.


Most bibles use a large print number in the text at the beginning of each chapter. Many also write the book name and chapters on that page at the top of each page to help you find your way around (This is especially helpful in the longer books).

Turn over the pages until you find the start of the chapter you are looking for.


The numbers after the dot are the verse numbers, which are indicated by small numbers in the text often raised above the line of the text to stop them interrupting the flow of reading. Once you’ve found the chapter look for the verses that you need to start and end at.




Straight forward

1 Samuel 16.1-13

Book= 1st book of Samuel (in the Old Testament)

Chapter =16 Verses 1-13


More complicated

1 Peter 4.12-14; 5.6-11

Book= 1st letter of Peter (in the New Testament)

Chapter 4 verses 12-14 then skip a chunk and re-start at chapter 5 verses 5 and 6.


Acts 2.14a,36-41

Book= Acts of the Apostles (in the New Testament)

Chapter 2 Verse 14a- means the first sentence of verse 14, then skip a section and restart at verse 36 and read until verse 41


A comma means skip a section, a or b means first or last sentence of the verse. 


Don’t worry if you don’t find exactly the right passage- St Paul assure us that “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” so whatever you read will help you to grow closer to God.



Bible readings and Collects for Sundays


Sun 22 Mar 2020 The Fourth Sunday of Lent

1 Samuel 16.1-13; Ephesians; 5.8-14; Psalm 23

John 9.1-41


Merciful Lord, You know our struggle to serve You: when sin spoils our lives and overshadows our hearts, come to our aid and turn us back to You again; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Sun 29 Mar 2020 The Fifth Sunday of Lent

Ezekiel 37.1-14; Romans 8.6-11; Psalm 130;

John 11.1-45


Gracious Father, You gave up your Son out of love for the world: lead us to ponder the mysteries of His passion, that we may know eternal peace through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen



Sun 5 Apr 2020 Palm Sunday

Isaiah 50.4-9a; Philippians 2.5-11; Psalm 31.9-16; Matthew 26.14 – 27.66


True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah: grant us the faith to know You and love You, that we may be found beside You on the way of the cross, which is the path of glory. Amen



Sun 12 Apr 2020 Easter Day

Principal Feast

Acts 10.34-43; Colossians 3.1-4; Psalm 118.1-2,14-24;

Matthew 28.1-10


God of glory, by the raising of Your Son You have broken the chains of death and hell: fill Your Church with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen


Sun 19 Apr 2020 The Second Sunday of Easter

Acts 2.14a,22-32; 1 Peter 1.3-9; Psalm 16; John 20.19-31


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. Amen


Sun 26 Apr 2020 The Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 2.14a,36-41; 1 Peter 1.17-23; Psalm 116.1-3,10-17; Luke 24.13-35


Risen Christ, you filled Your disciples with boldness and fresh hope: strengthen us to proclaim Your risen life and fill us with Your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen


Sun 3 May 2020 The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 2.42-47; 1 Peter 2.19-25; Psalm 23; John 10.1-10


Risen Christ, faithful shepherd of Your Father’s sheep: teach us to hear Your voice and to follow Your command, that all Your people may be gathered into one flock, to the glory of God the Father. Amen



Sun 10 May 2020 The Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 7.55-60; 1 Peter 2.2-10; Psalm 31.1-5,15-16; John 14.1-14


Risen Christ, Your wounds declare Your love for the world and the wonder of Your risen life: give us compassion and courage to risk ourselves for those we serve, to the glory of God the Father. Amen


Sun 17 May 2020 The Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 17.22-31; Psalm 66.7-18; 1 Peter 3.13-22; John 14.15-21


Risen Christ, by the lakeside You renewed Your call to Your disciples: help Your Church to obey Your command and draw the nations to the fire of Your love, to the glory of God the Father. Amen


Sun 24 May 2020 Sunday after Ascension Day

Acts 1.6-14; 1 Peter 4.12-14; 5.6-11; Psalm 68.1-10,32-35

John 17.1-11


Risen, ascended Lord, as we rejoice at Your triumph, fill Your Church on earth with power and compassion, that all who are estranged by sin may find forgiveness and know Your peace, to the glory of God the Father.  Amen


Sun 31 May 2020 Day of Pentecost

Acts 2.1-21; 1 Corinthians 12.3b-13; Psalm 104.26-36,37b;  John 20.19-23


Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire; strengthen Your children with the gift of faith, revive Your Church with the breath of love, and renew the face of the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


An order for the office of Compline (Night Prayer)




The office of Compline (Night prayer) comes from an ancient practice of daily prayers by Christian monastic communities. It is a good way to end the day in quiet contemplation and reflection upon the past day before commending oneself to God and a peaceful night’s sleep. The office should be said before going to bed in a quiet and calm way; a candle may be lit and you might like to sing a simple hymn.

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.


Our help is in the name of the Lord
who made heaven and earth.


A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

Most merciful God,
we confess to You,
before the whole company of heaven and one another,
that we have sinned in thought, word and deed
and in what we have failed to do.
Forgive us our sins,
heal us by Your Spirit
and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen.


The following or another suitable hymn may be said or sung.


Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That You, with steadfast love, would keep
Your watch around us while we sleep.

From evil dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Tread underfoot our deadly foe
That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, Your only Son;
And Holy Spirit, by whose breath
Our souls are raised to life from death.


The following psalm may be used.


  1. Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, 
    you that by night stand in the house of the Lord.
  2. Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary 
    and bless the Lord.
  3. The Lord who made heaven and earth 
    give you blessing out of Zion.


At the end of the psalmody, the following is said or sung


Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.


The following short lesson or another suitable passage is read:


The servants of the Lamb shall see the face of God, Whose name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night: they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.                                                   Revelation 22.4,5


The following responsory may be said:

Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
For You have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.


The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon) is said or sung

Save us, O Lord, while waking,
and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ
and asleep may rest in peace.

  1. Now, Lord, You let your servant go in peace:
    Your word has been fulfilled.
  2. My own eyes have seen the salvation
    which You have prepared in the sight of every people;
  3. A light to reveal You to the nations
    and the glory of Your people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.


Prayers of intercession and thanksgivings may be offered here.


Silence may be kept.


Visit this place, O Lord, we pray,
and drive far from it the snares of the enemy;
may Your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace,
and may your blessing be always upon us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Lord's Prayer may be said.


In peace we will lie down and sleep;
for You alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.


Abide with us, Lord Jesus,
for the night is at hand and the day is now past.


As the night watch looks for the morning,
so do we look for You, O Christ.


The Lord bless us and watch over us;
the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us;
the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace.


Various prayers


Prayers on rising:

We give You hearty thanks for the rest of the past night and for the gift of a new day, with its opportunities for pleasing You. Grant that we may so pass its hours in the perfect freedom of Your service, that at eventide we may again give thanks unto You; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-Eastern Orthodox Prayer


O Lord Christ, help us to maintain ourselves in simplicity and in joy, the joy of the merciful, the joy of brotherly/sisterly love. Grant that, renouncing henceforth all thought of looking back, and joyful with infinite gratitude, we may never fear to precede the dawn to praise and bless and sing to Christ our Lord.

                           -Based on the Rule of Taizé


O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee; Mercifully grant, that Thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




Prayers before bed:

Visit this place, O Lord, we pray, and drive far from it all the snares of the enemy; may Your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace, and may Your blessing be always upon us; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

                                    -Common Worship



Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep this night, and give Your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, sustain the dying, calm the suffering, and pity the distressed; all for Your love’s sake, O Christ our Redeemer.

-after St. Augustine of Hippo



Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of our fathers, creator of the changes of day and night, giving rest to the weary, renewing the strength of those who are spent, bestowing upon us occasions of song in the evening. As You have protected us in the day that is past, so be with us in the coming night; keep us from every sin, every evil, and every fear; for You are our light and salvation, and the strength of our life. To You be glory for endless ages. Amen.

                                    -Lancelot Andrewes







Grace before a meal:

Bless, O Lord, this food for our use and us in Your service and keep us ever mindful of the needs of others; for Christ’s sake. Amen




Prayers of penitence and contrition:

My God, for love of You I desire to hate and forsake all sins by which I have ever displeased You; and I resolve by the help of Your grace to commit them no more; and to avoid all opportunities of sin. Help me to do this, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

                                           -Common Worship



Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. [Repeat x3]

                                           -The Jesus Prayer


Grant we beseech Thee, merciful Lord, to Thy faithful people pardon and peace; that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve Yhee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Holy God,

Holy and mighty,

Holy and immortal:

Have mercy on us.                    -The Trisagion                                                     



Prayers before worship:

O Lord our God grant us grace to desire You with our whole heart: that desiring You, we may seek and find You; and finding You we may love You; and loving You we may hate those sins from which You have redeemed us; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.

                                                     -St. Anselm


Almighty God, unto Whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from Whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.




For extraordinary use when you are unable to attend the communion


My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Blessed Sacrament, I love You above all things and I desire You in my soul. Since I cannot receive You now sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my soul. As though You were already there I embrace You and unite myself wholly to You; permit not that I should ever be separated from You. Amen

                                    ­-St. Alphonsus Liguori



In the time of any common Plague of Sickness.


O ALMIGHTY God, who in Thy wrath didst send a plague upon Thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in the time of king David, didst slay with the plague of pestilence threescore and ten thousand, and yet remembering Thy mercy didst save the rest: Have pity upon us miserable sinners, who now are visited with great sickness and mortality; that like as Thou didst then accept of an atonement, and didst command the destroying Angel to cease from punishing, so it may now please Thee to withdraw from us this plague and grievous sickness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of Your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us

from Your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

Prayer on TV, Radio and the internet


Television programmes

·         Songs of Praise Sundays at 1.15pm on BBC 1

·         Daily worship led by the Archbishop of Canterbury


Radio programmes

·         Prayer for the Day daily at 5.43am on Radio 4

·         Sunday Worship Sundays at 8.10am on Radio 4

·         Daily Service Monday to Friday at 9.45am on Radio 4 Longwave and DAB


(The Daily Service is available on a Radio 4 DAB side channel which is automatically made available about a minute before the programme begins.)


·         Lent Talks Wednesdays at 8.45pm on Radio 4


·         Choral evensong- Wednesdays at 3.30pm and the same service is repeated Sundays at 3pm on BBC Radio 3

A few internet resources

·    Keep up to date with church news at

·    Church of England daily prayer

·    Audio daily prayer


·  - daily online prayer

If you are lonely whilst self-isolating


·         Please do call one another on the telephone- each member of the church should bring comfort and succour to one another.

·         You can call the Samaritans free on 116 123

·         You can call Silverline (aged 55+) on 0800 4 70 80 90 to arrange for a weekly 30 min phone call from a friendly volunteer who will be there to listen.

·         You can, of course, call Simon on 02380 861496, or email Do leave an answerphone message if he is unavailable to take your call.







With thanks to various Church of England clergy, especially Rev Rachel Noël of Pennington who compiled the service book and Father Adam Ransom who helped compile much of the information contained in it, that we might continue to praise and worship God.




Material from Common Worship is included in this service

and is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.