Prelude: Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) Prelude on an old Irish melody Op. 101 Christ is risen is risen indeed Alleluia! Your are very welcome to our service of Holy Communion which again begins in Christ Church Cathedral Waterford, continues with readings from Dunmore East and Sally Walsh will read there; Tramore Julie Smyth will read from Christ Church, Tramore and John Galloway will again read the gospel from Annestown. Our celebrant this morning is the Revd Trevor Sargent my colleague in Tramore. Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; 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 Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ says: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and Great Commandment and the second is like it, you shall love your neighbour as yourself On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets. Lord have mercy on us, and write these your laws in our hearts. Like Mary at the empty tomb, we fail to grasp the wonder of your presence. Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy. Like the disciples behind the locked doors we are afraid to be seen as your followers Christ have mercy; Christ have mercy Like Thomas in the Upper Room we are slow to believe. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, Almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ. only Son of the Father. Lord God

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father. Amen Let us pray: Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord, give us such knowledge of his presence with us that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen A reading from Isaiah 43 verses 1 to 12 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burnt and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, you are Saviour I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured and I love you. I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east; and from the west, I will gather you; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up’, unto the south, ‘Do not withhold; bring my sons far from away and my daughters from the end of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.’ Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf yet have ears! Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples assemble Who among them declares this, and foretold to us the former things! Let them bring their witnesses to justify them, and let them hear and say, ‘It is true.’ You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no God was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord and besides me there is no saviour. I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses says the Lord. This is the word of the Lord Thanks be to God I love the Lord for he has heard the voice of my supplication; because he inclined his ear to me on the day I called him. The snares of death encompassed me; the pains of hell took hold of me; by grief and sorrow was I held. Then I called upon the name of the Lord ‘O Lord I beg you, deliver my soul .’ How shall I repay the Lord for all the benefits he has given to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows in the presence of all his people Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. O Lord, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me from my bonds. I will offer to you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Alleluia! Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be forever. Amen A reading from the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2 starting at verse 14a. But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what

I say. Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, – this Jesus whom you crucified. ‘ Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’ And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ So those who welcomed his message were baptized and that day about three thousand persons were added Hear the gospel of our Saviour Christ according to St. Luke 24th chapter beginning at verse 13. On that same day the first day of the week, two of the Apostles were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other when you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there with these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him . But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning and when they did not find his body there they came back and told us that they had indeed see the vision of angels who said that he was alive Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him. Then he said to them, ‘Oh how foolish and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly saying, ‘Stay with us, because almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together They were saying, The Lord has risen indeed and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ! May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight O Lord my rock and my Redeemer. Amen Over the last few weeks, many of us would have received witty, irreverent, or heartening quips from Whatsapp or on emails. One struck me: it was a comment

from the devil saying, This pandemic serves my purpose!’ but God replied ‘Why?’ ‘Because all your churches are empty – even on Easter Day!’ and God responded ‘No! Now every home is a church.’ Late on Easter Day I received a text from a young mother in the parish. In the morning she had looked at the service with her husband and the children were in and out of the room playing and she didn’t think they actually noticed anything. But in the afternoon she noticed them practicing something and asked what were they doing. They were putting on a show for after dinner in the evening. So after dinner she and her husband sat down to watch the show and the four children lined up and led a 20-minute service; they took prayers and readings from their first prayer book and they prayed for everyone in the world who were sick or sad or suffering; they entered it with the Lord’s Prayer. One little girl said at the end, ‘We’re going to have to do this every evening!’ So maybe the churches now are the homes and the communions are taking very different forms. This is a strange communion in a way because Trevor and I are in an empty Cathedral and it’s going out to sometimes up to 500 households. We start here and then do a tour of all the churches of the Union, giving people an opportunity see the places where they worship and love. I’ve also learned quite a lot by talking to parishioners during the week of where they look at this service, how they look at it, with whom and at what time of the day. I’ve discovered that people can look at this service in a hot tub, in bed, in the middle of the night to put them asleep – so much for my preaching – together as a family at the time church would happen on Sunday morning or when the chaos of family life and children is over in the quiet of the evening People edit out the bits that bore them and go directly to the bits that make sense. People replay in the bits they like or pass on a service that connected with them and so Holy Communion seems to be completely different experience. It’s you’re definitely in a more comfortable and warm place and you celebrate communion at a time that suits you so both place and time have become elastic and yet there is a deep communion. I believe Holy Communion is as countercultural a statement in a time of social isolation as you could possibly have We’re not allowed really to be in close contact with each other out of concern and civic responsibility and we don’t have problems with that. But if you look at what people are doing to overcome that – I know for a fact in the community people are looking after neighbours and dropping food at the door, doing their shopping for them, collecting medicine for them, checking in! We also know the young are on so many different apps, people in business are having meetings through Zoom. Gradually people are developing a subculture of connectivity far beyond that of social isolation We’re going back to writing letters to each other. We’re probably spending more time talking to each other now that the rush and the demands of our busy lives have been set aside. I’ve also noticed in the last few weeks the kindness of people. In this Union members of the ICA are making a hundred scrubs for a local nursing home. More than once have been offered money to give to those who are finding this a very hard time. Even though we’re all experiencing social isolation, there’s a fundamental thrust to actually overcome it and connect in a way that’s appropriate and safe and deep! The gospel today is about Jesus and the recognition of Jesus in the breaking of bread and wine. In that table fellowship, the disciples recognized that

he was the risen Lord. It’s very interesting because there are three parts to the story; he’s journeying with them as they’re trying to make sense of that from which they came, the brutality of his death, the complete ending of whatever expectations they had for their futures linked with him – it was all over, it was gone – and it was viciously gone! Then you have this stranger walking with them and what did the stranger talk about? He talked about the tradition from which they came, that had fed into Jesus and tried to make sense of what was happening them and what had happened Christ through opening of the First Testament, the Old Testament And they later said their hearts burned within them; they began to make the connections; they began to see what was happening in a different perspective they began to get a broader perspective; a perspective of God’s continuing self revelation that reached its fullness in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Then final bit yet again in the resurrection stories we hear and then they went out and told the others, that after that epiphany that moment of recognition they had to go and tell the others and the others had already met him. But the table fellowship in the Emmaus story is very interesting they recognized him in the breaking of bread. Why? Because his table fellowship was the trademark of Jesus, not just the Last Supper but he was known to cause scandal because he ate with tax collectors and sinners. He never refused an invitation, he went to houses where they were weighing him up, and he went to houses of sinners and invited himself to the houses of sinners. He ate and sat at table and entered into conversation and shared food. In that, people began to experience something very deep. I think the best way to describe God is in Isaiah’s reading today where the words are said to humankind, to creation, ‘You are precious in my sight, you are honoured and I love you.’ The voice of God, saying to you, to me, to us, to creation, to the universe, ‘You are precious in my sight, you are honoured and I love you. At the deep heart of human existence and human relationships is a need for love, is a need to hear the words of acceptance, of forgiveness, of understanding of compassion. We thrive in that we shrivel without it. Without love we as human beings are dehumanized. Then came Christ Every encounter he had with people raised their dignity, their hearts, widened their minds. He gave sight to bigots; he gave understanding to those who would not hear; he gave forgiveness to those who could not forgive themselves; he raised up in dignity the humiliated woman; he relished the company of children and saw in them in the spark and light of God to teach us. Every encounter of Christ with another person was to proclaim that love of God! He must have been magnetic!He must have been just extraordinary for those who hungered for healing and dignity and peace and some sense of validation of their worth. His hallmark was table fellowship – table fellowship is a misnomer, there weren’t tables – but it’s this fellowship that happened around meals where obviously stuff happened with people They grew in understanding, they argued I’m sure they wept, they laughed, they drank, they sang, they ate, and they were transformed. In that meal was the ancient words of Passover that he took

the bread, he blessed it, he broke it, he shared it – with all. Christ didn’t have a hangups that we have around communion – for him the fellowship was, ‘You are welcome, receive the nourishment of God’s love in your life and go forth and be a force of life and love where you live . We as religion have ritualized this beyond recognition. We have circle games of exclusion: within Anglicanism, children have to be confirmed before they can get the Holy Communion; within Catholicism well only Catholics and not if you’re gay or a divorced or God knows what. So again exclusion! Exclusion! I think we’ve missed it! We’ve missed it that the key of Christ was in this communion in this fellowship, in this conversation, in this shared meal the communication of God’s love and that that was transformative to those who encountered it I think it’s salutary that we’ve had to rethink communion as clergy, how do we reach out to the people we love in our community and we use technology – fumblingly – to make this connection. But what I found is wonderful is that in some homes they put bread and wine out and as a cup one couple said to me that is their communion as they look at the service Others feel of communion with a community they long for and cannot be part of because they’re’ cocooned. Or children like in that first story take it upon themselves to lead the prayer in their family. God’s Spirit is doing something through this to help us enter into a deeper communion, a deeper one. Yes the ritual is there and it is holy and sacred but only in as much as it activates in us an openness to God; a reception of God’s love and a shedding of all the junk that prevents us reaching out to each other in love It is a sacrament of love – it’s that simple and that love then has to, like it tide, seep out into the lives of those in our families, and friends, our community and into God’s good earth. It has to soak into the lives of the animals and earth we meet. Communion is the deepest of our sacraments; it is the central point of our faith that the love of God calls us into relationship with God, into relationship with each, other into communion with each other, into communion with creation. It is the core and your understanding of it deepens with every year of your life – that we are called to right relations of love. It’s not just a religious ritual – if it is just a religious ritual, that’s blasphemy! that’s actually not what it’s about It’s about love, hearing the voice of God saying, ‘You are precious in my sight, you are honoured’. You are the beloved of God and recovering your dignity as a human being and as a healed, blessed, forgiven person who has recovered her or his deep dignity as the son or daughter of God – then to reach out to each other. That’s it! It’s desperately simple! So maybe the move away from buildings that has been forced upon us by this pandemic has made us and will make us rethink how we do communion, how we enter into communion how we break communion, how we demean and ritualize and contain communion, which is anathema. It’s a great opportunity to sit in the presence of God and hear in Christ that love and look at each other in love. Amen we proclaim our faith in the words of the Nicene Creed: We believe in one God,

the Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from True God, begotten, not made of one Being with the Father, through whom all things were made. For us, and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried. On the third day, he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church we acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen Let us pray: Lord Jesus Christ, as you were invited to share hospitality with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, may we invite you to share our lives at our homes in this challenging time of the Covid 19 emergency. Keep us strong and well enough to mind ourselves and to mind those who need a helping hand in the present crisis. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. We ask your blessing Lord on our Union of parishes, on the communities of Waterford City and Tramore, Dunmore East, Annestown, Passage and beyond; and the community of your disciples around the world, especially those able to join in our worship today Keep safe our homes and those of our neighbours: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. We thank you Lord that you came to this world to bring peace on earth, may your peace be made known in every country and in every home where there is tension at present. Give courage to all who are in a position to intervene by giving sanctuary to victims of violence and by reporting to the emergency services any incidents which threaten personal safety. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer Lord, bless all who work in our hospitals and all our patients in this time. Especially we ask your care Lord for all living and working in nursing homes; help their families to stay in contact with their loved ones by writing speaking doing so – staying safe and protecting themselves and those they love Wrap your loving and healing arms around all those who are not wel,l those awaiting treatment, undergoing operations or who are on the long road to recovery; Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Lord Jesus we ask your comfort this Sunday on those who mourn so that they may know that death is not the end. We give thanks for all whom we love who have left their earthly body and entered into your new nearer presence; May we all be made whole in your everlasting joyful presence by faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen Merciful Father, accept these are prayers for the sake of your son our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen Continuing on page 207 of the Book of Common Prayer, we say the Prayer of

Humble Access. We do not presume to come to this your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness but in your manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much to gather up the crumbs under your table. But you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by this body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may ever more dwell in him, and he in us. Amen The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ then were they glad when they saw the Lord The peace of the Lord be always with you – and also with you Christ is alive! Let Christians sing The cross stands empty to the sky Let streets and homes with praises ring Love drowned in death, shall never die Christ is alive! No longer bound to distant years in Palestine, but saving, healing, here and now, and touching every place and time In every insult, rift and war, where colour, scorn or wealth divide, Christ suffers still, yet loves the more, and lives, where even hope has died Women and men, in age and youth, can feel the Spirit, hear the call, and find the way, the life, the truth, revealed in Jesus, freed for all Christ is alive and comes to bring good news to this and every age, till earth and sky and ocean ring with joy, with justice, love and praise Brian Wren (b.1936) Be present, be present Lord Jesus Christ our risen high priest: make yourself known in the breaking of bread. Amen. Lord, yours is the greatness and the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all things come from you and of your own we give you. Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us therefore let us celebrate the feast The Lord is here. His Spirit is with us. Lift up your hearts, we lift them to the Lord Let us give thanks to the Lord, our god . It is right to give our thanks and praise Father, Almighty, ever living God, at all times and in all places is right to give you thanks and praise: Above all we praise you for the glorious resurrection of your son Jesus Christ our Lord, the true Paschal Lamb who was sacrificed for us. By dying he destroyed our death, by rising he restored our life and so with all your people, with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, forever praising you and saying: 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 who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed are you, Father, the creator and sustainer of all things;

you made us in your own image, male and female you created us; even when we turned away from you, you never ceased to care for us but in your love and mercy you freed us from the slavery of sin; giving your only begotten Son to become man and suffer death on the cross to redeem us; he made there the one, complete and all-suffiecent sacrifice for the sins of the whole world: he instituted and in his holy gospel, commanded us to continue a perpetual memory of his precious death until he comes again. On the night that he was betrayed he took bread, when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: Take, eat this is my body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me. In the same way after supper, he took the cup when he had given thanks to you, he gave it to them saying: Drink this all of you, for this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me Therefore Father, with this this bread and this cup we do as Christ your Son commanded : we remember his passion and death we celebrate his resurrection and ascension and we look for the coming of his kingdom Accept through him, our great High Priest, this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving: and as we eat and drink these holy gifts, grant by the power of your life-giving Spirit that we may be made one in your only Church and partakers of the body and blood of your Son, that he may dwell in us and we in him Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom, with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are yours, Almighty Father, for ever and ever. Amen As our Saviour Christ has taught us we are bold to say: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those and trespass against us And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen The bread which we break is a sharing in the body of Christ. We being many are one body for we all share in one bread. The gifts of God for the people of God. Jesus Christ is holy, Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father Communion: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) O Gott, du frommer Gott Op. 122

Let us pray: Living God, your son made himself to his disciples in the breaking of bread, open the eyes of our faith that we may see him in all his redeeming work: who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen Almighty God, we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the body and blood of your son Jesus Christ. Through him we offer you our souls and bodies to be a living sacrifice. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory. Amen. The God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus that great Shepherd of the sheep, through 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. The blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you and with all those you hold in your heart now and forever. Let us go in the peace of the risen Christ . Alleluia! Alleluia! Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia! Postlude: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) from: Sonate VI in d-minor Op 65