Abbey United Reformed Church, Romsey

This week's Order of Service

31 May 2020 10.45-11.15 Home service led by Revd Mike available on Zoom

If you don’t have access to the internet, please join us by following this service outline.

Before opening the Zoom link, we will sing

Opening Hymn: Spirit of God, unseen as the wind []

If possible, you are invited to join the Zoom service.  At 10.35am we join for a short social period; the service will start at 10.45am.  Please click HERE to join the Zoom service, the Zoom Meeting ID is 896 5463 0109 and the Password is Heisalive.

Opening prayer, we say together
As the first disciples gathered, so we gather today and pray:mHoly Spirit, infuse our worship with your language of praise, inspire our prayers with your heart of love, transform our lives with your flames of confidence, empower us with your energy and your vision, refresh us with your streams of living water. Holy Spirit, we reach out to you in anticipation and in trust.

God of the universe, send your Holy Spirit to renew and refresh your world, that we, and creation in all its colour and all its diversity, may sing out your praise, and celebrate your presence among us. Send streams of living water where hearts are parched, and sprinkle showers of grace and peace in all places of conflict and need.

Forgive us, loving God, when we have not listened to those blessed with your prophetic voice. Transform our fearfulness and stubbornness, and open our hearts to hear your words of encouragement and challenge.  Give each of us gifts of discernment, faith and confidence, that your Church may be equipped with all it needs to reach those searching for acceptance, forgiveness, purpose and love.

Thank you, amazing God,
for the wonderful diversity in your world:
for the colours and the sounds,
for the creatures and the insects,
for the customs and the cultures,
for the language and the music,
for the vast and the tiny,
for the young and the old.
Thank you, God, for each one of us, so alike, and yet, so different.

We give thanks for those people from both congregations who have served the churches in every capacity and role: in administration, finance, fabric, pastoral and spiritual over the last year, especially as we would have held our AGM at Abbey URC on the 21 May.  We pray that we may continue to work together, and that God may lead church members and friends to take on roles within the church as others need to relinquish them – especially we pray for people to become serving elders of Abbey URC.  We pray for the continuing development and use of God’s gifts, endowed by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

We pray the Lord’s Prayer together

Gospel reading: Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost – the birthday of the church with the coming of God’s Holy Spirit giving new life and inspiration!  Happy birthday everyone!

I think it was two years ago at our celebration of Pentecost that I shared my memory of leading an ecumenical service with the Bishop of Manchester.  I’m not name-dropping of course!  In the address he gave, the Bishop spoke about the three items a bishop is presented with at his (or her!) Consecration: the mitre, the ring, and the crosier, and how these are important symbols of Pentecost.

First, the Mitre.  What is that?  It is the shaped hat a bishop wears.  Why is it a symbol of Pentecost?  Well if you look at the shape of the hat, you will see that it takes the form of a double flame, pointed at the front and back.  It is a reminder of the scripture, Acts 2:3, where tongues of fire rested upon each of the apostles, showing that they were filled with God’s Holy Spirit, giving them gifts to use in God’s service (see 1 Corinthians 12:1-11).  

Then there is the Crozier.  What’s that then?  It is the shepherd’s crook, some very ornate, others simple.  Either way, it is a reminder of the special role of a bishop as shepherd of the people, being a channel of God’s blessing and grace, and a source of God’s guidance, all made possible by Pentecost.

Then there’s the ring – a ring with a particular gem set in its midst – an amethyst.  Why this particular gemstone you may ask?  The word is a Greek word meaning, literally, ‘not drunk’!  Why would a bishop be wearing a ring with a stone set in it that means ‘not drunk’?  Again, it is a reminder of the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit where St Paul exclaims to the gathered crowd that the apostles were not ‘filled with new wine’ (drunk) but were speaking in the languages of the people ‘about God’s deeds of power’ (Acts 2:13).

It’s not only bishops who are gifted with the Holy Spirit, who are channels of God’s blessing and guidance, or able to tell others about God’s power and love of course!  We all are!  It has been interesting and thought-provoking how we as church and as individual people can continue using the gifts the coming of the Holy Spirit still brings to us during these strange and unpredictable times.  But let us be assured that the Holy Spirit is still at work around us and within.  Let us be always open to God’s leading.


Poem - read together:
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. 
(Gerard Manley Hopkins)


Loving God, We pray for our world. We think it's a beautiful place and revel in its abundance. We're also sad for those who suffer from the poverty and violence in it and we're angry at the injustice and lack of love and mercy that causes this pain. We think especially of ... relevant recent world events
God declares, I will pour out my Spirit.

We pray for our neighbourhood. We like and enjoy ...  things relevant to our locality
We're also sad for those who struggle within it and we're angry with those who seek to spoil it. We think especially of ... relevant local news
God declares, I will pour out my Spirit.

We pray for our church and the people who belong. We're glad to be part of a faithful and loving community. We rejoice about/with ... recent good things that concern those in our church
We're also sad for those who are troubled. We think especially of ... add people or situations in our church
God declares, I will pour out my Spirit.

Loving God, as you pour out your Spirit, may those through whom it flows make our world, our neighbourhood and our church better places for all to grow, develop and reach their potential.
God declares, I will pour out my Spirit.

Silent and spoken prayer, for the world, the church and for those known to us we are concerned about and with whom we celebrate. Amen

Closing Prayer, we pray together:

As we journey through the days ahead, inspire our thoughts, clothe our dreams, and colour our prayers, that we might dare to live confidently, compassionately and courageously as your Pentecost people.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The Blessing

Please close the Zoom link, then we will sing our final hymn.  Closing Hymn: There’s a spirit in the air (R&S 329)

Thank you for joining with us today.  Stay safe and well until we are able to meet together again.


Please also see ‘Daily Devotions’ available free on the URC website: .  God bless.




  • 31 May 2020 - Sunday Worship for Pentecost

    Click on Sunday Worship

    You are invited to join the Zoom service at 10.35am by clicking on the link below.

    (Meeting ID 896 5463 0109, password Heisalive)


    You can read this month's magazine by clicking on Magazine


    You may find this list of opportunities to access services/Christian content on radio/TV and on-line helpful:
     the Daily Service at 9.45 on Radio 4 long-wave
     The Sunday Service on Radio 4 at 8.10am
     Songs of Praise Sunday 1.15pm ish on BBC1
     Choral Evensong Sunday Radio 3 at 3pm and repeated on Wednesday Radio 3 at 3.30pm
     Tim Daykin Radio Solent Sunday 6-9am for worship songs, interesting information and a feeling of connectedness




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