Celebrating God’s Forgiveness
part of the Admission to Holy Communion preparation
Equipment: Balti Dish, Flash Paper and Lighter, Felt Pens
Hymn: Seek Ye First
Introduction by Fr Simon:
Dear Friends, we are all happy that you are nearing the time when you will meet Jesus in the receiving of Holy Communion. Before you take that step, it is important that you remember how Jesus died on the cross to free us from our sins – from the things we do wrong – so that we can live as his sons and daughters.
To show how our sins come between us and God, we have placed a dish between us and the cross. During the service , we shall all be invited to write or draw our wrongdoings and those of the world on the paper provided and to put it into this dish.
By dying for us on the cross, Jesus broke down the barriers. To symbolise this, our sins will be destroyed in a special and magical way…
Now, we are going to think about Jesus’ friend Peter. Peter promised to follow Jesus, but he denied knowing him a few hours later. As the children learnt last week – Peter was very sorry when he realised what he had done. After the resurrection, Jesus forgave Peter and he became the great apostle who travelled all over the known world to teach people the good news.
Mark 14:27-31 (The Message)
27-28Jesus told them, “You’re all going to feel that your world is falling apart and that it’s my fault. There’s a Scripture that says,
I will strike the shepherd;
The sheep will go helter-skelter.
“But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you, leading the way to Galilee.”
29Peter blurted out, “Even if everyone else is ashamed of you when things fall to pieces, I won’t be.”
30Jesus said, “Don’t be so sure. Today, this very night in fact, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
31He blustered in protest, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” All the others said the same thing.
Prayer – Fr Simon
Jesus, we want to be your friends but, like Peter, we make promises that we do not keep. We let you down by not loving God or other people. Help us to remember the things that we have done wrong that have hurt you and our friends, and to be sorry for them. Amen
Follow with any other petitions.
Second Reading (Based on Mark 14:26-31, 66-72)
Jesus was taken to the high priest’s house. Peter followed from a distance and went into the courtyard of the high priest’s house. One of the high priest’s servant women came by. She looked straight at him and said, ‘You, too, were with Jesus of Nazareth.’
But he denied it. ‘I don’t know him. I don’t understand what you are talking about,’ he answered and went out into the passage. Just then a cock crowed.
The servant woman saw him there and began to repeat to the bystanders, ‘He is one of them!’ But Peter denied it again.
A little while later, the bystanders accused Peter again, ‘You can’t deny that you are one of them, because you too are from Galilee.’
Then Peter said, ‘I swear that I am telling the truth! May God punish me if I am not! I do not know the man you are talking about!’
Just then a cock crowed a second time.
Then Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, ‘This very night before the cock crows twice you will say three times that you don’t know me.’
And Peter broke down and cried.
As quiet music is played, The Priest invites the people to move to a quiet place to write or draw their sins or the sins of the world on pieces of flashpaper. As each person finishes they come to the front and place their paper in the Balti dish.
Prayer – said together
Like Peter, we have let you down by not loving you or other people. Like Peter, we are sorry. Please forgive us and make us your friends again.
God of mercy and power, forgive our faults and give us your grace to walk with you today and every day, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A light is set to the ‘sins’ in the balti dish as our sins are forgiven. The Flash Paper disappears completely!
Hymn – God forgave my sin in Jesus name
Third Reading (Mark 16:1, 5-7; John 21: 15-17, 19b)
After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Salome and Mary the mother of James brought spices to put on Jesus’ body… The women went into the tomb, and on the right side they saw a young man in a white robe sitting there. They were afraid.
The man said, ‘Don’t be afraid! You are looking for Jesus from Nazareth, who was nailed to a cross. God has raised him to life, and he isn’t here… Now go and tell his disciples, and especially Peter, that he will go ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there just as he told you.’
When Jesus and his disciples had finished eating, Jesus asked, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than the others do?’
Simon Peter answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I do!’
‘Then feed my lambs,’ Jesus said.
Jesus asked a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’
Peter answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you!’
‘Then take care of my sheep,’ Jesus told him.
Jesus asked a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’
Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him. So he told Jesus, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.’
Jesus replied, ‘Feed my sheep…’ Then he said to Peter, ‘Follow me!’
Now go and tell his disciples, and especially Peter, that he will go ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.’
Let us pray:
Risen Christ, thank you for letting us meet you here today.
All: Thank you, Lord
Fr Simon: As you forgave Peter, so too do you forgive us. Thank you for letting us experience your forgiveness. Lord, you know we love you.
All: Thank you Lord
Fr Simon: Thank you for calling us to follow you. Help us to choose to do right, rather than wrong.
All: Thank you Lord
Fr Simon: Now, just as for Peter, you have work for us to do. Let us go out to love and serve the Lord.
All: In the name of Christ. Amen