Prayers and Worship

  • Easter Saturday evening service at St James Shere - Jonathan Cross
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You may feel moved to pray during your visit and you are welcome to do so, on your own or as part of a service. Find out more about why, how and some simple suggested prayers you can follow if you wish.

Why?

Prayer is a vital part of worship and communicating with God.

When?

Prayers can be said at any time though traditionally they are said in the morning and evening, and in a quiet place.

Prayers are also said at church services which are commonly on Sunday mornings and evenings, though many churches will also hold mid-week services. Check with the parish for details.

How?

Traditionally prayers are said from a kneeling position with the palms of the hands together, though really you can pray anyhow and anywhere - whilst walking, sitting, standing - whatever is comfortable.

Prayers are often silent, but can also be said or sung aloud together. The word ‘Amen’ is often said at the end of a prayer, particularly if the prayer has been said by another individual. This is a Hebrew word of agreement meaning ‘so be it’.

Some churches will have prayer or votive candles on a stand. There is often a suggested donation for these. Candles are lit for several reasons, but they also help focus thoughts and are often lit in contemplation of another.

If there is a church warden or member of clergy available in the church, they will usually be happy to pray with you if you would like them to.

Where?

A church can provide a peaceful environment to focus thoughts and support prayer. Some busier churches may have a chapel dedicated to private prayer.

church tower

Setting up the nativity scene at St Michael's Church, St Albans - John Bethell

Easter Saturday evening service at St James Shere - Jonathan Cross

The Lord’s Prayer

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. Amen.

The prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life

St Benedict (c.480-547)

Gracious and Holy Father,
give us wisdom to recognise you,
intelligence to understand you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to see you,
hearts to meditate on you,
and lives to proclaim you,
through the power of the Holy Spirit
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord, thank you...

For your presence here, for the opportunity to pray,
for the promise of peace,
for the beauty of the world,
the kindness of people...
for all those whom I love and who love me...
or your love towards me
and especially for
the Cross of Christ and the power of the Spirit.
Help me to show my gratitude in deeds as well as words.