St Giles Water Stratford
Mothering Sunday Service
26th March 2017 at 11.00
Welcome and Notices
Praise God who loves us.
Praise God who cares.
Hymn           484 The King of love my shepherd is
The prophet Isaiah thought of God as being like a mother to us:
' “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you,” says the Lord.'                               Isaiah 66
The 14th Century Mystic, Mother Julian of Norwich, wrote:
'As truly as God is our Father, so as truly God is our Mother.' 
Showings, or Revelations of Divine Love 
Loving God, we thank you for the great care and love you have for each one of us:
Loving God,
we praise and thank you.
We thank you for our mothers and fathers; 
for all they do, or once did,
for all they give, or once gave,
and for all they mean and will always mean:
Loving God,
we praise and thank you.

For the relatives, godparents and friends
who have been with us in our hopes and joys and times of sadness:
Loving God,
we praise and thank you.

For the sense of family in the church, in this village,
in our schools and workplaces and the groups we belong to:
Loving God,
we praise and thank you.

Loving God,
we thank you for all those who care for and encourage others:
Loving God,
we praise and thank you.

For the mothering of mothers,
For the mothering of fathers,
For the mothering of others,
Mother God, we give you thanks.
Reading   1 Corinthians 13 vv1-13
Knowing how far we often fall short of the description of love we've just heard, we ask for forgiveness.
God our Father, maker of the world,
Lord Jesus, born on the earth,
Holy Spirit, giver of life,
you are there 
in everything we touch
in everyone we meet,
your presence is all around us.
When we have not touched but trampled on your creation,
when we have not met but missed you in one another,
when we have not helped but been unkind to others,
forgive us, and help us to be more like you.
By the glory of your creation all around us,
by the comfort of your forgiveness within us,
by the power of your Spirit moving in this place,
renew us and make us whole.
Hymn          153 Give me joy in my heart
Reading       Exodus 2 vv1-10
Talk            A Water Stratford Mother 
Christ has no body now on earth but yours;
no hands but yours; no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.                                     St Teresa of Avila
Prayers of Intercession
Merciful Father,
Accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The Collect for Mothering Sunday
God of compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and in sorrow
we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
We pray to God our loving parent:
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 who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

The Giving of Flowers
Creator God, we thank you for flowers and for spring-time:
through your goodness we have these gifts to offer,
fruits of your creation, and work of human hands.
May they be given and received in love, as a sign of your blessing among us.
Hymn            170 God is love, let heaven adore him
A collection will be taken
The Blessing
May God, who gave birth to all creation, bless us;
May God, who was born of a human mother, bless us;
May God, who comforts us as a mother her children, bless us;
May almighty God bless us,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.