Easter Day Worship

Easter Day – 12th April 2020  

The Preparation  

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!  

A Living Hope  

Blessèd be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:
   by whose great mercy we have been born anew,

born to a living hope:
   by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead;  

born to an inheritance which will never perish or wither away:
   one that is kept in heaven for us.  

By God′s power we are guarded through faith:
   for a salvation ready to be revealed at the end of time.

We rejoice in this, though now we suffer various trials:
   so that the genuineness of our faith,
      more precious than gold that is tested by fire,  

may result in praise and glory and honour:
   at the revelation of Jesus Christ.      1 Peter 1:3-7  

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy  Spirit;    as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Alleluia! Amen.

Love one another,
for love is of God,
and whoever loves is born of God and knows God.
Spirit of God, search our hearts.  

In silence we remember our need for God’s forgiveness.  


Let us confess our sins to God.  

God of mercy, we have sinned against you and against others. We have sinned in what we have done, and in what we have failed to do. We are truly sorry. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, forgive us all that is past and raise us to newness of life. Amen.  

Almighty God, who pardons all who truly repent, forgive our sins, strengthen us by the Holy Spirit, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.  Amen.


Living Christ, you are risen from the dead!
Love reigns!
You are life stronger than death;
raise our eyes to see you
as the new day dawns;
for the glory of your holy name.  Amen.  

The Ministry of the Word

A reading from Colossians 3:1-4

(Those who have shared in the experience of Christ’s resurrection are to set their minds on the things that are above.)  

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your  life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.  

Colossians 3:1-4 (from New Living Translation)

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

We give thanks to you O Lord for you are gracious:
   and your love endures for ever.

Let the house of Israel say:
   ‘God’s love endures for ever.’ …

The Lord is my strength and my defence:
   and has become my deliverer.

There are shouts of joy and deliverance in the tents of the righteous:
   the right hand of the Lord does mighty things.

The right hand of the Lord raises up:
   the right hand of the Lord does mighty things.

I shall not die but live:
   and proclaim what the Lord has done.

The Lord indeed has punished me:
   but did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of the temple:
   that I may enter and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord:
   through which the righteous shall enter.

I will thank you because you have answered me:
   and you have become my deliverer.

The stone which the builders rejected:
   has become the head of the corner.

This is the day which the Lord has made:
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.  

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
   as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Alleluia! Amen.  

A reading from Matthew 28:1-10

(Jesus’ resurrection.)

Rev’d Alister Hendery reading the Gospel for Easter Day 2020

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Matthew 28:1-10 from New Revised Standard Version)

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

The Sermon

Rev’d Alister Hendery ‘The reality we need’ Easter Day (A) 2020

The reality we need.

From the days when communism ruled over eastern Europe, this story is told.  

A Russian lecturer, a member of the Communist Party, was addressing a packed audience on the subject of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He spoke at considerable length, seeking to discredit the story. At the end a priest rose and asked if he might reply. He was warned that he could have only five minutes. He replied, “Five seconds is all I shall need.” He turned to the audience, and gave the traditional Easter greeting. “Christ is risen.” Back with a deafening roar came the reply from the crowded hall, “He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”  

Christ is risen!  … That’s all that needs to be said today. In some ways it’s the only thing that can be said. Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s what the angel told the two women who went to Jesus’ tomb. He didn’t tell them once but twice. “He is not here; he has been raised.” “He has been raised from the dead.”  

The two Marys met Jesus. They touched him. They heard his voice. And they worshipped him. Matthew doesn’t offer much more than that in his account of the resurrection. Though there’s one detail that catches my attention. It’s the earthquake that accompanied the arrival of the angel who rolled back the stone. This detail is unique to Matthew, and I wonder if it’s Matthew’s way of saying, look people, God is doing something new – something earthshattering. A whole new world is opening up – a world ripe with new possibilities. The resurrection is inexplicable, yet it’s an event that is, for those who believe, the beginning of a new way of seeing life – a new reality that’s earth shaking. It changes the ground on which we stand and the way in which we choose to live.  

I come to this day needing to renew my trust in this new reality. Perhaps it’s the same for you. Why do I say that? Because in the last week a friend sent me a message, telling me that she was locked down in a rest home, sitting with her mother who was slowly dying. Because another friend shared with me their grief over losing their job. Because I share with you all, a world which has changed so much in such a short time. Because we know that when this lockdown is over, life won’t be quite the same again. I renew my trust in this reality because, like you, I’ve experienced the pain and suffering, the loss and grief that is told in our Holy Week journey and which is reflected in the circumstances of our lives.  

This why you and I need to renew our trust in this reality. Resurrection isn’t something that only belongs to the past or future. It’s to be found in the present – in what’s happening to us now. This is the gift of Easter morning. With the dawn comes, something new – new hope, new alternatives, new beginnings.  

The angel’s message to the two Marys is the church’s message to us today: “He has been raised from the dead.” The new life resurrection brings – the creative, transformative work of God, who raised Jesus from the dead – is often something that we come to see in the rear-vision mirror as we look back and notice how we have changed and grown and become new people. Nevertheless, this is the promise of today. God does not desert us. The stone has been rolled away from the tomb. The day dawns with a new light. The earth quakes in celebration and joy. Christ is risen, and so are we.  

Christ’s resurrection is not a one-day celebration. It’s a way of life in which we embrace the reality that God’s purposes and love will not be defeated – that there are always new possibilities – that the God of life is stronger that all kinds of death.  

Living Christ, you are risen from the dead!
Love reigns!
You are life stronger than death;
raise our eyes to see you
as the new day dawns.  Alleluia! Amen.

Alister Hendery St Matthew’s, Hastings – 12.4.2020

  You may wish to renew your baptismal vows. To do this, click on the download below and read through the Easter Eve Reflection.


We pray for the world: for those in positions of authority; for people in their daily life and work. Roll away the stones of hatred and greed. Transform us with your spirit of justice and peace that all may share in the freedom of your risen life.

Risen Christ,
hear our prayer.  

We pray for Christians everywhere: for our parish, and all minister in your name. Roll away the stones of discord. Transform your church with your spirit of wisdom and truth that we may witness to your risen life.

Risen Christ,
hear our prayer.  

We pray for our wider community, for those close to us, for those who are undervalued. Roll away the stones of selfishness. Transform our lives with your spirit of love and forgiveness that we may share in the joy of your risen life.

Risen Christ,
hear our prayer.  

We pray for those who suffer: the frightened, the lonely, the sick and sorrowing, and all who care for them. Roll away the stones of pain and hurt. Transform the lives of the suffering with your love that they may share in the hope of your risen life.

Risen Christ,
hear our prayer.  

We give thanks for your people of every age who have followed you in trust and love. May we, following their example, embrace your undying love. Transform our lives by your risen power that we, with all your saints, may share in the glory of your risen life.

Risen Christ,
hear our prayer.    

We offer our own prayers  

Christ, you are risen from the dead.
We are risen with you.
May our life never deny this eternal life,
this peace and hope and joy.
Praise and glory to the God of life
who is stronger than all kinds of death. Alleluia!  

In darkness and in light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us, heavenly Father,
to trust your love,
to serve your purpose,
and to praise your name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

The risen Christ is in our midst, and so we pray  
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.
Save us from the time of trial
   and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours    now and for ever.    Amen.  

God the Father, by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead, strengthen us to walk with him in his risen life  

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!                

~ Go and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea…. or a glass a bubbly with an Easter egg (or two). Chat to a parishioner by phone, email or text, especially someone who may not have email. 

Keep in touch

Our St Matthew’s website is being updated regularly:  https://stmattshastings.com

Also our St Matthew’s Facebook – @stmatthewshastings


The Rev’d Alister Hendery: 021 742 434
Email: alister.hendery@waiapu.com

Parish Office (Tracey at home):  06 878 9476
Email: stmatthews.hastings@gmail.com

~ This copyright material is taken from A New Zealand Prayer Book / He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, © Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and is used in accordance with regulations.

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