“We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church”
The word Catholic means universal. We believe that we are not just part of the church community where we live, but we are united with the Church Universal throughout time and eternity and Christ is ever-present with us. This is essential to remember, most especially when we find ourselves separated from the physical presence of our sisters and brothers in Christ.
An Act of Spiritual Communion is intended for those who cannot receive the Holy Sacrament due to unusual circumstances. Whilst it is not intended to be used as common practice, neither is it make-believe: just as God is able to make himself present in the bread and wine, so he is able to make himself present in our hearts.
Pray, therefore, that you may be knit together with Christ and his Church.
If this act of worship is being used during a medical crisis, it is essential that all NHS and government advice is followed, especially guidance on the numbers of people meeting and the limitations placed on physical contact, such as the sharing of the Peace.
If circumstances allow, it may be helpful to use the Act of Spiritual Communion at the same time as The Communion is usually offered at St Chad’s and St Mark’s from 10.15am on a Sunday.
You may like to set the scene by lighting a candle and placing it on a small table along with a cross or the icon of Christ the High Priest, which is included on the back page of this act of worship.
If there is more than one person, consider dividing up the different parts of the service:
leader, reader, intercessor etc.
The use of reflective music is appropriate, as is the singing of hymns.
The material in this service is adapted from material circulated by The Society of Catholic Priests and
The Spiritual Association of the Compassionate Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Listen to one or both of the following songs/carols as an introduction
Then allow your attention to silently withdraw from external things and focus into the heart. You can do this by breathing deeply and slowly into your heart, the centre of your being, or by repeating some reflective verses. For example:
|Unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Child is given|
do this for perhaps 5-10minutes
Listen to the following song and follow it by saying the words of confession below
You were born through Mary’s labour;
we look for answers that cost us nothing
Lord have Mercy
Lord have Mercy
You were greeted by shepherds and angels;
we close our doors on those outside
Christ have mercy
Christ have mercy
You share our whole humanity and delight in your creation;
we make our love too small and take your gift for granted
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy
Then when you are ready say:
|Grant, we beseech you, merciful Lord,|
to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve you with a quiet mind;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen
Read the following readings
You can listen to Revd Mark Hathorne’s reflection on the readings here
Then say the Nicene Creed
|We believe in one God,|
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten,
not made, of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit
and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Now offer your own prayers to God, for the world, the church, your friends and family ending with the Lord’s Prayer
You may like to say these words
|Peace to this house from God our heavenly Father.|
Peace to this house from his Son who is our peace.
Peace to this house from the Holy Spirit, the life-giver.
and/or Play this beautiful devotional song.
Christ Our Peace – Marty Haugen
Just follow this video file:
You may want to finish with some more music
The first a traditional Christmas Carol, the second a Farsi Christmas song written by Iranian Christians and the third a song of praise from Nigeria sung in the Igbo language.