St Francis of Assisi, Petts Wood

For it is in giving that we receive.

Service Guide
To help you with our Sunday morning services.

Going into a new church or coming to a new service can be very daunting.

When to sit.

When to stand.

What to say, and when to say it.

Then there is the understanding of certain words, ones that are probably very unfamiliar to you

So, we thought we would help you by putting up a guide.

When you come to our 10.30 Sunday morning services and you walk through the door, you are greeted by people handing out three things to you.


First, the hymn book, quite self-explanatory.

Second, we call it a pew sheet, this has all the information that you might need for the service.  It usually has the church services for the coming week on the front, in the middle, the bible readings, which are read out during the service, and at the back, the church notices, you are very welcome to take this home with you.

Third, is a laminated, what we call, (and here, take your pick) Mass card, or service card or service order, and basically this is the written down form of the service. 

NOW, I can appreciate that this service looks confusing and perhaps slightly intimidating, so to help I've divided the service order into four sections, and at the bottom of each section is an explanation or a commentary about the service written by Father Bob, (he did this when  we had our Confirmation candidates come into church to hear and learn about a normal Sunday service,) he explains what each section means and helps with some of the unfamiliar words which you may come across.


  • The service falls into 4 sections: on page 1 is the first of these: The Introduction.   Page 2 is headed “Liturgy of the Word” which is the second section.  The third section of the service headed “Liturgy of the Eucharist” begins on page 3 continues onto page 4.  The service finishes at the end of page 4 with a short concluding rite.  Thus, there are two main sections: The Word and the Sacrament, between a short introduction and an even shorter conclusion.  

Service Logo 

(Page One)

Processional hymn

The Entrance Antiphon may be sung or said 


Cross Logo In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


The Lord be with you 

And also, with you

The priest may briefly introduce the liturgy.


My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word and Sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour, in thought word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault.  We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.  For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your name. Amen            


Almighty God, who forgives all that truly repent, have mercy on you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins and keep you in life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy; Christ have mercy

Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy


 Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen


 The Prayer of the day is now sung or said

 Let us pray.


  • The service begins on page 1: the introductory rite.  Ideally, we should have been preparing for the service before we come to Church.  The priest, the choir and the serving team say a prayer in the vestry and, having arrived at the back of Church, the priest puts incense onto hot charcoal.  They process to the altar during the first hymn and the priest censes the altar before being censed himself.  The opening sentence is then said before the priest greets us and we reply, “and also with you”.
  • If we are to be properly ready to worship God, we should be aware of our sins: of the wrong things that we do that keep us from being close to God.  We say sorry for these and the priest absolves us, reminding us that God forgives us.  We then sing one or both of two ancient hymns: the Kyrie eleison, which is Greek for Lord have mercy; and the Gloria, Latin for Glory.
  • Our introductory rite concludes with the special prayer for the day called the Collect.  This collects our prayers together with our theme for the day.   

(Page Two)


 At the end of the first reading the reader says:

 This is the word of the Lord. 

Thanks be to God.
A psalm may be sung or said

 At the end of the second reading the reader says:

This is the word of the Lord. 

Thanks be to God.


The Gradual Hymn may now sung

A Gospel Acclamation may be sung or said

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.


The priest announces the Gospel

The Lord be with you 

And also with you.


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.

Glory to you, O Lord.

At the end of the Gospel

This is the Gospel of the Lord. 

Praise to you, O Christ.


A homily or sermon  is preached on Sundays and Holy Days.



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, 

(All Bow) was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.

 For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilat

e; 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 worshipped 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,Cross Logo and the life of the world to come. Amen.



 In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to our heavenly Father.

 At the end of each intention we respond, either

 Lord in your mercy; Hear our prayer or Lord hear us; Lord graciously hear us

Prayers for the departed

Cross Logo Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon them, may they rest in peaceand rise in glory

Intercessions continue and conclude with

 Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

  • The introductory rite is finished, and we turn to page 2 for the Liturgy of the Word.  We sit for a reading from the Old Testament, a psalm which also comes from the bible, and a reading from the New Testament.  
  • During the next hymn, we get ready for the Gospel reading.  The book of the Gospels is brought in procession from the High Altar to the centre of the Nave (centre of the Church).  This is the most important reading as it reports what Jesus himself said and did.  The gospel book is censed, and we remain standing.  After we have heard the readings from scripture, the preacher will normally try and help us think about how we can apply them in our lives today. 
  • We then stand for the Creed: from the Latin “credo”, I believe.  This is a statement written hundreds of years ago, summarising the beliefs of the Church.  The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the intercessions.  These link the theme of the day with our prayers for the Church, the World, our community, the suffering, and the departed.

(Page Three)


 A hymn may be sung during the Preparation of the Altar, and a collection is taken at this time

When the gifts of bread and wine have been brought to the altar the priest presents them with these words.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made, it will be come for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God forever


Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink
Blessed be God forever

 After a pause the priest says:


Pray my brothers and sisters that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father 

May the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his Church.

 The priest will then say the Prayer over the gifts to which we all respond.




 The Lord be with you. 

And also with you.


Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. 

It is right to give him thanks and praise.


 The Preface and Proper Preface follow leading to the Sanctus and Benedictus

Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might.  Heaven and earth are full, are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

Cross Logo Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.


After the Words of Institution, the priest sings

 Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.

 Christ has died, Christ, is risen, Christ will come again.

The priest then continues with the Eucharistic prayer. At the end we all respond. Amen 



 After a pause the priest says

Jesus taught us to call God Our Father, so we pray in confidence and in faith:

 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. 

Deliver us Lord from every evil and grant us peace in our day, in your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.  Amen

  • We have finished the Liturgy of the Word and now turn to page 3 for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  At his last supper, Jesus performed 4 actions: he took bread and wine, he gave thanks, he broke the bread, and shared the bread and wine with his disciples.  Faithful to his command, we now repeat these 4 actions in remembrance of him: taking, giving thanks, breaking the bread, and sharing the bread and cup.
  • During the next hymn, bread and wine are brought to the altar and are prepared.  First these gifts, then the altar, then the priest, and finally all of us are censed.  Once the hymn is over, the priest takes the bread and wine and says the prayers at the top of page 3.
  • We have taken bread and wine: now we give thanks.  If you have been to Greece, you may have heard the Greek word ekharisto meaning “thank you”.  This Greek word ekharisto becomes anglicised as eucharist – and you will occasionally hear this service called the Eucharist.  The long prayer of thanksgiving which the priest now says is called the Eucharistic Prayer.  In this prayer, we give thanks for all the many things that God has done for us and especially for being with us in this Holy Communion as we recall the events of Jesus’ last supper.
  • We then say the Lord’s Prayer before we turn over to page 4 for the Peace.  Jesus told his friends: “if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there and be reconciled, and only then come and offer your gift”.  We greet each other before we share together in the Holy Communion.
  • We have taken bread and wine and given thanks.  Now we come to the last two actions: the priest breaks the bread as we sing another ancient hymn: the Agnus Dei which is Latin for Lamb of God.  We remind ourselves that, although we are not worthy, Jesus invites us to share in this sacrament.  Then we come to the altar either to take the bread and wine or to receive a blessing from the priest. 

                        (Page Four)                 


We share in Christ’s peace

We are the body of Christ.  In the one spirit we are all baptized into one body. Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

Or an alternative form may be used

Christ is our peace.  He has reconciled us to God in one body by his cross.  We meet in his name and share his peace.


The peace of the Lord be always with you

And also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

All may exchange a sign of peace.



 We break this bread to share in the body of Christ

Though we are many, we are one body because we all share in one bread.



 Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace.

All are invited to receive Holy Communion

This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.


Lord, I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed.


The Communion Antiphon is sung or said, and the priest gives Holy Communion with these words

The body of Christ. Amen.

The blood of Christ. Amen.

 A hymn may be sung during or after the distribution. 



The post Communion Prayer is said to which we all respond Amen


Notices are given



 The angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit

 Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou amongst women and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus; Holy Mary mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen


Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word

 Hail Mary….

 And the word was made flesh; and dwelt among us

 Hail Mary….

 Pray for us O Holy Mother of God; that we will be made worthy of the promises of Christ

 Let us pray

Lord, open our hearts to your grace.  Through an angel’s message to Mary, we learned to believe in the incarnation of your Son.  Lead us by his Passion and Cross, to the glory of his resurrection.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen



 The priest gives the blessing to which we all respond  Amen

 Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

In the name of Christ.  Amen

A recessional hymn is sung as the Altar Party 

process to the west end of the church

  • We have taken bread and wine, given thanks, broken the bread, and shared the bread and the cup.  All that remains is a short concluding rite.  
  • The priest says a final prayer.  On feasts of St Mary, the mother of Jesus, we move to her statue for the Angelus.  Otherwise we omit that and continue with notices.  They are properly part of our worship as they remind us that we are a Christian family that does things together.  And, like any other family, we celebrate each other’s birthdays and other special events.  
  • Then comes the dismissal.  The priest blesses us “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” and sends us out.  This service is often called the mass.  The word mass comes from the same root as the word dismissal.  The service was called the mass because, at the end of the old Latin service, the priest would say “Ite, missa est” meaning “Go, it (i.e. the Church) is sent”.
  • We are dismissed: we are sent out.  But we are sent out with a purpose: to link what we have said and done in Church with what we say and do in the rest of our lives.  Bishop Frank Weston once said that “you cannot claim to worship Jesus in the tabernacle if you do not pity Jesus in the slum”.  We are sent out from Church to serve others.

Paragraph break

We hope that this helps you, gives you some idea of what happens, and perhaps makes you a little less nervous about coming to see us.

If you do have any questions, then we have our contact page with our priests’ numbers or a contact form for you to fill out.

We look forward to seeing you soon.