New Orders of Service: 1

Orders of Worship (Unitarian) Radically Revised (Pending)

Copyright under UK statute etc asserted by 

Julian Smith

Honorary Minister, Effra Road Chapel, Brixton, London (92-)

Based on:

1. Orders of Worship (1932); Reprinted 1944

Lindsey Press

2. The Order of Service at ERC, Brixton as of November 2019

JS’s Contributions in Honour of Dr Tony Cross (1932 – 2019). Former Principal & Ministry Tutor, [Harris] Manchester College, Oxford


FIRST SERVICE (All where indicated)


Scripture-based Opening Sentences

Spiritual liberation comes from that which we traditionally call ‘God’ and is a process rather than a one-off event. It comes to all those who wait hopefully and quietly.

Those who place their lives and future in the hands of the Lord of the Years are truly blessed.

The God of All is light, and those who lift up their faces to him shall have that light shine upon all they think and do.

Those who truly place their trust in the God of all the Nations shall not live in fear of any person in this world, for God is God Almighty and their strength and deliverer.

We can tell you that there is no darkness in the Lord of Humankind: he told us this; and we have experienced it. 


Call to Worship

We seek to feel deep gratitude and to truly revere our Heavenly Parent for all the gifts which gladden our days; indeed to adore the source of this goodness given to us which makes our lives so rich.  We seek to offer-up our hearts to Eternal Goodness itself; and may our praises of our Heavenly Parent and the goodness of our lives help to make our whole lives a wholesome offering worthy of God and of ourselves. 

Let us Pray

God Almighty, you who are the creator and sustainer of our universe and beyond, as well as the ‘still small voice’ and our best friend; we recognise that you are the source of all true prayer. When we try to come close to you, deliver us from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, so that in warmth of feeling and focus of thought we may worship you fully in spirit and in truth as you deserve.

Collect for Morning

You who give us the day for activity and the night for rest, and the peace of this blessed day; grant that this day is one of sufficient quiet and reflection that we are rewarded in heavenly things, and renewed and equipped to finish the things you call us to do. May prayer and holy meditation reveal to us the truth, your love and our kinship with all who trust in you.

The Lord’s Prayer (Jesus of Nazareth)

Our Father, who art in heaven. 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 them that 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.

1st Reading


2nd Reading

Let us Pray (A Litany of Thanksgiving) 

Almighty God, Heavenly Father, from whom we receive all good and perfect gifts; we bring to mind your loving-kindness and your tenderness throughout the ages that our voices may be those of thanksgiving.

We honour you:

For our lives; for all the gifts bestowed on us and our country; and for our world of richness and diversity.

We honour you:

For your truth that we are able to learn and for the wholesome things we are enabled to do; for the good in our past lives, and for all the hopes and aspirations we feel today which lead us on to truly better things.

We honour you:

For the chaos, order and constancy of nature; for the beauty and fruitfulness of the world; for day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest; and for the different gifts of loveliness every season brings.

We honour you:

For all the comforts and gladness of life; for our homes and all homely comforts; for our loved ones and friends and all the pleasures of family life and companionship; and for the goodwill, sympathy and common curtesy of aquaintances and strangers. 

We honour you:

For all the blessings of a comparatively well-ordered community, for wise government, and just laws; for education and life-long learning, literature, art, and science; and for the advice and assistance of those who are wiser and stronger than ourselves. 

We honour you:

For all your true knowledge of you and the world in which we live; for calling us to lives of truth and beauty; for prophets and apostles and all strivers for truth and justice; for all lovers and helpers of humankind, and all spiritually gifted persons.

We honour you:

For the self-discipline and control which brings us nearer to you and all our brothers and sisters; and for every opportunity of serving our generation according to your will, in the true spirit of universal faith and love.

We honour you:

For closeness to you, the parent of our spirits; for the trust and obedience leading to your divine light and peace; for the faith which dispels the shadows of the earth, and brightens the final hours as with the light of an eternal flame.

And we pray:

That as the Lord of our lives, you will assist our glorifying of you in all the thoughts of our minds, in all the desires of our hearts, in all the words of our lips, and in all the ways of our feet, that we may do honour to Jesus and all followers of ‘the way’. 

Let us thank God for his goodness

We are humbled and truly thankful to you, because of the underserved blessings you have showered upon us. May our sense of your profound goodness never leave us, so that in thought, word and deed we may be devoted to the good of all and the coming of your kingdom on earth. 

Let us pray for grace and help

You who give strength to the weak, light to those in error, humility and hope to the penitent; who raises the fallen and upholds the weak; forgive our wrongdoing, renew our virtue and our spiritual resolutions which have been discarded, and give us the humility and nourishment which will lead to our spirits giving glory to you and yours. 

Let us pray for the Universal Christian Church

You who sent his son Jesus and many another such soul to establish a kingdom of faith and righteousness on earth, we bring before you the Universal Christian Church. Fill it with truth, and with the peace that comes from truth. Where it is right, strengthen and confirm it; where it is in error, correct it; where it is divided, unite and heal it. And we ask that any who minister have your spirit, ensuring that they are wise, consistent and industrious in the service of your kingdom.

Let us pray for peace and goodwill

You, fountain of all goodness and forgiveness, nurture a love of peace in all persons. May they be united in the bonds of your love in working closely to glorify you and serve humankind. May your true spirit be found in all faiths, uniting the world in a sacred brotherhood and sisterhood of nations, causing justice, mercy, truth and freedom to flourish, and accomplishing at last your desire for peace and goodwill amongst all people. 

Concluding Collect

You, parent of our spirits, who are always more ready to hear than we are to pray; may we often, in the midst of our daily activities, lift up our hearts to you and be refreshed in the life sublime; and so refreshed, may our lives be a constant act of love and gratitude to you in good thoughts and acts becoming of followers of Jesus and the way.  Amen.

Joys & Concerns Candles

Silent Prayer

Musical Offering




Including Positive News, eg the 3 x readings from ‘It wasn’t All Bad’ (The Week)




May our loving Lord make home in your hearts, that you may go from here with the light of hope in your eyes, the fire of inspiration in your lives, his word on your tongues, and his love in your hearts, that you may do will his will this and every day. Amen.

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