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2017 Easter Church Service

Cross designed by Neil Dawson

Cross designed by Neil Dawson Photo: RNZ

Festal Choral Eucharist

The service from Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Auckland features the Very Reverend Ross Bay, Bishop of Auckland, as presider, with the Reverend Bruce Keeley, Priest-in-Charge at Holy Trinity, as preacher. Sally Tibbles is the liturgist, and readings are provided by Susanna Middleton-Olliver and Andrew Dawson. The music director is Michael Stoddart and Philip Smith plays the organ.

The audio is from the broadcast on RNZ Concert, featuring the Messe Solonnelle by the French organist and composer Louis Vierne.


Order of Service

Introit: Surrexit a mortuis by Charles-Marie Widor

Surrexit a mortuis,
Christus Dei Filius,
Pastor bonus,
Pastor qui animam
Pro grege suo posuit.
Pascha nostrum immolatus est,
Christus, Pascha nostrum
Surrexit a mortuis.
He rose from the dead,
Christ, the Son of God,
the good shepherd,
the shepherd who
for his flock laid down his life.
For us he was sacrificed,
the Christ, for us
he rose from the dead.

Processional Hymn

Jesus Christ is risen to-day, alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, alleluia!
who did once, upon the cross, alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss, alleluia!   

Hymns of praise then let us sing, alleluia!
unto Christ, our heavenly king, alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save, alleluia!

But the pains that he endured, alleluia!
our salvation have procured, alleluia!
now above the sky he’s king, alleluia!
where the angels ever sing, alleluia!

In the name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life.


Christ is risen, alleluia!

Christ is risen indeed, alleluia!

The Lord be with you.

The Lord bless you.

This is the day which the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Alleluia! The Lord is risen indeed. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Alleluia!

Almighty God to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit; so that we may truly love you and worthily praise your holy name; through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

God has promised forgiveness to all who truly repent, turn to Christ in faith and are themselves forgiving. In silence we call to mind our sins. Let us confess our sins.

Merciful God, we have sinned in what we have thought and said, in the wrong we have done, and in the good we have not done. We have sinned in ignorance; we have sinned in weakness; we have sinned through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry. We repent and turn to you. Forgive us, for our Saviour Christ’s sake, and renew our lives to the glory of your name. Amen.

Through the cross of Christ, God have mercy on you, pardon you and set you free. Know that you are forgiven and be at peace. God strengthen you in all goodness and keep you in life eternal.


Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Et in terra pax
hominibus bonæ voluntatis.
Laudamus te; benedicimus te;
adoramus te; glorificamus te.
Gratias agimus tibi
propter magnam gloriam tuam.
Domine Deus, Rex coelestis,
Deus Pater omnipotens.
Domine Fili unigenite Jesu Christe.
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei,
Filius Patris.
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
suscipe deprecationem nostram.
Qui sedes ad dextram Patris,
O miserere nobis.
Quoniam tu solus Sanctus,
tu solus Dominus,
tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe.
Cum Sancto Spiritu
in gloria Dei Patris.
Glory be to God in the highest.
And in earth peace
to men of good will.
We praise thee; we bless thee;
we worship thee; we glorify thee.
We give thanks to thee
for thy great glory.
O Lord God, heavenly king,
God the father almighty.
O Lord Jesus Christ,
the only begotten son.
Lord God, Lamb of God,
Son of the father.
Thou that takest away the sins
of the world, have mercy upon us.
Thou that takest away the sins
of the world, receive our prayer.
Thou that sittest at the right hand
of the father, have mercy upon us.
For thou only art holy,
thou only art the Lord,
thou only art the most high, Jesus Christ.
Together with the Holy Ghost
in the glory of God the father.

The peace of Christ rule in our hearts.

The word of Christ dwell in us richly.

Let us pray.

Glorious Lord of Life, we praise you, that by the mighty resurrection of your Son, you have delivered us from sin and death and made your whole creation new; grant that we who celebrate with joy Christ’s rising from the dead, may be raised from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.

Susanna Middleton-Olliver reads from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles

Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
His mercy endures forever.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

The right hand of the Lord has struck with power;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the Lord.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the Lord has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

Andrew Dawson reads from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

Thanks be to God.

Gradual Hymn

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
now is the victor’s triumph won;
O let the song of praise be sung: Alleluia.

Death’s mightiest powers have done their worst,
and Jesus hath his foes dispersed;
let shouts of praise and joy outburst: Alleluia.

On the third morn he rose again
glorious in majesty to reign;
O let us swell the joyful strain: Alleluia.

Lord, by thy stripes which wounded thee
from death’s dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live, and sing to thee. Alleluia.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Holy Gospel according to Matthew

Praise and Glory to God.

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 worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’ This is the Gospel of Christ.

Praise to Christ the Word

Sermon by the Reverend Bruce Keeley

Let us pray for the Church and for the World, giving thanks for God’s goodness.

The Liturgist reads the intercessions. After the bidding: ‘Life-giving God,’ the congregation responds ‘transform our lives.’

Loving God,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Peace of Christ be always with you.

And also with you.

E te whanau, we are the body of Christ.

By one Spirit we were baptised into one body.

Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Amen. We are bound by the love of Christ.

Offertory Hymn

At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
praise to our victorious King,
who hath washed us in the tide
flowing from his piercéd side;
praise we him whose love divine
gives his sacred blood for wine,
gives his body for the feast,
Christ the victim, Christ the priest.

Where the paschal blood is poured,
death’s dark angel sheaths his sword;
Israel’s host triumphant go
through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
paschal victim, paschal bread;
with sincerity and love
eat we mana from above.

Mighty victim from the sky,
hell’s fierce powers beneath thee lie;
thou hast conquered in the fight,
thou hast brought us life and light.
Now no more can death appal,
now no more the grave enthral:
thou hast opened paradise,
and in thee thy saints shall rise.

Easter triumph, Easter joy,
sin alone can this destroy;
from sin’s power do thou set free
souls-new born, O Lord, in thee.
Hymns of glory and of praise,
risen Lord, to thee we raise;
holy Father, praise to thee,
with the spirit, ever be.

Blessed are you, God of all creation;
through your goodness we have these gifts to share.
Accept and use our offerings for your glory
and for the service of your kingdom.
Blessed be God for ever.

The Lord is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is right indeed, it is our joy and our salvation, holy Lord,
almighty Father, everlasting God, at all times and in all places
to give you thanks and praise through Christ your only Son.

You are the source of all life and goodness;
through your eternal Word
you have created all things from the beginning
and formed us in your own image;
male and female you created us.

When we sinned and turned away you called us back to yourself
and gave your Son to share our human nature.
You raised him to life triumphant over death; you exalted him in glory.
By his victory over death, the reign of sin is ended,
a new age has dawned, a broken world is restored and we are made whole once more.

In him you have made us a holy people
by sending upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit.
Therefore with the faithful who rest in him,
with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name,
for ever praising you and singing:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra
gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Holy, Holy, Holy,
Lord God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth
are full of thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

All glory and thanksgiving to you, holy Father;
on the night before he died your Son, Jesus Christ, took bread;
when he had given you thanks,
he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said:
Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you; do this to remember me.
After supper he took the cup;
when he had given you thanks, he gave it to them and said:
Drink this, all of you,
for this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins; do this as often as you drink it, to remember me.

Glory to you Lord Christ,
your death we show forth;
your resurrection we proclaim,
your coming we await,
Amen, come Lord Jesus.

Therefore loving God,
recalling your great goodness to us in Christ,
his suffering and death,
his resurrection and ascension,
and looking for his coming in glory,
we celebrate our redemption with this bread of life
and this cup of salvation.
Accept our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving
which we offer through Christ our great high priest.
Send your Holy Spirit
that these gifts of bread and wine which we receive
may be to us the body and blood of Christ,
and that we, filled with the Spirit’s grace and power,
may be renewed for the service of your kingdom.
United in Christ with all who stand before you
in earth and heaven,
we worship you, O God,
in songs of everlasting praise.

Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere, now and forever, Amen.

The Bishop intones the Lord’s prayer:
Kua akona nei tātou e tō tātou Ariki, ka inoi tatou:
E tō mātou Matua i te rangi
Kia tapu tōu Ingoa.
Kia tae mai tōu rangatiratanga.
Kia meatia tāu e pai ai ki runga ki te whenua, kia rite anō ki tō te rangi.
Hōmai ki a mātou āianei
he taro mā mātou mō tēnei rā.
Murua ō mātou hara,
Me mātou hoki e muru nei i ō te hunga e hara ana ki a mātou.
Aua hoki mātou e kawea kia whakawaia;
Engari whakaorangia mātou i te kino:
Nōu hoki te rangatiratanga, te kaha, me te korōria,
Āke ake ake. Āmine.

The Bishop breaks the bread.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
We who are many are one body, for we all share the one bread.

Draw near and receive the body and blood of our Saviour
Jesus Christ in remembrance that he died for us.
Let us feed on him in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis
peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei.
Dona nobis pacem.
Lamb of God,
Who takest away
the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God.
Grant us peace.

Communion Motet Tantum ergo by Louis Vierne

Tantum ergo sacramentum
veneremur cernui,
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui;
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.
Genitori Genitoque
laus et iubilatio, salus, honor,
virtus quoque sit et benedictio;
procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.
Down in adoration falling,
this great Sacrament we hail,
o'er ancient forms of worship
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith will tell us Christ is present,
when our human senses fail.
To the Everlasting Father,
and the Son who made us free
and the Spirit, God proceeding
from them each eternally,
be salvation, honour, blessing,
might and endless majesty.

Thanks be to God who gives us hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, alleluia!’
Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world. Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name. Amen.

Recessional Hymn

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where his body lay.

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.

Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting:

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of Life;
life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors through thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

God, who through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us the victory, give you joy and peace in your faith, and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you for ever. Amen.

Go now to love and serve the Lord. Go in peace. Alleluia!

Amen. We go in the name of Christ. Alleluia!

Organ Improvisation by Philip Smith


This RNZ recording is engineered by Adrian Hollay, and produced by Paul Bushnell.

Music Details

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: Surrexit a mortuis
Composer: Widor
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: Jesus Christ is risen to-day
Composer: Trad: Easter Hymn
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: Gloria from Messe Solonnelle
Composer: Vierne
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: Responsorial Psalm 118
Composer: Traditional
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: The strife is o’er, the battle done
Composer: Palestrina
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
Composer: Hintze
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: Sanctus from Messe Solonnelle
Composer: Vierne
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: Agnus Dei from Messe Solonnelle
Composer: Vierne
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: Tantum ergo
Composer: Vierne
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland
Song: Thine be the glory
Composer: Handel
Album: RNZ recording

Artist: Philip Smith
Song: Organ improvisation
Composer: Philip Smith
Album: RNZ recording