• Jules Gomes

Exposing a culture of death: Paul Moulton interviews “Rebel Priest” for Manx TV

Prayer Vigil for the Sanctity of Life


1. O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds thy hands have made;

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed:

Chorus: Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee;

How great thou art, how great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee:

How great thou art, how great thou art!

2. When through the woods and forest glades I wander

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,

And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze: Chorus

3. And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,

Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in;

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,

He bled and died to take away my sin: Chorus

4. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation,

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!

Then I shall bow in humble adoration,

And there proclaim, my God, how great thou art! Chorus

Peace be with you. And also with you.

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, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession (Psalm 139: 13, 15, 16)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. When our acts of violence destroy God’s creation in the mother’s womb. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. When we invade the human frame and tear it apart in the mother’s womb. Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. When we abruptly end the season of life God’s intended for each human being for our own selfish ends. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

May the God of love and power forgive you and free you from your sins, heal and strengthen you by his Spirit, and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.


God our Father, all life comes from you. We pray for the least among us, the children in the womb. Protect them from the violence of abortion. Save them from death. Give new hope to their parents that they may turn away from the desperate act of abortion. Show us how we are to respond to the bloodshed in our midst, and lead us to the day when this place of death will be transformed into a haven of life. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

First Reading

Exodus 1: 15-22 (at the end of the reading…)

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm 139

1. O God, you search me and you know me.

All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.

When I walk or lie down you are before me:

Ever the maker and keeper of my days.

2. You know my resting and my rising.

You discern my purpose from afar,

And with love everlasting you besiege me:

In ev’ry moment of life or death, you are.

3. Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,

You have known its meaning through and through.

You are with me beyond my understanding:

God of my present, my past and future, too.

4. Although your Spirit is upon me,

Still I search for shelter from your light.

There is nowhere on earth I can escape you:

Even the darkness is radiant in your sight.

5. For you created me and shaped me,

Gave me life within my mother’s womb.

For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:

Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.

Second Reading

Leviticus 20: 1-5 (at the end of the reading…)

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Hymn (Tune: Converse)

1. Lord of life, whose hand has made us,

Formed us each with tender care.

You have crowned us with your image,

Not intending such despair.

Yet through sin the glory faded,

Death and doom came in its place.

But in spite of our condition,

We’ve been rescued by your grace!

2. Lord of life, who rose in triumph,

Conqu’ring death and giving hope,

You have called us and equipped us,

In a sinful world to cope.

Teaching us to love each other,

To befriend and help in strife;

To forgive and seek to comfort,

And preserve the gift of life.

3. Help us, Lord, to see as you do,

Life is precious in each stage,

From the unborn to the feeble,

Life is precious in each age.

Help us. Lord, to be your witness

And to show the world we care,

So that people may not perish

But, instead, your life may share.

Third Reading

2 Kings 17: 6-18 (at the end of the reading…)

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Hymn (Tune: Ebenezer)

1. Once to every man and nation,

comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of truth with falsehood,

for the good or evil side;

Some great cause, some great decision,

offering each the bloom or blight,

And the choice goes by forever,

’twixt that darkness and that light.

2. Then to side with truth is noble,

when we share her wretched crust,

Ere her cause bring fame and profit,

and ’tis prosperous to be just;

Then it is the brave man chooses

while the coward stands aside,

Till the multitude make virtue

of the faith they had denied.

3. By the light of burning martyrs,

Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,

Toiling up new Calv’ries ever

with the cross that turns not back;

New occasions teach new duties,

time makes ancient good uncouth,

They must upward still and onward,

who would keep abreast of truth.

4. Though the cause of evil prosper,

yet the truth alone is strong;

Though her portion be the scaffold,

and upon the throne be wrong;

Yet that scaffold sways the future,

and behind the dim unknown,

Standeth God within the shadow,

keeping watch above His own.

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (1: 39-45). Glory to you, O Lord.

(at the end of the reading…) This is the gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Homily Bishop Dr Gavin Ashenden

Litany for Life

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

You breathed life into Adam. (Gen 2:7)

Lord, you give us life!

You formed Eve from flesh. (Gen 2:22)

Lord, you give us life!

You heard the cry of innocent blood. (Gen 9:5-6)

Lord, you give us life!

You spared the life of Cain. (Gen 4:16)

Lord, you give us life!

You saved Noah from the flood. (Gen 8:16)

Lord, you give us life!

You filled Sarah’s barren womb. (Gen 21:2)

Lord, you give us life!

You gave Abraham a son. (Gen 21:3)

Lord, you give us life!

You preserved the life of Jacob. (Gen 32:31)

Lord, you give us life!

You punished those who took life. (Num 35:31)

Lord, you give us life!

You place before us life and death. (Deut 30:19)

Lord, you give us life!

You restore lost life. (Ruth 4:14)

Lord, you give us life!

You nourish the aged and weak. (Ruth 4:14)

Lord, you give us life!

You delivered Saul from David. (1 Sam 26:22)

Lord, you give us life!

You redeemed the life of David. (2 Sam 4:9)

Lord, you give us life!

You gave Solomon length of days. (1 Kgs 3:14)

Lord, you give us life!

You raised the child by Elijah’s cry. (1 Kgs 17:21:22)

Lord, you give us life!

You are the Life that is the light of men. (Jn 1:14)

Lord, you give us life!

You are the bread of Life. (Jn 6:35)

Lord, you give us life!

You are the resurrection and the life. (Jn 11:25)

You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6)

Lord, you give us life!

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour taught us: Our Father …


God is the author of life. In him we place our trust and hope as we pray:Lord, hear our prayer.

That justice, truth, and a love for the gift of life might inspire all legislators, politicians, and rulers and especially those in Tynwald and the Legislative Council, we pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who do not embrace the rights of the unborn that, in love, they may come to know the dignity of every person in the eyes of God, we pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer. For those preparing to be joined in Holy Matrimony: that they might embrace their role as sharers in God’s creative love, we pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.

For those preparing to take the life of an unborn child: mother or father, doctor or nurse, that they may repent of murder and come to receive forgiveness in Christ our Lord, we pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who touch the lives of the condemned, the old, and the forgotten, that they might have compassion, respect, and appreciation for the dignity of all human life, we pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.

For the all the victims of the culture of death that like Lazarus and the Hebrew children, they may know God’s deliverance from the tomb, we pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer. (Silence)

Almighty God, you have gifted us with temporal life and eternal life. Give us a renewed conviction that all human life is sacred because it is created in your image and likeness.

Help us to teach by word and example that human life is precious because it is the gift of God whose love is infinite.

When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, help us to stand and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.

When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, help us to stand and insist that every child is a unique gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family.

When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary conditional arrangement that can easily be terminated, help us to stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.

When the value of the family is threatened because of social and economic pressure, help us to stand up and reaffirm that the family is necessary not only for the private good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

Go out into the world in peace; have courage; hold on to what is good; return no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak, and help the suffering; honour all people; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing .... Amen.


1. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,

he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

he hath loosed the fatal lightning of his terrible, swift sword;

his truth is marching on.

Refrain: Glory! Glory! hallelujah! (3) Our God is marching on.

2. He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat,

he is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment-seat;

O be swift, my soul, to answer him; be jubilant, my feet!

Our God is marching on. (Refrain)

3. In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;

as he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,

while God is marching on. (Refrain)

4. He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave;

he is wisdom to the mighty, he is honour to the brave;

so the world shall be his foot-stool, and the soul of wrong his slave,

our God is marching on. (Refrain)

The Lord will be your everlasting light and your God will be your glory. We have seen his glory, the glory revealed to all the nations.

Go in the light and peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

(Our deepest gratitude to our guests from England Bishop Dr Gavin Ashenden and Bishop Dr David Nicholls for being part of this service)

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