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Intercessions for Epiphany 2013

First, a statement from Church House (verbatim, I am not making this up):

In 2013, the Feast of the Epiphany (6 January) falls on a Sunday and this means it is also the First Sunday of the Epiphany. This year, the Feast of the Baptism of Christ falls on the Second Sunday of Epiphany. The readings of the Baptism of Christ are used.
Therefore, during this liturgical year (Year C), on the Third Sunday of Epiphany (20 January), the readings of the Second Sunday of Epiphany are used. Similarly on the Fourth Sunday of the Epiphany (27 January), the readings of the Third Sunday of Epiphany are used. The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Epiphany are not used this year. On Sunday 3 February, either the readings for Candlemas (if Candlemas is not celebrated on Saturday 2 February) or the readings for the Second Sunday before Lent are used.
In 2005, the General Synod made some amendments to the function of the Common Worship Lectionary for Sundays, Principal Feasts and Festivals and these were laid out in GS1520A (detailed document can be downloaded here). These amendments affect the provision for the Sundays of Epiphany when the Feast of the Epiphany falls on a Sunday, such as in 2013.
The reasons for these changes relate largely to the importance of the reading of 1 Corinthians 12 which is appropriate to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18-25 Jan). It also ensures that the John 2 is read during the Epiphany season.
The Collects do not necessarily relate to the Lectionary provision. This means that in 2013, the Collects for Epiphany, the Baptism of Christ, the Third and Fourth Sunday of Epiphany are read. The Collect for the Second Sunday of Epiphany falls away this year.

Got that?

So far as I can understand it, the readings for Epiphany itself, which are the same every year and do not follow the normal A, B,C cycle, are unaffected. Oh goodness, I’m doing it myself now. I’m planning to follow Visual Liturgy, cross-checked against the rota for our parish church, and hope that will guide us through.

The Collect

O God, who by the leading of a star manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: mercifully grant that we, who know you now by faith, may at last behold your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


First Reading: Isaiah 60.1-6

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,  and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.”


Psalm 72.(1-9)10-15

Give the king your judgements, O God, *and your righteousness to the son of a king.
Then shall he judge your people righteously *and your poor with justice.
May the mountains bring forth peace, *and the little hills righteousness for the people.
May he defend the poor among the people, *deliver the children of the needy and crush the oppressor.
May he live as long as the sun and moon endure, *from one generation to another.
May he come down like rain upon the mown grass, *like the showers that water the earth.
In his time shall righteousness flourish, *and abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.
May his dominion extend from sea to sea *and from the River to the ends of the earth.
May his foes kneel before him *and his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute; *the kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring gifts.
All kings shall fall down before him; *all nations shall do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor that cry out, *the needy and those who have no helper.
He shall have pity on the weak and poor; *he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, *and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live; unto him may be given gold from Sheba; *may prayer be made for him continually and may they bless him all the day long.

Second Reading: Ephesians 3.1-12

I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles –

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.


Gospel reading: Matthew 2.1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


Let us pray in the glorious light of Christ, who leads his people in all their worship and adoration.


¶The Church of Christ

Lord, who sent your son to guide us your people, and who sent a star to guide the Wise Men to his worship, send us now, we pray, your Holy Spirit to guide our Church as we begin a new era in our life together. Inspire our next Archbishop of Canterbury as he prepares to take on the mantle of Cantuar and lead the Anglican Communion.

Lighten our darkness and guide us to you, O Lord; in your mercy hear our prayer.

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, we face the unknown at a difficult and painful time for the world. Let the star of your justice always shine in our hearts, that we may give as our treasure all that we are to your service. Trusting in your word as a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path, we go out into the darkness. With faith that this will be better than a light, and safer than a known way, we put our hands into yours.

Lighten our darkness and guide us to you, O Lord; in your mercy hear our prayer.

¶The local community

We give thanks, O Lord, that you are present in our homes and in our lives; we seek your continuous guidance. We pray for our neighbours, especially those in trouble or need, and for those whom we love. We ask your blessing on those who have guided and enriched our own lives. Help us to offer light to those in need, and graciously accept when light is offered to us in turn.

Lighten our darkness and guide us to you, O Lord; in your mercy hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for all those who have lost their way and been side-tracked, all who are living below their potential or their abilities, all whose lives are unfulfilled, all those who are restricted by oppression or illness; we remember the chronically ill, those in constant pain, the depressed and the despairing.

Lighten our darkness and guide us to you, O Lord; in your mercy hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

We pray for all who are coming to the end of their journey here on earth and pray that they may come into your presence and kingdom. We pray for all those who have come before your face and now rejoice in the fullness of life eternal.

Lighten our darkness and guide us to you, O Lord; in your mercy hear our prayer.

The illustration is ‘Sunbeams Bursting Through Dark Clouds’ by: Andy Lindley via Seedresources.

The intercessions today are partly my own, but interwoven with prayers and phrases from David Adam (Glimpses of Glory), Angela Ashwin (The Book of a Thousand Prayers) and Raymond Chapman (Leading Intercessions), to all of whom I pay tribute and offer thanks.

12 comments on this post:

John said...

I did warn you over that ‘stiff gin & introduction to the Lectionary’ that Epiphany Season can get complicated… especially when Epiphany falls on a Sunday!!! Enjoy LOL

Lay Anglicana said...

My one aim in life is to entertain you John – I regard it as one of my most important duties. If my bamboozlement at the ordering of the readings causes you mirth, my work is done:)

03 January 2013 18:30
02 January 2013 23:53
Harold Gardner said...

One of the many joys of amateurism isn that I can leave the figuring out of the liturgical calendar to the professionals.

I teach a Bible class where the participants do not all come from a faith tradition that is historical (nice PC phrasing). I spend a few minutes each week acquainting them with the liturgical calendar to help them understand the cycles of the church’s seasons.

Lay Anglicana said...

I am learning to think of the liturgy as a corset which holds body and soul together and provides a framework from which to worship. When I started leading worship, however, it felt like more of a straitjacket!

03 January 2013 18:36
03 January 2013 15:52
Phil Groom said...

*Eeeee—piphany!* sneezed the magus.

“Bless you,” said the camel, “I hope I don’t catch that.”

Lay Anglicana said...

Oh thank-you Phil! Very important to take time out to laugh, and I laughed at loud with this one 🙂

03 January 2013 18:27
03 January 2013 17:30
Margaret June said...

May I say Soory and hope you do not mind but I have copied your prayers that I found by accident to say my Church tomorrow as I am leading the Intercessions.
Your prayers are wonderful even if you have taken them from books.
David Adam is one of my favourite authors for Prayers.
God Bless you in your journey of life

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you very much Margaret. I am of course delighted that you are finding the intercessions useful 🙂

05 January 2013 23:20
05 January 2013 23:14
Amanda said...

And I’ve also copied your intercessions and send you an enormous thank you.

06 January 2013 08:23
Jill C Pauling said...

Thank you again…this time from a tiny Anglican ‘plant’ in SW France. I was searching for something special to include in my ‘intercessions’ for the small communion service that we hold, once a month, for ‘english speakers….and that includes some french people….when I discovered your Lay Anglican page. I have to admit that tomorrow I am using most of your intercessions for January 6th, with a few local additions. Bless you and thanks once again. Jill

07 January 2013 14:14
Sally Hughes said...

Many thanks for your wonderful prayers. I have leant rather heavily on them for my intercession at St Margaret ‘s church in Leicestershire, for tomorrow’s service. Following the loss of a much loved friend last week I was dreading writing meaningful prayers, but yours were a comfort and an inspiration. So thank you and God Bless.
Regards Sally x

Laura Sykes said...

Thank-you very much Sally, this is very heart-warming to hear, as you can imagine. :>)


04 January 2014 21:14
04 January 2014 20:31

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