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Intercessions for Sunday Next Before Lent (Year C): 10 February 2013

The Collect

Almighty Father,  whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

First Reading: Exodus 34.29-35

Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. Afterwards all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off, until he came out; and when he came out, and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining; and Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Psalm 99

The Lord is king: let the peoples tremble; *he is enthroned upon the cherubim: let the earth shake.

The Lord is great in Zion *and high above all peoples.

Let them praise your name, which is great and awesome; *the Lord our God is holy.

Mighty king, who loves justice, you have established equity; *you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.

Exalt the Lord our God; * bow down before his footstool, for he is holy.

Moses and Aaron among his priests and Samuel among those who call upon his name, *they called upon the Lord and he answered them.

He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud; *they kept his testimonies and the law that he gave them.

You answered them, O Lord our God; *you were a God who forgave them and pardoned them for their offences.

Exalt the Lord our God and worship him upon his holy hill, * for the Lord our God is holy.


Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 3.12-4.2

Since we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practise cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.

Gospel Reading: Luke 9.28-36(37-43)

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ Peter did not know what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’ When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And the disciples kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, ‘Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.’ Jesus answered, ‘You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.’ While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God. Everyone was amazed at all that he was doing.

First, a little aside about the calendar. Visual Liturgy describes this Sunday simply as ‘the Sunday next before Lent’, which is perfectly accurate as far as it goes. However, as you will see, the readings are all about the Transfiguration. Nevertheless, the Feast of the Transfiguration remains August 6th, where it has always been and, although the OT and Epistle and Psalm are all different, the gospel reading is exactly the same as today. I have not found any official explanation of this, or whether we are meant to interpret the gospel differently in February and in August, but the following extract from ‘The Ministry of the Word‘ (p.97) may be helpful :

The first [point worth noting in the gospel] is the reality of the other world…[briefly] the veil was drawn aside to allow a glimpse of the world normally invisible to us. Jesus was in contact with both worlds simultaneously and while still on earth he took on…the glory of that other world.

Secondly is the appearance of Moses and Elijah…they draw attention to Jesus’ central place in salvation history and point to the certainty of his second coming.

Thirdly is the uniqueness of Christ. Moses and Elijah were not on the same level…One day the whole universe will see his glory, but meanwhile the cross comes before the crown.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray together as if everything depended on God our Father, but let us also work together as if everything depended on us.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we ask you to inspire our Church with glimpses of your glory. We know that these moments of dazzling clarity come unheralded and are as elusive as the kingfisher, darting through stillness, but we are thankful for their jewelled beauty and the encouragement and hope that they give us. We are a Church on a journey, and we ask you to sustain us as we discover new facets of your glory on the road to Emmaus.

Lord, may your face shine upon us as you guide the nations upon earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

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

Lord, great and wonderful, who has created the heavens and rejoiced in their light and beauty, who reveals yourself in every flower that opens and shows us the first signs of spring, let not our eyes be blind to you, nor let our hearts be dead, but teach us to praise you as the lark who offers its song at daybreak.

Lord, may your face shine upon us as you guide the nations upon earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

Lord, teach us to see the face of Christ in everyone we meet. We thank you for the community of which we are part; for those who share with us in its activities, and for all who serve its interests. Help us, as we have the opportunity, to make our own contribution to the life of the whole and to learn to be good neighbours, that by love we may serve one another, for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ.

Lord, may your face shine upon us as you guide the nations upon earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, send the light of Christ into the darkness of those who are in need or distress today. Reassure those who suffer that nothing, no power in the sky above, or in the earth below, indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from your love, which will stay with us always as an ever-present help in times of trouble.

Lord, may your face shine upon us as you guide the nations upon earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we pray for all those whom we love and who now see you face to face and rejoice in the glory of your nearer presence. Lord, let your glory be about us that we may be changed from glory to glory.

Lord, may your face shine upon us as you guide the nations upon earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer.
The illustration is The Transfiguration of Christ: Part of an iconostasis in Constantinople style. Middle of the 12th century. Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai (Egypt) via Wikimedia.

4 comments on this post:

Jonathan Marshall said...

Thanks, that was very helpful. Very much like the echo of the transfiguration in the imagery of the intercessions. Also nice and concise!

layanglicana said...

Many thanks Jonathan – always encouraging to have a comment!

09 February 2013 20:34
09 February 2013 20:23
Janet Heskins said...

I was not able to attend church this morning but used the form of service above at home. I have posted it to my church Facebook page in the hope that others, who would not see it otherwise, might find it equally though provoking as well as a means of worship.

Lay Anglicana said...

Many thanks for the compliment Janet 🙂

10 February 2013 12:34
10 February 2013 12:32

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