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Intercessions for Presentation of Christ in the Temple Year A – Candlemas – 2 February 2014


The Collect

Almighty and ever-living God, clothed in majesty, whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple, in substance of our flesh: grant that we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts, by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading Malachi 3.1-5

Thus says the Lord God: See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight – indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

Psalm 24.(1-6)7-10

The earth is the Lord’s and all that fills it, * the compass of the world and all who dwell therein.
For he has founded it upon the seas * and set it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
‘Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord, * or who can rise up in his holy place?’
‘Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, * who have not lifted up their soul to an idol, nor sworn an oath to a lie;
‘They shall receive a blessing from the Lord, * a just reward from the God of their salvation.’
Such is the company of those who seek him, * of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted up, you everlasting doors; * and the King of glory shall come in.
‘Who is the King of glory?’ * ‘The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord who is mighty in battle.’
Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted up, you everlasting doors; * and the King of glory shall come in.
‘Who is this King of glory?’ * ‘The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.’

Second Reading Hebrews 2.14-18

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Gospel Reading Luke 2.22-40 .

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons”. Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

Prayers of Intercession


¶The Church of Christ

Lord, as with *Candlemas we reach the end of the beginning of that great story that has no ending, we now begin to turn our faces towards Lent, and the time of reflection that follows from it. Help us with the passing of time to grow in wisdom and simplicity, like Simeon and Anna, through listening attentively to your word. As we seek to be faithful followers of the essence of your message, may the whole Church submit to the fire that refines and purifies as it turns back to the single truth that you were made man in Palestine, and live today in bread and wine.

Lord, we thank you for the light that illumines our darkness; in your mercy, hear our prayer

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

Lord, you have sent us a light to enlighten the nations, and still there are people in darkness who pay no heed. We pray for all the darkness in this world, and for those places where civil strife makes it almost impossible to live in love with neighbours, even though without such love, there seems no peaceful end in sight. Deliver your people from evil, we pray.

Lord, we thank you for the light that illumines our darkness; in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The local community

Lord, help us to heal the generation gap. Teach the old to learn from the enthusiasm of the young, and their ability to see new flowers in the garden of life. And teach the young that the old, too, may have something to teach them, the ability to see things from a less rushed perspective, when the fever of doing gives way to the peace of simply being.

Lord, we thank you for the light that illumines our darkness; in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶Those who suffer

Lord, look with compassion on those who are afraid, who feel inadequate in the face of life’s daily demands. In the name of your Son, who suffered for us even unto death, give to all those who are in pain the strength to face the future, a confidence in your wisdom, and the ability to draw strength from the knowledge that underneath are your everlasting arms.

Lord, we thank you for the light that illumines our darkness; in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we pray for those who are coming to the end of their earthly lives.  Grant to those that in life encouraged us by their light, the fullness of your presence. May they know the peace of Simeon of a life well-led, and fufilment at the last as they climb the mountain of God and stand in your holy place.

Lord, we thank you for the light that illumines our darkness; in your mercy, hear our prayer

The image of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple is by Pietro Cavallini, about 1298.

You will recall that the Roman god Janus had two faces, one to look backwards and one to look forwards. * Ann Lewin expresses the Christian parallel thus:

Candlemas is sometimes spoken of as the day when the Church’s year changes direction.We stop looking back to Christmas, and begin to look forward to Lent and Good Friday and Easter. It’s the growing time of the year, a season that will offer us plenty of opportunity to practise and grow in wisdom, so that, like Anna and Simeon, we recognize the moments of God’s coming and rejoice in god’s love every day.


2 comments on this post:

minidvr said...

Thanks Laura

29 January 2014 06:24
John Bartlett said...

Lovely set of prayers. I’m just prepping for leading part of a Communion service tomorrow in Leicestershire, and find the prayers I’ve jotted down reflect yours very closely.
God bless you and enable you to continue His work for the glory of the Kingdom

27 January 2018 17:37

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