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Intercessions for the Feast of St Peter and St Paul Year A – 29 June 2014

St Peter and St Paul by El Greco

St Peter and St Paul by El Greco

The Collect

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you in their death as in their life: grant that your Church, inspired by their teaching and example, and made one by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, 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.  Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Zechariah 4.1-6a,10b-14

The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as one is wakened from sleep. He said to me, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it; there are seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And by it there are two olive trees, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.’ I said to the angel who talked with me, ‘What are these, my lord?’ Then the angel who talked with me answered me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ I said, ‘No, my lord.’ He said to me, ‘These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.’ Then I said to him, ‘What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?’ And a second time I said to him, ‘What are these two branches of the olive trees, which pour out the oil through the two golden pipes?’ He said to me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ I said, ‘No, my lord.’ Then he said, ‘These are the two anointed ones 1 who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.’

1Zechariah probably meant Joshua and Zerubbabel, Israel’s spiritual leaders of his time…in the context of today’s festival, we think of Peter and Paul.

Psalm 125

Refrain: Glorious things are spoken of you, Zion, city of our God.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, *which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever.
As the hills stand about Jerusalem, *so the Lord stands round about his people, from this time forth for evermore.
The sceptre of wickedness shall not hold sway over the land allotted to the righteous, * lest the righteous turn their hands to evil.
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, * and to those who are true of heart.
Those who turn aside to crooked ways the Lord shall take away with the evildoers; * but let there be peace upon Israel.
Refrain: Glorious things are spoken of you, Zion, city of our God.


Second Reading: Acts 12.1-11

King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.  The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’And the chains fell off his wrists. The angel said to him, ‘Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.’He did so. Then he said to him, ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.’ Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, ‘Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.’

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16.13-19

When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

”Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam. Et portae inferi non praevalebunt ad versus eam: et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum.”

Prayers of Intercession

Today is complicated. It is both the Feast of St Peter and St Paul and the Second Sunday after Trinity.  The lectionary for Trinity 2 follows after the line at the bottom of this text. However, most people will follow the liturgy for St Peter and St Paul (particularly as June 29th this year falls on a Sunday). The following intercessions are proposed by Visual Liturgy (Church House):

Encouraged by our fellowship with all the saints,  let us make our prayers to the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Father, your Son called men and women to leave the past behind them and to follow him as his disciples in the way of the cross. Look with mercy upon those whom he calls today, marks with the cross and makes his disciples within the Church …
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Your Son told his disciples not to be afraid and at Easter breathed on them his gift of peace. Look with mercy upon the world into which he sent them out, and give it that peace for which it longs …
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.|

Your Son formed around him a company who were no longer servants but friends, and he called all those who obeyed him his brother and sister and mother. Look with mercy upon our families and our friends and upon the communities in which we share …
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Your Son sent out disciples to preach and heal the sick. Look with mercy on all those who yearn to hear the good news of salvation, and renew among your people the gifts of healing …
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Your Son promised to those who followed him that they would sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel and would share the banquet of the kingdom. According to your promise, look with mercy on those who have walked with Christ in this life and now have passed through death …
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone: so join us together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God, who has prepared for you a city with eternal foundations, bring you, with Peter and Paul and all the saints, to the eternal and triumphant joy of that city; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

Lay Anglicana offers:

The RSCM wrote the following in 2008:

Caesarea Philippi – a key turning point in the Gospels: nothing can be the same again after this. The other disciples play it safe. Only Peter, willing to make the biggest mistake of his life (although in fact that will come later) risks all, risks blasphemy: ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.’ And so he reveals what a big, risky God he has, God made man – a God who asks us, like Peter, to take extraordinary risks with him and for him.


 ¶The Church of Christ

Lord, you built your Church upon a rock, and despite many travails and conflicts, it remains standing as a beacon of light transmitted from your son to the apostles Peter and Paul, and thence to those around them in a galaxy of myriad lights taken up by successive generations. We thank you for infusing the apostles with the joy of believing, and the ability to transmit that joy to others. May we in our age, who speak where others listen and write what others read, do our part in spreading the light of Christ far and wide.

Lord, help us each in turn to absorb, be transformed by and then transmit the light of Christ: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

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

Lord, those who stand at the roof of the world to await the dawn, in the darkest of dark hours which precede it,  see at first not the sun itself, but its reflection on each mountain top in turn, beginning with the highest peak. Each mountain summit takes up the light, transmitting the beacon to its snow-capped companions, on to the next and the next until the valleys themselves are also flooded with light. So may our planet transmit peace and light and love, one community to another in turn, as we seek to glorify you in this world you have made.

Lord, help us each in turn to absorb, be transformed by and then transmit the light of Christ: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

Lord, we ask you to find a space for us somwhere in this giant jigsaw that you are working: a space our contours can fit without contortion. Teach us which patch we are in the cosmic quilt you are quilting: show us where our own squares of selfhood can be of use to the pattern as a whole. Put us next to whom you will, precisely in the place your plan demands. Tell us what we are in this body you are building: tongues to taste, nerves to serve or ears to hear. Weave your wondrous tapestry until the twisted, tangled threads of our selves, surrendered to your artistry, form an image that is beautiful to see. *

Lord, help us each in turn to absorb, be transformed by and then transmit the light of Christ: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, shine on us and those for whom we pray, with your eyes of compassion and glory. We remember those whose hearts are broken because the light they lived by has turned to darkness. We remember those whose feet walk in circles, resting only to resume the same circular path. We remember those whose flesh and bone or mind and spirit are filled with pain. Let your light flood the darkness in us and in our world, and make us bearers of your healing for people.

Lord, help us each in turn to absorb, be transformed by and then transmit the light of Christ: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we thank you for the saints of all ages; for those who, in times of darkness, kept the lamp of faith burning; for the great souls like St Peter and St Paul, who saw visions of larger truth and dared to declare it; for those whose presence has purified and sanctified the world; and for those whom we knew and loved, and who have passed from this earthly fellowship into the fuller light of life with you.

 Lord, help us each in turn to absorb, be transformed by and then transmit the light of Christ: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


*Based on Gerard Kelly’s ‘Fit Me In Somewhere‘.

Collect for Second Sunday after Trinity

Lord, you have taught us that all our doings without love are nothing worth: send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whoever lives is counted dead before you. Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Genesis 22.1-14

God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And Abraham said, ‘Here I am.’ God said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And Abraham said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ Isaac said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together. When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ The angel said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’

Psalm 13

Refrain: I love the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my supplication.
How long will you forget me, O Lord; for ever? * How long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have anguish in my soul and grief in my heart, day after day? * How long shall my enemy triumph over me? R
Look upon me and answer, O Lord my God; * lighten my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
Lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed against him,’ * and my foes rejoice that I have fallen. R
But I put my trust in your steadfast love; * my heart will rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, * for he has dealt so bountifully with me.
Refrain: I love the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my supplication.

Jesus Christ, Son of God,
who passed through the dark sleep of death,
remember those who cry to you
in shame and silence and defeat
and raise them to your risen life,
for you are alive and reign for ever.

Second Reading: Romans 6.12-23

Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 10.40-42

‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA. Intercessions (Peter & Paul) © Michael Perham; The Archbishops’ Council. Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000. Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council

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