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Intercessions for Sunday next before Lent Year B: 15 February 2015


“Transfiguration of Jesus” by Feodor Ivanovich Iordan 1835 via Wikimedia Commons

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.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: 2 Kings 2.1-12

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’

Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’

Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

Psalm 50.1-6

The Lord, the most mighty God, has spoken * and called the world from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth; * our God comes and will not keep silence.
Consuming fire goes out before him * and a mighty tempest stirs about him.
He calls the heaven above, * and the earth, that he may judge his people:
‘Gather to me my faithful, * who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.’
Let the heavens declare his righteousness, * for God himself is judge.


Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4.3-6

Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Gospel Reading: Mark 9.2-9

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.  As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

For an explanation of why today’s lectionary is about the transfiguration (but the Feast of the Transfiguration remains in August) see the intercessions for 2013.

The RSCM has: ‘What the three disciples saw was simply what had always been true: that as beloved Son of God, Jesus exists in God’s glory. The presence of Moses and Elijah confirmed him as Messiah, and emphasized what the companions of Jesus had been groping towards in their understanding – that the ‘day of the Lord’ spoken of by the prophets was here. As on Sinai, the cloud indicated both the presence of God and the veiling of human minds from the full impact of his glory.’

Jane Williams writes: ‘Both before and after the Transfiguration, Jesus talks about suffering and death. How are the disciples to put together what they have just seen and what Jesus is telling them? How are they to be faithful to the vision and command of God, which seem to point in differing directions? The vision tells them how important Jesus is, and the command tells them to listen to him while he stresses how he must suffer and die.’

Prayers of Intercession


¶The Church of Christ

Lord, give us grace and strength this day to build up your church in love for the world, in the making of disciples and to equip the saints for the work of ministry. Plant your hope deep within us. Open our eyes to a fresh vision of your kingdom and give us wisdom for the common task. And draw us, and all your Church, deeper into Christ, our foundation and cornerstone, that we may work together as one body in the power of the Spirit and for the sake of your glory. *

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer

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

Lord, every cloud has a sacred lining and the sparkle of the spirit nestles in the every day. Like gold, you glisten where the earth is broken. You are as close as the air we move through, and the soil in which we are rooted. Give us eyes to see you and a heart and words for praise.**

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The local community

Lord, open our eyes and ears to the world that surrounds us. You have given us so much to enjoy and to share with others, but so often we are absorbed in ourselves and our own needs and wants. Tear down the walls of separation and rebuild the roads of trust. Set us on fire, we pray, and burn from us all that dims your light. Kindle an answering flame in the lives of those around us that darkness may be driven back and glory stream into this world, transforming it with love.

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we are all emerging out of the dark, out of the fog, out of discordant human cries.  When the fog descends, be with us. Though we lose our horizons, may we keep your hand, unseen shepherd, and know you near. When the road uphill seems about to explode our lungs, and the road downhill stretches our faith to the utmost, we know you are travelling with us. Blind as we are, Father, lead us into light, into freedom and into you.

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

Lord, grant us to trust in your unfailing promise of salvation. We give thanks for all who have passed beyond death and been transformed in your glorious kingdom, especially those whom we love. May we, like them, come to the fullness of your presence

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer


Prayer after Communion

Holy God, we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ: may we who are partakers at his table reflect his life in word and deed, that all the world may know his power to change and save. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.


*This prayer comes from the General Synod paper GS 1979, Resourcing Ministerial Education in the Church of England; it was used at each meeting of the Task Goup and they commend its use to the wider Church.

**Based on Gerard Kelly’s twitturgies ‘Clouds’ and ‘Glory’.



Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Post Communion (Sunday next before Lent) © 1985 Anglican Church of Canada: The Book of Alternative Services Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000

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