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Intercessions for Epiphany 4 – Year C – 31 January 2016


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Intercessions for the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas) can be found here

The Collect

God our creator, who in the beginning commanded the light to shine out of darkness: we pray that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ may dispel the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, shine into the hearts of all your people, and reveal the knowledge of your glory in the face of 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: Ezekiel 43.27-44.4

The Lord said to Ezekiel: ‘When these days are over, then from the eighth day onward the priests shall offer upon the altar your burnt offerings and your offerings of well-being; and I will accept you, says the Lord God.’ Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east: and it was shut. The Lord said to me: This gate shall remain shut: it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut. Only the prince, because he is a prince, may sit in it to eat food before the Lord: he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate and shall go out by the same way. Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; and I looked, and lo! the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord: and I fell upon my face.

Psalm 48

Refrain: We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God.

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised, ♦ in the city of our God.

His holy mountain is fair and lifted high, ♦ the joy of all the earth.

On Mount Zion, the divine dwelling place, ♦ stands the city of the great king.

In her palaces God has shown himself ♦ to be a sure refuge. R

For behold, the kings of the earth assembled ♦ and swept forward together.

They saw, and were dumbfounded; ♦ dismayed, they fled in terror.

Trembling seized them there; they writhed like a woman in labour, ♦ as when the east wind shatters the ships of Tarshish.

As we had heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, the city of our God: ♦ God has established her for ever. R

We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God, ♦ in the midst of your temple.

As with your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; ♦ your right hand is full of justice.

Let Mount Zion rejoice and the daughters of Judah be glad, ♦ because of your judgements, O Lord.

Walk about Zion and go round about her; count all her towers; ♦ consider well her bulwarks; pass through her citadels,

That you may tell those who come after that such is our God for ever and ever. ♦ It is he that shall be our guide for evermore.

Refrain: We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God.

Father of lights,
raise us with Christ to your eternal city,
that, with kings and nations,
we may wait in the midst of your temple
and see your glory for ever and ever.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 13.1-13

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

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 we draw a circle around those in the Church who think like us,* help us widen the circle to encompass through your love also those who think differently. Let us not become so engrossed in the finer points of doctrine that we forget your command to love you with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, with all our strength, and our neighbours as ourselves.

Knowing we shall see you face to face, Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, forgive the imperfections of our human vision and help us to see your Truth more clearly, and then to act accordingly. Where the victims of war and famine stand at our gates, helplessly asking for our mercy, let not our hearts be hardened against them. Inspire our leaders with the knowledge of how they can help, and give them the courage to do so, in our name.

Knowing we shall see you face to face, Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

The local community

Lord, set us on fire with the power of your love, and burn from us all that dims your light. Kindle, we pray, 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 your love.

Knowing we shall see you face to face, Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Those who suffer

We pray for all those who are struggling in their lives. Bring them hope of an end to their sufferings, and a resolution of their difficulties. Show us the best way to help those who suffer, without being intrusive but without simply turning away from their pain either. Give us sensitivity and a sense of timing as we seek to reflect your love to them.

Knowing we shall see you face to face, Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

The communion of saints

We remember those who have departed this life….

We give thanks for the love that brings life out of death; grant to those on another shore the perfect sight of your everlasting glory.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers….

*Based on the poem by Edwin Markham (1852-1940):

He drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

Prayer after Communion

Generous Lord,
in word and eucharist we have proclaimed the mystery of your love:
help us so to live out our days
that we may be signs of your wonders in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.



Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Luke 2.22-40 © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Collect (4th of Epiphany) © 1980, 1986 Mowbray, a Cassell Imprint: Prayers for the Alternative Services comp. David Silk 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 Gospel Acclamation (Epiph. to Eve of Presentation) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

3 comments on this post:

Rev Heather Wilson said...

Very good prayers. I adapted them for this Sunday. I like your use of the little poem about drawing a circle of inclusion.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you so much. Appreciation from clergy is especially welcome 🙂

28 January 2016 20:20
28 January 2016 14:47
Arthur Johnson said...

Excellent prayers. I found them especially to throw light on the somewhat odd passage from Ezekiel in the day’s lections, and used them for our Evensong congregation.

31 January 2016 17:20

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