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Intercessions for Epiphany 3 – Year C – series 2 – 24 January 2016

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1407 AD Latin Bible in Malmesbury Abbey showing St Peter as part of illuminated ‘P’ (Wikimedia)

The Collect

Almighty God, whose Son revealed in signs and miracles the wonder of your saving presence: renew your people with your heavenly grace, and in all our weakness sustain us by your mighty power; through 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: Nehemiah 8.1-3,5-6,8-10

All the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God and all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’

Psalm: 19

Refrain: The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

The heavens are telling the glory of God ♦ and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

One day pours out its song to another ♦ and one night unfolds knowledge to another.

They have neither speech nor language ♦ and their voices are not heard,

Yet their sound has gone out into all lands ♦ and their words to the ends of the world.

In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun, ♦ that comes forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber and rejoices as a champion to run his course.

It goes forth from the end of the heavens and runs to the very end again, ♦ and there is nothing hidden from its heat. R

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; ♦ the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to the simple.

The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart; ♦ the commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever; ♦ the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, ♦ sweeter also than honey, dripping from the honeycomb.

By them also is your servant taught ♦ and in keeping them there is great reward. R

Who can tell how often they offend? ♦ O cleanse me from my secret faults!

Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins lest they get dominion over me; ♦ so shall I be undefiled, and innocent of great offence.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, ♦ O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Refrain: The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12.12-31a

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts.

Gospel Reading: Luke 4.14-21

Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’

We return to Jane Williams:

The more you read the Bible, the more inescapable is the conclusion that community is basic to any human attempt to understand God. You can get only so far with personal, private knowledge of God. The test of it will come in the way you interact with others. The Corinthians are a very attractive lot, from what we glean about them in Paul’s letters. They are enthusiastic, gifted, clever, determined. But they are infantile in their inability to live together in love (Does that sound anything like a church near you?) This whole section is an impassioned plea for an attempt to think in a completely new way. Instead of thinking always about themselves and their individual needs and rights, instead of always battling to be the most important and gifted person in any gathering, the Corinthians have to learn to think of themselves as one entity, one body, whose health and whose very live depends upon co-operation and connection. And we cannot pretend that that is a lesson we have now learned. And so, finally, to Jesus’ description of his mission. Isn’t it interesting that this declaration of intent is not about teaching us a better spirituality, but about doing God’s justice, and creating God’s community? The Christian body that Paul is pleading for will be recognizable by the way it treats others. To be the body of Christ, we have to do as he did.

Prayers of Intercession

The Church of Christ

Lord, we pray to you for the unity of all Christians everywhere, according to your will. May your Spirit enable us to experience the suffering caused by division, and to hope beyond all hope that the Body of Christ may be healed. Lord of the living word, give us the faith to receive your message, the wisdom to understand it, and the courage to practise it.

Lord, renew us that we may in turn renew the face of the earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer

Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, we pray for all those who speak up for tomorrow’s world: those who work for action on climate change, those who continue to plant trees to renew the soil, those who speak on behalf of endangered species and habitats. and those of us who try, fitfully, to play our part in saving this wonderful world which you have made and on which we are privileged to dwell.

Lord, renew us that we may in turn renew the face of the earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer

The local community

Lord, help us to remember that the world does not revolve around ourselves: when we see no horizon beyond ourselves, when we become our own horizon, our world shrinks to nothing. Endow us with the discernment to recognize the seeds of harshness in our lives and help us to look outwards, to share your love and tenderness with those with whom we live and share our lives, even those we find it hard to warm to. May we be ambassadors for Christ.

Lord, renew us that we may in turn renew the face of the earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer

Those who suffer

Lord, we bring before you all those who are suffering in body, mind or spirit. Grant them relief from their distress, and courage to bear what they must bear. Above all, enfold them in your loving arms so that they may be comforted and encouraged by your presence.

Lord, renew us that we may in turn renew the face of the earth: in your mercy, hear our prayer

The communion of saints

We pray for those who have recently departed this life. May they rest in your love and be renewed and restored by your almighty power. And comfort, we pray, those that mourn them.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers….

Prayer after Communion

Almighty Father,
whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world:
may your people,
illumined by your word and sacraments,
shine with the radiance of his glory,
that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed
to the ends of the earth;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): 1 Corinthians 12.12-31a © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Post Communion (3rd of Epiphany) © 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 Gospel Acclamation (Epiph. to Eve of Presentation) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

 

Intercessions for Epiphany 2 – Year C – series 2 – 17 January 2016

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Wedding at Cana by Duccio (1260-1318) via Wikimedia

The Collect

Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new: transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory; through 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: Isaiah 62.1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,  and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,  until her vindication shines out like the dawn,  and her salvation like a burning torch.  The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory;  and you shall be called by a new name  that the mouth of the Lord will give.  You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,  and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

 

Psalm: 36.5-10

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens ♦ and your faithfulness to the clouds.

Your righteousness stands like the strong mountains, your justice like the great deep; ♦ you, Lord, shall save both man and beast.

How precious is your loving mercy, O God! ♦ All mortal flesh shall take refuge under the shadow of your wings.

They shall be satisfied with the abundance of your house; ♦ they shall drink from the river of your delights.

For with you is the well of life ♦ and in your light shall we see light.

O continue your loving-kindness to those who know you ♦ and your righteousness to those who are true of heart.

 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12.1-11

Concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak.  Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

 

Gospel Reading: John 2.1-11

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to our Lord, the bountiful giver of love and mercy.

The Church of Christ

Lord of wisdom and discernment, deliver our Church from the delusion that we, as Christians, are better than others; or that one denomination of Christianity, or one tradition within Anglicanism, is alone faithful in discerning your message to us. In the light of this week’s meeting of the Anglican Communion in England, may we resist the inclination to criticise one another, but instead kneel together in all humility at the communion rail, certain only in your mercy and your truth.

Lord, you are the wellspring of all our spiritual nourishment: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord of celebration, take the tapwater of our lives, all that we see as routine and humdrum, and infuse it with your splendour. Take our dullness and our limited vision, obsessed with the next step along the path, and raise our eyes instead to the magnificence of your creation. Give us a glimpse of our part in the cosmos, as we lose ourselves in wonder, love and praise.

Lord, you are the wellspring of all our spiritual nourishment: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The local community

Lord, we thank you for all who enrich our community through their abilities and spiritual gifts. Teach us to recognise these gifts in each other, and to encourage one another to offer themselves for the common good. Help us also to hear your voice, Lord, in calling each of us to the task you would have us undertake.

Lord, you are the wellspring of all our spiritual nourishment: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Those who suffer

Lord, look with your love on those who are exhausted by emotion or numbed by their suffering; those who do not know which way to turn next. We think particularly of those fleeing the scourge of war, and no longer able to live safely in their own homes; those who have sought temporary refuge in the camps, in the hope that they may be assured of shelter, food and warmth. May their trust in the humanity of  fellow human beings not prove misplaced  as we respond in your name.

Lord, you are the wellspring of all our spiritual nourishment: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The communion of saints

Lord, as we pray for the departed, we remember with thanks all that they gave to the life of this world.

Grant them joy in the everlasting marriage feast of heaven.

Merciful Father,  accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

God of glory,
you nourish us with your Word
who is the bread of life:
fill us with your Holy Spirit
that through us the light of your glory
may shine in all the world.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):Collect (2nd of Epiphany) © 1972 Church of the Province of Southern Africa: Modern Collects John 2.1-11 © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Post Communion (2nd of Epiphany) © 1985 General Synod of the 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 Gospel Acclamation (Epiph. to Eve of Presentation) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

 

Intercessions for Advent 4 – Year C – 20 December 2015 – series 2

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“Gero crucifix“, late 10th century, Cologne Cathedral via Wikipedia

The Collect

God our redeemer, who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of your Son: grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour, so we may be ready to greet him when he comes again as our judge; 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: Micah 5.2-5a

The Lord says to his people: But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

Psalm: Luke 1.46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; ♦ he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed; ♦ the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him, ♦ from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm ♦ and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones ♦ and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things ♦ and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, ♦ to remember his promise of mercy,
The promise made to our ancestors, ♦ to Abraham and his children for ever.

Second Reading: Hebrews 10.5-10

When Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God” (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’ When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1.39-45(46-55)

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me –
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants for ever,
even as he said to our fathers.”

December 22 2015, with only 7 hours 49 minutes of daylight, is the shortest day this year. However, in the Sarum Rite, the great Antiphon, O Oriens (The Dawn Breaking, the Light of the World), is today. And, as the darkest hour is before the dawn, today we consider both darkness and light.

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This poem is an extract from the excellent new book by Stephen Cherry, ‘Barefoot Ways: Praying Through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany’


Prayers of Intercession

Lord, we pray to you as our hemisphere moves to its darkest days: we look for the slant, misted light of a winter dawn, the light that brings hope to human kind.

 ¶The Church of Christ

Lord, in moments of darkness for the Church, when we seem to be talking to ourselves instead of looking outwards, and are riven with dissension and difficulties, help us to remember that you have sustained the faith of your people for over two thousand years, and that, though you will illumine our path, darkness is not dark to you, for in your sight, night is as light as day.

Lord of the dark, we long for the light: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

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

Lord, giver of life, we wait with you to bear your hope to earth’s darkest places: where justice is destroyed, let righteousness rule. Where hope is crucified, let faith persist. Where peace is no more, let passion live on. Where truth is denied, let the struggle continue. Where laughter has dried up, let music play on. Where fear paralyses, let forgiveness break through. *

Lord of the dark, we long for the light: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The local community

Lord, open our hearts and unblock our ears to those whom we live amongst. May we see your face in each of our neighbours, and help us to overcome our reserve so that we may offer the hand of friendship in your name, especially at this Christmas tide when there are many who are alone and long not to be. May your kingdom come on earth, and may it begin with each one of us.

Lord of the dark, we long for the light: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for those who going through dark times, whether these be physical, material or spiritual. We pray for those who can see no chink of light, no way out of their despair. May they be comforted by your loving presence, and find the courage to see clearly the path forwards. May your clarity and power protect them and heal them, and give them hope for the future.

Lord of the dark, we long for the light: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The communion of saints

Lord God, you came to earth that in your power and love we might ascend into heaven, bless those whom we love who have departed this life with the gift of life and love eternal.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Prayer after Communion

Silence is kept.

Heavenly Father,
who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of the promised saviour:
fill us your servants with your grace,
that in all things we may embrace your holy will
and with her rejoice in your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


* Prayer by Robin Green, quoted in Angela Ashwin ‘The Book of a Thousand Prayers’

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Luke 1.39-45(46-55) © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Invitation to Confession (1st Sun. of Advent to Christmas Eve) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted) 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 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2002 Blessing (1st Sun. of Advent until Christmas Eve) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

 

Intercessions for Advent 3 – 13 December 2015 – Year C – series 2

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Image ID:112933981 Copyright: Dirk Ercken

The Collect

O Lord Jesus Christ, who at your first coming sent your messenger to prepare your way before you: grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready your way by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at your second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in your sight; for you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Zephaniah 3.14-20

Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” “The sorrows for the appointed feasts I will remove from you; they are a burden and a reproach to you. At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you; I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered. I will give them praise and honour in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honour and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.

[Psalm] Canticle: Isaiah 12.2-6

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
And you will say on that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

 

Second Reading: Philippians 4.4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Gospel Reading: Luke 3.7-18

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptised by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Tax collectors also came to be baptised. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely – be content with your pay.” The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptise you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.

Jane Williams writes:

Augustine wrote, ‘Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee’, but the problem is that that is often not true, or at least that we don’t know that it is true. We may know that they are restless, but until they do find their home, they don’t know what they are looking for. The final verse of one of G K Chesterton’s Christmas poems goes like this:

To an open house in the evening
Home shall all men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

It is God’s willingness to be homeless to bring us home that we celebrate at Christmas, and that we spend Advent trying to imagine and prepare ourselves for. But the passage from Luke, like Zephaniah, warns us that dispossession is the only preparation for possession.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to the Lord, our deliverer, who is ever in our midst and bringing us home.

 ¶The Church of Christ

Lord, may the Church rejoice in the challenge that is set before us. As we set about the task of spreading your word afresh to a new generation, inspire us, we pray, with your Holy Spirit so that we may have fire in our hearts, be grounded in the earth of reality, refreshed by the water of life, and set free to take wings in the skies above.

Lord, as we rejoice in you through both peaks and troughs of our earthly life, in your mercy: hear our prayer

 

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

Lord of truth and justice, inspire the hearts of all those in positions of power over others. May they remain true to the ideals of their professions and vocations, and not be diverted through greed and the desire to repay favours. Above all, may truth and the desire to be of use to those whom they serve remain uppermost in their hearts.

Lord, as we rejoice in you through both peaks and troughs of our earthly life, in your mercy: hear our prayer

 

¶The local community

Lord, make us just in all our own dealings, both to those with whom we work and those amongst whom we live. Grant that we remain true to, and honour in each other, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are pure and whatsoever things are of good report. Have mercy, Lord, on refugees who have been torn from their homes to seek shelter amongst us, that they may find renewed hope.

Lord, as we rejoice in you through both peaks and troughs of our earthly life, in your mercy: hear our prayer

 

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for all those who suffer, in body, mind or spirit. Be with those who have hardened their hearts against the possibility of hope, for whom it seems too distant a dream. Bring them in from the cold and the dark, from the bleakness of mid-winter. Offer them a seat at your fireside, at the table of life, as we all continue our journey in the labyrinth towards our heavenly home.

Lord, as we rejoice in you through both peaks and troughs of our earthly life, in your mercy: hear our prayer

 

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we rejoice and give you thanks for the life you offer to the departed. We commend to you all whom we remember in love. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Prayer after Communion

We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts;
kindle in us the fire of your Spirit
that when your Christ comes again
we may shine as lights before his face;
who is alive and reigns now and for ever.


Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Invitation to Confession (1st Sun. of Advent to Christmas Eve) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted) 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 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2002 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662) Post Communion (3rd of Advent) © Westcott House, Cambridge

Intercessions for Advent 2 – Year C – 6 December 2015 series 2

 

Collect

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness we are grievously hindered in running the race that is set before us, your bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Baruch 5.1-9

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God. Put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God; put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting; for God will show your splendour everywhere under heaven. For God will give you evermore the name, ‘Righteous Peace, Godly Glory’.  Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height; look towards the east, and see your children gathered from west and east at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that God has remembered them. For they went out from you on foot, led away by their enemies; but God will bring them back to you, carried in glory, as on a royal throne. For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low and the valleys filled up, to make level ground, so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God. The woods and every fragrant tree have shaded Israel at God’s command. For God will lead Israel with joy, in the light of his glory, with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.

Or

Malachi 3.1-4

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.

 

Psalm (Canticle): Luke 1.68-79 (Benedictus)

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, ♦ who has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour, ♦ born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets God promised of old ♦ to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us,
To show mercy to our ancestors, ♦ and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham: ♦ to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship him without fear, ♦ holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, ♦ for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation ♦ by the forgiveness of all their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God ♦ the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, ♦ and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 

Second Reading: Philippians 1.3-11

 I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s gracewith me, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

 

Gospel Reading: Luke 3.1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ’

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to the Lord for the word of salvation to be made known to all people.

 ¶The Church of Christ

Lord, as we prepare for the coming of the Christ child, help us to divest ourselves of the curlicues of our faith, the desire to gild the lily, already perfect in its simplicity. At the Nativity, we may take up the adornments once more, one by one, but help us for a season to leave to one side the weighing of theological argument and the complexities of doctrine which we love to ponder. Let us instead explore inwards as we once more confront the astounding core of our belief: that you were made man in Palestine, and live today in bread and wine.

Lord, who sent us the light of the world to enlighten our lives, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

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

Lord, you know we are engaged in a struggle to prevent the world from tearing itself apart, particularly in the Middle East. Guide, we beseech you, those who now hope to use the weapons of war to forge a lasting peace among the nations. May your dawn from on high break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of Peace.

Lord, who sent us the light of the world to enlighten our lives, in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The local community

Lord, we thank you for those around us who make us feel more alive. We thank you for those who offer us companionship and affection, and are a real blessing to us. May we hold them in your loving care and be a blessing to them in return.

Lord, who sent us the light of the world to enlighten our lives, in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶Those who suffer

Lord, our healer, whose mercy is like a refining fire, use our sufferings, if you will, to refine our bodies and minds so that we may emerge purified and restored to health. And then, being first challenged and then comforted by you, may we in our turn then reach out to a troubled world.

Lord, who sent us the light of the world to enlighten our lives, in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

We pray for all those whom we have loved, and who have now departed this life. We pray for all those who sacrifice themselves in the service of others. May they all rest in peace and rise in glory to be with you in the Eternal Kingdom.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers…

Prayer after Communion

Father in heaven,
who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
give us grace so to imitate him
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that, when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Philippians 1.3-11 © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Post Communion (2nd of Advent) © 1980, 1986 Mowbray, a Cassell Imprint: Prayers for the Alternative Services comp. David Silk Invitation to Confession (1st Sun. of Advent to Christmas Eve) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray)  Adapted) 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 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2002 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

Intercessions for First Sunday of Advent – Year C – 29 November 2015 – series 2

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The Collect

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day,  when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him 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: Jeremiah 33.14-16

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

Psalm 25.1-9

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; O my God, in you I trust; * let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies triumph over me.
Let none who look to you be put to shame, * but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord, * and teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, * for you are the God of my salvation; for you have I hoped all the day long.
Remember, Lord, your compassion and love, * for they are from everlasting.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions, * but think on me in your goodness, O Lord, according to your steadfast love.
Gracious and upright is the Lord; * therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.
He will guide the humble in doing right * and teach his way to the lowly.
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth * to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3.9-13

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Gospel Reading: Luke 21.25-36

Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Alleluia.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’ Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’


Prayers of Intercession

Visual Liturgy offers:

In joyful expectation of his coming to our aid, we pray to Jesus.

Come to your Church as Lord and judge. We pray for … Help us to live in the light of your coming and give us a longing for your kingdom.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to your world as King of the nations. We pray for … Before you rulers will stand in silence.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to the suffering as Saviour and comforter. We pray for … Break into our lives, where we struggle with sickness and distress, and set us free to serve you for ever.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to us as shepherd & guardian of our souls. We remember … Give us with all the faithful departed a share in your victory over evil & death.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come from heaven, Lord Jesus, with power and great glory. Lift us up to meet you, that with [N and] all your saints and angels we may live and reign with you in your new creation.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come, Lord Jesus, do not delay; give new courage to your people, who trust in your love. By your coming, raise us to share in the joy of your kingdom on earth as in heaven, where you live and reign with the Father and the Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.


As we are starting a new year, and hence a new Jane Williams book, I am allowing myself a fairly full extract:

Advent Sunday 1Advent 2The point about Advent is to learn about God, so that we recognize him when he comes…. And the RSCM adds: ‘In the midst of all this distress, fear, and global confusion, Jesus’ exhortation to his followers to stand upright and raise their heads is striking. The warning rings true though: if our eyes are constantly earth-bound, not only will our hearts be dragged down, but our patterns of living will be too. Luke’s message is clear: keep your eyes on the Son of Man and you will have nothing to fear.’

As we look for the coming of the Kingdom, let us pray to the Lord.

¶The Church of Christ

O Lord God, the Wind of your Holy Spirit blows through the trees, shorn of their leaves, as it blows holes in our defences and lays bare our fear. Come, Lord, and fill us with life anew. Breathe on us till we are wholly yours, until this earthly part of us glows with your divine fire. And then send us out into the world, renewed by the birth of your Son, to proclaim your Kingdom!

Lord, we fix our eyes on you, only you: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

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

Lord, we are creatures of this world as well as of the next. We are in the midst of wars and tumults; we have despoiled our green and life-giving planet; and we fear that these may be the end times. Yet the world demands we spend the solemn fast of Advent in preparing a great feast of food and gifts. Help us, in the midst of these distracting demands for our attention, to focus on the Christ child and the miracle that changed everything, the Incarnation.

Lord, we fix our eyes on you, only you: in your mercy, hear our prayer
 

 

¶The local community

Lord, fill our homes with your light and love. Help us to reach out to each other and share what we have, while being sensitive to their needs. Teach us how to share our joy at the wonder of what is to come, and teach us how to give so that it imposes no sense of obligation on the recipient.

Lord, we fix our eyes on you, only you: in your mercy, hear our prayer
 

 

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for all who suffer pain, whether in mind, body or spirit. We pray for all those who fall ill at this season, and for the hospitals and others who care for them. We pray for all those who find Advent and Christmas a difficult time to be alone, perhaps remembering those who are no longer here to share it. We pray for all those on the move from the Middle East and Africa, who now sleep out in the cold.

Lord, we fix our eyes on you, only you: in your mercy, hear our prayer
 

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we pray for the departed, whose fellowship is now complete in you. As they leave behind this earthly plane, grant them everlasting salvation with you.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers….

Prayer after Communion

O Lord our God, make us watchful and keep us faithful as we await the coming of your Son our Lord; that, when he shall appear, he may not find us sleeping in sin but active in his service and joyful in his praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Invitation to Confession (1st Sun. of Advent to Christmas Eve) © 1988  Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted) 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 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2002 Blessing (1st Sun. of Advent until Christmas Eve) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662),/sup>

Intercessions for Christ the King – Year B – 22 November 2015 – series two

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Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock.com

 

The Collect

Eternal Father, whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord and King: keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace, and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet; 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: Daniel 7.9-10,13-14

As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousand served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him. The court sat in judgement, and the books were opened. As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One
and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

Psalm 93

Refrain: The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.
The Lord is king and has put on glorious apparel; * the Lord has put on his glory and girded himself with strength.
He has made the whole world so sure * that it cannot be moved.
Your throne has been established from of old; * you are from everlasting. R
The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; * the floods lift up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of many waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea, * the Lord on high is mightier.
Your testimonies are very sure; * holiness adorns your house, O Lord, for ever.
Refrain: The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.

Christ our King,
you put on the apparel of our nature
and raised us to your glory;
reign from your royal throne
above the chaos of this world,
that all may see the victory you have won
and trust in your salvation;
for your glory’s sake.

Second Reading: Revelation 1.4b-8

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

 

Gospel Reading: John 18.33-37

Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’


The RSCM said (2009): ‘A Roman official in a far-flung part of the empire questions a prisoner who may or may not have delusions of grandeur. Betrayed by his own people, the man seems to speak in riddles. Is this the voice of a King? In prophecy and psalms, images of a heavenly throne and attendant beings abound. Heaven does not doubt the kingship of Jesus. On earth it is not quite so clear – now as then. Yet if we let him live in us, heaven’s presence will be evident here too.’

I have used up my allotted quota of extracts from Jane Williams ‘Lectionary Reflections’, but I do again recommend them as the best and most stimulating thoughts on the weekly readings. You are just in time to order her thoughts on Year C 🙂

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to the Lord, King of all things on earth and in heaven

 

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we thank you for the glimpses of your heavenly kingdom which you share with us, both through your word and through your Holy Spirit. We thank you for the glimpses of the kingdom when we work for others, seeing the divine spark in those we live amongst. And we thank you for the glimpses of the kingdom when we pray alone in our rooms. Help us to remember both faith and works as we travel on our path towards you.

Lord, lead us as one into your everlasting kingdom: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

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

Creator God, woven as you are into the very fabric of the universe, committed to bringing harmony out of chaos, reassure us, we beseech you, with your presence in the midst of our perplexities and fears, enduring with us, and speaking the calm words of a deeper, and more lasting, peace.

Lord, lead us as one into your everlasting kingdom: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The local community

Lord, in our dealings with our neighbours, grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood as to understand; and to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Lord, lead us as one into your everlasting kingdom: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we bring before you all those who are suffering, whether in body, mind or spirit.  May they know and believe that you are the help of the helpless and the hope of those without hope; you are the saviour of those tossed by tempests on the open sea, and the safe harbour of those who weary from their voyage and seek salvation on another shore.

Lord, lead us as one into your everlasting kingdom: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we pray for those who have recently departed this life, especially those who are dear to us. Bestow your love and peace upon them and us,  receive us all into your heavenly kingdom, and make us children of light.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers…

 

Prayer after Communion

Stir up, O Lord,
the wills of your faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,
may by you be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): 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 Introduction to the Peace (After All Saints’ to 1st of Adv.) © The Archbishops’ Council 2002 Post Communion (Christ the King) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

Intercessions for 2nd Sunday before Advent -Year B – 2nd series – 15 November 2015

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The Collect

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life: grant that we, having this hope, may purify ourselves even as he is pure; that when he shall appear in power and great glory we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he 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: Daniel 12.1-3

In the third year of King Cyrus a word was revealed to Daniel. ‘At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.’

Psalm 16

Refrain: The Lord is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

Preserve me, O God, for in you have I taken refuge; *I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord, all my good depends on you.’
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, * upon those who are noble in heart.
Though the idols are legion that many run after, * their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, neither make mention of their names upon my lips.
The Lord himself is my portion and my cup; * in your hands alone is my fortune.
My share has fallen in a fair land; * indeed, I have a goodly heritage. R
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel, * and in the night watches he instructs my heart.
I have set the Lord always before me; * he is at my right hand; I shall not fall.
Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; * my flesh also shall rest secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Death, * nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life; in your presence is the fullness of joy * and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Refrain: The Lord is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

Give to us, Lord Christ,
the fullness of grace,
your presence and your very self,
for you are our portion and our delight,
now and for ever.

Second Reading: Hebrews 10.11-14(15-18)19-25

Every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, ‘he sat down at the right hand of God’, and since then has been waiting ‘until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.’ For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds’, he also adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Mark 13.1-8

As Jesus came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ Then Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’ When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?’ Then Jesus began to say to them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.’


‘And I Saw A New Heaven’ Bainton; St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. 15th August 2015 (VJ Day)

Jim Cotter prefaces his thoughts on the psalm: ‘Prayer in solidarity with those who have died before us; and that we may deepen our trust in a faithful creator.’

The RSCM comments “Jesus was unequivocal: the ever-simmering power struggle would erupt with dire consequences, the time for admiring historic buildings long gone. The coming crisis would be totally disruptive. Religious identity, personal relationships, physical well-being, all would be called into question, all pushed to their limits. And yet – this is not an end but a beginning…it is only through the painful process of birth itself that the emerging new life can be seen and embraced.”

I chose the illustration of Odysseus steering between Scylla and Charybdis because the readings today seem rather like an epic saga, whether of classical times, or a modern version like ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Christian pilgrims are on a journey which, for those who succeed, leads to an ‘eternal and glorious kingdom’. But there are dragons on the path….

 

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray for the peace of God in the Church and among the nations.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, you feed us with the bread of life, and nourish us with the cup of salvation. We give you thanks for the wisdom of your counsel: in the silence of the darkest hours of the night, we open our ears to the whisper of your voice. When we are lost in the thicket, you will show us the royal path that avoids both cliff and chasm as it leads us safely to your side.

Through endeavour, failure, danger: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

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

Lord, creator of the universe, infinite and glorious, you give us laws to save us from our folly; give us eyes to see your plan unfolding, your purpose emerging as the world is made; give us courage to follow the truth, courage to go wherever you lead; then we shall know blessings beyond our dreams; then will your will be done.*

Through endeavour, failure, danger: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The local community

Lord, we pray for our neighbours and those we live amongst. Teach us to give each other the benefit of the doubt, when rumours and gossip circulate. Teach us to put our trust in each other and our common humanity, rather than the buildings and structures in which we meet. Rather may we seek to forge our relationships, link by link.

Through endeavour, failure, danger: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶Those who suffer

Lord of all power and might, give us grace to trust you both in darkness and in light. In the face of danger and adversity, be our strength and hope, that we may be sustained on this earthly pilgrimage. Give courage to all those who are ill, and all who are afraid for their future. Look with mercy, we pray, on those who are in pain, that their sufferings may be lessened, or they may be strengthened to endure to the end.

Through endeavour, failure, danger:Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we give thanks for those who now rejoice in the fellowship of your saints; and we commend our loved ones whom we now mourn to your almighty love, that they too may rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers….

 


* from – A New Zealand Prayer Book | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa

Prayer after Communion

Gracious Lord,
in this holy sacrament
you give substance to our hope:
bring us at the last
to that fullness of life for which we long;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Post Communion (2nd before Advent) © 1985 Mowbray, a Cassell Imprint:After Communion compiled by C L Macdonnell 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 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2002 Collect (2nd before Advent) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

Intercessions for Remembrance Sunday: 8 November 2015

leanne bell war memorial pto in booklet - Copy

THE SERVICE*

 

GATHERING

All gather in silence, and the presiding minister reads:

This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Lamentations 3.21-23

God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46.1

REMEMBERING

An older person says:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

A younger person may reply:

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

All affirm:

We will remember them.

The beginning of the two-minute silence may be signalled

The completion of the silence may be signalled

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home;

Beneath the shadow of thy throne
thy saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone,
and our defence is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame,
from everlasting thou art God,
to endless years the same.

A thousand ages in thy sight
are like an evening gone;
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
bears all our years away;
they fly forgotten, as a dream
dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be thou our guard while troubles last,
and our eternal home.

READING

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the  peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:1-12

Intercessions

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, giver of life, may your love break through where this earth has grown dark. Where justice is destroyed, let righteousness rule. Let the warmth and light of your love shine on the waste of our wrath and sorrow.  Teach us, through you, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which over the centuries has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and  give peace to your Church, peace among nations, peace in our homes and peace in our hearts.

Lest we forget, lest we forget: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

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

Lord, we pray for all who bear the burden and privilege of leadership. Pour upon them your gifts of wisdom and resolve in all situations of conflict so that those who would wage war shall instead beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, as they search without ceasing for reconciliation and peace.

Lest we forget, lest we forget: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The local community

Lord, as we pray for those who seek reconciliation on the world stage, so do we pray for those in every community. Teach us when to climb down from our embattled certainties in search of even a hard and bitter peace. Teach us how to soften the bitterness through continual attempts at reconciliation. And teach us when to defend our truth unto the very end.

Lest we forget, lest we forget: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶Those who suffer

Lord, comfort all who, in bereavement, disability or pain, continue to suffer the consequences of war. Grant that we who dwell secure in this insecure world may be generous in caring for those who return to us injured in body or mind. Still we cry to you out of the darkness of our divided world: let not new clouds rain death upon the earth!

Lest we forget, lest we forget: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The communion of saints

Ever-living God, we remember all those whom you have gathered from the storm of war into the peace of your presence; may they rise in glory,  and let light perpetual shine upon them in their eternal rest.

Lest we forget, lest we forget: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer


 

RESPONDING IN HOPE AND COMMITMENT

Representative and other members of the public come forward to lay wreaths, light candles or offer other symbols of remembrance and hope, such as single flowers or crosses.

The Kohima Epitaph is said:

When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today.

A hymn may be sung

 

The act of commitment is made:

Let us commit ourselves to responsible living and faithful service.

Will you strive for all that makes for peace?

We will

 

Will you seek to heal the wounds of war?

We will

 

Will you work for a just future for all humanity?

We will

The National Anthem(s) are sung

 

The following blessing is used:

 

God grant to the living grace, to the departed rest, to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth [or to the Church, the State] and all people, unity, peace and concord, and to us and all God’s servants, life everlasting. And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all and remain with you always.

Amen


*The service is based on the one by Churches Together:

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
39 Eccleston Square,
London SW1V 1BX
info@ctbi.org.uk

www.ctbi.org.uk/remembrance

First published 2005 by CTBI; Revised version (updated contact details) 2010
It is expected that this service will be widely used across the UK in a variety of formats. For this reason, this publication is not subject to copyright.


 

Remembrance Day itself is of course Wednesday 11 November, with a two-minute silence beginning at 11.00 am.

Intercessions for 3rd Sunday before Advent – Year B – series 2 – 8 November 2015

shutterstock_80712136

The Collect

Almighty Father, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of all: govern the hearts and minds of those in authority, and bring the families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin, to be subject to his just and gentle rule; 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: Jonah 3.1-5,10

The word of the Lord came to Jonah, saying, ‘Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.’ So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, ‘Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

 

Psalm 62.5-12

Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul; *for in him is my hope.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, * my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
In God is my strength and my glory; * God is my strong rock; in him is my refuge.
Put your trust in him always, my people; * pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
The peoples are but a breath, the whole human race a deceit; * on the scales they are altogether lighter than air.
Put no trust in oppression; in robbery take no empty pride; * though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
God spoke once, and twice have I heard the same, * that power belongs to God.
Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord, * for you repay everyone according to their deeds.

 

Second Reading: Hebrews 9.24-28

Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgement, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

 

Gospel Reading: Mark 1.14-20

Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven.
Alleluia.

After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’ As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

 

Prayers of Intercession

[These intercessions are suggested by the compilers of Visual Liturgy:]
We pray for the coming of God’s kingdom.

You sent your Son to bring good news to the poor, sight to the blind, freedom to captives and salvation to your people: anoint us with your Spirit; rouse us to work in his name.
Father, by your Spirit: bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor and freedom to the oppressed.
Father, by your Spirit: bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world the good news of your healing love.
Father, by your Spirit: bring in your kingdom.

Send us to those who mourn, to bring joy and gladness instead of grief.
Father, by your Spirit: bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here for you to save your people.
Father, by your Spirit: bring in your kingdom.

Lord of the Church, hear our prayer, and make us one in mind and heart to serve you in Christ our Lord. Amen.


Let us pray to God, that his Kingdom may come and his gospel be proclaimed through all the world.

 

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we are gathered today to worship you, to sing our praise and tell out our love. But you remind us that this is only part of our relationship: we also need to wait on you alone, in our stillness. And then you in your turn will speak to us. Help us to fulfill our calling, both as part of the Body of Christ as a whole, rejoicing in moving together as one to serve you, and also as individual atoms of that Body.

Lord, in you alone is our hope: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

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

Lord, we ask you to inspire the powerful to acknowledge, even if only to you, their own failings and fears, and recognize their need for forgiveness, so that they may empower the oppressed, temper the law with mercy and work for the common good, mindful always that with great power over the lives of others comes great responsibility. *

Lord, in you alone is our hope: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

Lord, inspire us every day with your love so that it may overflow into love for those we live amongst. Teach us to share in each other’s joys and bear one another’s burdens, for your sake. And together may we build something of use, foundations for the next generation to inherit and build on in their turn.

Lord, in you alone is our hope: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, show your mercy to those who feel themselves unwanted and unloved, who can see no place for themselves in our common life together. Turn and soften those whose hearts are hardened against their neighbours. May they all be comforted by the reality of your presence, and know the blessing of your grace.

Lord, in you alone is our hope: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we pray for those whom we have loved here on earth and who have now entered into rest. May they know peace, and may they rise in glory to be with you and all your saints.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers…

*Inspired by Jim Cotter’s meditation on Psalm 62.

 

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National  Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Post Communion (3rd before Advent) © CBFCE 1980; Archbishops’ Council 1999 / Church of the Province of Southern Africa Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2002

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