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Intercessions for Christ the King Year A: 23 November 2014

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:  Ezekiel 34.11-16,20-24

Thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

Psalm 95.1-7a

O come, let us sing to the Lord; * let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving *  and be glad in him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God * and a great king above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth * and the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, * and his hands have moulded the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down * and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God.

Second Reading:  Ephesians 1.15-23

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Gospel Reading:  Matthew 25.31-46

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

The spirituality of this festival must never be forgotten or understated. No one recognised this more than Henri Nouwen in his Sabbatical Journey: ‘on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, Christ is presented to us as the mocked King on the Cross as well as the King [of the] universe. The greatest humiliation and the greatest victory are both shown to us in today’s liturgy. It is important to look at this humiliated and victorious Christ before we start the new liturgical year with the celebration of Advent. All through the year we have to stay close to the humiliation as well as to the victory of Christ, because we are called to live both in our own daily lives.’ Canon Terry Palmer, Church Times, 14 November 2014

Prayers of Intercession

Today we address our prayers to the second person of the Trinity, King of kings and Lord of lords,  as we thank Him for the last year and for the fellowship of our worshipping community here in this benefice [parish]. As we set out towards a new horizon, let us put our hands into His hand in the knowledge that it will be better than light and safer than a known way.

Guide us, O Lord, to a new beginning: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The Church of Christ

Lord Jesus Christ,  may we grow in faith and knowledge of you.  Help us to be your body on earth. Where we walk too slowly, give us courage and a helping nudge in the right direction. Where we run too fast, give us a stone in the shoe, and wisdom to ponder. If things take time, help us to hold on to hope. If solutions are slow to emerge, may we stay strong in faith. Give us the patience and forbearance to wait for the ripening of the fruit in due season.

Guide us, O Lord, to a new beginning: in your mercy, hear our prayer


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

All thrones, dominions, principalities and powers are subject to your reign, O Lord. The world is charged with your grandeur, whether flaming out like lightning or wrung from the press like oil. We are daily reminded of the continual renewing power of your creation in the way morning always waits on the other side of dark night. Your grandeur pervades every part of the created universe, if your people will only look at their surroundings and we, too, are part of your creation.

Guide us, O Lord, to a new beginning: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The local community

Lord and king, help us, your subjects, to be servants to one another,  mindful that in imitating your example we shall meet you in the most unlikely of places. For our hands offering bread to the hungry and drink to the thirsty are yours. And the hands reaching out to receive are yours also.  The sick that we take care of are you and the stranger that we welcome into our midst is you. You taught us by example how to touch the lives of our fellow men. Help us so that our own wounds may bear fruit in love. May the pains of the past create in us compassion. Stir up * in us generosity, graciousness in giving, and lavishness in love.

Guide us, O Lord, to a new beginning: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Those who suffer

Lord, son of David, we pray for all who are in need. Heal us and give us the hope that we cannot grasp alone. When we cannot hope because we have forgotten how to dream, kindle a fire in our hearts.  Hear us and help us; hear us and heal us.  Heal us and let us follow; heal us and fill our hearts, our souls and our bodies with your Spirit; heal us and open the gates of heaven.

Guide us, O Lord, to a new beginning: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The communion of saints

Lord of the dance, we pray for all those whom we love who have departed this life.  As we cross the ocean of eternity, losing the shoreline as we seek new horizons, teach us how to trust.  Let all that is deadly in us die, knowing that all that is godly will be raised. Into light, into freedom, into the Trinity of God where you reign, draw us, our Saviour.

 Guide us, O Lord, to a new beginning: in your mercy, hear our prayer



* A nod to ‘Stir Up Sunday‘, the old name for this Sunday for which the collect was:

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.


Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord returns to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him,
robed in dreadful majesty;
those who set at nought and sold him,
pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall the true Messiah see.

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers;
with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
gaze we on those glorious scars!

Now redemption, long expected,
see in solemn pomp appear;
all his saints, by man rejected,
now shall meet him in the air:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
See the day of God appear!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory;
claim the kingdom for thine own:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone.


Copyright acknowledgement: 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)

6 comments on this post:

minidvr said...

Thanks Laura

17 November 2014 19:37
John said...

What beautiful prayers

22 November 2014 16:23
Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you very much, Ernie and John. 🙂

22 November 2014 16:45
Ann Collyer said...

Your prayers really hit the spot today, Laura. I always enjoy ‘doing’ the intercessions but was not looking forward to praying aloud at a difficult time for our church. They were all I could have hoped for and I gave you the credit. Thank you. x

23 November 2014 13:30
Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you very much, Ann. Today I was also the intercessor in our parish church at the first service of our new vicar. Unfortunately, there was some technical hitch and my microphone did not work properly so only half the -unusually large- congregation were able to hear them. Grrr! The best laid plans of mice and (wo)men gang aft (in my case, only too aft) agley! 🙂

23 November 2014 13:57
Mr Mark P Nash said...

I sometimes think that the tricky bit about writing Intercessions is as much about what you leave out as what you put in, so as not to make them compete with the sermon for length.

23 November 2018 15:06

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