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Intercessions for Candlemas Year B: 1 February 2015


By Giovanni Scajario (1726-1792) (Own work, Cyril ZUGNO) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple

The Collect

Almighty and ever-living God, clothed in majesty, whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple, in substance of our flesh: grant that we may be presented to you with pure and clean  hearts, by your Son Jesus Christ 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: Malachi 3.1-5

Thus says the Lord God: 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. Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

Psalm 24.(1-6)7-10

The earth is the Lord’s and all that fills it, *the compass of the world and all who dwell therein.
For he has founded it upon the seas *and set it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
‘Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord, * or who can rise up in his holy place?’
‘Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, * who have not lifted up their soul to an idol, nor sworn an oath to a lie;
‘They shall receive a blessing from the Lord, * a just reward from the God of their salvation.’
Such is the company of those who seek him, * of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted up, you everlasting doors; * and the King of glory shall come in.
‘Who is the King of glory?’ * ‘The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord who is mighty in battle.’
Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted up, you everlasting doors; * and the King of glory shall come in.
‘Who is this King of glory?’ * ‘The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.’

Second Reading: Hebrews 2.14-18

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Gospel Reading: Luke 2.22-40

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons”.  Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

If you did not get hold of a copy of ‘Walking Backwards to Christmas‘ by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, I recommend you go here (search for ‘intensity’) and read some of what he says about Anna (pp2-12) and light, both from the sun and as a metaphor: ‘The light has dimmed itself, or should I say clothed itself, in the grey ambiguity of life’. We also meet  Simeon: ‘At last someone else sees and knows what is happening. In his joy and exultation, Simeon confirms the hard-won convictions of their journey…” and recites the Nunc Dimittis: ‘This child is not just the light of Israel, but the light of the world; a light that burns more brightly than the sun, but a light that is come among us in such a way that we won’t be burned; a light that kindles the fire in human hearts; a light that warms and consoles, illuminates and cheers.”

Lord of Hosts, you are the King of glory! Hear us as we lift our hearts to you in prayer.

Prayers of Intercession

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, enlighten your Church to be a true Temple to your glory, and a witness to the world. Help us to be worthy of you,  with clean hands and pure hearts. Feed us and nourish us that we may grow in the life of Christ.  Fill us with your light that we may overflow with your love, and transform the world with your glory.

Lord, may we see glory even in the foothills of faith: in your mercy, hear our prayer

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

Lord, you have given us the earth, with the rhythms of time and tide, the drumroll of rainfall when the ground’s tight skin is dry. You give us a choir of leaves to sing the wind to us, a palette of sungold for a canvassful of sky. You give us our place on this planet of wonders, you have given us the garden, that your artistry has landscaped, to be our classroom and our playground, our palace and our home. For joy, you give us laughter. For fear and failure, you offer us your arms to cradle us. For peace, you give us sleep. You give us the gift of love and ask only that we too love the earth in our turn. *

Lord, may we see glory even in the foothills of faith: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The local community

Lord, set us on fire with love for you. Burn with your cleansing fire all that dims your light and, in our families and friendships, kindle an answering flame so that darkness may be driven back and glory stream into this world, transforming it with light. **

Lord, may we see glory even in the foothills of faith: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for all whose delight in your glory is dimmed by the shadow of the Cross. Give healing, we pray, to every life that is broken. Give release to those who find themselves overwhelmed by bitterness. Give relief to all in pain. Give peace to those who feel tormented.  Give light to those that are marooned in their own pool of darkness.  Give faith to those who are searching, and shed light for them on the path that leads to you. May they all feel the reality of your presence, and be flooded with moments of surprising joy.

Lord, may we see glory even in the foothills of faith: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we give thanks that you have opened up the gates to your kingdom. We pray for those whom we love who have departed this life, that they may now be at peace with you.

Lord, may we see glory even in the foothills of faith: in your mercy, hear our prayer


*Adapted from ‘Mother’s Song’ from Spoken Worship by Gerard Kelly

** Inspired by ‘Come Emmanuel’ by Ann Lewin.


Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Post Communion (Presentation of Christ) © 1973 ICEL: Roman Missal (English Translation) Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton  Malachi 3.1-5 © 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 (Presentation of Christ) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

1 comment on this post:

James Morrish, said...

Thank you, for someone who works the land these prayers, have a great deal of meaning and provided a good source of meditation.

31 January 2015 21:39

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