Posted on: December 29th, 2021 by St. Stephens Downsview

JEREMIAH 31:7-14 OR SIRACH 24:1-12; PSALM 147:13-21 OR CANTICLE 11 (WISDOM OF SOLOMON 10:15-21); EPHESIANS 1:3-14; JOHN 1:(1-9) 10-18

PROCESSIONAL: As With Gladness… – #290

As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So, most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.

As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger bed;
There to bend the knee before,
Him whom heav’n and earth adore;
So, may we with willing feet
Ever seek the mercy seat.

As they offered gifts most rare
At that manger rude and bare,
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee our heavn’ly King.

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide

God of power and life,
the glory of all who believe in you,
fill the world with your splendour
and show the nations the light of your truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, “Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.” See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labour, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.” For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, says the Lord.
JEREMIAH 31:7-14

Or (with Canticle 11)

Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory: “I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist. I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of cloud. Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss. Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway. Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose territory should I abide? Then the Creator of all things gave me a command, and my Creator chose the place for my tent. He said, ‘Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel receive your inheritance.’ Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be. In the holy tent I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion. Thus in the beloved city he gave me a resting place, and in Jerusalem was my domain. I took root in an honoured people, in the portion of the Lord, his heritage.”
SIRACH 24:1-12

REFRAIN Praise God, O Zion.

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion;

For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. R

He has established peace on your borders; he satisfies you with the finest wheat.

He sends out his command to the earth, and his word runs very swiftly.

He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. R

He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; who can stand against his cold?

He sends forth his word and melts them; he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.

He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and his judgements to Israel. R

He has not done so to any other nation;

to them he has not revealed his judgements. Hallelujah! R
PSALM 147:13-21

Or (with the reading from Sirach)

Wisdom freed from a nation of oppressors a holy people and blameless race. She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, withstood dread kings with wonders and signs. To the saints she gave the reward of their labours, and led them by a marvellous way; she was their shelter by day and their starlight through the night. She brought them across the Red Sea, led them through mighty waters, but their enemies she swallowed in the waves and spat them out from the depths of the abyss. Lord, the righteous sang hymns to your name, and praised with one voice your protecting hand, for Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb, and gave speech to the tongues of babes.

Second Reading
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

GRADUAL: Fairest Lord Jesus – #87

Fairest Lord Jesus; Ruler of all nature
O Thou of God and man the Son.
Thee will I cherish; Thee will I honour,
Thou my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fairest are the meadows;
Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring,
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fairest is the sunshine; Fairer still the moonlight
And all the twinkling starry host.
Jesus shines brighter; Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heav’n can boast.

Beautiful Saviour! Lord of the nations!
Son of God and Son of man!
Glory and honour, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine!

[In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.]

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
JOHN 1:(1-9) 10-18

OFFERTORY: Standing On The… – #410

Standing on the promises
of Christ my King!
Through eternal ages let His praises ring;
“Glory in the highest!”
I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises
of God my Saviour;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the
promises of God.

Standing on the promises
that cannot fail,
When the howling storms
of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God
I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises,
I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing
In the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty
Where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises
Of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally
By love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily
With the Spirit’s Sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises,
I cannot fall,
Listening every moment
To the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Saviour
As my All in All,
Standing on the promises of God.

Prayer over the Gifts
Source of love and life,
receive all we offer you this day,
and through the coming of your Son,
help us to see in others
him who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

COMMUNION: Go, Tell It On The… – #258

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

While shepherds kept their watching
O’er silent flocks by night,
Behold! Thro’out the heavens
There shone a holy light.

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! Above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Saviour’s birth.

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! Above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Saviour’s birth.

ABLUTION: Shine, Jesus, Shine – #431

Lord, the light of Your love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining;
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us.
Set us free by the truth You now bring us;

Shine on me,
Shine on me.
Shine, Jesus, shine,
Fill this land with the Father’s glory.
Blaze, Spirit, blaze;
Set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow,
Flood the nations with grace and mercy.
Send forth your Word,
And let there be light.

Lord, I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance;
By the blood I may enter Your brightness;
Search me, try me,
Consume all my darkness;

As we gaze on Your kingly brightness
So our faces display Your likeness,
Ever changing from glory to glory;
Mirrored here, may our lives tell Your story;

Prayer After Communion
Light eternal,
you have nourished us in the mystery
of the body and blood of your Son.
By your grace keep us ever faithful to your word,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

RECESSIONAL: Father Let Me Dedicate

Father, let me dedicate
This new year to Thee,
In whatever worldly state
Thou wilt have me be;
Not from sorrow, pain, or care
Would I ask that Thou shouldst spare;
This alone shall be my prayer:
Glorify Thy name.

Can a child presume to choose
Where or how to live?
Can a Father’s love refuse
All the best to give?
More Thou givest every day
Than the best can claim
Nor withholdest aught that may
Glorify Thy name.

If in mercy Thou wilt spare
Joys that yet are mine,
If on life serene and fair
Brighter rays may shine,
Let my glad heart, while it sings,
Rise by faith’s exultant wings,
And, whate’er the future brings,
Glorify Thy name.

If Thou callest to the cross,
And its shadow come
Turning all my gain to loss,
Shrouding heart and home,
Let me think how Thy dear Son
His eternal glory won,
And in steadfast faith pray on:
Glorify Thy name.