Reader: A reading from the book of MALACHI chapter 3, verse 1 to 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.
Reader: The word of the Lord People: Thanks be to God.
Reader: A reading from the book of HEBREWS chapter 2, verse 14 to 18
Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters] in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Reader: The word of the Lord People: Thanks be to God.
Reader: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to LUKE chapter 2 verses 22 to 40
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Reader: The Gospel of Christ. People: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Readings DEUTERONOMY 18:15-20; PSALM 111; 1 CORINTHIANS 8:1-13; MARK 1:21-28
Collect Living 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 glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” Then the Lord replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak – that prophet shall die.” DEUTERONOMY 18:15-20
Psalm PSALM REFRAIN The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Hallelujah! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the deeds of the Lord! they are studied by all who delight in them. R
His work is full of majesty and splendour, and his righteousness endures for ever. He makes his marvellous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. R
He gives food to those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works in giving them the lands of the nations. R
The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice; all his commandments are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever, because they are done in truth and equity. R
He sent redemption to his people; he commanded his covenant for ever; holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; those who act accordingly have a good understanding; his praise endures for ever. R PSALM 111
Second Reading A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him. Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth – as in fact there are many gods and many lords – yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall. 1 CORINTHIANS 8:1-13
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching – with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee. MARK 1:21-28
Prayer over the Gifts God of steadfast love, may our offering this day, by the power of your Holy Spirit, renew us for your service. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Prayer After Communion Source of all goodness, in this eucharist we are nourished by the bread of heaven and invigorated with new wine. May these gifts renew our lives, that we may show your glory to all the world, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Collect Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF JONAH The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, 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. JONAH 3:1-5, 10
Psalm PSALM REFRAIN Take refuge in God, all you people.
For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken. R
In God is my safety and my honour; God is my strong rock and my refuge.
Put your trust in him always, O people, pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge. R
Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath, even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
On the scales they are lighter than a breath, all of them together. R
Put no trust in extortion; in robbery take no empty pride; though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it. R
God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, that power belongs to God.
Steadfast love is yours, O Lord, for you repay everyone according to his deeds.R PSALM 62:6-14
Second Reading A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:29-31
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK Now 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 sea – 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. MARK 1:14-20
Prayer over the Gifts Loving God, before the world began you called us. Make holy all we offer you this day, and strengthen us in that calling. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord
Prayer After Communion Gracious God, our hands have taken holy things; our lives have been nourished by the body of your Son. May we who have eaten at this holy table be strengthened for service in your world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Readings 1 SAMUEL 3:1-10 (11-20); PSALM 139:1-5, 12-17; 1 CORINTHIANS 6:12-20; JOHN 1:43-51
Collect Almighty God, your 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; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
[Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. On that day I will fulfil against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.” Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.” Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.” As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba
Psalm PSALM REFRAIN Your works are wonderful, O Lord.
Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, but you, O Lord, know it altogether. R
You press upon me behind and before and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain to it. R
For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made; your works are wonderful, and I know it well. R
My body was not hidden from you, while I was being made in secret and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written in your book; they were fashioned day by day, when as yet there was none of them. R
How deep I find your thoughts, O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours. R PSALM 139:1-5, 12-17
Second Reading A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body. 1 CORINTHIANS 6:12-20
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” JOHN 1:43-51
Prayer over the Gifts Living God, you have revealed your Son as the Messiah. May we hear his word and follow it, and live as children of light. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Prayer After Communion God of glory, you nourish us with bread from heaven. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, that through us your light may shine in all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ.
Readings GENESIS 1:1-5; PSALM 29; ACTS 19:1-7; MARK 1:4-11
Collect Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit, keep your children, born of water and the Spirit, faithful to their calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF GENESIS In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. GENESIS 1:1-5
Psalm PSALM REFRAIN The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.
Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. R
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendour. R
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox. R
The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire; the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare.
And in the temple of the Lord all are crying, “Glory!” R
The Lord sits enthroned above the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king for evermore.
The Lord shall give strength to his people; the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace. R PSALM 29
Second Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied – altogether there were about twelve of them. ACTS 19:1-7
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” MARK 1:4-11
Prayer over the Gifts God of life and freedom, we celebrate the revelation of Jesus as the Christ who makes all creation new. Accept all we offer you this day and make us new in him, who is Lord for ever and ever.
Prayer After Communion Gracious God, lover of all, by this sacrament you make us one family in Christ your Son, one in the sharing of his body and blood, one in the communion of his Spirit. Help us to grow in love for one another and come to the full maturity of the Body of Christ. We ask this in his name.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH 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
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE EPHESIANS 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. EPHESIANS 1:3-14
Readings ISAIAH 61:10-62:3; PSALM 148; GALATIANS 4:4-7; LUKE 2:22-40
Collect Almighty God, you have shed upon us the new light of your incarnate Word. May this light, enkindled in our hearts, shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. 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. ISAIAH 61:10-62:3
Psalm PSALM REFRAIN Hallelujah!
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his; praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. R
Praise him, heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord; for he commanded, and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever; he gave them a law which shall not pass away. R
Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog, tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and winged birds; R
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens, old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name only is exalted, his splendour is over earth and heaven. R
He has raised up strength for his people and praise for all his loyal servants, the children of Israel, a people who are near him. R PSALM 148
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE GALATIANS When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. GALATIANS 4:4-7
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Jesus’ parents brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him. LUKE 2:22-40
Prayer over the Gifts God of light, in the birth of your Son we see your glory. May we who share in this mystery grow daily in your love. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Prayer After Communion Source of truth and joy, may we who have received the gift of divine life always follow the way of your Son. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Readings 2 SAMUEL 7:1-11, 16; CANTICLE 18 (LUKE 1:47-55) OR PSALM 89:1-4, 19-26; ROMANS 16:25-27; LUKE 1:26-38
Collect Heavenly Father, who chose the Virgin Mary, full of grace, to be the mother of our Lord and Saviour, now fill us with your grace, that we in all things may embrace your will and with her rejoice in your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE SECOND BOOK OF SAMUEL Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever. 2 SAMUEL 7:1-11, 16
Psalm REFRAIN I will keep my love for him for ever.
Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens. R
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
‘I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.'” R
You spoke once in a vision and said to your faithful people: “I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him. R
My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong.
No enemy shall deceive him, nor any wicked man bring him down.
I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my name. R
I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River. R
He will say to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.'” PSALM 89:1-4, 19-26
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen. ROMANS 16:25-27
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. LUKE 1:26-38
Prayer over the Gifts Gracious God, by the power of the Spirit who sanctified the mother of your Son, make holy all we offer you this day. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord
Prayer After Communion Faithful God, in this sacrament we receive the promise of salvation. May we, like the Virgin Mary, be obedient to your will. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Readings ISAIAH 61:1-4, 8-11; PSALM 126 OR CANTICLE 18 (LUKE 1:47-55); 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-24; JOHN 1:6-8, 19-28
Collect God of power and mercy, you call us once again to celebrate the coming of your Son. Remove those things which hinder love of you, that when he comes, he may find us waiting in awe and wonder for him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion – to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. ISAIAH 61:1-4, 8-11
Psalm REFRAIN The Lord has done great things for us. When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. R Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed. R Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses of the Negev. R Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves. R PSALM 126
CANTICLE REFRAIN My Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; for 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.
R He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
R He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
R He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
R He has come to the help of his servant Israel, for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.
R Glory to the Father, and the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning is now, and will be for ever. Amen. CANTICLE 18, BAS (LUKE 1:47-55)
Second Reading A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF PAUL TO THE THESSALONIANS Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-24
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN 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. This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,'” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. JOHN 1:6-8, 19-28
Prayer over the Gifts God of hope, renew in us the joy of your salvation and make us a living sacrifice to you, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer After Communion Merciful God, may this eucharist free us from our sins, fill us with unending joy, and prepare us for the birthday of our Saviour. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, who is Lord now and for ever.
Readings ISAIAH 40:1-11; PSALM 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 PETER 3:8-15A; MARK 1:1-8
Collect Almighty God, who sent your servant John the Baptist to prepare your people to welcome the Messiah, inspire us, the ministers and stewards of your truth, to turn our disobedient hearts to you, that when the Christ shall come again to be our judge, we may stand with confidence before his glory; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep. ISAIAH 40:1-11
Psalm REFRAIN Show us your mercy, O Lord.
You have been gracious to your land, O Lord, you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of your people and blotted out all their sins. R
I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.
Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. R
Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring up from the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. R
The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness shall go before him, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet. R PSALM 85:1-2, 8-13
Second Reading A READING FROM THE SECOND LETTER OF PETER But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. 2 PETER 3:8-15A
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” MARK 1:1-8
Prayer over the Gifts God our strength, we are nothing without you. Receive all we offer you this day as you sustain us with your mercy; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer After Communion Faithful God, we thank you for feeding us with this heavenly banquet. Help us always to hear the prophet’s call to turn our hearts to you; in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.