Year III: Epiphany

Epiphany: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast: Epiphany:  The feast of Epiphany marks the ending of the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas,.  Due to the ground being frozen solid in much of northern Europe, the Twelve Days formed an extended holiday in rural areas.  Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World, particularly at his baptism in the Jordan and his first miracle at Cana.  The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry.  The afternoon readings continue a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through Paul’s letter to the Romans.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All: 

A Call to Worship

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

All:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 27

An Exuberant Declaration of Faith
A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Almighty God, we thank you at this Epiphany season that you didn’t remain a baby but grew to be declared as the Lamb of God at your baptism and the Saviour of the World by your death. Reveal yourself fully in us, by the power of your Spirit.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • Let it be no more “I” that lives, but Christ who lives in me.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • May our humanity be transformed by your Divinity.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun… 

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, presence yourself with our families today. Make us effective messengers to those we love and may the revelation of God bring transformation in our relationships. Let us always be bold in our witness.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • For those who have turned their back on you, may they find restoration.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • May the peace of God rest upon our homes.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…

The Church

  • At your baptism, you gave us a pattern to follow and an example to emulate. May we continually forsake our sins in the waters of repentance and be ever equipped to serve you as sons and daughters of God.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • May we hear clearly the voice that over our lives pronounces, “This is my child, in whom I am well pleased.”
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • For those who are preparing for baptism, and those who are openly declaring their faith. May they set their hearts on pilgrimage.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun… 
  • For the local church in our area, that she may truly be your hands and your feet.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun… 

The World

  • Disclose yourself to the world this Epiphany season, O God!  You came to the nobodies to make them somebodies!  May all those who struggle to find hope in the desert of their lives hear clearly the voice leading them home.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • Reveal your love to mankind and show your power in our nation.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • Let this gospel be preached from pole to pole and from shore to shore.
              –  As we turn our face to the rising sun…


THE LORD’S
 PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

John 1:29-34

John’s Declaration

The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptising with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptise with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Moderation.

Recognising that my body is a temple, and that a simple life lived at a sustainable speed is deeply beneficial, I choose to be mindful of my habits of diet and exercise, and to dress simply and modestly. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will not overeat, consume excess intoxicating substances, pollute my mind with impure thoughts or neglect my body through lack of adequate exercise.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Moderation.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Father in heaven,
Who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan,
Proclaimed him your beloved Son,
And anointed him with the Holy Spirit:
Grant that all who are baptized into his Name,
May keep the covenant they have made,
And boldly confess him as Lord and Savior;
Who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
One God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may God the Holy Spirit,
Who came down upon the Beloved Son at the Jordan,
Pour our gifts upon you,
Who have also partaken in the waters of baptism. Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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