Year V: Christmas Triduum

Boxing Day: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast: St. Stephen, Martyr (Boxing Day): Today is the second day of the traditional “12 Days of Christmas” during which we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. We refer to this day as ‘Boxing Day’ because on this day, gifts were placed into festive boxes and distributed to the poor and those in need. It is also the day we remember the first martyr of the early church, St. Stephen, who was a Deacon of the early church in Jerusalem and was stoned to death for his faith by an angry mob.


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 24 (Domini est terra)

All:

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift 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.

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 103

A psalm of David.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
    as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
    with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
    of those who are faithful to his covenant,
    of those who obey his commandments!

The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.

Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise 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

  • Thank you for the blessings of this season and your goodness to us yesterday. Grant us rest in our spirits and joy in our hearts as we continue to celebrate your birth in Bethlehem. Let the Christmas story be ever on our lips…
    – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For gifts and those who gave them we give you thanks, but most of all we thank you for your Son, the greatest gift and worship you eternally…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For safe travel and a peaceful spirit as we go our way today. May we be ever changed by what we have experienced of your goodness…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you cared for family upon earth, provided for your mother upon the cross and have supplied your people through the ages. As your brothers and sisters, we stand in awe of your love…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • May we be ministers of truth and love to our family and loved ones. May we have ears to listen and words to speak…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • May our families be strengthened and the bonds of love increased. May our homes reflect the Kingdom and the Kingdom be manifest in our homes…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.

The Church

  • Lord God, let your church rise up with renewed strength! As you came to us two thousand years ago, come again to your temple and inhabit your people. Let the earth resound with praises:
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For opportunities for evangelism and the sharing of your Word we pray. Let your voice be heard in the voice of your people…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For those of the persecuted church, that have kept this Christmas in hiding. Strengthen their spirits and let fresh faith and hope be birthed within them…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.

The World

  • Mighty God, we give you thanks for the beauty of this wide world and the heavens that declare the glory of God. This Christmas, when the twinkle of fairy-lights has faded, let the seed of the gospel remain in hearts…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For governments, world leaders and those in power. May the kingdoms of this earth become the kingdom of our God…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For your soon return, that in this final hour many will be gathered in before the sounding of the last trumpet…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.


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

Luke 2:22-39

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

When the time came for Mary and Joseph to do what the law of Moses taught about being made pure, they took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (It is written in the law of the Lord: “Every firstborn male shall be given to the Lord.”) Mary and Joseph also went to offer a sacrifice, as the law of the Lord says: “You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons.”

Simeon Sees Jesus

In Jerusalem lived a man named Simeon who was a good man and godly. He was waiting for the time when God would take away Israel’s sorrow, and the Holy Spirit was in him. Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Christ promised by the Lord. The Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. When Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple to do what the law said they must do, Simeon took the baby in his arms and thanked God:

“Now, Lord, you can let me, your servant,
    die in peace as you said.
With my own eyes I have seen your salvation,
which you prepared before all people.
It is a light for the non-Jewish people to see
    and an honor for your people, the Israelites.”

Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what Simeon had said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “God has chosen this child to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God that many people will not accept so that the thoughts of many will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart sad, too.”

Anna Sees Jesus

There was a prophetess, Anna, from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. She had once been married for seven years. Then her husband died, and she was a widow for eighty-four years. Anna never left the Temple but worshiped God, going without food and praying day and night. Standing there at that time, she thanked God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.

Joseph and Mary Return Home

When Joseph and Mary had done everything the law of the Lord commanded, they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee.

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 Community: The Principle of Small Groups.

Mindful that the excitement of celebration must be balanced with the growth that can only happen in a smaller group, I commit myself to being part of a smaller midweek gathering. As a follower of the Way of Community, I dedicate myself to the support and encouragement of this group of like-minded pilgrims.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Small Groups.


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.)

Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son,
To take our nature upon him, and to be born of a pure virgin:
Grant that we, who have been born again,
And made your children by adoption and grace,
May daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit;
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
To whom with you and the same Spirit,
Be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one all things earthly and heavenly,
Fill you with joy and peace. Amen.


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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