The Order for the Sunday Eucharist in the Christmas and Epiphany Seasons

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1 12 Blessing Christmas Day to the Eve of the Epiphany Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one things earthly and things heavenly, fill you with peace and goodwill and make you partakers of the divine nature; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. The Epiphany to the Eve of the Presentation Christ the Son of God perfect in you the image of his glory and gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. We sing the final HYMN 13 Dismissal Light of God Lead us Power of God Hold us Joy of God Heal us Laughter of God Bless us Love of God Caress us The Order for the Sunday Eucharist in the Christmas and Epiphany Seasons The Eucharist is ended, our service must now begin: let us go in peace: We go into the world to walk in God s light, to rejoice in God s love and to reflect God s glory. Refreshments are served downstairs after the service. Everyone is welcome! Scottish Liturgy 1982 with additional seasonal material

2 An Introduction to Christmas & Epiphany The celebration of Christ s Incarnation (becoming flesh) at Christmas is one of the two poles of the Christian year. The amazing mystery of God-among-us (Emanuel), foretold by the prophets and born of Mary, provides the material of the feast: Hark, hark, the wise eternal word, like a weak infant cries! In form of servant is the Lord, and God in cradle lies. (Thomas Pestel) Christmas is so much more than simply celebrating Jesus birth. Neither of the great Christmas morning readings (Hebrews 1 and John 1) are taken from the infancy stories. The task of the Christian liturgy is to recall us, amid all the joyful customs and celebrations, to this eternal truth of God s Word made flesh. For the first 300 years or so of the Christian Church, Christmas was not celebrated. The traditions of the nativity play and the crib scene are said to descend from the tableau of Christ s birth that St Francis of Assisi arranged when he celebrated Christmas at Greccio in Christmas carols are a medieval tradition, which has been notably developed from the end of the 19th century; the service of readings and carols is an English creation of the late 19th century. The Christmas season is often celebrated for 12 days, ending with the feast of the Epiphany. Contemporary use has sought to express an alternative tradition in which Christmas lasts for 40 days, ending with the Feast of Candlemas (the Presentation of Christ in the Temple) on 2 February. In the Western Churches, the Epiphany ( manifestation ) became an occasion to celebrate one element in the story of Christ s childhood, the visit of the far-travelled magi, understood as the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles (non-believing world). Matthew s account speaks simply of wise men from the east ; later tradition fixed their number at three, made them kings and recalled their resonant names Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. It is in this season that we pray for the worldwide mission of the Church. The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul ( Apostle to the Gentiles ), appropriately falls in this season too, as does the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In the Eastern Churches, the Epiphany is, rather, the celebration of Christ s baptism at the hands of John, when the heavens are opened and a voice from heaven declared Jesus to be God s Son. The miracle at Cana in Galilee (where water is turned into wine) follows immediately where Jesus first manifested his glory. Manifest at Jordan s stream, Prophet, Priest, and King Supreme; and at Cana wedding-guest in thy Godhead manifest. (Christopher Wordsworth) The arrangement of the Sundays of Epiphany in the Revised Common Lectionary deliberately draws out these aspects. The season of joyful celebration that begins at Christmas now continues through the successive Sundays of Epiphany, and the festal cycle ends only with the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas). The child who has been manifested to the magi at his birth is now recognised by Simeon and Anna, when he comes to be presented in the Temple according to the Law of Israel. He is both a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of God s people Israel. But the redemption he will bring must be won through suffering; the Incarnation is directed to the Passion; and Simeon s final words move our attention away from the celebration of Christmas and towards the mysteries of Easter. EITHER Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace. OR Jesus, Lamb of God: have mercy on us. Jesus, bearer of our sins: have mercy on us. Jesus, redeemer of the world: Give us your peace. This invitation to communion is said, Christ is the true bread which has come down from heaven. Lord, give us this bread always. Everyone comes to the altar for communion or a blessing. If you do not normally receive the bread and wine of communion, please come forward, carrying this booklet with you. After communion a period of SILENT prayer is kept by everyone. 11 Prayer after Communion We stand God of glory, you nourish us with your Word who is the Bread of Life. Fill us with you Holy Spirit, that through us the light of your glory may shine in all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. 2 St Mary s Scottish Episcopal Church is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC

3 10 Hear us, most merciful Father, and send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and this wine, that, overshadowed by his life-giving power, they may be the Body and Blood of your Son, and we may be kindled with the fire of your love and renewed for the service of your Kingdom. Help us, who are baptised into the fellowship of Christ's Body to live and work to your praise and glory; may we grow together in unity and love until at last, in your new creation, we enter into our heritage in the company of the Virgin Mary, the apostles and prophets, and of all our brothers and sisters living and departed. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be to you, Lord of all ages, world without end. 9 The Lord's Prayer Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us, THE COMMUNION RITE as our Saviour taught us, so we pray Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Do not bring us to the time of trial but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. 10 Breaking of the Bread We break the bread of life, and that life is the light of the world. God here among us, light in the midst of us, bring us to light and life. At the entry of the procession we stand to sing the first HYMN PREPARATION 1 The Gathering and Welcome Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. And also with you. The Lord of glory be with you. The Lord bless you. The Presiding Priest welcomes everyone and briefly introduces the service Christmas Child, you stand at the stable-door of our hearts, bearing the unwrapped gift of your unrelenting and boundless love. Help us to be born again through your love today. 2 The Prayers of Penitence In Christmastide: Christ, the Light of World, has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. Let us then turn to the light and confess our sins: In Epiphanytide: By the mercies of God, let us confess our sins together and present our everyday lives to Him as an offering in our worship: A moment of silent personal reflection is kept. We sit or kneel God our Father, we confess to you and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ that we have sinned in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do. We are truly sorry. Forgive us our sins, and deliver us from the power of evil, for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord. 3

4 4 may say or sing together EITHER Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. OR (each petition may be repeated) Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison. The Presiding Priest declares the absolution, saying: May the God of all healing and forgiveness draw you to himself, and cleanse you from all your sins that you may behold the glory of his Son, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord. 3 The Gloria, Opening Prayer and Readings Rejoicing in the all forgiving power of God s love, let us sing to God: This refrain may be used between sections: Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father; we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. () Therefore with all the angels of heaven we lift our voices to proclaim the glory of your name and sing our joyful hymn of praise: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. We sit or kneel Glory and thanksgiving be to you, most loving Father, for the gift of your Son born in human flesh. He is the Word existing beyond time, both source and final purpose, bringing to wholeness all that is made. Obedient to your will he died upon the Cross. By your power you raised him from the dead. He broke the bonds of evil and set your people free to be his Body in the world On the night when he was given up to death, knowing that his hour had come, having loved his own, he loved them to the end. At supper with his disciples he took bread and offered you thanks. He broke the bread, and gave it to them, saying: "Take, eat. This is my Body: it is broken for you." After supper, he took the cup, he offered you thanks, and gave it to them saying: "Drink this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new covenant; it is poured out for you, and for all, that sins may be forgiven. Do this in remembrance of me." We now obey your Son's command. We recall his blessed passion and death, his glorious resurrection and ascension; and we look for the coming of his Kingdom. Made one with him, we offer you these gifts and with them ourselves, a single, holy, living sacrifice. 9

5 8 8 The Eucharistic Prayer Prayer I The Lord is here or The Lord be with you. His Spirit is with us And also with you. Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give thanks and praise. EITHER, in Christmastide: glory and honour be yours always and everywhere, mighty creator, ever-living God. We give you thanks and praise for your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, who for love of our fallen race humbled himself, was born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, and lived as one of us. In this mystery of the Word made flesh you have caused his light to shine in our hearts, to give knowledge of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. In him we see our God made visible and so are caught up in the love of the God we cannot see. Therefore with all the angels of heaven we lift our voices to proclaim the glory of your name & sing our joyful hymn of praise: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Or, in Epiphanytide: honour and praise be yours always and everywhere mighty creator, ever-living God, through Jesus Christ your only Son our Lord: for at this time we celebrate your glory made present in our midst. In the coming of the Magi the King of all the world was revealed to the nations. In the waters of baptism Jesus was revealed as the Christ, The Saviour sent to redeem us. In the water made wine the new creation was revealed at the wedding feast. Poverty was turned into riches, sorrow into joy. The Presiding Priest says the Opening Prayer (Collect) and the people make it their own by responding, Amen; or everyone may pray the Collect together. sit for THE LITURGY OF THE WORD At the end of the reading, the reader says: For the word of the Lord Thanks be to God A Psalm or a hymn may be used between the readings: Standing, everyone faces the Gospel Book eluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Christ was revealed in flesh, proclaimed among the nations and believed in throughout the world. cf 1 Timothy 3: 16 Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to.. Glory to Christ our Saviour. At end: Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious Gospel. Praise to Christ our Lord. eluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. A SERMON is preached. After the sermon, a moment of SILENCE may be kept. 4 Nicene Creed We stand We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man. 5

6 6 For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son, he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. 5 Intercessions We sit or kneel Prayer is offered: for the world and its people for those who suffer and those in need for the Church and its members This response may be used: Jesus, Saviour of the world: hear our prayer Or the following may be sung after the bidding, Praise God, all you people Laudate omnes gentes Laudate Dominum (x2) The prayers may conclude with: Merciful Father, Accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. 6 The Peace We stand One of the following introductions to the Peace is used: Either: Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9: 6 Or Christ is our peace. If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. The old has passed away: behold, everything has become new. 2 Corinthians 5: 17 The peace of the Lord be always with you. And also with you. We meet in Christ's name. Let us share his peace. may exchange a sign of Christ s peace, saying, Peace be with you. As the altar is prepared we sing the offertory HYMN during which the collection is taken. THE LITURGY OF THE SACRAMENT 7 Table Prayers One of the following prayers is said: Gracious God, accept the offering of your Church, the hearts of your people joined in praise and thanksgiving, Or in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Lord, accept your people s gifts, not gold, frankincense or myrrh, but hearts and voices raised in praise of Jesus Christ, our light and our salvation. 7

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