When the time came for Mary’s purification according to the Law, she and Joseph brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. A righteous and devout man, Simeon, waited for the Messiah, and the Spirit revealed to him that he would see the Messiah before he died. On entering the temple in the Spirit Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms and blessed the Lord, saying, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Jesus is God’s salvation for the world, the light of the nations and the glory of Israel.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to Thy people firmness of faith, that as we confess Thine only begotten Son, the everlasting partaker of Thy glory, to have been born in our very flesh of the Virgin Mother, we may be delivered from present adversities, and admitted into joys that shall abide; through the same Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
~ St. Leo, A.D. 440 (Fox, p. 214)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
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, amen.
Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Job 35-37
Psalm: Ps. 148
OT: Isa. 61.10 – 62.3
Gospel: Luke 2.22-40
NT: Gal. 4.4-7
(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
The Apostles’ Creed
I 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 hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the new Birth of Thine Only-begotten Son in the flesh may set free those whom the old bondage detains under the yoke of sin; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Gelasian Sacramentary (Wright, p. 24)
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Dear Master and Lord, Simeon confirmed that truth about you which we hold dear – you are the light for the nations, you are the glory of your people, Israel.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
God Is with Us, John 1.1-14
Anderson, The Unfolding Drama of the Bible
Special Church Year Services
Holy Name of Jesus/New Year’s Day: Friday, January 1, 2021