After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem seeking him who was born King of the Jews. Sojourning under the guidance of the star, they came to the house of Mary and the child Jesus, and worshiped him, offering gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Like the Magi, let us seek and adore the Child who is destined to reign as King and Lord of the eternal Kingdom of God.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
We beseech Thee, O Lord, in Thy loving-kindness, to pour Thy holy light into our souls; that we may ever be devoted to Thee, by Whose wisdom we were created, and by Whose providence we are governed: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Gelasian Sacramentary, AD 494 (Fox, p. 47)
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.
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.
Merciful Lord, the comforter and teacher of your faithful people, increase in your church the desires which you have given, and confirm the hearts of those who hope in you by enabling them to understand the depth of your promises, that all your adopted children may even now behold, with the eyes of faith, and patiently wait for, the light which as yet you do not openly manifest; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Ambrose (Fox, p. 70)
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Like the Magi, fill us with a holy longing to worship you alone.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Wonderful Works of God, Psalm 139.1-6, 13-18
Anderson, The Unfolding Drama of the Bible