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THE BAPISM OF JESUS: Spiritual Communion


✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

The window to the memory of (Countess) Ruth Margaret Lloyd George in  St.John the Baptist, New Alresford
St.John the Baptist Baptises Jesus (Alresford)

Today we rejoice and give thanks, because your Son humbled himself

to be baptized by John in the River Jordan. Through the waters you

have given us the mystery of baptism for the remission of our sins.


We have broken the pledges of our own baptism, and failed to be your disciples.


From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.


We have shown indifference to those in need and have been afraid to stand up for justice and truth.


From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.


We have been slow to forgive, and have failed to remember

your repeated forgiveness of our sins.

From all our sins, O Lord:

wash us, and we shall be clean.


God of truth, look in mercy on your people,

forgive us our sins, and bring us to life eternal. Amen.



THE GLORIA Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you, we bless you, we adore you,

we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory,

Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.


Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;

you take away the sins of the world,

receive our prayer;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father,

have mercy on us.


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. Amen.


THE COLLECT:


Almighty ever-living God, who, when Christ had been baptized in the River Jordan and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him, solemnly declared him your beloved Son, grant that your children by adoption, reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, may always be well pleasing to you.


Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.





ISAIAH 55: 1-11 Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty, though you have no

money, come! Buy corn without money, and eat, and, at no cost, wine and milk. Why spend money on what is not bread, your wages on what fails to satisfy?


Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat and rich

food to enjoy. Pay attention, come to me; listen, and your soul will

live. With you I will make an everlasting covenant out of the favours

promised to David. See, I have made of you a witness to the peoples,

a leader and a master of the nations.


See, you will summon a nation you never knew, those unknown will

come hurrying to you, for the sake of the Lord your God, of the Holy

One of Israel who will glorify you. Seek the Lord while he is still to be

found, call to him while he is still near. Let the wicked man abandon

his way, the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn back to the Lord who

will take pity on him, to our God who is rich in forgiving; for my

thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways – it is the

Lord who speaks.


Yes, the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your

ways, my thoughts above your thoughts. Yes, as the rain and the

snow come down from the heavens and do not return without

watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed

for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from

my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will

and succeeding in what it was sent to do.


The Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God



RESPONSORIAL PSALM:


With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.


Truly, God is my salvation I trust, I shall not fear.

For the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my saviour.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.


With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.


Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name!

Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples!

Declare the greatness of his name.


With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.


Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds,

make them known to all the earth!

People of Zion, sing and shout for joy

for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.


With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.


ALLELUIA, alleluia! John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said:

This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Alleluia!


A reading from the HOLY GOSPEL according to Mark

(chapter 1, verses 7-11).


In the course of his preaching John the Baptist said:

“Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful that I am,

and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals.

I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the

Holy Spirit.”


It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee

and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up

out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit,

like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven,

“You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.”


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


THE HOMILY


This is focused on the painting by Peter Koenig, “Christmas-Epiphany”. Fr. Stephen Holmgren says: “This is based on my last homily as Rector of Grace Church, Grand Rapids MI, on the first Sunday after the Epiphany. 2020.”



Think of Creation, from chaos into beautiful order…


Think of the Flood experience of Noah and his family.


Think Moses and Israel’s Red Sea passage

through the waters of death into a new covenant life with God.


Think of Israel’s symbolic journey across the Jordan,

re-living this pattern.


And then think of John the Baptizer

inviting sons and daughters of the covenant

to come across the Jordan,

and then re-enter the Promised Land as if for the first time.


In each case, there is a death to one condition or circumstance,

and a birth to another.


This theme lies at the heart of the readings we hear during this Epiphany season, expressed beautifully and mystically in the central panel of


PETER KOENIG’S GREAT PAINTING, “CHRISTMAS—EPIPHANY”.




Notice the lower right-hand portion of the panel. We find Jesus and John,

with Jesus submitting to the waters of Baptism. It’s an event that begs a question. For why would Jesus be baptized?


In Peterson’s The Message translation, Matthew tells us that ‘John objected to the prospect of it, saying


“I’m the one who needs to be baptized, not you!” But Jesus insisted.

“Do it. God’s work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism.”

So John did it.’


Jesus saw the Big Picture. The pattern was being fulfilled. Out of the waters of a kind of death, a spiritual death, would come a new birth for God’s people.

Peter Koenig beautifully depicts this in a very subtle way. If you look closely at the bottom right corner of the panel,

you will see some skulls lying at the river bottom among the reeds, below the baptismal waters.


You may recall seeing a skull at the base of the cross in Orthodox icons of the Crucifixion (see icon above) as well as in western art. This represents Adam and our fallen human nature.



In this painting, other biblically-significant water is represented.


At the centre, Koenig depicts

John’s Revelation-vision

of the Lamb on the throne

who is the source of Living Water.


Around this throne,

the faithful departed

and the saints who have gone before are gathered in praise and adoration.



Koenig then connects this theme

of living water

with the Cana wedding story,

where we hear of water stored in large jars for the rites of purification.


There, Jesus performs his first miracle,

turning this holy water into wonderfully good wine.


Here we see the mystical connection

between the Old Testament and the New, and between Baptism and Eucharist.


We are hearers of the Gospel record of Jesus’ Baptism; we are challenged by it, and are called to go through the same waters with him, the waters of death to our old ways of life; and with him, to live in a new covenant life with God. Called by God to, with God, build the “new Jerusalem” here and now.


THE APOSTLES’ CREED


I believe in God, the Father almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

(we bow our heads during the next two lines)

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried;

he descended into hell;

on the third day he rose again from the dead;

he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;

from there he will come to judge the living 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 life everlasting. Amen.



THE PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL (BIDDING PRAYERS)

We pray for the coming of God’s kingdom.


You sent your Son to bring good news to the poor,

sight to the blind, freedom to the captives

and salvation to your people:

anoint us with your Spirit; send us to work in his name.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.


Send us to bring help to the poor

and freedom to the oppressed.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.


Send us to tell the world

the good news of your healing love.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.


Send us to those who mourn,

to bring joy and gladness instead of grief.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.



Let us pray to God, who alone makes us dwell in safety:

For all who are affected by coronavirus,

through illness or isolation or anxiety,

that they may find relief and recovery:

For those who are guiding our nation at this time,

and shaping national policies,

that they may make wise decisions:

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.


For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,

that through their skill and insights

many will be restored to health:

For the vulnerable and the fearful,

for the gravely ill and the dying,

that they may know your comfort and peace:

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.


We remember those who have died recently,

and also those whom we have lost awhile but no longer see.

Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord,

and let light perpetual shine upon them.

May they rest in peace, and rise in glory.

We ask Mary to pray with us,

as we with her bring our care

and concern for this present situation in which we find ourselves:


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.


Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,and at the hour of our death.


Be with us all, Lord: in all our daily struggles as we seek to follow you.

Be with us all, Lord: in our periods of doubt and despair; and in our times of happiness, health and loving.

Be with us all, Lord: until that time when in your Kingdom of Love

our joy will know no end: Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of

your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION



Let us lift up our hearts;

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For in the waters of the Jordan

you revealed with signs and wonders a new Baptism,

so that through the voice that came down from heaven

we might come to believe in your Word dwelling among us,

and by the Spirit’s descending in the likeness of a dove

we might know that Christ your Servant

has been anointed with the oil of gladness

and sent to bring the good news to the poor.

And so, with Angels and Archangels,

with Thrones and Dominions,

and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,

we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim:



Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


At the Saviour’s command

and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come,

thy 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.


Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,

that, by the help of your mercy,

we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress,

as we await the blessed hope

and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


For the kingdom,

the power and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


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.



SPIRITUAL COMMUNION


Lord Jesus Christ, eternal Son of God;

I believe that You are truly present in the most Blessed Sacrament

of the altar. I worship Your unseen sacramental presence

with all the powers of my soul.

I love You above all things, and I earnestly desire

to receive Your life-giving, healing grace.


Since I am not now about to receive You sacramentally

in Holy Communion, I ask You to come spiritually into my soul,

and to bestow on me all the graces

which flow from Your Sacred Heart.


I unite myself to You, as fully as I am able,

and I ask that with the help of Your grace

I may remain united to You, my greatest good, my final end.


I ask You to sustain me in this life with Your presence,

and then, when this life is over,

to receive me into the joys of Your Kingdom,

where with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

You live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.


A Time of quiet reflection, in which to receive the Lord’s Presence spiritually.


Eternal light shine in our hearts.

Eternal goodness deliver us from evil.

Eternal power be our support.

Eternal wisdom scatter the darkness of our ignorance.

Eternal pity have mercy on us

that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength

we may seek Your face

and be brought by Your infinite mercy

into Your holy presence.



ASKING GOD’S BLESSING


May God, who in Christ gives us a spring of water

welling up to eternal life,

perfect in us the image of his glory

and gladden our hearts with the good news of his kingdom;

and may the blessing of almighty God,

the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

come down on us and remain with us for ever. Amen.


THE ANGELUS


The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary.

And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.


Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Behold the handmaid of the Lord.

Be it unto me according to thy word.


Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.


And the Word was made flesh.

And dwelt amongst us.


Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ

by the message of an angel, so by his Cross and Passion

we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection;

through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord;

in the Name of Christ. Amen.




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