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  • Writer's picturePhil


If you can, light a candle before beginning this Spiritual Communion,

and pray that the Light of Christ will illuminate

our pandemically-darkened world

with His Presence.

✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Forty days have passed since we celebrated the joyful feast of the Nativity

of the Lord.

Today is the blessed day when Jesus was presented in the Temple

by Mary and Joseph.

Outwardly he was fulfilling the Law, but in reality

he was coming to meet his believing people.

Prompted by the Holy Spirit, Simeon and Anna came to the Temple.

Enlightened by the same Spirit,

they recognised the Lord and confessed him with exultation.

O God, source and origin of all light, who on this day showed to the just man, Simeon, the light for revelation to the Gentiles, we humbly ask that, in answer to your peoples prayers, you may be pleased to sanctify us with your blessing, that we may be eager to carry your light to those in darkness.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation : which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles :

and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost : As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen.


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.

COLLECT: Almighty ever-living God, we humbly implore your majesty that, just as your Only Begotten Son was presented on this day in the Temple in the substance of our flesh, so, by your grace, we may be presented to you with minds made pure. 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.


FIRST READING - Malachi 3:1-4

The Lord God says this: Look, I am going to send my messenger

to prepare a way before me.

And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple;

and the angel of the covenant whom you are longing for,

yes, he is coming, says the Lord of Hosts.

Who will be able to resist the day of his coming?

Who will remain standing when he appears?

For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali.

He will take his seat as refiner and purifier;

he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver,

and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made.

The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be welcomed by the Lord

as in former days, as in the years of old.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord.

O gates, lift high your heads;

grow higher, ancient doors.

Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord.

Who is the king of glory?

The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,

the Lord, the valiant in war.

Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord.

O gates, lift high your heads;

grow higher, ancient doors.

Let him enter, king of glory!

Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord.

Who is the king of glory?

He, the Lord of armies,

he is the king of glory.

Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord.


Alleluia, alleluia!

The light to enlighten the Gentiles

and give glory to Israel, your people. Alleluia!

THE GOSPEL A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke. (Luke 2:22-40) Glory to you, O Lord.

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord

and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:

‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised;

because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.’

As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected; and a sword will pierce your own soul too; so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’

There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years.

Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

When they had done everything

the Law of the Lord required,

they went back to Galilee,

to their own town of Nazareth.

Meanwhile the child grew to maturity,

and he was filled with wisdom;

and God’s favour was with him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

to reflect on the life and contribution of Joseph.

Today’s feast, The Presentation of Jesus, has Joseph in evidence,

as with Mary he presents this first-born son in the way

that Jewish people had been doing for centuries,

offering their son to God and thanking God for the gift,

and with the offering of the child,

Joseph presented two turtle-doves as the law requested he should.

Joseph and Mary presented their first-born,

but as we know Joseph was not His biological father,

yet he took Jesus into his life and home.

Joseph was the first human face to which Jesus would have said,

“Abba”, “Daddy”; and Jesus’s understanding of His Heavenly Father

came to Him as He observed the way in which His “earthly Father”,

Joseph, cared for Him.

Joseph would have taught Jesus how to recite the basic daily prayer

said by every Jewish believer, The “Shema, Israel” -

“Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, and with all your might…….”

Joseph was the one who taught Him to pray,

who took Him to the Synagogue at Nazareth,

the same Synagogue where the mature Jesus,

at the beginning of His Ministry,

told those who had known Him only as “The Carpenter’s Son”

that He was The Messiah.

Joseph the Carpenter taught Jesus how to work with wood. Jesus Himself was later to fashion our salvation in the wood of the Cross. Joseph’s faith and his righteousness was the role-model that helped to fashion God’s Son, Jesus;

Jesus’s humanity came genetically from Our Lady, and from the nurture of Joseph.

Joseph, being a parent, would do anything for his Child;

Can you love Jesus as much as Joseph did?

Can you be a “good parent” to Jesus,

carry Him, care for Him, allow Him to grow in your life?

Catherine Alder wrote this about Joseph: "I see the hands of Joseph, Back and forth along bare wood they move. There is worry in those working hands, sorting out confusing thoughts with every stroke. 'How can this be, my beautiful Mary now with child?' Rough with deep splinters, these hands, small, painful splinters like tiny crosses embedded deeply in this choice to stay with her. He could have closed his hands to her, said 'No' and allowed her to suffer the fate of those who had another’s child, stoning. But, Joseph opened both his heart and hands to this Mother and her Child. Preparing in these days before with working hands and wood pressed tight between them. It is these rough hands that will open, the first to hold Him."

Today we glimpse Joseph and Mary doing what all Jewish parents would have done,

presenting their Son in the Temple, doing the ordinary thing for their first-born Son.

“This is no ordinary Child” say both Simeon and Anna.

Joseph, the model of Fatherhood, was no ordinary Father.

Joseph took Jesus as his own,

and modelled to Jesus His Heavenly Father’s love and care.

Joseph’s hands were work-worn, splintered, rough, but those same hands were to embrace and encourage Jesus; those same skilled hands were to pass-on the ordinary skills of living

that this extraordinary Child needed to be The Son of God.

Jesus modelled His Hands on those of Joseph, hands that were loving, caring, strong, gentle, kind, hard-working.

We can present Christ, as did Joseph and Mary that day in The Temple,

by the way we are in our day-to-day lives. We should model our lives on Joseph, take Jesus lovingly into our hands, and allow Jesus to take us into His hands:

“Take my hands, Lord Jesus, let them work for you; Make them strong and gentle, kind in all I do; Let me watch you, Jesus, till I’m gentle too, Till my hands are kind hands, quick to work for you.”


I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe 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, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

He ascended into heaven,

He is seated at the right hand of the Father,

And 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 the life everlasting. Amen.


Let us pray to the Father through Christ who is our light and life.

Father, your Christ is acclaimed as the glory of Israel:

look in mercy on your Church, sharing his light.

Christ, have mercy.

Father, your Christ in his temple brings judgement on the world:

look in mercy on the nations, who long for his justice.

Christ, have mercy.

Father, your Christ, who was rich, for our sakes became poor:

look in mercy on the needy, suffering with him.

Christ, have mercy.

Father, in the pandemic, keep us in the light of your Presence

amidst uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,

and lift up those who are brought low; that all may rejoice in your comfort,

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love.

Christ, have mercy.

Father, your Christ is the one in whom faithful servants find their peace:

look in mercy on the departed, that they may see your salvation.

Christ, have mercy.

Father, your Christ is revealed as the one destined to be rejected:

look in mercy on us who now turn towards his passion.

Christ, have mercy.

Mary was warned by Simeon that she would experience pain as well as joy

in her Motherhood. We ask her prayers for all who are experiencing the

“piercing of the soul” in this difficult time: 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.

Lord God, you kept faith with Simeon and Anna,

and showed them the infant King.

Give us grace to put all our trust in your promises,

and the patience to wait for their fulfilment;

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

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 your co-eternal Son was presented on this day in the Temple

and revealed by the Spirit as the glory of Israel

and Light of the nations.

And so we too go forth, rejoicing to encounter your Salvation,

and with Angels and Saints praise you, 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.

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION – A prayer from Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Still my heart, so that I may know that you are God,

that I may know that you create and sustain my every breath,

that you breathe the whole universe into existence every second,

that everyone, myself no less than everyone else, is your beloved,

that you want our lives to flourish,

that you desire our happiness,

that nothing falls outside your love and care,

and that everything and everybody is safe in your gentle, caring hands,

in this world and the next.

Lord, I am not worthy

that you should enter under my roof,

but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Time to sit quietly to receive the Lord’s Presence


“My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart …

I embrace You as if You were already there

and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You,”


Father, I abandon myself into your hands;

do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you:

I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me,

and in all your creatures—

I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;

I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,

for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,

to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,

and with boundless confidence,

for you are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld.


Christ, whose glory fills the skies, fill us with radiance

and scatter the darkness from our path. Amen

Christ, the Sun of Righteousness,

gladden our eyes and warm our heart. Amen

Christ, the Dayspring from on high,

draw near to guide our feet into the way of peace. Amen

And may the blessing of Almighty God,

the Father, the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit

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


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.

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.

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.

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 forth in the Name of Christ. Amen.

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