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The Epiphany – Spiritual Communion



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

Amen.


The grace of God has dawned upon the world

through our Saviour Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself for us

to purify a people as his own. We confess our sins.


God be gracious to us and bless us,

and make your face shine upon us:

Lord, have mercy.


May your ways be known on the earth,

your saving power among the nations:

Christ, have mercy.


You, Lord, have made known your salvation,

and reveal your justice in the sight of the nations:

Lord, have mercy.


May the Lord of all healing and forgiveness draw us to Himself,

and cleanse us from all our sins, that we may behold the glory

of his Son, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Ethiopian Magi - Coptic Church

THE EPIPHANY GIFTS


GOLD Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe:

to you be praise and glory for ever.

As gold in the furnace is tried

and purified seven times in the fire,

so purify our hearts and minds

that we may be a royal priesthood

acceptable in the service of your kingdom.

Blessed be God for ever.


INCENSE Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe:

to you be praise and glory for ever.

As our prayer rises up before you as incense,

so may we be presented before you

with penitent hearts and uplifted hands

to offer ourselves in your priestly service.

Blessed be God for ever.


MYRRH Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe:

to you be praise and glory for ever.

As you give medicine to heal our sickness

and the leaves of the tree of life

for the healing of the nations,

so anoint us with your healing power

that we may be the first-fruits of your new creation.

Blessed be God for ever.



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: O God, who at the Epiphany

revealed your Only Begotten Son to the nations

by the guidance of a star,

grant in your mercy, that we, who know you already by faith,

may be brought to behold the beauty of your sublime glory.

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.


The Liturgy of the Word


ISAIAH 60:1-6


Arise, shine out, Jerusalem, for your light has come,

the glory of the Lord is rising on you,

though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples.

Above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears.

The nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness.

Lift up your eyes and look round: all are assembling and coming

towards you, your sons from far away

and your daughters being tenderly carried.


At this sight you will grow radiant, your heart throbbing and full;

since the riches of the sea will flow to you,

the wealth of the nations come to you;

camels in throngs will cover you,

and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; everyone in Sheba will come,

bringing gold and incense and singing the praise of the Lord.


Thanks be to God



RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Psalm 71(72):1-2,7-8,10-13


All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.


O God, give your judgement to the king,

to a king’s son your justice,

that he may judge your people in justice

and your poor in right judgement.


All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.


In his days justice shall flourish

and peace till the moon fails.

He shall rule from sea to sea,

from the Great River to earth’s bounds.


All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.


The kings of Tarshish and the sea coasts shall pay him tribute.

The kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring him gifts.

Before him all kings shall fall prostrate,

all nations shall serve him.


All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.


For he shall save the poor when they cry

and the needy who are helpless.

He will have pity on the weak

and save the lives of the poor.


All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.



Alleluia, alleluia! We saw his star as it rose

and have come to do the Lord homage. Alleluia!


A reading from the HOLY GOSPEL according to Matthew

(chapter 2, verses 1-12).


After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea

during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem

from the east. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked.

‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’


When King Herod heard this he was perturbed,

and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called together

all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,

and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born.


‘At Bethlehem in Judaea,’ they told him

‘for this is what the prophet wrote:


And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

you are by no means least among the leaders of Judah,

for out of you will come a leader

who will shepherd my people Israel.’


Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately.

He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared,

and sent them on to Bethlehem. ‘Go and find out all about the child,’

he said ‘and when you have found him, let me know,

so that I too may go and do him homage.’


Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out.

And there in front of them was the star they had seen rising;

it went forward, and halted over the place where the child was.


The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the

house they saw the child with his mother Mary,

and falling to their knees they did him homage.

Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts

of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

But they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod,

and returned to their own country by a different way.




THE HOMILY


“Do you know what it is?” No we don’t, “What are you hoping for?” we prospective grandparents are often asked. “Boy or girl?”

“As long as it’s healthy” we say, “but we think it’s a boy”

“What are you hoping for?” Joseph was asked,

and originally his answer was to “Quietly put Mary away” in case she suffered some terrible fate for conceiving when she shouldn’t.

Joseph was reassured in a dream that this Child was from God,

the Most Special Child ever.

“What are you hoping for, Joseph?”

“That I can be the best father I can to God the Father’s Son,

and that I can make a home for Him and His Mother.”


The Three from the East, those wise men riding on dromedaries of Midian, Ephah and Sheba, they weren’t sure what it was that they were hoping for.

They had only the star to guide them, which they understood would lead them to a King, but they had no other information.

When eventually the star stopped over the place where the child was; going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary.

“What are you hoping for, Wise Men?” –

“A glimpse of Christ”, enfolded in the loving arms of His Mother,

and under the protective gaze of Joseph.


Words no longer necessary, only gestures were needed.

They came to the home, entered in silence,

paid Him homage, offered their gifts, and took this tremendous experience home with them,

but as ones who would never be the same.


Just as Mary, Joseph and the Holy Child opened their home to

“the world” in this Epiphany act, so it has become a tradition of Catholic Christians worldwide to ask the Holy Child to bless our homes at Epiphany, that Christ might be born in them daily, and those who visit us would see not only ourselves, but Christ radiating from the heart of our homes.

We need Christ to live in our homes,

and to live through our homes.

We need Christ to become real to us,

as real as the Child was to the wise men.

They did not come to adore a philosophy or a moral system.

They fell in adoration to the Chosen One of God, a Person, Jesus.


So, this Epiphany – what am I or you looking for in 2021?

I think this year the answer is obvious,

clearly, an end to the pandemic,

and a return to a normality, whether it’s a “new normal”,

a “different normal”, or even the “old normal” if that is possible!


Christ came to make a difference in the world,

a difference in our world, your world,

in your life, your work, your school, your home, your neighbouhood.

Because of you and me, people should know, or at least suspect,

that Christ loves them enough to be born in deepest humanity, adverse circumstances, suffer, die and rise again.

For what? For them!


Open your home this Epiphany to the Holy Family.

Invite the Christ-Child in

as you ask God’s Epiphany blessing on your home.

“Where is the infant king ?”

He’s living in my home, reigning in my heart,

working through my life. He is welcome here.



"What you are is God's gift to you,

what you become is your gift to God."

Hans Urs von Balthasar



BLESSING THE DOOR OF YOUR HOUSE (DIAGRAM ABOVE)


Take (blessed) chalk (of any colour) and mark on the lintel of your front door

or on the doorstep 20 + C + M + B + 21

The three Wise Men, C=Caspar, M=Melchior, B=Balthasar

… who followed the star of God’s Son who became human 20 two thousand and twenty-one years ago 21 ++ May Christ bless our home ++ and remain with us throughout this year. Amen.



I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

(All bow)

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

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.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. 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;

rouse 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.


Send us to proclaim that the time is here

for you to save your people.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.


Protect us, Lord, and be with us especially those of us most vulnerable during this coronavirus crisis.

Move us to reach out in love to our neighbours near and far. So that the humble may be exalted, the hungry filled with good things.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.


Mary and Joseph welcomed the strangers from foreign lands

as they came to worship Jesus. We ask Mary to pray for us and with us that we may offer the gift of ourselves to Him,

in this coming year, as we say


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.


Father, use us, unworthy as we are,

to bring in your kingdom of mercy, justice, love and peace.

Grant us the courage not to rush back to our old ways, but to rebuild our world together,

Empower us by your Spirit and unite us in your Son,

that all our joy and delight may be to serve you,

now and for ever. Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.



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 today you have revealed the mystery

of our salvation in Christ as a light for the nations,

and when he appeared in our mortal nature,

you made us new by the glory of his immortal nature.

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.



My Jesus,

I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

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.



Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;

Body of Christ, be my salvation;

Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;

Water of Christ's side, wash out my stains;

Passion of Christ, my comfort be;

O good Jesus, listen to me;

In Thy wounds I fain would hide;

Ne'er to be parted from Thy side;

Guard me, should the foe assail me;

Call me when my life shall fail me;

Bid me come to Thee above,

With Thy saints to sing Thy love,

World without end. Amen.

(Anima Christi, attributed to Pope John XXII

and translated here by St John Henry Newman

Time for Silent Prayer


Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,

‘I am with you always’.

Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.

Hear my prayers for others and for myself,

and keep me in your care. Amen.



Go before us with heavenly light, O Lord, always and everywhere,

that we may perceive with clear sight

and revere with true affection your Presence with us;

Through Christ our Lord.. Amen.


ASKING GOD’S BLESSING


Christ the Son of God 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


V. The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary. R. 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.


V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. R. 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.


V. And the Word was made flesh. R. 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.


V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


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.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.










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