Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.
Hymn of Praise: 171-God’s love made visible, 173-As with gladness
Hymn of Invitation: 172-We three kings, 174-Brightest and best
Communion Hymn: Any of the Christmas or Epiphany hymns are appropriate
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or
This week: The Psalm is, again, not found directly in the Chalice Hymnal; Hymn 140-Hail to the Lord’s Anointed makes reference to it generally.
Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer (created or adapted by the editor)
God made flesh has come not only for those to whom the Christ was sent, but indeed for the whole world. Let us watch for signs of his revelation to all of creation as we join in worship.
Call to Worship (adapted by the editor from the Psalm)
L: Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel;
P: For God alone does wondrous things.
L: Blessed be God’s glorious name forever!
P: May God’s glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
Prayer of Approach (adapted by the editor)
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. O Lord of all things bright and beautiful, may we begin this day in your name. Light of all light, our dayspring of hope, may we find warm reflections of your countenance in the face of each brother, sister, stranger and friend. As we work for your world this day, may our hunger be for justice and our thirst for peace. Feed us with your presence. Strengthen our hearts and steady our hands for the business of loving your creation. As children of the light, may we walk in your radiance this day. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Intercessions (adapted by the editor from Common Worship)
From the rising of the sun to its setting, let us pray to the Lord, saying
L: …God of all the nations,
P: Hear our prayer.
That the people of God in all the world may worship in spirit and in truth, let us pray to the Lord: L: …God of all the nations, P: Hear our prayer.
That the Church may discover again that unity which is the Father’s will, let us pray to the Lord: L: …God of all the nations, P: Hear our prayer.
That the nations of the earth may seek after the ways that make for peace, let us pray to the Lord: L: …God of all the nations, P: Hear our prayer.
That the whole creation, groaning in travail, may be set free to enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God, let us pray to the Lord:
L: …God of all the nations, P: Hear our prayer.
That all who with Christ have entered the shadow of death may rest in peace and rise in glory, let us pray to the Lord:
L: …God of all the nations, P: Hear our prayer.
Let us commend the world, to which Christ showed the way, to the mercy and protection of God.
Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.
Eternal God, you have shown your glory to the nations in the coming of Christ. Guide the church that you have gathered on earth, preserve it in faith, that it may grow in witness and service to the world. Strengthen and uphold our pastors and leaders that they may faithfully strengthen and uphold the church, and help us all to faithfully join in partnership with you to do your work according to your will and example in Jesus.
Increase our faithfulness to you and bless us with new friends in our midst to share in the joy of discipleship. Increase the faith and understanding of those whose faith in you is new. Give to all in baptism a new birth as your children, and give us grace to nurture them in faith and in the communion of your saints.
Lord, you created humanity with a longing to know you, to be in fellowship with you and to have peace in you. Grant that, in spite of hurtful things that stand in their way, they may find in the unity of fellowship in Christ the tokens of your love and mercy, and grow to acknowledge you as God and Savior.
You, O Lord, are the champion of the poor, the oppressed, the lost and the lonely. Guide those in leadership toward the commonwealth of your justice, that in peace and freedom all may share in the goodness of your creation, and work with you in caring for it and for your creatures. You are the one who gives strength to the weary and new courage to the disheartened. Hear the prayers of all who call on you that they may have joy in finding you ever present to help…
Hear the prayers of your people, O God, for we lift them all to you in the name and Spirit of your Christ.
OR (for the New Year):
In peace, let us pray to God who is ever more ready to respond than we are to ask.
Merciful and loving God, for the year that has passed with its sorrows and joys, we give you thanks; for in every moment of it, you remained faithful to us, rejoicing and struggling with us, though often we were slow to recognize you there. And with thanks for (year), we now release it. May its treasures inspire us, but never bind us in nostalgia; and may its troubles teach us, but never hold us captive. For you who have created are still creating…making all things new, including this day.
As we enjoy the blessings of life in this community, we give thanks to you for bringing together the many gifts which make your church more able to do its mission. We thank you for those who have given much of themselves to allow this day to come to pass. We thank you for those who realize the long road which lies ahead, and who trust you for strength to walk on, day by day. And we recognize that there are many in our world who do not experience the love of a church family, the comfort and joy of a faith community. May our witness to your love increase itself in hospitality to them. Nudge us on to greater acts of faithfulness, as we learn to trust you more and more.
We ache at the news of brokenness in our world–broken lives and broken relationships between persons and families, communities and nations. Our hopes are turned toward peace in your presence, and we pray that you would help us to be makers of peace in our day to day lives.
Loving lord, we lift to you our own needs and those whose lives are closely linked with our own [……..] (and others we name silently in our hearts.)
As the light of a star brought the simple and the wise into the presence of the young Christ, guide us to you by the light of your word as we hear it read and proclaimed. God of all faithfulness, receive these prayers which we offer to you in the name and spirit of Jesus the Christ.
Collect of the Day (for the New Year, from Common Worship)
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose years never fail and whose mercies are new each returning day: let the radiance of your Spirit renew our lives, warming our hearts and giving light to our minds; that we may pass the coming year in joyful obedience and firm faith; through him who is the beginning and the end, your Son, Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Collect of the Day (Book of Common Prayer, 1979)
O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant, that we, which know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The giving and receiving of gifts at Christmas time is born of the ancient Church’s celebration of this very day. At Epiphany, the story is told again of those who come before the young Christchild, seeking to give, eager to present the very best to this young king. In the process, they proclaimed what the religious world could not conceive: that this one Child, of humble birth and stature, has come to bring God’s saving love to all. May we consider well how our giving proclaims God’s love for all as the Table of the Lord is made ready.
Prayer(s) of Thanksgiving
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon this bread and cup, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. Together, we celebrate Christ’s gifts, even as we bring our own, rejoicing in your presence, loving God, now and always.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]
RESOURCES from COMMON WORSHIP
who by the leading of a star
manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
mercifully grant that we,
who know you now by faith,
may at last behold your glory face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
the bright splendour whom the nations seek:
may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light
discern the glory of your presence in your Son,
the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
guide and sustain us,
that we may find our journey’s end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.