Presider’s Page for Sunday 8 January (Baptism of the Lord)

Songs at Mass today (Suggestions)
Christmas Carols, ‘Here I am Lord’ ‘Come to the Water’, ‘Holy God We Praise Thy Name’; ‘Walk in the Light’; ‘Christ be our Light’.

Opening Comment
This feast of the Baptism of the Lord marks the last day of Christmas. At his baptism Jesus sees how much he is loved by God and is given the power to go out and spread the news. We share that power through our baptism.

Penitential Rite A
We begin now by blessing water and recalling our own baptism…(Replace usual formula with the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water: alternative version, from 1998 ICEL Missal)
Let us pray, dear friends,
that the Lord our God may bless this gift of water,
which will be sprinkled upon us
to remind us of our baptism.
May God help us to remain faithful
to the Holy Spirit we have received.
All-powerful and ever-living God,
your gift of water brings life and freshness to the earth;
by water we are cleansed from sin
and receive the gift of eternal life.
On this day which you have made your own
we ask you, Lord, to bless + this water:
may it be our safeguard and protection.
Renew in us the living fountain of your grace
and defend us, soul and body, from evil,
that we may approach you with pure hearts
and worthily receive your gift of salvation.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (People are sprinkled)


Penitential Rite B
To begin, let us remember the areas of darkness in our own lives, made clear by God’s healing light (pause): You raise the dead to life in the Spirit … You bring pardon and peace to the sinner … You bring light to those in darkness: Lord, have mercy.

Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
God of the covenant,
you anointed your beloved Son
with the power of the Holy Spirit
to be light for the nations
and release for captives.

Grant that we who are born again
of water and the Spirit
may proclaim with our lips the good news of his peace
and show forth in our lives the victory of his justice.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the splendour of eternal light,
God for ever and ever.

Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7 — Christians identify the servant described by Isaiah with Christ and the Church. Acts 10: 34-38 — Peter recalls how Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, and the difference that made. Matthew 3:13-17 — The events celebrated in today’s feast are described by St Matthew.


Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, who is full of majesty and power and splendour.

  1. That all the baptised may take their Christian commitment seriously (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
  2. That the babies baptised in 2016 may grow into strong, healthy Christians (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
  3. That those who come seeking baptism this year may participate fully in the life of faith (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
  4. That young people preparing for Confirmation in 2017 may be filled with the Holy Spirit (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
  5. That our community may grow in grace in this New Year (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
  6. That all who are lonely and depressed may have support these January days (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.

The presider prays for the dead: For our friends and relatives who have died (especially N and N), that they may enter the presence of the Lord (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.

Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, you rule the earth with justice,  help us all according to our needs, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

accept the gifts of your faithful people,
presented on this day
when Jesus was proclaimed your beloved Son.
Let our offering become the sacrifice of him
who has washed away the sins of the world
and who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
In the waters of the Jordan
you revealed a new baptism
through signs and wonders:
a voice came down from heaven
to waken our faith in your Word dwelling among us;
your Spirit descended as a dove
to make it known that Christ, your servant,
was anointed with the oil of gladness
and was sent to preach the good news to the poor.
With joyful hearts we echo on earth
the song of the angels in heaven
as they praise your glory without end: Holy, holy, holy….

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER II (with interpolation for Sunday)
Lord, you are holy indeed,
you are the fountain of all holiness.
In communion with the whole Church,
we have assembled on this day which you have made holy,
and, rejoicing that you have made us a new creation in your risen Son,
we pray:
Send down your Spirit upon these gifts to make them holy,
that they may become for us
the body + and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Before he was given up to death,
a death he freely accepted,
he took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples, and said:

When supper was ended, he took the cup;
again he gave you thanks,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

The mystery of faith…..

Remembering therefore his death and resurrection,
we offer you, Lord God,
this life-giving bread, this saving cup.
We thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
We pray that all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ
may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, remember your Church throughout the world:
perfect us in love
together with Francis our Pope and N. our Bishop,
with all bishops, priests, and deacons,
and all who minister to your people.

Remember our brothers and sisters
who have gone to their rest
in the sure hope of rising again;
bring them and all who have died in your mercy
into the light of your presence.

Have mercy on us all:
make us worthy to share eternal life,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles and with all the saints,
who have found favour with you throughout the ages;
in union with them
may we praise you and give you glory
through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through him, with him, in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Refreshed by these holy gifts, Lord God,
we seek your mercy,
that, by listening faithfully to your only Son,
we may be your children in name and in truth.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.

A thought for Liturgy planners: Celebrate baptism during Mass today or some Sunday. RITE: Opening dialogue and signing with the Sign of the Cross at the door is followed by Entrance Procession and Gloria. Opening Prayer, then readings of the day and homily. Baptismal promises are renewed, then the celebration of baptism (water, chrism, candle, shawl and blessing of ears and mouth) with Mass then continuing as normal wth prayer of the Faithful, and special blessing prayers of Baptism added to Concluding Rite. (Beforehand: celebrate preparatory rites by blessing water and, possibly, anoint with oil of catechumens.)

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