Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord: it’s the last day of the Christmas season. To begin, let us recall the areas of darkness in our own lives, made visible by God’s healing light: (Pause)
You raise the dead to life in the Spirit: Lord, have mercy.
You bring pardon and peace to the sinner: Christ, have mercy.
You bring light to those in darkness: Lord, have mercy.
Alternative OPENING PRAYER (from the 1998 ICEL Missal, Year B)
God of salvation,
in the river Jordan you bathed your Son Jesus in glory
and revealed him as your obedient servant.
In spirit and in power
rend the heavens and come down to us.
Strengthen us to acknowledge your Christ,
that we who are reborn in his likeness may walk with him the path of obedience.
Grant this 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 55:1-11 — Isaiah gives out God’s free invitation: all are welcome to come to the water and be baptised. 1 John 5:1-9 — Jesus saved us by water and by blood, says St John: the Spirit is a witness to this. Mark 1:7-11— The events celebrated in today’s feast are described. Mark’s brief account was the first to be written.
Introduction (by the Presider) Sisters and brothers, let us bring our needs to God, whose Spirit renews the face of the earth.
- For all baptised people — that they may be true Christians (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For babies baptised in 2020 — that their parents will teach them well (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those confirmed last year — that their faith may grow (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For all adults — that they may give good example (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those sick with COVID-19 — that they may be healed (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people with mental health issues — that they may be supported (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For our friends and relatives who have gone before us in faith (especially N and N), that they may pass from death to life (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) Loving God, your creative Spirit renews humanity and sustains us always: hear our prayers and continue to support us by your grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
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.
PREFACE (Baptism of the Lord)
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 mornings)
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,
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:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT IT:
THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
When supper was ended, he took the cup;
again he gave you thanks,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT:
THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.
IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL,
SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN.
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.
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, forever and ever. Amen
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
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.
If BLESSING OF WATER is done remotely (via Facebook or webcam), the following prayer may be used:
Brothers and sisters,
let us invoke and bless the name of God the all-holy,
that the water presented for blessing may be for us
a sign of the new life in Christ,
which in baptism we have all received (pause and pray):
Lord God almighty,
fountain and wellspring of all life,
we ask you to bless + the water.
With trust in you
we use it to beg forgiveness of our sins
and to seek the protection of your grace
against illness and the snares of the enemy.
In your mercy, O Lord, give us the living water
that wells up as a spring of salvation,
that we may avoid all dangers to body and soul
and enter your presence with hearts made clean.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Final Blessing follows
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) Christmas carols; Here I am, Lord; God’s Spirit is in My Heart; Holy God We Praise Thy Name.