Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord: his baptism marked the end of Jesus’ quiet years in Nazereth and the start of his public ministry.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
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: 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) The Lord is our strength, our saviour: so we bring forward our prayers with confidence.
- For all the baptised, that we may grow in appreciation of the joys and challenges of Christian living (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the children christened in our community in the past year, that they may grow to maturity under the guidance of their parents and godparents (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For adults preparing to be baptised this year, that their devotion may breathe new life into their comunities (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the Christians who will be confirmed in 2015, that the Spirit who descended at the baptism of Jesus may fill them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For believers who have grown distant from their faith, that in this New Year they may make a new start (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the community of which we are part, that we may grow in faith and in support of one another (pause for silent 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). We remember also the children who have died around the time of birth: that all we have lost may pass from death to life (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, our strength, our Saviour: we praise your mighty deeds and ask your help, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) ‘Here I am Lord’; ‘Servant Song’; ‘Christ be Our Light’.