On this feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the revelation of who Christ is. The visit of the wise men reminds us that Jesus came as the Saviour of all nations, including ours. We worship God who wants all people to be saved.
As we rejoice in God’s forgiveness, let us call to mind our own need of divine mercy: (pause) Lord Jesus, you came to gather the nations into the peace of God’s kingdom… You come in word and sacrament to strengthen us in holiness … You will come in glory with salvation for your people …
Alternative Opening Prayers (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
Lord God of the nations,
we have seen the star of your glory
rising in splendour.
The radiance of your incarnate Word
pierces the darkness that covers the earth
and signals the dawn of peace and justice.
Make radiant the lives of your people
with that same brightness,
and beckon all the nations
to walk as one in your light.
We ask 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 60:1-6 — Isaiah refers to foreign people coming to worship the God of Israel, just as the wise men did.
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6 — Paul talks about the meaning of the feast: in Jesus, salvation is made available to Jews and pagans alike.
Matthew 2:1-12 — The events celebrated on the Epiphany are described in the Gospel.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, who saves the poor when they cry out for help.
- For the people of all nations — that they may believe the Good News of salvation (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For the Jewish people, our brothers and sisters, that through their faithfulness to God’s word, they too may reach the Kingdom (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For Christians, that together they may meet the challenges facing humanity (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For people of all faiths and of none, that in this New Year they may grow in respect and tolerance (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For women, on this Women’s Christmas Day, that this may be a day of rest, respect and renewal (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For those in our midst who are sick or in sorrow, that God may be close to them (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For our friends and relatives who have died (especially N and N), that eternal salvation may be theirs (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, you rule the earth with justice: help us according to our needs, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
accept the gifts of your Church,
which offers you today not gold, frankincense, and myrrh,
but the one who in these gifts is proclaimed, offered, and received,
Jesus Christ, our Lord, 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.
You have revealed this day
the mystery of our salvation in Christ,
the light to enlighten all nations.
Now that he has appeared in our mortal flesh,
you have refashioned us in the image of his immortal glory.
And so, with angels and archangels,
with all the heavenly host,
we proclaim your glory
and join their unending chorus of praise: Holy, holy, holy….
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III (from 1998 ICEL Missal, with Epiphany interpolation)
Lord, you are holy indeed,
and all creation rightly gives you praise.
All life, all holiness comes from you
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
by the working of the Holy Spirit.
From age to age you gather a people to yourself,
so that from the rising of the sun to its setting
a pure offering may be made
to the glory of your name.
And so, Lord God, we celebrate
the epiphany of your only-begotten Son;
and, rejoicing at the gift of salvation
and peace for all the nations,
we humbly pray:
by the power of your Spirit sanctify these gifts
we have brought before you,
that they may become the body + and blood
of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.
On the night he was handed over to death,
he took bread and gave you thanks and praise;
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 and praise,
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…..
Calling to mind, Lord God
the death your Son endured for our salvation,
his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven,
and eagerly awaiting the day of his return,
we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.
Look with favour on your Church’s offering
and see the Victim by whose sacrifice
you were pleased to reconcile us to yourself.
Grant that we who are nourished by the body and blood of your Son
may be filled with his Holy Spirit
and become one body, one spirit in Christ.
Let him make us an everlasting gift to you,
that we may share in the inheritance of your saints,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles, the martyrs,
[Saint N.], and all your saints,
on whose constant intercession we rely for help.
Lord, may this sacrifice
which has made our peace with you
advance the peace and salvation of all the world.
Strengthen in faith and love your pilgrim Church on earth:
your servant Pope Francis, our Bishop N.,
all bishops, priests, and deacons,
all ministers of your Church,
and the entire people your Son has gained for you.
hear the prayers of the family you have gathered here before you,
and unite to yourself all your children
now scattered over the face of the earth.
Welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters
and all who have left this world in your friendship.
We hope to enjoy with them your everlasting glory,
through Christ our Lord,
through whom you give the world everything that is good.
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.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Guide us always and everywhere, Lord,
by your light from on high,
that we may discern with clear minds
and treasure with deep affection
the mystery you have given us to share.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SOLEMN BLESSING (Epiphany)
May the God who called you from darkness
into his marvellous light
shower you with his blessings
and strengthen you in faith, hope, and love.
May the God whose only-begotten Son
enlightened the world on this day
make you also a light
to your brothers and sisters.
May the God who guided the Magi with a star
lead you to find Christ the light
when your earthly journey is done.
May the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit,
come upon you and remain with you for ever.
Christmas Carols, ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’, ‘Praise the Lord all you nations’.