On this feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the revelation of who Christ is. The visit of the three 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.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 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 three 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 the nations, that they may hear and believe the Good News of salvation (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For Christians in the Middle East, suffering persecution, that the light of Christ will lead them to safety (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For members of the Orthodox Church, who celebrate Christmas later this week, that they may draw closer to God and to all other Christians (pause for silent prayer). 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 silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people of all faiths and of none, that in this New Year they may grow in peace and love (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those in our midst who are sick or in sorrow, that our support may remind them of God’s unfailing compassion (pause for silent prayer). 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 silent prayer). 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.