Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord: it’s the last day of the Christmas season. The baptism of Jesus marked the end of his quiet years in Nazareth and the start of his public ministry.
Penitential Rite: BLESSING OF WATER
Brothers and sisters,
let us invoke and bless the name of God the all-holy,
that this water may be for us
a sign of the new life in Christ,
which in baptism we have all received.
Lord God almighty,
fountain and wellspring of all life,
we ask you to bless + this 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.
(Water is sprinkled. Opening Prayer follows.)
Penitential Rite: LITANY OF PRAISE
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)
Open the heavens,
and pour out your Spirit
upon your people gathered in prayer.
Renew the power of our baptismal cleansing
and fill us with zeal for good deeds.
Let us hear your voice once again,
that we may recognise in your beloved Son
our hope of inheriting eternal life.
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 40:1-5, 9-11 The Church believes Isaiah’s words refer to Jesus, the true shepherd: he is ‘the glory of the Lord’
Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7 Salvation is possible for all people, because of God’s great compassion, which we see in the gift of baptism.
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 The events celebrated in today’s feast are described in the Gospel, as St Luke described them
Introduction (by the Presider) Sisters and brothers, let us bring our needs to God, whose Spirit renews the face of the earth.
- For couples looking forward to the baptism of their children (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For young people hoping to celebrate Confirmation this year (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For all of us who are already baptised — that we may live like people of faith (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us
- For everyone affected by COVID-19 (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people suffering because of the pandemic (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those keeping the country going in these difficult times (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), that they may pass, with Christ, from death to life (pause for silent 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,
for ever and ever.
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.
Solemn Blessing of Baptised Children & their parents
Bow your heads for God’s blessing.
God, the giver of all life human and divine,
through his Son, born of the Virgin Mary,
brings joy to all Christian parents,
who see the hope of eternal life shining in their children.
May God bless these mothers,
who give thanks for the gift of their children,
that, together with them,
they may offer unceasing thanks and praise,
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May God bless these fathers,
who, with their wives,
will be their children’s first teachers in the faith,
that, by word and example,
they may bear faithful witness,
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May God bless (these children, and) all those born to eternal life
through water and the Holy Spirit,
that always and everywhere
they may be faithful members of his people;
and may God bestow peace
upon all here present,
in Christ Jesus our Lord.