Opening Comment (for the Presider)
This feast of the Baptism of the Lord marks the last day of Christmas. At his baptism Jesus sees how much he is loved by God and is given the power to go out and spread the news. We share that power through our baptism. Penitential Rite: We begin now by blessing water and recalling our own baptism… OR To begin, let us remember the areas of darkness in our own lives, made clear 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.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings (for Ministers of the Word)
Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7 — Christians idenitfy the servant described by Isaiah with Christ and the Church.
Acts 10: 34-38 — Peter recalls how Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, and the difference that made.
Matthew 3:13-17 — The events celebrated in today’s feast are described by St Matthew.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, who is full of majesty and power and splendour.
- For all the baptised, that unity among Christians may grow (pause for quiet prayer) . Lord, hear us.
- For all of us who have born anew by water and the Holy Spirit, that we may grow closer to Christ every day (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us
- For newborn babies, and all who will soon be baptised, that they may have the grace to live truly Christian lives (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those preparing for Confirmation this year, that they may be filled with the Holy Spirit (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the elderly and all who are lonely, that they may have our friendship these January days (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people who are sick, at home or in hospital, that our support may remind them of God’s love (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays ‘for our friends and relatives who have died (especially N and N)’, that they may enter the presence of the Lord (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, you rule the earth with justice, help us all according to our needs, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Songs at Mass (for Ministers of Music): Christmas Carols, ‘Here I am Lord’ ‘Come to the Water’, ‘Holy God We Praise Thy Name’.