We gather to celebrate the first Sunday of 2016, with thankfulness for the year just gone. We ask God for continuing care and protection as face this New Year, not knowing what it will bring.
Confident that God’s mercy has no end, we remember our sins: (pause)
Lord Jesus, you are mighty God and Prince of Peace: Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you are Son of God and Son of Mary: Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you are Word made flesh and splendour of the Father: Lord, have mercy
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
God most high,
your only Son embraced the weakness of our flesh
to give us the power to become your children;
your eternal Word chose to dwell among us,
that we might live in your presence.
Grant us a spirit of wisdom
to know how rich is the glory you have made our own,
and how great the hope to which we are called
in 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
Ecclesiasticus 24: 1-2, 8-12 — Wisdom will pitch her tent among the chosen people, predicts the author of Ecclesiasticus. This saying came true when the Word became flesh in Jesus. We are reminded of this in the response to the psalm which follows.
Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18 — As God’s children, we are chosen to share in divine wisdom, a wisdom that reached its fullness in Christ.
John 1:1-18 — The Gospel of Christmas Day is repeated, to reinforce the simple yet profound message: The Word became flesh
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, who in Jesus was made flesh.
- That all men and women of goodwill may see the full beauty of God, revealed in Jesus (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce peace and justice (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That those who claim the name of Christian may accept the mystery of Jesus, human and divine (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That this New Year may bring peace to the nations of the Middle East (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That refugees and all homeless people may be protected from danger (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That in this 2,016th year of our Saviour, all of us may have the grace and courage to make a new start together (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For those who have died (especially N and N), that perpetual light may shine on them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, your Word reveals your care and compassion: receive the prayers we make, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
as we recall the birth of your only Son,
make holy the gifts we bring,
for his coming shows us the way of truth
and promises life in the kingdom of heaven,
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.
PREFACE: Christmas II
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the great mystery of his birth,
the God we cannot see
has now appeared in human form.
The one begotten before all ages
begins to live in time.
He has come to raise the fallen world,
to make creation whole again,
and to lead humanity from exile
back to your heavenly kingdom.
And so, with all the angels and saints,
we sing the joyful hymn of your praise:
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Lord our God,
let the workings of this holy mystery
rid us of all that is evil
and bring to fulfilment
those things for which we rightly yearn.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SOLEMN BLESSING: Beginning of the New Year
May God, the source of every blessing,
grant you the fullness of grace
and keep you safe throughout the coming year.
May God safeguard the purity of your faith,
give you an unwavering hope
and a love that patiently endures to the end.
May God order your works and days in peace,
listen to your every prayer,
and lead you safely to eternal life.
A May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
Suggested Songs Christmas Carols, ‘Christ be our Light’.