Morning Worship for Epiphany, 3 January 2021

A service to mark Epiphany and the beginning of the New Year

Welcome to this week’s Windmill United Benefice online service of Morning Worship, led by the Revd Nicholas Calver with a talk by the Revd Dr Tony Rich. The hymns and anthem were recorded at St Bartholomew, Burstow on 5 January 2020, at a special service to celebrate the Epiphany and 300 years since the death of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal and former Rector of Burstow. The organist at this service was Roger Hind.

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The hymn ‘As with gladness’ is sung

As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold,
As with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright,
So, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led to thee.

As with joyful steps they sped, to that lowly manger-bed,
There to bend the knee before him whom heav’n and earth adore,
So may we with willing feet ever seek thy mercy-seat.

As their precious gifts they laid, at thy manger roughly made,
So may we with holy joy, pure, and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring, Christ, to thee, our heav’nly King.

Holy Jesu, ev’ry day keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past, bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide, where no clouds thy glory hide.

In the heav’nly country bright need they no created light;
Thou its light, its joy, its crown, thou its sun which goes not down;
There for ever may we sing alleluias to our King.

The Greeting, Confession and Gloria

Christ is the first and the last:

the beginning and the end.

All time belongs to him; and all ages:

To him be glory and power, through every age and for ever. Amen.

As we come to the Lord on this feast of the Epiphany
and at the beginning of a new year,
let us seek his grace that we might learn from the wise men
and apply our hearts to wisdom
as we confess our sins in penitence and faith:

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.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Gloria is sung

Glory in the highest to the God of heaven!
Peace to all your people through the earth be given:
Mighty God and Father, thanks and praise we bring,
Singing alleluia to our heavenly king.

Jesus Christ is risen, God the Father’s Son:
Seated now and reigning from your Father’s throne,
Lamb of God the Saviour, all our sin to bear,
Show us now your mercy, now receive our prayer.

Christ the world’s true Saviour, high and holy One,
With the Holy Spirit, you are Lord alone!
Lord and God, we praise you; Highest heaven adores:
In the Father’s glory, all the praise be yours!

The Collect and readings

Let us pray in the peace of this Epiphany celebration that our joy in the birth of Christ will last for ever.

A reading from Psalm 72: 1-15
by Val Butt

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.

The Gospel reading from Matthew 2: 1-12
by Steve Longhurst

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Talk
by Revd Dr Tony Rich

The Creed, intercessions and peace

Let us declare our faith in God:

Let us pray to the Father through Christ who is our light and life.

The Intercessions
led by Michael Harvey

The responses to the intercessions are:
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

and

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The Peace
You may be thinking of those physically present with you when you say the words of the peace or thinking of others who are present in spirit

In the tender mercy of our God, the dayspring from on high has broken upon us, to give light to those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

The anthem is ‘We have seen his star’
(Words by John Raphael Peacey, 1896-1971; music composed by Roger Hind in 2019 with the dedication: For the choirs of the Windmill Benefice on the 300th anniversary of the death of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal and Rector of Burstow 1684-1719)

Sung by the three choirs of the Windmill United Benefice on 5 January 2020

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of Herod the king.

Behold, there came wise men from the East, saying:

Where is he that is born King of the Jews?

For we have seen his star in the East and are come to worship him.

And he sent them to Bethlehem and said:
Go and seek diligently for the young child.

And when you have found him, bring me word again,
that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed;
and lo the star, which they saw in the East, went before them,
till it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding joy.

We have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.

Closing prayers and blessing

Father of us all, as we stand at the beginning of the new year we look to a deepening of our love, a strengthening of our resolve and a growing of our commitment to serve others, so that we may truly live as you have called us to:

Eternal God, whose years never fail,
Let the radiance of your Spirit
Renew our lives, warming our hearts
And giving light to our minds;
That we may pass the coming year
In faith, hope and love,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

May God the Father, who led the wise men by the shining of a star to find the Christ, the Light from light, lead us also in our pilgrimage to find the Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among us and remain with us always.
Amen.

The hymn ‘We three kings’ is sung

Recorded at St Bartholomew, Burstow during Communion on 5 January 2020. The soloist kings are Nick Case-Green, Steve Robinson and Kay Hammond

We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar;
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem plain,
Gold I bring, to crown Him again,
King for ever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.
O star of wonder, star of night . . .

Frankincense to offer have I,
Incense owns a Deity nigh,
Prayer and praising, gladly raising,
Worship Him, God most high.
O star of wonder, star of night . . .

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.
O star of wonder, star of night . . .

Glorious now, behold him arise,
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, alleluia,
Earth to heav’n replies.
O star of wonder, star of night . . .

Hymn words reproduced under CCLI: 845257

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000.