January 16, 2022 - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity



Theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,

“We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Mt 2:2)


Prelude So This Is Christmas

So this is Christmas, and what have you done?

Another year over, a new one just begun;

And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun

the near and the dear ones, the old and the young.


A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.


And so this is Christmas for weak and for strong.

The rich and the poor ones the road is so long.

And so, happy Christmas for black and for white

for yellow and red ones let’s stop all the fight.


A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.


And so this is Christmas and what have we done?

Another year over, a new one just begun;

And so happy Christmas, we hope you have fun

the near and the dear ones, the old and the young.


A very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.

War is over if you want it, war is over now.


Acknowledgement

Welcome


Gathering Song A Light is Gleaming VU82

Chorus

A light is gleaming,

spreading its arms throughout the night,

living in the light.

Come share its gladness, God’s radiant love is burning bright,

living in the light.


When light comes pouring into the darkest place,

it hurts our eyes to see the glow.

Sometimes a word of hope reminds us of our fears,

our memories and our tears. Chorus


When night is round us and every shadow grows,

a star is there to light our way.

It tells a story of Jesus who came near to say:

“God’s light will ever stay.” Chorus


And Jesus showed us a brighter path to walk.

He showed us things we hadn’t seen.

Now we, like Jesus, can help creation shine,

and this will be a sign: Chorus


So let us live in the brightness God has giv’n,

and let us rise to see the dawn.

We trust that God is here a-sparkle and ablaze,

- warming all our days. Chorus


The Gathering

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy

Spirit be with you all

And also with you


Brothers and sisters, we are united today with fellow believers in the four corners of the world as we gather to pray for the visible unity of the Church. We do this with worship resources prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches. Our texts are inspired by the visit of the Magi to the new-born King, as described in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew: “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him.” Let us fix our eyes on the star that was seen in the East and allow it to lead us too.


Let us come into God’s presence with thanksgiving and joy, bringing all the sick, the suffering, the marginalized, the refugees, and the uprooted before him, knowing that God can dispel our darkness with his light. As we pray today for the unity of the Church, may we and our communities also be lights that guide others to Jesus the Saviour.


Glory be to you, Father Almighty, for you have revealed yourself through your creation and invited all people to stand in your presence. We have seen the star of Jesus in our lives and have come to worship him just as the Magi did. We offer him ourselves today and we ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit among us.


Unite us with one another as we come from the North and from the South, from the East and from the West, old and young, men and women to bow down before you and offer you homage, our heavenly King. Amen.


Gloria (240 Catholic Book of Worship III)

Chorus

Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to God’s people on earth.


Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory. Chorus


Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer. Chorus


you alone are the Holy One,

you are alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God, the Father. Amen. Amen. Chorus


Collect of the Day

Almighty and everliving God, you revealed the incarnation of your Son by the brilliant shining of a star. Shine the light of your justice in our hearts and over all lands, and accept our lives as the treasure we offer in your praise and for your service; through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen


The Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the prophet, Isaiah (9:2-7)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God


Psalm 8 (responsively)

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;

what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?


Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honour.

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,


all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


A Reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians (5:8-14)

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’

The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God


Gradual Hymn 151 All Poor Folk and Humble

All poor folk and humble, all lame folk who stumble,

come haste ye, and be not afraid;

for Jesus, our treasure, whose love passes measure,

in lowly poor manger was laid.

Though wise men who found him laid rich gifts around him,

yet oxen they gave them their hay;

and Jesus in beauty accepted their duty:

contented in manger he lay.


Then haste we to show him the praises we owe him;

our service he ne’er can despise,

whose love still is able to show us that stable

where softly in manger he lies.


The Christ child will lead us, the good Shepherd feed us,

and with us abide till his day.

Then hatred he’ll banish, then sorrow will vanish,

and death and despair flee away.

And he shall reign ever, and nothing shall sever

from us the great love of our King.

His peace and his pity shall bless his fair city;

his praises we ever shall sing.


Then haste we to show him the praises we owe him;

our service he ne’er can despise,

whose love still is able to show us that stable

where softly in manger he lies.


The Lord be with you And Also with you

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 2:1-12

Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

The Gospel of Christ Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ


Homily


An Affirmation of Faith Immigrant Apostle’s Creed (Rev. Jose Luis Casal)

I believe in Almighty God,

who guided the people in exile and in exodus,

the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon,

the God of foreigners and immigrants.


I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean,

who was born away from his people and his home,

who fled his country with his parents when his life was in danger.

When he returned to his own country

he suffered under the oppression of Pontius Pilate,

the servant of a foreign power.

Jesus was persecuted, beaten, tortured

and unjustly condemned to death.

But on the third day Jesus rose from the dead,

not as a scorned foreigner

but to offer us citizenship in God’s kingdom.


I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the eternal immigrant from God’s kingdom among us,

who speaks all languages,

lives in all countries,

and reunites all races.


I believe that the Church

is the secure home for foreigners

and for all believers.

I believe that the communion

of saints begins when we

embrace all God’s people in all their diversity.

Source: https://claytonfaulkner.com/2017/10/20/weekly-worship-thought-the-immigrant-apostles-creed/


Prayers of Intercession

With faith and confidence, we come in prayer, before God, our undivided Trinity:


The Magi came from the East to pay homage and offer special gifts from their cultures and countries.

We pray today for all Christian communities around the world in all of their diversity of worship and tradition:

Lord, we ask you to preserve these treasures, particularly in areas of the world where the presence and survival of Christians is threatened by violence and oppression.

Oh, Lord hear our prayer, Oh, Lord hear our prayer. When I call, Answer me.


The early years of the Lord’s life were marked by violence and massacres at the orders of the despot Herod.

We pray for children living in places in the world where violence continues and where its results are tangible:

Strengthen, O Lord, the bonds of unity and mutual love among our churches and help us to cooperate and witness to your holy Name. Inspire us to work without ceasing in order to defend the oppressed and include the marginalized. Encourage us to stand together in the face of tyranny and oppressive regimes as we seek your Kingdom among us.

Oh, Lord hear our prayer, Oh, Lord hear our prayer. Come and listen to me.


After the visit of the Magi, the Holy Family experienced migration through the wilderness and became refugees in the land of Egypt.

We pray for all the refugees and uprooted people in this world:

Equip us, Lord, to show hospitality to those driven from their homes, and grant us the spirit of welcome to those looking for a safe haven.

Oh, Lord hear our prayer, Oh, Lord hear our prayer. When I call, Answer me.


The birth of Jesus was good news for all, gathering people from different nations and religions in worship of the holy child.

We pray for our efforts to seek harmony and dialogue with other religions:

Lord, give us humility and patience to walk with others with respect on their journey.

Oh, Lord hear our prayer, Oh, Lord hear our prayer. Come and listen to me.


The Magi returned to their home by a different way.

We pray for our churches in this changing world:

Lord, help us to find new and creative ways to follow you and to witness to you so that the world may believe.

Oh, Lord hear our prayer, Oh, Lord hear our prayer. When I call, Answer me


Oh, Lord hear our prayer, Oh, Lord hear our prayer. Come and listen to me.


When the Magi saw the holy child, they rejoiced with great joy.

Heavenly Father, fix our eyes on him so we do not lose our way.


Sharing Christ’s Light and Peace


A piece of dark blue cloth is hung to evoke the night sky, on which a large star is placed. Paper stars are made available for the worshippers, who are invited to come forward and add their stars to the cloth.


A star led the Magi to Christ. Today this star points to the presence of Christ, who has been

revealed to us and whose light shines on us. As the Magi followed the star to Bethlehem, we

gather under this star today, adding our own stars to the sky, uniting our own gifts and

prayers for the visible unity of Church. As we journey towards that goal, may our lives

together give a luminous witness that leads others to know Christ.


The Peace of the Lord be with you!


Offertory Hymn From a Distant Home VU89

From a distant home the Saviour we come seeking,

using as our guide the star so brightly beaming.


Chorus

Lovely eastern star that tells us of God’s morning,

heaven’s wondrous light, O never cease your shining!

Glory in the highest to the Son of Heaven,

and upon the earth be peace and love to all.


Glowing gold I bring the newborn babe so holy,

token of his power to reign above in glory. Chorus


Frankincense I bring the child of God’s own choosing,

token of our prayers to heaven ever rising. Chorus


Bitter myrrh have I to give the infant Jesus,

token of the pain that he will bear to save us. Chorus

Prayer over the Gifts

Living God, you have revealed your Son as the Messiah. May we hear his word and follow it, and live as children of light. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen


The Great Thanksgiving

May God be with you.

And also with you.


Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to God.


Let us give thanks to God our Creator.

It is right to offer thanks and praise.


Eternal God, Source of all being, we give you thanks and praise for your faithful love.

You call us into friendship with you and one another to be your holy people,

a sign of your presence in the world.

When those we trust betray us, unfailingly you remain with us.

When we injure others, you confront us in your love and call us to the paths of righteousness.

You stand with the weak, and those, broken and alone,

whom you have always welcomed home, making the first last, and the last first.


Therefore we raise our voices with angels and archangels, forever praising you and singing:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of power and might Heaven and Earth of your glory are full Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed is the one that comes in the name of the Lord

Blessed is the one that come in the name of the Lord

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of power and might Heaven and Earth of your glory are full Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest.


Blessed are you, O Holy One:

when Hagar was driven into the wilderness you followed her and gave her hope.

When Joseph was sold into bondage, you turned malice to your people’s good.

When you called Israel out of slavery, you brought them through the wilderness into the promised land. When your people were taken into exile you wept with them by the river of Babylon and carried them home.


Restore us, O God, let your face shine!


At the right time you sent your Anointed One to stand with the poor,

the outcast, and the oppressed.

Jesus touched lepers, and the sick, and healed them.

He accepted water from a woman of Samaria and offered her the water of new life.

Christ knew the desolation of the cross

and opened the way for all humanity into the redemption of your reconciling love.


On the night he was betrayed, Jesus, at supper with his friends,

took bread, gave you thanks, broke the bread, gave it to them, and said,

“Take and eat: this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”


After supper he took the cup of wine, and when he had given thanks,

he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you:

this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you

and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”


Loving and Holy One, recalling Christ’s death and resurrection,

we offer you these gifts,

longing for the bread of tomorrow and the wine of the age to come.

Therefore we proclaim our hope.


Dying you destroyed our death,

rising you restored our life.

Lord Jesus, come in glory.


Pour out your Spirit on these gifts

that through them you may sustain us in our hunger for your peace.

We hold before you all whose lives are marked by suffering, our sisters and brothers.

When we are broken and cast aside, embrace us in your love.


Restore us, O God, let your face shine!


Through Christ, with Christ,

and in Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honour and glory are yours,

O Source of all life, now and for ever. Amen


The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, let us pray

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our sins.

As we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.

For the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory are yours.

Now and forever. Amen.


The Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ

We, being many, are one body, for we all share in the one bread


These are the gifts of God for the People of God

Thanks be to God


The Communion

Hymn During Communion: Light a Candle

Light a candle for the old man who sits staring out a frosty windowpane.

Light a candle for the woman who is lonely and every Christmas it’s the same

for the children who need more than presents can bring.


Light a candle. Light the dark.

Light the world. Light a heart or two.

Light a candle for me;

I’ll light a candle for you.


Light a candle for the homeless and the hungry: a little shelter from the cold

Light a candle for the broken and forgotten. May the season warm the soul.

Can we open our hearts to shine through the dark?


Light a candle. Light the dark.

Light the world. Light a heart or two.

Light a candle for me;

I’ll light a candle for you.


And in this special time of year may peace on earth surround us here

and teach us there’s a better way to live.

Oh, and with every flame that burns we must somehow learn

that love’s greatest gift that we could ever give.


Light a candle. Light the dark.

Light the world. Light a heart or two.

Light a candle for me;

I’ll light a candle for you.


Prayer after Communion

God of glory, you nourish us with bread from heaven. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, that through us your light may shine in all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen


Glory to God,

whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.

Glory to God from generation to generation,

in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen


Blessing


Announcements


Closing Hymn 150 On This Day

On this day earth shall ring

with the song children sing

to the Lord, Christ our king,

born on earth to save us; him Creator gave us.


Chorus

Ideo-o-o

Ideo-o-o

Ideo gloria in excelsis Deo!


His the doom, ours the mirth;

when he came down to earth

Bethlehem saw his birth;

ox and ass beside him from the cold would hide him. Chorus


God’s bright star, o’er his head,

wise men three to him led;

kneel they low by his bed,

lay their gifts before him, praise him and adore him. Chorus


On this day angels sing;

with their song earth shall ring,

praising Christ, heaven’s king,

born on earth to save us; peace and love he gave us. Chorus



The Dismissal

Go now and live as children of light.

For the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.


Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness.

Let us wake from sleep and Christ will shine upon us.


Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord

Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen. Thanks be to God. Alleluia


Postlude God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay

Remember Christ our Saviour was born upon this day

To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray


Chorus 1

Oh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,

Oh tidings of comfort and joy.


From God our heavenly father, this blessed angel came

And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same

How that in Bethlehem was born the son of God by name


Chorus 1


Chorus 2

Oh, 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’s plain,

Gold I bring to crown him again

King forever, ceasing never,

Over us all to reign.


Chorus 2


Glorious now, behold Him arise,

King and God and sacrifice

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Worship him God most high


Chorus 2


God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay