Weekly Online Service
31 January 2021 Candlemas

Please find below our service for this week. You can also click on the PDF button to open and download a copy of the printed generic Service booklet.

You will find an opening hymn - words are included. This is followed by the service. Finally there is a closing hymn. Please feel free to follow along in whichever way you feel most comfortable. Words in bold are for everyone to join in.

Hymn

Hail to the Lord

Hail to the Lord who comes,
comes to his temple gate,
not with his angel host,
not in his kingly state:
no shouts proclaim him nigh,
no crowds his coming wait.

But borne upon the throne
of Mary’s gentle breast,
watched by her duteous love,
in her fond arms at rest;
thus to his Father’s house
he comes, the heavenly guest.

There Joseph at her side
in reverent wonder stands;
and, filled with holy joy,
old Simeon in his hands
takes up the promised child,
the glory of all lands.

Hail to the great First-born,
whose ransom-price they pay,
the Son before all worlds,
the child of man to-day,
that he might ransom us
who still in bondage lay.

O Light of all the earth,
thy children wait for thee:
come to thy temples here,
that we, from sin set free,
before thy Father’s face
may all presented be.

Service Audio

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

All say Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Prayers of Penitence

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us, forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.  Amen.

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

Gloria in Excelcis

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

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.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

The Collect of the Day is said or sung.

Almighty and ever-living God, clothed in majesty, whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple, in substance of our flesh: grant that we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts, by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Old and New Testament Readings

Malachi 3.1-5 - Read by Laura Cope

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

5 Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hebrews 2.14-18 - Read by Ken Cope

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Luke 2.22-40 - Read by Dawn Cope

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
   according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31   which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
   and for glory to your people Israel.’

33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace.

Luke 2:29

2021-01-31 Yegorov-Simeon_the_Righteous

Candlemas, a day in the liturgical year when traditionally, bees wax candles are blessed, lit and brought into the church. It is also the last day of the Christmas and Epiphany season. It’s a pivotal point that marks a final look back to the incarnation of Christ and a look forward to Lent, Easter, and his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

There are nine principle feasts of the Christian year and some Christians would say that Easter is more important than Christmas, others would contradict saying Christmas was the beginning of the story and therefore the most important. For me,  making that distinction would be like saying I love one of my daughters more than the other. Impossible because they are both precious gifts from God, and so have equal but different and unique places in our family, as do Christmas and Easter for all Christians. They both have different parts to play in our spiritual growth.

Christmas has given us four songs and each of them has come down into our liturgy. Mary’s song, the Magnificat from Luke 1, Zechariah’s song, The Benedictus, also from Luke 1, next is the song of the Angels, from Luke 2, the Gloria. All three are now incorporated into our Eucharist, a memorial of the Last Supper and at the heart of our worship week by week. The final song is that of Simeon, the Nunc Dimitis, also from Luke 2, and this song has echoed down the centuries in the office of Compline, Evensong and now frequently at funerals. Today we concentrate on the Nunc Dimitis, Simeon’s song.

Simeon, in our gospel reading this morning, was waiting, and he had been waiting for a long time. He was a devout man who, through the Holy Spirit, had been given insight into God’s plan for his chosen people and Simeon was waiting expectantly for the promised Messiah. This old man must surely have been beginning to wonder just when it would come to pass.

Simeon could look back into Jewish history at all God had done for his people; from the time God described the Promised Land saying to Joshua. “Get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give you. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses”. The prophets, had referred to God’s promised saviour many times, and perhaps Simeon held onto these words of Malachi, “and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple”. Simeon, prompted by the Holy Spirit, was in his spiritual home waiting expectantly as Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to do what tradition demanded.

Simeon would have seen many babies brought to the Temple to offer the designated sacrifice. Yet it was this child that the Holy Spirit revealed to him. As he held Jesus in his arms Simeon realised this was not to be a king like David or Cesar. Luke, highlighting Simeon’s foresight, unfolds for us the shocking truth that this king would turn the worldview on its head, causing a seismic change in the exclusive relationship Jewish people had with their God.

Suddenly the prophet’s words were falling into place; judgment and salvation were coming, and coming together. Simeon warned Mary and Joseph this redeemer, their little baby, would not do away with suffering but would share in it, and that his mother would suffer as a result. Simeon foresaw what the future held for this little family and for the nations; he could see the meaning of God’s house, the Temple, changing from a place to a person. Simeon was now at peace; the anointed one there nestled in his arms, was not only for Israel but also as a light to reveal the Nature of God to the Gentile world.

Simeon felt complete, now he could look forward, God had kept his promise.

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant rest in peace: according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation; which thou hast prepared: before the face of alll people; to be a light to lighten the Gentiles: and to be the glory of thy people Israel.”

Now the Gentile world had become part of God’s story.

There are several themes that run through our Bible readings today, the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, we too present ourselves to God in his temple every time we come to worship. Mary came to be purified 40 days after giving birth, we come to be purified from our sin at the altar rail as we receive the body and blood of Christ. Mary and Joseph encountered both Simeon and Anna and found meaning in all they had experienced so far. The  meeting of Simeon and Anna, of Angels and Shepherds all with amazing stories; and we meet to re-hear those stories of hope and light.

Becoming disciples and followers of Jesus, we received at our baptism several signs of what the Christian life and journey are about. The sign of the cross, that Jesus died for us; Water, that we have died to sin and are brought to a new life in Christ, the lighted candle, a symbol of Jesus as the light of the world.

These are, of course, what Epiphany is all about; an enlightenment, a revelation of what Jesus is all about. A revelation that sin and death no longer hold us hostage, because God’s Son really did become incarnate, and share in a human life as our brother, so that we might share in his eternal life, as a child of God.

Christmas, Epiphany, Candlemas and Easter are inexricably joined together with flames of candlelight, cleansing, challenge, expectation, and songs of hope and praise. Truly, this Lord, Jesus came into the world to save sinners and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

No, we cannot compare chalk with cheese, and we cannot compare one part of God’s story with another, they are all woven into the tapestry of our journey with Jesus and with each other. Amen.

The Rev'd Mo Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 31/01/2021

Service Audio

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit
and the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Intercessions 

The Intercessions list has been circulated with petitions for the Church, The World, The Community, Our Keyworkers, The Sick and the Deceased. The Diocesan Cycle of Prayer is found at:

London Anglican Cycle of Prayer

This or another response may be used:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen N our bishop(s) and all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth,
live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours,
that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit …;
give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ …; according to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

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

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

and also with you.

A sign of peace may be exchanged.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

Service Audio

The Post Communion Collect

Lord, you fulfilled the hope of Simeon and Anna, who lived to welcome the Messiah: may we, who have received these gifts beyond words, prepare to meet Christ Jesus when he comes to bring us to eternal life; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen.

The Blessing

The peace of God,
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Recessional Hymn

Shine, Jesus shine

Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me

Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light

Lord, I come to your awesome presence
From the shadows into your radiance
By the blood I may enter your brightness
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness
Shine on me, shine on me

Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light

As we gaze on your kingly brightness
So our faces display your likeness
Ever changing from glory to glory
Mirrored here may our lives tell your story
Shine on me, shine on me

Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be

Send forth your
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there
Send forth your word
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light

Material from Common Worship 2000 is included in this service and is copyright © The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England.