Last Sunday after the Epiphany – 14th February 2021
ORDER OF SERVICE
You can click to expand or minimise the order of service below.
All are requested to join in wherever text is GREEN
HYMN: Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ, the true, the only light,
Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only light,
Son of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night:
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Daystar, in my heart appear.
Dark and cheerless is the morn
Unaccompanied by thee;
Joyless is the day’s return,
Till thy mercy’s beams I see;
Till they inward light impart,
Glad my eyes, and warm my heart.
Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day.
BLESSED BE GOD: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen
From Easter to Pentecost:
Allelulia. Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia
In Lent and other penitential occasions:
Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins;
His mercy endures for ever.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, to whom all hearts be 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.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
This prayer is omitted during Lent and Advent:
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. 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. 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. Amen.
Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY
O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
THE FIRST READING
2 Kings 2:1-12
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”
Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
1 The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken; *
he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God reveals himself in glory.
3 Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before him there is a consuming flame,
and round about him a raging storm.
4 He calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of his people.
5 “Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me
and sealed it with sacrifice.”
6 Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; *
for God himself is judge.
THE SECOND READING
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God
All stand for the Acclamation and Gospel reading.
This is my Son, the beloved; Listen to him!
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to:
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
After the Gospel reading
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
Today, on this final Sunday before the start of Lent, we recall the Transfiguration of Jesus, no matter in which of the 3 years of the reading scheme we happen to find ourselves. It is recorded in the Gospels, just after the event in which we have seen the best, and the worst of Peter, and he has got himself into trouble with Jesus. Peter has made that wonderfulconfession of faith, and states that Jesus is ‘The Christ.’ At first Jesus praises Peter and calls him a ‘Rock’. However, he then tells the disciples that he has bad news, and that he must go to Jerusalem, be arrested, tried, and suffer at the hands of the religious leaders, who will kill him, and then he will be raised from the dead. The reaction of Peter is to protest that this must never be allowed to happen, and Jesus ends up telling him that he is a hindrance, and calls him ‘Satan’! It is after this dramatic event though, that Jesus shows that he has not given up on Peter, and the Transfiguration takes place.
It is a remarkable event, in which Jesus goes up a high mountain – we know it is important because it is mentioned by all the three Synoptic Gospel writers – Matthew, Mark and Luke. They are called the ‘Synoptic Gospels’, which means ‘see together’, because, unlike the other Gospel writer, John, they use similar material and words, often in a common sequence.
We are not quite sure though which mountain they go up – Mount Tabor is the location of the Church of the Transfiguration. Others have suggested Mount Hermon, Mount Nebo or Mount Meron. Mount Tabor is located between Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, but it is only 1,900 feet high and a fortress occupied its summit, which makes it unlikely for such an event. Mount Hermon is 9,200 feet high, but it is miles away, thereby making it an unlikely place for Jesus and the disciples to encounter a great crowd, including scribes, on their descent. Mount Meron, 4,000 feet high, is located 12 miles northwest of the Sea of Galilee. It really doesn’t matter though, and as long as we remember it was a mountain we won’t go far wrong. Mountains were important places, and notably it was Moses who went up the mountain and met with God, so Jesus now does the same. He takes with him his special, ‘inner-ring’ disciples, Peter James and John. On the mountain, Jesus is subject to a change in appearance. Mark tells us that his clothes suddenly became the most ‘dazzling white’, and Matthew tells us that his face ‘shone like the sun.’ Again the readers would note how Jesus is being shown as the ‘New Moses’. In Exodus Chapter 34 we read: ‘Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, he did not know that the skin of his face shone, because he had been talking with God.’
Bright light is often associated with divine revelation. Paul described his conversion on the road to Damascus as an encounter with blinding light, accompanied by a voice from heaven.
Two men appear with Jesus – we are told that they are Elijah and Moses, and they spoke with him. In a state of fear and no doubt bewilderment, Peter tries to get them to stay, and offers to put up some tents. That is not such a crazy idea, as it was the Feast of Tabernacles, and at the bottom of the mountain there were lots of people living in tents at the time. This moment is not however destined to last, and a cloud appears, again reminiscent of the cloud which came to Moses, and what is believed to be the voice of God, makes a proclamation, which is slightly different in all three gospels, but along the lines of ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased – my chosen one – listen to him! ‘
Unsurprisingly, we are told that the disciples end up on the floor, and in Matthew’s Gospel there is a lovely moment recorded, that Jesus came and touched them and said ’Rise, and have no fear.’ This event is so out of the ordinary, and beyond our experience, that we don’t know what reallywent on. In the Gospel of Luke, we are told that it occurred when they were on the mountain, praying. There is always a temptation to try and see normality in the events described in the Gospels!
Not only did the disciples refuse to reduce this experience to any normality – it was on the basis of such an event, that they went on to proclaim the story, refusing to deny what had happened, even to death. It was in this moment that the disciples had become aware of the fact, that when they looked at Jesus, they were looking into the face of God in all its grace and glory. At that moment of Transfiguration, the veil that shrouds the mystery of faith was lifted, and they saw that God was present in human form, reconciling the world to his own self.
There are important truths which stand out in this episode, and which influenced those disciples, so much that they were not afraid to give their lives in defence of the Gospel. As the veil is removed from their eyes, the disciples see who Jesus is, and they see two figures from history, who are alive to God. The Transfiguration provided the disciples, and through them, us, with a glimpse of another world. It is an opportunity to remind ourselves that there is a reality beyond the world around us, which is greater than that which we can simply see and touch. There are possibilities available to us, through the presence of God, greater than most people could ever imagine. The Transfiguration challenges us to think in a new way, just as the disciples see Jesus in a newlight. They understand the presence of God in an amazing experience – from now on everythingwill be different. Amen
THE NICENE CREED
Please stand for the Nicene Creed.
Let us together affirm the faith of the Church.
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 of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and became truly human.
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.
Let us pray for the world and for the Church:
Prayers of intercession are now said and at the end of each prayer the priest says:
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord hear us,
Lord graciously hear us
At the conclusion of the prayers the priest says:
Almighty God, who has promised to hear our prayers.
Grant that what we have asked in faith we may by your grace receive, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus said: Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy, welcoming sinners and inviting them to the Lord’s table.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, confident in God’s forgiveness.
Merciful God, our maker and our judge, we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do: we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves; we repent and are sorry for all our sins, Father forgive us, strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Almighty God, who has promised forgiveness to all who turn to him in faith, pardon you and set you free from all your sins, strengthen you in all goodness and keep you in eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The congregation stands.
We are the Body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.
Please greet each other with a sign of peace.
HYMN: Christ, upon the mountain peak Stands alone in glory blazing.
Christ, upon the mountain peak
Stands alone in glory blazing.
Let us, if we dare to speak,
With the saints and angels praise him –
Trembling at his feet we saw
Moses and Elijah speaking.
All the prophets and the Law
Shout through them their joyful greeting-
Swift the cloud of glory came,
God proclaiming in its thunder
Jesus as his son by name!
Nations, cry aloud in wonder!-
This is God’s beloved Son!
Law and prophets fade before him;
First and last, and only One,
Let creation now adore him:
Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and the service of your kingdom.
Blessed be God forever.
Let us pray
We do not presume to come to your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table, but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of your dear son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us. Amen.
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER C
CLICK HERE FOR EUCHARISTIC PRAYER
The Lord be with you.
and also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.
Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word, through whom you have created all things; who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour.
By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh; as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin, he lived on earth and went about among us; he opened wide his arms for us on the cross; he put an end to death by dying for us; and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life; so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.
Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: 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. Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.
Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.
And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice, made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.
As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of [N and] all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.
Let us pray with confidence to the Father, as our Saviour has taught us:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.
This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world;
Happy are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.
After Communion the celebrant and the congregation say
Let us pray.
Father of all we give you thanks and praise that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us in this hope that we have grasped; so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name.
Father, we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Lord. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.
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 amongst you and remain with you always.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
HYMN: ‘Tis good, Lord, to be here! Thy glory fills the night;
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here!
Thy glory fills the night;
Thy face and garments, like the sun,
Shine with unborrowed light.
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here,
Thy beauty to behold,
Where Moses and Elijah stand,
Thy messengers of old.
Fulfiller of the past,
Promise of things to be,
We hail thy Body glorified,
And our redemption see.
Before we taste of death,
We see thy kingdom come;
We fain would hold the vision bright,
And make this hill our home.
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here!
Yet we may not remain;
But since thou bidst us leave the mount
Come with us to the plain.
NOTE: The introductory music is ‘Fidelis’ – Percy Whitlock
Here is the music for this week’s hymns, if you would like to practice beforehand.
Performed by Fr. David Price