Sunday before Advent – Readings and Prayers

14th February ~ Sunday next before Lent

The Collect:  Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before He suffered death upon the cross: Give us grace to perceive His glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with Him and be changed into His likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  All: Amen.

The Epistle is written in the 3rd verse of the 4th chapter of St. Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians:

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: All: Thanks be to God

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Mark: Glory to You, O Lord

After six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. 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, 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

This is the Gospel of the Lord:  All: Praise to You, O Christ.

Prayers of Intercession

Almighty God, at the Transfiguration you showed Jesus in a new state of glory and gave His disciples a glimpse of what they would see in his risen life.  As we pray together week by week help us to get a glimpse of your heavenly kingdom as well as a deeper understanding of how your son, Jesus, can transfigure our broken and unfulfilled lives.                                                  Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Holy God, we thank you for times of laughter and joy; and for a renewal of spiritual awareness; thank you for allowing all to grow in knowledge and understanding of you and your will for our lives.  Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Faithful God, give your wisdom and heavenly grace to  Bishop Mark in these difficult times as he tries to get to know people in our diocese and to all others who hold office in your church, that, by their service, faith may abound and your kingdom increase.                 Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Creator God, as we pray for your world we ask that you take from us all hatred and prejudice. Give us the spirit of love, for all people whatever their race or creed and give the same spirit of acceptance to all world leaders that through mutual understanding and common endeavour peace and prosperity may be increased throughout the world.       Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Loving God, with the grace of your holy spirit, comfort all who are in sorrow, need, sickness or adversity. Be with all those who will be without food and shelter today, and comfort those to whom death draws near. Surround all those in need of your healing touch at this time. We name before you those known to us, as you take them into your tender care may they be strengthened by the power of your love.                                             Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Merciful God, we pray for all who have died; recently or whose anniversary fall at this time. For those who by the example of their lives, encouraged us in our faith and our now with you in your heavenly kingdom.  As we pray for them may we stay true to our faith and give the example of ourselves to others. Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Gracious God, as we close our prayers, help us to take with us all that we have prayed for. Help us to really hear you as you speak to us and  may  we be ready to walk beside you in this coming week, ready to face whatever challenges it may hold knowing that you are always with us.

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