Morning Prayer 13.1.13: 1st Sunday after Epiphany: the Baptism of Our Lord

He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.

Baptism of Christ, by the Workshop of Andrea del Verrochio, including Leonardo da Vinci. Obviously it is a marvelous work, which we present to signal the importance of baptism, so central an act in our faith experience that Christ himself participated in it with the help of his cousin John. The washing is a liturgical or ritual act meant to signify a change of life. Jesus didn't need the washing; he was telling us that we do.

The Baptism of Christ, by the Workshop of Andrea del Verrochio, including Leonardo da Vinci. We present this marvelous work to signal the importance of baptism, so central an act in our faith experience that Christ himself participated in it with the help of his cousin John. Purification in the river is a liturgical, ritual act meant to signify a change of life. Jesus didn’t need the washing; he was telling us that we do.

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 100
Jubilate

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Psalm 146

Hallelujah!
Praise the LORD, O my soul! *
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth, *
and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
whose hope is in the LORD their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
The LORD loves the righteous;
the LORD cares for the stranger; *
he sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The LORD shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 147

Hallelujah!
How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; *
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
Great is our LORD and mighty in power; *
there is no limit to his wisdom.
The LORD lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve mankind.
He provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse; *
he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
But the LORD has pleasure in those who fear him, *
in those who await his gracious favor.
Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; *
he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders; *
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth, *
and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool; *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them; *
he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob, *
his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation; *
to them he has not revealed his judgments.
Hallelujah!

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 40:1-11 (NRSV)

Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.

Canticle: A Song of Jerusalem Our Mother
Isaiah 66:10-14

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her *
all you who love her,
Rejoice, rejoice with her, *
all you who mourn over her,
That you may drink deeply with delight *
from her comforting breast.
For thus says our God, *
“I will extend peace to her like a river,
the wealth of nations like an overflowing stream.
“You shall nurse and be carried on her arm,
and you shall nestle in her lap.
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; *
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
“You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, *
you shall flourish like the grass of the fields.”

Hebrews 1:1-12 (NRSV)

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have begotten you”?

Or again,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”?

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

And,
“In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like clothing;
like a cloak you will roll them up,
and like clothing they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end.”

Canticle: A Song of Our Adoption
Ephesians 1:3-10

Blessed are you, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, *
for you have blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Before the world was made, you chose us to be yours in Christ, *
that we should be holy and blameless before you.
You destined us for adoption as your children through Jesus Christ, *
according to the good pleasure of your will,
To the praise of your glorious grace, *
that you have freely given us in the Beloved.
In you, we have redemption through the blood of Christ,
the forgiveness of our sins,
According to the riches of your grace *
which you have lavished upon us.
You have made known to us, in all wisdom and insight, *
the mystery of your will,
According to your good pleasure which you set forth in Christ, *
as a plan for the fullness of time,
To gather together all things in Christ, *
things in heaven and things on earth.

John 1:1-7, 19-20, 29-34 (NRSV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

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.
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 for ever. Amen.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Altarpiece at the Baptistry Chapel of St. Peter's Basilica; after Maratta.

Altarpiece at the Baptistry Chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica; after Maratta.

Collect of the Day: First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

For Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for Sundays

O God, you make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord: Give us this day such blessing through our worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Lake Malawi, Central Africa

Prayer for Mission

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14++

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