Year ABC
Presentation of the Lord
2 February


Eucharistic Preface


Let us lift up our hearts.
    We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for have allowed us to see the salvation
you have prepared for all peoples.

You are the Lord of heaven’s might
who conquered the chaos
and brought forth the newborn earth.
You taught your people through your law and prophets
to present themselves and their offspring to you
to be purified and made holy for your service.

In your child, Jesus, you shared our flesh and blood
and became like us in every way.
As a newborn, he was presented in the temple
and designated as holy to you.
He was recognised by faithful prophets
as the one who would,
through his own suffering and death,
destroy the power of death,
and rise to be a merciful and faithful high priest
who atones for the sins of the people
and frees us from the fear of death.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Short Preface
(for insertion into Eucharistic prayers with fixed prefaces)

We give thanks for your child, Jesus,
who was presented to you in your temple
and designated as the holy one
who would serve as a merciful and faithful high priest
and, through his own suffering and death,
destroy the power of death forever.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




General Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for have allowed us to see the salvation
you have prepared for all peoples.

You are the Lord of heaven’s might
who conquered the chaos
and brought forth the newborn earth.
You taught your people through your law and prophets
to present themselves and their offspring to you
to be purified and made holy for your service.

In your child, Jesus, you shared our flesh and blood
and became like us in every way.
As a newborn, he was presented in the temple
and designated as holy to you.
He was recognised by faithful prophets
as the one who would,
through his own suffering and death,
destroy the power of death,
and rise to be a merciful and faithful high priest
who atones for the sins of the people
and frees us from the fear of death.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

Jesus became like us in every way,
so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest
making a sacrifice of atonement
for the sins of the people.

Sisters and Brothers,
    your sins are forgiven;
        be at peace.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, for the Lord is dismissing you in peace.
Present yourselves to God
to be purified and made holy to the Lord.
Rejoice in the presence of God
who never fails to bless those who walk with integrity.

And may God be pleased with all you offer;
May Christ Jesus help you whenever you are tested;
And may the Holy Spirit purify you with refining fire
   and give you honour and grace.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
    In the name of Christ. Amen.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net






Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for Presentation of the Lord - Year ABC - 2 Febraury
Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary.
Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT)
P. O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.


* Malachi 3: 1-4

The LORD who rules over everything has this to say:

“Look, I am sending my own messenger to get things ready for my arrival. Then, all of a sudden, the Lord you have been looking for will turn up in the temple. You have been longing to see the messenger who will come to put my promises on the table. Well, he’s coming alright. But will anyone be able to cope with him when he does? Will anyone be able to stand firm in his presence?

You see, he’ll be like a bush fire that clears all the debris from the forest floor, or like paint stripper that takes a surface back to bare metal. He will tear through the whole family of priests and burn away the rubbish once and for all, until they shine like pure polished gold. Then they’ll do what they are supposed to do and bring the right kind of offerings to the LORD. That way the offerings of the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to God again, just like they were in the past.”

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 84

The place where you live is just exquisite,
........O LORD, ruler of all!
With everything inside me, I long to be there;
........I go all weak at the very thought of it.
I want to be there, body and soul,
........singing my heart out for you, O God of life.

Even the birds find a home in your house;
........there are nests in every nook and cranny
................where pigeons and sparrows raise their young.
Bird song and incense rise together
........to honour you, Sovereign God, ruler of all.
How privileged are those who live in your house;
........joyous songs of praise are forever on their lips.

Those who have tapped into your strength
........have got it made.
The highway to heaven begins within them;
........a direct route to your holy presence.

They are like people who can find water in the desert;
........they drink from life giving springs
................that no drought can ever dry up.
They go from strength to strength,
........and will see you face to face on your holy mountain.

O LORD, ruler of everything, hear my cry.
........Tune in to my prayer, O God of our ancestors.

Your presence is our protection, O God;
........smile upon us, your chosen ones.

A day spent in your presence
........beats a thousand nights in a five star resort.
I’d rather scrub floors in your house, O God,
........than rub shoulders with the rich and famous
................beneath the flashing lights of greed and corruption.

O LORD our God, you are the sun that shines on us
........and the shield that keeps us safe.
You shower us with generosity and honour,
........and deny nothing to people of integrity.

O LORD, ruler of all,
........everyone who trusts in you has got it made!

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 24: 7-10

We hear the call:
........“Wake up! On your feet!
................Open the gates and form a guard of honour!
........Roll out the red carpet
................before the glorious sovereign.”

Who is this majestic ruler?
........It is you, LORD, supreme and dynamic,
................the conqueror of conflict.

We hear it again:
........“Wake up! On your feet!
................Open the gates and form a guard of honour!
........Roll out the red carpet
................before the glorious sovereign.”

Who is this majestic ruler?
........It is you, the LORD who rules over everything.
................This majestic ruler is you, our God.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Hebrews 2: 14-18

........For Jesus to share so fully in the life experience of the children, he had to be of the same flesh and blood as them. It was only in the same flesh and blood that he could go through the same death; and it was in going through death that he destroyed the devil who wields death as his ultimate weapon. That is how he broke open an escape route for those whose fear of death robbed them of their freedom to live. Now it is quite clear that he wasn’t doing this for the benefit of the angels. Rather it was for us human beings, who follow in the footsteps of Abraham, and so he had to become one of us in every respect. Only by being totally identified with us could he have the necessary compassion and loyalty to be the high priest who offers the costly gift to God to cancel out all we have done wrong. Because he himself has survived the worst that life can dish out without giving up, he is now ideally placed to help out those whose limits are being being put to the test.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Luke 2: 22-40

   Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary went up to the Jerusalem temple to undergo the purification ritual required by the religious law. They took Jesus with them, and offered the sacrifice which the religious law required of new parents. In their case, because they could not afford much, the required sacrifice was “a pair of young pigeons or doves.” While they were at the Temple, they took the opportunity to make the ritual presentation of the baby to the Lord. This too was in line with God’s law, for it specified that “every firstborn son will be marked out as being dedicated to the Lord.”
    A man named Simeon came into the temple that day at the prompting of the Spirit. Simeon was a man of deep integrity and prayer; a man clearly under the influence of the Holy Spirit. He was living in eager anticipation of the day when the sorrows of God’s people would be brought to an end, and the Holy Spirit had let him know that he would see the Lord’s chosen Messiah in person before he died. So when Joseph and Mary brought the child into the temple to do all the customary things that the law required, Simeon was there. He took Jesus in his arms, and began to praise God in prayer, saying:

“At last you are letting your servant go in peace, Lord,
    just as you promised you would.
For now, with my own eyes,
    I have seen your rescue operation underway.
I have seen the launch of the life you have been preparing
    in the midst of the world and its peoples.
I have seen the light which will make you known to the nations,
    the light which will have your people basking in glory.”

    The parents couldn’t believe their ears when they heard what was being said about their child. Simeon gave them both a blessing, and spoke to the child’s mother, Mary, saying, “This child is destined to be the making or breaking of many people in Israel. He will be a sign of what God is now up to, and many people will turn against him, and thus expose what they are really made of. And as for you, his mother, it will tear your heart out.”
    There was also an elderly prophet in the temple that day. Her name was Anna, and she was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was eighty four years old, and had lived as a widow ever since her husband had died after only seven years of marriage. She spent all her time in the temple, worshipping God there, day and night, with prayer and great discipline. As Mary and Joseph presented the child in the temple, Anna came up and began to speak of how wonderful God is. She spoke about the child to all those who were looking forward to the day when everything would be put right again for Jerusalem.
    When the family had completed everything that the law of the Lord required of them, they headed back north to Galilee, to their home town of Nazareth. The child grew up strong and healthy, with a wise head on his shoulders, and showing every indication that God was pleased with him.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net