2023 Sun Jan 1
2. Bidding Prayer
The designation of this day, Jan. 1 as Feast of the Holy Name is new to the 1979 revision of The Book of Common Prayer. Previous Anglican Prayer Books called it the Feast of the Circumcision. January 1 is the eighth day after Christmas Day, and Luke’s Gospel records that eight days after his birth the child was circumcised and given the name Jesus.
The liturgical commemoration of the circumcision probably originated in France. The Council of Tours in 567 enacted that the day was to be kept as a feast day to counteract pagan festivities connected with the beginning of the New Year.
The Feast of the Holy Name has been celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church (usually on January 1) since sometime in the 15th century. The Lutheran church also commemorates the Feast of the Holy Name on January 1.
The early preachers of the Gospel lay stress on the name as showing that Jesus was a man of flesh and blood, though also the son of God, who died a human death and was raised by God from death to be the Savior.
The name “Jesus” is from the Hebrew Joshua, or Yehoshuah, “Yahweh is salvation” or “Yahweh will save.” Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus is particularly derived from Phil 2:9-11, which states that God highly exalted Jesus “and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” This scriptural devotion is paraphrased by the hymn “At the name of Jesus” (Hymn 435) in The Hymnal 1982. Other hymns that express devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus include “To the name of our salvation” (Hymns 248-249) and “Jesus! Name of wondrous love!” (Hymn 252).
Jan 1, 2023 – 11am -A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is the Christmas Eve service held in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge England and was introduced in 1918.
Kings College Cambridge holds this service every Dec. 24. The main gate to Kings College opens at 7:30am for the 3pm service. Many people get in the line by 5am for a 10 hour wait!
The 2022 service
It was conceived by Eric Milner-White, the Dean of the College, for Christmas Eve 1918 whose experience as an army chaplain in World War I had led him to believe that more imaginative Christmas worship was needed by the Church of England. He actually reached back to an earlier time for a service structure.
The original service was, in fact, adapted from an Order drawn up by E.W. Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for use in the wooden shed, which then served as his cathedral in Truro, at 10 pm on Christmas Eve 1880. AC Benson recalled: ‘My father arranged from ancient sources a little service for Christmas Eve – nine carols and nine tiny lessons, which were read by various officers of the Church, beginning with a chorister, and ending, through the different grades, with the Bishop.”
The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music. The readings can vary as can the music. Traditionally, “Once in Royal David City” is the opening hymn. Beyond that the service is flexible.
An opening prayer that is used provides a focus:
“We gather here to recall the mystery of our redemption.
Though sin drew us away from God, he never stopped loving us.
The prophets told of the coming of a Messiah
who would initiate a reign of justice and peace.
This promise was fulfilled in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Let us now reflect with joy on this wondrous mystery.”
Lessons and Carols is usually done at the beginning of Advent as an introduction to Advent or towards the end as a summary of all that has happened.
This St. Peter’s service is the perfect culmination of your Christmas week, a joyous celebration along with thoughtful, introspective moments. Plan now to attend.
King’s College Cambridge – As you have never seen it
The famous church in England, home of Lessons and Carols, built by Henry VII is altered by projectionist, Miguel Chevalier.
To illustrate Stephen Hawking’s research about black holes, Miguel Chevalier imagines an immersive environment made up of thousands of constellations that plunge the guests into the mystery of the universe.
Prayer of Thanksgiving for the year just past…
God of new beginnings, we thank you for the year just past, with all of its joys and wonders. We thank you for all that we were able to do together . We thank you for giving us opportunities to serve You well and in doing so to let your light shine in our church and out in our world. We pray now for Your guidance in this new year, and for the courage to follow You wherever You would lead us. We pray for the strength to carry out everything that You will give us to do. And may our love for one another reflect the transforming love that You have for each one of us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
And a Blessing for the New Year!
From Pastor Dawn Hutchings
“The art of blessing is often neglected. The birth of a New Year calls forth the desire in us to bestow a blessing upon those we love. Several years ago, John O”Donohue, one of my favorite Irish poet’s created a New Year’s blessing for his mother entitled Beannacht-for Josie. It is a blessing of superior quality. And so, on this New Year’s Eve, may you all receive this beannacht with my added blessing for a peace-filled New Year in which the God in whom all of creation is held, might find full expression in your miraculous life!”
Beannacht – A New Year Blessing
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
The Work of Christmas
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.
– Howard Thurman
Dr. Howard Thurman was an influential author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader. He was Dean of Theology and the chapels at Howard University and Boston University for more than two decades, wrote 20 books, and in 1944 helped found the first racially integrated, multicultural church in the United States.
Christmas Eve Caroling Dec. 24
Jan.1, 11:00am – Lessons and Carols
1. St. Stephen Dec. 26
Stephen was among the earliest Christian martyrs, stoned to death for his beliefs. St. Paul not only witnessed the event but held the garments of those stoning Stephen which he regretted later on and carried a lasting sense of guilt.
2. John the Apostle Dec. 27
John, one of the Apostles, possibly lived the longest life associated with the Gospel, an author in that time and Evangelist spreading the Gospel to many in the Mediterranean area who were not of Jewish background. He is believed to be the only Apostle not martyred for the cause. He is associated with the Gospel that bears his name, 3 Epistles and possible authorship of the Book of Revelation.
3. Holy Innocents Dec. 28
The term “Holy Innocents” comes from Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 2. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, King Herod, fearing for his throne, ordered that all the male infants of Bethlehem two years and younger be killed. These children are regarded as martyrs for the Gospel — “martyrs in fact though not in will.” This can be compared to the conduct of Pharoah in Exodus 1:16. “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”