St Mary And St Anne Moseley
Order for the Eucharist in Epiphany
Welcome to our service.
We come here to offer worship and prayer to God, to be fed by word and sacrament through our Lord Jesus Christ, and to build one another up in our Christian life and faith.
Among Western churches the Epiphany (‘manifestation’) is a time during which we celebrate one element of the story following Christ’s birth. The visit of the magi is perceived as the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. The feast of the Conversion of St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, also falls in Epiphanytide and the season is therefore an appropriate time during which to pray for the worldwide mission of the Church. The period of Epiphany also includes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
In the Eastern churches the Epiphany has a different emphasis centring around the celebration of Christ’s baptism by John in the River Jordan; when the heavens were opened and a voice from heaven declared Jesus to be God’s beloved Son. Jesus’ baptism is immediately followed by the miracle at Cana in Galilee, where Jesus ‘first manifested his glory’.
The season of joyful celebration that began at Christmas continues through the successive Sundays of Epiphany, and the festal cycle only ends at Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas). The child who has been manifested to the magi at his birth is now recognized by Simeon and Anna when he comes to be presented in the Temple according to the Law of Israel. He is both ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles’ and ‘the glory of God’s people Israel’: but we must understand that the redemption he will bring must be won through suffering. It is already becoming clear that the Incarnation is directed towards the Passion as Simeon’s final words move our attention away from the celebration of Christmas and towards the mysteries of Easter.
Before the service use the time to be still and silent; to pray and to offer your life to God.
Immediately prior to the start of the service notices are given and a period of silence is held to prepare for worship.