The Presentation of Christ

Year C
Group: I
Colour: White

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple

This day marks the completion of forty days since the birth of Jesus, when Mary and Joseph took the child to the Temple in Jerusalem. The requirement in Levitical law was for Mary to be ‘cleansed’, the completion of her purification following the birth of a male child. Until that day, she could touch no holy thing nor enter the sanctuary. Yet on seeing the holy family, Simeon praised God and acclaimed the infant as ‘the light to enlighten the nations’ and the prophet Anna gave thanks and proclaimed him her Redeemer. The image of Christ as the Light has led to the celebration of light countering darkness, with candles often taking a central place in the observance.
Hagiography from Exciting Holiness by Brother Tristam SSF

Evening Prayer (on the eve of the Presentation. Text not shown)
Psalm 118
1 Samuel 1. 19b-28
Hebrews 4. 11-16

Collect 27 (Text shown)
Post Communion Prayer 28 (Text shown)

Principal Service (Text shown)
Malachi 3. 1-5
Psalm 24. [1-6,] 7-10
Hebrews 2. 14-18
Luke 2. 22-40

Second Service (Text not shown)
Psalm 122; 132
Haggai 2. 1-9
John 2. 18-22

Third Service (Text not shown)
Psalm 42; 43; 48
Exodus 13. 1-16
Romans 12. 1-5

1984 (Text not shown)
Page 235

Collect 27

1984 Prayer Book
Almighty and everlasting God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty, that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented to thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Contemporary
Almighty and everliving God,
clothed in majesty,
whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple,
in substance of our flesh:
grant that we may be presented to you
with pure and clean hearts,
by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer 28

Lord, you fulfilled the hope of Simeon and Anna,
who lived to welcome the Messiah:
may we, who have received these gifts beyond words,
prepare to meet Christ Jesus when he comes
to bring us to eternal life;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Malachi 3. 1-5

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.

Psalm 24. [1-6,] 7-10

Biblical text
[1-6]
The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. They will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of their salvation. Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

7-10
Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.

Pointed Psalm
[1-6]
The earth is the Lord’s and / all that / fills it :
the compass of the world and / all who / dwell there/in.
For he has founded it up/on the / seas :
and set it firm upon the / rivers / of the / deep.
‘Who shall ascend the / hill of the / Lord :
or who can rise / up • in his / holy / place?’
‘Those who have clean hands and a / pure / heart :
who have not lifted up their soul to an idol,
nor / sworn an / oath • to a / lie;
‘They shall receive a blessing / from the / Lord :
a just reward from the / God of / their sal/vation.’
Such is the company of / those who / seek him :
of those who seek your / face, O / God of / Jacob.

7-10
Lift up your heads, O gates;
be lifted up, you ever/lasting / doors :
and the King of / glory / shall come / in.
‘Who is the / King of / glory?’ :
‘The Lord, strong and mighty,
the / Lord • who is / mighty in / battle.’
Lift up your heads, O gates;
be lifted up, you ever/lasting / doors :
and the King of / glory / shall come / in.
‘Who is this / King of / glory?’ :
‘The Lord of hosts, / he is the / King of / glory.’

Hebrews 2. 14-18

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Luke 2. 22-40

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

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Text from the Church in Wales – Word of the Lord 2011 copyright © Church in Wales Publications 2011. 
 
 
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Hagiography from Exciting Holiness Copyright © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis 2007. 
ISBN – 9781853118067 
 
Collects and Post Communion Prayers from the book New Calendar and the Collects. 
Copyright © The Representative Body of the Church in Wales 2003 
ISBN – 1853115495 
 
Pointed Psalms from the book Daily Prayer. 
Copyright © The Representative Body of the Church in Wales 2010 
ISBN – 9781853119347 
 
Quotations and Psalms from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. 
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