Our service will be livestreamed on the St Edward the Confessor Facebook page and then added to the 'Videos' section on this website later in the day. Service sheet is below.
Service of the Word Candlemas
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you
and also with you.
Prayer of Preparation
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn: Love divine, all loves excelling
Love divine, all loves excelling
joy of heaven to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all Thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation
enter every trembling heart
Come, almighty to deliver
let us all thy life receive
suddenly return, and never,
,ever more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing
serve thee as thy hosts above;
pray, and praise thee without ceasing
glory in thy perfect love.
Finish then thy new creation
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
Changed from glory into glory
till in Heaven we take our place
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise.
Dear friends, forty days ago we celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now we recall the day on which he was presented in the Temple, when he was offered to the Father and shown to his people.As a sign of his coming among us, his mother was purified, as we now come to him for cleansing. In their old age Simeon and Anna recognised him as their Lord, as we today sing of his glory. In this eucharist, we celebrate both the joy of his coming and his searching judgement, looking back to the day of his birth and forward to the coming days of his passion.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Let us pray that we may know and share the light of Christ.
Silence is kept.
Almighty and ever-living 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. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Malachi 3. 1-5
Thus says the Lord God:
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.
Second Reading: 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.
Gospel : Luke 2. 22-40
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus 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.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Hymn: Immortal, Invisible
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible, hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might,
thy justice like mountains high soaring above
thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all, life thou givest, to both great and small.
In all life thou livest, the true life of all.
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight.
All praise we would render; O help us to see
‘tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
The Lord’s Prayer
Believing in God’s presence among us. Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour taught us,
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayers of Penitence
Hear the words of our Saviour Jesus Christ:
‘I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me shall never walk in darkness
but shall have the light of life.’
Let us therefore bring our sins into his light
and confess them in penitence and faith.
Father eternal, giver of light and grace,
we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,
in what we have thought,
in what we have said and done,
through ignorance, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We have wounded your love,
and marred your image in us.
We are sorry and ashamed,
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past;
and lead us out from darkness
to walk as children of light.
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lord God, the springing source of everlasting light,
pour into the hearts of your faithful people
the brilliance of your eternal splendour,
that we, who by these kindling flames
light up this temple to your glory,
may have the darkness of our souls dispelled,
and so be counted worthy to stand before you
in that eternal city where you live and reign,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Hymn: When candles are lighted
When candles are lighted on Candlemas Day
the dark is behind us, and spring's on the way.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
the light of Christ, the fullness of grace.
The kings have departed, the shepherds have gone,
the child and his parents are left on their own.
A glory dawns…
They go to the temple, obeying the law,
and offer two pigeons, the gift of the poor.
A glory dawns…
But Anna and Simeon recognise there
the Christ-child who came at the turn of the year.
A glory dawns…
The old who have suffered and waited so long
see hope for the world as they welcome the young.
A glory dawns…
They gaze at God's wonderful answer to prayer,
the joy of the Jews and the Gentiles' desire.
A glory dawns…
The candles invite us to praise and to pray
when Christmas greets Easter on Candlemas Day.
A glory dawns…
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace :
according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen :
Which thou hast prepared :
before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles :
and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
May Christ, the firstborn of all creation,
dwell in our hearts and minds. Amen.
May Christ, light of the world ,shine forth in our lives. Amen.
May Christ who sends us to the nations,
give us the power of his Spirit. Amen.
And the blessing of God Almighty the father the son of the holy spirit be with you and those you love this day and always. Amen.
Father, here we bring to an end our celebration
of the Saviour’s birth.
Help us, in whom he has been born,
to live his life that has no end.
Here we have offered the Church’s sacrifice of praise.
Help us, who have received the bread of life,
to be thankful for your gift.
Here we have rejoiced with faithful Simeon and Anna.
Help us, who have found the Lord in his temple,
to trust in your eternal promises.
Here we have greeted the light of the world.
Help us, who extinguish [bear] these candles,
never to forsake the light of Christ.
Here we stand near the place of baptism.
Help us, who are marked with the cross,
to share the Lord’s death and resurrection.
Here we turn from Christ’s birth to his passion.
Help us, for whom Lent is near,
to enter deeply into the Easter mystery.
Here we bless one another in your name.
Help us, who now go in peace,
to shine with your light in the world.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Hymns from Hymns Ancient & Modern hymns & songs for refreshing worship: Love divine, all loves excelling - Charles Wesley (1707-1788); Immortal, Invisible - W.Chalmers Smith (1824-1908); When candles are lighted - E.J.Cosnett (1936)