1/6/2019 Epiphany with Holy Communion



From the Book of Common Worship (2018)



Epiphany means “manifestation.” On this day we celebrate the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles—that is, to all nations. Some Christian traditions celebrate three great epiphanies on this day: the magi’s adoration of the Christ child, Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, and his first miracle in which he changes water into wine. The word and sacraments are for us the great epiphany of God’s grace and mercy. We go forth to witness to the light that shines brightly in our midst.







Arise, shine; for your light has come!

The glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.

Nations will come to his light,
and rulers will seek his radiance.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.

He will judge the people with righteousness
and defend the cause of the poor.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.

The mystery of the ages is revealed;
the eternal plan of God is known to all.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world.

Let us kneel down before him

to give him honor, glory, and praise.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.

Let us offer him all the treasures
of our hearts and our lives.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.


(a brief silence)


God of endless light, you sent a star—
rising from darkness,

guiding seekers and sages,
overwhelming us with joy.

Let the splendor of your dawning light
grow in us and in all the world

until the whole creation shines with your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen.


*GATHERING HYMN # 147 The First Nowell (verses 1, 3, 5-6)


PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION                        

Blessed be the holy Trinity, + one God, who shines in glory, clothes us in compassion, and bears gifts of mercy for all. Amen.


Let us confess our sins with confidence in God’s promise of forgiveness.


Silence is kept for reflection.


God, wonderful counselor,

we confess that we have turned from your gifts

and chosen our own way.

We have not made room for you

in our hearts or in our world.

We have lived in fear;

we have not welcomed the stranger;

we desire gifts that will not endure.

Forgive us our sins, known and unknown,

and open us to receive the peace of Jesus

dwelling in and among us.


God’s lovingkindness has appeared to us in Christ our Savior.

We are saved, not by anything we have done,

but by God’s mercy poured out on us richly.

In the name of + Jesus Christ,

your sins are forgiven.

Through the Spirit living in you,

God give you faith to trust Jesus,

who is Love born for you, now and always.



Since God has embraced us in, with and through Jesus the Christ, let us then forgive and embrace one another in the love and peace of God. The Peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.


ALL SING # 487 These Treasured Children (verses 1, 4)



Holy One, giver of all light, lift up our hearts and minds to Christ, the morning star that never fades. By the light of your Holy Spirit reveal to us your saving Word and lead us to offer our lives to you in service and in love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


FIRST READING: Isaiah 60:1-6

Jerusalem is assured that nations will make a pilgrimage to her, because the light of God’s presence is in her midst. The bountiful food of the sea and the profits of international trade will come streaming to Jerusalem and thereby declare God’s praise.


1Arise, shine; for your light has come,

and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

2For darkness shall cover the earth,

and thick darkness the peoples;

but the LORD will arise upon you,

and his glory will appear over you.

3Nations shall come to your light,

and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

4Lift up your eyes and look around;

they all gather together, they come to you;

your sons shall come from far away,

and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.

5Then you shall see and be radiant;

your heart shall thrill and rejoice,

because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,

the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

6A multitude of camels shall cover you,

the young camels of Midian and Ephah;

all those from Sheba shall come.

They shall bring gold and frankincense,

and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.


The mystery of the ages revealed to all.                           Eph. 3:9–10

Thanks be to God.


GOSPEL: Matthew 2:1-12

God’s promise shines bright in the night as magi follow a star to honor a new king. Strangers from a faraway land, they welcome the long-awaited messiah of Israel.


1In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”

3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler

who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


The mystery of the ages                                       Eph. 3:5

revealed to the prophets and apostles.

Thanks be to God.




HYMN # 151 We Three Kings (verses 1, 5)



Dwelling in the presence of God with us, let us boldly pray for the church, the world, and all in any need.


A brief silence.


Drawn into the light of God, we pray for the proclamation of the grace of Jesus Christ. Give us courage and boldness to go forth into the world to tell the good news of what God has done. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Drawn into the glory of creation, we pray for the earth. Sustain every living thing with abundant resources, clean water, and sustainable harvests. Help us to steward all that you have provided. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Drawn into the brightness of God’s presence, we pray for the nations of the world. Reveal your compassion and peace for the sake of all who live in the shadow of oppression, violence, and fear. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Drawn into the light of healing mercy, we pray for all who wait for healing and relief of suffering (especially). Give us hope in the promise of new life where pain and suffering will be no more. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Drawn into the dawn of a new day, we pray for the ongoing reconciliation between people. Make us bold to name sin in our lives and unite us in the promise of forgiveness and mercy. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Here other intercessions may be offered.


Drawn into the promise of everlasting light, we pray for those who mourn and give thanks for all the saints who now rest in the brightness of God’s presence. We commemorate this week: Berka Zdislava; Gregory of Nazianzus; Geneviève; T. S. Eliot; Elizabeth Ann Seton; Simeon Stylites the Elder; Schotin; Felipe and Mary Barreda; Giotto di Bondone; Philip of Moscow; Lyman Beecher; Michael of Klopsk; and Marguerite of Bourgeoys. Make us confident in our worship as we reflect the light of God with eternal praise. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Trusting in the presence of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, we commend all for whom we pray, dwelling in the light and hope of Christ, our Savior.


INVITATION TO DISCIPLESHIP & STEWARDSHIP                                       

God of majesty and light, you hold the world in your hand. We praise you that in Jesus Christ all people may see your glory. We thank you for revealing Jesus to be your Son, and for claiming our lives in baptism
to be his glad disciples. By your Spirit, may peace descend upon us that we may follow him with grateful hearts. Take us and all we have to be useful in your service, God of all nations, in the gracious name of Jesus Christ, your Son, by the power of your Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.


During this time of offering you are encouraged to take a moment to be in prayer with God and reflect on what is means to be a student or disciple of Jesus Christ. The Gospel understanding of discipleship is a way of being in the world that affects every relationship. Disciples shape one another according to the action of the Spirit in their lives. The energy of the disciples flows from faith in what is unseen yet believed. At its very core, discipleship is a call to a love so radical that it never gives up on God, one’s neighbor, or one’s self. How is God calling you to use your gifts, talents, time and resources to love radically, especially as a part of this worshipping community?


Offerings and tithes will be collected by the ushers in the Narthex (the great entrance hall) following worship. If you would like to make an offering using your smart phone or tablet, go to www.SouthminsterChurch.org and click on the Donate link.


HYMN # 145 What Child is This? (verses 1, 3)



Holy God, your beauty shines forth from the manger and your love flows from the cross. As you gather us around these signs of your love come among us, warm us to extend your care among the hungry and all in need.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.



From east and west, from north and south,

Christ gathers us in to be at God’s eternal table,
Jesus calls us beloved, and feeds us from his very essence.

Friends let us feast and be transformed from the inside out.

Let us be Christ’s body in the world,

fortified by the gift of the Holy Spirit,
so that we may serve God and our neighbors

with great joy. Amen.



The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Lift up your 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 truly right and our greatest joy
to give you thanks and praise,
God of majesty and splendor.

By your power you created all that is,
making a universe out of chaos,

and ruling over all things in love.
Throughout the ages you called your people
to love and serve you,

and to be your light among the nations.
When we failed you,

you did not fail us

and sent prophets to call us back to your ways.
We praise you that in the fullness of time,

you revealed your love

by sending your Son Jesus
to be the Light of the world.

He came to heal our brokenness

and to set before us the ways of justice and peace.


You are holy, O God of majesty,

and blessed is Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord.
He was born to dwell among us,

full of grace and truth;

in him we have seen your glory.

He lived for you, spoke your truth, and showed your love.

Lavished with gifts from the magi,

he gave his life for others.

Baptized by John in the Jordan,
he poured out his mercy for all.

Turning water into wine at a wedding,
he transformed sorrow into joy.

In his death on the cross, he overcame death.
Rising from the tomb, he raised us to eternal life,
and made with us a new covenant

by water and the Spirit.


Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ,

we take from your creation this bread and this wine
and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising

as we await the day of his coming.

With thanksgiving we offer our very selves to you
to be a living and holy sacrifice,

dedicated to your service.


Gracious God,

pour out your Holy Spirit upon us

and upon these your gifts of bread and wine,
that the bread we break

and the cup we bless

may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.

By your Spirit make us one with Christ,

that we may be one with all who share this feast,
united in ministry in every place.

As this bread is Christ’s body for us,

send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.


Illumine our hearts, O God,

with the radiance of Christ’s presence,

that our lives may show forth his love in this weary world.
Send us to befriend the lost,

to serve the poor,

to reconcile our enemies,
and to love our neighbors.

Keep us faithful in your service
until Christ comes in final victory

and we shall feast with all your saints
in the joy of your eternal realm.


Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever, as we pray:

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 debts,

as we forgive our debtors;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom

and the power

and the glory, forever.



Come to the table where Christ meets you.

Eat, rejoice, and be glad!


We give you thanks that the Lord Jesus, on the night before he died, took bread, and after giving thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.


In the same way Jesus took the cup, saying:

This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.


Come to the table where Christ meets you.

Eat, rejoice, and be glad!



All are welcome to the Lord’s Table. As a matter of hospitality, all communion bread is gluten free and the wine is non-alcoholic. Please come to the Table by the center aisle, receive a piece of bread, dip it into the cup, commune, and then return to your pew by the outer aisles. If you are not able to comfortably come forward for communion, a server will come to you.


God of wonder, in Jesus we behold the light of the world come near. As you have come among us now, send us out in joy, hastening to share the good news of your love. We ask this in the name of Jesus, through the Spirit dwelling among us now and forever. Amen.


O God, whose grace and truth are revealed in the Word-made-flesh, bless those who go forth to share your word and sacrament with those who are sick, homebound, and imprisoned. Nourish and strengthen those who receive this holy communion, that through the body and blood of your Son all may rejoice at his birth and in his presence among us now and forever.


God the Creator who delights in you, Jesus the Savior who is born for you,

and the lifegiving Spirit who shines on you, + bless you and keep you in hope and peace. Amen.


*HYMN # 150 As With Gladness Men of Old






NOTES: Order of service and content is in accord with the Presbyterian Church’s Directory for Worship. Prayers are from the Sundays and Seasons (Year C), Glory to God Hymnal on-line, and the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018).


All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, wherever the “+” appears within the liturgy. The sign of the cross, as explained and demonstrated in the 2018 edition of the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship, is an ancient silent form of prayer which dates to the early 1st century church. A typical pattern for making the sign of the cross involves holding your thumb and first two fingers together (as a sign of the Trinity) and touching your forehead, lower chest, and both shoulders.





1        Berka Zdislava (d. 1252)

2        Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 330– c. 389)

3        Geneviève (c. 422– 500)

4        T. S. Eliot (1888– 1965)

Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774– 1821)

5        Simeon Stylites the Elder (c. 390– 459)

6        The Epiphany of the Lord (Matt. 2: 1– 11)

Schotin [Scarthin] (6th century)

7        Felipe and Mary Barreda (d. 1983)

8        Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267– 1337)

9        Philip of Moscow (1507– 1569)

10      Lyman Beecher (1775– 1863)

11      Michael of Klopsk (d. c. 1453)

12      Marguerite of Bourgeoys (1620– 1700)


Presbyterian Church. Book of Common Worship . Presbyterian Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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