Candlelight sets the scene for a tableau: not the stable, but the temple: Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus; Simeon and Anna. May the lit figures draw us into prayer, for the church, for the world and for people’s needs.
Through the life of Anna we pray for the church. Anna devoted herself to constant worship and prayer in the temple and to her it was given to recognise the infant Jesus and to speak to the people about him. We pray that the whole church might be dedicated, pure and holy; quick to recognise Christ in the world and proclaim him, in words of hope and deeds of love.
We pray for our churches here of St Mary with St Saviour and St Paul’s, for our worship and witness outwards to our communities and to the wider world. We thank you, Lord, for all who lead us, and pray for the appointment of a minister who will take us forward in your service. Today we pray especially for Nick, giving thanks for all his gifts that he has shared with us here and for the creative and ground-breaking ways in which he will be encouraging the church forward in his new post. May he and Helen be richly blessed in their new life in the diocese of Monmouth.
Lord, hear us……..Lord, graciously hear us.
Through Simeon we pray for the world. Simeon prophesied that you, Christ, came to reveal truth, to challenge assumptions and set ways. We pray for the breaking down of proud barriers that divide us and for an end to violent conflicts causing untold suffering and death. Lord, guide the leaders of the nations into your truth. Simeon recognised you, Christ as the light: our troubled world can often not acknowledge you, yet cries out for your light: be present to the world in compassionate love.
Lord, hear us………Lord, graciously hear us.
Lord Jesus, you were presented in the temple, taking your place within human life and culture. We thank you for becoming in every respect like us. Having known suffering, you walk with us when the way is hard. We hold to you all whose way is very hard at this time, especially those without shelter.
Lord, hear us…….Lord, graciously hear us.
Through Mary and Joseph we pray for all humanity. They went to the temple to present their son to the Lord’s service. We pray for parents, families, and all human relationships. We give thanks for Mary’s motherhood to us all and for the costly love she gave, the sword that would pierce her soul. With love, we pray for friends known among us:
When Simeon had seen the baby Jesus he knew that the work of his life was done.. Let us remember those who have now passed from this life:
With Simeon we pray: Now, Lord, you let your servants go in peace. Amen.
Intercessions written by Lorna Hughes