The Holy Innocents

28 December
Red
Invitation to Confession

On this day when we recall the murder of innocent lives,

let us stand before our just and holy God,

and remembering the violence and injustice of our world,

confess our sins in penitence and faith.

Kyrie Confession

You are the God of the weak and the vulnerable.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

You judge the tyrant and the cruel.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

You wipe away the tears of the broken-hearted.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Collect

Heavenly Father,

whose children suffered at the hands of Herod,

though they had done no wrong:

by the suffering of your Son

and by the innocence of our lives

frustrate all evil designs

and establish your reign of justice and peace;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Lectionary

Principal Service

Jeremiah 31.15-17

Psalm 124

1 Corinthians 1.26-29

Matthew 2.13-18

Second Service

Isaiah 49.14-25

Mark 10.13-16

Evening Psalms

Psalms 123, 128

Third Service

Baruch 4.21-27 or Genesis 37.13-20

Matthew 18.1-10

Morning Psalms

Psalms 36, 146

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia.

Never despise these little ones;

their guardian angels in heaven look continuously

on the face of my heavenly Father.

Matthew 18.10

Alleluia.

Intercession

In peace let us pray to the God of love.

Righteous God,

your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ dwelt among us

and shared our grief and our pain.

We pray for the children of our world,

that they may grow up knowing love and security.

Silence is kept.

We pray for all children who suffer physical or mental abuse.

Silence is kept.

We pray for all communities in our world

who live with the memories of massacre and gross cruelty.

Silence is kept.

We pray for all who are corrupted by power

and who regard human life as cheap.

Silence is kept.

We pray for parents who have suffered the death of a child.

Silence is kept.

We pray for parents and guardians,

that they may be given grace to care for the children entrusted to them.

Silence is kept.

As we celebrate the coming of the Christ-child,

we rejoice in the fellowship of the Holy Innocents

and commit the children of this community,

our nation and our world to you,

our righteous God.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Introduction to the Peace

‘I will comfort you,’ says the Lord, ‘as a mother comforts her child,

and you shall be comforted.’

Isaiah 66.13

Prayer at the Preparation of the Table

Pour upon the poverty of our love,

and the weakness of our praise,

the transforming fire of your presence.

Preface

And now we give you thanks

for the witness of the infants who died cruelly,

not knowing the newborn Christ,

that your grace might be made perfect in human weakness,

and the way of salvation prepared in our sinful world.

Extended Preface

All glory and honour be yours always and everywhere,

mighty creator, ever-living God,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In love for our fallen human race,

you sent your Son into the world to lighten our darkness.

In his life

he rejoiced in the innocence and beauty of children;

in his death

he carried in his body the violence and cruelty of our world;

in his resurrection

he brought life and salvation to his people

and began the new creation.

As our ascended and merciful high priest,

he hears our cries and knows our grief;

and will come as universal Lord to whom all must give account.

Therefore with all the angels of heaven

we lift our voices to proclaim the glory of your name

and sing our joyful hymn of praise:

Post Communion

Lord Jesus Christ,

in your humility you have stooped to share our human life

with the most defenceless of your children:

may we who have received these gifts of your passion

rejoice in celebrating the witness of the Holy Innocents

to the purity of your sacrifice

made once for all upon the cross;

for you are alive and reign, now and for ever.

Blessing

God, who gives life to the dead and comfort to the desolate,

sustain you, keep you and console you,

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

Acclamation

Let the little children come to me

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Whoever does not receive the kingdom of heaven like a child

will never enter it.

Short Passages of Scripture

I will turn their mourning into joy;

I will comfort them and give them gladness for sorrow.

Jeremiah 31.13

They have been ransomed as the first fruits of humankind,

and they follow the Lamb wherever he goes.

Revelation 14.4

Dedication Festival
Gold or White
Invitation to Confession

We are a temple of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit,

yet we have grieved him.

The temple of our bodies does not belong to us,

but was bought at the price of Christ’s precious blood.

So we come, in sorrow yet with confidence,

to ask forgiveness of our Father in heaven.

Kyrie Confession

Zeal for your house has eaten me up

and the taunts of those who taunt you have fallen upon me.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God

than dwell in the tents of ungodliness.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

The Lord will defend your coming out and your coming in

from this time forward for evermore.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Collect

Almighty God,

to whose glory we celebrate the dedication of this house of prayer:

we praise you for the many blessings

you have given to those who worship you here:

and we pray that all who seek you in this place may find you,

and, being filled with the Holy Spirit,

may become a living temple acceptable to you;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Lectionary

Principal Service

Year A

1 Kings 8.22-30 or Revelation 21.9-14

Psalm 122

Hebrews 12.18-24

Matthew 21.12-16

Year B

Genesis 28.11-18 or Revelation 21.9-14

Psalm 122

1 Peter 2.1-10

John 10.22-29

Year C

1 Chronicles 29.6-19

Psalm 122

Ephesians 2.19-22

John 2.13-22

Second Service

Year A

Jeremiah 7.1-11

1 Corinthians 3.9-17

Gospel at Holy Communion: Luke 19.1-10

Evening Psalm

Psalm 132

Year B

Jeremiah 7.1-11

Luke 19.1-10

Evening Psalm

Psalm 132

Year C

Jeremiah 7.1-11

Luke 19.1-10

Evening Psalm

Psalm 132

Third Service

Years A, B, C

Haggai 2.6-9

Hebrews 10.19-25

Morning Psalms

Psalms 48, 150

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia.

Lord, we love the house of your habitation

and the place where your glory abides.

cf Psalm 26.8

Alleluia.

Intercession

The risen Christ is here in the midst of us.

We bring our prayers to him as Lord of the Church.

For the Church universal,

of which these buildings are a visible symbol,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For this congregation,

as we remember your promise

that when two or three are gathered in your name

you are there in the midst of them,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For this place, that we may be still and know that you are God,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For the fulfilling of our desires and petitions as you see best for us,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For your blessings in the past and for a vision for the future,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For the gift of the Holy Spirit and new life in baptism,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For the pardon of our sins when we fall short of your glory,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For a foretaste of your eternal kingdom

in the sacrament of the eucharist,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For the blessing of our vows

and the crowning of our years with your goodness,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For the faith of those who have gone before us

and for grace to persevere like them,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For the benefactors of this place who have died in the peace of Christ

and are at rest,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

For a sense of our fellowship with [N our patron and] all your saints,

Lord, receive our thanks and prayer.

O God, from living stones

you prepare an everlasting dwelling–a place for your majesty.

Grant that in the power of the Holy Spirit

those who serve you here

may always be kept within your presence.

This we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Introduction to the Peace

Peace to this house from God our heavenly Father.

Peace to this house from his Son who is our peace.

Peace to this house from the Holy Spirit, the life-giver.

Prayer at the Preparation of the Table

Lord, teach us how to repay you for your goodness towards us.

We will lift up the cup of salvation

and call upon your name.

Preface

And now we give you thanks

for your blessing on this house of prayer,

where through your grace we offer you the sacrifice of praise

and are built by your Spirit into a temple made without hands,

even the body of your Son Jesus Christ.

(or)

And now we give you thanks that,

though the heaven of heavens cannot contain you,

and your glory is in all the world,

yet you chose to hallow places for your worship,

and in them you pour forth gifts of grace

upon your faithful people.

Extended Preface

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

almighty and eternal Father,

enthroned upon the praises of your people.

We thank you for this house of prayer,

in which you bless your family

as we come to you in pilgrimage.

Here you reveal your presence in sacramental signs

and make us one with you through the unseen bond of grace.

Here you build your temple of living stones

and bring the Church to its full stature

as the body of Christ throughout the world,

to reach its perfection at last

in the heavenly city of Jerusalem,

which is the vision of your peace.

Therefore, in union with the heavenly Jerusalem,

with angels in joyful assembly,

with all whose names are written in heaven

and with the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

we lift up our voices to join in the triumphal song of praise:

Post Communion

Father in heaven,

whose Church on earth is a sign of your heavenly peace,

an image of the new and eternal Jerusalem:

grant to us in the days of our pilgrimage

that, fed with the living bread of heaven,

and united in the body of your Son,

we may be the temple of your presence,

the place of your glory on earth,

and a sign of your peace in the world;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessing

Christ, whose glory is in the heavens,

fill this house and illuminate your hearts;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

(or)

God has given you the citizenship of heaven,

with his blessed and beloved,

and the whole company of the redeemed.

Amen.

God give you the will to live each day in life eternal.

Amen.

God bring you to the home

that Christ prepares for all who love him.

Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

Dismissal

Like living stones, precious in his sight,

go in peace to proclaim the mighty acts of God.

Thanks be to God.

For an alternative dismissal for a Dedication Festival, see Common Worship: Times and Seasons, pages 525–526.

Acclamation

How awesome is this place.

This is none other than the house of God,

and this is the gateway of heaven.

I saw a ladder which rested on the ground

with its top reaching to heaven,

and the angels of God were going up and down it.

This is none other than the house of God,

and this is the gateway of eaven.

You will see greater things than this.

You will see heaven wide open,

and God’s angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.

This is none other than the house of God,

and this is the gateway of heaven.

You are the temple of the living God,

and the Spirit of God dwells in you.

The temple of God is holy, and you are that temple.

This is none other than the house of God,

and this is the gateway of heaven.

Short Passages of Scripture

How awesome is this place!

This is none other than the house of God,

and this is the gate of heaven.

Genesis 28.17

We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God,

in the midst of your temple.

Psalm 48.9

Unless the Lord builds the house,

those who build it labour in vain.

Psalm 127.1

God is spirit,

and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.

John 4.24

Like living stones,

let yourselves be built into a spiritual house,

to be a holy priesthood,

to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God

through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2.5