Sunday after Christmas preparation

Merry Christmas!

The first couple of Sundays after Christmas have to be carefully watched in the church calendar. This year is easy: Christmas itself was on a Sunday meaning the first Sunday of the year is the Sunday after Christmas. (In some traditions, it’s known as the Circumcision of Jesus, or the Naming of Jesus or some variation.) Then the next Sunday is the Sunday after Epiphany.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

First Sunday after Christmas

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that as we are bathed in the new light of thine Incarnate Word, that which shines by faith in our minds may likewise brighten forth in our minds may likewise brighten forth in our actions; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Gal. iv, 1-7
Gospel: Matt. i, 18-25 (end)

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

The Sunday after Christmas 

Lord our God, Source of all light and truth, who didst send thy Son Jesus Christ into the world that the world through him might be saved; grant, we beseech thee, that the light of his doctrine and life may shine into our hearts, and dispel our darkness, and direct our steps, and lead us at last to the unspeakable glories and felicities of thy heavenly kingdom. Amen.

Gospel. St. Luke ii. 15.
Epistle. Gal iv. 1.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

The Circumcision of Christ, being New Year’s Day

Almighty God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for men; grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Almighty God, who alone art without variableness or shadow of turning, and hast safely brought us through the changes of time to the beginning of another year; we beseech thee to pardon the sins we have committed in the year which is past, and give us grace that we may spend the remainder of our days to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

O O God, our hearts as well as our times are in thy hands; help us, we beseech thee, with this new year to form new resolutions of serving thee faithfully, that we may finish the work which thou hast given us to do, and that our earthly life may be the beginning of a blessed eternity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Eph. ii, 11-18, or Rev. xxi, 1-7.
Gospel: Luke ii, 15-21, or Luke ix, 57-62.

The Most Holy Name of Jesus, being the Sunday between Circumcision and Epiphany, or, failing such, January 2nd.

O God, who hast made the most glorious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, thine only-begotten Son, to be supremely loveable to thy faithful servants, and tremendous to malignant spirits; mercifully grant that all who devoutly venerate the Name of Jesus on earth, may in this life receive thy holy comfort and in the life to come eternal gladness and never ending praise; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Phil. ii, 1-11.
Gospel: Luke ii, 15-21

The Collect, Epistle, and Gospel of the Most Holy Name of Jesus shall be used on the days following up to the Epiphany.

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

First Sunday in the New Year 

O God, our hearts as well as our times are in thy hands; help us, we beseech thee,  with this new year to form new resolutions of serving thee faithfully in the spirit of thy Son Jesus Christ; that we may finish the work which thou shast given  us to do, and that our earthly life may be the beginning of a blessed eternity.

Gospel. St. Matt. xxv. 14.
Epistle. 1 St. Peter. i.  13.

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 45, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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