31 January 2021                                  Presentation of Christ in the Temple

Collect of the Day

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.


First Reading

Malachi 3.1-5

Thus says the Lord God: 1See, 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. 2But 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; 3he 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. 4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

5Then 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. 


Psalm or Canticle

Psalm 24.(1-6)7-10

1                 The earth is the Lord’s and all that fills it, the compass of the world and all who dwell therein.

2                 For he has founded it upon the seas and set it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
‘Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord, or who can rise up in his holy place?’  ‘Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, who have not lifted up their soul to an idol,
nor sworn an oath to a lie;

5                 ‘They shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a just reward from the God of their salvation.’

6                 Such is the company of those who seek him, of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8                 ‘Who is the King of glory?’ ‘The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord who is mighty in battle.’ Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.  ‘Who is this King of glory?’ ‘The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory.’


Second Reading

Hebrews 2.14-18

14Since the children share flesh and blood, Jesus 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, 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17Therefore 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. 18Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.


Gospel   Luke 2.22-40

22When 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. 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

25Now 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. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided 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, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word; 30for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,       32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’

33And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then 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 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

36There 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 seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At 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.

39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.


Post Communion Prayer

Lord, you fulfilled the hope of Simeon and Anna, who lived to welcome the Messiah: may we, who have received these gifts beyond words, prepare to meet Christ Jesus when he comes to bring us to eternal life; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

All                Amen.


Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):

Post Communion (Presentation of Christ) ©  1973 ICEL: Roman Missal (English Translation)

Hebrews 2.14-18 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Luke 2.22-40 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Malachi 3.1-5 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Psalm 24.(1-6)7-10 ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000

Collect (Presentation of Christ) ©  The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)