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26th December       First Sunday of Christmas

Collect of the Day

Almighty God,
who wonderfully created us in your own image and yet more wonderfully restored us
through your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as he came to share in our humanity, so we may share the life of his divinity; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


First Reading

1 Samuel 2.18-20,26

18Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, ‘May the LORD repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the LORD’; and then they would return to their home.

26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the LORD and with the people. 


Psalm   Psalm 148

Refrain: O praise the name of the Lord.  

Alleluia. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights. Praise him, all you his angels; praise him, all his host.

3                 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you stars of light. Praise him, heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord; for he commanded and they were created.  He made them fast for ever and ever; 
he gave them a law which shall not pass away. 

7                 Praise the Lord from the earth, 
you sea monsters and all deeps;

8                 Fire and hail, snow and mist, 
tempestuous wind, fulfilling his word; Mountains and all hills, 
fruit trees and all cedars; Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and birds on the wing;

11               Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world; Young men and women, old and young together; let them praise the name of the Lord. For his name only is exalted, his splendour above earth and heaven. He has raised up the horn of his people and praise for all his faithful servants, 
the children of Israel, a people who are near him. Alleluia.

Refrain: O praise the name of the Lord.

O glorious God, your whole creation sings your marvellous work; may heaven’s praise so echo in our hearts that we may be good stewards of the earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Second Reading

Colossians 3.12-17

12As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 


Gospel   Luke 2.41-52

41Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ 49He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ 50But they did not understand what he said to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour. 


Post Communion Prayer

Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home: help your Church to live as one family, united in love and obedience, and bring us all at last to our home in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):

1 Samuel 2.18-20,26 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Colossians 3.12-17 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Luke 2.41-52 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Some material included in this service is copyright: ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000

Psalm 148 ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000

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