Presentation Of Christ

THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST 29 January 2023 Hymns 377, 433, 282, 235

FIRST READING Malachi 3.1–5 Thus says the LORD God:

See, 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. But 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; he 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. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years. Then 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.

Responsorial Psalm 24. 7–10 R The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.

Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them high, O everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

‘Who is this King of glory?’ ‘The Lord, strong and mighty,the Lord, mighty in battle.’ R

Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them high, O everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

‘Who is he, this King of glory?’ ‘The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.’ R

SECOND READING Hebrews 2.14–18 Since 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, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore 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. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.


GOSPEL Luke 2.22–40 When 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. (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’ Now 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. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided 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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,

according to your word;

for my eyes have seen your salvation,

which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

a light for revelation to the Gentiles

and for glory to your people Israel.’

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

There 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, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At 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. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

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A warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. Today we are keeping Candlemas, the feast on which we remember the presentation of the infant Christ in the Temple. A special welcome to Fr Paul, who is celebrating for us. If you are new to St Michael's, please join us for tea or coffee in the Vestry Hall after Mass, so that we can welcome you properly.

Candlemas itself (February 2nd) will see the consecration of the new Bishop of Oswestry in Canterbury Cathedral. Bishop Norman will be among the consecrating bishops. Please note: there will be no Mass at St Michael's that day.

Bishop Norman emailed on Wednesday with good news: he said he'd like to visit us on Sunday 26th February - unless we had other plans! He will celebrate and preach for us, and after Mass we shall welcome him to a parish lunch; a list will appear next week and the PCC will be very glad of offers of food and help beforehand and on the day.

Our Quiet Day at The Friars on Saturday, 25th March, 10 am-3 pm, is taking shape. Fr Derek has kindly offered to accompany us and celebrate Mass for us in one of the chapels. The day will include 2 short addresses, free time for us to pray and reflect on our own, lunch (bring your own picnic) and concluding prayer together. We need to pay for the room we use as a base, which will mean a cost per person of perhaps £12 – possibly less if enough people book. Please speak to Jonathan, Paul or Eleanor today if you are hoping to come – Eleanor is happy to receive email bookings from anyone unable to be in church. This is not a cast-iron commitment but we do need an idea of numbers.

Congratulations to Angelita, who has achieved a Distinction in her Associated Board Grade 5 Singing. Congratulations also to Gareth, her teacher. Those of us who heard Angelita at the Carol Service will recognise that her excellent result was well deserved.

From Our Tower:

Kent County Association: Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 15 January 2023 in 44m (6–1–24 in C)

1280 Spliced Surprise Major (5m)

384 Cambridge; 320 Superlative; 256 London; 192 Rutland; 128 Bristol; 28 com.

1John J Proudfoot

2Mike Birkbeck

3Jacqueline Barlow

4Mark Elvers

5Paul Barton

6Stephen Coaker

7Pam Thomas

8Neil Jones (C)

100th together: 4 & 8.

Wishing Daphne Tester a speedy recovery after her hip replacement.

Sunday, 22 January 2023 in 40m (6–1–24 in C)

1272 Surprise Minor (2m)

720 Wells; 552 London.

1Pam Thomas

2Jacqueline Barlow

3Philip Jarvis

4Mark Elvers

5Rupert Cheeseman

6Neil Jones (C)

With the band's best wishes to Steve Newlands. Get well soon!

READERS' LIST for February.

Sunday 5 OT and psalm Paul Jones, NT Eta/Zangi

Sunday 12 OT and psalm Mike Trout, NT Katja Svarts

Sunday 19 OT and psalm Catherine Garland, NT Alison Heywood

Sunday 26 OT and psalm Ralph Baldock NT Margaret Gatehouse

Thank you, readers! If unable to read on the day listed, please try to arrange a swap with another reader.