Day Five — Saturday 29 December 2018

The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. O come, let us worship. Alleluia

Presentation Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia, The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, ca. 1435

Readings (Click the links to see the readings)

1 John 2.3-11 | Psalm 96.1-6 | Luke 2.22-35 |

The Presentation in the Temple
—John O'Donohue.

The words of a secret have rivet eyes
That cannot sleep to forget what they know.
The restrained voice sharpens to an arrow
That will reach its target through any disguise.

Two old people wait in the temple shadows
Where stone and air are hoarsened with prayer
For some door to open in their hunger;
Sometimes children laugh at her twitching nose.

Worn to a thread the old man’s rope of days,
Spent unravelling in this empty torment,
Has wizened his silence to words of flint.
When he glimpses the child, his lost voice flares.

His words lodge in the young mother's thought
That a sword of sorrow will pierce her heart.

—from Conamara Blues. London: Bantam, 2000.


Almighty God and Father of light, a child is born to us an a Son is given to us. Your eternal Word leapt down from heaven in the silent watches of the night, and now your Church is filled with wonder at the nearness of God. Open our hearts to receive his life and increase our vision with the rising of dawn, that our lives may be filled with his glory and his peace, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
—International Committee on English in the Liturgy

Merrill Bradshaw (1929-2000), Psalm 96: Sing unto the Lord a new Song, from Three Psalms for chorus a cappella (1971). BYU Concert Choir, cond. Ralph Woodward, 2014.

May the Lord, who has called out of darkness into his marvellous light, bless us and fill us with peace. Amen.