Podcast Worship

Holy Communion for Candlemas (Year C)

Listen to a service of Holy Communion celebrating the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas), Sunday 30 January 2022. At the end of this service you are invited to join virtually in a Candlemas Procession; please have a candle ready to light at this point.


Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation;
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation:
all ye who hear,
now to his temple draw near,
joining in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
shieldeth thee gently from harm, or when fainting sustaineth:
hast thou not seen
how thy heart’s wishes have been
granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend thee:
ponder anew
what the Almighty can do,
if to the end he befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord!  O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the Amen
sound from his people again:
gladly for aye we adore him!

Lobe den Herren, Joachim Neander (1650–1680)
translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827–1878)

The Gathering

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

The Lord be with you 
and also with you.


Dear friends, forty days ago we celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now we recall the day on which he was presented in the Temple, when he was offered to the Father and shown to his people. As a sign of his coming among us, his mother was purified, as we now come to him for cleansing. In their old age Simeon and Anna recognized him as their Lord, as we today sing of his glory. In this eucharist, we celebrate both the joy of his coming and his searching judgement, looking back to the day of his birth and forward to the coming days of his passion.

Gloria in Excelsis

Tune: Repton (Dear Lord and Father of mankind)

All glory be to God on high,
his peace on earth proclaim;
to all his people tell abroad
the grace and glory of the Lord,
and bless his holy Name.
And bless his holy Name.

In songs of thankfulness and praise
our hearts their homage bring
to worship him who reigns above,
almighty Father, Lord of love;
our God and heavenly King.
Our God and heavenly King.

O Christ, the Father’s only Son,
O lamb enthroned on high,
O Jesus, who for sinners died
and reigns at God the Father’s side,
in mercy hear our cry.
In mercy hear our cry.

Most high and holy is the Lord,
most high his heavenly throne;
where God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, every One,
in glory reigns alone.
In glory reigns alone.

The Collect

Let us pray that we may know and share the light of Christ.

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.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading

A reading from the book of the prophet Malachi.

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.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 24

The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.
The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world and all who dwell therein.
For it is he who founded it upon the seas
and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep. 
The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.

‘Who can ascend the hill of the Lord?
and who can stand in his holy place?’
‘Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,
who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
nor sworn by what is a fraud. 
The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.

They shall receive a blessing from the Lord
and a just reward from the God of their salvation.’
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob. 
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.’ 
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 he, this King of glory?’
‘The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.’ 
The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.

Second Reading

A reading from the letter to the Hebrews.

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.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gradual Hymn

O Jesus, King most wonderful;
thou conqueror renowned,
thou sweetness most ineffable,
in whom all joys are found!

When once thou visitest the heart,
then truth begins to shine,
then earthly vanities depart,
then kindles love divine.

O Jesus, light of all below!
Thou fount of living fire,
surpassing all the joys we know,
and all we can desire:

Jesus, may all confess thy name,
thy wondrous love adore;
and, seeking thee, themselves inflame
to seek thee more and more.

Jesus, our love and joy, to thee,
the Father’s only Son,
all might, and praise, and glory be,
while endless ages run.

Edward Caswall (1814–1878)
Jesu, Rex admirabilis (Latin, c. 12th century)

Gospel Reading

Today the Lord is presented in the Temple 
in substance of our mortal nature.

Today the Blessed Virgin comes
to be purified in accordance with the law.

Today old Simeon proclaims Christ
as the light of the nation and the glory of Israel.
Alleluia.  Praise to Christ, the light of the world.

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. 
Glory to you, O Lord.

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.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


The Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son

is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to the Father through Christ who is our light and life.

Father, your Christ is acclaimed as the glory of Israel:
look in mercy on your Church, sharing his light.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Father, your Christ in his temple brings judgement on the world:
look in mercy on the nations, who long for his justice.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Father, your Christ, who was rich, for our sakes became poor:
look in mercy on the needy, suffering with him.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Father, your Christ is the one in whom faithful servants find their peace:
look in mercy on the departed, that they may see your salvation.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Father, your Christ is revealed as the one destined to be rejected:
look in mercy on us who now turn towards his passion.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord God, you kept faith with Simeon and Anna,
and showed them the infant King.
Give us grace to put all our trust in your promises,
and the patience to wait for their fulfilment;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayers of Penitence

Hear the words of our Saviour Jesus Christ: 
‘I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me shall never walk in darkness
but shall have the light of life.’
Let us therefore bring our sins into his light
and confess them in penitence and faith.

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,
we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,
in what we have thought,
in what we have said and done,
through ignorance, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We have wounded your love,
and marred your image in us.
We are sorry and ashamed,
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past;
and lead us out from darkness
to walk as children of light.  Amen.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

In the tender mercy of our God,
the dayspring from on high has broken upon us,
to give light to those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.  

Offertory Hymn

From all that dwell below the skies
let the Creator’s praise arise:
Alleluia, alleluia.
let the Redeemer’s name be sung
through every land by every tongue.
Alleluia, alleluia,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Eternal are thy mercies, Lord;
eternal truth attends thy word:
Alleluia, alleluia.
thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
till suns shall rise and set no more.
Alleluia, alleluia,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Isaac Watts (1674–1748), based on Psalm 117

Preparation of the Table

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: 
through your goodness we have this bread to set before you, 
which earth has given and human hands have made. 
It will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: 
through your goodness we have this wine to set before you, 
fruit of the vine and work of human hands. 
It will become for us the cup of salvation.
Blessed be God for ever.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right and good,
always and everywhere to give you thanks and praise
through Jesus Christ, who is one with you from all eternity.

For on this day he appeared in the Temple
in substance of our flesh
to come near to us in judgement.

He searches the hearts of all your people
and brings to light the image of your splendour.

Your servant Simeon acclaimed him
as the light to lighten the nations
while Anna spoke of him
to all who looked for your redemption.

Destined for the falling and rising of many,
he was lifted high upon the cross
and a sword of sorrow pierced his mother’s heart
when by his sacrifice he made our peace with you.

And now we rejoice and glorify your name
that we, too, have seen your salvation
and join with angels and archangels
in their unending hymn of praise:

(Tune: Slane – Lord of all hopefulness)

Holy, most holy, all holy the Lord,
in power and wisdom for ever adored!
The earth and the heavens are full of your love;
our joyful hosannas re-echo above.

Blessèd, O blessèd, most blessèd is he
whose life makes us whole and whose death sets us free;
who comes in the name of the Father of Light,
let endless hosannas resound in the height.

We praise and bless you, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord;
and as we obey his command, send your Holy Spirit,
that broken bread and wine outpoured
may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.

On the night before he died he had supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he praised you.
He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.
Again he praised you, gave it to them and said:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,
in him we plead with confidence his sacrifice 
made once for all upon the cross.
Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,
we proclaim his death and resurrection until he comes in glory.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:  
Christ is risen:  
Christ will come again.

Lord of all life, help us to work together for that day
when your kingdom comes 
and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.

Look with favour on your people,
gather us in your loving arms
and bring us with all the saints to feast at your table in heaven.

Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory are yours, O loving Father,
for ever and ever.

The Lord’s Prayer

Believing the promises of God,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.  

Breaking of the Bread

We break the bread of life,
and that life is the light of the world.
God here among us,
light in the midst of us,
bring us to light and life.

The Agnus Dei

Lamb of God, 
you take away the sin of the world, 
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, 
you take away the sin of the world, 
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, 
you take away the sin of the world, 
grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people.
Jesus Christ is holy,
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Today communion is received for and on behalf of all who are participating in this service. This is a time when you are invited to make your own Spiritual Communion.

Communion Hymn

O thou who camest from above
the fire celestial to impart,
kindle a flame of sacred love
on the mean altar of my heart!

There let it for thy glory burn
with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return
in humble prayer and fervent praise.

Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work, and speak, and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire,
and still stir up the gift in me.

Ready for all thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat;
till death thy endless mercies seal,
and make the sacrifice complete.

Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

The Candlemas Procession

Please light your candle at this point

Lord God, the springing source of everlasting light,
pour into the hearts of your faithful people
the brilliance of your eternal splendour,
that we, who by these kindling flames
light up this temple to your glory,
may have the darkness of our souls dispelled,
and so be counted worthy to stand before you
in that eternal city where you live and reign,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

In church, the priest goes to the font and the people turn to face the font.
During this time the Nunc Dimittis is sung.

Nunc Dimittis

Lord, now let your servant
go his way in peace —
your great love has brought me
joy that will not cease.

For my eyes have seen him
promised from of old —
saviour of all people,
shepherd of one fold.

Light of revelation
to the Gentiles shown,
light of Israel’s glory
to the world made known.

James Seddon (1915–1983), based on Luke 2.29-32
(Nunc Dimittis, The Song of Simeon)

Photo of font at Irnham Church
The font at St Andrew’s Church, Irnham

Final Responsory

Father, here we bring to an end
our celebration of the Saviour’s birth.
Help us, in whom he has been born,
to live his life that has no end.

Here we have offered the Church’s sacrifice of praise.
Help us, who have received the bread of life,
to be thankful for your gift.

Here we have rejoiced with faithful Simeon and Anna.
Help us, who have found the Lord in his temple,
to trust in your eternal promises.

Here we have greeted the light of the world.
Help us, who extinguish these candles,
never to forsake the light of Christ.

Please extinguish your candle at this point

Here we stand near the place of baptism.
Help us, who are marked with the cross,
to share the Lord’s death and resurrection.

Here we turn from Christ’s birth to his passion.
Help us, for whom Lent is near,
to enter deeply into the Easter mystery.

Here we bless one another in your name.
Help us, who now go in peace,
to shine with your light in the world.
Thanks be to God. Amen.