Podcast Worship

Prayer for New Year’s Day 2022 (Naming and Circumcision of Jesus)

Listen to a service of Prayer for Saturday 1 January 2022 (Naming and Circumcision of Jesus; New Year’s Day), including a reflection on the gospel reading


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.


Almighty God, 
whose blessed Son was circumcised 
in obedience to the law for our sake 
and given the Name that is above every name: 
give us grace faithfully to bear his Name, 
to worship him in the freedom of the Spirit, 
and to proclaim him as the Saviour of the world; 
who is alive and reigns with you, 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever.

Psalm 8

O Lord our governor, 
how glorious is your name in all the world!

Your majesty above the heavens is praised 
out of the mouths of babes at the breast.

You have founded a stronghold against your foes, 
that you might still the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars that you have ordained,

What is man, that you should be mindful of him; 
the son of man, that you should seek him out?

You have made him little lower than the angels 
and crown him with glory and honour.

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands 
and put all things under his feet,

All sheep and oxen, 
even the wild beasts of the field,

The birds of the air, the fish of the sea 
and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.

O Lord our governor, 
how glorious is your name in all the world!

Glory to the Father and to the Son 
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now 
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Luke 2.15-21

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 


The new year has dawned. Last night, and over the coming days, we will wish each other a Happy New Year. But what will we mean when we offer that greeting to one another?

In classical Greek, the word for ‘happiness’ is makários. But this word, which we also encounter in The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12), can be translated in other ways. Makários does mean ‘happiness’, but it can also mean ‘blessed’, ‘fortunate’ and ‘happier’. When we wish each other a Happy New Year, we need to reflect upon what we really mean. Are we simply exchanging a traditional pleasantry, or are we praying for something more?

In today’s reading, on this feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus, we read of happiness. We read of the happiness of the safe delivery of Mary’s son; the happiness of the shepherds as they found all as it had been told them by the angels; the happiness which bubbled over into glorifying and praising God; the happiness of bringing Jesus to his circumcision and naming. There is a great deal of makários in today’s reading, and not just in the sense of ‘happiness’.

Mary and Joseph’s happiness, like that of the shepherds, can also be counted as blessedness and good fortune. Despite the challenging and humble circumstances of his miraculous birth, Jesus’ coming into the world has brought a level of happiness, blessedness and good fortune that far exceeds our feeble attempts at defining such words. It also shows what we should be wishing upon each other at this turning point of another year.

Let us pray that all whom we wish a Happy New Year might know the happiness of a real relationship with the Christ who came to bring redemption for us all. Let us pray that the whole world might be blessed with the peace, love and light of Christ as we embark upon a new year. Let us pray that our faith might be shown in the happiness and blessedness that shines through our words and actions in the year that lies ahead.

Prayers of intercession 

That all things may be made new by his grace, let us pray to the Lord.

Direct and strengthen the Church, in which we are your children by adoption. Send your people forward into this new year, bearing the name of Jesus for the salvation of all.

In the year that lies before us, grant peace in all places of strife. Inspire with wisdom and mercy those who bear authority, that justice may prevail and wrongs be righted. May your love shine graciously on all the world.

We pray for our families, friends and neighbours, that this year may be one of peace and blessing. Shield with your loving care all babies and young children in this community and guide those who care for them.

Have mercy on all who face the future without hope. At this time draw near with comfort to those who suffer in body, mind or spirit. Give them new confidence in the name of Jesus.

We give thanks for all who, having confessed the name of Jesus in this world, are now at peace. Grant them life eternal in the kingdom where there are no beginnings or endings but all is held in one perfection of being.

We make our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, the Name above all names.

Prayer for Christmas

Holy Child of Bethlehem,
born in a stable, laid in a manger,
no place is too low or mean for you to enter.
Come to us this Christmas time,
dwell in our hearts and homes,
and fill them with your love,
your peace,
now and always.

The Lord’s Prayer

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. Amen.

The Grace

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.