December 27, 2020 • Holy Family

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Just Before You Begin


Opening Song


Leader: We now begin the celebration of the feast of the Holy Family,
grateful for Jesus’ birth, and for the steadfast love of his parents, Mary and Joseph.


Leader: ┼ In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Leader: Peace and joy to you from God our Father
and from his Son, Jesus, who became a baby for us.
We love you, O Lord, and we thank you.
(The response is: We love you, O Lord, and we thank you.)

All: We love you, O Lord, and we thank you.

Leader: We gather together now
to remember Jesus' childhood and how he grew to be an adult.
One with all who celebrate his coming into our world,
let us now listen to God's Word and join in prayer.

All: Amen.


Leader: Together we sing in praise of God's glory!

Opening Prayer

Leader: Let us pray

Leader: God of joy and peace
you became a baby so you would know
what it is like to be one of us.
Help us to care for and love all the children of the world,
especially those who are poor and in need,
because you were one of them.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.




Reader 1: In today’s reading, we hear about how Jesus was brought to the temple as a young child. We now do this action prayer together: May the Lord be on my mind, ┼
on my lips, ┼
and in my heart ┼
as we hear the Gospel today.
A reading from the holy Gospel of Matthew.

Reader 1: The time came for Mary and Joseph to do what the Law of Moses says
a mother is supposed to do after her baby is born.
They took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem and presented him to the Lord,
just as the Law of the Lord says,
“Each first-born baby boy belongs to the Lord.”
The Law of the Lord also says that parents have to offer a sacrifice,
giving at least a pair of doves or two young pigeons.
So that is what Mary and Joseph did.
At this time a man named Simeon was living in Jerusalem.
Simeon was a good man.
He loved God and was waiting for God to save the people of Israel.
God’s Spirit came to him
and told him that he would not die until he had seen Christ the Lord.
When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple
to do what the Law of Moses says should be done for a new baby,
the Spirit told Simeon to go into the temple.
Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms and praised God,
“Lord, I am your servant,
and now I can die in peace,
because you have kept
your promise to me.
With my own eyes I have seen
what you have done
to save your people,
and foreign nations
will also see this.
Your mighty power is a light
for all nations,
and it will bring honor
to your people Israel.”
Jesus' parents were surprised at what Simeon had said.
Then he blessed them and told Mary,
“This child of yours will cause many people in Israel to fall and others to stand.
The child will be like a warning sign. Many people will reject him,
and you, Mary, will suffer as though you had been stabbed by a dagger.
But all this will show what people are really thinking.”
The prophet Anna was also there in the temple.
She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old.
In her youth she had been married for seven years, but her husband died.
And now she was eighty-four years old.
Night and day she served God in the temple by praying and often going without eating.
At that time Anna came in and praised God.
She spoke about the child Jesus to everyone who hoped for Jerusalem to be set free.
After Joseph and Mary had done everything that the Law of the Lord commands,
they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee.
The child Jesus grew. He became strong and wise, and God blessed him.

Reader 1: When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
They took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
He took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted —and you yourself a sword will pierce— so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of 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 favor of God was upon him.

Reader 1: The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Video Retelling

Gospel Video Reflections

Reflections on the Readings

  1. In Jesus’ time, when babies were born their parents would take the baby to the Temple to have him dedicated to God. It was like “introducing” him to the world, kind of like baptism introduces a baby to their church family these days. That’s what today’s Gospel story is about. Simeon gets to hold him first after the ceremony. How do you think he was feeling to hold this baby after waiting so long to meet him?
  2. Simeon told Mary and Joseph that Jesus was going to be an amazing person, but that some people would hate him and work against all the good that he would try to do. He also predicted that Mary would feel terrible pain because of Jesus. What do you think he meant by that?
  3. Anna also recognized that Mary and Joseph’s baby was very special and told everyone around about him. How do you think his parents felt as they went back home to Nazareth to start raising Jesus? Proud? Honored? Confused? Scared? Nervous? Something else? What do you think they were thinking after they met Simeon and Anna?

General Intercessions

Leader: Now let’s pray together to God for what we need.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who don’t have a safe, warm, and dry home at this time of year,
especially families with babies and young children,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray during this Christmas season
that we never forget that Jesus and his parents were poor
So that we share what we have to help others,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who are sick,
and for all the doctors, nurses, caregivers and essential workers
who are caring for them, that they remain healthy,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who are lonely or sad during this Christmas season,
that we can be Christ for them in their darkness,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: For what else and for who else shall we pray?

Lord's Prayer

Leader: Jesus taught us to call God our Father, and so we have the courage to say:

All: 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.

Sign of Peace

Leader: Let us now offer each other a sign of peace.

A Litany for Spiritual Communion

Leader: The response is: Lord, bring us closer to you!

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
we wish we could gather today with our parish community,
but we gather here out of love and concern for others.
You teach us that when two or three are gathered in your name,
you are there.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Christ Jesus, you are present in a special way
when bread and wine are turned into your Body and Blood.
Since we cannot receive you in this way today,
We ask that you enter our hearts
so that we may receive you spiritually.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
watch over your family
and keep us safe in your care,
for all our hope is in you.

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Concluding Rite

Blessing & Dismissal

Leader: Go in the peace of Christ.

All: Thanks be to God.

Closing Song

After the Service

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