Category Archives: Baptism of Our LORD

Confession and Absolution of Sins for the Epiphanies

Confession And Absolution of Sins for the Epiphanies of Our Lord

by Michael Zarling
Guitar chords to “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” by Steve Brown

In studying the history of the Epiphany Festival, one can see that the Western Church, when it does focus on the Epiphany, focuses mainly on the visit of the Magi. However, the ancient Festival of the Epiphany and its celebration in the Eastern Church focuses more on the Epiphany of the Lord with the visit of the Magi, Christ’s baptism and his first miracle at Cana.

The following text is an opening liturgy that addresses all three epiphany lessons (the Magi, the Baptism of our Lord, and the wedding at Cana) and uses two well known Epiphany hymns from the Christian Worship Lutheran Hymnal:

CW 91 – “The Star Proclaims the King is Here” by Coelius Sedulous
CW 82 – “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” by Christopher Wordsworth

Sing: The star proclaims the King is here; But, Herod, why this senseless fear?
For he who came from heaven’s throne Does not desire an earthly crown. (CW: 91 v1)
Minister: In the name of God the Father,
Congregation: who placed a star in the sky to announce His Son’s birth.
M: In the name of God the Son,
C: who received a sinner’s baptism and revealed himself in his miracle at Cana.
M In the name of God the Holy Spirit,
C: who has brought us to believe in the great epiphanies of our Lord. Amen.
M: Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, praised by the angels, adored by the shepherds and worshiped by the Magi,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.
Sing: The wiser Magi saw from far And followed on his guiding star,
And, led by light, to Light they pressed And by their gifts their God confessed. (CW: 91 v2)
M: Lord Jesus Christ, held by St. Simeon, praised by St. Anna, and baptized by St. John,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.
Sing: Within the Jordan River stood The pure and holy Lamb of God;
The Father’s voice, the Spirit-dove, Confirmed the Savior from above. (CW: 91 v3)
M: Lord Jesus Christ, changing water into wine, defeating the devil in the wilderness, driving out demons, cleansing the lepers, giving sight to the blind, granting hearing to the deaf, and bringing life from the dead,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.
Sing: At Cana — miracle divine — When water reddened into wine,
The faithful saw his glory shown And put their trust in him alone. (CW: 91 v4)
M: In his great mercy, God called us out of the nations to his salvation, cleansed us in the waters of his baptism and revealed the power of his Son in Christ’s miracles. It is with this power and mercy, I, a called and ordained servant of Christ announce to all of you: I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Sign of the cross)
C: Amen.
M: Praise be to our Triune God for the epiphanies of our Savior.
Sing: All glory unto Jesus be And praise for his epiphany,
Whom with the Father we adore And Holy Spirit evermore. (CW: 91 v5)
Hymn of the Day: #82 – “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”
This hymn also mentions the epiphanies of our Lord – manifested by the star, manifested at Jordan’s stream, and manifested at Cana.

Here are the guitar chords to CW82:

F C (F) Dm (C) F
Songs of thank-ful-ness and praise, 
F C F Dm A
Je – sus, Lord, to you we raise,
Dm Gm C F (G7) C (F6) C (G) C
Man-i-fest-ed by the star to the Ma – gi from a – far,
G (Em) F/A F
Branch of royal David’s stem,
(Am) Bb (Cm) Bb
In your birth at Beth – le – hem,
D Gm C F
Anthems be to you ad-dressed,
Bb F (Dm) F C7 F
God in man made man – i – fest.

Note – Chords shown in parenthesis are optional.

The Baptism of Our Lord

The Baptism of Our Lord

The Baptism of our Lord falls on Sunday Jan 13, 2013. Here’s the contemporary songs we will be using for that day:

Pre-Service: “Wonderful Maker” by Chris Tomlin
Scripture References: Gen 1:1-5, Col 1:16, 2 Sam 7:22 and Luke 3:16 (the Gospel lesson)

Congregational Opening Song: “Joy has Dawned” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Scripture References: Luke 2:7 and John 1:1-3
You can get the sheet music for free at this site if you are a member (which is also free):

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 2 with “Be My Home” by Handt Hanson and Paul Murakami (see below for more info)
Songbook BOB #19

Hymn of the Day: “Christ Your footprints Through the Dessert” by Herman Stuempfle
Scripture References: Lk 3:15-17,21,22 (the Gospel lesson)
Songbook CWS #709

Offertory: “Offering with the Christmas / Epiphany verse” by Paul Baloche
Scripture References: Mt 2:1-12, 1Chr 16:29

Closing Song: “Go My Children with My Blessings” by the incomparable Jaroslav Vajda
Scripture Reference Titus 3:3-7 (the Epistle lesson)
Songbook BOB# 72

These are the classic go-to hymns:
CW88 “To Jordan Came the Christ, Our Lord”
CW89 “To Jordan’s River Came Our Lord”

Another contemporary song possibility:
“Wonderful, Merciful, Savior” by Dawn Rodgers and Eric Wyse

Here’s our Psalm of the Day format:

The song “Be My Home” is played as a backdrop to the responsive readings.
P:​ Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
C:​ The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
P:​ The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
C: ​I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.

Congregation Sings: BOB #19

P:​Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.
C:​ Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
All:​Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever will be forever. Amen.

Congregation Sings: BOB #19

Also, please consider using a children’s message in your service. We started using these in our contemporary services many years ago and now include them in all services. Everyone enjoys them, children, teens and adults. The Pastor can give these messages or a lay leader. Very important! Very worshipful! Even if you don’t have many children, start using them, and children just might start attending worship.

Here’s a few helpful websites to get some ideas for the children’s message, but I would recommend writing your own messages and use these just for ideas:

This information is being offered about a month in advance should you be interested in trying a contemporary service!

Thank you for reading!