Category Archives: Epiphany

A Beautiful Prayer from Ephesians 3:15-19


A Beautiful Prayer from Ephesians 3:15-19
Epiphany 2 (Year C)

Father,

Strengthen me by your Spirit
With a glorious inner heartfelt strength
Plant both of my feet firmly on love
Allow me to reach out and experience your breadth
To test your length
To plumb your depths
To rise to new heights
To live a full life
Filled in the fullness of God.
Amen.

-based on Eph 3:15-19 (MSG)

More prayers and liturgical writings:Lifestyle Worship

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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.

A Confession of Sins for the Season of Epiphany


A CONFESSION OF SINS – “DARKNESS AND LIGHT”

by Pastor Michael Zarling and Steve Brown

PROCESSIONAL HYMN: #79 — “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star”
As the hymn is introduced, please stand and face the processional cross in the back of the church, and turn to the front as the cross passes you.  Alternatively, simply “stand” as the hymn is introduced.

Sing: How lovely shines the Morning Star! The nations see and hail afar
The light in Judah shining.
O David’s Son of Jacob’s race, My Bridegroom and my King of grace,
For you my heart is pining.
Lowly, Holy, Great and glorious, O victorious Prince of graces,
Filling all the heav’nly places.

O highest joy by mortals won, True Son of God and Mary’s Son,
The highborn King of ages!
In your blest body let me be, E’en as the branch is in the tree,
Your life my life supplying.
Sighing, Crying For the savor Of your favor
Resting never Till I rest in you forever.

Note: The singing stops here.  The music continues in the background as we begin to alternate between responsive readings and singing of the remaining hymn verses.

Minister: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Congregation: To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father– to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (Rev 1:4-6)

M: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; (Is 9:2)
C: on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

M: See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
C: but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. (Is 60:2)

M: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.
C: We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:5,14)

Sing: O mighty Father, in your Son You loved me ere you had begun
This ancient world’s foundation.
Your Son has made a friend of me, And when in spirit him I see,
I joy in tribulation.
What bliss Is this! He is living, To me giving
Life forever; Nothing me from him can sever.

M: For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given. (Is 9:6)
C: In him was life, and the life was the light of man. (Jn 1:4)

M: God of Glory, you sent Jesus among us as the light to the world, to reveal your love for all people. But wherever there is light, there will also be darkness.
C: We confess that we are sinful creatures who, either through foolishness or willful disobedience, often choose to dwell in the darkness instead of live in your light. We beg for forgiveness for starving ourselves of your Son’s life-giving light. We repent of our entrenched evil that hates the light and tries to dispose of it. We admit our apathy towards sanctification and renewal that cause us to continue to live in the night. Trusting your grace, we earnestly pray: “Create in us a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us.” Through Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen. (Ps 51:10)

Sing: Oh, joy to know that you, my Friend, Are Lord, beginning without end,
The first and last, eternal!
And you at length — O glorious grace — Will take me to that holy place,
The home of joys supernal.
Amen, Amen! Come and meet me, Quickly greet me! With deep yearning,
Lord, I look for your returning.

M: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. (Is 60:1) The Light comes not to sear and blind us but to save us. Christ Jesus came into this world as an infant in a Bethlehem manger so that he might die as our Savior on a Roman cross in Jerusalem. For his sake, God forgives us all our sins. Therefore, as a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

M: If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
C: and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 Jn 1:7)

M: You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Pet 2:9)

Sing: Lift up the voice and strike the string, Let all glad sounds of music ring
In God’s high praises blended.
Christ will be with me all the way, Today, tomorrow, ev’ry day
Till trav’ling days are ended.
Sing out, Ring out Triumph glorious, O victorious Chosen nation;
Praise the God of your salvation.


— 
An Alternate Version Using a Contemporary Song —

A CONFESSION OF SINS – “DARKNESS AND LIGHT”

PROCESSIONAL HYMN: CWS 771 — “I Want to Walk as a Child of Light”
As the hymn is introduced, please stand and face the processional cross in the back of the church, and turn to the front as the cross passes you.

Sing: I want to walk as a child of light.
I want to follow Jesus
God set the stars to give light to the world.
The star of my life is Jesus.
In him there is no darkness at all.
The night and the day are both a-like.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

Note: The singing stops here.  The music continues in the background as we begin to alternate between responsive readings and singing of the remaining hymn verses.

Minister: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Congregation: To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father– to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (Rev 1:4-6)

M: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; (Is 9:2)
C: on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

M: See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
C: but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. (Is 60:2)

M: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.
C: We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:5,14)

Sing: I want to see the brightness of God.
I want to look at Jesus.
Clear sun of righteousness shine on my path,
And show me the way to the Father.
In him there is no darkness at all.
The night and the day are both a-like.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

M: For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given. (Is 9:6)
C: In him was life, and the life was the light of man. (Jn 1:4)

M: God of Glory, you sent Jesus among us as the light to the world, to reveal your love for all people. But wherever there is light, there will also be darkness.
C: We confess that we are sinful creatures who, either through foolishness or willful disobedience, often choose to dwell in the darkness instead of live in your light. We beg for forgiveness for starving ourselves of your Son’s life-giving light. We repent of our entrenched evil that hates the light and tries to dispose of it. We admit our apathy towards sanctification and renewal that cause us to continue to live in the night. Trusting your grace, we earnestly pray: “Create in us a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us.” Through Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen. (Ps 51:10)

Sing: I’m looking for the coming of Christ.
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run with patience the race,
We shall know the patience of Jesus.
In him there is no darkness at all.
The night and the day are both a-like.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

M: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. (Is 60:1) The Light comes not to sear and blind us but to save us. Christ Jesus came into this world as an infant in a Bethlehem manger so that he might die as our Savior on a Roman cross in Jerusalem. For his sake, God forgives us all our sins. Therefore, as a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

M: If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
C: and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 Jn 1:7)

M: You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Pet 2:9)

Sing: I’m looking for the coming of Christ.
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run with patience the race,
We shall know the patience of Jesus.
In him there is no darkness at all.
The night and the day are both a-like.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

Contemporary Epiphany Song Choices


Here’s a listing of some great contemporary pieces to use during the season of Epiphany: 

Epiphany Music

Title / Author Sheet Music Source Comments
One Small ChildDavid Meece LAPPY Songbook #232 Good congregational song
Joy has Dawned
Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
www.gettymusic.com  Good congregational song
(mentions the wise men & their gifts)
Offering (Christmas Version)
Paul Baloche
www.leadworship.com  Band piece
(mentions the wise men)
Shine Jesus Shine
Graham Kendrick
Best of the Best Songbook #204
also LAPPY #270
Good congregational song
Christ has Come
Kirk Kirkland & Phillip Keveren
  Lk 2:8-16, Mt 2:1-11
How Suddenly a baby Cries,
– and –
All Forever ChangeKeith Getty
www.gettymusic.com  Mt 2:1-12, Lk 2:8-19 & 25-38

Most of these songs can be purchased at the following sites unless noted otherwise: 

www.worshiptogether.com
www.musicnotes.com
www.sheetmusicplus.com
www.praisecharts.com
www.lifewayworship.com

Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
Given as a ransom,
Reconciling God to man,
Christ our mighty champion!
What a savior, what a friend!
What a glorious mystery!
Once a babe inBethlehem,
Now the Lord of Histroy.
-“Joy has Dawned” by Keith Getty (last verse) 

Lyrics just don’t get much better than that!

Epiphany Worship Planning


Epiphany Worship Planning

Epiphany is one of the hardest worship services to choose contemporary music for.  The reason for this is twofold.  First, there isn’t a lot of good contemporary music for Epiphany available to choose from.  And second, your band will have very little time to rehearse due to the busyness of the Christmas / New Year’s Holiday’s.  I have learned through the years to find one or two good Epiphany songs and reuse them year after year.  The two that I like are “Offering” by Paul Baloche and “Joy has Dawned” by Keith Getty.

We supplement these songs with other familiar songs that are suited to the Epiphany theme; this year we are using “Light One Candle” by Natalie Sleeth (BOB #145) and “Shine Jesus Shine” by Graham Kendrick (BOB #204).  I am also hoping that our keyboard player can solo “Winter Snow” by Audrey Assad & Chris Tomlin as pre service music.

You can hear “Offering” here:

You can learn to play it here:

You can hear “Joy has Dawned” and read the lyrics here (click on the song title “Joy has Dawned Upon the World”):

http://gettymusic.com/hymns.aspx?title=joy has dawned

“Winter Snow” uses a lot of metaphors to describe how Jesus came into the world.  You can see it performed here:

A Christmas Offering


A Christmas Offering

Every year, around this time, I always try to fit in the song “Offering” by Paul Baloche in a worship service.  It works well during the Offering for the Advent, Christmas or Epiphany seasons.  Paul is very generous with free resources at his website, but you should report usage to CCLI if you have a license.

Here’s a wealth of resources on this song:

Listen to an MP3 here:

http://www.leadworship.com/media/offering_christmas.mp3

 

Leadsheet here:

http://www.leadworship.com/resources/pdf/leadsheets/ChristmasOffering_LS.pdf

 

Piano music here:

http://www.leadworship.com/resources/pdf/Offering_PC.pdf

Video performance: