Special -- Epiphany A, B, C

Arise! People of God, Shine!
Service Prayers for the Festival of Epiphany
January 6



Isaiah 60:1-6Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 • Ephesians 3:1-12Matthew 2:1-12

Themes: Adoration; Giving

For Your Reflection

Do not lose by saving, but gather in by scattering. Give to the poor, and you give to yourself. You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give others.

Saint Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 43

Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.

Barbara Bush, former presidential first lady

As long as we want to get something from God in some kind of exchange, we are like the merchants. If you want to be rid of the commercial spirit, then by all means do all you can in the way of good works, but do so solely for the praise of God. Live as if you did not exist. Expect and ask nothing in return. Then the merchant inside you will be driven out of the temple God has made. Then God alone dwells there.

from Meister Eckhart: A Modern Translation, by Raymond Bernard Blakney


Call to Worship

One:          Arise! Shine! Your light has come,

                  and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!


Women:       We have seen the star in the east, and we are following.


Men:         We have remembered God’s wonder and promise,

                  and we are worshiping.


Children: We have come not to get presents, but to give them!


One:          Lift up your eyes and look around;

                  God’s people now gather together,

                  to open our hearts and sing out our praise.


All:            The mystery of God’s wonder and grace is here:

                  Come, let us adore!


Unison Invocation

God of wonder and mystery,

today we remember how you surprise us in every age.

Into the gloom of fear and want, you bring light;

into emptiness, you bring abundance;

into the cold, you bring warmth.

Into the hardness of the world,

you bring the greatest power we have known,

in the seemingly powerless form of an infant.

Enter now, Holy One, among us and within us,

and move us to joyful adoration of your mystery and wonder.


Prayer of Confession

One:          We remember the Magi,

                  who set out with singular focus on the promise of the heavens.


All:            And we remember the ways that we have lost sight of you, God,

                  as the bright guide for our lives.


                  We remember that they stayed determined on their journey,

                  not even swayed by Herod’s power and promises.


And we remember that often we have started out well,

but strayed from your path, detoured by our fleeting fears and desires.


                  We remember the wise ones who adored the child:

                  wisdom and wealth falling to their knees before a poor infant.


And we remember that too often we have given our adoration

to wealth or wisdom, not seeing the Christ in our midst.


Words of Assurance

One:          To each of us who knows that

                  we have lost sight of the promise,

                  or lost the way of our God,

                  or lost hope,

                  God has a promise: “I am with you.”

                  God gives a holy presence, and forgiveness,

                  and new hope, in the Christ.


All:           Thanks be to God!  Amen. 

Offertory Invitation

One:          From the prophet Isaiah, the wealth of the nations;

                  from Paul the Apostle, the joyous news of mysterious grace;

                  from the sages from the East, an homage of rich treasure:

                  one after another,

                  we hear grateful praise for the God who makes a home with humanity.

                  We respond, as well: bringing our own treasure; singing our own joy;

                  offering our own wonder.

                  Let us give, richly and boldly.

                  Let us gather our gifts together and offer them to God in gratitude and praise.


Epiphany Doxology

Praise God the source of life and breath;
Praise Christ, now born to conquer death;
Praise Holy Spirit’s mystery:
One God, pure grace, who sets us free. Amen. (Tune: Old Hundreth)


What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise one, I would bring my heart.
Yet what I can I give him, give my heart. (Tune: Cranham)


Unison Prayer of Dedication

God of every good gift, here we present our offerings.

There is money here, fulfilling our pledges

to support the ministries we do in your name.

There are gifts that we give in response to your Spirit,

which we remember in joyful song and holy story, in prayer and silence.

And there are other gifts, not physically on this table

but held in the altar of our hearts.

God, we offer them all to you.

We ask your blessing on all that we give,

so that your loving care reaches into us and out to all the world,

ever more deeply and gracefully.

We ask it in Jesus’ name;                     Amen.



One:                Arise, people of God! Shine!

                        The light of our Christ is in you and among you,

                        guiding you and blessing you, now and always:  Amen.

Arise! People of God, Shine! Service Prayers for the Festival of Epiphany, was written by  John A. Nelson, Pastor and Teacher of Niantic Community Church,  Niantic, Connecticut.

Copyright 2010 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 


Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115