Epiphany -- Service Prayers -- 3rd Sunday

Holy Gifts for a Holy Day
Service Prayers for the Third Sunday after Epiphany


Call to Worship

This Call to Worship is written for adults and children – however the church establishes that distinction – but, if preferable, all “adult” and “children” parts may be read by the whole congregation.


Leader:             This day is holy to our Wise God!


Adults:            We gather to listen for God’s word,

                        to discern God’s will,  to worship with God’s people.


Leader:             This day is holy to our Joyful God!


Children:        We are members of Christ’s body,

                        Christ’s family, Christ’s church.


Leader:             This day is holy to our Powerful God!


Adults:            The Spirit of God is upon us,

                        and we have been anointed to bring good news to all.


Leader:             This day is holy to our Sweet God!


Children:        May the words in our mouths and the thoughts in our hearts

                      delight you, O God.


All:                  Let us worship our Holy God!


Prayer of Invocation


            You gather us from our separate lives, Great God,

            to hear your word and respond to your revealing.  

            You have appointed us for the work of your church. 

            We seek your guidance, your wisdom, your way.  

            Help us to perceive and understand your law,

            and then to follow you faithfully, as your people. 

            Bind us together with you in worship,

            and transform us from distinct persons

            into the Body of Christ,

            alive with your Spirit in this place.


Prayer of Confession


            We confess to you, Gracious God,

            that too often we look on your law as a burden, not a gift;

            an inconvenience, not a blessing. 

            Rather than seeing your love revealed,

            we feel our own guilt magnified. 

            Instead of rejoicing in your good news,

            we focus on our own shortcomings. 

            Turn us around, Redeemer,

            and do not let our fears have dominion over us. 

            Enlighten us, so that our words and deeds may be acceptable to you. 



Assurance of God’s Love


            In spite of our individual inadequacies,

            God has called us together to be Christ’s Body,

            and each one of us is indispensable. 

            God re-members us, giving each of us distinct gifts,

            equipping each of us to provide guidance and accountability for one another,

            that we all may become more faithful followers of Christ. 

            We are all greater as one Body than any single member

            of us could be on our own. 


Invitation to Sharing


            We all can – and must! – contribute in some way to the Body of Christ

            and the work of Christ’s church. 

            Paul reminds us that we “are the Body of Christ and

            individually members of it.” 

            We are asked to share this Body with God’s world. 

            Each part has something to contribute to the whole. 

            Let us be faithful to God and to this Body as we share what

            we can this morning.


Prayer of Dedication


            Bless, O Lord, these gifts and offerings,

            that they may be a sign of our intent to serve you. 

            Use them and us to bring good news to the poor,

            proclaim release to the captives,

            and bring wholeness and healing to all who are hurting

            and oppressed. 

            If one of your people suffers, we all suffer;

            but if one of your people is honored, we all rejoice together,

            in your name.  Amen.




            Go your way, united as one Body

            and rejoicing in the fulfillment of God’s word among you.  

            We do not all have the same gifts,

            but we are blessed to be able to share what we have

            with one another and with all creation. 

            May the joy of the Lord be your strength this day, and every day.   

           Amen and Amen.






Holy Gifts for a Holy Day was written by Rev. Mary Nelson Abbott, Pastor of Malletts Bay Congregational Church UCC, Colchester, VT, and Treasurer of the UCC 2030 Clergy Network.

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