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Preface of Epiphany

The Collect

God of all times and seasons: Give us grace that we, after the example of your servant Hildegard, may both know and make known the joy and jubilation of being part of your creation, and show forth your glory not only with our lips but in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 43:1–2,6–7, 9–12,27–28

The pride of the higher realms is the clear vault of the sky,
as glorious to behold as the sight of the heavens.

The sun, when it appears, proclaims as it rises
what a marvellous instrument it is, the work of the Most High.


It is the moon that marks the changing seasons,
governing the times, their everlasting sign.

From the moon comes the sign for festal days,
a light that wanes when it completes its course.


The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven,
a glittering array in the heights of the Lord.

On the orders of the Holy One they stand in their appointed places;
they never relax in their watches.

Look at the rainbow, and praise him who made it;
it is exceedingly beautiful in its brightness.

It encircles the sky with its glorious arc;
the hands of the Most High have stretched it out.


We could say more but could never say enough;
let the final word be: “He is the all.”

Where can we find the strength to praise him?
For he is greater than all his works.

The Response

Psalm 104:25–34

Benedic, anima mea

25 O Lord, how manifold are your works! *
in wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

26 Yonder is the great and wide sea
with its living things too many to number, *
creatures both small and great.

27 There move the ships,
and there is that Leviathan, *
which you have made for the sport of it.

28 All of them look to you *
to give them their food in due season.

29 You give it to them; they gather it; *
you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

30 You hide your face, and they are terrified; *
you take away their breath,
and they die and return to their dust.

31 You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; *
and so you renew the face of the earth.

32 May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; *
may the Lord rejoice in all his works.

33 He looks at the earth and it trembles; *
he touches the mountains and they smoke.

34 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; *
I will praise my God while I have my being.

The Epistle

Colossians 3:14–17

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Gospel

John 3:16–21

Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

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