Preface of the Epiphany

The Collect

O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

2 Samuel 7:4,8-16

The word of the Lord came to Nathan:

Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. But I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

The Response

Psalm 89:1-29 or 89:1-4, 26-29

Misericordias Domini

1 Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing; *
from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.

2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; *
you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.

3 "I have made a covenant with my chosen one; *
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:

4 'I will establish your line for ever, *
and preserve your throne for all generations.'"

[5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O Lord, *
and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;

6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?*
who is like the Lord among the gods?

7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, *
great and terrible to all those round about him.

8 Who is like you, Lord God of hosts? *
O mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you.

9 You rule the raging of the sea *
and still the surging of its waves.

10 You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; *
you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

11 Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; *
you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.

12 You have made the north and the south; *
Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.

13 You have a mighty arm; *
strong is your hand and high is your right hand.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; *
love and truth go before your face.

15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout! *
they walk, O Lord, in the light of your presence.

16 They rejoice daily in your Name; *
they are jubilant in your righteousness.

17 For you are the glory of their strength, *
and by your favor our might is exalted.

18 Truly, the Lord is our ruler; *
the Holy One of Israel is our King.

19 You spoke once in a vision and said to your faithful people: *
"I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.

20 I have found David my servant; *
with my holy oil have I anointed him.

21 My hand will hold him fast *
and my arm will make him strong.

22 No enemy shall deceive him, *
nor any wicked man bring him down.

23 I will crush his foes before him *
and strike down those who hate him.

24 My faithfulness and love shall be with him, *
and he shall be victorious through my Name.

25 I shall make his dominion extend *
from the Great Sea to the River.]

26 He will say to me, 'You are my Father, *
my God, and the rock of my salvation.'

27 I will make him my firstborn *
and higher than the kings of the earth.

28 I will keep my love for him for ever, *
and my covenant will stand firm for him.

29 I will establish his line for ever *
and his throne as the days of heaven."

The Epistle

Romans 4:13-18

The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations") -- in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become "the father of many nations," according to what was said, "So numerous shall your descendants be."

The Gospel

Luke 2:41-52

Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day's journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety." He said to them, "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

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