Collect and Readings for 31 December 2017

COLLECT OF THE DAY
Almighty God,
who wonderfully created us in your own image
and yet more wonderfully restored us
through your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as he came to share in our humanity,
so we may share the life of his divinity;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

THE FIRST READING: 
Isaiah 61. 10 – 62.3 
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

PSALM 148. 7–12

The choir sings the response:

O praise the name of the Lord.

All repeat the response:

Psalm148311217

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and mist,
tempestuous wind, fulfilling his word;

All   O praise the name of the Lord.

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,
creeping things and birds on the wing;

All   O praise the name of the Lord.

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and women, old and young together;
let them praise the name of the Lord.

All    O praise the name of the Lord.

THE SECOND READING:
Galatians 4. 4 - 7
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

THE GOSPEL READING:
Luke 2. 15 – 21
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

POST COMMUNION COLLECT
Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son shared at Nazareth
the life of an earthly home:
help your Church to live as one family,
united in love and obedience,
and bring us all at last to our home in heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.