ST. MAXENTIUS WORSHIP AT HOME – Epiphany Sunday 8th January 2023


Good morning everyone and today we are celebrating the Epiphany, to many countries this is their Christmas Day when they celebrate with present giving as the wise men did, but for us it is time to change the shepherds in the crib and put in the wise men.

As all our services return to normal after the Christmas celebrations, our Tuesday reflective service is at 10.30 and the Wednesday worship returns this week at 6pm, Arthur Greaves has provided us with the intercessions and Rev Peter with the reflection. Thank you to them.

Jan B.


We meet to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world. The word made flesh , and dwelt among us.

And we beheld his glory.


Father of all, we have sinned against heaven and against you. We are not worthyto be called your children. We turn back to you again. Have mercy on us, bring us back to yourself as those who were dead but now have life, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

May the God of love bring us back to himself, forgive us our sins, and assure us of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us. You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


O God who by the leading of a star manifested your only Son to the peoples on earth: mercifully grant that we who know you now by faith, may at last behold your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


ISAIAH 60. 1-6

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Glory to you O Lord.

MATTHEW 2. 1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.


“wise men” / Magi people whose job, among other things, was to search the stars for signs, that might indicate a shift in history. And some sort of star has arisen which – for them – points to a new King in Israel. Quite what this star was is much disputed, but the Magi come to Herod who quite understandably is frightened. He is not aware of a new King and has no desire for one! Bethlehem is the city of David, so this will be a king from the stock of David (and Herod is not descended from David).

The Magi seem rather naïve, given their knowledge of politics and Herod nearly dupes them. They are naïve too at another level maybe. They have travelled far with baggage camels and all, maybe a 1000 miles from modern-day Iraq or Iran; they have brought gifts of great value, but there is nothing (other than the star above) to suggest that this baby is a king. Very ordinary circumstances, yet they do two remarkable things – they leave these gifts and they pay the child homage – that is they offer themselves as his people.

Isaiah speaks of a time when the kings will bring tribute to a restored Zion (ch 60), a time when nations shall come to the light and from all over peoples will bring tribute and gifts, not least gold and frankincense (v6).This changes our understanding of what the Magi represent- they are not just religious seekers from afar but they are the first signs of the nations bringing their tribute to the true King. In this little house in Bethlehem representatives of the nations bring gold and frankincense. But Matthew says they also bring myrrh, which is no mentioned in Isaiah 60, but which is for the care of a dead body. This is a further element in the story, another layer to make sense of.

2000 years later people from across all nations find faith in Jesus, Christians can be naïve in their attitudes to politics – and in the very ordinary of the world today, do we bring our tribute and leave it for God, trusting that in God’s time the Kingdom will be seen in all its glory.

In our worship and homage do we offer gold for Kingship, incense to the one who is our High Priest but do we also acknowledge the cost of our salvation. Does an encounter with God lead to us going on by a different road, or are we set in our ways?

Rev Peter


I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father; he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Here we pray for the church, for the world, those in need and those who have died, you can follow your own prayers or these below on today’s theme.

Let us pray in the glorious light of Christ, who leads his people in all worship and adoration – let us pray.

At this time of Epiphany let us lift up our eyes to behold the star of Christ, shining brightly in the darkness of the world. Let us follow the inspirations  that God gives us to lead us to Christ in our daily pilgrimage. Let us offer ourselves and our gifts to the Christ child, like the three wise men. Accept, King of Kings, the gold of our obedience, the frankincense of our prayers and the myrrh of our sufferings.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Lord we face the unknown and a difficult and painful time for the world. Let the star of your justice always shine in our hearts, that we  may give, as a treasure, all that we are in your service. Trusting in your word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path,

we go out into the darkness, with a faith that is better than a light and safer than a known way, we may put our hands into yours.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus who became a refugee from the oppression of Herod be with all those who have to flee their native countries due to forces outside their control. We pray for all organisations who go to their aid and for all those that step up to the plate and give them shelter.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We pray for our country with its cultural diversity and for our new King and all in authority that they may govern wisely with regards to the needs of all the people. We pray for our bishops , for Peter our team rector and for Jan and Jo who assist at our services.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Lord we pray for those who have lost their way and been side tracked – all who are living below their potential and abilities, all who are restricted by illness and we remember those who are hospitalised and those in constant pain. In a moment of silence let us bring before God those we know and those in this parish who are sick or ill – particularly Evelyn Cooper and Harold Bowers.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are coming to the end of their journey here on earth and pray that they may come into your presence and kingdom. We pray for all those who have come before your face and now rejoice In the fullness of light eternal, remembering Ann Hall and from our book of remembrance Andrew E Ketchen, Alexander Patrick, Margaret Louise Dorothy Carmyllie, Phyllis Greeenhalgh and Jessie Simpson.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Shine brightly star of God and guide our wandering world to where the Prince of Peace is born. So we will offer to our God, now seen and touched in straw-filled bed, the best gifts in the world: our joy, our grief and our life. Rejoicing in the fellowship of the Holy Family, St Maxentius and all your saints we commend ourselves and the whole of your creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. 


 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in Heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

May the peace of God which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among us and remain with us always. Amen.

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