Readings for the First Sunday after Christmas

Old Testament reading – Isaiah 61.10-62.3

A reading from the book of Isaiah

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

Alleluia! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his; praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord; for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever; he gave them a law which shall not pass
Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog, tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens, old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name only is exalted, his splendour is over
earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people and praise for all his loyal servants,
St Paul’s Bakery Hill – Readings for the First Sunday after


New Testament reading – Galatians 4.4-7

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians.

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.

Gospel – Luke 2.22–40

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph
brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the
Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’),and they offered a
sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two
young pigeons.’ Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was
righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested
on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he
had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when
the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law,
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your
servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you
have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for
glory to your people Israel.’ And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was
being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is
destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed –
and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of
Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven
years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple
but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and
began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption
of Jerusalem. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they
returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled
with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

Readings for next Sunday – Genesis 1.1-5, Psalm 29, Acts 19.1-7, Mark 1.4-11