Sunday 24th January: Third Sunday of Epiphany

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Service written out

Welcome & Greeting

Welcome in the name of Christ.
God’s grace, mercy and peace be with us all. Amen

Hymn – Tell out my soul

Prayer of Preparation

Lord, direct our thoughts,
and teach us to pray.
Lift up our hearts to worship you in spirit and in truth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect for Third Sunday of Epiphany

Almighty God,
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
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.


We confess to you our selfishness and lack
of love:
fill us with your spirit
Lord have mercy & fit us for your Kingdom.

We confess to you our fear and failure in
sharing our faith:
fill us with your spirit
Lord have mercy & fit us for your Kingdom.

We confess to you our weakness and
lack of trust:
fill us with your spirit
Lord have mercy & fit us for your Kingdom.


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.

Hymn – Jesus’ love is very wonderful

Gospel reading: John 2 1-11 The Wedding at Cana (International Children’s version)

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


I love a wedding. Such a celebration, especially if I’ve been invited to share in the occasion. How exciting! Which hat should I wear? What outfit will I put on? How can I transform myself into a wedding guest?

When we go into school to tell “Open the Book” Bible stories to the children , we often transform ourselves and the children, into different characters by wearing different clothes. At the Wedding at Cana, Jesus transformed water into something special, and so let me tell you all about “The Wedding Feast”.

It was a wonderful day- a wedding day. And all the village of Cana had been invited to the wedding feast- a huge party that was going to last all week. Everyone had come to celebrate with the bride and the groom and their families- everyone had come to dance and sing songs, to eat and drink to their hearts content.

Jesus and his mother, Mary, were among the guests- and they joined in with the laughing and the dancing, the singing and the feasting. And everyone was happy as the party went on and on.

Well, almost everyone. The bridegrooms father was sitting in a corner, with his head in his hands, talking to himself “What am I going to do? What am I going to do? What am I going to do?”

Jesus’ mother noticed him and walked over to where he sat. “What’s the matter?” she asked. The worried man replied “Look and see. Everyone is enjoying themselves- my son, his beautiful bride, all our guests, the whole village. But we have run out of wine and I don’t know what to do. There’s no more, its all been drunk, all that is left is in the jugs on the tables, and when that runs out, the party will stop. And its all my fault. Everyone will know how poor we are. Everyone will know we couldn’t afford to buy more wine and hold such a big party. My son, his bride, our family, we will be so embarrassed”.

“Try not to worry” said Mary “I’ll see what I can do”. She walked back and sat down next to Jesus. “Son”, she whispered “ nudging him in the ribs “they’ve run out of wine”. “Dear mother” he said “I don’t think that’s anything to with me. My time hasn’t come yet”. Mary gave him a look and smiled. Then she turned to the waiting servants. “Do whatever he tells you” she said. Jesus stood up and said to them, “You see those jars over there?” The servants looked and saw six large stone jars which were normally used to hold water for washing. “Fill those with water.” Jesus told them. So they filled them with water, right up to the brim. Lots of water- about 700 litres! “Now”, said Jesus, “draw out some of the water from the jars and take it to the master of the feast” and he sat back down again and let them get on with it.

The servants looked at each other. Had Jesus gone mad? Why would the master of the feast want to taste water? But they remembered Marys’ words, “Do whatever he tells you”. So they did as Jesus had said. When the master of the feast tasted the water he gave a great big grin, “I’ve no idea where this has come from, but it is wonderful”, he said. “In fact, I don’t think I have tasted better wine in the whole of my life!”

The servants looked at each other. “Wine? Did he say wine?” “But we filled the jars with water” they murmured to each other.

The master of the feast was so amazed that he called the bridegrooms father over to him and said,” Listen! I know you and your family have paid for all this party, but this is unheard of. Usually people bring the best wine out first, and then, when everyone is a little bit tipsy, they produce the cheap stuff. But you have saved your best wine until now! and there are litres of it!”

The bridegrooms father looked at Mary and at Jesus and smiled a thank you smile. Thanks to Jesus, there was no way the wine would run out. The wedding party would go on. It really was a wonderful day.

Hymn – Wide, wide as the ocean

Affirmation of faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,
who took our human nature,
died for us and rose again?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world?
We believe and trust in him.
This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Offertory Prayer

Gracious God, accept our gifts
and with them our lives
to be used in your service
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Dear God our Father.
We know that you love everyone of us and you want us to be filled with joy; living life in all its fullness.
You love us to celebrate in and out of church; to be joyful and full of your love.
Let us hold our families and friends in our hearts and prayers until we can celebrate together again.

Dear God, please support in your loving arms, our church leaders and our teachers.
As we face lockdown and also the vacancy, we may feel rather rudderless.
Guide us forward, as we try to find the best and safest ways to worship and serve you. Dear God, please bless and look after our families, our friends and our neighbours.
Be with us in lockdown again, as we feel uncertain and unsettled.
May your endless love comfort all those who are anxious; who are still isolated; who are still unable to see or hug their family.
God, please show us, as the communities of the Byland Churches, the best way to share your love with those around us.

Loving God
Hear our prayer

We pray especially for Stephen, for our lay leaders and for our Churchwardens.
Be with them as they negotiate the path to finding us a new incumbent.
We pray for our teachers working hard in these difficult times to keep learning going and to keep our children safe.
May they all know your boundless love.

Loving God
Hear our prayer

Dear God, we pray for world leaders and for our own government as they face such difficulties and as we all continue to navigate this pandemic.
We give huge thanks for the scientists and all those who have worked so brilliantly to produce a vaccine and give us hope for an improvement in 2021.
We pray that nations will learn to work together better and to look outwards from themselves; to see the global picture and work for justice and for peace for all.
May they look to your example of selflessness and abundant grace.

Loving God
Hear our prayer

Dear God, we pray for all those who are unwell, particularly those suffering from COVID, and all who are suffering in any way.
We pray too for all those who care for them – who are themselves under such strain at the moment.
As so many of us are missing human love and contact with others, we pray that we will not forget that you are always there Lord; that we never need to be isolated from you and your all-embracing love.
We lift to you anyone we know who needs our prayers today, for whatever reason.
May they feel the reassurance and comfort of your love.

Loving God
Hear our prayer

Dear God, hold us and keep us safe, we pray.
Help us to take time to pray, to listen and to take your advice.
Encourage us all to work together and to use our talents to grow your kingdom here in these villages.
We pray that we will feel the strength of your love; that it will nourish and sustain us as we support each other on the path ahead.

Loving God
Hear our prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

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 for ever. Amen.

Hymn – Great is thy faithfulness

Sending Out and Blessing

We go into the world in the name of Christ,
with the love of God
and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We go, but we do not go alone.
We go together and Christ goes with us. Amen

May Jesus,
who turned water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana,
transform our lives and make glad our hearts.
And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be upon us and remain with us always.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Copyright Notices

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Common Worship, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.

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