Family Worship: Home Edition #35

by: 
Fr. Matt Welsch

Family worship at St. Paul's Chapel

Each week, we’re offering a simple family-style service for you and your family to follow together at home. We hope these resources will help you find time to worship together at whatever time and in whatever way feels most comfortable and authentic for you.

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GATHER
 

Gather all the members of your household who plan to participate in one place. Get comfortable! Maybe sit on the floor or on cushions. Maybe sit in a circle. Take a moment to pause and breathe together.

Invite a member of the household to lead the gathering prayer. Read line by line, with the rest of the household repeating back to them.

Repeat after me.

Dear God,
Thank you SO much
For bringing us to this time and place.
Please be with us
As we listen, pray, and learn.
And help us remember that,
No matter what,
You will always love us.
Amen.

 

READING
 

This week, we’re invited to read the Gospel lesson twice. Choose a member of your family to read the passage out loud to the group. It could be the same person each time or you can take turns! After reading the lesson, ask yourself the following questions:

After the first time: What words or phrases jumped out to you?
After the second time: What do you think God is saying to us in this reading today?

The reading is Matthew 2:1–12, read by YOU!

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.

 


REFLECTION
 

Watch this reflection from Fr. Matt.

 
 

PRAYERS
 

Take a moment to pause. Invite a member of the household to be the prayer leader to lead these or similar prayers:

Let’s pray together silently or out loud. First, let’s say thank you to God for the good things in our lives. Are there specific things you’d like to say thank you for? (Give time for others to share out loud or silently.) For all these things, let’s say together: Thank you so much, Lord!

Thank you so much, Lord!

Now, let’s pray for the people or animals who are sick or need help. We also pray for the things that worry us. Are there specific people, animals, or worries you’d like to pray for? (Give time for others to share out loud or silently.) Let us say: Please God, help us!

Please God, help us!

Repeat after me:

Dear God,
Thank you for this time together
Stay with us
This week and always. 
Help us to be like Jesus. 
Amen.

 

ACTIVITY
 

Chalking the Door

On or near January 6, gather around the door to your home as a household. Bring your Epiphany chalk from your Advent at Home kit — or any other chalk will do! 

Invite a member of your household to read the following prayer:  

Loving God, bless our household. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, and hope. Help us to remember that you are with us always. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Use the chalk to make the inscription on the doorframe above the door: 20 + C + M + B + 21. Take turns writing the letters, numbers, and crosses!

The three Wise Men, [C] Caspar, [M] Melchior, [B] and Balthasar followed the star to Bethlehem and the child Jesus [20] two thousand, [20] and twenty years ago. [+ +] May Christ bless our home [+ +], and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.

Conclude with 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.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

 

Printable Activity Pages