O Swallow Small

Holy One, open our lips:

and we shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to God, Source of all being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*

as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.  Amen.


O Come, O Come, thou swallow small,

responding to your infants’ call,

fly far and wide across the earth,

and end with hope our winter’s dearth.

Rejoice! Rejoice! A tiny bird

shall show a truth that seems absurd.


From Psalm 131, In Te, Domine, Speravi

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; let me never be |put to shame; *

deliver me |in your righteousness. 

Incline your |ear to me; * make haste to de-|liver me.

Be my strong rock, a castle to |keep me safe, *

for you are my crag |and my stronghold; 

for the sake |of your name, *

lead |me and guide me.

Take me out of the net that they have secretly |set for me, *

for you are my tow-|er of strength. 

Into your hands I com-|mend my spirit, * 

for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O |God of truth. 

I will rejoice and be glad because |of your mercy; *

for you have seen my affliction; you know |my distress. 

You have not shut me up in the power |of the enemy; *

you have set my feet in an |open place.

Love the Lord, all you who |worship God; *

the Lord protects the faithful,

but repays to the full those |who act haughtily. 

Be strong and let your |heart take courage, *

all you who wait |for the Lord.

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;*

as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.


Reading – Matthew 22.1-14

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.” But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them.

The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’



There is a longing, deep within us,

to be with you, O God.

We are expectant

of your coming to walk the earth.


Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,*

for he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,*

born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old* 

that he would save us from our enemies,

from the hands of all that hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our forebears,*

and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:* 

to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

free to worship him without fear,*

holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You my child shall be called the prophet of the Most High,*

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

to give his people knowledge of salvation*

by the forgiveness of all their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God*

the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,*
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;*

as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.


Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

On this day, lift into the blessing of God’s compassionate gaze:

those who live in the lands of Israel/Palestine

all who have the care of infants;

all who feel small or insignificant. 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. 

Do not bring us to the time of trial, but deliver us from evil. 

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, 

now and for ever. Amen.


Gracious God,

as we await the great entering of your love

in human form outpoured,

we ask you to gestate in us
those desires that you will for us,

that we may greet you fearlessly and joyfully

on the day of your coming. Amen.


As we go from this place,

help us to remember that we are cradled in your loving hand,

developing alongside our brother, Jesus

and gifted with life by your Holy breath. Amen.

A priest and poet in the Scottish Episcopal Church, exploring the workings of the Holy Spirit in Banchory .