O Child of Years

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 child of years,

with laughter to allay our fears,

around the cosmos dancing light

to give the demons such a fright.

Rejoice! Rejoice! A girl, a boy,

shall leap into our hearts with joy.


From Psalm 19, Cæli Enarrant

The heavens declare the glo-|ry of God, *

and the firmament shows the handiwork |of the Lord.

One day tells its tale |to another, *

and one night imparts knowledge |to another.

Although they have no |words or language, *

and their voices |are not heard,

their sound has gone out in-|to all lands, * 

and their message to the ends |of the world.

In the deep has God set a pavilion |for the sun; *

it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;

it rejoices like a champion to |run its course.

It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens

and runs about to the end of |it again; *

nothing is hidden from its |burning heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect and re-|vives the soul; *

the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom |to the innocent.

The statutes of the Lord are just and re-|joice the heart; *

the commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light |to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean and en-|dures for ever; *

the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous |altogether.

More to be desired are |they than gold, *

more than much fine gold, sweeter |far than honey,

than honey |in the comb.

By them also is your ser-|vant enlightened, *

and in keeping them there is |great reward. 

Who can tell how often |they offend? *

Cleanse me from my |secret faults.

Above all, keep your servant from presump-|tuous sins; *

then shall I be |innocent of a great offense.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart

be acceptable |in your sight; *

O Lord, my strength and |my redeemer.

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.


Reading – Zechariah 2.1-13

I looked up and saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then I asked, ‘Where are you going?’ He answered me, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.’ Then the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him, and said to him, ‘Run, say to that young man: Jerusalem shall be inhabited like villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and animals in it. For I will be a wall of fire all round it, says the Lord, and I will be the glory within it.’

Up, up! Flee from the land of the north, says the Lord; for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven, says the Lord. Up! Escape to Zion, you that live with daughter Babylon. For thus said the Lord of hosts (after his glory sent me) regarding the nations that plundered you: Truly, one who touches you touches the apple of my eye. See now, I am going to raise my hand against them, and they shall become plunder for their own slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For lo, I will come and dwell in your midst, says the Lord. Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.

Be silent, all people, before the Lord; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.



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, we lift into the blessing of God’s compassionate gaze:

the peoples the Near and Middle East;

all engaged in improving our relationship with the climate;

all who are quietly bringing new things to birth. 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 wait in these silent days,

place in our hands the lamps of truth and love and courage,

that we may strive with those powers that rise in the darkness

until the desires of all our hearts are fulfilled in the Presence of Jesus. 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 .