Monday, January 9, 2012

Baptism of the Lord Feast

Almighty, ever-living God,
  when Christ was baptized in the river Jordan
  the Holy Spirit came upon him
  and your voice proclaimed from heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son.’
Grant that we,
  who by water and the Holy Spirit are your adopted children,
  may continue steadfast in your love.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.      (Church Prayer: Universalis)

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error
The only hope, or else despair
       Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre--
       To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
      We only live, only suspire
      Consumed by either fire or fire.


                 T.S. Eliot, from “Four Quartets”

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