Worship for Sunday 14th February 2021, by Deacon Pru Cahill

Transfiguration by James B. Janknegt

Jesus takes three close disciples, Peter, James and John, and leads them up a mountain. At the summit Jesus is changed, transfigured and, as at his baptism, a voice declares This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!

Although dispersed today, Christ’s glory shines on us, too, for we are his beloved children.  

A Prayer of Approach

Almighty and all-loving God,

through the fire of your spirit

you have drawn the hearts of men and women

to share in the mystery of your being;


by the power of the same Spirit

infuse our lives with your presence,

that, as your beloved son was transfigured,

we too may be transformed,

and our lives become a flame of self-giving love.


StF 56 King of Glory, King of Peace

King of Glory, King of Peace,

I will love thee;

and that love may never cease,

I will move Thee.

Thou hast granted my request,

thou hast heard me;

thou didst note my working breast,

thou hast spared me.


Wherefore with my utmost art

I will sing Thee,

and the cream of all my heart

I will bring Thee.

Though my sins against me cried,

thou didst clear me;

and alone, when they replied,

thou didst hear me.


Seven whole days, not one in seven,

I will praise Thee;

in my heart, though not in heaven,

I can raise Thee.

Small it is, in this poor sort

to enrol thee:

e’en eternity’s too short

to extol thee.         George Herbert (1593-1633)


Prayer of Thanksgiving

God, who is hidden in the wild variety of earth’s creation,
who is hidden in the force of nature,
the power of sun and wind,
show us the brightness of your face.

God, who is hidden in the secret darkness of our hearts and minds,
who is hidden in the stranger we fear to call our friend,
the neighbour who is kind without reward,
show us the brightness of your face.

God, who is hidden in the stories of our faith,
who speaks through Abraham, Isaac, Moses,
the prophets of long distant times,
show us the brightness of your face.

God, who is hidden in the man from Galilee,
who works with his hands to heal and endure,
the teacher, miracle maker, helper and friend,
you show us the brightness of your face.

We see your brightness. We see your glory.
We wonder at the signs of your presence, sometimes so clear,
sometimes just glimpsed as we turn our head.

Suddenly you are there, transforming the day,
renewing the world, making sense of what confuses and beguiles us.

Lift the veil that we may see you,
and seeing be touched by the glory of God, the brightness of your love,
the warmth of your presence, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Psalm 50:1-6

 The mighty one, God the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.

Our God comes and does not keep silence,
    before him is a devouring fire,
    and a mighty tempest all around him.
He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge.

Mark 9: 2-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 

StF 15 The Splendour of the King

The splendour of the King,
clothed in majesty;
let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice.
He wraps himself in light
and darkness tries to hide,
and trembles at his voice, and trembles at his voice.

How great is our God,
sing with me: how great is our God.
And all will see how great, how great is our God.

And age to age He stands,
and time is in His hands;
beginning and the end, beginning and the end.
The Godhead, Three in One,
Father, Spirit, Son,
the Lion and the Lamb, the Lion and the Lamb, 

How great is our God,
sing with me: how great is our God.
And all will see how great, how great is our God.

Name above all names, worthy of all praise;
my heart will sing: how great is our God.
How great is our God.

Name above all names, worthy of all praise;
my heart will sing: how great is our God.

How great is our God,
sing with me: how great is our God.
And all will see how great, how great is our God. 

Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves



We often talk about mountains to climb or uphill tasks as difficult events or challenges but in the time of Jesus they were viewed as important and holy places.

There are twenty-seven different mountains mentioned in the Bible. Many important events in scripture occurred on mountains. Jesus regularly went up a hill or mountain to pray. Sometimes he went on his own and sometimes he took some of the disciples.   

I wonder whether you’ve ever climbed a high mountain. I visited Snowdonia last summer and for a few seconds one afternoon in August stood higher than anyone else in England and Wales! It was a very bright day and from the top of the mountain I had a good view of other mountains in the area, of the path I’d taken to get to the top, and the trains of the mountain railway.

From the top of a mountain all sorts of things look different and gain a different perspective. A pathway which was extremely difficult to climb looks more straightforward when you look back and see it from a different perspective.  

When the three disciples go up the mountain with Jesus, they begin to see things differently. They see Jesus with Moses and Elijah and begin to understand that Jesus is someone very special.

This encounter is called the transfiguration, a word which means to transform so as to glorify. Not only is the appearance of Jesus transformed, but the outlook of the disciples is changed too. It was widely believed that when the messiah came he would be accompanied by Moses and Elijah and here they are!

They realise that this really is Jesus, the Son of God, and they hear God’s voice confirming that. They hear the same words as those spoken at Jesus baptism, “This is my Son, the Beloved.”

The lives of the disciples begin to be transformed too. They leave their homes, jobs and families to follow Jesus. For us too, our lives are transformed when we follow Jesus and live according to his teaching.

Who would have thought that from Mount Ararat God would tell an elderly Noah to start again, or Moses on Mount Sinai to give the people a set of rules or on Mount Nebo a new land for his chosen people. The euphoria of the meeting with God had to be translated into action – sometimes difficult action – on return from the mountain-top.

The message of the transfiguration means that through Jesus we can come to God the Father. Through a relationship with Jesus we are thoroughly transformed and by listening to him and obeying there is no limit in what can be achieved for his kingdom.

We know that we don’t have to go to the top of a mountain or be under a cloud to listen to what God wants us to do next but we do need to ask him to show us what to do. When we ask God to show us what he wants us to do he will show us.

View from Slieve Donard, County Down

MP 249 Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

look full in His wonderful face

and the things of earth will grow strangely dim

in the light of His glory and grace


Prayer of Intercession

The heavens and the earth witness to the transforming power of God.

We bring into God’s presence those places and situations that we long to see changed, transformed for the glory of God.

We pray for countries torn apart by war,
for refugees looking for safety,
for those imprisoned for their faith,
and for those who will go hungry today…

We pray for our nation,
for those with political power,
for those who lead our financial institutions,
and for those who lead by popular acclaim…

We pray for the poor in our community,
for those who are unemployed or furloughed,

for the very young and the very old,
and for those who are alone…

We pray for those who offer care,
for doctors, nurses and support staff,
for those working in social services,
in prisons, and in schools…

We pray for those who have asked for our prayers,
for those who are ill or in need,
for those who we miss at this time
and for those who are lost…

We pray for ourselves,
for our own journey of discipleship,
for courage, strength and wisdom,

in all we do or say.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom

The power, and the glory

For ever and ever. Amen.

StF 158 Lord, You Sometimes Speak in Wonders

Lord, you sometimes speak in wonders
unmistakable and clear;
mighty signs to prove your presence,
overcoming doubt and fear

Lord, you sometimes speak in silence,
through our loud and noisy day:
we can know and trust you better
when we quietly wait and pray.

Lord, you love to speak in Scripture:
words that summon from the page,
shown and taught us by your Spirit
with fresh light for every age.

Lord, you always speak in Jesus,
always new yet still the same;
teach us now more of our Saviour;
make our lives display his Name.

Christopher Idle (b1938)


Go into this week radiant with the holiness of God
transfigured by the glory of Jesus Christ
glowing with the exuberance of the Holy Spirit.

And the blessing of God Almighty.
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with and remain with us always. Amen. 

(prayers adapted from rootsontheweb.com)

TransfigurationDuccio di Buoninsegna