Presentation of Christ aka Candlemas

We bring ourselves here and present ourselves to God:
the Lord whom we seek comes to his temple.
The true light that lightens all has come into the world,
In your light may we see light,

leading us from delusion to truth, and into your righteous way.
Lead us, Source of all Being, Father and Mother to us:
From darkness to light and into your gracious will.
Lead us, Christ, our Friend and our Brother;
From death to eternal life and into your infinite joy;
Lead us, Divine Spirit, empowering Life within
for we seek your enabling touch.

Based on a prayer from the Church of South India

As we hear the scriptures read, let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds, to discern the will of God -what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Rom 12:2

Psalm[s] and reading[s]. At the end of the reading[s]:

As we reflect
Holy Spirit, rest upon us.

There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used. 

Nourished in what is revealed by the Holy Spirit
May we grow and became strong in faith,
filled with wisdom;
And with the favour of God upon us

Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

    English translation of the Nunc Dimittis, Luke 2:29-32, copyright © 1988, by the English Language Liturgical Consultation. Used within terms of licence

Glory to God in the highest:
and on earth -peace and goodwill.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
…expressions of of praise and thanks …
Our God in heaven, father and mother to us, Light of the nations, Fulfilment of the desires of the ages.
Hallowed be your name

In a world needing revelation to lighten our darkness,
faithful God,
glorify your name.
Among those who await consolation and redemption,
faithful God,
glorify your name.
In the search for meaning and fullness of life,
faithful God,
glorify your name.
Among those who bring good to workers, widows, and among those who show mercy to migrants.
faithful God,
glorify your name.
…other petitions may be made, each ending with
faithful God,
glorify your name.

The company of those who seek your face, O God, shall receive a blessing from you. [Cf Ps.24]
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
Into what will sustain our life in you, lead us.
Pause to recognise our needs
As you provide for us, sustain us and equip us to serve you,
faithful God,
glorify your name.

When the shadows we have cast have hidden the light for others,
Father forgive.
We offer the light of forgiveness for the shadows others have cast on our lives.
Father forgive.
You are the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Your word is a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our paths.

Though we walk in the midst of trouble, O God;
you will preserve us.
You will stretch forth your hand against the fury of our enemies;
your right hand will save us.
Make good your purpose for us;
your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever
forsake not the work of your hands.
Make good your purpose for us.
[Ps.138:6-8]
Master, now you dismiss your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation.

Thy Kingdom Come

‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is a global prayer movement inviting Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus.  It started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England and has grown global from that beginning. During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come (30 May to 8 June in 2019). This is an adapted version of the Lord’s Prayer offices to support ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. As with the other Offices in this collection, this one starts with prayers to support reflection on scripture, followed by a pattern of prayers taking the Lord’s Prayer structure, using words suitable for blending in the main intentions of Thy Kingdom Come. There is a shorter version which may be suitable for middle-of-the-day use.

Bold-type words are to be said together in group situations. Italics mostly indicate ideas for activity at that point and generally are not said aloud. Three dots … suggest a possible pause.

Together with all in Christ, we wait
Come Holy Spirit; soak into our deepest being …
We pray together with all your people
Come Holy Spirit; breeze through our staleness…
We will hear the scriptures together
Come Holy Spirit; fire up our imaginations for good…
pause to gather thoughts …
Oversee and underwrite our hearing of the scriptures.
Change our hearts, correct our course and draw us into your counsel.
Ready us for service and steady us in wisdom,
let our dullness be Spirited away. Amen.

Psalm[s] and reading[s] are announced and read. When they have been read …
Reader: God has sent forth the word
May it not return empty.
There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used. When it is time to resume the service…
Together we say:
We will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes upon us;
the same mighty strength
that raised Christ from the dead;
the same mighty strength
that seated him at God’s right hand
in the heavenly realms;
the same mighty strength
that lifted Christ far above all rule and authority,
power and dominion,
exalted beyond every name that is called upon
in this present age and in the one to come.
And we will be Jesus’ witnesses
to the ends of the earth

[Acts 1.8 and Ephesians 1:20ff]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You have blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ
to the praise of your glorious grace,
which you have freely given us in the Beloved
        …Prayers and/or songs of praise and thanks may be shared aloud here…
And now we give you thanks because in Christ you embed us in your mission, and you equip us by the Holy Spirit, in love you adopted us through Jesus Christ: Our God In heaven
Hallowed be your name!

God, send your Spirit: mend your creation, fulfil your promises and inspire your people for good.
       … prayers or biddings relating to this may be added here the leader ending with:
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

Bring us alongside those whom you are drawing into Life; give us hearts to listen and minds to discern so that we may have well-chosen  good news to share.
… prayers or biddings relating to this may be added here the leader ending with:
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

As the Good News is shared, let it soften hearts and change minds.
       … prayers or biddings relating to this may be added here the leader ending with:
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

Draw those who have newly heard Christ’s call, to heed their vocation and to be nurtured and baptised
       … prayers or biddings relating to this may be added here the leader ending with:
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

May your values and desires spring up and prosper throughout the world, your peace, wholeness and goodness come on earth
       … prayers or biddings relating to this may be added here the leader ending with:
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

Work righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
        … prayers or biddings relating to this may be added here the leader ending with:
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

Through the church, may your manifold wisdom O God be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.
       … prayers or biddings relating to this may be added here the leader ending with:
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

We ask that all the Lord’s people have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and be filled to the measure with all the fullness of God
       … prayers or biddings relating to this may be added here the leader ending with:
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

Let love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other
Your Spirit is working:
Your Kingdom come.

Be the wind in the sails of our lives and as we are blown forward by your Spirit may we know your comfort and provision
        …prayers or biddings asking for God’s provision may be added here the leader ending with
Equip us to work with you,
enthuse us to hold our course true.
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of our lives.

We recognise that we quenched your Spirit and resisted sharing your good news
… No more: rather forgiveness be done; your Kingdom come.
We find again that we withhold forgiveness from others.
… No more. rather forgiveness be done: your Kingdom come.

Breathe upon us the breath of life:
And renew the face of our lives.
Make our hearts clean, O God
And re-form a right spirit within us.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of God.
A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.

Intending to walk in the Spirit, we go out into God’s world, where God invites us into the ongoing work of creation and redemption, let us pray not to miss our path.
       Pause for reflection

Who is it that we seek?
We seek God: Sender, Sent and Sending.
Let’s seek God in neighbour and in foe
Amen. God open our hearts.
Let’s seek God in the routines and the happenstance
Amen. God be our vision.
Let’s seek God in our trials and tribulations
Amen. God be our wisdom.
Since we live by the Spirit,
let us keep in step with the Spirit.
[Gal 5:25 ]

Return to Navigation. See also the forms for Ascension and Pentecost. The short form of this office (may be good for the middle of a busy day) is here.

Kingdomtide

Kingdom season is in the few weeks before Advent, presently this means during November. The theme of the Kingdom season is Christ’s light being brought to the darkness of the world and life into death. It is a time to remember and take encouragement from the dead in Christ, the saints in light.

The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.
The true light enlightens everyone,
and has come into the world.
Lights /candles may be lit

My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
and in your word have I put my hope.
Psalms and reading[s] 
The word that goes out from God’s mouth shall not return empty,
it shall accomplish God’s purpose,
and succeed in what it is sent to do.
Reflection individually or together. A framework for reflection> using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer is available to help if desired.

Canticle of the day may be used or a hymn.
Great and wonderful are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty.
Just and true are your ways, O ruler of the nations.
Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord?
For you alone are holy.
All nations shall come and worship in your presence:
for your just dealings have been revealed.
To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,
for ever and ever. Amen.

 [Revelation 15.3,4 ]

O Lord, open our lips
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessèd are you, Heaven’s High King and judge of all,
we give you praise and honour for with you is the well of life,
In your light we see light.
Praise and thanksgiving, silent or aloud.
God in heaven; father and mother to us,
Hallowed be your name

Your will is for the Light of Christ to illumine everyone.
May your light shine on all for whom we pray and chase the shadows from the situations we are concerned about.
We bring our concerns for people or events to God, silently or aloud.
In that day, mourning and crying and pain will be no more and God will wipe away every tear.
Your kingdom Come.

In that day, of the increase of Christ’s government and of peace there shall be no end.
Your kingdom Come.

In that day, your Spirit will fill all things and all shall know you.
Your kingdom Come.

In that day, death will be no more;
Your kingdom Come.

As we seek to walk in Light, you promise to supply our need
sharing of needs, silently or aloud …
Seeking first your righteousness
All things shall be added.

Jesus proclaimed ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand, change your outlook and commit yourselves to the Good News’
We pause to recognise what of our life needs to change in the light of God’s Reign
When the shadows we have cast have hidden the light for others,
Father forgive.
We reflect on what we may need to forgive
We forgive the shadows others have cast on our lives.
Father forgive.
This we call to mind and therefore we have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
God’s mercies never come to an end:
They are new every morning,
Great is your faithfulness, O Lord:
great is your faithfulness.
[Lamentations 3:19 ff]

We reflect on the coming day: it’s potential challenges to our living out the Good News and recognising it may bring things for which we are unprepared.
In all that today may bring; the anticipated and the surprising,
The pleasant and the testing;
Go before us, alert us to the real issues,
strengthen us for Good,
awaken us if we sleepwalk into sin,
show us the way out of the Darkness
and fill us with love, hope and peace
as we cling fast to you.
Amen.

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Dark times of year

This form of prayer is for use at times of the year when we feel daylight is short and nighttime is long. It is most suitable for late Autumn and Winter especially in Kingdomtide and even an alternate service in Advent.

As we start, a candle or candles may be lit or carried into the worship space.

In your word, O Light of the World, we live, move and have our being.
As you have lightened our darkness in the past,we ask, Everliving God, for your awakening within:
leading us from delusion to truth, and into your righteous way.
Lead us, Source of all Being, Father and Mother to us:
From darkness to light and into your gracious will.
Lead us, Christ, our Friend and our Brother;
From death to eternal life and into your infinite joy;
Lead us, Divine Spirit, empowering Life within
for we seek your enabling touch.
                            [Based on a prayer from the Church of South India]
Reader: The true light that lightens all has come into the world,
In your light may we see light.
              Psalm[s] and reading[s].At the end of the reading[s]:
Your word O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Sustain us according to your promise and we shall live.
              There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used. At the end of the refliction time, we say together

A Canticle of Salvation
The peple walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy.
The people have rejoiced before You
as they rejoice at harvest time
For You have shattered their burdensome yoke
and the rod on their shoulders,the staff of their oppressor,
For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it with justice
and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.

                            [Excerpted from Isaiah 9.2-7]

O Lord, open our lips
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessèd are you, Sovereign God , judge of all, we give you praise and honour for the brightness of your kingdom lightens the darkness of this passing age and you show us the light of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ,
Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name
              praise and thanksgiving, silent or aloud.

You desire the Light of Christ to illumine everyone. May your light shine on all for whom we pray and chase the shadows from the situations we are concerned about.
              … We bring our concerns for people or events to God, silently or aloud.

Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.

Into the coldness of selfishness and greed bring the warmth of your loving generosity. Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.
In times of frustration and lack of growth or development, bring the hope of springtime and redemption. Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.

As we seek to walk in Light, you promise to give what we need….
              … sharing of needs, silently or aloud….
Seeking first your righteousness
All things shall be added.

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world, whoever comes to me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.”
And yet our thoughts, words or deeds have sometimes revealed darkness
              We pause to recognise what of our life needs to change in the light of God in Christ

When the shadows we have cast have hidden the light for others,
Father forgive.
We offer the light of forgiveness for the shadows others have cast on our lives.
Father forgive.
You are the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Your word is a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our paths.

Let’s call to mind all that today may bring; the anticipated and the surprising. The pleasant and the painful.
              … We reflect on the coming day…
When we are tested by temptation
strengthen us.
When our commitment to your Love is put to trial,
save us.
When evil ensnares,
free us.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
now and forever. Amen

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Creationtide

Creationtide starts on 1 September and goes through to 4 October.It is a time to pray for the sustaining of creation, the protection of vulnerable ecosystems and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles.It is a time to appreciate afresh the beauty and wonder of what God has made.

By wisdom God founds the earth;
by understanding God upholds the heavens;
by God’s knowledge the deeps opened up,
and the clouds drop dew.
[Proverbs 3:19-20]

Spirit of God hover over our unformedness,
Word of God speak wholeness into our unfruitfulness
Source of all being; remake us and renew us by Word and by Spirit.
Pause to open ourselves to God
Listen! Words of Wisdom, let’s focus and take to heart.
Psalm[s] and reading[s]. There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used.

From the creation of the world, God’s eternal power and nature, though invisible, have been perceived and grasped through the things God has made.
[Rom.1:20]
You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you made all things,
by your will everything persists
and was created

[Rev.4:11]
The heavens tell out God’s glory;
and the skies proclaim God’s handiwork.
Day streams data to day,
and night declares knowledge to night.
This is not speech; there are no words;
their voices are not heard;
and yet their forthtelling propagates through the whole earth,
and their words to the world’s end.
[Ps19:1-4]
We recognise and celebrate God’s loving greatness…
So with angels and atoms,stars and saints, earth and sky and sea.
We hallow your name, joining with the eternal song of heaven
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory,
hosanna in the highest.

Creator God, release your Spirit to brood over as yet unspent nature and enflourish the the deep viridity[i] of the world.
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

Sustainer of all, in the searing of uncaring trade and the smearing of human toil let there grow renewal, justice and peace.
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

Loving and out-reaching God, as you touch and woo every heart, let there grow a reverence for all you have made and freedom to respond to your grace.
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

…prayers or biddings may be added here, the leader ending with:
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.
May we know your comfort and provision as we seek your will for life and cosmos
…prayers or biddings asking for God’s provision may be added here the leader ending with
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

We are debtors to the ecosystem you have provided for our nurture.
We have trespassed on the resources you made for others to use.
We have abused your hospitality and befouled the earth.
Send your Spirit forth
And renew the face of our lives
We have pointed fingers at others yet refused to be held accountable
Send your Spirit forth
And renew the face of our lives
We are debtors to mercy and heirs of grace. Thank you for bearing our disgrace. We are forgiven in your determination to bless.

Lead us into gracious and merciful living;
generous and respectful in all you have made.
As we contemplate your creation, O God,
we see wildness and order,
chance and necessity,
Freedom and limits.
Grant us to use lovingly our freedoms
to be wise in using the order of things
And wary of our vulnerability to misleadings.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory.
Now and forever, amen

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[i] Viridity is a term from Hildegaard of Bingen, a medieval mystic, writer and artist who led a convent. It comes from the Latin for ‘greenness’ and so captures nature’s sign of health and growth.

Magnificat days

Magnificat season can be observed in the second half of August beginning with the feast of the Virgin Mary on 15th. It’s not a recognised church season. These prayers may also be suitable for occasions on which Mary, mother of Jesus, is remembered.

A woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!’ But Jesus said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’
                            [Luke 11:27-8]

As we hear God’s word, Holy Spirit come upon us,
Power of the Most High, overshadow us.
We will treasure these words
and ponder them in our hearts.
              Psalm[s] and reading[s] are announced and read.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel,
and remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise you made to our forebears,
to Abraham and his children for ever
We consider, in the light of scripture, what God calls us to.
              Reflection (together with others where possible), silently and/or aloud. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used.
Here we are, servants of the Lord;
let it be with us according to your word.
              After the readings and reflection, a canticle may be said or sung. The most suitable is the following.
A song from scripture based on the Magnificat (The Song of Mary)
My soul proclaims your greatness O Lord;
my spirit rejoices in you O God our Saviour,
You have looked with favour on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call us blessed:
Almighty, you have done great things for us,
and holy is your name.
You have mercy on those who fear you
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel,
remembering your promise of mercy,
the promise made to our forebears,
to Abraham and his children forever.

                            Based on the ELLC translation of Luke 1:46-55.

My soul magnifies You, Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
You have looked with favour on this lowly servant.
You have remembered your promise of mercy
              … Songs and/or words of praise and thanksgiving could be shared here…
Almighty, you have done great things for us
and holy is your name.

Show strength with your arm, O God
scatter the proud in the imaginations of their hearts.
Cast down the mighty from their thrones
and lift up the lowly.
              Concerns for the world, the church and individuals are shared …

Fill the hungry with good things
and send the callous rich empty away
              … we consider what we need to continue serving God …

Lest we be scattered from God’s purposes, brought down or sent away empty, let us repent, asking and offering forgiveness.
              Pause for reflection on forgiving and being forgiven.
Have mercy upon us
According to your promises.
God says to all who repent,
‘Do not be afraid, for you have found favour with God.’
              …

Though the Lord be high, he watches over the lowly.
Let’s pause to give our coming hours over to God’s guiding and keeping
              …
Though we walk in the midst of trouble, O God;
you will preserve us.
You will stretch forth your hand against the fury of our enemies;
your right hand will save us.
Make good your purpose for us;
your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever
forsake not the work of your hands.
Make good your purpose for us.
                            [Ps.138:6-8]
From this day forward may we be called blessed
For the Almighty will have done great things for us.

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Transfiguration

Transfiguration is normally celebrated on 6 August, recalling when Jesus’s appearance gloriously changed while on a mountain with some of his disciples. This prayer form might be used for a week or two following that day.

Lord, it is good for us to be here
For your Spirit is with us
              We pause to recognise God’s presence.
My heart tells of your word, ‘Seek my face.’
Your face, Lord, will I seek.
One thing we ask of you Lord
and that alone we seek:
that we may dwell in your house all the days of our life,
To behold your fair beauty and to seek your will.
                            [from Ps.27]
              A song may be sung. Bibles are made ready to be read from.
As we hear the scriptures
may we listen to your Beloved.
Overshadow us and speak to us
for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit
              Psalm[s] and reading[s].
Our Lord Jesus Christ received honour and glory from God the Father whose voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ By the same Spirit, we hear this voice from heaven, We have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. Let us be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place.
              There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used.

Canticle of Solomon
Blessed are you,
O God of our ancestor Israel
for ever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, are the greatness,
the power, the glory,
the victory, and the majesty;
for all that is in the heavens
and on the earth is yours;
yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
and you are exalted as head above all.

                            [1Chr29:10-11]
              Collect or theme prayers may be said.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
Let your glory be over all the earth.
We honour you and thank you that in Christ we are your beloved children, with whom you are well pleased. In Christ you are transforming us from one degree of glory to another by the working of the Holy Spirit.
[And now we give you thanks because … ]
And so we laud your name:
Holy, holy, holy God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory
Hosanna in the highest.

In the stories and hopes of Moses and Elijah, we glimpse a world transfigured, we ask for transfigurations of here-and-now realities into anticipations of the new heaven and new earth.
              …
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us wisdom to share sensitively with all people the good news so that all may behold your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. …
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven.

As we accompany Christ to the wheres and whens that touch glory, be our provider
              …
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Forgive us that in various ways, big and small, we have grieved the Spirit as we have resisted being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus.
Gracious God, glorify your name,
We glory in your forgiveness.
Enfold our forgiving of others in your transfiguration of creation that we may continually participate in the transformation of the world.
              …
Give us grace to forgive:
Work your glory into our forgiveness.
Lead us so we do not sleepwalk into sin
awaken us to the signs of glory around us.
Preserve us from attempts to make permanent the provisional;
And from the paralysing fear of the new and awesome.
In the midst of the strange and misunderstandable;
Give us ears to hear you and heart to follow Jesus.
Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,
now and forever. Amen.
We go being transformed into Christ’s image,
from one degree of glory to another;
This comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
Amen.

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