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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Easter Sunday Worship on March 31, 2024


The Holy Eucharist

Easter Day (Year B)

March 31, 2024 at 9:30 AM

Presider & Preacher: The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector

Deacon: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis, Deacon


St. Matthew's Linktree: https://linktr.ee/stmattsav

Watch the Livestream at www.Facebook.com/StMattSav/Live/



[Anonymous French painter, circa 1970s, for the Vie de Jesus Mafa (Life of Jesus Mafa) project to teach the Gospel in northern Cameroon, Africa.]



The Holy Eucharist: Rite II



Hymn #207: Jesus Christ is Risen Today

 

1. Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!

suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

 

2. Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!

unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!

who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!

sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!


3. But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!

our salvation have procured, Alleluia!

now above the sky he’s king, Alleluia!

where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!

 

4. Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!

praise eternal as his love, Alleluia!

praise him, all ye heavenly host, Alleluia!

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!


[Words: Latin, 14th cent.; tr. Lyra Davidica (1708), alt.; st. 4, Charles Wesley, Public Domain. Music: Easter Hymn from Lyra Davidica (1708), adapt. The Compleat Psalmodist (1749), alt., Public Domain; desc. Hymns Ancient and Modern, Revised (1950) © 1950 Hymns Ancient and Modern Limited. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #14473. All rights reserved.]



The Opening Acclamation

 

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

 

The Collect for Purity

 

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Hymn S-280: Glory to God

 

Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,

Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


[Music: Robert Powell © 1985, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #28331. All rights reserved.]



The Collect of the Day


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord's resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

 

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (10:34-43)

 

Peter began to speak to Cornelius and the other Gentiles: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

 

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

 

 

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

 

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; *

his mercy endures forever.

2 Let Israel now proclaim, *

"His mercy endures forever."

14 The Lord is my strength and my song, *

and he has become my salvation.

15 There is a sound of exultation and victory *

in the tents of the righteous:

16 "The right hand of the Lord has triumphed! *

The right hand of the Lord is exalted! The right hand of the Lord has triumphed!"

17 I shall not die, but live, *

and declare the works of the Lord.

18 The Lord has punished me sorely, *

but he did not hand me over to death.

19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; *

I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord.

20 "This is the gate of the Lord; *

he who is righteous may enter."

21 I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *

and have become my salvation.

22 The same stone which the builders rejected *

has become the chief cornerstone.

23 This is the Lord's doing, *

and it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 On this day the Lord has acted; *

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 

 

A Reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (15:1-11)

 

I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them--though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

 

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.



LEV #42: He Lives (verses 1-2)

 

1 I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today;

I know that He is living, whatever foes may say;

I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,

And just the time I need Him, He's always near.

 

REFRAIN:

He lives, he lives Christ Jesus lives today!

He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.

He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!

You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!

 

2 In all the world around me I see His loving care,

And tho' my heart grows weary I never will despair;

I know that He is leading thro' all the stormy blast,

The day of His appearing will come at last. [REFRAIN]


[Words and Music: Alfred H. Ackley © 1933, 1961, 1990 The Rodehaver Co., Belwin Mills / Alfred. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #90882. All rights reserved.]



The People stand, as they are able, for the reading of the Gospel.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to St. John (20:1-18)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

 

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



LEV #42: He Lives (verse 3)

 

3 Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing

Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!

The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find,

None other is so loving, so good and kind. [REFRAIN]


[Words and Music: Alfred H. Ackley © 1933, 1961, 1990 The Rodehaver Co., Belwin Mills / Alfred. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #90882. All rights reserved.]



The Sermon

"Creation, Fall, and Restoration" by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector


Happy Easter Day! Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! 


Once again, we have arrived at this incredible holiday, where the Church all around the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We celebrate a Savior who is stronger than Death, who can never be defeated by any force of evil. We celebrate our God who is Love, our God who shows love through self-giving and self-sacrifice. We celebrate our God whose nature is to show mercy and whose power is to give new life.


Last week, we welcomed three new adult members to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, who each transferred here from other Episcopal parishes. In two weeks, we will welcome two more members to St. Matthew’s through the sacrament of Holy Baptism: one adult and one child. The four adults met with me throughout Lent for an Episcopal Newcomers Class. We covered some basics about the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and learning to see and name God’s goodness in your life.


One of our first lessons is about how the patterns of the Church Year mirror the patterns we see in the Bible and in Church history. All throughout the Bible, there is this recurring theme of Creation, Fall, and Restoration. God creates us and calls us good. We turn away toward selfishness and sin. Then God calls us back and gives us a path toward restoration and healing. 


God gave Jacob the new name of Israel and blessed him with twelve sons and enormous wealth: Creation. Israel’s sons sold their brother Joseph into slavery in Egypt: Fall. Then, the Pharaoh met Joseph and appointed him as the most powerful official in his government; eventually, Joseph’s eleven brothers and their father Israel moved to Egypt to live with him: Restoration. But, then Israel’s descendents became slaves in Egypt again: Fall. So God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt and out of slavery, through the Red Sea: Restoration. Then the Israelites rebelled and worshiped the golden calf and wandered in the wilderness: Fall. Then God delivered them into the Land of Promise, across the Jordan River with Joshua as their leader: Restoration. I could keep going, but almost every major event in the Old Testament follows this pattern.


In the New Testament, we learn about the Birth and Ministry of Jesus Christ. He preached Good News to the poor and healed the sick and taught us to love one another. In our Acts reading, St. Peter testifies, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him”: Creation. Then, wicked religious and political leaders conspired together to arrest, torture, crucify, and kill Jesus. As Peter says, “They put him to death by hanging him on a tree”: Fall. But then, Jesus overcame Death and the Grave when God raised him from the dead. Peter preached, “God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear … to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead”: Restoration.


Even in the Church Calendar, we follow a similar pattern: Christmas is the feast of the Birth of Jesus Christ: Creation. In Lent and Holy Week, we remember Jesus’ death: Fall. And beginning today, from Easter until Pentecost (fifty days from now), we proclaim his resurrection as we await his coming in glory: Restoration.


I used to think of this Creation, Fall, Restoration pattern like a circle. It goes around and around and we experience it over and over again. Even in our Newcomers Class, we used handouts with circles all over them. But the problem is that circles are two-dimensional. They are flat. It’s hard to appreciate any change in a circle. 


So instead, I want to use a different, three-dimensional image: a slinky. Instead of simply spinning in place, our experience of God’s creation, fall, and restoration in our lives is dynamic, and always changing. These cycles of the Church Calendar don’t really change year by year. But we change. We grow and learn and are transformed and renewed by the power of God. We receive new eyes to spot Jesus when we thought we were just looking at a gardener (John 20:15-16). We are forgiven of terrible sins like St. Paul was after years of persecuting the Church (1 Corinthians 15:9-10). We dive deeper and deeper, year by year, to experience more and more of God’s love, grace, and mercy.


That is the pattern of how God works in the world, period. It’s how God has worked throughout history and it’s how God works in your life and my life today. Like the Letter to the Hebrews says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8). God’s goodness never changes, which is a comfort for us through the chances and changes of this life. When things seem uncertain, when we lose our way, when we fall, we know God is there offering us restoration, resurrection, grace, and new life. This Easter, place your hope in the God who has never given up and never will give up on you. Amen.



The Blessing of Holy Water in Easter Season

[Dennis G. Michno, A Priest’s Handbook: The Ceremonies of the Church, 3rd ed. (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1983, 1986, 1998), p. 266.]


Water is poured into the font and a little bit of salt is sprinkled in.


Almighty God, who through the water of baptism has raised us from sin into new life, and by the power of your life-giving Spirit ever cleanses and sanctifies your people: + Bless, we pray you, this water for the service of your holy Church; and grant that it may be a sign of the cleansing and refreshment of your grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Alleluia!


Cleanse us from our sin, and we shall be pure; wash us, and we shall be clean indeed. Amen. Alleluia!



The Renewal of Baptismal Vows

[BCP, p. 292]


Through the Paschal mystery, dear friends, we are buried with Christ by Baptism into his death, and raised with him to newness of life. I call upon you, therefore, now that our Lenten observance is ended, to renew the solemn promises and vows of Holy Baptism, by which we once renounced Satan and all his works, and promised to serve God faithfully in his holy Catholic Church.


All standing as they are able, the People pray:

Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?

I do.

 

Do you believe in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

 

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

 

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

 

Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

I will, with God's help.

 

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

I will, with God's help.

 

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

I will, with God's help.

 

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

I will, with God's help.

 

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

I will, with God's help.

 

The Celebrant concludes the Renewal of Vows as follows:

May Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and bestowed upon us the forgiveness of sins, keep us in eternal life by his grace, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.



The Prayers of the People (Form VI)


In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.


For all people in their daily life and work;

For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.

 

For Joseph, our president; Brian, our governor; Van, our mayor; and all other civic officials; For this community, the nation, and the world;

For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.

 

For the just and proper use of your creation;

For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

 

For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;

For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.

 

For all the churches in Savannah, that we may be one as you are one with the Son, and the Holy Spirit; For the peace and unity of the Church of God;

For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.

 

For Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael, our Presiding Bishop; Frank, our Bishop; Guillermo, our Priest; Ella, our Deacon; and for all bishops and other ministers;

For all who serve God in his Church.

 

For the special needs and concerns of this congregation, especially for our Day Care’s staff, students, and families, for those on our Parish Prayer List: Glenda Allen, Lazola Cope, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, David Jones, Donald Jones, Sheila Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law Jr., Jessica Mathis, Sada Maxwell, John “Butch” Mitchell, Sandra Mitchell, Russell Nails, Jabbar Newton, Jeannette Outing, Lee Grant Pearson, Lysa Rodriguez, Frieda McDew Shorter, Edward Vaughn, and Jewel Wheeler; and those we remember now… [Silence. The People may add their own petitions.]  Hear us, Lord;

For your mercy is great.

 

We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life, especially for all visitors to this parish, for Rashad Taylor, Sr. (4/3) and Charlotte "Toni" Blue (4/6) on their birthdays; for Fr. Charles & Evalena Hoskins (4/1) and Jonathan & Jackie Newton (4/6) on their anniversaries; and for anything else we remember now… [Silence. The People may add their own thanksgivings.]  We will exalt you, O God our King;

And praise your Name for ever and ever.

 

We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom, especially those we remember now… [Silence. The People may add their own petitions.]  Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;

Who put their trust in you.

 

The Celebrant concludes:

O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.



The Peace


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.



Parish Announcements


T/W/Th Evening Prayer Switching to Zoom Only: Beginning April 2, St. Matthew’s will continue to gather for Evening Prayer services on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 5:00 PM, but we will no longer post these videos to our Facebook page. You can pray with us on Zoom using the same link as before, as found in the e-Newsletter or in the St. Matthew’s Linktree (QR Code above).

 

Caroline Banks to be Interim Music Director beginning May 1: The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry and pleased to announce that we have hired Caroline Banks as our Interim Music Director, beginning on May 1. Ms. Banks is a member of St. Matthew's who has served as the pianist at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Pooler since 2021. She is excited to "come home" to her parish and hopes to continue to grow our music and choir program.

 

Dr. Bertice Berry to be Ordained on Apr. 13: The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia has approved Dr. Bertice Berry for ordination to the diaconate. Bishop Frank Logue will ordain her to the Sacred Order of Deacons at Christ Church Episcopal, Savannah, on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 11:00 AM.

 

Fr. A’s Farewell Party on Apr. 14: Fr. Guillermo has accepted a call as Program Manager for New Church Starts at the ELCA’s Lutheran Denominational Center. April 14 is his final Sunday with St. Matthew’s, and at 3:00 that afternoon, you and others in the Savannah community are invited to attend a Farewell Party.

 

JUST Nehemiah Action on Apr. 15: JUST (Justice Unites Savannah Together) will hold its Annual Nehemiah Action on Monday, April 15, 2024 at St. Paul CME Church, 214 W 33rd Street, Savannah, GA 31401. All church members are invited to support JUST's efforts to add Affordable Housing to Savannah and Chatham County and improve Literacy rates in the Savannah-Chatham Public School System. See Della Jones for more information.

 

Canon Lasch to Discuss Interim Period on Apr. 21: The Rev. Canon Loren Lasch, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Georgia, will preside and preach at our worship service on Sunday, April 21. After worship, she will lead a discussion about the interim period and search for a new rector.

 

Mrs. Dandy to Retire on April 28: Mrs. Beryl C. Dandy, who has served St. Matthew’s as Music Director for nearly ten years in two separate stints, will retire from her position at the end of April. Join us in celebrating and congratulating her on April 28, 2024, her final Sunday with us.



The Offertory


Giving to St. Matthew's:

  1. Mail us a check or money order at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1401 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, Savannah, GA 31415; OR

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  3. Text “stmattsav” to 73256 to make a secure online donation through your phone.

NOTE: Donations made online (#2 or #3) through Realm incur a processing fee of about 2.5%. Please consider adding an additional 2.5% to your online gift to cover these costs.


“On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)



LEV #40: He ’Rose

 

1 They crucified my Savior and nailed him to the tree,

they crucified my Savior and nailed him to the tree,

they crucified my Savior and nailed him to the tree,

And the Lord will bear my spirit home.

 

REFRAIN:

He ’rose, He ’rose, He ’rose from the dead!

He ’rose, He ’rose se, He ’rose from the dead!

He ’rose, He ’rose, He ’rose from the dead!

and the Lord will bear my spirit home.

 

2 Then Joseph begged his body and laid it in the tomb,

then Joseph begged his body and laid it in the tomb,

then Joseph begged his body and laid it in the tomb,

And the Lord will bear my spirit home. [REFRAIN]

 

3 Sister Mary, she came running, a looking for my Lord,

Sister Mary, she came running, a looking for my Lord,

Sister Mary, she came running, a looking for my Lord,

And the Lord will bear my spirit home. [REFRAIN]

 

4 An angel came from heaven and rolled the stone away,

an angel came from heaven and rolled the stone away,

an angel came from heaven and rolled the stone away,

And the Lord will bear my spirit home. [REFRAIN]


[Words: Traditional, Public Domain. Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. William Farley Smith, © 1989 United Methodist Publishing House/Abingdon Press. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #17541. All rights reserved.]



LEV #41: Christ Has Arisen


Christ has arisen, Alleluia!

Rejoice and praise Him, Alleluia!

For our Redeemer burst from the tomb

Even from death dispelling its gloom

Let us sing praise to Him with endless joy

Death’s fearful stin He has come to destroy

Our sin forgiving, Alleluia!

Jesus is living, Alleluia!


[Words: Swahili Text; tr. Howard Olson, Copyright © 1974 Augsburg Publishing House. Music: Haya Tune, Tumshandilie Mungu, Makumira, Tanzania; harm. Carl Haywood, Copyright © 1992 Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #94901. All rights reserved.]



The Doxology


Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

Praise him all creatures here below!

Praise him above ye heavenly hosts!

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Amen.


[Words: Thomas Ken, Public Domain. Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain. All rights reserved.]



Eucharistic Prayer A


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. But chiefly are we bound to praise you for the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; for he is the true Paschal Lamb, who was sacrificed for us, and has taken away the sin of the world. By his death he has destroyed death, and by his rising to life again he has won for us everlasting life. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who forever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:


Hymn S-130:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full, full of your glory

Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna in the highest!


[Music: Franz Peter Schubert from Deutsche Messe; arr. Richard Proulx, Copyright © 1985, 1989 G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00210. All rights reserved.]


The people stand or kneel.


Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all. He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.

 

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."

 

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, "Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."

 

Therefore, we proclaim the mystery of faith:


LEV #258:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.


[Music: Hezekiah Brinson, Jr., Copyright © 1990 Hezekiah Brinson, Jr. All Rights Reserved.]


We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and forever. AMEN.



LEV #264: The Lord’s Prayer


And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to sing,


Our Father, which 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.


[Music: Albert Hay Malotte; arr. Fred Bock, Copyright © 1934 (renewed) G. Schirmer, Inc. All Rights Reserved.]



The Breaking of the Bread & Presentation of the Gifts


The Celebrant breaks the consecrated Bread. A period of silence is kept.


Hymn S-154:

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Therefore, let us keep the feast.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


[Music: David Hurd, Copyright © 1981, G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #07203. All Rights Reserved.]


Hymn S-164:

Jesus, Lamb of God: have mercy on us

Jesus, Bearer of our Sins: have mercy on us

Jesus, Redeemer, Redeemer of the World:

Give us your peace, give us your peace!


[Words: Traditional. Music: Franz Peter Schubert from Deutsche Messe; arr. Richard Proulx, Copyright © 1985, 1989 G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00614. All rights reserved.]


Thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Risen Lord Jesus Christ! The Gifts of God for the people of God.



The Distribution of Holy Communion


All baptized Christians of any denomination are invited to come forward to participate fully in Communion. Baptized children may receive at the discretion of their parents.


You may receive Communion kneeling or standing. Please extend your hands forward to receive the Body of Christ (bread). If you would like to receive the Blood of Christ (wine), the minister will take the bread from your hand and dip (intinct) it in the wine for you, then place it in your mouth. If you would only like to receive the bread, you may consume it and return to your seat.


If you need gluten-free bread for Communion, please raise your hand when you are at the altar rail.


If you would not like to receive Communion for any reason, please cross your arms over your chest, and the Priest will say a blessing over you.


If you are worshipping online, you may pray to receive spiritual communion using the following prayer:

In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.



Hymn #174: At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing

 

1. At the Lamb's high feast we sing praise to our victorious King,

who hath washed us in the tide flowing from his pierced side;

praise we him, whose love divine gives his sacred Blood for wine,

gives his Body for the feast, Christ the victim, Christ the priest.

 

2. Where the Paschal blood is poured, death's dark angel sheathes his sword;

Israel's hosts triumphant go through the wave that drowns the foe.

Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed, Paschal victim, Paschal bread;

with sincerity and love eat we manna from above.

 

3. Mighty victim from on high, hell's fierce powers beneath thee lie;

thou hast conquered in the fight, thou hast brought us life and light:

now no more can death appall, now no more the grave enthrall;

thou hast opened paradise, and in thee thy saints shall rise.

 

4. Easter triumph, Easter joy, these alone do sin destroy.

From sin's power do thou set free souls newborn, O Lord, in thee.

Hymns of glory, songs of praise, Father, unto thee we raise:

risen Lord, all praise to thee with the Spirit ever be.

 

[Words: Latin; tr. Robert Campbell, alt. Music: Salzburg, melody Jakob Hintz; harm. Johan Sebastian Bach. Reprinted with permission under One License #116312. All rights reserved.]

 

Hymn #182: Christ is Alive! Let Christians Sing!

 

1 Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.

The cross stands empty to the sky.

Let streets and homes with praises ring.

His love in death shall never die.

 

2 Christ is alive! No longer bound

to distant years in Palestine,

He comes to claim the here and now,

and conquer ev’ry place and time.

 

3 Not throned above, remotely, high,

Untouched, unmoved by human pains,

But daily, in the midst of life,

our Savior with the Father reigns.

 

4 In ev’ry insult, rift, and war,

where color, scorn, or wealth divide,

Christ suffers still, yet loves the more,

and lives, though ever crucified.

 

5 Christ is alive! His Spirit burns

through this and ev’ry future age,

till all creation lives and learns

his joy, his justice, love, and praise.


[Words: Brian A. Wren, rev., Copyright © 1975, 1995 Hope Publishing Company. Music: Truro, melody from Psalmodia Evangelica, Part II (1789); harm. Lowell Mason, alt. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00268. All rights reserved.]



The Post-Communion Prayer


Let us pray.


For In-Person Worshippers:


Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.


For Online Worshippers and Those Receiving Spiritual Communion:

Faithful God, in the wonder of your wisdom and love you fed your people in the wilderness with the bread of angels, and you sent Jesus to be the bread of life. Though we cannot consume now these gifts of bread and wine, we thank you that we have received the sacrament of Christ’s presence, the forgiveness of sins, and all other benefits of Christ’s passion. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we embody your desire and be renewed for your service through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.



The Blessing of the People


The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do God's will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in God's sight; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.



Children’s Easter Speeches


Special Thanks to Mrs. Shaina Berksteiner and Mrs. Margaret Anne Pearson for organizing this year’s Children’s Easter Speeches Program! Thanks to them and all the other teachers for their yearlong dedication to weekly Children’s Church Sunday School program!



Hymn #210: The Day of Resurrection

 

1. The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;

the Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.

From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,

our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory.

 

2. Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright

the Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;

and, listening to his accents, may hear so calm and plain

his own "All hail!" and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

 

3. Now let the heavens be joyful, let earth her song begin,

the round world keep high triumph, and all that is therein;

let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,

for Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.


[Words: John of Damascus; tr. John Mason Neale, alt. Music: Ellacombe from Gesangbuch … der Herzogl. Wirtembergischen katholischen Hofkapelle (1784), alt.; adapt. Katholisches Gesangbuch (1863); harm. William Henry Monk; desc. Cyril Winn, by permission of Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #89236. All rights reserved.]



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia!



Easter Memorials & Thanksgivings


St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church thanks the following donors for their gifts this Easter:

 

Lilies Donated by:

Charlotte “Toni” Blue: In Memory of Harriet “Baby” Walker Thornton, Henry Thornton, Jr., Walker Family Loved Ones, Margaret Caution, Lucy Solomon, Angus & Willie Mae Jones

Harriet Brinson, Marva Johnson, & Gwen Smith: In Memory of Gertrude Johnson Hicks, Warren Loadholt & Lecretia Brinson Eady

General & Lazola Cope: In Memory of Loved Ones

Christine Folsome: In Memory of Mr. & Mrs. Willie Kelly, Sandra Williams, Bernard Kelly, Irving Kelly, Staff Sgt. James M. Rucker, Bernard Hogans, Juanita December, Theron Rucker, Fr. and Mrs. Gustave Caution, Gertrude Sanders, Rufus Gillison, & Mary Bonaparte

Charles & Joenelle Gordon & Sons: In Memory of the Gordon Family, Brown Family, & E. Cecile Walker

Fr. Charles and Evalena Hoskins: In Memory of Loved Ones

Idella Jones: In Memory of Loved Ones

Charles McMillan: In Memory of Mr. & Mrs. Armstrong McMillan, Sr., and Armstrong McMillan, Jr.

Sandra Mitchell: In Memory of Willie John and Madline Mitchell

Jeanette Outing: In Memory of Richard Outing, Walter & Carrie Butler, and Jacqueline Moultrie

Lee & Margaret Pearson: In Memory of James & Marian Roberts, Maudell Brown, Lucius & Margaret Priester, Oree Rawls, Emma Rawls, Evadne Priester Cobbs, & James M. Roberts, Jr.

Evadne Roberts: In Memory of Loved Ones

Kathy Robinson, Paulette Sanders, & Terry Newton: In Memory of Luther & Sadie Dockery, David W. Dockery, Luther G. Dockery, Carrie & Pauliene Gordon, Virginia Wynn, Thelma Newton, James W. Newton, Jr., & Mildred Seabrooks.

Frieda McDew Shorter: In Memory of Obey Shorter and Dr. & Mrs. Stephen McDew

Jessie Stevenson: In Memory of Deceased Family Members.

Yavonne D. Taylor: In Memory of Martha M. Avery, Ronnie Taylor, and Harry Martin.

Karsten Tyson: In memory of Tiffany Smith Bryant & Carlos Devon Mercer

 

Contributions for Pulpit Hangings by:

Jeanette Outing, Christine Folsome, Jessie Stevenson

 

Contributions for Stained Glass Windows Restoration by:

St. Clair Fraser, Christine Folsome

 

Printing Costs for this Program by:

Idella Jones





The Parish Prayer List


PRAYER LIST: Glenda Allen, Lazola Cope, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, David Jones, Donald Jones, Sheila Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law Jr., Jessica Mathis, Sada Maxwell, John “Butch” Mitchell, Sandra Mitchell, Russell Nails, Jabbar Newton, Jeannette Outing, Lee Grant Pearson, Lysa Rodriguez, Frieda McDew Shorter, Edward Vaughn, and Jewel Wheeler


BIRTHDAYS: Rashad Taylor, Sr. (4/3) and Charlotte "Toni" Blue (4/6)


WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES: Fr. Charles & Evalena Hoskins (4/1) and Jonathan & Jackie Newton (4/6)


RECENT DEATHS: N/A


May the souls of all the departed rest in peace; and may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.




Permissions and Credits: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), Enriching Our Worship 1 (EOW1), The Book of Occasional Services 2022 (BOS22), and other sources cited. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.


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