• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Holy Communion for Epiphany 2022


The Holy Eucharist

The Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ

January 6, 2022


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

Thursday, January 6, at 6:00 p.m. (or anytime afterward)





The Holy Eucharist: Rite II



The Word of God



The Lighting of the Candles

[adapted from http://www.saltproject.org/progressive-christian-blog/advent-candle-lighting-litanies]


Because injustice and despair threaten to overwhelm us,

We pray for hope.


Light the first purple candle in the Advent wreath.


Because so many swords have not yet been beaten into plowshares,

We pray for peace.


Light the second purple candle in the Advent wreath.


Because grief and loss weigh so heavily,

We pray for joy.


Light the third rose candle in the Advent wreath.


Because hatred is still so strong, and because people all over the world are suffering,

We pray for love.


Light the fourth purple candle in the Advent wreath.


God has come to us as a child. Christ is present in our world.


Light the white Christ candle in the center of the Advent wreath.


May the light and the fire from these candles burn away everything that is preventing the God of hope and peace and joy and love from being born among us. Brothers and sisters, be not afraid; even now the light of Christ is overwhelming the world!



The Opening Sentence

[BCP, p. 355]


Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

And blessed be God's kingdom, now and forever. Amen.



A Collect for Purity

[BCP, p. 355]


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.



Glory to God (Gloria in excelsis)

[BCP, p. 356]


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.



The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 214]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (60:1-6)


Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;

but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you;

your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.

Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice,

because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.

They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

[BCP, p. 685]

Read responsively by half-verse (at the asterisk).

1 Give the King your justice, O God, * and your righteousness to the King's Son;


2 That he may rule your people righteously * and the poor with justice;


3 That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, * and the little hills bring righteousness.


4 He shall defend the needy among the people; * he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.


5 He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, * from one generation to another.


6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown field, * like showers that water the earth.


7 In his time shall the righteous flourish; * there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.


10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute, * and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.


11 All kings shall bow down before him, * and all the nations do him service.


12 For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, * and the oppressed who has no helper.


13 He shall have pity on the lowly and poor; * he shall preserve the lives of the needy.


14 He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, * and dear shall their blood be in his sight.



The People stand for the reading of the Gospel.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (2:1-12)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

`And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"


Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

“Blessings Everywhere” by The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda


“The name “Epiphany” is derived from a Greek word meaning “manifestation” or “appearing.” Anglican Prayer Books interpret the word as, “The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.” The last phrase, of course, is a reference to the story of the Magi from the East.


“A Christian observance on January 6th is found as early as the end of the second century in Egypt. The feast combined commemorations of three events that were considered manifestations of the Incarnate Lord: the visit of the Magi, led by the star of Bethlehem; the Baptism of Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River; and Jesus’ first recorded miracle, the changing of water into wine at the wedding of Cana.


“Epiphany is still the primary Feast of the Incarnation in Eastern churches, and the three-fold emphasis is still prominent. In the West, however, including Anglican churches, the story of the Magi has tended to overshadow the other two events. Modern lectionary reform, reflected in the 1979 Prayer Book, has recovered the primitive trilogy by setting the event of Christ’s Baptism as the theme of the First Sunday after the Epiphany in all three years, and by providing the story of the Miracle at Cana as the Gospel for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany in Year C.


“It is a practice in some communities to bless chalk on Epiphany so that people may use it to bless their homes. Traditionally, the chalking is done above the lintel and takes this form: 20+C+M+B+18, in which “18” is replaced by the current year. The letters are the abbreviation for the Latin phrase "Christus mansionem benedicat" - "Christ bless this house". (A second meaning and mnemonic device is “Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar”, the traditional names for the Magi). The + signs represent the cross, and 20-18 is the year” (Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 31).


The Feast of Epiphany is unique among major feasts because it centers the inter-religious ministry of Gentile foreigners. We are about to follow an old tradition by blessing chalk that will be used to bless our homes in the name of Christ. But we are also explicitly blessing our homes in the names of the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. These are three Gentiles. They were not Jewish, not a part of the chosen people who are centered in almost every Bible story. And so far as we know they never became Christians in the way we would recognize it today.


The Magi were astrologers. They watched the stars and observed the unusual star that rose over Bethlehem. They heard a prophecy about a new King of the Jews and they came to pay him homage, like they would to any other foreign prince. It’s unclear that they knew that Jesus was the Son of God and Savior of the world. But they knew that the stars were acting funny and that must have meant that something important was happening.


Epiphany reminds us that people from all walks of life, from all of the world are beloved children of God. Epiphany is about God shining the light of the Christ-Child to people everywhere. And it’s not really about conversion or conformity. The Magi don’t get baptized. So far as we know, they don’t begin to worship the Lord God of Israel, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And they don’t even become early Christ-followers. But they saw and responded to God’s sign in the sky. They paid respect to the baby Jesus. And Scripture and Tradition say that was enough. In God’s eyes, they were faithful and worthy of honor in our memory, so much so that we now call them “holy ones”, which means “saints.”


Epiphany reminds us to look for God’s blessings in every corner of society. We can be blessed by anyone from any walk of life. And we don’t have to force them to change in order to bless them in return. God is everywhere and can work through anyone. We don’t have to put any limits on God’s ability to appear (or manifest) blessings of love, joy, peace, and hope. Amen.



The Nicene Creed

[BCP, p. 358]


We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


The Prayers of the People

[Adapted from http://www.rickmorley.com/archives/1355]


Let us pray to God, who is made manifest in Jesus Christ.


As the prophet Isaiah rang out, “Arise, shine; for your light has come”; empower your Church, O God, to ring out the Good News of the Light of your son Jesus, which pierces even the deepest darkness. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


As a star rose high into the nighttime sky to draw the nations to the Christ-child; send your blessing, O God, on this nation, and every nation, and draw the whole world to your peace and truth. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


As John the Baptist guided crowds of people to the edge of the wilderness and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, we pray that you would guide our country and our leaders to the ways of justice and righteousness. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


Like the Magi who traveled from afar to bring gifts and celebrate the Savior’s birth; we pray for this community, and for those who celebrate their own birthdays and anniversaries. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


As Jesus climbed the mountaintop, and proclaimed blessings on the people of the world; we pray for the sick and the distressed, the poor and the lame. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


As Jesus called his disciples to leave their nets and boats, and follow him; we pray for the departed whom we love and have answered your call to follow Jesus to your Heavenly Kingdom. We especially pray for Mike Lepper and others we remember now... Give them your peace. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


The Celebrant prays:

Lord Jesus, Light of the World, hear our prayers, and make us reflections of your Light, that the places of darkness in our world would be pierced by your Light, and that all nations would be drawn to you and be overwhelmed with joy. Amen.



The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.



The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]


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Alleluia! Unto us a child is born: O come, let us adore Him! Alleluia! [BCP, p. 43]

Give online at: https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/-/give/now



Eucharistic Prayer B

[BCP, p. 367]


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 him 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. …


Preface of the Epiphany [BCP, p. 378]:

Because in the mystery of the Word made flesh, you have caused a new light to shine in our hearts, to give the knowledge of your glory in the face of your son Jesus Christ our Lord.


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:


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

Heaven and earth are full of your glory

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


The people stand or kneel.


We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.


On the night before he died for us, 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, according to his command, O Father,

We remember his death,

We proclaim his resurrection,

We await his coming in glory;


And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.


We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to that heavenly country where, with Blessed Matthew our Patron, Blessed Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all your saints, we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation.


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 for ever. AMEN.



The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]


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


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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.



The Fraction Anthem

[BCP, p. 364, 407]


Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!


Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

The Gifts of God for the people of God.



The Communion of the People



The Post-Communion Prayer

[Enriching our Worship 2 [2000], pp. 56-57]


Let us pray.


For In-Person Worshippers:

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.

We thank you for feeding us with this bread.

May it strengthen us

that by the power of the Holy Spirit

we may embody your desire

and be renewed for your service

through Jesus Christ our Savior. 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 Epiphany Chalk

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 167]


People may mark the doorway with symbols in chalk blessed with this prayer:

Loving God, bless this chalk which you have created, that it may be helpful to your people; and grant that through the invocation of your most Holy Name that we who use it in faith to write upon the door of our home the names of your holy ones Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, may receive health of body and protection of soul for all who dwell in or visit our home; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


Traditionally, the chalking is done above the lintel and takes this form: 20+C+M+B+22 - The letters are the abbreviation for the Latin phrase "Christus mansionem benedicat" - "Christ bless this house" (A second meaning and mnemonic device is Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar traditional names for the Magi). The + signs represent the cross, and 20-22 is the year. [See image above for an example.]



The Blessing of the People

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 10]


May Christ, the Son of God, be manifest in you, that your lives may be a light to the world; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!

Thanks be to God!




The Parish Prayer List


Prayer List: Martha Avery, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien Jr., Annie Bell Greer, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, and Helen Scroggins


Birthdays: James Sanders (1/2), Margaret McAlister (1/4), Sarai Rhett (1/5), Shirley Ann Way (1/6)


Wedding Anniversaries: N/A


Recent Deaths: Mike Lepper (12/23/2021)

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




Note: 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), African American Heritage Hymnal (AAHH), Wonder Love and Praise (WLP), and other sources cited. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.


Image Credit: https://aleteia.org/2018/01/05/how-to-bless-your-home-with-epiphany-chalk/

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