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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Home Worship on Pentecost!

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

The Day of Pentecost (Year A) May 31, 2020

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)


I am posting this worship service online because we at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person this week. Due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, public health officials recommend avoiding large gatherings of people to avoid spreading the illness to more vulnerable people. Therefore, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia has ordered all parishes in our diocese to suspend in-person worship until further notice.

At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, I will broadcast the following worship service using Facebook Live at After the service concludes, you can re-watch it at any time.

Today's service is the Liturgy of the Word (or the first part of the Holy Eucharist service we use on normal Sundays). This is for use at home while watching the live stream or reading the prayers when you cannot physically attend worship. Lay people may read the entirety of this service as printed.

May God protect you from this virus and protect the most vulnerable among us. May we be God’s hands and feet of compassion and service to all in need during this time. Amen.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

The Word of God

Hymn #512: Come, Gracious Spirit, Heavenly Dove

1 Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly Dove, with light and comfort from above; be thou our guardian, thou our guide o'er every thought and step preside.

2 The light of truth to us display, and make us know and choose thy way; plant holy fear in every heart, that we from thee may ne'er depart.

3 Lead us to Christ, the living way, nor let us from his precepts stray; lead us to holiness, the road that we must take to dwell with God.

4 Lead us to heaven, that we may share fullness of joy for ever there; lead us to God, our final rest, to be with him for ever blest.

Words: Simon Browne, Public Domain.

Music: Mendon; adapt. and harm. Lowell Mason, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #995248. All rights reserved.

Opening Sentences

[BCP, p. 355]

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

The 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.

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 sting He has come to destroy,

Our sin forgiving, Alleluia!

Jesus is living, Alleluia!

Words: Swahili Text; tr. Howard Olson, © 1977, Augsburg Fortress

Music: Haya Tune; Tumshandilie Mungu, Makumira, Tanzania; harm. Carl Haywood, from Songs of Praise, Harm. Copyright © 1992.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84150. All rights reserved.

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 227]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (2:1-21)

When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-- in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

`In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' "

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 104:25-35, 37

[BCP, p. 736]

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

25 O Lord, how manifold are your works! * in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

26 Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, * creatures both small and great.

27 There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, * which you have made for the sport of it.

28 All of them look to you * to give them their food in due season.

29 You give it to them; they gather it; * you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

30 You hide your face, and they are terrified; * you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust.

31 You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; * and so you renew the face of the earth.

32 May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; * may the Lord rejoice in all his works.

33 He looks at the earth and it trembles; * he touches the mountains and they smoke.

34 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; * I will praise my God while I have my being.

35 May these words of mine please him; * I will rejoice in the Lord.

37 Bless the Lord, O my soul. * Hallelujah!

A Reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians (12:3b-13)

No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #119: Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

1 Spirit of God, descend upon my heart; Draw it from earth; through all its pulses move; Stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art, And make me love thee as I ought to love.

2 I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies, No sudden rending of the veil of clay, No angel visitant, no op’ning skies; But take the dimness of my soul away.

3 Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh; Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear, To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh; Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

4 Teach me to love thee as thine angels love. One holy passion filling all my frame; The kindling of the heav’n descended dove, My heart an altar, and thy love the flame.

Words: George Croly, Public Domain.

Music: Frederick C. Atkinson, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #94903. All rights reserved.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. John (20:19-23)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

by the Right Rev. Frank S. Logue, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia

The Renewal of Baptismal Vows

[BCP, p. 292]

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.

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

[Adapted from Prayers provided by the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia and Lutheran CORE:]

In the power of the Holy Spirit, let us pray for the Church, the world, and all people according to their need.

A brief silence

Come, Holy Spirit, and renew the Church. Fill it with boldness in witnessing to Jesus’ strong saving love. Fill it with faithfulness in proclaiming his Word and celebrating his Sacraments. Fill it with zeal for ministering to all people in his name – especially to the least of those whom he calls sisters and brothers. Grant Bishop Frank, and all our deacons, priests, and lay leaders, faithfulness and creativity for their ministry at this time.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Come, Holy Spirit, and renew the faith of your persecuted Church. Give it grace to endure suffering for Jesus’ sake; and grant that its faithful witness may cause many to turn to Christ and live. Kindle the faith and inspire the proclamation of all missionaries of the Gospel, and of our sister congregations and dioceses.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Come, Holy Spirit, and renew the people and the ministry of this congregation. Fill us with joyfulness in worship; eagerness in service; gentleness in fellowship; generosity in giving; and persistence in faithful witness in Jesus’ name. Remember Judy Hunter-Dorsey (6/3) on her birthday; and Jewel and Emma Benford (6/1) on their wedding anniversary.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Come, Holy Spirit, and stir up faith in all who desire to be baptized or confirmed today. Grant them the assurance of your love as they wait to receive these sacraments. Be for them the true Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and fear of the Lord, and joy in his presence.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Come, Holy Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. Fill the minds of worldly leaders with wisdom in guiding the nations towards peace, justice, and health. Fill their hearts with humility and courage as they wield power and authority during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Fill the spirits of the world’s citizens with love for God, neighbor, and the world around them.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Come, Holy Spirit, and bring peace in all places of danger, violence and strife. Fill the minds and direct the actions of all who take up arms in defense of life and liberty. Strengthen and protect them; bless all they do that works for peace and justice; and bring them safely home when their task is done.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Come, Holy Spirit, and bring joy, peace, and healing to all whose need is great, especially: Martha Avery, Zavier Bradley, Raleigh Bryant, Christine Brown, Mark Case, Genella Chamberlain, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Brittany Dawson, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Earl Golden, Gary Gordon, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Enoch Henderson, Charles E. Hines, Kenneth Howard, Terri Howard, Dale Hundley, Jared Hundley, Tracy Hundley, Milinda James, Alvin Jenkins, Dana Jenkins, Frances T. Jones, Lori Jones, Robert L. Jones, Sr., Ronald Jones, Tonya Jones, Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law, Jr., Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Carmelita Maynard, Viola Maynard, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Willie Stephens, Gisele Walton, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, Noel Wheeler, and Dean Williams. Fill them with the comfort of your presence and lead them into the joy of your salvation.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Come, Holy Spirit, and bring the departed into the place of eternal joy and light, especially Cheryl Bennett (cousin of Patrece Grant). Cheer the hearts of all who grieve the loss of loved ones. Fill them and us with steadfast faith in you, the Lord and Giver of life; in the communion of saints in heaven and on earth; in the forgiveness of sins, in the resurrection of the body; and in the life everlasting.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Grant us, dear Lord, all that is in accordance with your will, to your glory, and for the building up of your people. Amen.

The Celebrant adds a concluding collect:

O God, by your grace you have called us in this Diocese to a goodly fellowship of faith. Bless our Bishop Frank, and all other clergy, and all our people. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments faithfully administered and faithfully received. By your Spirit, fashion our lives according to the example of your Son, and grant that we may show the power of your love to all among whom we live; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.


A. Yesterday, the Right Rev. Frank Sullivan Logue was consecrated as the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. He was also our guest preacher this morning. We are very grateful to celebrate the beginning of his episcopal ministry! The service is still available to watch on Facebook and YouTube.

B. We do not yet know when we can safely return to in-person worship in our church building. The Right Rev. Frank Logue, the new Bishop of Georgia, is developing updated guidelines for a return to in-person worship in our diocese. The public health criteria for re-opening church buildings include (1) a steady reduction in new cases of COVID-19 for at least fourteen consecutive days and (2) the widespread availability of COVID-19 tests throughout our coastal region of the Diocese of Georgia. If those criteria are met, we may be able to return in July under significant restrictions, including reduced attendance, social distancing within the church, required masks, no singing, shortened liturgies, and more. All of these are efforts to reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, especially airborne transmission from asymptomatic carriers.

C. Our updated weekly worship schedule during this time of social distancing and quarantine is as follows. Unless otherwise noted, all services may be read on the blog and/or viewed as a video on Facebook Live.

  1. Sundays - 9:30 Worship (You can find all of the upcoming Sunday and Holiday readings at

  2. Tuesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  3. Wednesdays - 6:00 Evening Prayer with the Diocese (on Facebook or YouTube)

  4. Thursdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

D. We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom next Sunday, June 7, at 10:30 AM, and again on every other Sunday. Look out for the Facebook event and Zoom link.

E. St. Matthew's is planning to pre-record Sunday services to ensure higher quality video and audio for our worshippers at home. This provides a new opportunity for church members to be a part of the service! Mrs. Pearson and I will reach out to some experienced readers about recording themselves reading Scripture lessons and/or the Prayers of the People for use in these Sunday videos. Even if you don't hear from us, if you want to get involved, please email me about your interest at

F. I am looking for someone in the parish to donate an additional light to make our Sunday worship videos brighter and easier to see. I'm experimenting with a lamp from home today, but we need something less obtrusive for continued use. The estimated price is $130. Please email or call me if you would like to help us get this equipment.

G. Many people are already feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including the church. We still need your support to pay our staff, pay our bills, and provide for these online live streams. If you pledged a donation in 2020 and are able, please continue making those contributions. If you have not pledged, please consider donating to St. Matthew’s now and in the future. There are several ways to give, but the simplest are these:

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

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at:; OR (3) Text “stmattsav” to 73256 to make a secure online donation through your phone.

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]

“O Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power; because you have created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11)

LEV #114 / AAHH #325: Ev'ry Time I Feel The Spirit

REFRAIN: Ev’ry time I feel the spirit, moving in my heart, I will pray, Ev'ry time I feel the spirit, moving in my heart, I will pray.

1 Upon the mountain, my Lord spoke, out of his mouth came fire and smoke. All around me looked so fine, asked my Lord if all was mine. [Refrain]

2 Jordan river chilly and cold, chills the body but not the soul. There ain’t but one train runs this track, runs to heaven and runs right back. [Refrain]

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spriitual; Arr. Nolan Williams, Jr., © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #94903. All rights reserved.

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 Blessing & Dismissal

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 14; BCP, p 366]

May the Spirit of truth lead [us] into all truth, giving [us] grace to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and to proclaim the wonderful works of God; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among [us], and remain with [us] always. Amen.

Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia!

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), and other sources cited. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible unless otherwise noted

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