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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Palm Sunday Worship (April 10, 2022)

The Holy Eucharist

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday (Year C)

April 10, 2022

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday, April 10, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)

The Holy Eucharist: Rite II

The Liturgy of the Palms

The Liturgy of the Palms

[BCP, p. 270 / Hymn #153]

[Words: Public Domain. Music: © 1985, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #81569. All rights reserved.]

Let us pray.

Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to Luke (19:28-40)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After telling a parable to the crowd at Jericho, Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, "Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it.'" So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" They said, "The Lord needs it." Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,

"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!

Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!"

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Blessing of the Palms

[BCP, p. 271 / Hymn #153]

It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who spread their garments and branches of palm along his way. Let these branches be for us signs of his victory, and grant that we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King, and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Words: Public Domain. Music: © 1985, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #81569. All rights reserved.

Hymn #154: All Glory, Laud, and Honor

[Verses 1-5]


All glory, laud, and honor

to thee, Redeemer, King!

to whom the lips of children

made sweet hosannas ring.

1. Thou art the King of Israel,

thou David's royal Son,

who in the Lord's Name comest,

the King and Blessed One. (REFRAIN)

2. The company of angels

are praising thee on high;

and we with all creation

in chorus make reply. (REFRAIN)

3. The people of the Hebrews

with palms before thee went;

our praise and prayer and anthems

before thee we present. (REFRAIN)

4. To thee before thy passion

they sang their hymns of praise;

to thee, now high exalted,

our melody we raise. (REFRAIN)

5. Thou didst accept their praises;

accept the prayers we bring,

who in all good delightest,

thou good and gracious King. (REFRAIN)

Words: Theodulph of Orleans; tr. John Mason Neale, alt., Public Domain. Music: Valet will ich dir geben, melody Melchior Teschner, alt.; harm. William Henry Monk, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #83962. All rights reserved.

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 219]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (50:4-9a)

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,

that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens-- wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together.

Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.

It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 31:9-16

[BCP, p. 623]

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

9 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; * my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.

10 For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; * my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; * when they see me in the street they avoid me.

12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; * I am as useless as a broken pot.

13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; * they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.

14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. * I have said, "You are my God.

15 My times are in your hand; * rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, * and in your loving-kindness save me."

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (2:5-11)

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,

but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The People remain seated at the beginning of the Passion Gospel. The Passion Gospel will be read by lay persons with specific roles assigned to different persons, and the congregation taking the part of the crowd.

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Luke (22:14-23:56)

NARRATOR: The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Luke: When the hour for the Passover meal came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them,

JESUS: "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."

NARRATOR: Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said,

JESUS: "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

NARRATOR: Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,

JESUS: "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

NARRATOR: And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying,

JESUS: "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!"

NARRATOR: Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this.

A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them,

JESUS: "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

"You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

"Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

NARRATOR: And he said to him,

PETER: "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!"

NARRATOR: Jesus said,

JESUS: "I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me."

NARRATOR: He said to them,

JESUS: "When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?"

NARRATOR: They said,

DISCIPLES: "No, not a thing."

NARRATOR: He said to them,

JESUS: "But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, `And he was counted among the lawless'; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled."

NARRATOR: They said,

DISCIPLES: "Lord, look, here are two swords."

NARRATOR: He replied,

JESUS: "It is enough."

NARRATOR: He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them,

JESUS: "Pray that you may not come into the time of trial."

NARRATOR: Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed,

JESUS: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done."

NARRATOR: Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them,

JESUS: "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial."

NARRATOR: While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him,

JESUS: "Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?"

NARRATOR: When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked,

DISCIPLES: "Lord, should we strike with the sword?"

NARRATOR: Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said,

JESUS: "No more of this!"

NARRATOR: And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him,

JESUS: "Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!"

NARRATOR: Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said,

SERVANT: "This man also was with him."

NARRATOR: But he denied it, saying,

PETER: "Woman, I do not know him."

NARRATOR: A little later someone else, on seeing him, said,

ACCUSER 1: "You also are one of them."

NARRATOR: But Peter said,

PETER: "Man, I am not!"

NARRATOR: Then about an hour later still another kept insisting,

ACCUSER 2: "Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean."

NARRATOR: But Peter said,

PETER: "Man, I do not know what you are talking about!"

NARRATOR: At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him,

SOLDIERS: "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?"

NARRATOR: They kept heaping many other insults on him.

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. They said,

ALL: "If you are the Messiah, tell us."

NARRATOR: He replied,

JESUS: "If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."

NARRATOR: All of them asked,

ALL: "Are you, then, the Son of God?"

NARRATOR: He said to them,

JESUS: "You say that I am."

NARRATOR: Then they said,

ALL: "What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!"

NARRATOR: Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They began to accuse him, saying,

ALL: "We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king."

NARRATOR: Then Pilate asked him,

PILATE: "Are you the king of the Jews?"

NARRATOR: He answered,

JESUS: "You say so."

NARRATOR: Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds,

PILATE: "I find no basis for an accusation against this man."

NARRATOR: But they were insistent and said,

ALL: "He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place."

NARRATOR: When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them,

PILATE: "You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him."

NARRATOR: Then they all shouted out together,

ALL: "Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!"

NARRATOR: (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting,

ALL: "Crucify, crucify him!"

NARRATOR: A third time he said to them,

PILATE: "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him."

NARRATOR: But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said,

JESUS: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"

At the mention of the place called the Skull, all should stand, as able.

NARRATOR: Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said,

JESUS: "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

NARRATOR: And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying,

ALL: "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!"

NARRATOR: The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying,

SOLDIERS: "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"

NARRATOR: There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying,

CRIMINAL 1: "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!"

NARRATOR: But the other rebuked him, saying,

CRIMINAL 2: "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong."

NARRATOR: Then he said,

CRIMINAL 2: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

NARRATOR: He replied,

JESUS: "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

NARRATOR: It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,

JESUS: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."

NARRATOR: Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said,

CENTURION: "Certainly this man was innocent."

NARRATOR: And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

LEV #35: Oh, How He Loves You and Me

[Verses 1-2]

1 O how He loves you and me

O how He loves you and me

He gave His life, what more could He give?

O how He loves you, O how He loves me

O how He loves you and me

2 Jesus to Calvary did go

His love for the world to show

What He did there brought hope from despair

O how He loves you, O how He loves me

O how He loves you and me

Words and Music: Kurt Kaiser © 1975 Word Music (a division of WORD, INC.). All rights reserved.

The Sermon

"The Power of the Crowd" by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Why was Jesus arrested? In Luke’s Gospel, the crowd of chief priests, elders, and temple police don’t read Jesus his Miranda rights (Luke 22:52). They don’t explain what crime they accused him of committing. In fact, none of the four Gospels give a clear answer to this very simple question; and that’s despite each of them spending 2-3 chapters telling the story of Jesus’ Passion. Why was he arrested? Why was his trial rushed? Why was he crucified? Why did they kill him?

And it’s not that the Gospels ignore this question. There are plenty of pieces of the answer. But it’s not as simple as Jesus being tried for murder and insurrection, like Barabbas was. Luke 23:19 very straightforwardly tells us what crimes Barabbas was accused of committing. Instead, we have these long back-and-forths between Jesus and the religious leaders at his trial. Then he gets passed off to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea (where Jerusalem is). Then, in Luke’s Gospel, he gets passed off to Herod Antipas, the governor of Galilee (where Jesus lived). Everyone passes Jesus around for these fake trials to determine if he is guilty of… something worthy of capital punishment.

Luke gives us a snapshot of the sham trial that took place the morning after Jesus’ arrest. The chief priests, elders, and scribes begin by telling the bruised Jesus, “If you are the Messiah, tell us” (22:67). So is his crime that he claimed to be the Messiah? Other people did that and weren’t arrested, beaten, and sentenced to death. Then, they ask Jesus, “Are you … the Son of God?” (22:70). He had called himself that in a cryptic response to their first question, and replied, “You say that I am” (22:70).

Jesus wasn’t willing to play games with these religious leaders because their questions weren’t genuine. They weren’t curious to learn from Jesus. Their hearts weren’t open to being changed. They just wanted to catch Jesus in a trap and condemn him. See, the real crime here isn’t that he claimed to be the Messiah. It’s that people believed him and they were changing the way they lived.

When they bring Jesus before Pilate, they accuse Jesus like this: “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king” (23:2). Then they claimed, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place” (23:5). So the crime is more than just claiming to be the Messiah, it’s claiming to be a King of the Jews. They accuse him of treason, disloyalty to his country and empire. In other words, they accused Jesus of leading a rebellion, an attempted insurrection that would try to overthrow the government.

But, here’s the thing. The Jewish people were colonized people. By and large they weren’t loyal to the Roman Empire. The Romans had conquered them and subjugated them, taxing them heavily and restricting their freedoms. Most Jews didn’t want the Romans to rule them. So why were they upset that Jesus (or anybody) was trying to lead their people to independence?

It seems like they didn’t like it because they were going to get cut out of power. Jesus wasn’t a priest, scribe, or elder. He didn’t derive his authority from the established Temple system. And he didn’t collaborate with them or submit to their rules and ways of life. And they feared that if Jesus’ Movement gained more traction, the Temple would lose its influence over the rest of the Jewish people. So they were willing to trade a chance at political freedom for holding onto power and keeping things just the way they were. They chose themselves over what might be better for the people. They chose the selfish path.

And the selfish path led them to murder. It led them to condemn an innocent man to torture and death. Jesus was starting a revolution, but it wasn’t a purely political one, and certainly not a violent, military one. Jesus was starting a revolution of love. He invited people to love God, love their neighbors, and love themselves with such passion that they would not accept selfishness, greed, injustice, and oppression. The revolution of Jesus wasn’t about storming any Roman government buildings. It was about treating people with dignity and love, and expecting others to do the same. It was about holding people to the higher standard of God’s love and fairness. And that terrified both the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman rulers.

For now, Pilate and Herod considered releasing Jesus instead of crucifying him. But they were still planning to flog him (that is, whip him very severely). They still wanted to punish him for what he had said and done. They didn’t care about him, or empathize with him, or treat him like a sibling in the great human family. They just wanted a problem to disappear. And, in the end, with a little bit of political pressure from the religious leaders, Pilate agreed to crucify Jesus. A crowd of them were assembled in Pilate’s courtroom and “they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed” (23:23).

This story teaches us a lot about how political power works in our world. When enough people want something, they can demand it, even from reluctant rulers. Public officials like Pilate had massive, brutal armies at their command, but they still listened to crowds of people who clamored for Jesus’ life.

Imagine what it would be like to use that same “people power” to follow the Way of Jesus. Imagine gathering together in front of our leaders with crowds of like-minded people -- not asking for someone to be executed -- but asking for positive change. What if we focused on making the world a more fair, just, peaceful place? What if we demanded love, not hate?

That’s precisely what we’re trying to do in Justice Unites Savannah Together (JUST). In an inversion of the Passion Story, St. Matthew’s is working with 25 other congregations to research problems in Savannah and look for solutions. And in less than a month, on May 2, 2022, we will hold our first in-person Nehemiah Action, asking the City to invest in affordable housing and asking the County to keep people out of jails and courts for minor crimes. You’ll be hearing me and others speak about this in church every week until May 2 because we want as many of you as possible to show up at the Johnny Mercer Theatre at 6:15 PM that night to demand that our public officials work toward real solutions.

JUST might not fix everything, but we can fix something. And in a world full of brokenness, selfishness, and greed, we’re looking for any way we can to share love, to share the healing light of Jesus. So, as we meditate on Jesus’ death this week and prepare for his resurrection on Sunday, we are also receiving a call to action. The call is to “walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us,” working together to bring love to loveless places (Ephesians 5:2). 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

Leader: Have mercy on us, O God, according to your loving kindness; in your great compassion, hear our prayers.

We pray for the whole church, all leaders and ministers, and all the holy people of God. Wash us through and through, and cleanse us from our sin.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for our nation, for all the nations of the earth, and for all who govern and judge, especially for Joseph our President, Brian our governor, Van our mayor, Chester the chair of our County Commission, and Ann the Superintendent of our Public Schools. Purge us from our sin, and we shall be pure.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who hunger, those who thirst, those who cry out for justice, those who live under the threat of terror and war, and those without a place to lay their head. Make them hear of joy and gladness, that those who are broken may rejoice.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are ill, those in pain, those under stress, and those who are lonely. Give them the joy of your saving help, and sustain them with your bountiful Spirit.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

In this season of Lent, we pray for those who prepare for baptism, and we pray that we all might be given the grace and strength to repent and grow closer to you, O God. Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew a right spirit within us.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who have died and who have entered into the land of eternal Light and your abiding peace, and those whom we remember now... Cast them not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from them.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for our Day Care staff, students, and their families, and for the people of our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien Jr., Angie Glover, Annie Bell Greer, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, Bette Milledge, and Helen Scroggins.

We give thanks for Georgette Kelley (4/15) and Helen Scroggins (4/15) on their birthdays and for Charles and Joenelle Gordon (4/12) on their wedding anniversary.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect.

Passion Sunday: Lord Jesus, you humbled yourself in the manger, you humbled yourself on the cross, and at your Name, we bend our knee with those above and those below, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Peace

[EOW1, p. 56]

The peace of Christ be always with you.

And also with you.

Parish Announcements

A. Warren Loadholt (1960-2022) Funeral on 4/12: Warren Isaac Loadholt (1960-2022) passed away unexpectedly on April 5, 2022. He was a lifelong member of St. Matthew's. He is survived by his mother, Marva Johnson, his daughters, Montranese Loadholt and Ieshia Brown, two grandchildren, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. You can read his full obituary here:!/Obituary

St. Matthew's will host a funeral service for Mr. Loadholt on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at 11:00 AM. There will be no public repast due to the pandemic. His interment will follow at Beaufort National Cemetery at 2:00 PM. Memorial gifts may be offered to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in lieu of flowers.

B. New COVID-19 Safety Guidelines: St. Matthew’s Vestry agreed to update its In-Person COVID-19 Safety Guidelines on March 31, 2022. To summarize, when the CDC indicates that Chatham County has a Low or Medium “COVID-19 Community Level,” the Vestry will allow light refreshments to be served at public indoor events, provided that people continue to wear masks whenever they are not eating or drinking. When Chatham County has a High COVID-19 level, food and drink will not be allowed. Chatham County currently has a Low COVID-19 level. You can read the guidance in all its detail here:

We will once again serve light refreshments after worship on Sundays and have other social events again in-person. We will invite individuals and families to sign up to serve snacks after worship services beginning on Easter Day (April 17, 2022).

C. Holy Week Schedule 4/10-4/17: Worship with us this Holy Week, as we journey with Jesus toward the Cross and Resurrection on Easter Day!

  • 4/10/22: Palm Sunday

    • 9:30 AM Holy Communion (In-Person & Facebook)

  • 4/11/22: Monday in Holy Week

    • 5:00 PM Evening Prayer (Zoom & Facebook)

  • 4/12/22: Tuesday in Holy Week

    • 5:00 PM Evening Prayer (Zoom & Facebook)

  • 4/13/22: Wednesday in Holy Week

    • 5:00 PM Evening Prayer (Zoom & Facebook)

  • 4/14/22: Maundy Thursday

    • 5:00 PM Evening Prayer (Zoom & Facebook)

    • 6:00 PM Holy Communion​ (In-Person & Facebook) in Toomer-Walker Hall

  • 4/15/22: Good Friday

    • 12:00 PM Stations of the Cross​ (In-Person Only)

    • 5:00 PM Evening Prayer (Zoom & Facebook)

    • 6:00 PM Good Friday Worship (In-Person & Facebook)

  • 4/16/22: Holy Saturday

    • 9:30 AM Holy Saturday Worship (Zoom & Facebook)

  • 4/17/22: Easter Day

    • 6:30 AM Sunrise Easter Vigil (In-Person & Facebook)

    • 9:30 AM Holy Communion (In-Person & Facebook)

D. Lenten Book Study: This Band of Sisterhood: This Lent, we will gather together to read and discuss a new book called This Band of Sisterhood: Black Women Bishops on Race, Faith, and the Church, edited by Dr. Westina Matthews. The final meeting will be:

  • Wednesday, April 13: Q&A with the author, Dr. Westina Matthews at 6:00 PM

You can order this book for $14.95 via Church Publishing or Amazon. The Zoom link is available in the e-Newsletter. Sign up for the e-Newsletter at the bottom of our homepage, or reach out to the Office to get the info. If you're interested in learning more about the book, watch this webinar with the author/editor and the five bishops:

E. Memorial Gifts for Easter Lilies: The Altar Guild will purchase Lilies for the altar this Easter. Those who want to make donations in memory of or in thanksgiving for loved ones may do so by donating to the church's General Operations fund (i.e., donations in addition to one's pledge / giving estimate).

Checks and money orders should be made out to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church. Please give the names of those to be remembered by emailing the Church office at or completing the form provided in the church office. Please submit all names by Wednesday, April 13. If you have any questions please call Joenelle Gordon, Chair of the Altar Guild, or the Parish Administrator at (912) 234-4440.

F. JUST Nehemiah Action on 5/2: Justice Unites Savannah Together (JUST) is holding its 2nd Annual Nehemiah Action (and 1st ever in-person) on Monday, May 2, 2022, at 6:15 PM at the Johnny Mercer Theatre in the Savannah Civic Center (301 W Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401). The Nehemiah Action is our annual opportunity to show public officials that hundreds, or even thousands of people in Chatham County care about fixing major community problems.

For the last year, JUST has researched affordable housing and cash bail. We will ask the City of Savannah to continue investing in an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to make housing more accessible to low and middle-income families. Then, we will ask the Chatham District Attorney to expand a diversion program that keeps people out of the criminal justice system before they lose time in jail or money to pay for bail. If you care about these issues, we invite you to attend this action to show our public officials how important these are for people of faith in Savannah!

JUST's Interim Lead Organizer, Rachel Hodes, will visit St. Matthew's for worship on Easter Day. Rachel will be available to talk about JUST during coffee hour.

G. Book of Sermons: Della Jones and Sandra Mitchell are looking for parishioners interested in serving on a committee to compile sermons and identify artwork for a book of Fr. Guillermo Arboleda’s sermons. This proposed book project would become a historical document for St. Matthew's and may be sold in the future at a modest price to raise funds for the parish.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact either Della Jones or Sandra Mitchell. The first meeting will be held during the week following Easter. Date and time to be determined.

H. The Rev. Kelly Steele Installation on 5/4: Since last April, the Rev. Kelly Steele (the Rev. Guillermo Arboleda's spouse), has served St. Peter's Episcopal Church on Skidaway Island as their Priest-in-Charge. Last week the Vestry of St. Peter's called Rev. Steele to be their Rector, beginning April 1, 2022! Bishop Frank Logue, Rev. Steele, and the people of St. Peter's invite you to the Rector Installation service (a.k.a. Celebration of a New Ministry) on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at 5:30 PM at 3 West Ridge Rd, Savannah, GA 31411.

Congratulations to Rev. Steele, St. Peter's Church, and the Arboleda-Steele family!

I. Youth Sponsor Ronald McDonald House Donation Drive in Lent: Become involved in supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which provides housing and support for children and their families as they receive medical treatment at nearby hospitals. Our youth will be collecting donations to help cover these costs. Donations will be collected during Lent. They can be dropped off at the church on Wednesday between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm or Sunday before or after service. The RMHC of the Coastal Empire, based in Savannah, requests the following items for donation this spring:

  • Bleach

  • Disinfectant Wipes

  • Trash Bags (4, 13, and 33+ gallons)

J. CORR on 5/1 at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church: Conversations on Relationships and Race (CORR) is a joint Christian Education course with St. Matthew’s, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Isle of Hope United Methodist Church, and Asbury United Methodist Church. This spring, we will continue to read How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. You may purchase it from any major bookstore (such as Amazon).

Our next CORR meeting is scheduled to be in person on Sunday, May 1, 2022, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church (2 St Thomas Ave, Savannah, GA 31406). Please read Chapters 12-18 of Kendi’s book before the meeting.

K. T/W/Th Evening Prayer: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, St. Matthew's invites you to pray Evening Prayer over Zoom. The video will continue to stream to Facebook Live at 5:00 PM. Please join the Zoom call by 4:55 PM. Otherwise, watch the prayer service as you have been on Facebook Live.

For security purposes, below is the Meeting ID only; please check your St. Matthew's e-Newsletter for the password (or email to request it).

Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer

Time: 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Join Zoom Meeting: See e-Newsletter

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter

Dial by your location: +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]

Giving to St. Matthew's: We know that many people are feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The church is feeling it too. We still need your support to pay our staff, pay our bills, and provide for these online live streams. 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.

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.

“I appeal to you, sisters and brothers, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” [Romans 12:1]

LEV #97: Ride On, King Jesus

[Verses 1-2]


Ride on, King Jesus,

No man can-a hinder me.

Ride on King Jesus ride on

no man can-a hinder me

1 King Jesus rides a milk-white horse,

No man works like Him,

De river Jord’n He did cross

no man works like Him. Oh [REFRAIN]

2 I know that my redeemer lives,

No man works like Him,

And of His blessing freely gives,

no man works like Him. Oh [REFRAIN]

Words: Traditional, Public Domain. Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Hezekiah Brinson, Jr., © 1990 Hezekiah Brinson, Jr. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #87262. All rights reserved.

AAHH #651: Doxology

[See also Hymn # 380, v. 3]

Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Words: Thomas Ken, Public Domain. Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84260. All rights reserved.

Eucharistic Prayer 1

[EOW1, p. 57]

It is truly right, and good and joyful, to give you thanks, all-holy God, source of life and fountain of mercy …

Preface of Holy Week [BCP, p. 379]:

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. For our sins he was lifted high upon the cross, that he might draw the whole world to himself; and, by his suffering and death, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who put their trust in him.

Therefore, joining with Angels and Archangels and with the faithful of every generation, we lift our voices with all creation as we sing:

LEV #254:

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.

[Word: Public Domain. Music: Carl Maultsby, The Saint Mary Mass, © 1989 Malted Milk Music. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00004C1989. All rights reserved.]

The people stand or kneel.

Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of the universe and giver of life. You formed us in your own image and called us to dwell in your infinite love. You gave the world into our care that we might be your faithful stewards and show forth your bountiful grace.

But we failed to honor your image in one another and in ourselves; we would not see your goodness in the world around us; and so we violated your creation, abused one another, and rejected your love. Yet you never ceased to care for us, and prepared the way of salvation for all people.

Through Abraham and Sarah you called us into covenant with you. You delivered us from slavery, sustained us in the wilderness, and raised up prophets to renew your promise of salvation. Then, in the fullness of time, you sent your eternal Word, made mortal flesh in Jesus. Born into the human family, and dwelling among us, he revealed your glory. Giving himself freely to death on the cross, he triumphed over evil, opening the way of freedom and life.

On the night before he died for us, Our Savior Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his friends, and said: “Take, eat: This is my Body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

As supper was ending, Jesus 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 poured out for you and for all 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.

[Words: Public Domain. Music: Marjorie Gabriel-Burrow © 1992 G.I.A. Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.]

Remembering his death and resurrection, we now present to you from your creation this bread and this wine. By your Holy Spirit may they be for us the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Grant that we who share these gifts may be filled with the Holy Spirit and live as Christ’s Body in the world. Bring us into the everlasting heritage of your daughters and sons, that with Blessed Mary, Blessed Matthew, and all your saints, past, present, and yet to come, we may praise your Name for ever.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and 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]

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;

Therefore let us keep the feast.

This Far By Faith (1999) #36:

O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;

have mercy and grant us peace,

we pray, O Lamb of God.

[Words: Public Domain. Music: Grayson Warren Brown, arr. Larry Adams © 1979 Grayson Warren Brown, admin. by OCP Publications. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #81590. All rights reserved.]

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

The Gifts of God for the people of God.

Choir Selection: The Palms (O'er All the Way)

[The New National Baptist Hymnal, #72. Words: Jean Faure, Public Domain. Music: arr. Charles H. Gabriel © 1913 Hall-Mack Co., renewed 1941 The Rodehaver Co. All rights reserved.]

Hymn #313: Let Thy Blood in Mercy Poured

[Verses 1-4]

1. Let thy Blood in mercy poured,

let thy gracious Body broken,

be to me, O gracious Lord,

of thy boundless love the token.


Thou didst give thyself for me,

now I give myself to thee.

2. Thou didst die that I might live;

blessed Lord, thou cam'st to save me;

all that love of God could give

Jesus by his sorrows gave me. (REFRAIN)

3. By the thorns that crowned thy brow,

by the spear-wound and the nailing,

by the pain and death, I now

claim, O Christ, thy love unfailing. (REFRAIN)

4. Wilt thou own the gift I bring?

All my penitence I give thee;

thou art my exalted King,

of thy matchless love forgive me. (REFRAIN)

Words: John Brownlie, Public Domain. Music: Jesus, meine Zuversicht, melody Johann Cruger, harm. after The Chorale Book for England (1863), Public Domain. All rights reserved.

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 Solemn Prayer for the People

[Adapted from The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 10-12]

Let us bow down before the Lord.

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

The Parish Prayer List

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

Birthdays: Georgette Kelley (4/15) and Helen Scroggins (4/15)

Wedding Anniversaries: Charles and Joenelle Gordon (4/12)

Recent Deaths: Harry Martin (d. 3/30/2022; brother of Martha Avery); Warren Loadholt (d. 4/5/2022; son of Marva Johnson)

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.

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