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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Palm Sunday Worship: April 2, 2023

Updated: Apr 3, 2023


The Holy Eucharist

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

April 2, 2023 at 9:30 AM

Celebrant and Preacher: The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Deacon: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis



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



The Holy Eucharist: Rite II



Prelude: "The Palms"

[Music: J. Faure, Copyright © 1952 Ethel Smith Music Corp., Miami Beach, FL. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #EXS0029SD. All Rights Reserved.]



Hymn #153: The Liturgy of the Palms (Opening Anthem)



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.


[Words and Music: Copyright © 1985 Church Publishing, Inc, and Church Pension Fund. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #81569. All rights reserved.]



The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew 21:1-11

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


When Jesus and his disciples had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, `The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, "Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."


The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"


When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



Hymn #153: The Liturgy of the Palms (Blessing over the Branches)



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 for ever. Amen.





The Altar Party and the People process outside around the building (weather permitting) from the narthex to the wheelchair ramp door near the grand piano. Otherwise, the procession will circle the pews in the nave.


[Words and Music: Copyright © 1985 Church Publishing, Inc, and Church Pension Fund. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #81569. All rights reserved.]



Hymn #154: All Glory, Laud, and Honor


REFRAIN

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 is 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. Music: Valet will ich dir geben, melody Melchior Teschner, alt; harm. William Henry Monk. Used with permission under One License #83962.



The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 272]

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.



Hymn #474: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross


1 When I survey the wondrous cross where the young Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride. 2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the cross of Christ, my God: all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood. 3 See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown? 4 Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small; love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.


Words: Isaac Watts. Copyright © 1990 Lorentz Publishing Company. Music: Rockingham, from Second Supplement to Psalmody in Miniature, ca; Copyright © 1990 Lorentz Publishing Company. Harm. Edward Miller. Used with permission under One License #994925.



The People remain seated at the beginning of the reading of the Passion Gospel.

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew 26:14-27:66


NARRATOR: The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew. One of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said,


JUDAS: "What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?"


NARRATOR: They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him. On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying,


DISCIPLES: "Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?"


NARRATOR: He said,


JESUS: "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'"


NARRATOR: So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said,


JESUS: "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me."


NARRATOR: And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another,


DISCIPLES: "Surely not I, Lord?"


NARRATOR: He answered,


JESUS: "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born."


NARRATOR: Judas, who betrayed him, said,


JUDAS: "Surely not I, Rabbi?"


NARRATOR: He replied,


JESUS: "You have said so."


NARRATOR: While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said,


JESUS: "Take, eat; this is my body."


NARRATOR: Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying,


JESUS: "Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."


NARRATOR: When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them,


JESUS: "You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee."


NARRATOR: Peter said to him,


PETER: "Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you."


NARRATOR: Jesus said to him,


JESUS: "Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times."


NARRATOR: Peter said to him,


PETER: "Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you."


NARRATOR: And so said all the disciples. Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples,


JESUS: "Sit here while I go over there and pray."


NARRATOR: He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them,


JESUS: "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me."


NARRATOR: And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed,


JESUS: "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want."


NARRATOR: Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter,


JESUS: "So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."


NARRATOR: Again he went away for the second time and prayed,


JESUS: "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done."


NARRATOR: Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them,


JESUS: "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand."


NARRATOR: While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying,


JUDAS: "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him."


NARRATOR: At once he came up to Jesus and said,


JUDAS: "Greetings, Rabbi!"


NARRATOR: and kissed him. Jesus said to him,


JESUS: "Friend, do what you are here to do."


NARRATOR: Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him,


JESUS: "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?"


NARRATOR: At that hour Jesus said to the crowds,


JESUS: "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled."


NARRATOR: Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said,


ACCUSERS: "This fellow said, `I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'"


NARRATOR: The high priest stood up and said,


HIGH PRIEST: "Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?"


NARRATOR: But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him,


HIGH PRIEST: "I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God."


NARRATOR: Jesus said to him,


JESUS: "You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven."


NARRATOR: Then the high priest tore his clothes and said,


HIGH PRIEST: "He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?"


NARRATOR: They answered,


CHIEF PRIESTS: "He deserves death."


NARRATOR: Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, saying,


CHIEF PRIESTS: "Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?"


NARRATOR: Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said,


SERVANT GIRL: "You also were with Jesus the Galilean."


NARRATOR: But he denied it before all of them, saying,


PETER: "I do not know what you are talking about."


NARRATOR: When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders,


SERVANT GIRL: This man was with Jesus of Nazareth."


NARRATOR: Again he denied it with an oath,


PETER: "I do not know the man."


NARRATOR: After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter,


BYSTANDER: Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you."


NARRATOR: Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath,


PETER: "I do not know the man!"


NARRATOR: At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said:


JESUS: "Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times."


NARRATOR: And he went out and wept bitterly. When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor. When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said,


JUDAS: "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood."


NARRATOR: But they said,


CHIEF PRIESTS: "What is that to us? See to it yourself."


NARRATOR: Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said,


CHIEF PRIESTS: "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money."


NARRATOR: After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter's field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me." Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him,


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


NARRATOR: Jesus said,


JESUS: "You say so."


NARRATOR: But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him,


PILATE: "Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?"


NARRATOR: But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them,


PILATE: "Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?"


NARRATOR: For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him,


PILATE’S WIFE: "Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him."


NARRATOR: Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them,


PILATE: "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?"


NARRATOR: And they said,


CONGREGATION: "Barabbas."


NARRATOR: Pilate said to them,


PILATE: "Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?"


NARRATOR: All of them said,


CONGREGATION: "Let him be crucified!"


NARRATOR: Then he asked,


PILATE: "Why, what evil has he done?"


NARRATOR: But they shouted all the more,


CONGREGATION: "Let him be crucified!"


NARRATOR: So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying,


PILATE: "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves."


NARRATOR: Then the people as a whole answered,


CONGREGATION: "His blood be on us and on our children!"


NARRATOR: So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying,


SOLDIERS: "Hail, King of the Jews!"


NARRATOR: They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.


(At the mention of Golgotha, the congregation stands, as they are able, and remains standing for the remainder of the reading.)


NARRATOR: As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying,


BYSTANDERS: "You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross."


NARRATOR: In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying,


CHIEF PRIESTS: "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, `I am God's Son.'"


NARRATOR: The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice,


JESUS: "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?"


NARRATOR: that is,


JESUS: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"


NARRATOR: When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,


BYSTANDERS: "This man is calling for Elijah."


NARRATOR: At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said,


BYSTANDERS: "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him."


NARRATOR: Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said,


CENTURION: "Truly this man was God's Son!


NARRATOR: Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said,


CHIEF PRIESTS: "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, `After three days I will rise again.' Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, `He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first."


NARRATOR: Pilate said to them,


PILATE: "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can."


NARRATOR: So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.



The Sermon

"At the Cross" by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector


“From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. … Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. … Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’” (Matthew 27:45, 50-51, 54)


In the hours that Jesus hung upon the cross, everything grew dark. In the middle of the day, from 12:00-3:00, the sun disappeared. When Jesus finally died, there was an earthquake. The sun hid its own light and beauty because it was mourning the death of Jesus. The ground shook and the rocks split because the earth was also crying out in agony, grieving for Jesus. The heavens and the earth responded in anguish to the death of the Word of God made flesh. Heaven and earth protested, squirmed, and revolted at the loss of their Creator. The great hymn writer Isaac Watts puts it this way: “Well might the sun in darkness hide and shut its glories in, when God, the mighty Maker, died for His own creatures’ sin.”


These natural phenomena were stunning and scary for all the bystanders. They were terrifying to the other residents of Jerusalem. They convinced the centurion, a Roman soldier who helped to crucify Jesus, that he was “truly … God’s Son.” They remind us that Jesus came to save all of Creation, not just human beings. God’s love is even greater and wider than we can imagine.


God’s love is expressed in self-sacrifice and humility. The glory of God, the character of God, the love of God are all revealed most clearly at the Cross. Jesus “humbled himself” to be betrayed, arrested, jailed, beaten, and crucified (Philippians 2:8). Jesus endured an atrocity, the most gruesome act of human violence and torture. In the eyes of Jewish culture, Jesus became unclean as a dead corpse. In the eyes of Roman culture, Jesus joined the ranks of the crucified, the scum of the earth. But, in the eyes of God the Father, Jesus is “highly exalted” (Phil 2:9). Jesus is the name above every name. We all bow and bend the knee because Jesus loves us, saves us, and will rule over us justly.


When Jesus rules, no one else will ever be crucified. The Cross is meant to be the end of violence and death, because in the Cross (and the Resurrection), Jesus overcomes death. At the Cross, God’s love and light shine through the darkness of the faded sun. At the Cross, we learn how much God loves human beings, animals, plants, earth, air, and outer space. At the Cross, we receive the warmth and radiance of God’s light. At the Cross, God releases us from all burdens. At the Cross, God gives us eyes of faith to see clearly that everyone around is beloved. Because of the Cross, we can live in peace and harmony, happy all the day.


I’ll close by playing and singing my musical arrangement of the hymn, “At the Cross.” The lyrics can be found in Lift Every Voice and Sing II, #30, or in the online program.


1 Alas! and did my Savior bleed,

and did my Sov’reign die?

Would He devote that sacred head

for sinners such as I?


2 Was it for crimes that I have done,

He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity! Grace unknown!

And love beyond degree!


REFRAIN:

At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light,

and the burden of my heart rolled away;

it was there by faith I received my sight,

and now I am happy all the day.


3 Well might the sun in darkness hide,

and shut its glories in;

when God, the mighty maker,

died for His own creature’s sin.


4 Thus might I hide my blushing face

while His dear cross appears;

dissolve my heart in thankfulness,

and melt mine eyes to tears. (REFRAIN)


5 But drops of tears can ne’er repay

the debt of love I owe;

Here, Lord, I give myself away;

’tis all that I can do. (REFRAIN)


[Words: Ralph E. Hudson, Public Domain. Music: Guillermo A. Arboleda, Copyright © 2021 Guillermo A. Arboleda. All Rights Reserved.]



The Nicene Creed

[BCP, p. 358]


All standing as they are able, the People pray:


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.



Hymn S106: The Prayers of the People, Form I

[See also BCP, p. 383]


With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying "Lord, have mercy."


For the peace from above, for the loving-kindness of God, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the Holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For our Frank our Bishop, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For Joseph our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For the City of Savannah, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For those who travel on land, on water, in the air, or through outer space, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Teresa Blue Clemons, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Marva Harris, Tracy Outing Hundley, Della Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Deacon Ella Roundtree-Davis, Jewel Wheeler, Alfreda Wright, Alton Wright, and Jewel Wheeler; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For Rashad Taylor, Sr. (4/3), Charlotte Blue (4/6), and Duane Johnson (4/7) on their birthdays; and The Rev. Charles & Evalena Hoskins and Jonathan & Jackie Newton (4/6) on their wedding anniversaries; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, especially Cassandra Grant Brown; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.


Defend us, deliver us, and in your compassion protect us, O Lord, by your grace. Lord, have mercy.


In the communion of Blessed Matthew and of all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God. To you, O Lord our God.


The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect.

Almighty God, whose beloved Son willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross for our redemption: Give us courage to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


[Music: Copyright © 1985, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #28267. All rights reserved.]



Confession of Sin

[BCP, p. 360]


The Deacon says

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Silence may be kept.


Deacon and People

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.


The Bishop, when present, or the Priest, stands and says

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.



The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.



Parish Announcements


Holy Week & Easter Schedule: Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, April 2, 2023, and ends with Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023. See below for the complete worship schedule:

  • April 2, Palm Sunday (The Sunday of the Passion): Liturgy of the Palms and Holy Communion with Choir at 9:30 AM

  • April 3, Monday in Holy Week: Holy Communion (no music) at 6:00 PM

  • April 4, Tuesday in Holy Week: Holy Communion (no music) at 6:00 PM

  • April 5, Wednesday in Holy Week: Holy Communion (no music) at 6:00 PM; Final Wellness Wednesday Bible Study to follow

  • April 6, Maundy Thursday: Foot Washing, Holy Communion with Choir, Agapé Meal, and Stripping of the Altar at 6:00 PM in Toomer-Walker Hall

  • April 7, Good Friday: Stations of the Cross at 12:00 noon

  • April 7, Good Friday: Good Friday Worship with Communion from the Reserved Sacrament at 6:00 PM

  • April 8, Holy Saturday: Holy Saturday Worship at 9:30 AM; Decorating the Church for Easter to follow

  • April 9, Easter Day: Ecumenical Easter Sunrise at 6:00 AM in Butler Presbyterian Memorial Church, 603 W. Victory Dr, Savannah, GA 31405

  • April 9, Easter Day: Holy Communion with Choir at 9:30 AM


Confirmation & Episcopal Refresher Class TODAY: This spring, Fr. Arboleda will teach an eight-session course to prepare people for Confirmation, Reception, or Renewal of Baptismal Vows. This course is also open to anyone in the church who wants a "refresher" on fundamental Episcopal beliefs and practices. Confirmations and Renewals of Baptismal Vows will take place on Sunday, May 28, 2023, the Day of Pentecost, when Bishop Frank Logue will conduct his annual visitation to St. Matthew's. Each session of the class will take place after Sunday worship from about 11:15-12:15.

  • April 2: Other Sacraments (Marriage, Confession, Anointing, & Burial)

  • April 23: Using The Book of Common Prayer

  • May 7: Faith Outside the Church

  • May 21: Faith Inside The Episcopal Church

This is a space for learning and growth. In these classes, we will listen carefully to one another and honor each other as siblings, even if we disagree. We will not shame anyone for asking questions, not knowing something, or sharing their honest beliefs.


Easter Lilies & Altar Decorations: This Easter Season, parishioners are offered an opportunity to give thanks for blessings and to remember loved ones by donating toward the purchase of altar decorations (Hangings, Veil, and Burse). If you intend to make a donation, please complete the forms available in the parish hall or contact the Parish office. Please submit all names by Wednesday, April 5, 2023. If you have any questions, please call Joenelle Gordon, Chair of the Altar Guild, or the Parish Administrator at (912) 234-4440.

  • Lilies: $15

  • Red Veil: $150

  • Red Burse: $163

  • Red Pulpit/Lectern Hanging (x3): $315 each, $945 total

  • White Pulpit/Lectern Hanging: $315 each

  • Green Pulpit/Lectern Hanging: $315 each

  • Purple Pulpit/Lectern Hanging: $315 each


FINAL Wellness Wednesdays on 4/5: Every Wednesday in Lent will be Wellness Wednesday! We will gather for worship, food, and discussion about finding wellness in our community. Using tools from Kaleidoscope Institute, such as Holy Currencies, we will reflect on Bible passages relating Wellness to Time & Place, Relationships, Gracious Leadership, Truth, and Money. Below is the weekly schedule. Even if you miss worship, you can still come!

  • 5:00 - 5:30 Evening Prayer

  • 5:30 - 6:00 Dinner

  • 6:00 - 7:00 Wellness Bible Reflections

There is a sign-up sheet in the parish hall for individuals or groups who want to prepare a simple meal for each of the Wednesdays.


Strategic Planning Congregational Meeting #3 on 4/29: St. Matthew's Strategic Planning Team thanks those who attended our first two Strategic Planning Congregational Meetings and invites YOU to attend the third, called "St. Matthew's Future: What Is God's Invitation?" This meeting will take place on Saturday, April 29 in Toomer-Walker Hall from 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM, with a barbecue to follow. It will feature engaging presentations and activities led by our Strategic Planning Team and Fr. Bill Cruse from the Kaleidoscope Institute.


JUST's Nehemiah Action on Monday, 4/24 at First African Baptist Church (23 Montgomery Street, Savannah, GA 31401) from 6:15-9:00 PM. We will provide transportation from St. Matthew's to FAB to avoid downtown parking. JUST's 2023 problem areas of focus are Affordable Housing and Public Education. We will have more details soon about our proposed solutions.


TEDxSavannah 2023 on 5/25: Fr. Guillermo has been selected as a speaker at this year's TEDxSavannah event on Thursday, May 25, 2023, from 12:30-5:30 PM at the Fine Arts Auditorium at Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus. Fr. Guillermo cannot share publicly about the topic of his talk before the event, but this year's theme is "Connection." Tickets are available now at https://tedxsavannah.com; St. Matthew's can purchase them for a discounted rate of $40, so please let the office know if you would like to attend and we can order them in bulk.


New Doxology for Strategic Planning: At the end of the offertory, we will begin singing different lyrics to the “Doxology” hymn. This is the hymn we sing while the people’s offerings are brought forward to the altar. These lyrics were written by the Rev. Dr. Eric Hung Fat Law, the founder of Kaleidoscope Institute, with whom we are consulting for our strategic planning process.


Evening Prayer on T/W/Th: 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.



The Offertory

[BCP, p. 376]


Giving to St. Matthew's:

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

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at: https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/-/give/now; 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


Refrain:

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. Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. Horace Clarence Boyer. Arr. Copyright © 1992 Horace Clarence Boyer. One License #87262. All rights reserved.]



Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow


Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Circling through earth so all may grow

Vanquishing fear so all may give

Widening grace so all may live

Amen.


[Words: Eric H. F. Law, Copyright © 2015 Eric H. F. Law. Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission from Kaleidoscope Institute. All rights reserved.]



Eucharistic Prayer A

[BCP, p. 361]



It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.


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 we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:


LEV #255:

Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts

Heaven and earth are filled with your glory

Hosanna in the highest.

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

Hosanna in the highest, hosanna in the highest.


[Music: Grayson Warren Brown, A Mass for Soulful People, Copyright © 1979 North American Liturgy Resources, Published by OCP. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #83420. All rights reserved.]


The people stand or kneel.


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


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


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


Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:


LEV #258:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.


[Music: Marjorie Gabriel-Burrow, Copyright © 1992 G.I.A. Publications, Inc / Royal School of Church Music. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE#45465. All rights reserved.]


We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.


Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.


All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.



LEV #264: The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]


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


Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name,

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

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

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


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



The Fraction Anthems

[BCP, p. 364, 407]


Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!

Therefore let us keep the feast!


LEV #270:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

grant us peace.


[Music: Marjorie Landmark-DeLewis, Copyright © 1990 Church Publishing, Inc., Marjorie Landsmark-DeLewis. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #21221. All rights reserved.]


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

The Gifts of God for the people of God.



Hymn #313: Let Thy Blood In Mercy Poured


1. Let thy Blood in mercy poured, let thy gracious Body broken, be to me, O gracious Lord, of thy boundless love the token. REFRAIN: 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. Music: Jesus, meine Zuversicht, melody Johann Cruger; harm. After The Chorale Book for England. Copyright © 1992 Lorenz Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission under One License # 1018159. All Rights Reserved.]



Hymn #168: O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded


1. O sacred head, sore wounded, defiled and put to scorn; O kingly head, surrounded with mocking crown of thorn: what sorrow mars thy grandeur? Can death thy bloom deflower? O countenance whose splendor the hosts of heaven adore! 2. Thy beauty, long-desired, hath vanished from our sight; thy power is all expired, and quenched the light of light. Ah me! for whom thou diest, hide not so far thy grace: show me, O Love most highest, the brightness of thy face. 3. In thy most bitter passion my heart to share doth cry, with thee for my salvation upon the cross to die. Ah, keep my heart thus moved to stand thy cross beneath, to mourn thee, well-beloved, yet thank thee for thy death. 4. What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? Oh, make me thine for ever! and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never, outlive my love for thee. 5. My days are few, O fail not, with thine immortal power, to hold me that I quail not in death's most fearful hour; that I may fight befriended, and see in my last strife to me thine arms extended upon the cross of life.


[Words: Paul Gerhardt; sts. 1-3 and 5, tr. Robert Seymour Bridges; st. 4, tr. James Waddell Alexander, alt. Music: Herzlich tut mich verlangen [Passion Chorale], Hans Leo Hassler; adapt. And harm. Johann Sebastian Bach. Reprinted with permission under One License #97250. All Rights Reserved.]



The Post-Communion Prayer

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


Let us pray.


For In-Person Worshippers:

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


For Online Worshippers and Those Receiving Spiritual Communion:

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



The Solemn Prayer over the People

[Adapted from The Book of Occasional Services 2018, pp. 10-11]


The Deacon says

Let us bow down before the Lord.


The Celebrant prays

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.



Hymn #171: Go to Dark Gethsemane

1. Go to dark Gethsemane, ye that feel the tempter's power; your Redeemer's conflict see, watch with him one bitter hour; turn not from his griefs away, learn of Jesus Christ to pray. 2. Follow to the judgment hall; view the Lord of life arraigned; O the wormwood and gall! O the pangs his souls sustained! Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; learn of him to bear the cross. 3. Calvary's mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at his feet, mark the miracle of time, God's own sacrifice complete; "It is finished!" hear him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die.


Words: Public Domain. James Montgomery. Music: Petra, Richard Redhead. Reprinted with permission under One License #EXS00243SD. All Rights Reserved.]



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!



The Parish Prayer List


PRAYER LIST: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Teresa Blue Clemons, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Marva Harris, Tracy Outing Hundley, Della Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Deacon Ella Roundtree-Davis, Jewel Wheeler, Alfreda Wright, Alton Wright, and Jewel Wheeler


BIRTHDAYS: Rashad Taylor, Sr. (4/3), Charlotte Blue (4/6), and Duane Johnson (4/7)


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


RECENT DEATHS: Cassandra Grant Brown (d. 3/31/23)


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




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


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