• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for April 3, 2022


The Holy Eucharist

The Fifth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

April 3, 2022


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

Sunday, April 3, at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)





The Holy Eucharist: Rite II



The Word of God



Hymn #441: In the Cross of Christ I Glory

[Verses 1-4]


1 In the cross of Christ I glory,

towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story

gathers round its head sublime.


2 When the woes of life o’ertake me,

hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

never shall the cross forsake me,

lo, it glows with peace and joy.


3 When the sun of bliss is beaming

light and love upon my way,

from the cross the radiance streaming

adds new luster to the day.


4 Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,

by the cross are sanctified;

peace is there that knows no measure,

joys that through all time abide.


Words: John Bowring, Public Domain. Music: Rathbun, Ithamar Conkey, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97920. All rights reserved.



The Penitential Order

[BCP, p. 351]


Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.

God's mercy endures forever.



The Decalogue

[BCP, p. 350]


Hear the commandments of God to his people:

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of bondage. You shall have no other gods but me. Amen. Lord have mercy.


You shall not make for yourself any idol. Amen. Lord have mercy.


You shall not invoke with malice the Name of the Lord your God. Amen. Lord have mercy.


Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Amen. Lord have mercy.


Honor your father and your mother. Amen. Lord have mercy.


You shall not commit murder. Amen. Lord have mercy.


You shall not commit adultery. Amen. Lord have mercy.


You shall not steal. Amen. Lord have mercy.


You shall not be a false witness. Amen. Lord have mercy.


You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. Amen. Lord have mercy.



The Confession of Sin

[BCP, p. 352]


Jesus said, "The first commandment is this: Hear, O Israel: The lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31)


If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)


Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14,16)


Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

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.



LEV #237: Lord, Have Mercy

[BCP, p. 356]

Lord, have mercy

Christ, have mercy

Lord, have mercy

Have mercy, O Lord


Words: Public Domain. Music: Avon Gillespie, Mass No. 1 in G © 1987, G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #09956, #51711. 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 God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (43:16-21)


Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,

who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior;

they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches;

for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert,

to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself

so that they might declare my praise.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 126

[BCP, p. 782]

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

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, * then were we like those who dream.


2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, * and our tongue with shouts of joy.


3 Then they said among the nations, * "The Lord has done great things for them."


4 The Lord has done great things for us, * and we are glad indeed.


5 Restore our fortunes, O Lord, * like the watercourses of the Negev.


6 Those who sowed with tears * will reap with songs of joy.


7 Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, * will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.



A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (3:4b-14)

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.


Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.


Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.



The People stand for the reading of the Gospel.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. John (12:1-8)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?" (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



The Sermon

"Focused on Jesus" by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda


This morning’s Gospel story takes place “six days before the Passover,” so about a week before Jesus enters is crucified (John 12:1). We’re reading it a week before Palm Sunday and Holy Week because of that timeliness. But more than that, this story teaches us a lesson about following Jesus even to the cross, about staying focused on Jesus no matter what.


This story really kicks off with Mary of Bethany. This is one of Jesus’ closest friends. She and her sister Martha are also famous for a different story about work vs. relationships (Martha complained that Mary was listening to Jesus teach instead of helping her prepare a meal in the kitchen). Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus, is the one who dies earlier in John’s Gospel. Jesus is so sad about his death that he comes to visit and raises him from the dead. Lazarus foreshadows Jesus’ death and resurrection, and helps us understand that the resurrection from the dead is our hope too. The story of Jesus raising Lazarus happens in John 11. Here we are in the first verse of John 12. So even if there was a time gap between these two events, John wants us to read them back to back. Mary and Martha are still living in awe of the great thing that God did among them, giving them back their brother.


So Martha and Mary host Jesus and his disciples every time they pass through Bethany. They loved Jesus before, but now Jesus is their absolute favorite person. He gets all their love and attention because he brought their brother back. So Mary didn’t care how big and expensive the jar of oil was. The cost in money paled in comparison to her love for Jesus and gratitude for the great things he did for her. Lazarus was Mary’s brother. He had been dead and was now alive, breathing, reclining, and eating with them around the table. Mary is so overcome with joy at Jesus’ gift, that she is willing to give nearly everything she has to him.


That jar of perfume was very expensive. Judas Iscariot says it was worth three hundred denarii, which biblical scholars estimate was about a year’s worth of wages for an average day laborer (John 12:3, New English Translation Bible notes). That means we’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars in 2022, the price of a mid-to-high end new car in cash! Can you imagine saving up to buy that, having it on hand, and then giving it all as a gift for your friend? It’s unimaginable! That’s not even how it’s really intended to be used. A pound of perfume is a lot of perfume! We normally put on just a spray or two for a reason. It’s a very powerful scent that would have overwhelmed the room, the house, and maybe even the entire neighborhood.


So when Judas interrupts the scene to complain that they should have used the money to help other people, he sort of has a point. There’s an argument to be made that so much perfume could have been sold to help the poor. But, setting aside his theft and greed, Judas was focused on the wrong thing here. He forgot that money isn’t the key to happiness. Even honest work and good ministry aren’t keys to happiness. The key is loving relationships, especially with Jesus, the giver of life. Jesus restored this family by raising Lazarus from the dead, and there is no greater gift this side of eternity than bringing loved ones back together. Mary is here emptying her heart and soul out to Jesus, pouring her hard-earned perfume out on his feet, expressing her deepest love and appreciation for what he did for her and her family. And all Judas can think about is money.


Then, in what has become one of my favorite Bible verses this week -- because I just noticed this phrase -- “Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone’” (John 12:7). (I’m gonna make t-shirts with that verse!) Jesus defends Mary’s passion, focus, and commitment to God, expressed through her gift to Jesus. He protects her in the face of Judas’ attempt to turn her away. There will always be work to do; there will always be important ministry to do; but family, friends, and loved ones won’t always be there. And Jesus is about the work of spreading love and healing between all people. Jesus, even as he prepares to be arrested and crucified, points people to love God and love their neighbor as themselves. He prioritizes the relationships between people, and invites the other disciples to learn from Mary.


But godly love isn’t selfish either. It’s not fair weather. Her love doesn’t waver when things go wrong. Mary will stick by Jesus during even his worst moments, even when he is arrested and crucified. Mary will be one of the people who visits Jesus’ tomb and will become the first witness to the resurrection. Judas of course doesn’t stay focused on Jesus through Holy Week. He is the betrayer who hands Jesus over to the authorities who end up killing him. But even the other eleven apostles abandon Jesus and/or deny him when he is at his lowest point. The women, like Mary, do not.


So Mary teaches us that focusing on Jesus means joining him in both cross-like suffering and resurrection joy. You can’t get one without the other. St. Paul says we are to strain forward and forget the mistakes and distractions of the past in order to gain the heavenly goal (Philippians 3:10-14). The goal is fellowship with Jesus, no matter what, which means “the resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3:10). Because Jesus is the source of our faith, hope, and love. He brings healing and peace where there once was strife. He brings a harvest of joy even from seeds of sorrow (Psalm 126:6-7). If we stay focused on life with Jesus, even when the hard times come, Jesus will share that resurrection power with us. Jesus is able to raise us from death just like he raised Lazarus and was raised himself. So in the home stretch of Lent, as Jesus’ Passion and Cross get closer and closer, Jesus invites us not to look away, not to cower in fear, not to be distracted by shinier, happier things. Stay focused on Jesus and he will carry you through whatever may come, to new, resurrected life. Amen.



Choir Selection: Alabaster Box

Words and Music: Janice Sjöstrand © 1999 Little Pooky's Music. All rights reserved.



The Nicene Creed

[BCP, p. 358]


We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

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

and his kingdom will have no end.


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

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

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

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.



The Prayers of the People

[Adapted from http://www.rickmorley.com/archives/1431]


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, Tiffany 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 Rashad Taylor, Sr. (4/3), Charlotte Blue (4/6), Duane Johnson (4/7), and Renitra Baker (4/9) on their birthdays and for Jonathan and Jackie Newton (4/6) on their wedding anniversary.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect.


Fifth Sunday in Lent: Lord Jesus, you are worthy of every act of love and offering we can give, even the most expensive perfume; as we prepare our hearts to remember your death and resurrection, grant us the strength and wisdom to serve and follow you, this day and always. Amen.



The Peace

[EOW1, p. 56]


The peace of Christ be always with you.

And also with you.



Parish Announcements


A. 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: https://www.stmattsav.org/post/new-covid-19-safety-guidelines-spring-2022.


The Vestry hopes we can begin to 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).


B. CORR on 4/3 at St. Matthew's: 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, April 3, 2022, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at St. Matthew's. Please read Chapters 6-11 of Kendi’s book before the meeting.


C. Lenten Book Study: This Band of Sisterhood (TIME CHANGE): 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. These meetings will take place at 5:30 PM over Zoom using the following schedule:

  • Wednesday, April 6: Chapter 6

  • 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: https://youtu.be/BBJMAxTXp6k.


D. 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)

  • 4/11/22: Monday in Holy Week

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

  • 4/11/22: Monday 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)

  • 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)

E. The Rev. Kelly Steele Called by St. Peter's as Rector: 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 plan to hold a Rector Installation service (a.k.a. Celebration of a New Ministry) in early May. More details and invitations will be provided in the coming weeks.


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


F. 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 Office@StMattSav.org 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.


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. Youth to 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)

I. 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 FrGAA@StMattSav.org 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: 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]

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



AAHH #604: The Crown

[Verses 1-3]


1 O what love the Savior for my soul has shown,

Gladly I will labor for Him;

For awaiting me I know there is a crown.

In the new Jerusalem.


REFRAIN:

There's a bright crown waiting,

waiting for me,

There's a bright crown waiting,

waiting for me,

There's a bright crown waiting,

waiting for me,

In the new Jerusalem.


2 As reward for crosses that I here may bear,

There's a crown with many a gem;

It through years unending,

I shall surely wear,

In the new Jerusalem. [REFRAIN]


3 I have loved ones waiting for my coming there,

Soon my Lord will call me to them;

We shall sing "Hosanna," wearing crowns all fair,

In the new Jerusalem. [REFRAIN]

Words: B. B. Edmiaston, Public Domain. Music: The Crown, Emmett S. Dean, Public Domain. 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.

Amen.

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]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


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


Preface of Lent (2) [BCP, p. 379]:

You bid your faithful people cleanse their hearts, and prepare with joy for the Paschal feast; that, fervent in prayer and in works of mercy, and renewed by your Word and Sacraments, they may come to the fullness of grace which you have prepared for those who love you.


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.



LEV #165: Higher Ground

[Verses 1-4]


1 I’m pressing on the upward way,

New heights I’m gaining every day;

Still praying as I onward bound,

“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”


REFRAIN:

Lord, lift me up, and let me stand

By faith, on heaven’s table land;

A higher plane than I have found,

Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.


2 My heart has no desire to stay

Where doubts arise and fears dismay;

Though some may dwell where these abound,

My prayer, my aim is higher ground. [REFRAIN]


3 I want to live above the world,

Though satan’s darts at me are hurled;

For faith has caught a joyful sound,

The song of saints on higher ground. [REFRAIN]


4 I want to scale the utmost height,

And catch a gleam of glory bright;

But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,

“Lord, lead me on the higher ground.” [REFRAIN]


Words: Johnson Oatman, Jr., Public Domain. Music: Charles H. Gabriel, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #OLOFOB492. 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.


Look with compassion, O Lord, upon this your people; that, rightly observing this holy season, they may learn to know you more fully, and to serve you with a more perfect will; through Christ our Lord. 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, Tiffany 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: Craig J. Maxwell (3/27) and Jordyn Jones (3/29)


Wedding Anniversaries: Fr. Charles and Evalena Hoskins (4/1)


Recent Deaths: Harry Martin (3/30/2022; brother of Martha Avery)

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




Note: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), African American Heritage Hymnal (AAHH), Wonder Love and Praise (WLP), and other sources cited. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.


Image Credit: https://umcommunities.org/mission/extravagant-love/

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