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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for December 26, 2021

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Christmas Lessons & Carols

1st Sunday After Christmas

December 26, 2021

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday, December 26, at 7:00 p.m. (or anytime afterward)

About This Service

This morning’s service is a traditional “Christmas Festival of Lessons and Music” (also known as “Christmas Lessons and Carols”). It is drawn from The Episcopal Church’s Book of Occasional Services 2003. By custom is contains nine lessons from the Bible and nine Christmas hymns (a.k.a. carols).

These lessons of Scriptures and their accompanying carols are intended to teach the overarching Christmas story as revealed throughout the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. It begins with stories of creation and the first sins in Genesis and moves to the witness of the prophet Isaiah who called people to repentance and predicted a coming Savior. Next it features stories from the Gospel according to St. Luke about the leadup to John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ births and the Christmas story itself. Finally, we hear two later reflections on the significance of Jesus’ birth for the salvation of the world, from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians and the Gospel according to St. John.

The service begins with a Christmas Bidding Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer, and it concludes with a suitable collect and prayer for blessing. Because this worship service does not include the Sacrament of Holy Communion, it does not need to be led by a priest. Our lay officiant this morning is Ms. Charlotte Blue, Senior Warden and Licensed Lay Eucharistic Minister.

Christmas Lessons and Carols

A Bidding Prayer

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, pp. 35-36]

Dear People of God: In this Christmas Season, let it be our duty and delight to hear once more the message of the Angels, to go to Bethlehem and see the Son of God lying in a manger.

Let us hear and heed in Holy Scripture the story of God’s loving purpose from the time of our rebellion against him until the glorious redemption brought to us by his holy Child Jesus, and let us make this place glad with our carols of praise.

But first, let us pray for the needs of his whole world, for peace and justice on earth, for the unity and mission of the Church for which he died, and especially for his Church in our country and in this city.

And because he particularly loves them, let us remember in his name the poor and helpless, the cold, the hungry and the oppressed, the sick and those who mourn, the lonely and unloved, the aged and little children, as well as all those who do not know and love the Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, let us remember before God his pure and lowly Mother, and that whole multitude which no one can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom, in Jesus, we are one for evermore.

And now, to sum up all these petitions, let us pray in the words which Christ himself has taught us, saying:

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 forever and ever. Amen.

The Almighty God bless us with his grace; Christ give us the joys of everlasting life; and to the fellowship of the citizens above, may the King of Angels bring us all. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Genesis (2:4b-9, 15-25)

On the day the Lord God made earth and sky— before any wild plants appeared on the earth, and before any field crops grew, because the Lord God hadn’t yet sent rain on the earth and there was still no human being to farm the fertile land, though a stream rose from the earth and watered all of the fertile land -- the Lord God formed the human from the topsoil of the fertile land and blew life’s breath into his nostrils. The human came to life. The Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east and put there the human he had formed. In the fertile land, the Lord God grew every beautiful tree with edible fruit, and also he grew the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The Lord God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. The Lord God commanded the human, “Eat your fill from all of the garden’s trees; but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because on the day you eat from it, you will die!” Then the Lord God said, “It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.” So the Lord God formed from the fertile land all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky and brought them to the human to see what he would name them. The human gave each living being its name. The human named all the livestock, all the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals. But a helper perfect for him was nowhere to be found.

So the Lord God put the human into a deep and heavy sleep, and took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh over it. With the rib taken from the human, the Lord God fashioned a woman and brought her to the human being. The human said, “This one finally is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She will be called a woman because from a man she was taken.” This is the reason that a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife, and they become one flesh. The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they weren’t embarrassed.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #100: Joy To The World

[Verses 1-4]

1. Joy to the world! the Lord is come:

let earth receive her King;

let every heart prepare him room,

and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

2. Joy to the world! the Savior reigns;

let us our songs employ,

while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3. No more let sins and sorrows grow,

nor thorns infest the ground;

he comes to make his blessings flow

far as the curse is found,

far as the curse is found,

far as, far as the curse is found.

4. He rules the world with truth and grace,

and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness

and wonders of his love,

and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders of his love.

Words: Isaac Watts, Public Domain.

Music: Antioch, George Frideric Handel, adapt. and arr. Lowell Mason, Public Domain.

All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Book of Genesis (3:1-15)

The snake was the most intelligent of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman said to the snake, “We may eat the fruit of the garden’s trees but not the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘Don’t eat from it, and don’t touch it, or you will die.’” The snake said to the woman, “You won’t die! God knows that on the day you eat from it, you will see clearly and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would provide wisdom, so she took some of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then they both saw clearly and knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made garments for themselves.

During that day’s cool evening breeze, they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God in the middle of the garden’s trees. The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” The man replied, “I heard your sound in the garden; I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree, which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?!” And the woman said, “The snake tricked me, and I ate.”

The Lord God said to the snake, “Because you did this, you are the one cursed out of all the farm animals, out of all the wild animals. On your belly you will crawl, and dust you will eat every day of your life. I will put contempt between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers. They will strike you head, but you will strike at their heels.”

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #82: Of The Father’s Love Begotten

1 Of the Father's love begotten,

ere the worlds began to be,

he is Alpha and Omega,

he the source, the ending he,

of the things that are, that have been,

and that future years shall see,

evermore and evermore!

2 O that birth for ever blessèd,

when the Virgin, full of grace,

by the Holy Ghost conceiving,

bore the Savior of our race;

and the Babe, the world's Redeemer,

first revealed his sacred face,

evermore and evermore!

3 Let the heights of heaven adore him;

angel hosts, his praises sing;

powers, dominions, bow before him,

and extol our God and King;

let no tongue on earth be silent,

every voice in concert ring,

evermore and evermore!

4 Christ, to thee with God the Father,

and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,

hymn and chant and high thanksgiving,

and unwearied praises be;

honor, glory and dominion,

and eternal victory,

evermore and evermore!

Words: Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, tr. John Mason Neale and Henry Williams Baker, Public Domain.

Music: Divinium mysterium, Sanctus trope, 11th cent., adapt. Piae Cantiones, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #87255. All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (40:1-11)

Comfort, comfort my people! says your God. Speak compassionately to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended, that her penalty has been paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins!

A voice is crying out: “Clear the Lord’s way in the desert! Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God! Every valley will be raised up, and every mountain and hill will be flattened. Uneven ground will become level, and rough terrain a valley plain.The Lord’s glory will appear, and all humanity will see it together; the Lord’s mouth has commanded it.”

A voice was saying: “Call out!” And another said, “What should I call out?” All flesh is grass; all its loyalty is like the flowers of the field. The grass dries up and the flower withers when the Lord’s breath blows on it. Surely the people are grass. The grass dries up; the flower withers, but our God’s word will exist forever.

Go up on a high mountain, messenger Zion! Raise your voice and shout, messenger Jerusalem! Raise it; don’t be afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” Here is the Lord God, coming with strength, with a triumphant arm, bringing his reward with him and his payment before him.

Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock; he will gather lambs in his arms and lift them onto his lap. He will gently guide the nursing ewes.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #67: Comfort, Comfort Ye My People

1 Comfort, comfort ye my people,

speak ye peace, thus saith our God;

comfort those who sit in darkness

mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.

Speak ye to Jerusalem

of the peace that waits for them;

tell her that her sins I cover,

and her warfare now is over.

2 Hark, the voice of one that crieth

in the desert far and near,

calling us to new repentance

since the kingdom now is here.

Oh, that warning cry obey!

Now prepare for God a way;

let the valleys rise to meet him,

and the hills bow down to greet him.

3 Make ye straight what long was crooked,

make the rougher places plain:

let your hearts be true and humble,

as befits his holy reign.

For the glory of the Lord

Now o'er earth is shed abroad;

and all flesh shall see the token

that the word is never broken.

Words: Johann G. Olearius, tr. Catherine Winkworth, alt., Public Domain.

Music: Psalm 42, melody Claude Goudimel, Public Domain.

All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (7:10-15)

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #22: Mary Borned A Baby

[Repeat as desired]

Mary borned a baby, Mary borned a baby, Mary borned a baby, praise His name.

Mm... What shall we call Him, what shall we call Him, what shall we call Him? Praise His name!

Mm... Call Him Emanuel, call Him Emanuel, call Him Emanuel Praise His name, praise His name.

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, arr. Noah Francis Ryder © Noah Francis Ryder.

All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke (1:26-38)

When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. Nothing is impossible for God.”

Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Choir Selection: Sweet Little Jesus Boy

Sweet little Jesus boy

They made you be born in a manger, my Lord

Sweet little holy child

We didn't know who you was.

We didn't know you come to save us Lord

To take our sins away

Our eyes were blind, we just could not see

We didn't know it was you.

Ohhh, you have told us how

How we are tryin’, yes

Master, master, you have shown us how

Even when you were dyin’.

Well, just seems like we can't do right

Look how we treated you

But please oh please Sir, forgive us Lord

‘Cause we didn't know it was you.

Sweet little Jesus boy

They made you be born in a manger, my Lord

Sweet little holy child

We didn't know who you was.

Words and Music: Robert MacGimsey © Carl Fischer Music.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #29147. All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke (1:39-56)

Mary got up and hurried to a city in the Judean highlands. She entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. With a loud voice she blurted out, “God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry. Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her.”

Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name. He shows mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors him as God. He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations. He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed. He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy, just as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned to her home.

When the time came for Elizabeth to have her child, she gave birth to a boy. Her neighbors and relatives celebrated with her because they had heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Choir Selection: Mary, Did You Know?

1 Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy

Has come to make you new;

This Child that you delivered

Will soon deliver you?

2 Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Would calm a storm with His hand?

Did you know that your baby boy

Has walked where angels trod,

And when you kiss your little baby

You’ve kissed the face of God?

Mary, did you know?


The blind will see, the deaf will hear,

The dead will live again,

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak

The praises of the Lamb!

3 Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Is Lord all creation?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy

Was Heaven’s perfect Lamb,

And the sleeping Child you’re holding

Is the great, the Great I AM?

Oh, Mary, Mary, did you know?

Words and Music: Mark Lowry & Buddy Greene © 1991 Word Music and Rufus Music (Admin. Gaither Copyright Management).

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #123293. All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke (1:57-80)

When the time came for Elizabeth to have her child, she gave birth to a boy. Her neighbors and relatives celebrated with her because they had heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy. On the eighth day, it came time to circumcise the child. They wanted to name him Zechariah because that was his father’s name. But his mother replied, “No, his name will be John.”

They said to her, “None of your relatives have that name.” Then they began gesturing to his father to see what he wanted to call him. After asking for a tablet, he surprised everyone by writing, “His name is John.” At that moment, Zechariah was able to speak again, and he began praising God.

All their neighbors were filled with awe, and everyone throughout the Judean highlands talked about what had happened. All who heard about this considered it carefully. They said, “What then will this child be?” Indeed, the Lord’s power was with him.

John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, “Bless the Lord God of Israel because he has come to help and has delivered his people. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house, just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago. He has brought salvation from our enemies and from the power of all those who hate us. He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered his holy covenant, the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham. He has granted that we would be rescued from the power of our enemies so that we could serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes, for as long as we live. You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way. You will tell his people how to be saved through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace.”

The child grew up, becoming strong in character. He was in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #27: Away In A Manger

1 Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

2 The cattle are lowing the Baby awakes,

But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes,

I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,

And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

3 Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay

Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,

And fit us for heaven to heaven to live with thee there.

Words: Anonymous, Public Domain.

Music: James R. Murray, arr. Edythe Ethelynn Woodruff, Public Domain.

All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke (2:1-20)

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #24: Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow

1 There’s a star in the east on Christmas morn,

Rise up shepherd and follow,

It will lead to the place where the Christ was born,

Rise up shepherd and follow.


Follow, follow,

Rise up shepherd and follow,

Follow the Star of Bethlehem,

Rise up shepherd and follow.

2 If you take good heed to the angel’s words,

Rise up shepherd and follow,

You’ll forget your flocks, you’ll forget your herds,

Rise up shepherd and follow. [REFRAIN]

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #113684. All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Gospel according to St. John (1:1-18)

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

A man named John was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light.

The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world. The light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world didn’t recognize the light. The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him. But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children, born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God. The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

John testified about him, crying out, “This is the one of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than me because he existed before me.’”

From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace; as the Law was given through Moses, so grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made God known.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Parish Announcements

A. Christmas 2021-2022 Worship Schedule: Please see our full worship schedule for the rest of Christmas season. All Services (except New Year's Eve) are both in-person and live-streamed to our Facebook page:

Please note the correction to the service on 12/31, which will be a Facebook video only (not in-person).

  • Friday, 12/31: Eve of the Holy Name of Jesus / New Year's Eve / Watch Night - Evening Prayer ONLINE ONLY at 7:00 PM (Facebook Video)

  • Sunday, 1/2: 2nd Sunday in Christmas - Holy Eucharist at 9:30 AM

  • Thursday, 1/6: Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Holy Eucharist at 6:00 PM

B. Bishop Visitation and Baptism on 1/16/22: The Right Rev. Frank Logue, Bishop of Georgia, will hold his annual visitation to St. Matthew's on Sunday, January 16, 2022. On that day, we will celebrate the baptism of Blair Berksteiner.

Holy Baptism is available to anyone at any age who has not already been baptized. Confirmation or Reception is available for teens and adults who would like to make a mature commitment to The Episcopal Church. Baptisms can be performed on almost any Sunday or feast day based on your family's schedule. Confirmations, Receptions, and Renewals of Baptismal Vows must take place when a Bishop is present. If you are interested in taking any of these next steps in your faith journey, please contact Fr. Arboleda by cell phone or email (

C. MLK Day Parade & Eucharist on 1/17/22: St. Matthew’s and the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia plan to participate in the 2022 MLK Day Parade on Monday, January 17, 2022. We will walk in the parade along E. Broad Street, Broughton Street, and M.L.K. Jr. Blvd, and then have a short worship service once we arrive at St. Matthew’s. Due to the pandemic, there will be no float or trolley (walking or rolling participants only) and there will be no lunch reception this year. The parade begins at 10:00 AM, so please arrive at St. Matthew’s by 9:00 to get a shuttle over to the starting place.

D. Annual Meeting on 1/23/22: The 2022 Annual Parish Meeting with Presentation of 2021 Reports will take place on Sunday, January 23, 2022. We will begin the meeting at 10:45 AM in the nave, shortly after worship ends. We will hold the meeting both in person and over Zoom, so that even if you cannot attend in person, you can participate. We will provide the Zoom details in January.

E. T/W/Th Evening Prayer on Hiatus until 1/4: 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

F. Revised COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for In-Person Worship: On June 21, the Vestry authorized revised COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for in-person worship at St. Matthew's. At the October Vestry meeting, they reaffirmed the use of these guidelines and the maintenance of this temporary Sunday worship schedule.

All people in attendance are still required to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth at all times and maintain social distancing in their assigned seating areas. Click here to read the Vestry's June 2021 COVID-19 Safety Guidelines in their entirety.

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.

2022 Giving Campaign: The 2022 Giving Campaign has just ended, but we have fallen short of our giving goals for 2022 General Operations. We need to raise at least $150,000 toward operations to have a balanced budget, and we are less than 50% of the way there. There are two main ways you can help:

  1. If you forgot to submit your giving estimate, you can still do so using the online form below. You can also request a paper form from our office. Only about half of our regular pledgers submitted a giving estimate this year, so we would love to hear from the rest of you!

  2. If you already submitted a giving estimate, it's not too late to adjust your estimate to reduce your gifts toward restricted funds and increase your gifts to general operations. Please contact to make any desired changes.

Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; bring offering and come into his courts. [Psalm 96:8; see BCP, p. 376]

LEV #21: Go, Tell It On the Mountain


Go, tell it on the mountain

over the hills and everywhere;

go, tell it on the mountain,

that Jesus Christ is born.

1 While shepherds kept their watching

o’er silent flocks by night,

Behold throughout the heavens

there shown a holy light. [REFRAIN]

2 The shepherds feared and trembled,

when lo! above the earth,

Rang out the angel chorus

that hailed the Savior’s birth. [REFRAIN]

3 Down in a lowly manger

the humble Christ was born,

And God sent us salvation

that blessed Christmas morn. [REFRAIN]

Words: Luke 2:8-20, adapt. John W. Work, Jr, words used by permission of Mrs. J. W. Work, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, adapt. and arr. William Farley Smith © 1989 The United Methodist Hymnal.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #83111. All rights reserved.

Concluding Collect

[BCP, 213]

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Prayer for Blessing

[BCP, 135]

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.

The Parish Prayer List

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

Birthdays: Ola Lewis (12/28), Barbara Wilborn (12/31), and James Williams (1/1)

Wedding Anniversaries: Milburn & Ola Lewis (12/28)

Recent Deaths: N/A

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

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