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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship for January 2, 2022

The Holy Eucharist

2nd Sunday After Christmas (Year C)

January 2, 2022

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday, January 2, at 7:00 p.m. (or anytime afterward)

The Holy Eucharist: Rite II

The Word of God

Hymn #115: What Child Is This?

[Verses 1-3]

1. What child is this, who, laid to rest,

on Mary's lap is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,

while shepherds watch are keeping?


This, this is Christ the King,

whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

haste, haste to bring him laud,

the babe, the son of Mary.

2. Why lies he in such mean estate

where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christians, fear: for sinners here

the silent Word is pleading. [REFRAIN]

3. So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh,

come, peasant, king, to own him;

the King of kings salvation brings,

let loving hearts enthrone him. [REFRAIN]

Words: William Chatterton Dix, Public Domain.

Music: Greensleeves, English melody, harm. Christmas Carols New and Old (1871), Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84055. All rights reserved.

The Lighting of the Candles

Because injustice and despair threaten to overwhelm us,

We pray for hope.

Light the first purple candle in the Advent wreath.

Because so many swords have not yet been beaten into plowshares,

We pray for peace.

Light the second purple candle in the Advent wreath.

Because grief and loss weigh so heavily,

We pray for joy.

Light the third rose candle in the Advent wreath.

Because hatred is still so strong, and because people all over the world are suffering,

We pray for love.

Light the fourth purple candle in the Advent wreath.

God has come to us as a child. Christ is present in our world.

Light the white Christ candle in the center of the Advent wreath.

May the light and the fire from these candles burn away everything that is preventing the God of hope and peace and joy and love from being born among us. Brothers and sisters, be not afraid; even now the light of Christ is overwhelming the world!

The Opening Sentence

[BCP, p. 355]

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

And blessed be God's kingdom, now and forever. Amen.

A Collect for Purity

[BCP, p. 355]

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn #96: Angels We Have Heard on High

1 Angels we have heard on high,

Sweetly singing o’er the plains

And the mountains in reply,

Echoing their joyous strains.


Gloria in excelsis Deo,

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

2 Shepherds, why this jubilee?

Why these songs of happy cheer?

What great brightness did you see?

What glad tidings did you hear? [REFRAIN]

3 Come to Bethlehem, and see

Him whose birth the angels sing;

Come, adore on bended knee

Christ the Lord, the newborn King. [REFRAIN]

4 See him in a manger laid

Whom the angels praise above!

Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,

While we raise our hearts in love. [REFRAIN]

Words: French carol; tr. James Chadwick; Public Domain.

Music: Gloria, French carol; arr. Edward Shippen Barnes; Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #150646. All rights reserved.

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 214]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah (31:7-14)

Thus says the Lord:

Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;

proclaim, give praise, and say, "Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel."

See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,

among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.

With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back,

I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;

for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away;

say, "He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock."

For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.

They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,

over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd;

their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again.

Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry.

I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,

says the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 84

[BCP, p. 707]

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

1 How dear to me is your dwelling, O Lord of hosts! * My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.

2 The sparrow has found her a house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young; * by the side of your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

3 Happy are they who dwell in your house! * they will always be praising you.

4 Happy are the people whose strength is in you! * whose hearts are set on the pilgrims' way.

5 Those who go through the desolate valley will find it a place of springs, * for the early rains have covered it with pools of water.

6 They will climb from height to height, * and the God of gods will reveal himself in Zion.

7 Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; * hearken, O God of Jacob.

8 Behold our defender, O God; * and look upon the face of your Anointed.

9 For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room, * and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.

10 For the Lord God is both sun and shield; * he will give grace and glory;

11 No good thing will the Lord withhold * from those who walk with integrity.

12 O Lord of hosts, * happy are they who put their trust in you!

A Reading from the Letter to the Ephesians (1:3-6, 15-19a)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.

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. Luke (2:41-52)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

The parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem every year for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day's journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety." He said to them, "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“Treasuring These Things” by The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

I bet most parents in the room can relate to this Gospel story. It’s the one story we have in the whole Bible about Jesus as a child (not a newborn and not an adult). And it’s very stressful to a parent’s ears. If you’ve ever lost track of your child, you understand the panic and fear that Mary and Joseph experienced when Jesus went missing this Passover.

I’m not a parent so I’ve never lost my child. But, when I was about 8 years old, my younger brother got lost in a theme park (he was about 5). I don’t think I was that scared for him. But I remember the looks on my parents’ faces. I remember their horror and desperation. I remember them finally finding him and cycling through joy that he returned, relief that he was safe, and even anger that he ran off in the first place. I bet that Mary and Joseph were experiencing the same flurry of emotions when they finally reunited with their son in the Temple.

You can imagine the tone in Mary’s voice when she finds him and says: “Child, why have you treated us like this? Listen! Your father and I have been worried. We’ve been looking for you!” (Luke 2:48, CEB). To me she sounds exasperated, and even angry that he was away from the group for so long. At this point it’s been four days since Mary and Joseph have seen their son!

And let’s get real for a second: If I talked to my parents the way Jesus did here, I might not have made it to adulthood. Again from the Common English Bible, Jesus replies to his mom: “‘Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?’ But they didn’t understand what he said to them. (Luke 2:49-50). That level of sass was not going to be tolerated.

Because it’s one thing when a 5-year-old wanders off from the group. They’re barely self-sufficient. They don’t really know better. But a 12-year-old should. A 12-year-old is practically grown, one year away from Bar Mitzvah, the ceremony Jewish boys use to mark adulthood and their commitment to God, typically at age 13. So he’s not an adult, but he’s old enough to know better and be more respectful.

What we’re missing at this point is probably the same thing Mary and Joseph missed. They were too anxious and upset to register just how remarkably Jesus was acting. He, as a boy, was teaching the teachers in the Temple. He was answering their questions. He was showing himself to be a child prodigy when it came to matters of faith, Scripture, God, and theology.

For these reasons and more, it’s a very weird story for the Gospel of Luke to preserve for us. Again, it’s the only story we have from Jesus’ childhood or adolescence. And it’s sort of about him running away from his parents into the Temple. It’s both very relatable and very unrelatable. Children wander off all the time. But only one child is the Son of God, able to instruct the religious experts of his day. Only one child always felt tugged between two homes, between his human home with Mary and Joseph and his divine home in the Holy of Holies.

Thankfully, for Mary and Joseph’s sake, Jesus returned home to Nazareth with his parents “and was obedient to them” for the rest of his childhood (Luke 2:51). But perhaps the point of this story for us is Mary’s takeaway: “His mother treasured all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51). It’s nice to find moral lessons in the Bible, but not every story is really about that. Sometimes, the Bible stories are just there to remind us who God is. God is both loving Father and precocious Son, and God is the Holy Spirit comforting and encouraging Mother Mary along the way.

Christmas Season is almost over, the new year has begun, and we’ll soon be moving on to Jesus’ adult ministry in our Sunday Bible readings. But now is as good a time as any to treasure these things in your hearts. Now is a time to remember God’s goodness and mercy, God’s humility in becoming a human being named Jesus, and God’s continued presence with us as Holy Spirit. Even when things go terribly wrong, and a child is missing for four days, God remains with us. We’re never alone. Amen.

WLP #726: Where Is This Stupendous Stranger?

[Verses 1-2]

1 Where is this stupendous stranger?

Gentle shepherd now, advise.

Lead me to my Master's manger,

show me where my Savior lies.

O Most Mighty! O Most Holy!

Far beyond the seraph's thought,

art thou then so weak and lowly

as unheeded prophets taught?

2 O the magnitude of meekness!

Worth from worth immortal sprung;

O the strength of infant weakness,

if eternal is so young!

God all bounteous, all creative,

whom no ills from good dissuade,

is incarnate, and a native

of the very world he made.

Words: Christopher Smart, alt., Public Domain.

Music: Mariposa, Conrad Susa © 1992, E. C. Schirmer Music Company, Inc., a division of ECS Publishing.

Reprinted with permission under ONELICENSE #77372. 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


Let us pray to God, who came among us in the birth of Jesus:


Gracious God, as a star rose, and drew people from great distances to Bethlehem that they might greet the Christ-child; Draw us, your Church, and all of your people to you, that we might be the Church and the People who you call us to be. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As you gave Mary your Holy Spirit, filling her with the delight of your Presence; Fill us with your Spirit, and renew our lives. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As Gentiles streamed to Jesus’ Light, and Kings to the brightness of his rising; Draw our nation, our President, and all in authority, to His brightness. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As angels sang glory to you and proclaimed peace on earth, and goodwill among all peoples; Bring us your peace and bring an end to all terror and strife. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As shepherds were drawn away from their flocks by night; Draw those who do not know you yet to the knowledge and love of you. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As Jesus was born in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn; Be especially present with those who have nowhere to lay their head, those who are vulnerable, and those who are hungry. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As the Holy Family gathered together in Bethlehem and traveled together to far off lands; Bless all families, especially the families of our parish, and protect those who travel. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As your son came to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of Life Eternal; Give to the departed eternal rest and let Light perpetual shine on them, especially Mike Lepper and those we remember now… Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for our own needs and those of others. Let us give thanks for James Sanders (1/2), Margaret McAlister (1/4), Sarai Rhett (1/5), Shirley Ann Way (1/6) on their birthdays and for those celebrating wedding anniversaries. Let us remember those on our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien Jr., Annie Bell Greer, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, Helen Scroggins, and others we remember now...

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant prays:

O Lord our God, may the Light and Hope of this season, and of your Son’s Incarnation, reassure our hearts that you are among us, that you hear our prayer, and that you will be with us always, even to the end of the age. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior born in Bethlehem, we pray. Amen.

The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Parish Announcements

A. Christmas 2022 Worship Schedule: Check out the full worship schedule for the remainder of the Christmas Season: The Epiphany Service is both in-person and live-streamed to our Facebook page:

  • Thursday, 1/6: Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Holy Eucharist at 6:00 PM featuring Chalk Blessing to use for House Blessings

B. Mike Lepper Memorial Service 1/6: We are sad to announce that Michael "Mike" Thomas Lepper II departed from this life on December 23, 2021. There will be a memorial service at 10:00 AM on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Gamble Funeral Service, 410 Stephenson Ave, Savannah, GA 31405, with Fr. Guillermo Arboleda presiding. Read his full obituary here:

May Mike's soul and the souls of all the departed, by the mercies of God, rest in peace: And may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

C. 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 (

D. 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.

E. 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.

F. T/W/Th Evening Prayer Resumes on 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.

Alleluia! Unto us a child is born: O come, let us adore Him! Alleluia! [BCP, p. 43]

AAHH #201: O Holy Night!

[Verses 1-3]

1 O holy night! the stars are brightly shining;

It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope - the weary soul rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!

O night divine, O night when Christ was born!

O night, O holy night, O night divine!

2 Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,

Here came the Wise Men from Orient land.

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,

In all our trials born to be our Friend.

He knows our need — to our weakness is no stranger.

Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!

Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!

3 Truly He taught us to love one another;

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,

And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we;

Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!

His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!

His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!

Words: John S. Dwight, Public Domain.

Music: Cantique de Noel, Adolphe Adam, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #94874. All rights reserved.

AAHH #651: Doxology

[See also Hymn # 380, v. 3]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Words: Thomas Ken, Public Domain.

Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84260. All rights reserved.

Eucharistic Prayer B

[BCP, p. 367]

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 him thanks and praise.

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

Preface of the Incarnation [BCP, p. 378]:

Because you gave Jesus Christ, your only Son, to be born for us; who, by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, was made perfect Man of the flesh of the Virgin Mary his mother; so that we might be delivered from the bondage of sin, and receive power to become your children.

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

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.

We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.

On the night before he died for us, 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, according to his command, O Father,

We remember his death,

We proclaim his resurrection,

We await his coming in glory;

And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.

We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to that heavenly country where, with Blessed Matthew our Patron, Blessed Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all your saints, we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation.

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.

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]

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!

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.]

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

The Gifts of God for the people of God.

Hymn #109: The First Nowell

[Verses 1-6]

1. The first Nowell the angel did say

was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;

in fields where they lay, keeping their sheep,

on a cold winter's night that was so deep.


Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,

born is the King of Israel.

2. They looked up and saw a star

shining in the east beyond them far,

and to the earth it gave great light,

and so it continued both day and night. [REFRAIN]

3. And by the light of that same star

three wise men came from country far;

to seek for a king was their intent,

and to follow the star wherever it went. [REFRAIN]

4. This star drew nigh to the northwest,

o'er Bethlehem it took its rest,

and there it did both stop and stay

right over the place where Jesus lay. [REFRAIN]

5. Then entered in those wise men three

full reverently upon their knee,

and offered there in his presence,

their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. [REFRAIN]

6. Then let us all with one accord

sing praises to our heavenly Lord;

that hath made Heaven and earth of nought,

and with His blood our life hath bought. [REFRAIN]

Words: English carol; Public Domain.

Music: The First Nowell, English carol, harm. John Stainer.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84266. 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 Blessing

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 9]

May Christ, who by his Incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill you with his joy and peace; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

The Parish Prayer List

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

Birthdays: James Sanders (1/2), Margaret McAlister (1/4), Sarai Rhett (1/5), Shirley Ann Way (1/6)

Wedding Anniversaries: N/A

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

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