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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on April 14, 2024: Baptisms & Farewell to Fr. Guillermo Arboleda


The Holy Eucharist

Easter Day (Year B)

March 31, 2024 at 9:30 AM

Presider & Preacher: The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector

Deacon: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis, Deacon


St. Matthew's Linktree: https://linktr.ee/stmattsav

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




[Anonymous French painter, circa 1970s, for the Vie de Jesus Mafa (Life of Jesus Mafa) project to teach the Gospel in northern Cameroon, Africa.]



Holy Baptism & The Holy Eucharist: Rite II


The Candidates for Holy Baptism

 

Jabari Amin Robinson, Jr.

Sponsored by:

Tosha Nicole Redfield, Diana Harris, & Margaret Anne Pearson

 

Khloe Andrea Green

Sponsored by:

Whitney Kaylyn Robinson, Jameel Dawud Newton, & Altheria Maynard

 



Hymn #205: Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing (verses 1, 3-5)

 

1 Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King!

To all the world glad news we bring:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

3 Praise we in songs of victory

that love, that life, which cannot die,

and sing with hearts uplifted high:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

4 Your name we bless, O risen Lord,

and sing today with one accord

the life laid down, the life restored:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

5 To God the Father, God the Son

To God the Spirit, always One,

We sing for life in us begun:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


[Words: Cyril A. Alington, alt, Copyright © 1958, 1986 Hymns Ancient & Modern Limited (Admin. Hope Publishing Company); st. 5 by Norman Mealy, Copyright © 1971 Walton Music Corporation. Music: Gelobt sei Gott, Melchior Vulpius. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #87718. All rights reserved.]



The Opening Baptismal Acclamation

 

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!


There is one Body and one Spirit;

There is one hope in God's call to us;

One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;

One God and Father of all.


 

Hymn S-280: Glory to God

 

Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,

Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


[Music: Robert Powell © 1985, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #28331. All rights reserved.]



The Collect of the Day


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

 

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (3:12-19)

 

Peter addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.”

 

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

 


Psalm 4

 

1 Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *

you set me free when I am hard-pressed; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2 "You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *

how long will you worship dumb idols and run after false gods?"

3 Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; *

when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.

4 Tremble, then, and do not sin; *

speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

5 Offer the appointed sacrifices *

and put your trust in the Lord.

6 Many are saying, "Oh, that we might see better times!" *

Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.

7 You have put gladness in my heart, *

more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

8 I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *

for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

 


A Reading from the First Letter of St. John (3:1-7)

 

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

 

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.



LEV #143: Wade in the Water (verses 1-3)

 

REFRAIN:      

Wade in the water, wade in the water, children,

Wade in the water, God’s a-gonna trouble the water.

 

1 See that host all dressed in white, God’s a-gonna trouble the water.The leader looks like the Israelite, God’s a-gonna trouble the water. [Refrain]

 

2 See that band all dressed in red, God’s a-gonna trouble the water.Looks like the band that Moses led, God’s a-gonna trouble the water. [Refrain]

 

3 Look over yonder, what do I see? God’s a-gonna trouble the water.The Holy Ghost a-coming on me, God’s a-gonna trouble the water. [Refrain]


[Words: Traditional, Public Domain. Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. Carl Haywood, Copyright © 1992 Carl Haywood, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #246943. All rights reserved.]



The People stand, as they are able, for the reading of the Gospel.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to St. Luke (24:36b-48)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

 

Jesus himself stood among the disciples and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



LEV #143: Wade in the Water (verse 4)

 

REFRAIN:

Wade in the water, wade in the water, children,

Wade in the water, God’s a-gonna trouble the water.


4 If you don’t believe I’ve been redeemed, God’s a-gonna trouble the water.

Just follow me down to Jordan’s stream, God’s a-gonna trouble the water. [Refrain]


[Words: Traditional, Public Domain. Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. Carl Haywood, Copyright © 1992 Carl Haywood, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #246943. All rights reserved.]



The Sermon

"New Beginnings and New Life" by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector


Jesus stood among the disciples and said, “Peace be with you.” When they saw him, they were terrified! They thought he was a ghost. They had seen him arrested. They had seen him sentenced to death. They heard the crowds chanting, “Crucify him!” A few of them were standing there watching as they nailed him to the cross, as he cried out, “Into your hands I commend my spirit… It is finished.” They pulled his body down. They wrapped him in linen cloth. They rolled a stone in front of his tomb. They mourned. He was dead. 


A few verses earlier (in Luke 24:13-35), Jesus met two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were downcast. They were depressed. They had lost hope because they thought that Jesus was the Messiah, the Holy One of God. But he died in the most gruesome and embarrassing way possible. Messiahs don’t get crucified. Messiahs don’t die. Because when people die, that’s the end: finished, over, gone, lost… right?


Except that we know the rest of the story. Jesus did not stay dead. He rose again on the third day. As St. Peter said in the reading from Acts, Jesus is “the Author of Life” (Acts 3:15). He is Life itself. So Death cannot defeat him. Jesus came back to life, and he stood in front of the disciples to break bread with them, teach them about the scriptures, and, most importantly, prove that he was really alive again. 


In a few minutes, we are going to baptize two young people. Baptism means many things to us. Baptism is a sacrament, meaning it is a way of receiving God’s grace. Baptism is the way to become a member of God’s holy catholic Church around the world and of The Episcopal Church USA and, in this case, of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Savannah, GA. Baptism forms an unbreakable, eternal bond between us and God. Khloe and Jabari are about to be “marked as Christ’s own forever” (BCP, p. 308).


But Baptism is also a symbol for death and resurrection. In Romans 6:3-4, St. Paul explains, “All who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. Therefore we were buried together with him through baptism into his death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of God the Father, we too can walk in newness of life” (CEB translation). When we are baptized, we participate in Jesus’ death and his resurrection. You can’t have one without the other. 


Jesus teaches us, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). In many churches, baptisms are done in big pools or even in rivers or the ocean. In baptism by immersion, the person gets dunked under the water for a couple of seconds before rising up again. (Episcopalians can do baptisms that way too; just build a big pool of water!) Whatever image you use, the message is the same. The only way to have a new life is to die to the old and be born again.


St. Matthew’s Church is in a season of “dying” to old things. My tenure as Rector and Ms. Dandy’s tenure as Music Director are both ending soon. The Vestry intends to keep leading St. Matthew’s through the strategic plan we worked on last year, and that is going to lead to changes too. The death of old realities, the changes that are coming, can overwhelm us. Like the disciples, many of us feel “startled and terrified” at the thought (Luke 24:37). We want to buck against the change. We wish it wouldn’t happen. We don’t want to be buried in the dirt. We don’t want to dive under the water. It’s different and scary and painful.


But after you go under, God works miracles. After being planted, we can grow from single seeds into stalks that feed the world. After diving underwater, you come up for air, made clean and new. After death, there is resurrection. Afterwards, “we too can walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). God is doing some new things in my life that have led us to this day, as I prepare to take a new call. But likewise, God is doing new things in Khloe’s and Jabari’s lives as they take this important next step in their faith journey. God is doing new things in the life of this community. And the new cannot happen unless the old passes away. 


If you were here back in 2016, try to think back to what it was like, nearly eight years ago, on my first Sunday at St. Matthew’s. None of you really knew who I was. I didn’t really know who you were. I had made some decent first impressions with the Vestry in interviews. A few of you attended my ordination to the priesthood two weeks earlier. But there were a lot of unknowns. Now, we truly love each other. But back then, it really could have gone either way. We didn’t know. I went back and looked at what I wrote for that first sermon on June 5, 2016, about Luke 7:11-17, where Jesus raises a young man from the dead. Even though it’s from eight years ago, it seems like I could have written it today: 

"Right now, God is bringing us on a new journey. We are dying to old habits and about to inaugurate something new here in this place. God is bringing me on a new journey into the ways of this congregation, the life, habits, and personalities of the people that fill this blessed place. It’s even new to work my way through the liturgy and to do so in St. Matthew’s worship space. Who are the families and people to whom God sent me? What new life will you show me? God is also bringing the people of this parish on a new journey. You’ve got a young, unfamiliar priest with a difficult-to-pronounce name and a strange family heritage. Who is this pastor God sent us? What new life will he show us? It’s normal to have some fear, but it’s also normal to be filled with excitement and hope, expectation and joy, because [our God is loving;] our God is compassionate; our God raises the dead." 


Death and resurrection are the center of the Christian story. Everything must change. Nothing stays the same. But God never changes and God never fails. In the midst of our genuine sorrow today at the end of this pastoral relationship, we know that God has greater things in store for us all. We know that out of this death, God is planting the seeds of resurrection. Through our shared calling in baptism, God is leading us to walk in newness of life. 


If you’ll indulge me, I want to share one more tidbit from that initial sermon as a point of encouragement:

"If you feel nervous or afraid right now, that’s okay. But remember that we believe in a God whose perfect love casts out all fear. We might feel a sense of great risk; but God carries the whole world in his hands. And I believe that in joining together, in growing to truly love one another, we can become a brighter light for Christ in this world than we could ever have asked or imagined."


Without any of us realizing it, in 2016, God was sowing the seeds for our mission in 2024: “to grow and glow in grace.” As I look back, what I said came true. We joined together. We truly came to love one another (not just me to you but also you to each other). And God has brightened our light in the world. St. Matthew’s is glowing with God’s grace. We are glowing in our worship, in our fellowship, in our service, in our actions for social justice. And just because I won’t be your Rector any longer doesn’t mean you’ll shine any less. If anything, God is going to do even greater things among us. Our love for one another will persist, but more importantly, it will bear much fruit. Together with our Savior Jesus Christ, we are dying and rising again. Let us walk on this baptismal road with him toward this ending and the new beginnings that follow, toward death that leads to new life. Amen.



The Presentation and Examination of the Candidates


Celebrant:                      The Candidates for Holy Baptism will now be presented.

 

J’s Godparents:                I present Jabari to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

Celebrant to Candidate: Do you desire to be baptized?

Jabari:                         I do.

 

K’s Parents & Godparents: I present Khloe to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

Celebrant to Candidate:  Do you desire to be baptized?

Khloe:                           I do.

Celebrant to K’s P&G:      Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present is brought up in the Christian faith and life?

K’s Parents & Godparents: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant to K’s P&G:      Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow into the full stature of Christ.

K’s Parents & Godparents: I will, with God’s help.

 

The Celebrant asks the following questions of the Candidates and the Child’s Parents & Godparents.

 

Q: Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?

A: I renounce them.

Q: Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?

A: I renounce them.

Q: Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?

A: I renounce them.

Q: Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?

A: I do.

Q: Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?

A: I do.

Q: Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord?

A: I do.

 

The Celebrant addresses the congregation, saying:

Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?

We will.

 

Let us join with Jabari and Khloe who are committing themselves to Christ and let us renew our own baptismal covenant.



The Baptismal Covenant


Do you believe in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

 

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

 

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

 

Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

I will, with God's help.

 

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

I will, with God's help.

 

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

I will, with God's help.

 

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

I will, with God's help.

 

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

I will, with God's help.



The Prayers for the Candidates

 

Celebrant:

Let us now pray for these persons who are to receive the Sacrament of new birth.

 

The Cantor or Intercessor:

Deliver Jabari and Khloe, O Lord, from the way of sin and death.

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Open their hearts to your grace and truth.

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Fill them with your holy and life-giving Spirit.

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Keep them in the faith and communion of your holy Church.

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Teach them to love others in the power of the Spirit.

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Send them into the world in witness to your love.

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Bring them to the fullness of your peace and glory.

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

The Celebrant sings:

Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

 

The Altar Party, Candidates, and Congregation process to the Baptismal Font, singing:



AAHH #675: Take Me To The Water

 

1 Take me to the water, take me to the water,

take me to the water to be baptized.

 

3 I love Jesus, I love Jesus,

I love Jesus, Yes I do

 

4 In the name of Jesus, In the name of Jesus,

In the name of Jesus we shall be saved.

 

6 Glory, hallelujah, Glory, hallelujah,

Glory, hallelujah, to be baptized.

 

[Words: Traditional. Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. Valeria A. Foster © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #95146. All rights reserved.]



Thanksgiving Over the Water

 

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

 

We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.

 

We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

At the following words, the Celebrant touches the water.

Now sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and born again may continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior.

 

To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

 


The Baptism & Anointing

 

Jabari, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Jabari, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever. Amen.

Receive the light of Christ as a sign that you have passed from darkness into light. Shine as his light in the world to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

Khloe, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Khloe, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever. Amen.

Receive the light of Christ as a sign that you have passed from darkness into light. Shine as his light in the world to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin and have raised them to the new life of grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.

 

The Celebrant will now sprinkle the People with Holy Water as a reminder of their shared baptism.

 

Let us welcome the newly baptized.

We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood.


The Peace


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.



Parish Announcements


Fr. A’s Farewell Party TODAY: Fr. Guillermo has accepted a call as Program Manager for New Church Starts at the ELCA’s Lutheran Denominational Center. At 3:00 this afternoon, you are invited to attend a Farewell Party.

 

JUST Nehemiah Action on Apr. 15: JUST (Justice Unites Savannah Together) will hold its Annual Nehemiah Action on Monday, April 15, 2024 at St. Paul CME Church, 214 W 33rd Street, Savannah, GA 31401. All church members are invited to support JUST's efforts to add Affordable Housing to Savannah and Chatham County and improve Literacy rates in the Savannah-Chatham Public School System. See Della Jones for more information.

 

Canon Lasch to Discuss Interim Period on Apr. 21: The Rev. Canon Loren Lasch, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Georgia, will preside and preach at our worship service on Sunday, April 21. Afterward, she will lead a discussion about the interim period and search for a new rector.

 

Mrs. Dandy to Retire on April 28; Caroline Banks to be Interim: Mrs. Beryl C. Dandy, who has served St. Matthew’s as Music Director for nearly ten years in two separate stints, will retire from her position at the end of April. Her final Sunday with us will be April 28, 2024. Caroline Banks will begin serving as Interim Music Director on May 1.

 

T/W/Th Evening Prayer on Zoom Only: St. Matthew’s gathers for virtual Evening Prayer services on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 5:00 PM, but we no longer post these videos to our Facebook page. You can pray with us on Zoom using the same link as before, as found in the e-Newsletter or in the St. Matthew’s Linktree (QR Code above).



The Offertory


Giving to St. Matthew's:

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

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

  3. Text “stmattsav” to 73256 to make a secure online donation through your phone.

NOTE: Donations made online (#2 or #3) through Realm incur a processing fee of about 2.5%. Please consider adding an additional 2.5% to your online gift to cover these costs.


“On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)



LEV #121: Baptized in Water

 

1 Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit,

Cleansed by the blood of Christ our King:

Heirs of salvation, Trusting his promise,

Faithfully now God's praise we sing.

 

2 Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit,

Dead in the tomb with Christ our King:

One with his rising, Freed and forgiven,

Thankfully now God's praise we sing.

 

3 Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit,

Marked with the sign of Christ our King:

Born of one Father, We are his children,

Joyfully now God's praise we sing.


[Words: Michael Saward, Copyright © 1982 The Jubilate Group (Hope Publishing Co.). Music: Eugene Hancock, Copyright © 1992 Eugene W. Hancock. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00017. All rights reserved.]



The Doxology


Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

Praise him all creatures here below!

Praise him above ye heavenly hosts!

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Amen.


[Words: Thomas Ken, Public Domain. Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain. All rights reserved.]



Eucharistic Prayer A


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 right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. But chiefly are we bound to praise you for the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; for he is the true Paschal Lamb, who was sacrificed for us, and has taken away the sin of the world. By his death he has destroyed death, and by his rising to life again he has won for us everlasting life. 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:


Hymn S-130:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full, full of your glory

Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna in the highest!

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

Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna in the highest!


[Music: Franz Peter Schubert from Deutsche Messe; arr. Richard Proulx, Copyright © 1985, 1989 G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00210. All rights reserved.]


The people stand or kneel.


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

 

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

 

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

 

Therefore, we proclaim the mystery of faith:


LEV #258:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.


[Music: Hezekiah Brinson, Jr., Copyright © 1990 Hezekiah Brinson, Jr. All Rights Reserved.]


We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and forever. AMEN.



LEV #264: The Lord’s Prayer


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


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

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

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

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

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


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



The Breaking of the Bread & Presentation of the Gifts


The Celebrant breaks the consecrated Bread. A period of silence is kept.


Hymn S-154:

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Therefore, let us keep the feast.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


[Music: David Hurd, Copyright © 1981, G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #07203. All Rights Reserved.]


Hymn S-164:

Jesus, Lamb of God: have mercy on us

Jesus, Bearer of our Sins: have mercy on us

Jesus, Redeemer, Redeemer of the World:

Give us your peace, give us your peace!


[Words: Traditional. Music: Franz Peter Schubert from Deutsche Messe; arr. Richard Proulx, Copyright © 1985, 1989 G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00614. All rights reserved.]


Thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Risen Lord Jesus Christ! The Gifts of God for the people of God.



The Distribution of Holy Communion


All baptized Christians of any denomination are invited to come forward to participate fully in Communion. Baptized children may receive at the discretion of their parents.


You may receive Communion kneeling or standing. Please extend your hands forward to receive the Body of Christ (bread). If you would like to receive the Blood of Christ (wine), the minister will take the bread from your hand and dip (intinct) it in the wine for you, then place it in your mouth. If you would only like to receive the bread, you may consume it and return to your seat.


If you need gluten-free bread for Communion, please raise your hand when you are at the altar rail.


If you would not like to receive Communion for any reason, please cross your arms over your chest, and the Priest will say a blessing over you.


If you are worshipping online, you may pray to receive spiritual communion using the following prayer:

In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.



LEV #151: One Bread, One Body

 

REFRAIN:      

One bread, one body, one Lord of all,

One cup of blessing which we bless.

And we, though many, throughout the earth,

We are one body in this one Lord.

 

1 Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man no more. [REFRAIN]

 

2 Many the gifts, many the works, One in the Lord of all.

 

3 Grain for the fields, scattered and grown, Gathered to one for all.

 

[Words: Adapted by John B. Foley, SJ, from 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Galatians 3:28; The Didache 9. Music: John B. Foley, SJ, Copyright © 1978 John B. Foley, SJ, and New Dawn Music. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #80673. All rights reserved.]


 

LEV #232 / AAHH #531: Thank You, Lord!

 

1 Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!

I just want to thank you, Lord!

 

2 Been so good! Been so good! Been so good!

I just want to thank you, Lord!


[Words & Music: Traditional Negro Spiritual, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97937. All rights reserved.]



The Post-Communion Prayer


Let us pray.


For In-Person Worshippers:


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


For Online Worshippers and Those Receiving Spiritual Communion:

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



The Ending of a Pastoral Relationship

 

On the First Day of June in 2016, I, the Rev. Guillermo Alejandro Arboleda, was called to serve as Priest-in-Charge of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. On the Thirtieth Day of January in 2019, I was inducted by Bishop Scott A. Benhase as sixth Rector of this parish. I have, with God’s help and to the best of my abilities, exercised this trust, accepting its privileges and responsibilities.

 

After prayer and careful consideration, it now seems to me that I should leave this charge and accept a new call as Program Manager for New Church Starts at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). I publicly state that my tenure as rector of St. Matthew’s Church ends on this day.

 

The Wardens:

Do you, the people of St. Matthew’s Church, recognize and accept the conclusion of this pastoral relationship?

We do.

 

The Minister presents the keys of the parish to the Wardens. Then, the People stand, as they are able.

 

Let us offer thanks to God for our ministry together, praying in unison:

 

O God, you have bound us together for a time as pastor and people to work for the advancement of your Kingdom in this place: We give you humble and hearty thanks for the ministry which we have shared in these years now past. Silence

 

We thank you for your patience with us despite our blindness and slowness of heart. We thank you for your forgiveness and mercy in the face of our many failures. Silence

 

Especially we thank you for your never-failing presence with us through these years, and for the deeper knowledge of you and of each other which we have attained. Silence

 

We thank you for those who have been joined to this part of Christ’s family through baptism. We thank you for opening our hearts and minds again and again to your Word, and for feeding us abundantly with the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of your Son. Silence

 

Now, we pray, be with those who leave and with us who stay; and grant that all of us, by drawing ever nearer to you, may always be close to each other in the communion of your saints. All this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

 


The Blessing of the People

 

May God, who has led us in the paths of justice and truth, lead us still, and keep us in the ways of holiness. Amen.

May God, whose Son has loved us and given himself for us, love us still, and establish us in peace. Amen.

May God, whose Spirit unites us and fills our hearts with joy, illumine us still, and strengthen us for the years to come. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you forever. Amen.



Hymn #180: He is Risen, He is Risen!

 

1. He is risen, he is risen! Tell it out with joyful voice:

he has burst his three days' prison; let the whole wide earth rejoice:

death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory.

 

2. Come, ye sad and fearful-hearted, with glad smile and radiant brow!

Death's long shadows have departed; Jesus' woes are over now,

and the passion that he bore–sin and pain can vex no more.

 

3. Come, with high and holy hymning, hail our Lord's triumphant day;

not one darksome cloud is dimming yonder glorious morning ray,

breaking o'er the purple east, symbol of our Easter feast.

 

4. He is risen, he is risen! He hath opened heaven's gate:

we are free from sin's dark prison, risen to a holier state;

and a brighter Easter beam on our longing eyes shall stream.


[Words: Cecil Frances Alexander, alt., Public Domain. Music: Unser Herrscher, Joachim Neander, Public Domain. All rights reserved.]



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia!






The Parish Prayer List


PRAYER LIST: Glenda Allen, Lazola Cope, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, David Jones, Donald Jones, Sheila Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law Jr., Jessica Mathis, Sada Maxwell, John “Butch” Mitchell, Russell Nails, Terry Newton, Jeannette Outing, Lee Grant Pearson, Lysa Rodriguez, Frieda McDew Shorter, Edward Vaughn, and Jewel Wheeler


BIRTHDAYS: Georgette Kelley (4/15) and Lazola Cope (4/19)


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.




Permissions and Credits: 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), Enriching Our Worship 1 (EOW1), The Book of Occasional Services 2022 (BOS22), and other sources cited. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.


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