• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on August 2, 2020

Updated: Aug 2


The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

9th Sunday After Pentecost (Proper 13, Year A) August 2, 2020


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

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



Preface


I am posting this worship service online because we at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person this week. Due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, public health officials recommend avoiding large gatherings of people to avoid spreading the illness to more vulnerable people. Therefore, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia has ordered all parishes in our diocese to suspend in-person worship until further notice.


At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, I will broadcast the following worship service using Facebook Live at www.Facebook.com/StMattSav. After the service concludes, you can re-watch it at any time.


Today's service is the Liturgy of the Word (or the first part of the Holy Eucharist service we use on normal Sundays). This is for use at home while watching the live stream or reading the prayers when you cannot physically attend worship. Lay people may read the entirety of this service as printed.


May God protect you from this virus and protect the most vulnerable among us. May we be God’s hands and feet of compassion and service to all in need during this time. Amen.


Yours in Christ,

Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda





The Word of God


Hymn #522: Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken


1 Glorious things of thee are spoken,

Zion, city of our God;

he whose word cannot be broken

formed thee for his own abode;

on the Rock of Ages founded,

what can shake thy sure repose?

With salvation's walls surrounded,

thou may'st smile at all thy foes.


2 See! the streams of living waters,

springing from eternal love,

well supply thy sons and daughters

and all fear of want remove.

Who can faint, when such a river

ever flows their thirst to assuage?

Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,

never fails from age to age.


3 Round each habitation hovering,

see the cloud and fire appear

for a glory and a covering,

showing that the Lord is near.

Thus deriving from their banner,

light by night, and shade by day;

safe they feed upon the manna

which he gives them when they pray.


4 Blest inhabitants of Zion,

washed in the Redeemer's blood!

Jesus, whom their souls rely on,

makes them kings and priests to God.

'Tis his love his people raises

over self to reign as kings:

and as priests, his solemn praises

each for a thank-offering brings.


Words: John Newton, Public Domain.

Music: Austria, Franz Joseph Haydn, Public Domain; desc. by Michael E. Young, © 1979 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted and streamed with permission under ONE LICENSE #97985. All rights reserved.



Opening Sentences

[BCP, p. 355]


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

And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.



The 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 S 280: Glory to God in the Highest

[BCP, p. 356]


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.


Words: Public Domain.

Music: Robert Powell, © 1985 Church Publishing, Inc.

Reprinted and streamed with permission under ONE LICENSE #77081. All rights reserved.


The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 232]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (55:1-5)


Thus says the Lord:

"Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;

and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.

I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.

See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you,

because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you."


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 145:8-9, 15-22

[BCP, p. 802]

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

8 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, * slow to anger and of great kindness.

9 The Lord is loving to everyone * and his compassion is over all his works.

15 The Lord upholds all those who fall; * he lifts up those who are bowed down.

16 The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, * and you give them their food in due season.

17 You open wide your hand * and satisfy the needs of every living creature.

18 The Lord is righteous in all his ways * and loving in all his works.

19 The Lord is near to those who call upon him, * to all who call upon him faithfully.

20 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; * he hears their cry and helps them.

21 The Lord preserves all those who love him, * but he destroys all the wicked.

22 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; * let all flesh bless his holy Name for ever and ever.



A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans (9:1-5)

I am speaking the truth in Christ-- I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit-- I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #432: O Praise Ye the Lord


1 O praise ye the Lord! Praise him in the height;

rejoice in his word, ye angels of light;

ye heavens, adore him by whom ye were made,

and worship before him, in brightness arrayed.


2 O praise ye the Lord! Praise him upon earth,

in tuneful accord, all ye of new birth;

praise him who hath brought you his grace from above,

praise him who hath taught you to sing of his love.


3 O praise ye the Lord! All things that give sound;

each jubilant chord re-echo around;

loud organs, his glory forth tell in deep tone,

and sweet harp, the story of what he hath done.


4 O praise ye the Lord! Thanksgiving and song

to him be outpoured all ages along!

For love in creation, for heaven restored,

for grace of salvation, O praise ye the Lord!


Words: Henry Williams Baker, based on Psalms 148 and 150, Public Domain.

Music: Laudate Dominum, Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Public Domain.



The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (14:13-21)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“A Repast for John” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

You might not be able to tell at first glance, but this Sunday’s Gospel is a public ritual of mourning. You might call this enormous feeding of the 5000+ something of a funeral repast. The grief-stricken crowds come to Jesus after learning that one of their beloved leaders was arrested on false charges, imprisoned without trial, and executed unjustly by their government. This story takes place in the immediate aftermath of the state-sanctioned murder of John the Baptist. 


John the Baptizer was the forerunner to Jesus, the Prophet sent by God to “prepare the way” for the Messiah (Luke 1:76). He was a wildly popular, grassroots preacher. The poverty-stricken majority of the population flocked to him to hear him preach about the sins of the Pharisees and Sadducees and other religious leaders. They came to him to get baptized in the Jordan River, along the edge of the Judean desert. They sought his counsel and insight about the political realities of the day.


And when John began to criticize Herod’s morals, the crowds rejoiced! Finally, someone is saying the obvious truth! But when the ruler heard about it, he sought retribution. Matthew tells us that Herod arrested and imprisoned John but hesitated to kill him because “he feared the crowd because they regarded [John] as a prophet” (Matt 14:5). After some delay, Herod followed through with his vengeful intentions (with a push from his wife and daughter-in-law). He had John beheaded and served the prophet’s head on a platter at Herod’s own birthday party.


Verse 12 says, “[John’s] disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.” This is the precursor to this famous feeding story. Despite the editorial gloss from the Lectionary, Matthew 14:13 begins like this: “Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.”


Throughout the Gospels, especially Matthew, Jesus has a cyclical pattern of rest and work. He regularly retreats by himself to pray and rest -- in other words, to observe the Sabbath. He knows how important rest is to the work of ministry. No one can be like Rihanna and “work, work, work, work, work.” We need to stop and gather ourselves in prayer, worship, and at times solitude to have the spiritual and emotional stamina to continue the good work of the Gospel.


So Jesus withdrawing by himself is not unusual. What is unusual is the context around this time of rest. Jesus has just received news that his cousin, friend, and co-worker for the Gospel has been executed after a long imprisonment. There was no appeals court, no prior notice, no opportunity to visit him ahead of time. It all happened as swiftly and suddenly as Herod’s whims allowed. So Jesus is grieving on this retreat. He goes away to mourn, to pray, to cry, and to yell. In his human nature, Jesus did not know John would die that day, and, as a human being, he was justifiably sad and angry. But Jesus knows enough about human nature that he knows how to practice self-care in the midst of the most trying and emotional times. He handles his grief through sabbath.


Maybe the crowds did some of that too, but Matthew tells us that they had a different reaction. “When the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the town” (Matt 14:13b). I initially read the “it” as “where Jesus was.” They follow Jesus once they heard that he was there in a deserted place. But on closer examination, it seems that they are also reacting to the news of John’s execution. Another of their heroes has been murdered by the government and they look to Jesus for help in their grief.


This context totally changed my understanding of this story. “When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick” (Matt 14:14). The sick weren’t all physically sick. They were also emotionally and spiritually weary. They were worn out from a constant barrage of injustice and oppression. They were discouraged from always hearing bad news. They were angry that their ruler Herod was so blatantly sexually immoral and so unwilling to accept criticism that he killed John, the first prophet who was brave enough to speak the truth in public. 


It wasn’t the first time or last time that the crowds would grieve for a leader taken from them before his time. It wasn’t the last time they would weep for a good man who was killed by evil men abusing their authority. It wasn’t the last time they had to console one other because the oppressive government decided it could kill one of their children.


And after the well-rested Jesus spends the day speaking to, praying over, and laying hands upon the discouraged crowd, the disciples are ready to go home. They’re far from town, they don’t have enough food to share, and the crowd could turn into a mob if they get too “hangry” (i.e. hungry-angry; angry because they’re hungry). 


But Jesus says, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat” (14:16). If we are willing to share, there will be enough. We cannot simply nourish and comfort these people’s souls; we must care for their bodies too. We don’t bury the dead, comfort the bereaved, pray for hope, and go straight home. We come back to the parish hall and we eat together. 


So Jesus prepares the meal. “Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full” (Matt 14:19b-20). As Jesus and the crowds grieve over the brutal injustices of the world, they comfort one another, pray for healing, and share a feast. They can rejoice that God is with them, miraculously multiplying the food until everyone is full and there are leftovers. 


We understand the grief and trauma that Jesus and the crowds are living through because Herod was by no means a one-of-a-kind ruler. We still deal today with selfish, bigoted, and violent rulers who bring the full force of state-sanctioned violence upon peaceful protesters. We are often grieving the Black lives that are lost to police negligence, misconduct, and abuse. 


But we have seen glimpses of the miraculous in our own parish life. We have gathered here to comfort those who mourn a lost loved one. We have prayed and cried and laughed together and sought healing from God despite the world’s cruelties. We have even served meals and been afraid that the food would run out; more often than not, there was enough! 


There is no big moralistic lesson I’m trying to drive home this week. But we all know that 2020 has been a tough year on just about every level. Love one another. Be gracious with one another. Comfort each other. “Carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2, CEB). And let’s do our best to rest and pray so that we have the stamina to keep fighting for what’s right. Amen.



Bibliography



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 & Confession of Sin

[Adapted from Form VI, BCP, p. 392]

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.

Silence, about 5 seconds.

For all people in their daily life and work;

For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.

For Donald, our president; Brian, our governor; Van, our mayor; Al, the chair of our County Commission; Ann, the Superintendent of our Public Schools, and all other civic officials; For this community, the nation, and the world;

For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.

For the just and proper use of your creation;

For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;

For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.

For all the churches in Savannah, that we may be one as you are one with the Son, and the Holy Spirit; For the peace and unity of the Church of God;

For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.

For Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael, our Presiding Bishop; Frank, our Bishop; Guillermo our Priest; and for all bishops and other ministers;

For all who serve God in his Church.

For the special needs and concerns of this congregation, especially for our Day Care’s staff, students, and families, and for those on our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Zavier Bradley, Raleigh Bryant, Christine Brown, Mark Case, Genella Chamberlain, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Gary Gordon, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Enoch Henderson, Charles E. Hines, Kenneth Howard, Terri Howard, Dale Hundley, Jared Hundley, Tracy Hundley, Milinda James, Alvin Jenkins, Dana Jenkins, Frances T. Jones, Lori Jones, Robert L. Jones, Sr., Ronald Jones, Tonya Jones, Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law, Jr., Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Joan Maty, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Carmelita Maynard, Viola Maynard, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Willie Stephens, Gisele Walton, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, Noel Wheeler, and Dean Williams; and those we remember now…

Silence. The People may add their own petitions.

Hear us, Lord;

For your mercy is great.

We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life, especially Timryl Rhett (8/7), Irene Dixon (8/7), RaSheen Jones (8/7), Anthony Watts (8/7), and DeAndre Scott (8/8) on their birthdays; and Charles & Willie Mae Tennerson (8/3) and Lee Grant & Margaret Anne Pearson (8/6) on their anniversaries, and other blessings we remember now.

Silence. The People may add their own thanksgivings.

We will exalt you, O God our King;

And praise your Name for ever and ever.

We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom, and those we remember now.

Silence. The People may add their own petitions.

Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;

Who put their trust in you.


We pray to you also for the forgiveness of our sins.

Silence may be kept.

Leader and People:

Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; in your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things done and left undone; and so uphold us by your Spirit that we may live and serve you in newness of life, to the honor and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Celebrant concludes with an absolution or a suitable Collect.


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



The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Announcements

A. We do not yet know when we can safely return to in-person worship in our church building. The Right Rev. Frank Logue, the Bishop of Georgia, has authorized some parishes in our Diocese to begin re-opening their buildings as early as July 1. Given the recent increase in new COVID-19 cases in Chatham County, the Vestry has decided not to proceed with Phase 1 Re-opening at this time. The church building will remain closed to all in-person gatherings. We will continue to monitor data provided by our local health experts and present a re-opening plan to the parish when we believe that it is safe to do so. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this uncertain time.


B. Our updated weekly worship schedule during this time of social distancing and quarantine is as follows. Unless otherwise noted, all services may be read on the blog and/or viewed as a video on Facebook Live. If you know of church members who have trouble accessing these services, please reach out and show them or direct them to Fr. Arboleda for support.

  1. Sundays - 9:30 Worship (You can find all of the upcoming Sunday and Holiday readings at http://www.lectionarypage.net.)

  2. Tuesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  3. Wednesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  4. Thursdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer


C. We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom today at 10:30 AM, and again on every other Sunday. Thank you to Mrs. Rachael Blue-Jones who is donating a professional Zoom login to the church for our use.


Topic: St. Matthew's Virtual Coffee Hour

Time: August 2, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83987631416?pwd=Szc1MW5qZWV2T25LYnVsa3drcWhsZz09


Meeting ID: 839 8763 1416

Password: stmattsav


One tap mobile

+19292056099,,83987631416#,,,,0#,,873853606# US (New York)

Dial by your location

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 839 8763 1416

Password: 873853606


D. St. Matthew's is planning to pre-record Sunday services to ensure higher quality video and audio for our worshippers at home. This provides a new opportunity for church members to be a part of the service! Mrs. Pearson and I will reach out to parishioners about recording themselves reading Scripture lessons and/or the Prayers of the People for use in these Sunday videos. We will also reach out to more choir members about singing Sunday music! If you want to get involved, please email me about your interest at FrGAA@StMattSav.org.


E. A notice on upcoming Elections: Registered voters age 65 and older or disabled, who voted by absentee ballot in the  May Primary election, will be mailed a ballot for the August 11th Runoff as well as for the November General Election. If these persons have not received their absentee ballot they should contact the Board of Elections immediately at (912) 790-1520. Others not included in the exemption group described who want to vote via absentee ballot must request separate absentee ballot applications for both the August Runoff and the November General Elections. The ballot requests can be obtained at the Board of Elections office or online at www.voter.chathamcountyga.gov or the My Voter Page website www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.


F. Email Phishing: I learned last week that at least one person has received an email asking for gift cards from a scammer who claimed to be me. If you get an email that seems suspicious, please check the email address. I will always write to you from my church email, frgaa@stmattsav.org, and if you receive a suspicious email from that account, assume it was hacked. I will never ask you to send me money personally and will not ask for money in any form except through the church's Vanco online portal or through a check written directly to the church. No other church official should either. Be careful on the internet, folks!


G. Our Bookkeeper just published our preliminary financial reports for the first two quarters of 2020 (January 1 - June 30). These reports include income and expenditures for both the Parish and the Day Care & Learning Center.


The Vestry and I have revised our strategy for sharing these reports. We are preparing to launch a St. Matthew's Email Newsletter that will include this and other information specific to members of our parish. Over the next couple weeks, we will roll out the newsletter and invite people to join. If you don't think we already have your email address, please send it to Office@StMattSav.org. Note that for our members who do not use email, we will provide the Newsletter and other important information by mail.


H. Many people are feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including the church. We still need your support to pay our staff, pay our bills, and provide for these online live streams. If you pledged a donation in 2020 and are able, please continue making those contributions. If you have not pledged, please consider donating to St. Matthew’s now and in the future. There are several ways to give, but the simplest are these:

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

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

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


The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]


Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.(Ephesians 5:2)


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



LEV #132 / AAHH #678: Certainly, Lord

1 Have you got good religion? Certainly, Lord! Have you got good religion? Certainly, Lord! Have you got good religion? Certainly, Lord! Certainly, certainly, certainly, Lord!


2 Have you been redeemed? Certainly, Lord! Have you been redeemed? Certainly, Lord! Have you been redeemed? Certainly, Lord! Certainly, certainly, certainly, Lord!


3 Have you been to the water? Certainly, Lord! Have you been to the water? Certainly, Lord! Have you been to the water? Certainly, Lord! Certainly, certainly, certainly, Lord!


4 Have you been baptized? Certainly, Lord! Have you been baptized? Certainly, Lord! Have you been baptized? Certainly, Lord! Certainly, certainly, certainly, Lord!


Words: Traditional, Public Domain

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Evelyn Simpson Curenton, © 2000, GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted and streamed with permission under ONE LICENSE #94939. All rights reserved.


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 Blessing & Dismissal

[Enriching Our Worship 1, p. 71; BCP, p 366]


Live without fear: your Creator has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Go in peace to follow the good road and may God’s blessing be with you always. Amen.


Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!




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

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