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  • Writer's pictureLysa Rodriguez

Sunday Worship on December 10, 2023

Updated: Dec 12, 2023


The Holy Eucharist

2nd Sunday of Advent (Year B)

December 10, 2023 at 9:30 AM

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


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The Holy Eucharist: Enriching Our Worship


Note: In Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany Seasons, St. Matthew's will use prayers from Enriching Our Worship 1 (1997). Enriching Our Worship is a series of supplemental worship resources for The Episcopal Church. One of its objectives is to honor the experience of women by providing gender-neutral language for God in its prayers, expanding the Church's vocabulary of prayer from other parts of Scripture and Christian Tradition. There are changes, small and great, throughout the service, so pay attention and ask questions during our Christian Education Hour.



Hymn #76: On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry


1 On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry

announces that the Lord is nigh;

awake and hearken, for he brings

glad tidings of the King of kings.


2 Then cleansed be every breast from sin;

make straight the way for God within,

and let each heart prepare a home

where such a mighty guest may come.


3 For thou art our salvation, Lord,

our refuge, and our great reward;

without thy grace we waste away

like flowers that wither and decay.


4 To heal the sick stretch out thine hand,

and bid the fallen sinner stand;

shine forth, and let thy light restore

earth's own true loveliness once more.


5 All praise, eternal Son, to thee,

whose advent doth thy people free;

whom with the Father we adore

and Holy Spirit evermore.


[Words: Charles Coffin, Tr. Charles Winfred Douglas, after John Chandler, alt. Public Domain. Music: Winchester New, melody from Musicalishes hand-Buch, 1690; harm William Henry Monk. Adapt. by William H. Havergal, 1793-1870. Music arrangement © 2006, Kevin Keil. Published by OCP. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #88543]



The Opening Acclamation

[EOW1, p. 50]


Blessed are you, holy and living One.

You come to your people and set them free.



Lighting the Advent Wreath


The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night, but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down or your moon withdraw itself, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:19-20)


Light each candle with the following words, always beginning with the 1st Sunday’s candle.


1st Sunday of Advent:

Because injustice and despair threaten to overwhelm us,

We pray for hope.

 

2nd Sunday of Advent:

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

We pray for peace.


3rd Sunday of Advent:

Because grief and loss weigh so heavily,

We pray for joy.

 

4th Sunday of Advent:

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

We pray for love.



The Penitential Order

[BCP, p. 352; EOW1, p. 56]


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


The Deacon (or Celebrant) says

Let us confess our sins to God.


Silence may be kept. All pray together, kneeling, as they are able,


God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.


The Bishop, when present, or the Priest, stands and says:

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



LEV #237: Lord, Have Mercy

[see also BCP, p. 356]


Lord, have mercy

Christ, have mercy

Lord, have mercy

Have mercy, O Lord!


[Music: Avon Gillespie (Mass No. 1 in G), Copyright © 1987, G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #09956. All rights reserved.]



The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 234]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



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


Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her

that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid,

that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.


A voice cries out:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.

Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”


A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;

lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear;

say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him;

his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms,

and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.


Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

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


1 You have been gracious to your land, O Lord, * you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.


2 You have forgiven the iniquity of your people * and blotted out all their sins.


8 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, * for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.


9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, * that his glory may dwell in our land.


10 Mercy and truth have met together; * righteousness and peace have kissed each other.


11 Truth shall spring up from the earth, * and righteousness shall look down from heaven.


12 The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, * and our land will yield its increase.


13 Righteousness shall go before him, * and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.



A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Peter (3:8-15a)

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.


Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.


Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.


Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.

Thanks be to God.



Hymn #67: Comfort, Comfort Ye My People (verses 1-2)


1 Comfort, comfort ye my people,

speak ye peace, thus saith our God;

comfort those who sit in darkness

mourning 'neath their sorrows' load.

Speak ye to Jerusalem

of the peace that waits for them;

tell her that her sins I cover,

and her warfare now is over.


2 Hark, the voice of one that crieth

in the desert far and near,

calling us to new repentance

since the kingdom now is here.

Oh, that warning cry obey!

Now prepare for God a way;

let the valleys rise to meet him,

and the hills bow down to greet him.


[Words: Johann G. Olearius; tr. Catherine Winkworth, alt. Public Domain. Music: Psalm 42, melody from Claude Goudimel. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #31464.]



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

The Holy Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ According to St. Mark (1:1-8)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



Hymn #67: Comfort, Comfort Ye My People (verse 3)


3 Make ye straight what long was crooked,

make the rougher places plain;

let your hearts be true and humble,

as befits his holy reign.

For the glory of the Lord

now o'er earth is shed abroad;

and all flesh shall see the token

that the word is never broken.


[Words: Johann G. Olearius; tr. Catherine Winkworth, alt. Public Domain. Music: Psalm 42, melody from Claude Goudimel. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #31464.]



The Sermon

“Do you guys ever think about dying?” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector




Image Credits: Copyright © 2023 bealorart - http://www.redbubble.com/people/bealorar


One of the biggest movies of 2023 was Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, and a huge ensemble cast. Barbie dolls have a complicated legacy. Based on one of the most popular toys in the world, this cleverly-written film explores complex themes about feminism, mental health, capitalism, romantic relationships, and parenting. Barbie dolls often depict women as smart and accomplished, in roles like writers, lawyers, astronauts, and presidents. But they have also taught girls and women impossible beauty standards (white, blonde, busty, and skinny) that negatively affect their self image.


Without getting too deep into the weeds of the plot, Margot Robbie plays the “stereotypical Barbie” who lives in the Barbie fantasy world. Her life is shaped by the imagination of children who play with Barbie dolls all over the world, so her life appears perfect and idyllic. She lives in a dream house, enjoys delicious meals, spas, time on the beach, and daily block parties with all her Barbie and Ken doll friends. But then one day, she starts to feel sad and doesn’t know why. All of a sudden, the things that made her happy seem less satisfying. In a scene that featured prominently in the trailers, the characters are in the middle of an elaborate choreographed dance routine when Barbie asks, “Do you guys ever think about dying?” The record scratches, the music cuts out, and everybody stares at her bewildered and perplexed, like, What are you talking about? For a time, the “stereotypical Barbie” character becomes — and this is an actual quote from the movie — “Irrepressible-Thoughts-of-Death Barbie.” The rest of the movie is about this character’s existential crisis and the path she takes with real women toward healing.


I share that story because our reading from the book of Isaiah invites us to think about dying too. Advent is a time for thinking about our mortality and death. It’s a time for us to “think about dying.” It’s a time for reflecting on all of our relationships: with God, with other people, and with ourselves. We are invited to reflect on how we live and whether we are ready to die. If Christ returned in glory today, would you feel ready? Would you be awake? Would you be confident if Jesus judged you as you truly are?


Isaiah 40:6-8 reads: “A voice says, ‘Cry out!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.”


All of us are like grass. We wither and fade. We are not going to live forever. Our life is very short. Remember that “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day” (2 Peter 3:8). Even if we live what we consider a full life, we just don’t have much time on this earth. 70, 80, or even 100 years are like the blink of an eye to God. And all of us know people who have died much younger than 80 or 90 years old. We all know people whose lives were cut short by tragic circumstances like violence, illness, or accident. We have been mourning the loss of one of our own children for a few weeks now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. 


One of the core messages of Advent is that life is too short to waste it on unimportant or selfish things. Even though we are grass that fades away, “The word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). St. John the Baptist preached about repentance, calling people to get baptized and be forgiven for their sins. God sent John as a prophet to tell people to change their lives while they still have time. John is giving us the same message today. All of the many gifts we have received from God are for a greater purpose. We have breath in our lungs so that we can spread hope, peace, joy, and love (the themes of the four Advent candles). That’s our calling. That’s our mission. That’s what it means to grow and glow in grace. 


“Do you guys ever think about dying?” Well, yes. As Christians, we think about dying because we have a Savior who died for us in order to conquer death. We have a God who chose to live and die among us in order to set us free from the powers of sin, evil, and death. We have a God who rose again to show that death no longer has the great sting and power that we fear. We think about dying because we have hope that something greater is possible. By the grace of God, we can be beacons of peace, joy, and love. We can allow the Holy Spirit to make the Reign of God a reality in our lives and in our society. We can do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God because death does not have the last word. 


We don't have to be in crisis because we will die one day, like the fictional Barbie character. We have a hope that we will rise to new life just like Jesus Christ did on Easter morning. So by the grace of God, we can live in that hope. We can walk in that love. We can be inspired and inspire others. As we grow in grace, we can also glow grace out to others. I want to conclude with a popular blessing I have heard other priests use, called A Pilgrim’s Prayer: “Remember that life is short, and we have little time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us along the way, so be swift to love, make haste to be kind, and the blessing of God Almighty: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.”



The Nicene Creed

[EOW1, p. 53]


All standing as they are able, the People pray:


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,

was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary

and became truly human.

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,

who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.



The Prayers of the People

[Adapted from http://theadventproject.org/Documents/adventpop.pdf, based on the "Great O Antiphons" of Advent, which inspired the lyrics to Hymn #56 - "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"]


Sisters and Brothers, as we joyfully await the full manifestation of God’s Reign in Christ, let us pray for the needs of the church and the world, saying, “Come, Lord Jesus.”


O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High and reach from beginning to end, mightily and sweetly ordering all things. Behold and bless your church, remembering especially Michael our presiding bishop, Frank our Bishop, Guillermo our priest, Ella our Deacon, Joenelle and Rachael our wardens, our vestry and delegates, and all leaders in this parish. Be present in ordering the life of this and every congregation.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Adonai, God of the Covenant, ruler of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave your law. Forgive us when we stray from your guidance and will.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Root of Jesse, you stand as an emblem to humankind; before you rulers will shut their mouths, and nations bow in worship: We pray for your peace and justice in every nation and throughout the world; be present to all whose lives are ravaged by war and strife; especially we hold before you those from among us who serve their country abroad. Guide the leaders of this and every land into the paths of peace and goodwill.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no one can shut, you shut and no one can open: Guide us in opening the doors of opportunity for the unemployed, for the homeless, for prisoners, and for all who are oppressed; and lead us in closing the doors that lead to poverty, bigotry, and injustice.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O King and Desire of the Nations, you are the cornerstone that makes us one: We lift up all who are suffering and in need, especially Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Beryl Dandy, Aaron, Natalie, and Olivia Duplechien, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, David Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Russell Nails, Jeannette Outing, Jewel Wheeler: Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous and help us minister to them in your love.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Dayspring, radiance of the Light Eternal and Sun of Righteousness: Shine your light on those who have died; especially Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Enoch Henderson, and Isaiah Washington (brother of Lazola Cope), and those we name now… ; bring comfort to all those who mourn.

Come, Lord Jesus!


O Emmanuel, God with us, Expected One and Savior, We give thanks for all the blessings of this life; for all who celebrate birthdays and anniversaries especially Darniki Sheppard Ward (12/15), Renee Watts (12/15); and for the other blessings we now name silently or aloud… . Make each of us ready to receive you into our hearts, to serve you in all whom we meet, and to greet you in the fullness of your glory in the day of your appearing.

Come, Lord Jesus!


The Celebrant concludes with the following or another suitable Collect...

Quicken, O Father, the coming of your kingdom; and grant that we your servants, who now live by faith, may with joy behold your Son at his coming in glorious majesty; even Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.



The Peace

[EOW1, p. 56]


The peace of the Christ be always with you.

And also with you.



Parish Announcements


Public Education Postcard Writing Campaign: Join St. Matthew’s in supporting Partners for Faith & Justice and Mission Amplify’s Public Education Advocacy Campaign. We will send postcards to our Georgia lawmakers imploring them to increase funding for public education in the 2024 fiscal budget so that every student can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. This will also support our local education advocacy through JUST, since Chatham County needs more funding to transform its literacy curricula over the next few years. Della Jones will lead a group of people in writing postcards after worship this Sunday.


Emmaus House Service Day on Dec. 14: Beginning on December 14, St. Matthew's is organizing Service Days at Emmaus House Soup Kitchen from 7:30-9:30 AM every 2nd Thursday of the month. Emmaus House accepts up to 4 volunteers per day. You can sign up now for any of the Service Days from December 2023 until May 2024. See Deacon Davis for more details.


Enriching Our Worship Liturgies: In Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany Seasons, St. Matthew's will use prayers from Enriching Our Worship 1 (1997). Enriching Our Worship is a series of supplemental worship resources for The Episcopal Church. One of its objectives is to honor the experience of women by providing gender-neutral language for God in its prayers, expanding the Church's vocabulary of prayer from other parts of Scripture and Christian Tradition. There are changes, small and great, throughout the service, so pay attention and ask questions during our Christian Education Hour.


2023 Advent Cycle of Prayer for the Peace in the Holy Land: The leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church have released the Churches Beyond Borders 2023 Advent Cycle of Prayer. The prayer resource calls for justice and peace, especially for churches impacted by the war in the Holy Land, and for lifting up Palestinian Christian communities and ministries and the congregations and institutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.


Printed copies will be available at church on Sunday for you to take home, or else download it here: https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/2023_CBB_Advent_Cycle_of_Prayer.pdf


New St. Matthew's Linktree: St. Matthew's now has a "Linktree", a single page with links to our many online resources. You can access it at https://linktr.ee/stmattsav or with the new QR Codes posted around the Church.


Grow and Glow in Grace Gear!: St. Matthew's is producing branded clothes and other merchandise with our new Grow and Glow in Grace mission logo! Order T-shirts for $25, embroidered Polo shirts for $40, Mugs for $15, Pens for $2 each, and more! All proceeds will go to the Building Capital Campaign (for remodeling the kitchen, preserving the stained glass windows, replacing the roof, and more)! Order forms are available in church now.

***Mugs, pens, shirts, and more have arrived!***


T/W/Th Evening Prayer on Zoom/Facebook: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, St. Matthew's invites you to pray Evening Prayer with us over Zoom at 5:00 PM. If you want to be in the Zoom call, please join by 4:55 PM using the link in the e-Newsletter.



The Offertory

[BCP, p. 376]


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.


Through Christ let us continually offer to God the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his Name. But to do good and to distribute, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. [Hebrews 13:15-16]



LEV #4: Better Be Ready


Refrain:

Better be ready; Better be ready;

Better be ready; Ready to try on your long white robe!


1 Oh! Rise up children, get your crown,

And by your Savior’s side sit down. [Refrain]


2 What a glorious morning that will be,

Our friends and Jesus we shall see. [Refrain]


3 O shout you Christians, you’re gaining ground,

We’ll shout old Satan’s kingdom down! [Refrain]


4 I soon shall reach that golden shore,

And sing the songs we sang before. [Refrain]


[Words: Traditional. Music: Negro Spiritual; arr R Nathaniel Dett, Arr. Copyright © 1936 Paul A. Schmitt Music Company. Copyright Assigned to Belwin Mills. Made in USA International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of CPP/Belwin, inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #62698]



Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow


Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Circling through earth so all may grow

Vanquishing fear so all may give

Widening grace so all may live

Amen.


[Words: Eric H. F. Law, Copyright © 2015 Eric H. F. Law. Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission from Kaleidoscope Institute. All rights reserved.]



Eucharistic Prayer 1

[EOW1, p. 57]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is truly right, and good and joyful, to give you thanks, all-holy God, source of life and fountain of mercy because you sent your beloved Son to redeem us from sin and death, and to make us heirs in him of everlasting life; that when he shall come again in power and great triumph to judge the world, we may without shame or fear rejoice to behold his appearing. Therefore, joining with Angels and Archangels and with the faithful of every generation, we lift our voices with all creation as we sing:


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.


Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of the universe and giver of life. You formed us in your own image and called us to dwell in your infinite love. You gave the world into our care that we might be your faithful stewards and show forth your bountiful grace.


But we failed to honor your image in one another and in ourselves; we would not see your goodness in the world around us; and so we violated your creation, abused one another, and rejected your love. Yet you never ceased to care for us, and prepared the way of salvation for all people.


Through Abraham and Sarah, you called us into covenant with you. You delivered us from slavery, sustained us in the wilderness, and raised up prophets to renew your promise of salvation. Then, in the fullness of time, you sent your eternal Word, made mortal flesh in Jesus. Born into the human family, and dwelling among us, he revealed your glory. Giving himself freely to death on the cross, he triumphed over evil, opening the way of freedom and life.


On the night before he died for us, Our Savior Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his friends, and said: “Take, eat: This is my Body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”


As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said: “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”


Therefore, we proclaim the mystery of faith:


LEV #258:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.


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


Remembering his death and resurrection, we now present to you from your creation this bread and this wine. By your Holy Spirit, may they be for us the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Grant that we who share these gifts may be filled with the Holy Spirit and live as Christ’s Body in the world. Bring us into the everlasting heritage of your daughters and sons, that with Blessed Mary the Mother of God, Blessed Matthew our Patron, and all your saints, past, present, and yet to come, we may praise your Name for ever.


Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. AMEN.



LEV #264: The Lord’s Prayer

[Compare BCP, p. 364]


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

Silence may be kept.



The Fraction Anthems

[EOW1, p. 69]


We break this bread to share in the Body of Christ.

We who are many are one body, for we all share in the one bread.


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.]


Look! Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. 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 #9: On Jordan’s Stormy Banks


1 On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,

And cast a wishful eye;

To Canaan’s fair and happy land,

Where my possessions lie.


Refrain:

I am bound for the promised land,

I am bound for the promised land;

Oh, who will come and go with me?

I am bound for the promised land.


2 All o’er those wide-extended plains,

Shines one eternal day;

There God the Son forever reigns,

And scatters night away. [Refrain]


3 No chilling winds or pois’nous breath

Can reach that healthful shore;

Sickness and sorrow, pain and death,

Are felt and feared no more. [Refrain]


4 When shall I reach that happy place

And be forever blest?

When shall I see my Father’s face,

And in God’s bosom rest? [Refrain]


[Words: Samuel Stennett. Music: American Melody; adapt. Rigdon McCoy McIntosh; arr. Normal Johnson arr. Copyright © 1968 Singspiration Music/ASCAP. All Rights reserved. Used by permission of Benson Music Group. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #FBC-A018129]



LEV #6: Christ is Coming


1 Christ Is coming: prepare the way.

Christ is coming; prepare the way.

Christ is coming. Christ is coming.


[From Advent jazz Vespers II. Music and word: adapt. by Edward V. Bonnemere. Copyright © Amity Music Corporation, 1475 Gaylord Terrace. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84164]



The Post-Communion Prayer

[EOW1, p. 69; Enriching our Worship 2 (2000), pp. 56-57]


Let us pray.


For In-Person Worshippers:

God of abundance, you have fed us with the bread of life and cup of salvation; you have united us with Christ and one another; and you have made us one with all your people in heaven and on earth. Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of 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 of the People

[BOS, p. 10]


May Almighty God, by whose providence our Savior Christ came among us in great humility, sanctify you with the light of his blessing and set you free from all sin. Amen.


May he whose second Coming in power and great glory we await, make you steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, and constant in love. Amen.


May you, who rejoice in the first Advent of our Redeemer, at his second Advent be rewarded with unending life. Amen.


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



LEV #2: Behold Your God


Oh thou that tellest good tidings to Zion,

Oh thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem:

Lift up your voice with strength,

Lift it up don’t be afraid.

Behold your God.

Arise, and shine, for the light of the world is come.

Behold your God!


[Words: Isaiah 40:9. Public Domain. Music: Kenneth W. Louis, Copyright © Kenneth W. Louis. Permission Requested. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #94885]



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Let us go forth in the name of Christ!

Thanks be to God!




The Parish Prayer List


PRAYER LIST: Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Beryl Dandy, Aaron, Natalie, and Olivia Duplechien, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, David Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Russell Nails, Jeannette Outing, Jewel Wheeler


BIRTHDAYS: Darniki Sheppard Ward (12/15), Renee Watts (12/15)

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES: N/A


RECENT DEATHS: Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Enoch Henderson, and Isaiah Washington (brother of Lazola Cope)


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 Enriching Our Worship 1 (EOW1), 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, all Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.


Image Credits: Copyright © 2023 bealorart - http://www.redbubble.com/people/bealorar

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