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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on February 12, 2023

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

The Holy Eucharist

The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany (Year A)

February 12, 2023 at 9:30 AM

Celebrant and Preacher: The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Deacon: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis

Watch the Livestream at

A portrait of the Rev. Absalom Jones by Raphaelle Peale.

The Holy Eucharist: Rite II

LEV #44: Blessed Absalom (verses 1, 4-7)

1 Born in bondage, born in shackles, Born stripped of all dignity, Abs’lom Jones was bound, determined, That he would one day be free. Blessed Abs’lom, leads us, guides us, In the bonds of unity.

4 One fine morning, while at worship, Wrested from his knees in prayer; He, his friends, were thus evicted: “You no more may praise God here.” Blessed Abs’lom, pray that we may Stand steadfast and persevere.

5 Founded he Saint Thomas’ church for Afric’s sons and daughters blest; Full-fledged members of Christ’s Body, They no longer were oppressed. Blessed Abs’lom, pray that we may Be the church at Christ’s behest.

6 Blessed Abs’lom Jones, first priest of Afric’s stock within our fold; May we, inspired by your witness Raise up priests with hearts of gold! Blessed Abs’lom, pioneer, prophet May your story long be told!

7 Praise to Christ the Liberator; Praise Creator ever blest; Praise the Spirit, Source of comfort, North to south, and east to west: Blessed Abs’lom, priest, exemplar, In God’s bosom now at rest.

[Words: Harold T. Lewis, Copyright © 1992 Harold T. Lewis. Music: Lauda Anima, John Goss, Public Domain. All rights reserved.]

The Opening Acclamation

[BCP, p. 355]

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

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

A Collect for Purity

[BCP, p. 355]

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

Hymn S-280: Glory to God

[See also 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 with permission under ONE LICENSE #28331. All rights reserved.]

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 164]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; 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 Ecclesiasticus, the Wisdom of Sirach 15:15-20

If you choose, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.

He has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for whichever you choose.

Before each person are life and death, and whichever one chooses will be given.

For great is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power and sees everything;

his eyes are on those who fear him, and he knows every human action.

He has not commanded anyone to be wicked, and he has not given anyone permission to sin.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 119:1-8

[BCP, p. 763]

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

1 Happy are they whose way is blameless, * who walk in the law of the Lord!

2 Happy are they who observe his decrees * and seek him with all their hearts!

3 Who never do any wrong, * but always walk in his ways.

4 You laid down your commandments, * that we should fully keep them.

5 Oh, that my ways were made so direct * that I might keep your statutes!

6 Then I should not be put to shame, * when I regard all your commandments.

7 I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, * when I have learned your righteous judgments.

8 I will keep your statutes; * do not utterly forsake me.

A Reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 3:1-9

Brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #474: When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (Verses 1-3)

1 When I survey the wondrous cross

where the young Prince of Glory died,

my richest gain I count but loss,

and pour contempt on all my pride.

2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

save in the cross of Christ, my God:

all the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to his blood.

3 See, from his head, his hands, his feet,

sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

or thorns compose so rich a crown?

[Words: Isaac Watts. Music: Rockingham, from Second Supplement to Psalmody in Miniature, ca.; harm. Edward Miller. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #CGA1430. 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 Matthew 5:21-37

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Hymn #474: When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (Verse 4)

4 Were the whole realm of nature mine,

that were an offering far too small;

love so amazing, so divine,

demands my soul, my life, my all.

[Words: Isaac Watts. Music: Rockingham, from Second Supplement to Psalmody in Miniature, ca.; harm. Edward Miller. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #207475 All rights reserved.]

The Sermon

"The Faithful Boldness of St. Absalom Jones" by The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. … The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:6, 8-9).

Today we are honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Absalom Jones (1746-1818). In 1802, he became the first African American to be ordained as a priest in The Episcopal Church. He died on February 13, 1818, and The Episcopal Church remembers him as a saint on February 13 every year. His story may be familiar to long-time members of St. Matthew’s, but it has been a while since we focused on him on a Sunday morning, so newer and younger members may be learning about him for the first time. St. Absalom Jones is special because he was a barrier breaker and is the founder of the first historically-Black Episcopal parish. St. Matthew’s would not be here today without Absalom Jones’ ministry.

Absalom Jones was born into slavery on November 6, 1746, in Sussex County, Delaware. As a child, he taught himself how to read and his enslaver, Benjamin Wynkpp, moved him to Philadelphia to work as a clerk. 1770, he got married and bought his wife’s freedom; he was finally able to buy his own freedom in 1784. Around this time, he befriended Richard Allen. In 1787, the two of them founded the Free African Society, which was “a social, political and humanitarian organization helping widows and orphans and assisting in sick relief and burial expenses” (AECST).

Jones and Allen were both lay ministers at St. George’s Methodist Church, Philadelphia, but the white clergy and vestry only allowed them to work with other Black people. The two of them were gifted preachers and evangelists. The number of Black church members multiplied and they quickly became the numerical majority at St. George’s. Unfortunately, the white leadership was unhappy about their church’s integration. Around 1791, the vestry decided to segregate the Black worshippers to the upstairs gallery (where the white church members would not have to see them). They made this decision without consulting or informing any Black church members. Absalom Jones, Richard Allen, and the other Black church members arrived on Sunday morning only to meet ushers who refused to let them sit where they were accustomed. Rather than be forced to the balcony, Jones, Allen, and the others all walked out together in protest.

Shortly thereafter, Jones and Allen founded a church through the Free African Society. In 1792, Absalom Jones and a majority of this new church’s members decided to affiliate with the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. They petitioned Bishop William White to join the Diocese under the following conditions: “1. that they be received as an organized body; 2. that they have control over their local affairs; 3. that Absalom Jones be licensed as lay reader, and, if qualified, be ordained as minister” (Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 124). In October 1794, they were admitted to the Diocese as the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. Richard Allen remained friends with Jones, but he led a group from the church to found Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and eventually the AME denomination.

Bishop White ordained Absalom Jones as a deacon in 1795 and as a priest in 1802. He served St. Thomas’ Church until his death in 1818. Jones was known as a caring pastor and an “earnest preacher” (LFF2018, p. 124). He consistently denounced slavery as immoral and petitioned Congress more than once to end the slave trade and free all slaves (decades before the Emancipation Proclamation). St. Thomas church grew to over 500 members in its first year. The church and the Free African Society founded a school for Black children (since they were not admitted to public schools), founded a Black-owned insurance company, bought community real estate, and ministered to sick people of all races during the yellow fever epidemic.

St. Absalom set the example for founding and leading Episcopal parishes for Black people. He inspired similar churches in major cities all over the country. In 1855, following Jones’ example, James Porter, William Cleghorn, and others founded St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church for free Black people in downtown Savannah. The rest, as they say, is history.

Let’s return to the scripture that I opened with. St. Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. … The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:6, 8-9). The founders of St. George’s Methodist Church planted a congregation. Then Absalom Jones and Richard Allen watered, and God gave the growth. But the white church members grew jealous and fought with one another because they allowed their racism to get in the way of love for neighbors. So God provided new fields for Jones and Allen to work in. They served God faithfully and God gave the growth. The people of St. Thomas’ Church became “God’s field [and] God’s building” (1 Cor 3:9). No one could stop what God was doing in Philadelphia then.

And God cannot be stopped today. The Episcopal Church has a legacy of ministry in the Black community because Absalom Jones and St. Thomas Church were bold enough to break down barriers and answer God’s call into the unknown. They endured and we endured generations of segregation in the white-dominated Episcopal Church, but we still carved out our own faithful niche. Absalom Jones inspires us to go bravely wherever God calls us. He reminds us that “the Word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12), that we cannot just do things the way they have always been done. We must listen to the Holy Spirit and dream God’s dream. We must imagine what new creations are possible, and not get stuck on the way things are. This is our heritage. We are children of Absalom Jones (Lewis). Just as in former times, God can do mighty things among us. Amen.


The Nicene Creed

[BCP, p. 358]

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: 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.

A Litany of Thanksgiving for Absalom Jones

[Adapted from Prayers written by the Rev. Jemonde Taylor and based on "A Thanksgiving Sermon" given by the Rev. Absalom Jones on January 1, 1808.]

Celebrant: O God of freedom and justice: we celebrate this day your servant, Absalom Jones, the first person of African ancestry ordained in The Episcopal Church. Empower us to build a world where righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne as we pray: Glory to God for your precious record of power and goodness; let all the nations of the earth praise you.

Leader: Let your Church continue the ministries of reconciliation and peace. Help us grow Absalom Jones’ ministry of racial justice. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Leader: God who hears, you put the tears of our forbearers into your bottle, recording them in your book: help the nations of the world hear their citizens’ concerns by responding to injustice, war, and slavery with actions that lead to peace. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Leader: God of our Ancestors, Blessed Absalom reminded us that just as your chosen people acknowledged a Syrian, ready to perish, was their ancestor, we too must acknowledge that an enslaved African, ready to perish, was our ancestor: Endue our elders and leaders with wisdom and vision to reach back with the purpose of moving forward. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Leader: God of compassion, you hear your people’s cries and prayers in heaven: accept our intercessions and petitions as part of our worship of you. Help us remember that we stand on the prayers of our ancestors. As they prayed for current and future generations, so must we pray for our sisters and brothers today and for those to come. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Leader: God who creates, Blessed Absalom reminded us that sacrifices must be accompanied with action: guide our feet to run the race without getting weary. Keep us focused on the fight for equality. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Leader: Healing God, deliver those who call upon your name as we intercede for Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Ann Dockery, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Nicki Ramsey, and Jewel Wheeler.

You inspire our hearts with hope as we offer prayers of thanksgiving for Evadne Roberts (2/12) and Jaden Ward (2/13) on their birthdays.

Continue to grow from strength to strength those who know you more fully, as we pray for the departed, especially Bette Milledge (1/29/23) and Tiffany Bryant (2/4/23; friend of Karsten Tyson).

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant concludes with a suitable Collect:

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear: that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servants Absalom Jones and Richard Allen, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Confession of Sin

[BCP, p. 360]

The Deacon says

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Deacon and People

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

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

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.

Parish Announcements

Confirmation & Episcopal Refresher Class Rescheduled to TODAY: This spring, Fr. Arboleda will teach an eight-session course to prepare people for Confirmation, Reception, or Renewal of Baptismal Vows. This course is also open to anyone in the church who wants a "refresher" on fundamental Episcopal beliefs and practices. Confirmations and Renewals of Baptismal Vows will take place on Sunday, May 28, 2023, the Day of Pentecost, when Bishop Frank Logue will conduct his annual visitation to St. Matthew's. Each session of the class will take place after Sunday worship from about 11:15-12:15.

Confirmation & Episcopal Refresher Class Schedule

  • February 12: Baptism and Eucharist

  • February 19: Church Calendar & History

  • March 5: Christian Beliefs and Creeds

  • March 19: The Bible and You

  • April 2: Other Sacraments (Marriage, Confession, Anointing, & Burial)

  • April 23: Using The Book of Common Prayer

  • May 7: Faith Outside the Church

  • May 21: Faith Inside The Episcopal Church

This is a space for learning and growth. In these classes, we will listen carefully to one another and honor each other as siblings, even if we disagree. We will not shame anyone for asking questions, not knowing something, or sharing their honest beliefs.

Vestry Orientation Meeting on 2/18 at 10 AM: This Saturday, the new Vestry will hold an orientation meeting this Saturday, February 18, from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM.

Ella Marie Capers Hoskins Burial on 2/18 at 2 PM: St. Matthew’s mourns the loss of Ella Marie Capers Hoskins, who passed away on Thursday, February 9, at the age of 89. We will (tentatively) host her funeral service on Saturday, February 18, at 2:00 PM with a repast to follow. Plans will be finalized in the next day or so. Stay tuned here and with Adams Funeral Services for updates.

New Vestry Clerk 2023: Sandra Mitchell, who has served faithfully as Clerk for about 18 months, informed the Rector and Vestry that she will step down from this position. (The Annual Meeting was her final day of duty.) We express our thanks and gratitude for all she contributed to the Vestry in this role! The Vestry is putting out a call to the parish for a person willing to serve as Clerk. Read a detailed invitation to this position here:

Strategic Planning Congregational Meeting #1 on 2/26: St. Matthew's Strategic Planning Team invites YOU to attend the first Strategic Planning Congregational Meeting, called "St. Matthew's Past: Celebrating and Learning from our Parish's History." This meeting will take place on Sunday, February 26 in Toomer-Walker Hall from 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM. It will begin with a catered meal and feature engaging presentations and activities led by our Strategic Planning consultants from the Kaleidoscope Institute. Learn more in this invitation, which is also available in church and will be mailed to church members this week.

2022 Giving Statements Available Now: If you contributed over $100.00 to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in the calendar year 2022, we have giving statements available for pickup in the parish hall. Statements that are not taken today will be mailed this week.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on 2/21: The Pancake Supper will take place on Shrove Tuesday, February 21, 2023, in Toomer-Walker Hall from 4:00-7:00 PM. Dinners cost $6.00 each, with an option for pork sausage or beef sausage with your pancakes. You may eat-in or take-out. You may order your meal ahead of time using tickets available in church. This fundraiser benefits the charitable work of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Women (ECW)!

Ash Wednesday Worship at 7 AM & 6 PM: Ash Wednesday is on February 22, 2023. We will hold two worship services including Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion. The first will be at 7:00 AM and will not include any music. The second will be at 6:00 PM and will feature our choir. Both services will be live-streamed to our Facebook page. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, the 40-day season of preparation for Easter. This is a good time to refocus your spiritual life by taking on practices of prayer, fasting, and/or works of mercy.

Wellness Wednesdays in Lent: Every Wednesday in Lent, beginning on March 1, will be Wellness Wednesday! We will gather for worship, food, and discussion about finding wellness in our community. Using tools from Kaleidoscope Institute, such as Holy Currencies, we will reflect on Bible passages relating Wellness to Time & Place, Relationships, Gracious Leadership, Truth, and Money. March 29 will be our second Strategic Planning Congregational Meeting in place of the usual programming. Below is the weekly schedule. Even if you miss worship, you can still come!

  • 5:00 - 5:30 Evening Prayer

  • 5:30 - 6:00 Dinner

  • 6:00 - 7:00 Wellness Bible Reflections

There is a sign-up sheet in the parish hall for individuals or groups who want to prepare a simple meal for each of the Wednesdays.

Sermon Book Committee: The committee compiling a book of Rev. Guillermo Arboleda's sermons is looking or additional members to read the sermons from 2019-2023. If you are interested, please see Karsten Tyson or Idella Jones.

Congregational Demographics Survey: Every year, The Episcopal Church collects information from every parish in Parochial Reports. In 2021, the Episcopal Church decided to collect data differently to better serve God’s people from various age groups and racial/ethnic groups. The questions and categories are taken directly from those required in our reporting. We need one completed survey per individual (including children), so please help those in your family or friend network if they need help with technology.

This simple, anonymous survey should take 30 seconds or less per individual to complete:

NOTE: The final question is there to prevent hackers or bots from tampering with our data collection.

Diocesan Bicentennial 2/25: On Saturday, February 25, 2023, the people of the Diocese of Georgia will gather at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Augusta to celebrate the Bicentennial of our diocese's founding. The Eucharist at 2 pm will be followed by a reception. Bishop Logue will preside and the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright, Bishop of Atlanta will preach.

Bette Milledge Memorial Service Planned for May 28: Beloved member Bette Milledge passed away on January 29 surrounded by family and loved ones in Michigan. She has been cremated and her family will hold a memorial service here at St. Matthew's with a burial to follow at Laurel Grove South on Saturday, May 28. Other details are still to be determined. Stay tuned for more.

T/W/Th Evening Prayer: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, St. Matthew's invites you to pray Evening Prayer over Zoom. The video will continue to stream to Facebook Live at 5:00 PM. Please join the Zoom call by 4:55 PM. Otherwise, watch the prayer service as you have been on Facebook Live.

Wednesday Bible Study: Deacon Davis and Fr. Arboleda currently host a weekly Zoom Bible Study at 5:30 PM on Wednesdays after Evening Prayer. The group uses the same Zoom link as Evening Prayer.

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 376]

Giving to St. Matthew's: We know that many people are feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The church is feeling it too. We still need your support to pay our staff, pay our bills, and provide for these online live streams. There are several ways to give, but the simplest are these:

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

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at:; OR

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

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

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

LEV #193: I Will Trust In The Lord

1 I will trust in the Lord,

I will trust in the Lord,

I will trust in the Lord ’til I die;

I will trust in the Lord,

I will trust in the Lord,

I will trust in the Lord ’til I die.

2 Sister will you trust in the Lord,

Sister will you trust in the Lord,

Sister will you trust in the Lord ’til you die;

Sister will you trust in the Lord,

Sister will you trust in the Lord,

Sister will you trust in the Lord ’til you die.

3 Brother will you trust in the Lord,

Brother will you trust in the Lord,

Brother will you trust in the Lord ’til you die;

Brother will you trust in the Lord,

Brother will you trust in the Lord,

Brother will you trust in the Lord ’til you die.

4 I’m gonna treat my neighbor right,

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right,

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right ’til I die;

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right,

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right,

I’m gonna treat my neighbor right 'til I die.

5 I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand,

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand,

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand ’til I die;

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand,

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand,

I’m gonna hold my savior’s hand ’til I die.

[Words: Traditional. Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. Carl Haywood, from The Haywood Collection of Negro Spirituals, Copyright © 1992 Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #87497. All rights reserved.]

AAHH #651: Doxology

[See also Hymn # 380, v. 3]

Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


[Words: Thomas Ken, Public Domain. Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84260. All rights reserved.]

Eucharistic Prayer D

[BCP, p. 372]

It is truly right to glorify you, Father, and to give you thanks; for you alone are God, living and true, dwelling in light inaccessible from before time and for ever. Fountain of life and source of all goodness, you made all things and fill them with your blessing; you created them to rejoice in the splendor of your radiance. Countless throngs of angels stand before you to serve you night and day; and, beholding the glory of your presence, they offer you unceasing praise. Joining with them, and giving voice to every creature under heaven, we acclaim you, and glorify your Name, as we sing,

Hymn S-125:

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

Heaven and earth are full of your glory

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

[Word: Public Domain. Music: From A Community Mass, Richard Proulx © 1971, 1977 GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #00216. All rights reserved.]

The people stand or kneel.

We acclaim you, holy Lord, glorious in power. Your mighty works reveal your wisdom and love. You formed us in your own image, giving the whole world into our care, so that, in obedience to you, our Creator, we might rule and serve all your creatures. When our disobedience took us far from you, you did not abandon us to the power of death. In your mercy you came to our help, so that in seeking you we might find you. Again and again you called us into covenant with you, and through the prophets you taught us to hope for salvation.

Father, you loved the world so much that in the fullness of time you sent your only Son to be our Savior. Incarnate by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, he lived as one of us, yet without sin. To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation; to prisoners, freedom; to the sorrowful, joy. To fulfill your purpose he gave himself up to death; and, rising from the grave, destroyed death, and made the whole creation new.

And, that we might live no longer for ourselves, but for him who died and rose for us, he sent the Holy Spirit, his own first gift for those who believe, to complete his work in the world, and to bring to fulfillment the sanctification of all.

When the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, his heavenly Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end; at supper with them he 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."

Father, we now celebrate this memorial of our redemption. Recalling Christ's death and his descent among the dead, proclaiming his resurrection and ascension to your right hand, awaiting his coming in glory; and offering to you, from the gifts you have given us, this bread and this cup, we praise you and we bless you.

Hymn S139:

We praise you, we bless you,

We give thanks to you,

And we pray to you, Lord our God

[Words: Public Domain. Music: Plainsong, Te Deum Tone; adapt. Mason Martens, Copyright © 1983 Mason Martens. All rights reserved.]

Lord, we pray that in your goodness and mercy your Holy Spirit may descend upon us, and upon these gifts, sanctifying them and showing them to be holy gifts for your holy people, the bread of life and the cup of salvation, the Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ.

Grant that all who share this bread and cup may become one body and one spirit, a living sacrifice in Christ, to the praise of your Name.

Remember, Lord, your one holy catholic and apostolic Church, redeemed by the blood of your Christ. Reveal its unity, guard its faith, and preserve it in peace.

And grant that we may find our inheritance with the Blessed Virgin Mary, with patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, with Blessed Matthew and all the saints who have found favor with you in ages past. We praise you in union with them and give you glory through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, all honor and glory are yours, Almighty God and Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]

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

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Fraction Anthems

[BCP, p. 364, 407]

Hymn S-152:

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!

Therefore let us keep the feast! Alleluia!

[Words: Public Domain. Music: Ambrosian chant; adapt. Mason Martens © 1971 Mason Martens. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #52588. All rights reserved.]

LEV #269:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

grant us peace.

[Words: Public Domain. Music: Lena McLin, Eucharist of the Soul © 1972 General Words and Music Co. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #57436. All rights reserved.]

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

The Gifts of God for the people of God.

Hymn #304: I Come With Joy to Meet my Lord

1 I come with joy to meet my Lord, forgiven, loved and free, in awe and wonder to recall his life laid down for me,

2 I come with Christians far and near to find, as all are fed, the new community of love in Christ's communion bread,

3 As Christ breaks bread and bids us share, each proud division ends. The love that made us makes us one, and strangers now are friends,

4 And thus with joy we meet our Lord. His presence, always near, is in such friendship better known; we see and praise him here,

5 Together met, together bound, we'll go our different ways, and as his people in the world, we'll live and speak his praise,

[Words: Public Domain. Brian A. Wren, alt. Copyright © 1971 by Hope Publishing Company. Music: Land of Rest, American folk melody; adapt. and harm. Annabel Morris Buchanan. Copyright © 1938 by J. Fischer & Bro., a division of Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #85912. All Rights Reserved.]

The Post-Communion Prayer

[Enriching our Worship 2 [2000], pp. 56-57]

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 Blessing of the People

[Adapted from Enriching Our Worship 1, p. 71]

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 the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

Hymn #697: My God, Accept My Heart This Day

1 My God, accept my heart this day,

and make it always thine,

that I from thee no more may stray,

no more from thee decline.

2 Before the cross of him who died,

behold, I prostrate fall;

let every sin be crucified,

and Christ be all in all.

3 Anoint me with thy heavenly grace,

and seal me for thine own,

that I may see thy glorious face,

and worship near thy throne.

4 Let every thought and work and word,

to thee be ever given;

then life shall be thy service, Lord,

and death the gate of heaven.

[Words: Matthew Bridges, alt. Music: Song 67, melody from Llyfr y Psalmau, Copyright © 1985 Church Publishing, Inc., bass perhaps by Orlando Gibbons; other harmony The Hymnal. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #11728. All Rights Reserved.]

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

The Parish Prayer List

PRAYER LIST: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Ann Dockery, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Nicki Ramsey, and Jewel Wheeler

BIRTHDAYS: Evadne Roberts (2/12) and Jaden Ward (2/13)


RECENT DEATHS: Bette Milledge (1/29/23) and Tiffany Bryant (2/4/23; friend of Karsten Tyson)

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), Enriching Our Worship 1 (EOW1), 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.

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