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  • Writer's pictureLysa Rodriguez

Sunday Worship on February 25, 2024


The Holy Eucharist

2nd Sunday of Lent (Year B)

February 25, 2024 at 9:30 AM

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

Deacon: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis, Deacon


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

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





The Great Litany & The Holy Eucharist:

Enriching Our Worship


Note: In Lent, St. Matthew's will continue to 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 #401: The God of Abraham Praise


1 The God of Abraham praise,

who reigns enthroned above;

Ancient of everlasting days,

and God of love;

the Lord, the great I AM,

by earth and heaven confessed:

we bow and bless the sacred Name

for ever blest.


2 He by himself hath sworn:

we on his oath depend;

we shall, on eagles-wings upborne,

to heaven ascend:

we shall behold his face,

we shall his power adore,

and sing the wonders of his grace

for evermore.


3 There dwells the Lord, our King,

the Lord, our Righteousness,

triumphant o'er the world and sin,

the Prince of Peace;

on Zion's sacred height

his kingdom he maintains,

and, glorious with his saints in light,

for ever reigns.


4 The God who reigns on high

the great archangels sing,

and “Holy, holy, holy,” cry,

“Almighty King!

Who was, and is, the same,

and evermore shall be:

eternal Father, great I AM,

we worship thee.”


5 The whole triumphant host

give thanks to God on high;

“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”

they ever cry;

hail, Abraham’s Lord divine!

With heaven our songs we raise;

all might and majesty are thine,

and endless praise.


[Words: Thomas Olivers, alt. Music: Leoni, Hebrew melody; harm. Hymns Ancient and Modern. Reprinted with permission from ONE LICENSE #84523.]



The Opening Acclamation 

[EOW1, p. 50]


Blessed be the God of our salvation:

Who bears our burdens and forgives our sins. Amen.



The Great Litany

[EOW1, p. 46] 


The people kneel or stand, as they are able.


I.

Holy God, Creator of heaven and earth, Have mercy on us.

Holy and Mighty, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

Holy Immortal One, Sanctifier of the faithful, Have mercy on us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

 

II.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred and malice; and from all evil intent, Savior deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money; from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws, Savior deliver us.

From sins of body and mind; from deceits of the world, flesh and the devil, Savior deliver us.

From famine and disaster; from violence, murder, and dying unprepared, Savior deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy; in the hour of our death and at the day of judgment, Savior deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation; by your birth, childhood and obedience; by your baptism, fasting and temptation, Savior deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work; by your mighty acts of power; by the preaching of your reign, Savior deliver us.

By your agony and trial; by your cross and passion; by your precious death and burial, Savior deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection; by your glorious ascension; and by your sending of the Holy Spirit, Savior deliver us.

 

III.

Hear our prayers, O Christ our God. Hear us, O Christ.

Govern and direct your holy Church; fill it with love and truth; and grant it that unity which is your will. Hear us, O Christ.

Give us boldness to preach the gospel in all the world, and to make disciples of all the nations. Hear us, O Christ.

Enlighten your bishops, priests and deacons, especially Frank, Guillermo, and Ella, with knowledge and understanding, that by their teaching and their lives they may proclaim your word. Hear us, O Christ.

Give your people grace to witness to your word and bring forth the fruit of your Spirit. Hear us, O Christ.

Bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived. Hear us, O Christ.

Strengthen those who stand; comfort and help the fainthearted; raise up the fallen; and finally beat down Satan under our feet. Hear us, O Christ.

 

IV.

Guide the leaders of the nations into the ways of peace and justice. Hear us, O Christ.

Give your wisdom and strength to Joseph, the President of the United States; Brian, the Governor of Georgia, and Van, the Mayor of Savannah, that in all things they may do your will, for your glory and the common good. Hear us, O Christ.

Give to the Congress of the United States, the members of the President’s Cabinet, those who serve in our state legislature, and all others in authority the grace to walk always in the ways of truth. Hear us, O Christ.

Bless the justices of the Supreme Court and all those who administer the law, that they may act with integrity and do justice for all your people. Hear us, O Christ.

Give us the will to use the resources of the earth to your glory and for the good of all. Hear us, O Christ.

Bless and keep all your people, especially those celebrating birthdays: RaShad Taylor Jr (02/28), Lee Pearson Sr (03/01), Clemontine Washington (03/01); and to those celebrating anniversaries, Hear us, O Christ.

 

V.

Comfort and liberate the lonely, the bereaved and the oppressed. Hear us, O Christ.

Keep in safety those who travel and all who are in peril. Hear us, O Christ.

Heal the sick in body, mind or spirit especially the people of our Parish Prayer List: Anthony Blue Sr., Algernon John Baptiste, Lazola Cope, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, Fr. Charles Hoskins, Evalena Hoskins, David Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Charles McMillan, John “Butch” Mitchell, Russell Nails, Jabbar Newton, Jeannette Outing, and Jewel Wheeler; and provide for the homeless, the hungry and the destitute. Hear us, O Christ.

Guard and protect all children who are in danger. Hear us, O Christ.

Shower your compassion on prisoners, hostages and refugees, and all who are in trouble. Hear us, O Christ.

Forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers, and turn their hearts. Hear us, O Christ.

Hear us as we remember those who have died, especially Jacqueline Bryant, and grant us with them a share in your eternal glory. Hear us, O Christ.

 

VI.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your word.



Hymn S-102: Holy God (Trisagion)

 

Holy God,

Holy and Mighty,

Holy Immortal One,

Have mercy upon us



The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 234]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



A Reading from the Book of Genesis (17:1-7, 15-16)


When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”


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

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 22:22-30

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


22 Praise the Lord, you that fear him; *

stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel;

all you of Jacob's line, give glory.


23 For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty;

neither does he hide his face from them; *

but when they cry to him he hears them.


24 My praise is of him in the great assembly; *

I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.


25 The poor shall eat and be satisfied,

and those who seek the Lord shall praise him: *

"May your heart live for ever!"


26 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, *

and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.


27 For kingship belongs to the Lord; *

he rules over the nations.


28 To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; *

all who go down to the dust fall before him.


29 My soul shall live for him;

my descendants shall serve him; *

they shall be known as the Lord's forever.


30 They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn *

the saving deeds that he has done.



A Reading from the First Letter of Romans (4:13-25)

For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”) —in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.


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

Thanks be to God.



Hymn #337: And Now, O Father, Mindful of the Love (verses 1-3)


1 And now, O Father, mindful of the love

that bought us, once for all, on Calvary's tree,

and having with us him that pleads above,

we here present, we here spread forth to thee,

that only offering perfect in thine eyes,

the one true, pure, immortal sacrifice.


2 Look Father, look on his anointed face,

and only look on us as found in him;

look not on our misusings of thy grace,

our prayer so languid, and our faith so dim:

for lo! between our sins and their reward,

we set the passion of thy Son our Lord.


3 And then for those, our dearest and our best,

by this prevailing presence we appeal;

O fold them closer to thy mercy's breast!

O do thine utmost for their souls' true weal!

From tainting mischief keep them pure and clear,

and crown thy gifts with strength to persevere.


[Words: William Bright, alt. Music: Unde set memores, William Henry Monk.]



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 (8:31-38)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



Hymn #337: And Now, O Father, Mindful of the Love (verse 4)


4 And so we come; O draw us to thy feet,

most patient Savior, who canst love us still!

And by this food, so awesome and so sweet,

deliver us from every touch of ill:

in thine own service make us glad and free,

and grant us nevermore to part from thee.


[Words: William Bright, alt. Music: Unde set memores, William Henry Monk.]



The Sermon

“God is here. God loves us. It is enough.” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector


Jesus said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” (Mark 8:34-36).


On Wednesdays in Lent, a group of us are reading and studying a book together called Everything Happens For a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved) by Dr. Kate Bowler, one of my professors from Duke Divinity School. The book is a beautiful, sad, and funny memoir about her diagnosis with Stage IV colon cancer and her path toward recovery. What’s ironic about her story is that Dr. Bowler is a religious historian who researches American prosperity gospel preachers. She got terribly sick while studying churches where they kept trying to make an example out of her by healing her. But, her path to healing and her relationship with God grew in a very different direction. 


Dr. Bowler explains that “prosperity gospel” Christians believe that God always rewards faithful people with earthly blessings: health and wealth. You may have heard this kind of message before. And on the other hand, they believe that if you don’t have health and wealth, it’s a sign of God’s punishment for sin, a sign that you have been unfaithful somehow. Both sides of that “prosperity gospel” belief are wrong and problematic when they are treated like absolutes, like formulas that we can follow. It implies that we can control God’s blessings with our behavior and that every bad thing that happens to me is my fault.


But this scripture from the Gospel of Mark flies in the face of prosperity gospel teachings. Jesus tells his followers that he will suffer, be rejected, and be killed (Mark 8:31). Unfortunately, they have some prosperity beliefs themselves, because they don’t want to believe him. The disciples think Jesus is telling them that God doesn’t love him. They think that is impossible because he is their good, righteous Rabbi. God would never allow a righteous person to suffer, they think. Peter is so wrong about this that Jesus rebukes him, saying, “Get behind me, Satan!” 


Sometimes suffering is not a punishment. Suffering can actually be the result of faithfulness. Sometimes loving people unconditionally, giving generously, and helping to lift up the lowly (Luke 1:52) puts us in the crosshairs of powerful people who benefit from the status quo. The Romans colonizers and the chief priests and elders had a lot to gain by keeping things the way they were and stifling Jesus’ loving, liberating, and life-giving message. They chose to kill him because he preached Good News to the poor, freedom for the prisoners and oppressed, and the year of the Lord’s favor—debt cancellation and economic relief (Luke 4:18; cf. Leviticus 25). He suffered earthly pain because he obeyed God’s will, not as a punishment for disobeying God. Jesus himself was crucified, which was such a brutal way to die that most Jews and Greeks believed that crucifixion was itself a curse. 


Then, Jesus says that his faithful followers will also carry a cross, a torture and execution device. So it’s not just our Savior and Lord who must suffer, but us too. We also must be bold enough and brave enough to stand up for love in the face of resistance. We also must be loud and proud about defending the weak and the needy and not accepting oppression for ourselves or any of our human siblings. Sometimes, we suffer because we obey God’s will.


Sometimes, of course, we suffer for no clear reason. It isn’t about our individual faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Sometimes, pollution in the air or water hurts our bodies. Sometimes, you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone makes a mistake behind the wheel. Sometimes, a new virus enters the world and flips our lives upside down. It’s dangerous to try to over-explain these things with God-language, whether we’re calling them curses or blessings. 


I’d wager that everyone here has experienced some type of illness or loss or struggle—some pain or suffering that doesn’t feel like a blessing at all. The truth is that that’s normal. That is how life goes. God doesn’t hate or curse everyone who suffers just as God is not in the business of rewarding us all in this life. Dr. Bowler came to understand more deeply that sometimes good things happen to “bad” or “undeserving” people and bad things happen to “good” or faithful people. She helps us see that “blessing” doesn’t always mean fun, pleasure, or enjoyment. God’s blessings take many forms. 


In one of the most powerful passages from her book, Dr. Bowler writes, “What if rich did not have to mean wealthy, and whole did not have to mean healed? What if being people of ‘the gospel’ meant that we are simply people with good news? God is here. We are loved. It is enough” (Bowler, p. 21, emphasis original). God does not promise that we’ll always be comfortable. God does not promise that we won’t suffer. But, Jesus is clear that his faithful followers will preach the Good News, try to restore people to unity with God and each other, and maybe even carry the cross of suffering. But we do it together, as a community of love and support. And through it all, God is here, God loves us, and God is enough for us. That is the greatest blessing of all. 


Let us pray…


Bibliography

Bowler, Kate. Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved). New York: Random House, 2018, 2019.


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 Confession of Sin


The Deacon (or Celebrant) says

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).


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.



The Peace

[EOW1, p. 56]


The peace of the Christ be always with you.

And also with you.



Parish Announcements


Fr. A Interviewed for Social Justice Web Series: On Friday February 23, Fr. Arboleda was a featured guest on a web series called Remix EQ Live: Amplifying Equity, hosted by Dr. Erika Tate, PhD. This week's episode was called "Interfaith Partnerships in Pursuit of Equity & Justice" and also featured Pastor Yolanda Roberson of Kingdom Life Christian Fellowship. He spoke primarily about St. Matthew's work with JUST and his work for the Diocese of Georgia. Watch the show here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaD5x7SFn_8 


Newcomer & Episcopal Refresher Class: Fr. Arboleda will lead a class for newcomers and those who want a "refresher" on Episcopal Church basics. The next three meetings are February 25, March 3, and March 17. If you are interested in becoming a member and/or getting baptized, confirmed, or received soon, this class is required. See Fr. Arboleda with any scheduling concerns.


Baldwin’s The Amen Corner at St. Paul’s on Feb. 26: In honor of Black History Month, in cooperation with the Episcopal Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah, Jacqui’s Repertoire Company presents The Pauly Players in James Baldwin’s 1954 play The Amen Corner on Monday, February 26 at 7:00 pm in the St. Paul’s Parish Hall. Donations accepted.


Anne & Emmett Play at St. Matthew’s on Feb. 28: The Savannah Jewish Federation is sponsoring a performance of Janet Langhart Cohen’s critically-acclaimed play Anne & Emmett at St. Matthew’s Church on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 PM. This play explores the connections between Holocaust victim Anne Frank and lynching victim Emmett Till. This is a free event, but please register here; there will be an offering collected for the Savannah Jewish Federation. Learn more here.


The Philadelphia Eleven Documentary Showing on Feb. 29: On Thursday, February 29 at 5:45 PM, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Skidaway Island) will host a showing of the documentary film The Philadelphia Eleven, which tells the story of the first eleven women ordained as priests in The Episcopal Church. This is a free event, no tickets required, and snacks will be provided. (St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 3 West Ridge Road, Savannah, GA 31411)


Stations of the Cross on Fridays in Lent: St. Matthew's will hold in-person Stations of the Cross services at 12:00 noon on every Friday in Lent (February 16 - March 29). Please see Deacon Davis with any questions.


Jacqueline Bryant Memorial Service on Mar. 2: St. Matthew’s will honor the life and legacy of Mrs. Jacqueline Hill Bryant on Saturday, March 2, at 11:00 AM. More details to be announced here and by Adams Funeral Services.


Lent Wednesday Study on Everything Happens for a Reason: St. Matthew’s will host a dinner and book study on most Wednesdays in Lent from 5:30-7:00 PM about Dr. Kate Bowler’s memoir Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved). At the age of 34, Duke Divinity School professor Kate Bowler learned she had stage IV colon cancer. An able guide through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Kate is a faithful follower of Jesus who reminds us that none of us is spared coming to terms with our mortality. Stripped of certainty, Kate discovers that life is difficult, but beautiful in a way it never has been before. Books are available for purchase for $15 in the church. Download the discussion guide here. The reading and meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Mar. 6: Chapters 4-5

  • Mar. 13: Chapters 6-7

  • Mar. 20: Chapters 8-9 and Appendices 


New Cruets for Communion Wine and Water: A church member who wishes to remain anonymous generously donated new cruets to our Altar Guild. These are the vessels for carrying wine and water to the altar for Holy Communion.


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. 


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.


If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your sister or brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your sister or brother, and then come and offer your gift. [Matthew 5:23-24]



LEV #93: Give Thanks to the Lord for He is So Good


Refrain:

Give thanks to the Lord

for He is so good,

His mercy endures forever (forever).

Give dures forever. (forever)


1 To him alone who does mighty wonders

who by His understanding made the heavens. [Refrain]


2 He made the sun to govern the daytime,

the moon and the stars to govern o'er the night time. [Refrain]


[Words: Brenda Barker. Music: Ken Barker and Debi Parker Ladd. Copyright © 1986 word music. All Rights reserved. Used by permission.]



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.]



The Dedication of Church Ornaments


Solomon beautified the sanctuary, and multiplied the vessels of the temple.


V. Oh, the majesty and magnificence of God’s presence!

R. Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!


Let us pray. 

O God, whose blessed Son has sanctified and transfigured the use of material things: Receive these cruets which we offer, and grant that it may proclaim your love, benefit your Church, and minister grace and joy to those who use it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



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 ... [The Presider inserts a proper preface] ... 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 #144: I Can Hear My Savior Calling


1 I can hear my Savior calling,

I can hear my Savior calling,

I can hear my Savior calling,

“Take thy cross and follow, follow me.”


Refrain:

Where He leads me I will follow,

Where He leads me I will follow,

Where He leads me I will follow,

I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.


2 I’ll go with Him through the garden,

I’ll go with Him through the garden,

I’ll go with Him through the garden,

I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way. [Refrain]


3 I’ll go with Him through the judgement,

I’ll go with Him through the judgement,

I’ll go with Him through the judgement,

I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way. [Refrain]


4 He will give me grace and glory,

He will give me grace and glory,

He will give me grace and glory,

And go with me, with me all the way. [Refrain]


[Words: E.W. Blandy, c. 1890. Music: John S. Norris.]



LEV #31: Lead Me to Calvary


1 King of my life I crown thee now,

Thine shall the glory be;

Lest I forget thy thorn-crowned brow,

Lead me to Calvary.


Refrain:

Lest I forget Gethsemane,

Lest I forget thine agony,

Lest I forget thy love for me,

Lead me to Calvary.


2 Show me the tomb where thou wast laid,

Tenderly mourned and wept;

Angels in robes of light arrayed

Guarded thee whilst Thou slept. [Refrain]


3 Let me, like Mary, through the gloom,

Come with a gift to thee;

Show to me now the empty tomb,

Lead me to Calvary. [Refrain]


4 May I be willing, Lord, to bear

Daily my cross for thee;

Even thy cup of grief to share

Thou hast borne all for me. [Refrain]


[Words: Jennie Evelyn Hussey. Music: William J, Kirkpatrick. Copyright © 1921. Renewed 1949 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL. All Rights reserved. Used by permission. Reprinted with permission from ONE LICENSE #102006.]



The Post-Communion Prayer

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


Let us pray.


For In-Person Worshippers:

Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people, forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue 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.



A Litany In Celebration of Black History


All: “God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way. Thou who hast by thy might led us into the light keep us forever in Thy path we pray.”

   

Deacon: Even as the worlds were formed, continents named, oceans separated, and your plan for humankind began to unfold, you had us on your mind. 

People: Thank you, Gracious Lord, for including us in your divine plan.

   

When you decided to perfectly place human beings in your world, you chose to place them in Africa, our Motherland.

Thank you, Gracious Lord, for including us in your divine plan.

   

Throughout Holy Scripture and throughout our history, we have witnessed your keeping power and we have been recipients of your love and grace.

Thank you, Gracious Lord, for including us in your divine plan.

   

We shall ever be mindful of how you brought us together after the middle passage, delivered us from the chains of slavery, and carried us through the civil rights movement.  

May we always remember your love towards us, O God.

   

We thank you, dear Savior, for the gifts, talents, uniqueness, and cultural blessings you have poured out upon our people.

May we always appreciate the blessings you have bestowed upon us, O God.

   

We thank you for our mathematic, scientific, and literary genius. We thank you for jazz, gospel, and the blues. We thank you for beautiful locks of hair and beautiful shades and complexions of skin, and even for soul-food.

May we always appreciate our unique beauty and giftedness, O God.


We thank you for the wisdom, strength, and determination we learned from our ancestors and for the blessings and love of family, O God.

And we stand today, O God, as a corporate family in love to remember, reflect, honor, and celebrate the heritage, history, and legacy you have given to us. And we ask that you, O Lord, will keep us forever in thy path, we pray. Amen.



Lenten Solemn Prayer over the People

[BOS22, pp. 12-14]


Deacon:

Let us bow down before the Lord.


Presider (Lent 2):

Keep this your family, Lord, with your never-failing mercy, that relying solely on the help of your heavenly grace, they may be upheld by your divine protection; through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Hymn #707: Take My Life, and Let it Be


1 Take my life, and let it be

consecrated, Lord, to thee;

take my moments and my days,

let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move

at the impulse of thy love;

take my heart, it is thine own;

it shall be thy royal throne.


2 Take my voice, and let me sing

always, only, for my King;

take my intellect, and use

every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it thine;

it shall be no longer mine.

Take myself, and I will be

ever, only, all for thee.


[Words: Frances Ridley Havergal, alt.. Music: Hollingside, John Bacchus Dykes. Reprinted with Permission under ONE LICENSE #97292.]



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!





The Parish Prayer List


PRAYER LIST: Anthony Blue Sr., Algernon John Baptiste, Lazola Cope, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, Fr. Charles Hoskins, Evalena Hoskins, David Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Charles McMillan, John “Butch” Mitchell, Russell Nails, Jabbar Newton, Jeannette Outing, and Jewel Wheeler


BIRTHDAYS: RaShad Taylor Jr (02/28), Lee Pearson Sr (03/01), Clemontine Washington (03/01)

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES: N/A


RECENT DEATHS: Donald Ray Baynes (1/13/2024), Jacqueline Bryant (1/24/2024)


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.


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