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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on February 5, 2023

The Holy Eucharist

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany (Year A)

February 5, 2023 at 9:30 AM

Celebrant and Preacher: The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Deacon: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis

Watch the Livestream at

The Holy Eucharist: Rite II

Hymn #126: The People Who In Darkness Walked

1. The people who in darkness walked

have seen a glorious light;

on them broke forth the heavenly dawn

who dwelt in death and night.

2. To hail thy rising, Sun of life,

the gathering nations come,

joyous as when reapers bear

their harvest treasures home.

3. To us the promised Child is born,

to us the Son is given;

him shall the tribes of earth obey,

and all the hosts of heaven.

4. His name shall be the Prince of Peace

for evermore adored,

the Wonderful, the Counsellor,

the Mighty God and Lord.

5. His power increasing still shall spread,

his reign no end shall know;

justice shall guard his throne above,

and peace abound below.

[Words: John Morison, alt.; para. of Isaiah 9:2-7. Music: Dundee, melody The CL Psalmes of David; harm. Thomas Ravenscroft, alt. Public Domain. Reprinted with permission. 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:

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 58:1-12

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet!

Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.

Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways,

as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;

they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God.

“Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.

Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist.

Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.

Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?

Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?

Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house;

when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly;

your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 112:1-9

[BCP, p. 755]

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

1 Hallelujah! Happy are they who fear the Lord * and have great delight in his commandments!

2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land; * the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches will be in their house, * and their righteousness will last for ever.

4 Light shines in the darkness for the upright; * the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.

5 It is good for them to be generous in lending * and to manage their affairs with justice.

6 For they will never be shaken; * the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.

7 They will not be afraid of any evil rumors; * their heart is right; they put their trust in the Lord.

8 Their heart is established and will not shrink, * until they see their desire upon their enemies.

9 They have given freely to the poor, * and their righteousness stands fast for ever; they will hold up their head with honor.

A Reading from the First letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 2:1-12

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived,

what God has prepared for those who love him”—

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #419: Lord Of All Being, Throned Afar (Verse 1-3)

1 Lord of all being, throned afar,

thy glory flames from sun and star;

center and soul of every sphere,

yet to each loving heart how near!

2 Sun of our life, thy quickening ray

sheds on our path the glow of day;

star of our hope, thy softened light

cheers the long watches of the night.

3 Lord of all life, below, above,

whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,

before thy ever-blazing throne

we ask no luster of our own.

[Words: Oliver Wendell Holmes. Music: Mendon, melody from Methodist Harmonist, adapt. Lowell Mason. Copyright © 1988, Lorenz Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #1017592. 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 5:13-20

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Hymn #419: Lord Of All Being, Throned Afar (Verse 4)

4 Grant us thy truth to make us free,

and kindling hearts that burn for thee,

till all thy living altars claim

one holy light, one heavenly flame.

[Words: Oliver Wendell Holmes. Music: Mendon, melody from Methodist Harmonist, adapt. Lowell Mason. Copyright © 1988, Lorenz Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #1017592. All rights reserved.]

The Sermon

“Merciful and Full of Compassion” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector

As I meditated on this week’s Bible readings, one line kept coming back to me. Psalm 114:4 says, “Light shines in the darkness for the upright; the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.” I think that a lot of times, we over-complicate morality and ethics. We get lost with fancy words like “righteous” and “upright” and forget that Christian discipleship boils down to being merciful “just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).

That’s what Jesus is talking about when he says, “You are the light of the world. … Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16). As the praise song says, people will know that we are Christians by our love (“They’ll Know We Are Christians” by Peter Scholtes; see also John 13:35). And people will recognize Christian love through mercy. We express love by offering compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. Christians are a people who should refuse to condemn people to harsh treatments or brutal punishments. We are people who should be willing to forgive others like God forgives us. We should recognize that no one is too far gone to escape God’s love and mercy.

And to me, this belief stands in stark contrast to the way our society treats people labeled “criminals.” Police, jails, courts, and prisons treat the accused like they are sub-human, like they lack human dignity. Black (and Hispanic) communities have known this in the form of police brutality and mass incarceration for generations. In the last decade or so, cell phone videos have made it harder for the wider public to deny this fact. And yet very little has changed. I have spoken in this church about the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling in 2016; Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake in 2020; and now, in 2023, Tyre Nichols. These are just some of the most egregious cases that captured national media attention. I could have named hundreds of other victims of police brutality along the way.

Over and over, police treat people they accuse of crimes like they don’t have equal human rights, like they don’t deserve mercy and compassion, like they aren’t fellow children of God. And nothing about police culture has substantially changed. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke out against police brutality in the 1960s. Zora Neale Hurston wrote about police brutality in the 1930s, W. E. B. DuBois was writing against police brutality in the 1910s. I could go on, but the remarkably scary truth is that each of their critiques looks like it could have been written today. We are dealing with an assault on Black lives and the lives of other people of color that has been going on for centuries.

I have very strong opinions about how Americans ought to change policing, prisons, and the entire criminal-legal system to put an end to the constant stream of victims. But, this isn’t the time or place for me to give you my political opinions. This is a sermon, when we reflect together on Scripture and its meaning for our lives as followers of Jesus. So, I want to focus on what I see as a Christian moral crisis at the heart of these problems. Over 70% of Americans identify as Chrsitians. But as a society, we don’t act like it. This country’s core moral failure is a lack of mercy and compassion. To paraphrase Psalm 114, this society is not righteous because we do not treat people with mercy or compassion. I know Black churches have been saying this for centuries, but we cannot stop sounding the alarm.

I couldn’t watch the video of Tyre Nichols’ assault that was released to the public — the written descriptions were enough for me (though I don’t judge anyone who did watch it). It seems like Nichols didn’t commit any crimes before or during his traffic stop and arrest. But the officers who assaulted and murdered Tyre Nichols identified him as a criminal. It didn’t matter at that moment that all the officers were Black. Once the police labeled him as a criminal, not even racial solidarity could stop the violent impulse to control and subdue (not serve and protect). In that instance, the officers failed to show even a shred of mercy and compassion.

Once again, we mourn. Once again, cry out to God for justice. We cry out to public officials for justice. We are right to be upset and angry. We are right to want change. We are right to want restitution for the precious life that was lost. But justice is not the same as revenge. We have to be careful not to embrace the same evil we oppose. The five Black officers (and several other first responders) will face criminal charges. I expect some or all of them to be convicted. They will probably receive lengthy prison sentences, and their lives will be upended. They will suffer in prison. Their families and loved ones will suffer. There is a part of me that wants them to be punished in this way. But, is that righteous? Is that just? Is it merciful or compassionate?

Does the suffering, pain, and torture of incarceration remedy this situation? Does punishment undo their evil action? Does it bring healing and reparation to Nichols’ loved ones? Does it fill the void he leaves in his community? Does another wrong make this right? And as we step back from Tyre Nichols, will punishing his murderers change anything about the way the police act? Will it stop them from killing someone else who steps out of line in Memphis, Seattle, New York, Minneapolis, or Savannah?

Those former officers were obviously wrong in the way they treated Tyre Nichols. What they did was evil and reprehensible. But they are not evil. That distinction is critically important. Those men are still people, children of God who made in the image of God, who God created and called good. They are still worthy of mercy, compassion, and love.

I’m not entirely sure how society should respond to these evil acts of violence. I won’t pretend to have all the answers. But I know we all need an infusion of godly mercy and compassion. Law enforcement officers must treat the public compassionately. And the public must treat criminals mercifully. The way we’ve been doing it isn’t working; it’s leading to greater pain and suffering. Punishing these five murderous cops won’t bring truly healing and it won’t prevent police from assaulting or killing their next victim. It won’t stop police from harassing and brutalizing our communities. It won’t save any Black lives or prevent someone else’s name from becoming a hashtag. Punishing individuals won’t fix the real problem. More importantly, I don’t think punishment and revenge are merciful responses.

“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). “Light shines in the darkness for the upright; the righteous are merciful and full of compassion” (Psalm 114:4). I believe that Christians of all races, colors, and creeds need to come together as people dedicated to love, mercy, and compassion. We need to let our “light shine before others, so that they may see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Mercy and compassion should be our goals for every system and institution in society. If Christians are united in this way, this country could completely reimagine policing, courts, and prisons. We could get rid of the old, destructive ways of dealing with crime and find new, compassionate ways to strive for public safety. It might feel like a pipe dream, but, for God, all things are possible. May God fill us with mercy and compassion and lead us toward true justice for all. 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.

The Prayers of the People

Let us pray to God, who is made manifest in Jesus Christ.

As the prophet Isaiah rang out, “Arise, shine; for your light has come”; empower your Church, O God, to ring out the Good News of the Light of your son Jesus, which pierces even the deepest darkness. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As a star rose high into the sky to draw the nations to the Christ-child; send your blessing, O God, on this nation, and every nation, and draw the whole world to your peace and truth. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As John the Baptist guided crowds of people to the edge of the wilderness and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, we pray that you would guide our country and our leaders to the ways of justice and righteousness. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Like the Magi who traveled from afar to bring gifts and celebrate the Savior’s birth; we pray for this community, and for those who celebrate birthdays, especially Jabbaar Newton (2/10), Janice Newton (2/11), and Janise Wright (2/11). Those who celebrate wedding anniversaries, especially Charles & Ja'Wana (Baker) Pennamon (2/10), and any other thanksgivings we offer now... Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As Jesus climbed the mountaintop, and proclaimed blessings on the people of the world; we pray for the sick and the distressed, the poor and the lame. We especially pray for the people of our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Nicki Ramsey, and Jewel Wheeler. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As Jesus called his disciples to leave their nets and boats, and follow him; we pray for the departed especially Bette Milledge whom we love and have answered your call to follow Jesus to your Heavenly Kingdom. Give them your peace. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant concludes with a suitable Collect

Lord Jesus, Light of the World, hear our prayers, and make us reflections of your Light, that the places of darkness in our world would be pierced by your Light, and that all nations would be drawn to you and be overwhelmed with joy. 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

Congratulations to new Vestry Members & Convention Delegates: At last Sunday's Annual Meeting, the congregation elected Terry Newton and Evadne Roberts to three-year terms on the Vestry (2023-2026). We thank Juray Brown and Charles McMillan, who completed their terms, for their faithful service on the Vestry!

We also elected Margaret Anne Pearson, Charles McMillan, Rachael Blue-Jones (1st Alternate), and James Sanders (2nd Alternate) to serve as our parish's Lay Delegates to the 2023 Diocese of Georgia Convention in November.

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:

Invitation to Strategic Planning Process: St. Matthew's Strategic Planning Team invites YOU to be a part of our Visioning and Planning process in 2023. Read all about it here on our website or here as a PDF download. We'll invite you to very soon to our first Congregational Engagement Meeting: Celebrating and Learning from Our Parish's History on Sunday, February 26, 2023 after worship.

Confirmation & Episcopal Refresher Class Begins 2/5: 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 and will last about one hour.

Confirmation & Episcopal Refresher Class Schedule

  • February 5: 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.

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.

We are interested in hearing from both "Members" (those who have been baptized in St. Matthew's or transferred their membership to St. Matthew's) and "Active Participants" (those who attend worship or other ministries but are not baptized or have not transferred their membership to St. Matthew's). 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 in Augusta to celebrate the Bicentennial of our 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.

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 #158: Make Me a Blessing

1 Out in the highways and byways of life,

Many are weary and sad;

Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,

Making the sorrowing glad.


Make me a blessing,

Make me a blessing,

Out of my life

May Jesus shine;

Make me a blessing,

O Savior, I pray,

Make me a blessing

to someone today.

2 Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love,

Tell of His power to forgive;

Others will trust Him if only you prove

True, every moment you live, [Refrain]

3 Give as ’twas given to you in your need,

Love as the Master loved you;

Be to the helpless a helper indeed,

Unto your mission be true. [Refrain]

[Words: Ira B. Wilson. Music: George Schuler. Copyright © 1924 George S. Schuler. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #OLOFOB450. 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.

LEV #30: At The Cross

1 Alas! and did my Savior bleed,

and did my Sov’reign die?

Would He devote that sacred head

for sinners such as I?


At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light,

and the burden of my heart rolled away;

it was there by faith I received my sight,

and now I am happy all the day.

2 Was it for crimes that I have done,

He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity! Grace unknown!

And love beyond degree! (refrain)

3 Well might the sun in darkness hide,

and shut its glories in;

when God, the mighty maker,

died for His own creature’s sin. (refrain)

4 Thus might I hide my blushing face

while His dear cross appears;

dissolve my heart in thankfulness,

and melt mine eyes to tears. (refrain)

5 But drops of tears can ne’er repay

the debt of love I owe;

Here, Lord, I give myself away;

’tis all that I can do. (refrain)

[Words: Isaac Watts; refrain Ralph E. Hudson. Music: Ralph E. Hudson. Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97919. 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 #488: Be Thou My Vision

1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;

all else be nought to me, save that thou art—

thou my best thought, by day or by night,

waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

2 Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;

I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;

thou my great Father; thine own may I be;

thou in me dwelling, and I one with thee.

3 High King of heaven, when victory is won,

may I reach heaven's joys, bright heaven's Sun!

Heart of my heart, whatever befall,

still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

[Words: Irish, ca 700; versified Mary Elizabeth Byrne; tr. Eleanor H. Hull, alt. Music: Slane, Irish ballad melody; adapt. The Church Hymnary. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #227074. 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, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Nicki Ramsey, and Jewel Wheeler.

BIRTHDAYS: Jabbaar Newton (2/10), Janice Newton (2/11), and Janise Wright (2/11).

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES: Charles & Ja'Wana (Baker) Pennamon (2/10)

RECENT DEATHS: Bette Milledge (1/29)

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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