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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on July 5, 2020

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

The Holy Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Word

5th Sunday After Pentecost (Proper 9, Year A) July 5, 2020

Watch the Livestream at

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


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

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

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

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

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

The Word of God

Hymn #537: Christ For the World We Sing

1 Christ for the world we sing!

the world to Christ we bring

with loving zeal;

the poor and them that mourn,

the faint and overborne,

sin-sick and sorrow-worn,

whom Christ doth heal.

2 Christ for the world we sing!

the world to Christ we bring

with fervent prayer;

the wayward and the lost,

by restless passions tossed,

redeemed at countless cost,

from dark despair.

3 Christ for the world we sing!

the world to Christ we bring

with one accord;

with us the work to share,

with us reproach to dare,

with us the cross to bear,

for Christ our Lord.

4 Christ for the world we sing!

the world to Christ we bring

with joyful song;

the newborn souls,whose days,

reclaimed from error's ways,

inspired with hope and praise,

to Christ belong.

Words: Samuel Wolcott, Public Domain.

Music: Moscow, melody Felice de Giardini; harm. The New Hymnal, 1916, based on Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1875, and Lowell Mason, Public Domain.

Opening Sentences

[BCP, p. 355]

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

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

The Collect for Purity

[BCP, p. 355]

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

Hymn S 280: Glory to God in the Highest

[BCP, p. 356]

Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

Almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,

Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Words: Public Domain;

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

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

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 230]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; 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 Zechariah (9:9-12)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!

Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he,

humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem;

and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations;

his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 145:8-15

[BCP, p. 713]

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

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

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

10 All your works praise you, O Lord, * and your faithful servants bless you.

11 They make known the glory of your kingdom * and speak of your power;

12 That the peoples may know of your power * and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; * your dominion endures throughout all ages.

14 The Lord is faithful in all his words * and merciful in all his deeds.

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

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans (7:15-25a)

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

AAHH #409/410: Faith of our Fathers / Faith of our Mothers (Medley)

1 Faith of our fathers! living still,

In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;

O how our hearts beat high with joy

Whene’er we hear that glorious word!

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!

We will be true to thee till death.

3 Faith of our fathers! we will love

Both friend and foe in all our strife:

And preach thee, too, as love knows how,

By kindly words and virtuous life

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!

We will be true to thee till death.

1 Faith of our mothers, living yet In cradle song and bedtime prayer, In nurs'ry love and fireside love, Thy presence still pervades the air: Faith of our mothers, living faith, We will be true to thee till death.

3 Faith of our mothers, guiding faith, For youthful longing– youthful doubt, How blurred our vision, blind our way, Thy providential care without: Faith of our mothers, guiding faith, We will be true to thee till death.

Words: Frederick William Faber, Public Domain

Music: ST. CATHERINE, Henri Frederick Hemy, Public Domain

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84095. All rights reserved.

Words: A. B. Patten, Public Domain

Music: ST. CATHERINE, Henri Frederick Hemy, Public Domain

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (11:16-19, 25-30)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus said to the crowd, “To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,

‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

“Our Humble King Jesus” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

“Lo, your king comes to you;

triumphant and victorious is he,

humble and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9b)

Does that verse ring a bell? Does it remind you of any important event in Jesus’ life? If you thought about Palm Sunday then you hit the nail on the head. The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when he entered Jerusalem in the week before his death “mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Matthew 21:5). The people of Jerusalem hail him as the Messiah, the coming King who will restore Justice to Israel. And as Jesus rides through the city and the people wave palm branches and shout hosanna, he does not ride on an impressive war horse, but on a donkey.

The symbol of the donkey is supposed to capture our imaginations. Since the days when Matthew wrote his Gospel, Christians have often read passages from the Old Testament “Christologically.” That means that we read the Old Testament through the lens of Christ Jesus. We look for where there are echoes of Jesus’ life and ministry in the writings of God’s People. This is a prime example of the Old Testament helping us understand why Jesus did and said what he did and said.

But interestingly, the Gospel text today is not the Triumphal Entry. Instead, the Lectionary asks us to read Zechariah’s prophecy next to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:29 - “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” In both places, the Bible highlights that Jesus is a humble leader.

What does it mean for Jesus to be our humble king?

We often think that “humble” means timid, quiet, or shy. We think of people who keep to themselves or avoid the spotlight. But that’s not how Jesus lived or how either of these Bible passages describe him.

“He shall command peace to the nations” (Zech 9:10). The humble king Jesus doesn’t sit back and wait for others to take the lead. He doesn’t allow people to do whatever they want for fear of asserting himself. He doesn’t ignore the pain, suffering, and death of war. Instead, he commands “peace to the nations.” Peace is important enough to Jesus that he must insist upon it and work to make it possible. Jesus’ humility includes peacemaking.

“I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit” (Zech 9:11). The humble king Jesus doesn’t sit back and allow prisoners to languish and suffer. He doesn’t allow for social injustice in the way that people mistreat and abuse prisoners, taking much more than an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. Instead, Jesus takes action; he sets them free; he liberates those who are captured and imprisoned. Jesus rejects human standards of justice that only look to punish, never to rehabilitate, forgive, and reintegrate into society. Jesus’ humility includes liberation.

“Today I declare that I will restore to you double” (Zechariah 9:12). The humble king Jesus doesn’t sit back after setting prisoners free. He doesn’t allow people to mistakenly or wrongfully imprison, enslave, punish, abuse, or discriminate against others. You can’t just release the oppressed and send away empty-handed. That isn’t justice. Instead, Jesus will restore what was taken away and compensate them for their losses. They will get back double because they deserve restitution and reparations. The evil needs to be ended and then corrected; it must be set right. Jesus’ humility includes restoring the oppressed.

“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will” (Matt 11:25-26). Now, the humble king Jesus is speaking for himself. This humble Jesus doesn’t expect self-assured “wise” and “intelligent” people to understand God’s message. Jesus raises the lowly and puts the arrogant in their place. He spoke up in front of the crowds of oppressed peoples and reminded them that their so-called leaders were ignorant to God’s will. Jesus’ humility included standing up to bullies.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). The humble king Jesus doesn’t address his message of comfort to the powerful or comfortable. He doesn’t try to ease the conscience of those who have oppressed others or gained advantages from the systematic oppression of others. Instead, Jesus speaks directly to people who are “weary and are carrying heavy burdens.” He speaks to oppressed people and tells them that they have a humble king who understands their plight. In the place of the world’s heavy, burdensome yoke -- the yoke of injustice that holds people down -- Jesus offers the easy yoke of discipleship and freedom. Jesus’ humility includes comforting oppressed people.

So when we speak about serving a humble Savior, we don’t mean that Jesus is toothless or spineless. Jesus is brave and courageous. He challenges “mighty” people who sit on cozy “thrones” built by stolen labor (see Luke 1:52). He liberates enslaved and imprisoned people and restores to them more than what was taken from them.

Jesus is humble in the sense that he doesn’t hurt others to build up his own ego, which is how nearly every human authority acts. When people get power they almost always abuse it to benefit themselves. Jesus never does this. Jesus never manipulates us for his own purposes, but instead brings about what is good and what is best for us. Don’t get me wrong, God will get what God wants (that is, ultimate justice). But God is not abusive the way that human rulers are. As we think about the birth of our nation this weekend, it's important to remember what Jesus set forth as his model of political leadership (i.e. kingship).

I spend a lot of time in my sermons talking about who God is. We keep coming back to God’s love, justice, and liberation. There are two reasons for this: First, knowing that God is loving and liberating is hopeful because the world is almost always not like that. We need to be reminded that God is different from the evils that surround us. We have a hope that is deep enough that no one can take it away from us.

But second, we speak about God’s love, justice, and liberation because we are made in God’s image. Ephesians 5:1 says, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children.” We aspire to imitate our humble king Jesus in our pursuit of peace and justice for all, while also comforting those in need.

It’s not going to be easy. St. Paul attests that he often does what he doesn’t want to do and fails to do what he wants to do. That’s human nature. We aren’t God and we can’t be perfect.

But we can keep striving. We can be steadfast in our desire to follow Jesus. We can refuse to give up, even when we fail. So we’ll keep gathering. We’ll keep trying. We’ll keep confessing our sins when we mess up. And we’ll keep encouraging each other along the humble path of our loving and liberating King Jesus. Amen.

The Nicene Creed

[BCP, p. 358]

We believe in one God,     

the Father, the Almighty,     

maker of heaven and earth,     

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,     

the only Son of God,     

eternally begotten of the Father,     

God from God, Light from Light,     

true God from true God,     

begotten, not made,     

of one Being with the Father.     

Through him all things were made.     

For us and for our salvation         

he came down from heaven:     

by the power of the Holy Spirit         

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,         

and was made man.     

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;         

he suffered death and was buried.         

On the third day he rose again             

in accordance with the Scriptures;         

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.     

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,         

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,     

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.     

With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.     

He has spoken through the Prophets.     

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.     

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.     

We look for the resurrection of the dead,         

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Prayers of the People & Confession of Sin

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

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.

Silence, about 5 seconds.

For all people in their daily life and work;

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

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

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

For the just and proper use of your creation;

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

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

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

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

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

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

For all who serve God in his Church.

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

Silence. The People may add their own petitions.

Hear us, Lord;

For your mercy is great.

We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life, especially for Cheryl Rhett (7/7), Willie Mae Robinson (7/7), Whitney Kennedy (7/8), Amanda Green (7/9), Loretta Harmond (7/11), and Nicholas Maiorano (7/11) on their birthdays, and other blessings we remember now.

Silence. The People may add their own thanksgivings.

We will exalt you, O God our King;

And praise your Name for ever and ever.

We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom, especially Ulysses Robinson and Howard Freeman (brother-in-law and brother to Clemontine Washington), and those we remember now.

Silence. The People may add their own petitions.

Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;

Who put their trust in you.

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

Silence may be kept.

Leader and People:

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

The Celebrant concludes with an absolution or a suitable Collect.

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

The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.


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

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

  1. Sundays - 9:30 Worship (You can find all of the upcoming Sunday and Holiday readings at

  2. Tuesdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

  3. Wednesdays - 6:00 Evening Prayer with the Diocese (on Facebook or YouTube)

  4. Thursdays - 5:00 Evening Prayer

C. We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom today, July 5, at 10:30 AM, and again on every other Sunday. Thank you to Mrs. Rachael Blue-Jones who is donating a professional Zoom login to the church for our use.

Topic: St. Matthew's Virtual Coffee Hour

Time: Jul 5, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 839 8763 1416

Password: stmattsav

One tap mobile

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

Dial by your location

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 839 8763 1416

Password: 873853606

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

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

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

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at:; OR (3) Text “stmattsav” to 73256 to make a secure online donation through your phone.

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]

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

LEV #76: Jesus in the Morning

1 Jesus, Jesus,

Jesus in the morning,

Jesus in the noontime;

Jesus, Jesus,

Jesus when the sun goes down!

2 Praise Him, Praise Him,

Praise Him in the morning,

Praise Him in the noontime;

Praise Him, Praise Him,

Praise Him when the sun goes down!

3 Love Him, Love Him,

Love Him in the morning,

Love Him in the noontime;

Love Him, Love Him,

Love Him when the sun goes down!

4 Serve Him, Serve Him,

Serve Him, in the morning,

Serve Him in the noontime;

Serve Him, Serve Him,

Serve Him when the sun goes down!

5 Jesus, Jesus,

Jesus in the morning, Jesus in the noontime;

Jesus, Jesus,

Jesus when the sun goes down!

Words: Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #83429. All rights reserved.

The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]

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

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

The Blessing & Dismissal

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

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

Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

Note: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), and other sources cited. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture readings and quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible

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