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  • Writer's pictureLysa Rodriguez

Sunday Worship on March 17, 2024


The Holy Eucharist

5th Sunday of Lent (Year B)

March 17, 2024 at 9:30 AM

Presider & Preacher: 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 #473: Lift High the Cross


Refrain:

Lift high the cross; the love of Christ proclaim

till all the world adore his sacred name.


1 Led on their way by this triumphant sign,

the hosts of God in conquering ranks combine. [refrain]


2 Each newborn servant of the crucified

bears on the brow the seal of him who died. [refrain]


3 O lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,

as thou hast promised, draw the world to thee. [refrain]


4 So shall our song of triumph ever be:

praise to the Crucified for victory. [refrain]


[Words: George William Kitchin; alt. Michael Robert Newbolt. Music: Crucifer, Sydney Hugo Nicholson; desc. Richard Proulx. Used with permission by ONE LICENSE #59074.]



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: Sandra Mitchell (03/17), Paul Berksteiner (03/18), Frank Brown (03/22), Esther McAlpine (03/23), Nathaniel Nails (03/23); 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: Teresa Blue Clemons, Lazola Cope, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, David Jones, Donald Jones, Sheila Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Jessica Mathis, Sada Maxwell, John “Butch” Mitchell, Russell Nails, Jabbar Newton, Jeannette Outing, Lee Grant Pearson, Frieda McDew Shorter, 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 Kobie Jones (nephew of Donald Jones), 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:


Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



A Reading from the Book of Jeremiah (31:31-34)


The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.


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

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 51:1-13

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


1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *

in your great compassion blot out my offenses.


2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *

and cleanse me from my sin.


3 For I know my transgressions, *

and my sin is ever before me.


4 Against you only have I sinned *

and done what is evil in your sight.


5 And so you are justified when you speak *

and upright in your judgment.


6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *

a sinner from my mother's womb.


7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *

and will make me understand wisdom secretly.


8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *

wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.


9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *

that the body you have broken may rejoice.


10 Hide your face from my sins *

and blot out all my iniquities.


11 Create in me a clean heart, O God, *

and renew a right spirit within me.


12 Cast me not away from your presence *

and take not your holy Spirit from me.


13 Give me the joy of your saving help again *

and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.



A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews (5:5-10)

Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,

“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.


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

Thanks be to God.



Hymn #479: Glory Be to Jesus, who in Bitter Pain (verses 1-4)


1 Glory be to Jesus,

who in bitter pains

poured for me the lifeblood

from his sacred veins!


2 Grace and life eternal

in that blood I find,

blest be his compassion

infinitely kind!


3 Blest through endless ages

be the precious stream

which from sin and sorrow

doth the world redeem!

4 Oft as earth exulting

wafts its praise on high,

angel hosts, rejoicing,

make their glad reply.


[Words: Italian, 18th cent.; tr. Edward Caswall, alt. Music: Wem in Leidenstagen, Friedrich Filitz.]



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

The Holy Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ According to St. John (12:20-33)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



Hymn #479: Glory Be to Jesus, who in Bitter Pain (verse 5)


5 Lift ye then your voices;

swell the mighty flood;

louder still and louder

praise the precious blood.


[Words: Italian, 18th cent.; tr. Edward Caswall, alt. Music: Wem in Leidenstagen, Friedrich Filitz.]



The Sermon

“Praying With All Our Senses” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector


Throughout this Season of Lent, we have held a service of Stations of the Cross every Friday. It has been our tradition in the last few years to gather for Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, and several years ago we prayed the “Stations” during our Wednesday Lenten study. But this is a new addition to our worship schedule this year as we try to provide more paths for connecting with God during Lent.


If you have never heard of or participated in Stations of the Cross, it’s a really beautiful service that I love coming back to every year at this time. The Stations of the Cross are a prayerful way to remember Jesus’ journey to the Cross, from Pilate’s courtroom to carrying the cross to Calvary (Golgotha), to ultimately being crucified and dying. There are lots of ways to do these prayers, but the most common way it’s done in The Episcopal Church involves images from 14 traditional “stations” or moments in Jesus’ story. St. Matthew’s, like many Episcopal parishes, has these 14 images hanging on the walls of the nave. Beginning on my right, Jesus is condemned to die, then he begins carrying the cross, falling three times, and meeting several people along the way. When he reaches the place where he will be crucified, he is nailed to the wooden cross, dies, and is buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. (The traditional Episcopal liturgy, with all fourteen stations, is reprinted on our blog here.)


But the Stations service does not just ask us to think about these events. It asks us to get involved. Using multiple senses in worship is one of the things I love about Episcopal and other more “liturgical” traditions (like Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics, Orthodox, etc.). We typically walk around the church, standing, sitting, or kneeling in front of each of the images of the station. While one person reads the scripture and leads the prayers at each station, the rest of us have an opportunity to pause, listen, and look around. We can stare deeply at the painting or other art that represents each station. We can look for all the rich symbolism and wonder more deeply about Jesus’s experience, or Mary’s or Simon’s or John’s or anyone else’s experiences. This is an opportunity to get a little bit lost in the story, to wander around in it, and to explore with your holy imagination what it would be like to see Jesus as he journeyed toward the cross. 


In John’s Gospel today, we learn that a group of Greek people (that is, non-Jews) come up to Philip, one of the twelve apostles, and say, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” They have heard of Jesus, this traveling rabbi and preacher, and they are trying to get closer to him. They are willing to cross social, cultural, and probably some language barriers in order to hear his message. And I think the choice of words there is important. They said they want to see Jesus, not listen to him or even obey him. To them, it starts with sight. Because we are so far removed from 1st century Jerusalem, when and where these stories took place, we so often interact with the Bible through words and thoughts, reading and writing, and listening to others share their words and thoughts… like right now. But our faith is not only verbal. It is also sensual, by which I mean, connected to all of our senses. 


There is a reason God chose to feed Christians with the Body and Blood of Christ through bread and wine. It’s so we can literally taste and see the goodness of the Lord. There is a reason we pass the peace and shake hands and hug one another; appropriate forms of touch help us to build loving community, which connects us to God too. There is a reason we sometimes pray with incense in the church so we can smell our prayers rising up to God (see Psalm 141:2). And there is a reason why the church invests so heavily in art, architecture, and beautiful things: statues, bronze and silver ornaments, different colored fabrics, stained glass, high ceilings — It’s all around us. It’s so we can see symbols and reminders of the divine meeting the human, of God’s presence with us on earth.


The art is there for when your mind wanders, for when you get distracted while reading familiar prayers, or find the preacher boring. It’s okay to stop listening sometimes and just get lost in the beauty that surrounds us. It’s okay to stare in the faces of the saints in our windows, or to look at the nearest station on the wall, or watch the flame flicker in a candle. Those are forms of prayer too. Those are ways to see Jesus. Those are ways to connect us to God’s loving, liberating, peacemaking presence. 


Something that I try to talk about pretty regularly is how problematic it can be that most American Christian art is very white/Eurocentric. The most common images of Jesus show a young man with blue eyes and straight blonde or brown hair. For one, that isn’t very historically accurate to how Middle Eastern people typically look. But also, it can be a barrier to people from other races, ethnicities, and cultures from seeing Christ in themselves. I think it’s actually important to contextualize Jesus and other biblical figures to look like the worshipping community, be they African, North American Indigenous, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, or even European. Because every single person on earth is made in the image and likeness of God. So God’s presence and God’s beauty is visible in all of us. So I collect Christian art from lots of different cultures. I recently added this piece to my office called “Jesus of the People” by Janet McKenzie (see photo above). This Jesus is dark-skinned, with African facial features, and dreadlocks. To my left is another image of Jesus in that stained glass window depicting him as the Good Shepherd. I’ve talked about the importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a depiction of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an indigenous Mexican woman. There are examples like that all over the world. 


But the reason we turn to all these different images is because we want to follow Jesus ourselves. We want to live out his love for the whole world. We wish to see Jesus in our family and friends. We wish to see Jesus in strangers. We wish to see Jesus in ourselves, flawed though I know I am. Seeing Jesus in all these people and places can be difficult. Seeing Jesus in me can be especially difficult. There is so much out there that tells us we are unworthy to be an image and icon of God. There is a lot that prevents us from honoring the dignity of every human being. There is a lot that prevents us from seeing and serving Christ Jesus is everyone we meet. 


But Jesus reminds us today that he is the seed that falls into the ground and dies in order to rise up as a stalk of wheat. In his sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus died but did not remain in the grave. He rose again in order to give new life to the whole world. Jesus compares his resurrection to a grain of wheat growing into many stalks because we experience Christ’s Body most often in the form of bread. The resurrected Body of Christ feeds and sustains us for our journey through the wilderness. He heals and saves us with grace. When we look for Jesus, like the Greeks who spoke to Philip, we will find him. We will find him, not just in books or sermons, but with our own eyes, with all the senses we were created with. For you and I and all of us were wonderfully and lovingly made in the image and likeness of Almighty God. Amen.



The Nicene Creed

[EOW1, p. 53]


All standing as they are able, the People pray:


We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven,

was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary

and became truly human.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

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

and his kingdom will have no end.


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

who proceeds from the Father,

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

who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.



The 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


Mrs. Dandy to Retire on April 28: Mrs. Beryl C. Dandy, who has served St. Matthew’s as Music Director for nearly ten years in two separate stints, will retire from her position at the end of April. Her final Sunday with us will be April 28, 2024. Fr. Arboleda writes, “While we are sad to see her go, we are so happy that Mrs. Dandy will be able to enjoy time with family and friends in retirement after so many years of dedicated service. The Church, Vestry, and I offer her our most sincere congratulations!”


JUST Annual Rally on Mar. 18: JUST (Justice Unites Savannah Together) will hold its Annual Rally on Monday, March 18 at 7:00 PM at Asbury Memorial Church, 1008 E Henry St, Savannah, GA 31401. The Rally is an opportunity for all Justice Ministry Team Members to gather and hear updates from our Housing and Literacy Research Committees about what we will try to accomplish at the Nehemiah Action. Team Members can see Fr. Arboleda or Mrs. Della Jones for more information.


Save the Date: All church members are invited to the JUST Nehemiah Action on Monday, April 15, 2024 at St. Paul CME Church, 214 W 33rd Street, Savannah, GA 31401.


JUST is Hiring a Lead Community Organizer: JUST is searching for a new Lead Community Organizer! JUST’s previous Lead Organizer, Ms. Allie Matthys, resigned from her position in February and Rev. Claire Marich is serving as an Interim Lead Organizer until May. We hope our new Organizer will help to lead JUST’s efforts on Affordable Housing and Literacy and help us discern the next community problem we wish to address. The application is now available and the priority deadline is March 29, 2024: https://thedartcenter.applytojob.com/apply/CH20cTTFr5/Lead-Community-Organizer 


Easter Memorial & Thanksgiving Donations Due Mar. 24: This Easter, parishioners are offered an opportunity to give thanks for blessings and to remember loved ones by donating flowers, donating towards the purchase of altar decorations, or make a donation to the Church’s building capital fund (stained-glass windows). If you intend to make a donation, please complete the following information and place a form in the collection plate, at the Parish office, or give to an Altar Guild member. Those who wish to keep their flowers home must take them home after the Easter Day service. All forms are due March 24 (Palm Sunday). Suggested donation amounts are as follows:

  • Easter Lilies: $15.00

  • Green Pulpit/Lectern Hanging: $325

  • Purple Pulpit/Lectern Hanging: $325

  • Contribution to the Stained Glass Windows Restoration Project: Any donation to the Capital Building Campaign


St. Matthew’s Church Clean Up Day on Mar. 23: On Saturday, March 23, 2024, beginning at 10:00 AM, the Building & Grounds Committee invites all members to participate in a clean up day to prepare for Holy Week and Easter. This will happen concurrently with the Rev Up Georgia Voter Registration Drive, so bring friends, family, and neighbors to register to vote too!


Newcomer & Episcopal Refresher Class ends Mar. 17: Fr. Arboleda will lead a class for newcomers and those who want a "refresher" on Episcopal Church basics. The final meeting is March 17. If you are interested in becoming a member and/or getting baptized, confirmed, or received soon, this class is required. 


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. 20: Chapters 8-9 and Appendices 


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.


Rev Up Georgia Voter Registration/Education Drive on Mar. 23: Join Rev Up Georgia for a day of Voter Registration and Education on Saturday, March 23 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM at St. Matthew's. Come and spread word about the importance of this election year and come encourage your family and friends to vote. Light refreshments and educational materials will be provided.


Holy Week & Easter Schedule: Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024, and ends with Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024. See below for the complete worship schedule:

  • March 24, Palm Sunday:

    • 9:30 AM Liturgy of the Palms & Passion Sunday Holy Communion 

  • March 25-27, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Holy Week

    • 5:00 PM Evening Prayer (Zoom and Facebook only)

  • March 28, Maundy Thursday

    • 5:00 PM Evening Prayer (Zoom and Facebook only)

    • 6:00 PM Maundy Thursday Worship: Holy Communion with Foot Washing, Agapé Meal, and Stripping of the Altar

  • March 29, Good Friday:

    • 12:00 PM Stations of the Cross

    • 5:00 PM Evening Prayer (Zoom and Facebook only)

    • 6:00 PM Good Friday Worship with Communion from the Reserved Sacrament

  • April 8, Holy Saturday:

    • 9:30 AM Holy Saturday Worship

    • Decorating the Church for Easter to follow

  • April 9, Easter Day:

    • 6:00 AM Ecumenical Easter Sunrise at First Congregational Church, 621 Habersham St, Savannah, GA 31401; Continental Breakfast to Follow; the Rev. Saundra Stiles Thomas presiding, the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda preaching

    • 9:30 AM Holy Communion with Children's Easter Speeches


Fr. Arboleda Accepts New Call on April 15: Fr. Arboleda and the Vestry announce with sadness that Fr. Arboleda will resign as Rector after Sunday, April 14, 2024. He has accepted a call as Program Manager for New Church Starts at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Denominational Center, beginning April 15. There will be a special forum after worship today to field Q&A from the congregation. Please read his full letter to the congregation here: https://www.stmattsav.org/post/a-letter-from-the-rector 


Save the Date - Dr. Bertice Berry to be Ordained on Apr. 13: Last weekend, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia formally approved Dr. Bertice Berry for ordination to the diaconate. Bishop Frank Logue will ordain her to the Sacred Order of Deacons at Christ Church Episcopal, Savannah, on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 11:00 AM.


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 #34: He Will Remember Me


1 When on the cross of Calv’ry

The Lord was crucified;

The mob stood ’round about Him

And mocked until He died.

Two thieves were nailed beside Him

To share the agony,

But one of them cried out to Him,

"O Lord, remember me.”


Refrain:

Will the Lord remember me,

When I am called to go?

When I have crossed death’s chilly sea,

Will He His love there show?

O yes, He heard my feeble cries,

From bondage set me free.

And when I reach the pearly gates

He will remember me.


2 O what a shame to kill Him

There on that rugged cross;

But such a death was needed

To rescue all the lost.

His blood was made a ransom

To set the captives free,

I know that I’m included,

and He will remember me. [Refrain]


3 At His dear feet I’m kneeling.

My sins I now confess;

I bow in deep repentance,

My soul He’ll surely bless.

My blinded eyes He opens

So that the light I see,

And when I reach the pearly gates,

He will remember me. [Refrain]


[Words: E.M. Bartlett. Music: E.M. Bartlett. Copyright © 1976 Albert E. Brumley & Sons/SESAC. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of Integrated Copyright Group Inc.]



Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow


Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Circling through earth so all may grow

Vanquishing fear so all may give

Widening grace so all may live

Amen.


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



Eucharistic Prayer 1

[EOW1, p. 57]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is truly right, and good and joyful, to give you thanks, all-holy God, source of life and fountain of mercy ... [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.



Hymn #495: Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus


1 Hail, thou once despised Jesus!

Hail, thou Galilean King!

Thou didst suffer to release us;

thou didst free salvation bring.

Hail, thou universal Savior,

bearer of our sin and shame!

By thy merit we find favor:

life is given through thy Name.


2 Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,

all our sins on thee were laid:

by almighty love anointed,

thou hast full atonement made.

All thy people are forgiven

through the virtue of thy blood:

opened is the gate of heaven,

reconciled are we with God.


3 Jesus, hail! enthroned in glory,

there for ever to abide;

all the heavenly hosts adore thee,

seated at thy Father's side.

There for sinners thou art pleading:

there thou dost our place prepare;

ever for us interceding,

till in glory we appear.


4 Worship, honor, power, and blessing

thou art worthy to receive;

highest praises, without ceasing,

right it is for us to give.

Help, ye bright angelic spirits,

all your noblest anthems raise;

help to sing our Savior's merits,

help to chant Emmanuel's praise!


[Words: John Bakewell and Martin Madan, alt. Music: In Babilone, melody from Oude en Nieuwe Hollantse Borenlities en Contradanseu, 1710. Reprinted with permission from ONE LICENSE #1034811.]



Hymn #441: In the Cross of Christ I Glory


1 In the cross of Christ I glory,

towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story

gathers round its head sublime.


2 When the woes of life o’ertake me,

hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

never shall the cross forsake me:

lo, it glows with peace and joy.


3 When the sun of bliss is beaming

light and love upon my way,

from the cross the radiance streaming

adds new luster to the day.


4 Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,

by the cross are sanctified;

peace is there that knows no measure,

joys that through all time abide.


5 In the cross of Christ I glory,

towering o’er the wrecks of time;

all the light of sacred story

gathers round its head sublime.


[Words: John Bowring. Music: Rathbun, Ithmar Conkey. Reprinted with permission from ONE LICENSE #97920.]



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.



Lenten Solemn Prayer over the People

[BOS22, pp. 12-14]


Deacon:

Let us bow down before the Lord.


Presider (Lent 5):

Look with compassion, O Lord, upon this your people; that, rightly observing this holy season, they may learn to know you more fully, and to serve you with a more perfect will; through Christ our Lord. Amen.



AAHH #243: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross


1 When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.


2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the death of Christ, my God;

All the vain things that charm me most -

I sacrifice them to His blood.


3 See, from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down;

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?


4 Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.


[Words: Wiliam Williams; tr. Peter Williams, alt. Music: Cwm Rhonda, John Hughes. Reprinted with Permission under ONE LICENSE #97969.]



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!





The Parish Prayer List


PRAYER LIST: Teresa Blue Clemons, Lazola Cope, Charles Gordon, Marva Harris, David Jones, Donald Jones, Sheila Jones, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Jessica Mathis, Sada Maxwell, John “Butch” Mitchell, Russell Nails, Jabbar Newton, Jeannette Outing, Lee Grant Pearson, Frieda McDew Shorter, and Jewel Wheeler


BIRTHDAYS: Sandra Mitchell (03/17), Paul Berksteiner (03/18), Frank Brown (03/22), Esther McAlpine (03/23), Nathaniel Nails (03/23)

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES: N/A


RECENT DEATHS: Kobie Jones (nephew of Donald Jones) (2/26/24)


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. Cover Image: "Jesus of the People" by Janet McKenzie (1999); photo by Guillermo A. Arboleda; prints may be purchased from the artists at: https://www.janetmckenzie.com/prints.html


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