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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Sunday Worship on March 19, 2023

The Holy Eucharist

The Forth Sunday in Lent (Year A)

March 19, 2023 at 9:30 AM

Celebrant and Preacher: The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Watch the Livestream at

The Holy Eucharist: Rite II

Hymn #567: Thine Arm, O Lord, In Days Of Old

1 Thine arm, O Lord, in days of old

was strong to heal and save;

it triumphed o'er disease and death,

o'er darkness and the grave.

To thee they went, the blind, the deaf,

the palsied, and the lame,

the leper set apart and shunned,

the sick with fevered frame.

2 And lo! thy touch brought life and health,

gave hearing, strength, and sight;

and youth renewed and frenzy calmed

owned thee, the Lord of light:

and now, O Lord, be near to bless,

almighty as of yore,

in crowded street, by restless couch,

as by Gennesaret's shore.

3 Be thou our great deliverer still,

thou Lord of life and death;

restore and quicken, soothe and bless,

with thine almighty breath:

to hands that work and eyes that see,

give wisdom's heavenly lore,

that whole and sick, and weak and strong,

may praise thee evermore.

[Words: Edward Hayes Plumptre, alt. Music: St. Matthew, from Supplement to the New Version of Psalms by Dr. Brody and Mr. Tate. Public Domain. All rights reserved.]

The Penitential Order

[BCP, p. 351]

Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.

His mercy endures for ever.

The Decalogue (Ten Commandments)

[BCP, p. 350]

Hear the commandments of God to his people:

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of bondage. You shall have no other gods but me. Amen. Lord have mercy.

You shall not make for yourself any idol. Amen. Lord have mercy.

You shall not invoke with malice the Name of the Lord your God. Amen. Lord have mercy.

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Amen. Lord have mercy.

Honor your father and your mother. Amen. Lord have mercy.

You shall not commit murder. Amen. Lord have mercy.

You shall not commit adultery. Amen. Lord have mercy.

You shall not steal. Amen. Lord have mercy.

You shall not be a false witness. Amen. Lord have mercy.

You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. Amen. Lord have mercy.

The Comfortable Words

[BCP, p. 351]

The Celebrant reads one of the following sentences.

Jesus said, "The first commandment is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord your God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31

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

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14,16

Confession of Sin

[BCP, p. 352]

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.

LEV #235: Lord, Have Mercy

[See also BCP, p. 356]

Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy,

Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy,

Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy,

[Music: Lena McLin, Eucharist of the Soul, Copyright © 1972 General Words and Music Co. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #94576. All rights reserved.]

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 167]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Reading from the First Book of 1 Samuel 16:1-13

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 23

[BCP, p. 612-613]

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

1 The Lord is my shepherd; * I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures * and leads me beside still waters.

3 He revives my soul * and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.

4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; * for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; * you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.

6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, * and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 5:8-14

Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #493: O, For A Thousand Tongues To Sing (Verses 1-5)

1 O for a thousand tongues to sing

my dear Redeemer's praise,

the glories of my God and King,

the triumphs of his grace!

2 My gracious Master and my God,

assist me to proclaim

and spread through all the earth abroad

the honors of thy Name.

3 Jesus! the Name that charms our fears

and bids our sorrows cease;

'tis music in the sinner's ears,

'tis life and health and peace.

4 He speaks; and, listening to his voice,

new life the dead receive,

the mournful broken hearts rejoice,

the humble poor believe.

5 Hear him, ye deaf; ye voiceless ones,

your loosened tongues employ;

ye blind, behold, your Savior comes;

and leap, ye lame, for joy!

[Words:Charles Wesley, alt. Music: Azmon, Carl Gotthilf Glaser; adapt. and arr. Lowell Mason. Copyright © 1991 Lorenz Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #998669. 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 John 9:1-41

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Hymn #493: O, For A Thousand Tongues To Sing (Verse 6)

6 Glory to God and praise and love

be now and ever given

by saints below and saints above,

the Church in earth and heaven.

[Words:Charles Wesley, alt. Music: Azmon, Carl Gotthilf Glaser; adapt. and arr. Lowell Mason. Copyright © 1991 Lorenz Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #998669. All rights reserved.]

The Sermon

“The Light of Truth” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector

Ephesians 5:8-13 says, “Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light.”

God has made us children of light. Indeed, “in the Lord, [we] are light!” Like Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world.” This means that God has joined us to the light of Christ. The fruit of that light (that thing that proves that it is from Christ) is “good and right and true.” God has made us one with Christ and made us part of the light that shines throughout our broken world. God has made us one with the light even though we ourselves are broken. God’s light spreads goodness, righteousness (justice), and truth.

The most challenging of those things is the truth. The light of Christ exposes “the unfruitful works of darkness.” It exposes things for what they truly are. It exposes the secret things we would rather hide from God and other people. It exposes even the things we would rather not admit about ourselves in our innermost thoughts. The light of Christ shines on all the bad things you and I do. It also shines on all the bad things that societies, corporations, governments, and other systems do. The light of Christ shines on both individual sins and social sins. It shines on the ways that we think, feel, speak, and act toward people who we don’t love as ourselves. It shines on the ways that human systems ignore, marginalize, or abuse certain kinds of people. The light of Christ does not ignore the plight of anyone who suffers. The light of Christ spreads goodness, righteousness (justice), and truth, even when those truths are inconvenient.

In other words, the light of Christ shows us the holistic truth. The truth is never simple or narrow. The truth is always more complicated than that. The truth requires us to consider things from many different perspectives, to invite the voices that aren’t already around the table. That’s why this story about the man who was born blind is so subversive.

The religious leaders refused to accept the truth about the blind man: he was born blind; his blindness was not a result of sin; his poverty was not punishment for sin; Jesus healed his sight; and Jesus was a true prophet, the Messiah and Savior of the world. They closed their eyes to these truths because they were too challenging to their assumptions and worldviews. The truth would have forced them to change what they believed and how they behaved. It might have forced them to give up some of their social and political power. The truth would have led them to treat people like this man who was born blind as equals, because the truth is that in God’s eyes they are equals.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ time thought they knew the truth. They didn’t think they needed to listen to a man who was disabled, poor, and allegedly sinful to know the truth. His contributions weren’t valuable, necessary, or even welcome. They believed he was marginalized and they were powerful because he deserved to be marginalized and they deserved to be powerful. They believed that God supported their social inequalities. So, when Jesus healed this man, and exposed these unfruitful works of darkness in their midst, the religious leaders rejected the light of Christ. It shone too brightly for their liking. It made them uncomfortable, and they got defensive. They rejected God’s truth.

To be clear, there was nothing especially evil about those first century Jewish religious leaders. They didn’t sin any more or less than we do today. All of us can ignore the light of Christ when we want to. All of us have blind spots when it comes to loving God with all of our heart and loving our neighbors as ourselves. We are all capable of deceiving ourselves and deceiving others. We are all capable of committing sinful works of darkness and trying to hide them from the light of Christ.

The beauty of Lent is that it is an opportunity to welcome the light of Christ. It’s an invitation to be honest with ourselves, to confess what we have done and left undone, and to receive God’s infinite mercy. If the religious leaders came back to Jesus and admitted that they had done wrong, he would have forgiven them. Their problem was that they stubbornly tried to hide in the darkness; they refused to step out into the light of truth. But they could have gone a different way. As 1 John 1:8-9 reminds us, “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.”

Likewise, every human society commits large scale works of darkness too. It was no accident that a baby who was born blind grew up to be a homeless beggar. His society ignored his needs, did not accommodate or support him, and essentially punished him for his disability. Then they used God to justify their misbehavior. Religious leaders taught that people like him were blind beggars because God was punishing them for sins. This belief was so widespread that even the apostles (those closest to Jesus) thought the man was blind because of someone’s sin. The religious leaders didn’t look in the mirror and realize that their society was sinning. Other people punished the blind man because they lacked mercy and compassion for people in need. Then, Jesus healed this man of his physical and spiritual blindness. Afterward, he may have been able to achieve some economic wellness, but what about all the other disabled people and poor people? What about the others who were excluded?

Their society, like ours, was sick with works of darkness. Like them, our society systematically ignores or abuses people who are sick, poor, non-white, queer, trans, immigrants, you name it. Whatever the excuse, there are systems in place that marginalize certain groups of people. That’s why our church is involved in JUST, an interfaith justice ministry that tries to expose problems in our community so that there is public pressure to find solutions. Right now, JUST is working on addressing inequities in affordable housing and public education outcomes. You can be a part of this work of shining the light of truth by attending the JUST Nehemiah Action Assembly on Monday, April 24, 2023, at First African Baptist Church. We’ll be talking this up more in the coming weeks, but please mark your calendars!

The light of Christ is shining to expose hidden, sinful things. As individual Christians and as the Church we are called to pursue what is “good and right and true.” We must “try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.” May God grant that this Lent is a time for honest personal reflection and honest social reflection on how to live into God’s truth. 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.

Hymn S106: The Prayers of the People, Form I

[See also BCP, p. 383]

With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying "Lord, have mercy."

For the peace from above, for the loving-kindness of God, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the Holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For our Frank our Bishop, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For Joseph our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For the City of Savannah, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For those who travel on land, on water, in the air, or through outer space, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For our Parish Prayer List: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Teresa Blue Clemons, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Marva Harris, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Deacon Ella Roundtree-Davis, Jewel Wheeler, and Alton Wright; for Frank Brown (3/22), Edwin Nails (3/22), Esther McAlpine (3/23), Nathaniel Nails (3/23), Whitney Robinson (3/24), and Michael Canada (3/25) on their birthdays; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Defend us, deliver us, and in your compassion protect us, O Lord, by your grace. Lord, have mercy.

In the communion of Blessed Matthew and of all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God. To you, O Lord our God.

The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect.

O Lord our God, accept the fervent prayers of your people; in the multitude of your mercies, look with compassion upon us and all who turn to you for help; for you are gracious, O lover of souls, and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

[Music: Copyright © 1985, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #28267. All rights reserved.]

The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Parish Announcements

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

Confirmation & Episcopal Refresher Class Schedule

  • 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.

Pastoral Installation of Reverend Stephen Robertson 3/19: You are invited to attend the installation of Reverend Stephen Robertson on Sunday, 3/19 at 3:00 P.M. at Butler Memorial Presbyterian Church, 603 W. Victory Dr. Savannah. A reception will be held immediately following the service.

Sermon Book Committee Meeting on 3/19: The committee compiling a book of Rev. Guillermo Arboleda's sermons is looking for additional members to read the sermons from 2019-2023. If you are interested, please see Karsten Tyson or Idella Jones. The Committee's next meeting is on Sunday, March 19 at 11:00 AM.

Compline & Bible Stories at Christ Church on 3/19 at 6 PM: Tonight at 6:00 PM, Christ Church Episcopal (28 Bull Street, Savannah, GA 31401) presents Bible Stories for Grown Ups: Sunday Evenings in Lent. This evening’s reflection is presented by Dr. Bertice Berry about Israel’s Deliverance at the Red Sea (Exodus 14:10-31; 15:1) and will feature a performance by a local Gospel choir. The program begins at 6:00 PM with Compline prayers.

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

  • 5:00 - 5:30 Evening Prayer

  • 5:30 - 6:00 Dinner

  • 6:00 - 7:00 Wellness Bible Reflections

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

SCAD Honey Bees Concert at St. Matthew's on 3/26 at 11 AM: Savannah College of Art and Design provides complimentary performances in local churches to showcase their students and alumni's talent while connecting with the community. One of SCAD's ensembles, called the Honey Bees, will perform at St. Matthew's on Sunday, March 26, at 11:00 AM. Stick around for the free concert and invite your friends to come!

SPT Currency Inventories on 3/26: After the concert on March 26, members of the St. Matthew's Strategic Planning Team will hold discussion groups for 45-minutes with any church members interested in contributing to our conversations. Three different groups will take an "inventory" of how St. Matthew's is currently expressing one of the holy currencies. There will be groups focused on the Currency of Relationship, the Currency of Wellness, and the Currency of Gracious Leadership. Please attend whichever group you are most interested in discussing.

Strategic Planning Congregational Meeting #2 on 3/29: St. Matthew's Strategic Planning Team invites YOU to attend the second Strategic Planning Congregational Meeting, called "St. Matthew's Present: Understanding Who We Are Now." This meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 29 in Toomer-Walker Hall from 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM. It will begin with a catered meal and feature engaging presentations and activities led by our Strategic Planning Team and Fr. Bill Cruse from the Kaleidoscope Institute.

Mark your calendars for the 3rd meeting on Saturday, 4/29/23, from 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM (with a barbecue to follow).

Holy Week & Easter Schedule: Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, April 2, 2023, and ends with Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023. See below for the complete worship schedule:

  • April 2, Palm Sunday (The Sunday of the Passion): Liturgy of the Palms and Holy Communion with Choir at 9:30 AM

  • April 3, Monday in Holy Week: Holy Communion (no music) at 6:00 PM

  • April 4, Tuesday in Holy Week: Holy Communion (no music) at 6:00 PM

  • April 5, Wednesday in Holy Week: Holy Communion (no music) at 6:00 PM; Final Wellness Wednesday Bible Study to follow

  • April 6, Maundy Thursday: Foot Washing, Holy Communion with Choir, Agapé Meal, and Stripping of the Altar at 6:00 PM in Toomer-Walker Hall

  • April 7, Good Friday: Stations of the Cross at 12:00 noon

  • April 7, Good Friday: Good Friday Worship with Communion from the Reserved Sacrament at 6:00 PM

  • April 8, Holy Saturday: Holy Saturday Worship at 9:30 AM; Decorating the Church for Easter to follow

  • April 9, Easter Day: Ecumenical Easter Sunrise at 6:00 AM in Butler Presbyterian Memorial Church, 603 W. Victory Dr, Savannah, GA 31405

  • April 9, Easter Day: Holy Communion with Choir at 9:30 AM

JUST's Nehemiah Action on Monday, 4/24 at First African Baptist Church (23 Montgomery Street, Savannah, GA 31401) from 6:15-9:00 PM. We will provide transportation from St. Matthew's to FAB to avoid downtown parking. JUST's 2023 problem areas of focus are Affordable Housing and Public Education. We will have more details soon about our proposed solutions.

TEDxSavannah 2023 on 5/25: Fr. Guillermo has been selected as a speaker at this year's TEDxSavannah event on Thursday, May 25, 2023, from 12:30-5:30 PM at the Fine Arts Auditorium at Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus. Fr. Guillermo cannot share publicly about the topic of his talk before the event, but this year's theme is "Connection." Tickets are available now at; St. Matthew's can purchase them for a discounted rate of $40, so please let the office know if you would like to attend and we can order them in bulk.

New Doxology for Strategic Planning: At the end of the offertory, we will begin singing different lyrics to the “Doxology” hymn. This is the hymn we sing while the people’s offerings are brought forward to the altar. These lyrics were written by the Rev. Dr. Eric Hung Fat Law, the founder of Kaleidoscope Institute, with whom we are consulting for our strategic planning process.

Evening Prayer on T/W/Th: 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.

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:; 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.

“I appeal to you, sisters and brothers, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” [Romans 12:1]

LEV #105: I'm So Glad, Jesus Lifted Me

1 I’m so glad Jesus lifted me

I'm so glad Jesus lifted me

I'm so glad Jesus lifted me

singing glory Hallelujah Jesus lifted me.

2 Satan had me bound Jesus lifted me

Satan had me bound Jesus lifted me

Satan hand me bound Jesus lifted me

singing glory Hallelujah Jesus lifted me

3 When I was in sin Jesus lifted me

When I was in sin Jesus lifted me

When I was in sin Jesus lifted me

singing glory Hallelujah Jesus lifted me.

[Words: Traditional. Music: Negro Spiritual; arr. Hezekiah Brinson, Jr. Arr. Copyright © 1990 Hezekiah Brinson, Jr. All rights reserved.]

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


[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 A

[BCP, p. 361]

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord; who was tempted in every way as we are, yet did not sin. By his grace we are able to triumph over every evil, and to live no longer for ourselves alone, but for him who died for us and rose again.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

LEV #255:

Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts

Heaven and earth are filled with your glory

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: Grayson Warren Brown, A Mass for Soulful People, Copyright © 1979 North American Liturgy Resources, Published by OCP. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #83420. All rights reserved.]

The people stand or kneel.

Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all. He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ 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."

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:

LEV #258:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.

[Music: Marjorie Gabriel-Burrow, Copyright © 1992 G.I.A. Publications, Inc / Royal School of Church Music. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE#45465. All rights reserved.]

We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.

Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.

All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.

LEV #264: The Lord’s Prayer

[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 Fraction Anthems

[BCP, p. 364, 407]

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!

Therefore let us keep the feast!

LEV #270:

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.

[Music: Marjorie Landmark-DeLewis, Copyright © 1990 Church Publishing, Inc., Marjorie Landsmark-DeLewis. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #21221. All rights reserved.]

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

The Gifts of God for the people of God.

Hymn #645: The King of Love My Shepherd Is

1 The King of love my shepherd is,

whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am his,

and he is mine for ever.

2 Where streams of living water flow,

my ransomed soul he leadeth,

and where the verdant pastures grow,

with food celestial feedeth.

3 Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,

but yet in love he sought me,

and on his shoulder gently laid,

and home, rejoicing, brought me.

4 In death's dark vale I fear no ill

with thee, dear Lord, beside me;

thy rod and staff my comfort still,

thy cross before to guide me.

5 Thou spread'st a table in my sight;

thy unction grace bestoweth;

and oh, what transport of delight

from thy pure chalice floweth!

6 And so through all the length of days

thy goodness faileth never:

Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise

within thy house for ever.

[Words: William Baker; para. of Psalm 23. Music: Dominus regit me, John Baccus Dykes; desc. David Willcocks. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #BP1247. 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 Solemn Prayer over the People

[Adapted from The Book of Occasional Services 2018, pp. 10-11]

The Deacon says

Let us bow down before the Lord.

The Celebrant prays

Look down in mercy, Lord, on your people who kneel before you; and grant that those whom you have nourished by your Word and Sacraments may bring forth fruit worthy of repentance; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn #538: God of Mercy, God of Grace

\1 God of mercy, God of grace,

show the brightness of thy face.

Shine upon us, Savior, shine,

fill thy Church with light divine,

and thy saving health extend

unto earth's remotest end.

2 Let thy people praise thee, Lord;

be by all that live adored.

Let the nations shout and sing

glory to their Savior King;

let all be, below, above,

one in joy, and light, and love.

[Words: Henry Francis Lyte, alt. Music: Lucerna Laudoniae, David Evans, by permission of Oxford University Press. All Rights Reserved.]

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

The Parish Prayer List

PRAYER LIST: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Teresa Blue Clemons, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Marva Harris, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Deacon Ella Roundtree-Davis, and Jewel Wheeler

BIRTHDAYS: Frank Brown (3/22), Edwin Nails (3/22), Esther McAlpine (3/23), Nathaniel Nails (3/23), Whitney Robinson (3/24), and Michael Canada (3/25)



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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