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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Worship for New Year's Eve / Feast of the Holy Name

The Holy Eucharist: Liturgy of the Word

The Eve of the Feast of the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ December 31, 2020

Watch the Livestream at

Thursday, December 31, at 5:00 p.m. (or anytime afterward)


We at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. Under the guidance of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, the Vestry has decided to keep our church building closed to all in-person gatherings.

At 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, 2020, 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 Holy Eucharist: Rite II

The Word of God

Hymn #450: All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name

1 All hail the power of Jesus' Name!

Let angels prostrate fall;

bring forth the royal diadem,

and crown him Lord of all!

bring forth the royal diadem,

and crown him Lord of all!

2 Crown him ye martyrs of our God,

who from his altar call:

praise him whose way of pain ye trod,

and crown him Lord of all!

praise him whose way of pain ye trod,

and crown him Lord of all!

3 Hail him, the Heir of David's line,

whom David Lord did call,

the God incarnate, Man divine,

and crown him Lord of all!

the God incarnate, Man divine,

and crown him Lord of all!

4 Ye heirs of Israel's chosen race,

ye ransomed of the fall,

hail him who saves you by his grace,

and crown him Lord of all!

hail him who saves you by his grace,

and crown him Lord of all!

5 Sinners, whose love can ne'er forget

the wormwood and the gall,

go, spread your trophies at his feet,

and crown him Lord of all!

go, spread your trophies at his feet,

and crown him Lord of all!

6 Let every kindred, every tribe,

on this terrestrial ball,

to him all majesty ascribe,

and crown him Lord of all!

to him all majesty ascribe,

and crown him Lord of all!

Words: Edward Perronet, alt., Public Domain.

Music: Coronation, Oliver Holden, alt., Public Domain; desc. Michael E. Young © 1979 G.I.A. Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #28786. All rights reserved.

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 #96: Angels We Have Heard on High

1 Angels we have heard on high,

Sweetly singing o’er the plains

And the mountains in reply,

Echoing their joyous strains.


Gloria in excelsis Deo,

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

2 Shepherds, why this jubilee?

Why these songs of happy cheer?

What great brightness did you see?

What glad tidings did you hear? [Refrain]

3 Come to Bethlehem, and see

Him whose birth the angels sing;

Come, adore on bended knee

Christ the Lord, the newborn King. [Refrain]

4 See him in a manger laid

Whom the angels praise above!

Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,

While we raise our hearts in love. [Refrain]

Words: French carol; tr. James Chadwick; Public Domain.

Music: Gloria, French carol; arr. Edward Shippen Barnes; Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84241. All rights reserved.

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 357, 213]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Numbers (6:22-27)

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them,

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God

Psalm 8

[BCP, p. 725]

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

1 O Lord our Governor, * how exalted is your Name in all the world!

2 Out of the mouths of infants and children * your majesty is praised above the heavens.

3 You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, * to quell the enemy and the avenger.

4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, * the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,

5 What is man that you should be mindful of him? * the son of man that you should seek him out?

6 You have made him but little lower than the angels; * you adorn him with glory and honor;

7 You give him mastery over the works of your hands; * you put all things under his feet:

8 All sheep and oxen, * even the wild beasts of the field,

9 The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, * and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.

10 O Lord our Governor, * how exalted is your Name in all the world!

A Reading from the Letter to Philippians (2:5-11)

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,

but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Luke (2:15-21)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon:

“The Child Has A Name” by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

My favorite new TV show from the last couple of years has been Star Wars: The Mandalorian, which streams on Disney+. I have always loved Star Wars and this is the first ever live-action Star Wars TV series. The show is about a mysterious masked bounty hunter who is called “The Mandalorian” or “Mando,” since he was raised by people from the planet Mandalore. Mando travels around the galaxy on thrilling adventures.

Famously, this series introduced a new character known to the general public as “Baby Yoda.” He is a baby of the same species as the old, wise Jedi Master named Yoda, and he goes unnamed for the first season and a half (hence “Baby Yoda”). Officially, this character is simply called “The Child” throughout most of the show. Mando, who normally travels alone, spends the series accompanied by The Child, and trying to find a safe home for him somewhere in the galaxy. The Child only speaks in coos, cries, and grunts, so we learn most of what we know about him from other characters and from his reactions.

The second season of the show just ended and I’m going to allude to a scene from Season 2, but I promise I won’t spoil any key details in this sermon, in case you want to go watch it yourself. About midway through Season 2, we finally learn what the Child’s real name is. Again, I will not spoil it here, but it’s a really striking scene. When the adult characters learn his name and say it aloud, the Child responds with glee. He looks up at their faces just delighted that they know who he really is. The Child makes these adorable sounds and facial expressions to communicate to the audience that he registers that this is his true name.

Tonight, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. The Biblical Law says that male Jewish children are circumcised on the eighth day after their birth (Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3). January 1 is the eighth day after December 25. In ancient Jewish tradition, the day of circumcision was also the day on which a child received a name. So Mary’s Child was also nameless for a time. Luke 2:21 explains: “After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

When Baby Jesus first heard Mary and Joseph say his name, maybe he also responded with coos and shouts of glee, like The Child from The Mandalorian did. Having a name is powerful. It speaks to a true identity. In the case of Jesus, his Name has a very important meaning. The name Jesus means “The LORD Saves.” Jesus’s name includes within it God’s proper Name (YHWH), which Bible translators usually write as “The LORD” in all capitals. And it points to our God’s primary action in the world: salvation. The LORD God saves. That is who Jesus is and his purpose on this earth.

St. Paul tells us that the Name Jesus is “the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9b-11). Jesus came to save us. God has glorified and will glorify his Name. And Jesus doesn’t just save in the past tense. Jesus is our Savior in the present tense too.

Jesus continues to save us even now. Jesus saves us when we stumble and fall and when we struggle through life. Jesus saves us even in the most challenging year of our lives. Jesus saves us despite pandemic and plague, despite school and church closures, despite illness and death. Jesus saves.

That’s why it’s so important for us to take time together to pray and worship, even as we do so virtually. It’s important for us to encourage each other with the truth that Jesus saves. It’s important for us to reflect together on all the ways that God has shown up in our lives over the past year. It’s easy to dwell on all the negatives--and there have been plenty of them in 2020. But it’s much more beneficial for us to look for God’s saving hand at work among us and give thanks.

I know from conversations with many of you that despite all the fear, anxiety, and loss of this year, we have experienced many blessings. Many of us have felt closer to family and friends because we are spending more quality time together on the phone or on video calls. Many of us have bonded with those who we live with. Our online worship has provided opportunities for us to reconnect with church members and friends who have moved away from Savannah, but can still “join us” over the internet. We have learned a lot about how to live as a community in the face of many great challenges.

I’m not saying it has all been good, and I’m certainly not trying to minimize the real struggles and trauma we have been through in 2020. But, as we enter 2021, I am saying that there is room for hope. Our God is loving, liberating, and life-giving. The Son of God has a powerful and saving Name, Jesus. The Holy Spirit is with us all right now and always. We have much to be thankful for. God is good. Jesus Saves. In 2021 and beyond, let us glory in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.

LEVAS #107: There's Something About That Name

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!

There's just something about that name!

Master, Savior, Jesus!

Like the fragrance after the rain.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!

Let all heaven and earth proclaim:

Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,

But there's something about that name!

Words: Gloria and William Gaither

Music: William Gaither © 1970 William J. Gaither

All rights reserved.

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


Let us pray to God, who came among us in the birth of Jesus:


Gracious God, as a star rose, and drew people from great distances to Bethlehem that they might greet the Christ-child; Draw us, your Church, and all of your people to you, that we might be the Church and the People who you call us to be. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As you gave Mary your Holy Spirit, filling her with the delight of your Presence; Fill us with your Spirit, and renew our lives. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As Gentiles streamed to Jesus’ Light, and Kings to the brightness of his rising; Draw our nation, our President, our President-Elect, and all in authority, to His brightness. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As angels sang glory to you and proclaimed peace on earth, and goodwill among all peoples; Bring us your peace and bring an end to all terror and strife. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As shepherds were drawn away from their flocks by night; Draw those who do not know you yet to the knowledge and love of you. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As Jesus was born in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn; Be especially present with those who have nowhere to lay their head, those who are vulnerable, and those who are hungry. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As the Holy Family gathered together in Bethlehem and traveled together to far off lands; Bless all families, especially the families of our parish, and protect those who travel. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

As your son came to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of Life Eternal; Give to the departed eternal rest and let Light perpetual shine on them. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for our own needs and those of others:

For those who are sick, especially those suffering from COVID-19, those on our Parish Prayer List, and those we remember now...

For those who have died, [especially ___________,] and those we remember now...

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


O Lord our God, may the Light and Hope of this season, and of your Son’s Incarnation, reassure our hearts that you are among us, that you hear our prayer, and that you will be with us always, even to the end of the age. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior born in Bethlehem, we pray. Amen.

The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]

Giving to St. Matthew's: 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.

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.

“O Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power; because you have created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

[Revelation 4:11; BCP, p. 377]

AAHH #217: Jesus, the Light of the World

1 Hark the herald angels sing.

Jesus, the light of the world.

Glory to the new-born King.

Jesus, the light of the world.


We’ll walk in the light, beautiful light.

Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.

Oh, shine all around us by day and by night.

Jesus, the light of the world.

2 Joyful, all ye nations, rise.

Jesus, the light of the world.

Join the triumph of the skies.

Jesus, the light of the world. [Refrain]

3 Christ, by highest heav'n adored.

Jesus, the light of the world.

Christ, the everlasting Lord,

Jesus, the light of the world. [Refrain]

4 Hail, the heav'n-born Prince of Peace.

Jesus, the light of the world.

Hail, the Sun of righteousness!

Jesus, the light of the world. [Refrain]

Words: George D. Elderkin; verses by Charles Wesley, Public Domain.

Music: We'll Walk in the Light, George D. Elderkin; arr. Evelyn Simpson-Curenton © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #94883. 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

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 9]

May Christ, who by his Incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill you with his joy and peace; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


A. Worship with the Diocese 1/3: Worship with the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia on their Facebook Page on the 2nd Sunday After Christmas (1/3/2021) at 10:00 AM.

B. Vestry Member Term Extension: Due to the disruptive nature of the pandemic in our church's life, the Vestry is considering a resolution to extend its members' terms for an additional year. The Vestry seeks feedback from the members of St. Matthew's Church on this proposal between now and January 19, 2021. Please direct all written feedback to The resolution may be read in its entirety here:

C. Virtual Coffee Hour 1/3: We will hold a virtual "Coffee Hour" over Zoom on Sunday, January 3, and again on every other Sunday at 10:30 AM. (Thank you to Mrs. Rachael Blue-Jones who is donating a professional Zoom login to the church for our use.) 

For security purposes, below is the Meeting ID only; please check your St. Matthew's e-Newsletter for the password (or email to request it).

Topic: St. Matthew's Coffee Hour

Time: Jan 3, 2021 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175


Dial by your location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 825 7251 1175


D. T/W/Th Evening Prayer via Zoom: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, Fr. Arboleda will continue to invite parishioners to pray Evening Prayer with him over Zoom. The video will still stream to Facebook Live at 5:00 PM, but we'll see more faces and hear more voices. To join the Zoom call, click the link below at 4:45 PM on Wednesday. Otherwise, watch the prayer service as you have been on Facebook Live.

For security purposes, below is the Meeting ID only; please check your St. Matthew's e-Newsletter for the password (or email to request it).

Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer

Time: Jan 5, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Every week on Tue, Wed, Thu, until Feb 25, 2021, 10 occurrence(s)

Join Zoom Meeting: See e-Newsletter

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter

Dial by your location: +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)

Meeting ID: 991 8577 8541

Passcode: See e-Newsletter

E. “Trip Around the World” Quilt Raffle: The Quilter's Guild, through St. Matthew's ECW, is raffling a "Trip Around the World" Quilt to benefit St. Matthew's Building Renovation Fund. This fund supports major extra-budgetary building improvement projects, such as painting, replacing the sound system, replacing the oven in Toomer-Walker Hall, etc.

This beautiful, jewel-toned quilt measures 103"x90" and will fit a queen-sized bed. This machine-stitched quilt in tones of deep violet amethyst, blue sapphire, green emerald, blue topaz, and green peridot will enhance any bedroom.

The winner will be announced on September 30, 2021. Winners do not need to be present to win. In addition to the grand prize of the "Trip Around the World '' quilt, there will be interim raffles of seasonal quilt-type projects for no additional ticket purchase. Interim winners will still be eligible for the grand prize.

The first interim drawing was on December 16, 2020. Sheila Jones won four Christmas potholders and Yavonne Taylor won a set of six Christmas placemats. The next interim drawing will be in late February or early March.

Tickets are $15 each. Please make donations in $15 increments. Tickets may be purchased by:

  1. Mailing a check to St. Matthew's with "Quilt Raffle" in the memo line; OR

  2. Visiting

Expect your raffle tickets to be returned to you by mail or email within 5-7 business days of receipt. Direct any questions to

F. The Parish Prayer List:

Prayer List: Martha Avery, Anthony Blue Jr., Charlotte Blue, Zavier Bradley, Myrtle Brow-Hollis, Jacquelyn Bryant, Jocelyn Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Liam Clemons, Marquez Clemons, Taylor Blue Clemons, Teresa Blue Clemons, Annie Colbert, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Eduardo Espinosa, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Gary Gordon, Amanda Green, 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, David Jones, Frances T. Jones, Jaiden Jones, Lori Jones, MacKenzie Jones, Nolan Jones, Olivia Jones, Rachael Blue Jones, Robert L. Jones, Sr., Ronald Jones, Tonya Jones, Emmanuel Kelley, Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law, Jr., Ralph Lovett, Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Marcus Marzen, Joan Maty, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Altheria Maynard Carmelita Maynard, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Jameel Newton, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Courtney (Watts) Vista, Ed Vista, Willie Stephens, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, and Noel Wheeler

Birthdays: James Williams (1/1), James Sanders (1/2), Margaret McAlister (1/4), Sarai Rhett (1/5), Shirley Ann Way (1/6), Janice Hunter-Malafonte (1/9)

Wedding Anniversaries: N/A

Deaths: Raleigh Bryant (12/18)

May the souls of all the departed rest in peace; and may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

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. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.

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