* * * SERVICE CANCELLED * * *
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The Service begins on page 77 of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP).
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
The Lord is in hos holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.
I was glad when they said unto me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
The Confession of Sin
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 Invitatory and Psalter BPC p. 80
Leader Lord, open our lips.
People And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
Alleluia. The Lord is risen indeed: Come let us adore him. Alleluia.
Jubilate (Psalm 100)
Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; *
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.
Know this: The Lord himself is God; *
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise; *
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting; *
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.
The Psalm Appointed
7 Bless our God, you peoples; *
make the voice of his praise to be heard;
8 Who holds our souls in life, *
and will not allow our feet to slip.
9 For you, O God, have proved us; *
you have tried us just as silver is tried.
10 You brought us into the snare; *
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
11 You let enemies ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water; *
but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.
12 I will enter your house with burnt-offerings
and will pay you my vows, *
which I promised with my lips
and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble.
13 I will offer you sacrifices of fat beasts with the smoke of rams; *
I will give you oxen and goats.
14 Come and listen, all you who fear God, *
and I will tell you what he has done for me.
15 I called out to him with my mouth, *
and his praise was on my tongue.
16 If I had found evil in my heart, *
the Lord would not have heard me;
17 But in truth God has heard me; *
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
18 Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer, *
nor withheld his love from me.
At the end of the Psalm:
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 17:22-31
Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
A Reading from the First Letter of Peter 3:13-2210
Canticle 8: The Song of Moses BCP p. 85
Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
A Reading from the Gospel according to John 14:1-14
Canticle 15: The Song of Mary BCP p. 91
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God
A Commandment to Love.
I am sure at the onset one may say “Here we go again, Fr. John loves to preach on love.” This sermon though is about love with a little twist to it. It has to do with keeping Christ’s commandment to love Him and keep His commandment to love one another. The text that I am using is John 14:15-21.
This Gospel is part of Jesus’ farewell address as He prepared His disciples how to continue His mission long after His death.
As Jesus prepared His disciples for His death, He gave them a commandment. If these disciples loved Him and kept God’s commandment, Jesus promised that He would pray to His Father on their behalf and His Father would send them another Advocate who would be with them forever and would not leave them as orphans.
Jesus also explained that He and God are one. What Christ said to those disciples and now to us is reflected in today’s collect. We ask God to pour into our hearts such love that we love Him above all things and may obtain God’s promises which will exceed all our desires.
The commandment which Jesus asked His disciples to obey is in John Chapter 13 verses 34-35. Here Jesus said, “This is my commandment that you love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this to lay down one’s life for His friends.” The type of love which Jesus commanded is a love that shows that we are our brothers and sisters’ keepers. This is agape love; it is also called unconditional love. This is the type of love which made Jesus give His life on the Cross so that we might live forever. Christ is reminding us to have such love for ourselves today. He wants us to know that we are who we are, by God’s love, but also by the support of people around us.
The type of love Jesus commanded His disciples to have for each other is the type of love that Jesus’ followers had toward each other when they called themselves Christians.
Jesus said if his disciples obeyed His commandment, He would ask His Father to send them another Advocate who would be among the disciples after Jesus’ death. This Advocate is the Spirit of Truth which only the disciples would know. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit Jesus said He would live in His disciples.
Thank God each of us who are baptized experience this gift of the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus lives in and directs our path. He is like our internal Spiritual Director. What a Divine Gift Jesus gave His disciples and us!
Since Christ’s Spirit lives in us, and since we have inherited Jesus’ love, our call is to surrender ourselves to Christ’s Spirit and allow Him to lead us and guide us. We are to surrender to the power of Christ’s Spirit in us so we can reach out to the communities around us and beyond.
Can you imagine what our world would look like if we all loved one another? As wonderful as our obedience to Christ is, it is tough to love. None of us can obey the commandment to love on our own. Thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit through whom we are able to love as Jesus commanded us.
There is no better time to listen to Jesus and obey His command to love one another than the present time. Christ is commanding us to reach out to the sick among us. He is asking us to reach out to those who may be afraid to step out into the world as they used to, and remind them that Christ who is in them will be with them and will accompany them all their days. We are to actively listen to the stories of those who are sad or grieving at this time. As we support those who are grieving, we are to remind them that Christ will take care of them. Amen.
Canticle 12: Glory to God BPC p. 94
The Apostles’ Creed BCP p. 96
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
The Prayers BCP p. 97
Leader The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Leader Let us pray.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you;
R. We praise your Name for ever.
V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope;
R. And we shall never hope in vain.
The Collect of the Day
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A Collect for Sundays BCP p.98
O God, you make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord: Give us this day such blessing through our worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts of Food
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer For Mission
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for
the honor of your Name. Amen.
The General Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an
awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
A Prayer of St. Chrysostom
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14
The peace of the Lord
be always with you.