Easter-7 (Yr A) May 24, 2020

The Service begins on page 80 of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP).



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.  Amen.  Alleluia.


Alleluia. The Lord is risen indeed: Come let us adore him.  Alleluia.




Venite (Psalm 95:1-7) BCP p. 82


1 Come, let us sing to the Lord; *

   let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving *

   and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

3 For the Lord is a great God, *

   and a great King above all gods.

4 In his hand are the caverns of the  earth, *

   and the heights of the hills are his also.

5 The sea is his, for he made it, *

   and his hands have molded the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down, and bend the  knee, *

   and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

7 For he is our God, and we are the people

   of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. *

    Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

    and his faithfulness endures from age to age.



The Psalm Appointed

Psalm 68:1-10, 33-36



1   Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *

     let those who hate him flee before him.

2   Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *

    as the wax melts at the fire, so let the         

      wicked perish at the presence of God.

3   But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *

    let them also be merry and joyful.

4   Sing to God, sing praises to his Name;

    exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *

     Yahweh is his Name, rejoice before him!

5   Father of orphans, defender of widows, *

    God in his holy habitation!

6   God gives the solitary a home

      and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *

    but the rebels shall live in dry places.

7   O God, when you went forth before your people, *

    when you marched through the wilderness,

8   The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,

  at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *

    at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

9 You sent a gracious rain, O God,  upon your inheritance; *

    you refreshed the land when it was weary.

10 Your people found their home in it; *

     in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.

33 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; *

      sing praises to the Lord.

34 He rides in the heavens, the ancient  heavens; *

     he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice.

35 Ascribe power to God; *

     his majesty is over Israel; his strength is in the skies.

36 How wonderful is God in his holy places! *

     the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people!

Blessed be God!


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.



The Lessons


 A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 1:6-14


When [the apostles] had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”


Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.


The Word of the Lord.

People   Thanks be to God


A Reading from the First Letter of Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11


Canticle 21: You Are God BPC p. 95


Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.


Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.


The Word of the Lord.

People   Thanks be to God.


A Reading from the Gospel according to John 17:1-11


Canticle 13: A Song of Praise BCP p. 90


Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.


“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”


The Word of the Lord.

People   Thanks be to God.



Remembering Christ’s High Priestly Prayer


Today is the Sunday after Ascension Day. This is the day we remember how Christ’s disciples saw Jesus as he was lifted up into heaven. The Gospel we just heard is called the “High Priestly Prayer” because Christ interceded for His disciples just as priests intercede for their parishioners, especially when times are tough.


Knowing that the time of His death was near, Jesus prayed for his disciples. Praying for others before one dies was part of the Jewish culture and some African cultures. I am sure a few of us have experienced family members praying for us before they die.


Moses gave similar final words to his followers on the plains of Moab (Deuteronomy, 32 and 33). Jesus communicated with God in this morning’s Gospel to seek divine power for his disciples after his death. As Jesus prayed, He asked them to glorify God and glorify Him. To behold God’s glory, begin with doing God’s will and committing to God as Jesus did on the cross (Susan Andrew et. al Sermons on The Gospel Reading).


In His High Priestly Prayer, Jesus prayed that His followers may know God and be united as God and Jesus are united. Unity is strength. When we are united, we will have the power of God to confront the challenges of life.


Jesus also prayed that though the disciples were in the world, that they not be of the world. (Evangelical Bible). As we listen to Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer this morning, we too are reminded to pray in season and out of season.


We are to pray God to teach us what to do and to give us the wisdom to be united. Many of us know that, on our own, we are not strong enough to face the challenges of this world. However, when we receive power from God, then and only then, can you and I say, “we can do all things through God who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13) and “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).


As Christ made God’s name known; our call is to make God’s name known at home, at work, at play, and even online. As Christ prayed that His disciples may know God, we are encouraged today to pray that we and all who we share Christ’s Good News with may also know God.

When we pray, we begin to hear Jesus whisper to us that “greater is the one who lives in us than the one who lives in the world”  (1 John 4:4). It is the power of prayer that enables us to say “though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we shall fear no evil for God is with us, His staff and His rod they comfort us” (Psalm 23).


As wonderful as Christ’s High Prayer is, the challenge is that many only pray when there is no other way out. Another challenge is that many of us often say we do not know how to pray.

None of us should be shy about learning how to pray. Even Christ’s disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray and you’ll remember that that is was what led to the Lord’s Prayer.

Occasionally some people do not pray because they feel that their prayers were not answered on time. As far as prayer answering is concerned only God determines when prayers will be answered.


We are reminded to be patient with God. If you have prayed for something and it seems that your prayers were not answered, I say to you this morning, don’t give up praying! Remember God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.


In spite of these challenges, the good news is that just as Christ prayed for His disciples, Christ continues to pray for us. This means that we are not alone. He is with us through prayer. So, as we go about the rest of our day, we are reminded to pray for one another especially those facing challenging situations like the Coronavirus. We are called to pray for our church that it will continue to grow. We are also called to thank God for being ready to hear our prayers day and night.


Let me end with the words of Denzel Washington in a recent Graduation Address to the class of New Orleans’ Dillard University, “Put God first in everything that you do. Remember that everything we have is by the grace of God. Everything we have is a gift from God.”  I say to all of us this morning, put your slippers way under your bed when you sleep tonight, so that when you wake up in the morning you have to get on your knees to reach them. And while you’re down there, do me a big favor and say a prayer to God. Ain’t this what Jesus did? 







The Apostles’ Creed  BCP p. 96


Canticle 17: The Song of Simeon  BPC p. 93


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



   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. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in
V. Lord, keep this nation under your
R. And guide us in the way of
justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among
all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord,
be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor
be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with
your Holy Spirit.




 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.



In Observance of Memorial Day:

A Thanksgiving for Heroic Service

BCP p.839


O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy.  Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines.  This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.



A Prayer for Mission BCP p.101


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.




Prayers of the People


Through Jesus, whom we confess as Lord, we give thanks and praise to the Father, calling on him who is judge of all:

For all the peoples of the world; that they may know you as the God of peace,

We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, your kingdom come.


For nations, for leaders and governments; that integrity may mark all their dealings,

We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, your kingdom come.


For all who labour for righteousness; that your presence and help may give them courage,

We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, your kingdom come.


For communities torn by dissension and strife; that your forgiveness may bring them healing,

We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, your kingdom come.


For those on our Parish Prayer List: Ruby, Mary-Anna, Howard, George, the Darnell Family,  Judy, Juanita, Rob, Carmen, Joanne, Mary, Vern; for the anxious, the lonely, the bereaved; that consolation and peace may be theirs,

We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, your kingdom come.


For the Church, your household and family; that she may be firm in the confession of her hope,

We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, your kingdom come.


For Thomas, our Bishop, and for all who bear Christ’s name; that their lives may proclaim your glory,

We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, your kingdom come.


For those who are separated from us by death; that theirs may be the kingdom which is unshakeable,

We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, your kingdom come.


(adapted from The Scottish Liturgy 1982)


The General Thanksgiving BCP p.101


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 BCP p.102


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.

Corinthians 13:14


The Peace


The peace of the Lord

be always with you.