Rector's Message: Saturday, 23 May 2020 - Preparing for Sunday Worship
In today's update: A Message from Father Keith, the Liturgy for Tomorrow's Worship and additional information to keep you informed.
FROM THE RECTOR
Saturday, 23 May 2020
This past Thursday, day number forty of the Church's fifty-day-long Easter season, was The Feast of the Ascension. This Feast Day, due to the fact that it always falls on a Thursday, is seldom celebrated in most churches, which is a pity since it honors an important event in Our Savior's life - his return to heaven and reunion with his heavenly Father. In the lessons assigned for the day (Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53), we learn that Jesus did not abandon his disciples, but left them with a powerful promise: "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you"; and with a great mission: "you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth".
Next Sunday, 31 May, we will celebrate the fulfillment of that promise with the Great Feast of Pentecost. This day marks the release of God's Holy Spirit into the world, allowing it to be claimed by Christ's followers in baptism down to this very day. This powerful gift is the power and the inspiration that enables us to fulfil and uphold our side of the covenant we have with God in Christ, the mission we are given to carry the Good News of Our Risen Lord to the very ends of the earth. How are we doing, folks?
In these final days of Easter, let us pray that, just as those first disciples fully embraced that mission, so we may be prepared to joyfully receive the power of God's Holy Spirit and embrace that same mission in our time.
COLLECT FOR ASCENSION DAY
Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ
ascended far above all heavens that he may fulfill all things:
Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise,
he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
In the name of our Savior Jesus Christ,
and our God who wants only health and wholeness for his children,
I send you blessings, peace and grace in these uncertain, confusing and anxious times.
LITURGY FOR TOMORROW'S WORSHIP
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Celebrant: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Response: The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
SONG OF PRAISE
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.
COLLECT FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
LESSONS: Acts 1:6-14
1 Peter 4:12-14
Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *
let those who hate him flee before him.
Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
as the wax melts at the fire,
so let the wicked perish in the presence God.
But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
let them be merry and joyful.
Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *
Yahweh is his name, rejoice before him!
Father of orphans, defender of widows, *
God in his holy habitation!
God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *
but the rebels shall live in dry places.
O God, when you went forth before your people, *
when you marched through the wilderness,
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.
You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
you refreshed the land when it was weary.
Your people found their home in it; *
in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.
Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; *
sing praises to the Lord.
He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; *
he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice.
Ascribe power to God; *
his majesty is over Israel; his strength is ion the skies.
How wonderful is God in his holy places! *
the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people!
Blessed be God!
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all this 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 of the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Each petition ends as follows:
Intercessor: Blessed be the risen Christ.
Response: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
SUNDAY WORSHIP MUSIC
Be sure to check out the weekly music and carillon recordings. Go to the Gallery tab on the parish website; select videos; there you will find hymns selected for the day, along with Messiah's church bells ringing out the Good News of the Easter season. This music is presented each week by Hannah Albrecht and Sam Frenkel. Thank you, Hannah and Sam!
SUNDAY SERMON AVAILABLE EACH WEEK
Each week, the text of the Sunday sermon is posted to the website. Feel free to print it out if you find that helpful. And perhaps you might also print a copy and send to someone who doesn't have computer access. This would be greatly appreciated and provide a way for these parishioners to also stay connected.
'FORWARD DAY BY DAY'
DEVOTIONALS ARE HERE
Many of you enjoy reading the quarterly devotional, Forward Day by Day. Booklets for the months of May through July have arrived. You may pick up a copy from the church office (9-1, Mon-Thur); or a copy can be mailed to you. Simply call me (215-699-9204) or send your email request to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name and address.
PLEASE KEEP YOUR PLEDGE UP TO DATE
Thank you to all of you who have dropped off or sent in your pledge over the past several weeks! Your faithfulness has allowed us to stay current with payroll and bill payment. Now that we are in a new month - can it really be mid-May already? - please remember to submit this month's pledge. Thank you!