Service for the week following the fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Welcome, friends. In order to follow this service, consider all words in bold type to be spoken by the pastor of the St. Thomas Community Church, the Reverend J. Wright. All words in italic type should be spoken aloud by you. You will also need a small glass of wine, grape juice, or water; a small piece of bread or a cracker; and your Bible.
Peace to you, friends, and blessings in the name of Christ our Lord.
And also with your spirit.
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom 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
Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ said:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
Lord have mercy upon us,
Christ have mercy upon us,
Lord have mercy upon us.
O almighty Lord and everlasting God, we ask You to direct, sanctify, and govern both our hearts and our bodies in the ways of Your laws, and in the works of Your commandments; that through Your most mighty protection both here and ever we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
Let us pray:
Collect for the Week
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.. Amen.
Psalm 111. Confitebor Tibi "I will give thanks unto the Lord with my whole heart"
1 Corinthians 8:1b-13
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.
Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "no idol in the world really exists," and that "there is no God but one." Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-- as in fact there are many gods and many lords-- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. "Food will not bring us close to God." We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall. Amen.
Glory be to You, O Lord
Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching-- with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
Praise be to You, O Christ.
Statement of Faith
Please join me in reciting the Apostles' Creed:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried. He descended into Hell. On the third day, he rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from where He will return again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Monday of this week is the feast day of St. John Bosco, the nineteenth-century founder of the Salesian Order. Tueday is the feast day of St. Brigid, an Irish abbess of the sixth century, and often considered Ireland's second patron saint. Wednesday is the remembrance of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin (Candlemas). Read about this event in Luke 2:22 ff. Happy Groundhog's Day! Thursday is the feast day of St. Blaise, a fourth-century martyr. Friday is the day of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, the English founder of the Gilbertine Order. Finally, Saturday is the day of St. Agatha, an early Sicilian martyr. Also, this day marks the anniversary of the arrival of Roger Williams in America. Williams settled in Rhode Island and formed the first American Baptist community there. Remember these famous Christians and find examples in their lives to benefit your own following of Christ's path.
All things come of you, O Lord, and of your own have we given you.. (I Corinthians 29:14).
Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church:
Almighty and everliving God, who by Your holy Apostle has taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men, we humbly ask you most mercifully to accept our prayers, and to receive these our prayers, which we offer to Your Divine Majesty. We ask You to inspire Your Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord, and grant that all those who do confess Your Holy Name may agree in the truth of Your holy Word, and live in unity and godly love. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our Saviour. Amen.
You who do truly and earnestly repent of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to live a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in His holy ways, make your humble confession to Almighty God:
Almighty God, Father of Heaven, Judge of all men, we confess that we have sinned against You, in words, thoughts, and actions, in the things we have done, and those which we have failed to do, and we are truly sorry for these misdeeds. Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please You in the newness of life, to the honour and glory of your Name, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
May the Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who in His great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with true faith turn to Him, have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to everlasting life. Amen.
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ said to all who truly turn to Him:
Come to me, all you who travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to our Lord God.
It is right to give Him praise and thanks.
Because in the Mystery of the Word made flesh, You have caused a new light to shine in our hearts, to give the knowledge of Your glory in the face of Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, we praise You and magnify Your glorious name, saying:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory: Glory be to You, O Lord Most High. Amen.
At this time, as an ordained minister of the Christian Church, I hereby authorize you to act in my place in the blessing of the Bread and Blood of the Communion, through Christ the Lord, who with the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns in heaven with God the Father Almighty. Amen.
All glory to You, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that You, in Your tender mercy, did give Your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption, who made there a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world, and did institute, and in His holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that His precious death and sacrifice, until His Second Coming:
For in the night in which he was betrayed, (hold your bread or cracker in your hand), he took bread, and when he had given thanks, (break the bread in half), he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying "Take, eat," (lay your hands on all the bread), "this is my Body, which is given for you, Do this in remembrance of me." Likewise, after supper, (pick up your glass of wine or other liquid), he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying "Drink you all of this, for this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this as often as you shall drink it, in remembrance of me."
Wherefore, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of Your dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we, Your humble servants, do celebrate and make here before Your Divine Majesty, with these Your holy gifts, which we now offer to You, the memorial Your Son has commanded us to make, having in remembrance His blessed passion and precious death, His mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, rendering to You most hearty thanks for the innumberable benefits given to us by the same.
And we most humbly beseech You, O merciful Father, to hear us, and in Your almighty goodness to bless and sanctify, with Your Word and Holy Spirit, these Your gifts and creatures of blood and wine, that we, receiving them according to Your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of His death and passion, may be partakers of His most blessed Body and Blood.
And we earnestly desire Your fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly asking You to grant that, by the merits of Your Son Jesus Christ, and that through faith in His blood, we, and all Your whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of His passion. And here we offer and present to You, O Lord, our selves, our souls and our bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice to You, humbly asking You that we may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of Your Son Jesus Christ, be filled with Your grace and heavenly blessing. We ask this of You, through Christ our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns with You in heaven, world everlasting. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
Let us pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your 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 do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.Amen.
The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on Him in your heart by faith, with thanksgiving.
(Take and eat the bread).
The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ's Blood was shed for you, and be thankful.
(Take and drink the wine or wine-substitute).
Let us pray:
Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank You, for that You have given to feed us who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, and do assure us thereby of Your favour and goodness toward us, and we humbly ask You, O heavenly Father, to assist us with Your grace so that we may continue in holiness and do all such good works as You have prepared for us to walk in, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who, with the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns with You in honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace and goodwill to men. We praise You and give You thanks for Your great glory, O Lord, King of Heaven, God the Father Almighty.
O Jesus, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, receive this our prayer.
The Peace of God be with you, and all blessings of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you always. Amen.
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