Monday, May 27, 2013

Order of Service for Pentecost 2 (2 June 2013)

Please note that Saint Faith's is experimenting, on behalf of the Liturgy Task Force of the Anglican Church of Canada, with the complementary Hebrew Bible reading series of the Revised Common Lectionary rather than the semi-continuous series.

The Second Sunday after Pentecost
2 June 2013

The Gathering of the Community

Gathering Music

Processional Hymn

‘We, the Lord’s People’  Common Praise  #10


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.
And also with you.

The Deacon or an Assisting Minister says,

God our creator,
you know the secrets of our hearts.
We ask you to forgive our sins,
known and unknown.

For turning away from you,
and ignoring your will for our lives:
God of compassion, forgive, save and help us.

For behaving just as we wish,
without thinking of you:
God of compassion, forgive, save and help us.

For failing you by what we do, think and say:
God of compassion, forgive, save and help us.

For letting ourselves be drawn away from you
by temptations in the world about us:
God of compassion, forgive, save and help us.

For living as if we were ashamed
to belong to your Beloved, Christ our Lord:
God of compassion, forgive, save and help us. [i]

The Presider says,

May the God of love and power
forgive you and free you from your sins,
heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,
and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.  Amen. [ii]

Let us praise the God who gives us new life
through the reconciling love of Christ and the work of the Spirit.

Hymn of Praise

‘Glory to God’  Common Praise #702

Collect of the Day

Let us pray.

O Singer of creation,
your song is welcome and holiness, healing and trust.
Teach us a new song to sing your praise,
and tune our ears to melodies we have never heard,
so that we may add our voices to the harmony
that unites all creation as one
in adoration and thanksgiving of you,
through Christ, your all-embracing song,
and in the Spirit, your life-giving breath.  Amen. [iii]

The Proclamation of the Word of God

First Reading

A Reading from First Kings (8.22-23, 41-43)

            Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven.  He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart.

            Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name — for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm — when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

The Psalm

Psalm 96.1-9 with the Refrain from Songs for the Holy One

Refrain (sung twice)

Sing to the Lord a new song; *
            sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.
Sing to the Lord and bless the divine name; *
            proclaim the good news of our salvation from day to day.
Declare the glory of the Lord among the nations *
            and the wonders of God among all peoples.


For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, *
            more to be feared than all gods.
As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; *
            but it is you, Lord, who made the heavens.
Oh, the majesty and magnificence of your presence! *
            Oh, the power and the splendour of your sanctuary!


Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples; *
            ascribe to the Lord honour and power.
Ascribe to the Lord the honour due the divine name; *
            bring offerings and come into the courts of the Lord.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; *
            let the whole earth tremble before God.


The Second Reading

A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (1.1-12)

            Paul an apostle — sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead — and all the members of God’s family who are with me,

            To the churches of Galatia:

            Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

            I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!  As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!

            Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval?  Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

            For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

The Gradual Hymn

‘We Cannot Measure How You Heal’  Common Praise #292

The Gospel

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (7.1-10)
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

            After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum.  A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death.  When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave.  When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.”  And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you.  But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed.  For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.”  When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”  When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

The Gospel of Christ.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The Sermon

An Affirmation of Faith

We believe and trust in God the Lover,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist.

We believe and trust in God the Beloved,
who, in Jesus of Nazareth, took our human nature,
died for us and rose again.

We believe and trust in God the Love,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world.

We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen. [iv]

The Prayers of the Community

Intercessions, Thanksgivings and Petitions

The Exchange of the Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

The Holy Communion

The Offertory Hymn

‘All Things Are Thine’  Common Praise #304

The Prayer over the Gifts

Let us pray.

Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things.
Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts:
ourselves, our time and our possessions.
Use us and what we have gathered
in feeding the world with your love,
through the one who gave himself for us,
Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen. [v]

The Thanksgiving at the Table

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, gracious God,
creator of heaven and earth;
you are the source of light and life for all your creation,
you made us in your own image,
and call us to new life in Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Therefore we praise you,
joining our voices to proclaim the glory of your name.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest. [vi]

Holy, mighty and merciful Lord,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
In great love you sent us Jesus, your Son,
who reached out to heal the sick and suffering,
who preached good news to the poor
and who, on the cross, opened his arms to all.

In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup,
gave thanks and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Remembering, therefore, his death, resurrection and ascension,
we await his coming in glory.

Pour out upon us the Spirit of your love, O Lord,
and unite the wills of all who share this heavenly food,
the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord;
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all glory and honour, now and for ever.  Amen. [vii]

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, 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. [viii]

The Breaking of the Bread

How shall we repay you, O Lord,
for all the good things you have done for us?
We will lift up the cup of salvation
and call upon your name.
We will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call upon your name.
We will fulfil our vows to you
in the presence of all people. [ix]

The gifts of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.

The Communion of the Community

The Communion Hymn

‘O Christ, the Healer’  Common Praise #291 (sung to #96)

The Sending Forth of the Community

Prayer after Communion

Let us pray.

God of abundance,
with this bread of life and cup of salvation
you have united us with Christ,
making us one with all your people.
Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit,
that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world
and continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [x]

Glory to God,
whose power working in us,
can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Recessional Hymn

‘O God of Font and Altar’  Common Praise #389

The Dismissal

The Deacon or an Assisting Minister sends the Community forth.  To these words the Community responds,

Thanks be to God.

Concluding Music

[i] ‘General Confession of Sin 1’ in Common Worship (2000), 128 alt.

[ii] ‘Absolution 4’ in Common Worship (2000), 135 alt.

[iii] ‘Scripture Prayer for Proper 9C (Series 2)’ in Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002), 143 alt.

[iv] ‘Authorized Affirmation of Faith 1’ in Common Worship (2000), 144 alt.

[v] ‘Offering Prayer 3’ in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 107.

[vi] ‘You Are Holy’ in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), #525.

[vii] ‘Thanksgiving at the Table V’ in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 65-66.

[viii] Songs for a Gospel People #12 sung by the whole community without repeats.

[ix] Psalm 116 edited for liturgical use by the Rev’d Dr Richard Geoffrey Leggett.

[x] ‘Prayer after Communion 3’ in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 114.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Loving the Questions

This past week has been quite busy, so I have not been able to prepare a text for the Sermon preached at the 10.00 a.m. Eucharist at Saint Faith's.  So I have posted a link to an audio file of my Sermon and the notes from which I was working on this Trinity Sunday.

Blessings to one and to all.

RCL Trinity C
26 May 2013

Saint Faith's Anglican Church
Vancouver BC

On Pentecost I spoke about the link between the English verb, to believe, with the German verb, belieben.  To believe is to place one's trust in someone or something; to believe is set one's heart on someone or something.

For a number of years I have been the Coordinator of Diaconal Formation for the Diocese of New Westminster.  One of the seminars that I regularly lead is called 'Loving the Questions:  An Introduction to the Theology of the Creeds'.  I borrowed the title from a book by Marianne Micks who was, for many years, a member of the faculty of the Episcopal seminary in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

We live in a time of fundamentalism, whether it is liberal fundamentalism or conservative fundamentalism, whether it is materialistic fundamentalism or religious fundamentalism.  Fundamentalists have a hard time with doubt or with ambiguity.  Fundamentalists want things clear and precise.

But faith is not, my sisters and brothers, clear and precise.  Faith is not without its moments of doubt.  Faith is always dealing with ambiguity.  The ambiguity of faith arises from our awareness that we do not know everything.  When we don't know everything, it is important to be careful about what we say and sing.  We want to make sure that we leave space for the Spirit to lead us and, from time to time, correct us.

Faith is about loving the questions and loving the life-long journey of exploration that these questions create.

In keeping with tradition we will recite the Nicene Creed today, an ancient creed that unites Christians throughout the world.  Its words do not always resonate with Christians because of their formality and, at times, philosophical strangeness.  But the Christian leaders who struggled to create this creed were believers just like you and me, believers who loved the questions.  They tried to put into words what they knew about the God in whom they put their trust and, at the same time, to leave some space for the Spirit to lead us ever onward into new insights about the God.

Today, when we celebrate the mystery of God in whom we trust and to whom we give our hearts, these are the questions.

·      Do we put our trust in God the Lover?
·      Do we put our trust in God the Beloved?
·      Do we put our trust in God the Love?

Let us love the questions.  Let us love the journey those questions take us on.  Amen.