April 25, 2021 Fourth Sunday of Easter

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

April 25, 2021 | 10 a.m.

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church | Williamsburg VA

The Word of God

Opening Hymn     Christ is alive

            1   Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.  His cross stands empty to the sky.

                  Let streets and homes with praises ring.  His love in death shall never die.

            2   Not throned above, remotely high, Untouched, unmoved by human pains

                  But daily, in the midst of life, Our Savior, with the Father reigns.

Opening Acclamation          

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

The Collect for Purity                                                                                       Book of Common Prayer, p. 355

Song of Praise

God’s Paschal Lamb is sacrificed for us.  Therefore with joy we keep the Easter feast;

Forsaking sin, we share the bread of truth.  Alleluia, alleluia!    

The Collect of the Day                                       

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.  Let us pray.

O, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The First Reading     Acts 4:5-12      

The rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is

`the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”     The Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

Psalm 23   (sung)

My Shepherd will supply my need: Jehovah is His Name;

In pastures fresh He makes me feed, beside the living stream.

He brings my wandering spirit back, when I forsake His ways,

And leads me, for His mercy’s sake, in paths of truth and grace. 

Psalm (cont.)

When I walk through the shades of death, thy presence is my stay;  one word of thy supporting breath drives all my fears away.  Thy hand, in sight of all my foes, doth still my table spread;   my cup with blessings overflows, thy oil anoints my head.  

The Second Reading     1 John 3:16-24

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us– and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

The Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Acclamation     Celtic Alleluia

The Gospel     John 10:11-18

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.  Glory to you, O Christ. 

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

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

The Sermon                                                                                                    The Rev. Lisa Green

A period of silence follows the sermon.

The Nicene Creed    

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that 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 for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Prayers of the People

Let us pause in silence to gather our burdens and concerns and bring them together into the burdens and concerns of God’s heart.  Silence

Let us pray with confidence to the One who made the heavens and the earth, saying,

God our Creator, hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray in thanksgiving for Mother Earth in whom all life is rooted, Brother Sun whose energy radiates life, Sister Water who nurtures and revives us, and co-creatures with whom we live, and for whom we are called to till and keep this garden.  God our Creator, hear our prayer.

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as your family, harming no one. God our Creator, hear our prayer.

O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this Earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the Earth.  God our Creator, hear our prayer.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. God our Creator, hear our prayer.

We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.  God our Creator, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who need the healing touch of Jesus, especially Marian, Joyce, Meggie, Amelie and Dick, Patricia, Barbara, Spencer, Ken, Cornelius, Ione, Tom, Tony and Anna.  We pray for St. Vincent’s School in Haiti, and all students, teachers, and parents. We give thanks for the medical workers and scientists working to end the pandemic, and we pray for all those most affected by it.  God our Creator, hear our prayer.

Finally in a moment of quiet, let each of us bring our own cares and needs before our loving God.

Silence.  God our Creator, hear our prayer.

The Peace and Announcements

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

The Holy Communion

The Offertory                                                                                                                   

The Great Thanksgiving     Eucharistic Prayer A                             

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 God thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. But chiefly are we bound to praise you for the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; for he is the true Paschal Lamb, who was sacrificed for us, and has taken away the sin of the world. By his death he has destroyed death, and by his rising to life again he has won for us everlasting life. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power, God of 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.  Hosanna in the highest.

Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all. He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer                                                                      

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy 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 lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Breaking of Bread

Alleluia.  Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.  Alleluia.

Communion Hymn     God of the sparrow

God of the sparrow, God of the whale, God of the swirling stars,                                     How does the creature say Awe,   How does the creature say Praise

God of the earthquake, God of the storm, God of the trumpet blast,  How does the creature cry Woe,  How does the creature cry Save

God of the rainbow, God of the cross, God of the empty grave How does the creature say Grace,  How does the creature say Thanks

The Post-Communion Prayer         

Creator God, you set the tree of life at the heart of the earthly paradise, and the bread of life at the heart of your Church. Grant that we who have been nourished at this table may ever strive to work for the good of all creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

The Closing Hymn     All creatures of our God and King

 1   All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voices, let us sing:  Alleluia, alleluia

        Bright burning sun with golden beams, pale silver moon that gently gleams,

    Refrain:  O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

 2    Great rushing winds and breezes soft, you clouds that ride the heavens aloft, O praise

   him, Alleluia!

Fair rising morn, with praise rejoice, stars nightly shining, find a voice,

    Refrain: O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Dismissal

Alleluia! Alleluia!  Let us go forth in the name of the Risen Christ.

Thanks be to God.  Alleluia, alleluia!

The flowers on the altar are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Earl and Dottie Smith.

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