July 12, 2020: The Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

Prelude: “Andante Cantabile” – Peter Tschaikowsky

The Opening Hymn: Hymn 440; Blessed Jesus At Thy Word

Blessed Jesus, at thy word we are gathered all to hear thee;
let our hearts and souls be stirred now to seek and love and fear thee;
by thy teachings pure and holy, drawn from earth to love thee solely.
All our knowledge, sense, and sight lie in deepest darkness shrouded, till thy Spirit breaks our night with the beams of truth unclouded;
thou alone to God canst win us; thou must work all good within us.
Gracious Lord, thyself impart!
Light of Light, from God proceeding, open thou our ears and heart, help us by thy Spirit’s pleading.
Hear the cry thy Church upraises; hear, and bless our prayers and praises.

Leader:  Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People:  And blessed be God’s kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you 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.

God of all power and love, we give thanks for your unfailing presence and the hope you provide in times of uncertainty and loss. Send your Holy Spirit to enkindle in us your holy fire. Revive us to live as Christ’s body in the world: a people who pray, worship, learn, break bread, share life, heal neighbors, bear good news, seek justice, rest and grow in the Spirit. Wherever and however we gather, unite us in common prayer and send us in common mission, that we and the whole creation might be restored and renewed, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Let us pray.

The Collect of the Day
All together
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Lessons

Isaiah 55:10-13
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

The Word of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God.

Psalm 65:9-14

9 You visit the earth and water it abundantly;
you make it very plenteous; *
the river of God is full of water.

10 You prepare the grain, *
for so you provide for the earth.

11 You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; *
with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase.

12 You crown the year with your goodness, *
and your paths overflow with plenty.

13 May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, *
and the hills be clothed with joy.

14 May the meadows cover themselves with flocks,
and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; *
let them shout for joy and sing.

Romans 8:1-11
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law– indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Hymn: Hymn 632; O Christ, the Word Incarnate


O Christ, the Word Incarnate, O Wisdom from on high, O Truth, unchanged, unchanging, O Light of our dark sky; we praise thee for the radiance that from the scripture’s page, a lantern to our footsteps, shines on from age to age.
The Church from our dear Master received the word divine, and still that light is lifted o’er all the earth to shine.  It is the chart and compass that o’er life’s surging sea, mid mists and rocks and quicksands, still guides, O Christ, to thee.
O make thy Church, dear Savior, a lamp of purest gold, to bear before the nations thy true light as of old; O teach thy wandering pilgrims by this their path to trace, till, clouds and darkness ended, they see thee face to face.

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

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon: The Reverend Lois Keen

Interlude: “Lord, Let My Heart be Good Soil” – Handt Hanson

Lord, let my heart be good soil, open to the seed of your word.  Lord, let my heart be good soil, where love can grow and peace is understood.

When my heart is hard, break the stone away.  When my heart is cold, warm it with the day.  When my heart is lost, lead me on your way.

Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart be good soil.

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 Litany during a Pandemic

God the Father,
Have mercy upon us.

God the Son,
Have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy upon us.

Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy upon us.

Spare us, good Lord, spare your people, whom you have redeemed with your most precious blood, and by your mercy preserve us through this crisis, and for ever.

Spare us, good Lord.
From all evil and wickedness, from disease and illness, especially this coronavirus,

Good Lord, deliver us.
From all ignorance and apathy and from all willingness to engage in activities that could harm others,

Good Lord, deliver us.
From all blindness of heart, from pride and a sense of invincibility,

Good Lord, deliver us.
We your children beseech you to hear us, O Lord God, to look upon this world struck by pandemic, and drive from us this disease.

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to strengthen the weak, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to give health and comfort to all who are already stricken with illness,

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to give patience and grace to all those who are in quarantine or who fear that they have already contracted the virus,

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to surround with your love those who are fearful or overcome with anxiety and worry,

We beseech you to hear us, Good Lord.
That it may please you to give wisdom and stamina to all who are working on tests, vaccines, and treatments,

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to uphold, strengthen, and protect all those who are treating and ministering to the sick,

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That is may please you to give to your people a heart to love their neighbor and to look after those who are most vulnerable.

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to support, help, and comfort those who are concerned about finances and employment,

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to help students whose schools are closed grow in wisdom and knowledge and to give their teachers creativity and perseverance,

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to heal the sick, lift up the stricken and east their breathing,

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to receive into your bosom those who have died and embrace those who are grieving,

We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
Son of God, we beseech you to hear us.

Son of God, we beseech you to hear us.
O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

Have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

Have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

Grant us your peace.
[Litany by Fr. Rick, Rector of St. Mark’s, Basking Ridge, NJ, adapted. Used with permission.]

Let us pray for our own needs and those of others, praying especially for Deirdre, Becky, Chris, Nicole, Laura, Mary, Joseph, Tammy, Roger, Sue, Eileen, Doris, David and Cindi, give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people, and strengthen us to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Together we pray
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Silence may be kept.

All together
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

The Leader says:
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen

The Peace
The Leader says to the people: The peace of the Lord is always with you.
People: And also with you.

Offertory Sentence
Through Christ let us continually offer to God the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his Name. But do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:15,16)

The Closing Hymn: Hymn 645; The King of love my Shepherd is


The King of love my shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never; I nothing lack if I am his, and he is mine for ever. 
Where streams of living water flow,  my ransomed soul he leadeth, and where the verdant pastures grow, with food celestial feedeth. 
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, but yet in love He sought me, and on his shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me. 
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill with thee, dear Lord, beside me; thy rod and staff my comfort still, thy cross before to guide me. 
Thou spread’st a table in my sight; thy unction grace bestoweth; and O what transport of delight from thy pure chalice floweth! 
And so through all the length of days thy goodness faileth never:  Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise within thy house for ever.

The Blessing
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant: Make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  And the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with us all today and always. Amen.

Postlude: “Rondeau” – Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg

Thank you for joining us in sharing this remote worship.

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  1. Thanks be to God for all those involved in putting this service together and keeping our hearts strong in Faith.

    Be safe and Blessed,

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