August 16, 2020: The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Prelude: “Theme from Symphony No. 5” – Ludwig van Beethoven
The Opening Hymn:
Hymn #371 ; Thou Whose Almighty Word
1, Thou, whose almighty word chaos and darkness heard, and took their flight;
hear us, we humbly pray, and where the Gospel day sheds not its glorious ray, let there be light!
2. Thou who didst come to bring on thy redeeming wing healing and sight,
health to the sick in mind, sight to the inly blind, now to all humankind, let there be light!
3. Spirit of truth and love, life-giving, holy Dove, speed forth thy flight!
Move on the water’s face bearing the gifts of grace, and, in earth’s darkest place, let there be light!
4. Holy and blessed Three, glorious Trinity, wisdom, love, might; 
boundless as ocean’s tide, rolling in fullest pride, through the world far and wide, let there be light!
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.
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. 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

A reading from Isaiah 56:1,6-8
Thus says the Lord: Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant– these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.
The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
Psalm 67
1 May God be merciful to us and bless us, *
show us the light of his countenance and come to us.
2 Let your ways be known upon earth, *
your saving health among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, *
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide all the nations upon earth.
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.
6 The earth has brought forth her increase; *
may God, our own God, give us his blessing.
7 May God give us his blessing, *
and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him.
A reading from Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.
The Gospel Hymn:
Hymn #542; Christ is the World’s True Light


1. Christ is the world’s true Light, its Captain of salvation, the Daystar clear and bright of every race and nation. New life, new hope awakes, for all who own his sway. Freedom her bondage breaks, and night is turned to day.
2. In Christ all races meet, their ancient feuds forgetting, the whole round world complete, from sunrise to its setting. When Christ is throned as Lord, all shall forsake their fear, to ploughshare beat the sword, to pruning hook the spear.
3. One Lord, in one great Name unite us all who own thee; cast out our pride and shame that hinder to enthrone thee. The world has waited long, has travailed long in pain. To heal its ancient wrong, come, Prince of Peace, and reign.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
People: Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28
[Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”]
Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, Lord Christ.
A message from The Reverend Lois Keen
Interlude: “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” – Calvin Hampton
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. [The people add their intercessions and thanksgivings.]
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 #544; Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun
The Blessing
The Peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God.  And the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with us all today and always. Amen.
Postlude: “L’Auguste” – C.P.E. Bach

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