Dear All Saints,
I have decided that we should cancel services for tomorrow, March 15th. I am very sorry to do so. The most important thing we do in our lives is worship the Lord, and we do that the best when we come together on Sunday. That being said, it does not seem that it is prudent to do so with the threat of COVID-19 causing such anxiety in the world, the nation and the Commonwealth. Of course, the first thing that comes to our minds as a sacramental church is the risk of contamination and infection in the chalice. This is actually the least of my worries for you. The risk presented by this virus seems to be to anyone who comes into close proximity to anyone who is infected. If that is the case, then we would be at risk to one another even if we met to say Morning Prayer. This makes me very sad, and I will miss seeing each one of you.
In our absence from one another, please mark the day by offering prayers for the leaders of the nation and the world.
A Prayer for the President of the United States, and all in Civil Authority
O LORD, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler
of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all
the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with
thy favour to behold and bless thy servant [N ], our President,
[our Senate and Representatives in Congress assembled],
[N ], the Governor of our State (or Commonwealth), and
all others in authority; and so replenish them with the grace
of thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will,
and walk in thy way. Endue them plenteously with heavenly
gifts; grant them in health and prosperity long to live; and
finally, after this life, to attain everlasting joy and felicity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for the Clergy and People
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, from whom cometh every
good and perfect gift; Send down upon our Bishops,
and other Clergy, and upon the congregations committed
to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and, that
they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual
dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of
our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.
O LORD Jesus Christ, who dost embrace children with the
arms of thy mercy, and dost make them living members
of thy Church; Give them grace, we pray thee, to stand fast in
thy faith, to obey thy word, and to abide in thy love; that, being
made strong by thy Holy Spirit, they may resist temptation
and overcome evil, and may rejoice in the life that now is, and
dwell with thee in the life that is to come; through thy merits,
O merciful Saviour, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost
livest and reignest one God, world without end. Amen.
In Time of Great Sickness and Mortality
O MOST mighty and merciful God, to whom alone
belong the issues of life and death; In this time of
grievous sickness we flee unto thee for relief. Deliver us,
we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to
thy ministers of healing; bless the means of cure; and grant,
that, perceiving how frail is our earthly life, we may apply our
hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal
life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Third Sunday in Lent
WE beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty
desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the
right hand of thy Majesty, to be our defence against all our
enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The first day of Lent,
commonly called Ash Wednesday
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing
that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all
those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and
contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and
acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the
God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle, Ephesians 5.1-14
Ephesians 5 English Standard Version (ESV)
Walk in Love
5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
The Gospel, Luke 11.14-28
Jesus and Beelzebul
14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Return of an Unclean Spirit
24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
If you are feeling ill please give me a call on my phone, 817-253-9993.
God’s blessings on you.