Liturgy of the Word – Sunday 29th August 2021
Welcome to St Paul’s Athens, especially if you are here for the first time or visiting Athens. Deacon Christine leads our worship today, and is the preacher. The hymn is announced from the door.
1 Angel voices ever singing
round Thy throne of light,
angel harps, forever ringing,
rest not day nor night;
thousands only live to bless Thee
and confess thee Lord of might.
2 Thou who art beyond the farthest
mortal eye can scan,
can it be that Thou regardest
songs of sinful man?
Can we feel that Thou art near us
and wilt hear us? Yea, we can.
3 Yea, we know Thy love rejoices
o’er each work of Thine;
Thou didst ears and hands and voices
for Thy praise combine;
craftsman’s art and music’s measure
for Thy pleasure didst design.
4 Here, great God, today we offer
of Thine own to Thee;
and for Thine acceptance proffer,
hearts and minds and hands and voices
in our choicest melody.
5 Honour, glory, might, and merit
Thine shall ever be,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
of the best that Thou hast given
earth and heaven render Thee.
Minister: Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you
All: and also with you.
Minister: O Lord, open our lips
All: and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Minister: Give us the joy of your saving help
All: and sustain us with your life-giving Spirit.
The minister then welcomes people informally.
Prayers of Penitence
Minister: Jesus says, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. So let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.
All: Lord God, we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Minister: May the Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins, and restore us
in his image to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O praise God in his holiness;
praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts;
praise him according to his excellent greatness. [R]
3 Praise him with the blast of the trumpet;
praise him upon the harp and lyre.
4 Praise him with timbrel and dances;
praise him upon the strings and pipe. [R]
5 Praise him with ringing cymbals;
praise him upon the clashing cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath
praise the Lord.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen
First Reading: James 1, 17-end (Lynn Stavrou)
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures. You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
At the end of the reading:
Reader: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
All: Thanks be to God.
Minister: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.
All: And Christ shall give you light.
Minister: You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.
All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.
Minister: Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.
All: And Christ shall give you light.
Minister: When Christ our life appears you will appear with him in glory.
All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.
The Benedictus Luke 1, 68-79 (Please stand to say the canticle together)
- Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who has come to his people and set them free.
- He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour, born of the house of his servant David.
- Through his holy prophets God promised of old to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us,
- To show mercy to our ancestors, and remember your holy covenant.
- This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
- Free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
- And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
- To give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of all their sins.
- In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
- To shine on those who swell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.
Sung: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alelluia
Minister: Alleluia, Alleluia. We do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (Mark 7, 1-8, 14-15, 21-23)
All: Glory to you, O Lord.
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.” Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
(After the Gospel) This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All: Praise to you, O Christ.
Sermon (Please be seated)
The Apostles’ Creed (remain standing)
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Intercessions: Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Collect for any season:
Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands that have taken holy things; may the ears which have heard your word be deaf to clamour and dispute; may the tongues that have proclaimed your praise be free from deceit; may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love shine with the light of hope; and may the bodies that have been fed with Christ, be refreshed with the fullness of your Spirit; glory to you for ever. Amen
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, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Peace (Please stand) The deacon will introduce words for the Peace
Christ is our peace. He has reconciled us to God in one body by the cross. We meet in his name and share his peace.
The peace of the Lord be always with you
All: and also with you
1 Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mothers’ arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.
2 O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
to keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
of this world in the next.
3 All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven
the one eternal God,
whom heaven and earth adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.
Minister: Let us say the Grace together:
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
Notice: On Sunday 5th September I have been invited to conduct the ‘Agiasmos’ ceremony across the road at the Victory at the request of the owners. I hope that the congregation will come across the road for the ceremony, about 11.30, but also buy a coffee or drink afterwards to help the business get back on its feet after these difficult months. It is a good point of co-operation and support. Thanks. Fr. Leonard