Service for the 3rd Sunday before Lent – 5th February 2023
Welcome to St. Paul’s Athens especially if you are here
for the first time or visiting Athens. After the Liturgy we all gather in the church garden for coffee and refreshments. The presiding priest and preacher is Fr. Leonard. We have a POS so you can make your donation by card. Follow the service sheet online – wifi password gu5uX8mmtgb8egak
Entrance Hymn: 237 Morning has broken
Priest: Blessed be the kingdom of God
All: Now and for ever
Priest: The Lord be with you
All: And also with you
The priest then informally welcomes the people of God and the deacon leads us into Confession.
(A short period of stillness and silence)
All: Father eternal, giver of light and grace, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour, in what we have thought, in what we have said and done, through ignorance, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We have wounded your love, and marred your image in us. We are sorry and ashamed, and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past; and lead us out from darkness to walk as children of light. Amen.
Absolution: Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gloria: 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
Collect: Let us pray (remain standing as the priest prays the Collect of the Day)
Eternal God, whose Son went among the crowds and brought healing with his touch: help us to show his love, in his Church as we gather together, and by our lives as they are transformed into the image of Christ our Lord. Amen.
First Reading (please sit) Isaiah 58, 1-9 (Sarah Norvell)
Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.2 Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. 3 “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? 6 Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
Reader: This is the word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Psalm: (Green Book) 536 The Lord is compassion and love
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 2, 1-12 (Oliver Knight)
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
Reader: This is the word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God
Gospel Hymn 346 City of God
Gospel Reading (all turn towards the gospel book)
Deacon: Alleluia! Speak Lord, for your servant is listening. You have the words of eternal life.
All (sung): Alleluia
Deacon: The Lord be with you
All: and also with you
Deacon: Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew (Matt.5, 13-20)
All: Glory to you, O Lord
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
At end of the gospel
Deacon: This is the gospel of the Lord
All: Praise to you, O Christ. (Sung) Alleluia
Sermon (Please sit) There is a copy available, and on the website (with a podcast also)
Creed (Please stand – note that we omit the ‘Filioque’)
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, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and 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, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who 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.
Intercessions: (kneel or sit) Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer. (Cees van Beek)
Priest: The kingdom of God is a kingdom of justice, love and peace. The peace of the Lord be always with you.
All: And also with you.
Offertory Hymn: 296 Lord enthroned (During this hymn the collection will be taken)
Bread and wine, the offering of the people of God, are presented .
Priest: Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour, and the majesty;
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
All: All things come from you, and of your own do we give you.
The Great Thanksgiving Prayer
(please remain standing for this if you are able)
Priest: The Lord be with you
All: and also with you
Priest: Lift up your hearts
All: We lift them to the Lord
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
All: It is right to give thanks and praise
Priest: Blessed are you, Lord God, our light and our salvation; to you be glory and praise for ever! From the beginning you have created all things and all your works echo the silent music of your praise. In the fullness of time you made us in your image, the crown of all creation. You give us breath and speech that with angels and archangels and all the powers of heaven
we may find a voice to sing your praise:
All: Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might Heav’n 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.
Priest: How wonderful the work of your hands, O Lord! As a mother tenderly gathers her children you embraced a people as your own. When they turned away and rebelled
your love remained steadfast. From them you raised up Jesus our Saviour, born of Mary,
to be the living bread, in whom all our hungers are satisfied. He offered his life for sinners
and with a love stronger than death he opened wide his arms on the cross. On the night before he died, he came to supper with his friends, and taking bread, he gave you thanks.
He broke it and gave it to them, saying: Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me. At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine, he gave you thanks, 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. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
Deacon: Great is the mystery of faith
All: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
Priest: Father, we plead with confidence his sacrifice made once for all on the cross: we remember his dying and rising in glory, and we rejoice that he prays for us at your right hand. Pour out your Holy Spirit as we bring before you these gifts of your creation; may they be for us the body and blood of your dear Son. As we eat and drink these holy things in your presence, form us in the likeness of Christ, and build us into a living temple to your glory. Remember Lord your Church in every land. Reveal her unity, guard her faith, and preserve her in peace with our Bishop Robert and all the congregations of this diocese; bring us all at the last with the Holy Mother of God, Paul, and all the saints to the vision of that eternal splendour for which you have created us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom and with whom and in whom, with all who stand before you earth and heaven, we worship you in songs of everlasting praise;
All: Blessing and honour and glory and power be yours for ever and ever. Amen.
Please kneel or sit as we pray together:
The Lord’s Prayer: (to be prayed in your own first language)
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.
Priest: We break this bread to share in the body of the risen Christ.
All: Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.
Sung: Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us. Jesus bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.
Invitation to Communion
Draw near with faith. Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ which he gave for you and his blood which he shed for you. Eat and drink in remembrance that Christ died for you and feed on him in your hearts in faith with thanksgiving.
All baptized Christians may come forward to receive the body and blood of Christ. If you wish you may receive a blessing. Please let the Sides-people guide you forward.
Communion Hymn: 357 Father, hear the prayer we offer
Post Communion Prayer: Let us pray (please stand)
Priest: Merciful Father, who gave Jesus Christ to be for us the bread of life, that those who come to him should never hunger: draw us to the Lord in faith and love, that we may eat and drink with him at his table in the kingdom, where he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen.
All. We thank you, Lord, that you have fed us in this sacrament, united us with Christ, and given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet prepared for all peoples. Amen.
Notices: see below
Post Communion Hymn: 368 Guide me, O thou great Redeemer
Blessing and Dismissal
Priest: The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be with now and always. Amen.
Deacon: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
All: In the name of Christ. Amen.
Next Week’s Readings: (2nd bef Lent) Gen 1,1 – 2,1; Romans 8, 18-25; Matt 6, 25-end
Fr. Leonard’s usual Days Off – Monday & Tuesday (in emergencies contact Deacon Christine)
Home tel : 210 72 14 906; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Deacon Chris: 22950 53164: Day off- Fridays.
Swedish Church: contact Fr. Bjorn on 694 607 2428
The Anglican Church in Greece (including St. Paul’s) is self- financing, and receives no income other than from the generosity of those who worship here. We are a legal body and we pay tax. Our tax number is 997073090. If you wish to donate direct to our bank (IBAN) the account with Piraeus Bank is: The Anglican Church in Greece, St. Paul’s Athens GR 820172 0500 0050 5008 6327 479 Swift code is PIRB GRAA. Please use our monthly envelope scheme if you can.
- Palm Crosses – please return any Palm Crosses from 2022. These are burned to make the Ash for Ash Wednesday this year.
- Ash Wednesday – Wed 22nd Liturgy at 10.00am
- Confessions – if anyone would like to make a Sacramental Confession before or during Lent, please contact Fr. Leonard.
- Annual Parochial Church Meeting: Sunday 26th March after the Liturgy. Please consider and pray about putting your name forward as a Churchwarden or Council Member. We are particularly keen to elect one Council member with a heart for the environment who could also be our ‘Local Environmental Officer’.
- Electoral Roll Forms are available – if you are regularly at St. Paul’s please complete one of these and hand it in, preferably a couple of weeks before the Annual Meeting.
- Monthly Giving envelopes – it is never too late to join this scheme. Just ask about it.
- Confirmation: The Bishop of Truro will be with us on March 12th for a local programme. There will also be a Confirmation Service. Potential candidates should contact Fr. Leonard
- Coffee Mornings (now on Thursdays!!!): Jan 12th, Feb 9th, March 9th, April 13th, May 11th, June 8th, July 13th. These are in the Swedish Centre (Winter time) or Church Garden (Spring and Summer)
- Quiz Nights – these are monthly. Listen out for the dates!
We are glad to have welcomed you to St Paul’s today but remember you can keep in touch with us wherever you are you are in the world. See our e-mag on the website.