The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany
Laurens, South Carolina
The mission of Church of the Epiphany is to celebrate the light of Jesus Christ, proclaim the Gospel, deepen our faith, nurture and encourage all people
The 20th Sunday after Pentecost, October 22, 2017
This morning’s Instructed Eucharist, covering the second part of the service, the Liturgy of the Table, is intended to give us a greater understanding of the Holy Eucharist, “the principle act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day.”
The word eucharist means thanksgiving. The essence of Christian worship is giving thanks to God for creation and especially for the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.
The early Church established the Eucharist based on Jesus’ actions on the eve of Passover; the annual Jewish celebration commemorating the liberation of the Hebrew people from Egyptian bondage. Moses, at God’s command, told the Hebrews to place the blood of a sacrificial lamb on their doorposts as a sign to God’s avenging angel to pass over their households. Death was visited on the Egyptians and the Hebrew people were freed.
Jesus’ last supper with his disciples before his crucifixion coincided with Passover. The Church proclaims that Jesus is our Passover Lamb, whose death liberates us from bondage to sin. So the Apostle Paul declares: “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.”
At that Passover meal, Jesus took, blessed, and offered to his friends bread and wine; symbols of his coming sacrifice of his body and blood on the cross. Thus, we call the Holy Eucharist a sacrament; the bread and wine being “outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual grace” of communion with God in Christ. Although a bishop or a priest presides at the Eucharist, Jesus is the chief presider and all the people are celebrants.
The Liturgy of the Word
Processional Hymn 544 – Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Opening Acclamation, Book of Common Prayer, page 355
Collect for Purity
Gloria in excelsis – Glory to God in the highest Hymnal 1982, S – 280
Collect of the Day – Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
First Reading – Exodus 33.12-23
The Psalm – 99
Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 1.1-10
Sequence Hymn 493 – O for a thousand tongues to sing
The Gospel – Matthew 22.15-22
Sermon – Of Loyalty & Love
The Nicene Creed, BCP, 358
Prayers of the People, BCP, 392
Confession, BCP, 393
Absolution, BCP, 360
The Holy Communion or the Liturgy of the Table
Narrator: The Offertory Sentence calls us to bring our gifts to the altar. God provides grain and grapes. We produce bread and wine, which we now offer to God that through the Holy Spirit they may become spiritual food and drink. We offer our money as a gift of our life’s labors to support the mission of God’s church.
Presider: Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; bring offerings and come into his courts.
Narrator: The choir sings an anthem. In the words of the hymn, “When in our music God is glorified and adoration leaves no room for pride, it is as though the whole creation cried, ‘Alleluia!’” music is another offering of our praise to God.
The Offertory Anthem – Amazing Grace/Pachelbel’s Canon
Narrator: The altar is prepared. Water is added to the wine, reflecting Jewish tradition meant to promote temperance. Water also is a symbol of baptism.
In the Great Thanksgiving, we pray that Jesus feed us with the spiritual food of his body and blood to strengthen us for the ministry of service in the world. In the Sursum Corda, Latin for “lift up your hearts”, we give voice to this joyful expectation.
Presider: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Presider: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them to the Lord.
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Narrator: The Proper Preface expresses the theme for the season or the day.
Presider: For you are the source of light and life, you made us in your image, and called us to new life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:
Narrator: Thankful for God’s blessings, we sing the Sanctus, Latin for “holy”, joining our voices with the heavenly hosts, who ceaselessly sing God’s praise, followed by the Benedictus, Latin for “blessed.” The crowds in Jerusalem greeted Jesus with these words during his triumphal entry; an event we commemorate on Palm Sunday. So we now, in our anticipation of his coming to us in this sacred supper, sing these words.
All: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven 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.
All may kneel or remain standing.
Narrator: The priest recites the Christian story of God’s love in creation, our disobedience and consequent bondage to sin, and God’s persistent love in offering Jesus to live among us and to die for us to redeem us.
Presider: Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.
Narrator: The priest affirms that Jesus fulfilled the purpose for which he was sent.
Presider: He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.
Narrator: The Words of Institution or Consecration are found in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and in the historically earlier writing of Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.
Presider: On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” After supper, he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, 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. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Narrator: Our redemption by God through Jesus Christ is a mystery; not fully knowable by reason, but believable by faith. In worship, we also recognize that we enter another dimension; stepping out of secular time into God’s time or holy time. In the Memorial Acclamation, we recall the past, claim the present, and hope for the future.
Presider: Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith.
All: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Narrator: The Anamnesis, a Greek word meaning remembrance, connotes something more than recalling a past event, but the calling of the past into the present. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we enter the life of God’s kingdom; not yet fully, but no less truly.
Presider: We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O God, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
Narrator: Remembering Jesus’ redemptive work, in the Oblation we offer the bread and wine to God.
Presider: Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.
Narrator: In the Invocation we ask God to send the Holy Spirit upon the bread and wine that Christ may be present. We also pray that the Spirit strengthen us for continued service, now and unto eternity.
Presider: Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.
Narrator: The Great Thanksgiving concludes with a Doxology, a prayer of praise. The priest elevates the bread and wine symbolizing the completed act of consecration. We respond with the Great Amen; the only “amen” in the Book of Common Prayer that is printed in capital letters. Having participated in the retelling of God’s act of salvation in Jesus Christ, the appropriate response is the assent of a loud “AMEN.”
Presider: All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.
Narrator: The Lord’s Prayer expresses the essence of our being open to God.
Presider: And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by 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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Narrator: The Fraction or the Breaking of the Bread is a visual symbol of Christ’s sacrifice in his body broken on the cross and, in the breaking of the bread to be shared with us, that we are members of his body.
Presider: Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
All: Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.
Narrator: The Invitation welcomes all to receive – and expresses the intent of receiving – Communion.
Presider: The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
Communion is administered.
Communion Hymn 325 – Let us break bread together
Narrator: In the Post-Communion Prayer we again thank God and recall that we have been strengthened for service.
All: Eternal God, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Narrator: The priest pronounces the Blessing, making a sign of the cross; a final reminder of Christ’s sacrifice.
Presider: The blessing of Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be upon you now and always.
Recessional Hymn 522 – Glorious things of thee are spoken
Narrator: The Dismissal declares that the liturgy is complete. We are to go into the world offering our lives in love and service to God and to others.
Presider: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
 The Book of Common Prayer, page 13
 See Exodus 12.
 1 Corinthians 5.7-8
 The Holy Eucharist is known by a variety of titles, each focusing on an aspect of its meaning or arising out of its historical development. The Lord’s Supper affirms that the meal belongs to no Christian assembly, but to Jesus, who offers it to us. The Holy Communion affirms that through this meal we are brought into union with Jesus and one another. The Mass is derived from the Latin dismissal in the Roman Catholic Eucharistic liturgy, “Ite, missa est”, “Go, the mass is ended.” The Divine Liturgy emphasizes that Eucharist is a communal act of God’s people responding to God’s love in Jesus by offering themselves in worship.
 The Book of Common Prayer, The Catechism, The Sacraments, page 857
 The Hymnal 1982, #420, verse 1; words by F. Pratt Green
 Revelation 4.8
 Matthew 21.9, Mark 11.9, Luke 19.38, John 12.13
 Matthew 26.26-28, Mark 14.22-24, Luke 22.19-20
 1 Corinthians 11.23-25