November 27, 2022

The First Sunday of Advent always marks the beginning of a new church year. We are on a three-year lectionary cycle, meaning we read Scripture from the Old testament, the psalms, the New Testament, and a Gospel every Sunday. Each year the Gospel focus is from a particular Gospel—this year we enter year A meaning the Gospel of Matthew. (Year B is Mark and Year C is Luke). We share this way of reading Scripture with the Catholic Church, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ and the Mennonites. 

Artist, Karen Kelly
St. Matthew’s is a parish of the Diocese of Louisiana
The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.  Bishop
The Rev. Canon Shannon Duckworth, Bishop-Elect 

From the Senior Warden:

Welcome to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. What a joy it is to have you with us here today! We pray by grace you will find your soul refreshed and your spirit renewed as we hear God’s word, give thanks and receive the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. 

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Rob Alexander, Senior Warden

Dr. Rob AlexanderSenior Warden
David WestMusic Minister
Courtney Rulf  Youth Christian Formation
Erica PolkOffice Manager


To help everyone more fully participate in the worship service:

*A gentle reminder to please silence your cell phones.
*Your parts are printed in bold.
*Come to the Lord’s Table.
*If you wish to receive Communion: Please do come forward. (we will bring communion to you if you are unable to come forward).
*Extend your hands, palms up to receive the bread. All are welcome.
*A special bulletin (and crayons) is available for children on the table at the entrance.

Music used with permission of License CCLI:2542584

Happy Birthday—Florence Henry, Norma Hensley, Hali Theriot
Happy Anniversary—Mike and Shanna Himel


Andrèe, Jay, Norma, Sybil, Lydicia, Jere and Emilie, Shirley, Lona and Sidney, Earl, Bonnie, Jamie, AnnaBelle, Betty, Kim, Jane, Ursula, Randy, Earl, Gerard, Al, Matt & Miles, Stella, Alex, and Legion Park School.  We give thanks and pray for St. Matthew’s Episcopal School, Head of School, Thomas Souldelier, members of the Board,  faculty, staff and students, our Parish Vestry and Search Committee. 

We Gather in the Name of God


Hymn in Procession   
I rejoiced when I heard them say

Based on Psalm 122; Music & Words, Bernadette Farrell

Blessed are you, holy and living One.

You come to your people and set them free

The Lighting of the Advent Candle 

Holy God, enflamed by your expectant love, we gather, willing to be stilled, yet willing to be moved. We come, so our lives might continue to be enlarged by you in greater fullness, kindness, and joy for the living.

We light the first candle of Advent to remind us that your desire is for us to live in peace. O God, as we travel through Advent, give us courage to spread peace in the world. Amen.

Hymn of Praise   O come, O come, Emmanuel   Veni, veni Emmanuel

Words: Latin, ca. 9th cent; Music: Plainsong, Mode 1, Processonale, 15th cent

The Collect for the First Sunday of Advent
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah 2:1-5

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.

Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’

For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 122: Bold parts said by all, regular print by women, italics by men.

  • I was glad when they said to me, * “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
  • Now our feet are standing * within your gates, O Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem is built as a city * that is at unity with itself;
  • To which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, * the assembly of Israel, to praise the Name of the Lord.
  • For there are the thrones of judgment, * the thrones of the house of David.
  • Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: * “May they prosper who love you.
  • Peace be within your walls * and quietness within your towers.
  • For my brethren and companions’ sake, * I pray for your prosperity.
  • Because of the house of the Lord our God, * I will seek to do you good.”

A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans 13:11-14

You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.  For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not  in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.  Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

We greet the Gospel by singing Isaiah the Prophet     Judas and Mary  Words: Joy F. Patterson (b.1931) Music: Sidney Carter (1915-2004 )

The Holy Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ According to  Matthew

Glory to you, Lord Christ

Jesus said to the disciples, “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you Lord Christ

The HomilyThe Rev. Gigi Conner

We Affirm Our Faith Together

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.

We Pray for the Church and the World

God of promises, in your coming among us, you want to shape us into a people of hope, peace, joy, and love.    

We pray in your name for your guidance and wisdom.

You came among us as Christ, to show us how to live your way of love and truth.

May we follow where he leads—and always speak truth in love,

As a community of faithful people, we strive to speak your language of love and acceptance.

May we continually unlock the doors of our hearts and minds to those  most in need.

We pray for those whose hearts are troubled, who find this time of year to be difficult.

May they find support in our care.

We pray for the leaders of all peoples that they may work to transform swords into ploughshares.

May we all turn our attention from war and the destruction of bodies and souls to peace.

We commend to God’s care those who have died:  those who have been killed or harmed because of war;  those who have died in the service of this country; and those we love but see no more.  

May all find comfort in the ever-open and all encompassing love of God.

Remembering December 1,  which is designated as World  AIDs  Day, we  pray for the 36.7 million people  who are living with HIV/AIDs,  for those who have died because of  it,  and for those countries where it  impacts populations as an epidemic. We remember also all who have died because if the COVID epidemic. 

We give thanks for those who continue to work for cures to bring an end to all epidemics.

We pray for the ability and wisdom to have a better acceptance of those who differ from our beliefs.

May we not throw stones in conflict but find ways to work together to proclaim the mighty works of God.

In this time of promise, we acknowledge that often we have  acted in ways that deny hope,  ignored the wisdom of others’ paths of belief,  disrupted the rhythms of other cultures and communities, and  put down the gifts of people  who differed from us.  Open our hearts, O God and let  your Spirit of mercy rest within us. 

We pray for those in our parish who are in need of comfort and support and we give thanks for those who teach and learn in our school: …………………………………………..

Lord, hear our prayers, and if today we might be the means by which you answer the prayers of others, then may you find us eager and dedicated to fulfill your purpose.

Lord Jesus, you told great stories which fed people and revealed God in ordinary things and helped people make sense of their lives. Make us more ready to share our own stories by giving us words where we are tongue-tied, confidence to know our stories matter, tact to know the right place to tell them and,  most importantly, make us ready to listen to the stories of others. Amen.

 The Confession

 Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor

God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created.  We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf.  Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.

The Absolution

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.

We Exchange the Peace

The Peace of the Lord be always with you. 

And also with you.

Announcements – Birthdays, Anniversaries

We Set the Table

As the gifts of bread and wine and our offerings are  brought forward we sing 

The Offertory   All We Long for is a Home

Words and Music:  Trisha Watts © 2005 Trisha Watts, Willow Publishing Ltd.

We Celebrate the Eucharist

The Great Thanksgiving :  Eucharistic Prayer 2-Enriching Our Worship

The Lord be with you. 

And also with you.

 Lift up your hearts.    

 We lift them to the Lord.

 Let us give thanks to the Lord our God, 

It is right to give God thanks and praise.

We praise you and we bless you, holy and gracious God, source of life abundant. From before time you made ready the creation. Your Spirit moved over the deep and brought all things into being: sun, moon, and stars; earth, winds, and waters; and every living thing.

You made us in your image, and taught us to walk in your ways. But we rebelled against you, and wandered far away; and yet, as a mother cares for her children, you would not forget us.

Time and again you called us to live in the fullness of your love. And so this day we join with Saints and Angels in the chorus of praise that rings through eternity, lifting our voices to magnify you as we sing:

Glory and honor and praise to you, holy and living God.  To deliver us from the power of sin and death and to reveal the riches of your grace, you looked with favor upon Mary, your willing servant, that she might conceive and bear a son, Jesus the holy child of God.

Living among us, Jesus loved us. He broke bread with outcasts and sinners, healed the sick, and proclaimed good news to the poor.

He yearned to draw all the world to himself, yet we were heedless of his call to walk in love.

Then the time came for him to complete upon the cross the sacrifice of his life, and to be glorified by you. On the night before he died for us, Jesus was at table with his friends. He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to them, and said: “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” <bells ring>

As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine. Again he gave thanks to you, gave it to them, and said: “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.” <bells ring>

Now gathered at your table, O God of all creation, and remembering Christ crucified and risen, who was and is and is to come, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine, and ourselves, a living sacrifice.

Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Body and blood of Christ. Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation, the Body of Christ given for the world you have made.

In the fullness of time bring us, with all your saints, from every tribe and language and people and nation, to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say

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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

We Break the Bread

Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

The Communion of the People

 All who seek God and a deeper life in Christ are welcome to receive Holy Communion.

Communion Hymn         Christ be Our Light       Bernadette Farrell 

“Christ be Our Light,” Bernadette Farrell        

The Post Communion Prayer

Almighty and everliving God, we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom. And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

The Blessing

Beloved, remember that life is short, and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us. So be quick to love, quicker still to forgive. Always show kindness to strangers. And may the blessing of God Almighty, Father Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and forever. Amen

Hymn in Procession             
Signs of endings                             Ton-y-Botel

Words & Music: Thomas John Williams (1869-1944)

We Are Sent Out Into the World

Let us go forth, rejoicing in the power of  the Spirit.

Thanks be to God.

Sharing in the hospitality of Christ continues after this service with  refreshments in the Parish Hall—go through the door to the left of the pulpit. Please do join us for conversation and coffee.

Liturgical Notes: Throughout the generations God has sent the message of peace and reconciliation in the words of the prophets, in parable, in history and in nature, revealing  a loving intent towards humankind.  Finally, in due time, God sent Jesus into the world to demonstrate in human terms God’s way of living and loving. 

The First Sunday of Advent always marks the beginning of a new church year. We are on a three-year lectionary cycle, meaning we read Scripture from the Old testament, the psalms, the New Testament, and a Gospel every Sunday. Each year the Gospel focus is from a particular Gospel—this year we enter year A meaning the Gospel of Matthew. (Year B is Mark and Year C is Luke). We share this way of reading Scripture with the Catholic Church, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ and the Mennonites. 

The hymn at the Offertory helps us to remember the struggles of the people living in the Ukraine and all people who need safety and shelter.