Abba the Greatest Father

A Service for Fathers’ Day
Note Bene: Today’s Readings are not based on the Lectionary for this day.

Processional Hymn:

Greeting:
Let Us Begin all things as we should. In the Name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you
All: and with thy spirit.

See what love the Father has given us,
that we should be called the children of God.
You are my sons and daughters,
this day I have begotten you.
See what love the Father has given us.
As many as received him,
to them he gave power to become the children of God.
See what love the Father has given us.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
See what love the Father has given us,
that we should be called the children of God.

The Collect
Loving God, Heavenly Father, we thank you for fathers. We thank you for biological fathers, adopted fathers, and fathers in spirit. We thank you for fathers who love and nurture children who are not their own, who teach us to be upright and courageous in adversity and make us strong enough to go out into the world.

We thank you for fathers who work hard every day to help fulfill the needs of their families, who fix broken things and teach us how to do it ourselves, who embrace us and guide us, who love us even when they don’t understand us. We know they reflect and embody your love for us as our heavenly Father.

Comfort those of us who miss our fathers this day, and strengthen and bless those fathers who work so hard to love, protect, and nurture their families this day and every day. Amen.

A READING FROM HOSEA 11:1-4

1“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and I called my son out of Egypt.
2But the more I called to him,
the farther he moved from me,
offering sacrifices to the images of Baal
and burning incense to idols.
3I myself taught Israel how to walk,
leading him along by the hand.
But he doesn’t know or even care
that it was I who took care of him.
4I led Israel along
with my ropes of kindness and love.
I lifted the yoke from his neck,
and I myself stooped to feed him.

V. This is the Word of the Lord
R. Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

We will say the Psalm in alternating verse.
Psalm 100
1 Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; *
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.
2 Know this: The Lord himself is God; *
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
3 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise; *
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
4 For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting; *
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

A READING FROM EPHESIANS 6:1-4,10-12

1Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
10A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

V. This is the Word of the Lord
R. Thanks be to God.

Sequence Hymn:

A Reading from the Most Holy Gospel According to Luke.
11And He said, “A man had two sons. 12“The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13“And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14“Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15“So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16“And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17“But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26“And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27“And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28“But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29“But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31“And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

V. The Gospel of the Lord!
R. Praise to you Lord Christ!


The Greatest Father

Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr.

I’m going to tell you a story I’ve told before. A story about a father and a son.

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.

The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.
The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. “Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.”

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding with this picture of the son.

Who will bid for this picture?”

There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”

But the auctioneer persisted, “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?”

Another voice shouted angrily, “We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids! “But still the auctioneer continued, “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

“We have $10, who will bid $20?” “Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.” “$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?” The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!

A man sitting on the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!”
The auctioneer laid down his gavel, “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”

“What about the paintings?”

“I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!”

God gave his Son 1,987 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, “The Son, the Son, who’ll take the Son?” Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

“The parable of the prodigal son shows the nature of repentance, and the Lord’s readiness to welcome and bless all who return to him.” God our Father or as our beloved Savior called Him, Abba, showed us how much He loves us by sending His Son, to die on the Cross for our sins. So, I say to you all: The Son, THE SON, Who Will Take The Son? For those that take the Son, get to the Father as well.

Offertory Hymn:

To all the Dad’s from my family to you a Happy Father’s Day.

Recessional Hymn:

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About Padre Tatro

I'm an ordained Byzantine-Anglican priest and a consecrated bishop, as well as a mental health professional. I also have Fibromyalgia and I am an Amateur Radio Operator. My call sign is KC1FLG.
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One Response to Abba the Greatest Father

  1. Padre Tatro, Your Father’s Day service is a blessing to all fathers. The scripture readings & musical selections so impeccably chosen as you always manage to do. And your Homely story, though told before, never will grow old. What an impact on all father’s & the message to accept Jesus as God’s Son! Thank you, Padre. Phil

    Liked by 1 person

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