Seventh Sunday of Easter One Body

The Seventh Sunday of Easter – One Body
Celebrant: Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward L. Tatro, Jr.

Processional Hymn: In Christ There is No East or West

Celebrant: Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

The Celebrant says: Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then the following may be said: Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
Continue reading “Seventh Sunday of Easter One Body”

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Woman Why Do You Weep?

The Great Easter Mass
Celebrant: Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr.

Easter Fanfare

Processional Hymn: Jesus Christ is Risen Today!

Celebrant: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ the Lord is Risen!
All: The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Continue reading “Woman Why Do You Weep?”

Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Good Friday: Rite II
The Solemn Liturgy
The ministers enter in silence. They prostrate themselves before the altar and pray silently for a space, the congregation kneeling. Then the Ministers rise, and the Celebrant begins the liturgy as follows:

Celebrant: Blessed be our God,
Forever and ever. Amen. Continue reading “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

Maundy Thursday 2019

Maundy Thursday
Celebrant: Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr.

Processional Hymn: Meekness and Majesty

Celebrant: Bless the Lord who forgiveth all our sins;
His mercy endureth forever.

Celebrant: Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Continue reading “Maundy Thursday 2019”

I Want to See Heaven, 5th Sunday of Lent.

The Fifth Sunday of Lent
Celebrant: Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr., D.Div.

Processional Hymn: Forty Days and Forty Nights

Celebrant: Bless the Lord who forgiveth all our sins;
His mercy endureth forever. Continue reading “I Want to See Heaven, 5th Sunday of Lent.”

Laetare Sunday, The Fourth Sunday of Lent

The Fourth Sunday of Lent: Laetare Sunday
Celebrant: +Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr., D.Div.

Processional Hymn: In Christ there is No East or West

Celebrant: Bless the Lord who forgiveth all our sins;
His mercy endureth forever. Continue reading “Laetare Sunday, The Fourth Sunday of Lent”

Finding My Way Back 3rd Sunday of Lent

The Third Sunday in Lent 2019
Celebrant: Archbishop Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr., D.Div.

Processional: Lord Throughout These Forty Days

Bishop: Bless the Lord who forgiveth all our sins ;
His mercy endureth forever.

Bishop: Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Continue reading “Finding My Way Back 3rd Sunday of Lent”

The Last Sunday of Alleluia, Transfiguration Sunday

The Last Sunday of Alleluia, Transfiguration Sunday
Celebrant: Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr., D.Div.
The Responses of the Faithful are in Italics

Processional Hymn: To God Be The Glory

Bishop: Blessed be God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.

The Celebrant says: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through 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.

Kyrie Eleison
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

The Collect:
The Celebrant says to the people: The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.
O God, who before the passion of thy only-begotten Son
didst reveal his glory upon the holy mount: Grant unto us
that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may
be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his
likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ
our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Ministry of the Word

A reading from the Book of Exodus 34:29-35 (NLT):
29When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord. 30So when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him.

31But Moses called out to them and asked Aaron and all the leaders of the community to come over, and he talked with them. 32Then all the people of Israel approached him, and Moses gave them all the instructions the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. 33When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil. 34But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, 35and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord.

Here Endeth the Reading.
Thanks be to God.

The Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 99 (NLT)
1The Lord is king!
Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
Let the whole earth quake!
2The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem,
exalted above all the nations.
3Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Your name is holy!
4Mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
and righteousness throughout Israel.
5Exalt the Lord our God!
Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!
6Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the Lord for help,
and he answered them.
7He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,
and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
8O Lord our God, you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
but you punished them when they went wrong.
9Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
for the Lord our God is holy!

Hymn of Praise: A Mighty Fortress is Our God

A Reading from The Epistle of 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 (NLT)
12Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

16But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

1Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

The Word of the Lord!
Thanks be to God!

Alleluia:

The Bishop [ Priest] moves to the center of the sanctuary and bows toward the altar, saying the following prayer in a low voice.
Almighty God, cleanse my heart and my lips as you purged the lips of Isaiah the Prophet with a live coal; and of your sweet mercy purify me, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

A procession may be formed, and the Celebrant, with assistants, may carry the Gospel book to a place in the center of the church, or other convenient place where it may be heard.

Then, all standing, the Celebrant reads the Gospel, first saying The Holy  Gospel  of our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke 9: 28-43.
Glory to you, Lord Christ.
 28About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. 29And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

32Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. 33As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 34But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them.

35Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” 36When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

37The next day, after they had come down the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus. 38A man in the crowd called out to him, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, my only child. 39An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream. It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It batters him and hardly ever leaves him alone. 40I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

41Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you and put up with you?” Then he said to the man, “Bring your son here.”

42As the boy came forward, the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and healed the boy. Then he gave him back to his father. 43Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God’s power.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Christ.

At the conclusion of the Gospel, the Bishop or Celebrant may kiss the Gospel book. The Bishop or Celebrant, kissing the book, may say: May the words of the Gospel wipe away our sins.

The Master Craftsman
Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr., D.Div.

Today marks the last day of the alleluias until Resurrection Sunday.  We are to be even more reflective of the great sacrifice and great power that is shown to us.  This brings me to my story for today.

The Master Craftsman

One of the greatest ambitions of any violinist is to play a Stradivarius. Meticulously handcrafted by Antonio Stradivari these very rare violins produce an unrivalled sound. So you can imagine the excitement of acclaimed British violinist Peter Cropper when, in 1981 London’s Royal Academy of Music offered him a 258 year old Stradivarius for a series of concerts.

But then the unimaginable. As Peter entered the stage he tripped, landed on top of the violin and snapped the neck off. I can’t even begin to imagine how Peter Cropper felt at that moment. A priceless masterpiece destroyed!

Cropper was inconsolable.  He took the violin to a master craftsman in the vain hope he might be able to repair it. And repair it he did. So perfect was the repair that the break was undetectable, and, more importantly, the sound was exquisite.

The Academy was most gracious and allowed him to continue using the Stradivarius. And so night after night, as Peter drew his bow across those string, Peter was reminded of the fact that what he once thought irreparably damaged had been fully restored by the hand of a Master craftsman.

Celebrant: Let us profess our faith in one voice!

The Nicene Creed:  all standing
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.

The Prayers of the People (Ad Orientem)
Prayer is offered with intercession for
The Universal Church, its members, and its mission
The Nation and all in authority
The welfare of the world
The concerns of the local community
Those who suffer and those in any trouble
The departed (with commemoration of a saint when appropriate)

Any of the forms which follow may be used. Adaptations or insertions suitable to the occasion may be made. Brackets indicate petitions which may be omitted.
The Celebrant may introduce the Prayers with a sentence of invitation related to the occasion, or the season, or the Proper of the Day.

With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy.”

For the peace from above, for the loving kindness of God, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our Bishop, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For this city of Montgomery, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For seasonable weather, and for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who travel on land, on water, or in the air or through outer space], let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy

For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Defend us, deliver us, and in your compassion, protect us, O Lord, by your grace.
Lord, have mercy.

For the petitions we now voice.
Lord, have mercy.

In the communion of all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.
To you, O Lord our God.

Lord, hear the prayers of your people; and what we have asked faithfully, grant that we may obtain effectually, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Almighty God, to whom our needs are known before we ask, help us to ask only what accords with your will; and those good things which we dare not, or in our blindness cannot ask, grant us for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people and strengthen us to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Breath of God

The Eighteenth (18th) Sunday After Pentecost
The Celebration of the Holy Mass Rite I, Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr., Celebrant
The responses of the faithful are in italics. Continue reading “The Breath of God”

Take Up God’s Way

11th Sunday after Pentecost 5 August 2018†Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Celebrant

Processional Hymn: Raining Down Manna
https://youtu.be/HasyjXwUmrg

†Bishop Tatro: Let us Begin all things as we should! Blessed be God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The People: And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.
Continue reading “Take Up God’s Way”

A Joyful Noise

A Joyful Noise

Processional Hymn:

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 42:10 (ESV)
Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.

The Word of the Lord.

Continue reading “A Joyful Noise”

Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Processional Hymn: Veni Sancte Spiritus

Hymn of Testimony

A Reading from the Book of Acts ‭‭2:1-21‬ ‭AMP

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately]. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout and God-fearing men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, a crowd gathered, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing those in the upper room speaking in his own language or dialect. They were completely astonished, saying, “Look! Are not all of these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears in our own language or native dialect? [Among us there are] Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and people of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia [Minor], Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and the visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs–we all hear them speaking in our [native] tongues about the mighty works of God!” And they were beside themselves with amazement and were greatly perplexed, saying one to another, “What could this mean?” But others were laughing and joking and ridiculing them, saying, “They are full of sweet wine and are drunk!” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be explained to you; listen closely and pay attention to what I have to say. These people are not drunk, as you assume, since it is [only] the third hour of the day (9:00 a.m.); but this is [the beginning of] what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘A ND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ says God, ‘T HAT I WILL POUR OUT M Y S PIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; A ND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, A ND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE [divinely prompted] VISIONS, A ND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM [divinely prompted] DREAMS; E VEN ON M Y BOND-SERVANTS, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR OUT M Y S PIRIT And they shall prophesy. ‘A ND I WILL BRING ABOUT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE A ND SIGNS (attesting miracles) ON THE EARTH BELOW, B LOOD AND FIRE AND SMOKING VAPOR. ‘T HE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS A ND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, B EFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD COMES. ‘A ND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] SHALL BE SAVED (rescued spiritually).’”

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The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Letter to the Romans 8:22-27 AMP

“For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons–the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection]. For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure. In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.”

‭‭

The Word of the Lord.

Sequence Hymn:

A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to John 15:26-27, 16:4-15 AMP

““But when the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me. But you will testify also and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

“I have told you these things [now], so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them. I did not say these things to you at the beginning, because I was with you. “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts [and taken complete possession of them]. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned. “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [to hear] them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father–the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future]. He will glorify and honor Me, because He (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is Mine and will disclose it to you.”

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“All things that the Father has are Mine. Because of this I said that He [the Spirit] will take from what is Mine and will reveal it to you.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Happy Pentecost Brothers and Sister. Today we celebrate the birthday of the Church as well as the 20 year of my ordination!

Of course what would my homily be without a story. This story comes from an e-mail I received recently.

“A mother had one last assignment for her sociology class before graduating — to “smile at everyone she meets.”

But after an encounter with two men in McDonald’s she took it one step further. Read her story, that was emailed to us by a reader, below.

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called “Smile.”

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway…..so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s, one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch … an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible “dirty body” smell…and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was “smiling.” His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance.

He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears….as I stood There with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, “Coffee is all Miss” because that was all they could afford to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something…he just wanted to be warm. Then I really felt it…the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me…judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman’s cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you.” I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “God is here working through me to give you hope.”

I walked in tears to join my husband and son.

When I sat down my husband smiled at me. We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not churchgoers but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.

I turned in “my project” and the instructor read it….then she looked up at me and said, “Can I share this?”

I slowly nodded and she read it to the class.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn….UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Much love and compassion sent to each and every person who may read this.

Learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS – NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.”

Source: Adam East at Bored Daddy

This Holy Pentecost take the lesson from the mother in my story. The language of love and kindness needs no translation, people of all languages can speak and understand it!

The Tomb is Empty!

The Tomb is Empty Easter 2018

Let the Alleluias echo throughout the land!

Introit: I have risen, and am present with thee, alleluia; thou hast laid thine hand upon me, alleluia; such knowledge is too wonderful for me, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. O Lord, thou hast searched me out and known me; thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising.

Processional Hymn: Jesus Christ is Risen Today

Celebrant: Alleluia Christ is Risen!
All: The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia; to him be glory and dominion forever, world without end. O sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvellous things.

Hymn: All Laud and Honor

Celebrant: The Lord is risen from the tomb, alleluia!
Who for our sake hung upon the tree, alleluia!

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Most gracious God, as we have been baptised into the death of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, grant in thy mercy that we, being dead to sin, may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass with him unto newness of life; for his sake, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Celebrant: Tell it out among the heathen, alleluia!
That the Lord hath reigned from the tree, alleluia.

Hymn: The Strife is O’er

Celebrant: Let Us Pray
O God, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis

Collect: Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 25:6-9 ESV
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
7 And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
9 It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

The Word of the Lord!

Psalm: 118: 1-2, 14-24 ESV
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the LORD exalts,
the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the LORD.
18 The LORD has disciplined me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.[a]
23 This is the LORD’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians: 15:1-11
Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Word of the Lord!

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John 20:1-18
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus'[a] head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,[b] “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

The Gospel of the Lord Alleluia!

Hymn: Up from the Grave

The Tomb is Empty!
Bishop Edward L. Tatro, Jr.

Don’t be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand! Christ died on Calvary and was resurrected so we can have a firm foundation in Him! I am here to declare to you my brothers and sisters that the Tomb is empty, and the Victory won! Jesus our Christ is Risen! Jesus won the battle over sin and death, he is our Victor!

We all know that I’m a story teller and today will be no different. Today we will look at Easter through the eyes of a special 8-year-old. I want to tell the story of Phillip’s Egg.

Philip was born with Downs Syndrome. He was a pleasant child, happy it seemed, but increasingly aware of the difference between himself and other children. Philip went to Sunday School faithfully every week. He was in the third-grade class with nine other eight-year olds.

You know eight-year olds. And Philip, with his differences, was not readily accepted. But his teacher was sensitive to Philip and he helped this group of eight-year olds to love each other as best they could, under the circumstances. They learned, they laughed, they played together. And they really cared about one another, even though eight-year olds don’t say they care about one another out loud.

But don’t forget. There was an exception to all this. Philip was not really a part of the group. Philip did not choose, nor did he want to be different. He just was. And that was the way things were.

His teacher had a marvelous idea for his class for Easter. You know those things that pantyhose come in . . . the containers that look like great big eggs? The teacher collected ten of them. The children loved it when he brought them into the room and gave one to each child. It was a beautiful spring day, and the assignment was for each child to go outside, find the symbol for new life, put it into the egg, and bring it back to the classroom They would then open and share their new life symbols and surprises, one by one.

It was glorious. It was confusing. It was wild. They ran all around the church grounds, gathering their symbols, and returned to the classroom.

They put all the eggs on a table, and then the teacher began to open them. All the children gathered around the table. He opened one and there was a flower, and they ooh-ed and aah-ed. He opened another and there was a little butterfly. “Beautiful!” the girls all said, since it is hard for eight-year old boys to say ‘beautiful.’ He opened another and there was a rock. And as third-graders will, some laughed, and some said, “That’s crazy! How’s a rock supposed to be like new life?” But the smart little boy who’d put it in ther spoke up: “That’s mine. And I knew all of you would get flowers and buds and leaves and butterflies and stuff like that. So I got a rock because I wanted to be different. And for me, that’s new life.” They all laughed.

The teacher said something about the wisdom of eight-year olds and opened the next one. There was nothing inside. The children, as eight-year olds will, said, “That’s not fair. That’s stupid! Somebody didn’t do it right.”

Then the teacher felt a tug on his shirt, and he looked down. “It’s mine, Philip said. It’s mine.”

And the children said, “You don’t ever do things right, Philip. There’s nothing there!”
“I did so do it right!” Philip said. “I did do it right. The tomb is empty!”

There was silence, a very full silence. And for you people who don’t believe in miracles, I want to tell you that one happened that day. From that time on, it was different. Philip suddenly became a part of that group of eight-year old children. They took him in. He was set free from the tomb of his differentness.

Philip died last summer. His family had known since the time he was born that he wouldn’t live out a full life span. Many other things were wrong with his little body. And so, late last July, with an infection that most normal children could have quickly shrugged off, Philip died.

At his memorial service, nine eight-year old children marched up to the altar, not with flowers to cover over the stark reality of death . . . but nine eight-year olds, along with their Sunday School teacher, marched right up to that altar, and laid on it an empty egg . . . an empty, old, discarded pantyhose egg.

And the tomb is empty!

So, on this glorious and sacred Easter Morning I declare the Tomb Empty and that our Salvation is won! In the words of our special friend I say We did it! By merit of our Baptism and faith we survived our journey of Lent and have died on the cross on Holy Friday and today we Rose again with Jesus and our tomb is Empty!

And all God’s Victorious Church say:
AMEN!

Hymn: Onward Christian Solider

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Come ye sinners to the Holy Altar and confess your sins and prepare your hearts and souls to receive the Resurrected Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Holy Communion Hymn:

Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Post Communion Collect: We beseech thee, O Lord, pour into our hearts the love of thy Holy Spirit; that as thou hast now filled us with this Paschal Sacrament, so thou wouldst make us to grow in all godly concord; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Solemn Blessing: May Almighty God, who has redeemed us and made us his children through the resurrection of his Son our Lord, bestow upon you the riches of his blessing. Amen.

May God, who through the water of baptism has raised us from sin into newness of life, make you holy and worthy to be united with Christ forever. Amen.

May God, who has brought us out of bondage to sin into true and lasting freedom in the Redeemer, bring you to your eternal inheritance. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you, and remain with you forever . Amen.

Go now our Mass has ended rejoice in the risen Lord! Alleluia!

Recessional Hymn: