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.

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Behold My Beloved Son

The Second Sunday of Lent

The Transfiguration by Raphel

From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, hear him.

Silently, in the presence of our Lord, review and renew your Lenten resolutions today and: “May the fire of your love not be a will-ó-the-wisp, a vain fire, an illusion—an illusion of fire, which neither enkindles what it touches nor gives any heat” (The Way, no. 412).

A Reading from the Book of Genesis
The LORD said to Abram:
“Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.

“I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you.”

Abram went as the LORD directed him.
The Word of the Lord!

The Responsorial Psalm
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

A Reading from the Epistle of 2 Timothy
Beloved:
Bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

He saved us and called us to a holy life,
not according to our works
but according to his own design
and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but now made manifest
through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus,
who destroyed death and brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel.
The Word of the Lord!
 

A Reading from the Most Holy Gospel of Matthew
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
The Gospel of the Lord!

In verse 3 we see the appearance of Moses and Elijah.  This signifies that he Law of the Prophets support Jesus in His redemptive mission.  Verse 5 with the repeated affirmation of our Heavenly Father of Jesus’ redemptive mission commands the disciples to accept Jesus’ instructions about His suffering.  The secrecy charge of verse 9 is to be suspended after the Great Resurrection when the others will more fully understand Jesus and His mission.

“Now the disciples beheld somewhat of Christ’s glory, as of the only begotten of the Father. It was intended to support their faith, when they would have to witness his crucifixion; and would give them an idea of the glory prepared for them, when changed by his power and made like him. The apostles were overcome by the glorious sight. Peter thought that it was most desirable to continue there, and to go no more down to meet the sufferings of which he was so unwilling to hear. In this he knew not what he said. We are wrong, if we look for a heaven here upon earth. Whatever tabernacles we propose to make for ourselves in this world, we must always remember to ask Christ’s leave. That sacrifice was not yet offered, without which the souls of sinful men could not have been saved; and important services were to be done by Peter and his brethren. While Peter spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, an emblem of the Divine presence and glory. Ever since man sinned, and heard God’s voice in the garden, unusual appearances of God have been terrible to man. They fell prostrate to the earth, till Jesus encouraged them; when looking round, they beheld only their Lord as they commonly saw him. We must pass through varied experiences in our way to glory; and when we return to the world after an ordinance, it must be our care to take Christ with us, and then it may be our comfort that he is with us.”

Lets ponder a moment on our Father’s words…” This is my beloved Son, hear him.”

God instructs us with His very Words to hear the words that our Savior speaks.  Jesus testified to the TRUTH.  We must accept the TRUTH that He testified on, that He was murdered for.  We must defend that TRUTH, LIVE THAT TRUTH, and TEACH that TRUTH unto all nations and all people. “This is my Beloved Son, HEAR HIM!” Repent!  Repent! Repent!