June 7, 2020: Trinity Sunday

Morning Prayer, Rite II

The service printed here is from The Book of Common Prayer (BCP).

Hymn 362 “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!” Nicaea

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee: Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee, which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see, only thou art holy; there is none beside thee, perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea; Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Opening Sentence: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!

The Confession of Sin
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.  Amen.

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

Officiant:  Lord, open our lips.
People:  And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
All:  Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia!

Venite Sung by all to the tune Duke Street

O come and sing unto the Lord, And in his saving strength rejoice, Come now before him giving thanks, And raise glad psalms with every voice.

The Lord is great, above all gods; The earth, the hills are in his hand; The sea is his and he made it, His hands prepared all the dry land.

Come, let us worship and fall down and kneel before our Maker’s throne; We are the people of his field, the sheep whom he has made his own.

O let the whole earth stand in awe of God arrayed in holiness; He cometh yet to judge the world, to judge with truth and righteousness.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the God whom earth and heav’n adore. Be glory, as it was of old, is now, and shall be evermore. Amen.

Canticle 13 sung by Amy Bergandine, soprano; Setting by John Rutter

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; you are worthy of praise; glory to you. Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever. Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; on the throne of your majesty, glory to you. Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever. Glory to you, beholding the depths; in the high vault of heaven, glory to you. Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

The First Lesson Genesis 1:1-2:4a

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights– the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night– and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

Canticle 16  Song of Zechariah (metrical); sung by all to the tune Morning Light

Blessed be the God of Israel, who comes to set us free; he visits and redeems us, he grants us liberty. The prophets spoke of mercy, of freedom and release; God shall fulfill his promise and bring his people peace.

He from the house of David a child of grace has given; a Savior comes among us to raise us up to heaven. Before him goes his herald, forerunner in the way, the prophet of salvation, the harbinger of Day.

On prisoners of darkness the sun begins to rise, the dawning of forgiveness upon the sinner’s eyes. He guides the feet of pilgrims along the paths of peace. O bless our God and Savior, with songs that never cease.

All Glory to the Father and Glory to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, eternal Three in One, till all the ransomed number who stand before the throne ascribe all power and glory and praise to God alone.

The Second Lesson 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

Canticle (Te Deum laudamus) sung by all to the tune St. Anne

O God, we praise thee, and confess that thou the on-ly Lord and everlasting Father art, by all the earth adored.

To thee all angels cry aloud; to thee the pow’rs on high, both cherubim and seraphim, continually do cry:

O ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly Lord, whom heav’nly hosts o-bey, the world is with the glory filled of thy majestic sway!

The apostles’ glorious company, and prophets crowned with light, with all the martyrs’ noble host, thy constant praise re-cite.

The Third Lesson Matthew 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

The Homily   The Rev. Kathleen F. Murray

Well, you have a guest preacher this morning, just back from a rather interesting vacation to Edisto Island and the Charleston area in SC. I left on vacation to take a break from the craziness of COVID, only to end up in an area turned upside down by protesting, rioting, and living under a 6 pm curfew. It was not the vacation I expected, but it was the one I got. In the end, it was a vacation filled with a treasure trove of experiences and insights, with perhaps a conversion experience thrown in.

Before I tell you about my vacation, I need to go back a little farther in time, about 34 years ago when I preached my first sermon. It happened to be on Trinity Sunday. I was just out of college spending a year working at an Episcopal Church in the extremely poor inner city of Elizabethport, NJ, and living in the rectory with another volunteer. The rectory had bars on all its windows. The congregation was predominantly African American/ Hispanic plagued by poverty, illiteracy, joblessness, and drugs. Here I was this preppy college grad wearing freshly pressed and starched khaki pants, a pink striped buttoned collared shirt, and my very polished shining brown penny loafers trying to preach in philosophical terms about the doctrine of the Trinity to a congregation that needed sustenance and hope. I was an unmitigated preaching disaster…. Talk about not relating to one’s congregation. I learned a lot that day and in the following year that I was there about social and economic injustice and racism. I would like to tell you a lot has changed in the intervening years, but I am not sure that it has.

The George Floyd murder had just occurred just before the start of my vacation. I had heard the story on the news and seen the video of the officer having his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck. The video was quite disturbing. A man dying over a counterfeit $20 bill. How tragic … and I remember thinking to myself that I doubted very seriously that would have happened to a white man. The protesting and rioting nationwide had not yet occurred.

We took our time getting to Charleston, SC. I was traveling with a friend who also needed a chance to get away. Friends from my South Carolina days were going to let us stay in their house on Edisto Island for a week. I was not paying much attention to the news on the drive down. I trying to make a conscious decision to give up the news for a few days. But by the time I reached Charleston, the nationwide protesting had begun. On our first night on Edisto, nonviolent protests during the day in downtown Charleston had taken a turn for the worse one darkness fell. Shops on the well-known King Street had their windows smashed and looted. The next day all of Charleston County, to include Edisto, was under a 6 pm curfew. Stories were in abundance about misdeeds by both police and protesters. So much for not watching the news.

I now was watching a lot of news. Praying hard for all those affected. I thought about joining the protests downtown to show my support but decided against it because I could not escape that I was a physician and was obligated to abide by social distancing guidelines, even on vacation. I am not a child of the 60s, but I have been on my share of protests over the years. I am. a firm believer in social justice. However, I could not say I had internalized my social justice beliefs, and I must admit I did not have a true personal investment in the cause … at least until days later.

My anger and outrage did not raise its head until my mother texted me after I had gone to bed one evening telling me that St. John’s Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square was burning. My mother considered St. John’s to be her church. She had attended services there for over 20 years before she retired. She had worked at the VA administration building in downtown DC, which abuts, St. John’s on Lafayette Square and would go to their noonday services.

St John’s did not burn down. A small fire had been set in the basement of the parish hall, but it had been quickly put out. What you need to know was that during the day the protests were nonviolent with Episcopal clergy and seminarians taking part and supporting the protesters at Lafayette Square – which is across the street from St. John’s. After the night of violence, the nonviolent protesters were back on the square with the support of the bp, the clergy and seminarians. To the horror of those present and to those watching the news, the police began to use pepper bombs and bully clubs on the nonviolent protesters to make away for our president to come to St. John’s holding a bible for a photo op. I was more outraged and angry. He was there standing against what St. John’s stood for. How dare he. Yet, I came to realize I was angry at the wrong thing.

The following day after visiting some friends in North Charleston, we took a drive through downtown Charleston along King Street. I became teary-eyed as I looked at all the destruction. While not originally from there, over the years it has become my second home. When we got to the intersection of Broad and King Streets, we could see a group of protesters gathering at St. Michael’s Church. And, there was a parking place just on the other side of them. There is never an open parking place on these streets in the midafternoon. I had to stop. I got out and spent some time at a distance watching them, listening to them. With appropriate social distancing, I spoke with some of the protesters and spoke also with some of the police on hand. All were very respectful. I witnessed a very moving scene where a white officer was telling a group of mostly African American young adults that he believed in their cause. He told them he wanted them to stay well hydrated. If they got in trouble, they were to call him. He pleaded with them to be smart and to not do anything that would get them arrested.

I was sad. I was angry. I was moved. However, I still did not understand what all anger leading to the protesting was all about…. Not really. It was not until a few days later while we were driving up to Charlottesville to meet my mother before going back home, did I get it …. did I begin to understand?

On the drive north, we were listening to George Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis. I will be the first to admit the Rev Alan Sharpton is not someone I spend a great deal of time listening to. However, he preached a powerful sermon that afternoon (one I would commend you to listen to) that finally turned on the light for me …. When I finally understood what the anger was all about.

What did I finally get? I finally got that people without power cannot become people with power unless the people of power are willing to raise up the powerless and make sacrifices for them so that they can share in the power.

Let us remember our history, in 1776 only white men who owned property and were over 21 could vote. 6% of the population were eligible to vote for our first president. In 1856, the right to was expanded to all white males, not just property owners. In 1870, the 15th amendment prevented federal or state governments for denying the right to vote to male citizens based on race. This extended the right to vote to black men, but many states enacted policies that kept African American men from exercising their right to vote to including passing a literacy test to vote, paying a tax to vote, having white-only primaries, and voter intimidation. In 1920, the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote (basically white women). Yet discriminatory Jim Crow laws kept many African Americans away from the polls. American Indians were not given citizenship and the right to vote until 1924, but discriminating practices kept them from voting as well. In 1952, the McCarran- Walter Act granted all Asian Americans the right to become citizens and vote. It was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 did all American citizens have the right to vote unencumbered. This was 2 years after I was born – not even 2 generations have passed. In each of these changes in voting practices, the people with the power had to agree to share the power.

If you do not have power, then the means to get power comes in 2 ways – converting those in power to share or revolution. How do the people in power come to change enough to be willing to share power? First, they need to understand and appreciate the power and privilege they have just by virtue of their birth.

There is an old video making the rounds on the internet again showing a group of teenagers gathered for an event in the park. The leader has the teens lined up for a race. He tells them that whoever wins will get money as a prize. However, there is a catch. Some will get a chance to start the race closed to the finish line than others. The leader starts to ask the group questions. If they grew up in 2 parent household, they could take 2 steps forward, if they grew up not worrying about where their next meal was coming from – 2 steps forward – if they didn’t have to help their parents pay the bills -2 steps forward — if they had access to a private school education — 2 steps forward …. By the end of the questioning, many of the teens were over halfway to the finish line…. many of the African American teens had not moved from the starting line … many of those were tall and athletic looking and could have easily won the race if the race had been fair. However, many of the white kids had been given such a head start they were going to finish regardless of their athletic ability. Their head start had nothing to do with their own accomplishments. Their head start had to do with the privileges and security they had been born into. This is what white privilege looks like.

This is what the anger is about. People are just wanting a fair playing field. A chance at a good education. People not wanting to have to send their kids to schools are not safe and do not have the resources to have their kids live into their potential because they live in a poor neighborhood. They are not wanting to be assumed to be guilty just because of the color of their skin. They are not wanting to be stuck on welfare because they cannot get a job with benefits. They want equal access to good healthcare. They do not want to die over passing a counterfeit 20-dollar bill.

How do the powerless get a fair playing field? They get the fair playing field when the people of power raise the powerless up and share power. They get it when we people of power are willing to march at the head of the line in a protest and show that the people of power are demanding the leaders of power to make the playing field level.

So, what does this have to do with the gospel, much less Trinity Sunday? God is the creator of all humanity, with a rainbow of skin colors. Jesus Christ is the redeemer of all, regardless of ethnic origin. We are called as fellow creatures of a loving God to be compassionate towards each other; meaning when we need to need to reach out a hand, help out and help up those that need it. Sometimes we hesitate to do this because we do not want to get involved. We feel like we do not have the time. We are scared that we do not have the resources to help. We are afraid it will take more than we have to offer. This is when we need to believe in what Jesus told the Apostles. Go out and do what I have commanded: love, heal, forgive, empower. The Holy Spirit will give you the strength and courage if you just believe.

When you believe and experience God as creator, God as love, God as forgiveness, God as compassion, and you dare treat others the same way all the time, despite any hesitation or fear, because you know the Holy Spirit has your back, then you understand the Trinity. You have experienced the Trinity. Now let us go forth and be the power to bring about change that is needed so that all have an equal opportunity to live into the gifts God has given each one of us and believe the Holy Spirit has your back. Amen.


The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Prayers

The Salutation
Officiant: The Lord be with you.
People:      And also with you.
Officiant:   Let us pray.
The Lord’s Prayer  Traditional
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.

Suffrages A
Officiant:     Show us your mercy, O Lord;
People:        And grant us your salvation.
Officiant:    Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
People:       Let your people sing with joy.
Officiant:    Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
People:       For only in you can we live in safety.
Officiant:    Lord, keep this nation under your care;
People:       And guide us in the way of justice and truth. 
Officiant:    Let your way be known upon earth;
People:       Your saving health among all nations.
Officiant:    Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
People:       Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Officiant:    Create in us clean hearts, O God;
People:       And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

The Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Office Anthem “Litany to the Holy Spirit” Setting by Peter Hurford

In the hour of my distress, When temptations me oppress, And when I my sins confess, Sweet Spirit, comfort me! 

When I lie within my bed, Sick in heart and sick in head, And with doubts discomforted, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the house doth sigh and weep, And the world is drown’d in sleep, Yet mine eyes the watch do keep, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

Amy Bergandine, soprano

The General Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
A Prayer of St. Chrysostom
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.
The Dismissal and Grace
   Officiant: Let us bless the Lord.
   People:    Thanks be to God.

Closing Hymn “Father, Lord of earth and heaven” Stuttgart

Father, Lord of earth and heaven, King to whom all gifts belong, Give Your greatest Gift, Your Spirit, God the Holy, God the Strong.

Son of God, enthroned in glory, Send Your promised Gift of grace, Make Your Church Your Holy Temple, God the Spirit’s dwelling place.

Spirit, come, in peace descending As at Jordan, heav’nly Dove, Seal Your Church as God’s anointed, Set our hearts on fire with love.

Stay among us God the Father, Stay among us God the Son, Stay among us Holy Spirit: Dwell within us, make us one.

Permission to podcast/stream/reprint the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-721346. All rights reserved.

All Saints' Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, OH