Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Holy Communion on the Third Sunday of Easter - 10:30 a.m.

 The livestream may be found here.

April 18, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

The Third Sunday of Easter



Harvest Resurrection



The color white, used for the vestments and paraments in Easter, represents the light of Christ’s resurrection, as well as the light in which those in Christ are to walk.


The season of Easter is 50 days long, as our joy in the resurrection will last far longer than our season of sorrow. The paschal candle, sign among us of the resurrection of Christ, is lighted each Sunday in Eastertide. As we have fasted from the Alleluia in Lent, we feast upon it in Easter.


FIRST READING: The Acts of the Apostles can be considered Luke’s ‘sequel’ to his gospel. We see Peter proclaiming both Law and Gospel to the people of Jerusalem: revealing their sin and complicity in Jesus’ death, urging them to turn away from sin and toward God, and offering through Jesus the forgiveness of sins.


SECOND READING: The First Letter of John proclaims that all those in Christ are ‘God’s children,’ with all the promise and hope that this brings. Although we struggle in this life and sometimes do not see ourselves as God’s children, when Christ is revealed, we shall see him as he is. Being God’s children calls us to strive to live a life like Christ’s, and the apostle solemnly warns that ‘no one who abides in him sins,’ and ‘everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness.’ For the apostle, it seems that there are two types of sinners; those who know their failings  and repent, and those who feel that they have no need of repentance. ‘If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).’ Those who confess their sin abide in Christ; those who say they have none do not abide in him.


GOSPEL: When Jesus comes among the disciples, he is not ghostly, but corporeal. And yet his body is not as it was. The resurrected body is not merely resuscitated; it is transformed. He commissions the disciples to proclaim his resurrection and the forgiveness of sins in Christ’s name to all nations.



Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played:


        With High Delight Let Us Unite

I.                    Ernst Pepping

II.                  Helmut Walcha


1              With high delight let us unite

                in songs of sweet jubilation.

                You pure in heart, all bear your part,

                sing Jesus Christ, our salvation.

                To set us free forever, he

                is ris’n and sends to all earth’s ends

                good news to save ev’ry nation.


2              True God, he first from death has burst

                forth into life, all subduing.

                His enemy now vanquished see;

                his death has been death’s undoing.

                “And yours shall be like victory

                o’er death and grave,” says he, who gave

                his life for us, life renewing.


3              Let praises ring; give thanks, and bring

                to Christ our Lord adoration.

                His honor speed by word and deed

                to ev’ry land, ev’ry nation.

                So shall his love give us above,

                from misery and death set free,

                all joy and full consolation.


Text: Georg Vetter, 1536-1599; tr. Martin H. Franzmann, 1907-1976, alt.
Text © 1969 Concordia Publishing House




                                THE HOLY COMMUNION



Alleluia! Christ is risen!

  He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

  And also with you.




In peace, let us pray to the Lord.                                 Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above,

and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.       Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world,

for the well-being of the Church of God,

and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.    Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house,

and for all who offer here their worship and praise,

let us pray to the Lord.                                                   Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort and defend us, gracious Lord.                       Amen



This is the feast of victory for our God.



Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,

  whose blood set us free to be people of God.

Power and riches and wisdom and strength,

  and honor and blessing and glory are his.

Sing with all the people of God

  and join in the hymn of all creation:

Blessing and honor and glory and might

  be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen.


This is the feast of victory for our God,

  for the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign. Alleluia.






The Lord be with you.

  And also with you.


God of the prophets, you fulfilled your promise of old

that your Christ would suffer and so rise to glory.

  Open our minds to understand the Scriptures

  and fill us with joyful wonder in the presence of the risen Christ,

  that we may be his witnesses to the farthest reaches of the earth.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, the first-born from the dead,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




Everything written about Jesus

in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms

[has been] fulfilled.                                                                                  Luke 24:44b

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First READING                                                                               Acts 3:12-19



12[Peter] addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

 17“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.”


The Word of the Lord.                  

  Thanks be to God.


Read responsively between pastor and congregation.


The Lord does wonders for the faithful.                                   (vs. 3)

  The Lord does wonders for the faithful.    


1 Answer me when I call, O God, defender | of my cause;*

                you set me free when I am hard-pressed;

have mercy on me and | hear my prayer.

2 "You mortals, how long will you dishon- | or my glory;*

                how long will you worship dumb idols

and run af- | ter false gods?"

3 Know that the Lord does wonders | for the faithful;*

                when I call upon the Lord, | he will hear me.

4 Tremble, then, and | do not sin;*

                speak to your heart in silence up- | on your bed.

5 Offer the appointed | sacrifices,*

                and put your trust | in the Lord.

6 Many are saying, "Oh, that we might see | better times!"*

                Lift up the light of your countenance upon | us, O Lord.

7 You have put gladness | in my heart,*

                more than when grain and wine and | oil increase.

8 I lie down in peace; at once I | fall asleep;*

                for only you, Lord, make me | dwell in safety.


The Lord does wonders for the faithful.


SECOND READING                                                                    1 John 3:1-7


1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
4Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.


The Word of the Lord.                                                  Thanks be to God.



VERSE                 Romans 6:9; Luke 24:32                 Setting by Carl Schalk

Sung by the Cantor                            

Alleluia. Christ being raised from the dead will die no more; death has no more dominion over him. Alleluia. Our hearts burn within us while he opens to us the Scriptures. Alleluia.


Gospel                                                                             Luke 24:36b-48


The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


36bJesus himself stood among [the disciples] and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.
44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.”


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.






HYMN OF THE DAY                                    Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen




Alleluia! Jesus is risen!

        Trumpets resounding in glorious light!

        Splendor, the Lamb, heaven forever!

        Oh, what a miracle God has in sight!


        Jesus is risen and we shall arise.

        Give God the glory! Alleluia!



2      Walking the way, Christ in the center

        telling the story to open our eyes;

        breaking our bread, giving us glory:

        Jesus our blessing, our constant surprise.  Refrain



3      Jesus the vine, we are the branches;

        life in the Spirit the fruit of the tree;

        heaven to earth, Christ to the people,

        gift of the future now flowing to me.  Refrain



4     Weeping, be gone; sorrow, be silent:

        death put asunder, and Easter is bright.

        Cherubim sing: O grave, be open!

        Clothe us in wonder, adorn us in light.  Refrain



5     City of God, Easter forever,

        golden Jerusalem, Jesus the Lamb,

        river of life, saints and archangels,

        sing with creation to God the I AM!  Refrain


Text: Herbert F. Brokering, b. 1926

Text © 1995 Augsburg Fortress.





The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Nicene Creed.


X At the words ‘For us and for our salvation,’ and continuing through ‘and was made man,’ a solemn bow is appropriate to praise the incarnation of our Lord.


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.

                X 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. X

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




Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


Silence is kept.


Your people rejoice in their adoption as your children. Purify the Church from sin, just as Christ is pure. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Renew our congregation’s zeal to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Make all pastors to be men and women like Peter, who boldly call people to repentance and forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Empower our President, the Congress and the Courts; our Governor and all state and local public servants; the members of our armed forces, and all who work for the protection and health of others and for the common good. Grant them strength, wisdom, and discretion. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Protect all those in danger, especially those in war-torn areas, in refugee camps, and those in jeopardy because of their faith in Christ. Convert and restrain those who murder and destroy. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Heal the sick of body, mind and spirit; give relief to the poor, unemployed and underemployed; bring to the fullness of faith all whose minds are darkened by doubt or despair, and have mercy on those we name before you:


The people offer spoken or silent intercessions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,
  hear our prayer. 



As we remember the blessed dead, bring us to that great day of peace when Christ and all God’s children are revealed in glory. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.





On the first day of the week,

Jesus came to the apostles

and said to them: ‘Peace be with you.’

  Then they were glad when they saw the Lord. Alleluia.  John 20:19, 20

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



OFFERTORY  Colossians 1:15-20                               Setting by Carl Schalk

Sung by the Cantor

Alleluia. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things were created. He is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things on earth and in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross. Alleluia.



Father, creator of all things,

you wash away our sins,

you give us new birth by the Spirit,

and you redeem us in the blood of Christ.

As we celebrate the Resurrection,

renew your gift of life within us.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.





The Lord be with you.                                   

  And also with you.                     

Lift up your hearts.                                         

  We lift them to the Lord.                        

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                                  

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.


  It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and ever-living God.

  But chiefly are we bound to praise you for the glorious resurrection of our Lord; for he is the true Passover lamb who gave himself to take away our sin, who by his death has destroyed death, and by his rising has brought us to eternal life.

  And so, with the disciples and Peter, and all the witnesses of the resurrection; with earth and sea and all their creatures, and with angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, holy, holy LORD, God of power and might!

                Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

                Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

                Hosanna in the highest!



Holy God, mighty Lord, gracious Father:

                Endless is your mercy and eternal your reign.

You have filled all creation with light and life;

                heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Through Abraham you promised to bless all nations.

                You rescued Israel, your chosen people.

Through the prophets you renewed your promise;

                and, at this end of all the ages, you sent your Son,

                who in words and deeds proclaimed your kingdom

                and was obedient to your will, even to giving his life.


In the night in which he was betrayed,

                our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

                broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

                Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:

                This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup

                we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


Therefore, gracious Father, with this bread and cup

                we remember the life our Lord offered for us.

And, believing the witness of his resurrection,

we await his coming in power

                to share with us the great and promised feast.

  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit,

                the spirit of our Lord and of his resurrection,

                that we who receive the Lord's body and blood

                may live to the praise of your glory

                and receive our inheritance with all your saints in light.

  Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.


Join our prayers with those of your servants

of every time and every place,

and unite them with the ceaseless petitions of our great high priest

until he comes as victorious Lord of all. 


Through him, with him, in him,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honor and glory is yours,

almighty Father, now and forever. Amen



Christ is in our midst.

By the power of the Spirit,

we pray to his Father, saying:


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,

                                forever and ever. Amen


Although the doors are shut,

Jesus comes and stands among us.

  In Easter joy we cry out:          

  ‘Our Lord and our God!’                                                 (John 20:26b, 28b)



AGNUS DEI (Lamb of God)           Sung by the cantor.


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us peace.





Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.


The communicants will be invited forward one family unit at a time. Please do not come forward until the pastor directs you to come forward, do not approach all the way to the table until the pastor has retreated, and please do not remove your mask until you have reached the table with the elements on it.


 When the pastor says ‘The body of Christ, given for you,’ eat the bread. When the pastor says, ‘The blood of Christ, shed for you,’ drink the wine.  Please take the plate and the glass(es) and place them on the table that is indicated. Please put your mask on before returning to your seat.


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.


Come, Risen Lord


1              Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest;

                nay, let us be thy guests; the feast is thine.

                Thyself at thine own board make manifest

                in thine own sacrament of bread and wine.


2              We meet, as in that upper room they met.

                Thou at the table, blessing, yet dost stand.

                “This is my body”; so thou givest yet;

                faith still receives the cup as from thy hand.


3              One body we, one body who partake,

                one church united in communion blest,

                one name we bear, one bread of life we break,

                with all thy saints on earth and saints at rest.


4             One with each other, Lord, for one in thee,

                who art one Savior and one living head.

                Then open thou our eyes, that we may see;

                be known to us in breaking of the bread.


Text: George W. Briggs, 1875-1959, alt.

© Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

After all have returned to their places, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.



Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now,

and will be forever. Amen                                 Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)


We give you thanks, almighty God,

that you have refreshed us

through the healing power of this gift of life;

and we pray that in your mercy

you would strengthen us through this gift,

in faith toward you and fervent love toward one another;

for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.






Alleluia. Christ is risen.

  He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope

  through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Though we do not see him, we love him;

  We believe in him

  and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.     1 Peter 1:3, 8

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

  He is risen indeed. Alleluia.


Dismissal Gospel: John 11:25, 26

The Holy Gospel according to St. John.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said:] ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’                                                                          


The Gospel of the Lord.

  Praise to you, O Christ.



The God of peace – who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant – make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. 

  Amen                                                                                                  Hebrews 13:20-21


Almighty God, Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

  Thanks be to God!



Sun/ Apr 18         WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Council Meeting 7:00 PM

Wed/ Apr 21       Evening Prayer (livestream) 7:00 PM

                                ZOOM Bible Study 7:30 PM

Sat/ Apr 24          NA Meeting 11 AM

                                SATURDAY EVENING WORSHIP 6:30 PM

Sun/ Apr 25        WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM






From Sundays and Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included in this

service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2006.

Prayer of the Day from Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language,

copyright 1997 International Commission on English in the Liturgy. All rights reserved.

Koenig, Peter. Harvest Resurrection, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 12, 2021]. Original source:                                      Agnus Day appears with the permission of





St Stephen Lutheran Church

55 Forsythe Road

Pittsburgh PA 15220

(412) 279-5868


Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:30 am