Sunday, May 9, 2021

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

The livestream may be found here.

May 9, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

The Sixth Sunday of Easter




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 believers who were with Peter were not surprised by the coming of the Holy Spirit, but were amazed that the Holy Spirit had come to non-Jews. The Holy Spirit both creates faith in Christ in the hearers of the Word and testifies to that faith, and it is this faith which unites all Christians and justifies us before God.


It is important to remember that the gift of the Holy Spirit is not ‘tongues,’ but ‘faith.’ Speaking in tongues can be one testimony of the presence of the Spirit. But in 1st Corinthians, Paul reminds his hearers that those who have not received the gift of tongues are by no means second-class Christians, and that the language of the Spirit is Jesus is Lord (1 Cor. 12:3).


The Word must continually be preached and heard after baptism. Faith is created anew each day in every situation of life. The believers of Acts 10:44 were not ‘done’ when they were baptized – far from it! Rather, they were being inaugurated into a dynamic relationship with God which would never end – not even with their death. The Holy Spirit is continually active in the life of believers. In our baptism we are ‘sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.’


SECOND READING and GOSPEL: Both the readings from the First Letter of John and the Gospel of John lift up the virtue of love. But love is not simply a ‘feeling;’ rather, God’s love is shown to us in Jesus Christ and our love is patterned after Christ’s love. In an astounding saying, Jesus lifts humanity to a great dignity. We are not the ‘servants’ of a king who hides his designs from those who are only tasked to carry his wishes out unquestioningly. Instead, we are ‘friends,’ because we know the mind of the Lord, and in love for our friend we may lay down our lives for him.




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


We Know that Christ is Raised

I.                    Sue Mitchell Wallace

II.                  Robert Hobby


1      We know that Christ is raised and dies no more.

        Embraced by death, he broke its fearful hold,

        and our despair he turned to blazing joy.



2      We share by water in his saving death.

        Reborn, we share with him an Easter life,

        as living members of our Savior Christ.



3      The Father's splendor clothes the Son with life.

        The Spirit's fission shakes the church of God.

        Baptized, we live with God the Three in One.



4     A new creation comes to life and grows

       as Christ's new body takes on flesh and blood.

      The universe restored and whole will sing:



Text: John B. Geyer, b. 1932

Text © John B. Geyer


                                THE HOLY COMMUNION



In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.




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 all nations,

in the gift of your Son, you have embraced the world

with a love that takes away our sin and bestows perfect joy.

  Grant to all who have been reborn in baptism

  faithfulness in serving you and generosity in loving one another.

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

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




The Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the Word.                    Acts 10:44b                             

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First READING                                                                              Acts 10:44-48



44While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 47“Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.


The Word of the Lord.                  

  Thanks be to God.




Read responsively between pastor and congregation.


Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands.                                        (vs. 5)

  Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands.  


1 Sing to the Lord | a new song,*

                for he has done | marvelous things.

2 With his right hand and his | holy arm*

                has he won for him- | self the victory.

3 The Lord has made | known his victory;*

                his righteousness has he openly shown

in the sight | of the nations.

4 He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the | house of Israel,*

                and all the ends of the earth have seen

the victory | of our God.

5 Shout with joy to the Lord, | all you lands;*

                lift up your voice, re- | joice, and sing.

6 Sing to the Lord | with the harp,*

                with the harp and the | voice of song.

7 With trumpets and the sound | of the horn*

                shout with joy before the | king, the Lord.

8 Let the sea make a noise and all | that is in it,*

                the lands and those who | dwell therein.

9 Let the rivers | clap their hands,*

                and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,

                when he comes to | judge the earth.

10 In righteousness shall he | judge the world*

                and the peo- | ples with equity.


Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands.  



SECOND READING                                                                    1 John 5:1-6



1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
  6This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.


The Word of the Lord.                                                            

  Thanks be to God.




VERSE                 Romans 6:9; John 14:23                  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. All who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Alleluia.


Gospel                                                                                                John 15:9-17


The Holy Gospel according to St. John.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said:] 9“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
  12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.







HYMN OF THE DAY                                             Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee


Stanza 1 – Cantor; Stanza 2 – Pastor; Stanza 3 – ALL


1      Joyful, joyful we adore thee,

        God of glory, Lord of love!

        Hearts unfold like flow’rs before thee,

        praising thee, their sun above.

        Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,

        drive the gloom of doubt away.

        Giver of immortal gladness,

        fill us with the light of day.


2      All thy works with joy surround thee,

        earth and heav’n reflect thy rays,

        stars and angels sing around thee,

        center of unbroken praise.

        Field and forest, vale and mountain,

        flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,

        chanting bird, and flowing fountain

        call us to rejoice in thee.


3      Thou art giving and forgiving,

        ever blessing, ever blest,

        wellspring of the joy of living,

        ocean-depth of happy rest!

        Thou our Father, Christ our brother,

        all who live in love are thine;

        teach us how to love each other,

        lift us to the joy divine!


Text: Henry van Dyke, 1852-1933














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.


Father, we pray for your Church, all your people throughout the world who are called by your name, whom you have anointed with the Holy Spirit by the preaching of the Gospel. Break open our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we may receive the faith that conquers the world. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Your Son called his disciples ‘friends’ and commanded them to love one another with his own self-giving love. Produce among his friends who are gathered here the lasting fruit of obedience which yields a harvest of peace. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Be the guardian, guide, and stay of all who hold public office and all who work for the health and protection of others. Empower all who work in finance, agriculture, industry, science, education, technology, and service; that our efforts together may be for the common good. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We lift our cries before you for the nations torn by war, plague, and disaster; the poor of every land; the afflicted in body, mind, and spirit; those who have lost hope; those who have turned to violence, addiction, escapism, and cynicism, and those who contemplate suicide. Bathe them in the light of the Gospel which has the power to restore their hope.


The people may offer spoken or silent intercessions.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.







We give you thanks for our mothers who bore us and who care for us from our infancy even to this day. Help us to show them reverence for your sake. Bestow upon all mothers such an understanding of your gift to them that in every word and deed they may give witness to your nurturing and nourishing Spirit present in creation. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We give you thanks, O God, for those who have gone before us, especially on this day for our departed mothers and those mothers in faith who have nurtured us in the Word of God. Make us to hunger and thirst for your presence, and satisfy us with your Word and Sacrament until the day we join them and all your saints on the banks of the river bright as crystal. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


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





Jesus said to the apostles:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled; and do not let them be afraid.

                                                                                                                         John 14:27

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  John 14:12-14              Setting by Carl Schalk

Sung by the Cantor

Alleluia. Truly, truly, I say to you, those who believe in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will they do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it. Alleluia.





Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation;

in your loving care you give us the bread of life to eat

and the cup of salvation to drink.

Keep us always in the fold of our Savior and Shepherd:

your Son, Jesus 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. In baptism you have anointed us with the Holy Spirit and have brought us into friendship with him who rose from the dead on the third day; and made us one with all his brothers and sisters who, believing in him on earth, have the hope of sharing his heavenly glory. 

  And so, with Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John, 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


All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. 

  The Lord’s name be praised! Alleluia!                                   Psalm 98:4b



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.

O Lord, We Praise You


1              O Lord, we praise you, bless you, and adore you,

                in thanksgiving bow before you.

                Here with your body and your blood you nourish

                our weak souls that they may flourish.

                O Lord, have mercy!

                May your body, Lord, born of Mary,

                that our sins and sorrows did carry,

                and your blood for us plead

                in all trial, fear, and need:

                O Lord, have mercy!


2              Your holy body into death was given,

                life to win for us in heaven.

                No greater love than this to you could bind us;

                may this feast of that remind us!

                O Lord, have mercy!

                Lord, your kindness so much did move you

                that your blood now moves us to love you.

                All our debt you have paid;

                peace with God once more is made.

                O Lord, have mercy!

3              May God bestow on us his grace and favor

                to please him with our behavior

                and live together here in love and union,

                nor repent this blest communion.

                O Lord, have mercy!

                Let not your good Spirit forsake us,

                but that heav’nly-minded he make us;

                give your church, Lord, to see

                days of peace and unity.

                O Lord, have mercy!


Text: German folk hymn, 15th cent., st. 1; Martin Luther, 1483-1546, sts. 2-3; tr. composite


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!









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.

Kay, Andrew. Spirit of the Community, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved May 3, 2021]. Original source:,_Belmont.jpg.

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