Sunday, January 1, 2023

The Holy Communion on the Feast of the Name of Jesus: January 1, 2023, 10:30 a.m.

 The livestream may be found here.

January 1, 2023, 10:30 a.m.

The Name of Jesus




Grace Episcopal Church, Decorah, Iowa





FIRST READING: God revealed his name to Moses at the burning bush: I AM WHO I AM. In Hebrew the four letters are YHWH, which is known as the ‘tetragrammaton.’ The word YHWH is not pronounced by Orthodox Jews, who use the name Adonai, translated ‘Lord,’ instead. This is why, in our English Bibles, the word LORD is capitalized, to indicate that the divine name is indicated. In Numbers, Moses and Aaron are instructed to bless the people of Israel with the divine name. The first syllable of Jesus’ name is reminiscent of the first syllable of the name YHWH. His name, ‘God saves,’ is a reminder that Jesus’ saving act will be reminiscent of God’s act to save the people in the Exodus.


SECOND READING: Jesus’ naming takes place at the circumcision rite. In Galatians, Paul makes the argument that in being circumcised according to the Law, Jesus fulfilled the Law for both Jews and Gentiles, so that, after his death and resurrection, inclusion in the covenant people might be through faith in Jesus for both circumcised and uncircumcised.


GOSPEL: Just as Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, showed his faith in God’s Word through the angel by naming his son ‘John,’ so Mary and Joseph show their faith in giving their child the name that the angel had revealed to them. Perhaps we should see, in Mary’s treasuring of the shepherds’ words and her pondering of them in her heart, the rejoicing in another angelic sign, giving her and Joseph strength to name the child according to the angel’s word.


OPENING MUSIC           

Greet Now the Swiftly Changing Year - Richard Wienhorst

All Praise to You Eternal Lord - J. S. Bach, Paul Manz




WHymn         Green LBW 48                 All Praise to You, Eternal Lord



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.                                                                             2 Corinthians 13:13


In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

For the peace from above, and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

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.

For this holy house, and for all who offer here their worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord.

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




Eternal Father, you gave your Son the name of Jesus to be a sign of our salvation. Plant in every heart the love of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.




Mary treasured the words of the shepherds

and pondered them in her heart.

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                                                       Luke 2:19



CHOIR ANTHEM         What Cheer?  Good Cheer!


Text/ Anonymous medieval poem; Music/ Peter Warlock


Lift up your hearts and be ye glad

In Christ His birth, the angel bade.

Say to each other, if any be sad:

What cheer?  Good cheer!  Good cheer!  Good cheer!

                                Be merry and glad this good New Year!


The King of Heaven his birth hath take:

Now joy and mirth we ought to make.

Say each to other for his dear sake:

                What cheer?  Good cheer!  Good cheer!  Good cheer!

                                Be merry and glad this good New Year!


I tell you all with heart as free,

Right welcome ye be all to me;

Be glad and merry for charity.

What cheer?  Good cheer!  Good cheer!  Good cheer!

Be merry and glad this good New Year!


First Reading           Numbers 6:22-27


22The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them,
24The Lord bless you and keep you;
25the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
26the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
27So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.


the Word of the Lord.  

  Thanks be to God.




1 O | Lord our Lord,*

                how exalted is your name in | all the world!

2 Out of the mouths of in- | fants and children*

                your majesty is praised a- | bove the heavens.

3 You have set up a stronghold against your | adversaries,*

                to quell the enemy and | the avenger.

4 When I consider your heavens, the work | of your fingers,*

                the moon and the stars you have set | in their courses,

5 what is man that you should be mind- | ful of him,*

                the son of man that you should | seek him out?

6 You have made him but little lower | than the angels;*

                you adorn him with glo- | ry and honor;

7 you give him mastery over the works | of your hands;*

                you put all things un- | der his feet:

8 all | sheep and oxen,*

                even the wild beasts | of the field,

9 the birds of the air, the fish | of the sea,*

                and whatsoever walks in the paths | of the sea.

10 O | Lord our Lord,*

                how exalted is your name in | all the world!                     Antiphon

Second Reading     Galatians 4:4-7


4When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.


the Word of the Lord.                                                             Thanks be to God.



VERSE                 Philippians 2:10                         Setting by Richard Hillert

Alleluia. At the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.  Alleluia.


Gospel             Luke 2:15-21


The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
21After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


The Gospel of the Lord.






Green LBW 181                Greet Now the Swiftly Changing Year


CONFESSION OF FAITH                                                                  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



In and through the name of Jesus, let us pray to the Father.


Silence is kept.


Father, in obedience to the angel’s message, Mary’s child was called

Jesus, for he was to save his people from their sins. We give thanks for

the salvation offered us in his name, and pray for the mission of the

Church to make his name known to all people. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Father, your Son was brought by Mary and Joseph to be circumcised

according to the Law, that through him the Law might be fulfilled and

all might be adopted into your family. We pray that, by the power of the

Spirit, we may always confidently call upon you as Father, and rejoice in

the riches of our inheritance among the saints. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Guide us in this new year of grace. Fill our bishop Dan and all ministers

of the Gospel with knowledge and wisdom. Preserve the Church in the

truth and increase its unity. Raise up faithful leaders to proclaim the

good news. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Give those who have been entrusted with authority the love of truth, the

zeal for justice, and the wisdom to choose the good. We pray for the

President of the United States, Joseph; the Congress, the Courts,

and all who hold positions of responsibility, especially those who are

newly elected or appointed to office. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We pray for those who carry heavy burdens of illness, poverty, grief, or oppression into this New Year. May your mercy find them on the road, and use us to be your messengers to them in time of need…


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We remember with thanksgiving all who have loved the name of Jesus.

We pray that, surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, we may run with perseverance the race that is set before us until we receive the unfading crown of 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 Jesus Christ, our Lord.



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     Psalm 50:14, 23                    Setting by Richard Hillert

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High. Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who order their ways right I will show the salvation of God.




Hear us, O Lord Jesus Christ, from your dwelling place,

from the glorious throne of your kingdom, and come and cleanse us.

  You are seated on high with the Father,

  and you dwell also with us here, although unseen.

By your mighty hand render us worthy to receive in holy communion

your spotless body and your precious blood.





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.


The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:

We give you thanks, Father,

through Jesus Christ, your beloved Son,

                whom you sent in this end of the ages

                to save and redeem us and to proclaim to us your will.


He is your Word,

                inseparable from you.

Through him you created all things,

                and in him you take delight.


He is your Word,

                sent from heaven to a virgin's womb.

He there took on our nature and our lot

                and was shown forth as your Son,

                born of the Holy Spirit and of the virgin Mary.


It is he, our Lord Jesus, who fulfilled all your will

                and won for you a holy people;

                he stretched out his hands in suffering

                in order to free from suffering those who trust you.


It is he who, handed over to a death he freely accepted,

                in order to destroy death, to break the bonds of the evil one,

                to crush hell underfoot, to give light to the righteous,

                to establish his covenant, and to show forth the resurrection,

                taking bread and giving thanks to you, said:


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

                Do this for the remembrance of me.


In the same way he took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:


                This is my blood poured out for you.

                Do this for the remembrance of me.



Remembering, then, his death and resurrection,

                we lift this bread and cup before you,

                giving you thanks that you have made us worthy

                to stand before you and to serve you as your priestly people.


And we ask you:

                Send your Spirit upon these gifts of your Church;

                gather into one all who share this bread and wine;

                fill us with your Holy Spirit to establish our faith in truth,

                that we may praise and glorify you

through your Son Jesus Christ.


Through him all glory and honor are yours,

                Almighty Father, with the Holy Spirit,

                in your holy Church both now and forever.




In the presence of Christ, we pray to his Father using the words he gave us.


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                                  

Matthew 6:9-15

We break the bread of life,

and that life is the light of the world.

  God here among us,

  light in the midst of us,

  bring us to light and life.



We adore Christ, present in bread and wine.





Choir                                                              How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

Text/ John Newton;

Music Leland B. Sateren;

arr. J. M. Strobel


How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear!  

It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away all fear.                                                           

It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the heart’s unrest;

’Tis manna to the hungry soul and to the weary, rest.


Dear name! The rock on which I build, my shield and hiding place;

my never-failing treasury, filled with boundless stores of grace.                                                                 

O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King,

My Lord, my life, my way, my end, accept the praise I bring.          



How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought;

But when I see thee as thou art, I’ll praise thee as I ought.


Till then I would thy love proclaim with every fleeting breath;     

And may the music of thy name refresh my soul in death!


When all have received, 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.    






Eternal God,

whose incarnate Son was given the Name of Savior:

grant that we who have shared

in this sacrament of our salvation

may live out our years in the power

of the Name above all other names,

Jesus Christ our Lord.








The magi, led by a star, came to Christ, bringing him their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, paying him homage. You too have come forward, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, to worship and adore Christ and serve him in taking up office, as you have been elected by your congregation. You bring gifts of time, skill, and wisdom, to lay before God for use as he sees fit. On behalf of this congregation, I ask you to affirm your willingness to take up these tasks.


St. Paul writes: There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives to everyone ability for particular service. The Spirit's presence is shown in some way in each person, for the good of all. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)


You have been elected to positions of leadership and trust among the people of Saint Stephen Lutheran Church.


You are to see that the words and deeds of this household of faith reflect him in whose name we gather.


You are to work together with other members to see that the worship and work of Christ are done in this congregation, and that God's will is done in this community and in the whole world.


You are to be diligent in your specific area of serving, that the one Lord who empowers you is glorified.


You are to be examples of faith active in love, to help maintain the life and harmony of this congregation.


On behalf of your sisters and brothers in Christ, I ask you: Are you ready to accept and faithfully to carry out the duties of the offices to which you have been elected?

R/           Yes, by the help of God.



People of God, I ask you: Will you support these, your elected leaders, and will you share in the mutual ministry that Christ has given to all who are baptized?

  Yes, by the help of God.


I now declare you installed in your offices in this congregation. God bless you with his Holy Spirit, that you may prove faithful servants of Christ.                                                                                           




The love of the Lord Jesus

draw you to himself,

the power of the Lord Jesus

strengthen you in his service,

the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts.



The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face to shine upon you

and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor

and X give you peace.




Green LBW 559              Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

1      Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing

        my great Redeemer’s praise,

        the glories of my God and King,

        the triumphs of his grace!


2      My gracious Master and my God,

        assist me to proclaim,

        to spread through all the earth abroad

        the honors of your name.


3      The name of Jesus charms our fears

        and bids our sorrows cease,

        sings music in the sinner’s ears,

        brings life and health and peace.


4      He breaks the pow’r of canceled sin;

        he sets the pris’ner free.

        His blood can make the foulest clean;

        his blood avails for me.


5      To God all glory, praise, and love

        be now and ever giv’n

        by saints below and saints above,

        the church in earth and heav’n.


Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, alt.



Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                                 

  Thanks be to God!



From Sundays and Copyright 2023 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.

Additional liturgical material from Common Worship: Times and Seasons, copyright the Church of England.

McCully and Miles of Chicago. Tetragrammaton, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved December 20, 2022]. Original source:



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