Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Holy Communion on the Fifth Sunday in Lent, 10:30 a.m.

  The livestream may be found here.



The color purple, used for the vestments and paraments in Lent, symbolizes somberness and solemnity. Crosses and images of our Lord and the saints are veiled with purple cloth during Lent.


FIRST READING (Ezekiel 37:1-14): The vision historically refers to the restoration of Israel’s national hope to dwell in their ancestral land. For the Christian reader, the vision speaks of the resurrection of the dead, and the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the sure sign of the resurrection of his people to live in the freedom of the kingdom of God. The prophet’s graphic description of the state of the skeletonized remains evokes both the vast hopelessness of our situation without God and the great power which God has to save.


SECOND READING (Romans 8:6-11): The words ‘flesh’ and ‘Spirit’ do not refer to material and immaterial realities, or to the bodily life as opposed to thoughts and feelings. The life of the ‘flesh’ is a life lived without God, merely human, while the goal of life is a human life inhabited by the Spirit. (‘The glory of God is a man fully alive’ – St. Irenaeus). The Spirit-filled life this side of the grave is sin absolved through repentance and forgiveness, Satan defeated by prayer and fasting, and death faced resolutely in hope of God’s victory. Such a life lived in the baptized person is the guarantee of the resurrection of the flesh won by Christ’s own death and resurrection.


GOSPEL (John 11:1-45): The raising of Lazarus is the last and greatest sign of Jesus’ present and future reign. Lazarus is ‘brought back’ to life – he will die again, as symbolized by the burial wrappings which still enshroud his body as he emerges from the tomb. When Jesus is raised from the dead by the Father, however, he will never die again, and the Gospel of John helps us see this by showing us that the only thing left behind in Jesus’ empty tomb is his burial clothing. 

OPENING MUSIC                 Lord, Thee I Love With All My Heart – J. S. Bach

Glory Be to Jesus - G. Winston Cassle



Blessed be God: Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit,

  And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen


Hear the commandments of God to his people:

I am the LORD your God,

who brought you out of the house of slavery.

You shall have no other gods.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


You shall not make wrongful use

of the name of the LORD your God.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


Honor your father and your mother.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


You shall not murder.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


You shall not commit adultery.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


You shall not steal.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,

or his male or female slave, or his ox, or his donkey,

or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

  Amen. Lord, have mercy.


These are the commandments of the LORD our God.

  Lord, have mercy on us sinners,

  and incline our hearts to keep your law.


Let us pray together the prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian:

  O Lord and Master of my life,

  take from me a spirit of laziness, despair,

  love of power, and idle talk.

  But give your servant a spirit of chastity,

  humility, patience, and love.

  Yes, O Lord and King,

  grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my neighbor.

  For You are blessed forever and ever. Amen   


WHymn             Glory Be to Jesus                  Green LBW 95

1      Glory be to Jesus,

        who, in bitter pains,

        poured for me the lifeblood

        from his sacred veins.


2      Grace and life eternal

        in that blood I find;

        blest be his compassion,

        infinitely kind.


3      Blest through endless ages

        be the precious stream

        which from endless torment

        did the world redeem.


4     Abel’s blood for vengeance

        pleaded to the skies;

        but the blood of Jesus

        for our pardon cries.


5      Oft as earth exulting

        wafts its praise on high,

        angel hosts rejoicing

        make their glad reply.


6      Lift we then our voices,

        swell the mighty flood;

        louder still and louder

        praise the precious blood.


Text: Italian, 18th cent.; tr. Edward Caswall, 1814-1878



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.

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.



Merciful God, you showed your glory to our fallen race by sending your Son to confound the powers of death. Call us forth from sin’s dark tomb, and break the bonds which hold us, that we may believe and proclaim him who is the cause of our freedom and the source of our life; who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.




I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him;

  In his word is my hope.                                                                         Psalm 130:4



FIRST READING:          Ezekiel 37:1-14


1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.


11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”


The Word of the Lord.                                                           Thanks be to God.


PSALM 130                                                                      Setting by Peter Hallock


Antiphon:         With the Lord there is mercy, with him there is plenteous redemption.


1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.                    Antiphon


2 If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss, O Lord, who could stand? 3 For there is forgiveness with you; therefore you shall be feared.



4 I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; in his words is my hope.

5 My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.                                                                Antiphon


 6  O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy;

7 With him there is plenteous redemption, and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.                                                                                    Antiphon       


SECOND READING                                                    Romans 8:6-11


6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.


The Word of the Lord.                                                  Thanks be to God.


VERSE   Mark 10:45                                               Setting by John W. Becker

The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.


Gospel                                                                                             John 11:1-45


The Holy Gospel according to St. John.                   Glory to you, O Lord.


1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.


The Gospel of the Lord.                                              Praise to you, O Christ.






W Hymn of the DaY    

Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart         Green LBW 325

St. 2/ Choir

Setting by H. F. Micheelsen

1      Lord, thee I love with all my heart;

        I pray thee, ne’er from me depart;

        with tender mercy cheer me.

        Earth has no pleasure I would share,

        yea, heav’n itself were void and bare

        if thou, Lord, wert not near me.

        And should my heart for sorrow break,

        my trust in thee can nothing shake.

        Thou art the portion I have sought;

        thy precious blood my soul has bought.

        Lord Jesus Christ,

        my God and Lord, my God and Lord,

        forsake me not! I trust thy word.


2      Yea, Lord, ’twas thy rich bounty gave

        my body, soul, and all I have

        in this poor life of labor.

        Lord, grant that I in ev’ry place

        may glorify thy lavish grace

        and serve and help my neighbor.

        Let no false doctrine me beguile,

        let Satan not my soul defile.

        Give strength and patience unto me

        to bear my cross and follow thee.

        Lord Jesus Christ,

        my God and Lord, my God and Lord,

        in death thy comfort still afford.


3      Lord, let at last thine angels come,

        to Abr’ham’s bosom bear me home,

        that I may die unfearing;

        and in its narrow chamber keep

        my body safe in peaceful sleep

        until thy reappearing.

        And then from death awaken me,

        that these mine eyes with joy may see,

        O Son of God, thy glorious face,

        my Savior and my fount of grace.

        Lord Jesus Christ,

        my prayer attend, my prayer attend,

        and I will praise thee without end!


Text: Martin Schalling, 1532-1608; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878, alt.

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






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


Silence is kept.


We pray for the holy catholic Church. Stir up your Holy Spirit, that your people may celebrate the Lord’s resurrection with thanksgiving; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We pray for all who are preparing for baptism. Raise from the death of sin all who seek the new life in Christ. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We pray for our congregation. Teach us to set our minds on the Spirit, which is life and peace. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We pray for our nation. Guide our President and his administration; the Congress; the courts, and all who serve in state and local government. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We pray for the world. Give a safe harbor to refugees and stateless persons, and lift up those afflicted by war, natural disaster, and plague: Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We pray for the North American Lutheran Seminary; its administration, faculty, staff, and students. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We pray for all who are in need, and ask your blessing upon these whom we name now.


The Pastor reads the names and situations submitted for prayer.

The People may intercede for others aloud or in silence.


Lord, in your mercy,                                                         

  hear our prayer.


We give thanks for those who have died. Bring us to rejoice together with them and with Mary, Martha and Lazarus in the resurrection on the last day. 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.




Since we are justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has given us access to his grace.

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 People are seated as the Lord’s table is prepared.



OFFERTORY  2 Timothy 2:8-13                               Setting by Kevin Norris

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him. If we are faithless, he remains faithful; for he cannot deny himself.



Lord, come to us and cleanse us,

come to us and heal us,

come to us and strengthen us,

 and grant that, having received you,

 we may never be separated from you,

 but continue yours forever.




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, through Christ our Lord; He died once for all to establish your grace forever among us; and by his rising from the dead he has fashioned anew our human nature, restoring to us the heavenly gifts lost through the deceit of the evil one. And so, with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:



The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


Blessed are you, O Lord our God.


You created us in your image;

    and in the mystery of your great love for us

    you sent your only Son, Jesus Christ,

    born of Mary by the power of the Spirit. 


Led by that Spirit he was tempted as we are tempted;

                He proclaimed your forgiveness to sinners;

    he loved even his enemies. 


Despised and rejected,

                he bore the alienation of the world

    as he stretched out his arms on the cross;

    and by this all-sufficient sacrifice

    he has drawn all people to himself,

    giving his life as a ransom for many. 


As we gather in his name and celebrate his testament,

    send your Spirit upon us

    and upon these gifts of bread and wine,

    that they may be for us

    the very body and blood of your Son,

    Christ Jesus, redeemer of the world.


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.

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

                Christ has died. 

                Christ is risen. 

                Christ will come again.


Blessed are you, O Lord our God. 


By your Son's life-giving passion and death,

                and by His resurrection and ascension into glory,              

                our Lord Jesus continually intercedes for us

                and for all he has claimed as his own. 


As we now share together

                this Bread of Life and this Cup of Salvation,

                unite us with all your faithful people                                                       

                in the forgiveness of sins,

                and bring us, at length, to that eternal celebration of life

                at the Lamb's high feast.




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


This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Happy are we who are called to his supper.

  Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,

  but only say the word and I shall be healed.

John 1:29; Revelation 19:9; Matthew 8:8


HYMN                   For Perfect Love So Freely Spent                     stanzas 1 and 2  


                For perfect love so freely spent,

                for fellowship restored,

                we celebrate your sacrament

                and sing your praise, O Lord.


                We come, by sin disquieted,

                and find our lives made whole;

                around this table we are fed

                refreshment for the soul.








Come Down, O Love Divine                 Green LBW 508

1      Come down, O Love divine;

        seek thou this soul of mine

        and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;

        O Comforter, draw near;

        within my heart appear

        and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.


2      Oh, let it freely burn,

        till worldly passions turn

        to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;

        and let thy glorious light

        shine ever on my sight,

        and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.


3      Let holy charity

        mine outward vesture be,

        and lowliness become mine inner clothing--

        true lowliness of heart,

        which takes the humbler part,

        and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.


4     And so the yearning strong,

        with which the soul will long,

        shall far outpass the pow’r of human telling;

        no soul can guess his grace

        till it become the place

        where in the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.


Text: Bianco da Siena, d. 1434; tr. Richard F. Littledale, 1833-1890

When all have received, the People stand at the direction of the pastor.


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




                 For Perfect Love So Freely Spent                                      stanza 3


                Abide with us; in all our ways

                your saving love be shown;

                so may our lives be hymns of praise,

                O Christ, to you alone.



O Lord, you have called us to be your witnesses.

Cleanse us from all unbelief and sloth

and fill us with hope and zeal,

  that we may do your work,

  and bear your cross,

  and bide your time,

  and see your glory.



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

bless you now and forever.




                                Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus      Green LBW 487  

(The text of this hymn may not be reproduced here.)


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.

Eucharistic Canon reprinted with permission from A Little Book of Canons by Rod L. Ronneberg, STS, © 1997 and © 2010.

Additional liturgical material from Common Worship: Times and Seasons,

© 2006 The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England,

and Foretaste of the Feast to Come, by Philip Pfatteicher, 1997 Augsburg Publishing House.

Proper Preface from We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic Prefaces, ed. Alan Griffiths, Sheed and Ward, 2000.


Wesley, Frank, 1923-2002. Raising of Lazarus, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved March 20, 2023]. Original source: Estate of Frank Wesley,

Christ's miracles on the Andrews diptych (top right), from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved March 20, 2023]. Original source: Prof. Patout J. Burns.

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