Sunday, March 12, 2023

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

 The livestream may be found here.

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman



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 (Exodus 17:1-7): God has brought the people out of Egypt through the Red Sea, but before they even reach Sinai, they lose faith that the Lord will sustain them in their journey to the promised land. The miraculous water from the rock is to be a sign for them, that the Lord will provide for them and slake their thirst, not only for water for the body, but for justice, peace, and mercy.


SECOND READING (Romans 5:1-11): Christ has done what we could not: he reconciles us to God. Christ’s death proves God’s love to us, for Christ died for us while we were still sinners and rebels against him. This is the mark of God’s love, to love that which is not lovable, and this kind of love creates our relationship with God anew:


‘God’s love does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it…This is the love of the cross, born of the cross, which turns in the direction where it does not find good, which it may enjoy, but where it may confer good on the evil and needy person’ (Martin Luther, Heidelberg Disputation, Thesis 28 and explanation).


GOSPEL (John 4:5-42): The Samaritan woman’s great religious question is answered: is her people’s mountain or Mount Zion in Jerusalem the holy place at which sacrifice is to be offered? Jesus points her to a new understanding – the people who have the Spirit of faith are God’s new temple in which right worship is offered. The woman leaves behind her water jar (not simply a narrative detail, but a symbol of her past search for meaning) to tell her community that she has found the Messiah, the one who gives an endless supply of ‘living water’. They ‘come and see’ and are likewise brought to true faith.  



OPENING MUSIC                          I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say - J.M. Strobel

Glories of Your Name Are Spoken - I. Philip Gehring

II. Kevin Norris



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             Green LBW 358                 

Glories of Your Name Are Spoken


1      Glories of your name are spoken,

        Zion, city of our God;

        he whose word cannot be broken

        formed you for his own abode.

        On the Rock of Ages founded,

        what can shake your sure repose?

        With salvation’s walls surrounded,

        you may smile at all your foes.


2      See, the streams of living waters,

        springing from eternal love,

        well supply your sons and daughters,

        and all fear of want remove.

        Who can faint, while such a river

        ever will their thirst assuage?

        Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,

        never fails from age to age.


3      Round each habitation hov’ring,

        see the cloud and fire appear

        for a glory and a cov’ring,

        showing that the Lord is near.

        Thus deriving from their banner

        light by night and shade by day,

        safe they feed upon the manna

        which God gives them on their way.


4     Savior, since of Zion’s city

        I through grace a member am,

        let the world deride or pity,

        I will glory in your name.

        Fading are the worldlings’ pleasures,

        all their boasted pomp and show;

        solid joys and lasting treasures

        none but Zion’s children know.


Text: John Newton, 1725-1807, alt.



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.



Eternal God, your kingdom has broken into our troubled world through the life, death, and resurrection of your Son. Help us to hear your Word and obey it, so that we become instruments of your redeeming love; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.     




The woman said:

‘I know that Messiah is coming…

[he] will proclaim all things to us.’

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                                          John 4:25



FIRST READING:          Exodus 17:1-7


1From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” 3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”


The Word of the Lord.                                                  

  Thanks be to God.





1 Come, let us sing | to the Lord;*

                let us shout for joy to the rock of | our salvation.

2 Let us come before his presence | with thanksgiving*

                and raise a loud shout to | him with psalms.

3 For the Lord | is a great God,*

                and a great King | above all gods.

4 In his hand are the caverns | of the earth,*

                and the heights of the hills | are his also.

5 The sea is his, | for he made it,*

                and his hands have molded | the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down and | bend the knee,*

                and kneel before the | Lord our Maker.

7 For he is our God,

and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep | of his hand.*

                Oh, that today you would hearken | to his voice!

8 Harden not your hearts,

as your forebears did | in the wilderness,*

                at Meribah, and on that day at Massah,

when they | tempted me.

9 They put me | to the test,*

                though they had | seen my works.

10 Forty years long I detested that genera- | tion and said,*

                "This people are wayward in their hearts;

they do not | know my ways."

11 So I swore | in my wrath,*

                "They shall not enter in- | to my rest."                       Antiphon

SECOND READING                                                    Romans 5:1-11


1Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


The Word of the Lord.                  

  Thanks be to God.



VERSE   Philippians 2:8                                        Setting by John W. Becker

Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


Gospel                                                                                             John 4:5-42


The Holy Gospel according to St. John.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


5[Jesus] came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.6Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
7A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” 17The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” 26Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
27Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” 28Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” 30They left the city and were on their way to him.
31Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” 34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
39Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41And many more believed because of his word.

 42They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”


The Gospel of the Lord.

  Praise to you, O Christ.






W Hymn of the DaY             I Heard The Voice of Jesus Say 


1      I heard the voice of Jesus say,

        "Come unto me and rest;

        lay down, O weary one, lay down

        your head upon my breast."

        I came to Jesus as I was,

        so weary, worn, and sad;

        I found in him a resting-place,

        and he has made me glad.


2      I heard the voice of Jesus say,

        "Behold, I freely give

        the living water, thirsty one;

        stoop down and drink and live."

        I came to Jesus, and I drank

        of that life-giving stream;

        my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,

        and now I live in him.


3      I heard the voice of Jesus say,

        "I am this dark world's light;

        look unto me, your morn shall rise,

        and all your day be bright."

        I looked to Jesus, and I found

        in him my star, my sun;

        and in that light of life I'll walk

        till trav'ling days are done.


Text: Horatius Bonar, 1808-1889

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.


For the renewal of the Spirit of new birth in the whole Church; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For all those who seek your truth, that you may quench the thirst of every parched soul; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For those who preach, teach, and hear the Word of God, that they may also believe and obey it; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For our congregation, that we may boast in our sufferings and in the hope of sharing your glory through Christ; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For the North American Lutheran Seminary: its administration, faculty, staff, and students; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For the government, the armed forces, and those who protect and serve our communities; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For the nations of the world, refugees and stateless persons, and for those afflicted by war, natural disaster, and plague; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For all who are in special need, especially those whom we name before you:


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.

In thanksgiving for Moses, who by your power brought water from the rock; for the woman at the well, who left her water jar to receive the living water, and for all who have died in faith, who drink from the River of Life; 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  Jeremiah 50:4-5                           Setting by Kevin Norris

In those days, and in that time, says the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come; and they shall seek the Lord their God.  They shall ask the way to Zion with faces turned toward it, saying, “Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant which will never be forgotten.”    



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; To reveal the mystery of his coming in the lowliness of human flesh he sat down in weariness at the well, and asked for a drink from the Samaritan woman. He had already created within her the gift of faith; now in his compassion he thirsted for that faith and kindled in her heart the fire of your love. And so, 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.






Choir Anthem

“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” - Setting by Alfred Fedak

                   Pamela Luy, Violin


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.




                                Green LBW 356   O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts   


1      O Jesus, joy of loving hearts,

        the fount of life, the light of all:

        from ev’ry bliss that earth imparts

        we turn, unfilled, to hear your call.


2      Your truth unchanged has ever stood;

        you plead with all to call on you;

        to those who seek you, you are good;

        to those who find you, life is new.


3      We taste you, ever-living bread,

        and long to feast upon you still;

        we drink of you, the fountainhead;

        our thirsting souls from you we fill.


4     For you our restless spirits yearn,

        where’er our changing lot is cast;

        glad, when your smile on us you turn,

        blest, when by faith we hold you fast.


5      O Jesus, ever with us stay!

        Make all our moments fair and bright!

        Oh, chase the night of sin away!

        Shed o’er the world your holy light.


Text: attr. Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153; tr. Ray Palmer, 1808-1887, 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.

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.

Christ and the Samaritan Woman, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved March 6, 2023]. Original source:

Greco, 1541?-1614. Christ Blessing, The Saviour of the World, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved March 6, 2023]. 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