Sunday, April 16, 2023

The Holy Communion on the Second Sunday of Easter: April 16, 2023, 10:30 a.m.

 The livestream may be found here.

Thomas and Jesus, from the baptistry altar of the German Church in Stockholm



I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe. I know what torment this is, but I can only see it, in myself anyway, as the process by which faith is deepened. A faith that just accepts is a child’s faith and all right for children, but eventually you have to grow religiously as every other way, though some never do.

 ‘What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross. It is much harder to believe, you must at least do this: keep an open mind. Keep it open toward faith, keep wanting it, keep asking for it, and leave the rest to God.

 ‘When we get our spiritual house in order, we’ll be dead. This goes on. You arrive at enough certainty to be able to make your way, but it is making it in darkness. Don’t expect faith to clear things up for you. It is trust, not certainty.’


Flannery O’ Connor



OPENING MUSIC                           Prelude in D Minor (BWV 539) - J. S. Bach
Trumpet Voluntary - John Stanley
Christopher Cox, Trumpet



W ENTRANCE Hymn               

Make Songs of Joy       Green LBW 150

The text of this hymn may not be reproduced here.



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.


W HYMN OF PRAISE                 To the Lamb Be Glory

Text/Revelation 4:11; 5:9, 10, 12

               Setting/ Paul D. Weber

Refrain: To the Lamb be glory, honor, and power.

 Choir 1: O Lord our God, You are worthy to receive glory, honor, and power! For You have created all things; by Your will they came to be and were made!                                                                                                        Refrain


Pastor 2: You are worthy to receive the scroll and break open its seals, for You were slain. with Your blood You purchased for God folk of every race and tongue, of every people and nation.                                           Refrain


Choir 3: You made of them a kingdom, and priests to serve our God, and they shall reign on the earth. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and praise!                                                                                                                             Refrain


Choir: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit; as in the beginning. so now and forever. Amen.                                                        Refrain


God of life, source of all faith, through the waters of baptism you have raised us up in Jesus and given us life that endures. Day by day refine our faith, that we who have not seen the Christ may truly confess him as our Lord and God, and share the blessedness of those who believe; through Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.




These are written so that you may come to believe

that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God,

and through believing have life in his name.         

   Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                                                      John 20:31



First Reading        Acts 2:14a, 22-32


By the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter and the apostles bear witness to the resurrection, interpreting the Scriptures with reference to Jesus.


14aPeter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed [the crowd], 22“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know—23this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25For David says concerning him,
 ‘I saw the Lord always before me,
  for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
  moreover my flesh will live in hope.

27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
  or let your Holy One experience corruption.
28You have made known to me the ways of life;
  you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

29“Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne.

31Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
 ‘He was not abandoned to Hades,
  nor did his flesh experience corruption.’
32This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.”


The Word of the Lord.                                                  

  Thanks be to God.






1 Protect me, O God, for I take ref- | uge in you;*

                I have said to the Lord, "You are my Lord,

my good a- | bove all other."

2 All my delight is upon the godly that are | in the land,*

                upon those who are noble a- | mong the people.

3 But those who run after | other gods*

                shall have their troubles | multiplied.

4 Their libations of blood I | will not offer,*

                nor take the names of their gods up- | on my lips.

5 O Lord, you are my portion | and my cup;*

                it is you who up- | hold my lot.

6 My boundaries enclose a | pleasant land;*

                indeed, I have a | goodly heritage.

7 I will bless the Lord who | gives me counsel;*

                my heart teaches me night | after night.

8 I have set the Lord al- | ways before me;*

                because he is at my right hand, I | shall not fall.

 9 My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spir- | it rejoices;*

                my body also shall | rest in hope.

10 For you will not abandon me | to the grave,*

                nor let your holy one | see the pit.

11 You will show me the | path of life;*

                in your presence there is fullness of joy,

                and in your right hand are pleasures for- | evermore.



Second Reading                                        1 Peter 1:3-9


The apostle Peter includes those faithful Christians who have not seen the risen Christ in the company of those who receive the new birth of the Spirit.


3Blessed 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, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


The Word of the Lord.                                                    

  Thanks be to God.



VERSE     Romans 6:9, John 20:29                   Setting by Walter L. Pelz

Alleluia. Christ being raised from the dead will die no more; death has no more dominion over him. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Alleluia.


Gospel                                                                                         John 20:19-31


The Holy Gospel according to St. John.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


On the day of the resurrection, Jesus appears to the disciples in the Upper Room, and appears again to them the following week. He evokes faith in Thomas by showing him the wounds he received on the cross.


19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


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







O Sons and Daughters of the King       Green LBW 139

ALL:  Alleluia refrains

ALL: St. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9            Choir: St. 2, 4, 6, 8

O Sons and Daughters of the King


        Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


1      O sons and daughters of the King,

        whom heav’nly hosts in glory sing,

        today the grave has lost its sting!



2      That Easter morn, at break of day,

        the faithful women went their way

        to seek the tomb where Jesus lay.



3      An angel clad in white they see,

        who sits and speaks unto the three,

        “Your Lord will go to Galilee.”



4     That night the apostles met in fear;

        among them came their master dear,

        and said, “My peace be with you here.”



5      When Thomas first the tidings heard,

        that they had seen the risen Lord,

        he doubted the disciples’ word.



6      “My pierced side, O Thomas, see,

        and look upon my hands, my feet;

        not faithless, but believing be.”



7      No longer Thomas then denied;

        he saw the feet, the hands, the side;

        “You are my Lord and God!” he cried.



8      How blest are they who have not seen,

        and yet whose faith has constant been,

        for they eternal life shall win.



9     On this most holy day of days,

        be laud and jubilee and praise:

        to God your hearts and voices raise.



        Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!


Text: attr. Jean Tisserand, d. 1494; tr. John M. Neale, 1818-1866, 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






Rejoicing in the resurrection of our Lord, let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


Silence is kept.


Father, your risen Son revealed himself to his disciples in the Upper Room, and reveals himself to us today in his Word and Sacrament. By your Spirit, open the eyes of our hearts to behold him in faith and acknowledge him as Lord and God. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


The Church bears witness to your Son’s resurrection and is empowered by the Spirit to forgive sins in his name. Make us part of the Spirit’s activity in the Church. Help us to build your Church and make our confession of Jesus before others. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Your Son blessed Thomas with faith in the resurrection. Give us your aid, so that all who do not see may yet believe and be helped in their unbelief. Bring all those who doubt into the community of your Church to encounter you among his people. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Look with your goodness and mercy upon the peoples of the world, especially those afflicted by violence, hunger, pollution, and disease. Come to their assistance, and bless governments and rulers, that they may truly serve the people to whom they are entrusted. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We ask you to show your mercy upon those we name before you, for whom we have been called to pray…


The pastor reads the names; the people are invited to offer intercessions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


 We give you thanks, O God, for after his Resurrection you exalted Jesus at your right hand, and we look for the day when he is revealed to all people. May we stand in that day to greet him with shouts of joy and take our places with those who have gone before us confessing him as Lord and God. 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.




Jesus came and stood among his disciples and said,

‘Peace be with you.’

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

The peace of the Lord be with you always. 

  And also with you. 


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



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



OFFERTORY      1 Peter 2:1-3                          Setting by Walter L. Pelz

Alleluia. Put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and slander. Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.  Alleluia.



Father, creator of all things, you wash away our sins,

you give us new birth by the Spirit,

and you redeem us in the blood of Christ.

As we celebrate the Resurrection, renew your gift of life within us.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.






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. In your great mercy you have given us a new birth into a living hope through his resurrection; who on the first day of the week, appeared to his disciples, and revealed his wounds to his apostle Thomas, that he might see and believe and become a witness to those who have not seen. And so, with Thomas and the apostles, 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:



The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


You are indeed holy, O God, the fountain of all holiness;

                you bring light from darkness, life from death,

speech from silence.

We worship you for our lives and for the world you give us.

We thank you for the new world to come

                and for the love that will rule all in all.

We praise you for the grace shown to Israel, your chosen,

                the people of your promise:

                the rescue from Egypt, the gift of the promised land,

                the memory of the fathers, the homecoming from exile,

                and the prophets' words that will not be in vain.

In all this we bless you for your only-begotten Son,

                who fulfilled, and will fulfill, all your promises.


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, O God, with this bread and cup

                we remember the incarnation of your Son:

                his human birth and the covenant he made with us.

We remember the sacrifice of his life:

                his eating with outcasts and sinners,

and his acceptance of death.

But chiefly on this day we remember his rising from the tomb,

                his ascension to the seat of power,

                and his sending of the holy and life-giving Spirit.

We cry out for the resurrection of our lives,

                when Christ will come again in beauty and power

                to share with us the great and promised feast.

  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit,

                that we and all who share in this bread and cup

                may be united in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

                may enter the fullness of the kingdom of heaven,

                and may 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.


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


Alleluia! Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us.

  Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!


We adore Christ, present in bread and wine.      










Choir     Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia

Text/ Bernard Kyamanywa; tr. H. S. Olson;

Music/ Traditional Tanzanian

Please follow the text at BLUE WOV 678, St. 1, 2, 5, as the choir sings     


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













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; and the blessing of God,    

Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you forever.




                                Thine Is the Glory                           Green LBW 145

1      Thine is the glory,

        risen, conqu'ring Son;

        endless is the vict'ry

        thou o'er death hast won!

        Angels in bright raiment

        rolled the stone away,

        kept the folded grave-clothes

        where thy body lay.



        Thine is the glory,

        risen, conqu'ring Son;

        endless is the vict'ry

        thou o'er death hast won!


2      Lo, Jesus meets thee,

        risen from the tomb!

        Lovingly he greets thee,

        scatters fear and gloom;

        let his church with gladness

        hymns of triumph sing,

        for the Lord now liveth;

        death hath lost its sting!  Refrain


3      No more we doubt thee,

        glorious Prince of life;

        life is naught without thee;

        aid us in our strife;

        make us more than conqu'rors,

        through thy deathless love;

        bring us safe through Jordan

        to thy home above.  Refrain


Text: Edmond Budry, 1854-1932; tr. R. Birch Hoyle, 1875-1939



Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

  Thanks be to God! 




Lutheran Book of Worship Daily Scripture Readings


Monday, April 17: Daniel 1:1-21; 1 John 1:1-10; John 17:1-11

Tuesday, April 18: Daniel 2:1-16; 1 John 2:1-11; John 17:12-19

Wednesday, April 19: Daniel 2:17-30; 1 John 2:12-17; John 17:20-26

Thursday, April 20: Daniel 2:31-49; 1 John 2:18-29; Luke 3:1-14

Friday, April 21: Daniel 3:1-18; 1 John 3:1-10; Luke 3:15-22

Saturday, April 22: Daniel 3:19-30; 1 John 3:11-18; Luke 4:1-13

Sunday, April 23: Daniel 4:1-18; 1 Peter 4:7-11; John 21:15-25



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,

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

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

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