The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

11:00 am

Welcome to The Episcopal Church of the Ascension.  Here “we challenge ourselves and the world to love like Jesus as we worship joyfully, serve compassionately and grow spiritually.”

The Holy Eucharist: Rite Two

The Word of God

The Organ Voluntary

Matins, Healey Willan

The Hymn in Procession

Hymn 546, Siroë

1 Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve,
and press with vigor on;
a heavenly race demands thy zeal,
and an immortal crown.

2 A cloud of witnesses around
hold thee in full survey;
forget the steps already trod
and onward urge thy way.

3 ’Tis God’s all-animating voice
that calls thee from on high;
’tis his own hand presents the prize
to thine aspiring eye.

4 Then wake, my soul, stretch every nerve,
and press with vigor on;
a heavenly race demands thy zeal,
and an immortal crown.

Words: Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)
Music: Siroë, George Frideric Handel (1685-1759); adapt. Melodia Sacra, 1815
Meter: 86. 866

The Acclamation

Presider †Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.
Presider Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Gloria in Excelsis

The Collect of the Day

The Presider says to the people
The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Presider Let us pray.

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The First Reading

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22

The king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have won your favor, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me– that is my petition– and the lives of my people– that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?” Esther said, “A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated.

Mordecai recorded these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, enjoining them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same month, year by year, as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor.

Lector The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

The Response

Psalm 124

Nisi quia Domnius

1 If the Lord had not been on our side, *
let Israel now say;

2 If the Lord had not been on our side, *
when enemies rose up against us;

3 Then would they have swallowed us up alive *
in their fierce anger toward us;

4 Then would the waters have overwhelmed us *
and the torrent gone over us;

5 Then would the raging waters *
have gone right over us.

6 Blessed be the Lord! *
he has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.

7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowler; *
the snare is broken, and we have escaped.

8 Our help is in the Name of the Lord, *
the maker of heaven and earth.

The Second Lesson

James 5:13-20

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Lector The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

The Sequence

Hymn 635, Wer nur den lieben Gott

1 If thou but trust in God to guide thee,
and hope in him through all thy ways,
he’ll give thee strength whate’er betide thee,
and bear thee through the evil days.
Who trusts in God’s unchanging love
builds on a rock that nought can move.

2 Sing, pray, and keep his ways unswerving;
so do thine own part faithfully,
and trust his word, though undeserving;
thou yet shalt find it true for thee;
God never yet forsook in need
the soul that trusted him indeed.

Words: Georg Neumark (1621-1681); tr. Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878), alt.
Music: Wer nur den lieben Gott, Georg Neumark (1621-1681)
Meter: 98. 98 88

The Holy Gospel

Mark 9:38-50

Presider The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.

John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Presider The Gospel of the Lord.
People Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Homily

The Rev. Brian Sullivan

The Nicene Creed

Presider and People

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. 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. 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.

The Prayers of the People

The Leader and People pray responsively

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.


For the special needs and concerns of this congregation.


For all people in their daily life and work;
For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.

For this community, the nation, and the world;
For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.

For the just and proper use of your creation;
For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;
For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.

For the peace and unity of the Church of God;
For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.

For Michael, our Presiding Bishop, and Rob, our Bishop; and for all bishops and other ministers;
For all who serve God in his Church.

For the special needs and concerns of this congregation


We pray for the Episcopal Church of the Ascension. 

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We also pray for your guidance as we search for our new organist/choirmaster.

We pray for those among us in need of healing, comfort, support, and compassion.

We pray for those who are currently serving our country in the Armed Forces including (names are in writing alternating weeks with those who have asked for our prayers) Kevin Jones, Charles Patterson, Lewis Patterson, Gabriel Thorn, Lee West, Bill Sanders, Christopher Briasco, Aaron Partlow, Rob Force, Joel Askins, Caleb, Jason, Stewart Baker, Cindy, Jake Jackson, Stovall Knight, Richard, Reese, Ryan Holman, Paige Blok, Greg Blok, Nate, Mike, Davis Smith, Chandler Celluzzi, Alli Padgette, Zachary Wallace, Stephen Moore, Taylor Tekesky, Will Rand, William Karpie, Samuel Spencer, Jason Lyons, Andrew McCoy, Robbie Grieder, Andrew Gaylor, and Brandon Titterington.


Hear us Lord;

For your mercy is great.

We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life.

We celebrate with those who have a birthday this week, especially Lacy McClung, Melissa Schimke, Peggy Brown, Hannah Miller, and Charlotte McGinnis.

We celebrate with those who have an anniversary this week, especially especially Todd and Laura Lou Harper.


We will exalt you, O God our King;

And praise your Name for ever and ever.

We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom.


Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;

Who put their trust in you.

The Presider adds a concluding Collect.

Confession of Sin

Presider Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Presider and People

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

The Bishop when present, or the Priest, stands and says

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.

The Peace

Presider The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.


The Offertory

God Be in My Head, John Rutter

The Holy Communion

The Great Thanksgiving

Presider The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Presider Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them to the Lord.
Presider Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give him thanks and praise.

The Presider proceeds
It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. Through Jesus Christ our Lord; who on the first day of the week overcame death
and the grave, and by his glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life. Therefore, we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

The Sanctus and Benedictus

Presider and People

The Presider continues
Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.

He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Therefore, we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Presider and People
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

The Presider continues
We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.

Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. †Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.

All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer

Presider And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to sing,
People and Presider

The Breaking of the Bread

The Presider breaks the consecrated Bread. A period of silence is kept.

Presider Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
People Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.
Presider The Gifts of God for the People of God.

Hymns During Communion

Hymn 309, O Welt, ich muss dich lassen

1 O Food to pilgrims given,
O Bread of life from heaven,
O Manna from on high!
We hunger; Lord, supply us,
nor thy delights deny us,
whose hearts to thee draw nigh.

2 O stream of love past telling,
O purest fountain, welling
from out the Savior’s side!
We faint with thirst; revive us,
of thine abundance give us,
and all we need provide.

3 O Jesus, by thee bidden,
we here adore thee, hidden
in forms of bread and wine.
Grant when the veil is riven,
we may behold, in heaven,
thy countenance divine.

Words: Latin, 1661; tr. John Athelstan Laurie Riley (1858-1945), alt.
Music: O Welt, ich muss dich lassen, present form of melody att. Heinrich Isaac (1450?-1517), alt.; harm. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Meter: 776. D

Hymn 344, Sicilian Mariners

1 Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing;
fill our hearts with joy and peace;
let us each, thy love possessing,
triumph in redeeming grace:
O refresh us, O refresh us
traveling through this wilderness.

2 Thanks we give and adoration
for thy Gospel’s joyful sound:
may the fruits of thy salvation
in our hearts and lives abound:
ever faithful, ever faithful
to thy truth may we be found;

3 so that when thy love shall call us,
Savior, from the world away,
fear of death shall not appall us,
glad thy summons to obey.
May we ever, may we ever
reign with thee in endless day.

Words: Att. to John Fawcett (1739/40-1817)
Music: Sicilian Mariners, Sicilian melody; first published The European Magazine and London Review, 1792, alt.
Meter: 87. 87. 87

Congregants worshiping at home are encouraged to say the Prayer for Spiritual Communion below while it is being distributed during the service.

In union, blessed Jesus, with the faithful gathered at every altar of your Church where your blessed Body and Blood are offered this day, and remembering particularly my own parish and those worshiping at home, I long to offer you praise and thanksgiving, for creation and all the blessings of this life, for the redemption won for us by your life, death, and resurrection, for the means of grace and the hope of glory. And particularly for the blessings given me… I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament, and, since I cannot at this time receive communion, I pray you to come into my heart. I unite myself with you and embrace you with all my heart, my soul, and my mind. Let nothing separate me from you; let me serve you in this life until, by your grace, I come to your glorious kingdom and unending peace.  Amen.

After Communion, the Presider says

Let us pray.

Presider and People

Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.
Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

The Hymn in Procession

WLP 782, Abbot’s Leigh

1 Gracious Spirit, give your servants
joy to set sin’s captives free,
hope to heal the brokenhearted,
peace to share love’s liberty.
Through us bring your balm of gladness
to the wounded and oppressed;
help us claim and show God’s favor
as a people called and blessed.

2 Word made flesh, who gave up glory
to become our great high priest,
taking on our human nature
to redeem the last and least:
let your courage and compassion
shape and guide our ministries;
as our Savior and our Shepherd,
lead us to the truth that frees.

3 Loving God, who birthed creation
from the nothingness of space,
kindling life where all was empty,
turning chaos into grace:
when we feel confused and fruitless,
dawn upon our restless night;
give us faith’s imagination,
hope’s renewing, love’s delight.

4 Triune God, eternal Being,
never ending, unbegun,
boundless grace and perfect justice,
righteous and forgiving One:
so enfold us in your mercy
that our wills and yours unite;
through us may the world behold you,
find your love, your truth, your light.

Words: Carl P. Daw, Jr. (B. 1944)
Music: Abbot’s Leigh, Cyril Vincent Taylor (1907-1991)
Meter: 87. 87. D

The Dismissal

The Closing Voluntary

If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee, J.S. Bach

Order of service from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979 according to the use of the Episcopal Church

The Altar Flowers are given
to the Glory of God and in celebration
of Anne Katherine’s 5th birthday
by Erle Newton II.