April 13, 2017
When God made His covenant with Israel through Moses, it was confirmed by the shedding of innocent blood. Moses took half of the sacrificial blood and threw it on the altar, thereby making atonement for the sins of the people. And half the blood he threw on the people, declaring, “Behold, the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words” (Exodus 24:8). This was followed by a covenant meal, in which Moses and Aaron along with Aaron’s sons and seventy elders of Israel ate and drank in God’s presence on the mountain. In Christ’s death, He has established a new and greater covenant. As He is crucified, His blood atones for the sins of all people. And as Moses and the elders of Israel beheld God and ate and drank, so also do we behold God and eat and drink in His presence when we receive the covenant meal of His body and blood. “Drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27).
Now, My Tongue, the Mystery Telling
© The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License .NET, no. 100011256.
The Gloria Patri (and other Trinitarian doxological verses) being omitted during Holy Week, we sing only stanzas 1-4 of the opening hymn.
The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.
P In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
P I will go to the altar of God,
C to God my exceeding joy.
P Our help is in the name of the Lord,
C who made heaven and earth.
P During this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to intensify our struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that prevents us from trusting in God and loving one another. Since it is our intention to receive the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ on this night when He instituted this blessed meal for our salvation, it is proper that we complete our Lenten discipline by diligently examining ourselves, as St. Paul urges us to do. This Holy Sacrament has been instituted for the special comfort of those who are troubled because of their sin and who humbly confess their sins, fear God’s wrath, and hunger and thirst for righteousness.
P Having heard the Word of God, let us confess our sins to Him, imploring Him for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ, to grant us forgiveness.
P I now ask you before God, who searches the heart:
Do you confess that you have sinned against God and deserved His wrath and punishment? - Then declare so by saying: I do confess.
C I do confess.
P Indeed, you should confess, for Holy Scripture declares, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."
Do you repent of all your sins committed in thought, word and deed? Then declare so by saying: I do repent.
C I do repent.
P Indeed, you should repent, as did the penitent sinners: King David, who prayed for a contrite heart; Peter, who wept bitterly; the sinful woman; the prodigal son; and others.
Do you believe that God, by grace for Jesus' sake, will forgive you all your sins? Then declare so by saying: I do believe.
C I do believe.
P Indeed, you should believe, for Holy Scripture declares, "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
Do you promise that with the aid of the Holy Spirit you will henceforth amend your sinful life? Then declare so by saying: I do promise.
C I do promise.
P Indeed, you should so promise, for Christ, the Lord, says, "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
Finally, do you believe that through me, a called servant of God, you will receive the forgiveness of all of your sins? Then declare so by saying: I do believe.
C I do believe.
P Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit.
P Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Go +in peace.
Salutation and Collect of the Day
O Lord, in this wondrous Sacrament You have left us a remembrance of Your passion. Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of Your body and blood that the fruits of Your redemption may continually be manifest in us; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Old Testament Reading
3Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the just decrees And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.”
4And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. 6And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.
11But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
15Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
17Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
20When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
26Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
C I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life + of the world to come. Amen.
The Death of Jesus Christ, Our Lord
5 We dare not ask how this can be,
6 They who this word do not believe
7 But blest is each believing guest
8 Help us sincerely to believe
(Click on link above to hear the sermon.)
The Offering, gathered at the entrance to the service, is now presented to the Lord.
Prayer of the Church
P On this night, we remember not only that Jesus is the Mediator of the new covenant established in the shedding of His blood at Calvary, but also that Jesus invites us to His Table, where He gives us His blood in the cup of the new covenant as the pledge and promise of forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Therefore, let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.
Silence for meditation.
P Holy Lord, because Your Son willingly offered Himself as the all-availing sacrifice for our sins, He has secured an eternal redemption for all sinners. Grant us Your Spirit that we would joyfully and boldly proclaim this Good News of salvation to all creation. By Your Word and Spirit, turn many hearts to Your Son whose blood alone purchases and wins us from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil. Lord, in Your mercy.
C Hear our prayer.
P Holy Lord, send faithful pastors who proclaim the blood of Jesus that speaks a better word than Abel, for Jesus’ blood speaks the forgiveness of sins. Through Your Son’s blood that is sprinkled on us and fed to us in Word and Sacrament, grant us a good conscience, assure us of Your Son’s love for us, and put the devil to flight. Lord, in Your mercy.
C Hear our prayer.
P Holy Lord, the devil seeks the downfall of nations. Protect this nation and every nation from the attacks of the evil one. Grant all nations peace and harmony. Give to our president, the Congress, and all elected and appointed civil servants Your courage and wisdom so that they follow Your will, lead with truth and integrity, and seek to glorify You always. Protect those who guard us at home and abroad. Bless us with hearts that care for the vulnerable in our society, including the unborn. Lord, in Your mercy.
C Hear our prayer.
P Holy Lord, Your Son brought His own blood into the heavenly sanctuary to open the new and living way to Your throne of grace. Grant us daily use of our open access to You to receive help and mercy for the sick, the shut-in, the suffering, the lonely, the addicted, the unemployed and underemployed, the persecuted, the dying, and any who have need. Lord, in Your mercy.
C Hear our prayer.
P Holy Lord, in the first covenant, the people were sprinkled with the blood of animals but only Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders ate and drank in Your presence. In the new and greater covenant, Your Son shed His blood to consecrate us as His holy people, His royal priesthood, to bring us into His presence and give us His blood to drink. Sprinkle our hearts clean with this blood and purify our conscience from dead works to serve You, the living God, through this life into the life and the world to come. Lord, in Your mercy.
C Hear our prayer.
P All these things and whatever else You see that we need, grant us dear Father; through Christ Jesus, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
It is truly meet, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who accomplished the salvation of mankind by the tree of the cross that, where death arose, there life also might rise again and that the serpent who overcame by the tree of the garden might likewise by the tree of the cross be overcome. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:
The Words of Our Lord
As the Sacrament is being distributed, you are invited to silently meditate on the great gift here offered. To assist in your meditation, pray the prayer for before/after receiving the Sacrament found in the front cover of the hymnal, read the portion of the catechism on the Sacrament of the Altar (pp. 326-7), read through the "Christian Questions" for those who intend to go to the Sacrament (pp. 329-30), or contemplate on the hymns of the Lord's Supper (#534, #559, #574, #597, #602, #617-#643, #680, #821). I would particularly draw your attention to those hymns not typically sung in our congregations because of the unfamiliarity of their tunes: #559, #574, #626, #635, #639, #680.
The Gloria Patri being omitted during Holy Week, the Nunc Dimittis ends after "and the glory of Thy people, Israel.
P As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup:
C Ye do show the Lord's death til He come.
P Let us pray.
The Sacred Triduum is one service divided across three days, so there is no benediction in today's liturgy.
In preparation for the observances of Good Friday, the altar is stripped as the congregation chants the 22nd Psalm, alternating by couplet with the cantors.
1My God, my God, why have you for- | saken me?*
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my | groaning?
2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not | answer,*
and by night, but I | find no rest.
3Yet you are | holy,*
enthroned on the praises of | Israel.
4In you our fathers | trusted;*
they trusted, and you de- | livered them.
5To you they cried and were | rescued;*
in you they trusted and were not | put to shame.
6But I am a worm and | not a man,*
scorned by mankind and despised by the | people.
7All who see me | mock me;*
they make mouths at me; they | wag their heads;
8“He trusts in the Lord; let him de- | liver him;*
let him rescue him, for he de- | lights in him!”
9Yet you are he who took me | from the womb;*
you made me trust you at my | mother’s breasts.
10On you was I cast | from my birth,*
and from my mother’s womb you have | been my God.
11Be not far from me,
for trouble | is near,*
and there is | none to help.
12Many bulls en- | compass me;*
strong bulls of Bashan sur- | round me;
13they open wide their | mouths at me,*
like a ravening and roaring | lion.
14I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are | out of joint;*
my heart is like wax;
it is melted with- | in my breast;
15my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks | to my jaws;*
you lay me in the | dust of death.
16For dogs en- | compass me;*
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my | hands and feet—
17I can count | all my bones—*
they stare and gloat | over me;
18they divide my garments a- | mong them,*
and for my clothing they | cast lots.
19But you, O Lord, do not be | far off!*
O you my help, come quickly | to my aid!
20Deliver my soul | from the sword,*
my precious life from the power | of the dog!
21Save me from the mouth of the | lion!*
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild | oxen!
22I will tell of your name to my | brothers;*
in the midst of the congregation I will | praise you:
23You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glo- | rify him,*
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of | Israel!
24For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his | face from him,*
but has heard, when he | cried to him.
25From you comes my praise in the great congre- | gation;*
my vows I will perform before those who | fear him.
26The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall | praise the Lord!*
May your hearts live for- | ever!
27All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn | to the Lord,*
and all the families of the nations
shall worship be- | fore you.
28For kingship belongs | to the Lord,*
and he rules over the | nations.
29All the prosperous of the earth eat and | worship;*
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep him- | self alive.
30Posterity shall | serve him;*
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming gener- | ation;
31they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people | yet unborn,*
that he has | done it.
The congregation departs in silent anticipation of part two of the Sacred Triduum: Good Friday. Joint services will be conducted with the Tre Ore at 12:00n at St. Paul’s and the Chief Service at 7:30pm at Grace.
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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