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St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Chester, Vermont

The First Sunday in Lent
February 18, 2024

This page will be updated during the week.

Organ prelude

selected and played by Karlaine Livingston

The service now begins with the Great Litany chanted responsively by Cantor and Congregation, while in a very slow procession to the chancel.  


The current version of the Great Litany is authorized by General Convention and the Standing Commission on Music and Liturgy. 

The Great Litany

(If it is comfortable for you to do so, please stand)
Presider: Holy God, Creator of heaven and earth.
People: Have mercy on us.

Presider: Holy and Mighty, Redeemer of the world,
People: Have mercy on us.

Presider: Holy Immortal One, Sanctifier of the faithful,
People: Have mercy on us.

Presider: Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, One God,
People: Have mercy on us.

The congregation may seated.

Presider: From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred and malice; and from all evil intent.
People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: From sloth, worldliness and love of money; from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,

People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: From sins of body and mind; from deceits of the world, flesh and the devil,

People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: From famine and disaster; from violence, murder, and dying unprepared,

People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy; in the hour of our death and at the day of judgment,

People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: By the mystery of your holy incarnation; by your birth, childhood and obedience; by your baptism, fasting and temptation,

People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: By your ministry in word and work; by your mighty acts of power; by the preaching of your reign,

People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: By your agony and trial; by your cross and passion; by your precious death and burial,

People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: By your mighty resurrection; by your glorious ascension; and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,

People: Savior deliver us.

Presider: Hear our prayers, O Christ our God.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Govern and direct your holy Church; fill it with love and truth; and grant it that unity which is your will.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Give us boldness to preach the gospel in all the world, and to make disciples of all the nations.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Enlighten your bishops, priests and deacons (especially _______) with knowledge and understanding, that by their teaching and their lives they may proclaim your word.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Give your people grace to witness to your word and bring forth the fruit of your Spirit.

People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived.

People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Strengthen those who stand; comfort and help the fainthearted; raise up the fallen; and finally beat down Satan under our feet.

People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Guide the leaders of the nations into the ways of peace and justice.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Give your wisdom and strength to Joseph R. Biden, the President of the United States, Phil Scott, the Governor of this state, and the elected officials of Chester and all our communities, that in all things they may do your will, for your glory and the common good.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Give to the Congress of the United States, the members of the President’s Cabinet, those who serve in our state legislature, and all others in authority the grace to walk always in the ways of truth.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Bless the justices of the Supreme Court and all those who administer the law, that they may act with integrity and do justice for all your people.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Give us the will to use the resources of the earth to your glory and for the good of all.

People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Bless and keep all your people,

People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Comfort and liberate the lonely, the bereaved (especially _______) and the oppressed.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Keep in safety those who travel (especially _______) and all who are in peril.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Heal the sick in body, mind or spirit, extend our care to the earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey, and provide for the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Guard and protect all children who are in danger.
People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Shower your compassion on prisoners, hostages and refugees, and all who are in trouble.

People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers, and turn their hearts.

People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Hear us as we remember those who have died (especially _______) and grant us with them a share in your eternal glory.

People: Hear us, O Christ.

Presider: Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your word.

The congregation is invited to stand

Presider: God be with you.
People: And also with you.

Presider: Let us pray.

Collect for the First Sunday in Lent (Book of Common Prayer, p. 218)
Presider and people: 
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations, and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


The First Reading - Genesis 9:8-17

Reader: A reading from Genesis 

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12 God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ 17 God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’


Reader     Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.

People:      Thanks be to God.

PSALM 25:1-9

1To you, O God, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; * let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 


2 Let none who look to you be put to shame; * let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes. 


3 Show me your ways, O God, * and teach me your paths. 


4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, * for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long. 

5 Remember, O God, your compassion and love, * for they are from everlasting. 


6 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; * remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O God. 


7 Gracious and upright are you; * therefore you teach sinners in your way. 


8 You guide the humble in doing right * and teach your way to the lowly. 


9 All your paths are love and faithfulness * to those who keep your covenant and your testimonies.

The Second Reading - 1 Peter 3:18-22

Reader: A reading from the First Letter of Peter. 

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,  19 in which also he went and made a
proclamation to the spirits in prison,  20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,  22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

Reader     Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.

People:      Thanks be to God.

Sequence Hymn 608 (The Hymnal 1982)

The Holy Gospel Mark 1:9-15
Reader:     The Holy Gospel of our Savior Christ according to Mark.
People:      Glory to you, O Christ.

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” 12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

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

The Sermon: The Rev. Bruce L. MacDuffie

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, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. 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, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who 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.


The Peace
Presider: The peace of Christ be always with you.
People: And also with you.

Offertory Sentence: Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.

Offertory Hymn 142  (The Hymnal 1982)

Presentation of the offering
Presider and people: All things come of thee, O God, and of thine own have we given thee.

Eucharistic Prayer C (The people remain standing)


Presider: God 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 our thanks and praise.

Presider: God of all power, Ruler of the Universe, you are worthy of glory and praise.

People: Glory to you for ever and ever. 

Presider: At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home. 

People: By your will they were created and have their being. 


Presider: From the primal elements you brought forth the human race, and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill. You made us the rulers of creation. But we turned against you, and betrayed your trust; and we turned against one another. 

People: Have mercy, God, for we are sinners in your sight. 


Presider: Again and again, you called us to return. Through prophets and sages you revealed your righteous Law. And in the fullness of time you sent your only Son, born of a woman, to fulfill your Law, to open for us the way of freedom and peace. 

People: By his blood, he reconciled us. 

People: By his wounds, we are healed. 


Presider: And therefore we praise you, joining with the heavenly chorus, with prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and with all those in every generation who have looked to you in hope, to proclaim with them your glory, in their unending hymn:

The Sanctus 125 (Service Music, The Hymnal 1982)

The people stand or kneel.
And so, Father, we who have been redeemed by him, and made a new people by water and the Spirit, now bring before you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. 


On the night he was betrayed he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his friends, 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, gave thanks, 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.” 


Remembering now his work of redemption, and offering to you this sacrifice of thanksgiving, 

People: We celebrate his death and resurrection, as we await the day of his coming. 


Lord God of our Mothers and Fathers; God of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, and Jacob; God and Father of our Savior Jesus Christ: Open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name. 

People: Risen Lord, be known to us in the breaking of the Bread. 


Accept these prayers and praises, Father, through Jesus Christ our great High Priest, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, your Church gives honor, glory


And now, As our Savior Christ Christ has taught us, we are bold to say, 


Presider and people: 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, for ever and ever.


Breaking of the Bread and Invitation to communion
Presider:  Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
People: Therefore let us keep the feast.

S-164 (1982 Service Music)

The Communion
This is the table, not of the Church but of Jesus Christ. It is made ready for those who love God and who want to love God more. So come, you who have much faith and you who have little, you who have been here often and you who have not been for a long time or ever before, you who have tried to follow and you who have failed. It is Christ who invites you to be known and fed here. All are welcome to receive communion. Gluten-free bread is available. Inform the priest if you prefer this option. The communion wine contains alcohol. If you prefer a blessing, cross your arms across your chest.

Communion Hymn 188 (Lift Every Voice and Sing II)

Post-communion Prayer
Presider: Let us pray.
Presider and People:
Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people, forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior.


Closing Hymn 559 (The Hymnal 1982)

Closing Blessing for the First Sunday in Lent
Presider Bow down before the Lord.
Grant, Almighty God, that your people may recognize their weakness and Put their whole trust in your strength, so that they may rejoice for ever in the protection of your loving providence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Organ Postlude selected and played by Karlaine Livingston



Presider Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

Worship Schedule

Wednesday, February 21 Midweek Eucharist Holy Eucharist 5:30-6:00 P.M.

Commemorating Frederick Douglass


Sunday, February 25 The second Sunday in Lent

Holy Eucharist 10-11:15 AM


Wednesday, February 28 Midweek Eucharist 5:30-6:00 PM
Commemorating Anna Julia Haywood Cooper


Sunday, March 3 The Third Sunday in Lent
Holy Eucharist 10-11:15 AM


Wednesday, March 6 Midweek Eucharist 5:30-6:00 P.M.
Commemorating John and Charles Wesley, tr.


Sunday, March 10 Fourth Sunday of Lent

Holy Eucharist 10-11:15 AM


Wednesday, March 13 Midweek Eucharist 5:30-6:00 PM
Commemorating James Theodore Holly


Wednesdays at St. Luke’s

Every Wednesday during Lent the Eucharist will be celebrated at St. Luke’s at 5:30 PM, a service lasting about thirty minutes.  The service will be celebrated in Willard Hall until warmer weather.  


Thursdays beginning three and through Easter Thursday excepting Maundy Thursday

this note from Rev. Adwoa Wilson:

Dear Community Leaders,


I wrote to you some weeks ago to mention that a devotional was forthcoming on the theme of Baptism and Collaboration in the Body of Christ.


I am pleased to say that it is complete and on the diocesan website. You can access it HERE.


Please share the link with your parishioners. It may also be used for parish conversations or programming, and there will be weekly conversations from Thursday after Ash Wednesday through the first Thursday after Easter except for Maundy Thursday - 5:45-7:45. These will be through the Green Mountain Online Abbey, though not at the usual prayer link. The link for the Thursday conversations and prayer is HERE.

Every blessing as we round the corner into this holy season.


Amma adwoa+

Other Events


Thursday, March 7 Memory Café 11:00 AM to 1PM in Willard Hall, conducted by Joann Erenhouse of Senior Solutions.


Wednesday, March 13 Vestry Meeting 6:30-8PM

PLEASE!!  Take this service leaflet with you.  Read the scriptures again.  Learn

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