the Church Service

                                                                                           Palm Sunday, April 5th Service  

Hello St. Stephen's Family and Friends!   Below is the Service for Palm Sunday, April 5th.  To listen to the music, click on the Hymns and you will hear Kate's lovely voice.  To listen to the message, click on Father Shawn's Message and you will be taken to YouTube where you can watch the Message.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week.  Palm Sunday, celebrates Jesus humbly entering on a donkey into Jerusalem to observe Passover. According to Matthew 21:5, he was greeted by crowds of people who spread their cloaks and laid palm leaves in his path and proclaimed him the Son of David.
Traditionally at St. Stephen's we celebrate with a blessing and a procession of the palms around the outside of the church (if the weather is nice).  In the Message this week, Father Shawn gives a special blessing and suggests if you'd like to process, to process around your house.  Who says this can only be done in church?  Let's continue to live out our faith together.    
We pray for God's love and peace to surround you and keep you safe and healthy this week and always.  Blessings!

All Glory, Laud and Honor                                                                    Hymnal 154

Collect for Purity (BCP 355)
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 Word of God
Collect of the Day
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; 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                                                                       Isaiah 50:4-9a

The Lord God has given me
the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens--
wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious, 
I did not turn backward.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.
The Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 
he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?

The Word of the Lord, Thanks be to God. 

The Response                                                                                     Psalm 31:9-16
9 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow,
and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief,
and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction,
and my bones are consumed.

11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors,
a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.

13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me;
they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. *
I have said, "You are my God.

15 My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me."

The Epistle                                                                               Philippians 2:5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave, 
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death-- 
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend, 
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father.

The Word of the Lord, Thanks be to God.

Ride On, King Jesus                                                                    LEVAS 97

The Gospel                                                                                Matthew 27:11-54

The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew
Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

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

Kids Gospel Video

The Message                                                                        Fr. Shawn Clerkin

Nicene Creed
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.  

Lenten Prayers Year A
Following Jesus on his way towards the cross, we recall Christ’s glorious resurrection.  So let us pray to our God reminding one another that the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Loving God, you who breathe life into dead bones, strengthen the sinew and muscle of the Universal Church to give its members heart to joyfully worship and serve only you.  We pray for Justin, Michael, Sean, and Shawn. Lord grant us grace to recall that the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Loving God, you showed the light of the world to the man blind from birth, so open the eyes of the nation and all in authority, especially Donald, Thomas, Joseph, and Kathy, that they may see and serve Jesus in all people.   Lord grant us grace to recall that
the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Loving God, as Jesus gave living water to the woman of Samaria, fill the wells of our hearts with overflowing love and ceaseless care for your creation and its creatures.   Lord grant us grace to recall that the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Loving God, who did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Teach us to take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead to expose them.  Lord grant us grace to recall that
the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Loving God, who does not see as mortals see, teach us to ignore outward appearance, and look into the hearts of our neighbors that we may know their needs and aim to fulfill them.  Lord grant us grace to recall that the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Loving God, who raised Lazarus and comforted Martha and Mary, heal, we pray, _____ (share the name(s) of any who needs our prayers, either aloud or in the silence of your own heart). Lord grant us grace to recall that the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Loving God, our companion through the valley of the shadow of death, receive into your Kingdom the souls of _____ (share the name(s) of any who have passed away, either aloud or in the silence of your own heart).  Lord grant us grace to recall that the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Loving God, we come before your presence with thanksgiving for _____ (share anything or anyone for which/whom you give thanks to God).  Lord grant us grace to recall that the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Holy God, we give this week into your hands.  Make us ever mindful of your loving presence in good times as well as bad.  Lord grant us grace to recall that the Spirit of God dwells within us all.

Confession of Sin
You who truly and earnestly wish to repent of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from now on in his holy ways: Draw near with faith, and humbly confess to Almighty God, kneeling in devotion.
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all men:
We sadly acknowledge our many sins, which we from time to time have most grievously committed, by thought, word, and deed, against your divine Majesty, justly warranting your wrath and annoyance towards us. We repent sincerely, and are sorry in our hearts for how we have missed the mark; to remember them gives us grief, and the weight of them painful. Have mercy on us, have mercy on us, most merciful Father; for our Lord Jesus Christ’s, your Son’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that, going forward, we may serve and please you in newness of life, to the honor and glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with hearty repentance and true faith turn to him, have mercy
on you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Hear the Word of God to all who truly turn to him. Come to me, all that travail and are heavy laden, and will refresh you.  Matthew 11:28
God so loved the world, that he gave his only‑begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the perfect offering for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole
world.  1 John 2:1‑2

Awake My Soul, Stretch Every Nerve                                                    Hymnal 546

A Form for Spiritual Communion

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Agnus Dei
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:
grant us peace.

The Communion Prayer
In union, O Lord, with the faithful at every altar of your Church where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving. I present to you my soul and body with the earnest wish that I may always be united to you, and, since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself with you, and embrace you with all the love of my soul. Let nothing ever separate you from me. May I live in you, and may you live in me, both in this life and in the life to come. Amen.

A General Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, I, your unworthy servant, give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to me and to all whom you have made. I bless you for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, I pray, give me such an awareness of your mercies, that with a truly thankful heart I may show forth your praise, not only with my lips, but in my life, by giving up my self to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all my days; through Jesus Christ my Lord,to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen

Jesus, I want to receive you in my heart and I cannot do it in the sacramental way. Therefore, I ask you to come to me and fill me with your presence, your peace and your love. Grant me, Lord, the graces I need most. Amen.

Come Now, O Prince of Peace                                                              WLP 795

Let us Bless the Lord
Thanks be to God. 


Each week we remember members of our congregation or others in need of prayer. If you wish to add a prayer request to the list, please contact Heather Michel, our
Director of Communication at (814) 474-5490, or email Only first names will be added to the list due to privacy. 
Bob, Carlota, Judy,  Michelle, Patty, Maddy, Gerry, Anna May, John, Marlene, Alicia, Dotte, Harper, David, Bishop Persico, Deborah, Lisa, Max, Tricia, Rietter, Kathy, Anna, Mahal, Kate, Evie, Kimberly, Nancy, Julie, Kelsey, Mary Francis, Brittney, James, Donald, Karen, Mikey, Maya, Kevin, Don, Karen, Rich, Mark, Cookie, Brian, Kenneth, Jean and her family, Sue and her family, Paul and his caregivers Mary Frances and Sallie, Craig and his caregivers; Daniel and Mary; and Chad and his family, and all the healthcare workers, first responders, store workers and their families. 

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33