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The 4th Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday

In Time of Quarantine: Morning Prayer




I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:11

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it to the full. John 10:10

The Invitatory and Psalter

  1. O Lord, open thou our lips,
    R. And our mouths shall show forth your praise.
  2. Glory be to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
  3. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

Christ our Passover  Pascha nostrum[1]  

Hymnal 1982 #S49

Alleluia. Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; *
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, *
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; *
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; *
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, *
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now, and will be forever, Amen. 


Psalm 23     Dominus, regit me

The LORD is my shepherd; *  I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; * he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; *

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; *

for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; *

thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, *

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


The First Lesson: Nehemiah 9:6-15​​   The Lord Saves His People

6 You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

7 “You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous.

9 “You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; you heard their cry at the Red Sea. 10 You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11 You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12 By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.

13 “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. 14 You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. 15 In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Hymn: Shepherd of souls​​   James Montgomery​​       

Hymnal 1982 # 343

  1. Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless thy chosen pilgrim flock

with manna in the wilderness, with water from the rock.

2 We would not live by bread alone, but by thy word of grace,

in strength of which we travel on to our abiding-place.

3 Be known to us in breaking bread, and do not then depart;

Savior, abide with us, and spread thy table in our heart. 

4 Lord, sup with us in love divine thy Body and thy Blood,

that living bread, that heavenly wine, be our immortal food.


The Second Lesson:           1 Peter 2:19-25​​                     Christ Suffered for Us

19For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.

22“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

25For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.


The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Hymn: To God, with gladness sing    James Quinn ​​      

Hymnal 1982 #399


  1. To God with gladness sing, your Rock and Savior bless;

into his temple bring your songs of thankfulness!

O God of might, to you we sing, enthroned as King on heaven’s height!

  1. He cradles in his hand the heights and depths of earth;

he made the sea and land, he brought the world to birth!

O God Most High, we are your sheep; on us you keep your shepherd’s eye!

  1. Your heavenly Father praise, acclaim his only Son,

your voice in homage raise to him who makes all one!

O Dove of peace, on us descend that strife may end and joy increase!


The Gospel Lesson: ​​​             John 10:1-10​​                              The Good Shepherd

1 Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.  7So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Sermon: Life Abundantly? For Sheep?


A Statement of Faith, A Song of God’s Love (1 John 4:7-11)


Beloved, let us love one another, *

for love is of God.

Whoever does not love does not know God, *

for God is Love.

In this the love of God was revealed among us, *

that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

In this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved us *

and sent his Son that sins might be forgiven.

Beloved, since God loved us so much, *

we ought also to love one another.

For if we love one another, God abides in us, *

and God’s love will be perfected in us.


A Collect for the 4th Sunday of Easter

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Mindfulness in Work

Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: keep us mindful in all that we do that we do not serve ourselves alone, but do the work you have given us to do in truth and beauty, with a spirit of abundance, and for the common good; by the grace of our good shepherd, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A Prayer after St. Alphonsus

O Jesus, you are present to us in the blessed sacrament. We love you above all things, and desire to receive you into our souls. Since we cannot at this time share your sacrament, let your spirit dwell within our hearts. Let us welcome you as one already with us, making us one body and one spirit, never to be parted from you. Amen.


Hymn: The King of love my shepherd is.  Isaac Watts

​​Hymnal 1982   #645

  1. The King of love my shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am his, and he is mine for ever.

  1. Where streams of living water flow, my ransomed soul he leadeth,

and where the verdant pastures grow, with food celestial feedeth.

  1. Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, but yet in love he sought me,

and on his shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me.

  1. In death’s dark vale I fear no ill with thee, dear Lord, beside me;

thy rod and staff my comfort still, thy cross before to guide me.

  1. Thou spread’st a table in my sight; thy unction grace bestoweth;

and oh, what transport of delight from thy pure chalice floweth!

  1. And so through all the length of days thy goodness faileth never:

Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise within thy house for ever.



May the love of the Good Shepherd, and the life he laid down for his sheep, be with you on this day, keep you safe, and keep you whole, through the power of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.


Hymn: Spirit of the Living God    Daniel Iverson, alt.

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.


About Episcopal Worship and this Easter Service

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is Good Shepherd Sunday. On it, we remember and celebrate one of our most beloved and prominent images of Jesus Christ: that of the good shepherd, the one who is known to the sheep, protects them from thieves and wolves, finds them when they are lost, and lays his life down for them if he has to. Any flock he tended thus would be blessed indeed.

So strong is this image that even as fewer of us have much to do with sheep, other than by wearing wool clothing and partaking from time to time of roast lamb, the church continues to see itself in this metaphor. We are at times the sheep who were lost, the sheep who were found, and the shepherd who cares for both, no matter the cost.

The church has long thought of itself as a flock, though little about the behavior of sheep would sit well with us. More than one church leader has likened work with churches more to the herding of felines than the tending of ovines, and they have been right to have done so. Though those of us who are ordained may be set aside as “pastor, priest, and teacher,” but it is the first of those roles which is often least familiar. After all, only at their most corrupt have church leaders looked on their role as to prepare lambs for the slaughter, or flocks for the fleecing.

No, we are satisfied when our pastors ensure that we have plenty to eat, and in safety; that our numbers at night are no fewer than they were at morning; that none are stolen away by wolves, real or metaphorical; and that we meet the end of ours days in peace, to whatever end that be. Worship for this day celebrates these things, and calls us to remember not only that the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, but also came that they might have life, and have it to the full. Fitting, it is, to celebrate all this in the Easter, and in northern latitudes spring, season.

All Easter worship is designed to have the congregation gather for prayer, lessons, the Eucharist, and song. In times of contagion and quarantine, however, the community may not gather in person or share the Eucharist. We have, therefore, adapted this service to the conditions of the time, celebrating Morning Prayer in the Presence of the Reserved Sacrament, honoring God with our daily office prayers, thanksgivings, lessons, canticles, and hymns.

This booklet is designed for you to use on your own, in addition to being a guide to worship online.

The readings, prayers, and liturgies are taken or adapted from those in The Book of Common Prayer, The Book of Occasional Services, Enriching Our Worship 1, and the hymnals. You will find links to these resources below.


Resources (available for free online)

Book of Common Prayer,

Enriching Our Worship 1,

Enriching Our Worship 2,

These resources contain the prayers and worship services used in The Episcopal Church and by Episcopalians in their daily devotions.

The Revised Common Lectionary and Daily Office,

This source shows the readings assigned for use in Sunday worship and for daily office use for each day of the year, with links to online biblical texts.

Hymnal 1982:

Hymnal 1940:

The Episcopal Church:

Episcopal News Service:

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington:

St. Mark’s, Fairland:


A Prayer in Times of Sickness and Contagion

Heavenly Father, giver of life and health, source of all wisdom and peace: Comfort and relieve your servants who suffer from sickness or fear, give your power of healing to those who minister to their needs, and let your grace be with all those who work to protect us from contagion and disease. May we be strengthened against any weakness, sickness, fear, and doubt, and place our confidence in your loving care through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

[1] 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; Romans 6:9-11