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The 2nd Sunday of Easter – Thomas Sunday & Earth Sunday – April 19, 2020

in Time of Quarantine, Morning Prayer

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17





The Invitatory

O Lord, open thou our lips

And our mouths shall show forth your praise.

Glory be to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Bidding Prayer

O God of unchangeable power, who fashioned the world such that the stars sang together and the heavens resounded with joy: Open our eyes to the wonders of creation, its beauty and its promise and its dangers, teaching us to use all things for good, and to mar not the works of your hands, to the honor of your Name. Amen

A Song of Creation     Benedicite, omnia opera Domini     Hymnal 1940 #630
        Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65

I    Invocation

O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord,
O all ye creatures of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

II    The Cosmic Order

O ye heavens, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye waters that be above the firmament, bless ye the Lord;
O all ye powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye sun and moon, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye stars of heaven, bless ye the Lord;
O ye showers and dew, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye winds of God, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye fire and heat, bless ye the Lord;
O ye winter and summer, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye dews and frosts, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye frost and cold, bless ye the Lord;
O ye ice and snow, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye nights and days, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye light and darkness, bless ye the Lord;
O ye lightnings and clouds, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

III    The Earth and its Creatures

O let the earth bless the Lord; *
O ye mountains and hills, bless ye the Lord;
O all ye green things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye wells, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye seas and floods, bless ye the Lord;
O ye whales and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.

O all ye fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord; *
O all ye beasts and cattle, bless ye the Lord;
O ye children of men, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

IV    The People of God

O ye people of God, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord;
O ye servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord; *
O ye holy and humble of heart, bless ye the Lord.
O all ye of the Earth, bless ye the Lord; *
praise him and magnify him for ever.

The Old Testament Lesson:      Genesis 8:6-19, 21b                      The End of the Flood

6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7 and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9 but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him.

10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; 11 and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

13 In the six hundred first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”

18 So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 And every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families [….]

21b [and] the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

22 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”


The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Hymn: Love’s redeeming work is done.      Charles Wesley        Hymnal 1982 #188

  1. Love’s redeeming work is done, fought the fight, the battle won.
    Death in vain forbids him rise; Christ has opened paradise.
  2. Lives again our glorious King; where, O death, is now thy sting?
    Once he died our souls to save, where thy victory, O grave?
  3. Soar we now where Christ has led, following our exalted Head;
    made like him, like him we rise, ours the cross, the grave, the skies.


The New Testament Lesson:    1 Peter 1:3-9

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Hymn: We walk by faith             Henry Alford            Hymnal 1982 #209

  1. We walk by faith, and not by sight; no gracious words we hear
    from him who spoke as none e’er spoke; but we believe him near.
  2. We may not touch his hands and side, nor follow where he trod;
    but in his promise we rejoice, and cry, “My Lord and God!”
  3. Help then, O Lord, our unbelief; and may our faith abound,
    to call on you when you are near, and seek where you are found:
  4. that, when our life of faith is done, in realms of clearer light
    we may behold you as you are, with full and endless sight.

The Gospel Lesson:         John 20:19-31                    Thomas Meets the Risen Christ

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Sermon: Fear not, Thomas – or Fear not Thomas? As Long as the Earth Endures….

A Statement of Faith, A Song of God’s Love
(1 John 4:711)


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 Stewardship in Light of the Paschal Mystery

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery set forth the covenant of reconciliation: Grant that we who are reborn into the fellowship of Christ may show ourselves good stewards of all your creation – and this fragile Earth, our island home – cease to do it harm, and dedicate ourselves to its health and healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord, known to us in the breaking of bread. Amen.

A Collect for the Right Use of Resources

Almighty God, in giving us the power to understand, use, and at our pleasure misuse the resources of the earth, you made us fellow laborers with you in creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use those resources rightly, that none may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may dwell on Earth in safety and abundance, still praising you for its bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Times of 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. May we be strengthened against any weakness, sickness, fear, or 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.

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, giving thanks for our many blessings. Make us your people one body and one spirit, never to be parted from you. Amen.


Hymn: O sons and daughters   Jean Tisserand, attr., tr. Neale         Hymnal 1982 #206

  1. Alleluia! O sons and daughters, let us sing! The King of heaven,
    the glorious king, o’er death and hell rose triumphing. Alleluia!
  2. That night th’apostles met in fear; amidst them came their Lord most dear,
    and said, “My peace be on all here.” Alleluia!
  3. When Thomas first the tidings heard, how they had seen the risen Lord,
    he doubted the disciples’ word. Alleluia!
  4. “My pierced side, O Thomas, see; my hands, my feet, I show to thee;
    not faithless but believing be.” Alleluia!
  5. No longer Thomas then denied, he saw the feet, the hands, the side;
    “Thou art my Lord and God,” he cried. Alleluia!
  6. How blest are they who have not seen, and yet whose faith has constant been,
    for they eternal life shall win. Alleluia!



As you continue in the way of the Risen Christ, may the love of Almighty God bless you in your comings and your goings, cleansing the world and making it whole, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit preserving all who dwell therein. 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 Sunday’s Service

The Second Sunday of Easter is known by two other names: Low Sunday and Thomas Sunday. The term “Low Sunday” comes, it is told, from the typically low attendance at many churches, particularly in comparison to Easter. Thomas Sunday comes from the name of the apostle whose gospel story is read today.

Thomas, also called Didymus, or the Twin, is the one who meets Christ a week everyone else did who had followed him to  Jerusalem, save Judas only. Both names for this Sunday bespeak the condition of being absent when it would’ve been better not to have been. One would, I trust, be forgiven a chuckle at the church’s decision to read the gospel story that speaks of perhaps the most untimely absence we know of on a Sunday when many of her members, no doubt for reasons good enough, absent themselves.

That being said, Thomas Sunday reminds us of two lessons that are at the heart of our faith: that we walk by faith, and not by sight; and that Christ gives us what we need, when we need it. He knew that Thomas needed to see, hear, and even touch the one who was as like to him as a crab is to a crab, to quote another source of wisdom. He also knew that we might not have that chance, yet still would do well to believe in the truth of what Thomas saw, heard, felt, and knew to be true.

By the calendar, this is also Earth Day – Earth Sunday, we might say – and in honor of Thomas as well, we do well to consider those who, in the spirit of Thomas, may doubt what it is hard to imagine is true – that the Earth, for instance, in warming because of human-induced climate change, with mostly negative results – until proof appears before them, bidding them see for themselves, but without fear. In that spirit, let us face what is real, what we cannot in honesty deny, and serve God as those who truly understand the power of his words, “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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. We have, therefore, adapted this service to the conditions of the time, reserving the Easter Eucharist and sacrament until our time of separation comes to a close.

This booklet is designed for you to use on your own, in addition to its use 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: