Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22, Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:14-21
Fourth Sunday in Lent

It’s the Fourth Sunday in Lent – Laetare or Mothering Sunday. This is the midway point of Lent, a day on which the Church “lightens” the penitential tone of our Services. Centuries ago it was considered important for people to return to their home or “mother” church once a year, and this was the day that happened. It was common in that period for children to leave home for work once they were ten years old. And it was likely the return to the “mother” church which led to the tradition of children, particularly those working as domestic servants, or as apprentices, being given the day off to visit their families. This day thus functioned as the first “statutory holiday.” We’re lightening the penitential tone of our Service by not having the Trisagion or Agnus Dei, and by our Choir’s leading us in an Opening Hymn of praise, and sharing an Offertory Anthem of quiet thanksgiving. We’re celebrating our togetherness at our mother church of St. Paul’s with our Gradual Hymn, which has Fergus on video leading us in “We are the Church,” and our Closing Hymn, which always begins our “clipping” (i.e. “clasping”) the church. This year, we’re encouraged to join hands with those around us, facing outwards to symbolize our being a community that’s outward reaching. We’re blessed to have Bob with us to read the Gospel and preach the Word. We’re also blessed to have the father-son team of Freddie and Stacy on tape, to lead our First Reading and Prayers of the People, respectively. Those Prayers are a Litany for Mothering Sunday from the Church of England, and a Prayer in Response to COVID-19 from the Catholic Health Association of the US. We’re blessed to share Spiritual Communion together, in which we feed by faith with thanksgiving on the One who gives his life in a sacrifice of love to us. Then, our Liturgy ends, and the service begins, as we go in peace to love and serve the Lord, sharing Good News of this love in all we say and do.

Today’s Service of Holy Eucharist will be livestreamed on our main Facebook page ( at 9:30 am. Following the service, the video will be posted on our YouTube Channel, and a link to the service will be added here. Please download the Order of Service if you would like to follow along.

Permission to reprint, podcast, and/or stream the music in this service obtained from:

(a)  ONE LICENSE with license # A-713985, and/or

(b)  CCLI with Streaming License # 20351479.

All rights reserved.