Blessing of the Animals

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Ordinary People ✠ Extraordinary Spirit
Christ Episcopal Church
East Norwalk, Connecticut

The Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost
The Feast of Saint Francis
Sunday, October 8, 2017

A few housekeeping notes before worship begins:

Please consider entering the sanctuary in silence, reverence, and in preparation for worship.

Please turn off your cellular telephones as you enjoy the prelude! Thank You.

ALL are invited to worship in this place, including young children and their occasional noise;

so, if your child needs to stretch their legs, we have a long aisle and a few steps just for such things.

IF (and only IF) YOU would prefer—Christ Church does offer childcare during worship.

If you think your child might benefit from having a book available to them, they are located on book racks in the narthex (at the front doors) and the Gathering Place (out the side door, to the right of the pulpit).

A wheelchair accessible, all-gender restroom (also equipped with infant changing table) is located out the side door

(to the right of the pulpit) and then to your left.

Gluten free hosts are available upon request.

Small amplification devices, with individual earphones, are available in the narthex (at the front doors).

Please consult an usher for answers to other questions you may have.

There’s a place for Everyone at Christ Episcopal Church. Welcome home!

MEMORIAL:  The Vigil light burns this week in loving memory of Philip Marzolf by Barbara Marzolf

DIOCESAN CYCLE OF PRAYER:  Christ Church, Waterbury; St. John’s, Waterbury; Christ Church congregation, Watertown; Young adults, young adult ministries, the Young Adult Ministry Network; The Episcopal Service Corps and the Young Adult Service Corps of The Episcopal Church; and St. Hilda’s House, New Haven

MISSIONAL PRIEST UPDATE:  The Vestry will be interviewing a potential candidate for the position of Missional Priest in Charge this week. Please continue to hold the vestry, the candidate, and the entire congregation of Christ Church, East Norwalk in your prayers.

PENNIES FOR HEAVEN:  The Altar Guild is collecting pocket change to purchase food to donate to Person to Person in November.  Please help us make someone’s Thanksgiving truly thankful.  There is a container for change on the display case in the Gathering Place.  Thank you.  Sarah French

The Next book club meeting is October 17, at 7:30.  The book selection is “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.  Please contact Debbie Ross at for more details.  

CHRISTMAS FAIR: Donations of new or nearly new Christmas items are now being accepted for the upcoming Christmas Fair. Please save your non-Christmas items till next year – storage space in the church is very limited. For more information, please contact Barbara Felter.

BACKPACK CLUBS: You too may join the CT Food Bank in its regular support of Backpack Clubs in the Norwalk Public Schools. Barbara Felter as the point person.  Items may be left in the basket near the pulpit or presented in the same at the offertory.


Items needed:

Juice Boxes
Milk Boxes (same style, like Parmalat, etc.)
Single Serve Cereals
Fruit Snacks
Fruit Cups
Instant Oatmeal Packets (not cardboard cans)
Granola Bars
Chef Boyardee Ravioli Cups w/pull tops
Macaroni and Cheese Cups w/pull tops
Single Serve Chips/Popcorn

The Prelude My Homeland Edvard Grieg

The Holy Eucharist: Rite Two

The Liturgy of the Word BCP, 355

The Opening Hymn 400   All Creatures v. 1-2-3-4

Hymn 400

The people standing if able, the Celebrant says

Celebrant Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

People And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever.  Amen!

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 Celebrant says to the people.

The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Celebrant: Let us pray.

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lessons

The people sit.

A Reading adapted from the Book of Genesis 1:1-34

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and a great dimness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. On the first day, God created light and darkness. On the second day, God created the sky above and the waters below. On the third day, God formed the land and called it Earth, and gathered the water and called it Sea. God blessed the earth with vegetation and food. On the fourth day, God separated the day from the night, creating the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the fifth day, God brought forth swarms of living creatures in the air, in the water, and on the land, and God bid them to be fruitful and multiply. On the sixth day, God created humankind in God’s image, giving them dominion over the animals. God blessed them and bid them to be fruitful and multiply.

On the seventh day, God saw that everything that God had made was very good and God rested and blessed the seventh day and made it sacred.

The Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God.

Prayer of  Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light; and

where there is sadness, joy.

O, God, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Silence may follow.  All stand if able.

God Of The Sparrow

Then, all standing if able, the Deacon or a Priest reads the Gospel, first saying

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 11:25-30

People: Glory to you, Lord Christ.

At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, God of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things

from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, God, for such was your

gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Creator; and no one knows the Son

except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son

chooses to reveal God. ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I

will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’After the Gospel, the Reader says

The Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The people sit.

The Homily Rev. Laura V. Queen

The Blessing of the Animals

Leader: Let us give thanks to God our Creator for all the gifts so freely bestowed upon us and for the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea;

All: We thank you, Lord.

Leader: For the richness of the mountains, plains and rivers;

All: We thank you, Lord.

Leader: For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women;

All: We thank you, Lord.

Leader: For all creatures that breathe, and move, and have life;

All: We thank you, Lord.

Leader: For the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers and trees;

All: We thank you, Lord.

Leader: For the trust you have shown in giving into our care these, our pets;

All: We thank you, Lord.

Leader: That each pet may be treasured with care;

All: We pray to you, Lord.

Leader: That we may love and honor all your works, O God;

All: We pray to you, Lord.

Leader: That we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation;

All: To the honor and glory of your name, now and forever, we pray to you, Lord. Amen.

May you be blessed in the Name God, the Creator, Redeemer and of the Sustainer. May you and your animals enjoy life together and find joy with the God who created you. Amen.

Ministers circulate through the congregation, blessing the animals individually.

Then, all standing if able, the Celebrant continues with

The 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,

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. Amen.

Silence may follow.  All kneel if able.

Jesus Our Brother



The Prayers of the People BCP, 387

The Leader and People pray responsively

Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church;

That we all may be one.

Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you;

For Christ Church, Waterbury; St. John’s, Waterbury; Christ Church congregation, Watertown;   Young adults, young adult ministries, the Young Adult Ministry Network. The Episcopal Service Corps and the Young Adult Service Corps of The Episcopal Church. St. Hilda’s House, New Haven

That your Name may be glorified by all people.

We pray for all bishops, priests, and deacons;

for Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael, our Presiding Bishop;

Ian and Laura, our own Bishops; and Laura, our Priest.

We also pray for Don, for Ned, and all those discerning a call to ordained ministry.

That they may be faithful ministers of your Word and Sacraments.

We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world;

That there may be justice and peace on the earth.

Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;

That our works may find favor in your sight.

Have compassion on those who suffer from any grief or trouble,

That they may be delivered from their distress.

Give to the departed eternal rest;

Let light perpetual shine upon them.

We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;

May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Let us pray for our own needs and those of others, especially… (prayer list is read)

(We respond by repeating the names raised by the intercessor in prayer.) 

The People may add their own petitions.

Intercessor and People:

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a priest for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Intercessor continues.

We pray to you also for the forgiveness of our sins.

Silence may be kept.

Intercessor and People

Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;

in your compassion forgive us our sins,

known and unknown,

things done and left undone;

and so uphold us by your Spirit

that we may live and serve you in newness of life,

to the honor and glory of your Name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Bishop, when present, or the priest, stands and says:

May God, who is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness,  remove your

sins from you, as far as the east is from the west, preserve your life, and care for you forever.


The Peace BCP, 360


All stand if able.  The Celebrant says to the people

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.


Announcements                 The Rev. Laura V. Queen


The Offertory

Celebrant Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us,

an offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

The Offertory

This Is The Day Of Joy Joseph Martin


This is the day of joy; a day of celebration!

This is the day of joy; for all of God’s creation.

For God has blessed our native land,

Let every heart rejoice.

This is the day of joy

This is the day of joy.

This is the day of joy, the day of adoration;

This is the day of joy, for all of God’s creation.

For God has blessed our native land,

Let every heart rejoice.

This is the day of joy!

Come sing a glad hosanna, sing an Alleluia.

Come sing a glad Hosanna sing an Alleluia

Sing an Alleluia to the Lord.


The Doxology

The Holy Communion

The Great Thanksgiving

Eucharistic Prayer B Book of Common Prayer, Page 367

The people remain standing if able. The Celebrant, whether bishop or priest, faces them and sings or says

The Lord be with you.

People And also with you.

Celebrant Lift up your hearts.

People Our hearts are with the Lord.

Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Then, facing the Holy Table, the Celebrant proceeds

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere

to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

Because you are greatly glorified in the assembly of your saints.

All your creatures praise you, and your faithful servants bless you,

confessing before the rulers of this world the great Name of your only Son. 

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and

Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever

sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

The Sanctus

Celebrant and People

The people stand or kneel if able.

Then the Celebrant continues

We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love

which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling

of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the

prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your

Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from

the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world.

In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy

to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error

into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.

At the following words concerning the bread, the Celebrant is to hold it

or lay a hand upon it; and at the words concerning the cup, to hold or

place a hand upon the cup and any other vessel containing wine to be consecrated.

On the night before he died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ took

bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and

gave it to his disciples, 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; and when he had given

thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you:

This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you

and for ALL for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink

it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Therefore, according to his command, O Father,

Celebrant and People

We remember his death,

We proclaim his resurrection,

We await his coming in glory;

The Celebrant continues

And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you,

O Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this

bread and this wine.

We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon

these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of

Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your

Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him,

being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time,

put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to

that heavenly country where, with all your saints,

we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and

daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all

creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation.

By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy

Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.  Amen.


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

People and Celebrant                                                       Book of Common Prayer, Page 364

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.  Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread Book of Common Prayer, Page 364

A period of silence is kept.

Alleluia!  Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;

Therefore let us keep the feast.  Alleluia! 

Agnus Dei


Facing the people, the Celebrant says the following Invitation

The Gifts of God for the People of God.

Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.

(The ministers receive the Sacrament in both kinds, and then immediately deliver it to the people.)

Organ Voluntary at Communion                 Betty Belcher, Minister of Music

After Communion, the Celebrant says

Let us pray.

Celebrant and People BCP, Page 365

Eternal God, heavenly Father,

you have graciously accepted us

as living members

of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ,

and you have fed us with spiritual food

in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.

Send us now into the world in peace,

and grant us strength and courage

to love and serve you

with gladness and singleness of heart;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

All stand if able.


Alleluia Sing to Jesus

The Deacon, or the Celebrant, dismisses them with these words

Deacon: Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.

People: Thanks be to God.

The Postlude Allegro Appassionato Norman Landis


  2 Emerson Street East Norwalk, Connecticut 06855


Betty Belcher, Minister of Music, 203.846.1274,

Bridget Pritchard, Church School, 203.838.4901,

The Vestry of Christ Church

Marsha Dunn, Sr. Warden, 203.286.8166,

Donald Bieling, Jr. Warden, 203.247.5423,

Ginny Deering, Treasurer, 702.595.9449,

Liz Conti, Clerk, 203.515.7778,

Nancy Pratt, (2018) 203.434.4244,

Jackie Muha, (2018) 203.524.0069,

Barbara Felter, (2019) 203.847.5237,

Lisa Helwig, (2019) 203.354.0724,

Kim Harris, (2020) 203.919.2478,

Paul Mordoff, (2020) 203.919.6765,

What is the mission of the Church?

The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.

Book of Common Prayer, Page 855


Minister of Music: Betty Belcher
Altar Guild: Barbara Judson and Laura Demms

Ushers:  Paul Mordoff and Barbara Felter
Lector: Barbara Judson
Intercessor:  Ginny Deering
Presider: The Reverend Laura V. Queen

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Ordinary People, Extraordinary Spirit
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