Online Sunday service for the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome to this online service as we celebrate this Fourth Sunday After Pentecost. Simply scroll down at your own pace, saying the service alone or with others (appropriately distanced, in a virtual meeting, or on the phone). There are a number of audio files of both music and the spoken word, click on the links to listen. Grace and peace to you as you share in the worship of the Church.     

Call to worship: The Cathedral’s Bell    

Prelude: Chorale Prelude on "Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort" (BuxWV 185) - Dietrich Buxtehude

Pastoral Greeting from Archdeacon Pat Johnston

Reading of the letter from Bishop Shane A.D. Parker regarding the appointment of the new Dean of Ottawa and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral



The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all. Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known and from you no secrets are hidden: 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 Lord is our refuge and strength:
       O come, let us worship.

Hymn - New every morning

New every morning is the love
our wakening and uprising prove;
through sleep and darkness safely brought,
restored to life and power and thought.

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be,
as more of heaven in each we see;
some softening gleam of love and prayer
shall dawn on every cross and care.

The trivial round, the common task,
will furnish all we ought to ask;
room to deny ourselves, a road
to bring us daily nearer God.

Only, O Lord, in thy dear love,
fit us for perfect rest above;
and help us, this and every day,
to live more nearly as we pray.

The Lord is our refuge and strength:

       O come, let us worship.  



A reading from the Book of Genesis (22:1-14): read by Jessica Wilson

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you." So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you." Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together. When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place "The Lord will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided."

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church. 
        Thanks be to God.


Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? will you forget me for ever? how long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I have perplexity in my mind, and grief in my heart, day after day? how long shall my enemy triumph over me? Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God; give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death; Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” and my foes rejoice that I have fallen. But I put my trust in your mercy; my heart is joyful because of your saving help. I will sing to the Lord, for he has dealt with me richly; I will praise the name of the Lord Most High.


A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans (6:12-23) : read by Richard Fujarczuk

Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (10:40-42):

Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple - truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."

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


A Reflection by Canon Doug Richards
Vicar and Canon Residentiary at Christ Church Cathedral

When I was in grade six, I had a wonderful teacher whose name was Mr. Miller. To this day I do not know what his first name was. He was a teacher who loved to teach and share knowledge with his students. He had time for the students who struggled to learn as well as those who excelled. 

Every once in a while, in class, we would have “Ask any question time.” This was a time for us to ask him any question that we had about anything. If he did not know the answer, he would find it and let us know the next day. As you can imagine the questions were all over the map. Mr. Miller had a very nice way of answering the questions that come up but needed to be answered by parents. He was always gracious and took every question seriously. Mr. Miller taught me many things, but one of the greatest lessons was that asking questions is a natural part of life. “If you don’t ask the question, how will you learn,” was his mantra.

When I first read this Sunday’s Gospel story a question form in my mind.  The question: “What is this text telling me to do?” and I began working on this reflection with that question in mind.  It seems like a logical question.  But as I thought about it, I realized that this question assumes that the Scriptures are a book of rules, a set of commandments.  “This is how you are to live.”  It is true that there are rules set out in scripture that should inform our lives, but may be sometimes, there are better questions to ask.  But before I go there, let us assume that many people will hear or read this weeks Gospel with this question in mind.  “What do Jesus’ words in Matthew 10 tell us to do?   

Let us hear these words again:

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet  will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Many of us will hear these words and conclude that Jesus is telling us to welcome the stranger. 

In this way of thinking:  

    • Since Jesus says, “Whoever welcomes a stranger welcomes me and the one who sent me,” means that I am supposed to welcome the stranger and in doing so we welcome Jesus.  
    • And since Jesus says, “whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple,” this means that we are supposed to offer ‘a cup of cold water’ to the needy and oppressed in order that we might not lose the reward.  

These are good rules to live by, and I am sure that many of us hear these words of Jesus like this. 

But, is there another question that can be asked. Since not all scripture texts are commandments, can we ask a different question.

Yes, I believe that there is another question that should be asked.   One that needs to be asked before we start to answer the question “what is this scripture telling me I should do?”

The question that caught my imagination is, “What does this text mean for me?” 

Let us look at the story of Matthew 10. Jesus has gathered the twelve disciples around to give them instructions. These are not instructions about the future, they are instructions for the mission he is sending them out on right now.   

    • Jesus is sending the disciples out to bring the Good News to the poor, heal the sick, cast out demons. 
    • Jesus is telling the disciples not to bring anything with them, that they should rely on the generosity of others.  
    • Jesus says, if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.  
    • Jesus acknowledges that he is sending the disciples out into the world like sheep in the midst of wolves, and that this is not an easy mission.   
    • Whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  

So, in the midst of the instructions that Jesus gives to the disciples we come to the final verses. The verse that make up today’s Gospel story. As you look at the words of today’s Gospel passage, notice the word ‘you’ in the first line. “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me…”  Jesus is placing the hears of his words not in the place of the ones offering the welcome, but rather in the place of the ones receiving the welcome. He is saying in effect, “whoever welcomes you welcomes me. So rather than being a commandment about what to do, this part of the story is a promise. We should also note that the ‘you’ here is plural. As my followers, “you all” will be welcomed by some. And when you are welcomed, you will bring the Kingdom of God nearer.  

As you find yourself in Jesus’ words, “you” are not the ones welcoming but the ones being welcomed. 

What if we hear these words of today’s Gospel story not as commandments but as a promise? A promise to us as we are being sent out into the world to bring the Kingdom of God closer. Jesus tells us, “I am sending you into a dangerous world as part of my mission to love, save, bless, and be reconciled to that very world. It is dangerous out there. But you will find welcome. Those who welcome and receive you also welcome and receive me – and they will be rewarded.”  

What does this mean for us?  In part it means that we are being sent out of our building.  As we are experiencing during this time of the pandemic, when we can not go into our building, we are to find our ministry out in the world around us. We must get out there and offer ourselves up as the guest of other peoples’ welcome.  Not all will welcome us, but some will – and by offering ourselves up as the guest for those people to welcome, you will be bringing the Kingdom of God to them. 

Imagine that!  Merely by offering ourselves up as the guest of another person’s welcome we will let others see the Kingdom.  

That is a promise for the road. It makes hitting the road into a risk worth taking. 



Motet: Litany to the Holy Spirit - Peter Hurford

In the hour of my distress, When temptations me oppress, And when I my sins confess, Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When I lie within my bed, Sick in heart and sick in head, And with doubts discomfited, Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When the house doth sigh and weep, And the world is drown'd with sleep, Yet mine eyes the watch do keep, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!


The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.  

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again
to judge the living and the dead.  

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


The Offertory:  

Members of the Cathedral Community who wish to make an offering at this time may do so here:  

Hymn - Your hand, O God, has guided

Your hand, O God, has guided
your flock from age to age;
the wondrous tale is written,
full clear, on every page.
Our forebears owned your goodness,
and we their deeds record;
and both of this bear witness:
one church, one faith, one Lord.  

And we, shall we be faithless?
Shall hearts fail, hands hang down?
Shall we evade the conflict
and cast away our crown?
Not so: in God's deep counsels
some better thing is stored;
we will maintain, unflinching,
one church, one faith, one Lord.  

Your mercy will not fail us,
nor leave your work undone;
with your right hand to help us,
the victory shall be won;
and then, by earth and heaven,
your name shall be adored,
and this shall be our anthem:
one church, one faith, one Lord.


Leader: John Holgate

Joined together in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us pray with one mind to God the Creator, saying “Lord, hear our prayer.”  

That all the churches of the world will fulfill Jesus’ command to bring the Gospel of love to every heart and to every place.  

For the churches of the Anglican Communion and for the Anglican Church of Canada, remembering especially Linda our Primate; Anne our Metropolitan; Shane our Bishop, and the clergy and people of the Diocese of Ottawa.            
      Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.

That the righteousness of God may guide the hearts and minds of the world’s leaders into ways of justice and reconciliation; that there may be peace in Jerusalem and across the face of the earth, in every nation and among all peoples.
       Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.  

That the compassion of God will call all the children, women and men who live in our communities to care for each other, especially those who are impoverished, isolated, exploited, marginalized, or victimized.
       Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.  

That the healing of God will visit all who suffer in body, mind or spirit, especially those we hold in our hearts and minds at this time.
       Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.  

That the comfort of God will be with those who suffer loss and those who mourn; and that the hope of Christ will be with us as we remember those who have died, especially any known to us.
       Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.  

Gracious God, accept our prayers this day, spoken aloud and in our hearts. By the working of your Holy Spirit, deepen our communion with you and make each of us signs of your endless love, your steadfast hope, and your calming peace.   

This we pray in the name of Jesus, our light, our guide, and our strength. Amen.  


The Collect:  

Almighty God you have taught us through your Son that love fulfils the law. May we love you with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and may we love our neighbour as ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The Lord’s Prayer:  

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, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.    



The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.  

Let us bless the Lord.            
       Thanks be to God. 


Postlude: Fuga in C major (BuxWV 174) - Dietrich Buxtehude


Members of the Cathedral Community who wish to make an offering at this time may do so here:  


 James Calkin, Director of Music and Organist
Nicholas Walters, Assistant Organist
Gary Dahl, Cantor



Book of Alternative Services copyright © 1985 and Common Praise copyright © 1998 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. All rights reserved. Reproduced under license from ABC Publishing, Anglican Book Centre, a ministry of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, from Anglican Liturgical Library. Further copying is prohibited. Readings from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, © copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.