Family Worship: Home Edition #24

Fr. Matt Welsch

Family worship at St. Paul's Chapel

Each week, we’re offering a simple family-style service for you and your family to follow together at home. We hope these resources will help you find time to worship together at whatever time and in whatever way feels most comfortable and authentic for you.

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Gather all the members of your household who plan to participate in one place. Get comfortable! Maybe sit on the floor or on cushions. Maybe sit in a circle. Take a moment to pause and breathe together.

Invite a member of the household to lead the gathering prayer. Read line by line, with the rest of the household repeating back to them.

Repeat after me.

Dear God,
Thank you SO much
For bringing us to this time and place.
Please be with us
As we listen, pray, and learn.
And help us remember that,
No matter what,
You will always love us.



This week, we’re invited to read the Gospel lesson twice. Choose a member of your family to read the passage out loud to the group. It could be the same person each time or you can take turns! After reading the lesson, ask yourself the following questions:

After the first time: What words or phrases jumped out to you?
After the second time: What do you think God is saying to us in this reading today?


The Reading is Matthew 22:15-22, read by YOU!

The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

The Word of the Lord.
Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.



Watch this reflection from Fr. Mark Bozzuti-Jones.



If Ye Love Me, Thomas Tallis; performed by the Schola Choristers; edited by Schola Chorister Aaron Nichols.

Listen to this recording from the archives.



Take a moment to pause. Invite a member of the household to be the prayer leader to lead these or similar prayers:

Let’s pray together silently or out loud. First, let’s say thank you to God for the good things in our lives. Are there specific things you’d like to say thank you for? (Give time for others to share out loud or silently.) For all these things, let’s say together: Thank you so much, Lord!

Thank you so much, Lord!

Now, let’s pray for the people or animals who are sick or need help. We also pray for the things that worry us. Are there specific people, animals, or worries you’d like to pray for? (Give time for others to share out loud or silently.) Let us say: Please God, help us!

Please God, help us!

Repeat after me:

Dear God,
Thank you for this time together
Stay with us
This week and always. 
Help us to be like Jesus. 



Kathryn Carroll, Interim Program Manager, Children & Families

Children’s Sabbath weekend is a time when faith communities all around the country join with the Children’s Defense Fund to raise awareness about all of the ways that everyone can contribute to the lives of children — especially those whose circumstances and other obstacles prevent them from receiving the care and comfort that all children need and deserve. This year we can’t do the kinds of group activities we have done in years past, but there are lots of things your family can do any time:

Pray with Marion Wright Edelman, founder of The Children’s Defense Fund.

Choose an activity from the Children’s Sabbath resources

Take turns flipping a coin. For each coin flip, name something that is needed for:

  • Heads: the “Kingdom of Heaven,” or loving God.
  • Tails: our “government” or community.

Write them down in two columns or a Venn diagram of two circles. Do you see any overlap? Are any not at all interchangeable?

Printable Activity Pages