Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.
Hymns 78-79-80 reference Psalm 23; Hymn 558 references Jesus as Shepherd. All the Easter hymns are also quite appropriate. For communion, 426-The Voice of Jesus calls his people
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or
This week: Psalm 23 is on page 734; see also hymns 78-79-80
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2013, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On John 10:1-10
Here for shelter in the sheepfold,
here within the holding walls,
gather we when Jesus calls us,
surely knowing his clear voice.
When the thief comes to the sheepfold
not by door does he arrive;
but by wall and scaling effort
seeks he to distress us all.
Surely follow we the shepherd;
surely by his voice we come.
Strangers dally without knowing
how the sure voice settles hope.
Here, the door where we are welcome;
here, the way of all delight:
Jesus leads us out to pasture
in to sate our souls in praise.
188.8.131.52. Suggested tune: Omni Die
A Note on Mother’s Day
While the Christian Calendar does not include reference to Mother’s Day, many of our churches observe it in ways great and small. Typically, it is suggested that the theme and interest involved not stand in the way of the season and proclamation of Easter, but little else is offered. There are a number of resources which may enhance the observation of the day when used judiciously.
A Pastoral Prayer for the Day: (adapted by the editor)
God of all love and holiness, on this day of love and wonder, we are awakened to the mysteries of life that you create. As we give thanks to you for your wonderful deeds of love and grace, we pray for the human family that we might be renewed and restored to love in your image.
Hear our prayers for families and those who journey alone, that we might establish within your church such a glowing love and acceptance that friendship might be strengthened and the joy of fellowship be known, that none may journey in loneliness.
Help us, we pray, to be a strength to the friendships and romance that you kindle in the hearts of people who love, that relationships between them might blossom according to your will, and that homes of peace and grace would spring up in this age of selfishness and hate.
Free us in love to serve our neighbors, especially as we consider the poor, the hungry, the oppressed and the ill, as we remember…
And help us to serve as agents of healing to our nation which is struggling to regain its footing in a time of distrust, pain and upheaval. May we be empowered to make our communities, grounded in your love for our world, places of forgiveness and reconciliation, where love is practiced in practical ways in our dealings with others who need us and need you.
Fill us with your Spirit as a people of faith that we may serve you all our days, and look forward to your heavenly feast of joy and love in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Loving God, it is you who gave life and breath to everyone in our world, and in you alone can we find life, breath and meaning for ourselves and our world.
For those who have been blessed with an awareness of your mothering care, who have looked to you for guidance and nurture, we give you thanks, and we pray that you would unite us within your family to be a nurturing influence on others, that they too may enjoy life within your family.
For those who hunger and thirst, who are lost and alone, who yearn to be given new direction, new hope and new life, we pray that you would care for them through us. Let us be seen and known as your faithful children in this community of faith to which you have given birth. Help us to uphold your name by acting, as Jesus our brother, in faithfulness and trust in you.
Gather us, Lord, as we lift to you the special needs we bring to this day, in silence.
Under the shadow of your wings we find our refuge. In your gentle care we find our home. And in your living Spirit we are united this day, Lord, as we offer to you our prayers in the name of your holy Child, Jesus, the Christ.
Call to Worship(adapted by the editor)
L: Open the gate! The Shepherd is coming!
P: We hear his glad voice, calling us by name, leading us to green pastures.
L: No stranger’s voice will we follow. We follow only the One who brings us home.
P: One door, one flock, one fold, one Shepherd. Open the gate! The Good
Prayer of Approach (created or adapted by the editor)
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. Almighty God, who sent Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to gather us together, receive the praises of your thankful people this day. As we offer ourselves to you that our lives might be re-ordered to meet the days ahead, may we not wander from your flock, but follow where he leads us, knowing his voice and staying near, until we are safely in your fold, to live with you forever. (This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Intercessions (adapted by the editor) – addressing Good Shepherd Sunday and Mother’s Day
O God, our loving Shepherd, you come to us with the strength and love of a father, and the tender mercies, patience and protection of a loving mother. We see you in the very living of our days, and yet we so often fail to praise you or to offer our burdens to you. Hear us, Lord, as we lift to you our prayers for others and for ourselves.
We pray for those in need–those who hunger or are homeless. We pray for those in pain—the abused, brokenhearted and lonely. We pray for the sick in body and in mind, and for those who grieve.
For the life of this community and all those who put their trust in you for all their todays and all their tomorrows, we pray that your lovingkindness to the world would be offered through our hands, our words, our deeds, our hearts.
Free us, Lord, as your own people, to sing your praise in the work of our everyday lives. In those comings and goings of our simple and complicated living, make us instruments of your peace and grace in weary days with weary people.
Bless our memories, O God, that in our remembering we may partake of the mystery that is eternal life in its fullness. For we pray in the presence of your risen Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Collect of the Day (adapted by the editor)
O shepherd God, you have blessed us with peace as tranquil as a flowing stream; peace that nourishes as food and sleep; peace that is stronger than death. You call us to rest in your care that we may live with courage. Though fears beset us, your love will comfort us again. Though death is no stranger, you shall be our last and best friend. We thank you, Shepherd God, for your love that fills us to overflowing/for we pray in the name of Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,
and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:
keep us always under his protection,
and give us grace to follow in his steps;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep:
teach us to hear your voice
and to follow your command,
that all your people may be gathered into one flock,
to the glory of God the Father.
Collect of the Day (Book of Common Prayer, 1979)
O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2013, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
We are your sheep, O God,
meandering unknowingly in your pasture,
under the steady care of our Shepherd,
the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus.
Grant us the entrance by the Door,
the shelter of the steady Lord
who stays with us in all disaster
to staunch the leering wolves
Service of Table (by the editor using traditional responses)
God has provided for us a great feast of love and redemption through the gift of God’s own Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Let all who would receive life and life abundant from his hand come to the Table of the Lord with thanksgiving.
[If the offering has not yet been received, add: “Let us prepare the Table of the Lord with the fruits of our lives and our labors”]
Prayer(s) of Thanksgiving
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Lift up your hearts.
P: We lift them up to the Lord.
L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God,.
P: It is right and just. [or: “It is right to give God thanks and praise.”]
L: We thank you, God that you have provided for all of us who ever were or ever will be by giving yourself to us in love. If we go to the heights of the mountains, or if we make the grave our bed, you are there with us. If we go to the depths of the sea, your right hand holds us securely.
P: You are our shepherd. We praise you.
L: Holy are you and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ. When the time was right, you, the Creator of all that is, sent him to be a creature like us. Instead of a servant, you sent your own Son that he might be servant of all. He alone, who is closest to your heart, made you known to us. He walked among us, ate with us, showed us his glory in signs, and gave to us this feast of joy to be a symbol of our redemption and the promise of our salvation from sin and death.
P: You are our shepherd. We glorify you.
(Here follows the Words of Institution, concluding): Do this in remembrance of me.
P: You are our shepherd. We give thanks to you for your great glory. Glory to you, O Lord Most High.
L: We ask now that you bless us, as we share this bread and cup, that we might be nourished by that same unbounded love and so be encouraged to be your servants in the world, in the example of our Shepherd, your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in your holy church: All your people and all your works glorify and honor you, Father, now and for ever.
(Alternately, the following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
1. We thank you, God that you have provided for all of us who ever were or ever will be by giving yourself to us in love. If we go to the heights of the mountains, or if we make the grave our bed, you are there with us. If we go to the depths of the sea, your right hand holds us securely. Here, in the green pasture of your gathered body, you nourish us with the bread of life. Give us grace to receive this gift with new gratitude.
2. We ask now that you bless us, O God, as we share this cup which you offer, that we might be nourished by your unbounded love, and so be encouraged to be your servants in the world, in the example of our Shepherd, your Son Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails, archived here at the Disciples Center for Faith and Giving Site, for each Sunday’s service.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful. Read more here.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2012. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2012 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2012; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.