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:
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.
7 – When in Our Music God Is Glorified
453 – Called as Partners in Christ’s Service
395 – Seed, Scattered and Sown
393 – One bread, one body
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://lectionarypsalms.org/
This week: Psalm 19 page 731
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Behold, the book: they bring it nigh.
They hold it high to read.
The voice intones the holy tome
to satisfy our hearts.
We gather as one body here:
the book is opened wide.
The reading is for every ear
and heart that may imbibe.
How lovely are the cadences,
the roll of sacred words
that answer in the morning air
the ripe delight of hope.
Come, joyous in the Lord’s delight.
Observe: the echoes lead.
For in this savor of the word
we learn our joy indeed.
CM Suggested tune: Caithness
Note: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.
Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer
L: Come, let us worship the Lord our God,
P: That we might discern the will of our Maker.
L: Come, let us worship the Lord our God,
P: That we might recall the bondage from which God has delivered us.
L: Come, let us worship the Lord our God,
P: That we might become the people God is calling us to be.
L: The God of all creation makes us one in the flesh.
P: Let us join hearts and voices in praise.
L: In Jesus Christ, we are made one in the Spirit.
P: Let us be united in truth through the same one Spirit.
L: We practice our faith in many different ways.
P: Yet we confess one Lord Jesus Christ.
L: We render different forms of ministry.
P: Yet our calling is one because Christ is undivided.
L: Rejoice, people of God: The Risen Christ is among us, calling us together at his one Table.
P: Praise the Lord!
Prayer of Approach
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. Gracious God, we gather this morning in this house of worship which, thanks to your love, is our home away from home. We come to add our human voices to the chorus of praise raised by your creation! We come as we are – distracted and weary, hopeful and open – know that you accept us and are ever mindful of our cares and joys. Still in us now the many voices that clamor for attention, that we might center ourselves upon you. Speak to us in word and melody and quiet, that we may be renewed in our faith and strengthened for your service. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Loving God, you have gathered your people from the east and west, the north and south, to sit together at a feast of unity and love. As we bring our differing lives and varied gifts together in your Church, help us to see beyond ourselves to the unique community you are shaping us to be, and to the mission for which you are equipping us through the work of your Holy Spirit who makes us one in Christ Jesus our Lord, for we pray in his name.
Gracious and loving God, we come to you with hearts that need to be opened to your word and your love. There is so much around us that tears at us and causes us to tremble. Keep us ever mindful of your presence and the hope that you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ.
Guide us, we pray, as your church, struggling to spread the good news. Keep us focused on the mission and ministry to which you have called us and lead us forward. We know, Lord, that there will often be bumps and holes in the road along the way. Save us from dwelling on them and make us secure in the goals you have placed before us.
Hear our prayers for all who need your tender touch of healing in their lives—those we name before you each day, and those who are known only to you in the depths of our hearts. Be with those who mourn. May we all remember the love and grace that your faithful people have brought to our world.
We pray for all your creation, always at odds with one another. Guide our leaders and those of other nations that this world might truly be as you created it to be—a world of peace, hope and love.
These are our prayers, together with those that lie on the hearts of all your faithful people, which we offer to you in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ who said “not my will, but thine be done.” Amen.
God of all grace and mercy, you have made an amazing and beautiful world – diverse and teeming with the bounty and beauty of your artful hand. You have made us mortals in your own image, and given us such a marvelous variety of gifts by which to praise and serve you, and to serve the common good. Hear our varied expressions of thanksgiving, as we look to you for care and guidance to use every skill and art with which you’ve blessed us for the blessing of humanity.
We seek new ways, O Lord, to reach into the lives of others who are searching for meaning in their lives and to discover their own giftedness, and to give them encouragement, love, and peace on that journey. We look to you to guide us as partners with Christ as we minister to those who are hurting, lonely, sick, grieving, or in any danger. May our openness to your Spirit at work within us as your people be a sign of your ministries at work within us, your church. Make of this community a home of peace and empowerment for those who are struggling to find their future, and a place of compassion and justice for those who need it most.
Hear our prayers, O God, for those whose lives are closely linked with our own, whose names cross our hearts and our lips so often, and whose needs are many. Help us to entrust them to your care, as we offer up our own needs and our hearts’ desires to you in silence…
As Jesus prayed that all who follow him might be one, reshape us as your faithful disciples, and knit us tightly with all those who profess Christ into his one body. May our unity and our diversity proclaim his name to all the world, as we glorify you together, offering our varied gifts for your use. For we pray in his name and in his spirit (as he taught us to pray, Our Father…)
Prayers from Common Worship*
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world:
may your people,
illumined by your word and sacraments,
shine with the radiance of his glory,
that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed
to the ends of the earth;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
God of all mercy,
your Son proclaimed good news to the poor,
release to the captives,
and freedom to the oppressed:
anoint us with your Holy Spirit
and set all your people free
to praise you in Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our
Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News
of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive
the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Within our hearing, Lord our God,
let be fulfilled the wonder of your word,
that in the chance of life we find
the setting free and joy you bid,
the frolic of the bound and blind
at your excessive chance of life.
For in your beauty we aspire
to know the ground of blessed joy.
Service of Table
Giving is not a casual act—it relates God’s work to our work. Peter writes: “as each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace, that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Let us give as people whose work is inextricably linked to God’s great works of creation, redemption and empowerment.
Almighty God, giver of every good and perfect gift, teach us to give to you all that we have and all that we are, that we may praise you not with our words only, but with our whole lives.
Friends, God prepares a feast for you and for all people; a feast of good things, a feast of peace. Come and taste. Eat and be filled. Drink deep and never thirst again.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
Eternal One, who cares for each one of us as if you had no one else to care for, and who cares for all of us even as you care for each, we come here because you have invited us. We recognize at the deepest levels of our beings that it is at this table that we are affirmed and made whole. Enable us to know now the presence of the Christ, the one who calls us to be family, the one in whose presence no other can be called a stranger. Forgive us that we have been hard of heart, that we have failed to acknowledge others as brothers and sisters. Enable us now to accept the fact that we are members of one another, that we are family with all of your creation, and that we are all loved by you. We pray these things in the name of the Christ who has called us to you. 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 for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.
Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.
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.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2015. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2015 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2015; 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.
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