Note: If observing Transfiguration this week, instead of Sunday before Lent, see Transfiguration Sunday C
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.
618 How firm a foundation
24 The God of Abraham Praise
608 I would be true
611 Rise up, O saints of God
542 Jesus, Lover of My Soul
540 O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
404 A Hymn of Joy We Sing
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 27 is on page 736
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Luke 13:31-35
who slays those sent to you:
the Lord would gather you so near,
the like a hen her brood.
So eagerly, Jerusalem
finds prophets grating dear,
the very sort of insolence
that rakes with gifts of God.
Intent upon the lure of life
does Jesus near the site,
the city site, Jerusalem,
where he is now to go.
Blessèd is he who comes this day
in the name of the Lord.
So said, we shall observe him come:
Jesus, Jerusalem and God.
CM Suggested tune: Metzler’s Redhead No. 66
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: When confidence in our way of life is shaken, to whom do we turn for comfort?
P: We look to friends, we cling to loved ones, we grope for answers in familiar, sacred places.
L: How shall we find strength to recover? Where do we find heart and hope to go on?
P: Our hope is in God alone, our Savior, the Shepherd of our Souls, our sheltering Fortress.
Prayer of Approach
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. Most Holy God, we await the touch of your Spirit with eagerness. We ask that you enter the lives of each one of us today, refreshing and renewing and healing us with the power of your love, so that we may live with purpose, enthusiasm and courage after the example of Jesus our Lord, in whose name we pray (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Confession of Sin
(Unison) Almighty and Ever-Living God, you hate nothing you have created, and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Minister: The God whom we know in Jesus Christ is a God of mercy and love. When we are disillusioned with others and ourselves, God still accepts us as we are and moves toward us with forgiveness and comfort. We are freed by God’s love to live in the freshness of each new day, to reach out to one another in love. For these great gifts, let us give thanks to God.)
Almighty God, maker of all, with joy we give thanks for all your goodness. We praise you for the love which has created and sustained us to this day, and for the gift of your Christ who brings us into covenant with you and with all your people of faith. Help us to treasure your gifts and to show our thankfulness by lives wholly given to your service.
We pray for your church whom you have redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus. Give it pastors and ministers filled with your spirit, and strength to serve by the guidance of your word. Perfect it in love and in compassion, and establish it in the faith of your saints. Unite all your people that one holy church may bear witness to you and your glory.
We pray that you would move our nation toward the justice of your peace. Bless our national, state and local leaders to serve all people with integrity. Purge from us all hatred and prejudice, and build within us your love, that even in our dealings with the other nations of earth we may be servants of peace, truth and justice.
Bless our homes with the joy of your presence. Strengthen our covenants of family and of faith, that our children may grow into fullness of faith, that together we may show forth your praise in our world through deeds and words of love and compassion—especially with those who are alone and lonely.
Let your grace be seen in seed-time and harvest, in labor and business, in leisure and rest, in arts and culture of our people. May all who do work find fulfillment of their vocations, and all who are in need of work find the relief of new endeavors.
Comfort those who sorrow and are in need, sickness or adversity. Have mercy on those to whom death draws near. Bring consolation to those in mourning, and to all give your peace, for these and all our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus our Christ. Amen.
Prayers from Common Worship*
you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,
that they may return to the way of righteousness:
grant to all those who are admitted
into the fellowship of Christ’s religion,
that they may reject those things
that are contrary to their profession,
and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
you see that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves:
keep us both outwardly in our bodies,
and inwardly in our souls;
that we may be defended from all adversities
which may happen to the body,
and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,
and by following in his Way
come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious
to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them
again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and
hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ
your Son; 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 (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
So often, Our God, we find your longing dear
upon our hearts, your yearning at the gate
of our anxieties.
You would attract us, hold us near
except we fear and stay aside.
Become the longing that allures our hope
and lead us to acknowledge you,
the blessedness we seek.
Service of Table
Preparation (Invitation to Stewardship)
Just as Christ has taught the way of life to us, the church, we have the responsibility of bringing life to the world around us through our ministries and the outreach of missions through our connections of faith around the globe. Let us offer gratefully and sacrificially to the work of God who has given all for us.
O God, we thank you for your great generosity. All that we are and all that we have is a gift from you. Help us to serve one another and so reflect your spirit and goodness. Accept these offerings and grant that the cause to which they are devoted may prosper under your guidance.
Invitation to Commune
God wants to share this meal with you—all of you who dare to let go of your defenses and your trust in self or others, and trust in God. Let us come to God’s table with hearts of thanksgiving and trust fully in the Christ who invites us all.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
We praise you, Lord, for sending your only Son Jesus to live among us, to make you known to all who receive him. Sharing our joy and sorrow, he healed the sick, befriended sinners, and showed us the way to fulfillment in partnership with others. He sent his disciples forth with courage to extend your promise of friendship and love, and still he calls us to work in your spirit of love. Even having taken up his cross and dying that we might live, he overcame death and is risen in power. He is still the friend of sinners. We trust him to overcome every power that can hurt or divide us, and believe that when he comes again in glory, we will celebrate victory with him throughout eternity at his heavenly table. Pour out your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts, that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us. 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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