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.
517 Love Divine…
86 Great Is Thy Faithfulness
340 Softly and tenderly
343 Jesus is tenderly calling thee home
200 What Wondrous Love Is This
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 32 is on page 739
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Revised, the vision we uphold
becomes the regimen of hope.
Indeed, our Lord, we meet repair
as reconciled to God through you
and made as newly formed.
The old has passed beyond our thoughts
and all is new upon your sight.
So in this reconciling grace,
we seek, O God, to see your face,
adoring all the day.
So suddenly, O Lord, we see
the One not knowing sin at all
become sin, racked and all alone
that in this writhing of the heart
God’s righteousness be we.
188.8.131.52.6. Suggested tune: St. Margaret
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: Our Lenten journey continues. Often the road has been stony and hard. Sometimes we have stumbled and even fallen.
P: But God has been our friend and our guide. We have no cause to be alarmed. God is faithful to us, even when we are faithless.
L: Today we rejoice in God’s faithful love, and together ask for strength and signs of hope and life.
P: And again we are drawn together to celebrate the life that is ours in Christ Jesus. Thanks be to God!
Prayer of Approach
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. God of love, you have loved us first and continue to love us. We come this morning longing to love you in return. We hunger for your healing love in our lives as we long to love ourselves and our neighbors. Fill our longing hearts as we join together to worship you, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
O Seeking God, it is always your joy to celebrate the finding of the lost treasures in our world, but most especially the returning of lives to your home. Help us today to bring our treasures and our emptiness, our missing pieces, and our very selves into your home, so that you may celebrate with us in a rich feast of joy and reconciliation which you have prepared for us through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Confession of Sin
Ʀ = Lord, have mercy upon us
- Forgive the poverty of our worship, our unbelief and hesitating witness, our blindness to what you would have us to be and to do, O God. Ʀ
- Forgive us for imagining ourselves to be the center of the world, and for seeking security in the works of our own hands and minds, O God. Ʀ
- Forgive us for the waste of our time and talents and gifts, and for our abuse of the earth, your creation, O God. Ʀ
- Forgive us that so little of your love is passed through us to others, and that we have cared so little about the sufferings and injustices that they endure, O God. Ʀ
- Forgive us by your mercy, O God, for the sins held secret in our hearts, as we open them to you in silence…
Words of Assurance
Despite our urge to pull apart, in spite of our tenacity to hold to our old ways, our loving God continues to call us back together again, showing us the true nature of forgiveness. God does not keep score of our wrongs, or measure how far we have wandered. God welcomes us, like a mother scooping up her lost children, like a father embracing his prodigal offspring. We are welcomed home, encouraged to learn from that forgiveness, to offer it to ourselves and to others again and again, as God offers it to us in Jesus Christ, our hope and our home.
Intercessions (from Common Worship)
In penitence and faith let us make our prayer to the Father and ask for his mercy and grace.
For your holy people, that they may triumph over evil and grow in grace, we pray to you, O Lord: R
For candidates for baptism and confirmation, that they may live by every word that proceeds from your mouth, we pray to you, O Lord: R
For the leaders of the nations, that you will guide them in the ways of mercy and truth, we pray to you, O Lord: R
For the needy, that they may not be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor be taken away, we pray to you, O Lord: R
For the sick in body, mind and spirit, that they may know your power to heal, we pray to you, O Lord: R
For the poor in spirit, that they may inherit the kingdom of heaven and see you face to face, we pray to you, O Lord: R
Let us commend the world, for which Christ suffered, to the mercy and protection of God.
Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.
Prayers from Common Worship*
absolve your people from their offences,
that through your bountiful goodness
we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins
which by our frailty we have committed;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
whose blessed Son our Saviour
gave his back to the smiters
and did not hide his face from shame:
give us grace to endure the sufferings of this present time
with sure confidence in the glory that shall be revealed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
you know our struggle to serve you:
when sin spoils our lives
and overshadows our hearts,
come to our aid
and turn us back to you again;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down
from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world:
Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in
him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
you come to us, breaking every convention
we ever presumed of you,
eager as you are to greet and gather us
in freedom and delight.
Though we grow bitter at the ends of sight,
you see far bolder all we fail in hope.
Complete in us, O God, the finding, your delight
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Service of Table
Preparation (Invitation to Stewardship)
By the goodness of God, we are called into the family of the church. By God’s grace, we rejoice to share in the church’s life of mission and ministry. Let us offer our tithes and gifts to God’s glory as a token of the offering of our very lives.
Thank you, God, for the generosity that enables us to share. We are rich in many things. Help us to empty ourselves of pretense, even as we pour out gifts of gratitude. We dedicate our offerings and ourselves to shaping the community you intend, in the spirit of Christ.
Invitation to Commune
The Holy One says: “Why spend money on that which does not satisfy? Why spend your wages and still be hungry? Listen to me, and do what I say, and you will enjoy the best food of all. Listen now my people, and come to me; come to me and you will live.” Christ invites to this table all who confess him as Lord and seek to follow in his way. Come to this sacred table, not because you must, but because you may. Come not because you are fulfilled, but because in your emptiness you stand in need of God’s mercy and assurance. Come not to express an opinion, but to seek a presence and to pray for a spirit. Come, then, sisters and brothers, as you are. Partake and share. It is spread for you and me that we might again know that God has come to us, shared our common lot, and invited us to join the people of God’s new age.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
(The following, adapted from the Church of Ireland, may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
We praise you, O God, for Christ your eternal Word through whom you have created all things from the beginning and formed us in your own image. He was tempted in every way as we are, yet he did not sin; and he gives us strength to control our desires, and to walk in his way of love.
In obedience to your will your Son our Saviour offered himself and died on the cross for our redemption. Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin and reconciled us to yourself. We thank you for these gifts of your creation, this bread and this wine, and we pray that we who eat and drink them in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit may be partakers of his body and his blood. Renew us by your Holy Spirit, unite us in the body of your Son, and bring us with all your people into the joy of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[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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