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.
595 Be Thou My Vision
102 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,
195 When I Survey…
399 O God, Unseen Yet Ever Near
622 Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
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: Sorry – no suggestions
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On John 12:1-8
The ointment is poured, anointing his feet
and Mary takes hair to wipe them with glee
to satisfy gratitude’s rise in her heart
and fill heart’s devotion, anointing desire.
So opulent here, excessive in flair,
the lady becomes by oblation love
enough to provide for the moment at hand
the dawn of the coming of Jesus to strife.
Thus Mary attends to the Lord drawn nigh,
to care for the offering meant for all.
Thus Jesus accepts at her hand all this fare
while narrow eyes founder on blindness’ rage.
Intent upon mercy, designed to share,
we dally in moments, confusion’s lair.
Yet in exultation where love breeds desire,
we execute wonder, adoring the Lord.
10.10.11.11. Suggested tune: Laudate Dominum (Gauntlett)
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, friends, and sit with him who cares for family and strangers alike.
P: We gather with the one whose lavish love has been poured out for all.
L: Let us bring to him our best, and pour out our lives as a gift to him.
P: May our hearts be open to the beauty of Christ’s presence as we worship him in spirit and in truth.
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 lavishly. 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, so that we may pour out our very lives as an offering of praise and love for you in this world, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Confession of Sin
L: Let us confess our sins together.
P: Most holy and merciful God: We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
L: We have not loved you with all our heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.
P: Have mercy on us, O God.
L: We have been deaf to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
P: Have mercy on us, O God.
L: We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness. The pride, hyposcrisy, and impatience in our lives,
P: Our self‑indulgent appetites and ways and our exploitation of other people,
L: Our anger at our own frustration and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,
P: Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts and our dishonesty in our daily life and work,
L: Our negligence in prayer and worship and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
P: Accept our repentance, O God, for the wrongs we have done. For our neglect of human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
L: For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,
P: For our waste and pollution of your creation and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Restore us, O God, for your mercy is great.
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past we cannot change; open us to a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more into your likeness and image; through Christ our Lord.
Words of Assurance
Lay down your burdens. Give up your sinful ways, and accept the warmth of God’s love, for we have been forgiven, and in Christ are made new again. Look up with hope and live.
Mighty and merciful God, giver of grace and goodness, we come as grateful children this day. We come confessing that we are not always grateful to you or as gracious to others we encounter in the twists and turns of our lives. We thank you that you have promised your forgiveness to us as we place our trust in you. Hear our prayers that we might be forgiven, renewed and restored to a fuller life—the life you have shown us in Jesus the Christ.
And hear our prayers for the people you have called to be your church throughout the world. May we together become what you would have us be in fulfillment of Christ’s mission. Help us to lead the way in justice and peace, to help the poor, the sick, the hungry, the oppressed, and those in prison and other kinds of trouble. Help us to serve those who surround us as we would serve Jesus.
We pray, O Lord, for those who seek you or who seek to draw closer to you, that they may find you and be found by you. We pray for those near to us in their needs, as we have named them this day, and for those we name in our hearts, and for our own needs.
We praise you, O God, for you give us grace to glorify you with our whole lives, through the power and strength of Jesus the Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
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.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us
that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters
we do also for you:
give us the will to be the servant of others
as you were the servant of all,
and gave up your life and died for us,
but are alive and reign, now and for ever.
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly
wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to
love what you command and desire what you promise; that,
among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts
may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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)
Extravagance of gift, O God,
is your design on living free.
When love is great, the overflow
is spent on prodigal excess
and we observe the ripe delight
that savors you in exquisite expense.
In gratitude, we pour our souls for you,
the living as the poor, extravagant
at each resolve.
Service of Table
Preparation (Invitation to Stewardship)
The apostle writes: “My sisters and brothers, I implore you by God’s mercy to offer your very selves to God; a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for God’s acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart. Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature be transformed. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and know what is good, acceptable and perfect.
We bring our gifts to you, and offer them as symbol of sacrifice and service. We seek to share the story of suffering love that fulfills and conquers death. Bless these gifts and all who give; use our wealth, our time, our abilities for the good of all your people, O Lord.
Invitation to Commune
When we as people of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ commune together, our sense of true community is enhanced. When we meet Jesus at his table, class, culture, race, language, economic status and educational achievements are all transcended. Here is a paradox, in our diversity we find unity, when we share the Lord’s bread.
Let us approach this time of communion and community not only sharing the bread and wine, but also sharing ourselves, our hopes, our faith, our history and our future. Let the people of God come to share the bread and witness a miracle: The great truths of our faith intersect with the realities of the world around us, and we see anew how God is at work in our world.
Come and hear in the recesses of our souls, Christ’s call to here and now, at this table, share his bread so that we may be refreshed and empowered as his people to remember him and therefore live for him. Thus we become a part of the miracle we witness. Let us share the bread in unity and remembrance.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
Holy God, we praise and bless you for creation and the gift of life; and for your abiding love which brings us close to you, the source of all blessing. We thank you for revealing your will for us in the giving of the law and the teaching of the prophets.
We thank you especially that in the fullness of time you sent Jesus, born of Mary, to live in our midst, to share in our suffering, and to accept the pain of death at the hands of those whom he loved. We rejoice that in a perfect victory over the grave, you raised Christ with power to become sovereign in your realm.
We celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to gather your church by whom your work may be done in the world, and through whom we share the gift of eternal life. With the faithful in every place and time, we praise with joy your holy name.
Send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood, and that we might be for the world Christ’s body, until at last we feast with him and all your people at the table of unending joy.
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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