This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.
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 additional prayers: For a selection of prayers for the day, and other common elements of Easter liturgy, see our post for Easter B.
Easter Vigil: For notes on a prior Easter Vigil posting, see https://lifeinliturgy.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/easter-b-vigil-service/
Service of Baptismal Renewal, see https://lifeinliturgy.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/baptism-of-christ-c-jan-13/
Service of Easter Evening
Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:
Hymns: Any of the Easter hymns noted below are appropriate; especially for evening 227 (In the Garden), 231 (Sing of One Who Walks Beside Us), and 636 (Abide with me)
Some congregations may wish to begin this grand old liturgical practice of lifting up the Gospel reading in a special way at Easter.
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.
see 215-234; suggested:
Hymn of Praise: 215-226, 228
Hymn of Prayer: 227
Hymn of Invitation: 229, 233
Communion Hymn: 233, 422, 404
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Luke 24:1-12
The morning arrives, the call to aspire,
the coming of earnest to care for the dead.
The women arrive with their spices in hand
and find not the body they longed to prepare.
Perplexed and bewildered, they are approached.
Two men have arrived, all dazzling in white.
The search is deferred: Jesus now has been raised –
as told long before, when in Galilee’s hills.
Announce then the wonder: tell all abroad,
tell Peter and James, John and all the rest.
So Mary the Magdalene went with her friends
told all the apostles, who did not believe.
So come to the tomb at earliest hour;
come, see and behold; come, hear the new word.
Prepare ye to answer engagement in place
when all is confronted, when awe is your grace.
10.10.10.11. Suggested tune: Hanover
Hymn for Easter from Rev. David T. Chafin (©2013 David T. Chafin; All rights reserved) DOWNLOAD: where is your sting
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
Grace and peace to you from Jesus Christ our Lord.
My brothers and sisters in Christ: On this most holy morning in which Jesus Christ passed over from death to life, we gather as the church to pray and watch for the dawning of his triumph and resurrection. We join with the whole company of God’s people in heaven and on earth in recalling and celebrating his victory over death, and our deliverance from the bondage of sin and darkness to everlasting light.
Hear the Word of God of God: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”
Come, let us praise the Lord, let us worship our risen Savior, for death has given away to life, despair has been overwhelmed by hope, grief has been replaced by joy, and darkness has been dispelled by light!
Jesus has passed through the door of death and opened the way to the blessing of life. As on the third day, his presence can penetrate the barrier of our fears and give us peace, that we may proclaim the beauty of forgiveness and the strength that community supplies. Friends, Christ is risen and he is here. Let us worship God, who blesses us with life.
Call to Worship
L: Alleluia. Christ is Risen.
P: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
L: May his grace and peace be with you.
P: May he fill our hearts with joy. Alleluia!
(The Paschal Candle is lit,)
L: Christ our Light!
P: Thanks be to God. Alleluia!
L: Alleluia. Christ is Risen.
P: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
L: God’s desire for life to abound in us has conquered death.
P: We are now raised with Christ to life eternal. Alleluia!
L: Christ is risen.
P: Christ is risen, indeed.
L: God is alive..
P: New birth is given.
L: Hope is alive…
P: A new age is dawning.
L: Joy is alive…
P: Redemption is here.
L: Love is alive
P: Death cannot harm us.
L: We are alive…
P: New life is within us.
L: The church is alive…
P: God’s spirit is within us.
God of life, we worship you.
God of creation, we praise you.
God of revelation, we learn from you.
God of resurrection, we come to celebrate you.
Prayer of Approach
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. O Life-giving God, your love for your children knows no boundaries. In Jesus Christ your Son, you have gone the full distance, even into the shadows of death, to find us, redeem us, and bring us back to life. Fill our hearts with joyous praise, even as we still may struggle to see life in the midst of its own shadows, so that as we proclaim your greatest good news this day we may bring glory to you and new hope to your world, for we pray in his name (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
God of love and glory, this week has been one of mixed emotions, of our struggle to understand. We have celebrated with palm branches, sat at table with the disciples, felt the pain of Christ’s betrayal and the agony of his death upon the cross. And on this third day, we witness your power in the Resurrection, the victory over death. Help us to truly experience your presence as we celebrate this day and every day the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Be with us now as we worship and offer our prayers together through Christ our Lord.
Gracious God, Power of Life, we praise you that you have not abandoned us to the living death of sin and despair, but that with Jesus Christ, you have lifted us up from the grave. Grant that we might ourselves know the power of the resurrection, now and in the world to come; for it is in the name of the risen Christ that we pray. Bread for the Journey
Almighty and ever-living God, your people in all the earth adore you in this and every hour. We look to you especially in this day which by the resurrection of your Son is made holy. And for the blessings of this life, we thank you and celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, which is to be our own resurrection.
Given such great blessings, we cannot help but be awakened to the cries of those who have no earthly hope. We hear the call of the hungry, the destitute, the very old and very young who do not see the light of day. Give us the fortitude, O God, to face the call and respond with haste to feed and clothe and love all of your people, and to gather them as lambs into the hope which we have found in the light of your Christ.
We hear the cry of the soul-sick with grief and anger and fear. We see the need of our neighbors and are shamefully inattentive to their suffering. Brace us with courage, O God, where their courage is broken, and enable us to lift them up when they cannot carry themselves through the thorny paths of their lives, and to help them find the path of salvation, healing and peace.
We hear the groan of bondage in our world and see the stripes of the taskmaster on the backs of humanity. Great God of the living, give us power to break the bonds of evil which perplex and destroy. Help us to free our fellows with the liberating word of truth that Christ has broken the bonds of death, hell and the grave.
So many who are near to us are ill and suffering. Be by the side of these dear ones in this hour and the hours that lay ahead. Heal those lives for whom the world can hold no cure. Bind up the wounds which find no salve. Give peace to the broken ones who face death and separation.
Plough up the hardness of your church, O Lord, when we become infertile and unproductive. Give us grace to know that the hardships we must face are to prepare us to receive new life and a new age of fruitfulness for your kingdom. As we go through our daily walks of life, help us all to be a benediction upon the lives of our families, our co-workers and each of those lives whom we touch even briefly. Give us grace to bring our every need and those of our neighbors to the altar of your love and grace in the name of Jesus, your Christ.
Righteous and ever living God, on this day your Son shattered the power of death, bringing life and immortality to light. On this day of all days in human history, help us to not to miss the power of its significance. Give us Easter’s holy power to adequately praise you and to rejoice in the new life that is ours. Intensify our joy in the resurrection that turned night into light and mourning into laughter. May our lives that often seem so dull and drab be made new, even as we go about our daily tasks. Open our eyes to the new possibilities of a world made fresh with praise. Give us the power of the resurrection, which broke the reign of death, to shatter every ancient tyranny that entombs your children: the intrigues of war, the subtlety of vested interests, racist pride, and ambitious self-seeking; and to break the enslaving shackles of debilitating doubts, secret lusts, persistent sins, wavering self-respect, diminishing integrity, and ever-deepening bitterness.
Give us, we pray, the victory of Easter that turned a cross into a resurrection, and made the symbol of shame into the sign of victory, to gain triumph from our worst defeats, to turn darkness to day, to make temptations into redemptive opportunities, to transform tragedy into faith, freshly made graves into hope, and all bitterness to love.
Give us the peace of the resurrection that calmed the terrorized hearts of your children, and as we wait upon you, speak calm to our souls. Because Christ lives, we, too, shall live, and so we rejoice. Until the day dawns, grant us brave hearts and constant spirits, as we lift our hearts to you in praise and thanksgiving, through Christ our Lord.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honour, glory and might,
now and in all eternity.
God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
O God, who for our redemption gave your only‑begotten
Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection
delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die
daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of
his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.
O God, who made this most holy night to shine with the
glory of the Lord’s resurrection: Stir up in your Church that
Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that we,
being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in
sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.
Almighty God, who through your only‑begotten Son Jesus
Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of
everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the
day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death
of sin by your life‑giving Spirit; 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)
As knowing all the facts in time,
with all the leisure to recover them,
we follow on the urgency of sight
the narrow gate of mind and heart
until we, past all knowing, pause to find
the One who greets us by our names,
the risen Lord in whom we joy.
Greet us that we may so rejoice, O Lord.
Service of Table
Preparation (Invitation to Stewardship)
God is at work in the world, renewing, remaking, resurrecting, bringing hope through the faith, the gifts, and the work of the church. We trust in God, and together we work for peace and justice through God’s Spirit as we offer our tithes and gifts. Let us rejoice in our God-given opportunity to share in God’s work.
We know, O God, that the good news of the resurrection is not to be kept a secret, hidden away as the private promise to a few. Rather, it is to be universal communication of hope and joy to all people; and to that worldwide proclamation we dedicate our gifts today.
Invitation to Commune
Luke wrote of our risen Savior, who at the table with two of the disciples, took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened, and they recognized the risen Christ in the breaking of the bread. In company with all believers in every time and place, and beyond all time and place, we come to this table, to know the risen Christ in the breaking of the bread.
Beloved in Christ, the gospel tells us that on the first day of the week, Jesus Christ was raised from death, appeared to Mary Magdalene, on that same day sat at the table with two disciples and was made known to them in the breaking of bread. This is the joyful feast of the people of God. Men and women, youth and children, come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and gather about Christ’s table. This table is for all who wish to know the presence of Christ and to share in the community of God’s people. (UCC, adapted)
Prayer of Thanksgiving from William Flewelling:
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
When we were barely looking, Lord God, you came upon us.
In the mystery of our despair, you raised the touch of love.
In the anguish of our uncertainty you lifted the grace of Christ.
In the hour of our dejection you raised for us the cup of thanksgiving.
In the torment of our fright you held us in the risen arms of Christ.
Holy God, we rejoice in your arising.
As your raised our Lord Jesus, raise us in hope to love and to share.
As the broken bread, our Manna, the body of Christ is given to feed our souls, raise us in life to join our hearts in tenderness and care.
As the fresh wine cup, the blood of Christ, our new covenant, refreshes our souls, raise us with Jesus to share together the feast of your kingdom.
Anoint us in your Spirit that we might fully live, your people and witnesses of resurrection; in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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.
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.