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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.
27-Come, thou Almighty King
4-Holy, holy, holy
651-God who stretched the spangled heavens
22-All creatures of our God and King
409-I hunger and I thirst
395-Seed, scattered and sown
450-Lord, you give the great commission
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 8 is on p. 728
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Acts 1:16-34
As the bonds of greed arraign life
and attend the signs of hope,
we perceive afresh the freedom
that is our inheritance.
Break the bondage; free the spirit
to breath deeply liberty,
that the taste of Jesus enter
and we share our pure delight.
Ah, but in the bonds of anger
comes the bondage full of fright.
There, restraint and danger hollows
care and custody of joy.
In this moment of confusion
lingers yet the spark of life,
As we know the Savior’s mercy,
here as everywhere: rejoice!
In the singing and delighting,
favored in the life with God,
comes the unexpected freedom
that designs our liberty.
For in this commanding moment
we attend the grace of life.
And in all the joy of Jesus
love and mercy overflow.
184.108.40.206.D Suggested tune: Austria
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: We gather in the name of the living Christ to worship God.
P: Surely, God is in this place and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
L: God’s love is for you and for all people everywhere.
P: May we be renewed in the refreshing Spirit of the living Christ, that we may share God’s love and life.
L: The living Christ is with us.
P: Praise the Lord!
Prayer of Approach
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. God of grace and glory, make your presence known to us as we worship this morning. Jesus our Christ, may your name be praised from the rising of the sun to the midnight hour, may your name always be honored among us. Spirit of holiness, breathe on us all and bind us in Christian love and servant hood. O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be known to us today. Transform our lives and our community into the image of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray (as he taught us, saying, “Our Father…”) from Flames of the Spirit
You are holy, O Lord our Creator and God, giving us mercies beyond number. You are holy, O Savior Jesus Christ, loving and setting us free. You are holy, O Spirit of truth and peace, leading us in ways that are right. O holy eternal Trinity, we praise you for ever and ever. (And now we are bold to pray as our Savior Christ has taught us, “Our Father…”)
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*
Almighty and everlasting God,
you have given us your servants grace,
by the confession of a true faith,
to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity
and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:
keep us steadfast in this faith,
that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;
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.
Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith,
that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,
who are three Persons yet one God,
now and for ever.
faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us
your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to
acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the
power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep
us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to
see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with
the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Sending forth your Spirit, O God,
you declare to us the word of Jesus
in fullness we have not known before.
These many things we await:
prepare our hearts to hear
that we be led into all truth.
Service of Table
Preparation (Invitation to Stewardship)
All good things come from God, the giver of life. We are called as stewards of God’s gifts to share in fulfillment of God’s purposes for creation. As stewards of the kingdom of God, let us give from our abundance with thanksgiving.
In these gifts, O God, we acclaim you as our Lord. May they be useful to you in bringing your kingdom into full flower through the ministries of your church, we pray in Christ’s name.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
Almighty God, as your Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, you have created the world and called it good. As you breathed life into human beings, you made each of us in your image. In the fullness of time, you sent your Son into the world that all the world might find life and life abundant in his fellowship. As we give thanks to you for the gift of life, and your sustaining presence in all of it, we offer up these gifts of bread and wine along with our very selves, that your Spirit might come upon them and upon us, that they may be for us the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ, who living perfectly in your image offered himself up for us all. Through this breaking of bread and drinking of cup, may we who love you be conformed to his likeness, to follow you in the days which lie before us as creative, life-giving signs of your sustaining presence in our world.
Conclusion: 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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