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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 for each individual pericope:
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
277-Christians, we have met to worship
197-Beneath the cross of Jesus
200-What wondrous love is this
612-O Jesus, I have promised
491-As grain on scattered hillsides
108-Lift high the cross
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.
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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Ezekiel 37:1-14
As desperation saps all will,
O God, you grasp our vision.
At your command we rise to see
the valley’s desolation.
We see the bones awry,
the dry bones scattered wide,
the burden of despair
as all our hope is gone.
Yet you command our looking.
Give word, says God, that we obey,
that we exclaim God’s urging.
The word to all dry bones, so blanched,
is to take flesh, arise now.
So, in this notice set,
we stammer evermore.
We speak: let bones arise!
and wonder at the sound,
as bone to bone assembles.
But breath alone is life indeed
and so we call out to the breath.
Come as the Spirit comes in thrall
to enter, fill, bring new life.
So prophesy: Come Breath,
from North, West, South and East.
Come, Breath, into the lost
and satisfy all hope,
that we discover our joy.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.7. Suggested tune: Ein’ Feste Berg
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 130 is not in the hymnal.
Concerning the Following Items: 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.
Call to Worship (adapted by the editor from John Berringer)
L: Come, let us use our voices to praise the Lord.
P: Our mouths will shout forth praise.
L: Let us use our minds to ponder the wondrous deeds of God.
P: We will call to mind God’s mighty acts.
L: With all of our strength and being, let us worship the Lord of love.
P: We will worship from our depths. Our souls exult in God!
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.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
God of grace, you have given us minds to know you, hearts to love you, and voices to sing your praise. Fill us with your spirit that we may celebrate your glory and truly worship you; through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Living Christ, your earthly ministry was full of struggle as well as joy; yet you were faithful in following God’s will. Breathe your spirit into our lives, so that we may never fall back from the way of discipleship, or the effort of loving. Grant that we may find true joy and peace as we accept the cost of faithful discipleship, through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
Loving God, you taught your disciples love for one another—love which would manifest itself in selflessness and servanthood. Hear the prayer of your people for our world and all who dwell in it.
We lift to you the nations, that they may be rebuilt in justice and in peace, and especially this nation and its leaders. Hear our prayers for the nations. (silence)
We lift to you this earth, which you so lovingly created, that as stewards of your gifts we might thankfully use its resources for the good of all. Hear our prayers for your creation. (silence)
We pray for this city and for cities and villages around us, that all might work together to strengthen and improve the lives of their citizens. Hear our prayers for the cities. (silence)
We pray for your church—both here in this faith community and around the world—that this season of Lent might be a time of renewal in faith and mission on your behalf, and that together we may learn the path of servanthood toward all humanity. Hear our prayer for your church. (silence)
We pray for ourselves and our own needs, and the needs of those around us, whose lives are closely linked with our own… (silence)
To those who are sick and sorrowful, bring your healing and hope. To the grieving, bring your peace. And to the dying bring the joy of your promise to us of eternity with you. For these and all our prayers we offer you, trusting in your goodness and your strength, in the name and spirit of Jesus the Christ.
Loving God, through Jesus Christ you bring light and life to a dark and dying world. We give you thanks and praise for your love which he reveals to us, even today, and for the hope which his life and death and resurrection unfolds for our world. Even as you love the world so greatly and sacrificially in Jesus, help us in his spirit to live and to love your world today, especially as we lift to you the lonely, the hurting, the sick and the dying.
Where there is injustice, renew our mission to do your will and bring about reconciliation, healing and peace. Where there is pain, make us agents of your regenerative power and your healing caress. May we discover and shed abroad your great love among those we encounter who are alone, or grieving or lost. Make us, as your church, your hands and feet and voice in this world, especially as we pray for those whose lives are closely linked with our own and for the needs we bring with us this day which we offer to you in silence.
As we celebrate your presence with us this day and commit ourselves to you afresh within the covenant of your love, help us to be a willing church—ready to do whatever the day demands, in order to bring the joy of your resurrection to those of our world who have no cause to celebrate. In this Lenten season, awaken us, empower us, renew us, to be faithful to you in the Spirit of Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Collect 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. Post Communion 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. Additional Collect Gracious Father, 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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Watch site for posting at a later date.
Against the quandary of life, O God,
you slide into our witness, enter into our domain,
erupt into our rising unto life.
And we are slow, so slow to grasp
your intersecting, interlacing life
into the sorrow and the grist we bear.
Become in us unbinding chance
that we exult in you forevermore.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
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 the Table
In God’s Son Jesus Christ we have received assurance that in giving all we receive everything, that in dying to self we will live, and that in following him we will come to know God fully. As we receive at Christ’s Table the fruits of God’s self-giving in the bread broken and the cup poured out for all, may we find new power for living in his name and in his mission.
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 (Prayers for Bread and Cup)
(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.
- O God, you bring life from death and raise up all who trust in you. As we break this bread, offered in love for you for all your people, may it be for us the Bread of Life. Strengthen us to live as resurrected people, we pray.
- Spirit of God, you join the broken of our world back together, and raise us up as a people to give praise to you. Pour out your life-giving breath upon us as we receive this cup, the Blood of Christ, our hope and our salvation. Raise us with him to serve you all our days in Christ’s name.
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 2016. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; 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.