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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:
Psalm 118:14-29 or Psalm 150
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
Any of the Resurrection hymns (215-234) are appropriate.
260-Let It Breathe on Me
535-Faith While Trees Are Still in Blossom
670-All Who Love and Serve Your City
416-Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face
562-Because He Lives (v.1)
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 (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On John 20:19-31
For fear enclosed behind latched doors
we clamor after peace unknown.
In eagerness we huddle near
when times go dark.
Appearing in our sight at first,
the unexpected Lord arrives.
And Jesus resonates our dread:
peace be to you!
The world is rearranged for us;
the clamor after certainty
and all the vagrancies of life
are held in peace.
How shall we know – except we see,
except our hand greet victory
and as our sight compounds our love:
Our Lord and God!
So gathered in the Hiding Place,
behind the shelter of our fears,
we are at last so opened now:
Peace is our ken.
22.214.171.124. Suggested tune: Es Ist Kein Tag
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 118 portions on p. 758
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
L: 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;
P: Grief has been replaced by joy, and darkness has been dispelled by light!
L: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
P: He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
L: Christ is risen.
P: Christ is risen, indeed.
L: Come, let us praise the Lord.
P: Let us worship our risen Savior.
L: For death has given away to life, despair has been overwhelmed by hope.
P: Grief has been replaced by joy, and darkness has been dispelled by light!
L: All is made new, for Christ is risen.
P: Christ is risen, indeed. Alleluia!
OR (from Worship Ways – UCC.org)
L: Sing praise to our joyful Easter God
P: Whose power brings new life out of death!
L: Immerse doubt and despair in the fountain of new birth
P: Our visions and hopes are refreshed, made new!
L: For God has taken ordinary things
P: And made them extraordinary
OR (adapted by the editor)
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.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
God, whose love and care for us extends far beyond our human understanding, whose presence in our midst is greater than our fears and doubts, we come offering ourselves to you – our weaknesses and our strengths, our faith and our fears. We seek to know the risen Christ among us in this gathering, and trust you to reveal him to us once again, as we wait upon you in hope and expectation (praying as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
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 (even as he taught us saying, “Our Father…”)
OR (from Worship Ways – UCC.org)
You have transformed absurd impossibility
into reality: resurrection…
You have coaxed us to sing springtime alleluias
where once there was a gray dawn,
You have called us out of the tombs we inhabit
into an undreamed of tomorrow,
we praise you for this day!
Come, Risen Christ,
in newness and hope on this Eastertide day. Amen.
OR (from Worship Ways at UCC.org)
O Risen Christ, be with us this day.
We recognize your wounded hands;
they tell us that you know what it is to struggle and suffer,
and to prevail in the power of love.
We grasp those hands, that they may lead us together
into a deeper place of peace.
Our week has left worries, answerless questions, blatant injustices,
and unexpected disappointments.
We are weary.
Come, O Risen Christ and receive our burdens
as we empty our cares into your loving hands.
Extend to us your joy.
Give us imagination enough to pursue your abundant life!
Pour into us the freshness of your new life;
for you are our strength and our might.
How wonderful you are for your loving-kindness toward us.
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
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 great season of new life, awaken us, empower us, renew us, to be faithful to you in the Spirit of Christ.
Lord of life, hear us as we lift to you our hopes and prayers for the church and the world. Let your grace empower us as people of faith to better serve you in the common places of our lives, and in the people we meet on our faith journeys. Open our eyes to the living Christ as we pray for and work with the poor, the broken-hearted, the sick and the bereaved. Hear our prayers for those who are close to our hearts. In your resurrecting power, lift them up and give them renewed strength and hope; and give to us all new faith by which to live our days with you. Then will our lives be living witness to your resurrection, made whole by your love and care. In Christ’s Spirit we pray.
OR (adapted from Worship Ways invocation above)
O Risen Christ, be with us this day. We recognize your wounded hands; they tell us that you know what it is to struggle and suffer, and to prevail in the power of love. May we grasp those hands, that they may lead us together into a deeper place of peace.
Our week has left worries, answerless questions, blatant injustices, and unexpected disappointments. We are weary. Come, O Risen Christ and receive our burdens as we empty our cares into your loving hands. Extend to us your joy. Give us imagination enough to pursue your abundant life! Pour into us the freshness of your new life; for you are our strength and our might. How wonderful you are for your loving-kindness toward us.
Now may we extend your loving-kindness to all we encounter, as we lift to you those who are poor, the broken-hearted, the sick and the suffering, and all who are in grief this day. By your strength lift them up, breathe on them your life-giving Spirit, and grant them and all your children your peace. This we pray through Christ our risen Lord. Amen.
Prayers from Common Worship*
you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification:
grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you
in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Lord God our Father,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ
you have assured your children of eternal life
and in baptism have made us one with him:
deliver us from the death of sin
and raise us to new life in your love,
in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:
open the doors of our hearts,
that we may seek the good of others
and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,
to the praise of God the Father.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery
established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all
who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body
may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Engaged within our boundaries of fear,
O God, we rise with opened eyes.
We find your peace upon us
and circulate in wonder,
contemplating life anew.
Become in this acquaintance life in us
and lead us to adore our Lord, our God.
Service of Table
While all of our congregations navigate the Sacred Board in a different way, it seems, there are common elements in most, which are provided here. We would love to hear if your congregation has variations to these elements which we might address in the future.
Offertory / Invitation to Give
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.
OR (adapted from the UCC)
Easter is an opportunity to rejoice and give thanks to God for all that God has done for us in Jesus: new life, abundant life! Sharing that abundance with confidence is an Easter joy. The risen Christ gives his heartbroken disciples the gift of peace and the breath of the Holy Spirit. God is always finding ways to give to us, and our offering this morning is one way that we return a portion of what we’ve received so that a world broken and in need will hear the Good News of God’s love. Let us gather our gifts together and offer them to God in gratitude and praise.
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.
OR (Adapted from Worship Ways – at UCC.org)
Loving God, we pray that these gifts, given with love, may be further transformed like echoes of grace, delighting all who receive their blessings. May it be so, through the life-changing power of your Holy Spirit, and may our lives speak of a God who is still full of Easter surprises.
OR (from Worship Ways – at UCC.org)
O God, you have become our light and our salvation –
let these gifts open the gates of joy
to all who hunger and thirst for your holy presence
on this and every day.
May they bear the gifts of Alleluia which we hold so dear,
and give away with great joy.
We pray in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus the Christ! Amen.
OR (Adapted from SpaciousFaith.com)
Holy One, you have given yourself to us in Christ. We now give back to you this money that seems so little; this worship that seems so small; these words that never quite get it right. Receive what we offer and transform it by the power of your Spirit into enough money, sufficient praise, worthy words for proclaiming and enacting your peace, justice, and love in the world. Amen.
Invitation to the Table
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.
OR (from SpaciousFaith.com)
Friends, let us come out of the darkness and join together in the light of God’s love. You are invited to this table of life as we join with each other and seek communion with God.
OR (adapted from Rev. Teri Peterson at LiturgyLink)
Jesus met his disciples—women and men, young and old—
and invited them into his new life.
Jesus still meets his disciples—women and men, young and old—
and invites us into his new life.
That new life begins, as any life begins, with water and bread.
At this table, we receive the bread of new life.
At this table, we are called together from many individuals into one body.
At this table, we are strengthened to go answer Christ’s call.
This table is not mine, and it does not belong to this church.
This is not a [sectarian] table.
All of us, no matter who we are, or what we have done, or where we are on life’s journey, are as welcome here as Peter and Joanna and Mary and James were at the first table.
The risen Christ is the host, and he bids us come and celebrate the feast,
to know the power of resurrection, the joy of heaven, the glory of God’s grace.
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)
Gracious God, who sees through the gloom of our fears and the shades of our doubts, we seek today to see Christ among us here, at the table where he gathers all who hunger and thirst for new life. Today we proclaim our faith anew in Jesus, and look to you for a deeper understanding of how we are to live as people of faith. Pour out your Spirit upon us as we break this bread and as we receive this cup, that in them we may know him afresh, and be revived to serve him not only with our lips, but with our lives.
Eternal One, who cares for each one of us as if you had no one else to care for, and who cares for all of us even as you care for each, we come here because you have invited us. We recognize at the deepest levels of our beings that it is at this table that we are affirmed and made whole. Send forth your Holy Spirit upon these gifts of bread and wine. In receiving them, enable us to know the presence of the living Christ who reveals himself yet again, the one who calls us to be family, the one in whose presence no other can be called a stranger. Enable us to celebrate the truth that we are members of one another, that we are family with all of your creation, and that we are all loved by you. We pray these things in the name of the Christ who has called us to you.
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 2018. Calendar for 2019
Sun 2 Dec 2018. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2018-19. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2018 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries
using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2018 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2018.
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.