Christ the King C
For THANKSGIVING DAY, see separate entry for Nov. 28.
Thanksgiving Sunday is also recognized in some congregations. This is not at all inappropriate, considering the nature of the lectionary and a careful study of the nature of the holiday in American culture. However, it is important to be aware of the universality of the Church, and of this observance of Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday. It is not to be trivialized into a rehash of American triumphalism or a “divine rights” celebration. All are urged to let the texts speak for themselves, and to use care in pairing music and other elements of the day in concert with the themes of scripture.
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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):
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
713-God of our life
725-God of the ages
17 – O worship the King
91/92 – All Hail the power of Jesus’ name
234-Crown him with many crowns
429-You satisfy the hungry heart
387-Bread of the world
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 Luke 23:33-43
The throne of Jesus rises,
the monument of grace,
the rash scar on Golgotha
and royal throne of love.
Upon this throne of mercy,
the cross of Christ our Lord,
he is exalted ever,
our everlasting King.
Forgiveness is the measure
of arms stretches sorely lean,
there to uphold in mercy
the world he reigns above.
His kingdom comes, surprising
in love’s rejection theme,
there to anoint the weary
with wonder, love supreme.
Upon the throne forgiving
and scorned with practiced sneers,
the Lord of mercy answers
with silence to adore.
After the scoffing rankles
the second speaking pleas.
And mercy is forthcoming
as the king is wont to wield.
126.96.36.199.D Suggested tune: Aurelia
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 46 is on p. 742
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
from Psalm 93
L: The LORD is king, robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, girded with strength.
P: God has established the world; it shall never be moved.
L: More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the LORD!
P: Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
O God, you call us into your holy place – this solemn assembly. Let our hearts be made full of praise, our eyes full of wonder at your mercies, and our lips quick to tell of your blessings to us in your son Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord. Let our praise be for the guidance of your hand and the righteousness with which you execute justice, that we might be your presence to our broken and hurting world. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
How vast and deep is your love O God, for us and for all the world. As we give you thanks for the beauty of creation and for the gift of life, we turn to you for strength and guidance to help those of our world in need of care and healing. May your Spirit bring your people to truly live faithfully as servants of Christ our Sovereign Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
O God, you are infinite, eternal and unchangeable, glorious in holiness, full of love and compassion, abundant in grace and truth. All your works praise you in all places of your dominion and your glory is revealed in Jesus Christ our savior, therefore we praise you, blessed and holy trinity, one god, for ever and ever (praying as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
God of overwhelming mercy, you have claimed each generation of people as your family, fellow workers, and heirs of your grace. From the wealth of your storehouses an endless stream of love, mercy, and wisdom has washed over your people. Wave upon wave of endless light sweeps over us. How great are your storehouses, O God, how vast, how varied your gifts! In this hour enable us to open our hearts and receive your gifts. We praise you for the treasure of your love poured out for us and for all, in a thousand ways, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
Gracious God, who supplies us with every blessing in abundance, lift up our hearts in gratitude and thanksgiving. Open us to remember the gifts we seldom notice, the bounty we take for granted, the rich possibilities you provide. For bread without scarcity, for water that is pure, for houses to live in and friends to enjoy, we give you humble thanks.
We lift to you all those whose lives are linked with our own. We remember (_______and) all those whom we name to you in silence.
Touch their lives with your grace and your peace, that they would know your love in these days of illness and unknowing and struggle.
In the days ahead, may we be more aware of the bounty for which we need to be grateful and of all the little things that make us who we are which we often overlook or ignore. Help us to be more mindful every day of your goodness and love.
For beauty and bounty, for healing and hope, for the gospel of our salvation, we lift our voices in praise to you, Creator God, in Christ’s name.
OR (selected petitions below may be combined into one prayer; silence between each is encouraged)
Gracious God, we pray for the church around the world. As the broken bread, though once scattered as grain on the hillsides become one loaf, so may your church be one in spirit throughout the earth, and one in witness to your saving love;
Gracious God, lead our leaders throughout the Church. Grant them your wisdom, that by their deeds they may encourage the faithful and witness to the world and its people;
Eternal ruler of the universe, we pray for those who govern every land, and for the people committed to their charge. Look with grace upon the president of our country, and the legislators who guide our lives. Turn the hearts of leaders and peoples to you, that governments may seek the good of humanity and of all who suffer;
God, you suffer with those who suffer. We pray for those who are denied what they need to live and those whose dreams have been shattered by war and disaster. We pray especially for those who suffer in the season of plenty. Reach out and bring healing through the hands of your faithful people;
Holy Comforter, healing Spirit, grant your peace to those who are sick and those who grieve, and especially those of our own church families who are suffering today. Radiate through their lives with the light of your presence, that renewed healing and strength may be theirs.
We pray, dear Lord, for those whose actions offend us most and for those whom we have learned to fear and despise. Through your great love, make tender all hearts hardened by hatred, bigotry and suspicion; and work your justice among us.
God of hope and new life, help us to see the joy and abundant life you intend for us. Forgive our shortsightedness and often miserly attitudes toward the created world which you have entrusted to our care. Give us your peace–peace which is not so much an absence of trouble, as an awareness of your guiding presence and bounteous gifts in all that we do; for these our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus the Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship*
whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven
that he might rule over all things as Lord and King:
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Stir up, O Lord,
the wills of your faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,
may by you be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God the Father,
help us to hear the call of Christ the King
and to follow in his service,
whose kingdom has no end;
for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, one glory.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all
things in your well‑beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of
lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided
and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together
under his most gracious rule; 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 (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Unto the Christ, our King in majesty
upon the cross, the Crucified,
the leer of brutal death
left naked to the skies,
suspended over earth,
we come; we come to him who is enthroned
upon the cross
forgiving those who do not recognize this,
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
We are a blessed people. In this season of Thanksgiving, it is good that we recall God’s many gifts in our lives, and grace which God has given us to help us use them all for good. As we ready ourselves to join the great Feast of Thanksgiving, a feast which God has made for us in Christ Jesus, let us consider just how welcome we are to receive of it – all of us – and to share the gifts of it for the sake of the world. For the gifts of God are many, and they are made real in this meal, and in the family of God gathered around it. Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings.
Every time we come to the table, we are called to share in the offering. Christ’s body and blood was and is the offering of all offerings. That alone ought to appeal to us to give. Our giving will aid others in remembering him and give them the good news of life in Christ.
If our offering enables us to feed the hungry, give a drink of clean water to the thirsty, welcome a stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, then Christ himself will bless that offering. Hear him say, “Come, blessed ones of my Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for as you did it for one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.”
We would crown you as our Sovereign, O Christ, as you have crowned the year with mercy and kindness in the giving of yourself for the sake of the world. May our lives, expressed in these offerings, and may the ministries of your beloved church, truly proclaim what our hearts have believed: that you are our Lord who will reign forever and ever. Amen.
May these gifts bring light to those who walk in darkness, hope to those who live in despair, and justice to those who are oppressed. Grant to each giver a sense of participation in the most important opportunity of all time: to share your love with the world. To this end we dedicate our offerings and ourselves. Amen.
Invitation to the Table
from Phil. 2
L: We gather at the Table of Christ to join our hearts and minds in praise of God.
P: God has exalted Jesus and given him a name above every name.
L: So let every knee bend, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess:
P: Jesus Christ is Lord. Glory to God forever!
The celebration of the Christian Year comes to an astounding and world-changing ending as we hear Christ’s call to live out the gospel of Jesus in real and practical ways. We are, in Christ, called to feed those who hunger, and by his self-giving example have learned just how costly that calling can be. All who would live among his flock are likewise called to remember the price that Christ our Sovereign Lord has paid for the salvation of the world, and to bring forth in this present age, in sign and in deed, the hope of life in God’s abundance. We show forth that abundance in this breaking of bread together, and look forward to his coming in final victory to be known as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let us come to the Table of Christ in faith.
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)
- It is always right and just to praise you, God our Father, for you have always sought and found us. As we give you praise for Jesus Christ, the shepherd and guardian of our souls, we offer thanks for this bread, which is to be for us his body. May we who receive him from your hands be encouraged to lives of thankful praise, and be empowered by your Spirit to offer him to the world which you have redeemed through your own great love.
- This cup, O God, we offer to your service. Send down your Holy Spirit, we pray, that as we receive your gifts – bread broken and wine poured – our lives might be made whole, and be offered to you anew for faithful service. This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord and King.
Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will, and who now lives evermore to make intercession for us. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, for you provide for us this bread and wine – fruit of the earth and work of human hands. May it be for us the body and blood of Christ, as we who gather at your table seek to be strengthened by your presence. Fill us with the power of your Holy Spirit, that as those who would be numbered among your faithful children we may bring forth in our lives and our communities the manifest reality of your reign which has no end, for we pray in the name of Christ.
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.
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