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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 for more study resources:
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
53-Morning has broken
503-O Christ the Healer (alt tune suggestions: #665-Germany; #526-Gift of Love)
586-Open my eyes that I may see
405-Beneath the forms of outward rite
622-Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
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)
Watch site for posting at a later date.
On John 9:1-41
Distressing every wish to know
comes Jesus to behold,
to witness how affliction bears
the signs of God’s release.
He could not see, that man born blind,
until he passed the time
with Jesus offering the sight
borne in his gentle hands.
So hard it is to witness thus,
to know the blind man sees
when all the evidence of law,
propriety and sense
demands that those who know to see
must understand the rules:
this witness of the man born blind
who sees what we can’t see.
O Lord, in this encapsuled day
as insight ranges true
become in us the witness shown,
that follows in the way.
It is the way that we attend,
the way that Jesus goes;
and in this wonderful delight
we follow as your own.
DCM Suggested tune: Ladywell
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 23 is on page 734
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: We celebrate the God of infinite power and love, who has called us into community.
P: We gather with God’s people of every age and place who have, by faith, found their true citizenship in heaven.
L: We journey together with hope, knowing that God who has fulfilled every promise in the coming of Jesus Christ will fulfill the promises of kingdom life for us and for all God’s children.
P: Thanks be to God for the faith that makes our life in Christ complete and promises life everlasting to all who believe.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
God of all glory, on this first day you began creation, bringing light out of darkness. On this first day you began your new creation raising Jesus Christ out of the darkness of death. On this Lord’s day grant that we, the people you create by water and the spirit, may be joined with all your works in praising you for your great glory. Through Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, we praise you now and forever. (praying as he taught us, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
Center us now, O God, on your presence in this place among your people, as we lift up our hearts desires, our soul’s deep needs, our hungers, fears and failures.
As we have often failed to be obedient to your will in our lives as individual disciples and as church, we pray that you will forgive us and enliven us to be and to do the gospel of Christ. Open us to your Spirit’s urgings, and awaken us to live faithfully as your people in a changing, often hurting world.
We pray for those around us who need your care, and ask that you would make of us your instruments of healing, peace and redemption. We pray especially for those we have named to you this day, and others we lift to you in the silence of our hearts.
Reveal your presence with them and with us, God of life, that as people of renewed faith and vitality, we may be empowered to serve your world, and so give glory to you; for we offer our prayers and our lives in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We pray for ourselves and our own needs, and the needs of those around us, whose lives are closely linked with our own… 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.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Collect Merciful Lord, absolve your people from their offences, that through your bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins which by our frailty we have committed; grant this, heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Lord God, whose blessed Son our Saviour gave his back to the smiters and did not hide his face from shame: give us grace to endure the sufferings of this present time with sure confidence in the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Merciful Lord, you know our struggle to serve you: when sin spoils our lives and overshadows our hearts, come to our aid
and turn us back to you again; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down
from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world:
Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in
him; 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.
In all our blindness, Lord God, grant us sight;
let spittle land in clay: anoint our eyes
and bid us bathe them clear.
Where we are all so blind,
pretending that we see,
refresh us that we truly see
the boundless beauty of your gift
of Spirit, life, delight in you.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
Each of us it to look not only to personal interests but also to the interests of others. We come together as the church of Jesus Christ to do this. We are devoted to a mission whose benefits are not for us alone. This is our opportunity to share in important work in this community and around the world.
Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world. Amen.
Invitation to the Table
God wants to share this meal with you—all of you who dare to let go of your defenses and your trust in self or others, and trust in God. Let us come to God’s table with hearts of thanksgiving and trust fully in the Christ who invites us all.
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)
O God, you have sent your only Son into the world not to condemn, but to bring life in abundance. As we hear his call to gather at the Table today, and receive from his hands the bread blessed and broken, and drink together from the cup which he has blessed, send forth your Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these gifts, that in receiving we may experience anew that abundance, and give of it freely through lives lived faithfully in his presence.
- O God, you bring light out of darkness and hope where none can be found. As we give you thanks for this bread, the light of hope expressed most completely in your Son Jesus Christ, we pray that you will give us grace to know him more fully, and in knowing him, more closely follow him as people of faith.
- Pour out your Spirit, we pray upon (this bread and) this cup, that we who partake of the gifts which you give may be awakened to live fully in your presence, as we look forward to the feast you have prepared for all who love you, in your kingdom which has no end.
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.
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