Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Feasts’ Category

Epiphany 1C: Baptism of Christ

 

Jan. 13

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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:

Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

177-What was your vow and vision

176-Sing of God made manifest

104-Of the Father’s love begotten

651-God who stretched the spangled heavens

183-We meet you, O Christ

365-Wash, O God, your sons and daughters

357-We call ourselves disciples

411-For the bread, which you have broken

 

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 Isaiah 43:1-7

 

The God who has us formed,

redeems us from all angst,

cries out: Fear not!  Fear not!

Your name have I called forth.

When you pass through

the haunting deep,

the river’s roar,

I shall preserve!

 

And so we hear the lure

that God secures for us,

redeeming love that calls

and savors us afresh.

Hear now!  Hear now!

I draw you near,

all ransom paid –

you precious ones!

 

Where all has lain in dust

and ruin owns our sight,

yet there, says God, I am

with you.  I am because

I have loved you.

I bring you home;

I call you near

unto my care.

 

6.6.6.6.4.4.4.4.    Suggested tune: Croft’s 136th

 

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 weekPsalm 29 is on p. 737  

 

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 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: That we may share God’s love and life, may we be renewed in the refreshing Spirit of the living Christ.

L: The living Christ is with us.

P: Praise the Lord!

 

OR  (adapted by the editor from Psalm 29)

L: Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

P:  Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; worship the LORD in holy splendor.

L: The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over mighty waters.

P:  The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

L: May the LORD give strength to his people!

P:  May the LORD bless his people with peace!

 

OR adapted from MinistryMatters.com

L: Darkness is gone. New Hope has arisen for each of us.
P: We are forgiven and blessed.
L: We are marked by God as disciples
P: God has entrusted us with God’s own message of hope.
L: Come, Spirit of God, and rest upon us.
P: Enable us to be people of hope and peace.

 

OR adapted from ministrymatters.com

L: Creator God, Holy One,
P: you have made us in your image, and we are precious in your sight.
L: Jesus Christ, Son of God,
P: we stand at the river, ready to share in your baptism.
L: Holy Spirit, Dove of Peace,
P: set us on fire with the power of your love.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Mighty God, as your Spirit moving over the waters brought life from chaos in creation, the coming of Jesus Christ to this world has brought life to all who believe.  Receive the praise and love of we who seek to live as his disciples, following him into the waters of new life.  Give us now a fresh awareness of your presence here among us and in every place where Jesus walks today, for we pray in his name  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR adapted from ministrymatters.com

Lord of Hope and Light, in the midst of darkness you offered light to people who lived in fear. Today that light comes to us as we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Open our hearts this day and remind us that you have marked us as people of hope and light. Prepare us to serve you by serving your world (in the spirit of Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR adapted from ministrymatters.com

Holy God of glory and majesty, you have called us by name. We pray in this moment for the courage and the strength to answer your call. As we open our ears to hear the story of your Son’s baptism, open our hearts also, that we may experience again the renewing power of rebirth in the Holy Spirit. Inspire us in this time of worship, that we may claim our own identity as your beloved children. We pray in the name of our brother, Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

O gracious and loving God, we come to you recognizing the wonders of life that you have given us. As winter falls around us, we pray that you will warm our hearts to your will and guidance in all of life, that we may truly live as your baptized people, continually working for the reign of your kingdom on earth.

 

Hear our prayers, O God, this day for all who are absent from us. Hear our concerns and hopes for them and all your people. Touch their lives with your grace that they may find healing, and peace, and love. May your Spirit touch us to ever reach out to them and to those around us that all may feel your generous love in their lives.

 

Hear our prayers for your world. May we see the beauty of creation and work for your peace throughout the world. These and all our prayers we lift to you in the name and Spirit of our life-giving Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

OR  (from Oremus.org)

Lover of souls, you seal us by your Holy Spirit in baptism and claim us as your own forever: May our offering of beautiful worship be acceptable in your sight.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, you sit enthroned as King for evermore: May the leaders of the nations do justice and govern with mercy.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, you created the heavens and the earth: We praise you that you make holy such basic things of earth—water for baptism, grapes and grain to sustain our souls.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, you forgive the sins of the penitent and care for the injured: Be with all victims of gun violence; heal and convert the hearts of the violent. May our city know peace.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, your voice is a voice of splendor: speak healing and comfort to all the heartbroken and needy.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, you called the light into being: Let light perpetual shine on those who have died. May we all rest in the hope of life eternal.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

God, your voice moves over the waters.  Immerse us in your grace, mark us with your image, and raise us to live our baptismal vows empowered by the Holy Spirit and the example of Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Eternal Father,

who at the baptism of Jesus

revealed him to be your Son,

anointing him with the Holy Spirit:

grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit,

that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children;

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 of all time and eternity,

you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father

in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son:

by the power of your Spirit

complete the heavenly work of our rebirth

through the waters of the new creation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Heavenly Father,

at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son:

may we recognize him as our Lord

and know ourselves to be your beloved children;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River

Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him

with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his

Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly

confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy

Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

 

As your beloved Son, O God,

arises from the Jordan’s tide,

we find anointing there

the Spirit with alighting flair.

Become in this occasion, Lord,

the baptism of Spirit

and the threshing of our hearts

for utter joy.

 

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 hear again the story of Jesus giving himself more deeply into our lives through baptism, and the opening of heaven’s blessing upon him as he offered his life to God in prayer.  Together, we who have heard the call to follow him in baptism, are also offering ourselves to the world, and opening ourselves to God’s blessing, every time we give of ourselves more deeply to others.  Through our tithes and offerings, as we approach the Table of Christ’s self-giving, we renew our baptismal vows, and affirm God’s reign in our own lives as stewards of God’s gifts.  Come, let us bring our lives before God in the gifts we bring today.

 

Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of Love, for the promise of this season. We are grateful for the generosity aroused in us by Christ’s coming into the world. May these gifts represent a new spirit of joyous sharing among us, for the sake of all your children everywhere. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit at the table in the kingdom of God. This is the Lord’s table. Jesus invites all who seek to trust him to share in the feast which he has prepared. Let us come to his table now with hope and confidence as God’s children.

 

OR

God, who is the Lord and giver and all of life, draws us back toward a moment that marks all of our moments in baptismal faith.  We come to the Table of Christ, we renew our covenant with God, who is always reaching to give to us all the gifts of earth and heaven.  Here, we find in the bread his body, and in the cup his blood, all given that we might truly live as his body in the world, empowered by the Holy Spirit to follow him faithfully from the water and into the world.  Let us come to the Table with open hearts, ready to receive from God’s hands the nourishment to move atGod’s direction.

 

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, life-giving God, as we who follow Jesus remember his baptism long ago, may our lives be renewed and our baptisms confirmed afresh. And as we gather at his Table, may we receive from your hands the gifts of earth and heaven. May this bread be for us his Body, and this cup his Blood, so that we who seek to live as his body in this world might be empowered by your Holy Spirit to follow him faithfully – from the water and into the 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…’

 

MORE…

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.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Epiphany  

 

Jan. 6, 2019

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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:

Isaiah 60:1-6

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

171-God’s love made visible

173-As with gladness

172-We three kings

174-Brightest and best

97-Fairest Lord Jesus

151 The First Noel

426-The voice of Jesus calls his people

 

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 Matthew 2:1-12

 

Appearing as the star that shines,

the brilliant star that lures delight,

the leading of the heaven’s host

brings Magi to desire the Lord.

 

By apt announcement did they say

We are come to adore him now,

the one we see is born, the king

of Jews and heaven’s firmament.

 

Remarkably, the sages search

to find the birth suggested there

in Bethlehem of David’s lore,

the ruler of all Israel.

 

And by this star are those now come,

come ready to adore the one,

the son of Mary, king of Jews,

with gold and frankincense and myrrh.

 

LM       Suggested tune: Ivyhatch

 

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:  Hymn 140-Hail to the Lord’s Anointed makes reference to it generally.

 

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 the Psalm)

L: Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel;

P:  For God alone does wondrous things.

L: Blessed be God’s glorious name forever!

P:  May God’s glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

 

OR  (adapted from ministrymatters.com)

L: Arise; shine, for your light has come!
P: We are called out of our darkness into light.
L: Lift up your eyes and look around.
P: We rejoice in the gift of light.
L: Come let us worship the God of light and joy and peace.
P: We come to kneel before the Christ Child, the light incarnate.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

O Lord of all things bright and beautiful, may we begin this day in your name.  Light of all light, our dayspring of hope, may we find warm reflections of your countenance in the face of each brother, sister, stranger and friend.  As we work for your world this day, may our hunger be for justice and our thirst for peace.  Feed us with your presence.  Strengthen our hearts and steady our hands for the business of loving your creation.  As children of the light, may we walk in your radiance this day. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Eternal and Almighty God, we praise you that you cause the sun to rise to bring us the light of this new day and that you raised Christ form the dead to bring us new life. May our lives always face his brightness so we may go wherever he leads, serving in gladness and peace (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

God of promise and light, open our eyes this morning, that we may see your light in the darkness.  Open our hearts, that we may perceive your promises of justice and righteousness fulfilled in the babe of Bethlehem. May we, like the Magi, have a star to guide us on our journey quest to find the one who will truly set us free. May this time of worship bring us closer to you, that the good news of the birth of light and love will transform our lives. (this we pray as he taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Eternal God, you have shown your glory to the nations in the coming of Christ. Guide the church that you have gathered on earth, preserve it in faith, that it may grow in witness and service to the world. Strengthen and uphold our pastors and leaders that they may faithfully strengthen and uphold the church, and help us all to faithfully join in partnership with you to do your work according to your will and example in Jesus.

 

Increase our faithfulness to you and bless us with new friends in our midst to share in the joy of discipleship. Increase the faith and understanding of those whose faith in you is new. Give to all in baptism a new birth as your children, and give us grace to nurture them in faith and in the communion of your saints.

 

Lord, you created humanity with a longing to know you, to be in fellowship with you and to have peace in you. Grant that, in spite of hurtful things that stand in their way, they may find in the unity of fellowship in Christ the tokens of your love and mercy, and grow to acknowledge you as God and Savior.

 

You, O Lord, are the champion of the poor, the oppressed, the lost and the lonely. Guide those in leadership toward the commonwealth of your justice, that in peace and freedom all may share in the goodness of your creation, and work with you in caring for it and for your creatures. You are the one who gives strength to the weary and new courage to the disheartened. Hear the prayers of all who call on you that they may have joy in finding you ever present to help…

 

Hear the prayers of your people, O God, for we lift them all to you in the name and Spirit of your Christ.

 

OR

O gracious and loving God, we come to you recognizing the wonders of life that you have given us. As winter falls around us, we pray that you will warm our hearts to your will and guidance in all of life, that we may truly live as your baptized people, continually working for the reign of your kingdom on earth.

 

Hear our prayers, O God, this day for all who are absent from us. Hear our concerns and hopes for them and all your people. Touch their lives with your grace that they may find healing, and peace, and love. May your Spirit touch us to ever reach out to them and to those around us that all may feel your generous love in their lives.

 

Hear our prayers for your world. May we see the beauty of creation and work for your peace throughout the world. These and all our prayers we lift to you in the name and Spirit of our life-giving Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

Savior of all peoples, who took on our flesh in a stable and slept in a box made for animal feed; sages followed a star to find you, paid you homage, and went home by another way. Be present among us. Encounter us in word, in bread, in song, in prayer. Touch us. Change us. Send us out to walk in new paths, telling your story, proclaiming good news to the nations. Light of the World, shine upon us. Shine your light of hope in the corners of gloom in our lives and throughout the streets of our cities and towns. Shine upon those who are lost to show them a new path home. Shine upon those who are ill to give them strength to decide how they shall live whole lives. Shine upon those in despair who need to make a way out of no way. Shine upon those whose homes, families, and bodies that war has torn apart; reveal a path to peace. Shine upon your creation, the earth and its creatures, things seen and unseen. Burn away the mist and let us see you face-to-face so that you can wipe away our tears and make death to be no more. Light of the World, we praise your name. Amen.  (written by Scott Haldeman)

 

OR (for the New Year):

Merciful and loving God, for the year that has passed with its sorrows and joys, we give you thanks; for in every moment of it, you remained faithful to us, rejoicing and struggling with us, though often we were slow to recognize you there. And with thanks for (year), we now release it. May its treasures inspire us, but never bind us in nostalgia; and may its troubles teach us, but never hold us captive. For you who have created are still creating…making all things new, including this day.

 

As we enjoy the blessings of life in this community, we give thanks to you for bringing together the many gifts which make your church more able to do its mission. We thank you for those who have given much of themselves to allow this day to come to pass. We thank you for those who realize the long road which lies ahead, and who trust you for strength to walk on, day by day.   And we recognize that there are many in our world who do not experience the love of a church family, the comfort and joy of a faith community. May our witness to your love increase itself in hospitality to them. Nudge us on to greater acts of faithfulness, as we learn to trust you more and more.

 

We ache at the news of brokenness in our world–broken lives and broken relationships between persons and families, communities and nations. Our hopes are turned toward peace in your presence, and we pray that you would help us to be makers of peace in our day to day lives.

 

Loving lord, we lift to you our own needs and those whose lives are closely linked with our own [……..] (and others we name silently in our hearts.)

 

As the light of a star brought the simple and the wise into the presence of the young Christ, guide us to you by the light of your word as we hear it read and proclaimed. God of all faithfulness, receive these prayers which we offer to you in the name and spirit of Jesus the Christ.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

O God,

who by the leading of a star

manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:

mercifully grant that we,

who know you now by faith,

may at last behold your glory face to face;

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 God,

the bright splendour whom the nations seek:

may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light

discern the glory of your presence in your Son,

the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Creator of the heavens,

who led the Magi by a star

to worship the Christ-child:

guide and sustain us,

that we may find our journey’s end

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son

to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by

faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to

face; 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 (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 2:1-12

 

O God, as Magi came of old

we are come to adore the Lord Jesus.

We are come in the urgency

of your alluring call.

For in the core of all delight

you echo quality within the heart

and bring of us the gift we are,

abandoned to the adoration

we devote to you.

 

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

The giving and receiving of gifts at Christmas time is born of the ancient Church’s celebration of this very day.  At Epiphany, the story is told again of those who come before the young Christchild, seeking to give, eager to present the very best to this young king.  In the process, they proclaimed what the religious world could not conceive:  that this one Child, of humble birth and stature, has come to bring God’s saving love to all.  May we consider well how our giving proclaims God’s love for all as the Table of the Lord is made ready.

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

We have seen the light of the world. We have been called to follow the star of promise. Like the Magi, let us bring our gifts to honor the babe of Bethlehem and bring the light to all the dark places in our community and our world.

 

Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of Love, for the promise of this season. We are grateful for the generosity aroused in us by Christ’s coming into the world. May these gifts represent a new spirit of joyous sharing among us, for the sake of all your children everywhere. Amen.

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

God of light and promise, we bring our gifts to further your work in a dark world. May they bring your light to those overwhelmed by darkness, pain, and loneliness. Accept these gifts of money and time, indeed, the gift of our very selves.  Let them shine for all to see, and be brought into the sphere of your love and righteousness.  Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit at the table in the kingdom of God. This is the Lord’s table. Jesus invites all who seek to trust him to share in the feast which he has prepared. Let us come to his table now with hope and confidence as God’s children.

 

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)

 

  1. 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 this bread, that in sharing it we may discern your presence which becomes our life.  May it be for us the bread of life.

 

  1. We thank you, Lord,  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.  We celebrate his gifts, even as we bring our own, asking that you would bless this cup that it would be for us his blood, as we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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.

 

Read Full Post »

Christmas Eve/Christmas  

 

Dec. 24-26

 

SEE A COMPLETE TRADITIONAL ORDER OF SERVICE WITH TEXTS BELOW.

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Isaiah 9:2-7 / Isaiah 62:6-12 / Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 / Psalm 97 / Psalm 98

Titus 2:11-14 / Titus 3:4-7 / Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)

Luke 2:1-14, (15-20) / Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20 / John 1:1-14

 

Advent Candle Lighting Rituals  from 2014

 

Call to Prayer  ©2007 David T. Chafin (tune: Hyfrydol)

Come, O God, commune here with us, as we lift to you our cares.

You, our hope and our deliv’rance, promise to receive our prayers.

God of love and understanding, you alone know heart and soul.

Listen to our intercessions, recreate us, make us whole.

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Hymns of Praise:

165 Once in Royal David’s City,

142 People, Look East,

148 O Come, All Ye Faithful,

155 Angels We Have Heard on High,

150 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,

143 Joy to the World,

138 Awake! Awake!…,

159 There’s a Song in the Air,

169 O Thou Joyful

Communion Hymns:

147 Away in a Manger,

145 Silent Night, Holy Night,

160 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,

161 I Wonder as I Wander,

162 What Child Is This,

163 Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Dismissal/Missional Hymns: 

171 God’s Love Made Visible,

167 Go, Tell It on the Mountain

 

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/   

Psalms 96-97-98 begin on Page 748

 

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.

 

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer

The Christ Child is born! All you who would find him, prepare for a journey, as determined as the Magi. All you who would praise him, come with the faith to follow but a star. All you who would worship him , come with humility to the child who shows forth the immeasurable riches of God!

 

OR (from the Anglican tradition)

Beloved in Christ, with delight we prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels, and go in heart and mind to Bethlehem to see Mary and Joseph with Jesus in a manger. Let us listen to the story of God’s saving acts and celebrate the birth of this Holy Child. And let us make these hallowed walls reverberate with the glad tidings of great joy which is to all the people.

 

Call to Worship   

L: Tonight old dreams die and new dreams come to life.

The promise is fulfilled.

P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: Hope gives way to joy and prayer to proclamation.

P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: The candles tell the story. Dawn invades midnight.

The Light of the world has come.

P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: This light is a light for all, warming us from within, radiating love,

lighting our lives with the presence of God in human flesh,

within us and among us now and always.

P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace. Goodwill to all.

 

or from MinistryMatters.com

L: He’s coming! He’s coming! The Savior of the World is coming!
P: Let us prepare our hearts to greet him!
L: He comes to each one of us, healing and restoring our lives!
P: Praise be to God for God’s mighty gift to us.
L: O Come, Prince of Peace, bring your light to us!
P: We are ready to receive you in our lives!

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

L: Good news! Unspeakable joy!
P: A great light has burst forth, overcoming the darkness!
L: A child is born for us—a son has been given!
P: Bringing a kingdom of endless peace, we shall call him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God!
L: Come, let us see what God has brought us! Let us see what the Lord has done! Glory to God in the highest!
P: And on earth, peace and goodwill to all!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Reigning God, whose rule extends to the farthest stars, come to rule within us on this glorious night when the Word becomes flesh once more to dwell among us.  We open ourselves to the light and long to offer our lives as a dwelling place for your truth.  Speak to us again through the Child of Bethlehem.  Reach out to the child in each of us, and hold us in the warmth of love’s embrace.  For we pray in his name (even as he taught us to pray, saying, Our Father…)

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

Glorious God, who presents us with the most precious of gifts, we praise you for all your blessings in our lives. Tonight we have come to this place, in the midst of a busy time. We might not even have everything ready at home, yet we have come, because we ourselves need to be ready. Work in our hearts this night, preparing us for your presence. Work in our lives that we may reach out to others in comfort and compassion; work in our world that the darkness that has encompassed it may be dispelled by the brightness of your love and your Gift. In faith and expectation, we pray (as he taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”).

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

Holy God, in days of old you sent your angels to tell shepherds the good news: “To you is born this day a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord.” Help us hear with the shepherds this good news, that we too may glorify and praise you for all that we have seen and heard.  Amen.

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

(from the Editor)

                O God, you are never revealed so completely as in the face of the child of Bethlehem.  Hear us as we give you thanks for those who today reveal your love in our world in his spirit.

                We pray for those who give you hands by doing their best toward their brothers and sisters; for those who give you a mouth by speaking words of justice and peace for the broken and oppressed; for those who give your poverty the look of hope for your reign, revealing you simply by being your children, reflecting your beauty as did your only Son Jesus.

                We hold up in prayer the lonely and hurting, the hungry and homeless, the sick and dispossessed, knowing that your heart has always been nearest those who are poor in spirit and least likely to be thought of as people touched by the hand of divinity.

                As we remember how you came to live among us in the flesh, and as we celebrate that moment long ago which lives forever in the hearts of those who believe, and as we long for your fullness in our lives that we too might enflesh the goodness and love of Christ in our day, we ask that you would bless us, your church, to be food for the hungry and hope for those who are lost and alone—a living testament of Christ’s faithfulness to you.  May all who drink of your one spirit receive new life to give to those in our world who are thirsty for meaning and belonging.

                Pour out your Spirit upon us, your people.  Continue in our lives the mystery of Christmas.  Let your Son become flesh in us, so that we may reveal you to our world all the days of our lives.  Holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray.  Cast out our sin and enter in.  Be born in us today. 

 

or

O God, who comes to us in Jesus Christ of Bethlehem, in our busy preparations and our joyous celebrations, may we not crowd you out of our minds, as he was crowded out of the inn on that first Christmas.  Forbid that we should spend all for passing pleasures and fail to find the deeper, richer joys that do not pass away with the close of the day.  Draw us back to his manger-bed.  Rekindle our sense of wonder and worship, and grant that, as we find you in the likeness of a little child, we may experience a new reverence for childhood, and a more sincere longing for those qualities of the heart which childhood incarnates.  Forgive our cynicism and pride, banish our doubts, and restore our faith in the things we cannot see or hear: the star that shines in human souls, and the song of peace that lingers over a world so troubled with war.  Like the shepherds, may we return to our humble lives knowing that heaven is not some distant place, but is ever near because of the coming of the Christchild, and that in him you have revealed yourself here, among even people like us.  Bless us, O God, one and all on this Christmas Day.  We lift our hearts in praise, and would seek to serve you as a follower of your beloved Son, assured that in following him is perfect freedom and peace.

 

or

From Common Worship: (“R” = Hear our prayer, O Lord. Another response may be substituted)

To us a child is born, to us a son is given; let us pray for the people he came to save.

Wonderful Counsellor, you order all things with your wisdom: help the Church to reveal the mystery of your love and fill her with the Spirit of truth: R

Mighty God, the government is on your shoulders: guide the leaders of the nations and bring in your kingdom of justice and righteousness: R

Everlasting Father, you call us to live together in unity: protect by your mercy all your children, bless our families and renew our communities: R

Prince of Peace, you bring reconciliation through the cross: by your healing power give to all who suffer your gift of wholeness and peace: R

Let us commend the world, to which Christ came, to the mercy and protection of God.

Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

God of bright and shining stars, we come this evening with the reminiscences of the old, old story in our hearts. For many here, the story has been heard numerous times, flooding their lives with warmth and love; For others the story is new, surprising, causing wonder and surprise. All around us are symbols and reminders of the miraculous Birth. We see the greens which remind us of your eternal presence and love for us. The candles shed their glowing light helping us to remember the many ways in which you have brightened our lives and offered light to our journey. The colors, the music, and aromas, the people, invite us again into your wonderful presence in the world in the birth of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

 

In this world in which your holy land is in such turmoil, shed your light anew, that your healing Love may bring Peace and Hope to people in conflict. We ask that you protect all those who are in harm’s way; all those who live lives of anguish, poverty, oppression. We ask your loving presence to be with those who refuse to believe in you; who see your word through the church as a tradition, but see very little impact in their daily lives. Let the Light of Jesus Christ penetrate that darkness of alienation and bring Hope and Peace to all your people.

 

May the light of the stars which sparkled in those dark skies, again illuminate our lives, guiding, healing, leading us to you, Blessed God.. As we gather in this time and place, hearing the story of the birth, remind us again that you are born continually in our lives. In gratitude we offer our praise and our love to you.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Gracious Father,

who gave the first martyr Stephen

grace to pray for those who took up stones against him:

grant that in all our sufferings for the truth

we may learn to love even our enemies

and to seek forgiveness for those who desire our hurt,

looking up to heaven to him who was crucified for us,

Jesus Christ, our mediator and advocate,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Merciful Lord,

we thank you for the signs of your mercy

revealed in birth and death:

save us by the coming of your Son,

and give us joy in honouring Stephen,

first martyr of the new Israel;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth

of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully

receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence

behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and

reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and

for ever.  Amen.

 

or this

 

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the

brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known

the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him

perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he

lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

 

or this

 

Almighty God, you have given your only begotten Son to

take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure

virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made

your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed

by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom

with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and

for ever. Amen.

 

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

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who have lived in the shadow of death the light has shined. With the prophet’s words, let us joyfully participate in sharing the life-giving work of God in our world today as we prepare the Table of Christ with the offerings of our lives and our labors.

 

or

We come to this table as a people unprepared. Our world is as unready for the coming of Emmanuel as was the crowded town of Bethlehem. We are as un-attuned to the eternal as the sleeping shepherds in the field. Our expectations are as unclear as those of the travelers from the East. Though we are unprepared, though our lives are unworthy offerings, God has forgiven our sins and offered us newness of life through Jesus Christ. This is the grace of God in which we participate at this table. Come, share the feast.

 

or

Out of the darkness of our world, we have seen a great light.  The birth of the Christ Child calls us to something special.  God comes to us now in this busy season to make all things new.  God makes room for us, even when there is no room at the inn.  Where we are too busy, God brings peace.  Where we are lost, salvation.  Where we are sad, joy.  Where we are bitter, God gives us the courage to love again.  Rejoice!  Christ has come to us bringing all these gifts of God.  Let us join with the whole church to eat and drink with him.  May the bread we eat bet to us the very bread of life.  May the cup we share be God’s wine of salvation.  Let us celebrate Emmanuel – God is with us – as we come to his table in faith.  You are welcome here – all of you.  It is he who invites you, and it is he who gives you life.

 

or from MinistryMatters.com

Tonight we come with our hopes and our dreams. We come as little children. We come because for some of us it is tradition for the whole family to go to church on Christmas Eve. Some have come out of curiosity. Some come because of loneliness. We are here in this place, waiting on tiptoes for something to happen. We come offering our lives and bringing our gifts. In the spirit of this night, let us receive our Christmas offering.

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

Come now and kneel before the Christ child. Bring all that you are and all that you have. Offer your gifts in wonder and surprise and awe. Offer your gifts in joy and delight.

 

Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of Love, for the promise of this season. We are grateful for the generosity aroused in us by Christ’s coming into the world. May these gifts represent a new spirit of joyous sharing among us, for the sake of all your children everywhere. Amen.

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

Blessed Lord, you have given us your greatest gift—your very Word come to earth, to live with us and through us; you have filled us with your grace and truth—your holy child sent to free us from our bonds.
How can we repay such divine generosity?  Receive our thanks and praise. As you have given to us, so now we share your gifts and your grace with a world in need. May this offering help bring your light and love to those who still wander in darkness. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

Great Thanksgiving (if one is offered)

Holy God, creator of heaven and earth, we joyfully thank you and praise your name. You formed the universe in your wisdom, and created all things by your power. You set us in families on the earth to live with you in faith. We praise you for good gifts of bread and wine, and for the table you spread in the world as a sign of your love for all people. You alone are God, and we join ourselves with all your faithful beyond all time and space, and join in praising your holy name (and join their unending hymn: Holy, holy, holy Lord,..)

 

We praise you, Lord, for sending your only Son Jesus to live among us, full of grace and truth. He made you known to all who receive him. Sharing our joy and sorrow, he healed the sick, befriended sinners, and showed us the way to fulfillment in partnership with other people. Two by two he sent his disciples to extend your promise of friendship and love, and two by two he calls us still to work in your spirit of love. We trust him to overcome every power that can hurt or divide us, and believe that when he comes again in glory, we will celebrate victory with him throughout eternity at his heavenly table. (Words of Institution)

 

And so, in remembrance of all your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we take this bread and cup and give you thanks and praise. Pour out your Spirit upon us, that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us. Fill us with eternal life, that with joy we may be his faithful people until we feast with him in glory. Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever. (Our father…) 

 

or (from William Flewelling)

Holy God

who has chosen to be known to us

through the Incarnate Lord Jesus,

we raise our souls in praise and thanksgiving

for your thorough gift of self,

even into our flesh and blood.

For in your stirring among us, Lord,

you fostered in us your own gifts of life.

You have opened in us the hope

of Jesus Christ.

You have borne in us the living Word.

You have drawn us to your own life in joy.

And so we come in awe,

rejoicing in your coming to us.

We come breaking bread

with which Jesus associated himself, saying:

This is my body.

We come sharing a cup of wine

with which Jesus gave the new covenant

in his blood.

Send forth your Spirit upon us

that in this feast we may be united in you,

that we may be fed and

that we may learn the tender gift of Christmas

in our flesh.

We pray in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Elders’ Prayers/Prayer of Thanksgiving

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

Holy God, you have created all and love all which you have created, we give you thanks for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ who came to live among us, full of grace and truth. As we receive from his Table, we ask that you would send the power of your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they would be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that as his one body we might go forth from this celebration to proclaim in word and deed the new life that is ours through the mysteries we receive. 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.

 

or

            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 your only Jesus, born of Mary, to live in our midst, to embody your grace and truth in this world.  In this mystery of the word made flesh, you came to share in our struggles, and to cause the light of life to shine in our hearts.  We rejoice that when he had suffered death and the grave, you raised him from death with power to become king of kings and lord of lords.

            You have gathered your Church at your table to strengthen us to share the gift of eternal life.  Now 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.

 

[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]

 

A Complete Service of the Nativity

 

+ The Gathering +

Welcome

(announcements, if any, including directions for communion, whether hymns will be announced, etc.)

 

Call to Worship

Beloved in Christ, with delight we prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels, and go in heart and mind to Bethlehem to see Mary and Joseph with Jesus in a manger.  Let us listen to the story of God’s saving acts and celebrate the birth of this Holy Child.  And let us make these hallowed walls reverberate with the glad tidings of great joy which is to all the people.

 

Organ Prelude

Choral Introit

* Greeting

L: Tonight old dreams die and new dreams come to life.

The promise is fulfilled.

    P:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: Hope gives way to joy and prayer to proclamation.

    P:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: The candles tell the story.  Dawn invades midnight.

The Light of the world has come.

    P:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: This light is a light for all, warming us from within, radiating love,

lighting our lives with the presence of God in human flesh,

within us and among us now and always.

    P:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.  Goodwill to all.

* Hymn of Praise:  O Come, All Ye Faithful                                                                          

The Bidding Prayers  —Chalice Worship 98

Anthem

 

+ Service of the Word +

The Candle of Hope: The Promised Salvation

            Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 35:1-10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.  A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.  No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  (LIGHT CANDLE)

            Response:   Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus                                                                     

 

The Candle of Peace: The Kingdom of God

            Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.   The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;  but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.  Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.  The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.   On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.  (LIGHT CANDLE)

            Anthem

 

The Candle of Joy:  The Annunciation

            Scripture Reading:  Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,  to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.   And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.  (LIGHT CANDLE)

            Response:  Joy to the World                                                                                                         

 

The Candle of Love:  The Magnificat

            Scripture Reading:  Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;  for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.   His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.   He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”  (LIGHT CANDLE)

Hymn/Anthem

                                     

The Christ Candle:  Christ Is Born

            Scripture Reading:  Luke 2:1-20

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.   This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  All went to their own towns to be registered.

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.  He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.   Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:

to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”

So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.   When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.  But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.   The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (LIGHT CHRIST CANDLE)

  * Response:  Angels We Have Heard on High                                                                                   

The Proclamation

Anthem

 

+ Celebration of Christ’s Table +

Invitation to the Table

Out of the darkness of our world, we have seen a great light.  The birth of the Christ Child calls us to something special.  God comes to us now in this busy season to make all things new.  God makes room for us, even when there is no room at the inn.  Where we are too busy, God brings peace.  Where we are lost, salvation.  Where we are sad, joy.  Where we are bitter, God gives us the courage to love again.  Rejoice!  Christ has come to us bringing all these gifts of God.  Let us join with the whole church to eat and drink with him.  May the bread we eat bet to us the very bread of life.  May the cup we share be God’s wine of salvation.  Let us celebrate Emmanuel – God is with us – as we come to his table in faith.  You are welcome here – all of you.  It is he who invites you, and it is he who gives you life.

 

Anthem

Thanksgiving and The Lord’s Prayer 

            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 your only Jesus, born of Mary, to live in our midst, to embody your grace and truth in this world.  In this mystery of the word made flesh, you came to share in our struggles, and to cause the light of life to shine in our hearts.  We rejoice that when he had suffered death and the grave, you raised him from death with power to become king of kings and lord of lords.

            You have gathered your Church at your table to strengthen us to share the gift of eternal life.  Now 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 and with him and in him, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever, and with the confidence of your children we are bold to pray:  Our Father, who art in heaven…

Sharing of the Bread and Cup

Candle Lighting

* Hymn:  Silent Night                   

                                                           

* Christmas Blessing

Behold the Lord proclaims to all the earth, “Your salvation has come! You are my holy people, the redeemed, whom I have sought out, never to be forsaken.”  As God delights and rejoices over you, go in peace, rejoicing in the Lord.  And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.

 

 

MORE…

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.

 

Read Full Post »

Christ the King – Year B  

 

Nov. 25   Thanksgiving Sunday

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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:

2 Samuel 23:1-7 or Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalm 132:1-12, (13-18) or Psalm 93
Revelation 1:4b-8
John 18:33-37

 

For Thanksgiving Day:

Joel 2:21-27
Psalm 126
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Matthew 6:25-33

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

713-God of our life

725-God of the ages

276-We gather together

234-Crown him with many crowns

17 – O worship the King

91/92 – All Hail the power of Jesus’ name

711 – O Day of peace that dimly shines

717-Let all things now living

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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On John 18:33-37

 

Are you the king of the Jews?

The question echoes as raw.

How shall the answer observe

the life commanding reason?

 

Who speaks the question truly?

asks Jesus in his reply.

For how are we to measure

the kingdom of our one Lord?

 

Indeed, to answer fairy

we must demur and falter

for the kingdom of our Lord

surpasses every telling.

 

We seek the Christ, our own king,

enthroned in hallowed longing,

upon the cross as crowds see

the glory shining boldly.

 

7.7.7.7.     Suggested tune: Moreland

 

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 100 (not appointed for the day) is appropriate; see p. 752

 

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 100)

L: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.

P: Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

L: Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his;

P: We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

L: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to God, bless his name.

P: For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

 

OR  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.

 

OR

L: Let us proclaim a day of thanksgiving among ourselves, people of God.

P: This is a day of gratitude for the one who has promised to gather his flock, and bring us back into the fold where fruitful life may thrive. 

L: God has promised to raise up a shepherd  for us, so that we might not fear or wander away – a shepherd who will deal with us and with all with love and justice.

P: In Jesus Christ, we have a great Shepherd.  Let us return with thanksgiving to the one who guards and guides our lives.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

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…”)

 

OR

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…”)

 

OR

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…”)

 

OR

Almighty and wonderful God.  We enter your courts with thanksgiving and praise, knowing that you have made us, and remembering we are loved.  We have come to praise your mighty acts, to offer our petitions, and celebrate remembrance.  Let us know your guarding presence, as sheep with their shepherd, as we seek to honor you for all your good works; this we pray through Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

O God, we hunger. We hunger for food. We hunger for relationship. We hunger for meaning in life. We hunger to make a difference. We hunger to be loved and to love. Thank you for Jesus who brings these things to us when we abide in him. Help us be open to the ways that the bread and the cup feed us, draw us close to him and to one another, bring love alive in us, and empower us to bear the fruit of love for the world, (for we pray as he taught us, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

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…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

God of Creation, God of Wonder, hear this offering of prayer and praise as a gift from our thankful hearts. We thank you for the wonders all around us. For grains of sand, the smell of rain falling on dry ground, for the shifting of the seasons and the sound of laughter. We thank you God for one another – for the joys and struggles of relationships that nurture us and help us to grow. God, we thank you for your eternal presence in our midst and for the good news of your deep abiding love for all of creation.

 

Even as we give thanks, we lift up the concerns that burden us this day. We ask your peace and blessing on all those we have named in this place today and all whose names and circumstances remain in the safe sanctuary of your Spirit’s care. We pray for all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit and for all who provide care for the needs of others. We pray for the lonely and the despairing…for those who struggle with addiction…for those who feel trapped in situations of abuse…for those who making difficult decisions in life… God we pray for your church and its mission in the world.

 

Bless all of your children God, and pour your Spirit upon us, bringing healing, comfort and strength wherever it is needed. All this we ask in the name of the One who calls us forward in faith, Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord (who taught us to pray, saying “Our Father…”)

 

OR

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.  [SILENCE IS KEPT] 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

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;

 

Shepherding 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*

Collect

 

Eternal Father,

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.

 

Post Communion

 

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.

 

Additional Collect

 

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**)

for Thanksgiving Day:

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the

fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those

who harvest them.  Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of

your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and

the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

for the Reign of Christ:

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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 18:33-37

 

With regal calling, O God,

does Jesus come before the quest of Pilate

and amid the fury of standard sights

on the ways of practical life.

In readiness, on the way of the cross,

the Lord Jesus stands as king

mid procession to enthronement

in the graces of your severe love.

Bring us to acknowledge the reign of our Holy King.

 

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

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.”

 

OR

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.

 

Offertory Prayer

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.

 

OR

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

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.

 

OR

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!

 

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 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.

 

OR

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. 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.

 

OR

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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 2017.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2017; 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.

 

Read Full Post »

All Saints Sunday  

 

Nov. 4

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

Editor’s note:  This celebration of the Church, which in the language of earlier English-speakers is rightly celebrated on Nov. 1 as “All Hallows’ Day” (or on the Eve of All Hallows, Oct. 31, or “Hallowe’en”), remembers specifically the faithful who have passed from this life into the next through death, and celebrates the power of the Resurrection over death itself.  It was created specifically to assure that those who by their remarkable faith were deserving of having a feast day set aside to their honor would be remembered.   The feast established for Nov. 2, “All Souls’ Day,” was in its founding designed to mark an observance of the death of those of us who are perhaps “less remarkable” in our faith,  and to lead all of us to face the story of life with those we are nurturing in faith (our children) by a visit to the parish graveyard.  It might well be an occasion for those who would take note of it today to deal with the pastoral reality of a world which is widely in denial of the reality of death (or the powerful illusion of death, if that is one’s theological understanding of what happens when we cease to reside in this earthly frame), and make occasion to mark the brevity of life.

 

For Other Years see:

All Saints’ Day (or Sunday nearest Nov. 1) Year A

 

All Saints Day (or Sunday): Nov. 1 (Oct. 28 or Nov. 4) (for year B)

 

Preparing for All Saints’ Day/Sunday Celebration

 

Hymn for All Saints’ Day (by the Editor)

 

Excellent Resource from the Christian Church Foundation (pdf file)

 

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:

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9 or Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 24
Revelation 21:1-6a
John 11:32-44

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

637-For all the saints

649-Give thanks for life

67-O God, our help in ages past

75-I was there to hear your borning cry

385-An upper room did our Lord prepare

392-Draw us in the Spirit’s tether

431-Go, my children with my blessing

See also: 433-434

See also Hymn for All Saints’ Day (by the editor)

 

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 24 is on p. 735.

 

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   

We gather this morning to celebrate the lives of persons we name as saints.  Some of them are living, others have completed their physical lives here on earth.  Some have touched us personally, others have touched and called into question the institutions and structures of our society.  But all have shaken our being—all have been examples of lives and wholeness, working for justice.  We celebrate these persons and their lives in all aspects of God’s creation!

 

OR  (from Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9)

L: The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God

and no torment will ever touch them.

P: In the eyes of the foolish they seem to have died,

        and their departure was thought to be an affliction,

L: And their going from us seemed to be their destruction;

P:  But they are at peace.

L: Those who trust in God will understand truth,

and the faithful will abide in love.

P:  Because grace and mercy are upon God’s chosen,

        and God watches over the saints.

 

OR

L: The earth and all that is in it belongs to the Holy One.
P: Look, here is our God, for whom we have waited.
L: This is the Holy One, for whom we have waited.
P: Let us be glad and rejoice in our salvation.
L: Who shall ascend the hill of the Holy One? And who shall stand in this holy place?
P: We come, seeking the face of God.

 

OR

L: The Holy One shows us a vision of a new heaven and a new earth,
P: where everyone will live in peace and blessing.
L: Trusting in God’s promise to wipe away all our tears,
P: we worship in the blessed hope of life eternal. 

 

OR

L: With people from all times and places,

P: God calls us to worship and share together this mystery of life, and faith, and love!

L: In the company of those well-known and little known,

P: God invites us to journey together along this way of mystery, for our Lord is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

 

OR

L: The earth and all that is in it belongs to the Holy One.
P: Look, this is our God, for whom we have waited.
L: Will you come to the hill of the Holy One?
P: We come, seeking the face of God.

 

OR

L: We remember, the countless saints of history who have blazed a trail of courage through time,

P: We remember the tender touch of loved ones, the healing words of comforters, the remarkable acts of fearless ones.

L: We remember, the supreme love of Jesus, the sharing of his suffering, the glory of his resurrection shown forth in the lives of his disciples throughout the ages.
P: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us worship God with joy!

 

OR

L: You, Lord, have called us: voices and grandfathered whispers off yellowed pages, guides in the desert, faceless faith still being shared.

P: You, Lord, have lifted us up by your hand: wrinkled strong hands of grandmother’s grace, quiet prayers spoken, lifting us up from despair. 

L: You, Lord, have shown us light: the light of millions of candles sharing their faith.  The light of saints past, the living tradition of the redeemed, the resurrection retelling, the passing of this flame from generation to generation.

P: We Remember, and because of you in them, we walk in the candlelight of Christ.

 

OR (from the Center for Faith and Giving)

from Revelation 21:1-6a

One: Look!  There is a new heaven and a new earth!
Many:  We’re looking, but it’s tough to see.
One:  God’s home will be among us!
Many:  We eagerly anticipate that realm.
One:  God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.
Many:  Death will be no more!
One:  Until that time comes, we actively wait and prepare for God’s realm.
Many:  Until that time comes, we’re grateful for love that holds us close.
All:     Alleluia! God is making all things NEW!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Any of the below may be concluded with: “who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”

 

Eternal God, you have called us to be members of one body.  Join us with those who in all times and places have praised your name; that with one heart and mind, we may show the unity of your church, and bring honor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

OR

We give you thanks, O God, for all the saints who ever worshiped you whether in brush arbors or cathedrals, weathered wooden churches or crumbling cement meeting houses where your name was lifted and adored. Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have gone before us. Bless the memories of your saints, God. May we learn how to walk wisely from their examples of faith, dedication, worship, and love, for we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Faithful Redeemer, you are the beginning and ending of all things.  You promise to wipe away every tear, that death and mourning will be no more. You make your home among us, and teach us to live as the saints you call us to be. May we may truly be your people, living and doing your will, in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ.

 

OR

Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending of all creation, in your word we are unbound from death, and brought out into eternal life in you. May we so trust you in this time-bound world, allowing you to shape our lives, so that we may join those saints that have gone on ahead of us within the eternal world, where all is light, love, peace and joy. This we pray through Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Loving God, we your saints gather to worship and praise you this day. We celebrate the saints who have served you and been an example for us throughout the past. We give you thanks for the joy of being a part of the communion of saints with those who have gone before and those scattered around the globe. Open us to your Spirit to continue being the saints you have called us to be. In Christ’s name we pray.

 

OR

Eternal God, hope of all who trust in you, in Christ you weep with those who mourn even as you cry out in triumph over the grave. Unbind us from sin, release us from captivity, and with Lazarus, raise us from death to life, so that we may join that great crowd of saints who forever sing praise to your holy name; through Christ, the resurrection and the life.

 

OR (from the Center for Faith and Giving)

God, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
As we remember those who have gone before us,
shine the light of your eternal presence in each one of us.
As we give you thanks for life,
encourage us to live in constant awareness of your Love which surrounds us.
As we offer you our praise and thanksgiving,
raise us up to sing a joy-filled “Alleluia”!

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Note:  Not every section of this intercession need be used.   

 

In peace, let us offer our prayers to God.  In response to my words, “Lord, hear us,” please respond “Lord, graciously hear us”.

 

In every age you have raised up holy men and women to reflect the light of Christ and to teach us the way of holiness.  We thank you for those who have been teachers in the school of Christ:  give understanding to those who study the faith that the Church has handed on, and clarity to those who communicate the gospel in a changing world … Lord, hear us.

                     All: Lord, graciously hear us.

 

We thank you for those who have been shepherds of your people: give a pastoral heart to deacons, priests and bishops, and the needful gifts to all your people in their ministry …Lord, hear us.  R

 

We thank you for those who have been Christian rulers in the world, and for those who carried the good news to lands where it had not been before: give wisdom to all who have power and influence among the nations, and establish God’s sovereignty among people of every race …Lord, hear us. R

 

We thank you for those whom you have called to live in community: establish mutual love among those drawn into fellowship in your service, and bless with Christ’s presence all the communities to which we relate …Lord, hear us. R

 

We thank you for those who have lived out their vocation in family life:give your grace to all who nurture children and all who care for the aged,and enfold in your love all your sons and daughters …Lord, hear us. R

 

We thank you for those who have brought wholeness through the medicine of the gospel: give skill to all who minister healing and reconciliation in your name, and comfort all who cry out to you from any sort of distress …Lord, hear us. R

 

We thank you for the noble army of martyrs by the shedding of whose blood the Church has been enriched: keep under your protection those who are persecuted for the cause of Christ, and acknowledge, we pray,  (here, read the names of the dead, if not read elsewhere in the service), and all those who have passed through death trusting your promises …Lord, hear us. R

 

Hasten, Lord, the day when people will come from east and west, from north and south, and sit at table in your kingdom, and we shall see your Son in his glory.  And now we offer prayer for those needs which lie closest to our hearts in silence.

 

                Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept.  The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.

 

OR

We give you thanks, O God, for all the saints who ever worshiped you

Whether in brush arbors or cathedrals,

Weathered wooden churches or crumbling cement meeting houses

Where your name was lifted and adored.

We give you thanks, O God, for hands lifted in praise:

Manicured hands and hands stained with grease or soil,

Strong hands and those gnarled with age

Holy hands

Used as wave offerings across the land.

We thank you, God, for hardworking saints;

Whether hard-hatted or steel-booted,

Head ragged or aproned,

Blue-collared or three-piece-suited

They left their mark on the earth for you, for us, for our children to come.

Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have gone before us.

Bless the memories of your saints, God.

May we learn how to walk wisely from their examples of faith, dedication, worship, and love.

 

OR

Living God, in whom there is no shadow or change, we thank you for the gift of life eternal, and for all those who having served you well, now rest from their labors.   We thank you for all the saints remembered and forgotten, for those dear souls most precious to us.  Today we give thanks for those who during the last twelve months have died and entered into glory.

 

God of Jesus and our God,

mindful of all those choice souls who have gone on ahead of us,

teach us, and each twenty-first century disciple of every race and place,

to follow their example to the best of our ability:

to feed the poor in body or spirit,

to support and comfort the mourners and the repentant,

to encourage the meek and stand with them in crises,

to affirm those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

to cherish and learn from the merciful,

to be humbled by, and stand with, the peacemakers.

 

Let us clearly recognize what it means to be called the children of God, and to know we are to be your saints neither by our own inclination nor in our own strength but simply by the call and the healing holiness of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty God,

you have knit together your elect

in one communion and fellowship

in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord:

grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints

in all virtuous and godly living

that we may come to those inexpressible joys

that you have prepared for those who truly love you;

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

 

God, the source of all holiness and giver of all good things:

may we who have shared at this table

as strangers and pilgrims here on earth

be welcomed with all your saints

to the heavenly feast on the day of your kingdom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

God of holiness,

your glory is proclaimed in every age:

as we rejoice in the faith of your saints,

inspire us to follow their example

with boldness and joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one

communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son

Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints

in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those

ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love

you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy

Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

 

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

In Christ we have obtained an inheritance – everlasting life. As an act of praise and thanksgiving, let us share our gifts with and through the Body of Christ.

 

Offertory Prayer

Generous Giver of all that we need, accept these gifts of simple bread and ordinary wine, that we may one day share in your holy feast spread out through all the world. We pray in the name of Jesus, your holy child, who sets the table for all people — a table of rich food and abundant joy.

 

OR

We offer our whole selves to you, O God, creator of everything. It is a joy and a blessing to share our gifts with one another. As we offer these things for the work of your church, help us to be mindful of all that we can do together as the Body of Christ.

 

OR (from the Center for Faith and Giving)

For every life remembered, for every gift given,
for every opportunity to connect with those who have gone before,
we give you thanks, God of Life.
Receive these gifts,
accept our tears, our laughter and our memories
and use all that we bring to proclaim the Realm which is yours,
made known to us most clearly in Jesus,
the first fruits of those who have died.

 

Invitation to the Table

from the Christian Church Foundation

This is a special day of remembering. We have remembered those Saints who died in the Lord in the last year. We remember at his table every week in worship the one who made us all Saints, the Special One Jesus Christ. He invited his followers to do this in remembrance of him. All are invited to bring memories to this table and present them to the present one.

 

OR

Many of the Saints whom we honored today were people with whom we shared meals, Family meals at the dinette table, holiday feasts in the dining room, picnic table barbecues, or church family meals at a carry-in dinner. Jesus ate meals with saints and sinners. So powerful was his presence in life that even in death those who had shared meals with him sensed he was still present when they broke bread and shared cup. The love feast of the early church is repeated here today when we share the meal at this communion table and sense his continued love in our lives.

 

OR  (from the Center for Faith and Giving)

The invitation is simple: come and eat of the feast.
Not a meal to nourish the body, but to feed the soul.

We receive the bread and wine connected to the ages:
to the saint of old who felt unworthy,
to the seeker eager to know God,
to the teenager who wonders what it’s all about,
to the child who eats with unburdened faith.

Woven into this time, the hopes and tears of generations.

There is great joy here.

No one is turned away for God is the host!

 

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 good to give thanks to you, Lord God of Abraham and Sarah, of Deborah and Moses, God of Isaac and Rebecca, of Mary and Joseph.  You have brought all things into being by your love and grace, and have called them good; and you have called together a people of faith to praise you, and filled them with your Spirit.   As we remember your people of all times and places which have lived in faith and hope of your eternal resurrection,  and joining with the whole company of your people in heaven and on earth, we praise your name and join their unending hymns of praise.

 

Here among your saints in this community, we remember those who have touched our own so intimately:  (Here the names of the dead are spoken)

 

These are your own beloved children.  Help us to remember them with joy and thanksgiving as we come to your table today.  Send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts that we may bring you praise in Christ Jesus our Lord, as we gather within his body, and in the days to come as we live to serve you in this age, and for the ages of ages to come.

 

ELDERS’ PRAYERS FOLLOW:

  1. Loving God, as bread broken and scattered, your church looks to you to make us one again.  Help us who receive this bread, remembering your love for us in Jesus Christ, to be strengthened in our faith and hope, knowing that in reality we are one with Christ and one with each other, enjoying the timeless feast which you have spread for us through your beloved Son.

 

  1. Send your Spirit upon us who gather here in faith, and upon these gifts of bread and cup.  May we who drink this wine be filled with your Spirit and renewed to join the great un-numbered host who sing your praise now and throughout eternity, until we join with them in the celebration of your victory at your heavenly table, for we offer you our praise and our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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 2017.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2017; 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.

 

Read Full Post »

Pentecost B

 

May 20

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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:

Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14 Psalm 104:24-34, 35b Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21  John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

237-On Pentecost they gathered

241-Holy Spirit, truth divine

254-Breathe on me, Breath of God

236-Wind who makes all winds that blow

392-Draw us in the Spirit’s tether

404-A hymn of joy we sing

422-Let us talents and tongues employ

393-One Bread, one Body

 

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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

 

Come Counselor, Come Spirit blithe

that in your coming we

may find our grounding excellence

in your inspirit breath.

 

Lead on, Lead on: we follow nigh

this stirring from on high,

this earnest in our readiness,

this quality divine.

 

In sheer conviction unto joy,

Lord God do we arise,

lift up our eyes, our hearts, our lives

to savor at hour lead.

 

Come, Holy Spirit, to abide,

to bathe and exercise

this lean adjustment of our days

till in your truth we prize.

 

CM      Suggested tune: Binchester

 

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 104 – see p. 754 (vs. 1-13)

 

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: The Spirit descends like a dove, bringing peace to unite the world in a just and caring community.

P: The Spirit comes like a breath, bringing life to renew the people of God.

L: The Spirit spreads like fire, bringing energy for witnessing to the love of God.

P: Spirit of the living God, come to us and transform our lives by your power.

 

OR

L: Bless the Lord, O my soul, who is clothed with honor and majesty,

P:  God set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken.1 

     God waters the mountains, and satisfies the earth with plentiful fruit.

L: God causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use,

gives wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine,

and bread to strengthen the human heart.

P:  O Lord, how manifold are your works! The earth is full of your creatures.

 

OR

L:  When you send forth your spirit, O God, all things are created; and you renew the face of the ground.

P:  May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.

L: I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;

P:  I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

L: May my meditation be pleasing to God, for I rejoice in the Lord.

P:  Bless the Lord, O my soul.  Praise the Lord!

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

L: Come, Holy Spirit. Inspire our hearts with your fiery presence!

P: Let your flame burn within us, stirring us to action.

L: Come, Holy Spirit. Energize our lives to work for God.

P: Let your wind of hope swirl around us, lifting and moving us from complacency.

L: Come, Holy Spirit. Pour your blessing on us.

P: Let your presence challenge us to proclaim God’s presence and love in everything we say and do. AMEN.

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

L: Rushing Wind of the Spirit, breathe new life into us!

P: Blazing Flame of the Spirit, burn away our fears!

L: Comforting Presence of the Spirit, heal our wounds

P: Let us be prepared to worship and praise you, O Holy Spirit.

L: Spirit of God, come upon us this day and fill us with your love.

P: Make us people who will proclaim God’s good news in all that we do. AMEN.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Almighty God, you give life and power to your church through the gift of your Spirit. Inspire us to bear witness to our living Lord. Quicken us to a recognition of your presence. Create in us grateful hearts. Challenge our minds with your wisdom. Encourage us with a heightened vision and hope. This we pray in the name of your Son Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

O God, we ask you to pour out your spirit on us. Help us serve you more cheerfully so we can serve our brothers and sisters. Cast out everything which breaks or hinders the growing bonds of love between us. Give us the determination to make progress so that all our lives we may seek after your holy and perfect will.

 

OR  (from ministrymatters.com)

Almighty God, your Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ disciples, hidden in an upper room in Jerusalem. A violent wind and tongues of fire were the symbols of a new thing happening in their lives. May your Holy Spirit burst into our lives today, encouraging and inspiring us to proclaim boldly the good news of Jesus Christ who offers healing and hope to all people. AMEN.

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

R may indicate silent prayer, or a simple response, such as “Lord, hear our prayer.”

Through Christ, who ever lives to make intercession for us, let us pray to the Lord.

Lift up our hearts to the heavenly places and inspire us to serve you as a royal priesthood: R

Let all peoples acknowledge your kingdom and grant on earth the blessing of peace: R

Send down upon us the gift of the Spirit and renew your Church with power from on high: R

May peace abound and righteousness flourish, that we may vanquish injustice and wrong: R

Help us to proclaim the good news of salvation, and grant us the needful gifts of your grace: R

Let us commend the world, for which Christ prays, to the mercy and protection of God. (silence)

A concluding collect or Prayer for the Day may follow.

 

OR (adapted from “Prayers from the Book of Common Order,” Church of Scotland, on oremus.org)

O God, the creator and preserver of all, we pray for people of all sorts and conditions. Make your purpose known in the earth, your saving power among the nations. We pray for the well-being of the catholic Church.

So guide and guard it by your good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in the unity of the Spirit and in righteousness of life. We commend to your generous goodness all those who are in any way afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or circumstances, especially as we lift to you ______________ and those we name to you in the silence of our hearts. (silent prayer) Comfort and relieve them according to their individual needs; give them patience under their sufferings, and a happy release out of all their afflictions. All this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ.

 

OR (The following 6 petitions may be used as collects, or brought into one pastoral prayer.)

O Holy Spirit, Tongue of Fire, descend upon us as you descended upon the disciples gathered in the upper room for prayer.  Sanctify us, free us from the bondage of sin, and give us your power to speak with one voice.

 

Rushing Wind, sweep over our lands and make your sound gather again your devout people from every nation under heaven.  Help us to manifest together the victory of life over death given through the resurrection.  Make us signs of the living hope and witnesses for your peace.

 

Giver of Life, abide in us, transform our former selves into a new life in faithfulness to God’s will.  Along with all others with whom we live, with all nations and peoples, we would enter a new time of transformation, when hatred is replaced by love, violence by meaningful discourse, condemnation by forgiveness, and self-centeredness by sharing.

 

Power of Unity, help us to move from the Babel of division toward the Pentecost of unity, even here amidst the diversity of gifts, traditions, and cultures.  Make your church to be ministers of reconciliation among the children of the world.

 

Spirit of Truth, free us from our alienation from you.  Liberate us from the powers and principalities which oppress and alienate.  Make us instruments of your just peace, to which we have been called by prophets, apostles, and martyrs.

 

O Holy Spirit, the splendor of Christ’s realm is through your power, now available to us all.  Make us messengers of the good news, apostles of your peace, that we may be known as children of God.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

God, who as at this time

taught the hearts of your faithful people

by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:

grant us by the same Spirit

to have a right judgement in all things

and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;

through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Faithful God,

who fulfilled the promises of Easter

by sending us your Holy Spirit

and opening to every race and nation

the way of life eternal:

open our lips by your Spirit,

that every tongue may tell of your glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,

ignite in us your holy fire;

strengthen your children with the gift of faith,

revive your Church with the breath of love,

and renew the face of the earth,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life

to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy

Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the

preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the

earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever

and ever.  Amen.

 

or this

 

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful

people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:

Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all

things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through

Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and

ever.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

 

Ah, Spirit, Spirit, seethe in us,

becoming our impetuous delight,

creating in our wayward dreads

the fountain of your flowing life.

For you are now truth’s spirit here,

that we imbibe and be transformed,

that we in Jesus learn the grace

contesting joy, fulfilling hope.

 

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

By the goodness of God, we are called into the family of the church. By God’s grace, we rejoice to share in the church’s life of mission and ministry. Let us offer our tithes and gifts to God’s glory as a token of the offering of our very lives.

 

Offertory Prayer

O God, we thank you for your great generosity. All that we are and all that we have is a gift from you. Help us to serve one another and so reflect your spirit and goodness. Accept these offerings and grant that the cause to which they are devoted may prosper under your guidance.

 

OR

We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts and pray that we may safeguard them for your children. Help us to use the gifts of work and service to your glory and grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundance, to the honor and glory of your name.

 

Invitation to the Table

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit at the table in the kingdom of God. This is the Lord’s table. Jesus invites all who seek to trust him to share in the feast which he has prepared. Let us come to his table now with hope and confidence as God’s children.

 

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)

Blessed are you, Lord our God; you bring forth bread from the earth, and wine in its season. Your holiness calls to us today, Lord, as you called to your people in the life of Jesus Christ. Although many rejected him and reject him still, we remember and celebrate his presence with us in the power of your Holy Spirit. Send your power and strength to us, Lord, as we gather here in love for you, and upon these gifts of bread and wine. Make them to be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we might be his true body, empowered by your Spirit to give glory and honor to you through the life of your holy Church.

 

OR

  1. Come, Holy Spirit, upon your people, we pray, and upon this sacred Table, that this bread which we break may be for us the body of Christ, and that we who are his body may live in unity and at peace with you and all of your creation.
  2. Come, Holy Spirit, upon this gift of wine, that as we receive it, we may know the fullness of salvation, and bear witness to the faith which is ours in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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 2017.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2017; 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.

 

Read Full Post »

Ascension or Easter 7B

 

May 13

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

 

The feast of the Ascension is Thursday prior to this day; it is in some places observed on the prior Sunday.  I am including texts for it here as an option.

 

ASCENSION

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

Acts 1:1-11

Psalm 47 or Psalm 93 Ephesians 1:15-23 Luke 24:44-53

 

EASTER 7

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 Psalm 1 1 John 5:9-13 John 17:6-19

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

All of the Easter hymns are appropriate. 

Ascension: 233 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! 234 Crown Him with many crowns 91/92 All hail the power of Jesus’ name 95 Jesus shall reign 586 Open my eyes

 

Easter 7: 104 Of the Father’s love begotten 699 Rejoice, the Lord is King 493 We’re united 494 They’ll know we are Christians

 

Either Set of Texts: 491 As grain on scattered hillsides 397 Come, Risen Lord 393 One Bread, one Body 356 We, your people, God, confessing 495 Weave

 

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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On 1 John 5:9-13

 

By your word, O God Almighty,

comes the witness to the Lord.

Great is all you show in wonder

to the eyes beholding all.

For in your delighting glory

we attain your gift of life;

we are given life for aye.

 

All that we attest in wonder

echoes your abiding share.

For we know in sheer oblation

Jesus is your Son, O God.

All our busy acclamation,

all our earnest we divine

in thy resonance, O God!

 

Certain is this rousing wonder,

all the attributes of awe.

For in your exalted showing

is the groundswell of our life.

Come, O Savior God in witness;

come, abide this Eastertide

that we all in joy arise.

 

8.7.8.7.8.7.7.       Suggested tune: Cwm Rhondda

 

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 103 (the alt. text) is available in part on p. 752

 

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 our king is robed in majesty, robed and girded with strength.

P:  God has established the world; it shall never be moved.

L: Your throne is established from of old.

P:  You are from everlasting.

L:  The floods have lifted up their roaring voice.

P:  But more majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the LORD!

 

OR  from Psalm 68

L: Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord.

P: Listen, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.

L: Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel; and whose power is in the skies.

P: Awesome is God in his sanctuary, the God of Israel; he gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!

 

OR from Daily Prayer, Supplement Lit. Resources 5

L: O Lord, open my lips. P: And my mouth shall proclaim your praise. L: The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing. P: And all the trees of the forest shall clap their hands. L: Behold, our Sovereign Lord is coming to reign forever. P: Alleluia!

 

OR adapted from ministrymatters.com

L: Shout to the rooftops! Our Lord Jesus Christ is seated at God’s right hand!

P: The same Christ who was given by God to help us learn how to live together and love each other is now seated with God!

L: Don’t stand staring into the heavens! Christ’s spirit is with us, in us, and through us!

P: Rejoice! It is not time to mourn!

L: Come, join us in song, praising God with our whole lives and spirits!

P: We praise our God with song!

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: Christ is alive. He is risen from the dead. P: The Holy One calls us to worship and praise. L: Baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit, P: we live with Christ in our hearts. L: Clap your hands and shout to God with loud songs of joy. P: Sing praises to God, who fills the world with forgiveness and grace.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

O God, in the risen Christ you have called us into new life. Transform us to receive your Holy Spirit afresh, that in our love for you we may be made ready to serve the world in his name (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

God of light and truth, you are beyond our grasp or conceiving. Before the brightness of your presence, the angels veil their faces. With lowly reverence and adoring love, we acclaim your glory and sing your praise, for you have shown us your truth and love in Jesus Christ our Savior. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

We adore you, Christ, as the One who promised to be with us to the end of the age. We now lay claim to that promise, for we are gathered here, like the disciples, in anticipation of your blessing and your commission, and for the promised coming of your Holy Spirit. Come to us, Lord, and may we know you in your coming, for we pray as you have taught us, saying, “Our father…”

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

God of Sun and Moon, Star and Sky, your wonder is beyond our imagining. We thank you for the gift of this world we share, and for the common bonds that we share as your children. Bless us God, as we seek to find a way toward the peace you invite us to share. Guide us God as we walk that delicate line between being faithful to our own relationship with you, and yet remain understanding of those whose path is vastly different from our own. Remind us often that being faithful does not require that we close ourselves off from the faith of others. Open our hearts, minds and spirits to people of every faith and culture. May the Mystery of your ways be the bridge that draws all of your people together in prayer for peace in our time.
We pray for those who are in special need of your grace and healing today. For those who live in fear of violence; for refugees everywhere; for political prisoners and for those who imprison them; God, we ask for peace. For those who are grieving, or hungry, or in despair; for the lonely, and all who are ill or suffering, for any who struggle with addiction, and for all who live with chronic illness.
God, we trust in your power to be present with the suffering. We trust in your Spirit’s power to bring comfort, faith and strength where it is needed. We pray, bring your radical, scandalous peace into our midst, and touch us all with your love, for we ask it in the name of the One who calls us ever forward, Jesus Christ our living Lord.

 

OR

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

A Bidding Prayer. At “R” the people respond with silent prayer or one that is planned, such as “Lord, hear our prayer.”

 

For the peace from above, for the loving kindness of God, and for the salvation of all, let us pray to the Lord.   R

For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy church of God, and the unity of all peoples, let us pray to the Lord. R

For our church family, our leaders and all ministers of God’s grace, let us pray to the Lord. R

For our nation’s leaders and the leaders of all peoples, and for all who bear authority, let us pray to the Lord. R

For this city and every community, and for all who live in them, l let us pray to the Lord. R

For seasonable weather and for abundance in the fruits of earth and labor, let us pray to the Lord. R

For the good earth, God’s creation, and for the wisdom and will to care for it, let us pray to the Lord. R

For the aged and infirm, the widowed and orphaned, and for the sick and suffering, let us pray to the Lord. R

For _______let us pray to the Lord. R

For the poor and oppressed, the unemployed and destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord. R

For deliverance from danger, violence, degradation and oppression, let us pray to the Lord. R

For the forgiveness of sins and the wrongs we have done to others, let us pray to the Lord. R

For those who have died in faith, whose memories are dear to us, let us give thanks to God and offer our own needs in faith. (Silence)

Hear the prayers of your people, O God, for we offer them in faith and hope, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

For Ascension

Collect

 

Grant, we pray, almighty God,

that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ

to have ascended into the heavens,

so we in heart and mind may also ascend

and with him continually dwell;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

God our Father,

you have raised our humanity in Christ

and have fed us with the bread of heaven:

mercifully grant that, nourished with such spiritual blessings,

we may set our hearts in the heavenly places;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Risen Christ,

you have raised our human nature to the throne of heaven:

help us to seek and serve you,

that we may join you at the Father’s side,

where you reign with the Spirit in glory,

now and for ever.

 

FOR EASTER 7

Collect

 

O God the King of glory,

you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ

with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:

we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,

but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us

and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Eternal God, giver of love and power,

your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world

to preach the gospel of his kingdom:

confirm us in this mission,

and help us to live the good news we proclaim;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,

that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Ascension Day

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ

ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things:

Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his

promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end

of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and

reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory

everlasting.  Amen.

 

or this

 

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your

only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended

into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend,

and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Seventh Sunday of Easter

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son

Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:

Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to

strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior

Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and

the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 17:6-19

 

In our shattered, scattered ways, O God,

draw us afresh to your design,

unto the unity of your unbounded love.

O, we have flaunted ways of yore

and foundered on the shoals of arrogance.

Become in us the guard and stay

that must revive us in your way..

 

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

from UCC Worship for Easter 7

There is such a marvelous sense of belonging in today’s reading. The prayer of Jesus names those disciples long ago, and all of us today, as belonging to God and given to Jesus. There’s a sense of call in that belonging, because we’re drawn together in this community of prayer so that we might find powerful ways to love the world God loves through the ministry of this church. Then let us bring our gifts to strengthen and sustain that ministry in the days ahead.
Offertory Prayer

We give thanks to you, O God, for the promise of your abiding presence among us, and for your abundant life within and around us. As we offer our gifts to you, may they be made useful in this world, that your saving presence may be known among all people.

 

Invitation to the Table

The Risen One is here among us, here and now. He calls to us, not to look toward the sky, but into the faces of those who surround us; to listen to them; to commune with them; to give live peaceably with them. May we hear his voice and invitation to come and receive the gift of this new life, here and now.

 

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)

Blessed are you, Lord our God. You bring forth bread from the earth and the fruit of the vine in its season, to be worked by human hands and offered up to you for the good of all the world. Send down the power of your Spirit upon this bread and wine, and upon us gathered here out of love for you, that as we receive these gifts we may be made one with you, one with each other, and one in service to the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

OR

  1. Blessed are you, Lord our God. You bring forth bread from the earth, to be worked by human hands and offered up to you for the good of all the world. Bless this bread which we break, that we may receive the body of Christ and be so empowered to live as his body in the world until he comes again.
  2. Blessed are you, Lord our God. You bring forth the fruit of the vine in its season, to be worked by human hands and offered up to you as the cup of our salvation. Send down the power of your Spirit upon this bread and wine, and upon us gathered here out of love for you, that as we receive these gifts we may be made one with you, one with each other, and one in service to the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Holy God, creator of heaven and earth, we joyfully thank you and praise your name. You formed the universe in your wisdom, and created all things by your power. You set us in families on the earth to live with you in faith. We praise you for good gifts of bread and wine, and for the table you spread in the world as a sign of your love for all people.
Even having taken up his cross and dying that we might live, our Lord Jesus overcame death and is risen in power. He is still the friend of sinners. We trust him to overcome every power that can hurt or divide us, and believe that when he comes again in glory, we will celebrate victory with him throughout eternity at his heavenly table.
And so, in remembrance of him, we take this bread and cup and give you thanks and praise. Pour out your Spirit upon us, that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us. Fill us with eternal life, that with joy we may be his faithful people until we feast with him in glory. Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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 2017.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2017; 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.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »