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Baptism of Jesus B

Jan. 10

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Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.   This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

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:

Genesis 1:1-5
Psalm 29
Acts 19:1-7
Mark 1:4-11

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

280-God is here

2-Joyful, joyful, we adore thee

86-Great is thy faithfulness

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

565-If you will trust in God to guide you

426- The Voice of Jesus Calls His People

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 (© 2021, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Genesis 1:1-5

               You spoke, O God, when all was waste

               and all the Deep lay void.

               You spoke and Spirit hovered low

               and blew across Deep’s face.

               You spoke of light when darkness reigned

               to signal order there.

               You spoke: Let there be light to shine

               and split the darkness fair.

               We find the light directs us now,

               the Deep resounds with grace.

               And over all the Spirit breathes

               to catapult delight.

               Upon the Deep, where waters steep,

               you breathe to bless and cure.

               You ready now the bathing Deep

               to welcome life to shine.

               Into the waters do we lie

               and from the Deep we rise.

               Your blessing by the Spirit’s breath

               speaks life upon this face.

CM       Suggested tune: Horsley

OR

On Mark 1:4-11

               Into the wilderness, to John,

               our Savior goes alone.

               Unto repentance preached he comes,

               the One more worthy yet.

               The water of the Jordan waits

               to part for his descent,

               to welcome in the hastened tide

               the Lord of all in love.

               Unworthy to let loose a shoe,

               John baptizes in turn,

               prepares the One who brings to us

               the Holy Spirit fire.

               Fresh from the water Jesus hears:

               Beloved Son you are,

               my pleasure in your coming soars

               as heaven lifts its joy.

               Austere and chiseled by the sun,

               John stands in river’s flow

               to welcome in forgiveness’ grace

               the fine, redeeming face.

CM    Suggested tune: Albano

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 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   

In the waters of baptism, we die to ourselves and are recreated through the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. Water can be threatening (a flood or a powerful current), refreshing (a cool drink on a hot summer day), or invigorating (a morning shower or a swim in cool water).  How do we receive the gift of our baptism, in the light of the baptism of Jesus?  And what are the gifts that are ours because of it?

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.

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: From the waters of Creation, the earth sprang forth.
P: From the waters of a womb, God’s blessed Son was given to us.
L: From the waters of a river, people were baptized and marked as God’s Children
P: Praise be to God, whose loving gifts and presence have called us together.
L: Let us shout our love to God for God’s abundant love
P: Amen.

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…”)

OR from ministrymatters.com

Almighty God, parent of all who call upon your name, in the waters of baptism you have transformed us, marking us as your children, and recreating us through the work of your Son and the power of the Holy Spirit. Shower us once more with your grace that we might be renewed in your spirit, through Jesus Christ, our Savior (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.

OR from ministrymatters.com

Creator God, when everything first began, water became a symbol of refreshing, of washing away, of renewing. Through the waters of creation you brought forth abundant life. We have gathered this day to remember Jesus’ baptism, how when he came up out of the water your Spirit proclaimed that He was your beloved Son in whom you were very well pleased. Our spirits resound with that proclamation. In His baptism, Jesus’ ministry was initiated. He dedicated his life to you completely and without reservation. Help us to dedicate our lives to you, to offer our best for you, to be of service to you by serving in your world. As we have lifted before you the names of people near and dear to us who need your healing touch and your tender mercies, we have also lifted ourselves up as people in need of your grace. Our world is in the midst of strife; wars, oppression, famine, hunger, alienation, situations in which we have abused the world and each other. Heal us and this world, Lord. Renew us with your life-giving waters and re-affirm our baptisms as your children. Let us go forth to be people of peace and mercy. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name.

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**)

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 (© 2021, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Mark 1:4-11

            Unto the Baptist’s hands you come, Lord Jesus;

                        unto his hands you do submit in baptism.

                        As you arise, you hear the word:

                                    A son, well pleasing to our God.

                        Confirm in us the coming to our God

                                    that as we do submit, we find

                                    your pleasure in our offered hearts, our lives.

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

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 at God’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 2019.  Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

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.

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Epiphany Sunday

Jan. 3

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Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.   This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

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

Isaiah 60:1-6

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

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   

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.

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

L: O Come, Let us Adore Him, Christ the Lord!
P: The Star in the dark sky heralded His Coming.
L: Led by the light of the Star, the Wise Ones came to pay homage.
P: We, too, come to the stable, seeking the infant King.
L: Come, Arise! Shine! The Light has come.
P: God’s Light of love is shining upon us.

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

from ministrymatters.com

Loving God, who breaks through the darkness of doubt and despair, be with us this day as we hear of the visit of the Wise Ones, who risked everything to follow a Star. Let us open our hearts and be willing to risk receiving the gift of gracious Love that you have to offer us in the form of our Savior, Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR

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.

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.
  2. 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 2019.  Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

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/Day ABC

Dec. 24-25

Christmas Celebrations

In this year of limited gathering in most of our world, I am encouraging the use of traditional liturgical material as a pastoral practice, delivering it by whatever means is safe and operable for you and your congregation.  Owing to a lack of preparation time for creative increase to what had previously been offered, I refer you to this link for materials added to date for Christmas Eve/Day worship.  You are all in my prayers in this and every season.

ADVENT RESOURCES

The prior Advent entries on this page may be helpful.  You will find candle lighting, music, and other resources available by using the search engine.  Much of it is available in this article:  Preparing for the Great Preparation  We welcome you to this new year of Life in Liturgy!

David T. Chafin, Curator

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Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.   This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2021 to you and those you love!

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Christ the King A/Thanksgiving A

Nov. 22

Thanksgiving is sometimes recognized in some congregations on a Sunday.  This is not at all inappropriate, considering the nature of the lectionary and a careful study of the nature of the holiday in American culture.  However, it is important to be aware of the universality of the Church, and of this observance of Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday.  It is not to be trivialized into a rehash of American triumphalism or a “divine rights” celebration.  All are urged to let the texts speak for themselves, and to use care in pairing music and other elements of the day in concert with the themes of scripture.

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Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.   This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

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

For Christ the King/Feast of Christ the Cosmic Ruler/Festival of the Reign of Christ

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 100 or Psalm 95:1-7a
Ephesians 1:15-23Matthew 25:31-46

For Thanksgiving Day

Deuteronomy 8:7-18
Psalm 65
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Luke 17:11-19

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

718-Come, ye thankful people, come,

276-We gather together

717-Let all things now living

234 – Crown him with many crowns

17 – O worship the King

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

713-God of our life

725-God of the ages

711 – O Day of peace that dimly shines

387 – Bread of the world, in mercy broken

429-You satisfy the hungry heart

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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Matthew 25:31-46

                             Come, our Shepherd, bid us

                             to attend your call,

                             find thy hand adjusting

                             sheep from goats in time.

                             There, your throne confronting

                             all we hope to see,

                             there you open witness

                             to divide our lot.

                             Some, you say, have fed you;

                             some have clothed you, too.

                             Some have come into gloom;

                             some have given drink.

                             When have we so seen you,

                             Jesus, in such need?

                             Only in the barren

                             who stand desperate.

                             When you see the broken

                             and let mercy flow,

                             then you care, dare my need,

                             welcome near the Christ.

6.5.6.5.      Suggested tune: Caswall

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 is on p. 752; see also Call to Worship  

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 from John Berringer

L: Come, let us use our voices to praise the Lord.

P: Our mouths will shout forth praise.

L: Let us use our minds to ponder the wondrous deeds of God.

P: We will call to mind God’s mighty acts.

L: With all of our strength and being, let us worship the Lord of love.

P: We will worship from our depths. Our souls exult in God!

OR

(from Psalm 100)

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

P: Worship the LORD with gladness; come into God’s presence with singing.

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

P: We are God’s people, and the sheep of God’s pasture.

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

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

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…”)

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Lord God, we give you thanks for all your gifts to us—for daily food, for health, for each breath we take, for freedom to choose, and for the gifts of your word, your power and your love. Our hearts are truly overwhelmed, O God, when we consider how you have entrusted so much to us. May we be worthy of that trust—may we be a people who are unafraid to live as fully and as richly as you want us to live.

Help us, O God, as followers of Jesus, to multiply all that you have given us, to risk spreading your word and perhaps see it misunderstood, to gamble by loving those whom others think worthy only of hate, to take chances by doing good to those who have not done good to us. Help us be faith filled and desire to increase your glory and your goodness in this world. Make us people who share in both word and deed that which you have given to us.

We pray for the church gathered today, both here and around the world, that it may encourage all of its members to discover, develop and use all their gifts, those of nature and those of grace.

We pray for those who are poor in body or in spirit, for those oppressed and heavy laden, for those sick or in despair.   Minister by your Spirit and by us, to all those for whom we have prayed, and help us walk faithfully in the path of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

OR

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

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.

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

Our tender and compassionate God asks us to pray for all people.  Let us offer our prayers for the world in need, trusting in God’s great love.

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.

Lord, 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**)

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.

Thanksgiving

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.

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 25:31-46

            The measure of the heart, O God,

                        arrives in little things,

                                    supposedly unseen.

                        For in the morsel for the hungry,

                                    the clothing for the naked,

                                    visitation for the lost,

                                    and welcome to the stranger at the gate,

                                                we serve you graciously

                                                in unexpected surprise.

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

God has offered the world a new vision of life which is full and abundant, teeming with all the good gifts that have been lavished upon us in Christ Jesus.  May we be open to receiving them with gratitude, and in offering them, along with ourselves, for the sake of others, even as the gifts of this Table are offered not for us alone, but for the salvation of the whole world.  Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings to God.

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

Give us thankful hearts, O God, for your grace to us in life and health and strength. Let these gifts of your bounty and of our hands be used to glorify you now and in your church’s work forever. Amen

OR

Bring forth the fullness of your vision to us, O God, as we open our hearts to you in the giving of these gifts.  Like the praise we sing, may they bring glory to your name, now and in your world forever.  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.

OR

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.

Invitation to the Table

(Communion Affirmation – offered in Chalice Hymnal, #401 from the words of A. Campbell)

L: You, my beloved, once and alien, are now a citizen of heaven: once a stranger, are now brought home to the family of God.  You have owned my Lord as your Lord, my people as your people.

P:  Under Jesus the Messiah we are one.  Mutually embraced in the everlasting arms, I embrace you in mine: your sorrows shall be my sorrows, and your joys my joys.

L: Joint debtors to the favor of God and the love of Jesus, we shall jointly suffer with him, that we may jointly reign with him.

P:  Let us, then, renew our strength, remembering our Sovereign, and hold fast our boasted hope unshaken to the end.

OR

The celebration of the Christian Year comes to an astounding and world-changing ending as we hear Christ’s call to live out the gospel of Jesus in real and practical ways.  We are, in Christ, called to feed those who hunger, and by his self-giving example have learned just how costly that calling can be.  All who would live among his flock are likewise called to remember the price that Christ our Sovereign Lord has paid for the salvation of the world, and to bring forth in this present age, in sign and in deed, the hope of life in God’s abundance.  We show forth that abundance in this breaking of bread together, and look forward to his coming in final victory to be known as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Let us come to the Table of Christ in faith.

Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)

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

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

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

Eternal One, who cares for each one of us as if you had no one else to care for, and who cares for all of us even as you care for each, we come here because you have invited us. We recognize at the deepest levels of our beings that it is at this table that we are affirmed and made whole. Send forth the power of your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine. Enable us to know now the presence of the Christ, the one who calls us to be family, the one in whose presence no other can be called a stranger. Forgive us that we have been hard of heart, that we have failed to acknowledge others as brothers and sisters. Enable us now to accept the fact that we are members of one another, that we are family with all of your creation, and that we are all loved by you. We pray these things in the name of the Christ who has called us to you.

OR

  1. You, O God, are the helper of the helpless.  In every age of our distress, you have come to us with an outstretched arm, a word of forgiveness, and nourishment for the journey.  As we give you thanks for your faithful love and consecrate this bread to your purposes, receive our gifts, we pray, that as they are offered to you again you may multiply them, so that we and your hungering world might be fed.
  2. Lord of Life, as you have blessed the earth with fruit and inspired your children to make good use of it, we ask that you would now bless this wine – fruit of the earth and work of human hands – that it might be for us the blood of Christ, the cup of our salvation.  Send down the power of your Spirit upon these gifts and upon us who gather here out of love for you, that as we receive and find renewal, we might learn to give of ourselves for the salvation of the world.  This we pray in Christ’s name.

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 2019.  Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

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 Day/Sunday

Nov. 1

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From the Curator:

This celebration of the Church, which in the language of earlier English-speakers is often 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.

The celebration may also be offered in place of the Proper of the Sunday nearest Nov. 1, as is the custom in most congregations.

For Other Resources see:

https://lifeinliturgy.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/all-saints-day-sunday-c/

Preparing for All Saints’ Day/Sunday Celebration

Hymn for All Saints’ Day (by the Curator)

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):

Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3

Matthew 5:1-12

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.   

Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Matthew 5:1-12

               The blessing of the Savior

               comes simply to the fore,

               sustaining each by simple fare,

               the gracious and the meek.

               With gratitude we recognize

               the saints in due repair,

               the savor of the child of God

               who tastes the kingdom’s boon.

7.6.8.6.8.6.8.6.    Suggested tune: St. Christopher

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:  In Lieu of the Psalm, the following may be used:

(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.

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.

Introduction to the Service

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 helped shape who we are.  We celebrate these persons and their lives in all aspects of God’s creation.

OR

We gather this morning to celebrate the lives of persons we name as saints, and those unnumbered throngs who praise God around the Throne.  Some have touched us personally, others have touched and reshaped our society and our world.  All of them are known to God, and all are precious in God’s sight, as are we, the saints of God on earth, being made fit to share in their inheritance in the ages to come.  Let us rejoice in God’s saints, this day and every day.

Call to Worship   

L:  Praise the Lord, all you saints!

P:  Praise God all you heavenly hosts!

L: Patriarchs and Prophets, holy men and women, evangelists, apostles, and martyrs: all whose robes are washed white in the blood of the Lamb:

P:  Praise the Lord!

L: We are the saints who are the living body of Christ, the Church.

P:  Praise the Lord!  O praise the name of the Lord!

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!

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: Throughout all our lives God is with us.
P: Praise be to God for God’s mercy and love.
L: Even when we are faced with difficult decisions, God’s presence is near.
P: When we don’t know which way to go, God will guide and lead us.
L: Open your hearts today to God’s gently leading.
P: We open our lives to God, that we may faithfully serve God all our days. 

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: For all those who have paved the way for our freedom of worship, we give thanks, O Lord.
P: For those who have taught us about witness and the power of love, we give thanks, O Lord.
L: For those who work in our church that we may come to know what it means to serve, we give thanks, O Lord.
P: For all the saints, those who rest from their labors, and those who labor still, we give thanks, O Lord.
L: Praise be to God, who continually inspires and guides workers and witnesses.
P: Open our hearts and spirits, O Lord, and help us to become good workers for you. 

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: Our hearts are filled with joy when we think of those who have framed our faith.
P: We appreciate all those people who have taught us the great lessons of faith and life.
L: We offer our love and support to those who labor diligently in the world, helping those in need.
P: We give of our substance, our prayers, and our support to their work.
L: Lord, encourage us in our work, that we might bear witness to your love.
P: Keep us ready to serve you in all that we say and do. 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

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 (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

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 (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

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 taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

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 (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

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 (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

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 (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

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” (for we pray as Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR from ministrymatters.com

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 abide with us as our God. Teach us to live as the saints you call us to be, that we may truly be your people, living and doing your will, in the name of Jesus, (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

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.  A concluding collect may be offered.

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.

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 5:1-12

            With breathless wonder on this Mount, O God,

                        we learn the blessed in your arms.

                        You generate a vision of your life

                                    within our presence, in our hearts.

                        And we, with stumbling after all your Saints,

                                    come to delight with freshened hearts

                                                in Jesus Christ.

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

(With naming of the Blessed Dead)

Someone has said that time is simply a way to keep everything from happening at once.  And that’s a good thing.  If life had no orderly sequence of events, it would not be possible.  But there times when time fades before us.  So it often is with communion, especially on a day like today, as we remember those saints who rest from their labors.  It has been said that whenever and wherever Christians join in communion, at that moment the pilgrim is arriving, just about to step over the threshold.

 Each year, on this occasion, we remember the lives of those whose service, hopes, accomplishments and faith have touched our own.  Let us be reminded of these words of assurance from scripture: In dying, Christ destroyed our death; rising, Christ restores our life; Christ will come again in glory.  As in baptism these faithful brothers and sisters put on Christ, so in Christ they are clothed in glory.

Let us thank the God of Abraham and Sarah, of Moses and Deborah, of Mary and Joseph, of Paul and Phoebe; the God of our fathers and mothers, and the God of all creation.  Let us praise God for the great company of all those who have finished their course in faith and now rest from their labors, and for those dear to us whom we name in our hearts.  Let us praise God for those whom God has welcomed home, as we remember:

(Naming of the Blessed Dead)

Many are God’s saints; many are those who share this place at God’s table with us, just as Jesus shared with his close friends around the table on the night he was betrayed and offered up for us all.  At supper, he took bread, and having given thanks to God he broke it, and he gave it to his disciples saying, “Take and eat; this is my body which is given for you;” and after the supper he took the cup, and having blessed it gave it to them saying “Drink from this, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant which is shed for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”    

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed.  This perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal, immortality.  Then shall come to pass the saying: “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting; O grave, where is thy victory?”  Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

OR  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)

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.  Send your Spirit upon us who gather at your Table in faith, and upon these gifts of bread and cup.  May we 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.  Amen.

OR (Great Thanksgiving with naming of the Blessed Dead)

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 Blessed 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.

OR Great Thanksgiving adapted from ministrymatters.com

It is a right, a good, and a joyful thing always and everywhere to give our thanks to you, Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending of all creation. In the days of Isaiah, you promised to lead all the nations to your holy mountain, and swallow up death forever.   You have revealed the coming of a new heaven

and new earth, in which every tear will be wiped from our eyes, and all will feast at your heavenly banquet.

And so, with your saints now on earth and all the company of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn, saying (singing):

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one

who comes in your holy name. Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, and holy is your son, Jesus Christ.  With thanksgiving we remember…

                (Words of Institution and Memorial Acclamation)

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine.  Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, so that we may become one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until all things are made new. Alpha and Omega, Beginning and Ending, Spirit of new beginnings, we praise your holy, eternal, triune name.

Conclusion:  Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

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

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 2019.  Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

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.

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Trinity A

 

June 7

 

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

 

Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a
Psalm 8

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Matthew 28:16-20

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

651-God who stretched the spangled heavens

27-Come, thou Almighty King

22-All creatures of our God and King

4-Holy, Holy, Holy

450-Lord, you give the great commission

395-Seed, scattered and sown

409-I hunger and I thirst

 

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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Matthew 28:16-20

 

Together gathered near

to greet the Savior’s word,

we find him and behold

and worship him alone.

In wonder now

we stand in awe,

behold with joy

in mortal song.

 

And Jesus speaks to us

of his authority

that, gathered at his side,

we go to speak his life.

Disciples come;

apostles go,

baptizing all

and teaching well.

 

The call is to prepare

the many to obey,

to know of satiety,

so full of Christ’s desire.

And so we come

with surety

as he is here

for all the days.

 

6.6.6.6.4.4.4.4.        Suggested tune: Darwell’s 148th

 

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 8 – see p. 728  

 

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: By the calling of God’s Holy Spirit, 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 the love and life of God the Father, may we be renewed in the refreshing Holy Spirit in the presence of the living Christ.

 

OR  (adapted from John Birch, and posted on Faith and Worship. http://www.faithandworship.com/)

L: The blessing of Father, Spirit, Son, Holy Trinity, Three in One, be in our meeting and our greeting,

P: In the worship we share and the words of our prayer. 

L: The blessing of Father, Spirit, Son, Holy Trinity, Three in One, be in our living and our breathing,

P: That through our hearts and our words your truth may be heard.

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

L: We stand in the presence of God, Sovereign of the Universe, Lord of Hosts!

P: The whole earth is full of God’s glory!

L: God’s voice peals like thunder over the waters, the deserts, the forests!

P: The whole earth is full of God’s glory!

L: Do you hear the angels’ loud praise and feel the shaking of the very foundations of this place? God’s presence surrounds us, fills this very place!

P: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!

 

OR (from On Earth as in Heaven: Praying for Peace, MCC Peace Sunday Packet 2008)

L: In a world filled with violence and war,

P: we gather together to celebrate the promise of peace.

L: In a world filled with tyranny and oppression,

P: we gather together to celebrate the promise of justice for all.

L: In a world filled with hunger and greed,

P: we gather together to celebrate the promise of plenty for all.

L: Our hope is in the name of the Almighty God,

P: the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of heaven and earth.

 

OR

L: With fatherly care, God welcomes us to our shared experience of worship, fellowship, prayer, and praise.

P: We gather to be re-invigorated in our witness, and in the relationships that flow from life in Christ’s family. 

L: Together and individually, we will be cleansed and refreshed by the holy winds of God’s Spirit, as it blows around and within us.

P: New life and new blessings are ours, as we come together in unity to praise and glorify our Triune God. 

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

L: Welcome this day to a celebration of God’s magnificent creation!
P: Thanks be to God the Creator who has loaned to us such a beautiful planet.
L: Welcome this day to a recognition of God’s redeeming love!
P: Thanks to God the Redeemer who has given us God’s only Son as our Example and Teacher, Our Savior and Redeemer!
L: Welcome this day to the joy of God’s Holy Spirit of truth and power!
P: Thanks to God the Sustainer who walks with us every day, guiding and guarding our steps. 

 

OR (adapted from ministrymatters.com)

L: Welcome to this house of the Lord, here you will find healing for your souls.
P: We come with great joy, for we need this healing love.
L: Here you will also find a vision of peace for a broken world.
P: Help us to become part of that vision and be those who serve God with just hearts and kind spirits. 

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

(adapted from Arnold Ruddat  http://www.arnold.theruddats.com/)

O God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in your name we are baptized, and in your fellowship we have found our home. We cling in faith to you, Father, for having loved us and sent your Son to die for our sins. We praise you, dear Jesus, for having redeemed us from our sins by giving yourself for us. We give thanks to you, Holy Spirit, for giving us faith and leading us toward your holiness. O Triune God, graciously enable us always to believe and obey, and to worship and confess you; Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, one God, eternal and all-glorious forever.

 

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. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

You are holy, O Lord our Creator and God, giving us mercies beyond number. You are holy, O Savior Jesus Christ, loving and setting us free. You are holy, O Spirit of truth and peace, leading us in ways that are right. O holy eternal Trinity, we praise you for ever and ever. (And now we are bold to pray as our Savior Christ has taught us, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

God of grace and glory, make your presence known to us as we worship this morning. Jesus our Christ, may your name be praised from the rising of the sun to the midnight hour, may your name always be honored among us. Spirit of holiness, breathe on us all and bind us in Christian love and servant hood. O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be known to us today. Transform our lives and our community into the image of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray (as he taught us, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR (from Oremus)

Almighty and eternal God, you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and live and reign in the perfect unity of love: hold us firm in this faith, that we may know you in all your ways and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory, who are three Persons yet one God, now and for ever (for with the confidence of your children we pray as Christ has taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR (on Psalm 8 from ministrymatters.com)

From the time you fashioned the heavens and the earth from a formless void, O God, your creative energy has done marvelous works, all around us.  May your creative Spirit be at work in our hearts and minds today as we worship you and, always, as we strive to live in obedience to your will. (This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR (adapted from ministrymatters.com)

Merciful and Just God, we gather here this morning, each of us with many concerns on our hearts. Our hearts are concerned with systems of injustice which strip people of their dignity and their very lives. Help us to be those who would seek peace with justice, who would fight for those who are oppressed, offer voices for the voiceless and dignity for all humankind. Be with us this day and guide our steps toward a more just world, for we pray in the name of Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Almighty God, maker of all, with joy we give thanks for all your goodness. We praise you for the love which has created and sustained us to this day, and for the gift of your Christ who brings us into covenant with you and with all your people of faith. Help us to treasure your gifts and to show our thankfulness by lives wholly given to your service.

 

We pray for your church whom you have redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus. Give it pastors and ministers filled with your spirit, and strength to serve by the guidance of your word. Perfect it in love and in compassion, and establish it in the faith of your saints. Unite all your people that one holy church may bear witness to you and your glory.

 

We pray that you would move our nation toward the justice of your peace. Bless our national, state and local leaders to serve all people with integrity. Purge from us all hatred and prejudice, and build within us your love, that even in our dealings with the other nations of earth we may be servants of peace, truth and justice.

 

Bless our homes with the joy of your presence. Strengthen our covenants of family and of faith, that our children may grow into fullness of faith, that together we may show forth your praise in our world through deeds and words of love and compassion—especially with those who are alone and lonely.

Let your grace be seen in seed-time and harvest, in labor and business, in leisure and rest, in arts and culture of our people. May all who do work find fulfillment of their vocations, and all who are in need of work find the relief of new endeavors.

 

Comfort those who sorrow and are in need, sickness or adversity. Have mercy on those to whom death draws near. Bring consolation to those in mourning, and to all give your peace, for these and all our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus our Christ. Amen.

 

OR (adapted from Words for Worship.  Posted on the http://pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au/ website)

To you, O God, be all glory, the One who visits us in three persons, the Holy Trinity of hope and love.  For there is no place which is without you, O God, and no time when you are not there. For you are the beginning and the end, the source of all that is in the wonder of universal life. And yet, you take us by the hand and lead us, as the life of Christ walks our human way and shows us that life is stronger than death.  In the Holy Spirit, we are gifted, again and again, and are called onwards toward a future in which we are surrounded with love and grace.

 

Hear our prayers for those of our world who do not realize the presence of your love in their lives, for those who are lonely or hurting, sick or oppressed, grieving or broken in spirit.  We pray that by our lives, we might bring into their presence an awareness of your love and your healing strength.

 

As we seek your guidance to be the church you have called us to be, may the power of your Spirit infuse us with the hope of fulfilling your will, and of working with you to transform your world, even as you transform our lives. May the peace that is ours in Christ Jesus be spread throughout this earth, and may your glory be shown by all that we do.  For we praise and worship you, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Indeed, there is no other God like you.  Amen.

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

God of Love and Mercy, you have given us stewardship to care for this wonderful planet and to care for our neighbors. We have been blessed with a variety of gifts and talents and you call us to use them to help others. Open our hearts today to ministries of peace with justice. Embolden us to become part of this great cloud of witnesses who were unafraid to be your disciples. We think of so many in this church and in our lives who have gone before us, braving the difficulties presented by life. We name them in our hearts before you, grateful for their example. (Silent prayer.) We also name in our hearts those people who are ill, who mourn, who feel lost and alone, those who are part of cultures of oppression and indignity. Help us to be those people who, by our example, will break those chains of poverty and burst the doors that imprison their spirits. Be with this church that it may be a true witness to Jesus Christ in all that we do.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God,

you have given us your servants grace,

by the confession of a true faith,

to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity

and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:

keep us steadfast in this faith,

that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;

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

 

Almighty and eternal God,

you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:

hold us firm in this faith,

that we may know you in all your ways

and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,

who are three Persons yet one God,

now and for ever.

 

Additional Collect

 

Holy God,

faithful and unchanging:

enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,

and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,

that we may truly worship you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

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

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us

your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to

acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the

power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep

us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to

see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with

the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever

and ever.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 28:16-20

 

Upon the Galilean mount, O God,

did Jesus charge us as his own.

By that authority he owns

are we well sent to live and act and love

in your name, and in his,

and of the Holy Spirit.

Confirm in us your gifts, O God!

 

Service of Table  

While all of our congregations navigate the Sacred Board in a different way, it seems, there are common elements in most, which are provided here.  We would love to hear if your congregation has variations to these elements which we might address in the future. 

 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

All good things come from God, the giver of life. We are called as stewards of God’s gifts to share in fulfillment of God’s purposes for creation. As stewards of the kingdom of God, let us give from our abundance with thanksgiving.

 

Offertory Prayer

Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world.

 

OR

In these gifts, O God, we acclaim you as our Lord. May they be useful to you in bringing your kingdom into full flower through the ministries of your church, we pray in Christ’s name.

 

Invitation to the Table

It is into the name of the Holy Trinity that each of us are baptized.  And it is in the confession of God’s saving power in our lives that we continue to live in God’s presence.  At this holy Table, we again affirm that Jesus, the Son of God, is indeed the Messiah and Lord, and it is only in the power of the Holy Spirit that we can make that affirmation.  This is God’s feast, now, prepared for you and for all people; a feast of good things, a feast of peace. Come and taste. Eat and be filled. Drink deep and never thirst again.

 

OR

As the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, God created the world and called it good. God breathed life into humans, each made in God’s image, and called them good as well.  God so loved us, in fact, that when we failed to stay in communion with God, the Son was sent into the world, so that all of us might find life abundant.  As we give thanks today for the gift of life, and for God’s sustaining presence in it, we have the opportunity to offer up ourselves to God afresh, and open our lives to the movement of God’s Spirit among us, so that we may be re-created to be what God has seen in us all along – truly good, and signs of God’s love for the whole world.

 

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)

 

Almighty God, as your Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, you have created the world and called it good. As you breathed life into human beings, you made each of us in your image. In the fullness of time, you sent your Son into the world that all the world might find life and life abundant in his fellowship. As we give thanks to you for the gift of life, and your sustaining presence in all of it, we offer up these gifts of bread and wine along with our very selves, that your Spirit might come upon them and upon us, that they may be for us the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ, who living perfectly in your image offered himself up for us all. Through this breaking of bread and drinking of cup, may we who love you be conformed to his likeness, to follow you in the days which lie before us as creative, life-giving signs of your sustaining presence in our world.

 

OR

Eternal Three in One, you care for each one of us as if you had no one else to care for, and you care for all of us even as you care for each. We are here because you have invited us. We recognize at the deepest levels of our beings that it is at this table that we are affirmed and made whole. Enable us to know now the presence of the Christ, the one who calls us to be one family, the one in whose presence no other can be called a stranger. Forgive us that we have been hard of heart, that we have failed to acknowledge others as brothers and sisters. Enable us now to accept the fact that we are members of one another, that we are family with all of your creation, and that we are all loved by you. We pray these things in the name of the Christ who has called us to you.

 

OR

  1. Eternal God, you make yourself known to us in three Persons, yet bound together in one perfect communion of love. As we break this bread, may we come to a more perfect awareness of the unity of the Church you have called together as one through your Son Jesus Christ.
  2. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, gracious Lord, and upon these gifts of bread and wine. May we who drink from the cup Christ has offered be united with you and united with each other in the one body of 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 2019.  Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

 

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.

 

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Pentecost A

 

May 31

 

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

 

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

 

Acts 2:1-21 or Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23 or John 7:37-39

 

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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

 

Jesus Christ is Lord, we know

for the Holy Spirit seeks us.

Holy Spirit, God on fire,

come, ignite us now forever.

In your stirring, Spirit, answer

that we echo love forever.

 

Gifts appear and gifts abound

all the bounty of our Sprit.

Service answers needs about

as the Holy Spirit bids us.

Deeds are meaning, well surprising,

all expect the Spirit’s breathing.

 

All one Spirit we abide

in the answer to our calling.

By one Spirit we’re baptized,

all one body of our Savior.

Come together as one body;

all imbibe one Spirit’s glory.

 

7.8.7.8.8.8.    Suggested tune: Liebster Jesu (Dessau)

 

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   

(from the United Church of Christ)

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 (adapted by the editor from portions of the Psalm of the day; given in two parts, either or both of which may be useful.)

I.

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.

 

II.

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.

 

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.

 

OR (adapted from ministrymatters.com)

L: Listen, can you hear the wind?
P: Come, Holy Spirit; come!
L: Look, can you see the dancing flames?
P: Come, Holy Spirit; come!
L: Can you hear the message in a language you can understand?
P: Come, Holy Spirit; come!
L: Do you see the visions? Can you dream the dreams?
P: Come, Holy Spirit; come!
L: Come let Pentecost become real in our lives today.
P: We worship our God who sends the Spirit to touch us and transform us into Pentecost people.

 

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. 

 

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. 

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

L: Lord, our hearts are on fire this day!
P: Set the blazes of hope that burn away fear!
L: Lord, we come here to be empowered to serve you.
P: Cause the winds of change to blow away doubt and alienation!
L: Praise to God who has brought to us the Holy Spirit!
P: Let us worship and rejoice, for God is challenging and empowering us this day!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Almighty God, who gives 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  (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.

 

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)

Spirit of God, we long to be open to your presence in our church and in our lives. Fill us with your wind and fire, that we might be enlivened again. Help us hear the words as if for the first time, that they might touch us anew. Give us visions and dreams of what you long for in your creation, that we might begin to live them into reality. Come, Spirit; come into our worship, into our church, into our very selves. (This we pray as Christ has taught us, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR (adapted from ministrymatters.com)

O God, giver of the Spirit, we are surrounded by red and hear the amazing story of Pentecost this morning. But we’ve heard it so many times before. It is so familiar; we’ve ceased to be amazed and surprised or filled with excitement.  Blow us out of our complacency. Let the flames of passion dance in our lives. Inspire us with visions and dreams. Help us appreciate each gift you give us as your one Church, for we pray in the name of our Lord Jesus (who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

Spirit of wind and fire, come to us this day, freeing us from our fears. Lift us up when we have fallen. Dust us off and set us squarely on the path to hope you have set before us. Remind us that we are never far from your presence. Get us ready for the great adventure and opportunities that lie before us. Help us to be good and willing workers for you. In Christ’s Name, we pray (as he taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

(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.

 

OR

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. (silence)

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 from ministrymatters.com

Knock us off our seats, O Lord, with the wind of your Holy Spirit. Don’t let us just sit back and rest as though nothing important was happening. Remind us that you have come to bless and prepare us for your service. Now is the time of proclamation and celebration! Now is the birth of your church, not as an exercise in futility, but as a dynamic group of people who know you and love you as you know and love each of us. Flame up our hearts! Make us so joyful that we find it difficult to sit back and watch. We want to be part of your healing love and mercy. We want to be people who bear the word that your love for us is eternal; that Jesus Christ, our Savior, proclaimed and taught that love in all that he did and said, modeling for us a new way to live. Pick us up and propel us forward into your world. Help us to remember that you have given to us what we need to be your disciples. We just need to say a resounding “Yes!” to you. Thank you for all the wondrous patience and blessings you pour into our lives each and every day, as we offer our lives back to you in joy and hope. Amen.

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

The bars of our prisons melt at the power of the Holy Spirit, O God. We praise and thank you for the fulfillment of the promise made by your Son Jesus that we would have a counselor, a guide. We thought we could feel no greater joy than we felt on Easter Day when the good news of Jesus’ resurrection greeted our ears! But this surpasses all that. You have come to us in our imprisonment and freed us. You have given to us a voice of power and hope to proclaim the good news! You have poured into our lives the Holy Spirit to be with us always! These things are so amazing to us. Thank you. We ask that you be with our dear ones who face illness, who mourn, who feel lost and alone, who hurt in so many ways. Help us to reach out to them with lovingkindness, in the name of the Holy Spirit. Strengthen us for the times ahead. Give us courage to proclaim your love with our lives, for we ask this in Jesus’ Name.

 

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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 20:19-23

 

Let your divine breath, O God,

breathe upon us that we receive

Holy Spirit.

For in this reception are we become

the agents of your Christ,

the Giver of your delight.

 

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.

 

OR (adapted from ministrymatters.com)

Pentecost people! We have received gifts too numerous to count. Now we have a chance to give in thanks and joy. Your offering will enable this church to be a living presence of Christ in this community

and the world—to reach out in passionate commitment and bring the wind and fire of the Spirit to a people and a world that so desperately need it.

 

Offertory Prayer

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.

 

OR

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 (from ministrymatters.com)

For all you have given, for all we have received, we give you thanks. We bring before you our gifts of substance and the gift of our lives. We bring our passion and joy and surprise, our visions and dreams. May they refresh and enliven our church and community, as the wind of your Spirit did long ago.

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

Lord of wind and fire, of hope and mercy, we ask that you bless these gifts today. We praise you for them and ask that you cause them to be put to work for your kingdom. In Christ’s name, we pray.

 

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. 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.

 

OR

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.

 

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 2019.  Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

 

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.

 

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