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Archive for the ‘Hymn Texts, Tunes, Collections’ Category

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

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Advent Overview

Advent 1B

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

Visit, follow, and share our Facebook Page!

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 64:1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:24-37

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

119-O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

135 – Blessed be the God of Israel

538-Hope of the world

124-Let all mortal flesh keep silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Isaiah 64:1-9

               Now we, your people, wait to find

               how we might navigate your way,

               how we might gain delight in sight,

               and savor instantly your touch.

               For in our folly, Lord, we know

               we fumble and we flail alone.

               There is no way we might atone;

               thus come we here as all alone.

               O come, our Savior God, and strike

               the mountains that they quake in fear,

               ring out this word: God has drawn near

               to satisfy this holy year.

               Come, Come, O Lord and bring the call

               that waits to cry upon your thrall.

               Come, Lord, and satisfy us all

               upon the bounty you supply.

               As we, this day, lie in your hands,

               O Lord, admit we are your work.

               Remember mercy in our hope.

               Recall we are your people yet.

LM      Suggested tune: Herongate

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 80 is not in hymnal; see 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   

Today is God’s day of hope—hope for us, hope for all humanity.  The darkness that surrounds us will not overtake us, for God is light; and in God there is no darkness at all.  Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

 (from Psalm 80)

L: Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!

P: Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

L: Let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

P: Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

L: Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;

P: Let your face shine, that we may be saved.

OR

L: The Spirit and the church cry out:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus.

L: All who await Christ’s appearance pray:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus.

L: The whole creation pleads:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus!  Renew the whole creation!

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: O Holy God, since ancient times your splendor has filled the world.
P: We praise the wonder of your being, O wonderful potter of reality!
L: Loving Christ our Savior, we remember your redeeming presence, even as we wait.
P: Christ our savior, we long for your return.

L: Empowering Holy Spirit, we pray to know your presence in this time and place.
P: Come fill us as we gather now to share your presence in the bread and cup.

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Prepare your way within us, O God, as the new year of life in your Church unfolds.  Make of us a people ready to receive you, to learn from you, to receive your gifts, and to live out your calling in mission.  Prepare your way within us and fill us with hope, we pray, through the name of the Coming One, Jesus Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR

We come, O God, with adoration and praise, as well as thanksgiving, to you. Our anticipation grows as we begin the journey to the day of great celebration of the birth of your Christ. Open our hearts that we may truly receive the gift of your Son, and know that the joy of life with you. This we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…)

OR

We rejoice in you, O God our hope, for in Jesus Christ you enter our world to bring to life your new creation.  May our lives be remade by the glory of your appearing, and may we lift up the name of your Son in our worship, our work, and our leisure, for we pray in his name (as he taught us, saying…).

OR adapted from ministrymatters.com

God of promised new beginnings, open our hearts to the nourishment of your word and table, so we might know that stirring deep within us; open our lives to the fresh bud of fruitful service, so we might grow with mounting hope as we wait for the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

Confession of Sin  (adapted by the editor)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.  Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (Common Worship)

Because we have seen pain without being moved, because we forget your love with solemn pride, because we pass by comfortably before poverty and sadness, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

For speaking of love without loving our sister or brother, for speaking of faith without living your word, for living as people who do not recognize our own sinfulness, Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

For our tranquility in our affluent life, for our great falsehood in preaching about poverty, for wanting to make excuse for injustice, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Hear the good news, people of God!  The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  He bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might be dead to sin and alive to God.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.  Glory to God.  Amen.

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

How strong your voice, O God. How it thunders across the lands, calling forth blossoms from parched earth and turning back waters from flooded ground. You stand at the world’s door and knock; who can withstand the sound of your voice?

How soft your voice, O God. How it murmurs in the morning, calling life forth from its bed and hastening the night to its own. You come to us, walking in the garden in the cool of the day; who can hide from the sound of your voice?

Tarry with us, O God. Let your word love our eyes into seeing all those around us. Let it love our ears into hearing the voices calling to us. Let it love our hands into healing with the gifts you have granted your children. Let our words be words of love as we pray for those who are in greatest need…

In these days of Advent, may our voices ring with joy, with peace and with hope. Wherever you send us, may we be diligent in following. For we are ever in search of your salvation, even as we continue to search for the child, the Christ, our Savior in whose name we sing for joy and offer our prayers.

OR from ministrymatters.com

Merciful and Patient God, how we must try your patience. We rush through the seasons of our lives as though we had a mighty schedule to keep. We plot out our days, minute by minute, crowding each moment with tasks, stresses and pressures. And we begin to notice the growing darkness and anxiety in our lives. We proclaim boldly each year that we will not let ourselves get so caught up in the commercial pressures and demands and yet, here we are, back in the same old trap of “not enough time; not enough energy”. The very plans we weave become bonds which imprison us. Help us bind ourselves to you, loving God. Help us slow down and reflect on the many ways in which you bless us. Let us drink deeply of your peace. Remind us again of the most precious gift of all, the gift of loving relationship between you and your Creation. May we cherish the people and the peaceful moments you offer to us. As we have lifted before you our joys and concerns, so lift our spirits to remember that you are always with us, offering your healing touch and your compassionate care. Help us to place our trust in you, for we ask it in Jesus’ Name.

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

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of

darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of

this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit

us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come

again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the

dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives

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

for ever.  Amen.

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

Mark 13:24-37

            In unexpected overshadowing complicity, O God,

                        as tribulation leads to darkness overall,

                        as winds bear angels, gathering your own,

                                    O God, let us observe the signs

                                    that lead us to pure satiety of heart.

                        For in the moment of desire,

                        the threat and promise compound hope

                                    into a readiness that leans to joy,

                                    a joy that buoys us to your care.

                        O, find us there, 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

God is at work in the world, renewing, remaking, resurrecting, bringing hope through the faith, the gifts, and the work of the church. We trust in God, and together we work for peace and justice through God’s Spirit as we offer our tithes and gifts. Let us rejoice in our God-given opportunity to share in God’s work.

OR

As God has seen our need and provided for us all things in the coming of Jesus into our world, let us look at the world in need around us, and realize that in Jesus we have all that is needed to meet the world with life, hope, and wholeness.

OR from ministrymatters.com

During this late harvest time, when fruit and grain are gathered in and many are preparing for the cold of winter, God invites us to share what we have gathered so others may have enough. The Holy One, the gracious, giving source of comfort, shapes us into vessels of compassion and invites us to give of our bounty so that others may be fed and clothed and healed and loved. Let us be generous and joyful in our giving.

Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of hope, 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

May these gifts indeed give light to those in darkness, hope to those in despair, and justice to the oppressed, as we bring them to you as an act of sharing your love with the world. Here the proud are brought low, and the poor and broken lifted up. May it be so in all your kingdom, we pray, as we dedicate ourselves to you. Amen.

Invitation to the Table

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)

With hope and expectation, O God, we draw near to the Table which you have set with the fruits of righteousness and promise of life. Bless now this bread which we break that it may be for us Christ’s body, and this cup which we lift, that it may be his blood. Send now the power of your Holy Spirit upon these gifts and upon us as we receive them. Make your presence known among your people, we pray, and in all the world, as we look to the coming of Christ whose reign shall know no end.

OR  from William Flewelling, adapted

Lord God, in memory and in anticipation we draw near together, drawn in faith to the life and to the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are thankful, Lord God, for the opening of life for us in Jesus of Nazareth. Our Lord gave us his heart, his love that in him we too might be bold to give our hearts, our love. He opened wide his arms for us in blessing and in death, death on the cross. He breathes on us the gift of Holy Spirit.

He feeds us as he fed his own on broken bread, and on a cup of wine, the new covenant.

O Lord God, seal in us your covenant of love and grace; give in us your including Spirit; make of us one people. And, O Lord, Come now upon us  to fulfill in us your love and your beauty; in Jesus Christ our Coming 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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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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Christmas Eve/Day

 

Dec. 24-25

 

SEE A COMPLETE TRADITIONAL ORDER OF SERVICE WITH TEXTS BELOW.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Psalm 96 / Psalm 97 / Psalm 98

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

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

 

Advent Candle Lighting Rituals from 2014

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Hymns of Praise:

165 Once in Royal David’s City,

142 People, Look East,

148 O Come, All Ye Faithful,

155 Angels We Have Heard on High,

150 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,

143 Joy to the World,

138 Awake! Awake!…,

159 There’s a Song in the Air,

169 O Thou Joyful

Communion Hymns:

147 Away in a Manger,

145 Silent Night, Holy Night,

160 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,

161 I Wonder as I Wander,

162 What Child Is This,

163 Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Dismissal/Missional Hymns:

171 God’s Love Made Visible,

167 Go, Tell It on the Mountain

 

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

 

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/  

Psalms 96-97-98 begin on Page 748

 

Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

 

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer

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

 

OR (from the Anglican tradition)

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

 

Call to Worship

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

The promise is fulfilled.

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

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

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

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

The Light of the world has come.

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

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

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

within us and among us now and always.

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

 

or from MinistryMatters.com

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

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

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

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach

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

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

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

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

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

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

(from the Editor)

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

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

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

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

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

 

or

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

 

or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

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

 

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

 

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

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Gracious Father,

who gave the first martyr Stephen

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

grant that in all our sufferings for the truth

we may learn to love even our enemies

and to seek forgiveness for those who desire our hurt,

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

Jesus Christ, our mediator and advocate,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Merciful Lord,

we thank you for the signs of your mercy

revealed in birth and death:

save us by the coming of your Son,

and give us joy in honouring Stephen,

first martyr of the new Israel;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

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

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

receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence

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

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

for ever. Amen.

 

or this

 

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

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

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

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

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

or this

 

Almighty God, you have given your only begotten Son to

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

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

your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed

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

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

for ever. Amen.

 

Service of Table

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

 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

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

 

or

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

 

or

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

 

or from MinistryMatters.com

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

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

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

 

Offertory Prayer

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

 

OR from MinistryMatters.com

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

 

Invitation to the Table

Great Thanksgiving (if one is offered)

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

 

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

 

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

 

or (from William Flewelling)

Holy God

who has chosen to be known to us

through the Incarnate Lord Jesus,

we raise our souls in praise and thanksgiving

for your thorough gift of self,

even into our flesh and blood.

For in your stirring among us, Lord,

you fostered in us your own gifts of life.

You have opened in us the hope

of Jesus Christ.

You have borne in us the living Word.

You have drawn us to your own life in joy.

And so we come in awe,

rejoicing in your coming to us.

We come breaking bread

with which Jesus associated himself, saying:

This is my body.

We come sharing a cup of wine

with which Jesus gave the new covenant

in his blood.

Send forth your Spirit upon us

that in this feast we may be united in you,

that we may be fed and

that we may learn the tender gift of Christmas

in our flesh.

We pray in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Elders’ Prayers/Prayer of Thanksgiving

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

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

 

or

            Holy God, we praise and bless you for creation and the gift of life; and for your abiding love which brings us close to you, the source of all blessing.  We thank you for revealing your will for us in the giving of the law and the teaching of the prophets.

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

            You have gathered your Church at your table to strengthen us to share the gift of eternal life.  Now send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood, and that we might be for the world Christ’s body, until at last we feast with him and all your people at the table of unending joy.

 

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

 

A Complete Service of the Nativity

 

+ The Gathering +

Welcome

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

 

Call to Worship

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

 

Organ Prelude

Choral Introit

* Greeting

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

The promise is fulfilled.

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

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

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

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

The Light of the world has come.

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

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

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

within us and among us now and always.

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

* Hymn of Praise: O Come, All Ye Faithful                                                                          

The Bidding Prayers —Chalice Worship 98

Anthem

 

+ Service of the Word +

The Candle of Hope: The Promised Salvation

            Scripture Reading: Isaiah 35:1-10

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

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

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

            Response:   Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus                                                                     

 

The Candle of Peace: The Kingdom of God

            Scripture Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10

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

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

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

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

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

            Anthem

 

The Candle of Joy: The Annunciation

            Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38

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

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

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

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

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

            Response: Joy to the World                                                                                                     

 

The Candle of Love: The Magnificat

            Scripture Reading: Luke 1:46-55

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

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

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

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

Hymn/Anthem

                                   

The Christ Candle: Christ Is Born

            Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Response: Angels We Have Heard on High                                                                                  

The Proclamation

Anthem

 

+ Celebration of Christ’s Table +

Invitation to the Table

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

 

Anthem

Thanksgiving and The Lord’s Prayer

            Holy God, we praise and bless you for creation and the gift of life; and for your abiding love which brings us close to you, the source of all blessing.  We thank you for revealing your will for us in the giving of the law and the teaching of the prophets.

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

            You have gathered your Church at your table to strengthen us to share the gift of eternal life.  Now send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood, and that we might be for the world Christ’s body, until at last we feast with him and all your people at the table of unending joy.

Through him and with him and in him, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever, and with the confidence of your children we are bold to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven…

Sharing of the Bread and Cup

Candle Lighting

* Hymn: Silent Night                   

                                                           

* Christmas Blessing

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

 

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Calendar for 2019

Sun 2 Dec 2018. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2018-19. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2018 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2018 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2018.

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.

 

 

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Advent 1A

 

Dec. 1

 

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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Advent Resources

Advent Candle Lighting Rituals  from 2014

Sundays of Advent – a Sampler  Structure for use of  Advent Candle Lighting  Republished from 2014

Hanging of the Greens  for use on Advent 1, if desired

see also: Preparing for the Great Preparation

 

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:

Isaiah 2:1-5

Psalm 122
Romans 13:11-14

Matthew 24:36-44

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

119: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

125: Come, O Long Expected Jesus

708: My Lord, What a Morning

124: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

398: Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread

121: Prepare the Way of the Lord

 

Advent Hymn by David T. Chafin, 2013

 

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

 

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

On Isaiah 2:1-5

 

Come, let us go on high,

the mountain of our God,

become the highest of them all,

adored anon.

Indeed, we traipse in praise,

lift high our native hope

that, in the mystery of grace,

we echo love.

 

The sacred word of God

establishes our life,

The spoken word that echoes long

confirms our hope.

This is the sifting place

of honor and delight,

the calling of the Lord most High

to nurture peace.

 

Yes, swords are plowshares now

and spears, new pruning hooks.

This is the calling of our God

to learn of grace.

From Salem learn shalom,

Jerusalem our home.

For in this sanctuary, peace

refines all hope.

 

6.6.8.4.D       Suggested tune: Leoni

 

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 122 is on p. 761.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Call to Worship

(adapted by the editor)

L: The Spirit and the church cry out:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus.

L: All who await Christ’s appearance pray:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus.

L: The whole creation pleads:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus!  Renew the whole creation!

 

Also: see Chalice Hymnal 120 (the “O Antiphons”) 

 

OR

L: Today is God’s day of hope—

P: Hope for us, hope for all humanity. 

L: The darkness that surrounds us will not overtake us, for God is light; and in God there is no darkness at all.

P: Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we would be open to your presence, O God.  Free us from the seasonal sentimentality that turns our attention from the sometimes painful decision to pursue peace and justice.  Through this worship, nudge us toward seeking reconciliation rather than revenge, the well-being of all rather than the victory of the few.  Speak to us of peace, O God, and hear us as we pray.   (Now we join with the confidence of your children to pray as Christ has taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

We rejoice in you, O God our hope, for in Jesus Christ you enter our world to bring to life your new creation.  May our lives be remade by the glory of your appearing, and may we lift up the name of your Son in our worship, our work, and our leisure; for we pray in his name (as he taught us saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Prepare your way within us, O God, as the new year of life in your Church unfolds.  Make of us a people ready to receive you, to learn from you, to receive your gifts, and to live out your calling in mission.  Prepare your way within us and fill us with hope, we pray, through the name of the Coming One, Jesus Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Act of Confession (adapted by the editor)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.  Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (Common Worship)

Because we have seen pain without being moved, because we forget your love with solemn pride, because we pass by comfortably before poverty and sadness, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

For speaking of love without loving our sister or brother, for speaking of faith without living your word, for living as people who do not recognize our own sinfulness, Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

For our tranquility in our affluent life, for our great falsehood in preaching about poverty, for wanting to make excuse for injustice, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Hear the good news, people of God!  The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  He bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might be dead to sin and alive to God.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.  Glory to God.  Amen.

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

How strong your voice, O God. How it thunders across the lands, calling forth blossoms from parched earth and turning back waters from flooded ground. You stand at the world’s door and knock; who can withstand the sound of your voice?

How soft your voice, O God. How it murmurs in the morning, calling life forth from its bed and hastening the night to its own. You come to us, walking in the garden in the cool of the day; who can hide from the sound of your voice?

Tarry with us, O God. Let your word love our eyes into seeing all those around us. Let it love our ears into hearing the voices calling to us. Let it love our hands into healing with the gifts you have granted your children. Let our words be words of love as we pray for those who are in greatest need…

In these days of Advent, may our voices ring with joy, with peace and with hope. Wherever you send us, may we be diligent in following. For we are ever in search of your salvation, even as we continue to search for the child, the Christ, our Savior in whose name we sing for joy and offer our prayers.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty God,

give us grace to cast away the works of darkness

and to put on the armour of light,

now in the time of this mortal life,

in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;

that on the last day,

when he shall come again in his glorious majesty

to judge the living and the dead,

we may rise to the life immortal;

through him who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

O Lord our God,

make us watchful and keep us faithful

as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;

that, when he shall appear,

he may not find us sleeping in sin

but active in his service

and joyful in his praise;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Almighty God,

as your kingdom dawns,

turn us from the darkness of sin

to the light of holiness,

that we may be ready to meet you

in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

 

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

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of

darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of

this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit

us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come

again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the

dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives

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

for ever. Amen.

 

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

Matthew 24:36-44

 

Awaiting the unknown day and hour, O God,

we tend the matters to the side.

We wait the coming Advent of our Lord

within the generation of repair.

As you provide, O God, so keep us dear

in waiting for the resolute delight

in readiness, professing hope.

 

Service of Table

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

 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

As God has seen our need and provided for us all things in the coming of Jesus into our world, let us look at the world in need around us, and realize that in Jesus we have all that is needed to meet the world with life, hope, and wholeness.

 

OR

God is at work in the world, renewing, remaking, resurrecting, bringing hope through the faith, the gifts, and the work of the church. We trust in God, and together we work for peace and justice through God’s Spirit as we offer our tithes and gifts. Let us rejoice in our God-given opportunity to share in God’s work.

 

Offertory Prayer

May these gifts indeed give light to those in darkness, hope to those in despair, and justice to the oppressed, as we bring them to you as an act of sharing your love with the world. Here the proud are brought low, and the poor and broken lifted up. May it be so in all your kingdom, we pray, as we dedicate ourselves to you. Amen.

 

OR

Thank you, God of hope, 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

With hope and expectation, we draw near to the Table which God has set with the fruits of righteousness and promise of life. May God now send the power of the Holy Spirit upon these gifts and upon us as we receive them. Make Christ’s presence known among us, and in all the world, as we look to the coming of Christ whose reign shall know no end.

 

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)

 

from William Flewelling, adapted

Lord God, in memory and in anticipation we draw near together, drawn in faith to the life and to the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord. We are thankful, Lord God, for the opening of life for us in Jesus of Nazareth. Our Lord gave us his heart, his love that in him we too might be bold to give our hearts, our love. He opened wide his arms for us in blessing and in death, death on the cross. He breathes on us the gift of Holy Spirit. He feeds us as he fed his own on broken bread, and on a cup of wine, the new covenant. O Lord God, seal in us your covenant of love and grace; give in us your including Spirit; make of us one people. And, O Lord, Come now upon us to fulfill in us your love and your beauty; in Jesus Christ our Coming Lord.

OR

With hope and expectation, O God, we draw near to the Table which you have set with the fruits of righteousness and promise of life. Bless now this bread which we break that it may be for us Christ’s body, and this cup which we lift, that it may be his blood. Send now the power of your Holy Spirit upon these gifts and upon us as we receive them. Make your presence known among your people, we pray, and in all the world, as we look to the coming of Christ whose reign shall know no end.

 

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

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

 

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 »

Pentecost +22, Proper 27C

 

Nov. 10

 

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

 

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

 

Some suggestions from textweek.com for observance of Veterans Day

Suggestions for Observing Veterans’ Day in Worship, UMC GBOD.

“Remembrance Sunday Sermon,” PreacherRhetorica, 2012.

A Pacifist’s Dilemma on Veteran’s Day, J. Harader, Spacious Faith, 2012.

Memorial Day Call to Worship and Confession, The Fat Pastor, 2012.

Veterans Day Litany, The Fat Pastor, 2012.

Justice for Veterans and the Vulnerable, Bruce Epperly, Patheos, 2010.

Worship Offerings, thoughts, prayers, etc., Gord Waldie.

With Gratitude and Honor, UCC Worship Ways, 2008.

Remembrance Resources, Oremus, 2005.

Lectionary Hymns, Day of Mourning and Remembrance, National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

“We Remember All Those…” UCC, 2003.

Sermon and Worship Resources for Remembrance Sunday, (Ordinary 32B), Rev. Kim Gilliland.

Service of Remembrance and Healing for those who have experienced armed conflict, Worship Resources by Lisa Frenz, Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church, Portland, OR.

With Children: Remembrance Day Word Search, sermons4kids.com.

 

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:

Haggai 1:15b-2:9 or Job 19:23-27a
Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98 or Psalm 17:1-9
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Luke 20:27-38

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

6-Sing praise to God who reigns above

464 – God of grace and God of glory

700-O Day of God draw nigh

472 – We Are living, we are dwelling

713-God of our life

390 – Lord of our highest love

66-God, whose giving knows no ending

517-Love Divine, all loves excelling

487-Help us accept each other

393-One bread, one body

422-Let us talents and tongues employ

 

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

 

Sung Psalm for the Day

Psalm 17 (vs. 1-4) – metrical setting by David T. Chafin

Lord, hear the just, regard my cry, my prayer from lips sincere;

Send your approval from on high, my righteousness make clear.

You tried my heart throughout the night and found it faithful in your sight.

Determined to in faithful speech and action now to live,

I choose the path of life for me, and all my self I give.

For help, O God, I pray and you will answer for your word is true.

You save from every terror those who trust in your command,

Protecting them from all their foes by your almighty hand.

Your lovingkindness let me see, your wondrous mercy, full and free.

O guard me well, as you would guard the apple of your eye;

While deadly foes are pressing in, to you, O God, I cry.

To me your rest and refuge bring, and shadow me within your wing.

C.H.M. (86.86.88) – “Auch jetzt macht Gott” is available online or in the UMC Hymnal

 

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

On Luke 20:27-38

God of Abraham and Isaac,

God of Jacob evermore:

be the lode of pure salvation,

all the purging sanctity.

Then, O God of all the living,

enter cleanly our delight

that in satisfaction nearly

we acquaint ourselves with joy.

God of the living, lure us free,

snatched in love to victory.

Evermore are we encouraged

by the wonder we adore.

Lord our God, our deepest longing,

draw us to your praise above

for the awe that joy abounding

seethes in majesty divine.

In oblation, heart’s rejoicing,

we attain your fertile care.

All is open that we see, Lord,

all is free in your delight.

Gather freshly our intent, Lord,

that we further our release,

our intending satisfaction

in your living majesty.

8.7.8.7.D   Suggested tune: Burythorpe

 

OR On Job 19:23-27a

Oh, words inscribed would answer so,

echo the passion I survive.

For in the reading of this text

the true Redeemer would confess.

In all, the standard of the flesh

the stumbling on the ground I thresh

becomes the witness of renown,

the one I will to see alone.

Becoming in this mystery

the font of possibility,

I answer warily the Lord

whom I confess and do adore.

The vision of delight becomes

the opening of savor won,

the thriving of the mystery

that spans the world before my eyes.

O word that’s written to be seen,

appear upon this holy ground

and satisfy for anger sight

to sanctify the willing heart.

LM   Suggested tune: Deep Harmony

 

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 98 is available on p. 750 or see Psalm 17 lyrics above

 

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 UCC)

L: Be still and know that God is.

P:  God was, also, in the beginning.

L: And when all human striving has ceased, God will still be.

P:  From everlasting to everlasting, God is God, and alone is worthy to be worshiped.

 

OR

L: The coming of our Lord is a sure thing.

P: It will be one which shakes heaven and earth, though our eyes and ears may not perceive it. 

L: How might the Lord come to us today?  In word?  In sign?  In this community?

P: We will hold fast to the sure presence of God, and join in praise as one people.

 

OR

L: Thank the Lord with all your heart, in the gathered assembly of God’s people.

P: Mighty are the deeds of the Lord; great are the God’s works,

     studied by all who have pleasure in them.

L: Holy and awesome is God’s name!

To worship the Lord is the highest wisdom; those who do so know all that is good.

P: God’s praises will last forever.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach

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 we join the prayer of Christ who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

You who have created us and sustain us: we come with thanksgiving for these moments when we can ease the pace of our lives and listen for your voice. Create a spirit within us that truly draws us toward you and toward our brother and sisters; a spirit deep, perceptive, gentle and bold. Clear our minds, open our hearts and touch us with your presence and your power. We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

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

Mighty and merciful God, may your kindness be known to all. Hear the prayers of all who cry to you; open the eyes of those who never pray for themselves; have mercy on those who are in misery; deal gently with those who sit in darkness; increase the number of those who love and serve you daily. Preserve our land from all things hurtful, preserve our Church from all dangerous error, preserve our people from forgetting that you are their Lord and Saviour. Be gracious to those countries that are made desolate by war, famine, disease, or persecution, and grant that the course of the world may be so ordered in obedience to your will that the people may live in security and freedom from want, and their children grow up to be makers of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty Father,

whose will is to restore all things

in your beloved Son, the King of all:

govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,

and bring the families of the nations,

divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,

to be subject to his just and gentle rule;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

God of peace,

whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom

and restored the broken to wholeness of life:

look with compassion on the anguish of the world,

and by your healing power

make whole both people and nations;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Additional Collect

 

God, our refuge and strength,

bring near the day when wars shall cease

and poverty and pain shall end,

that earth may know the peace of heaven

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might

destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God

and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may

purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again

with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his

eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with

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

 

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

Luke 20:27-38

 

You know, O God, how we insist

to measure heaven in the dust.

Begin afresh in us, O God, that we may yet

take measure of our dust by heaven’s boon.

Herein Lord God, do we persist

and register your ways.

God of the living, to you is all our life this day.

 

Service of Table

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

 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

God has prepared a rich feast for those who desire to receive it – a coming reign of justice and peace, a life of promise without fear, a world made new. We participate in that blessed life to come, even today with our tithes and offerings, enabling Christ’s church to make a way in the world for the promises of God to be fulfilled.  Let us bring forth our gifts and offer our lives anew to God.

 

Offertory Prayer

Here, O God, your children offer to you the substance of our lives and labors.  We come humbly, recognizing that all that we are and all that we have belong to you; and we come boldly, recognizing that you alone have moved us to share of our substance for the sake of others.  Take and us these gifts and our lives, limited though they may be, for your great work for the sake of the future of your world. Amen.

 

OR

Generous God, our lives are renewed as we remember your goodness. You have made us in your image and placed in our hearts the memory of your love made flesh in Jesus Christ. That memory calls us to give and to embrace your world as we offer these gifts. May our lives invested through these offerings create a new reality and extend your grace in remembrance of Jesus, in whose name we pray.

 

Invitation to the Table

Christ invites to this Table all who seek to know God and to walk in peace with God and their neighbor.  It is a place of welcome for you, all of you, with great faith and with little faith.  It is the faith of Christ which matters, and it is the faith of Christ which shall sustain us til the end of the age.

 

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. We praise you, O God, for your promised presence with us as we gather in your name.  We thank you for all the good gifts of life, and for the gift of this Table which offers your love for us in real bread, broken and shared.  Bless now, we pray, this bread which we offer to you.  May it be for us the body of Christ, that we might be remade as his body in the world, readied for faithful service.
  2. Send down the power of your Holy Spirit, O God, upon us gathered here, and upon these gifts.  As the cup of salvation is offered to us once again by the resurrected Christ, may we who drink of it be refreshed and renewed in his Spirit, so that all of our lives may glorify you in the Church and in the world forever.

 

OR

Giver of life, receive this offering of our praise as we break this bread and bless this cup. Send your Spirit forth to dwell within them and so within us as we receive them. Open us to the wonder of new life in your presence, as we renew our faith at this your Table. We give you thanks and praise in the name and spirit of Jesus the Christ.  

 

OR

Blessed are you, Lord our God; you bring forth bread from the earth, and wine in its season. 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, going about his work in our time and place; that in all things all glory might be given to you, Almighty God, now and forever.

 

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

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

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Calendar for 2019

Sun 2 Dec 2018. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2018-19. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2018 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2018 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2018.

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.

 

Read Full Post »

Easter C  

 

Apr. 21

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 65:17-25
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
I Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12

 

Additional Articles and Services:

Hymns for Early Easter

 

Gospel Acclamations for Disciples Congregations

 

Easter Vigil:  For notes on a prior Easter Vigil posting, see https://lifeinliturgy.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/easter-b-vigil-service/

 

Service of Baptismal Renewal, see   https://lifeinliturgy.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/baptism-of-christ-c-jan-13/

 

Service of Easter Evening

Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 114; 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8; Luke 24:13-49

Hymns:  Any of the Easter hymns noted below are appropriate; especially for evening 227 (In the Garden), 231 (Sing of One Who Walks Beside Us), and 636 (Abide with me)

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

see 215-234; suggested:

Hymn of Praise:   215-226, 228

Hymn of Prayer:    227

Hymn of Invitation:   229, 233

Communion Hymn:   233, 422, 404

 

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

 

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

On 1 Corinthians 15:19-26

 

In fact, we resonate with truth:

that Christ is risen now.

This day we celebrate the fact:

the first fruits rise to life

 

Exalt in freedom, grace and love

the factory divine.

As ever in Adam all die,

in Christ we’re made alive!

 

The first fruits of the dead arise

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

And, when he comes, those who belong,

as Christ’s own, rise to joy.

 

The enemies are all subdued

as one by one they kneel.

They come in homage to the Lord:

the last to fall is death.

 

No longer pitied, we rejoice

as heaven echoes long

resounding in excelling joy

that Christ is risen now.

 

 

CM            Suggested tune: Metzler’s Redhead No. 56

 

Hymn for Easter  from Rev. David T. Chafin (©2013 David T. Chafin; All rights reserved) DOWNLOAD:  where is your sting

 

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent).  A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin.  Where practical, these may be offered here as well.  You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Psalm 118, see p. 758.

 

Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor.  If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention.  No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

 

Call to Worship   

Grace and peace to you from Jesus Christ our Lord.  My brothers and sisters in Christ:  On this most holy morning in which Jesus Christ passed over from death to life, we gather as the church to pray and watch for the dawning of his triumph and resurrection.  We join with the whole company of God’s people in heaven and on earth in recalling and celebrating his victory over death, and our deliverance from the bondage of sin and darkness to everlasting light.  Hear the Word of God of God:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…In him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” 

 

OR

Come, let us praise the Lord, let us worship our risen Savior, for death has given away to life, despair has been overwhelmed by hope, grief has been replaced by joy, and darkness has been dispelled by light!

 

OR

Jesus has passed through the door of death and opened the way to the blessing of life. As on the third day, his presence can penetrate the barrier of our fears and give us peace, that we may proclaim the beauty of forgiveness and the strength that community supplies. Friends, Christ is risen and he is here. Let us worship God, who blesses us with life.

 

OR

L: Alleluia. Christ is Risen.

P:  The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

L: May his grace and peace be with you.

P:  May he fill our hearts with joy.  Alleluia!

            (The Paschal Candle is lit,)

L: Christ our Light!

P:  Thanks be to God.  Alleluia!

 

OR

 

L: Alleluia. Christ is Risen.

P:  The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

L: God’s desire for life to abound in us has conquered death.

P: We are now raised with Christ to life eternal. Alleluia!

 

OR

L: Christ is risen.

P: Christ is risen, indeed.

L: God is alive..

P: New birth is given.

L: Hope is alive…

P: A new age is dawning.

L: Joy is alive…

P: Redemption is here.

L: Love is alive

P: Death cannot harm us.

L: We are alive…

P: New life is within us.

L: The church is alive…

P: God’s spirit is within us.

        God of life, we worship you.

        God of creation, we praise you.

        God of revelation, we learn from you.

        God of resurrection, we come to celebrate you.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

O Life-giving God, your love for your children knows no boundaries. In Jesus Christ your Son, you have gone the full distance, even into the shadows of death, to find us, redeem us, and bring us back to life. Fill our hearts with joyous praise, even as we still may struggle to see life in the midst of its own shadows, so that as we proclaim your greatest good news this day we may bring glory to you and new hope to your world, for we pray in his name (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

God of love and glory, this week has been one of mixed emotions, of our struggle to understand. We have celebrated with palm branches, sat at table with the disciples, felt the pain of Christ’s betrayal and the agony of his death upon the cross. And on this third day, we witness your power in the Resurrection, the victory over death. Help us to truly experience your presence as we celebrate this day and every day the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Be with us now as we worship and offer our prayers together through Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Gracious God, Power of Life, we praise you that you have not abandoned us to the living death of sin and despair, but that with Jesus Christ, you have lifted us up from the grave. Grant that we might ourselves know the power of the resurrection, now and in the world to come; for it is in the name of the risen Christ that we pray. Bread for the Journey

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Almighty and ever-living God, your people in all the earth adore you in this and every hour. We look to you especially in this day which by the resurrection of your Son is made holy. And for the blessings of this life, we thank you and celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, which is to be our own resurrection.

Given such great blessings, we cannot help but be awakened to the cries of those who have no earthly hope. We hear the call of the hungry, the destitute, the very old and very young who do not see the light of day. Give us the fortitude, O God, to face the call and respond with haste to feed and clothe and love all of your people, and to gather them as lambs into the hope which we have found in the light of your Christ.

 

We hear the cry of the soul-sick with grief and anger and fear. We see the need of our neighbors and are shamefully inattentive to their suffering. Brace us with courage, O God, where their courage is broken, and enable us to lift them up when they cannot carry themselves through the thorny paths of their lives, and to help them find the path of salvation, healing and peace.

 

We hear the groan of bondage in our world and see the stripes of the taskmaster on the backs of humanity. Great God of the living, give us power to break the bonds of evil which perplex and destroy. Help us to free our fellows with the liberating word of truth that Christ has broken the bonds of death, hell and the grave.

So many who are near to us are ill and suffering. Be by the side of these dear ones in this hour and the hours that lay ahead. Heal those lives for whom the world can hold no cure. Bind up the wounds which find no salve. Give peace to the broken ones who face death and separation.

 

Plough up the hardness of your church, O Lord, when we become infertile and unproductive. Give us grace to know that the hardships we must face are to prepare us to receive new life and a new age of fruitfulness for your kingdom. As we go through our daily walks of life, help us all to be a benediction upon the lives of our families, our co-workers and each of those lives whom we touch even briefly. Give us grace to bring our every need and those of our neighbors to the altar of your love and grace in the name of Jesus, your Christ.

 

OR

Righteous and ever living God, on this day your Son shattered the power of death, bringing life and immortality to light. On this day of all days in human history, help us to not to miss the power of its significance. Give us Easter’s holy power to adequately praise you and to rejoice in the new life that is ours. Intensify our joy in the resurrection that turned night into light and mourning into laughter. May our lives that often seem so dull and drab be made new, even as we go about our daily tasks. Open our eyes to the new possibilities of a world made fresh with praise. Give us the power of the resurrection, which broke the reign of death, to shatter every ancient tyranny that entombs your children: the intrigues of war, the subtlety of vested interests, racist pride, and ambitious self-seeking; and to break the enslaving shackles of debilitating doubts, secret lusts, persistent sins, wavering self-respect, diminishing integrity, and ever-deepening bitterness.

 

Give us, we pray, the victory of Easter that turned a cross into a resurrection, and made the symbol of shame into the sign of victory, to gain triumph from our worst defeats, to turn darkness to day, to make temptations into redemptive opportunities, to transform tragedy into faith, freshly made graves into hope, and all bitterness to love.

 

Give us the peace of the resurrection that calmed the terrorized hearts of your children, and as we wait upon you, speak calm to our souls. Because Christ lives, we, too, shall live, and so we rejoice. Until the day dawns, grant us brave hearts and constant spirits, as we lift our hearts to you in praise and thanksgiving, through Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Lord of life, hear us as we lift to you our hopes and prayers for the church and the world. Let your grace empower us as people of faith to better serve you in the common places of our lives, and in the people we meet on our faith journeys.  Open our eyes to the living Christ as we pray for and work with the poor, the broken-hearted, the sick and the bereaved.  Hear our prayers for those who are close to our hearts.  In your resurrecting power, lift them up and give them renewed strength and hope; and give to us all new faith by which to live our days with you.  Then will our lives be living witness to your resurrection, made whole by your love and care.  In Christ’s Spirit we pray.

 

OR

Holy God, we come before you in prayer, lifting to you the joys and concerns, the hopes and dreams of our lives.  May we also be open to your voice in our lives that we may see with new eyes, and hear with new ears, the direction you will have us to go.

 

Bless, we pray, this gathering of your people that we may grow and flourish in your love and grace for the purpose to which you have called us.

 

Hear our prayers for those whose lives have touched us—those who are in pain, those who are ill, those who grieve.  May we touch their lives not only through our prayers, but through our lives and actions as well.

 

Guide us, bless us, uplift us, and hold us, for we are your children called to our purpose in your world.  Hear our prayers, those spoken and those hidden in our hearts, we pray in the name of Christ our Lord.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Lord of all life and power,

who through the mighty resurrection of your Son

overcame the old order of sin and death

to make all things new in him:

grant that we, being dead to sin

and alive to you in Jesus Christ,

may reign with him in glory;

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit

be praise and honour, glory and might,

now and in all eternity.

 

Post Communion

 

God of Life,

who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son

to the death of the cross,

and by his glorious resurrection

have delivered us from the power of our enemy:

grant us so to die daily to sin,

that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

God of glory,

by the raising of your Son

you have broken the chains of death and hell:

fill your Church with faith and hope;

for a new day has dawned

and the way to life stands open

in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

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

O God, who for our redemption gave your only begotten

Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection

delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die

daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of

his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,

now and for ever.  Amen.

 

or this

 

O God, who made this most holy night to shine with the

glory of the Lord’s resurrection: Stir up in your Church that

Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that we,

being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in

sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives

and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,

now and for ever. Amen.

 

or this

 

Almighty God, who through your only begotten Son Jesus

Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of

everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the

day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death

of sin by your life giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our

Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one

God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

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

John 20:1-18

 

As utter wonder buoys us, O God,

we find expectations set aside

to encounter us in awe.

Discovering the full direction of resurrection,

seeing the Lord, remodels all we hope

and yearn to be.

Become in us the witness to the Rising Son.

 

A Collect of the Day (created or adapted by the editor)

God of all ages and of all people, the shadows and gloom of Good Friday have been dispersed by the light and color of Easter Sunday.  We rejoice in your power that turns our sorrow into joy, our despair into hope, our defeat into victory, and evil into goodness.  Help us on this day, O God, to burst out of the tombs that have entrapped us: tombs of selfishness and sinfulness, greed and gluttony, scandal and corruption, pride and prejudice.  Let now a new life of divine grace and human love burst forth from each of us, through the power of Jesus Christ, the Risen One.

 

Service of Table  

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

 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

God is at work in the world, renewing, remaking, resurrecting, bringing hope through the faith, the gifts, and the work of the church. We trust in God, and together we work for peace and justice through God’s Spirit as we offer our tithes and gifts. Let us rejoice in our God-given opportunity to share in God’s work.

 

Offertory Prayer

We know, O God, that the good news of the resurrection is not to be kept a secret, hidden away as the private promise to a few. Rather, it is to be universal communication of hope and joy to all people; and to that worldwide proclamation we dedicate our gifts today.

 

Invitation to the Table

Beloved in Christ, the gospel tells us that on the first day of the week, Jesus Christ was raised from death, appeared to Mary Magdalene, on that same day sat at the table with two disciples and was made known to them in the breaking of bread. This is the joyful feast of the people of God. Men and women, youth and children, come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and gather about Christ’s table. This table is for all who wish to know the presence of Christ and to share in the community of God’s people. (UCC, adapted)

 

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)

 

from William Flewelling:

When we were barely looking, Lord God, you came upon us.

In the mystery of our despair, you raised the touch of love.

In the anguish of our uncertainty you lifted the grace of Christ.

In the hour of our dejection you raised for us the cup of thanksgiving.

In the torment of our fright you held us in the risen arms of Christ.

 

Holy God, we rejoice in your arising.  As your raised our Lord Jesus, raise us in hope to love and to share.

As the broken bread, our Manna, the body of Christ is given to feed our souls, raise us in life to join our hearts in tenderness and care.  As the fresh wine cup, the blood of Christ, our new covenant, refreshes our souls, raise us with Jesus to share together the feast of your kingdom.

 

Anoint us in your Spirit that we might fully live, your people and witnesses of resurrection; in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Holy God, creator of heaven and earth, we joyfully thank you and praise your name. You formed the universe in your wisdom, and created all things by your power. You set us in families on the earth to live with you in faith. We praise you for good gifts of bread and wine, and for the table you spread in the world as a sign of your love for all people. We praise you, Lord, for sending your only Son Jesus to live among us, full of grace and truth. He made you known to all who receive him.

 

Sharing our joy and sorrow, he healed the sick, befriended sinners, and showed us the way to everlasting life. Even having taken up his cross and dying that we might live, he overcame death and is risen in power. He is with us still, victorious over every power that can hurt or divide us.

 

And so, in remembrance of all your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we take this bread and cup and give you thanks and praise. Pour out your Spirit upon us, that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us. Fill us with eternal life, that with joy we may be his faithful people until we feast with him in glory.

 

 

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

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

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University. 

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018.  Calendar for 2019

Sun 2 Dec 2018. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2018-19. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2018 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2018 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2018.

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

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