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Archive for the ‘Prayer: Liturgical’ Category

With the coming of Advent on Dec. 3, the Church celebrates a new year, as we shift from year A to year B in the lectionary.  Advent B postings will follow. 

The beginning of the season (and for some churches, the close of the previous one, on Nov. 26) affords the opportunity to “dress the church” for Advent.  Offered below are two services centered around “Hanging of the Greens,” one of which is gratefully borrowed, with reference, and the other accumulated from many places through the years. 

There also follows a Chrismon service, which may be adapted and added to any period during the season if Chrismons are used in worship.  Please advise us of what your congregation does to welcome the season, and keep us advised of references you may add to the adapted materials below.  –David Chafin, ed.

See also:

Advent Hymn by David T. Chafin, 2013

Advent Candle Lighting Rituals

 

Hanging of the Greens (from Advent 1C)

Choral Introit – “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming

Lighting of the Altar Candles

The significance of the candles

Organ Prelude

Call to Worship

L:  As quietly as the winter steals upon us, the season of hope approaches.

P:  We wait for our redeemer, for god’s promise to be fulfilled.

L:  The day is coming quickly. The God of mercy draws near.

P:  Therefore, we wait with hope, attentive to all the signs of his coming.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Hymn of Praise:  Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates

Invocation and Lord’s Prayer

 

THE ADVENT WREATH

The First Lesson:  Jeremiah 33:14-16

The significance of the Advent Wreath

The Lighting of the Candle of Hope

The Litany of Hope

L: Christians around the world begin this day to await the advent of Christ.  We join a joyous and hopeful throng in lighting the Advent candles, symbols of our faith and signs of God’s love.

P:  We gather as a people of hope.

L: Christian people around the world stand together in breathless anticipation of a miracle that has been

repeated for hundreds of years, yet that astounds us anew each year.

P:  Our hope springs anew, from an ancient vision.

L:  As we light the first Advent candle, let it stand for hope            based not on wishful thinking, but on deep conviction.  We believe, we have seen, we have received the Prom  ise and the Great Gift, and therefore, in the midst of darkness and imperfection, we hope.

P:  We gather expectantly, joyfully, and with deep commitment, for we have heard that a special child is to come, that god is to be among us, and that soon we will see a new creation on earth.  We are a people of hope.

The Hymn of Hope:  One Candle is Lit, verse 1

 

Children’s Lesson:  The Holly and the Ivy

Solo:  The Holly and the Ivy

 

Congregation at Prayer

meditation:  Creator of the Stars of Night verse 1

response:  Creator of the Stars of Night, verse 2

 

The Second Lesson:  Isaiah 61: 1-4, 10-11

 

Sermon:  “Getting ‘Decked Out’ For Christmas

 

Hymn of Discipleship:  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

 

Communion:  Come, O Long Expected Jesus

 

Offering

 

Dismissal  When God is a Child,  verse 1

 

Full Text for Service Above

Significance of the Altar Candles (as the candles are being lit)

The lighting of candles has been a part of religious worship for centuries.  The Hebrews burned candles for eight days as a part of their Feast of Lights.  Since Jesus has been referred to as “the light of the world” in the New Testament, the lighting of candles has become an important part of our Christian worship.  Some early Christian leaders stated that the body of the candle represented the body of Christ, while the wick symbolized his soul, and the flame portrayed his divine nature. When Joseph and Mary presented Jesus in the temple, Simeon referred to the Christ child as a “light to lighten the Gentiles.”  As we light these candles upon the altar we symbolize his coming in the world of darkness, sin and evil, war and strife, stress and turmoil, suffering and death.  He came to bring hope and help to those who were held captive by oppression, and to guide them to personal peace and joy through the illumination of the love of God.

Invocation

O God, in the weeks to come, our attention to this blessed and holy event, the birth of your Son, will be continually distracted.  help us to distinguish between the secular and the sacred, and to remember the true meaning of our joy and excitement.  Help us to refocus our minds and hearts on your loving and most precious gift to us, your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in whose name we pray as he taught us, saying, Our Father….

Advent Lighting:

Advent is a time of expectation, and this is symbolized not only by the four-week period of preparation, but also by the lighting of an Advent candle on each Sunday of the season.  The flame of each new candle reminds the worshiper that something is happening, but something more is still to come. The Advent season will not be complete until all four candles are lighted, with the central Christ candle also burning brightly on Christmas Eve.

The tradition of the Advent wreath is traced back to an old Scandinavian custom that celebrated the coming of light after a season of darkness.  In that day candles were placed on the edge of a horizontal wheel.  As the wheel was spun around, the lighted candles would blend into a continuous circle of light.  Today we use a circle of evergreen to remind us of the continuous power of God, which knows no beginning nor ending.

There is also symbolism in the colors of the candles in the Advent wreath.  The three purple, or white, candles symbolize the coming of Christ from the royal line of David.  He is coming as the King of Kings as well as the Prince of Peace.  the pink candle is lighted on the third sunday of the Advent season.  This candle symbolizes joy; its use goes back to the Latin church which asked the worshipers to fast during this period of time.

A progression is noted in the lighting of the candles of the Advent wreath.  The first symbolizes expectation and hope.  The second reminds us that we are involved in a season of preparation for peace in the coming of Christ.  The third candle is proclamation, as we proclaim that Christ brought joy to the world when he appeared.  The revelation of God’s love for all humankind is portrayed by the lighting of the fourth candle.  The culmination of the season comes on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day, as the Christ candle is lighted.

Let us join now in this season of expectation and hope as we light our first candle, the Hope Candle, and join in our Litany of Hope.

 

Chrismon Service

Today we celebrate with joy and Thanksgiving all that God has given to us… the love of family and friends; the beauty of creation and good food to sustain us.  And we also come on this last Sunday before Advent celebrating with thankful hearts the Christ ‑‑ the King of all that was and is and will be.

So it is appropriate in our celebration this morning to reflect with hearts filled with hope and faith on the symbols that represent the Christ which will stand before us throughout this joyous season.  Hear these words from the 22nd chapter of Revelation:

Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  There shall no more be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him; they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads.  And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.

The tree as a religious symbol takes us back to the very beginning of history.  The Tree of Life enjoyed great popularity as a symbol for many centuries.  There was one in the Garden of Eden along with the Tree of Knowledge which caused the fall of Adam and Eve.  In the Middle Ages, the Cross was regarded as the Tree of Life.  We use evergreens at Christmas because of their representation of eternity ‑‑ always green even through the coldest winter months.  The lights which we hang are constant reminders of the hope that is ours in Christ, the Light of the World.   (light tree)

Anthem:  O Christmas Tree

Chrismons are monograms or symbols telling about the life, work and meaning of the life of Christ.  There were used by early Christians to show who they were and where they stood.  They often adorned tombs, jewelry, utensils, doors and other places.  In modern times, the symbols have been adopted and adapted by churches for the decorating of trees during Advent and Christmas to help us remember.   The Chrismons are traditionally white, symbolizing our Lord’s purity and gold , symbolizing his majesty.

Matthew 16: 13‑16:

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Phillippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?  And they said, Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  He said to them “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Christ is the title for the Messiah whom God sent to redeem his people.  The Greek monogram of the first letters of Christ ‑‑ Chi and Rho ‑‑ was one of the most widely used early Christian symbols.  Those who recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior still use the Greek Chi, the X to identify themselves as his followers.

John 20: 30‑31:

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

As early as the second century, Christians were using the fish as a symbol for the Christ.  Early Christians used the fish widely as an easily made and recognized secret sign.  During the times of the persecution of the church, Christians could find each other by using this simple password.   To the outsider the fish was a mere decoration; to the Christian, it was an affirmation of faith in the Christ.  The Greek word for fish ‑‑ ichthus, is an anagram on the first letters of the Greek words: Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.

An ancient symbol appropriate to the themes of Advent may be found in the two Greek letters, Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end of the Greek alphabet.  Advent prepares us for the beginning and the end of the Christian epoch.  In Revelation 22 we read:                                                     Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”      This verse makes the word a title of Christ and a fitting symbol to represent his first and second comings.

Christ is the Word.  “He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:2‑3).  The orb, the round ball, represents the world, and Christ’s activity in creation and in the world around us.

These four symbols, the chi rho, the fish, the alpha and omega, and the orb, remind us of the one who is the Christ, who comes into the world in hope.

Let us sing together verse 2 of Love Divine all Loves Excelling.

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful  witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.” Rev. 1: 5a.   One of the most common symbols of the trinity is three entwined circles representing God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  While there is no direct reference to the trinity in Scripture, there are many references to the one who is and was and is to come.

The concept of wisdom personified is found in Proverbs 8 and this made possible the application to Christ, the wisdom  from on high through whom all things were made.  A burning lamp is a traditional symbol for wisdom and for the Christ hearkening back to Psalm 119:  Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Although the Gospels do not say that the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ while he was in the water, the scene is frequently pictured that way.  The Gospels do tell us that when Jesus had been baptized he went up out of the water, the heavens opened, and then he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove.  The descending dove then represents most frequently the baptism of our Lord.  Other doves are also seen frequently either resting or in flight and quite often represent the dove of peace, or the dove which reminds us of God’s covenant with the people of the earth that was made with Noah.  All are symbols of hope and the love of God.

The eight‑point star was a pre‑Christian figure that was adopted by Christians as a “concealed Chrismon during the Roman persecutions.  The crossing lines reveal Chi’s Rhos, and crosses to the initiate.  Then this design is used, one remembers that it was not always easy to be a Christian.  In today’s usage, the eight ‑pointed star generally refers to regeneration through Baptism in Christ.

Symbols of baptism, wisdom and the trinity ‑‑ may they all serve to remind us of the love of Christ which comes to each and every one of us.

Let us sing together vs. 3 of Love Divine all Loves Excelling.

The symbol of the cup is certainly no stranger to us.  Out denomination adopted the chalice as its symbol, because of the centrality of communion in the our worship services and in our lives.  But the cup also is a reminder of the cup of suffering, remembering Jesus’ words in the Garden of Gethsemane:  My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

Jesus’ suffering is also deeply symbolized for all of us in the cross ‑‑  So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.  There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.

There are many forms and representations of the cross.  This one, the Greek cross that we hang on our tree this morning, has all arms of equal length.

One of the earliest symbols for the church was a ship:  indeed many churches were built to represent ships, at least one that is turned upside down.  the ceiling then becomes the hull of the ship; the pews the seats for those who rowed the great ships, the pulpit (which in early days was often raised) the wheelhouse or captains areas to oversee the rest.  It takes all persons on the ship to make it go and it takes God’s grace and wisdom as well.  Together we can sail into the world and serve the one who is the Christ.

Our last symbol is the cross over an orb ‑‑ the cross over the world, representing Christ over the world.  Jesus said, “God into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”

Even at Advent we are called to do the same, through our Advent decorations we are continually reminded of the events in the life of Christ, of Christ’s victory over death, and of Christ’s call to each and every one of us today and every day.

If you have not accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, there is no time like the present;  or if you are seeking a church home, a community of faith to go through life with you, we invite you to come forward at this time, confessing Christ and uniting yourself with this part of Christ’s church, that we may grow and learn and live together in hope and in faith.

Hanging of the Greens: First Sunday of Advent

adaptation by Jeanyne Slettom

The Hanging of the Greens is a service for the first Sunday in Advent. It is based on the English tradtion of decorating the home with wreaths, garlands, a Christmas tree, and evergreens for Advent and Christmas. In a church setting, it readies the sanctuary (and church members) for the season. This service assumes a Protestant setting. It is adapted from an unknown source to reflect a process-relational theology.  Suggested hymns may be replaced by your favorites or appropriate anthems from a choir.

Prelude

Hymn  “Once in Royal David’s City”
Call to Worship – (Responsive)
How shall we prepare this house for the birth of Jesus?
            With branches of cedar, the tree of excellence and strength.
How shall we prepare this house for the eternal Christ?
            With garlands of pine and fir, whose leaves are ever living, ever green.
How shall we prepare this house for the prophet of Galilee?
            With wreaths of holly and ivy, telling of his passion, death and resurrection.
How shall we prepare our hearts for this revelation of God?
            By hearing again the words of the prophets and the promises of God.
For in the story of Jesus we see revealed the transforming power of God
We are reminded anew of God’s vision
of wholeness, justice, and peace for all of creation.
            Thanks be to God.

Passing of the Peace

Choir Anthem

Pastor’s Time with Children
The legend of the poinsettia comes from Mexico. It tells of a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo. They were very poor but always looked forward to the Christmas festival. Each year a large manger scene was set up in the village church, and the days before Christmas were filled with parades and parties. The two children loved Christmas but were always saddened because they had no money to buy presents. They especially wished that they could give something to the church for the Baby Jesus. But they had nothing.
One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church to attend the service. On their way they picked some weeds growing along the roadside and decided to take them as their gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene. Of course other children teased them when they arrived with their gift, but they said nothing for they knew they had given what they could. Maria and Pablo began placing the green plants around the manger and miraculously, the green top leaves turned into bright red petals, and soon the manger was surrounded by beautiful star-like flowers and so we see them today. [Note:These paragraphs are posted on several internet sites.]

Organ solo/choir anthem/vocal solo “Los peces en el río” [Children arrange plants.]

The meaning of the service

Almost 2,000 years ago, the story goes, a clutch of sleepy shepherds were watching over their sheep on a star-brightened hillside in Palestine. It was a still, uneventful night. Suddenly the darkness was filled with a strange light. The stillness was broken by angel voices singing “Glory to God in the Highest, on earth peace, goodwill to all.” So begins Christmas, the most beautiful and meaningful celebration of the Christian calendar.

Christmas actually begins with Advent, the season through with we are moving. Both the seasons of Advent―the season of “going toward” the birth of Christ―and Christmas have a long history. These seasons and their customs have developed through many centuries and many countries. Old customs and observances are refined, renewed, replaced; new ones are added. Some of our customs have pagan origins but have been “converted” by redefining their meanings. What is significant for us is not what they may once have meant but rather what they mean for us today.

This morning our church building will begin to wear its Christmas apparel. For the first time our Christmas trees stand in the sanctuary. This day for the first time its lights will shine for us. As we make ready for the birth of the child by preparing this sanctuary, we make ready ourselves and the sanctuary of our own hearts. We are mindful that, although it is not Christmas yet, it will be here soon, very soon.

As we decorate the church, not only will we explain the history of the symbols of these special seasons, but we will rededicate these symbols―and ourselves―to the service of God. Let us prepare by listening an ancient hymn, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.”

Solo:   “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” [Verses 1,3, &4]

Significance of the colors [paraments]

The cycle around which our worship revolves is the church year. Today, the first Sunday in Advent, marks the beginning of a new church year. Paraments, which cover our communion table, pulpit, and lectern, are something like drapes and curtains in a home. With the changing colors of the church year, they attract attention, add variety, and point to the significance of the season or festival being celebrated. The traditional color for Advent is purple, a color that signifies the sacred, and spiritual fulfillment. Some traditions use blue, which represents anticipation and promise. As we prepare our communion table, pulpit, and lectern with the paraments, let us sing verses 1-3 of “We Hail You God’s Anointed.”

Hymn  “We Hail You God’s Anointed”  [Place paraments on the communion table, pulpit, and lectern.]       

God Will Send a Light to the Nations [Advent wreath & candles]

Scripture Reading  Isaiah 60:2-3     Reader:______________

The lighting of candles has been a part of religious worship for centuries. The Hebrews burned candles for eight days as part of their Feast of Lights. Light has been used by many religious groups to symbolize truth, while the darkness of night has been the universal symbol for evil. Since Jesus was called “the light of the world” in the New Testament, the lighting of candles has become an important part of our Christian worship. Some early Christian leaders stated that the wax of altar candles represented the body of Christ, while the wick symbolized his soul, and the flame portrayed his divine nature. Candles made from pure beeswax were used to signify Mary, since this wax comes from virgin bees. This has resulted in the practice of some churches to burn only beeswax candles upon the altar or communion table. When Joseph and Mary presented Jesus in the temple, Simeon referred to the Christ child as “a light to lighten the Gentiles.” From this statement, church leaders have used candles to symbolize the light of Christ shining throughout a broken world. As we light these candles upon the communion table, we symbolize God, Emmanuel, God with us, whose transforming power heals the world of sin and evil, war and strife, stress and turmoil, suffering and despair. Jesus embodies hope and help for those held captive by oppression. His ministry guides us to personal peace and joy through the illumination of his message of the love of God. As the candles on the communion table are lit, let us sing the first verse of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel[Communion table candles are lit.]

Advent is a time of expectation, and this is symbolized not only by the four-week period of preparation, but also by the lighting of an Advent candle on each Sunday of the season. The four candles provide us with a visual way to count off four Sundays of this season. The flame of each new candle reminds us that something is happening, but something more is still to come. The Advent season is not complete until all four candles are lighted, with the central Christ candle also burning brightly on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The tradition of the Advent wreath is traced back to an old Scandinavian custom that celebrated the coming of light after a season of darkness. In that day, candles were place on the edge of a horizontal wheel. As the wheel was spun around, the lighted candles would blend into a continuous circle of light. Today we use a circle of evergreen to remind us of the continuous power of God, which knows no beginning nor ending.

There is also symbolism in the colors of the candles in the Advent wreath. The three purple candles symbolize the coming of Christ from the royal line of David. The pink candle is lighted on the third Sunday of the Advent season. This candle symbolizes joy; its use goes back to the Latin Church, which asked the worshipers to fast during this period of time.  Will the children come forward and stand with me as we light the first candle.

The Gospel of John speaks of Christ as the true light coming into the world. In commemoration of that coming, we light candles for the four weeks leading to Christmas and reflect on the coming of Christ. It is significant that the church has always used that language—the coming of Christ—because it speaks to a deep truth. Christ is coming. Christ is always coming, always entering a troubled world, a wounded heart. And so we light the first candle, the candle of hope, and dare to express our longing for peace, for healing, and the well-being of all creation.

(One candle is lit.)

Loving God, as we enter this Advent season, we open all the dark places in our lives and memories
to the healing light of Christ. Show us the creative power of hope. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you, that we may walk in the light of Christ.

As the children return to their places let us all sing verse six of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

God will send a righteous king [cedar]

Scripture Reading  Jer. 23: 5 – 6    Reader:______________

In ancient times the cedar tree was revered as the tree of excellence and endurance. It also signified immortality and was used for purification. We place this cedar branch as a sign of Christ and of the kind of power he wielded: not the the power of might, but the power of transformation. As we contemplate his call to justice and peace, we seek to purify our hearts and “renew a right spirit within us.”

[Place cedar branch on the communion table.]

Hymn     “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”   verse 7

The prophet declares a child will be born (evergreens)

Scripture Reading  Isaiah 9:2, 6-7      Reader:______________

Have you ever wondered why we talk about the “hanging of the greens?” Or why an evergreen is called an evergreen? And why Christmas greens are traditionally used to emphasize the nativity? Green represents renewal, new life, freshness, and rebirth. Plants such as pine, fir, holly, ivy, and mistletoe are called evergreens because they do not die; through the seasons of the year, they remain ever-green. Ever-alive. It is no wonder then that we deck our sanctuary and halls with evergreens during this Advent season. Advent is the season of preparation for the ever-coming  Christ, God’s gift to us of renewal and transformation.

Because the needles of the pine and fir trees appear not to die each season, the ancients saw them as signs of things that last forever. Isaiah tells us that there will be no end to the reign of the Messiah. Therefore, we hand this wreath of evergreens shaped in a circle, which in itself has no end, to signify that the kingdom of God, to which Christ so eloquently testified, is also without end, and is realized wherever truth, justice, and peace prevail.

[Hang wreaths.]

Hymn “In the Bleak Midwinter”

The fourth servant song [holly]

Scripture Reading Isaiah  53:1-6    Reader:______________

For Christians, this passage from Isaiah reflects the sufferings of Jesus on the cross and God’s transformation of that event into the promise of life. In ancient times, holly and ivy were considered signs of Christ’s passion. Their prickly leaves suggested the crown of thorns, the red berries the blood of the Savior, and the bitter bark the drink offered to Jesus on the cross.

Hymn  The Holly and the Ivy
[Place holly sprigs on the communion table.]

The mystery of the incarnation [Christmas tree]

Scripture Reading  John 1:1-5, 9-14     Reader:______________

As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, the Light of the World, we light the Christmas tree. During this season of Advent, whenever you see a lighted Christmas tree, let it call to mind the One who brings light to our darkness, healing to our brokenness, and peace to all who receive him.

Hymn  “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”   [Note: You may prefer the words, “O eternal love begotten”]
[Plug in tree lights. Children decorate tree.]

Blessing of the Christmas Tree – Unison

Loving God, we come with joy to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, whose path of justice and inclusivity lights a path for all who follow him. May this tree, arrayed in splendor, remind us of the life-giving cross of Christ, that we may always rejoice in the new life that shines in our hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nativity scene

The original crib in which the Christ Child was laid was a manger in the stable, a sign of his humble birth. The popular Christmas crèche at churches and in homes creates a tableau of Jesus in the stable crib at Bethlehem, depicting scenes described by Luke and Matthew.

St. Francis of Assisi is often credited with the first manger scene about 800 years ago. For a people who could not read it was an effective visual aid in telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have such a scene here. I invite the children to arrange the wise men, shepherds, animals, angels, Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus.

[Organ music.]

[When the children are finished, they assemble to sing.]

Children:    “Away in a Manger”
Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Offering

Doxology
Prayer of Thanksgiving

We dedicate our lives and all that we have to the work of life, of love, of peace. Receive our gifts and lead us in wisdom and courage. Amen.

Commission and Blessing
Take time, in the busyness of this season, for quiet reflection—
For the light of God’s love is discernible everywhere.
            We will let ourselves be surprised by wonder,
            And set aside time to offer quiet thanks.

The good news of Advent is this:
Christ is coming. Christ is always coming.
            We will welcome Christ into our hearts.
            We will let ourselves be guided by his ministry.
            We will go forth from this place in hope.

Hymn    “Come, O Long-Expected Jesus”

Benediction

Benediction Response     “Amen”

Postlude 

Process & Faith is a program of the Center for Process Studies, an affiliated program of the Claremont School of Theology. This site and all content ©2012 Process & Faith, unless otherwise noted.

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Ash Wednesday

 

Feb. 10

 

https://lifeinliturgy.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/ash-wednesday-feb-22/ contains service and other helps for the day from prior entries.

 

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:

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12 Psalm 51:1-17 2 Corinthians 5:20b – 6:10 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

 

Call to Worship

L: The day of the Lord is coming! The day of the Lord is near!

P: The time is fulfilled: The reign of God is at hand!

L: O people, repent! Believe in the gospel!

P: Come, let us turn and follow the Lord!

 

OR

L: Once again, as the season of Lent begins, we are summoned by a gracious and merciful God.

P: We respond to God’s steadfast love, calling us into solemn assembly.

L: Let all the people gather for self‑examination; let all bow in awe before the One Who Creates.

P: We approach God in reverence and wonder, rejoicing in the invitation to holy places.

L: Walk humbly before God in secret disciplines, in prayer and fasting and giving.

P: We seek the One who grants us life, upholding us with a willing spirit.

 

OR

L: Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. Rend your hearts and not your clothing.

P: Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

L: Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?

P: Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

L: Why should it be said among the peoples, “Where is their God?”

P: Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

 

Opening Prayer

Faithful God of life and of all the living, we give you thanks that you have not called us to walk the road to the cross alone. Thank you that you are there with us, and that we have these friends who journey by our sides. Bless our time together in worship, so that we may draw strength from you, be encouraged by your Holy Spirit to go on, and never lose sight of your Son Jesus Christ, our brother and our Lord.

 

OR

Most holy God, your Son came to save sinners; knowing our own humanity and the frailty of life, we come to this season of repentance confessing our unworthiness, asking for new and honest hearts, and the healing power of your forgiveness. Grant this, we pray, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

 

OR

We, your people, come to claim your promise of salvation, O reconciling God. In your wholeness, we find healing. In your power, we gain strength. In your love, we are thrust beyond our own concerns to embrace a hurting world. Blow the trumpet, that this solemn assembly may rejoice, that remembrance can bring renewal, through Christ. Amen

 

OR

Holy God, our lives are open before you. Rescue us from the chaos of sin, through the death of your Son bring us healing, and in his resurrection, make us whole, for we wait upon you.

 

Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Isaiah 58:1-12

 

Cry out, spare not, lift up your voice,

by trumpet call announce

the challenge of our holy God

to these who hold aside.

 

Proclaim afresh the way of God,

of righteousness and grace,

wherein is found our satiety,

delighting to draw near.

 

The fast we take, the fast desired

conflict in attitude.

So draw we nearer to the Lord

to loosen sin’s harsh snare.

 

Let loose the habit wickedness

obliges with a leer;

let free the lost, oppressed and lone,

that God’s grace may be known.

 

Intent upon the wonder sought,

the lively flair, the dare

of constant earnest eagerness

we hear of God: ‘I’m here’.

 

CM       Suggested tune: Martyrdom

 

Note: 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.

 

Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

 

Called boldly to the deeper reaches of your way, O God,

we come explicitly beyond our ken.

For in this closet, secreted in awe,

we know the privacy of your enticing glance.

Become in us, O God,

the undertow of practiced grace

that in completion we may trace

the absolute exhilaration of your call.

 

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 2015. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2015 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2015; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

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

 

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The following service evolved over a number of years of repetition, and draws on numerous sources.  The Tenebrae mentions “Mary’s Soliloquy,” which was created by the editor in seminary days.  Anyone who has a flare for the dramatic and an interest in working “without a net” in the dark is welcome to borrow it by emailing dchafin@wvdisciples.org.  A traditional homily would be difficult at that point, so silence might be its best substitute.  A homily could be offered within the Invitation to the Table.  A full text of the readings follows this outline of the service.

 

                                    Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!

Gathering

Prelude

The Palms:  Mark 11:1-11

Greeting

            L: Praise the Lord, you who are God’s servants!

P:  Praise the name of the Lord.  May God’s name be blessed from now on and forever.

            L: Wherever the sun shines, from dawn until dusk, let God’s name be praised.

P:  Praise the Lord!

Entrance Hymn

Opening Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

The Prophecy:  Mark 14:1-21

            Anthem

Fellowship of the Upper Room

The Upper Room:  Mark 14:22-25

Invitation to the Table

Hymn:  An Upper Room Did our Lord Prepare                                                                                         

Prayers for Bread and Cup

Breaking of the Bread

Communion

All are welcome to receive the gifts of bread and wine from Christ’s table.  You are invited to come to the front of the church to receive a piece of bread, dip it in the cup and eat.  If you are unable to come forward, someone will come to serve you in your seat.

 

The Shadows

The Shadow of Denial:  Mark 14:26-31

Hymn:  When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

The Shadow of Sorrow:  Mark 14:32-42

The Shadow of Betrayal:  Mark 14:43-45

            Anthem

The Shadow of Desertion:  Mark 14:46-52

The Shadow of Trial:  Mark 14:53—15:15

The Shadow of Crucifixion:  Mark 15:16-32

Stripping of the Church

The Shadow of Death:  Mark 15:33-47

Extinguishing of the Paschal Candle

            Silent Reflection

            Mary’s Soliloquy      

Looking Forward: The Return of the Light of Hope

Blessing  

The congregation leaves in silence.

—————————————-

 

Full Text:

(The word “CANDLE” below indicates the extinguishing of candles.  Assuming that altar candles are present on the Table, these are not to be included in the extinguished candles.  Those candles may be extinguished at the end of Communion, or – better – at the time of the Stripping. As each candle is extinguished, if the room allows for it, the room lighting should be lowered.  It is wise to practice this effect the day ahead at the same time the service will be offered, to determine how movement and reading will be affected.  If necessary, a very small portable light might be at hand to conclude the Tenebrae readings.)

 

The Palms:  Mark 11:1-11

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.  If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'”

They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”  They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.

Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”  Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at   everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Greeting

Entrance Hymn

Opening Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

            Eternal God of mercy, we gather in awesome wonder to behold your loving gift of Jesus Christ, who, coming to bring the world to wholeness, was broken by it.  Yet by his death we live and know your unbreakable love.  As we gather to remember his gift of fellowship at table, and to recall our frail failings of devotion, pierce our hearts with a conviction of our own betrayals, reassure us of your abiding presence, and transform us by the Spirit of Christ, who teaches us to pray …Our Father,   (SIT)

The Prophecy:  Mark 14:1-21

It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”

While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head.

But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her.  But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me.  She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial.  Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.  When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an  opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is  sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?”  So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’   He will show you a large room upstairs,  furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.  When it was evening, he came with the twelve.   And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”  They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?”

He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me.  For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”

Anthem

 

THE UPPER ROOM

The Upper Room:  Mark 14:22-25

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”   Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.  He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.   Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Invitation to the Table

            This night we return to an upper room when Jesus gathered with his disciples to celebrate the passover and to share a meal of  remembrance.  Let us join with those first disciples and the church of all times and places to know Christ anew in the breaking of the bread.

Hymn

Prayers for Bread and Cup

   (NOTE: In Disciples congregations, because the Words of Institution have been previously read, they need not be repeated here, and following the prayers, the bread is broken in silence)

Breaking of the Bread

Communion

 (NOTE: Following Communion, the remaining Bread and Cup should be removed or covered; alternately, they may be removed during the Stripping, below.)

 

THE SHADOWS

The Shadow of Denial:  Mark 14:26-31

When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.   And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.”  Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.”  But he said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same.

  CANDLE

Hymn:  When I Survey the Wondrous Cross                              

The Shadow of Sorrow:  Mark 14:32-42

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”  He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and    agitated.  And said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.”  And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.  He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are  possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.”

He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour?  Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.  And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him.

He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.   Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

   CANDLE

The Shadow of Betrayal:  Mark 14:43-45

Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.

Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.”  So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him.

   CANDLE

            Anthem:  

The Shadow of Desertion:  Mark 14:46-52

Then they laid hands on him and arrested him.   But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit?  Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be  fulfilled.”  All of them deserted him and fled.  A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

   CANDLE

The Shadow of Trial:  Mark 14:53—15:15

They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled.    Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire.

Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none.  For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree.   Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying,  “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'” But even on this point their testimony did not agree.

Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?”   But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.'”  Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses?  You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death.  Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” The guards also took him over and beat him.

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by.  When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed.

And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.”  But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.”  But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.”  At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.  Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.”  Then the chief priests accused him of many things.

Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.”  But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked.  Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the  rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.   So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom.   Then he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”  For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over.

But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.   Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?”  They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

Pilate asked them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!”  So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

            CANDLE

The Shadow of Crucifixion:  Mark 15:16-32

Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort.   And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.  And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.

After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).  And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.  And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.  It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.

The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”  And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”

In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.    Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

CANDLE

Stripping of the Church

              (This time of silence, even if the church is not quite dark, can be very effective as the minister and perhaps one assistant remove any ornamentation, paraments, flowers that are in the room.  It should not be hurried.  If the cross has not been veiled prior to this time, the minister should cover it prior to continuing.)

The Shadow of Death:  Mark 15:33-47

When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the   afternoon.   At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you       forsaken me?”  When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.”  And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”

Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.      

SILENCE  

And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.   Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.  These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time.  When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.

Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.   Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

                        Paschal Candle

            Silent Reflection  (this should be at least 1 minute long)

            (“Mary’s Soliloquy”) 

Looking Forward: The Return of the Light of Hope  (here, a safe amount of light to facilitate exit of the congregation should be raised)

Blessing  

Now may the God of peace who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do God’s will, working in you that which is pleasing in God’s sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

(No music.  Minister and other leaders leave in silence.  Congregation follows at their own pace.)

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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.

 

Easter Eve (Holy Saturday)

Service of Prayers (held before sundown)

 For Easter Vigil (service held after sundown on Holy Saturday), see “Easter Vigil” posting.

 

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:

Job 14:1-14 or Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24
Episcopal reading: Job 14:1-14

Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16
Episcopal reading: Psalm 130 or Psalm 31:1-5

1 Peter 4:1-8

Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42

It is appropriate to not use any music during this day. 

 

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).  See p. 738.

RESOURCES from COMMON WORSHIP

Collect

Grant, Lord,
that we who are baptized into the death
of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
may continually put to death our evil desires
and be buried with him;
and that through the grave and gate of death
we may pass to our joyful resurrection;
through his merits,
who died and was buried and rose again for us,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alternative Collect

In the depths of our isolation
we cry to you, Lord God:
give light in our darkness
and bring us out of the prison of our despair;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2011.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2011 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2011; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.  Version 2012-1.2 30 October 2011.  http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails, archived here, for each Sunday’s service.

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. 

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw(Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

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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.

 

Good Friday

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 52:13 – 53:12

Psalm 22
Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25

Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Roman Catholic reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
United Methodist reading: Hebrews 10:16-25

John 18:1 – 19:42

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

If there is any procession of the ministers, it should be done in silence. This service may be offered without any musical offerings.  It should, in any case, end in silence.

Hymns:  195, 196 (vs. 1-3), 197, 198, 202, 203,

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).  see page 732

In addition to this Psalm, which should always be used on Good Friday, see also “The Wondrous Cross: a Litany” – Chalice Hymnal #209, or “Litany of the Passion” on #201 which may supplement the readings or stand in place of the Homily.

Prayer of Approach (created or adapted by the editor)

L: The Lord be with you.

P:  And also with you.

L: Let us pray.  Eternal God of mercy, we gather in awesome wonder to behold your loving gift of Jesus Christ, who, coming to bring the world to wholeness, was broken by it.  Yet by his death we live and know your unbreakable love.  As we gather to remember Christ’s gift of fellowship at table, and to recall our frail failings of devotion, pierce our hearts with a conviction of our own betrayals, reassure us of your abiding presence and transform us by the Spirit of Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray (even as he taught his disciples, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

Unison Prayer of Confession (created or adapted by the editor)

From Psalm 51

Have mercy upon us, O God, according to thy loving kindness; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out our transgressions.  Wash us thoroughly from our iniquities and cleanse us from our sins, for we acknowledge our transgressions, and our sin is ever before us.  Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew a right spirit within us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect of the Day (adapted by the editor)

Lord Jesus Christ, holy and spotless Lamb of God, who has taken upon yourself our sins to bear them bodily on the cross, we bless your name for the burdens you have carried, for the tears you have wept, for the pains you have suffered, and for your eternal victory over darkness, sin, and death.  With all the redeemed in heaven and on earth, we ascribe all power and wisdom, honor and glory and blessing to you, forever and ever.

 

Service of Table (It is most appropriate to offer this service without a celebration of Eucharist)

 

RESOURCES from COMMON WORSHIP

Collect

Almighty Father,
look with mercy on this your family
for which our Lord Jesus Christ was content to be betrayed
and given up into the hands of sinners
and to suffer death upon the cross;
who is alive and glorified with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Alternative Collect

Eternal God,
in the cross of Jesus
we see the cost of our sin
and the depth of your love:
in humble hope and fear
may we place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2011.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2011 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2011; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.  Version 2012-1.2 30 October 2011.  http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails, archived here, for each Sunday’s service.

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. 

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw(Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

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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.

 

Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday

 

See also full text of a suggested Tenebrae with Communion here.

 

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:

Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14
Roman Catholic reading: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Episcopal reading (RCL): Psalm 116:1, 10-17
United Methodist reading: Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Roman Catholic reading: John 13:1-15

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Hymn of Praise:   Any of the Palm Sunday processional hymns are appropriate, as are several of those from Advent-Christmas (see especially 127, 140, 161-verse 1)

Hymn of Invitation:  600, 194

Communion Hymn:   392

Dismissal:  This service traditionally ends without music (many churches silence the instruments  from this point until Easter Vigil)

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).  see Chalice Hymnal p. 756

Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2012, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

As Jesus takes the bread

and holds it in his hands

he says to all:

this is my body now;

this, given for you now,

this, take and ever know

I am: I am.

Wine in the cup he holds

that all the blessing flow

to every sip.

This, my new covenant

lies in my blood for you:

drink all of this as you

remember me.

Now as the broken bread

enters our hands, each one,

we taste and see:

ever the cup we sip

brings to our every lip

the satisfying grace

of Jesus: ours.

6.6.4.6.6.6.4.          Suggested tune: Olivet

Prayer of Approach (created or adapted by the editor)

L: The Lord be with you.

P:  And also with you.

L: Let us pray.  Eternal God of mercy, we gather in awesome wonder to behold your loving gift of Jesus Christ, who, coming to bring the world to wholeness, was broken by it.  Yet by his death we live and know your unbreakable love.  As we gather to remember Christ’s gift of fellowship at table, and to recall our frail failings of devotion, pierce our hearts with a conviction of our own betrayals, reassure us of your abiding presence and transform us by the Spirit of Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Act of Confession (created or adapted by the editor)

Forgive us, Lord, for forgetting your sacrifice and for thinking your grace is cheap.  Forgive us, Lord, for using the cross as a trinket, forgetting the agony it represents. Forgive us, Lord, for taking our worship for granted, forgetting the struggle that has assured its freedom.  Forgive us, Lord, for being calloused to human cruelty, forgetting that every victim is a creature of God.  Forgive us, Lord, for being nonchalant about injustice, forgetting that it still nails innocence to the cross.  Forgive us, Lord, for thinking that sacrifice is obsolete, forgetting that we still contend against the powers of darkness.  Receive our prayers offered in all humility, as we remember and honor Christ our Lord who prays for us still.  Amen.

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

O God, whose only Son Jesus Christ was betrayed and sold by one whom he called to be his disciple; have mercy upon our weakness, and grant us to so diligently watch and pray, that we may never be overwhelmed by temptation; but that, persevering to the end, we may come to freedom through his bonds, and to life eternal through his death.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2012, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On John 13:16-17, 31b-35

At our feet does our Lord kneel, O God,

bend to bathe the feet

of those who follow him.

Servants lead by bending to the task, we learn;

O God, teach us the gentle way

to serve and, yes, to love one another;

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

RESOURCES from COMMON WORSHIP

Collect

God our Father,
you have invited us to share in the supper
which your Son gave to his Church
to proclaim his death until he comes:
may he nourish us by his presence,
and unite us in his love;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

Lord Jesus Christ,
we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament
you have given us the memorial of your passion:
grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries
of your body and blood
that we may know within ourselves
and show forth in our lives
the fruit of your redemption,
for you are alive and reign, now and for ever.

Alternative Collect

God our Father,
your Son Jesus Christ was obedient to the end
and drank the cup prepared for him:
may we who share his table
watch with him through the night of suffering
and be faithful.

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2011.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2011 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2011; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.  Version 2012-1.2 30 October 2011.  http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails, archived here, for each Sunday’s service.

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. 

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw(Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

Read Full Post »

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.

 

Holy Tuesday

April 3

 

See a suggested service appropriate to Holy Week, created by the editor from the Taize tradition here.
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 49:1-7
Roman Catholic reading: Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 71:1-14
Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

John 12:20-36
Roman Catholic reading: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Hymn of Praise:   207

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

 

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

O Lord, who taught your disciples in parables, open our hearts to the understanding of your word.  Give us grace to learn the solemnity of life.  Teach us to know that we are ever standing at the judgment seat.  You endured the shame of Calvary that we might be saved from shame at the judgment.  We seek our refuge under the shadow of your cross, O Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

RESOURCES from COMMON WORSHIP

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race
   sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

Lord Jesus Christ,
you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant,
and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:
give us the mind to follow you
and to proclaim you as Lord and King,
to the glory of God the Father.

Alternative Collect

True and humble king,
hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you
on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory.

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2011.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2011 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2011; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.  Version 2012-1.2 30 October 2011.  http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails, archived here, for each Sunday’s service.

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. 

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

Read Full Post »

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