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Easter A

 

April 12

 

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

 

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

Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10

 

Earlier Entries

Hymns for Early Easter

Easter Vigil, Year A

Easter Sunday, Year A

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

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

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

Any of hymns 215-234

Hymn of Praise:   215-226, 228

Hymn of Prayer:   227

Hymn of Invitation:   229, 233

Communion Hymn:   233, 422, 404

Hymn for Easter by the Curator: where is your sting

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 Jeremiah 31:1-6

 

It is the day of promise found,

the day fulfilling life and peace.

Today, it is survival found,

the grateful fruit of wilderness.

 

And on this day of full surprise,

the day fulfillment dawns for us,

we find you have rebuilt us, Lord:

your love abides in rich allure.

 

We come in dance, in merriment,

to echo heaven’s full delight.

We come to vineyards planted well,

enjoying here thy vintage reaped.

 

The watcher, calling out the day,

bids us to rise, to contemplate,

learn satisfying wonder, blithe

enough to welcome at the cross..

 

It is our day, our holy day,

and, in this sweep of awe, we rise

to enter, join the brilliant throng

in praise for God, our faithful One!

 

LM         Suggested tune: Fulda

 

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

 

OR  from Bread for the Journey

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 (even as he taught his disciples to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

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

 

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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 20:1-18

Call us to hope by name, O God,

for we are slow to wait your call.

We see the empty tomb and go

while your Apostle waits and weeps

until you intercede

and there are seen.

Call us by name that we may find

your presence in our style of heart.

 

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)

 

FOR EVENING:

Luke wrote of our risen Savior, who at the table with two of the disciples, took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened, and they recognized the risen Christ in the breaking of the bread. In company with all believers in every time and place, and beyond all time and place, we come to this table, to know the risen Christ in the breaking of the bread.

 

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 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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See the following prior entries for Easter celebration ideas.  Weekly postings for Sundays will resume next week.

Easter C: March 31

Easter B: Great Service of Easter

Easter B: Easter Evening

Hymns for Early Easter

Easter Vigil, Year A

Easter Sunday, Year A

Gospel Acclamations for Disciples Congregations

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The following hymns for early Easter season follow, from Rev. William Flewelling of Proctor, WV.

 
On 1 Peter 2:19-25 

              Mindful ever of our God,

              in the way that Jesus trod

              through the suffering and pain

              unto risen joy and gain:

              Alleluia!

              Strange, the movement of the heart

              underneath your gentle start,

              as we find the brutal sway

              opening the sacred way:

              Alleluia!

              In this courtesy of life,

              as we founder under strife,

              you, Lord Jesus, lift us near

              to the throne where throes lie dear.

              Alleluia.

              Come, thou Guardian of Souls,

              come and garner us made whole.

              Come and satisfy by love

              our attention caught above.

              Alleluia.

 7.7.7.7. with Alleluia     Suggested tune: Orienti Partibus

 CANTICA SACRA         CCLXV

On Colossians 3:1-4

              Raised up with Christ: seek things above;

              attend the places of the Lord.

              Incline together in his way,

              for Christ’s our life, our hope, our joy.

              Entered into the courts of God,

              installed with Jesus to God’s face,

              begin afresh, intoned with love

              where all is live and glory shines.

              By death now raised into full life,

              begun on God’s eternal glide,

              refresh your will in Spirit’s way

              for here our hearts are free and lithe.

              Above the boundaries of grief,

              assured of boundless glory’s gleam,

              intent on Jesus, heaven’s style,

              we are, O God, your company.

LM   Suggested tune: Truro

On John 20:19-31

               Appearing in this Upper Room,

              O Risen Christ, you’ve come.

              You greet us in the depths of peace,

              astound our waiting hearts.

              You open to our wary lives

              the marks of anguish, death.

              We see them, know your promise nigh,

              the Spirit in your breath.

               Against the tide of absence, Lord,

              a disbelief abides.

              Yet in the coming to our eyes,

              you bring us to full joy.

              My Lord, my God, did Thomas cry

              and I with him lift joy.

              For you in breathing on my fear

              have roused me into life.

  CM   Suggested tune: Burford

 On Acts 2:14a, 36-41

               Peter speaking to the heart

              tells of Jesus crucified,

              tells of Jesus raised by God

              appearing to those chosen.

              God made Jesus Lord and Christ,

              joy and bounty of desire.

              Him do we desire in faith;

              he is our compelling Lord.

              What shall we do?  Cries the crowd,

              those who listen from the heart.

              Come, Repent!  Says Peter then

              in reporting mercy’s den.

              Welcome at the throne of God,

              joy and wonder in relief,

              sheer salvation, God’s embrace –

              these await your eager hearts.

              All, O God, is met in you:

              Jesus who was crucified

              is by your delight alive,

              raised to lead our joy above,

              raised that heaven satisfy

              all that timid longing knows.

              For our yearning to adore

              finds your consummation nigh.

7.7.7.7.D   Suggested tune: Salzburg

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