Prayers of the People: Susan
Emily, Anna, and Elizabeth DeFerrari by Joe DeFerrari
This bulletin includes the order of service for the Sundays in Easter.
The items in bold italics are intended for audience response.
Christ yesterday and today,
the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega, all time belongs to him, and all ages;
to him be glory and power, through every age and forever. Amen.
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and to you no secrets are hid. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may truly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord. AMEN.
Lighting the Easter Candle
Member of the Congregation:
This is the day when our Lord Jesus Christ passes from death to life. Throughout the world Christians celebrate the awesome power of God. As we hear this sacred word and proclaim all that God has done, we can be confident that we shall share in Christ’s victory over death and live with God forever.
An acolyte or child lights the Easter Candle.
Member of the Congregation:
May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds. The light of Christ.
Thanks be to God.
Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
O Universe, dance around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our Lord, is risen!
Sound the victorious trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in glory, revealing the splendour of your creation,
radiant in the brightness of your triumphant Sovereign!
Christ has conquered! Now God’s life and glory fill you!
Darkness vanishes forever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Saviour, our Lord of life, shines upon you!
Let all God’s people sing and shout for joy. AMEN!
The Collect of the Day
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Ministry of the Word
22-23 So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30-31 “God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
We follow the responsive recitation method for the Psalm, where the leader alternates verses with the congregation. In reading, a distinct pause should be made at the asterisk. The items in bold italics are intended for audience response.
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
Bless our God, O peoples!
Give him a thunderous welcome!
Didn’t he set us on the road to life?
Didn’t he keep us out of the ditch?
He trained us first,
passed us like silver through refining fires,
Brought us into hardscrabble country,
pushed us to our very limit,
Road-tested us inside and out,
took us to hell and back;
Finally he brought us
to this well-watered place.
I’m bringing my prizes and presents to your house.
I’m doing what I said I’d do,
What I solemnly swore I’d do
that day when I was in so much trouble:
The choicest cuts of meat
for the sacrificial meal;
Even the fragrance
of roasted lamb is like a meal!
Or make it an ox
garnished with goat meat!
All believers, come here and listen,
let me tell you what God did for me.
I called out to him with my mouth,
my tongue shaped the sounds of music.
If I had been cozy with evil,
the Lord would never have listened.
But he most surely did listen,
he came on the double when he heard my prayer.
Blessed be God: he didn’t turn a deaf ear,
he stayed with me, loyal in his love.
1 Peter 3:13-22
13-18 If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.
19-22 He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, Lord Christ.
15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!
18-20 “I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.
21 “The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Christ.
A Contemporary Creed
Now let us recite a creed, an affirmation of our faith:
We believe in God, the power of life, love and being that flows through the universe. We believe in Jesus, who revealed the good news of our connectedness with God and with all people, who was compassionate and stood up for justice,all the way to the end, who gave people an experience of God by demonstrating this power of life, love and being. Through his words and example, we believe that we too have this power, the capacity to give people an experience of God by living life fully, loving with our whole heart, and striving to be all we can be. We believe in the communion of saints, who are a people walking together, engaged in the search for meaning and the quest to be connected with the Source and Sustainer of all that exists. Amen.
The Prayers of the People
We know that when we center our minds and hearts in God’s Presence among us, extraordinary things happen. Let us pray: May each of us be aware of the Spirit of God within us today and respond to the Good News, we pray.
Let us pray for world peace.
Let us pray for inner peace.
Let us pray for an abundance of health, for prosperity, and for joy for all.
Let us pray for the intentions within our hearts. For those who may be sick, suffering or troubled. For the challenges and dangers that we face. I invite you to add your own petitions, either silently or aloud.
We lift up these prayers in the belief that we are bonded in God’s Spirit with everything that exists. We pray with faith and confidence. Amen.
Leader: And again, let us greet each other in the name of our Lord Christ. May Christ’s peace be with you, always.
And also with you.
The peace of our Savior be always with you.
And also with you.
The Holy Communion
Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2
During the Offertory, a hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.
(Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748), para. of Psalm 117; Music: Old 100th, melody from Pseaumes octante trois de David, 1551, alt.; harm. after Louis Bourgeois (1510?-1561?); Licensed for Use: CCLI Copyright License 20716203; CCLI Streaming License 20716210
Representatives of the congregation bring the people’s offerings of bread and wine, and money or other gifts, to the Altar. The people stand while the offerings are presented.
At the Presentation
All things come of you, O Lord;
And of your own have we given you.
The Great Thanksgiving
May God be with you
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Now let us give thanks to God.
Our Sustainer, Healer and Redeemer.
We give thanks and rejoice that Jesus lived, loved, died and lives on in God and among those who follow him. We rejoice that Jesus lives, as we all will, in the reality we call God.
We believe that death is not the end, but rather a transformation into new possibilities. Nothing that exists is ever completely destroyed. A star exploding or a leaf falling: both offer new possibilities and live on in ways unknown to stars and leaves.
Winter gives way to spring. What is once lifeless now abounds with life, new possibilities and delights. We, too, experience new possibilities arising from our failures or disappointments or what has come to an end.
We give thanks for all the influences in our lives that have helped us see beyond the present, that have called us to live in hope and trust whatever endings we have experienced.
We give thanks for Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus the Christ, who inspired us to put our hope and trust in Life and Love. We give thanks for the way he opened our minds and hearts to see and appreciate the deep and never-ending presence of God, who is Love.
We give thanks for the spirit of new life active in our lives as it was in the life of Jesus.
At this Easter gathering, we take bread, as Jesus took bread, and we remember, as Jesus remembered, God’s constant presence, as we say together the words he said:
Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this to remember me.
Blessed Jesus, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I offer my praise and thanksgiving. I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
We take wine and drink, as Jesus invited his friends to drink, mindful that God is love and trust, as we say together the words he said:
Drink this, all of you. This is my blood, poured out for you. Drink this to remember me.
We believe, with Jesus, that beyond pain and darkness and death is life unending, fresh, new meaning.
We believe that God sends a sacred spirit on these gifts that we offer, and turns them into God’s own body and blood.
We break and share this bread, as Jesus broke and shared it.
We share it as our pledge of openness to God in our midst, in acknowledgment of our eternal connection with the spirit of life.
Mindful of God’s great compassion, let us fill our hearts with compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.
May all living beings realize that they are kin, all nourished from the same source of life.
May we ourselves cease to be the cause of suffering to each other.
May we live in a way which will not deprive other beings of air, water, food, shelter, or the chance to live.
With humility, with awareness of the existence of life, and of the sufferings that are going on around us, let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth.
For the journey that life has been, Amen.
for all that life is for us now, Amen.
for all that the future holds, Amen.
and for the mystery of life beyond death. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
And now, in the words that Jesus taught us, we pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven. hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.
Breaking of the Bread
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleleuia.
These are the gifts of God for you, the people of God.
(AT THE COMMUNION: We encounter the Real Presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this Sacrament of Holy Communion. All who desire a closer relationship with God are encouraged to come forward: for a Blessing or, if you are baptized, for the Bread and Wine.)
Precious Savior, out of your abundance you have fed us what we need, sparing none of your good gifts in Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord. Now may we live as you taught us to, open to the depth of your presence in our lives and the lives of all, and ready to follow where You lead. AMEN.
Let’s extend our hands over one another for a final blessing:
May we all the power to live life fully, The grace and passion to love generously, and the courage to be all we can be!
And the blessing of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of all, be with you now and always. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God, alleluia.