Lessons: Shanna A
Psalm: Keishna C
Prayers of the People: Verna F
To Penny Roberts and those whose spirit brought her life from Don Roberts
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, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
The Ministry of the Word
6 When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”
7-8 He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
9-11 These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! They said, “You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left.”
Returning to Jerusalem
12-13 So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place:
James, son of Alphaeus,
Simon the Zealot,
Judas, son of James.
14 They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers.
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.
1-4 Up with God!
Down with his enemies!
Adversaries, run for the hills!
Gone like a puff of smoke,
like a blob of wax in the fire—
one look at God and the wicked vanish.
When the righteous see God in action
they’ll laugh, they’ll sing,
they’ll laugh and sing for joy.
Sing hymns to God;
all heaven, sing out;
clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider.
cheer when you see him!
5-6 Father of orphans,
champion of widows,
is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless,
leads prisoners to freedom,
but leaves rebels to rot in hell.
7-10 God, when you took the lead with your people,
when you marched out into the wild,
Earth shook, sky broke out in a sweat;
God was on the march.
Even Sinai trembled at the sight of God on the move,
at the sight of Israel’s God.
You pour out rain in buckets, O God;
thorn and cactus become an oasis
For your people to camp in and enjoy.
You set them up in business;
they went from rags to riches.
32-34 Sing, O kings of the earth!
Sing praises to the Lord!
There he is: Sky-Rider,
striding the ancient skies.
Listen—he’s calling in thunder,
rumbling, rolling thunder.
Call out “Bravo!” to God,
the High God of Israel.
His splendor and strength
rise huge as thunderheads.
35 A terrible beauty, O God,
streams from your sanctuary.
It’s Israel’s strong God! He gives
power and might to his people!
O you, his people—bless God!
1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11
Glory Just Around the Corner
12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
14-16 If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
He Gets the Last Word
8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.
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.
Jesus’ Prayer for His Followers
17 1-5 Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:
Father, it’s time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his care.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.
* * *
6-12 I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world;
They’ll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a lookout.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).
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.