Easter Sunday Worship Service
April 9, 2023
Prelude: Prelude from Te Deum by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704) – Charles Calhoun, keyboardist
Wise Words from John Gaul
Hymn: “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” – Vs. 1, 4, 5
Opening of the Word
Running, the disciples approached the tomb, that mysterious place of meeting. Death meeting life. Humanity meeting the Risen Christ. Believing.
Trembling, we approach the edge
where death and life meet.
Death, the unknown, meets new life.
New life faces us with its possibilities
and uncertainties. Trembling, we approach.
Easter morning we come face to face with Jesus, whom we had lost. We doubted, we feared, and now we wonder, as life returns to us from death.
From a triumphant entrance into Jerusalem,
through the last supper with the disciples,
through the betrayal by Judas,
through the crucifixion of Jesus,
we have journeyed to Easter.
The stone which the guards used to seal the grave is now thrown aside.
Death is scattered.
Face to face, the disciples saw
that death had lost its power.
Surely, this is a day the Lord has made!
Rejoice! Life bursts through death.
Because Christ lives, we live. Alleluia!
Invitation to Prayer:
O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our maker.
God of all ages and of all peoples, 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 Easter morning, O God, to burst out of the tombs that have trapped us: tombs of selfishness, greed, pride, prejudice, and endless resentment. By your freeing power, may a new life of divine grace and human love burst forth from each of us this Easter day. Amen.
We tremble, O God, in our awareness of your power to bring good from evil, new life from death. We have been so dead to miracles that we have preoccupied ourselves with lesser things and have too often overlooked the joy you offer us. We are sometimes so concerned with making a living that we miss the Life you offer every day. Open our eyes and our hearts to receive your gift; open our lips and our hands so that we might share it with all humanity, and in so doing participate in true life, which is the life eternal. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
O Lord, open thou our lips:
And our mouths shall show forth thy praise.
Praise ye the Lord!
The Lord’s name be praised!
Holy, holy, holy; Lord God of hosts: Heav’n and earth are full of thy glory. Amen.
Scripture Readings: Mark 16:1-8; Psalm 16; Divine Providence #93 (Swedenborg)
Choral Anthem: “Hymn of Promise” Words and Music by Natalie Sleeth
Spiritual Message: What does it mean to believe? – Rev. Junchol Lee
Affirmation of Faith
Great Spirit, Christ, the Compassionate One, Light of the World, You are that which sustains and nurtures our spirit. You draw us closer to Heaven and to each other. Your Divine Love and Wisdom flows into every living soul. You dwell among us and warm every human heart. We acknowledge our need to be fed by your Sacred Spirit, to share in the beauty of life, and to build a Holy City on Earth by giving of ourselves, yet knowing that all that is good and true flows into us from You. Amen.
Prayer of the People/Pastoral Prayer
Invitation to the Offering
Offertory: Ave Verum Corpus (Hail, true body) W.A. Mozart (1756-91)
Praise God the Source of life and birth Praise God the Word who came to earth. Praise God the Spirit, holy flame All glory, honor to God’s name. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication
Hymn: “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”
Closing of the Word
Sung Response: Aaronic Benediction
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you; the Lord be gracious to you, and give you peace, and give you peace. Amen.
Postlude: O Joyous Day Léon Boëllmann (1862-97)