Easter Sunday

April 9, 2023

CALL TO WORSHIP
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed.
God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.
Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly.
The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!
The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph.
The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
For Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
—Psalm 118:14-15, 22-24

OPENING PRAYER
Lord Jesus Christ, we greet you! The cross has not defeated you; the grave has not kept you silent. At the first dew of the morning, you met our sister, Mary, and called her by name. We, too, are your family and friends. And though numbed and frightened by your death, we come to worship hesitantly but gladly to confirm the rumor that you are alive! Meet us this morning as you met Mary, with gentleness and resolution. May we hear you speak our names quietly in our hearts, that we may proclaim your Name boldly on our lips.
Common Order, Church of Scotland (alt.)

PRAYER OF THE DAY
Living God, we worship you today with joy in our hearts and thanksgiving on our lips. When the powers of evil had done their worst, crucifying your Son, and burying him in the earth, you raised him to life again—an act of holy power giving hope to the world. 

Lord Jesus Christ, we rejoice that death could not keep you in its grip; that you were raised from the grave, alive forevermore. As you greeted the Magdalene, stand among us now in your risen power. 

Spirit of God, you give birth to the children of God, you give life to the people of the Kindom: transform us now into the image of God—the image seen fully in the life of Jesus, the image that has been marred by our selfishness. Fill us with his love and resurrection power, that we might be faithful to his way— used by you in the redeeming of your world. 

Oh Holy God in Three Persons: in this morning’s celebration of Easter, may we be inspired to shout to the world that good is more powerful than evil, that grace is stronger than judgment, that mercy is larger than suffering, that joy is greater than grief, and that love is mightier than death. These prayers we offer in your Name and for the sake of the risen Christ. Amen.
—Inspired by Chalice Worship, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 
and Australian Prayers, Bruce D. Prewer

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
As we meditate on your word this day, O God, may we hear the voice of our Belov├Ęd. And, having heard, may we go forth to share his love with others; in his Name. Amen.

INVITATION
Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us—therefore let us keep the feast. The table has been prepared, and no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here. 
—from 1 Cor. 5:7-8

COMMUNION PRAYER
God of life, we thank you that you have made this day your own and called us out of darkness into your marvelous light. Open now the gates of your justice and love, that we, your pilgrim people, may approach your table and be built into a living temple on the cornerstone of your salvation. As we receive the bread and the cup, bless us with the knowledge of your infinite love. And as we gathered at the foot of your cross, so welcome us to the empty tomb and to life eternal, in the Name of the One who offered himself that we might live forever in your presence, even Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose Name we pray. Amen.

WORDS OF INSTITUTION
For I received from the Lord what I now hand on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 

In the same way after supper, he also took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
—1 Cor. 11:23-26

CLOSING PRAYER
Lord, now dismiss your servant in peace according to your word, for my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all people: A light to shine on the Gentiles, and to be the glory of your people Israel.
Song of Simeon, Luke 2:29-32
 
BENEDICTION
Go forth into the world in the knowledge that the Crucified lives again! 
The tomb that you dread is empty, 
for Christ has gone ahead of you on your path! 
The Creator of the universe knows you in Christ, 
speaks your name into the silence, 
and sends you out in the strength of the + God of love, 
the Lord of life, and the Spirit of unity—for Christ is risen, indeed! Amen!