Easter -- Service Prayers -- 2nd Sunday

Still Laughing God
Service Prayers for the Second Sunday of Easter


Call to Worship

Leader:      Sing a new song!
People:      A joyful melody of springtime glory and rebirth

Sing praise to our Still-Laughing Easter God
Who has rolled away the bindings of yesterday

Immerse your anxiety and despair in the fountain of new birth.
We place our visions and hopes on the table of wine and wheat.

For God has taken ordinary things.
And made them extraordinary.

All:         Sing a New Song!

Opening Prayer

Holy God,
as you have taken what we call an absurdity
and turned it into possibility…..
as you have coaxed us to sing springtime alleluias
where once there was a gray dawn,
as you have called us out of the tombs we inhabit
into an undreamed of tomorrow,
we praise you for this day!
Come, Risen Christ,
in newness and hope on this Eastertide day. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Redeeming God,
with you there is always more life, more hope, more joy.
Forgive us for ever doubting to see your work
in the still things, the busy things, the darkest moment
and the everyday, under-noticed plod of life.
Forgive us when we balk at action,
and refuse to turn on fully the tap of compassion, settling for a mere trickle.
Open us now to your love that lets us relax into life,
and fill us with trust, hope and justice. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Within every kernel of doubt, there is a tree of life and hope.
In those times when our faith falters,
when we cannot bring ourselves to see the presence of the Holy among us,
God takes our faith and transforms it,
patiently showing us the many ways Christ walks among us.
Look around you:
as close as your own beating heart,
and in the eyes of your nearest neighbor,
grace abounds at the heart of all life.
You are all God’s children, loved without condition,
go in that peace. Amen.

Call for Offering

There are moments in our lives
when we are so happy, so elated, we have a belly laugh!
Easter teaches us that laughter and love are at the heart of God’s work.
Joyfully we are able to give
knowing that our gifts will help others
to see the blessed miracle of God’s creative joy.

Offertory Prayer

Loving God, can a laughing prayer be lifted up to you this Eastertide?
Can these gifts, given with love,
be further transformed like echoes of grace,
delighting all who receive their blessings?
May it be so, through the giddy power of your Holy Spirit,
and may our lives speak of a Still Laughing God,
full of Easter surprises. Amen.

Benediction

Follow now the new path Christ has opened up for us.
Just around the corner of your life is a spiritual surprise!
Easter!
Christ is Risen!
May you dance an alleluia dance,
and sing a laughing resurrection song.
Laugh with God and let joy reside in your hearts always. Amen.


Still Laughing God: Service Prayers for the Second Sunday of Easter was written by the Rev. Daniel B. Randall, Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church, U.C.C., in Bristol, RI and a USAF Chaplain (Reserves).
Some of these prayers have their source in the dynamic work of the Iona Community where Rev. Randall is an Associate member.

Copyright 2011 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org