Easter -- Service Prayers -- 2nd Sunday

God Has the Last Laugh
Second Sunday of Easter
With Easter Affirmations and Prayers

 

Call to Worship

Christ is risen:

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

 

Risen in quiet and mysterious darkness

before the chorus of the dawn.

Alleluia, Christ is risen:

Christ is risen indeed!

 

Risen with glory and grace in reserve,

and authority beyond measure.

Alleluia, Christ is risen:

Christ is risen indeed!

 

Risen to prove that violence is no solution;

to offer us peace and life in all its fullness.

Alleluia, Christ is risen:

Christ is risen indeed!

 

For Christ has taken into his own flesh

the sin of the world.

The last laugh is God’s laugh;

God has the last laugh:

For freedom comes beyond the cross,

for peace comes beyond the violence,

for friendship comes beyond the betrayal.

For life comes beyond the crushing of life.

The first laugh and the last laugh are God’s.

And God has made laughter for us.

Alleluia, Christ is risen:

Christ is risen indeed!

 

Opening Prayers

In this moment

we are gathered

welcoming love’s

return

 

Our Hearts are lifted

We open our eyes

We welcome love

 

The tomb is empty

the stone laid back

 

The womb is full

The stones cry out

for joy

 

Risen One,

walk among us

speak your words of peace

release us from our fears

heal us from our wounds

 

Forgive our betrayals

Our denials of your love,

That we may participate in your just living.

 

Holy dancer,

you soar from the grave

with cosmic rhythm,

wiping earth’s tears

in heralding the dawn

 

Hold our hands in the dance of justice

Weave our steps into spirals of freedom.

 

The ministry of the Word

As storytellers

we shape your

unfolding story

as passionate people

we share your

passion for justice

as bearers of God

we embody your life

in the world

 

Humble us to listen

to forgotten stories

Empower us with boldness

when we are afraid

Re-source us

for the birthing of liberation.

 

Intercessions

With resurrection hope and action we bring our prayers …

(Here prayers collected previously can be read aloud)

 

The peace

Jesus stood among his disciples and said,

‘Peace be with you; why are you frightened,

and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

Look at my hands and my feet.

Touch me and see.’

 

Invitation to the table

Gather around this resurrection table

where all are welcomed and the good earth is affirmed.

From her generosity, we bring these gifts of bread and wine.

 

Witnesses to hope,

We participate

In Christ’s liberation.

 

Eucharistic prayer

Be still

and know that I am God.

 

We are still

in your presence

You are still with us.

 

In Christ you accompany us,

embodied among us,

sharing our birthing

our living

our dying

 

Sharing our dreams

of hope and liberation,

Offering us new life

and the shattering

of the tomb.

 

In Christ

you appear as the host

at the ebbing and the flowing of our lives

 

You beckon us

to share your hospitality,

your challenge of love. 

 

In Christ

you sit as the guest

at the table of the stranger

 

You bless us with your presence

your awakening of love.

 

In Christ

you stand among us

as host and guest at the heart of this community

 

You share with us

your vulnerability,

your unwrapping of love.

 

As hosts with Christ,

we bless this bread.

As guests with Christ,

we pour this wine.

As welcomed strangers,

united in Christ’s life, death, and embodied liberation,

we hear the words of promise:

 

This is my body given for you;

take and eat to re-member me.

This cup poured out:

this is the new covenant in my blood;

take and drink to re-member me.

 

In this action of justice-making,

we recall

broken minds and bodies

and blood shed through lust for power

and nature’s turn of hand.

 

Restore and heal

all that is wounded

Be present

in the stillness

of the waiting

Roll back the stone

of prejudice and fear

Release the signs

of Spring.

 

Breaking of bread

We gently break this bread

of fragile life

 

Our breaking down

becomes our breaking through.

 

As we eat this living bread

and drink the new wine of resurrection,

let us celebrate the cosmic Christ,

our liberator and sustainer

 

With divine tenderness

you remake us

By transforming pain

you heal us-

Your passionate energy

empowers us.

 

Sharing of bread and wine

 

Blessing

God

source of our life

bless with boldness

caress with care

Christ

Wisdom of God

bless with boldness

caress with care

Spirit

midwife of new beginnings

bless with boldness

caress with care.  Amen

 

Eastertide Affirmations Inspired by Iona Community

This is the Good News

This is the Good News –

The grave is empty,

Christ is risen.

Hallelujah!  

 

This is the Good News –

The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness can never put it out.

Hallelujah!

 

This is the Good News –

Once we were no people,

now we are God’s people.

Hallelujah!

 

Christ is our peace,

the indestructible peace

we now share with each other.

 

We gather in God’s name

 

We have traveled a long way to come here,

from many places, and through Holy Week to Easter.

Now we gather in God’s name in God’s place.

 

We have told the story of Jesus’ suffering and death,

and remembered how the disciples were scattered in despair.

Now we celebrate Christ risen from the dead.

 

We have been silent in the face of failure and fear;

but now have found our voices, know your hope.

Now we shout the Good News, Sing Alleluia!

 

Lead us Lord

 

Lord of life, you walk this journey with us and through us;

Lead us Lord, lead on. 

 

Journeying within, and wrestling with the world,

Lead us Lord, lead on. 

 

Lead us to risk, to grow, and to tread the path you have opened for us;

Lead us Lord, lead on. 

 

And let us rejoice that every place is your place;

In the name of Christ, the Risen One.  Amen.


 


God has the Last Laugh: Service Prayers for the Second Sunday of Easter, with Easter Affirmations 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

Rev. Scott A. Ressman
Minister for Worship, Music and Liturgical Arts
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3870
ressmans@ucc.org