Easter -- Service Prayers

Too Marvelous for Words
Service Prayers for Easter Sunday

                  Isaiah 65:17-25                Psalm 118:1-2,14-24              
Acts 10:34-43                     Luke 24:1-12

This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:23

 

Call to Worship

Leader:     This is the day that our God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

 

All:           This is the day of resurrection. Let us rejoice and be glad!

 

Leader:     Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed.

                This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

                Let us rejoice and be glad!

 

All:           This is the day of celebration.

                 We sing, we pray, we play instruments, and we dance.

                 Yet it is too marvelous for words.

                 Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed. Amen.

 

Invocation                                     

            O Awesome God, with gladness and thanksgiving,

            we gather in this space today.

            We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ

            as a symbol of your love and sign of your grace.

            On this Resurrection Sunday,

            we are reminded that you have all power over the circumstances

            in our own lives that may bind us and limit our peace.

            O God, you answer even before we call.

            You hear us while we are yet speaking.

            May all that we say, hear, and do in this space give honor to your name

            for the marvelous things you have done in Jesus Christ and in us.

            We give you thanks in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Prayer of Confession (unison) 

                                     

O God, you have told us that you would not leave us without your Spirit.

You have promised us that you would never leave us or forsake us.

Yet at times we have felt abandoned by you because we have looked for you

only in ways that fit our limited notions of you

or in places and with people that have felt comfortable for us.  

Lord, have mercy.

We have looked for you in tombs of dead conventions and

in traditions that have lost their power.

At times, we have forgotten that you are a living God,

not to be enshrined among the dead but celebrated among the living.

We have been perplexed and terrified when your messengers bring us good news of your            

presence manifested in unexpected ways.                                        

Christ, have mercy.

When we have heard the reports resurrection power,

we have dismissed these words as an idle tale.

We have not believed even though we longed for this truth

that your love would never let us go.

Because of fear, we have not recognized your presence with us.

Lord, have mercy.

Help us, Lord Jesus, to see you through the eyes of faith.

Help us to hear you through the voices

of our neighbors, strangers and our own hearts.

Help us to touch your hands of love.  Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon

Sisters and brothers, the power of resurrection is at work in us and with us!

Through the former things of our lives and in the new heaven and earth

that God is yet creating, the Spirit of Christ leads us

onto paths of victory over sorrow and death, disbelief and fear.

Receive God’s grace in the secret place in your heart,

where there are no words.

For the forgiveness of God is too marvelous for words.  Amen. 

 

               Offering Invitation

 

Brothers and sisters, the greatest offering comes from God,

whose love is unending.

Our church ministry is not to build a shrine to a dead God,

but to spread the good news that Jesus Christ is alive.

Our offerings—financial and other—help us to share that news

so that people who are longing for an alive God may come to know Jesus Christ.

Give, that we might share that great news with our words,

our ministry, and with our lives.

 

Dedication

 

Bless these offerings, O God, which we return to you,

that in our seeking and our serving,

our ministry might illumine paths and uplift the heads of those who seek you.

Guide us in your wisdom and love that we may use these gifts

to manifest your presence in the world in all that we do. Amen.

 

Benediction

                                     

            On this Resurrection Day,

            let us go forth rejoicing that Christ is risen and is alive within us.

            Let us go out with shouts of joy that Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed.                   

            Amen.

 

 


 

Too Marvelous for Words: Service Prayers for Easter Sunday was written by the Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson, Senior Pastor of First Congregational Church, Stamford, CT.

Copyright 2010 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