“Alleluia!” in All the Places of our Lives!
Service Prayers for Easter Day
April 12, 2020
Acts 10: 34-43 ~ Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24 ~ Colossians 3: 1-4 ~ Matthew 28: 1-10
Call to Worship
Leader: We come to this place,
seeking Jesus in the familiar story of our faith.
People: Do not meet us only here, O Living Christ,
but surprise us with Resurrection power
in all the places of our lives!
Leader: We gather together to sing and pray the story we know by heart,
a story of loving triumph and powerful grace.
People: This story of “Alleluia!” means great joy
for the One who lives and the ones who witness to this new life
in all the places of our lives!
Leader: We rejoice and thank you for the life of your son,
resurrected by the power of your loving, vibrant Spirit.
People: Let this same Spirit fill all the places of our lives,
that we may know the truth
of resurrection for the rest of our lives!
Leader: We join our hearts in song and sing
“Alleluia! Gracious Jesus!”
for Christ is living and so are we!
People: Alleluia indeed!
It is suggested that the congregation join in singing #257 in TNCH, “Alleluia! Gracious Jesus!”
Good News God,
your angels appeared to the faithful women of Jesus’ company,
bringing them news more wonderful and awe-inspiring than they could imagine –
Christ is Risen!
Surely your angels can interrupt our lives, too,
breaking into our losses and sorrows
and offering a message of tremendous joy to change our lives!
Come this Easter morning, we pray,
and fill us with the joy of the women disciples,
the first witnesses to your resurrection,
that our lives may also be renewed in hope and glory.
Let us roll back the stone of the grave
and sing Alleluia once again!
In Christ we pray, Amen.
Prayer of Confession
God, we confess to you
that while we know well the story of your victory over the grave,
it is not a story we always live.
We are dragged down by all manner of death –
Fear may suffocate us: the loss of dreams and hopes
for ourselves, our families, our communities and our nation.
Sorrow may wall us off like a grave,
isolating us with anger, frustration, and grief.
Yet the stories of our faith are inscribed
not with the marks of death,
but with the word, “Alleluia!”
So on this Easter morning,
we pray that you will fill us with “fear and great joy”
so that, like those women who came to the tomb expecting death,
we may instead find the radiant new life
that is ever before us in your Resurrection! Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Leader: Just as Christ did not come to condemn but to liberate,
so too is Christ raised from death not to judge but to celebrate.
Cast off the yoke of sorrow and instead raise up the scepter of joy –
Christ lives! We live!
All is made new on this Resurrection morning!
People: Alleluia and amen!
Call to Offering
We are witnesses to the power of the Holy Spirit and the glory of God,
and now we turn in thanksgiving to share the good news
of forgiveness and grace to all the world.
Let these our gifts be a living testimony
to those who most need the healing grace of Christ this morning,
cornerstones of faith and joy for the entire world.
O God, you have become our light and our salvation –
let these gifts open the gates of joy
to all who hunger and thirst for your holy presence
on this and every day.
May they bear the gifts of Alleluia which we hold so dear,
and give away with great joy.
We pray in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus the Christ! Amen.
Do not look for the risen Jesus only here,
in the confines of this church building.
We will seek the risen Jesus on the roads and in the streets,
in all the pathways and byways of our lives.
Do not seek comfort in the familiar, but dare to risk the unfamiliar –
We know that Resurrection makes all things new!
Do not cling to all the old, expected notions about God, Jesus, Spirit,
but go forth and celebrate this truly new Good News:
Because Christ lives, new possibilities are ever before us!
Christ is Risen Indeed!
Alleluia and amen!
Alleluia! in All the Places of our Lives! Service Prayers for Easter Day was written by the Rev. Elizabeth Dilley, Minister and Team Leader for MESA (Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization), UCC.
Copyright 2020 Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO 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.