Order of Worship
Easter Sunday – Sacrament of Holy Communion
April 4, 2021

Organ Prelude

Call to Worship                               
One: Christ is risen!
All:    He is risen indeed!
One: Christ is risen!
All:    He is risen indeed!
One: Christ is risen!
All:    He is risen indeed!
One: Hallelujah!

Musical Affirmation               Nancy Wandersee and family

Lighting the Christ candle
One: The risen Christ lives today!
All:    We are witnesses to these things.
One: We sing praise to God incarnate.
All:    May Christ’s love burn within us!

Opening Prayer                               
God of grace and power,
we have longed and prepared for this joyous day:
on Ash Wednesday we humbled ourselves before you,
on Maundy Thursday we learnt a new commandment,
on Good Friday we cried at the foot of the cross,
on Holy Saturday we kept vigil,
and on this Blessed Sunday we rejoice in the risen power of love, hope, and new life.
Make this rising real in our own lives.
Let us be people of love, hope, and new life.
Let us be people of joy.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Prayer of Confession             
God of grace,
despair, pain, and fear are part of life;
sometimes we let them guide us.
Sometimes we let them hold us back from living your way,
and we lose sight of your strong love.
Help us be a brave and holy people,
living beyond fear.
Teach us to trust in your steadfast love.
Amen.

Words of Affirmation                      
This is the good news:
God raised Jesus from death,
turning sorrow into joy and
despair into hope.
Hallelujah!

Storytelling                    “Back to the Garden”

Sharing of Scripture                                  John 20:1–18                

Response                                          
in unison
The risen Christ lives today,
present to us and the source of our hope.
In response to who Jesus was
and to all he did and taught,
to his life, death, and resurrection,
and his continuing presence with us through the Spirit,
we celebrate him as
the Word made flesh,
the one in whom God and humanity are perfectly joined,
the transformation of our lives,
the Christ.

Message in Music          “How Can I Keep from Singing”    Bel Canto Chorus

Message               “Joy Dawns”                  Rev. Laura McLeod

Reception of New Members

Prayer of Dedication                       
Thank you God, for the journey that culminates in your love, your presence and you peace.  Use these gifts and us to share that love, presence and peace with your world.  Amen.

A Time of Prayer
Preparation for Prayer
Silent Prayer
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
As purple gives way to gold,
hear our prayers for times of suffering,
in a world that is unjust for too many.
May we live towards wholeness.

As thorns give way to crowns,
hear our prayers for oppression in our land
by trade that is imbalanced.
May we live towards liberation for all.

As tombs give way to gardens,
hear our prayers for worries
that keep us from flourishing in your care.
May we live towards your shalom.

As yesterday gives way to tomorrow,
hear our prayers for the future
that holds too much uncertainty or loneliness.
May we live towards your vision.
We pray this and every prayer in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray together saying, Our Father…Amen.

Sacrament of Holy Communion

The prayer of great thanksgiving
One: Christ is risen!
All:    He is risen indeed!
One: Lift up your hearts.
All:    We lift them up to the Lord.
One: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All:    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Holy Mystery that is Wholly Love, you are beyond complete knowledge,
above perfect description.
Creator, Redeemer, and Holy Spirit;
Source of Life, Living Word, and Bond of Love,
you are creative and self-giving,
generously moving
in all the near and distant corners of the universe.
Nothing exists that does not find its source in you.

Through fear-filled days and aching nights
when the powers of death have done their worst,
your love has never deserted us.
Even when we turn away from you, you are with us;
your presence never fails us,
your gifts of hope and new life transform us.

We praise you for Jesus Christ,
risen to life, eternal as your love.
With the women at the tomb, we raise the strain of gladness.
Hallelujah! Life is stronger than death!
The day of resurrection has come, scattering fear and gloom.
And so we rejoice with all your people of every time and place,
and with angels and archangels,
to proclaim the glory of your name: Glory to God in the highest!

It is Jesus, God incarnate, the Risen Christ,
who joins us together as a community of broken but hopeful believers:
loving what he loved
living what he taught, and
striving to be his faithful servants
in our time and place.
In this meal, we remember Jesus, his promises,
and the price he paid for who he was, what he said, and what he did.

On the night before Jesus died,
he took a loaf of bread,
gave thanks, broke it, and said,
“Take and eat, whenever you do this, remember me.”
After supper, Jesus took the cup and poured, saying,
“This is the new covenant; remember me.”
We do remember.
We remember his life of love, his friendship, his teaching, his dying, and his rising to life again.

In sharing this meal, we live out the mystery of our faith:
Holy Mystery, God the Spirit,
we call on you to transform these familiar things,
as you continually transform the world around us.

Bless this bread and this cup,
the wheat and the grape,
the farmer and the harvest,
the seed and the sower.
So that in the sharing of these simple elements in community,
we may taste and see your goodness.

Through Christ, in Christ, and with Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory is yours, God most holy,
now and forever. Amen

Breaking the Bread, Pouring the Cup
One: The body of Christ,
All:    the bread of life.
One: The lifeblood of Christ,
All:    the cup of blessing.
One: The gifts of God for the people of God.
All:    Thanks be to God!

Prayer after Communion
Thank you, O Christ, for this feast of life.
We are fed by your love;
we are strengthened by your life.
We are sent forth into this world to live your way and share your joy.
We are now commissioned to
feed as we have been fed,
forgive as we have been forgiven,
love as we have been loved.
Thanks be to God. Amen. 
Bless                    

May the love of the risen Christ nourish and sustain us.
May the eternal light of the world renew and inspire us to lives of care and compassion.
May we go forward and be the body of the risen Christ.
Amen.

Organ Postlude

Scripture                              John 20:1-18
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Storytelling                         Back to the Garden
Based on John 20:1–18

M

ary Magdalene got up while it was still dark. She could not sleep. Bad dreams would not let her mind or body rest.
She gathered some spices she had prepared, linen cloths, a bowl to hold water, and beads of myrrh in a wooden box. Myrrh smells sweet. It can cover the stink of death. It can also dull pain.
But Mary knew it could never take away the hurt she felt. And it could never cover the awful truth. Jesus was dead.
She would have gone sooner to wash his body and wrap it with spices. That was what family did for their loved ones, and Mary loved Jesus. But he died on the eve of the Sabbath, when no one could work. So she waited, along
with the other women. Now the Sabbath was over.
Mary walked in silence to the tomb, where they had placed the body of Jesus after he was taken down from the cross. The tomb was in a garden, a place filled with gnarled and ancient olive trees. As she walked, Mary wondered how she would shift the heavy stone that sealed the mouth of the tomb. But when she came closer, she saw that the stone had already been moved.
Who could have done this? Mary peered inside. Behind her, the morning sky was beginning to glow with colour. But all she could see was the darkness that had swallowed Jesus.
Empty darkness. There was no sign of the body. Only its linen wrappings lay on the ground. Where was Jesus?
“Why are you crying?” said a voice she did not know.
“They have taken my Lord,” sobbed Mary.
“I don’t know where they have put him.”
Another voice, this one from outside the tomb, asked, “Are you looking for someone?”
Mary turned around. She could barely see the speaker, dark against the sunrise. Her eyes were blurred with tears.
“Please,” sobbed Mary. “If you have taken him away, give him back to me.”
“Mary,” he said. She knew his voice. No one said her name the way he did.
Mary flung her arms around him.
“There is no need to cling to me,” Jesus whispered. “I am with you. Soon, I will come to you in a new way. Then I will always be part of you – and you of me.”
Mary opened her eyes. Now she could see clearly. The garden looked different. Full of life and light.
Feeling like a new creature, Mary ran to tell the others the good news.

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