a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

benediction: fishing for alleluias

One:    O Holy One, worship might be over. We might be done with our praise.
All:       But, let’s not go to our own homes greiving and sad. Let us go fishing for alleluias in the seas of your love! 

 

Author’s Note: On Easter 7, I’m breaking from the RCL to preach from the Gospel of Peter as we conclude the Easter Season. Though these prayers are based in that scripture, they certainly carry the story of the entire Easter Season – and its end.

Submitted by Rev. Elsa Peters, First Congregational Church, South Portland, ME

confession: you know why we’ve come

O Holy One, you know why we’ve come. You know what it is that we are looking for. You know why we are bending our bodies to peer into dark places. You know why we come looking for new words and new wonders. You know why we search the horizons for new signs. You know why each crashing wave calms our souls. We come because we are looking for something. Holy One, come and sit beside us. Give us a new word. Give us a new hope. Give us the power of resurrection as we’ve never experienced in the words that we continue to pray:

(The Lord’s Prayer)

 

Author’s Note: On Easter 7, I’m breaking from the RCL to preach from the Gospel of Peter as we conclude the Easter Season. Though these prayers are based in that scripture, they certainly carry the story of the entire Easter Season – and its end.

Submitted by Rev. Elsa Peters, First Congregational Church, South Portland, ME

ctw: we are not tired of saying it

One:     We are not tired of saying it.
All:       Christ is risen! Alleluia!
One:     It’s been seven weeks, but we can’t stop ourselves from saying it again and again.
All:       Christ is risen! Alleluia!
One:     So, let’s find a new way to tell this story. Let’s not let the power of resurrection be limited by the Biblical canon.
All:       Let’s worship God with all of the stories that we can possibly think to tell.
One:     Let’s not get tired of saying it.
All:       Christ is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

Author’s Note: On Easter 7, I’m breaking from the RCL to preach from the Gospel of Peter as we conclude the Easter Season. Though these prayers are based in that scripture, they certainly carry the story of the entire Easter Season – and its end.

Submitted by Rev. Elsa Peters, First Congregational Church, South Portland, ME

prayer: concerto of creation

You raise your hand
and gently begin
the concerto of creation:
birds carry the melody
while stars keep the beat;
mountains dance in merriment
and little children clap
their hands with joy.
Love’s Composer,
our new songs are lifted to you.

The old, old song
is made new in our hearts:
Christ is Risen!
Sing Alleluia!
You invite us to sing to a world
deafened by despair
and haunted by the tunes of fear.
Lord of the Dance,
our new songs are lifted to you.

Believing we cannot
carry a tune,
we hesitate to join in
the chorus of praise
sung by all creation.
So, you softly and gently
hum the melody in our hearts
until they burst with you,
raising a rousing chorus
of Amazing Grace.
Music-making Spirit,
our new songs are lifted to you.

Every song, old and new, is offered to you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we lift the prayer Jesus teaches,
Our Father . . .

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

Easter prayer of illumination: speak to us

Speak to us, Risen Christ, along our road:
explain the Scriptures,
break open the bread of life,
and set our hearts on fire with your love.
Amen.

adapted from Luke 24:32 (CEB)

Submitted by Rev. Josh Hale, Pastor, Perritte Memorial United Methodist Church, Nacogdoches, Texas

Easter day communion: a stop at the table

Invitation to the Table

As we go into the world on this Easter Day,
we first stop here at the table of our risen Lord.
We were just here a few nights ago,
remembering how Jesus shared a meal with his disciples before he was arrested,
but he promises to meet us here again and again and again.
This is the table of our risen Lord,
the table where we remember how he gave of himself for us,
the table where we share the great feast of earth and heaven even now,
the table where we can expect to meet Jesus.

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Easter prayer: joy comes in the morning

Weeping comes for a night,
but joy comes in the morning, O God of power and might.

Death has been defeated
and we shout Alleluia!

Let all that we do today be a prayer of praise.

For many of us,
it is an Easter just like the others,
with Easter bonnets and Sunday best,
with the ringing of bells and hymns of joy,
with the preparing of meals and gathering around tables and hunting for eggs…

But let this be an Easter like no other.
Let us see and hear with resurrection eyes and ears.

Let us discern signs of new life in the usual places—a new baby, the beauty of nature;
and in unusual places… who knows where we might find you if we but look?

It is daunting to be resurrection people
even as we read and watch the news—
news of continued violence, poverty, suffering and despair.
We drink in these stories with our morning coffee, day after day,
and wonder where the Easter’s gone.

One year ago we celebrated your resurrection,
and it seems little has changed in our world since then—
Easter seems an idle tale in the wake of
lives destroyed by war, children abused, a creation spoiled,
and endless bickering among our leaders—
too much hand-wringing and too little willingness to do the difficult things.

Close to home, we know loved ones
who have felt the sting of death in their families;
people who struggle to survive the loss of a job,
people entombed by depression or a crippling illness.

Yes, resurrection eyes are not blind to pain.
Resurrection ears are not deaf to cries of suffering.

But resurrection people see your goodness
that outlasts and overpowers any darkness
we can experience or concoct.

Easter is the climax of the story, but not the end.
You alone can roll away the stone,
but we are called
to run, and tell:
“We have seen the Lord!
Come and follow! Believe, and live!”

If we don’t, who will?
Resurrect us, O God of new life—resurrect us from our complacency and fear.
You have the power to do it.

Submitted by MaryAnn McKibben Dana, Idylwood Presbyterian Church, Falls Church, VA.