Call to Worship
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week,
Jesus came and stood among the disciples and said: Peace be with you!
The Risen Christ is with us now, offering us the gift of peace.
Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
We too have seen the Lord. Let us rejoice and give thanks!
Let us worship God!
When our Risen Lord appeared to his disciples,
he greeted them in peace
and breathed the Holy Spirit upon them.
Breathe your Spirit upon us
as we gather to welcome Christ
with glad hearts and joyful voices.
Meet us here, we pray;
open our ears to hear you speaking
and our hearts to respond with joy.
Fashion us into an Easter people,
and send us out
to proclaim what we have seen and heard:
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Sudie Niesen Thompson, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, DE
We believe that God has come to us as a little child,
making our weakness his strength,
securing our salvation by becoming one of us,
blessing us with with a steadfast savior,
filling our hearts with joy to be shared with one another.
We believe that God has birthed righteousness and justice into the world,
giving us a law that will be written upon our hearts,
making the cause of the oppressed the highest priority,
declaring an everlasting reign of peace,
defeating the power of pain and suffering.
We believe that God calls us to participate in this reality of love,
inviting us to proclaim Christ’s resurrection at the Table,
transforming us as disciples to go out into the world,
sending us forth to announce his kingdom of peace and comfort,
challenging us to see everyone as nothing less than beloved children.
This we believe.
This we preach.
This we seek to embody in word and deed.
Lighting the Four Candles
(the sung response between each candle is optional. For the Christ Candle liturgy, scroll to the bottom)
Together, we light this candle of hope
to represent the longing that resides in our hearts:
for a safer world,
for a world rid of warfare and oppression,
fear and hatred.
Only light will drive out the darkness.
This hope is found in the God who has come to save us.
Light One Candle For Messiah–Hymn No. 85 in Glory to God (verse 1)
Together, we light this candle of peace
to represent the unity we have amongst each other:
as human beings,
as beloved children of God,
as disciples called to live in harmony with one another.
Only as partners in peace can we stand against violence.
This peace is found in a newborn child, cradled in his mother’s arms.
Hymn No. 85 in Glory to God (verse 2)
Together, we light this candle of joy
to represent the delight that is found in the coming of our savior:
in the birth of hope,
in the fruition of faithfulness,
in the warmth of God’s love for a broken world.
Only joy can give us strength to continue our work.
This joy is found in a God who finds joy in us!
Hymn No. 85 in Glory to God (verse 3)
Together, we light this candle of love
to represent the home we have in God’s steadfast shalom:
a home built with peace and kindness,
righteousness and justice,
where all are invited to the Table to partake in the feast.
Only love can bring us together. Only love can save our souls.
This love is found tonight in a manger, in Mary’s arm and in our own.
Hymn No. 85 in Glory to God (verse 4)
Long we have waited, long we have watched for his coming.
God is not satisfied to remain apart from us, God must be one among us.
We are God’s people, shepherd of God’s flock,
children of God’s redeeming.
We light this candle to represent Christ’s presence, his everlasting reign.
We give thanks to God for the fulfillment of hope, peace, joy, and love.
God of all peace and joy,
send your Spirit to this place
to bless this our reading of your word
that it may be a lamp to our feet
and a light unto our path. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY