Worship for the First Sunday of Easter 2011

Lectionary readings

Acts 5: 27 - 32

Psalm 118: 14 - 29 or Psalm 150

Revelation 1: 4 - 8

John 20: 19 - 31


Continuing the joy and celebration of Easter. These four are in most hymn books and capture the idea of resurrection as unbroken love.

Now The Green Blade Rises

Christ Is Alive, Let Christians Sing

Good Christians All Rejoice and Sing

This Joyful Eastertide

The Lord of the Dance by Sidney Carter still gives good value and can be danced to. Copyright Stainer & Bell. Covered by CCCL licence


Resurrection Song. No 148 ‘A Rainbow to Heaven’, by June Boyce-Tillman. Stainer & Bell Ltd 2006. A good day to learn something new together!

The words are:  Jesus is risen Alleluia

The world is risen Alleluia

We are arisen, Alleluia. Alleluia.

Let us Talents and Tongues Employ (for Holy Communion) by Fred Kaan. The tune is Linstead Market Copyright Stainer & Bell

We Shall Go Out With Hope of Resurrection by June Boyce Tillman.

Tune: Londonderry Air. Copyright Stainer & Bell covered by CCCL Licence

Call to worship

i thank You God for most this amazing day:

for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth

day of life and of love and wings; and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)

How should tasting touching hearing seeing

Breathing any -lifted from fromsic the no

of all nothing -human merely being

doubt imaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and

Now the eyes of my eyes are opened)



The Easter response: The Lord Is risen: He is risen indeed is still appropriate this week. Used without warning it keeps folk on their toes. It’s use in the prayers is explained at the start.

In this glad Easter season O God our hearts are filled with joy

The Lord is Risen

He is Risen Indeed

Everything around us speaks of new life - the sights and sounds of the springtime of the year.                                     The Lord is Risen

He is Risen Indeed

Thank you for every experience of love in our lives. Thank you that the love of Jesus could not be ended.

The Lord is Risen

He is Risen Indeed

Thank you that in dreary and difficult times, your love can calm and comfort. Show us this love in all that we do.

The Lord is Risen

He is Risen Indeed

Now be with us in this worship. Bring us closer to you and to each other and help us to take your love out into this community.

We ask our prayers in the name of the risen Lord Jesus. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer may be said here.

Prayers of Intercession.

After each prayer use as a response: Christ is Risen


Use local situations and areas of care in which the church is involved. Be

attentive to current items of national and international news.


Offertory Prayer

‘O God you bless us continually with new life and joy.

Now bless these gifts that they may show your love to a needy world. Amen.’


‘Christ is Risen, there is Work for us to do.’

Aim: To move away from the idea of the resurrection as a one-off event to an understanding of its implications in the world today and the challenge this presents to Christians.

Lectionary Notes:

Gerard Manley Hopkins uses ‘easter’ as a verb rather than a noun.

‘Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us’

(The Wreck of the Deutschland)

Ÿ  This ‘eastering’ is the work that Martin Luther speaks of: ‘Christ is risen, there is work for us to do’.

Acts 5, 27 – 32.  The healing, preaching and teaching of the apostles

has got them into trouble with the authorities. They have defied instructions to keep quiet and this has landed them in prison. Peter explains to the Council of the Jews and the High Priest that they could do no other. Nothing, not even physical danger, will prevent them from telling the world about Jesus. These are heady days in the Early Church.

On March 24th each year Archbishop Oscar Romero is remembered across the world. He was constant in his support for the poor of El Salvador and campaigned tirelessly for human rights. In 1980 he was gunned down at his Cathedral altar as he said mass. Thiis reminds us that

bearing witness to Christ can be costly in the extreme.

Ÿ  John 20, 19 -31 This intimate story of Jesus and the disciples in the upper room on the first Easter Day tells us how the disciples move from fear to peace and joy as they realise they are in the presence of Jesus . This is the start of the many stories of great courage such as the one from Acts 5 above.

Ÿ  Revelation 1, 4 - 8

The return of Jesus was daily expected at the time when John the Elder wrote Revelation. There was a sense of urgency about things

All Age Story

The Legend of Pilate’s Wife. (Add a bit of local colour as you tell it. Ask questions and explain it, according to your congregation)

In an ancient legend, Pilate’s wife is said to be standing by the cross on the afternoon of Good Friday. She turns to the Centurion and says “Do you think Jesus is dead?”

“No lady, I don’t” is the answer.

“Then where is he?”

“Let loose in all the world, lady, where neither Roman nor Jew nor any other person can stop the victory of his risen life”


Olive Wyon. ‘Consider Him: Three Meditations on the Passion Story’

London, SCM Press 1956


Christ our life

You are alive                in the beauty of the earth

in the rhythm of the seasons

in the mystery of time and space


Christ our life

You are alive               in the creative possibility

of the dullest conversation,

the dreariest task,

the most threatening event


Christ our life

You are alive               to offer re-creation

to every unhealed hurt

to every deadened place

to every damaged heart


You set before us a great choice.

Therefore we choose life.

The dance of resurrection surges and soars

through the whole creation.

It has set gifts of bread and wine upon our table

This is grace. Dying we live. So let us live. Amen. Kathy Galloway -The Iona Community

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