Shake out your qualms.
Shake up your dreams.
Deepen your roots.
Extend your branches.
Trust deep water
and head for the open,
even if your vision
James Broughton, excerpt from “Easter Exultet” in Little Sermons of the Big Joy.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God of birth and death and resurrection,
we come because your love is calling us.
Leader: Christ lives among us,
an ever-present promise of transforming faith.
Leader: Christ lives within us,
calling us to shake up our dreams,
to reach for new beginnings.
Leader: Christ is risen!
All: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy Opener of tombs and Maker of dreams,
we are frightened at the prospect of transformation.
People: We want to survive and not to perish.
Leader: Our roots feel quite deep enough,
and our branches seem to reach far enough.
People: We are satisfied and comfortable with our own ways.
Leader: Our small boats are not suited to deep water.
We fear being shipwrecked.
All: We confess that we are dismayed at the prospect
of resurrection, change and transformation.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One knows our fears and fills our sails.
The Risen Christ comforts and strengthens us
as we head for open water.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen
Leader 1: This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
Leader 2: We gather now as one body, joined around the table.
Here we celebrate God’s presence among us
united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;
All: Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,
sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing,
believing, rejoicing, being,
as God lights and rests among us.
Leader 1: God of roots and branches and deep, open water,
we give you thanks for birth and death and resurrection,
transforming fear into faith and faith into new life.
People: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
who sends us dangerous dreams and visions,
transforming our broken rafts into vessels of faith.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for Jesus, the Christ,
who lived and died and rose again,
transforming the faith of those who love him.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
whose Alleluia shakes up our dreams,
transforming us into the Body of Christ,
given for the transformation of the world.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night of his arrest, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
All: O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Unite us with Christ forever
and bring us with the whole creation
to your eternal realm.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
If you do not wish to receive the elements today you are welcome to join the circle and allow them to pass, or remain in your seat. We serve grape juice in our cups.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world.