I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.
Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Christ is risen!
People: Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
Leader: We come to retell the ancient stories,
to restore our dreams and hopes for new beginnings.
People: We come with joy to laugh and sing,
to remember that love is stronger than death.
Leader: We come to celebrate the power of resurrection, even when all hope seems lost.
Christ is risen!
All: Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy One, even as we celebrate
the resurrection of your Chosen One,
we remain skeptical.
People: We confess that we often do not believe
that we are newly born into living hope.
Leader: We seek to live in the power
of imagination, myth, and dreams.
People: But usually we cling
to what we see, know, and experience,
afraid to trust the reality beyond our knowing.
Leader: When goodness, beauty, and love
seem too much to hope for,
we forget to rely on your promised deliverance.
All: Holy One, hear our prayers, forgive us,
and restore us to the joy of your salvation.
Leader: In the Risen Christ,
God’s mercy triumphs over sin and death.
Through Jesus’ name we receive
forgiveness of all our sins.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
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: Holy Maker of living hope, we give you thanks for life,
for dreams and memories that help us stand together
in the face of grief and loss.
People: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
filling us with laughter
as we learn to live and love anew.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Child, Jesus,
whose life and death and resurrection
raise hope beyond experience.
People: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
with steady roots and open flowers of hope,
calling us to be your Body here and now,
in new, surprising, hopeful ways.
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.
Leader: Let us go forth from this place
leaving the empty tomb behind.
Let us tell again the ancient saving stories,
celebrate the triumph of love over death,
hope over fear,
and joy over sadness.
Be the good news that Christ has risen indeed!
All: Alleluia! Amen.