Service for Easter Day


A Service for Easter Day

 

Preparation:

Before beginning to read this short service, you may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or a special place.  This is the day when our Lord passed from death to life.  

 

Throughout the world Christians celebrate the awesome power of God. As we hear his word and proclaim all that God has done, we can be confident that we shall share his victory over death and live with him for ever. May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

 

We begin by listening to a J.S. Bach Chorale Prelude "Jesus Christus unser heiland”, played by Simon Lole:

 https://youtu.be/xFYWMWeqlgw

 

 

Christ yesterday and today,

the beginning and the end,

Alpha and Omega,

all time belongs to him,

and all ages;

to him be glory and power,

through every age and for ever. Amen.

 

The Collect

 

Let us pray that we may walk the risen life of Christ in glory.

 

Silence is kept.

 

Lord of all life and power,

who through the mighty resurrection of your Son

overcame the old order of sin and death

to make all things new in him:

grant that we, being dead to sin

and alive to you in Jesus Christ,

may reign with him in glory;

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit

be praise and honour, glory and might,

now and in all eternity.

Amen.

 

The First Hymn

Jesus Christ is Risen Today - access Simon’s accompaniment here: https://youtu.be/k2t1qxPj-J8

 

1 Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

who did once upon the cross Alleluia!

suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

 

2 Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!

unto Christ our heavenly King, Alleluia!

who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!

sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

 

3 But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!

our salvation have procured; Alleluia!

now above the sky he's King, Alleluia!

where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

 

 

The Reading:

Colossians 3: 1-4

 

The Gospel:

John 20: 1-18 or Mark 16: 1-8

 

Homily

Writing for the Easter Day on-line service sheet needs to be done in the heart of Holy Week; so, I reach forward to be where we are today, writing of the Resurrection of Christ as I prepare for Good Friday.  Today as we read this we are doing the opposite.  We rejoice with the women at the tomb, and the disciples as their eyes are opened to their risen, living Lord; in joy we proclaim that Christ is alive.  Alleluia!

Yet, at the same time we live with the bewilderment of the disciples, the doubt of Thomas, the questioning of the men on the Emmaus road discussing with Jesus himself what has been happening.  He was dead, he was crucified, he was laid in a tomb.  How can this be?  In Simon Lole’s “Sacred Harmony” programme for this Easter Sunday, he and I discuss the hymn with which this service began: “Jesus Christ is risen today”.  In this we make the point that this hymn whilst joyful with the news of Easter is not forgetful of what Christ suffered three days ago.  The first two lines of the first verse reflect the Resurrection, the third and fourth lines refer back to Good Friday.  The second verse is the same.  The last verse reverses the order, beginning with the Cross and ending with the risen and ascended Christ triumphant, “where the angels ever sing. Alleluia.”

The miracle of the Resurrection of Christ is what sustained the leadership of the early Church.  The apostles were those who had witnessed Christ alive in the forty days between today and Ascension Day.  They, together, lived with the amazement that accompanied the revelation to them: that their Master, who had been flogged and crucified; broken, nailed hand and foot, with a spear in his side, was alive and with them.  This for them, and for us, is a miracle beyond complete description and explanation; we just know that it has happened, we hear the witnesses, feel Christ’s presence, pray in and to a living Lord, read of the experience of our brothers and sisters in Christ over two thousand years.  Alleluia!

As we proclaim today, in our churches outwardly and with joyful hymns and prayers, and in the inner sanctum of our hearts with an emotional rending of the fear of death, that because Christ lives, we too may live, with the many who have gone on before us.  We are one with them, in a Church united throughout the centuries and across the world; serving a risen and ascended Lord; praising God, whose love for us has been, and is, expressed from Cross to empty tomb; from suffering and death to new life; new hope; new you and me, in Christ, and for all eternity.  Alleluia!

John Mann

 

 Second Hymn

 

Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem

https://youtu.be/MHmGQLsG-Nw

 

Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,

your sweetest notes employ,

the paschal victory to hymn

in strains of holy joy.

 

How Judah's Lion burst his chains,

and crushed the serpent's head;

and brought with him, from death's domains

to wake the imprisoned dead.

 

From hell's devouring jaws their prey

at his command restore;

his ransomed hosts pursue their way

where Jesus goes before.

 

Triumphant in his glory now

to him all power is given;

to him in one communion bow

all saints in earth and heaven.

 

While we his soldiers praise our King,

his mercy we implore,

within his palace bright to bring

and keep us evermore.

 

All glory to the Father be,

all glory to the Son,

all glory, Holy Ghost to thee,

while endless ages run. Alleluia

 

 

Prayers

 

We pray to Jesus who is present with us to eternity.

 

Jesus, light of the world,

bring the light and peace of your gospel to the nations, especially at this time of world-wide distress at the spreading pandemic.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.

 

Jesus, bread of life,

give food to the hungry, 

and nourish us all with your word.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.

 

Jesus, our way, our truth, our life,

be with us and all who follow you in the way.

Deepen our appreciation of your truth

and fill us with your life.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.

 

Jesus, Good Shepherd who gave your life for the sheep,

recover the straggler,

bind up the injured,

strengthen the sick

and lead the healthy and strong to new pastures.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.

 

Jesus, the resurrection and the life,

we give you thanks for all who have lived and believed in you.

Raise us with them to eternal life.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us,

accept our prayers, and be with us always.

Amen.

 

Third Hymn

 

Alleluia, Alleluia, hearts to heaven: https://youtu.be/5k8FQMS2tGs

 

Alleluia, alleluia!

Hearts to heaven and voices raise:

sing to God a hymn of gladness,

sing to God a hymn of praise.

He, who on the cross a victim,

for the world's salvation bled,

Jesus Christ, the King of glory,

now is risen from the dead.

 

Christ is risen, Christ, the first fruits

of the holy harvest field,

which will all its full abundance

at his second coming yield:

then the golden ears of harvest

will their heads before him wave,

ripened by his glorious sunshine

from the furrows of the grave.

 

Christ is risen, we are risen!

Shed upon us heavenly grace,

rain and dew and gleams of glory

from the brightness of thy face;

that we, with our hearts in heaven,

here on earth may fruitful be,

and by angel hands be gathered,

and be ever, Lord, with thee.

 

Alleluia, alleluia!

Glory be to God on high;

Alleluia! to the Saviour

who has gained the victory;

Alleluia! to the Spirit,

fount of love and sanctity:

Alleluia, alleluia!

to the Triune Majesty

 

Easter acclamations:

 

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He has given us new life and hope.

He has raised Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.

He has brought us out of darkness.

He has made us light to the world.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

 

God the Father,

by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,

open to all who believe the gates of everlasting life.

Amen.

God the Son,

who in bursting from the grave has won a glorious victory,

give us joy as we share the Easter faith.

Amen.

God the Holy Spirit,

who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord,

empower us and fill us with Christs peace.

Amen.

 

 

J.S. Bach Prelude and Fugue in C major: https://youtu.be/QgfXles6UkE

 

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included here,

is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2006 and published by Church House Publishing.

 

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