Easter Words

What words express the mystery of the unknowable?  the beliefs that defy the rules of nature?  our faith? our doubt?

What words enable the wordless to speak?  the deaf to understand?

Dare we speak truth into this mystery?  exasperation?  doubt?  solid faith?

Explore these Worship Words resources to find words for your worship experience on this day of unexplained mystery.

Worship resources:

Worship resources, easy access on this site:

Mafa Art

 

 

 

At the Tomb

 

 

 

1st voice: Woman, why are you weeping?

1st woman: We mourn these dark days of death and denial.
Abandoned, betrayed, forsaken.
Left alone. Jesus gone.
Where have they laid him?

1st voice: Woman, why are you weeping?

2nd woman: We are afraid for our Leader.
Humiliated in both life and death.
Robbed from the grave.
O where have they laid him?

2nd voice: Mary, do not hold onto me.

1st voice: Women, why are you weeping?

Women: We weep for Jesus, missing.
We weep for Columbian* kin, missing.
We weep for children entangled in bitter domestic disputes, missing.

1st voice: Men, why are you weeping?

Men: We weep for Jesus, humiliated and tortured.
We weep for all political prisoners, suffering at the hands of oppressors.
We weep for Muslims vilified by world powers and the media.
We weep for peaceful protestors violently opposed.

1st voice: Women, why are you weeping?

Women: We weep for Jesus, abandoned and alone.
We weep for the elderly, separated from family and community.
We weep for children, orphaned by AIDS.
We weep for the our young, devastated by war.

2nd voice: Do not hold on to me as I was.
For I am with you, now, in the least of these.
As you weep for them, you weep for me.
As you serve them, you serve me.

All: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ lives in the gardener,
in the immigrant who mows our lawns and trims our shrubs.
Christ lives in the teacher,
the day care worker who minds our children.
Christ lives in the tortured,
the prisoners of “the war on terrorism.”
Christ lives in those for whom we weep.

Alleluia!
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

*Columbian: consider changing this reference to a nation currently in crisis.

Written for worship at Mulgrave Church of Christ, Victoria, Australia, July 2005

Welcome & Invitation
Here is the table set for our special meal.
The bread, the juice, prepared and presented.
Ready to be served and shared.

We remember Jesus sharing a meal like this with his disciples, his friends.
He included everyone, those he could trust and those he could not trust.

Today we are his disciples, his friends.
Each one of us is welcome. How amazing it is to be loved and wanted even when we have not been perfect. How wonderful it is to be included as we are.

Words of Remembrance: the communion story
When Jesus shared the bread with his friends, he explained that he is the Bread of Life. Like bread, Jesus nourishes and strengthens us so that we can know right and wrong and not be confused. When we eat the bread together, we are strengthened as a community to remember Jesus and do the things Jesus would do in our world.

Jesus also used a cup of the fruit of grapes to teach his disciples. He compared the red juice to blood, to help us remember the suffering in the world. Drinking the juice together helps us remember that we are all part of a special agreement, a covenant, with God. God loves us so much that when we make mistakes, or when we make bad choices, God has agreed to forgive us and give us a second chance, every time.

This is ordinary bread and ordinary juice. But when we eat the bread together and drink the juice together, something extraordinary happens which brings us closer to Jesus and to one another. We become the ‘Body of Christ.’ Which means that our eyes and ears see and hear what Jesus would see in our world. And our arms and hands do Jesus’s work to help others.

Sharing the bread and juice
When you take a piece of bread, please hold it until everyone has a piece. Then we will all eat together.
When everyone has bread:
The Bread of Life shared with you.
Be strengthened to do what is right.

When you take a cup of juice, please hold it until everyone has been served. Then we will all eat together.

When everyone has a cup:
The Cup of Forgiveness shared with you.
Remember God’s agreement to give each of us another chance to be better people.

OR
If people come forward in small groups to be served:

Please come forward to receive the Bread of Life.
May it strengthen you to do what is right.

Please come forward to receive the Cup of Forgiveness.
Remember God’s agreement to give each of us another chance to be better people.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of love, [for Easter: Thank you for this Easter celebration!] Thank you for strengthening us with the Bread of Life. Thank you for forgiving us and giving us another chance to do what is right. We promise to be the living Body of Christ, nourished by this special meal. We promise to use our arms, hands, feet, eyes and ears to follow Jesus and make the world a better place for everyone. Amen.

A worship resource from Christian Aid UK

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,
Alleluia.

Christ our life,
You are alive in the tenderness of touch,
In the heartbeat of intimacy,
In the insights of solitude,
Alleluia.

Christ our life,
You are alive in the creative possibility of the dullest conversation,
The dreariest task,
The most nerve-racking event,
Alleluia.

Christ our life,
You are alive to offer new creation
To every unhealed hurt,
To every deadened place,
To every damaged heart,
Alleluia.

You set before us a great choice.
Therefore we choose life.
The reality of resurrection soars and surges through the whole creation.
This is grace,
Dying we live.
Therefore let us live.
Alleluia.