Easter Liturgy

The following liturgy was submitted by Rev. Herman Praamsma, pastor of the Fellowship CRC ofRexdale, Ontario. The liturgy was adapted by Dr. Bert Polman from a form prepared by the Liturgical Committee of the Christian Reformed Church for use during an Easter Service; this liturgy can be used for all Sundays in Eastertide. The season of the church year called Eastertide lasts fifty days and includes Ascension, the day when we rejoice in the reign of Christ at God's right hand.

*If you are able, please stand

Our Worship Begins

*Leader: Christ the Lord is risen!

*People: He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

*Leader: O sing unto the Lord, for he has done excellent things.

*People sing: ("Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain," stanza 3)
"Alleluia!" now we cry to our King immortal, who, triumphant, burst the bars of the tomb's
dark portal;
"Alleluia!" with the Son, God the Father praising;
"Alleluia!" yet again to the Spirit raising.

*Leader: Grace be to you and peace, from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of kings on earth.

*People: Alleluia, amen!

*All sing: (suggested: "I Serve a Risen Savior" or "Christ Our Lord Is Risen Today")

We Hear the Word of the Lord

Leader: Let us pray.

People: Almighty God, who through your Son
overcame death
and opened to us the gate of everlasting life,
grant that we who celebrate our Lord's
resurrection
may arise from the death of our sin
through the renewal of your Holy Spirit
and may hear and obey your living Word
of truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who now lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit,
one God forever. Alleluia, amen!

Scripture Reading(s)

Children's Story and or Song

Sermon

We Respond to the Word of the Lord

*All sing: (hymn chosen by minister)

*Confession of Faith:

Leader: How does Christ's resurrection benefit us?

People: First, by his resurrection he has
overcome death,
so that he might make us share in the
righteousness
he won for us by his death.
Second, by his power we too
are already now resurrected to a new life.
Third, Christ's resurrection
is a guarantee of our glorious resurrection.
This is our faith and hope. Alleluia, amen.
(from Heidelberg Catechism Q & A 45)

*All sing: "This Joyful Eastertide"

Congregational Prayers (may be solicited), which may be preceded by other joyful and appropriate responses to the Easter Gospel.

Offering of Gifts
(Ordinarily the Lord's Supper will follow; during the offertory the table xoill be prepared. If the sacrament is not to be celebrated, the service may conclude with PartV.)

We Celebrate the Lord's Supper

Leader: Brothers and sisters in Christ, the gospels tell us that on the first day of the week, the same day on which our Lord rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. Come then to the joyful feast of the Lord!

*The Thanksgiving
Leader: Lift up your hearts.

People: We lift them up to the Lord.

Leader: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People: It is right for us to give thanks,
It is our joy and peace
at all times and in all places
to give thanks to you, almighty,
everlasting God,
through Christ, our Lord.

Leader: For he is the true Lamb who has taken away
the sins of the world.
By his death he has destroyed death for us.
By his rising again, he has restored life to us.
Therefore, with the whole company of saints—
in heaven and on earth—
We worship and glorify you, God most holy,
and we sing with joy:

People sing: ("Good Christians, All Rejoice and
Sing," stanza 4)
Your name we bless, O risen Lord,
And sing today with one accord
The life laid down, the life restored.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The Institution and Memorial

Leader: We give thanks to God the Father that our Savior, Jesus Christ, gave us this memorial of his sacrifice, until his coming again. For the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it (here the minister shall break the bread) and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way the cup, after supper (here the minister shall pour the wine and lift up the cup) saying, "This cup is a new covenant of my blood. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

People: Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your resurrection we affirm with joy.
Your coming we await with hope.
Glory be to you, Lord Jesus. Alleluia!

Prayer of Consecration

Leader: Let us pray.
Lord God, send your Holy Spirit upon us, that the bread which we break may be to us the communion of the body of Christ, and the cup which we bless the communion of his blood. Grant that being joined together in him we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things unto him who is the head, Christ our risen Lord.

People: Amen!

The Invitation and Dedication

Leader: Congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord has prepared this table for all who love him and trust in him alone for their salvation. All who are truly sorry for their sins, who sincerely believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior, and who desire to live in obedience to him, are now invited to come with gladness to the table of the Lord.

People: We praise you, Lord, for these gifts of bread and wine. We offer ourselves as your people in your service.

Leader: For Christ indeed has been raised from the dead [here the minister lifts the elements], the First-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Alleluia!

The Communion

(During the distribution Scripture may be read or the congregation may sing songs such as the following: "He Is Lord," "Abba, Father," "Eat This Bread," "In the Quiet Consecration")

Our Worship Concludes

*Leader: Congregation of Jesus Christ, since the Lord has blessed us with his Word (and Holy Supper), let us praise his name with thanksgiving.

*All: Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord!

*Leader: Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord!

*All sing: ("Alleluia, Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven and Voices Raise," stanza 4)
Alleluia, Alleluia! Glory to the Three-in-One:
To the Father, and the Savior, who the victory
has won;
glory to the Holy Spirit, fount of love
and sanctity;
alleluia, alleluia to the triune Majesty!

Bert Polman (bdp5@calvin.edu) is a hymnologist who is a professor and chair of the music department at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.