A Liturgy for Easter Day with Holy Communion

This Easter Service with communion is a celebration of our glorious hope rooted in Christ’s resurrection. But while being united with Christ in his death and resurrection through our baptism assures us of our salvation, this service reminds us that Easter also has ethical implications. The God who breathed life into the world, whose breath brought back to life Christ, his Son, and whose Spirit breathes new life into our souls and into creation invites us to join in the act of re-creation and renewal. The new life we experience because of Easter is meant to be shared. As Luti writes in this liturgy, “Hoping against hope for the promised realm of peace, we love one another while we live, we honor every creature God has made, we stand against the powers of sin and death, and we bless the earth and all that fills it.”

This liturgy originally appeared on Dr. Luti’s blog, Sicut Locutus Est (sicutlocutusest.com). We are grateful to the author for allowing us to reprint it here.



Easter Service


Hymn: “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” Wesley, LUYH 182, GtG 245, SSS 181


Dear friends in Christ:

The night is over! The morning is here!

Christ is risen, risen as he said!

Sadness has vanished! Tears are no more!

Death has fled! Life is victorious!

This is the day the Lord has made:

We rejoice! We are glad in it!

Come, assemble for the Feast of Life,

the Feast of the Kingdom of God!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Easter Peace

Beloved in Christ,

God’s love pours out from the grave of despair.

The Risen One comes with hands full of love.

He greets us with peace the world does not know;

he gives us peace the world cannot give.

Alleluia! Christ’s peace is ours forever!

Now greet each other with Easter peace!

The Easter Peace is shared.

Hymn: “This Is the Day” Garrett, SSS 379

Prayer for Understanding

At your word, God of Life,

the earth grows green

and every creature springs to life!

Re-create us too, we pray, by your holy Word.

As we receive the ancient Good News,

give us the new joy and justice of Easter—

all death destroyed, all captives freed!

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Reading: Jeremiah 31:1–6, 10–12

Responsive Chant: Psalm 118:1–6, 15–18, 24

[Alternatively, sing a hymn based on Psalm 118, such as “Give Thanks to God for All His Goodness” Wiersma, LUYH 196]

Reading: John 20:1–18

Hymn: “Come and Taste of Resurrection” Layzer, Sykes tinyurl.com/RW150ComeandTaste

“Christ Is Risen! Shout Hosanna” Wren, LUYH 204, GtG 248

Sermon: “Come and Taste of Resurrection”

Response of Faith

The congregation stands.

Let us declare our faith together:

We believe in the God of Life,

whose breath is in us

and whose mercy encircles the creation.

We believe in Jesus Christ,

who loved us indestructibly

and who shared our pain.

He is with us now as he promised,

even to the end of the age.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

who welcomes us into the household of faith,

gives us gifts in abundance,

enlivens our hearts with joy,

and urges us into the world

to testify without fear

to God’s justice and grace.

Hoping against hope

for the promised realm of peace,

we love one another while we live,

we honor every creature God has made,

we stand against the powers of sin and death,

and we bless the earth and all that fills it.

Glory, thanks, and praise be yours,

O Living God, now and forever! Amen.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Invitation to Offering

Good friends,

since by his resurrection

we have new life in Christ,

let us live as new people,

bound to each other

by cords of compassion,

attentive to the needs

of neighbors far and near,

committed to the earth

and every living thing,

eager to serve and share.

For the sake of this ministry,

we gratefully receive the Easter offering.


Doxology: “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow” Ken, LUYH 965, GtG 606, SSS 696

Prayer of Dedication


Easter Communion


The people remain standing.

Easter people, come now to the table with Christ!

For he is risen! He lives, and he presides at this feast!

Come, eat together the bread of life!

For he is risen, and nothing separates us from God’s love!

Come, drink together from the cup of gladness!

For Christ is risen—risen as he said!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


Praise to you, God of glory!

You created the universe and all living things.

You breathed life into our dust

and gave us a paradise.

You sought us when we hid ourselves,

ashamed of our sin.

You made a people for yourself,

and saved them from oppression.

In the fullness of time,

your love came also to us in your servant Jesus.

He ministered to us,

healing, overcoming divisions, welcoming all.

He died on the cross of shame.

But you vindicated him,

giving him a life that is forever new!

This is the life he shares with us:

a life of justice, mercy,

and citizenship in your realm of peace.

All your creatures testify to your mighty deeds!

They declare your everlasting love!

We too proclaim it,

as with the angels of heaven we sing:

Sanctus: “Santo, Santo, Santo / Holy, Holy, Holy” Traditional, LUYH 814

[Or another version of the Sanctus. Alternatively, the Sanctus can be spoken.]

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

—International Consultation on English Texts (ICET)

Remembering and Giving Thanks

The congregation is seated.

Now, O God, with grateful hearts we remember Jesus.


We remember that he was laid in a borrowed grave.

A heavy stone sealed up the tomb.

We remember that the women came,

early in the morning, on the third day.

They did not find him among the dead.

We remember that his disciples met him on the road.

He opened the Scriptures, explaining everything,

and their hearts burned within them.

They said to him,

“Stay with us, for it is evening.”

So he went in with them.

And while they were at table,

he took bread, gave thanks,

and broke it for them to share.

Then their eyes were opened,

and they knew him in the breaking of the bread.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit,

bless this bread that earth has given

and human hands have made.

Bless also this fruit of the vine,

created for our gladness.

Make them the food and drink of everlasting life,

body surrendered, blood poured out.

As we rejoice in the resurrection,

give us love for each other,

and make us servants of peace,

until your new realm is revealed

and every creature beholds it

We pray in the name of Jesus, who lives

and presides at this table,

our host and our feast.

Thanks be to him, who taught us to say . . .

The Lord’s Prayer

[After the Lord’s Prayer, the ministers and other worship leaders break the bread and place the pieces in baskets or on plates for distribution. During the breaking of bread, “Lamb of God” John 1:29, LUYH 822 or another appropriate song or chant is sung.]

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God . . .

Sharing Bread and Cup

[The communion elements are distributed. When all the people have received, they rise to give thanks.]

Post-Communion Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks!

Thank you, God, for life in the Spirit of Jesus,

for gladness in this bread and cup,

for love that cannot die,

for peace the world cannot give,

for joy in the company of friends,

for the splendors of creation,

and for the mission of justice you have made our own.

Give us the gifts of this holy communion—

oneness of heart, love for neighbors,

forgiveness of enemies,

the will to serve you every day,

and risen life that never ends.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Hymn “Alleluia! The Strife Is O’er” Synphonia Sirenum, LUYH 185


[The triple burst of praise at the end may be delivered by three different voices.]

May the living God

who raised Jesus from the dead

bless you and keep you

and make you shine with joy.

May God raise up new life in you

and give you peace,

for the sake of Jesus, Lord of Life!

1. Christ is risen! Tell the world!

Risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Christ is risen! Tell the world!

Risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

3. Christ is risen! Tell the world!

Risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Sung Response: “Mfurahini, haleluya / Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia” Kyamanywa, LUYH 188


Rev. Dr. Mary Luti is a retired minister and professor. For twenty-two years before her retirement, Luti taught the history of Christianity, Christian worship, and preaching at the former Andover Newton Theological School (now Andover Newton Seminary at Yale). Ordained in the United Church of Christ, she also served First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as its sixteenth minister since 1633 and the first woman to occupy that historic pulpit. Her most recent publication is Do This: Communion for Just and Courageous Living, from Pilgrim Press (Stillspeaking Writers Group).

Reformed Worship 150 © December 2023, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.