Jesus appears at Emmaus
April 3, 2024

Worship Resources for the Sundays of Eastertide and Ascension Day

Based on texts from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B

IMAGE: JESUS MAFA. Jesus appears at Emmaus from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 2, 2024]. Original source: (contact page:

For those who may be looking for resources for the beginning of worship during Eastertide—the season after Easter—consider the following resources based on the texts from the Revised Common Lectionary but adaptable to any context. As I read through the lectionary readings for this season, many of them centered around love: God’s love for us and the call of Christ’s followers to love each other. Thus, that refrain echoes throughout these resources. Another theme that began with Mark’s account of the women at the tomb is that of doubt and faith and how closely the two reside in each of us.


  • Only the opening for the 2nd and 3rd Sundays are included in the blog. A downloadable copy of all of the openings of worship from Easter through Ascension can be found at You will need to make your own copy of the document before you can do any editing.
  • All material not written by the author is indicated and can be used in worship setting without additional permission. Please do include all copyright notices when using the material and add the following when utilizing the newly written material or referencing the resource as a whole: —Joyce Borger © 2024 Reformed Worship, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Used by permission.
  • Portions that appear in the colored font are for the worship leader only and do not need to appear in a bulletin or be projected.
  • * Congregation is invited to stand in body or spirit.

Second Sunday of Easter: April 7, 2024

God's Greeting*

Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

The God who has the power
to make what was dead alive again,
and loved us so much that he sent Christ
to die for our sins so we may live---
that is the God who calls us here today,
and greets us with these words:
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine."

Opening Words: Psalm 133*

How good and pleasant it is
      when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
      running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
      down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
      were falling on Mount Zion.

For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
      even life forevermore.

Song of Praise: 

Christ is Alive! Let Christians Sing” Wren
Oh How Good It Is” Getty et al.
See How Good It Is (Psalm 133)” Kimbrough and McCracken
Miren qué bueno/Oh, Look and Wonder” Sosa

Call to Confession

Scripture says:
 "If we claim to be without sin,
we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins,
God is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.
If we claim we have not sinned,
we make God out to be a liar
and his word is not in us." (1 John 1: 8–10)

Let us then, confident of God's forgiveness,
confess our sins to God,
using the words provided, praying:

Prayer of Confession

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. 

—The Book of Common Prayer, according to the use of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. © 1977, Charles Mortimer Guilbert as custodian; public domain. p. 79, alt.

Assurance of Pardon

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: 
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 
If we claim to have fellowship with him 
and yet walk in the darkness, 
we lie and do not live out the truth. 
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, 
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, 
purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1: 5–7). 

Be assured that you are forgiven, 
walk in the light, and live in unity together. 

The Lord bestows his blessing, 
even life forevermore. (Psalm 133:3)

Third Sunday of Easter: April 14, 2024

God's Greeting*

Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! 

The God who has the power
to make what was dead alive again, 
and loved us so much that he sent Christ
to die for our sins so we may live— 
that is the God who calls us here today, 
and greets us with these words: 
 "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine."

Opening Words (invite the congregation to be seated)

For some of us it may be easy for us to declare that "Christ is risen", 
we feel it in our bones, 
we see the evidence around us. 
Others of us are full of doubt, 
or at least have a few questions we'd like to ask of God. 
And we are in good company, 
the Psalmist also had a few questions for God. 

Today, our opening words come to us from Psalm 4. 
It is a dialogue between God and both doubt and faith, 
which often are not that far from each other. 

Reading today is [name] as doubt, [name] as the voice of God, and [name] as faith. 

Answer me when I call to you,
      my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
      have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
      How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
      the Lord hears when I call to him.

Tremble and do not sin;
      when you are on your beds,
      search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
      and trust in the Lord.

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
      Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
      when their grain and new wine abound.

Faith and Doubt:
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
      for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.

Sung Prayer

Come to Us, Beloved Stranger” Downing
Shine on Us” Smith and Smith
“Psalm 4: O God, Defender of the Poor” Idle
O For a Closer Walk with Thee” Cowper

Call to Confession

God calls us to "tremble and do not sin" 
and to "search our hearts". 
When we search our hearts 
we find that we have sinned. 
It isn't that our doubt or the act of questioning God is sinful,
but rather when we stop coming to God, 
when we knowingly turn our back on God, 
running after delusions and false gods thinking they have the answers. 

So we come to God in this time of confession 
not because of doubt or questions, 
but because we have turned to the wrong places for answers 
and need our hearts attuned to God's. 

Prayer of Confession

Almighty God, 
so many psalms reveal a heart sighing, crying, 
and breaking with sorrow, 
yet still clinging to faith in you. 
Even in the midst of sorrow and doubt 
we acknowledge that we are afflicted by sin, 
that things are not as they should be in the world or in our heart. 
And in good times we think we have the answers 
and don't need you, 
And so we fail to recognize our sin at all. 

In Jesus Christ, you have given us what we need most, 
yet somehow we continue to turn to other places, 
other people, other things and ideologies. 

Even though it is Christ's cross 
that makes our salvation and forgiveness possible, 
we consistently get distracted by the world's vain promises. 

Send your Spirit to set the world aright, 
and in good times and in times of struggle 
tune our hearts to God's so that we may truly sing your praises.

Humbly we beg your pardon for our sin 
and ask that your truth will be revealed, 
and our hearts open to receive Christ Jesus as Lord of every part of our life, 
trusting in his unfailing love. 

—TWS 2.2.39, alt., Joyce Borger

Assurance of Pardon

Receive these words of grace: 
"The Lord is merciful and gracious, 
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 
He will not always accuse, 
nor will he keep his anger forever. 
He does not deal with us according to our sins, 
nor repay us according to our iniquities. 
For as the heavens are high above the earth, 
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 
as far as the east is from the west, 
so far he removes our transgressions from us. 
As a father has compassion for his children, 
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him". 

—Psalm 103:8–13, NRSV

For the remaining weeks go to: 

Rev. Joyce Borger is senior editor of Reformed Worship and a resource development specialist at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.