Week 20, Second Sunday of Easter

Jesus appeared to his disciples with Thomas being absent. While the disciples affirmed Jesus’s resurrection to him, he rejected their testimony, saying he would need bodily proof of Jesus before he would believe. A week later, Jesus again appeared among the disciples behind locked doors, this time with Thomas in attendance. Jesus asked Thomas to inspect his hands and side, to believe and not doubt. Thomas answered our Lord with an exclamation: “My Lord and my God!” Jesus replied to him: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Thank you, eternal God and Father, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for raising your Son from the dead. He is alive, and we know it because we cling to the apostolic witness recorded in your holy Scriptures. Though we have never seen him, we believe in him and love him, and thank you for him. Fill our hearts with his presence as we believe in him. For his sake we pray, amen.

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Pss. 103; 108-110; 122; 124

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 133
Acts*: Acts 4.32-35
Gospel: John 20.19-31
NT: 1 John 1.1-2.2
* During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

May all who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the word of the apostles alone, be blessed to see him with eyes of faith, and so honor him as our one true Lord and Christ. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord, we believe; help our unbelief.

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” These words were wonderfully pertinent, and they can be of very great help to us. They demonstrate once again how much he cares for our souls, for he is good, and as Scripture says, “He wants everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

~ Cyril of Alexandria. Duties of the Clergy. 2.5.19.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
By This We Know Love, 1 John 3.16-24

Book Reading
Davis, Sacred Roots