Following Jesus’s crucifixion on the first day of the week, at early dawn, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb, bringing along the spices they had prepared. When they arrived they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went into the tomb, but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. The women were frightened, and bowed their faces to the ground. The men spoke to them, saying, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” The women remembered these words of Jesus, returned to their party from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. The company of the disciples were skeptical of their testimony, as if it were an idle tale, and did not believe them. But on hearing it, Peter rose and ran to the tomb, and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths that Jesus was wrapped in lying by themselves. Peter then went home, marveling at what had happened.
On this first day of the week, at early dawn, those who traveled to the tomb were met with the greatest surprise and most significant event in the history of humankind: the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. He is no longer in the tomb. He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
God of peace, you brought our Lord Jesus back from the dead to become the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant. Make us complete in everything good so that we do his will, working among us whatever is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
~ William G. Story, A Prayer Book of Catholic Devotions:
Praying the Seasons and Feasts of the Church Year.
Chicago, IL: Loyola Press, 2004. p. 166.
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)
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: 1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chron. 2.1-3.14
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Easter Sunday: Mark 16.1-8; Matt. 28.1-20; Luke 24.13-53; John 20.1-21.25
(Click here for all Easter Evening 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.
Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life, we humbly beseech thee that, as thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ The Sermon and the Propers, Vol 2, in Roger Geffen,
The Handbook of Public Prayer. New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1963. p. 82.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Thanks be to God, for in the rising of his Son the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which will shine brighter and brighter until Christ’s full day.
Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
The world responds to the testimony of Christians to the risen Christ in much the same way that Thomas reacted to the disciples’ testimony. When they told Thomas that Jesus had risen, he refused to believe until he had seen the marks of the cross on him. The world will not believe we are risen with Christ, and therefore they will not also believe in the Christ who is risen until they can see the marks of his cross in us. The world is more likely to believe it if it sees a [person] has been crucified and lives again
~ Roy J. Fish and J. E. Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today.
Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1976. p. 56.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
He Is Not Here, Luke 24.1-12
Fish and Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today