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Easter Sunday Outside


Call to Worship

Resurrection starts
with the cry of grief,
an empty place,
a familiar voice.

It's tiny...
like the fingers of a newborn.
Seemingly insignificant...
like the grain that lands in the clam's open mouth.
'Often overlooked...
like the leaf bud on the tree.

Christ has risen.
Waiting for us to take notice.
Christ has risen.
Waiting for us to respond.
Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed!

Litany of Easter Celebration - Resurrection Insurrection

Our story is a resurrection story.
Christ has risen! Christ has risen indeed!

We come to wanting to celebrate
an extraordinary historical event.
Be gentle with us as we remember
that our story has a context.

Our story surges with life.
Christ has risen! Christ has risen indeed!

We come ready to celebrate
the extravagant welcome of a hero.
Be gentle with us as we remember
that the radical inclusivity of Jesus wasn't always welcome.

Our story is an invitation to insurrection.
Christ has risen! Christ has risen indeed!

We come with reserve to celebrate
the exceptional life of a saint.
Be gentle with us as we remember
that Jesus asked us to follow.

Christ has risen! Let the resurrection insurrection begin!
Christ has risen indeed!

Invocation
Written for Evangelical United Church of Christ, 2000. Copyright Katherine Hawker.

Holy God,
we gather in manic confusion.
Christ rose, but Jesus died.
As we struggle to grasp your majesty
our fingers are burned by your passion.
We live, but first we die.
Holy God,
we gather in manic confusion.
Meet us here
among the lilies.

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Call to Worship - Christ has Risen!
Inspired by the work of Heifer Project, Int. Written for Evangelical United Church of Christ, 1999. Copyright Katherine Hawker.

Christ has risen!
Christ has risen indeed!

No longer does death and decay hold power over us for the tomb is empty and the presence of the risen Christ is all around us.

Christ is alive!
Alleluia! Amen!

Despair is no longer the final word. Christ lives in us, through us, beyond us in the finest and most horrific circumstances.

Christ has risen!
Christ has risen indeed!

Christ lives in ravaged lands where a newborn calf is passed on to a hungry family who will now have milk.

Christ lives in nursing homes as slow and gnarled hands reach out to wipe a neighbor's tear.

Christ lives in the crocus that will not bow to winter's late winds offering hope to all who witness its beauty.

Christ is alive!
Alleluia! Amen!

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Call to Worship - integrated with opening hymn
Written for the Union Church UCC of Tekonsha, 1994. After each spoken stanza, insert verse of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today".

Let us sing praise to our Creator,
who dared to take on human flesh
and share the burdens of ordinary life with us.

(verse)

Let us sing praise to our Redeemer,
who endured ultimate suffering and betrayal
so that hatred and evil will have no hold on us.

(verse)

Let us sing praise to our Sustainer,
who appeared to Mary Magdalene that first Easter morn
showing that God’s love is victorious over even death.

(verse)

Let us sing praise to the living God,
who was, and is, and shall be forever more.
Alleluia! Amen.

(verse)

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Prayer of Confession (unison)
Written for Evangelical United Church of Christ, 1999. Copyright Katherine Hawker.

God of the empty tomb, we come to this joyful Easterfest with eyes
focused on the lilies;
guide our timid eyes to the cross.

Remind us again of the tomb; filled and now empty.
Remind us again of Mary's tears; of sorrow and now joy.
Remind us again of Peter's words; denial and now telling.

God of the empty tomb, grant us the grace to accept
both the cost and the joy of following you.

 

Litany of Confession and Assurance
Written for Evangelical United Church of Christ, 1998. Copyright Katherine Hawker.

Alleluia! Christ has risen!
Christ has risen, Indeed!
Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed!
Alleluia!
Christ has risen!
Alleluia!
Christ!
Alle-
Luia!

God who weaves extraordinary patterns into our ordinary lives;
Forgive us for complacency.
Forgive us for taking you and yours for granted.
Forgive us for failing to accept either the cost or the joy of discipleship.

Hallelujah! Christ has risen!
Christ has risen, Indeed!
Hallelujah! Christ has risen!
Christ has risen, Indeed!
Hallelujah! Christ has risen!
Christ has risen, Indeed!

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Prayer of Thanksgiving/Dedication
Written for Evangelical United Church of Christ, 1997. Copyright Katherine Hawker.

Holy God, we came to this table
tempted to deny the pain of life,
scarred from too many broken dreams,
knowing that we are not immune to evil's lure.

And you met us at this table;
embracing us I our brokenness,
naming us "beloved",
claiming us for an eternity.

We thank you,
living
loving
God.

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Easter Beauty

Written for Evangelical United Church of Christ, 2001. Copyright Katherine Hawker.

Call to Worship

Eyes exposed to the suffering of Christ in all humanity,
may we see your promise in the Empty Tomb.
May we see beauty before us.

Christ has risen! Alleluia!

Ears throbbing as the sounds of hatred echo through time,
may we hear the love song of your Word.
May we hear beauty behind us.

Christ has risen! Alleluia!

Lips burning from the bitter tang rejection,
may we taste the sweetness of your decisive Claim in our lives.
May we taste beauty above us.

Christ has risen! Alleluia!

Hands bloodied from lifting the Body broken,
may we touch the strength of the risen One.
May we touch beauty below us.

Christ has risen! Alleluia!

Noses numb from the rancid odor of decay,
may we smell the fragrance of the Gardener’s flowers.
May we smell beauty around us.

Christ has risen! Alleluia!

Opened fully to the experience of despair,
may we know the beauty of Resurrection.
May we experience beauty within us.

Christ has risen! Alleluia!


Prayer of Dedication

Hear at this table your promise is made visible,
we have heard the song of your love,
tasted your sweet claim on our lives,
touched your strength, and smelled your perfume.
Together at this table, you have offered to us beauty.
And we give you thanks.
Amen.

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Easter Dandelions
Written for Evangelical United Church of Christ, 1998. Copyright Katherine Hawker.

Communion Prayer

God of the Dandelion,
Creation's source and our confusion,
Definer of beauty and all things good,
Hear our prayer.
We come to the table to receive once again;

Fully aware and yet blind
To the myriad of ways we have plundered the source.
We come to eat bread,
But have poisoned the earth that once harbored grain.
We come to find life in the cup,
But discover that we have pillaged the tree that once bore fruit.

God of the Dandelion,
Creation's source and our confusion,
Definer of beauty and all things good,
Hear our prayer.

Defying the most diligent gardener, the dandelion blooms.
Defying our penchant for dealing death, you live.
Defying our most tragic frailty and sin, you triumph.

God of the Dandelion,
Creation's source and our confusion,
Definer of beauty and all things good,
We give you thanks.

(followed by a sung Sanctus and the Words of Institution)

 

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