Easter Liturgy

The Empty Tomb (1889), Mikhail Nesterov

Easter Day

{Sermon and Hymns included in the text}

The Lighting of the Paschal Candle

In the darkness, fire is kindled; after which the Celebrant may address the
people in these or similar words

Dear friends in Christ: On this most holy night, in which our
Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites
her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in
vigil and prayer. For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which,
by hearing his Word we share in his victory over death.

The Celebrant may say the following prayer

Let us pray.

O God, through your Son you have bestowed upon your
people the brightness of your light: Sanctify this new fire, and
grant that in this Paschal feast we may so burn with heavenly
desires, that with pure minds we may attain to the festival of
everlasting light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Paschal Candle is then lighted from the newly kindled fire, and the
Deacon (the Celebrant if there is no deacon) bearing the Candle, leads the
procession to the chancel, pausing three times and singing or saying

 The light of Christ.
PeopleThanks be to God.

If candles have been distributed to members of the congregation, they are
lighted from the Paschal Candle at this time. Other candles and lamps in
the church, except for those at the Altar, may also be lighted.

The Paschal Candle is placed in its stand.

Then the Deacon, or other person appointed, standing near the Candle,
sings or says the Exsultet, as follows (the indicated sections may be omitted)

Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels,
and let your trumpets shout Salvation
for the victory of our mighty King.

Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth,
bright with a glorious splendor,
for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King.

Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church,
and let your holy courts, in radiant light,
resound with the praises of your people.

   All you who stand near this marvelous and holy flame,
   pray with me to God the Almighty
   for the grace to sing the worthy praise of this great light;
   through Jesus Christ his Son our Lord,
   who lives and reigns with him,
   in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
   one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 The Lord be with you.
AnswerAnd also with you.
DeaconLet us give thanks to the Lord our God.
AnswerIt is right to give him thanks and praise.

Deacon

It is truly right and good, always and everywhere, with our                                       whole heart and mind and voice, to praise you, the invisible,
almighty, and eternal God, and your only-begotten Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord; for he is the true Paschal Lamb, who
at the feast of the Passover paid for us the debt of Adam’s sin,
and by his blood delivered your faithful people.

This is the night, when you brought our fathers, the children
of Israel, out of bondage in Egypt, and led them through the
Red Sea on dry land.

This is the night, when all who believe in Christ are delivered
from the gloom of sin, and are restored to grace and holiness
of life.

This is the night, when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell,
and rose victorious from the grave.

   How wonderful and beyond our knowing, O God, is your
   mercy and loving-kindness to us, that to redeem a slave, you
   gave a Son.

   How holy is this night, when wickedness is put to flight, and
   sin is washed away. It restores innocence to the fallen, and joy
   to those who mourn. It casts out pride and hatred, and brings
   peace and concord.

   How blessed is this night, when earth and heaven are joined
   and man is reconciled to God.

Holy Father, accept our evening sacrifice, the offering of this
candle in your honor. May it shine continually to drive away
all darkness. May Christ, the Morning Star who knows no
setting, find it ever burning–he who gives his light to all
creation, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

It is customary that the Paschal Candle burn at all services from
Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost.

The Liturgy of the Word

The Celebrant may introduce the Scripture readings in these or similar
words

Let us hear the record of God’s saving deeds in history, how
he saved his people in ages past; and let us pray that our God
will bring each of us to the fullness of redemption.

At least two of the following Lessons are read, of which one is always the
Lesson from Exodus. After each Lesson, the Psalm or Canticle listed, or
some other suitable psalm, canticle, or hymn may be sung. A period of
silence may be kept; and the Collect provided, or some other suitable
Collect, may be said.

Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac
Genesis 22:1-18

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.

When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.’

16    Conserva me, Domine

1Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; *
    I have said to the LORD, “You are my Lord,
    my good above all other.”
2All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, *
    upon those who are noble among the people.
 
3But those who run after other gods *
    shall have their troubles multiplied.
 
4Their libations of blood I will not offer, *
    nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
 
5O LORD, you are my portion and my cup; *
    it is you who uphold my lot.
 
6My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; *
    indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
 
7I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel; *
    my heart teaches me, night after night.
 
8I have set the LORD always before me; *
    because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
 
9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; *
    my body also shall rest in hope.
 
10For you will not abandon me to the grave, *
    nor let your holy one see the Pit.
 
11You will show me the path of life; *
    in your presence there is fullness of joy,
    and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Let us pray.     (Silence)

God and Father of all believers, for the glory of your Name
multiply, by the grace of the Paschal sacrament, the number
of your children; that your Church may rejoice to see fulfilled
your promise to our father Abraham; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea
Exodus 14:10–15:1

As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, “Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians”? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’ But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.’

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.’

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.’

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
‘I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
   horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’

8    The Song of Moses    Cantemus Domino
         Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18

Especially suitable for use in Easter Season

I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted; *
    the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my refuge; *
    the Lord has become my Savior.
This is my God and I will praise him, *
    the God of my people and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a mighty warrior; *
    Yahweh is his Name.
The chariots of Pharaoh and his army has he hurled into the sea; *
    the finest of those who bear armor have been
                             drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them; *
    they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might; *
    your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy.
Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
    who is like you, glorious in holiness,
    awesome in renown, and worker of wonders?
You stretched forth your right hand; *
    the earth swallowed them up.
With your constant love you led the people you redeemed; *
    with your might you brought them in safety to
                             your holy dwelling.
You will bring them in and plant them *
    on the mount of your possession,
The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord, *
    the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established.
The Lord shall reign *
    for ever and for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Let us pray.     (Silence)

O God, whose wonderful deeds of old shine forth even to
our own day, you once delivered by the power of your mighty
arm your chosen people from slavery under Pharaoh, to be a
sign for us of the salvation of all nations by the water of
Baptism: Grant that all the peoples of the earth may be
numbered among the offspring of Abraham, and rejoice in
the inheritance of Israel; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The gathering of God’s people
Zephaniah 3:12-20

For I will leave in the midst of you
   a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord—
   the remnant of Israel;
they shall do no wrong
   and utter no lies,
nor shall a deceitful tongue
   be found in their mouths.
Then they will pasture and lie down,
   and no one shall make them afraid.


Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
   shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
   O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgements against you,
   he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
   you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
   do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
   a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
   he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
   as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
   so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors
   at that time.
And I will save the lame
   and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
   and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
   at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
   among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
   before your eyes, says the Lord.

Psalm 98, or Psalm 126

126    In convertendo

1When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, *
    then were we like those who dream.
 
2Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
    and our tongue with shouts of joy.
 
3Then they said among the nations, *
    “The LORD has done great things for them.”
 
4The LORD has done great things for us, *
    and we are glad indeed.
 
5Restore our fortunes, O LORD, *
    like the watercourses of the Negev.
 
6Those who sowed with tears *
    will reap with songs of joy.
 
7Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *
    will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves

Let us pray.     (Silence)

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look
favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred
mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry
out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world
see and know that things which were cast down are being
raised up, and things which had grown old are being made
new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection
by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

The candles at the Altar may now be lighted from the Paschal Candle.

 Alleluia. Christ is risen.
PeopleThe Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia. {said three times}

Hymn 210  –         The Day of Resurrection – {Ellecombe}

210. The day of resurrection

1. The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the Passover of gladness,
the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our Christ hath brought us over,
with hymns of victory.

2. Our hearts be pure from evil,
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection light;
and, listening to his accents,
may hear so calm and plain
his own “All hail!” and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.

3. Now let the heavens be joyful,
let earth her song begin,
the round world keep high triumph,
and all that is therein;
let all things seen and unseen
their notes in gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord hath risen,
our joy that hath no end.

John Mason Neale, 1818-1866

The Celebrant then says

 The Lord be with you.
PeopleAnd also with you.
CelebrantLet us pray.

Almighty God, who for our redemption gave your only-
begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious
resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant
us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son
our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Epistle    Romans 6:3-11

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Loves Me This I Know – led by the clergy

Gospel    Matthew 28:1-10

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.                            .

People Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

People Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Homily

Easter – Alston Johnson

It was a cold and rainy day in 1988, the day before Easter, when Chuck Colson, of Watergate fame, Nixon’s special council, now a Christian Evangelist, arrived weary at a prison in remote Montana.  Colson was the Easter speaker for two services, but he was tired, exhausted, and out of gas.   The first service was bad; real bad.  Colson felt like he simply could not connect with the men; he felt drained. So before the second service, Colson went to the chaplain’s office; and he prayed, on his knees, for God to accept his frustration, his fatigue.  He asked for strength.  And when he got up, after pouring his heart out to God, Chuck Colson felt no different.   He still felt empty and spent. 

Colson did not even greet the men as they gathered for the second service.  He stalled as long as he could.  He walked in the room and was surprised to find it full.  So he took a seat and warily looked out over the crowd. The traditional opening of these services is “testimony time”; where the inmates get up and talk about what God is doing in their lives.  One of the men stood and began to speak.  Chuck Colson just watched as though he were a spectator.

“Ten years ago Mr. Colson came to this prison.  I was in my cell and had no intention of coming.  I knew he was a phony.  I wanted nothing to do with Christianity.  But Mr. Colson had the governor coming with him and a lot of television and newspaper reporters.”  I said to myself, “If Colson can get the governor and these people to come into this place, then I might as well see what this is all about.” The man now turned to speak directly to Chuck Colson.  “I listened to you speak, and I was impressed; but I wasn’t buying it.  When the meeting ended I headed for the door.  Somehow you were at the door before me – and you cut me off at the pass.  You looked right at me and asked – Do you know that Jesus Christ is your savior?  I looked at you and said, “No.”

“I’ll never forget,” the man continued.  “You looked me straight in the eye and said – Well, why are you here, then?  You’d better get with it.”

“That exchange haunted me; it was the beginning of my spiritual journey.  I finally gave my life to Jesus.  Everything has been different since.  I began to share my faith with others.  Chuck? Do you see all these men?  This is the body of Christ that has grown as a result of that moment ten years ago.  Christ is alive inside this prison.” And then with applause and tears in many of the men’s eyes – they proceeded to give Colson a collection taken up in the prison for the Prison Fellowship ministry.  He felt his body overflowing with the love and presence of Christ; his face glowed with the light of Christ.  “That Easter I had proof; proof once again, that He is alive.  Christ is risen.”

Proof like this is something that most of us are looking for in life; proof that Christ walks among us.  The reason that we desire such proof is that we live in an age of doubt, and of skepticism.  And people of faith are sometimes thought to be simple minded.                 As the theologian Dallas Willard says, “We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can almost be as stupid as a cabbage as long as you doubt.”  And when our culture is not providing adequate doubts, I believe that we are capable of producing doubt for ourselves.

During this time of quarantine we are prone to doubt.  We are being reminded of the imperfectability of the human project; the Bible actually has not been lying to us.  Our lives in this world are not only going to end by biological design; there remain forces at work, large enough, although through microscopic agency, that can render everything we have taken for granted as a dream and a mist.  Something so small as a virus has the power to pull all of the necessary existential levers, causing us to ask the most ancient of questions, “Why?”  “What next?” “What is a life?”

In our recent study with John Ortberg, “Soul Keeping,” about how to find a deeper faith and prayer life, he made a good point.  So often the critics of our faith begin with the undeniability of human suffering – what I sometimes call the imperfectability of the human project.  “If God is near, and God is good, why are these terrible things happening in the world; and why are Christians not protected from these terrible things.”  It is the imperfectability of the project that becomes the fertile ground upon which doubt is planted as a seed. However, Ortberg points out something profound.  If you ask many people of faith about when they have experienced the nearness of God, the love of God, they will more often than not describe an experience of loss and desolation, an experience of the imperfectability of the project, and they will share with you in a powerful and personal way, either with eloquence, or a simple story, how God carried them through what seemed like an impossible chapter of life.

Chuck Colson received his proof that God is in the world: but only after he had reached the end of his own abilities.  It was only after feeling defeated, feeling that his prayers were not answered – standing up, walking away, feeling empty – that Colson would discover that Christ had not abandoned him. Our feeling of emptiness is not representative of what is most real. I cannot help but think that something similar is true for Mary Magdalene, her friend Mary, and Peter with the disciples; they are also up against the wall of doubt and fatigue.  They have given their all, their absolute best, for this friend Jesus, who has now been executed as a common criminal.  Now, in the aftermath of the trial and crucifixion, all is doubt, confusion, despair.  Mary Magdalene makes her way back to the tomb, perhaps just to be “near” Him in spirit, and that is when she sees the stone has moved, and the day’s events unfold.

I find this is true in most of life.  We notice God at work when we admit that we have exhausted ourselves and our resources; when we have no further stake in the outcome –that is when the Risen Lord most often arrives. Perhaps finally a stone has moved. Perhaps finally someone is calling our name with a note of hope. In the places we left someone for dead – perhaps ourselves – there is a breeze of new life stirring.  The friend, the Good Shepherd, the valiant companion meets us at what we take to be our own end.

Easter’s great miracle is that Jesus indeed steps from the tomb to heal us, to hear us, to hold us, not simply in the moments when our lives are productive and meaningful according to our own lights; but when we are at our end.  Easter’s great miracle is that Jesus rises and returns to the world and to the people who forsook Him, beat Him, and threw Him away.  It is a miracle of love that could only be from God; and it will never make complete sense according to our standards of love and justice.

I believe in the Resurrection because of the witness of the disciples, and the existence of the Church through the ages.  I believe in the Resurrection because of the testimony of someone like Chuck Colson.  I believe in the Resurrection of Christ because I have witnessed others who are met by Him as they are dying and leaving this world; they do not go into the darkness alone . . . they turn to the light with a presence that they feel – know – and recognize as Jesus.  Sometimes there is a change, as though a pervasive gentleness has entered the room, and the dying person is literally turning toward, turning into, a being of light and grace.

I have an old friend in Mississippi who used to tell the story of someone he had known since childhood; this man was The Hail Fellow Well Met.  Everybody was his friend.  And he parlayed that good nature into a life as a salesman, good causes, and church.  We have all known men like him.  And there was his family all gathered around his hospital bed, some of them crying, some of them holding on to one another, as the great and good patriarch was dying.  He had been non-responsive and sleeping for hours. Then, all of sudden, the old man sat up in his bed smiling his old familiar smile, twinkle in his eye, and the family stood in shock watching.  The man put out his right hand, nodding his head, and said, “Billy Jones, Lord – Damn glad to meet you!”  And then he eased back into the bed, and he died.

This is our day of such power. This is the day the Lord has made . . .

It is Abraham, Isaac, and the ram in the bush . . . It is the day of facing the great waters with the enemy on our heels, and the waters part, and the slaves go forward to become kings of the earth . . . it is the day of homecoming for the lame, the outcast, and the ashamed of Zephaniah . . . it is the Day of Resurrection.  A stone has moved.

If you need some sort of proof today that Jesus is alive, that He moves through this world, that a stone tomb was broken some two thousand years ago, then look around you; we are the proof.  We are Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, the disciples, Chuck Colson . . . . those for whom prayers have been answered.  We are the people who do not fear the dark.  We are the people who do not fear death. 

We are the people who say with Paul, “if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.”

Death no long has dominion over us . . .

The Renewal of Baptismal Vows

The Celebrant may first address the people in these or similar words, all
standing

Through the Paschal mystery, dear friends, we are buried
with Christ by Baptism into his death, and raised with him to
newness of life. I call upon you, therefore, now that our
Lenten observance is ended, to renew the solemn promises
and vows of Holy Baptism, by which we once renounced
Satan and all his works, and promised to serve God faithfully
in his holy Catholic Church.

CelebrantDo you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and
renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?
PeopleI do.
  
CelebrantDo you believe in God the Father?
PeopleI believe in God, the Father almighty,
     creator of heaven and earth.
CelebrantDo you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
PeopleI believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
     He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
          and born of the Virgin Mary.
     He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
          was crucified, died, and was buried.
     He descended to the dead.
     On the third day he rose again.
     He ascended into heaven,
          and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
     He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  
CelebrantDo you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
PeopleI 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.
  
CelebrantWill you continue in the apostles’ teaching and
fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the
prayers?
PeopleI will, with God’s help.
  
CelebrantWill you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever
you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
PeopleI will, with God’s help.
  
CelebrantWill you proclaim by word and example the Good
News of God in Christ?
PeopleI will, with God’s help.
  
CelebrantWill you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving
your neighbor as yourself?
PeopleI will, with God’s help.
CelebrantWill you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?
PeopleI will, with God’s help.

The Celebrant concludes the Renewal of Vows as follows

May Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and
bestowed upon us the forgiveness of sins, keep us in eternal
life by his grace, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

The Prayers


The People stand or kneel

OfficiantThe Lord be with you.
PeopleAnd also with you.
OfficiantLet us pray.

Officiant and People

Our Father, who art in heaven,
     hallowed be thy Name,
     thy kingdom come,
     thy will be done,
         on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
     as we forgive those
         who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
     but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
     and the power, and the glory,
     for ever and ever. Amen.

   A

V.    Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R.    And grant us your salvation.
V.    Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R.    Let your people sing with joy.
V.    Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R.    For only in you can we live in safety.

V.    Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R.    And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V.    Let your way be known upon earth;
R.    Your saving health among all nations.
V.    Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R.    Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V.    Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R.    And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus
Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of
everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the
day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death
of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our
Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God, now and for ever. Amen.

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the
earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those
who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people
everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the
nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh;
and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

We invite your on prayers of Intercession and Thanksgiving at this time – remembering especially all those who are suffering at this time, as well as those who take care and concern for them.

The General Thanksgiving

Officiant and People

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one
accord to make our common supplication to you; and you
have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two
or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the
midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions
as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of
your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn 207             Jesus Christ is Risen Today {Easter Hymn}

207. Jesus Christ is risen today

1. Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

2. Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

3. But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
now above the sky he’s king, Alleluia!
where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!

4. Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
praise eternal as his love, Alleluia!
praise him, all ye heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!

          Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

Alleluia, alleluia  Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia

The Officiant may then conclude with one of the following

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and
the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.
Amen.    2 Corinthians 13:14

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