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Celebrating the Resurrection


Here are a variety of worship resources for Easter Sunday.


Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Matthew 28:1-10
Mark 16:1-8
Luke 24:1-12
John 20:1-18
Acts 10:34-43
1 Corinthians 15
Revelation 5:6-14


Opening Prayer for Easter

Jesus Christ, we greet you!
Your hands still have holes in them.
Your feet are wet from the dew;
And with the memory of our names
Undimmed by three days of death
You meet us,
Risen from the grave.

We fail to understand how;
We puzzle at the reason why.
But you have come:
Not to answer our questions,
But to show us your face,

You are alive,
And the world can rejoice again.
Glory be to you.
God, our strength and our redeemer.

~ written by Philip Jakob. Posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.

Easter Congregational Prayer

God of the bright and morning star,
God of the rising sun,
God of darkness banished,
we praise and worship you!

For empty tombs: thank you!
For disciples running with good news: thank you!
For your presence, alive, powerful, resurrected: thank you!
We celebrate your victory over death,
over all the powers that would defeat us.

Help us to grasp resurrection;
to understand its power,
to see its force at work in our world,
overturning evil empires,
changing the hatred within us,
moving the world slowly, forcefully,
bending us towards love and truth.

On this day of great gladness
empower us to be your ambassadors,
proclaiming good news.
Good news in our kitchens and living rooms,
good news in the offices and workshops
good news in the fields and factories
Help us to be that good news,
walking softly on this good earth
caring gently for all people,
living hopefully into your kingdom.

Today we think of all who are grieving, especially…
[name those who are grieving]
and for the sick and dying….
[name those who are ill]
for places in the world that are torn by war and bloodshed…
[name countries at war]

In this world of broken hopes and dreams
we catch sight of your kingdom come,
in the person of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns in us forever.


~ written by Carole Penner, and posted on her Leading in Worship blog.


Christ is risen!
We give thanks for the gift of Easter
that runs beyond our expectations,
beyond our categories of reason,
even more, beyond the sinking sense of our own lives.

We know about the powers of death,
powers that persist among us,
powers that drive us from you, and
from our neighbour, and
from our best selves.

We know about the powers of fear and greed and anxiety,
and brutality and certitude.
powers before which we are helpless.

And then you – you at dawn, unquenched,
you in the darkness,
you on Saturday,
you who breaks the world to joy.

Yours is the kingdom…not the kingdom of death,
Yours is the power…not the power of death,
Yours is the glory…not the glory of death.
Yours…You…and we give thanks
for the newness beyond our achieving.


~ Walter Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth. Posted on Prayers and Creeds.

Easter Prayer

If you were not risen,
Lord Christ, to whom would we go
to discover a radiance
of the face of God?

If you were not risen,
we would not be together
seeking your communion.
We would not find in your presence
wellspring of a new beginning.

If you were not risen,
where would we draw the energy
for following you
right to the end of our existence,
for choosing you again and anew?

~ Brother Roger of Taize, in The Book of a Thousand Prayers. Posted on the Saint Louis University Prayerbook website.

Spoken Resources

Call to Worship (based on Revelation 5: 12-14)

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength
and honour and glory and blessing!

Blessing and honour and glory and power
be to the One seated on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever!

~ Christine Longhurst

Call to Worship for Easter Morning

For those who first went out
into the early dawn, when the sky was grey,
taking spices to the tomb,
there was terror, and surprise.

For us, resisting the impulse to sleep in
as part of a long weekend,
and being over-familiar with the Easter story,
there is the risk of complacency.

So let us open ourselves
to the astounding possibility
that life can break out
at any moment!

Let us challenge the thought
that we have planned the future
so efficiently that
there will be no surprises!

Let us face the fact
that the walls of this church,
and the life of our institution
cannot entirely contain Jesus Christ!

Let us celebrate
the irrepressible power of God
breaking out with life
where we least expect it!

~ written by Ann Siddall, in Lent to Easter liturgies: Year C. Posted on the website of the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre.

Affirmation: I Believe in the Resurrection

I believe in the resurrection.
I believe that Jesus died on the cross,
his hands and feet held to the wood by metal spikes.
I believe that his body was pierced by the soldier’s spear,
and even the sun was darkened
as all creation grieved the death of God’s eternal Son.

I believe in the resurrection.
I believe that Jesus’ body was placed in a borrowed tomb,
where it lay for three days.
I believe that the power of God, his heavenly Father,
brought life to his dead body
and rolled the stone away from the entrance
so all might see that Jesus was no longer there.

I believe in the resurrection.
I believe that the unbelievable story of the women was true,
just as the angel had announced:
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”

I believe in the resurrection.
I believe that there is no force in the universe
that could stop, hinder, contain, or successfully oppose
the risen Savior, my Lord, Jesus Christ.
No nails are long enough to hold him to any cross
unless he wills it to be so.
No tomb can be sealed so tightly—
by Pilate or Herod, or Caesar himself.
Were there an army of a thousand men guarding the tomb,
it would make no difference.
Jesus said he would lay down his life and take it up again.
And he did.

I believe in the resurrection.
I believe that Jesus appeared to eleven discouraged, defeated,
demoralized disciples in a room where the doors were locked
and all hope was lost.
I believe that when he showed them
his nail-pierced hands and his spear-pierced side,
they fell at his feet and cried out,
“My Lord and my God!”
I believe that in the days that followed, hundreds saw him alive.
All their doubt was removed; their fear was gone.
What could the world do to them? Jesus was alive.

I believe in the resurrection.
I believe that Jesus lives today—
as powerfully and perfectly alive as he was two thousand years ago,
and for all time past and yet to come.
I believe he empowers his followers to follow in his footsteps,
fight the forces of evil,
and find their peace and joy and eternal hope in him.

I believe in the resurrection.
I believe that Jesus calls women, men, and children
to join him in changing the world, one heart and life at a time,
starting with their own.
One day soon, he will come again on the clouds of heaven
with an army of celestial warriors whose numbers are beyond counting
and whose power is beyond imagining.
Then Jesus will establish his eternal kingdom,
where there will be no more soldiers or spears
or sepulchers or battles or bleeding wounds or crosses.
I believe all this because

I believe in the resurrection.

~ written by Ed Baker, and posted on Reformed Worship.

Benediction (based on John 14:2-3, Romans 8:31, Philippians 4:7)

If the God who raised Jesus from the dead is for us, who dare be against us?
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Step out into the world in humble confidence:
there is nothing about to happen that God has not foreseen,
and no situation where Christ will not be there ahead of you,
preparing a place and an opportunity for you.
Thanks be to God.

The peace of God, which goes beyond all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
And the blessing of God all-loving,
the Creator, Redeemer and Counsellor,
will be with you now and always.


~ written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage.


Traditional Hymn: Alleluia! Alleluia!

Worship Together #371

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Hearts to heav’n and voices raise;
Sing to God a hymn of gladness,
Sing to God a hymn of praise.
He who on the cross as Savior
For the world’s salvation bled,
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory,
Now is risen from the dead!

Now the iron bars are broken,
Christ from death to life is born,
Glorious life, and life immortal,
On this resurrection morn;
Christ has triumphed, and we conquer
By His mighty enterprise,
We with Him to life eternal
By His resurrection rise.

~ Christopher Wordsworth, alt.

Tune suggestions:
HYMN TO JOY (“Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee”)

Contemporary Hymn: If Christ Had Not Been Raised from Death

If Christ had not been raised from death
our faith would be in vain,
our preaching but a waste of breath,
our sin and guilt remain.
But now the Lord is risen indeed;
he rules in earth and heaven:
his Gospel meets a world of need
in Christ we are forgiven.

If Christ still lay within the tomb
then death would be the end,
and we should face our final doom
with neither guide nor friend.
But now the Saviour is raised up,
so when a Christian dies
we mourn, yet look to God in hope
in Christ the saints arise!

If Christ had not been truly raised
his church would live a lie;
his name should never more be praised,
his words deserve to die.
But now our great Redeemer lives;
through him we are restored;
his word endures, his church revives
in Christ, our risen Lord.

~ written by Christopher Idle. Copyright © Christopher Idle/Jubilate Hymns Ltd. Posted on The Jubilate Group website.

Tune suggestions:
ELLACOMBE (“I sing the mighty power of God”)

KINGSFOLD (“O God of love, grant us your peace”)

LANDAS (“My faith has found a resting place”)

RESIGNATION (American folk melody)

Contemporary Song: Come, See the Son

Come, see the Son of the living God
hanging on a tree,
dying there for you and me.
Come, see the bringer of truth and grace
nailed there for us,
agony across his face.

This is love displayed,
this is mercy perfectly portrayed in Christ,
the cross of Christ.

Come, see the innocent Son of God
punished there for us,
rescuing us with his blood.
Come, see the healer of wounded souls
crucified for us,
broken there to make us whole.

Come, see the tomb where they laid him down;
the stone is rolled away,
nothing but the grave clothes now.
Come, see the King is alive again,
risen from the dead,
ushering a new age in.

This is victory,
this is life for everyone who will believe
in Jesus Christ.

Come and worship him,
come and sing to him,
come and live for him,
Jesus Christ.

~ Joel Payne. Copyright © RESOUNDworship.org. CCLI Song #.5453922. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

A free chord chart, full piano score, lead sheet, MP3 and backing track are available from http://www.jubilate.co.uk/

Contemporary Song: Stronger (There is Love)

There is Love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious

You are stronger
You are stronger
Sin is broken
You have saved me
It is written
Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all

Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me

No beginning and no end
You're my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the cross

So let Your Name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher
Be lifted higher

~ Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding. © 2007 Hillsong Publishing. CCLI Song #5060810. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=1798219

Contemporary Song: Christ is Risen

Let no one caught in sin
Remain inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You've bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven's will
No scheme of hell no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

O death where is your sting
O hell where is your victory
O church come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night
Singing O death where is your sting
O hell where is your victory
O church come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He's alive He's alive

~ Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes. Copyright © 2009 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing). spiritandsong.com (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) SHOUT! Music Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing). CCLI Song # 5242683. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=1004257


image05~ image by Richard Lyall.  He has made this image available for non-commercial use in worship. You can see more of his intriguing images on his website, Pilgrim’s Progress: In Relentless Pursuit of REAL….

Additional Resources

Video for Easter: Come Awake!


This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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