Hilary Plowright
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Home Church Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020, Rev. Karen Hollis

Welcome to Easter Sunday at CCG Home Church!  Here we are on the highest of holy days in the life of the church, still doing a new thing, still worshipping in a new way . . . though, for me at least, it's beginning to feel more familiar. In fact, the liturgy this morning is more similar to what we do on Sunday morning than any we've done in the online format, so hopefully, it will give comfort to us all. This worship service can be done either self-directed at home or along with the video worship experience on Sunday morning at 10am. However you join in the worship experience, whoever you are, wherever you are on life's journey, you are welcome here! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Preparing the Space

I invite you to find or clear a space in your home that is relatively free of distraction. Maybe place a tablecloth down and place a bouquet of flowers and a lit candle; perhaps place with them an object or two that help you open to God’s presence (item from nature, Bible, object with personal significance, cross).


Sit quietly for a moment perhaps with feet on the floor, taking a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself into this moment. Open yourself to the presence of God who is with us and within us . . . as you intentionally open yourself to God, open yourself also to what you need as you turn to worship.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

May his grace and peace be with you.

May he fill our hearts with joy.

Opening Prayer:  Read the prayer slowly.

God of resurrection power . . .

gather us in under these unusual circumstances.

Help us to enter a holy space together

where connection is real and our hearts meet as one.

On this day of all days,

open us to celebrate the life you proclaim to us and to the world;

the life you proclaim to each life and circumstance.

We pray in the name of Christ Jesus, risen this day.

Alleluia, Amen!

Hymn: Christ the Lord is Risen Today

1 Christ the Lord is risen today, hallelujah!
all creation join to say; hallelujah!
raise your joys and triumphs high; hallelujah!
sing, O heavens, and earth reply: hallelujah!

2 Love's redeeming work is done, hallelujah!
fought the fight, the battle won. Hallelujah!
Lo, our sun's eclipse is o'er! Hallelujah!
Lo! he dwells in death no more! Hallelujah!

3 Lives again our glorious King: hallelujah!
where, O death, is now your sting? Hallelujah!
Once he died, our souls to save: hallelujah!
where your victory, O grave? Hallelujah!

Prayer of Confession:  Walter Brueggemann

  You are the God from whom no secret can be hid,

  And we are a people with many secrets,

            That we want to tell for the sake of our lives,

            That we dare not tell because they are deep and painful.

  But they are our secrets . . . and they count for much;

            They are our truth . . . rooted deep in our lives.

  You are the god of all truth,

            And now we bid you heed our truth,

            About which we will not bear false witness . . .

                        The truth of grief unresolved,

                        The truth of pain unacknowledged,

                        The truth of fear too child-like,

                        The truth of hate, as powerful as it is deep,

                        The truth of being taken advantage of, and being used, and manipulated, and slandered.

  We trust the great truth of your wondrous love,

            But we will not sit still for it,

            UNTIL you hear us.

  Our truth – heard by you – will make us free.

  So be the God of all truth, even ours,

            We pray in the name of Jesus,

            Who is your best kept secret of hurt. Amen

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of Grace:    (Dale Turner)

 ‘When Jesus told the disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you,” he

did not describe the dimension or the nature of that place, and when

he appeared before his disciples after the Resurrection, it was not to

tell them of a beautiful heaven which was prepared to receive them sometime in the future. It was to show them that his way of life was deathless, that God’s causes are never lost causes, and that there is

a kind of life that is endless right here on earth.’

That life is a gift for us all. Thanks be to God!

Peace of Christ: The resurrected Christ is with each of us, and so is in the space between us – let us share with each other the peace he brings on this Easter day!

            A-M: The Peace of Christ be with you!

            N-Z:  And also with you!

Scripture Reading:

The Psalm of the day is number 118; listen for the word of God to you this morning.

Hallelujah! Give thanks to God, the source of good

            whose infinite mercy lasts forever.

Let Israel and all the nations say,

            God’s infinite mercy lasts forever.

God was my strength and secret song.

            This was the way God rescued me.

It was as if a shout of joyous praise

            rose high above the tent of my own being.

God’s hand reached out and raised me up above all things

            to see another way

I shall not die, but live, I said this is my path

            the way of recollection and remembrance.

Yes, God corrects with love all those close in,

            but none are ever doomed to death.

Gospel Reading:

One:    God be with you.          

All:      And also with you

One:    The Good News of Jesus Christ according to John

All:      Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ

John 20:1-18 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

One: This is the Gospel of Christ;

All:   Praise be to Jesus Christ

Reflection: In the Garden (see pdf file attached)

Silent Reflection

Apostle’s Creed: Let us join with the church around the world in affirming our faith . . .

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
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,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirt,

the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Prayers of the People:  From Betty Schultze

God in your mercy

Response: 'Hear our prayer'.

( The 'Prayers of the People' are attached below.)

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen.


In this time that is set apart from what we are used to, we continue to be the body of Christ, gather as the body of Christ, and continue to do the work of the church. Contributions of time, talent and treasures are very much appreciated during this time as we support each other and our community along the way. For ways to offer time and talent, you can contact me during the week. Information on how to give financially to the church, see the weekly e-news. Thank you for all your support to the community!

Let us pray: God, with the world turned upside down, we just want to help. We want to do and offer what we can, because we end up receiving so much more than we give. We ache for connection and find it in serving you by helping others. Bless our hearts with fullness; bless our hands with good work; and bless the needs of this world, that they may be fulfilled. In Christ Jesus we pray, Amen.

Hymn: Joyful Joyful We Adore You

1 Joyful, joyful, we adore you,
God of glory, life and love;
hearts unfold like flowers before you,
opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
drive our fear and doubt away;
giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day.

2 All your works with joy surround you,
earth and heaven reflect your rays,
stars and angels sing around you,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain,
sound their praise eternally.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.


If you are with another person, you’re invited to bless each other, taking every other line.

One:    The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey, guiding you, cherishing you.

First name A-M:

            The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories,    feeding you, challenging you.

First name N-Z:

            The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom,         comforting you, disturbing you.

All:      The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your living, guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together,    a community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing.             Amen!

One:    Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:      Thanks be to God.