Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Worship this Week

Hi all—hope you’ll join us for worship this weekend.

On Thursday, April 13, we’ll be holding our Maundy Thursday communion service. We will be singing the hymns Go to Dark Gethsemane and Rock of Ages. The latter, especially, has always been one of my favorites, especially in the first stanza:

May the water and the blood
From thy riven side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure:
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

We will be reading from John 13:1-17, 31-35.

We will also be praying together newly composed prayers for the bread and cup based on ancient prayers of the church:

Loving God,
After this bread grew in the fields at the four corners of the earth,
it was plucked up and crushed
and baked together into one loaf.
In the same way, call your church together from the ends of the earth;
and form us through suffering
into one people who together nourish the world.
Though today we are scattered,
through this meal,
gather us into one,
that your truth and your love may go forth into all the world. Amen.

With this cup, O Lord, you refresh our spirits.
Through the fruit of the vine,
harvested, trampled,
you make our spirits rejoice.
Bring your fruit to bear in us, O Lord,
the fruits of the Spirit,
that we may offer them back to you
and pour ourselves out
to refresh the world.
We ask this through the power of your name and your Spirit. Amen.

On Friday, April 14, we’ll be holding our Good Friday service, where we will be reading the passion narrative and some related psalms together. The evening will close with a solo of Charles Wesley’s ‘Tis Finished! The Messiah Dies, a favorite of mine.

On Sunday morning at 7:30, we’ll be having our sunrise service at Miller Park in Exton. There, we’ll be reading the resurrection narrative from John 20:1-18 and celebrating the resurrection together!

At 11, we’ll be gathering for our main celebration in worship. Here, we’ll be singing three resurrection hymns in three very different styles: Charles Wesley’s Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Robert Lowry’s Low in the Grave He Lay, and Edmond Budry’s Thine is the Glory, Risen Conquering Son, which features a majestic Handel tune.

We will be reading together the resurrection narrative from Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20.

Should be a great weekend and I want to encourage you to take this chance to grow in your faith by walking with Christ through Gethsemane, to the cross and the resurrection!