Easter Sunday/The Resurrection of Our Lord
Introduction & Welcome

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Christ is risen! Jesus is alive, and God has swallowed up death forever. With Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, we may feel astonished and confused, unsure of what to make of the empty tomb. But this is why we gather: to proclaim, witness, praise, and affirm the liberating reality of Christ’s death and resurrection. In word and feast, we celebrate God’s unending love, and depart to share this good news with all the world. Alleluia!

Thanksgiving for Baptism

Refreshed by the resurrection life we share in Christ,

let us give thanks for the gift of baptism.

We thank you, risen Christ, for the waters where you make us new,

leading us from death to life, from tears to joy.

We bless you, risen Christ, that your Spirit comes to us in the grace-filled waters of rebirth,

like rains to our thirsting earth,

like streams that revive our souls,

like cups of cool water shared with strangers.

Breathe your peace on your church when we hide in fear.

Clothe us with your mercy and forgiveness.

Send us companions on our journey as we share your life.

Make us one, risen Christ.

Cleanse our hearts.

Shower us with life.

To you be given all praise,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God,

now and forever.


Confession and Forgiveness

All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

the keeper of the covenant,

the source of steadfast love,

our rock and our redeemer.


God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ. Let us return to the one who is full of compassion.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Fountain of living water,

pour out your mercy over us.

Our sin is heavy, and we long to be free.

Rebuild what we have ruined and mend what we have torn.

Wash us in your cleansing flood.

Make us alive in the Spirit to follow in the way of Jesus,

as healers and restorers of the world you so love.


Beloved, God’s word never fails.

The promise rests on grace:

by the saving love of Jesus Christ,

the wisdom and power of God,

your sins are ☩ forgiven, and God remembers them no more.

Journey in the way of Jesus.


Prayer of the Day

God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9

More than 700 years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah proclaims the good news of God’s salvation and calls all people to rejoice! God will make a rich feast for all people. God will wipe the tears from their eyes. And most importantly, God will destroy death itself.

6On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
7And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
8he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)

1Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good;
God’s mercy endures forever.
2Let Israel now declare,
“God’s mercy endures forever.”
14The Lord is my strength and my song,
and has become my salvation.
15Shouts of rejoicing and salvation echo in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly!
16The right hand of the Lord is exalted!
The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly!”
17I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the Lord. 
18The Lord indeed punished me sorely,
but did not hand me over to death.
19Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter them and give thanks to the Lord.
20“This is the gate of the Lord;
here the righteous may enter.”
21I give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and you have become my salvation. R
22The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
23By the Lord has this been done;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43

Peter crosses the immense religious and social boundary that separates Jews from Gentiles in order to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, so that God’s forgiveness in Jesus’ name would reach out to all people.

34Peter began to speak to [the people]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Show us your steadfast | love, O LORD,* and grant us | your salvation. Alleluia. (Ps. 85:7)

Gospel: Mark 16:1-8

The resurrection of Jesus is announced, and the response is one of terror and amazement.

1When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint [Jesus’ body]. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Meditation by David O’Brien

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Last week, we left the Disciples in a bad place. The one in whom they had placed all their trust had been tortured, crucified and died. As His body is being taken down, I can imagine how Mary, His mother, must have been completely heartbroken as she kissed her son for what she thought was the last time. After the body has been wrapped in a shroud and placed in a grave, the sound of that stone being rolled into place must have felt so final. I imagine it sounded dull and heavy, like the sound of the door to the cell block shutting behind me when I would go to work at the prison. Then they all went back into the city to celebrate the Sabbath, as required by the law, but I expect they didn’t feel much like celebrating. As they made their way through Saturday, I expect they were just going through the motions of that day. Do you think that any of them had the resurrection on their minds? They had just the day before seen the Messiah suffer and die a horrible death. They may have been worried about what would happen next. Would the Sanhedrin come for them next? I can’t imagine that any of them slept well on Saturday night.

Very early on Sunday morning, some of them went back to the tomb so they could finish the grim task of anointing the body of Jesus. I expect they weren’t even thinking about the possibility of Christ’s rising from the dead, so that when they got to the tomb and found the heavy stone had already been rolled away to open the tomb back up, their minds went to more earthly explanations. Someone, they must have thought, has desecrated His tomb. After all, the Sanhedrin would have not been very keen on the idea of any honors being paid to this man who challenged their authority. When they went into the tomb and found that Jesus was not there, but a young man was sitting in His place, they must have thought that His body had been stolen. That’s when they get the shocking news. Jesus had risen from the dead, just as He said He would, and they would see Him again in Galilee! What a glorious thing to hear!

As they left the tomb, could they dare to hope? The very real fear of the Jewish authorities must have still been in their minds. After watching the Lord submit to His torturers last Friday, how was it possible that He would be able to come back? But that’s what He said He would do, and that’s just what He did! What a glorious and miraculous thing that God has done! And it’s still not over. Christ went on to meet with all of His twelve disciples as well as many others! He even ate and drank with them, proving that He was not just a spirit but was indeed risen from the dead!

What does this all mean for us today? If God can do something so miraculous as raise Himself from the dead so that all of our sins can be forgiven and we can become children of God, how much more should we put our trust in Him to perform the small miracles of every day life? I look out my window and see the crocuses, daffodils and tulips and think of how they rose from a bulb that looked last fall to be nothing but a bit of stuff, nothing to see.  What a miracle that God can make something so beautiful from something so mundane. I hear the birds singing outside my house as I wake in the morning and think how wonderful that they have come back after a cold winter. I think about the guys I work with as a parole officer and how much of a miracle it can be when one of them turns their life around. I look at my grandchildren and think what a miracle that God have given them to us and their parents to nourish and to love. I want to teach them of God’s love and all the miraculous things He has done!

This Easter, may we all take note of and be grateful for all of God’s miracles in this world, the huge ones, like Christ’s resurrection, and the small ones, like the blooming of a spring flower.

Prayers of Intercession

Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring our prayers before God who promises to hear us and answer in steadfast love.

A brief silence.

Praise to you for your power revealed in the resurrection! Fill your church with the power of your love that is stronger than death. Send Daniel & Elizabeth, out bishops, & Howard, our pastor, and all of us to tell the good news wherever death appears to hold sway. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Praise to you for your life at work in the resurrection! Fill all of creation with your life. Bring it to blossom and flourish; use it to remind us of your persistent grace. Cultivate our care for what you have made. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Praise to you for the peace made possible in the resurrection! Fill the nations with your peace. Draw together people of all nations and languages; reveal new possibilities and inspire new beginnings. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Praise to you for the hope of the resurrection! Fill all in need with hope: those who are afraid or confused, those who are sick or suffering, those who are dying, and those who grieve, especially those on our prayer list. Assure them of your promises. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Praise to you for the joy of your resurrection! Fill this assembly with joy as we are called your beloved in baptism. Multiply that joy so that we share it at home, at work, and in our community. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Praise to you for your faithfulness revealed in the resurrection! Fill us with trust, that we join with Benedict the African and all who have gone before us in proclaiming: “your mercy endures forever!” Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Together, let us profess our faith using the words of the Apostles Creed:

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 Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.


And now, as our Savior, Christ is teaching us, we boldly pray:

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.



May our glorious God grant you a spirit of wisdom

to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus.

The God of life,

Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.



Alleluia! Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Go in peace. Share the good news. Alleluia! Thanks be to God. Alleluia!