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Intercessions for Easter Day Year B: 5 April 2015

Giotto_di_Bondone_-_No._37_Scenes_from_the_Life_of_Christ_-_21._Resurrection_(Noli_me_tangere)_-_WGA09224

Giotto di Bondone: Resurrection (Noli me tangere) via Wikimedia

 

Alleluia. Christ is risen: He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

 

The Collect

Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity.  Amen.

 

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Acts 10.34-43

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Psalm 118.1-2,14-24

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; * his mercy endures for ever.
Let Israel now proclaim, * ‘His mercy endures for ever.’
The Lord is my strength and my song, * and he has become my salvation.
Joyful shouts of salvation * sound from the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds; the right hand of the Lord raises up; * the right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds.’
I shall not die, but live * and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me sorely, * but he has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness, * that I may enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; * the righteous shall enter through it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me * and have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected * has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing, * and it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; * we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15.1-11

I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you – unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them – though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

 

Gospel Reading: 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 out-ran 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 around 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.

So much to say but, for me, Jane Williams says it best: “Why should hope and promise be harder to bear than death and despair? Why is it so hard to believe, now as then, that life and transformation and joy are as much part of the world and its maker as death and disintegration? The Christian hope of new life is not based on a kind of blind and meaningless optimism. On the contrary, all our hope is scarred with the wounds of the cross, and it is only hope because of that. It is the hope that God is indeed God. God is the creator, the source of all life, and nothing can make him not God. Our active, malignant sin that desires and makes death and destruction cannot force God into nothingness, and neither can our passive, despairing sin, that colludes with death and resurrection because  it can see no alternative. So when the angel speaks the word of life and joy to us, let us believe them, and go and tell them, make them real and credible to others, show them the scars that are the source of life, not its end.”

Prayers of Intercession

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, on this day of all days we give thanks for your goodness and mercy, which endure for ever. Let us dance with one another, evangelical and anglo-catholic, charismatic and pentecostal, as well as those who fit no label beyond that of follower of Christ. May gratitude fill the heart of each and every one. Open for us the gates of the city, the city of harmony and peace. Then together, restored to unity, we shall enter them singing our songs of thanksgiving and praise.

Lord of life, you hold the gate open to us: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord of creation, we thank you for the cycle of creation, death and rebirth. After the bleakness of winter when it is hard to remember that new life is waiting, just under the surface, we thank you for the return of spring. We thank you for the example of your son, who fulfilled his destiny despite the bitterness of the cup, and rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Now the green blade rises from the buried grain, wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain; love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

 Lord of life, you hold the gate open to us: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The local community

Lord, because He is risen we are together seeking your communion. Because he is risen, we find in your presence forgiveness, wellspring of a new beginning, and source of energy for the journey. Though we long to hold fast only to you, teach us draw strength and offer our own efforts to the people we live amongst: our communities and our neigbours, for they have need of us as we have need of them.

Lord of life, you hold the gate open to us: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶Those who suffer

Lord, you make the day dawn with promise. We pray for  those who suffer in body, mind or spirit. When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain, by your touch you revive us and give us new hope. Be with us in our travails, and may we, too, see the green shoots of renewal.
Lord of life, you hold the gate open to us: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

Lord, through the resurrection of your son light triumphs over darkness and life triumphs over death. In giving you thanks and praise, we bring before you those whom we love who have departed this life that, free from sorrow and pain, they may be one with you in your kingdom.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers…

 

Prayer after Communion

God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have 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 risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Acts 10.34-43 © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Invitation to Confession (Easter Day until Eve of Ascension) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted) Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000

2 comments on this post:

Mrs Irene Landless said...
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These are beautiful prayers and l will use some or all on Easter Sunday at our 10am Eucharist Service. I often use this sight to inspire me, thank you and A Blessed Easter to you all. Irene St.Mark’s Church.

Laura Sykes said...
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Thank-you very much for this comment. As you can imagine, it was a strange experience, but a moving one, to write prayers for Easter before even Maundy Thursday. :>)

04 April 2015 10:00
04 April 2015 08:33

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