Call to Worship
~ based on Romans 6.9-10
[Have one person Lead; all others respond aloud.]
Leader: Christ is risen!
People: The Lord is risen indeed!
Leader: The grave is empty!
ALL: We know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
Song of Approach
Christ The Lord is Risen Today
Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your voice and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ has burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died, our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven! Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the Resurrection, thou! Alleluia!
Lyrics: Charles Wesley
Music: Lyra Davidson
Easter Prayer of Invocation
[Have one person pray this prayer aloud.]
Glorious God of Life, we give you thanks this day for the hope we have in Jesus – who died but is Risen, and rules over all. Grant us your presence as we worship, knowing that because he lives, we look for eternal life, assured that nothing past, present, or yet to come can separate us from your great love made known in Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord. Amen.
Song of Adoration
He Is Lord
He is Lord, He is Lord! He is Risen from the Dead and He is Lord! Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess That Jesus Christ is Lord!
Words: based on Philippians 2.10-11
[Assign each testimony to different readers to read aloud, in the following order:]
Testimony of the Two Mary’s: Matthew 28:1-10
Testimony of Peter: John 20:3-9
Testimony of Mary Magdalene: John 20:10-18
Testimony of the Guards, Priests, Crowds: Matthew 28:4, 11-15
Testimony of the First Disciples: Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:30-44
Testimony of Thomas: John 20:24-29
Our Testimony of Faith
1 Peter 1:3-9
[Declared by ALL in unison.]
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade- kept in heaven for us, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this we greatly rejoice, though now for a little while we may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that our faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though we have not seen him, we love him; and even though we do not see him now, we believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for we are receiving the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls.
Song of Easter Celebration
Man of Sorrows
Man of sorrows Lamb of God By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God Has been on Jesus laid
Silent as He stood accused Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will He took a crown of thorns
Oh that rugged cross My salvation Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out Hallelujah Praise and honor unto Thee
Sent of heaven God’s own Son To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones Who nailed Him to that tree
Now my debt is paid It is paid in full By the precious blood That my Jesus spilled Now the curse of sin Has no hold on me Whom the Son sets free Oh is free indeed! (2x)
See the stone is rolled away Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah! God be praised! He’s risen from the grave!
Words and Music:
Matt Crocker & Brooke Ligertwood
Sharing Our Own Stories (Optional)
[Invite someone, even two or three people, to share their own faith journey – how they came to faith in Christ, and how God is still at work within:]
Praying to Our Risen Lord
[Spend a season in prayer as a group. Have one person lead, inviting others to pray, as the Spirit leads, for each petition of the provided prayer guide:]
God of life, we rejoice in the resurrection of your Son, his defeat over death, and his gift of new life. We praise you for the reflections of that new life in creation, in our new life in Christ, and in the new community you have formed from all peoples and all time. To you as the giver of new life and renewed hope we bring our prayers.
- for our nation and its leaders . . .
- for our community and those in it who are in need . . .
- for the Church in its work and its worship . . .
- for family & friends with particular needs . . .
Listening to the Word of Our Risen Lord
[Have one person read this passage aloud. Then have either one person, or several, pray for the Holy Spirit to speak through this Word and message.]
Scripture: Matthew 28:5-10
Message: The First Easter Message
[Discuss the following:]
How does this passage speak to you? Give special attention to the angel’s words: “Do not Fear”, “Come and See”, “Go and Tell”.
Offering to Our Risen Lord
Our giving is an act of worship. It is a response to who God is and to God’s grace. Giving is a way that God invites us to participate in His work. If you would like to give a tithe or offering today, you can do so by clicking: www.gracecovpca.org/resources/giving
Song of Dismissal
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Crown Him with many crowns, The Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns All music but its own.
Awake, my soul and sing Of Him Who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King Through all eternity.
Crown Him the Lord of love, Behold His hands and side,
Rich wounds, yet visible above, In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends His wond’ring eye At mysteries so bright.
Crown Him the Lord of life, Who triumphed o’er the grave,
Who rose victorious to the strife For those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, Who died, and rose on high
Who died eternal life to bring, And lives that death may die.
Lyrics: Matthew Bridges
Music: George Elvey
Passage Next Week:
Worship Leaders Today
- Piano/Guitar: Isaiah Day
- Vocalist: Rachel Bartelmay
- Message: Rev. W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor
- Benediction: Rev. Camper Mundy, Associate Pastor
- Sound/Tech & Video Editing: Tim Nargi
- Video Assist: Charley Bartelmay
Special Note on Supporting the Mission & Work of Grace Covenant:
During these extraordinary times, the life and ministry of our church will continue – even when we are not able to meet corporately for worship. We humbly but boldly ask the people of Grace Covenant to continue to give generously for the benefit of God’s kingdom here in Williamsburg and beyond.
You can make your gifts in two ways:
1) Online at www.gracecovpca.org/resources/giving
2) Sending your check to the church offices at:
1677 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg VA 23185
If you would like to make a special gift to help those from our church and community who are in need during this crisis, please write “Mercy Ministries” on the memo line of your check or select that fund when making a gift online.