We gather in silence as the sun rises in the sky
The silence is broken by the sounding of the Tibetan prayer bowl.
Let us take a moment to centre ourselves as we prepare for worship.
Poem: “Saturday Silence”
the shadows shift and fly.
the air trembles,
thick with silence,
the footsteps are heard,
and the noise
of the voice of God
is upon us.
The Holy One
is not afraid
on unholy ground.
The Holy Work is done,
and the world awaits
the dawn of Life.
– Ann Weems, from Kneeling in Jerusalem. ©1992 Westminster/John Knox Press
Chant: More Voices 77 “Be Still and Know”
Call to Worship: (adapted from Iona Abbey Worship Book)
One: God, early in the morning, when the world was young,
You made life in all its beauty and terror,
You gave birth to all that we know.
All: Hallowed by your name.
One: Early in the morning, when the world least expected it,
A newborn child crying in a cradle
Announced that you had come among us,
That you were one of us.
All: Hallowed be your name.
One: Early in the morning, surrounded by respectable liars,
Religious leaders, anxious statesmen, and silent friends,
You accepted the penalty for doing good;
You shouldered and suffered the cross.
All: Hallowed be your name.
One: And so early on this morning, we come to this Garden Room
as Mary Magdelene went to the garden, to the tomb where
Jesus had been laid.
All: We come as we are with our joys and griefs, our contentment and regrets, our
certainties and doubts, confident that you accept us as we are, and as the whole
beautiful human beings we may become with your help.
Hymn: Voices United 409 “Morning Has Broken” (Orma)
Morning has broken like the first morning, blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!
Praise for the springing fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain’s new fall sunlit from heaven, like the first dew fall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden, sprung in completeness where God’s feet pass.
Ours is the sunlight! Ours is the morning born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise for the elation, praise every morning, God’s recreation of the new day!
– Words: Eleanor Farjeon 1931 Music: Gaelic melody, harm. Alec Wyton. Words used by permission of David Hughes Associates. Harmony from The Hymnal 1982 The Church Pension Fund.
Prayer of Approach and Confession
God of all creation,
Spirit of our hearts,
risen Christ –
there is no moment but this one,
there is no time but now,
and so we open ourselves to you.
Wake us from our sleepiness.
Open us to your impossible possibilities.
Help us to be your people, risen people of new life,
Now and always! Amen.
— Richard Bott, Vancouver, B.C.
Assurance of Pardon
Christ is Risen! The stone is rolled away, the tomb found empty. Mary calls out, “I have seen the Lord!” We have seen Christ, too, in every helping hand, in every heartfelt gift, in every choice to restore life in this world. We are called to this new life, a life of forgiveness and reconciliation. Know that God loves you and desires great joy for your life. Walk forward on this journey of faith, knowing your brothers and sisters are with you. Amen.
— written by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell, and posted on her Rev-o-lution blog (adapted)
Early in the Morning: John 20:1-2
20 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. 2 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.”
The Resurrection Story: John 20:3-10
3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.
Hymn/Music Blackbird by The Beatles sung in Mi’kmaq Sung by Emma Stevens
The Resurrection Story Continues: John 20:11-18 Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look[a]into the tomb; 12 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. 13 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.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,[b] “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 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.’” 18 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.
Lighting of the Christ Candle
One: Sisters and brothers,
This is a great moment
When again we can declare
That love is stronger than hate,
Goodness is stronger than evil,
Life is stronger than death.
All: Nothing in the heights or depths
Can separate us from God’s love
Which is alive again in Christ Jesus.
One: Christ is our peace, the indestructible peace
we now hare with each other.
One: The peace of Christ be with you.
All: And also with you.
Slide Show: Signs of Spring set to Joy Comes With the Dawn, played by Doug Stark.
Benediction: (adapted from Seasons of the Spirit)
One: The everlasting love of the God of life surround you;
The presence of the risen Christ give you hope;
The strength of the Spirit give you confidence;
Go in peace in the power of God.
All: We go in peace as witnesses to the life and love of God.