Lectionary -- Easter Day Year B

Acts 10:34-43 Peter's message about the death and resurrection of Jesus
Psalm 118:1-2,14-24 This is the day the Lord has made
1 Cor 15:1-11 What Paul handed on about the resurrection of Jesus
Mark 16:1-8 The empty tomb messenger: "He has been raised"
or John 20:1-18 The Resurrection: Mary Magdalene meets Jesus

| DB Home | RCL Resources Index | Questions and Comments |

Easter Day Evening
Isaiah 25:6-9 He will destroy the shroud that is cast over all peoples
Psalm 114 The mountains skipped like rams
1 Cor 5:6b-8 Christ has been sacrificed ... let us celebrate the festival
Luke 24:13-49 Jesus meet two disciples on the road to Emmaus

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)

Acts 10: 34-43
O let the Son of God enfold you TIS.655

Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24
Give thanks for the Lord is good TIS.74
This is the day the Lord has made TIS.368 AHB.289

1 Corinthians 15: 1-11
Christ is risen! Shout hosanna! TIS.394
Jesus Christ is risen today TIS.362 AHB.280
The strife is past, the battle done TIS.367 AHB.287

Mark 16: 1-8 OR John 20: 1-18
At the dawning of salvation TIS.392 SA.9
I danced in the morning TIS.242 AHB.183
My daughters and my sons hear tell TIS.363 AHB.281
Pull back the veil on the dawn of creation TIS.326
The day of resurrection TIS.361 AHB.277

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)
SA 2 Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord
Be present now dear risen Lord
290 Christ the Lord in risen today

The Easter Candle
The Uniting Church, in common with other churches in recent years, has revived some ancient symbols. The Easter or Pascal candle signifies the resurrection and is lit for services throughout the Easter season until Pentecost, and again whenever there is a baptism when the candidate's candle is traditionally lit from it. In some churches it is lit for funerals to signify new life in Christ after death, and in some places it is also lit on other occasions when the Eucharist is celebrated.

The Easter Banner
A butterfly emerging from a chrysalis is a traditional symbol of the resurrection. In our banner today we see the splendid creature in flight over the world leaving behind the signs of death and the old life from which it has come. This new life is now let loose in the world and ascends above the world.

Sermon summary (click here for complete sermon)

He has been raised: Why not believe it?

According to Mark (16:1-8) the women went to the tomb early on the Sunday morning and found it empty. A young man dressed in a white robe was sitting there and they were frightened (Mark 16:6). Though he told them to take a message to the disciples they fled from the tomb in terror and amazement.

The empty tomb is perhaps the hardest thing of all to accept in this strangely contradictory world today in which both skepticism and superstition are common. There is plenty of evidence that people who knew Jesus well believed that they met with him after he had died: see Peter's preaching recorded in Acts [eg 10:34-43], and Paul's letters [1 Corinthians 15]. We find quite detailed accounts in the gospels [Mark 16, Matthew 28, Luke 24, John 20 and 21]. There is even some reference in literature outside the Bible, and at an early date, to the fact the followers of Jesus believed he has risen from the dead. Their integrity has the ring of truth about it, in their sacrificial service of others.

Why is disbelief so attractive?

We have come through a period of liberalism, a time, which is now coming to an end, in which teachers of the faith, and listeners wishing to believe in a way that is compatible with modern thinking, went to great lengths to rationalize accounts of Jesus appearing alive after he had died. If you test one thing by reference to another then one has less authority than the other, the witness of the apostles is given less weight than modern theories. There is an extraordinary amount of popular literature offering all sorts of crazy explanations. It is a strange mixture of skepticism and credulity.

Why is it that there is such a widespread belief today in "alternatives"? I think the answer is that God has made us with a capacity for faith, as spiritual beings capable of entering into a relationship with himself, and that if we reject the true faith something else will come in to fill the empty space, however superstitious and irrational it may be. There are many tragic examples in which alternatives have led to suffering and death. It is the very antithesis of progress, going back hundreds of years.

Why not be open to the possibility of resurrection?

Would it not be more sensible to make use of your capacity for belief by accepting what God has provided for you. Does it not make more sense to accept our being creatures who are able to live in fellowship with our Creator? If you are inclined to doubt, why not come to the evidence ready to learn the truth whatever it may be? You can work on it yourself. It is worth the effort.

Yes, you might say, I can understand people knowing God in the person of Christ through a spiritual experience, but what about the empty tomb? The appearance of the risen body of Jesus was different enough from his previous earthly appearance for him not to be easily recognized (John 20:15; Luke 24:13-31; John 20:26). We should expect a risen body, our own included, to be different (1 Corinthians 15:35-38; 1 Cor 15:12-19). Yet the disciples were sure they had not seen a ghost (Luke 24:37-43; John 20:27; 1 John 1:1). The evidence is that they had no doubt that they met him again in some kind of earthly presence. There is a mystery that must remain, at least for now. It was probably the same for them, but the reality of their experience was a powerful inspiration, sufficient to send them out to the ends of the earth.

Order of Service -- Easter Day Year B - | DB Home | RCL Resources Index | Questions and Comments |

The Gathering of the People of God


The Lord in risen. He is risen indeed!

This is the Lord's doing;  it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. -- Psalm 118:23-24

HYMN SA 2 Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord


CONFESSION [In three parts, concluding ...] Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Through Christ, God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. -- Colossians 1:20

The victory of our Lord over sin and death is available to us through faith. Sin has power no longer over those who belong to him. Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

A CANTICLE FOR EASTER [and lighting the Easter candle]

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O holy church! Exult in glory!
The risen Saviour shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God's people.

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is our passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the day when christians everywhere
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the day when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death,
and rose triumphant from the grave.

Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom slaves, you gave away your Son!

Day truly blessed, when heaven is wedded to earth,
and we are reconciled to God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this day,
receive our sacrifice of praise,
your church's solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle.
May Christ dispel the darkness of our night!

May the Morning Star which never sets find the flame of our love always burning.
May Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead,
shed his peaceful light on all the world.

[A Canticle for Easter: from Uniting in Worship, Adapted from the Liturgy of the Easter Vigil, Roman Catholic Church.]

 Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: From death to life: why not believe it?
FIRST READING Acts 10:34-43 Peter's message about the resurrection of Jesus
PSALM 118:1-2,14-24 This is the day the Lord has made
Choir: We know that Christ is raised
EPISTLE 1 Cor 15:1-11 What Paul handed on about the resurrection of Jesus
GOSPEL Mark 16:1-8 The empty tomb messenger: "He has been raised"

HYMN 290 Christ the Lord in risen today
NICENE CREED [Back of Hymn Book]
SHARING TIME [Notices, Celebrations and requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE [Including commemoration of the faithful departed]

Let us pray (that we may rejoice in the victory that is won for us):

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, honour and thanksgiving, now and in all eternity.

The Lord's Supper

HYMN Tune: TALLIS' CANON, 88.88, AHB 468

Be present now dear risen Lord,
help us to know the living Word;
teach us your true Emmaus way;
reveal yourself to us today.

The Word made flesh; our only head,
be known to us in breaking bread
here in the holy fellowship:
bread in our hands, cup to the lip.

We meet you at the supper, Lord,
and feel with friends the binding cord.
Knowing your sacrifice for all,
we would serve others as you call.

In thankfulness we look for you,
alive to us in all we do.
We members of your body share
in service, sacrament and prayer.

Our risen friend, our glorious king,
there at the end we hope to sing
on that great day, your wedding feast,
knowing your love has never ceased.
© David Beswick 1996


The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Thanks and praise .....

You loved the world so much that you sent your only Son to bring us life eternal.

Dying he destroyed our death, alleluia. Rising he restored our life, alleluia.

And so we praise you with the faithful of every time and place, joining with choirs of angels and the whole creation in the eternal hymn:[SA 100c and 100d]
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

[The great prayer of thanksgiving continues, recalling God's goodness in caring for his people, the life and saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ, how he commanded his disciples to remember him with the bread and the wine, and we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit on us and what we do.]

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of hymn book]
THE LAMB OF GOD [Sing Alleluia 100e]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 280 Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
| DB Home | RCL Resources Index | Questions and Comments |©David Beswick, 2000
| Christian Beliefs | Family History | Public Affairs | Higher Ed Research | Hobbies and Interests | Issues in the UCA | Personal Background | Psychological Research | Templestowe UC | Worship and Preaching |