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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Easter 4, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
May 15, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

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

HYMN: ‘My shepherd is the Lord my God’ (Psalm 23)

My shepherd is the Lord my God;
no good thing shall I need.
In greenest fields he’ll let me lie,
to restful streams he’ll lead.

The Lord revives the soul in me,
and for his own name’s sake,
he guides me and ensures my feet
the proper pathways take.

Should I through deepest darkness walk,
no evil need I fear;
for you are with me, you whose staff
and crook mean strength is near.

And look, in my oppressor’s sight,
a table you have spread;
you fill my cup to overflow,
and oil anoints my head.

Goodness and love which never fail
shall all my life attend,
and in the house of God the Lord
my years, with joy, I’ll spend.

GREETING

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors.

CONFESSION

Risen Christ, you are the good shepherd;
you call each of us by name:
Ky-ri-e, ky-ri-e, e-le-i-son.

You are the good shepherd;
you show us the way to a life of service and care for others:
Christ-e, Christ-e, e-le-i-son.

You are the good shepherd;
you lead us to everlasting life:
Ky-ri-e, ky-ri-e, e-le-i-son.

FORGIVENESS

You must follow in the footsteps of Christ,
who did no wrong, who spoke no deceit,
who did not return insults when insulted,
who, when made to suffer,
did not counter with threats.
Instead, Christ trusted the One who judges justly.
It was Christ’s own body that brought our sins to the cross,
so that all of us, dead to sin, could live in accord with God’s will.
By Christ’s wounds you are healed.
At one time you were straying like sheep,
but now you have returned to the Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.

DOXOLOGY (773)

 Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!
 Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia.

The Liturgy of the Word

FIRST READING Jeremiah 23:1-8

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

We stand.

 Alleluia, Alleluia,
 Praise the Word of truth and life!

GOSPEL John 10:1-10

The Wisdom of God.
God’s word made new.

HOMILY (Margaret Vazey)

SILENCE

RESPONSE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Christ came so that we might have life, life in all its fullness.
Let us now pray for the Church,
for the world, and for ourselves,
that God’s life may be renewed in us.

With confidence we pray:
O God, guide us
on the proper path.

Abba God, you sent Jesus among us
that we might have life, and have it to the full.
Help us to listen to the voice of Christ,
that we may be led along the path that leads to you.
We ask this through the same Christ our Saviour.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING

God of all creation, you bring forth
bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.
By your Holy Spirit, this bread and wine
will be for us the body and blood of Christ.
All you have made is good.
Your love endures for ever.

THE PEACE

Jesus calls each of us by name.
Let us, then, call by name the persons beside us
and share the peace with them.

The peace of the good shepherd be with you all.
And also with you.

INVITATION

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you spread a banquet before us
and invite us to eat and drink.

L: In the first of your wonders and signs you created the earth,
 tending it with goodness and love.
 You created a people for yourself
 and gave them your law
 that they might know your voice and follow in your ways.

R: When we wandered away like lost sheep,
 stumbling in a dark valley,
 you sent us your child, Jesus Christ,
 who endured unjust abuse and suffering
 and returned only mercy and life.

Calling us to attend to his voice and return to you,
he bore our sins in his body on the cross,
and when you raised him he freed us to follow him,
our Shepherd and the Guardian of our souls
along sure paths to life.

Therefore we sing (761):
Holy, Holy, Holy God, wisdom, strength and hope,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

On the night before he died for us ...

Now gathered at your table, God of all creation,
and remembering Christ crucified and risen,
who was and is and is to come,
we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine,
and ourselves, a living sacrifice.

Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts
that they may be the body and blood of Christ.
Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth
and make us your new creation,
the body of Christ given for the world you have made.

In the fullness of time bring us, with all your saints,
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
to you be honour, glory, and praise,
for ever and ever.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

O God our Mother
and our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your dominion come,
your will be done,
 
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
 
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
 
and deliver us from evil.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

LAMB OF GOD (765)

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world;
have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world;
have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world;
grant us peace, grant us peace.
COMMUNION (714)

This is Christ
who invites each of us by name
to gather here at God’s table.
God wants us to have life
and to have it in abundance.

Eat this bread, drink this cup,
come to God and never be hungry.
Eat this bread, drink this cup,
trust in God and you will not thirst.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Abba God,
you renew us at your table with the bread of life.
May this food strengthen us in love
and help us to serve you in each other.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the good shepherd.
Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

BLESSING

May our God guide you in all your ways. Amen.

May the goodness and kindness of God follow you always. Amen.

May you dwell in the house of God for ever. Amen.

And may almighty God bless you ... +

DISMISSAL

Go now to love and serve our God. Go in peace. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Amen. We go in the name of Christ. Alleluia! Alleluia!

EASTER is not just “Easter Day,” it is the fifty days from Easter Day until the Day of Pentecost. Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost do not form three seasons. The Easter season celebrates the three dimensions of the resurrection, ascension, and the sending of the Spirit.

These fifty days, a seventh of the year, form our great “Sunday” of the year. “Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!” is an apt greeting in every service during Eastertide. Similarly “Alleluia! Alleluia!” is added to the Dismissal and the people’s response. These help to give these celebrations a distinctive festal feel.

Acknowledgements:

Based on a liturgy in UIW2;
prayers from Liturgy Alive for Sundays (www.bible.claret.org);
and Laughing Bird liturgies (www.laughingbird.net).
Image: Good Shepherd icon at Monastery Icons
(www.monasteryicons.com/monasteryicons).