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A SERVICE OF WORD AND SACRAMENT

Ascension Day, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
June 1, 2014

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

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

HYMN 369: ‘Hail the day that sees his rise’

GREETING

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors.

CONFESSION

Today we rejoice in the Ascension of Christ our Saviour.
It is the sign that his work is completed
and that Abba God is well pleased.
Now Jesus invites us to carry on his mission
and to be his presence where we live and work.

Jesus, you sit at the right hand of Abba God:
Ky-ri-e e-le-i-son.

Jesus, you are above every authority and power:
Christ-e e-le-i-son.

Jesus, you are with us always ... to the end of time:
Ky-ri-e e-le-i-son.

FORGIVENESS

As Jesus Christ instructed his followers,
the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name
from the holy city to the ends of the earth.
Jesus says, Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

COLLECT

God of majesty,
yours is the power that raised Christ from death,
yours is the glory that exalted him to your right hand.
Clothe us with power from on high
that we may proclaim the good news to the whole world,
confirming our message by the sign of our love for one another.
Grant this through Jesus Christ,
the first-born from the dead,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

FIRST READING Acts 1:1-11

EPISTLE Ephesians 1:15-23

May your word live in us, O God.
And bear much fruit to your glory.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

We stand.

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

GOSPEL Matthew 28:16-20

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

RESPONSE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

With joy and hope in our hearts because of the victory of Christ,
let us pray in the power of the name of One who sits in glory at the right hand of God. With confidence we pray: O God, draw us close to you.

That we may not keep looking towards heaven
for the answers to today’s problems
but commit ourselves to the common task
of making this world a better,
safer place for all.

... God, we ask that you listen to our prayers.
We pray that, at the name of Jesus,
every knee shall bend and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Sovereign to the glory of God. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING 774: ‘For the life that you have given …’

God of all,
here in these signs of bread and wine
your Child Jesus keeps the promise
to be with us always, even to the end of time.
May Christ live and grow in us so that,
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
we can help to make disciples of all nations.
All you have made is good.
Your love endures for ever.

THE PEACE

Jesus, you said to your apostles:
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.”
Let us not stand looking at the heavens;
rather, let us be his witnesses to people on earth,
and grant us the peace of your kindom
where you live for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us acknowledge God’s power in our midst
by offering each other a sign of Christ’s peace.

The peace of the risen Christ be with you all.
And also with you.

INVITATION

On this morning, Christ invites you to this table,
so you may experience wholeness
while seeking peace with one another.
So come, not because you must,
but because you may.
Come to this table not because you are strong,
but because you seek God’s strength.
Come to this table with all your broken pieces,
seeking wholeness, trusting in Jesus.
Come and enjoy the feast that God has prepared for you today.

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

THE LORD’S PRAYER

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

LAMB OF GOD (705)

Behold the Lamb of God,
behold the Lamb of God.
He takes away the sin,
the sin of the world.

COMMUNION

This is Jesus who said:
“Know that I am with you always
until the end of time.”
Blessed are we who are called to receive Christ
at this altar-table.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Abba God,
you have entrusted to us the mission you gave to Jesus;
we are to be his presence in the world,
his witnesses to the ends of the earth.
Christ has no body on earth but ours.
He has no hands but ours to raise up the fallen,
no feet but ours to seek out the lost.
He has no eyes but ours to see the silent tears of the suffering:
no ears but ours to listen to the lonely.
He has no tongue but ours to speak a word of comfort to the sad:
no heart but ours to love the unloved.

God, send us the Holy Spirit
so that we can be the body of Christ our Sovereign. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

BLESSING

May almighty God bless you on this day
when his only Begotten ascended into heaven
to prepare a place for you. Amen.

After his resurrection, Christ was seen by his disciples.
When he appears as judge
may you be pleasing in his sight. Amen.

You believe that Jesus has taken his seat in majesty
at the right hand of God.
May you have the joy of experiencing
that he is also with you to the end of time. Amen.

And may our loving God bless you ...

DISMISSAL

Let us go to announce to neighbours and friends
that we have met with God in Christ. Amen.
We go in the Spirit 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!” forms the 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: Ascension, Albert Tucker, 1962 (www.spiritualite2000.com).