You Are Witnesses
of These Things (Luke 24:48)
to the leader(s) of worship and are chosen from the churches
present at worship. "A" refers to the assembly gathered
A gong or bell is sounded three times to indicate the beginning
of the service followed by a moment of silence.
The worship leaders
enter together with those participants carrying the Bible,
a simple cross and possibly a symbol inspired by the text
of Luke: 24.
L: There is one
body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope
of your calling
A: One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father
of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
L: It is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and
to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance
and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to
all nations, beginning from Jerusalem
A: We are the witnesses of these things.
"Love Divine, all Loves Excelling"
(Planners may wish
to use this hymn or select another appropriate hymn.)
Love divine, all loves
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us your humble dwelling;
All your faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, source of all compassion,
Love unbounded, love all pure;
Visit us with your salvation;
Let your love in us endure..
Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all your life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more your temples leave.
Lord we would be always blessing,
Serve you as your hosts above,
Pray and praise you without ceasing,
Glory in your perfect love.
The worship leader or the pastor of
the host congregation welcomes the assembly and briefly introduces
the 2010 celebration, placing it within the framework of the
A: O risen Christ, On the road
to Emmaus you were the disciples' companion. Be at our side
on the journey of faith on life's pathways and at every encounter,
engender our compassion so that we may welcome others and
listen to their stories. Kindle anew the desire to proclaim
your Word. May it illumine us and may our hearts burn to bear
witness to it. May your Holy Spirit teach us the art of explaining
scripture and open our eyes to recognize you. Grant us the
courage to become vulnerable so that our sisters and brothers
may know you through us and that we may know you through them.
Proclamation of the Word of God
L: The Gospel is proclaimed.
It is customary to invite a guest
to preach in the host church's pulpit.
The Sign of Peace
L: Jesus said to his disciples, "Peace I leave
with you; my peace I give to you." Do not look upon our
sin but on the faith of your church. To fulfil your will,
grant this peace to your church and lead it to perfect unity,
you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit
for ever and ever.
L: The peace of the Lord be always with you.
A: The risen Christ is indeed among us.
The Nicene-Constantinople Creed
L: Let us join together in professing
A: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from
Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in
Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For
us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by
the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man. For our sake, he was crucified under Pontius
Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day
he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended
into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy
catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection
of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Offering and Hymn
Prayers of Intercession
Lector 1: Creator and savior God, we praise you for all our
different communities who together want to confess, through
word and deed, their faith in the risen Christ, who brings
Lector 2: May we make such progress in our ecumenical commitment
that we become more united both in our thanksgiving for creation
and in our concerted action to uphold life.
A: Kyrie eleison (or an alternative sung response).
Lector 1: God, you have made yourself
known to us in our story, we give you thanks for being with
us and for having given us your Son to reveal your love and
share your glory.
Lector 2: Guide the steps of all who bear witness to the gospel
toward perfect unity, in careful and patient listening to
cultures and peoples' histories.
A: Kyrie eleison.
Lector 1: God, you who never abandon
us, we give you thanks for the experience of the two disciples
on the road to Emmaus with the risen Christ.
Lector 2: Grant that we may feel Christ's presence with us
on our journey. Warm our hearts and open our understanding,
that we may bear witness to your active presence in the power
of his resurrection.
A: Kyrie eleison.
Lector 1: God, from whom every perfect
gift comes, we give you thanks that from the dawn of time
from generation to generation you have never ceased to awaken
that cloud of witnesses which transmitted the faith of the
apostles. (At this point each participant can mention evangelists
and martyrs who have transmitted the faith of the apostles).
Lector 2: We pray that we may be faithful to this faith we
have been entrusted with, and creative, so as to together
to open up new paths of the gospel.
A: Kyrie eleison.
Lector 1: God of compassion, we give
you thanks because you have reconciled the world through the
cross of your Son.
Lector 2: Increase our faith, that it may give our churches
and each of us, with Christ and following his example, the
strength to always to stand more effectively alongside people
in their lives, suffering and death.
A: Kyrie eleison.
L: God, we put our hope in you and praise you for Jesus' promise,
"See, I am with you always even unto the end of time."
You see the doubts which beset our hearts on the path to Christian
unity. Following the example of the ecumenical pioneers of
the Edinburgh conference of 1910, give us courage to denounce
together our current fears and clarity to regain trust in
2010 on the path to the fulfilment of your will.
The Lord's Prayer
L: Each in his or her own language, let us pray together
in the words Jesus gave us:
A: Our Father
Prayer of Commitment
L: Let us pray.
A: Take us from where we are, to where you want us
to be; make us not merely guardians of a heritage, but living
signs of your coming Kingdom; fire us with passion for justice
and peace between all people; fill us with that faith, hope
and love which embody the Gospel; and through the power of
the Holy Spirit make us one. That the world may believe, that
your name may be enthroned in our nation, that your church
may more effectively be your body, we commit ourselves to
love you, serve you, and follow you as pilgrims not strangers.
Amen. (ACTS commitment, taken from the Inaugural Service
of Action of Churches Together in Scotland, 1990.)
L: The Lord who conquered darkness
with light, give peace to you.
The Lord who conquered death with life, give peace to you.
The Lord who conquered loneliness with love, give peace to
Or another blessing.
L: Today the risen Christ says to us, "As the
Father sent me, so I send you."
L: We have been told the Good News of the resurrection
of Jesus, "We are the witnesses of these things."
Go then in the peace of Christ. Alleluia!
A: Thanks be to God. Amen, Alleluia!