Sunday 21 May, 2017 – Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A

Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

Altar colour: White

Bible readings:
FIRST READING Acts 17:22-31 Paul in Athens
PSALM Psalm 66:8-20*For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING 1 Peter 3:13-22 Suffering for doing right
GOSPEL John 14:15-21 The promise of the Holy Spirit

Notes on the readings:
ACTS 17:22-31: While spending time in Athens, Paul had the opportunity to speak to the city’s prestigious philosophical council, the Areopagus. Paul referred to an altar to an unknown god to introduce an explanation of the nature of the one transcendent true God. God can’t be contained either by human buildings or artistic representations. He is the creator of all human beings and governs their lives and boundaries. Coming from his hand of creation all people are answerable to his ultimate judgment, the truth of which is pledged by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 PETER 3:13-22: Peter treats in this section the problems his readers will meet in persecution. While they would not necessarily deserve this suffering, it may well yet happen. However, there are always divine purposes of grace connected with persecution. It affords believers the opportunity to defend their faith, thus making it known. Christ’s suffering was according to the purposes of the Father and achieved a mighty result. Having patiently born his suffering, Christ was able to apply the triumph of his achievement by preaching to the spirits in prison. Christians have been linked to this triumph through the salvation which baptism gives and guarantees.

JOHN 14:15-21: When Jesus said, ‘Keep my commandments’ he was not referring just to a new set of rules, but saying that the disciples were to observe the love that permeates all the doing which flows from salvation. Both of these are a witness on his behalf to the world. The disciples will not be left on their own. The Holy Spirit will replace on a permanent basis the physical guiding presence of their beloved master. Not only will the Spirit bestow the sense of certainty that Christ is with the Father, binding them to both, but also will move the disciples to express their love for the Lord in keeping his commandments.


Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon
Based on gospel: Pr Mark Greenthaner
Based on first reading: Pr Roger Atze
Based on second reading: edited for lay reading sermon – 1 peter 3 13-22 – year a – easter 6 ; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – 1 peter 3 13-22 – year a – easter 6

Opening sentences:
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, Alleluia,
the Spirit of truth to be with you forever. Alleluia!  (John 14:16,17a NIV alt)

Jesus said: ‘I won’t leave you like orphans’; Allelluia!
‘I will come back to you.’ Alleluia!  (John 14:18 CEV)

Orders of service
Easter Sunday Word & Prayer ( pdf / doc / ppt )
Service of the Word (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Morning Praise (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt )
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Service with Five Songs of Faith (pdf / rtf/ ppt)

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
O God, the giver of all good things,
inspire us, your humble servants,
to think what is right,
and guide us to do it;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Lord God, the giver of all good things,
inspire us to think what is right
and guide us to do it.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, alternative
(Let us pray for the fruit of the Spirit. [silence])
Almighty and merciful God,
you send your Holy Spirit
to be the light and life of all your people.
Open our hearts to receive his riches,
so that we may produce the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, new
(Let us pray that we love one another. [silence])
Jesus, our loving friend and Saviour,
you have promised to give us your Spirit
to be with us forever.
Stay within our hearts,
so that we love one another
as you have loved us.
For you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

ALLELUIA VERSE (after the second reading)
(Since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again;
death no longer has any power over him.
Jesus said, ‘Those who love me will keep my word,
and my Father will love them, and we will come to them
and make our home with them.’  (John 14:23 NRSV)

Prayer after the gospel
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ (, raised to live forever).
Thank you, Lord Jesus,
for loving us and sending the Spirit to help us.
Teach us to love you and one another.


Offering Prayer
Heavenly Father,
you have loved us and given us your Spirit
to live within us.
Help us, through your Spirit,
to do your will and show your love to others.


Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Easter 6A

Resources for services with Holy Communion
It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
But most of all we praise you
for the glorious resurrection of your Son,
the true Passover Lamb,
who has taken away the sin of the world.
By his death he has destroyed death,
and by his rising again he has restored life.
And so, with Mary Magdalene and Peter
and all the other witnesses of the resurrection,
with earth and sea and all their creatures,
and with angels and archangels,
cherubim and seraphim,
we adore and praise your glorious name:

Jesus says: ‘Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.’
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

Let us pray.
Heavenly Father,
you gave your Son to die and raised him to give us eternal life.
Grant that we who have received his body and blood
may live in him and serve you as your children.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR use the third prayer of the day (as listed above) at this point. It may be modified as follows:

Almighty and merciful God,
by the gift we have received in this sacrament,
may we produce the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

This seasonal blessing is used together with (ie before) the usual blessing in the order of service.

(May) the God of peace,
who raised from the dead our Lord Jesus,
provide you with every good thing you need
in order to do his will; . . .

Go in peace. You are not alone. God has sent his Spirit to live within you.
Thanks be to God.  OR  In the name of Christ. Amen.

Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures

Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH
First reading: Acts 17:22-31

231    O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling
232    Rise, Thou light of Gentile nations*
374    O Lord of heaven and earth and sea
394    God is love, let heaven adore Him G9
435    Christians now praise ye
440    Sing praise to God who reigns above (vv 1,3,5,6) G3
441    With joyful heart your praises bring* G3
457    Mighty God, we praise Thy name G7
469    Come, ye people, rise and sing G4
506    Jesus, where’er Thy people meet
761    Christ is alive! Let Christians sing
780    We go to God when we are sorely placed
785    In Adam we have all been one
112    From heaven the Lord looks down
129    Everyone
239    Listen to him
296    I, the Lord of sea and sky
333    You are our God
349    There is a Redeemer
446    Mercy
110    Sing praise to God who reigns above
127    Holy God, we praise your name
143    Immortal, invisible, God only wise
153    God is love, let heav’n adore him
240    All go to God when they are sorely placed
387    Christ is alive! Let Christians sing
445    Jesus, where’er your people meet
631    Father, Lord of all creation
658    I, the Lord of sea and sky

Second reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22

84    There is a green hill far away
158    Jesus, lover of my soul
195    A mighty fortress*
277    Baptized into Thy name most holy*
323    Blessed are the sons of God*
400    From God shall naught divide me*
443    Through all the changing scenes of life
761    Christ is alive! Let Christians sing
828    I am baptised – O blessed day
831    O baptised people, one and all
861    God is on our side
21    God is on our side
127    Because He lives
148    Born for resurrection
163    Hymn of glory
171    Dying you destroyed our death
417    Water and the Spirit
421    Born forever
465    How deep is the love
470    I’m so secure
103    A mighty fortress is our God
112    Through all the changing scenes of life
211    Jesus, lover of my soul
350    There is a green hill far away
386    By your kingly power, O risen Lord
387    Christ is alive! Let Christians sing
391    Come, God’s people, sing for joy
481    Baptized into your name most holy
488    Now in the name of him, who sent
494    In water we grow

Gospel: John 14:15-21

116    Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly dove*
118    O Holy Ghost, to Thee we all pray* G3
119    Come down, O Love divine
121    Come Holy Ghost, God and Lord* G4
123    O Holy Ghost, eternal light
128    O Spirit of Life, O Spirit of God* G5
135    Father most holy, merciful and loving
222    Thou whose almighty word
344    Our God is love*
127    Because he lives
175    The greatest commandment
177    Love one another
184    Love is the law
251    God sends us his Spirit
373    Bound by love
487    Make your home in me
398    Come down, O Love divine
399    Come, Spirit of God, holy Lord
401    O Spirit of Life, O Spirit of God
412    God sends us his Spirit
447    Lord, your almighty Word

The following paraphrase of Psalm 66:8-20 by David Schütz may be sung to the tune of ‘Now the green blade rises’ (LHS 764, AT 15, TIS 382). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

Bless our God, all peoples, let his praise be heard.
He has kept us living, made our footing firm.
You tried us, God, like silver tried in fire;
burdened us with troubles, though we trusted you.

Yet, though riders crushed us, you have kept us safe.
Through the fire and water, you have brought us home.
Therefore, I come to pay my vows to you,
those things I have promised, these things I will do.

Come and listen to me, all who fear the God,
I will tell my story: what God did for me.
I prayed to him, and praised him with my lips,
though I was in trouble, yet I turned to him.

God would not have heard me, if my heart was hard.
But indeed he listened to my humble words.
Blest be our God; he did not spurn my prayer!
He has not removed his steadfast love from me.

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 66 p108 , Psalm 66 p109

While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

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