There are many texts and alternates for the day, but the following are the ones I primarily used. All the choices are at the site these texts link to:
Isaiah 65: 17-25
Psalm 118: 1-3, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15: 19-26
John 20: 1-18
CALL TO WORSHIP
One: Could it be?
All: But the stone is out of place and the tomb empty.
One: What was prophesied is now true! Our Teacher has risen!
All: Mary has seen the Lord! Hallelujah!
One: Christ has risen!
All: He has risen, indeed!
Oh Lord, what a morning! Your Son has defeated death. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. The world was forever changed as your kingdom came to earth. May we hear anew this story and marvel at what it means. May we find new wonder in the good news of Christ’s return to the living. Today may we all be made alive again through him. Amen.
Note: I’m not one to put confession in the Easter service, but in case you do…
CALL TO CONFESSION
Our risen Lord has done marvelous things. It is an honor to be able to come to him as our honest selves on this joyous day.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Lord Jesus, while we fuss about new dresses and pressed suits and big meals we forget that today is the day you quietly, without us even realizing it, defeated death for us. Help us see where we are blind. Help us greet you with open arms. Oh Lord, we believe – help us in our unbelief.
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
Dear ones, hear the good news: Christ died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again. Know that even before we recognize him the risen one is in our midst, making us whole, and in him I can truly say that your sins are forgiven.
INVITATION TO THE TABLE
The dinner of last Thursday that brought on the end has been reset as the wedding banquet table to which we are all invited. This is the meal of the bread of life and the cup of salvation. This is a table of remembrance with food that never goes stale, never runs out, and of which we can never be too full. Come, eat, and partake of the joyous feast of our Risen Lord until he comes again.
CALL FOR THE OFFERING
What we give can not compare to what Christ gave, but yet we are still called to participate – still called into this life together. Let us with great thankfulness bring forth our tithes and offerings.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Gracious God, in this your act of salvation that you celebrate today you reaffirmed your desire for us to participate with you in the care of your creation – of each other. Today as we bring forward these gifts of our hands and ourselves, we pray that they may go to further your work – your kingdom here on earth. Amen.